Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Feeder, Rock City Nottingham

Feeder Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2022, Torpedo

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

The Mission + The Rose Of Avalanche, Rock City, Nottingham

The Rose of Avalanche Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2022
 
 
The Mission Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2022, Déjà Vu Tour

Saturday, 2 April 2022

The Psychedelic Furs, Rock City, Nottingham

Supported By Pauline Murray and The Invisible Girls

 


 






 

Monday, 21 February 2022

The Libertines, Rock City, Nottingham

 Support by Dead Freights

Tonight’s support seems particularly well chosen as the Dead Freights from Southampton fit tonight’s vibe very well. They hit the stage with an energetically punky set that has levels of volume and bass not seen since the Health and Safety free 1980s. I’m going to be very deaf tomorrow. 


With the Libertine’s Gary Powell producing some of their material and vocalist Charlie James having more than a bit of Pete Doherty about him, there’s plenty for the crowd to relate to as they warm us up nicely for the main event.

That main event is The Libertines catchily titled Giddy Up A Ding–Dong Tour which finally makes it to Rock City. Postponed from December due to Pete Doherty experiencing a non-Covid respiratory infection while Carl Barât tested positive for the real thing.

Now 25 years after they started the new Libertines take the stage on time, cut out the messing around and don’t even look sloshed. Perhaps they’re finally growing up a bit.

Naturally Pete Doherty still looks like he’s just rolled out of bed and to be fair he could look healthier. Although that is probably more to spreading waistlines these days rather than anything more sinister.

Musically though he and everyone else is on form tonight and we’re straight into the debut single ‘What a Waster’ from way back in 2002. That is followed by ‘The Ha Ha Wall’ and ‘Up the Bracket’ before arriving at the brilliant comeback single ‘Gunga Din’ which now itself dates back to 2015.

It is quite an achievement to have been in existence for 25 years in total, 20 since your debut single, and yet to have produced only three albums. At least most people will be getting to hear what they want to hear tonight which may have been more difficult had they say at this point released a dozen or more records.

They ‘may’ have grown up a little but the music still remains a little rough around the edges but now it looks more deliberate rather than accidental.

After each salvo of livelier numbers they slow things down with the likes of  ‘What Katie Did’ and ‘You’re My Waterloo’ back to back. Another slow pair of ‘Begging’ and ‘Music When The Light Go Out’ come later. That’s the pattern they follow through a set of 16 songs before they return for an encore of five more.

Closing with ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun’ into a rambunctious ‘Time for Heroes’ they send everyone home extremely happy.

Are they growing up a bit? Yeah, I think so.

The Libertines Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2022, Giddy Up A Ding-Dong

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Echo And The Bunnymen, Rock City, Nottingham

I have seen Echo & The Bunnymen many times over the years and over a career that goes way back and beyond the release of their first album ‘Crocodiles’ in 1980. It was a few years after that I started seeing them live and they were some of the first gigs I ever went to.

However looking at the diary I have not seen them since 1999, which is very remiss of me. I saw them a few times after they reformed with the excellent ‘Evergreen’ album back in 1997 but not in the last 23 years. Blimey. So in my quest to get reacquainted with all my old favourites again at least one more time, before one of us is no longer capable, I am back at the scene of that last gig in 1999. Although no surprise it’s Rock City and it looks like a sell out.

As they come on the stage something strikes me as odd. Ian McCulloch is up there but not chain smoking and presumably hasn’t in many a year. The stage is still smoking heavily, so no change there, but now it’s clearly all dry ice as since I last saw them the smoking ban has come in. This must have changed his act somewhat and hopefully his health too in a positive way. Yet it’s odd to see Mac stood up there without a fag in his hand adding to the smog. 


Little else has changed though. The long coat, the sunglasses, even the haircut is broadly the same. Yes he still has hair even at 62. Will Sergeant looks in pretty good shape too.

Talking of ‘Crocodiles’, that’s how we start and how the album starts too with ‘Going Up’ which is followed by ‘Show Of Strength’ from its follow-up ‘Heaven Up Here’ and then back to ‘Crocodiles’ for ‘All That Jazz’. So we’re starting really old school.

‘Flowers’ is a newbie, from 2001! but ‘Rescue’, ‘Bring On the Dancing Horses’ and ‘Over the Wall’ clearly are not.

But it’s all good and not just because it's a real throwback. Maybe Mac’s voice isn’t quite what it was but no one’s particularly caring.

There’s a brand new newbie ‘Brussels Is Haunted’ before a great finale of a brutal ‘Villiers Terrace’ and three particular faves of mine ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ from that comeback album ‘Evergeen’ and then the very wonderful duo of ‘Never Stop’ and ‘Lips Like Sugar’.

