The Wildhearts swaggered back into town hot on the heels of a fresh new album, the first since 2009. How will new material go down live? Let’s find out…
A dark, damp night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow was lit up by an astounding performance from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Sweet Crisis are a band that maybe have skipped under your radar, I must admit, I knew next to nothing about them until I went to see Gun playing in Edinburgh and caught their opening set supporting them. Having seen them live, I’m convinced you should find out about them yourself. Continue reading “Sweet Crisis EP review”
The set delivered everything you would want from a Halestorm show… hell, anything you could want from a rock show.
It was the perfect storm (pardon the pun) of a rock band fast approaching the top of the game, and the best gig venue IN THE UNIVERSE coming together – Halestorm and The Barrowlands in Glasgow.
So. This is being billed as the farewell to the UK tour, the last time that us UK folk will have to see the full Bowling For Soup experience. On that basis, I had to get a ticket and take it in.
Tales of limeade, late night wrestling and The Hoff…
Well, hello. It’s 1:55am, I’m sat in front of the TV waiting on Raw, which is airing “as live” from the UK, even though it finished over 2 hours ago. I’ve been a good boy and haven’t looked at the spoilers, so yay me! Little bit of background info – I’ve had the day from hell, losing my wallet, so a good Raw is just what the doctor ordered.
Your (or my, at least) snacks of choice are Barr’s Limeade, Nik Naks (in Spicy, Rib and Pickled Onion varities) and new Caramel biscuits from Cadburys. I’ll give ‘em a go, they were cheap.
2:00am Here we go, it’s THE SKY VOICEOVER MAN~~~!!! Followed by the WWE video clip opener, and straight into the Raw theme and credits.
2:01am Fireworks inside the O2 arena in London as Michael Cole’s nasal whine already annoys me after less than a minute.
2:03am KNIGHT RIDER THEME~~~!!! It’s The Hoff, and he’s driving KITT… and the Knight Rider music fades into The Hoff’s “Jump In My Car” – this is already the best guest host entrance, ever. Fact. You can’t deny it.
2:04am “Finally, The Hoff has come back to Raw” – Know something? This guy is awesome. He’s ragging on his career, his image and even his drinking. Love this guy, in a manly pat-on-the-back kinda way.
2:05am Hoff is really doing a good job in the ring, here. I’m slightly amazed, and more than a little stunned.
2:06am Hoff stays in the ring as Eve Torres makes her entrance, and even dances with her. He vacates the premises before Maryse arrives, however. I myself use this opportunity to pour a drink, as frankly, I cannot stand Maryse. At all.
2:09am The Caramel biscuits are nice, for future reference.
2:10aam In the ring, the blonde one is laughing at the non blonde one, and there’s lots of slapping and screaming… oh, Eve wins. I presume Maryse is injured again? Meh…. and the crowd went mild.
2:11am ShowMiz! Walking! With belts! Michael Cole says they are about to make an Earth shattering announcement. Big Show is switching allegiances to Whoppers instead of Big Macs? We go to ads, and I ponder the imponderables… like… Why did they stop making Tab Clear? Where did Vanilla Coke go, too?
2:15am Floaty Raw logo signifies someone pressed the button too soon. Tut tut…
2:16am Show and Miz have mics and they’re talking. Miz just asked “Who better than Big Show?” which reminds me how much I miss Kanyon. Poor guy.
2:18am Heeeeeeeeere’s Bret! Man, he looks old and broken down walking down that aisle. It’s a shame.
2:19am “I’d put a sharpshooter on you faster than you could put a pair of cheap sunglasses on an ugly kid” — Miz
2:21am The Hart Dynasty are here. Gotta say, they look the business when they storm down to ringside like that. Oh, and Natalya? Raaaawr!
2:22am DH Smith speaks! He wants Miz one on one, and if he wins, title shot at Extreme Rules. Miz agrees despite Big Show’s concerns, but on the condition that if (Miz adds “when” to this equation) wins, Bret has to declare that ShowMiz are the greatest tag team next week on Raw…
2:24am Hart Family huddle… It’s Son of Bulldog vs. Mouth of Miz… and it’s NEXT!
