Feb 6, 2014

Long time no post...

And that's because I have done almost nothing in the last few months......except follow Whole Lotta Led around the countryside! Let me see, I think I must've seen them about 9 or 10 times now - and I never seem to get tired of hearing them play. They are SO good at what they do, and I'm that finding listening to all these great songs just makes me hungry for more. And I'm beginning to understand more of the words - although I have listened to these songs hundreds of times, I never got to grips with many of the lyrics, mainly owing to Planty's rambling and esoteric approach, and his habit of stretching out words into unrecognisable form - 'Bin a long time since the rack and the roooooolye....'

But, with repeated live listenings, they have started to morph into recognisable and distinct words - which is wonderful for me, as there is nothing I like better than yelling along to my favourite songs (as long they are played so loud that I can't hear myself singing.)
The Swindon, Newbury, Stroud shows were followed by Kidderminster, and then Southampton, Cardiff, Gloucester, Liverpool, High Wycombe and Frome. So far.

I am still blown away by how good these guys are! Kidderminster wasn't exactly crowded, but it doesn't seem to faze them, they still put on a blinding show, and they always seem to be enjoying themselves. We even had a support tonight, two sisters(?) called Tinkers Cuss, who sang some Sandy Denny songs and even did a Led Zep cover, um forgotten which one, but they did it beautifully! I was very happy to see them, cos I knew it meant that the boys would be doing Battle of Evermore which is my favourite LZ song.
Gloucester on Dec 22nd was a bit of a party, as Steve came along, and Carol, and Ann's sister Jane! Was a wonderful show, the Guildhall is a really good venue. 

It's all Jolly Good Fun, and no more so than when Jax and I set off on our intrepid journey to Liverpool, to:
 A) celebrate my umpty frith birthday, and,
 B), surprise the guys with our intense and possibly misguided loyalty and devotion.

We managed to get to Liverpool with no mishaps - no driving down the motorway the wrong way, as is our wont -  and found the venue very easily, mainly thanks to Mrs Sat nav.  Whilst we were outside dithering as to our choice of hotel for the night, the boys arrived in their van, and so we beat a hasty retreat lest they see us too soon.......

We ended up booking into the ancient but restored Adelphi Hotel, a short walk from the O2, for the princely sum of £45 inc the full English - if we'd walked in and booked at the front desk it woulda been £85 plus breakfast!"!! But because we are canny lasses and have full control of our mobile phones, (yes really!) we parked out back and booked via one of them last min cheapo get-your-rooms-here-for-next-to-nothing websites. Bargain!!!

So, Jax goes off to park the car, then we eat, and, on the way to the venue, she announces that we have have free tix!! I love her, she is so cool!!
Now, under any circumstances, this would be great news, but you gotta understand, she hates any sort of  hobnobbing, and asking for stuff, so this was a birthday present that was Out Of The Ordinary in the extreme - and one for which I am still most appreciative....!! Love ya, Jax xx

So.... we get there and the bouncer guy won't let us in, and then we notice a kind of tramp loitering at the entrance - but it's actually Nick come to let us in!!  He gave us all access passes, so when we got in we were looking for any place that it was worth having all access to -.mebbe the odd cupboard? - honestly,  it was the grimmest venue,  really quite depressing, all damp concrete with a drab 60's grey building kind of vibe.......
We ended up in their dressing room eventually - poor guys, it looked like it needed a visit from Changing Rooms, no drinks or sofas, or flowers unlike all of the Cooper dressing rooms I've been in .......but I guess they are used to it.......... And then Nick presented me with a birthday card signed by them all!! I dunno whether he went out and bought it or what, but I was blown away by it!! Don't think Alice will be sending me one any time soon, sadly, but I was super happy to get this one, thank you guys xx

As they needed to get ready, we left them to it and tried to find our way to the stage .....on the way we found several enormous rooms, completely devoid of people, several extra stages and a number of cupboards masquerading as 'green' rooms...........and eventually found the right stage  - it had Charlie's drum kit on it, thankfully, so we knew we were in the right place.

I faffed around on stage for a bit while Jax took pix, and then we took our place on the floor - at the barrier of course - this is MY place.

Another great show and the audience were very appreciative - so much so, that the guys decided to do an extra track after the usual encore of Whole Lotta Love and R'N'R, and we got an extra song - The Ocean - which is one of my favourites!

