Monday, 20 December 2010


Due a small technical hiccup some videos on previous entries won't work.
Sorry about that.

Meeting Alan White and Not Seeing Asia

I know, I'm a week or so late with this update, but Christmas is coming and things are getting hectic.

The other week there was a concert in Remembrance of John Lennon in Liverpool. Alan White appeared at the gig and I bumped into him in work the day before.

I didn't feel up to going to the gig but Alan is back in Liverpool in August for the Annual Beatle Week event and I have tickets for the Yes gig in Manchester next November! (How's that for forward planning?!)

I wasn't in the shop when he popped back in to say goodbye over that weekend because I was in the Midlands visiting a friend and planning to see Asia. Sadly after bus and train trips from where I was staying all the way to Birmingham City Centre we got to the venue to be informed that the gig was off. The venue itself was only told a couple of hours previously.  I need to chase them up actually. We were told we'd get an email will details of a new date etc... I've heard nothing, not even a courtesy email explaining the situation, I don't think this is good enough.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Credit where credits due!

Oops! Completely forgot to credit Stephen for his fabulous live photos that he has allowed me to use on this blog for the last four live reviews. Thank you!
And check out his youtube account too.

The Strawbs - Stanley Theatre Liverpool

I'm not very up on my Strawbs, this I will freely confess. I had a best of compilation and the BBC Sessions CDs and that was it until I went to this gig. Since then I have been investigating and investing in further releases.

With the above in mind, the distinction that this was the electric Strawbs and that they would be performing an album in its entirety in the second half didn't really mean very much to me.

Playing to a small but very appreciative audience in a small, rather chilly venue, it was obvious that this was a band enjoying what they do. The opened with New World and, well, then I get a bit lost. I did recognise quite a few numbers but not enough to list the titles.

The sound was rather thunderous for a small venue. This isn't a complaint, I quite like it when bass notes cause my jeans to vibrate!

In the interval a couple of the band members were to be found mingling in the bar area at the back of the room.  Oh! Note to the Stanley Theatre - sometimes the audience for the shows aren't your lager drinking student types, any chance you can occasionally open the bigger bar or at least get some bitter in to the little one? Cheers!

The second half saw the band perform the album Hero And Heroine in full. I knew some of the tracks and enjoyed the whole thing enough to have ordered the CD after I got home.

The encore was Lay Down, a track that has been a constant earworm since the first moment I heard it.

I came away from the gig feeling like I had been given a bloody good fix of music and felt all the better for it too. Should the opportunity arise I would certainly go to see them again!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Steve Winwood Liverpool O2 Academy

I admit by Friday I was flagging but I really was flagging, but I also really wanted to see Steve Winwood! Sadly the venue isn't really designed for short-arses like myself. I had no inclination to shove my way to the frint so found a reasonable spec at the back and enjoyed the first couple of songs before I chap decided to move forward and stand directly in front of me!  I swear it was deliberate!

Not being able to see very much at all after that, we retreated to the balcony bar where the view was just as restricted, but at least the bar was accessible and we could plonk ourselves down on the floor at the side of the room and simply enjoy the music.

Due to being worn out and having a few more pints than on previous nights this turned out to be the least memorable of the three gigs that week, but I had got to see Stevie Winwood live in the flesh, albeit briefly, and that was good enough for me!

Robert Plant Liverpool Olympia

After a day to recover from what so far has been my favourite Yes related experience, it was time to worship at the altar of Robert Plant. I've seen him several times before and he's never been one to disappoint. This concert was no exception.
The venue was lovely with pink walls and ornate elephants, if a little chilly up on the lower balcony. The view was great though, as was the sound. There was plenty in the set from the new Band Of Joy CD which I love!
The other band members all got a go in the spotlight with Robert stepping back to play harmonica or sing backing vocals, clearly having a fantastic time on stage.
Highlights were Angel Dance (from the new album), Tall Cool One and Gallows Pole, with Rock And Roll an obvious crowd pleaser.

I have to say that I doubt a washboard has ever seemed so rock!

Anderson Wakeman Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Three concerts in four days, with a stinking cold! It was a challenge, and I was ready.
Having had to duck out of going to see The Manfreds due to germ warfare in my body, I was determined not to miss out the gigs I had been looking forward to the most.
I was especially looking forward to the Anderson Wakeman gig. I saw Jon Anderson twice last year and I had never seen Rick Wakeman before.
The set opened with Starship Trooper, which made my day, (if you want to know why google the words in my blog header graphic) and included a hefty collection of audience favourites among the new songs being showcased. The strongest of the news tracks was probably House of Freedom, coincidentally the strongest track of The Living Tree CD.
The banter betwen the songs was amusing yet brief, concentrating on the music. It was a joy to see two artists so into the music they were offering, not just performing for the sake of promotion (although they were obviously plugging the new disc.)
Highlights for me were Southside of the Sky, Your Move, a lovely rendition of Soon and the show closer, The Meeting. I adore this last song, and getting to hear it live proved to be a tad emotional, tears rolled in the taxi home!
Jon sounded much better and much stronger vocally than when I saw his solo tour last year.  And I was looking forward to seeing this show again in Manchester in November, however 80+ miles an hour winds and the revenge of the head cold sadly put pay to that.

