D4D

Putting the cunt in constable

Archive for the category “Gigs”

Poorly Sick (part two)

Last week’s “Poorly Sick” has continued on for the last week – although also not helped by my own general idiocy.

On the Tuesday, while coughing my lungs out (mmm, tasty) I drove up to Manchester to see friends, and then go with them to see Massive Attack at the Manchester Arena. And then drove home afterwards, like a friggin’ lunatic. By the time I got back – Wednesday morning, 2:30am – I’d twatted my ribs with the coughing I’d done, and felt fairly rough.

Wednesday was spent at home feeling ropy (while also getting enough work done to keep people happy) and Thursday I was on-site down in Chesham.  I was feeling shitty enough there (and cold enough, the office being ridiculously cold) that I left at lunchtime and came home to thaw out.

Friday was also quiet, spent mainly at home.

Saturday was a trip to London to meet another friend and see “When we have sufficiently tortured each other” at the National Theatre (Spoiler : Don’t bother, it’s cobblers)

And then Sunday was another daft day-trip, this time down to the edge of Somerset to see other friends. And back home the same day, getting back at midnight on the dot.

So yeah, a week of being comprensively unwell while still being daft.

Hopefully things are back to a more even keel this week, but time will tell.

Ticket Admin

Over the weekend, I spent a bit of time organising myself. Primarily this involved taking all the tickets I currently have on my noticeboard for forthcoming events, and making sure all the dates for them were entered in my phone, so I don’t double-book myself.

The trigger for this was that there was one particular day where I very nearly ended up not just double-booked, but triple-booked.  It’s already double-booked, depending on what I decide to do and how some things progress between now and September, but triple-booking would’ve been really silly.  Fortunately that latest event is occurring on two consecutive evenings, so I was able to make it into a busy weekend rather than a “for fuck’s sake” weekend.

But it made me realise that there were other things that I hadn’t yet listed in the diary, which was always going to end up biting me at some point.

Now though it’s all good, I’ve got everything diarised – and yes,  as it turned out I’d forgotten a couple of booked things (thankfully with no clashes, although there’s one that’s going to make life a little bit interesting along the way)  But all sorted for now, and I feel pretty good about that fact.

Phoneless

Via an article on Raptitude ( The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”) I came across a company called Yondr whose idea/offering seems simple and pretty brilliant.

Basically, they create “phoneless areas” for concerts (as well as other events, but mainly concerts) by locking them away.  The smart bit is that they’re not stockpiled somewhere (which would be way too tempting for thieves etc.) Instead, they’re put in a pouch that locks, and the phone stays with the owner.

If the phone is really needed, there are unlock-stations outside the concert area, so the bag can be unlocked and the phone used.

But – as per the article, and as per my own experience – people in general are fucking lazy, and even that extra effort of moving twenty yards to unlock the phone to use it is more than most can be bothered to do. And so those people stay in place, watch the concert (or whatever) and aren’t distracted by their phones.

I’ve griped (on several occasions) about concerts now where more people seem to be filming the gig through their phones than actually watching it and how distracting that is for those who actually want to see the performance (although Yondr won’t fix the other issues mentioned there of people constantly chatting to their mates while the show is on, or keep going to the bar etc.)  and this seems like a really good way of reducing that desire.

Yondr don’t say how much their service costs to install – I assume it’s not going to be cheap – but I really do hope it’s something that both venues and artists support and promote.  I know I’d be more likely to go to a gig/venue that was ‘phones-free’…

Ministry, O2 Forum, Kentish Town

I’ve been a fan of the (very loud) band Ministry for a very long time – I missed their last gig in London due to other stuff occurring, and had made sure I got tickets for the gig on Saturday night at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London.

As I had nothing else planned, I went down to London early – I know the local area, and there are a few places very close to the venue where parking is free on a weekend, which makes the entire proposition even easier.  In light of my whole “not doing as much” policy, it was still a quiet and easy day – I had lunch, then found a couple of pubs to sit outside and either read, catch up on internet stuff, or do some reading.  With the weather the way it’s been, it was all most civilised.

For the gig itself, I got there in time to see the support act – a singer I’d not heard of before, called Chelsea Wolfe, and her support band.  Personally I wasn’t overly taken with them, but they were better than expected. (I generally expect support bands to be bobbins, but still go to see them if possible. If they’re better than bobbins, it’s a bonus. If they’re bad, then it’s purely as expected, and I don’t feel disappointed by that)

And then onto the main thing.  I don’t know what happened, but the venue suddenly got exceptionally hot, and stayed that way for the whole concert.  It was bad enough that I know a lot of people left early, it really was pretty intolerable.  The gig itself was great, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing – but was definitely sweaty and stinky by the time I’d also driven home.

I’d go again, happily – but ideally in rather cooler temperatures, or a venue where the air-con/ventilation was capable of coping with 2,000-ish gig-goers…

 

Busy Busy

I slacked off from writing posts last week – primarily just because I was ridiculously busy, and didn’t get round to it.

The week before had already been daftly busy, including travel to Newcastle for a couple of days, and then social and busy bits on both weekend days.

I can’t even remember now what I did on the Monday – I know I was out, I just can’t recall where/why. That can’t be a good sign.

