Gig Archive

Stories From The Mosh Pit - The Gig Archive: Gig Reviews: 1989 - Present Day...

#314 Garbage @ London O2 Academy Brixton (September 14th 2018)

Support: Dream Wife

When a mate asks ‘do you want to go and see Garbage, in your favourite venue, I’m paying and all I want is a bed for the night’. Hell…I ain’t gonna argue. The fact that he then bought Mrs Rock a ticket as well…well ok that was too much. I gave him money for that one…I mean our spare bed is actually only an old fold out sofa…not exactly luxury…I didn’t tell him that bit.

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#313 Queen and Adam Lambert @ London O2 Arena (July 2nd 2018)

An A- Z of Queen and Adam Lambert

A is for ADAM: Lambert showing yet again what a performer he is. Such a strong voice. The perfect front man to play the classic songs

B is for BICYCLE RACE: Adam on a bike. With flowers. Why the hell not

C is for CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE: The band huddled together at the front playing the Freddie classic

D is for DRUM BATTLE: Roger at the front and Tyler Warren on stage for one of the better drum solos you will see

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#312 Billy Idol @ London O2 Academy Brixton (June 23rd 2018)

Support: The Professionals

Mr Bily 'F*cking' Idol. Saw him first supporting Bon Jovi 25 years ago (Cyberpunk era...not great) and then just three years ago at Download Festival (pretty magnificent). This though was the first time seeing his own headline show.

"Is there anyone under 40?" is the first thing we hear upon entering a packed Brixton Academy tonight (we got in at 8.30 and it was rammed...fantastic to see at the 5000 capacity venue).

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#311 Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott @ Thetford Forest (June 9th 2018)

Support: Billy Bragg 

Thetford Forest gigs rock. Zero hassle. Turn up. Park the car. Take note of car park name (Rabbit). Walk 5 minutes. Say hello to the cheery volunteers. Nip to the toilet (clean port-a-loos). Wander to the front of the the arena. No pushing. No groans. No annoying stares. Why? Everyone is already where they want to be. Most are in place with smug looks on their faces sitting in deckchairs with picnics out, waterproofs on (5% chance of rain) and are happy as Larry. Donington this is not but it certainly is bloody well organised.

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#310 Hot Press - Covered In Glory (Hothouse Flowers) @ London Nell's Jazz and Blues (June 6th 2018)

Line Up: Hothouse Flowers / Damien Dempsey / Seamus Fogarty / NC Grey

This 'Covered in Glory' gig celebrated 40 years of Ireland's Hot Press magazine (more than just a music mag). Turns out the venue, the 400 capacity Nell's Jazz and Blues in London's West Kensington, is a bit of a hidden gem. The signs on the wall say 'shhh...during the performance'. That is good to see as too often smaller venues with a big bar are full of noisy folk not looking in the direction of the stage. It's not too bad here though, a nice venue with great staff and an attentive crowd.

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#309 Volbeat @ London House Of Vans (Tunnel 3) (May 30th 2018)

Support: N/A

A slightly different take on what turned out to be a great gig at the House of Vans...

Tunnel 3 tonight not 2. 850 people. Aim to get in about 8.30, loads of time, they wont be on until 9 after all. Yay wrist bands, feeling pretty smug. What's that you say? Free ticket no guarantee of entry...didn't know that. Oh wow hang on, we can't get in? Too full you say? Why the fuck is that? We got tickets, hell we got wrist bands. No one telling us what is going on. Will we get in? Shall we leave? Yes let's leave. Ah no hang on Ella looks upset.

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#308 Common People Festival @ Oxford South Park (May 27th 2018)

Line Up: James / Ride / Sparks

Festival crowds can be the worst. People drinking all day, too pissed to watch any of the bands on display, barging into everyone around them, spilling drink on those sat down as they stumble by. The joys. At least the sun was shining (although thunder and lightning were on show in the distant sky) and Oxford looked its magnificent best.

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#307 Rolling Stones @ London Stadium (May 22nd 2018)

Support: Liam Gallagher

I had almost forgotten how much I hate stadium crowds. Thankfully tonight was there to remind me in full...an A-Z of things that annoy me at gigs...you may want to take a deep breath: Pissed teenagers, pissed 'this is my only night out this year' 50 somethings, pissed pensioners angrily admonishing anyone near them, the very strong smell of joints, twenty somethings pissing in plastic cups, loud Argentinians, girls getting on shoulders of every guy directly in front of me and the general feeling that half the crowd had never been to a concert in their lives.

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#306 Wayward Sons @ London O2 Academy 2 Islington (April 25th 2018)

Support: Pete K. Mally

Toby Jepson is a bit of a hero of mine. Fronting the Little Angels back in the late 80s and early 90s coincided with a burgeoning love of rock music for the 16 year old me. The group originated from Scarborough meaning they were a local band just up the road from my home town of Hull. That made them all the more exciting. Local lads doing what we all dreamt of.