Yours Is No Disgrace

Stand by!

I'm about to type up all the concert posts I've been intending to post for weeks!

Latest purchase.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Music meme thing

So, over on LiveJournal there's a music meme going around where you are given a letter and you select five songs you like beginning with said letter.

I was given a couple of letters and thought I re-post the whole thing here (sorry for the length)

Maddy gave me P

Paintball's Coming Home - Half Man Half Biscuit
An excellent satire on sad middle-class couples who think the pinnacle of social climbing is getting a conservatory. Unfortunately I am aware of several people who really do have "nothing but total respect for Annie Lennox" and indeed "if I'd have known they were coming I'd have slashed my wrists"

Photograph - Ringo Starr
This is a song penned by George Harrison, and now so strongly associated with him in my mind, particularly after Ringo performed it at the concert for George. "All all I have is a photograph and I realise you're not coming back..." *sniffle*
Also - fabulous production and arrangements on the original version.

Pick A Part That's New - Stereophonics
The video is a homage to The Italian Job and it's a song you can bounce up and down to, love it!

Picture Book - The Kinks
I love the Village Green Preservation Society album. It's pretty much perfect. There's a fine display of bass player from Mr Peter Quaife on this track (though for an amazing bit of bassage check out Wicked Annabella, also on the album! Awesome!)

Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan features heavily on the soundtrack of my life. This song is a constant. I have encountered far too many people who are "positively 4th street" on my journey. I can't even pick out a lyric right now as the whole song echoes round my psyche, howling at darkness to express itself.

Zoe gave me an A

Absolute Beginners - David Bowie
"I've nothing much to offer, there's nothing much to take..." Rubbish film, but an amazing title song.
"As long as you're still smiling there's nothing more I need. I absolutely love you..." One of my favourite Bowie songs.

Adventures In Modern Recording - The Buggles
Title track of the second Buggles CD, made just after Trevor and Geoff's stint with Yes, and it shows. (This is a good thing, by the way!)
Satirical piece on the manufactured side of pop hype and recording techniques that mean the artist isn't really required to play. Oh the irony!
Trevor Horn is a minor deity in my pantheon of musical gods however.

America - The Nice
I have adored this from the first time I ever heard, before I knew what psychedelia and prog was, and certainly before I was fully aware of Keith Emerson's existance. I like it when I discover I've unknowingly always been into something I've just got into.

Anne-Marie - Dave Rave with Plastic Heroes
I can't not include this delightful piece of powerpop can I? After all I am the Anne-Marie of the title, this is actually my song. People have sung out "Hey Anne-Marie" on the street to me during the UK International Pop Overthrow Festival. I'm so proud of this song. It's catchy and cool and the opening track on Dave's latest album!

Another Bubble - Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians
Stephen introduced me to the music of Robyn Hitchcock, and I'm so glad he did, and that we can still share Robyn gigs together. This probably isn't the kind of thing that would normally spring to mind with Robyn's stuff, but I like the simplicity.

And also Zoe joked she was going to give me a Z - hehe! Okay then! (oh please don't tell me you're surprised I can conjure up five songs that begin with Z!)

Zoo Gang - Wings
I liked this track before I discovered it was a TV theme. I do like Paul's instrumental pieces and this has a cool reggae-esque vibe to it, but includes some continental sounding bits creating interesting juxtapositions.

Zombie Apocalypse - Kirby Krackle
A song about Zombies played on a ukulele - how can you go wrong? Look it up, give it a listen. Kirby Krackle are a fine example of nerd rock - amusing ditties abouts comic book heroes, computer games and zombies!

Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
I was going to opt for the Moog Cookbook version of this but after Absolute Beginners I was in a bit of Bowie mood.
Rick Wakeman was asked to be a Spider by the way, but he joined Yes instead.

Zabadak - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
"Look for meaning, not in words but in the way you're feeling..." Not my favourite Dozies song, but I do love it, especially as everyone goes on about the nonsense bit of the lyrics, thus completely missing the point. Oooh awesome percussion too! Yay!