2:26am Ads. A plug for Ricky Gervais and his new film. Let me right now just veer off into a side issue and say that Channel 4’s list of the top 100 stand ups for 2010 was horrific. Ricky Gervais at number 3??? Not just that, but one place HIGHER than the mighty Bill Hicks? Awful. Someone needs slapping for that one. As I finish venting, the floaty Raw Logo tells me we’re back.
2:28am DH Smith gets a cover and Natalya jumps up and down excitedly. Careful, love, you’ll give yourself a pair of black eyes if you’re not careful…
2:30am Delayed vertical suplex from DH… nice little touch, nodding to his father.
2:31am Smith is good but still learning his trade… lots of nice little touches that bode well for his future, hopefully. Works the crowd well… OK, if this crowd weren’t DEAD then he would. The guy in the ring is the son of The British Bulldog, yet the London crowd are sitting on their hands for the most part, even when DH slaps on the Sharpshooter.
2:33am Miz takes the win after outside interference from Show’s Hellboy-esque Right Hand Of Doom. Bret might just hold a grudge over this. Poor ShowMiz, they’ll be hearing about this for the next 13 years…
2:35am and it’s another break. Man, the Americans sure do like adverts; Raw always has loads of them! Even though this is technically a recorded show, bet we have an over-run on the end. How can it be called an over-run when it’s the same EVERY WEEK? Never understand that.
2:36am Not watching TNA right now… who knows what’s going on over there in RussoLand? Orlando Jordan could be fellating a goat in the ring right now. Hell, Jeff Hardy might even be making sense… na, wait, that’s too far, even for Russo…
2:39am We’re back, and it’s a recap of last week’s borefest with David Otunga. Something about that guy I don’t like, but his robotic, wooden delivery of his lines is right at the forefront.
2:41am I love the very simple image of Batista standing in the spotlight over a fallen John Cena as he declares a Last Man Standing match for Extreme Rules.
2:42am Otunga is DAVE’s coffee boy bitch! Hey, KITT is better at promo work than Otunga is! I swear Hoff’s either having the time of his life or drunk off his ass… and guess what? Another break!
2:45am Peeps in the UK will get this: If I find out who the hell wrote that Halifax “ISA ISA BABY” ad, I will hunt them down and gut them like a fish. That is all.
2:47am Oh, it’s a draft plug as Michael Cole fakes some enthusiasm. Shocker, eh? In the ring it’s Evan Bourne vs. Carlito. Guessing that Carlito is doing the job to a SSP here…
2:49am Cole declares himself a big Knight Rider fan as he rhymes off some trivia that Vince McMahon must have printed out from The Internet for him. Don’t try and be cool, you’re still a goatee wearing insincere jumped up accountant fuckwit.
2:51am Nobody in the crowd gives a damn about this match, because nobody cares about Carlito anymore. Or Evan Bourne outside of the SSP, to be fair. Such a horrific job of pushing him. We keep getting told by Cole that he’s exciting and high energy… yet he gets nothing to do bar being wheeled out to hit the SSP on Random Jobber of the Week, or be fed to monster heels as cannon fodder. Shocking.
2:52am I want to claw my own eyes out – after the break is Otunga vs. Cena. I can hardly wait.
2.53am That was sarcasm, by the way.
2:56am missed the ads as I was in the bathroom, making sure I had nothing left in me to barf up when Cena arrives…
2:57am SHUT UP MICHAEL COLE!!! Who cares about Raw being the longest running episodic whatever-the-fuck-you-say-every-week?
2:58am Otunga just fills me with apathy, and the bland NXT theme music does him no benefit either.
2:59am Bell rings and I’m already bored!
3:01am Is this… wrestling from Cena? Wow, Otunga is so bad, CENA is out wrestling him!
3:02am DAVE’s trousers are unfeasibly shiny.
3:03am Otunga takes weird looking bumps off of Cena’s suplexes. Just looks weird to me… maybe not, but meh. And Cena doesn’t even need to pay attention to what’s going on in the ring. An absolute demolition of Otunga. Compare that showing to how AmDrag Daniel Bryan did against Chris Jericho, and you see who the WWE are behind.
3:04am Dave and his shiny trousers are in the spotlight as DAVE rips his jumper, shirt and vest off… then walks away. Kinda counter productive and a waste of good clothes, but hey, nobody said he was a brainbox.