After a quick chat with the guys, we  went off to our FAB hotel, drank some wine, and dozed off..........only to wake up several hours later, just in time for our full English breakfast. Over bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes,mushrooms toast and butter, we talked about reducing our carb intake, and eating healthily. Mebbe next week, huh?

Can't visit Liverpool without a bit of sightseeing, so we went shopping and found a great little arcade, full of retro hippy shops including a vinyl store where I bought a 12" Man Behind The Mask and a copy of Zipper Catches Skin to add to my vinyl collection. Bit more walking found us at The Cavern, which is really REALLY deep down in the bowels of Liverpool, and is a wonderful pub/venue with a great vibe, and lots of Beatley souvenirs.  There was a guy on stage doing Beatle cover songs, and chatting with an appreciative audience, and I have no doubt, that if this was nearer to home, I would be coming here for as many Saturday nights as I could!

 We headed on toward the river,so we could watch the ferry cross The Mersey, before heading on down the motorway for home, on the way deciding that we liked touring so much, we could just carry on doing it. Had that thought before, I can tell you. :)

We are having SOOOOO much fun :) :) :)


Feb 4, 2014


Ugly Kid Joe are back in the UK this year, and Steve and I went to 2 shows, in Southampton and Exeter (Claire came along to that one!)
I drove down to Steve's in the afternoon, and we spent hours getting ready, dressing up, make up, the works......Rolled up 2 mins before the gig started (the heavens opened as the car engine turned off, doncha just love England in the autumn??)

Sonny spots us at last!
Steve's hat!

But we still managed to get on the barrier - which is our natural place in life as I may have mentioned before. About 3 mins before they came on, Whit suddenly appeared in front of us to say hallo, and give me a hug! Love him to bits... Sonny spotted us a bit later too and waved. They were bloody awesome as usual, did all my favourites VIP, Neighbour, Tomorrows World, Milkmans Son, and, of course, Cat's In The Cradle, during which Whit wore Steve's red top hat as is becoming tradition for us!Steve's hat get's another go at Whit's head
Was hoping to meet up with them afterwards, but they went back to their hotel and we were stuck with Skid Row. Which isn't really Skid Row without Sebastian Bach,  is it now? So we retired to the bar......where Steve met up with a friend who had snagged the setlist and he gave it to me :)

Claire, I'll have to inform the Marmite Protection Unit
A great night out, and I was looking forward to the next one, in Exeter about a week later. We planned to drive down to Claire's early,  have dinner and a drink, followed by a leisurely train journey into Exeter. But  Steve couldn't leave work on time, and I was faffing majorly, and then we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams in.........um......... somewhere in Devon, and so we ended up rather later than we planned.. ...But we still had time for dinner (thanks Claire!!) and got to the station in time for the train......gosh, I haven't been on a train for ages! Shame it was dark, we went all along the seafront, woulda been a nice trip in the daytime. Anyway, we met up with her mad friend Dave at the other end, found the venue and a place on the barrier.........was a bit on the side but we were hoping they'd come on that way and see us. Sadly that was not to be at least not to start with..... But about halfway thru the set Whit came down to the barrier and spotted us, and I got my usual hug  *squeeeeeeeeeee*, and then Sonny spotted us and blew me a kiss, bless him. But I could see that my hoped for meet and greet/get things signed etc wasn't gonna happen, so I paid £5, (ouch) for a signed poster. Ah well, mebbe next year....

Claire likes Skid Row, so we hung about and watched them for a bit, but then she decided she'd had enough, so we went off to another funny named pub (what the hell was it called Claire??) where some friends of hers were playing. It was teeny weeny inside, but everybody was dressed up, Halloween stylie and the band played lots of 60's stuff, all of which both Steve and I knew and sang along to! In all honesty we were slighty inebriated by this time, except for Dave who was a STAR. LOVE YOU DAVE TURNER!!!

Things become a little vague after that, but I think we went along to yet another pub, before taxiing it home to Claire's and crashing for the night. And in the morning her kids were up waaaay before anyone else, so when Steve and I surfaced, we were treated to 'breakfast', and a kids eye view of the world - they started off by being nervous (for about 5 mins) and then became very full on - bless 'em!! Ahh, I remember when mine were like that! They were very sweet and entertained us for ages and ages, before Claire surfaced and reined them in :).
Sadly, then it was off home...what a brilliant night out -  now we gotta wait for the next get together, I hope it isn't too long, I miss my Alice buddies when we don't see each other often.