Another thing that’s not changed is that Mac still rambles off into other people’s songs in the middle of his own. This has always irked me but I guess he’s not going to stop now.

They come back and hit us with ‘The Cutter’ and ‘The Killing Moon’ before doing another very old school thing – a second encore.

They come out one last time to close with the achingly pretty ‘Ocean Rain’. I best not leave it another 23 years.

Echo & the Bunnymen Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2022, Celebrating 40 Years of Magical Songs

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

The Hunna, Rock City, Nottingham

There are two support acts Kelsey Karter with her band and Idolising Nova. Unfortunately Karter is on at 6:45 which isn't conducive to those of us who work. This also enables those that don’t and/or the students to get there first and grab all the best spots. So I am unusually a fair way back for this gig and for once feeling a bit old amongst a very young crowd.

Idolising Nova are Jack Fulton Smith and Kyle O’Sullivan, they hail from Peterborough, have some decent indie tunes and fancy light show. They are pleasant enough but probably aren't what most of us have come here for tonight.

 

They're certainly not like the Hunna, who open with just front man Ryan Potter and drummer Jack Metcalfe on stage. Potter sits wearing a balaclava in front of a door positioned in the centre of the stage. This is ‘One Hell of a Gory Story’ and that eases us into ‘I Wanna Know’ which is accompanied by copious amounts limb flailing from the crowd. Not with my knees sadly. As I say, feeling a bit old tonight.

The energy of the opening never wanes and neither do Potter’s lungs, which are highly impressive. An honourable mention too to guitarist Dan Dorney who matches Potter bounce for bounce but the whole band are true performers and clearly love being up on stage while Potter is a real old school front man.

 

This is another of those tours that never was, so it’s the first time this four piece from Watford have had chance to play the songs from the band’s third album ‘I’d Rather Die Than Let You In’ live.

Although, as with many bands during lockdown, they have already moved on and showed off two brand new songs tonight. One of which is their collaboration with Kelsey Karter, who I missed earlier, called ‘I Don’t Like You, Okay’.

There is still plenty from their latest album, although some of which I find a little bit too plodding... by their standards unlike the explosiveness of their earlier stuff. That said two of the best moments tonight are slower (but older) songs - a sublime version of ‘Sycamore Tree’ and the always excellent ‘Piece By Piece’.

 
Then of course there's ‘Bonfire’, an awesome ‘Babe, Can I Call?’ and a closing 'She's Casual' with the first verse sung exclusively by the crowd. By the end both Potter and Dorney are shirtless to the delight of most of the girls in the crowd, for some reason.
 
The Hunna Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2021

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Sea Power, The Venue, Derby

Tonight’s support band Pale Blue Eyes probably need to chill out a bit more. Perhaps wear their guitars a bit lower, the short guitar strap is always a bit of a red flag for me, and the drummer needs to take her coat off or something. They are undeniably pleasant and make a nice enough sound but I just find them a bit lacking that is apart from the outstanding use of the dry ice. Sorry. 


The band formerly known as British Sea Power play their first gigs in two years on a tour delayed from 2020 that I made sure I bought a ticket for to help support tonight’s venue through lockdown as well as contributing to the Save Our Venues campaign.

 

The band are never predictable and they certainly aren’t with tonight’s opening which is the long meandering (in a nice way) prog rock-ish instrumental Heavenly Waters that appeared as a b-side on the 2003 single for Carrion. From there on things are slightly more predictable with welcome airings for the likes of ‘The Lonely’ and ‘North Hanging Rock’ among others.

There is plenty from the new album, ‘Everything Was Forever’ due out in February 2022, in the form of the rocky Doppelgänger, the more sing-along Two Fingers, We Only Want To Make You Happy and Folly, their current single.

 

Along with the name change, they have dropped the ‘British’, apparently the bear has been retired, although the foliage strewn stage clearly hasn’t and nor has violinist Abi despite her absence tonight.

She is stuck sheep sitting on the remote croft on the Isle of Skye that she shares with Neil where they have had three new-borns this year. Probably the best excuse ever.

 

The encore features Waving Flags, their pro-immigration and open borders anthem, a song which would probably get the right wing press’ backs up (if they knew about it) as much as the name change did (they noticed that). It also explains why they did it, what with people getting the wrong idea about the politics of a band who are far from nationalistic.

 

After that and after a two hour set, in a bizarre ending, but then aren’t they always, Yan and Martin are in the crowd. Yan is crowd surfing and Martin climbing on the beams (again) amid an impromptu (not on the set list) The Spirit of St. Louis. I wonder if they have to stress test the beams beforehand.