Dec 4, 2014

Las Vegas Calling

It's a pre blog...

Have booked an EPIC trip to Vegas to see Alice...This is gonna be a trip of a lifetime :) I have been lucky enough to have had more than one of those already, this will be about my 5th! And I plan to cram in as many more lifetime trips as I can.....

So, down to nitty gritty.........(deep breath)

There has been much faffing in the Bearcroft/Coleman camps...shall we/shan't we? Can we get the time off?..........Can we afford it?......Shall we do it anyway?...............and, eventually we decided, YESSSS!!!! And, with eta only 3 weeks to go, we managed to talk one Peter Woodrow into coming with us. (it wasn't hard!)

And then I tried to book the flights, good grief, what a load of aggro. Yes, you can have these , oh, actually no you can't, but we have these more expensive ones? No, ok, well, we can send you even more ridiculous prices via email, what about this one at 12 times your original price?? No? well we'll take your money anyway and hang on to it for a week, so you have a bloody big hassle booking anything else. FFS.

But, eventually, I managed to book some flights at a halfway decent price, along with 2 hotels, (same place as gigs - and the band of course, although Vegas hotels are so flipping huge, we'll probably be in a different block) and some row B tix, yep, ROW B! for both gigs,  - and the rest of it can wait til we get there.....

This is a longer trip than usual, so I think I might have to record it en route.
Looking forward to many, many things as well as the shows, amongst them are,
 1: Going to Cooperstown for the first time! And on Thanksgiving!
2: Actually going to the Parking Lot M&G's and meeting up with Ryan and probably Nita the new guitarist (we have seats, so, no mad rush to get to the barrier, and then having to stick on it for hours)
3: Buying some of Alice's cast offs in Alice's Attic Thrift Store. Big thing for me this is!!
4: Meeting up with the crew, hope we get the chance to go out for a drink/dinner again.
5. Did I mention going to Cooperstown?

And about 2000 other things.

Tuesday 18th. Suitcase is all ready to go! Well, there's not much in it, yet but I should be able to spot it on the carousel easily enough

Thursday 20th. 
Have actually managed to put some things in it today. Still got a few things to do (repair my boots, make sure I have every charger I need, (lol Pete) and sort out my travel ins etc...

And we're off!!

Mon 1st Dec. And we're back! Woopee *cries*

Nov 13, 2014

Brighton Rock 2

Brighton Rock 2

Seems like no time since we were here. And now we're back again for another Whole Lotta Led weekend, first here and then on to Southampton for a second gig. The first one is back at Concorde 2 - and I noticed on the wall, that a Foo Fighters tribute were playing there in about 3 weeks, but I couldn't quite talk Ann into it, lol. If only I'd known at the time the real Foo Fighters were going to be doing the Concorde, I might've taken up residence in a corner. I would LOVE to see them live, but I really can't stand the kind of stadium gigs they have to do..........nope, I want them to come and play in my garage, in amongst the bits of wood John is saving 'just in case they come in  handy'. Or some little pub somewhere. But the Concorde would've done, it's a great small venue.

Everybody was staying at Blaggies, except Lee of course as he lives five minutes down the road. Ann booked the rooms, and as we arrived first, we got to pick which one we wanted. We always stay in room 12, 2 singles, lovely view over the roof complete with junk, broken blind, strange extra door in the bathroom etc. So this time we had room, um, 14, I think, much bigger, with a view over the lovely garden, and the gypsies parked illegally on the village green.

Anyway, the day of the gig was Nick's birthday, so we had to sort him out a cake and he said he was going to get some champagne in. And after the show - which was BLINDINGLY good btw, great sound good audience, loads of fun, we retired to Blaggies dining room, eating sandwiches and cake and drinking champagne! As I hate warm wine, I managed to find some ice in a freezer out in a hallway, (this is the most bizarre hotel).

In the morning we all met up for brekkie, and then retired to Lee's place for more tea and Frans homemade biscuits. When it was time to go, Ann decided to go in the van, as I was driving to Steve's to pick him up for the gig. We met up with everybody at the venue, and set ourselves up at the front - the stage is so high here, I can just about lean my chin on it. Another great gig, although the sound was not quite right somehow...and it was David's last show. Hate to see him go, but I guess he's just had enough. He and Pippi have just moved to a beautiful house in the Forest of Dean, so I hope he remembers us for the housewarming party. *waves at David*

 The band have a possible replacement lined up, but I dunno how it's gonna pan out yet. But we'll be there regardless, because I love these guys, and I love their music.

