Professor's Concert Calendar (I have tickets)

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Recent updates in blue text.

Here are some other concerts I have my eye on:
-
The reason I am taking such an interest in tribute bands is because The (Cavern) Beatles, who I saw in July 2004, were just stupendous.
The Bowie Experience - Good
The Pistols - V.Good
Ummagummaa - Good
Bootleg Beatles - excellent
Counterfeit Stones - excellent and hilarious
The Clashed (twice) - outstanding
Stairway To Zeppelin - stupendous

I live near &nbsp The Stables &nbsp jazz club, at Wavendon near Milton Keynes (UK) - owned and run by jazz legends (Dame) Cleo Laine and (Sir) Johnny Dankworth. They have shows every night - music (jazz, rock, folk, classical), comedy, theatrical plays, workshops etc. I am on the mailing list for their bi-monthly newsletter/brochure of forthcoming events, and usually one or two tempt me along.

Other upcoming events include (and some might yet tempt me):
Steve Winwood
Ray Davies
Jan Akkerman (a regular)
Steve Howe Trio
Joe Jackson (sold out)
Roy Harper
Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent (The Zombies) - regulars
Pam Ayres
Terry Reid
The Troggs (with Reg Presley)
Graham Bonnet (Rainbow)
10cc (Graham Gouldman)
The Hamsters
Tickets yet to book/buy:
Roy Harper
Terry Reid

Saw Steeleye Span (22nd December) - very good. Maddy Prior was in great voice. They included a few (traditional) Christmas carrols, and encored with "All Around My Hat" followed by "Gaudette", but they didn't play my favourite "Thomas The Rhymer".

18-Feb-2005: Steeleye Span get an award at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk awards - the 'Good Tradition' award.

How were Wishbone Ash? I've always thought Argus was one of the finest guitar albums of it's time. Amazing stuff.

I've got tickets for Hot Tuna in three weeks. Jorma and Jack in a 100 seat theater. Can't wait for the Water Song.

Wishbone Ash were good, still lead by Andy Powell (now with a shaven head). Whilst I have the Argus album I was never their gratest fan, but I couldn't miss the opportunity to see them live (locally) after all these years. I prefer Television's (Marquee Moon).

I liked your website - enjoyed the solo on Sweet Jane. My favourite guitarists are:
Stan Webb (Chicken Shack) - he is just the best and oozes class. I can burn a few samples onto a CD if you wish.
Paul Kossoff (Free) - amazing feel for the instrument. Eric Clapton was a fan of his.

Hot Tuna are a band I'd forgotten all about, but I do have couple of JA albums in the loft.

Thanks for the kind words about the band. We have a lot of fun. I'm not much of a technical player but I try real hard. I would love any music sampler you are inclined to make. I'd be happy to do the same for you. I have quite a few indie band CDs along with many other styles (I have over 1200 cds, yes I know it's a problem). Just let me know what you're intersted in. I'm afraid (like many others) Alright Now is the only Free song I've heard. Not familiar with Webb at all in solo work.

Email me your postal address and I shall send you a sample CD.

Send to: pondas @ totalise. co. uk

(a temporary email address I sometimes use - delete the spaces).

Try this: &nbsp Why I Love Free .

I've now updated Why I Love Free

Prof,

This email address didn't work. Keeps getting returned. Sorry for all the trouble.

jk

Try this:

ziplip @
mail . com

I saw Aynsley Lister at the Stables last night, a young blues guitarist. A very talented musician, he had great technique, fast fingers, a good voice, extrovert stage presence (who wouldn't have with his talent), an energetic set, and he had everyone singing along to a great version of 'Hush' near the end. Reminiscent of a young Stan Webb (who I'm going to see in March), except he didn't have the same feel for the instrument, the material was limited, the bass player was OK, and the drummer (a 19-year-old female) was a little lightweight. Overall vey enjoyable.

I saw Ian Parker at the Stables (Thursday 3rd Feb) - really excellent. Super guitar playing - super voice (a smoother Brian Adams) - good songwriting. I particularly liked a new song 'By Your Side' which is coming out on a new 'live' album.

YES - I've booked The Buzzcocks at a small local hall where I live (3d April).

