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

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!



Golden Slumbers and I will sing a Lullaby

Can you imagine losing your brother,  or sister?

It’s tragic when it happens from some terrible accident,  but theres something worse when its a dehabilitating disease and you’ve watched them suffer and fade for years,   going though all the medical procedures to increase their life span whilst simultaneously reducing their quality of life in the process.

Can you imagine that this terrible disease is genetic and its already killed two or three of your siblings?

How would you feel?

Imagining that you could be next,  that even if you manage to miss it then it might affect your own children.

Cancer is an evil, relentless disease that can affect us all,  but affects some families more than others.

Today,  I’m at a family funeral,  my brothers wife’s sister.   With two sisters already taken,  I cannot imagine how she is feeling.

I can only imagine myself in her place and empathise.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch one of my 4 brothers to suffer and die in such circumstances.

I’m the eldest of 5 sons,  we love, we fight, we are there for each other.  All different but with a common bond,  I can’t imagine life without any one of them,  the gap left behind would be immense.

Today,  I’ll pray for Sarah, for her loss.

But I”ll pray for Liz and her children,  my god-daughter more.

I’ll pray for anyone out there suffering from this awful disease and thank God that my own family has avoided it.

If you happen to read this, maybe you could say a silent prayer too.

If you and yours are cancer free then count your blessings.

Pray for the living.

“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”

Are Women A Mistake? … #humour

Are women a mistake?

So says Jack Nicholsons character in The Witches Of Eastwick. 

Personally I can’t agree with him ..  Apparently my mum was one. 

Once upon a time my mum went to the docs and he told her that she had acute angina. 

Dirty bastard!   My dad was going to burst him. 

5am and I’m wide awake .. Watching the witches on TV,  first time I’ve seen it,  missed the start so will catch up later. 

Fecking early morning means early nights and repeats.  

Don’t you hate that?

The Harlequin And The Clown? #poetry #waterboys

In the great November tale she was older yet still alluring
Her hair grey and longer than it ever had been during
The days that we loved and slept
In her bed of faded wood
In that little place she kept
In a crumbling neighbourhood

We walked along a while
Like we were old companions
But I could feel the gap between us
Yawning like a canyon
She with her church and code
Her extravagant believes
Me a creature of the road
A child of dust and grief

Continue reading “The Harlequin And The Clown? #poetry #waterboys”

Train Stories – Takers!

You get two kinds of people in the world givers and takers ..

Okay,  you also get winners and losers, saints and sinners, blah blah ..

All pretty much the same thing,  but lets stick with givers and takers!

For the taker, life is all about them. They take what they like, use people to get what they want,  or occasionally give people what they need as long as they get what they want in return.

The taker is often attractive, extrovert, confident and self assured.

Life has taught them that if you don’t give them what they want then they’ll soon find someone who will.

They can be demanding, from subtle coercion to outright ultimatums.  But the latter is a tactic infrequently used after school-days because no one likes a gun pointed at their heads.

Not even the weakest of givers.

Most takers get their way be more subtle means,  but the threat is always there.

The giver on the other hand is less self assured and content to take a back seat.

They often live in the shadows,  providing the support that the taker needs to live their extrovert life, basking in the reflected glory that they helped create when the taker shines and takes the adulation.

You see that relationship in couples all the time,  The relationship often works, because although the taker can be flamboyant many extroverts can also be vulnerable and know that without their support network then they really have little to offer as their life’s have been largely shallow.

So the relationship works as long as the Taker appreciates the Giver.

Similarly,  when a relationship is both Givers,  then it works because they are equally supportive with each other and probably all the more content for it.

But two Takers .. they might both be attractive and outgoing but it just doesn’t often work .. or it does but only for so long.

I’m sitting in my preferred 4-seat booth,  heading towards Edinburgh,  at Shotts and an attractive couple get on and join me in the booth sitting opposite facing backwards.

