Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The End

The End
the-endWell I’ve done it. I started this project sometime in 2009; blogging sporadically when I went to see a band. At the end of 2011, I decided to cover all of the concerts I have attended , and started blogging every day on 1st January 2012, using my ticket stubs and programmes as a guide. I then worked through each band/act (roughly) alphabetically; I finally got to the letter “Z” a week or so ago.
Over the years I’ve written about many great bands from different genres; ranging from ABBA to Z Z Top, covering Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Who, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones along the way. In total I have written 1,387 posts about 1,352 bands or acts. During the year 2014, my blog was viewed 94,488 times by 44,627 visitors; each visitor averaging 2.12 views. My top 25 bands (the ones I have written about, and hence seen, the most) are: Status Quo, The Who, Yes, Genesis, Lindisfarne, The Groundhogs, Wishbone Ash, Hawkwind, Uriah Heep, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Elton John, Roy Harper, Thin Lizzy, Slade, Deep Purple, Penetration, Rod Stewart (including The Faces), Rory Gallagher, Roxy Music, Queen, The Hollies and U2.
Looking back I realise that my early posts are not as well presented, nor as detailed as the more recent ones. I have definitely got better at doing this over the years. There are also many inconsistencies (which now annoy me; but there you go … I should have planned and designed this project more carefully at the outset). I wish I had been more precise and consistent in the categorisation of bands and the way that I have recorded dates, venues, ticket prices, setlists etc. Some times I have included more than one concert in a post; depending on my interest in the band, or how important I think they are. For “major” artists like The Stones, The Who and Dylan, I have written about every single concert I attended. So in the case of The Stones the blog statistics tell me I have seen them 17 times, and likewise the statistics say that I have seen The Who 22 times. Actually, however, there are some duplicate posts (e.g. I have written a post on the Who at Live Aid, and then also written a separate post on the Live Aid event itself, which also mentions the Who). I think I have actually seen The Who 19 times and the Stones 12 or 13 times. The blog tells me that I have seen Status Quo 31 times, and the total is actually close to 50; I combined some concerts because there were so many. Sadly, this makes it difficult to use the blog as any sort of database of concerts, or to get any precise measures out of it. One day I may go back and try to recategorise things, to make it all consistent, but that would be a big job. For now, to be honest I’ve become a little tired of doing it, and I am looking forward to a little rest from my blogging activities.
Many thanks to all of you who have followed me and encouraged me on this journey. Thanks to those who commented along the way; particularly Mitch and Neil, Jeff, Dawn, Hockey and Tony. Thanks to Mitch for sending me many great images from some of the concerts, and providing setlists. Thanks to John for reminding me of some of the gigs we went to many years ago, and for providing insights into rock’n’roll in the USA. Thanks to Norm and Will for having better memories than me and keeping me right about some of the gigs. Its frightening how poor my memory is becoming. Thanks to Doug for help on Jethro Tull and to Ian, Dave, Terry, Pete, Gilly and all the other people who came to see bands with me over the years. Still some bands out there to see. And thanks to Marie, Ashleigh, David and Laura for coming on family outings to concerts over the years. Oh, and thanks to WordPress for providing a great platform on which to do this. And apologies if I have forgotten to mention anyone; my memory really is going ….
I’ve enjoyed writing about the concerts. It has forced me to try to remember the details. Where there was a gap (and there often was), the internet has been amazing in helping me find reviews, setlists and line-ups of the time. Sometimes I had to guess things; often I got things wrong. The exercise has reminded me of some great concert experiences, and allowed me to create a record which I can refer to, and remind myself of happy happy days and great bands. I’m not even going to try to think about which was the best concert, or the best band. They have been so many great experiences 🙂
I am now going to spend some time thinking of what to do with this blog, now that it is finished. I did think of converting it into a book, but I’m not sure that would work. What I would like to do is to use it as the basis of a lecture course on the history of rock music, or more precisely perhaps, the history of rock performance. I’m going to spend a little time thinking about how I might pursue that particular avenue.
I will of course, continue to blog as and when I go to concerts. So this isn’t really the end, just another chapter to the blog.
Thanks again. Time for a rest, at least for a few days …