Also picked up a leaflet for the 'Ummagummaa' concert at the Stables (10th March)
QUOTE: "The early Pink Floyd show ... includes 'Astonomy Domine', 'See Emily Play', 'Arnold Layne', 'Echo's', 'Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun', 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', 'One Of These Days' ... experience the early Floyd show as it was at the dawn of psychedelia". UNQUOTE
WOW - I must book this.

I've booked Ummagummaa for 10th March.

I saw Ian McNabb at the Stables (Friday 11th February 2005). He is the former front man and songwriter, singer and guitarist with The Icicle Works. He has been called by some as the greatest songwriter of the last 20 years, and wrote such songs as Love Is A Wonderful Colour and Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream), but he is also a very accomplished vocalist and guitarist.

I wasn’t at all previously familiar with him solo, and only slightly knew of The Icicle Works’ works, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but WOW, what a talent. He puts on a great show. He started out with a 30 minute acoustic set, including an exuberant ‘Love Is A Wonderful Colour’, followed by a short break when he returned with a backing band. Included in the set was: Evangeline, Out Of Season, Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream), Merseybeast, I’m A Genius, Understanding Jane, Up Here In The North of England, Little Princess, Hollow Horse, Into The Mystic, Love Is A Wonderful Colour, and a few others besides.

He is also a Liverpool lad with typical Liverpudlian humour which I love. He managed to coax some of the audience up to dance, including a few children that come up onto stage and joined in on the drums.

Excellent concert – highly recommended.

I saw &nbsp Colin Blunstone &nbsp and &nbsp Rod Argent &nbsp (The Zombies) - Thursday 17th February 2005 (at The Stables).
They were really very good, but I think my wife enjoyed it more than me. Very professional, but not an inspiring performance, they included all of their favourites: She’s Not There, Time of the Season, Rose for Emily, Say You Don't Mind, I Don't Believe in Miracles, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, . I Want to Fly, and the Argent band's God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You, and Hold Your Head Up. They've recently released a live album: &nbsp Live at the Bloomsbury Theatre London

I saw Ummagummaa - Thursday 10th March (at The Stables)
Pink Floyd tribute band, concentrating on the early days and 'Live at Pompei', including:
'Astronomy Domine', 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun', 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', 'Careful With That Axe Eugene', 'Arnold Lane', 'Echoes', 'One Of These Days', 'See Emily Play', and a 'Liquid' light show. They are faithful to the music and do a very good job, but make no attempt to look like the Floyd, unlike The (cavern) Beatles who I saw last year or the Counterfeit Stones for which I have tickets in June. They completely exclude any of the later music or anything from Dark Side Of The Moon. Their drummer Geoff Cooper was particularly outstanding, exceptional.

Not going to see Cream? I haven't read any details about their show, but I imagine it's pretty big. Costly, too.

No - I'm not going. I have never been a great fan of Cream or Eric Clapton - I much prefer Free by a country mile. Paul Kossoff is a better guitarist (IMHO), Paul Rodgers is a better singer (the very best), and they were better songwriters.

I've just (this minute) booked tickets for Paul Rodgers and Queen at London's Hyde Park (open air) on 8th July, an extra concert they have added due to demand for tickets (Rodgers as a (temporary) replacement for Frdeddie Mercury, Rodgers/Free songs included - he is too big / too good to get wrapped up inside another band).

Cream have four dates booked for the Royal Albert Hall in May, but they sold out very quickly as you can imagine. Check this out - tickets at £175, £125, £75, £50

I saw Stan Webb's Chicken Shack (Sunday 13th March 2005, at The Stables). Good show. Stan was awesome on guitar, and the slower songs especially were just great. As usual, 'the sweetest little thing' stood out, and also 'I'd rather go blind'.

Tonight I saw The Buzzcocks (Sunday 3rd April at 'the pitz' Milton Keynes Woughton Centre). It was a non-stop 65 minute blitz of a show, including three encores. There was no time between songs for applause, by the time they had finished one song the drummer or the guitarist was already leading into the next song. The energy from these guys is amazing. Pete Shelley was in fine form, and Steve Diggle had some fun with the audience. All of the old favourites were included. They begun with the very first track from their very first record release - Howard Devoto's excellent "Boredom" from the 'Spiral Scratch' 7" EP (an original of which I have), and they later also played from the same EP "Time's Up" and "Breakdown". Also included were:
Love You More (the best)
Ever Fallin In Love (with someone you should't've?)
What Do I Get?
Orgasm Addict
Noise Annoys
Promises
Everybody's happy nowadays
Harmony In My Head
Fast Cars
Autonomy
I don't know what to do with my life
(plus a few others I didn't recognise - possibly from Steve Diggle's new solo album).
Amazing show, a genuine privilege to see them.