3:06am Michael Cole tries turning Raw into a zoo as we have The VIPER~~~!!! vs. The Animal later tonight… and the standard bimbo match. No doubt The Bellas will have top billing in that. Vince must be doing one or both of them on the side, the amount of exposure they get on Raw for no apparent reason,
3:08am Watching the ads, I really want an X-Box 360. Someone buy me one. You. Yes, that’s right, you. Get me one. Go on. Please?
3:09am Sky Movies HD ad. See when you’re buying me my X-Box? Get me an HD TV while you’re at it, there’s a good chap.
3:11am This is one long ad break, most of them Sky ads. Has someone pulled the wrong cable out of the magic box?
3:12am The floaty Raw logo of spinning awesomeness tells me no, they haven’t.
3:13am Cole and Lawler GET POLITICAL~~~!!! for a while… until Cole wets himself at a shot of Big Ben. That he must have seen every time WWE work a London show. Grrr.
3:14am Here’s Sheamus! Every time I hear his theme music, I just hear the words as “These words are true, and I’ll make love to you”. I think I need new medication…
3;15am “Street Foight” – awesome. Ooooo calling London a “Fallen Empire” – nice. Even enough to inspire some random, inaudible chant that may have been heat.
3:16am Here’s Kofi. This is not gonna end well for Kofi, I feel. Shame for Kofi, he seems to be on the road to becoming Iron Mike Sharpe for this generation. No glass shattering anywhere at this time…
3:17am Why do all the wrestlers throw their shirts into the same part of the crowd? Is there some kind of shirt eating monster there???
3:18am Cole hasn’t said “controlled frenzy” yet. There is a God.
3:21am Decent little match, Kofi hasn’t been destroyed, and had a believable near fall… then Sheamus gets DQ’d for using a monitor as a weapon. Haven’t the WWE heard of flat screen TV’s yet? Sheamus is going to do BAD BAD THINGS to Kofi now to let you know that he’s a bad bad man.
3:22am There’s something about Sheamus… he’s like an old school monster heel. He’s not top line material, but there is potential there. Let him mow through the card doing this kind of demolition job and he might just get over. Feeding him down our throats Rocky Maivia style just ain’t gonna work these days.
3:28am Back from the kitchen with a full glass of limeade… just in time to see a trailer for Sky’s awful A League Of Their Own quiz show… James Corden would eat himself if he was made of chocolate. Quite frankly, he looks like he’s eaten a few people…
3:29am Carlito and Kozlov on screen cutting a promo together? Carlito saying that his career, his livelihood is going nowhere. Shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments, anybody? Kozlov threatens to destroy the guest hosts next week, the cast of some movie I’ve never heard of.
3:31am Love how Orton has a shot at the World Champion… who is on Smackdown. Brand extension be damned!
3:32am It’s THE VIPER~~~!!! And he’s scaring Josh Matthews!
3:33am It’s The Hoff. I’m sure he’s drunk… oh dear me… the Divas are running to the ring in swimsuits and in slow motion… It’s Kelly Kelly (so blonde they named her twice) and Gail Kim (who really must be getting paid tons more than she did in TNA to put up with this crap) and we’re going to a break.
3:35am Red Bull ad? I’ll take Inferno Relentless, thank you very much. Red Bull is overpriced and just for ponces who want to be seen with a cool brand name. Mixxed Up Energy Drink from Lidl tastes the same and is only 30p a can!
3:37am Here’s the pointless Bellas. No Raw is complete without them, after all. Hey, even Santino gets a slow-mo entrance.
3:38am It’s shit like this match that makes people embarrassed to admit to being wrestling fans, seriously.
3:40am One of the interchangeable Bella bimbos wins. Meanwhile, Santino has swallowed his whistle. Oh joy… Here comes Hornswoggle to rescue Santino from choking by hitting him with a tadpole splash as the Divas manage to applaud and breathe at the same time, miraculously. This is just painful to watch…
3:43am Great placement of a Kwik Fit ad featuring KITT. Someone pays attention to what they’re doing. And that 90 second ad was better than the previous 5 minutes of “entertainment” on Raw. Go figure.