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#305 Def Leppard @ London Royal Albert Hall (March 25th 2018)

Support: Slydigs

I'd always meant to get to one of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts (the first one being way back in 2000) but for some reason never did. That is not to say I have never been at the Albert Hall. Back during the 6 months or so when I was reasonably cool (sometime in the the mid 90's) I saw the Little Angels and Eric Clapton here (although in truth it is harder to not see Mr Clapton at this venue). Those two shows seem like a lifetime ago although I did have afternoon tea here with my lovely wife a few years back...not very rock n roll admittedly.

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#304 Then Jerico @ London Troubadour (February 4th 2018)

Support: N/A

Tonight started a little oddly...however, what initially promised to be a rather strange and cold evening, ended up being a reminder of what an excellent performer Mark Shaw is. Why strange? Well the venue may be full of character and music history (Dylan played London for the first time at this very place) but with the stage in the corner at a right angle (splitting the venue in two) and with the crowd dynamic a little unusual, it really did feel that like this was going to be an odd one.

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#303 Queen and Adam Lambert @ London SSE Arena Wembley (December 15th 2017)

Support: N/A

I’m a big Queen fan. Have been since I was a little kid. Growing up the house was always filled with Freddie's voice whether it was played by my elder brothers or parents. Queen always did appeal to a wide range of age groups and the makeup of tonight's crowd showed that was still very much the case.  Indeed men and women of all ages where here at London's Wembley Arena. The band's music has meant so much to me over the years and seeing May and Taylor live is always a thrill. Now they sing with an American Idol runner up. 

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#302 T'PAU @ London Assembly Hall Islington (November 23rd 2017)

Support: Scarlet / John Adams

You get a feeling a concert is not going to be anywhere near full when you can wander in and hardly anyone bothers asking you for your tickets. We pretty much walked straight in. Ok so we got to the venue over an hour before T'Pau were due to stage but to say the turnout was low is a massive understatement. Why there were so few people is mystifying as the crowd that were here were lucky enough to see a band, in particular Carol Decker and Ron Rogers, put on a trip down memory lane in the fab Islington Assembly Hall.

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#301 H.E.A.T. @ London O2 Academy Islington (November 21st 2017)

Support: Degreed / Black Diamonds

Before this gig, I knew very little about H.E.A.T. I was dragged along by a big fan of the band...that can be really awkward...what if I think the band are utter garbage...do I say so? Things could get a little icy. I really should not have worried as it turns out the band know how to put on one hell of a show. Musically brilliant and with a front man who gives his all. Throw in it being the last night of the tour and the Academy really was rocking.

 

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#300 Blondie @ London O2 Academy Brixton (November 16th 2017)

Support: Mustang

Gig 300 for me. Love Blondie. Love Debbie Harry. Love London. Love Brixton and love Brixton Academy. All the music Gods came together to help me celebrate my third century in style. I've always loved live performance of any kind and since going to my first gig in 1989, on a cold December night in Birmingham, I have loved live music. Of the 300 some have been poor, some have been ok, some good and some absolutely magnificent...300 goes firmly in the latter category.

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#299 MTV Presents @ London Trafalgar Square (November 11th 2017)

Line Up: David Guetta, U2

Standing, freezing cold, in Trafalgar Square on a Saturday night drinking £5 bottles of Fosters is not normally my idea of fun. However tonight, for 45 minutes we saw a set of old and new songs from one of the world's biggest bands. Here as part of the build up for the MTV EMAs (first time in London since 1996) the band play on a stage with Nelsons column overlooking.

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#298 Living Colour @ London Student Central (October 1st 2017)

Support: Stone Broken

It's 29 years since Cult of Personality blasted on to MTV screens. Earning Living Colour a Grammy and multiple MTV awards the song was a huge success and put the band firmly in the spotlight. They were a welcome change from much of the usual MTV fare at the time which, in the late 80's seemed to show just ten videos on repeat....and eight of those were Phil Collins (actually I just checked and that's a complete lie...would love to see these on MTV now).

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#297 Struts @ London Electric Ballroom (September 18th 2017)

Support: Bang Bang Romeo

The Struts attract a variety of fans, from Little Mix loving teenage girls (bass player Jed Edwards is the boyfriend of a Little Mixer), to ageing rockers (with an alarming variety of hair styles). Noticeably though the Derby band's crowd seems to be gradually turning into a more typical rock audience. This may, in part, be due to the ever growing American support slots with the likes of the Foo Fighters, Motley Crue, The Who and The Stones.

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#296 Stereophonics @ London Student Central (August 25th 2017)

Support: N/A

Some 20 years ago the Stereophonics played the ULU. Two decades later they were back celebrating the anniversary of their debut album, released this very day in 1997. Word Gets Around being 20 years old is pretty scary. So much has happened to the band since its release. The success they have had has been one of consistency with huge highs (2002 at Slane Castle) and occasional gut wrench lows (the untimely death of former drummer Stuart Cable).

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