I've booked the Buzzcocks again, at the Carling Academy in Birmingham (UK) on Sunday 1st May, a 90 minute drive from home. But the main reason for this booking is that the same concert includes Stiff Little Fingers (and the Stranglers also). It's an all-day concert (2pm - 2am) with a host of others bands included. (I've got a new job which it currently looks as if I will start on Monday 2nd May.)

I've booked the Bootleg Beatles for December, different from the (cavern) Beatles who I saw last year.
The (cavern) Beatles were truly excellent, but it is said that the Bootleg Beatles are even better.
I am looking foreward to this.

Coming soon - the professor's notebook.
A list of all (most) of my vinyl (early Listology), but at the back of the notebook on a few scraps of paper was a list of
all the bands I have seen live (most of them anyway), dating back from 1971 - awesome.

I saw Sam Brown (Saturday 16th April 2005, at The Stables). She is a terrific performer, extrovert, great voice, good material, and bantered with the audience. She appeared on stage with just her piano, ukelele, and bass guitar, and transfixed the audience. Her songs on the uklele were enchanting. She included a great rendition of her biggest hit "Stop". I often feel that the backing bands of solo artists encroach upon, distract, dilute, and sometimes drown out the talent on view, and I often prefer them without backing. She puts her heart and sometimes even her soul into her performances. However, due to her heavy work schedule, her voice started to break up as the show went on, something she obviously couldn't hide (and never attempted to), and eventually very upset she had to cut short the evening (after about 75 minutes). Nevertheless, although I think most of the audience had great sympathy for her and were sorry it was foreshortened, it was still enjoyed by all.
No news yet, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if she returned to repay her dissappointed fans.

I saw &nbsp Stiff Little Fingers &nbsp plus &nbsp The Buzzcocks &nbsp plus &nbsp &nbsp The Stranglers &nbsp at the Carling Academy in Birmingham on Sunday 1st May. It was an all-day concert (2pm - 2am). Also appearing were:
The Beat &nbsp
GBH
Goldblade &nbsp - &nbsp (see the video of the great Goldblade song &nbsp Psycho)
King Kurt
Menace
Freaks Union
The Fight
Supatones
Havana A-Go-Go
(Ramones tribute band, complete with 'Gabba Gabba Hey' placard)

The Buzzcocks played a short set of 40 minutes, and included (amongst others):
Boredom,
Time's Up,
Love You More,
Ever Fallen In Love,
What Do I Get?,
Orgasm Addict,
Noise Annoys,
Fast Cars,
(see my review of the Buzzcocks at the Pitz above)

Stiff Little Fingers (who I primarily went to see) were next on and also played a short set of 50 minutes,
with ex-'The Jam'-bassist, Bruce Foxton. They included (amongst others):
Nobody's Heroes
State of Emergency (Jake Burn's "... first attempt at writing a song ... ")
Barbed Wire Love (my favourite)
Fly The Flag
Wasted Life
Breakout
Alternative Ulster (the encore)

They also dedicated one of the songs as a tribute to 'two huge influences on their lives: Joe Strummer and &nbsp John Peel. &nbsp
They didn't play two of my favourites: 'Johnny Was' or 'Suspect Device', which was probably understandable for a Northern Irish political anti-British-occupation band playing in Birmingham (the scene of one of the IRA's biggest mainland bombings) given it's subject matter.

I only watched the first half-hour of The Stranglers because I had a 90 minute drive home afterwards, but I did catch 'Peaches', and they did come over as a more polished live band than any of the others of the day, although I do recognise that could possibly have been down to the configuration of the aplifiers/speakers etc which remained unchanged for each band throughout the day and was probably set up specifically for The Strenaglers (the headline act).

Hit of the day was probably British ska/reggae legends - The Beat &nbsp - they really turned up the heat and set the place rocking.

WATCH THIS GREAT VIDEO: 'PSYCHO' BY GOLDBLADE

OK, it isn't a concert, but I have tickets for the Dalai Lama, who will be in June here in Luxembourg. Can't wait!

I'm envious!