3:45am Skechers Shape Ups? They look as uncomfortable as Ric Flair speaking to a divorce lawyer…
3:48am And here’s the “How great are the WWE?” video package for the European tour. To be fair, it does look like everyone involved does appreciate the fans, if not the travelling.
3:50am THE VIER~~~!!! Slithers to the ring for his match with Dave.
3:51am Love Dave’s heel entrance. No pyro, no fancy effects, just him, a spotlight and his character defined in one act. Brilliant.
3:53am Dave is such a bastard when he’s heel, and he revels in it. Putting Orton in with him is a smart move, as Orton’s tweener character just feeds off it – Orton can still be the ruthless, sadistic self absorbed nutcase he has been the past year and get the fans on his side without any trouble or character shift.
3:55am As we go to break it just occurs to me that if Orton does go full on face, I hope the WWE won’t overload it, complete with Cole trying to bleat on about how his actions of the past year can be explained or reasoned out. I have little faith in this happening, however.
3:57am Love this Adidas ad. Dunno why, as it seems to have N-Dubz in it. Sometimes, can’t help what you like, peeps.
3:58am Dave unloads on Orton outside the ring, and this match is slow paced and methodical. Not like the usual TV main event where it’s just hit spot after spot and finisher-finisher-done. Liking this. It’s not a classic, but it’s a break from the norm.
4:00am That shoulder into the steel ring post through the turnbuckle spot is a bit overdone now. Almost every big match has it now. The fans seemingly wake up long enough to chant for the RKO, then hit the duelling Boo-Yay chants as Randy and Dave slug it out.
4:01am Orton is pulling the RKO twitching. Some dorkm in the front row in a Cena shirt with fake tan and dyed blonde hair – he looks like a bad pint of Guinness 0 is intent on getting on camera by copying Orton’s ring post pose. Grrr!
4:03am Orton hits Dave with the rope assisted DDT and falls to the mat, ready to POUNCE like a VIPER~~~!!! Randy’s punching the mat must have tipped Dave off, as he blocks the RKO, hit’s a spine buster and starts stamping his feet signalling for the Batista Bomb. That must tip Randy off, as he counters into an RKO. Nice sequence to finish, but before the pin can be counted, Jack Thwagger runs in and gets Batista DQ’d
4:05am John Cena runs in and slaps Dave in an STF until Dave passes out, then freaks out and looks like his arms might just explode. Cena symbolically counts to ten with his fingers standing over Dave. Is it the only way Cena can reach ten? It’s a question we may never know the answer to as the show goes off air.
4:06am As Raw goes off, I go to my bed. G’night folks… have fun, go mad.
So here we are, the final show of the UK tour, and what by all accounts has been a triumphant return to the UK scene. Gun, back from the dead like a rock n’ roll lazarus…
Live @ The O2 ABC, Glasgow
December 2nd 2009
So here we are, the final show of the UK tour, and what by all accounts has been a triumphant return to the UK scene. Gun, back from the dead like a rock n’ roll lazarus have been boosted by new drummer Gordon McNeill and veteran (sorry!) vocalist Toby Jepson, once of Little Angels, taking over the mic duties, with brothers Gizzi, Jools and Dante, remaining as the heart and soul of the band on guitar and bass respectively
With the crowd buzzing from excellent support slots by Riot Noise, and especially New Device, Gun rumbled on to stage to the strains of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s classic take on Delilah… and proceeded to blow the roof off the ABC. In front of a home town crowd, every note, every chord and every huge chorus was greeted like a long lost cousin.
Material from the new EP such as Seraphina, Let Your Hair Down and title track Popkiller fitted in seamlessly with the classics, showing enough to demonstrate that this wasn’t just a nostalgia tour, that the new Gun has legs and will travel. For all the new songs showed a poppier edge than some of the older material, there was no return to the dreaded 0141 sound – though even that album’s Crazy You was revived, dusted down and given a rockier take.
The crowd ate up the setlist, cleverly constructed to include the newer material alongside classics, and fan favourite album tracks. Memorable moments on the night being a masterful Steal Your Fire, a stomping Inside Out that included a cover of Police classic So Lonely, and bass player Dante taking over as vocalist on Something Worthwhile sent the already exciteable crowd into rapture – a trick Dante would later reprise in the encore to cover Fight For Your Right (To Party) by the Beastie Boys.
