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  • Radiohead - Glasgow Green

    Jul 1 2008, 0h28

    Fri 27 Jun – Radiohead, Bat For Lashes

    Well, this is a rare occurrence, I'm writing a review of a gig well within a week of it actually happening!

    I had been looking forward to this one for a long time, having bought my tickets on the day of release. I saw Radiohead previously, 2 years ago at Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh and it was absolutely amazing. Friday's gig, was just as awesome, though overall, I must say I preferred the Meadowbank gig, for reasons out with the band's control, though the setlist balanced it out.

    Support for the gig came from Bat for Lashes, who I was aware of beforehand, though hadn't spent a great deal of time listening to, with the exception of the fantastic Horse and I which was played on the night. Sadly, I didn't really appreciate much of the rest of her set.

    I'm sure she's probably sick of the comparison to Bjork, but she does have a very similar style and sound. Clearly she's a very talented artist, but the music was lost a bit on me in a live setting, though I will definitely be listening to more of her work in the comfort of my own home, out of the rain.

    Speaking of the rain, it pretty much bucketed it down the whole evening, but I wasn't going to let it ruin my enjoyment, however it soon became clear that indirectly it would due to the numbers of totally inconsiderate people with umbrellas obstructing the view of the stage.

    One further annoyance came from the vast number of drunk neds (chavs to some of you). I know the gig took place in Glasgow and there's always one or two, but my word, they were out in force on Friday. Fortunately I was stood slightly to the side, on the pavement and weren't bothered too much by them, or the mud.

    Despite the above, this was still an absolutely fantastic gig. Radiohead as always, did not disappoint.

    It would be very difficult to say if I enjoyed this gig as much as the Foo Fighters at Wembley, they both offer a totally different experience. The Foo Fighters are just born entertainers in a good old rock 'n' roll way, whereas Radiohead are just musical geniuses. There just isn't a band today that can compare to what they have achieved, their creativity and musical flair. 7 studio albums, all of which perfect in their own way. Furthermore, how many people do you know that can pull of wearing red jeans?

    I'm struggling to think of superlatives for how the setlist panned out, it was everything I could have hoped for and more! All the way through I was smiling, happy and singing my heart out. As always I got goosebumps on Fake Plastic Trees and Karma Police, but the highlight had to be singing rain down on me, in the pouring rain, through Paranoid Android. The rain even decided to rain extra heavy throughout that track and I didn't care one bit, it was sheer perfection.

    The (stolen) setlist for the gig was as follows:

    1. 15 Step
    2. Airbag
    3. There There
    4. All I Need
    5. Nude
    6. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
    7. The Gloaming
    8. National Anthem
    9. Hunting Bears
    10. Faust Arp
    11. No Surprises
    12. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
    13. Reckoner
    14. Just
    15. Bangers and Mash
    16. Everything In Its Right Place
    17. Fake Plastic Trees
    18. Bodysnatchers

    19. Videotape
    20. Paranoid Android
    21. Myxomatosis
    22. Optimistic
    23. Karma Police

    24. Like Spinning Plates
    25. 2+2=5
    26. Idioteque

    If you weren't there, are you jealous of that setlist? You should be!
  • Foo Fighters - Wembley Stadium, London

    Jun 18 2008, 21h47

    Sat 7 Jun – Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, The Futureheads, Supergrass

    As always, I'm a week or two late with my review, but that's just the way things are just now!

    First of all, I just have to say. WOW! This gig was absolutely amazing in every way. I'm not even sure where to start.

    I missed the support bands (The Futureheads and Supergrass) deliberately, mainly because I just wasn't interested in either band at all. It was a huge let down after being spoilt rotten the last time I saw the Foo Fighters with Nine Inch Nails and Silversun Pickups supporting. The other reasons being the poor service at the Hard Rock Cafe beforehand and the enormous beer queue, which admittedly was very well organised and didn't take as long as it could have.

    Support bands missed, straight in to the main event, who were anything but disappointing. It was my 3rd Foo Fighters gig, so I had a good idea of what to expect, but the stadium just made it. It's certainly a fantastic stadium (and should be for what it cost). A far cry from the SECC in Glasgow and Meadowbank stadium in Edinburgh.

    Predictably, the night kicked off with The Pretender, a great number for kick starting the crowd, not that much encouragement was needed. It was initially weird seeing the action side on, seated, but I soon adjusted.

    Dave Grohl commanded the stage in his usual way and regularly moved around so that everyone could get a good look at him. At points it was slightly irritating seeing him running down the runway, but with such a huge crowd, he has to please everyone. I've heard a few others mention this too, so I'm glad I wasn't alone. I soon got over this, I can't have any Dave hate, he is after all my childhood hero.

    The gig progressed in a fairly typical manner. A greatest hits affair mainly, with the usual extended jams on the likes of Stacked Actors.

    Again, predictably, the acoustic set in the middle also made an appearance, this time with a revolving stage. This was a nice touch, particularly, I imagine, for those who were seated behind the band the whole time. Unfortunately, it revolved to play 1 song to each side. My favourite acoustic song Marigold (being a Nirvana fan for some time) got played when the band were facing me, which was a bonus!

    A major highlight in the set was My Hero. Singing along with 86,000 other people is just a totally breathtaking experience. Dave seemed to be taken aback by this too. This moment of course was eclipsed in the encore with the arrival of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame on stage. Now, I've never been a huge fan of the Zep, but I certainly appreciate their contribution to music and what they achieved and the crowd sensed that it was a pretty special moment. A moment that obviously meant a lot to Dave Grohl too.