Here's a review of the Peter Hammill concert dated 19th February 2003 which I posted elsewhere that I just rediscovered:

QUOTE: I went to a concert at the Stables theatre in Milton Keynes to see Peter Hammill (from Van Der Graaf Generator)
- front row seat (I should have taken my cancorder).

Peter was in great form and his voice powerful and soaring. He kept mainly to his guitar(s), but occasionally visited the piano (where I think he is best) for three or four songs. He included two of my favourites, Ophelia (a regular in his live shows), and a "rediscovered" (he called it) 'Slender Threads' complete with an unbelievable vocal performance. This is the very first track on my tape (for the car) of my favourite PH songs. I am so glad I caught this concert because he probably hasn't performed this song live for ten or fifteen years (until this tour). He closed with an encore of the fabulous 'Refugees'.
I also picked up some PH fanzines (Pilgrims) from the shop.

Peter Hammill has been described as uncompromising, chilling, and brutal. He always seeks to challenge himself and experiment musically, and whilst not always successful, the results can be quite the most spectacular and dramatic - Man-Erg or The Clot Thickens are remarkable examples from the Pawn Hearts album. But PH/VDGG is not just about the music and the vocals and the drama - the lyrics can be just as extraordinary.

For those of you who might not be familiar with the PH/VDGG catalogue of work, he has released over 50 albums, since the first in 1969 with his band Van Der Graaf Generator. He has a cult following around Europe, particularly in Italy and Germany.

My favourite PH/VDGG albums are:

Typical (a double-album)
Peter Hammill recorded live and solo, on accoustic guitar and piano. This is when his power and voice and lyrics and songs can all be heard and appreciated at their best. Great liner notes (believe me!).

Pawn Hearts
Extraordinary: the most dramatic music one could ever hope to imagine. From the haunting opening of "Lemmings", the chilling tale of schizophrenic good and evil of "Man-Erg" ( great lyrics), to the sweeping "Plague of Lighthouse Keepers".
Lyrics for Man-Erg

Still Life
Very different from Pawn Hearts and more mature, but the screeching power of "La Rossa" and the themes within "Still Life" (immortality) and "Childlike Faith in Childhood's End" (existentialism) are just as dramatic and bone-chilling.
Lyrics for Still Life
Lyrics for Childlike Faith in Chilhood's End

Visit the PH website: Sofa Sound

I did see PH once before - solo in 1974 at Burnt Mill school in Harlow (with Soz).

I've got tickets for two more concerts at the Stables in June, Blue Oyster Cult (2nd June), and John Cale (30th June). Plus I have tickets for Eminem at the MK Bowl. UNQUOTE:
(my ticket for Eminem was hijacked by my son, so I didn't get to go.)

The following evening, Peter performed another live show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Royal Festival Hall) in London, where he was joined on stage for an encore by the other ex-members of Van Der Graaf Genenrator, a get-together which ultimately inspired the current reunion touor.

Here's a review of the Blue Oyster Cult concert dated 2nd June 2003 which I posted elsewhere that I've just recently rediscovered: QUOTE: I went to see the Blue Oyster Cult at the Stables. It was their first gig on a UK tour - they arrived in the UK just yesterday (Sunday). I wasn't expecting too much after all these years, and my interest in them has fallen off somewhat in that time. I only went because it was too good an opportunity for me to see them locally and conveniently (probably never to be repeated), and because I had seen a couple of other artists from the seventies in recent months (Peter Hammill and Stan Webb's Chicken Shack) who were both stupendous. I am very glad I did go. Highlights: They started off the night with a super version of 'Dr Music', later did a fabulous version of 'I Love The Night' with excellent vocal harmonies, near the end did a fantastic and energetic and aggressive version of Godzilla (just average on vinyl), and ended with the fantastic 'Don't Fear The Reaper'. UNQUOTE: &nbsp Note the reference to the shows by Peter Hammill and Stan Webb's Chicken Shack, the two concerts which helped inspire my current concert-going/concert-seeking activities. &nbsp The other factor that has helped my current concert-going is my current mobility around the UK. &nbsp Reviews follow for John Cale (30th June 2003) and Heather Nova (8th September 2003). &nbsp

Here's my review of The (cavern) Beatles.

