Tuesday, 30 November 2010

We Play Rock and Roll

This blog is basically my way of saying “hey, I’ve done things recently and I think you should read about them”. This blog will cover a review of the latest MCR album, Motorhead @ Southampton Guildhall and “Get Comedy Live – Marcus Brigstocke, Jim Jefferies & Rufus Hound”. It would have contained a review about Volbeat but...the least said about that the better. Moving on...

My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

I never expected to be reviewing this bands music for any reason. I used to maintain that I never liked them and for a while this was true. However it was their latest offering, The Black Parade, which opened me up to the idea that maybe this band is in fact good. I listened back to the earlier albums with a refreshed mindset and discovered that I actually do like MCR. Having seen them live (with a hangover, no less) this view was reinforced as not only do they make good music – they are a damn good live band. During the gig, they played a few songs from their new album which at the time still had not been released. Now that it has, I thought I’d give it a look and see if the material I heard live was as good on the studio album and how the rest of the album holds up.

Look Alive, Sunshine – It’s an intro track. But I guess as intro tracks go it’s alright. It’s better than some random ambient noise you sometimes here (5)
Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) - This song is so damn catchy. Great song (10)
Bulletproof Heart - Pretty catchy again. More of a "black parade" style song than the last one, but that’s no bad thing (8)
SING - This is a pop song. It’s not uncommon for a pop-punk band to have a pop song on their album. Anyway, it’s good. (7)
Planetary (GO!) - This song sounded awesome live, and it’s also awesome in the studio. Very good song – Someone’s gotta remix this into a dance/DnB song! (9)
The Only Hope For Me Is You - Really good song. It could have fit in well on their last album. Nice to see them having songs of the faster pop-punk style and slower pop-punk/emo type (8)
Jet Star & blah – It’s a midway talking track deal. No real need for this to be honest (3)
Party Poison - This is awfully catchy. Very good song (8)
Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back - This is an alright song. Maybe it’s a grower; maybe it’s not. Who knows? (6)
S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W - Dear god that was complicated to type. Actually it wasn't that hard, just an inconvenience. Anyway - this song is alright but it’s also quite boring. Alas (4)
Summertime – We’re back into the “pop song” territory again and this one isn’t as good as the last one. In fact, this one is also a little boring. Although, I would say it’s an easy listening song which adds to its draw. (6)
DESTROYA – This song is good. It isn’t the best on the album, or even in the top 3. But it is a good song. (7)
The Kids From Yesterday – This is alright. All I’ve got on that one really (5)
Goodnite, Dr. Death – ANOTHER talking track? Ok MCR, we get it – you like a gimmick. This one was fine as an intro track, but twice more on the album is a waste. Also, a brass band?! Alright then... (3)
Vampire Money – Ah, a strong finish, excellent. It is very catchy. (8)

Overall thoughts: The album started strong, got a bit blah towards the end and picked up with a good last song. Overall the album is pretty good – not a fan of the radio DJ theme in 3 places on the album but there we are. Also, some more really long and weird song titles. Seriously, what is S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W all about? (I moaned about it earlier and here I am typing it again). Moving on, their first single from the album is also their best song (start with your strongest foot and all) but there are a few more potential singles in there as well which is good. Someone (other than me cause I can’t) remix Planetary (GO!) already, its crying out to be remixed!

Motorhead live at Southampton Guildhall

To read my full review of this gig and also see Martin Hoare’s (@M45T1N on Twitter) photos, please go to http://www.thedirtysouth.org/2010/11/review-motorhead/

It was a late call to go and see Motorhead, but I can honestly say that it was a great one. I’m also quite pleased to have seen two support bands that were actually pretty good this time around. No disrespect meant to Crucified Barbara as I genuinely don’t remember if they were any good when I saw Motorhead in 2006. Clutch, however, were unbelievably dull (strange that I’ve now been to see Clutch at their own gig and they were anything but). Anyway, the opener was a band called Skew Siskin. They were pretty entertaining although truthfully, I found it difficult at times to enjoy due to some sound problems, mainly in the vocals. Only really bad thing I can say about their set was the awkwardness of getting sod all of a response from the crowd when going for crowd participation. However, they are a support band and these people (I’d wager at least 99% of them) were in the room to see Motorhead, not Skew Siskin. During this band, a guy nearby to me got ejected for smoking in the venue. Southampton Guildhall allows people to go outside to smoke and come back in. This might not be overly relevant to the gig but dear god, are all people that dumb? (It was cold granted, but you just spent £26+ on a ticket for a gig and got chucked out during the first band. Well done, stupid). The main support was Michael Munroe’s super-group. They were simply awesome. Tremendous energy and fantastic music. Michael Munroe went for a climb (because why wouldn’t you?) and ended up hanging around 5ft from me, perhaps less. That was unexpected certainly although I’m quite glad he didn’t fall on me! Then it was time for Motorhead – and it started with the iconic declaration from Lemmy – “We are Motorhead, and we play Rock and Roll!” Awesome performance from a band celebrating their 35th year. This show had it all – awesome music, Lemmy telling a bottle thrower he’d knock them the fuck out, a band playing louder than anything else. Oh, did I mention the awesome music? Just in case I didn’t, the setlist was fantastic. There we go

