Saturday, 23 March 2013

Asia get a new guitarist

Asia are a bit of a guilty pleasure (I mean that in a good way) but I keep getting thwarted the last couple of times I've tried to go and see them either through illness, injury or logistics!

Anyway, Frontiers Records posted this EPK on youtube yesterday to introduce Sam Coulson who is replacing Steve Howe on guitar.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To (and from) Hammersmith.

Last Saturday was the first time I had been to London for about ten years. The trip was simple, one tube journey out to Hammersmith, and another one back. London is a huge city with lots of people living in it and lots of people visiting it every day.

On the first tube journey I glanced along the length of the carriage and saw a chap with a guitar, he looked familiar and I commented to my friend Paul that it looked a lot like someone I know from twitter but In wasn't sure and usually lack the confidence to ask in case I am wrong. Once I had a phone signal I tweeted about and after we got to Hammersmith I discovered it was indeed Matt Stevens who I know from various social media. Imagine the chances of that!

The journey back involved an unexpected change of line, as we boarded the Circle line tube at Edgeware Road, I glanced along the length of the carriage and saw a chap with a guessed it, it was Matt again. So I took a deep breath and walked over to say hello. It's a phenomenal coincidence that we were on the same tube trains twice that night. I'm so glad I plucked up the courage to speak to him too.

Anyway Matt makes great music both solo and with the band The Fierce And The Dead. Follow the links below to find out more.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Status Quo Reunion - Return of the Frantic Four

I have had an incredible week. Getting to see the original Status Quo lineup twice has been quite simply amazing. Quo are a band that have just always been there. Watching the Hello Quo film brought that home, there was just so much that I remembered watching on TV at the time. I grew up in a household where interests were (still are) actively encouraged, so I must have reacted to Quo's music as one day I was bought a video box set featuring stuff from the original lineup - all that hair flying around obviously made an impression.

Fast forward many years later and I'm idly wandering around HMV when I come across a box set of four early Quo albums on CD. It was only tenner and worth every penny as it rekindled the relationship with their stuff of that era. This inevitably has led to more purchases and then came news of the reunion. Did I want to go? Too bloody right!

They say the waiting is the hardest part, but finally March rolled around. I filled in a lot of that waiting time explaining that the version of Quo I was going see wasn't the current version. They wouldn't be performing songs about being in the army or burning bridges. I was eager to know what they would be performing, so couldn't resist a peek at the set list when the tour began. Although there are other songs I would have hoped to have heard played live by the Frantic Four I was not disappointed in the least.

Both of the gigs were amazing. At Manchester I was seated and had a great view. Hammersmith was a different beast, I was standing. Despite the sloping floor I was a tiny bit too short to see them well, but to be honest the atmosphere made up for that.

The sound was amazing. It wasn't polished, it was a raw and loud onslaught on the eardrums - it was marvellous! The audiences were brilliant and bounced along, even on the balcony! It pumped you full of adrenaline and made you feel good.

I'm so glad I was able to go more than once. It doesn't matter that the set list was the same each night - that just meant that I knew when to take a deep breath because a favourite track was about to begin and just had to be sung and danced along to! My personal highlight on both nights was Big Fat Mama. I expected to be hoarse after Hammersmith, I sang along that loud!

I have already posted links to videos and photos for the Manchester gig here. 

Some Hammersmith Photos -

Here's a link my unedited Hammersmith photo set on Flickr.

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