Here's a review of the John Cale concert dated 30th June 2003 which I posted elsewhere that I've just recently rediscovered: QUOTE: Monday 30th June 2003: &nbsp I went to see John Cale (formerly of the Velvet underground) at the Stables theatre. &nbsp He played with a back-up band that was extremely tight. He played seven or eight different instruments, including the viola which (someone said) he had not played live on stage since the sixties with the Underground. The only Underground song he did was 'Venus in Furs'. He did two encores with the band, and then came back and played three further songs solo from his latest EP. Very good. &nbsp UNQUOTE: &nbsp

Here's a review of the &nbsp Heather Nova &nbsp concert dated 8th September 2003 which I posted elsewhere that I've just recently rediscovered: &nbsp QUOTE: &nbsp Monday 8th September 2003: &nbsp I went to see &nbsp Heather Nova &nbsp - &nbsp Heather Nova &nbsp in concert at the Stables theatre. &nbsp I knew very little about her before the concert except what I read in the reviews that she has an exceptionally fine voice. Indeed she does, and she occasionally showed it off to great affect. However, she played with a back-up band that played too loud for the most part, drowning out the lyrics and the affect of the vocals, and sometimes trying to popularise the songs. Additionally, the material itself (the songwriting) was only average from what I could tell. Enjoyable, nevertheless, but she could have been so much better. &nbsp UNQUOTE: &nbsp

I saw &nbsp Van Der Graaf Generator (incl. Peter Hammill) &nbsp on Friday 6th May at the Royal Festival Hall in London. &nbsp This was a rare reunion concert, creating a frenzy for get tickets and people travelling from all round the world to see what was originally planned as a one-off show, but I managed to get a pair of tickets with a good view near the back of the hall. &nbsp They have since organised a further series of (confirmed) concerts in Milan, Rome, London, Leicester (for which I also have tickets - greeeedy me), Liverpool, Paris, Sicily, Brescia (Italy), Athens, and Amsterdam, oddly nothing in Germany – yet).

This is their classic line-up of organ, drums and sax, plus vocals - how's that for 'progressive' - a line-up still unmatched 36 years after they first played this format (Peter Hammill on vocals/piano/guitar, Hugh Banton on organ/keyboards, David Jackson on saxophone and flute, Guy Evans on drums and oercussion). When Banton and Hammill are together on their organs they can sometimes sound a little like a Bach fugue, and Jackson's sax can at other times give them a free-form jazz feel. Some of their most frenzied passages (such as Killer) consist of just Banton and Evans on organ and drums. However, Banton's organ is no ordinary organ. After he left VDGG Banton has been designing and building organs and sells them professionally, including a new type of organ he designed himself to replace more cheaply the pipe organs that typically go in churches. &nbsp Peter Hammill said in a recent interview (click on Box 2 and follow the links) that when their original bass player (Nic Potter) left the band (ca. 1968) Hugh Banton put his hand up and volunteered that it might be interesting if he were to supplement the drums with the bass pedals from his organ to make up the rhythm section, in lieu of recruiting a new bassist. Hammill also explained there could be further concerts arranged later if the band feels ready to continue, but they seem determined not to feel under any pressure, although I think that is inevitable given their fanbase.

To the music (great). They started off with the fabulous ‘Undercover Man’, and included tracks from all of their albums (from this line-up), including great songs like the haunting ‘Refugees’, ‘Lemmings’ and ‘Man-Erg’ (from Pawn Hearts), ‘Every Bloody Emperor’ (about Bush and Blair) and ‘Nutter Alert’ from the new album (Present), early manic classics ‘Darkness (11/11)’ and ‘Killer’, and unexpectedly ‘Childlike Faith in Childhood's End’ from Still Life. We come to expect the unexpected from VDGG and PH, and the usual live tracks played from Still Life are ‘Pilgrims’ and ‘La Rossa’ were missing, but the rarely performed ‘Childlike Faith …’ was very welcome. VDGG are known for varying their setlist from one night to the next, so hopefully in Leicester I'll get to hear ‘La Rossa’, ‘Still Life’, and ‘Pilgrims’ (other favourites of mine, from the ‘Still Life’ album). Hammill concentrated on the vocals, venturing only occasionally to the piano, organ or guitar. During the (many) instrumental passages he would prowl around behind the band, sometimes shaking his fists in triumph, and whilst singing he would make the occasional (Joe) Cocker-esque gestures with his hands, which I’ve never seen before from him at his solo concerts.