Volbeat @ The Wedgewood Rooms – CANCELLED!

Well, reviewing something that never happened is slightly difficult but fuck it I’ll have a go anyway. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to seeing this band live. I don’t even remember how/where I first heard of them, but it all started with their cover of a Dusty Springfield classic – I Only Wanna Be With You. I saw they got announced for Download 2009 and remember feeling gutted as they weren’t playing Sonisphere. They didn’t tour the UK at the end of 2009 but I hoped that the time would come sooner rather than later that I would see them live. Then I heard they supported Metallica in Denmark (apparently flights to Denmark are out of my price range at the moment) and the desire to see them live increased. When they were announced for Download 2010 I was again gutted to have chosen Sonisphere over Download. However following Download, they announced a headline tour of the UK. Now, I’d have been more than happy for a jaunt up to London to see Volbeat – but that wasn’t necessary as they announced a date in Portsmouth! I snapped up a ticket ASAP and waited patiently for this date to arrive and sure enough, like all days you wait for, it did arrive. However the day before, the gig was cancelled for medical reasons. I was so bummed out about this happening that I seriously considered/am considering a jaunt to London midweek to go and see them. Watch this space...

I said watch this space - the entire tour got cancelled. BOO!

GET COMEDY LIVE – Marcus Brigstocke, Jim Jefferies & Rufus Hound live at Mayflower

Rufus Hound, serving as the compĂ©re for the night, started off. He was very funny talking about male communication and the roles of the different sexes. He did some crowd work which was equally as funny. He had some banter with some people sitting in front of me because they were from Bishops Waltham, and so was someone else. He then introduced us to the first comedian of the night. Awkwardly, I don’t remember his name although that might have something to do with how much I laughed during his set. He wasn’t bad but I didn’t really think the premise of his joke was that funny. His main idea was that there are too many people and we should start killing people, although concerned because that idea had already been done. Marcus Brigstocke came out (after another little set by Rufus) and was genius. The guys who were bantering with Rufus in the first part of the show did not get his style of comedy at all which was slightly annoying as they were talking all the way through the set but oh well. Marcus Brigstockes’ set focused around regional pride (fuck off and grow up), religion, his children and Jeremy Clarkson. I don’t remember if there was anything else because I’m suffering from a brain fart as I write this but he was great. Following a break and a short set from Rufus again (this time focused on women and how they should just suck a cock) was Jim Jefferies. He might, following his time on stage, be my new favourite comedian. His style of comedy is so ‘fuck you in the face with a helpful addition of cunt’ (I’m not sure if that’s a genre – it is now!) He covered his porn star ex (Sadie West FYI), American holidays, children and many other things. He also told a story which needs to be heard to be believed about a disabled mans quest to get laid. I enjoyed his set so much that I picked up his latest DVD (albeit not on the night because I had to shoot off quickly). It’s called Alcoholocaust – seriously, buy this!

Wow that was some reviewing. I have no other gigs to talk about until mid December now but I should be back with some form of thought sometime soon. Peace!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Here's the thing

In the last two posts I was fairly negative. The truth is that reflected my feelings and thoughts at the time. I saw those two things and felt so negative about the world we lived in. And hey, if this website is not a medium for me to express those feelings of negativity – then what is it for? Not everything is negative though, there are some (hopefully) great positives from life, and this blog covers one of them. I wanted to talk in great detail about the release of Aung San Suu Kyi – Burma’s pro-democracy leader. I’ve just learned she has spent the last 15 out of 21 years in detention. I wanted to talk about this in great detail but honestly I don’t know enough about the situation to make the post worthwhile. I have never studied that part of the world and to my shame, I can’t even wing it. All I will say is that her release can only be a good thing, and I hope that she isn’t rearrested for believing in democracy. I read in the news stories about this release that today’s (this paragraph was written on the day of the release) news that she is released is nothing more than a PR stunt and that reform is not on its way. I’d like to think this isn’t the case. I fear I am about to wander into unknown territory by continuing this thought so I will stop here before I do it an injustice.