Brighton Rock

So, there I was, trolling t'internet one day, and I noticed that Black Star Riders aka Thin Lizzy were doing a gig in Brighton Sun 20th , and I thought 'why not go?'........... as you do. Be good to see Damon again, as he left Alice quite a while ago now.  AND, as luck would have it, Lee Pryor  (from Whole Lotta Led) was also doing an acoustic gig just down the road from his house in Hove on the Sat before, so that sealed the deal - and a weekend in Brighton it was!.

Jax and I left rather later than we had planned (as usual), but we arrived at Blagdons Manor, Southwick, in good time, and actually had quite a bit more than the usual 20 minutes to get ready. Blaggies is our chosen place of residence when staying anywhere near Brighton, for many reasons ;  its general quirkiness, Dennis the owner's general quirkiness, (Av you got the caaaashshshsh??) the free parking, the close proximity to Brighton, Hove et al, and the fact that we can make toast and raid the fridge when we get in, post gig, tired and hungry.

We leisurely showered and put on the slap. Shame I lost the shower gel out the window (I was using it to prop up the sash, as it's broken). Ann brought three dresses with her which she was determined to wear -  tonight's was a floaty green number. I of course, brought a number of cocktail dresses and high heels and was SO spoilt for choice.....not.  I ended up wearing my shorts and a t shirt. As usual.

Helluva set list

Fran and Lee's beautiful barn and garden

We set off to the The Captain', the Mariner's, the Pirate's Captain's Ancient Mariner's Arms or whatever it was, and when we arrived, Lee was just setting up and was very surprised to see us, bless him!! We met up with Fran, (his wife) and some other friends, and had some fab homemade burgers, and then thoroughly enjoyed listening to Lee playing his guitar, and singing a humoungous amount  of old favourites! (Meet Me On The Corner!! American Pie - the long version!!))

All in all a lovely night out, with great company and great food.

Sunday morning, we got up and went to visit Lee and Fran, who live just round the corner from our hotel. They have a fabulous garden, which they have spent 10 years developing, Lee has built many, many sheds and outbuildings, a kennel type house for the dogs, one for the cats, another one for the chickens, and a beautiful 'barn', which has open sides to the front, a home built pizza oven, barbeque et al. They both admitted they spent more time in here than in the house, and I can see why.

Parking in Brighton is a nightmare, so we decided to get the bus. Except that Lee kindly offered to drive us, which saved us so much trouble! Thank you Lee!!xx
We walked around the  Lanes for ages, lots of  great individual shops, (including ChoccyWoccyDooDah! -  are you jealous younger Bearcrofts?!!!) cafes and bars, had lunch and wore out my feet. Getting the bus back was pretty easy, and then all I wanted to do was have a nap. But in time honoured tradition, we only had about 20 mins to get ready before we had to go find the gig.  Tonight, Ann's dress was a brown leatherette number, which of course she looked stunning in. I had brought me leather trousers etc, but it was flipping hot, and the idea of putting boots on filled me with horror, so I settled for leggings and my Bitch Bitch Bitch T shirt, in honour of Damon (who always wore one when playing with Alice)

Of course we didn't make it in half an hour but it didn't matter - the queue was small and was just for people buying tix. So having bought ours earlier, we got in first. I like that, makes me feel Speshul..

Second row for the support - Tax The Heat - who I have heard muchly on Planet Rock and was looking forward to seeing. And they were great! Half time, I headed out to the merch stand to talk to them and buy something, (got a vinyl EP which they all signed for me!) and when I got back, the people in front of us had gone, so Ann had smoothly claimed their place on the barrier, sweet!!

Unfortunately, we were not on Damon's side, but Scott Gorham was in front of us and came over and gave me a couple of picks. He offered Ann one too, at which point she had some kind of sign language convo with him about getting a photo together later.

They were really, REALLY good. I've seen a Lizzy tribute band who were pretty good, but these guys woulda blown them away. They were also extremely loud. Louder than loud, bloody deafening really, not that I noticed til afterward when I couldn't hear properly. Still can't 2 weeks later.