Setlist (confirmed):
The Undercover Man (from the album: Godbluff)
Scorched Earth (Godbluff)
Refugees (The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other)
Every Bloody Emperor (Present)
Lemmings (Pawn Hearts)
In the Black Room (Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night – a Peter Hammill solo album with the others guesting)
Nutter Alert (Present)
Darkness (11/11) (The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other)
Masks (World Record)
Childlike Faith in Childhood's End (Still Life)
The Sleepwalkers (Godbluff)
Man-Erg (Pawn Hearts)

Encore:
Killer (H to He, Who Am the Only One)
Wondering (World Record)

(Albums shown in brackets)

I saw Joe Louis Walker on Sunday 15th May at the Stables near my home. He is a fabulous blues guitarist, in the mould of B.B. King, gospel influenced, but for me the best part is his voice - greatly underated, very similar to Otis Redding. Great show, as a three-piece band, including a very eccentric and charismatic drummer. At one stage however, he performed a trio of gospel songs solo on his accoustic guitar. This is why I sometimes go (locally) to see musicians whose work I'm not familiar with. Fabulous.

I saw Kathryn Williams on Wednesday 1st June at the Stables. Like Joe Louis Walker above, this was another artist I've not seen or heard before. Performing as a laid-back three piece, her sweet voice was well showcased by this set-up. Some great vocals, some pop-ish tunes, some average songwriting, some of the best songs were those penned by others, such as Lou Reed's 'Caroline Says', and an encore of a great version of 'Halelujah'. Sweet performance, worth catching live, she is appearing at Glastonbury this year.

I saw The Counterfeit Stones on Friday 3rd June at the Stables. &nbsp On stage they don't take themselves at all seriously, but in reality they are an extremely tight band, highly competent musicians, giving very accurate renditions of all the stones favourites. &nbsp Nick Dagger is hilarious, and between songs has exactly the same speaking voice/accent as the real thing, cracking jokes about the band and their life ("Brian is very excited about our recent hits – he’s currently looking to buy a new house with a pool"). &nbsp All the band members made a pretty good attempt to look and dress the part. &nbsp Brian came and went and was replaced by Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood. &nbsp Hugely enjoyable.

How was Queen? a friend is thinking of going to Aruba to see them.

Now playing: Nick Cave and the bad seeds: Nature Boy.

See my review below. &nbsp

OK, at Critico’s request, I’ll put my review in here out of sequence, and because I’m running behind schedule.

The concert was originally scheduled for Friday 8th July, but because of the bombings in London on the Thursday, it was very sensibly put back a week to Friday 15th July. The REM concert at Hyde Park previously scheduled for Saturday 9th July was also put back a week, to Saturday 16th July.

The atmosphere was great. The park was full of Queen fanatics of course, and it was great for them to see something they never expected again - a live Queen concert. But frankly some of it was a disappointment, although it was what I expected because I have been following the tour on the Queen fanclub website so I knew what was coming, but I had hoped that they might take heed of some of their fans’ comments and change the show around slightly. Even some of the Queen fans said they would have liked to hear Paul Rodgers sing more of the songs covered by Brian May or Roger Taylor. Why disappointed ? Besides the fact that I am a Paul Rodgers fan first and Queen fan second (I was quite prepared to hear only minimal PR material, but I would listen to him singing the phone directory), too many of the songs were sung by Brian May (poorly) or Roger Taylor (a good voice but a class below PR). Brian May played (and spoiled) John Lennon's Imagine 'for Londoners' after the bombings last week, a song perfectly suited to PR's voice, but he only joined in at the end to lift it. At the end of the set they played Bohemian Rhapsody - incredibly on video so that they could show Freddie Mercury (not live). I have always been a great fan of Brian May’s guitar work, but he showed here that he is only an average guitarist (even less so on acoustic), just that he has a unique (and fantastic) style (which I love). However, perhaps I was influenced by seeing just the evening before a Led Zeppelin tribute band (Stairway To Zeppelin) where the lead guitarist was unbelievably quite stupendous (see my review below – when I get round to it).