Z-Cars Theme - arranged by Fritz Spiegl and performed by John Keating and his Orchestra
Z Cars was a far grittier series than most people would imagine, and definitely groundbreaking, but I think we all know that's not why I've picked it as a piece of music! It's it time for the new footie season to kick off yet?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Music networks

I'm pretty busy right now with the build up to the annual Liverpool Beatle Week shenanigans, but I am planning a reworking of this blog into an actual site. We'll see.

In the meantime I just signed up to another two music based social networks.

Rock and Roll Tribe (My profile)
Songkick (My profile)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Video: Ballad of Lucy Jordan - Marianne Faithfull

So much to catch up with, but as I just browsed past this and fell in love all over again I thought I'd share.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

IPO Liverpool - last post

I'm done with the IPO Liverpool posts now, it's safe to come back!

Just a few final bits and pieces.

Here's a flickr set of my photos from the event.
Here's a playlist of videos from the event (all bar two are courtesy of Stephen, many thanks for letting me use them!)

And big big love to David, Rina and my huge and ever increasing IPO Family!

See you all next year!


IPO Liverpool - Mini

Mini are another band that just bring the feel good factor with them.

I was thrilled with the number of people who stuck around to watch them on my recommendation and left with a CD and/or a smile on their face!

I also adore the fact there's lots of Mini/Honeybug love at the event with each band supporting the other.

Here's Since Yesterday from their Must Try Harder EP. This song contains one of my favourite lyrics ever - "And you can me just how you feel, over Discos and a Wagon Wheel" - sheer class!
(and sorry you have to put up with this one being filmed by me)

and this was swiftly followed by a cover of Jet

I would have filmed the version of Crazy Horses but I was too busy enjoying myself singing along.

Official Mini Site
Mini on Facebook
Mini on Myspace
Mini on Twitter


IPO Liverpool - Honeybug

I love Honeybug! Seriously, they are among my favourite people in the entire universe!
They also make beautiful sounds that just make me feel happy.

This year it was a stripped down version of the band that came to Liverpool. I got to spend lots of lovely time with them as well seeing them play.

Here's one of my favourite of their songs - Anything For You.

And as a bonus here's Stormcloud.

Honeybug on Myspace
(if you scroll down there's a paypal link to buy the Naked Songs Vol 1 CD)
Honeybug on Twitter


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

IPO Liverpool - Dave Rave

An evening that involves Dave Rave is always going to be a good one. Dave's energy seems to know no bounds and by the end of the night most of the audience has been on the stage. (One year even I ended up on stage with him! Eeek!)

Here's a video of Dave Rave with guitarist Mark Foley (and Simon Nelson from The Plastic Heroes on bass) performing Love and Mercy, featuring guest vocals by The Beeb from Minty And The Beeb's blog.

Oh and of course there was a performance of Anne-Marie writing by Dave and Simon. Yay!! (It's the opening track on Dave's new CD - Live With What You Know.)

Official Site
Dave Rave on Myspace
Dave Rave Facebook Group

Dave Rave on


IPO Liverpool - Ralph

The Bongo Beat Night is a highlight of IPO Liverpool, and once again I say that with complete bias as over the last few years record company boss Ralph Alfonso has become a very good friend. One of my photos is used on the back of his latest EP (the front cover shot is taken by Stephen who has also filmed all the videos I have used so far in these IPO blogs)

This is one of my favourite songs by Ralph. It's about the pirate radio DJs of the 60s.

Bongo Beat Records Site
Ralph on Myspace
Bongo Beat Records on Myspace
Bongo Beat Facebook Page

Ralph on


Monday, 14 June 2010

IPO Liverpool - Jeremy and Susan Hedges

Jeremy is another stalwart of the International Pop Overthrow Scene. And this year he seemed to crop up everywhere as he covered empty slots in the schedule. This video is from the last day of IPO Liverpool when he was joined on staged by another regular IPO Liverpool act Susan Hedges.

Jeremy on Myspace
JAM Records Website

Susan Hedges official site
Susan Hedges on Myspace


IPO Liverpool - Kelly's Heels

I realise that most of my IPO posts have a heavy biased towards to my friends, and this one is no different. I adore the Kelly's Heels (and Bruise) people. They are people I look forward to seeing every year.

Bob and his amazing footwear are part and parcel of IPO Liverpool, if it's the end of May, it must be time to see Kelly's Heels.

Official Site
Kelly's Heels on Myspace
Kelly's Heels on Facebook

Kelly's Heels on


Sunday, 13 June 2010

IPO Liverpool - The Mayflowers

The Mayflowers travel to International Pop Overthrow Liverpool from Japan and perform with such infectious enthusiasm. This year they could also be found busking on Church Street in between gigs.