Then Tuesday evening I was seeing The The at the Royal Albert Hall, and on Wednesday evening seeing them at Brixton Academy, as I may have mentioned before (on more than one occasion)  Both nights were great, but on neither occasion was I home before 1am, nor in bed before 3am. And also working during the day.

Thursday was no better, although at least it was more local, by going to the local Geek Night for a bundle of presentations and connections.

And then Friday was supposed to be quieter, “just popping out” for food at a local event, that then meeting friends and chatting, meaning I didn’t actually leave ’til gone 11pm.

Saturday was a day in London, starting with cocktails and lunch at one of my favourite places, The Alchemist in Bevis Marks (near the base of the Gherkin) followed by a play called “Sancho – An Act of Remembrance” at Wilton’s Theatre.

And today was another food event in Milton Keynes, and this evening I’ve finally stopped and been able to relax a bit.

So. That’s my reasons for not updating over the last week.   I think it’s a pretty good list, but other opinions may differ. 🙂

 

Danny Baker, Northampton Derngate

Seeing Danny Baker on stage was never one of the things on my to-do list. I’d never been overly taken with his character, or the (very little) I knew about him.

But last weekend, I heard an interview with him on the radio, and he seemed… less of a dickhead than I’d previously thought, and actually with a pretty interesting life.  So when I got home, I had a look at details for his current theatre tour, and saw that he was playing in a week’s time in Northampton. And there were still seats available.  So I thought “Well, why not? The most that can happen is I decide I still don’t like him“.  Ticket booked, and on Saturday evening there I was. In Northampton.

As it happened, the show was a lot of fun. And bloody long.  He’d said in the interview (and at the start of the show) that he’s taken over the mantle from Ken Dodd and so on for marathon shows.  (My parents used to say about Doddy telling the audience “I’m the only one who knows when you’re going home”, and this was much the same)  In this case, he started off at 19:45, there was a 15-minute interval at about 21:30, and he finally left the stage at 23:30. Pretty good going.

Also, it’s worth noting that this is the third tour of tales about his life, and by the end of it we were only just getting to where he started in radio at the age of 30. (He’s now 61)  So I’m pretty sure there’s material for a few more tours in him as well.

As it was, a good portion of the first half was concerned with filling out the information from previous tours, so people knew what and who he was talking about during the second half.  The entire thing was accompanied with photos to illustrate the events and places – all with bits being pointed out by the snooker cue he was using as a pointer throughout. He’s also incredibly energetic, constantly walking across the stage. God only knows how many miles he’s covering every night – but it’s certainly not an insignificant number!

The stories he told were pretty epic, with a fair amount of name-dropping and so on – but they weren’t all about being the Big I Am. Obviously there’s a degree of this, as it’s Danny Baker telling The Tale Of Danny Baker, but it’s not excessive, this is the stuff that has happened, and he’s the first to admit he’s been incredibly lucky along the way, along with not always being the hero of his own tales.

Not always funny (although more often than not) the entire show came together really well, and the only thing that actually made it feel as long as it was (Steady on, Matron) was that the seats at Derngate get bloody uncomfortable after a while.

I can’t deny, I really enjoyed the entire thing (poxy seating notwithstanding) and came out with a better impression of Danny Baker than I’d had on the way in.

If the tour is playing anywhere near you, it’s worth seeing.  And if he does another one, the odds are that I’ll go along again. It might even make it onto the to-do list!

 

 

The The, Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

A while back I wrote about seeing The The back on tour, and last night was their first warm-up concert in at least sixteen years.  As well as having a ticket for the first ‘official’ concert in a couple of weeks time, I managed to get a ticket for the Nottingham one as well. Because, well, why not?

Of course, what I hadn’t really thought about was that it was a Friday evening – and even worse, the Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend. Nottingham is generally a pretty easy drive for me – satnav says two hours, but on quietish roads I know I can do it in 90 minutes.   Friday afternoon, to get there in time? Four hours.  Yep, four. Fuck sake. Usually I can get to Newcastle in that time, let alone bloody Nottingham.

Anyway, fortunately I had the time and had planned it out a bit, but still, it made for a longer drive than expected.

The venue was fine for this sort of thing. Rescue Rooms is a small venue – about 450 people – but I actually really liked it. More importantly, it meant that the majority of the audience were there because they were fans of the band (something that seems to be less and less the case with a lot of gigs) so there was a lot less of the usual stuff, people chatting away in spite of the band, or just keeping on journeying to and from the bar.

And the gig itself? It was great.  Because it was a ‘getting ready to tour’ gig, there were no warm-up acts, so it was just the band doing their thing. The band were also experimenting with in-ear monitors rather than the older wedge-speaker set-up (in-ears are a new development since last time they toured) although tonight’s second one will use the wedges, so they can compare results.  All told, it made for an earlier finish, with a curfew of 10pm.  But they came on at 7:45, so it’s not like anyone was short-changed.

The The played a whole range of things from their albums, some less-known than others, but pretty much all the favourites and crowd-pleasers. To me there’s still nothing like a whole audience singing along to a well-known track – and that must be hugely multiplied when on stage.

The entire thing was great, and I’m looking forward even more to the big concert in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and the drive home? 90 minutes, door-to-door.

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