As you’d expect, tracks from the classic debut album were highlights of the night – Better Days and Shame On You in particular being as close to rock n’ roll perfection as I’ve heard in a long time. Gun are a band with one eye on the future, but a firm appreciation for their past, treating those songs with all the respect they deserve.
The new line up gets better and better every time they take to the stage, Toby Jepson in particular laying to rest any doubts that he couldn’t step into the considerable shoes of Mark Rankin. Jools’ guitar work and enthusiasm for the show were incredible at times, and Dante’s powerful bass playing dovetailed perfectly with Gordon’s intense drumming.
When the final strains of Word Up echoed out of the speaker system, and a sweat soaked Gun taking in the applause of an enthusiastic crowd, you realised just what a powerhouse Gun were, and on this evidence, can be again.
… or how a dark, blue nigh turned into a red hot ball of entertainment thanks to Green Day, and a pink bunny. Can I fit more colours into this excerpt? Probably not.
Green Day live @ SECC October 19th 2009
Arriving at the Big Grey Shed a little late meant I missed the support band. Nobody inside said anything good about them, so I presume that there wasn’t much to miss. I did, however, arrive in time to see a 6 foot tall pink bunny dancing to YMCA on stage, surely a better bet.
The set predictably opened with Song of the Century from the latest record. What wasn’t as predictable, for me anyway, was the assembled throng of Scots fans singing it back at the guys note for note before they even arrived on stage. They burst on to stage and launched into 21st Century Brekadown to a shower of applause, screams and even pyro. Yup folks, this is a Green Day arena show and that means production values that would put the X-Factor to shame.
This ain’t the snot nosed, bratty Green Day that fought their way to the top, kicking and screaming. No, this is – whisper it – a mature Green Day. This is a Green Day that could easily lay claim to being the best live rock show doing the rounds right now. As smooth and professional as they undoubtedly are – and they even boast a saxophone player now – they can still roll back the years and rock out like demented mother… hubbards when they want to; case in point being an incendiary Hitchin’ A Ride that morphed into Welcome To Paradise… they could bottle it and sell it as audio paint stripper.
From the moment Billie Joe launched into his first “Heeeeeey-oh” of the night, the crowd were like putty in his ickle tiny hands. He had people on stage dancing with him; he had one 55 year old man fall over flat on his back when he proclaimed to save his soul; he had one kid almost steal the show with his rendition of Longview, complete with stage prowling, headbutting the cymbals and eventual stage dive… it was just that kind of night.
They aren’t prototypical punks any more. And for me, that’s a good thing. Everything has to evolve eventually. The Green Day experience is now more of a party than a rock show, including but not limited to water pistols, toilet paper cannons, T-Shirt guns, crowd surfing, confetti, and dammit, some meaty guitar riffs that get in your head, set up camp and refuse to leave. All of that combined? It just leaves one HUGE grin on your face, the kind that won’t go away for days.
They covered everything in their arsenal – from the “good old days” right up to new stuff, and even threw in some Mozart (don’t ask) to boot. Old schoolers, like me, were like kids in a candy shop when they wheeled out Going To Pascalaqua from 39/Smooth… although I got the impression from round me that a lot of the kids who are like, their biggest fans EVER in the whole wide world either just didn’t know it or flat out thought it was a new track. Humph.
In amongst all the madness, it should be noted that the main set was over 2 hours long, and even threw in some brief snippets of Black Sabbath, and an Eisley Brothers tune that featured a sing-along featuring The Doors, The Stones, Ben E King and even Travis! Biggest cheers of the night were obviously for the hits – American Idiot in the first encore was greeted like the second coming of Jeebus, Basket Case nearly blew the roof off, and even the slower, sombre final encore of Last Night On Earth, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Good Riddance, performed acoustically and solo by Billie Joe left the crowd grinning like demented Batman villains.
Nope, peeps might accuse Green Day of selling out… and they did. They sold the SECC out, and probably could have done it twice over. I was a little sceptical about going to this show, but by the time I left… it was something unpredictable, but in the end was right – I guess I had the time of my life…