They were slotted into an extra performance in The Cavern Pub on the Friday, which gave us an opportunity to catch the set which included a few cover versions. Here's their version of Pretty Woman.

Official Site
The Mayflowers of Myspace


Friday, 11 June 2010

IPO Liverpool - Bruise

I love Bruise. Not just because they are lovely people and friends of mine, but because the music is great and they are super talented people.

I don't know the strange noise making machine is actually called they brought with them this year, but I think I want one!

There's a new album on it's way and I can hardly wait to hear it.

I only got to see one Bruise set this year, but it was wonderful as always.

And a bonus one from the forthcoming new album -

Bruise on Myspace


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Free Iron Maiden Download

Iron Maiden are offering a free download of the track El Dorado on their official website here.


IPO Liverpool - Richard Snow and The Inlaws.

One of the drawbacks of several years as the merch girl at IPO was that I rarely got to see the acts and even then it was only ever a song at a time. Then when you are free to wander around at leisure the nature of the event is that there's always something to see so acts clash...this means that it's taken quite some time to see a full IPO set from Richard Snow and The Inlaws, which is a shame as I loved the Cavern Pub performance on the Thursday this year (a clash meant missing the Cavern Club one later that evening.) Roll on next year and another great set!

Here's Hard To Be Happy -

Official Site

Richard Snow CDs and Downloads on


Monday, 31 May 2010

Coming soon! (Be warned!)

IPO Liverpool ends tomorrow.
Slowly but surely I will be posting photos and videos here.
Sorry for the flurry of posts.
It's been a fabulous event and it's been just completely awesome to see everyone in my IPO family again.

For a more comprehensive set of posts about the event than I could ever produce please check out the divine Minty And The Beeb Go Gigging blog.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

International Pop Overthrow, Liverpool

Today is the first day of the annual International Pop Overthrow event in Liverpool, in fact as I type things will have just got under way and the first band will be on stage!

There's a full schedule here.

The event is free and runs till next Tuesday evening so if you're in the area and curious pop along to the Cavern Club and Cavern Pub to see what's happening. And if you don't fancy the band on the stage as you walk in, check the other stages or wait a while and another band with be along shortly! There is over 150 power pop and rock bands playing at the event!

This year I'm having to reduce the amount of time spent at the event due to work and the need to actually get some sleep these days. (You're never too old to rock and roll, but getting up the next morning for a full day's work can be difficult!) So for me the first sight of the event proper will be Thursday evening probably. I will keep you all updated as best I can.


Monday, 3 May 2010


I know I know. I've fallen far behind.

I am unexpectedly off to see Kiss next week in Manchester. You will spot my swotting on as I am going with a fan and don't want to just smile and nod! Ha! Looking forward to it actually. One of the tech crew was in the shop today and promised it would quite a show. (They play Liverpool tomorrow night.)

Currently waiting for more Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman dates to be announced...I have a better income now, so I'm hoping for two local show (Liverpool and Manchester - even if I have to go one alone!)

Also hoping to get around to writing more here, need to be more disciplined about my blogs. Watch this space!


Monday, 19 April 2010

Deaf School videos

I went to see Deaf School on the 17th April at the Everyman Theatre. It was a tribute show for member Eric Shark who died in January. Special guests performed with the band - Suggs, Lee Thompson, Ian Broudie, Kevin Rowland and Pete Wylie.

It was an amazing show. We went to the first show of the evening, I'm certain the second was even more like a huge party!

Here's a selection of videos from the show.

Buy Deaf School music


Monday, 8 March 2010

Free Asia Download

There's a new album due from Asia next month and you can download a free track from it courtesy of AOL by clicking here.

Album details here.

And the band's official site is here.

Buy Asia CDs and Mp3s at Amazon



I am currently waiting for this to arrive!

Hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow. (Ordered it on Friday morning.)


Noisettes Gig

The Noisettes gig on Thursday was great.

I couldn't see a thing for most of the gig unfortunately, even going up to the balcony didn't improve my view, but that's my own fault for being short I guess! Despite not being able to see, I loved the gig. The band were great and the audience really appreciative (even if those girls with the big hair in front of me only knew the ones off the adverts!) There was a wardrobe malfunction of some kind which Shingai Shoniwa sang about off stage while it was sorted out. This was (I think) after the cover of Pure Imagination and before the cover of Chain Reaction. To be honest the latter cover was the only disappointment of the evening, as it was performed a little slower than the original which made it drag a little. The highlight, for me anyway, was the start of the encore as they performed Atticus which is one of my favourite songs by them.

Video of Cheap Tricks

Buy Noisettes At Amazon

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