The encore included terrific versions of 'All Right Now', 'We Will Rock You', and 'We Are The Champions' (for the 'champion' Police, Fire and Ambulance services of London). Front-man Paul Rodgers hit the mood perfectly throughout the evening, always allowed the Queen material to take precedence, and fully understood that this was a Queen event. When they played the PR material it seemed to be appreciated by all, and I could see in the faces of some when they recognised the tune “Oh, it was him that sung this one”. But even Paul Rodgers can sometimes be a disappointment live, because he has a tendency not to sing the chorus of his biggest hits (including ‘All Right Now’ and ‘Can’t Get Enough’), but instead he points the microphone at the audience and expects them to sing it (which of course they do).

Setlist (approximate – from memory - unconfirmed)

Reaching Out
Tie Your Mother Down
I Want To Break Free
Fat Bottomed Girls (terrific)
Wishing Well (Free / Paul Rodgers)
Another One Bites The Dust
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Say Its Not True (RT)
39 (RT)
I’m In Love With My Car (RT)
Hammer To Fall (BM)
Imagine (John Lennon) (BM)
Feel Like Making Love (Bad Company / Paul Rodgers)
Gtr Solo (rubbish)
These Are The Days Of Our Lives
Radio Ga Ga
Can’t Get Enough (Bad Company / Paul Rodgers)
A Kind Of Magic
I Want It All
Bohemian Rhapsody

Encore:
The Show Must Go On
All Right Now (Free / Paul Rodgers)
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions

Some great highlights, but many huge disappointments. But to see this will be a one-off opportunity not to be missed by Queen fans. Whilst all the Queen fans I’m certain would have preferred Freddie Mercury to Paul Rodgers, surely they could have wished for no better replacement. Paul Rodgers’ fans should probably give it a miss. The venue was not full by the way – my uneducated guess would be ca. 45,000. I only saw Queen once before, curiously also at Hyde Park, in a free open air concert in 1976 when the audience was 150,000.

P.S. &nbsp Razorlight were disappointing - I was looking forward to seeing them - probably better in a smaller indoor venue.
Comedian/compere Peter Kay was rubbish - an embarassment.

Just in case anyone hadn't worked it out yet, this review was for Paul Rodgers and Queen at Hyde Park in London on 15th July.

I saw 'The Clashed' (tribute band to The Clash) on Saturday 18th June 2005 at the Moses Gate pub in Bolton (North Manchester).

Alongside Eric's club in Liverpool, this is easily the smallest venue I've ever been to watch a band live. The pub stage is set in one of the bars with standing room for about 50 people. Tickets are not available in advance for this type of show (pub gigs), but as I was in Manchester/Bolton that weekend I went along to watch (a late decision).

Whilst the band made no effort to look like the real thing, they sounded fabulous. The lead vocalist for the Joe Strummer songs sounded virtually perfect, and he also played most of the lead guitar superbly. The second lead vocalist was also very good, with the exception of his rendition of 'Police And Thieves', which must be a difficult voice to mimic. All of their favourites were included in a 100 minute set with an interval. The set was cram-packed full of energy, but one or two of them looked truly exhausted after some of the songs, perhaps underlining just how much they put into the show. They were outstanding. I must take my camcorder to some of these concerts.

Included (from memory) in no particular order: Janie Jones, Career Opportunities, 1977, London’s Burning, London Calling, Clash City Rockers, Police And Thieves, Safe European Home, Capital Radio, Tommy Gun, What’s My Name, Garageland, Bank Robber, I Fought The Law, Police On My Back, Straight To Hell, Rock The Casbah, Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Guns Of Brixton. Encore: Complete Control (my favourite), White Riot.

The show finished at about 11 pm and I had a two and a half hour drive home, but I was really too tired to make that drive and I had to keep stopping on the motorway for a sleep, so I didn't reach home until 5 am. Next time I shall have to stay overnight.

I noticed you said you went to the Plinston gig. What were The Clashed like on a big stage. It's one thing to be good in a pub but something else to shine in a big venue. I have seen many bands look lost on a big stage.

Baz - have you seen them? I urge you to go. Check out their website for upcoming gigs all around the country (Coventry, Leicester, Bournemouth, Hounslow, Leeds, Bolton, Liverpool, Middlesborough), and lots of pics. See my review below.

Thamnks Proff, I'll try and get down to The Hounslow gig.
Great site by the way.

If you're near Letchworth (you seem to be familiar with the Plinston Hall), Leicester is just up the M1 (7th January), or Cannock is just North of Birmingham on the M1-M6 (20th October).

