Saturday, July 18, 2009

SFA @ Somerset House

From Super Furry Animals - Somerset House - 2009
Super Furry Animals contrasted to the music from the pervious weekend – I was back at Somerset House – but it wasn’t pouring with rain, and Gruff Rhys didn’t have quite the attitude of either Lily Allen or Noel Gallagher.

Having said that it was a very good evening of live music again. I’m very please I’m continuing my policy of going to any event where I’ve at least heard of the band, and that hasn’t put me off…

SFA’s brand of psychedelic/experimental rock might not be to everyone’s taste – but in a small venue like Somerset House, on a pleasant Saturday evening, it was a great way to spend time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

No need to stand on the shoulder

From Oasis - Wembley 2009
Rock is what Wembley does best – both the old run down version and the wonderful new plush version. Oasis aren’t too bad at making a large stadium rock – the combination was a great Sunday evening. Added benefit was that I’d splashed out on a “VIP package” – really a fancy name for short cutting the queues for food, drink and loos, and guaranteed good view and conformable seats.

I applaud Oasis’ attempts to defeat the touts by not allocating seats until the week before the event – but that does mean knowing if you’ll be able to see the stage or not when you buy the ticket is not an option – unless you splash out on the already expensive seats…  Some people that had opted for unreserved standing, who ended up at the back of the pitch resorted to standing on shoulders – the penalty for flat pitches… 

My next visit to Wembley will be for U2 – another guaranteed great evening of live music…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rain can’t Knock `Em Out

From Lily Allen - Somerset House 2009
It would appear that good music prevents even the heaviest of rain from dampening the spirits of an audience. Somerset House is not far from home, so I was determine to take the venue up on its pledge that the show would go on what ever the weather – and it was well worth it. Not sure who would have been colder – the soaking wet audience or Lily Allen in her skimpy little outfit – the music kept us all warm…

Unlike my previous evening of entertainment with Lily, when I was struggling to keep awake due to jet lag, the rain was an antidote to any thoughts of sleep. Not that with Lily on stage there was any danger of that!

All in all, it was well worth the soaking. Somerset House is a great venue in the middle of the city – I’ll be going to more events – already booked for next weekend for Super Furry Animals. And Lily certainly can warm up an audience – even in the pouring rain.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Revisiting the Candy Store

From Madonna O2 2009 Part I
Paying Tribute to MJ
Madonna returned to London for a second helping of her Sticky & Sweet tour that I first saw at Wembley as she started another European leg the tour. Yet again the frustration of late releases of the best tickets, and a why not attitude, meant I had tickets for a double bill of hard candy.

The O2 showed again why it is possibly the country’s best large venue. Equivalent seat at Wembley had left me too far from the stage to really see the show. Able to enjoy the music, but left wishing I could have seen more of the show. At O2 in the best seats you are definitely close enough to see every move in the show, and the acrostics in the O2 are second to none for an indoor location from any where in the building.

Madonna didn’t fail to disappoint – the act was subtlety refreshed, and included several a heart felt additional tributes to Michael Jackson. Two great nights of entertainment. Having said that, Kylie still holds the title of the princess of disco – but I’m sure Madge and Pink are the female royalty of rock.

Amusingly, Madonna had managed to convince herself that the 5th of July was actually the 4th, and proceeded to rib the Americans in the audience when they failed to respond to her best wishes on the birthday of the USA – only after a break to admit she’d been reminded it was in fact the 5th… but she didn’t give a f*ck. Would have been good if she’d return to the O2 the next day for a repeat performance honoring the tickets for the 5th…

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

In for free, they are doing it for the thrill

From La Roux 2009
On a warm summer eve, I made my way to Kentish Town for a free event to launch La Roux, the first album by the band of the same name, that I’d seen on one very tired night supporting Lily Allan, still very much jet lagged having just returned from Tokyo.

It made a very refreshing change for the event to be free – I suspect the give away of tickets with pre-orders hadn’t filled the place, so free tickets where made more widely available.

So hundreds of us queued outside the HMV Forum, on a wonderfully pleasant summer eve. Entertainment was the look on peoples faces as they turned the various turns of the queue to see it stretching further to the next corner. Many in front of me gave up – but it was remarkable how many people lined up three or four abreast can fit in a building…

Once inside I got a great view at the very front of the circle, and was then occupied by a great short set. Some of the tracks have already become very familiar due to the almost constant use of them to trail Channel 5 CSI episodes – others fresh electro pop to raise spirits.