I heard them before I saw them,  an argument going on as they walk along the carriage,  something to do with money,   a tit-for-tat argument that they had both spend money on clothing and max’ed out their credit card.

Apparently it’s not the only one that’s max’ed out.

I’m reading my Metro but look up as they sit down,  both good-looking, well-dressed individuals with absolutely no awareness of the appropriateness of having such a detailed hostile argument in a public space.

Apparently she needed a new outfit for the wedding that they were at,  including dress bags and shoes,  he bought a new suit.

Somehow each of them are blaming the other partner for blowing the card and the subsequent penalty payments.

He tries the subtle approach to reconciliation ..

“What did you need a new fucking dress for anyway?”  Constructive and helpful!

She responds in the justified what-about-ry response .. “Because it’s my money and if I want one then I’ll buy one,  besides you bought a new suit for it,  so why shouldn’t I”

He is raging,  the veins are popping on his face.

“So you fucking knew I’d bought a suit and you still went ahead and max’ed out the card?”

“Yes I knew you’d bought a suit,  but how would I know that the card would be full?”

“Well maybe you should have checked before you went on a spending spree?”  As if anyone ever checks their spending limit on their card before doing this.

“But its my fucking card”  She quietly spits.

“Fuck you” He screams and heads off towards the rear of the train.

She looks embarrassed as she looks round the train at the other passengers looking on in states between bewilderment or trying to pretend the incident didn’t happen.

She catches my eye just as I look away, shrugs and looks slightly ashamed.

A few moments later she reaches for some tissues from her bag.

30 minutes later we arrive at Haymarket,  she’s keeping her head and not very subtly looking round for him,  but there’s no sign.

There’s A Lady Who’s Sure ….

Absolutely love this this tribute to Led Zeppelin by Heart at The Kennedy Centre Gala.

Interesting to watch how the pride is shown so differently between the three surviving band members.

Each beam with pride, John Paul Jones less so as although he was there he didn’t write the song.

Jimmy Page, looking healthy is full of joy as his melodies and riffs are recreated.

Robert Plant who wrote the lyrics looks absolutely lost in the emotion of the song, it’s clearly touching quite a few memories for him as he sheds a quiet tear.

It seems to me that Page and Plant are demonstrating the love a parent might feel for their child.

Nice touch at the end when the original drummer John Bonham’s son Jason salutes the band.

Some Perspective On The Scottish League Cup? #CelticFC

The Scottish League Cup .. a lesser trophy to the Scottish Cup or the SPFL title and one that most fans aren’t normally too bothered about except if it contributes to winning the treble of all three trophies.

Tomorrow, the draw for the for semi-finals takes place and there is an increased interest in the trophy as there is a possibility of Celtic playing some recently formed team that wears blue and plays in Ibrox and is a rebooted / reincarnated / zombified version of the club that used to play there until it went into administration on Feb 14 2012 and was subsequently liquidated.

Usually, I don’t really comment about football, I’m a Celtic fan, always will be .. don’t do politics apart from having a social conscience.

But it irks me that there is such a fuss being made of the possibility of a semi-final between Celtic and some new team.

So what? I ask.

They are just another team that we will face and conquer.

Some fans are saying that if they ever come to visit Celtic Park then they will withdraw their support from the club?


Is their hatred of this new team more than their love of Celtic?

A little perspective please.

If Rangers/The Rangers / Sevco Scotland or whatever the hell the new club that wears blue and plays in Ibrox call themselves .. I don’t care .. I’m a Celtic supporter .. faithful through and through.

So bring it on!

And The Horse Was Called Bessie!

Family holiday circa 1920.

My Great-Grandfather Michael, Great Grandmother Catherine and 10 of their 15 kids.

Catherine is currently pregnant with number 11.

My grandfather is that handsome young man sitting second from the right.

Michael took the family from Sunny Govan down to Saltcoats for a weeks holiday by the sea.