For Baz, I’ll put my review in here, out of sequence because I’m running behind schedule.

I saw The Clashed in Letchworth on 9th September, at a much larger venue and stage than when I saw them in Bolton. Whilst they didn't always dominate the larger stage, and they weren’t as loud as in Bolton, the music was just awesome. There were times when they showed real charisma and bonding as a band (such as when they erupted through ‘Capital Radio’ and ‘I Fought The Law'), and the lighting whilst nothing special complemented the performance at times to perfection. Clash they most certainly did not. In some respects I think they were even better than in Bolton (apart from the setlist). They unassumingly went about their business without much fuss, but the music just exploded. I took my camcorder and got some truly fantastic footage which I am putting onto a CD/VCD. It came out really well (IMHO). Watch this space!

Included (from memory) in no particular order: Career Opportunities, London’s Burning, London Calling, Clash City Rockers, Capital Radio, Bank Robber, I Fought The Law, I’m So Bored With the USA (including a dig at Bush), Straight To Hell, (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais, Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Encore: Complete Control (my favourite), White Riot. They didn’t play ‘Police and Thieves’ or ‘Tommy Gun’ or a few others from the Bolton set.

The Pistols were in support and had an excellent and dominant Johnny Rotten and a very good Sid Vicious, complete with attitude and swearing and insulting the audience, calling them/us a bunch of golfers when we applauded (and often much worse). They played great versions (and very authentic) of Pretty Vacant, God Save the Queen, I’m A Lazy Sod, No Problem, Seventeen, Submission, EMI, and Anarchy In The UK amongst others. Definitely worth a viewing for all punk fans. Again I got some video footage.

When we gonna see the video footage prof ?

Well I eventually got to see the clashed lastnight at Cannocks LA Rock Cafe and you are dead right prof,they are top draw. They played for about 2 hours and never took thier foot of the gas once.
I'm hoping to get up to the limelight club to see them in Dec.

The energy is great, yes, but the music is just sensational.
I shall try and get up to see them again in Bolton on 3rd March or 1st April.

how about putting up some of the video footage you filmed proff ??

Any suggestions where I can upload it?

How about myspace. I was talking to the clashed a few weeks ago and they said they would put it on their site if they could get a copy.

I'm currently contemplating this - I have already registered with Google videos and also with YouTube, and now searching for the original tapes. The edited versions that I uploaded to my PC are unsuitable for uploading to Google/YouTube, because their too long.

My first effort is now uploaded to YouTube.
The Clashed at the Plinston play Complete Control and White Riot.

I've now added &nbsp 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' &nbsp - The Clashed live at the Plinston.

I've now added &nbsp The Pistols - Anarchy In The UK &nbsp - live at the Plinston.

I've now added &nbsp 'I Fought The Law' &nbsp - The Clashed live at the Plinston.

I've now added &nbsp I'm So Bored With The USA &nbsp - The Clashed, live at the Plinston Hall, Letchworth.
This also includes clips of (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais and Capital Radio.

I've now added &nbsp 'Straight To Hell' &nbsp - The Clashed live at the Plinston.
That is the last I have of the footage of The Clashed.
More to come of The Pistols at the Plinston.

I've now added &nbsp 'Submission' &nbsp - The Pistols live at the Plinston Hall, Letchworth.

I've now added &nbsp 'Johnny Was' by Stiff Little Fingers &nbsp live at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon,
Friday 30th September 2005. Sound and video not as good as at the Plinston.
More to come of SLF in Croydon.

I've now added &nbsp 'Darkness' by Van Der Graaf Generator &nbsp live at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester,
Sunday 13th November, 2005. Pictures not as good as at the Plinston, but the sound is pretty good (IMHO).
More to come of VDGG at the Bridgewater Hall.

Curiously, I found a bootleg CD of this same concert on eBay (not recorded by me), and the sound quality is very different. It almost sounds like a different concert, but it is most probably because (a) it was rcorded on a different machine than my camcorder, and (b) it was probably recorded from a different part of the hall so the accoustics would have been different.

I've now added 'Man-Erg' and 'Masks' by Van Der Graaf Generator live at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Sunday 13th November, 2005. Again the pictures are not as good as at the Plinston, but I think that the sound is pretty good. More to come of VDGG at the Bridgewater Hall.