• Ford blows Thompson away.

    3 fév. 2011, 19h09m

    Wed 2 Feb – Teddy Thompson at The Masque

    David Ford as support was absolutely fantastic. His singing voice was s clear as a whistle and he played everything himself.. literally tearing about the stage all the while never missing a note.

    Thompson decided to treat us to a lot of new material from his album that was out on Monday and so no one new.. the PA was very muddy sounding for him too.. so you couldn't really his voice properly for the first three songs or so..
  • Let's Make Tonight A Night To Remember.

    21 jan. 2010, 9h28m

    Wed 20 Jan – Bryan Adams

    Bryan Adams was awesome last night.

    It was literally just him and an acoustic guitar. He had a mouth organ (around his neck so he could still play like a one man band) and he had a piano player for some of the songs.. but that was it.

    No backing singers, no drummer, no other guitarists, no screens. In fact no gimmicks or stage props at all..

    The man is just a genius. It obviously helps to have 16 albums of material to cherry pick from (meaning he could start with Run To You and not have to worry about peaking too soon).

    He expertly built the momentum. He plays really well and he has such a powerful gravelly voice. He told some amusing, but short, anecdotes which helped him bond. He had time to do an amusing country version of Please Forgive Me and had the crowd on the feet by about halfway through with as rousing a version of Summer of '69 as you'll ever here.

    Two hours of quality rock.
  • Pet Shop Boys - Yes

    8 avr. 2009, 11h26m

    The signs all boded well for a great new album. With Love etc. they'd come back with possibly the best single since West End Girls, the album has an iconic white cover just like the early stuff, It's got a nice compact eleven tracks and they'd been working with the production team behind some of Girls Alouds biggest tracks, Xenomania.

    I've been a Pets fan since forever (In fact Please was one of the first albums I ever bought in a three for the price of one deal from the Britannia Music Club fact fans!) and let's be honest. They've never made a bad album. Some however are obviously better than others. While their last album Fundamental was widely regarded as a return to form it had a few too many slow tracks for my liking.

    Yes kicks off brilliantly with 'Love Etc.'. It's a huge single with a cracking melody and chorus. It sounds utterly unlike anything they've done before but is conversely sounds instantly Pet Shop Boys.

    After that it romps along with high energy pop numbers, particular highlights including, Vulnerable and More Than A Dream. The 'Boys barely put a foot wrong. The slow ballad King of Rome is a nice change of tempo and remembers to include a tune you could whistle.

    For me it's one track too long as the track Building a Wall has a great start but then goes nowhere. Unlike similar Pets 'songs with a message' (See also: Integeral or The Theatre) the message is strangely unclear. It also contains a cringe worthy 'Who do you think you are, Captain Britain?' spoken line from Chris Lowe. I'm guessing it's supposed to somehow hint at Neil Tennants previous life as a Comic (sorry I don't know whether it was Marvel or DC) editor but it sounds awful. Nothing like the iconic contribution he makes to Paninaro ('I dont like country & western. I dont like rock music. Ehm, I dont like, I dont like rockabilly, rocknroll in particular, I dont like much, really, do i? [laugh] But what I do like, I love passionately).

    Other than that though it's a thoroughly satifsying album. It's their best since Very which it fittingly reminds me of because it sounds so very Pet Shop Boys. There can be no higher praise than that.
  • James Blunt - MENA

    9 oct. 2008, 18h46m

    Wed 8 Oct – James Blunt

    My only previous experience of a James Blunt show was his live album, Chasing Time, released on the back of the success of Back to Bedlam on which he sounds much like any other earnest singer songwriter. Either selling million of albums has been great for his confidence or practice makes perfect cos he was a fantastically assured performer last night. Strutting onto a fairly simple stage set (you know.. band.. lights and a higher sort of walkway affair) in a sharp silver suit with skinny black tie he looked on fine form.

    The show ran really tightly with a great set list. Most of the first album, the best songs from All the Lost Souls and one new song. A bit of chat. A few jokes. Job very much done. The band sounded great and Blunts voice (Which can sound a tiny bit nasal on record) was fantastic throughout the night. Mid set he ran into the crowd only to leap up onto the PA section and then onto a little stage with a piano where he bashed out a couple of songs almost right in front of us.. (Here I tried to rush the stage but some jobsworth wouldn't let me onto the floor with my 'seating ticket').

    He finished the encore with a fantastic version of 1973 and we left having seen a cracking concert that was all about entertainment.
  • Journey South - Douglas.