Oct 25, 2013

Whole Lotta Fun

Well, inspite of all my efforts, it would appear that I ain't gonna see Alice again this year, so I've been going to local gigs in an effort to feed my Frankenstein........oh, sorry, I mean, feed my live music fix. Chief among these is a Led Zep Tribute band, Whole Lotta Led, who are actually pretty damn good. Me and rock chick buddy Ann went down to Swindon to see them, and were so impressed that we followed them to Newbury a coupla weeks later, and then Stroud a couple weeks after that.
They bill themselves as guys who don't dress up or try to imitate LZ, but, rather, as people who grew up with the music and just like to play it. And, boy, do they play it!!!  They may not look like Planty/Page et al, but I gotta say, they really do sound like them. SO good to hear all these songs played live at last - I never saw LZ unfortunately, one of my major regrets. I nearly went to the last UK gig at Knebworth, but was put off by the 'festival' thing, always hated mud and camping. If only I had a time machine I would put up with it now, lol.

The set was about 2 and a half hours, can't remember all of it, but they did pretty much every popular song you can think of ; Rock 'n' Roll, Misty Mountain, Dazed And Confused, Kashmir, Ramble On, Battle Of Evermore, Stairway To Heaven, Good Time Bad Times, No Quarter, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Going to California.....as well as the Whole of Houses Of The Holy....pretty much all of the Zep songs I grew up with!

It's funny, but I know all these songs really well, but don't seem to remember the words....not like with Alice, when all of the lyrics came back instantly as soon as the song was played, even after 30 years... I guess it's down to the fact that Planty doesn't quite articulate as well as our Vinnie......or maybe it's just my inadequate and selective hearing.  Whatever, I can't keep still when they start playing. Even if I am the only one dancing at first :)

The first gig was seated, which was good (my aching feet), and bad (can't dance in a  seat),  and so I thoroughly enjoyed bopping along at the second gig in Newbury. I made Ann stand near the front with me. On our own, lol!  My place is defo at the stage, front, middle.... (she likes to be a little more discreet, sort of hidden at the side *grin*) And by the third gig I was out at the front on my own for at least half the show. (Ann was late) I'm not proud.

I was disappointed at Newbury when they didn't do Battle of Evermore, but can't complain about the rest of it!
 I emailed them and asked if they would do it at Stroud - Nick told me they were going to, but unfortunately, they ran out of soundcheck time and couldn't check the acoustics......

Hoping to go and see them again in Southampton in Nov....and maybe Dec in Gloucester. And again in Jan/Feb, somewhere....

Meanwhile, we went off to Brum to see Deep Purple, knowing that we had been completely spoiled by WLL and the the lack of crowds/small venues/etc.......we did have seats booked at the NIA, and they weren't too bad, great view an' all.............but ,well,  it's so great to be able to roll up 2 mins before a gig, and then lean on the stage...

So keen and focussed were we, (not) to get there, that we managed to get on the M5 to Bristol instead. We just weren't listening to the Sat Nav Lady....... good job we set off a couple of hours early. Having turned round we eventually made it to the NIA and the car park. No prob s getting in, but there was a massive q for the machine to pay. I made lots of new friends, :).

We went in and checked out the food - urghh- and our seats - ok  -  and then went back out to find some decent grub Last year when I came here to see Roger Waters do The Wall, there were a load of cafes and bars outside by the canal.....but they are doing major refurb atm so there isn't much happening. But we found a nice pub and had some decent food.
Back to the venue and out seats just in time to catch the last of the support - complete rubbish and they were miming, wtf??

At last DP came on. They did about 5 songs before even speaking to us.....don't get me wrong they were very good, but until Perfect Strangers arrived, I didn't know any of the songs..... always makes me wish I'd done some 'research' as it were...

They did a lovely tribute to Jon Lord, which I have totally forgotten the name of, and there were lots of solos - base, drums, lead, keyboards...Would've perhaps been better to drop them and bung in a Highway Star mebbe, but that's just me.
Gotta say Don Airey is an AMAZING keyboard player, bloody brilliant really.

They did Smoke On The Water of course and Black Night, which might've been the encore. Great show, but nobody stood up til Smoke, so I think it woulda been better if there'd been no seats. Although I would've needed to be at the front the of course. Glad I went though, and now I can cross them off my bucket list.