Sone journey on a horse and cart.

I’m told that the horse was called Bessie because that’s what he always called his horses!

Tomorrow the kids and I are off to Lanzarote for a week. All packed and ready to go.

No difference eh?


Train Stories – Pushy?

Do you know what I used to love about playing football?

Apart from scoring the occasional goal obviously!

The physicality of it.

Me and some other guys, deliberately pushing at each other,  knowing the other guy is pushing back,  exerting our will and physical strength in as basic a form as possible without doing any physical harm then having a beer and a laugh about it later.

It’s always good to win,  but even if you lose then I tend to focus on the positive parts,  beating a guy  making a pass, scoring a goal, saving a goal,  making a tackle, blocking a goal.

Love it .. and miss it since I did my ankle in a couple of years ago.

What I’m getting at is I love a wee bit of physicality now and then ..

Have you ever had some guy walking into you deliberately?

You know the type .. you’re walking towards each other on a narrow pavement,  you make eye contact,  then silent negotiating whether you should move left or right?   It’s all about compromise.

Mostly you both go your own way and smile a little acknowledgement

Sometimes,  the negotiation fails and you do that little dance thing face to face at the last moment .. then pass with a smile at the stupidity of it.

But sometimes,   there is no negotiation,  as you get closer he doesn’t move .. he sticks to his chosen path and will walk straight through you as if you weren’t there.

In his head,  he’s decided that he’s somehow above you,  that you pose no threat,  that you will back down to his superior  .. errr  … what?

Normally,  I don’t play those games,  I take evasive action,  it’s just not that important ..

But sometimes,  just because at that point of silent negotiation,  the guy looks like an arrogant dick,  I drop the shoulder, tense the muscles and skeletal system, make sure your opposite foot is anchored and if he chooses to do the bump he’s going to feel it more than me.

This usual grabs their attention,  they had made some sort of presumption that you’d move but it hasn’t worked out the way they had planned.

That can go one of two ways.

Either the guy is a poser and all although his face might be upset,  he’s not going to do anything.

Or the guy fancies his chances .. and he says something until you turn and he backs down.

You see the thing is,  guys with any substance about them,  don’t need to walk into other people.

This only happens with obnoxious arrogant pricks who have some high opinion of themselves.

Real men aren’t pushy,  they don’t have to be,   but they will not be pushed.

At Haymarket last night, the platform was busy,   when the train heading back towards Glasgow showed up,  the doors of the carriage just happened to be directly in front of me.

I stepped forward with the crowd,  front and centre,  noticing the two elderly ladies to my right who had been waiting just as long as I had.

The train was already busy from Waverley,  so I stood aside to let them board and give them a better chance of grabbing a seat.

Then it happened,   the dickhead with the laptop tries to push his way past despite there clearly not being enough room to squeeze past and get on the train while the ladies are boarding.

I’d felt his approach,  the presence behind me,  but why try and push past when there’s no room?

As he pushed,  I tensed,  can’t help it,  I’m a contrary bastard sometimes,  don’t push me cos I’ll push back.

So he’s stuck behind me but he’s still pushing,  but not getting anywhere.

The ladies are on-board and I shrug him off and turn to greet him “Are you in a hurry mate?”

He momentarily stares at me, but says nothing and I let him past with a smile on my face.

When I take my seat he’s seated across from me still glaring.

For a moment our eyes meet,  I smile at him and he looks away,  pulling out his iPhone and playing his game.

I pull out mine and type a few notes,  then call home.

I wonder how he would tell the same story ..  tried to get on the train,  this bloke pushed me,  so I pushed him back,  then I got past him and he sat staring at me .. dickhead!

It’s all about perception really, but there’s no need for rudeness and pushing only pushes away.

Anyways it’s Friday,  no train stories for a week as I’m off to Lanzarote for a bit of winter sunshine.

Really looking forward to having dinner cooked in a volcano.