    20 jui. 2008, 20h51m

    Fri 18 Jul – Journey South

    What can I say about such an event? The venue was barely half full. The sound was terrible for the opening numbers. In fact things didn't really get going until the brothers pulled a decent cover of Chasing Cars out of the bag and got the crowd going.

    They did seem enthusiastic and the brother with the short hair did a lot of talking to the crowd. After about half an hour they did a little acoustic set unaccompanied on two stools.. I requested Summer of 69 and despite claiming not to be a 'jukebox' the brothers gladly obliged (well it was my birthday).

    However we left after an hour. It wasn't a great show.
  • Crowded House - Brighton

    10 déc. 2007, 14h13m

    Fri 7 Dec – Crowded House, Duke Special

    It's been a long time since Crowded House split. In that time Neil Finn has released a couple of solo albums and one with his older brother Tim. All three have been competent but none have quite had the magic of his work with the band. Sadly Paul Hester, the original drummer, commited suicide a couple of years ago. Although he'd already left the band before they split the first time.

    Either way you look at it there has been a lot of water under the bridge since I last saw Crowded House live on their Together Alone tour. There's also an album of slightly dissappointing new material to go along with the reformation.

    However when the lights go down and the band kick in to 'Private Universe' it's clear that there's plenty of enthusiasm for being back together and there's plenty of sparky banter between Neil and bassist Nick Seymour just like in the old days. There's little in the way of gimmick. Neil is amongst the finest song writers of his generation and on stage there's plenty of punch and power that really allow the songs to shine.

    It's a good set list with a smattering of new material in amongst the hits and even a few rarerties and album tracks. The new material sounded better live than on record benefitting from the extra volume and rawness. Personally I'd loved to have heard 'Hole in the River' but otherwise I was very happy with the song selection. Overall it was great gig.

    Duke Special was also good. Although just as on his album 'Freewheel' is a million times better than anything else he's done.
  • Damien Rice - 11 Oct - MENA.

    12 oct. 2007, 19h09m

    Thu 11 Oct – Damien Rice, Vyvienne Long

    I'd been looking forward to this for a long long time. Suffice to say he didn't dissapoint (sorry if that ruins the surprise before I get to the review).

    Got there really early (we'd had to travel from the Isle of Man so it took all day to get there) and Vyvienne Long was pretty good. A very quirky you lady and very breathless when she was talking but we warmed to her straight away. Good playing and nice tunes with often funny lyrics.

    We didn't have to wait to long for Damien himself. It was my first time at the MEN arena and it looked like it could be a rather cold, impersonal location.. However as soon as the spotlight picked out Mr Rice, alone with his guitar, and he kicked off with Delicate he had the audience in the palm of his hand.

    His backing band are really really good. Especially the drummer who drummed like his life depended on it. He did nearly all my favourite tracks from across both his albums and he really gives it everything he's got.. He's much louder and punchier in the flesh than on record and the sound of his voice and the band where really good.. it was spine tingleing stuff..

    He did an amazing version of Remember Me that had so much energy and then went into a little verse of made up on the spot lyrics about people he could see in the audience before crashing back into a fabulous climax..

    He's also much funnier in the flesh than you might imagine.. I thought he might be quite a cold fish but he was really interesting making jokes about the irish, explaining how some songs had been inspired and quipping that a few years ago we could've hired him for a wedding for £300.. apparently we've missed our f**king chance though..

    He came back on for a great encore and for his last track (some people had actually started to get up) he started explaing the story of Cheers My Darlin whilst a lacky served him red wine and when he kicked into the song itself he was in character and doing an excellent impression of a drunk cussing the woman who'd left him.. and as he was refused service and stumbled into the night it started to snow.. A perfect moment in a fabulous gig..

    Sadly he hinted once again that he was going away for a while "to grow carrots".. But if you get the chance to see him live take it with both hands.

    I love both his albums and loved him even more live. My girlfriend wasn't a fan of his music from the records but was blown away by his performance on stage.

    Great great stuff.
  • Tenacious D - The new album

    19 nov. 2006, 0h44m

    I loved the first Tenacious D album, Despite the swearing and the playground humour it had an innocence based on the acoustic guitars, the subject matter and the spark between KG and Jack Black.

    The new record is the sound track to their movie 'The Pick of Destiny' and while I've no doubt the movie will be very amusing the accompanying album has a very kind of tossed off appeal that leaves it in the shadow of the debut.

    There is very little of the amusing banter that made the first record so enjoyable and whilst many of the songs keep to the short (under 2 mins) and snappy format of the first record you don't get the same feeling they've been loved and polished.

    *** (out of 5)