Paris plus one week .. Peace, Love and Death Metal. 

The scenes of horror at last weeks events in Paris will live long in the memory for lots of people, particularly the people affected by this travesty. 

Horrific doesn’t cover it,  those were ordinary people having fun,  gunned down having dinner, drinks or enjoying a concert.  

Things that we take for granted in our ordinary life’s. 

The majority of the victims were killed while attending the Eagles Of Death Metal concert at The Bataclan. 

I’d been to see the band on last Wednesday night when they played the ABC Glasgow.  Not my usual choice of music but enjoyed the gig.  Which made last Friday’s events that little bit more poignant and hard hitting. 

The people killed could have been any one of us.   

The band themselves are safe but lost some friends and colleagues on the night.   I’ve extracted the following from their Facebook page. 

“While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France. Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander, our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez, and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones. 

Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.

We would like to thank the French police, the FBI, the U.S. and French State Departments, and especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil. 

All EODM shows are on hold until further notice.

Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM.”


Last night New Order played the Academy in Glasgow,   they’ve played more or less the same set list on the tour so far so we knew what was coming,  60/40 old  to new material punting the new album. 

This album has more of a commercial electro dance sound,  perhaps because guitarist Peter Hook has parted company with the band.  

I quite like the new album but some of it is filler.  Which is pretty normal.  The crowd were waiting for the big finish with a string of hits belted out which had the place jumping. 

At some point while the new material was playing, I was looking round the venue,   Unlike the Bataclan its multi-tiered,  but there are some similarities as the main standing section is overlooked by balconies on either side. 

For a few moments I imagined what it must have been like to have been there,  terrorists standing on the balcony above you demanding that you lie on the floor,  people packed on top of each other then the terrorists shooting them or dropping bombs on them. 

Horrific. 

Thing is,  you can’t dwell on it,  you can’t let these fuckers change our way of life or they win. 

A hard truth is that these terrorists live amongst us,  they feel disenfranchised and that they have some right to inflict their poisonous thoughts and actions upon ordinary people having a good time. 

They may think that they are freedom fighters fighting for a cause,  but they’re not,  they are cowards who can only attack defenceless people going about their daily life’s. 

I believe in personal freedom and freedom of speech even if I disagree with what someone is saying.  I stand against state control or the new legislation to intercept people’s private communications which are being pushed through parliament. 

Well I did,  but not now. 

As far as I’m concerned this needs to be stamped out, any sympathetic viewpoints to the causes of terrorists needs to be stamped on hard and mercilessly.   

For years we allowed that cleric Abu Hamza to spout his hateful rhetoric and poison the minds of many young people. 

We watched helplessly as the powers that tied themselves up in legalities about his human and civil rights,  when he did not care about ours. 

On Facebook last week,  hours after the tragedy in Paris my mate told me of a Muslim friend of his justifying the attacks and quoting the numbers killed in Syria etc

Really?

And that’s relevant because of what?

You can’t justify last week because of whatever is happening elsewhere in the world,   Two wrongs will never make a right.  Whatever is happening elsewhere should be sorted out politically not with guns. 

There is no justification for last weeks attrocities.   

I believe in freedom of speech but that guys attitude crossed the line and should be stamped on. 

Tolerance and acceptance is no longer an option,   Allowing people freedom seems to make them think they can get away with saying anything but that needs to stop. 

We need to take the fight to them. 

The motto of the band last week is Peace, Love and Death Metal if only these terrorists and their followers listened instead of preaching their hatred. 

The pic is taken from the bands Facebook page .. I knew the hand sign for peace but had no idea what the other two were! 

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The Legend Of Jonah Lomu.

I’m very sad to hear of the passing of the rugby and sporting great Jonah Lomu.

Jonah changed the world for a lot of people and made rugby much more interesting and as a consequence commercial for its teams and players.

Being working class from Glasgow,  we naively considered rugby as a “poofs game” played by over-privileged posh boys who liked to abuse each other in their dormitory’s.

How wrong can you be?

Well it might have been played by the posh schools in the UK,  but elsewhere in the world,  it was a game for real men.

Jonah was central to changing my opinion back in 1995 when The Rugby World Cup was being played in South Africa.

At the time,  I had just finished my part-time university honours degree course,  5 years of study whilst working a 40 hour week in Engineering.

As a celebration,  16 of us spent a weekend on the lash and off the leash in Dublin,  pubbing and clubbing and partaking of everything that this fine city has to offer .. well most of it,  I was a married man at the time.

On the Sunday afternoon,  the boys wanted to watch the semi-final between England and New Zealand,  I went along for the beer and chat,  but wasn’t too bothered about the game.