Tight trousered guy (Marco?) has left and been replaced by Robbie Crane who was brilliant, Damon was amazing, (good to see him playing again, ) and they have a new drummer too, Jimmy DeGrasso, who also used to place for Alice. Played lots of their new songs and quite a few TL hits too, inc Jailbreak, during which singer Ricky Warwick pointed straight at Ann whilst singing 'hey you, good looking female'. Because she is..

So, after the gig, Ann and I were hanging around like complete stalkers, and even though the guys at the venue were trying to clear the room, she was pretty determined - 'Sorry we are meeting with Scott'....and let me tell you, when Ann is determined you'd better just go along with it! She took no prisoners, so we were still hanging around whilst the packing of equipment was going on - met a couple of nice peeps who had actually paid for a meet and greet! They said it was sometimes hit and miss, dunno what they paid, but they  seemed happy when the organiser (actually the drummer with Tax The Heat) came and took them upstairs to meet the band. At which point,  Ann told him that Scott had agreed to meet with us....., so he came back for us and we went upstairs and met up with the guys, who were all lovely - Damon saw my Bitch Bitch Bitch T shirt and said 'I have one of those!' He told me how Alice was like his family and how he thought the current band were great..........

Scott had a separate dressing room, but he welcomed us into it, and signed stuff and let us take pics - a guy came in and told him his driver was waiting but he said 'Come back in 5 mins wanna talk to the girls', bless him. We chatted about where he lived ( London),  and touring ('I don't know where I am sometimes' he said), and he admired Ann in her plastic dress, lol.

Back to Blaggies, for toast and a nightcap. And then, in the morning the drive home (via Steve's in Southampton to pick up my leather jacket which I have AGAIN  left behind in his house - I swear it's been there more than it has here. Brilliant weekend, can't wait to do it all again in August.

Sep 16, 2014

Super Duper Alice Cooper!!

In the absence of any live performances, us Sick Things are grateful for any scraps that The Master might throw at us ........... so I was eagerly awaiting the one and only theater showing of Super Duper Alice Cooper, bio and love fest for The Master.  Went down to Southampton to meet up with my partner in crime Stephen Coleman, and helped to convince him to dress up for the show, not that it took much, lol.

And off we went to Portsmouth.......about 25 people there, so, a  pretty good showing, met up with a couple of FB friends too, which was nice.
What a brilliant movie, so fab to hear tracks from Pretties, and seeing it on the big screen made me want to rush home and play it again. Can't wait  til the movie comes out on DVD - so many pics I'd never seen!! Can't wait to see the book! And then there was the 'confession' - the cocaine that we'd all suspected but that he'd never admitted to before......OMG!!!!
 Lots of great clips too. All in all , it was over far too quickly, can't wait to see it again!

Give me your questions, minions...

Aha, Steven Crayn, you again..
Steve and made our way home, via his Mum's house, which is full of mad dogs, lol............Hello Steve's mum xx

Next day, we got up at about 10 and started watching all of Steve's Alice dvds....actually we started off with the dvd from my Old School box set - which I haven't seen yet for some reason - and it was awesome!!! A couple of hours of brilliant old clips, music, and interviews, blew me away....cannot believe I hadn't watched it  yet, having had it for a couple of years....but it's so great to see it with another Alice fan....:) :) :)

Then we watched Madhouse Rock,  followed by Prime Cuts - and after watching PC, we played the silly game in the extras - and unlocked an incredible 2 hrs of extra video that neither of us had ever seen before !! And then we tried another old EP, and  several other discs, Brutal Planet, WTMN and, er, something else, but they were US region only, sadly. We were about 8 hours in at this point and about to run out, when Steve suddenly remembered he had Theatre of Death somewhere...:) So we searched through all his cds again and eventually found it - only to discover that it was a bit scratched and kept freezing up. Very frustrating!!
I had intended to go home that evening, but as TOD took so long, (we were still watching it at about 8 pm) I decide to stay over for another night. The bottle of wine I consumed while watching had nothing to do with it, really, honest.
As soon as I got home I checked my dvd collection, and I think we have at least another 10 hours, mebbe more, so I am looking forward to our next Alice DVD fest.