    The first of the Zep encores had Dave take to the drums and Taylor sing and my word, I never knew Taylor had such a good voice. His vocals fitted in perfectly I thought and seeing Dave Grohl on drums again is always a treat.

    The final song of the night was Best of You and by this point I was desperate for the toilet and unfortunately missed the last half of the song, but while I was there, it was very special and you could see it became quite emotional for Dave towards the end.

    The rise of the Foo Fighters is quite something. There are very few stadium bands these days and to fill one of the biggest stadiums, twice, is testament to how far they've come.

    Part of me wishes Nirvana still existed, mainly because I never got to see them live, but without the loss of Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl may not be the man he is today, he's certainly come a long way from the shy sole he was in Nirvana, but he's still my hero and the Foo Fighters are without a doubt, one of the best live bands out there. I only say one of because there are numerous bands that provide something different in a live experience. It is safe to conclude however, that this was the biggest (and probably best) gig I have ever been to and I'm glad I was there to witness what was, a very special gig.
  • Flogging Molly - ABC Glasgow 1st June 2008

    Jun 4 2008, 21h41

    Sun 1 Jun – Flogging Molly, Pepper

    Where to start on this fantastic gig? It had been a pretty hectic week and quite an energetic weekend for me, so I was absolutely knackered for the duration of the gig but I wasn't going to let it spoil the occasion.

    I missed the first support band, from Canada apparently but that's about all I can tell you about them, so on to the second support band, Pepper, a 3 piece surfy, reggae, rock band from Hawaii. As I usually do prior to a gig, I had listened to them beforehand to see if they are worthwhile going to see. In the end, I wasn't particularly fussed if I missed them or not but I'm now glad that I didn't.

    Pepper had obviously done their homework and appeased the crowd, reminding us that we were in Scotland and not the UK. Glasgow is held in high regard to most artists it seems, by high regard, I mean crowds full of crazy people always up for a laugh, which is a fair comment really.

    The band, in particular the bass player, were not short of stage presence and confidence. Plenty of moments for audience participation and even some moshing towards the front.

    The songs themselves were a bit samey, with a repetitive hula style bassline, punchy drum beat and ooos and aaas. That's not to say they were without appeal, they just lacked a bit of substance. Having said that, they certainly did their job in whipping up the crowd in to a frenzy.

    Sadly the frenzy had all but died down due to the annoyingly long gap in between Pepper leaving the stage and Flogging Molly coming on. I wasn't alone in the frustration, a few people around me seemed a bit bored, though the crowd picked up again when Blitzkrieg Bop was played over the speakers, followed by Baba O' Riley, which Flogging Molly made their entrance to.

    Having finally come out, it didn't take too long for Flogging Molly to raise the crowd back up to its initial high with (if my memory serves me correctly) Paddy's Lament. Instantly the previous wait was all worthwhile. From start to finish the band were polished and with the exception of the bass player seemingly losing a string near the start, a flawless performance, entertaining from start to finish.

    Dave King kept things going in between songs with his natural Irish charm and banter, with touching references to the inspiration behind many of the songs, freedom and his Father, with a tribute to Joe Strummer thrown in for good measure. He came across as a very likeable and friendly sort, which added to the already catchy and likeable songs.

    The set list didn't disappoint, a nice mixture of the latest album and previous albums finishing with an encore of Black Friday Rule and Seven Deadly Sins. Black Friday Rule being the highlight, particularly with the solo performance at the start. Other high points for me were the instant crowd pleaser Drunken Lullabies and perhaps my favourite track of theirs, Rebels Of The Sacred Heart.

    I am at loss to think of any bad points to the gig, with the exception of waiting ages in between bands. If you ever get a chance to see Flogging Molly in action, do so, you won't be disappointed!
  • Editors - Glasgow Carling Academy 27th Feb

    Mar 15 2008, 23h00

    Wed 27 Feb – Editors, Mobius Band, Frightened Rabbit

    Perhaps a bit late to be writing a review of this gig, but I still remember it well, one of the advantages of a midweek gig, with work early the following day!

    I'll start with the support bands:

    I missed the first support band, Frightened Rabbit. Having briefly listened to a few of their tracks on MySpace, I must admit, I liked what I heard, very fitting for the gig. As I didn't actually see them though, I can't comment further on their performance on the night.

    Mobius Band were second on and I arrived about 5 minutes before they arrived on stage. I'd listened to a few tracks of theirs before the gig, so had an idea of what to expect. I was intrigued by their sound initially, but I couldn't help wishing them to play their last song towards the end. It's not that I didn't like them, it just wasn't the sort of sound I wanted to hear live and with the exception of the drummer who put in a good shift, they didn't seem to be enjoying it a great deal, making it hard to watch.

    Finally, Editors arrived on stage for the main event of the evening. I had seen them once before at Radio 1's One Big Weekend in Dundee, before the height of their popularity, but the difference between the performance then and now was like night and day. They're a much more confident and accomplished outfit now. I had thought they would be fairly subdued on stage, but they proved me wrong.

    The set list was fairly predictable, but that's only to be expected with only 2 albums worth of material. There were no notable absentees, a standard fare of the better tracks from both albums, with the addition of a cover of The Cure's Lullaby.

    The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy each song and the band did too, with lead singer, Tom playing up to them, climbing the piano and jumping around at any given opportunity, the stage presence that was missing from their performance in Dundee.

    Highlights of the night for me were All Sparks, The Racing Rats and of course the anthemic Munich. I was most surprised that Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors was chosen for the final encore, being one of their slower songs, but it worked well with the crescendo building up at the end.

    All in all, the gig was thoroughly enjoyable and I left satisfied.