All the talk in the media at the time was how Will Carling would sort of Jonah Lomu .. I will confess ignorance and hadn’t heard much of either apart for a vague awareness that Carling was the English darling at the time.

We got to the bar on O’Connell Street early to make sure we had a seat with a good view of the screens,  just swell as the pub was packed.

Before the game started,  a crowd of English lads arrived,  standing at the bar,  confident and boisterous singing some bollocks about low swinging chariots.

The 16 of us Scottish guys left them to it and remained quiet as did the other clientele,  they may or may not have been English or England supporters,  at this point it was hard to tell.

The game started ..

And was all over in 20 minutes!

Jonah scored 4 tries,  the most famous of which features in the video below were he picks up the ball from a bad pass,  evades one tackle from Tony Underwood,  out-powers Carling and then runs over the top of England defender Mike Catt.

The place went absolutely mental .. turns out the only people supporting England were the now quiet boys at the bar.

I have no beef with English people,  none at all,  in fact I have many English friends,  but theres just something arrogant about their commentators that makes the rest of the world love to see them get beat regardless of the sport .. football, rugby, tiddlywinks!

Jonah didn’t make me a rugby fan that day but he certainly changed my opinion and I watched Scotland in the recent World Cup with pride.

RIP big guy .. a complete legend.

Match report from BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/rugby_world_cup/history/2965996.stm

 

Sign O’ the Times? @Prince3EG

Tickets were due to go on sale today for two shows by Prince at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The shows were only announced a few days ago and like many fans,  I was logged into the venue website and ticketmaster to grab a couple of tickets as soon as they became available.

I guess that the other fans were disappointed as I was when the sale of tickets was postponed.

However,  having now read that the man himself has decided to take a stand against all the usual ticket touts.   ( I’ve attached a link to the BBC site and the Which investigation into ticket resales below )

Prince refers to the Which investigation which has proven that ticket resales are an organised con preventing ordinary fans from buying tickets and particularly premium tickets at face value.

For this he is only to be congratulated as I’ve always believed that TicketMaster and the like were in cahoots with the secondary sites of GetMeIn etc,   scraping off a proportion of the best seats and then selling them on at a markup of 150% minimum with inflated booking and processing fees to boot.

A sign of the times obviously with people preferring to buy online rather than queue up outside venues losing time off work etc.

However,  that now leaves a problem .. with the venues hired next Friday night,  how are we genuine fans going to get tickets?

Personally I hope it’s not a queue on the night.

I’d much prefer the tickets were made available online with the condition that names and dates of birth had to be provided of all attendees and that they have to bring approved photo-id on the night.   If the person can’t make it then the tickets can be returned and resold.

This completely takes out any opportunity for the token touts to resell the tickets or mass abuse on the secondary markets which should be made illegal in my opinion.

The same procedure should be made applicable to all tickets in my opinion and primarily for acts like Prince were tickets are in high demand.

A further thought, dealing with the resell issue in the long term,  is for venues to have season-books similar to the football where legitimate fans have already been prevented and issued with a card.  On purchasing a ticket the card would only need to be enabled for that event,  hence prevent misuse and overbooking by the touts.

In the meantime,  I’m keeping everything crossed for next Friday as his last show in Glasgow was fantastic but with this being a smaller more intimate gig then it will be absolutely amazing.

Check the video below,  the man is immensely talented,  funny and so content in his own skin.

What I would give for the chance to play piano with the man on Purple Rain or Nothing Compares to U.

Prince acoustic set from Webster Hall 2004

http://www.wat.tv/video/prince-live-at-webster-hall-5c69d_2hztv_.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34786945

http://www.which.co.uk/news/2015/11/which-probes-ticket-resale-rip-off-422307?utm_campaign=whichukt&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=ticketripoff&utm_term=twnews

Never Ever Choose The Best Seats Available! … #U2 #Glasgow

I go to a lot of concerts,  this month alone U2, Simple Minds,  New Order, a Blondie tribute,  a Bowie tribute,  I’ve even been persuaded to see Eagles Of Death Metal tomorrow in Glasgow.

Not my usual cup of Tetley,  but .. we live, we learn.

What I did learn at the U2 concert at The Hydro on Saturday night was never ever choose the “Best Available” seats option.

My brother picked the tickets up for this one,  I had an air of dread as the seats were on level 2,  but as he’s on the SSE priority tickets list and bought them on pre-sale,   I thought at least we will be front and centre.

But no .. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After a couple of beers we arrived at the venue,  only to find we were on the back row and in the very last seats to the far right as viewed from the stage.

Check the view .. I mean seriously?

Does any venue have the right to sell tickets when you can only see the band side on?

I was quietly simmering .. I could tell he was disappointed,  so I didn’t say anything.

But valuable lesson learned,  never take the “Best seats available option” as you get punted with the snash that will be more difficult to sell at a later date.