Wishbone Ash the Reunion 1988 and 1989

wishbonetix89In 1987,original Wishbone manager Miles Copeland began a new project “No Speak”, which was to be a series of albums featuring all instrumental music. Copeland asked the four original members of Wishbone Ash to consider reforming to record an all-instrumental album. For the first time in 14 years, Andy Powell, Steve Upton, Martin Turner and Ted Turner got together and recorded the album Nouveau Calls, which was released in February 1988.
The band went out on tour playing tracks from the new album, and old favourites. I saw them with a group of mates at a gig at Newcastle Mayfair on 27th March 1988. The ballroom was packed and the band were given a heroes welcome. It was great to see the original line-up playing together again. Ted Turner had only recently come over for the tour, and hadn’t rehearsed some of the songs, so for the first part of the tour the first seven songs were played with Jamie Crompton (who had been in Wishbone Ash in 1985) on guitar, with Ted Turner entering for “The King Will Come”. I remember Turner playing a lot of slide guitar at the concert.
wishonenoiveaucallsIn August 1989 Wishbone Ash released a new album (this time with vocals) “Here to Hear”. Around this time they played at Sunderland Empire (20th September 1989), which was another excellent show. The reunion lasted until 1991 when Steve Upton and then Martin Turner left the band. Ted Turner quit in 1994, leaving Andy Powell as the only original member. I’ll bring my Wishbone Ash memories to a close tomorrow, covering the Andy Powell-led line-ups which I have seen in concert.
Setlist early 1988: Tangible Evidence; Living Proof; Genevieve; No More Lonely Nights; Real Guitars Have Wings; Something’s Happening In Room 602; Underground; The King Will Come; Throw Down the Sword; In The Skin; Clousseau; Phoenix; Blowin’ Free; Jailbait; Bad Weather Blues

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 93,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Shanghai Redcar Coatham Bowl 1975?

Shanghai Redcar Coatham Bowl 1975?
shanghaitixThis was one of the first gigs I went to at Redcar Coatham Bowl. It was probably in 1975 or 1976. Shanghai were a rock band fronted by ex Rebel Rouser and top 60s R&B vocalist Cliff Bennet. The rest of the bands line-up featured former Pirate, ace guitarist and big Wilko Johnson influence Mick Green on choppy Telecaster; Brian Alterman, also on guitar; Speedy King on bass; and Pete Kircher on drums (who would later join Status Quo). This band had all the right ingredients but just never quite made it; another potentially great rock band who were passed by when punk came along and brushed everything aside. I also saw them supporting Status Quo around the same time. Shanghai lasted a couple of years, released two albums, and then split. Mick Green went on to reform the Pirates and sadly passed away in 2010, while Cliff Bennett continues to perform to this day. Wonder who the support act was. I think it may have been Raven, who were a North East band which formed in 1974 and gained popularity during the NWOBHM movement in the late 70s.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 57,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Members Dunelm House Durham University 1980

The Members Dunelm House Durham University Sat 16th Feb 1980
memberstixI saw quite a few bands at Durham University Students Union, which held student dances in Dunelm House during the 70s. The trouble was I usually paid at the door, and as result I have few ticket stubs to remind me of the bands that I saw there. I recall attending gigs there by Adam and the Ants, Curved Air, Slade, Climax Blues Band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and probably many more that I have forgotten. This is one of the rare gigs that I do have a ticket stub for. The Members were “formed in Surrey, England, in the summer of 1977, …. and played at the Roxy and all the other Punk clubs on the London circuit. The original band – composed of Nicky Tesco (vocals), Jean-Marie Caroll (guitar), Nigel Bennett (guitar), Adrian Lillywhite (drums), and Chris Payne (bass) – was among the first to successfully blend reggae rhythms with punk’s attitude and aggression.” (from the Members’ official site). I saw these guys at least three times; at this gig, supporting Eddie and the Hot Rods at the City Hall and at the Reading Festival. Nicky Tesco was a great front man, who sang with a passion and really engaged with the crowd. Members’ music was a cross between punk and reggae which worked pretty well, and the hit single “The Sounds of the Suburbs” was played everywhere I went in 1979, when it reached No 12 in the UK charts, which was their biggest hit. The Members were good fun, although the only song that really sticks in my mind is “The Sounds of the Suburbs”, which was a favourite of mine “back in the day”. The Members have recently reformed although I don’t think Nicky Tesco is in the line-up. Still I bet its fun to see them again.
“Same old boring Sunday morning old mans out washing the car, Mums in the kitchen cooking Sunday dinner her best meal moaning while it lasts. Johnnys upstairs in his bedroom sitting in the dark, Annoying the neighbours with his punk rock electric guitar.
This is the Sound, This is the Sound of the Suburbs, This is the Sound, This is the Sound of the Suburbs !!!! 🙂 (The Members, 1979).