Fortunately,  as we sat waiting on the show to start,  the walkway lit up to the ‘E’ stage,  closer to the back of the theatre were we would have had a great view if the seats had been central.

The band started, a setlist largely the same as previously published and we knew what was coming,  a selection from their latest album Innocence + Experience but mostly from their back catalogue of hits.

What we didn’t know was that above the walkway there were giant screens that showed the band in all their glory,  played cartoons to convey the message of the music and even had a hidden walkway were the band played halfway through the show.

Got to tell you .. my initial disappointment at the seat location was short lived and although our seats could have been better located the screens made all the difference.

As for the show itself .. absolutely fantastic.

Bono’s voice was better than ever and I particularly loved the acoustic version of Every Breaking Wave .. such a beautiful song.

I am seriously tempted to see them again in the upcoming gigs at either Belfast or Dublin.

If you happen to be going then you’re in for a treat.

Even if your seats are terrible!


  

  

She Moves In Mysterious Ways? #U2 #Glasgow

U2 play The Glagow Hydro tonight in what looks to be a fantastic show combining a little of their new album and a lot of their greatest hits.

It’s all about balance and that’s what the fans pay to see.

Take a lesson Paul Weller!

A curry and some beers with my closest brother and off to reminisce about the songs from our youth.

Hard to beat.

A friend of mine was at last nights gig and has been raving about it today.  So good that he’s going again tonight.

Personally I’ve only just started listening to the new album,  but that’s not what I’m there to see.

A friend of my friends was on stage for Mysterious Ways last night. How cool is this?

Set List from last night.

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/u2/2015/the-sse-hydro-glasgow-scotland-13f53921.html

Half The World Away?

Just seen this years John Lewis ad for the first time, as classy  and moving as usual.  I’m sure I’ve posted about them before.

The sales of their goods is always secondary to the Christmas message,  albeit it about family and non-religious.

A grand-child looking for her grand-father who is half the world away,  old and alone is there a worse place to be?

At times like that its the smallest thought that matters,  I think JL nail it in this ad.

The theme song is a stripped down cover of Oasis’s Half The World Away by Norwegian singer Aurora.

For comparison,  I’ve included a nice acoustic live version by Noel Gallagher the vastly more talented of the two brothers in my opinion.

Songs To Have Sex To?

Woke up at 3am,  feeling awake, wide awake.   

You know that way when it’s as if someone has flicked a switch and you’re ON?

On .. Binary 0 or 1 …  You’re good to go or you’re not. 

Vague memories of yesterday,  a meeting in town,  stressful,  but fuck that, done now,  what will be will ..

I switch on the tv,  always a mistake when you’re sleepy and need to go to work in the morning,  but I’m not and I don’t. 

Flipping channels and come across Edith Bowman from BBC on Sky Arts with a program Songs To Have Sex To?

It’s very well researched,  scientific,  investigation of the relationship between music and sex in the brain and that both stimulate the pleasure centres releasing dopamine, sorratonin and other happy chemicals.  

According to the research from author Zoe Cormier music is the only thing that stimulates the Corpus Collusum which connects both sides of the brain and when listening to music you like you’re synapses pulse in harmony. 

According to Edith here are the top ten songs that people like to get down and dirty. 

10 – Patti Smith – Gloria

9 – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsborough – Je T’aime

8 – Air – Sexy Boy

7 – Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby

6 – Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

5 – Moments In Love – Art Of Noise

4 – Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

3 – Silly Games – Janet Kay 

2 – Between The Sheets – The Isley Brothers

1 – Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

You weren’t really expecting Marvin to be numbero uno now were you?   

I mean that wasn’t predictable at all!
But a couple of surprise inclusions and omissions there.   

Patti Smith …  Love the song but in a top ten sexy list?

The Art Of Noise moments in love is complete dirge .. More likely to put you off to sleep than get the heart racing. 

Jane And Serge – sexy when it was released and caused an outcry because it was about people having sex …  or if you’re 13 and have ever heard of the Internet!

Air – Sexy Boy repetitive in a groove but not exactly sensual. 

Silly Games –  If you’re 12 and a girl maybe.  Then you grow up and realise it’s just about unrequited teenage lust.  Not sexy at all. 

The show is worth a look and is available on Sky Arts catchup. 

Not the kind of music you want to listen to when it’s 5am and you’re on your own!!  🙂

But what was missing?  

Off the top of my head … In no particular order … 

Sam Smith – Stay With Me

Minnie Ripperton – Inside My Love

Jennifer Lopez – Baby I Love U

Barry White – Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe

Aretha Franklin – Chain Of Fools

Groove Me – Fern Kinney

Loads more and I’m sure you’ll have your own .. Feel free to suggest in the comments!