This week has gone from bad to worse for the smallest party in the governing coalition we have in this country. To say it has been a tough week for the Liberal Democrats would be an understatement. The first blow was that the government would be pressing ahead with the raise in tuition fees. I’m going to sound horrible here, but if I was a student then I would care. But as I’m not, I really couldn’t care less about this rise in fees. I have my degree, so I’m alright! I don’t think, in all seriousness, that it’s overly fair but we’re in a mess as a country and things need to be done. Hopefully when we are in a better spot this policy can be undone and students can return to paying either no fees or very small fees. This was a problem for the Lib Dems as they had pledged before the election that they would fight rises in tuition fees and if they formed government, they would remove them. So by being a part of this government that is proposing this policy, they are seemingly going back on one of their major election pledges. When this was bought up, they argued that they were in a coalition agreement and that there had to be a little give or take. This is fair enough if you ask me. They will likely alienate some of their voters for making this concession to the evil evil Tories but there we are. Then there were the student riots. Protesting is one thing and if you have a valid cause to protest against, then by all means. However the violence was completely out of order and stupid. Special stupid tag goes to the student who threw a fucking fire extinguisher from the building roof at a police officer. Hey stupid, that’s attempted murder you fucking idiot! Anyway, this must have been awkward for the Lib Dems. What was really awkward was the revelation that they planned to change their tuition fee policy BEFORE they started campaigning for the removal of fees. So it transpires even the Lib Dems are politicians. Who knew?! Seriously though, they have shattered the confidence rebuilt at this election that there is a group of politicians that don’t lie. Well done stupid’s.

Hey I tend to talk about live music somewhat. Here’s some more talk about it. Iron Maiden has announced they are going to tour the UK. I really hoped they’d play Hard Rock Calling but a UK tour is good. I want to go because Maiden are genius live. Not entirely sure whether I will buy a ticket though. £37.50+ fees is a pretty reasonable price for Maiden. £5 increase from 2006 arena tour but a £7.50 reduction from the Somewhere Back in Time show. On reflection I probably won’t buy a ticket. While the price is perfectly acceptable for a band of Iron Maiden’s size (I guess), what I need to ask myself is will the show be that much different from the one I saw at Sonisphere? The answer is probably not. They’ve had Dream Theater supporting out in the States and that would be epic. However, Dream Theater with a 30-45min set seems somewhat of a waste. They have songs on their latest that are 15mins long!

Hey more live music talk. One of the things that might have helped make the decision about Maiden is the fact I’ve bought a Motorhead ticket. £26 is a damn fine price for them (£22 in 2006 but whatever). However I managed to avoid paying booking fees and postage costs that Ticketmaster wanted to rape me for (sorry, but over £10 on a ticket that costs £26 is daylight robbery). So I went down in person and bought one. The downside I guess is that I did spend £6 on a train ticket to get the gig ticket – however I see this is an unwillingness to pay the stupid fees Ticketmaster, Seetickets and all the others charge. For a London show I have no choice, but where I can fight it I will. So, this Sunday, Motorhead and Michael Monroe! Result. Also, I bought a ticket for Marcus Brigstocke and Jim Jefferies @ Soton Mayflower. That should be an epic show (especially with Rufus Hound as the MC!)

50 Word Preview: Volbeat is in less than 2 weeks now and I am really quite excited. Their latest album is really good and I hope for a set containing a healthy amount of this new album, some classics and maybe a cover song or two. Yet another Wednesday night gig though, argh!

50 Word Review: The Annihilator gig last Wednesday was fantastic. I said I had reservations but I did my research and it paid off. The gig was really good and Annihilator is an awesome live band. I’m amazed they aren’t bigger here. King of the Kill was my personal highlight of the night.

Next time I post, there will be a review of the Motorhead & Volbeat gigs along with a review of the Marcus Brigstocke/Jim Jefferies show and a look at the new MCR album. It’ll be like a written version of the RRP, if you excuse the fact that there will be no input from Dave. Then again, that won’t be a million miles away from the audio versions of the RRP, am I right?! ;)

Soundtrack of the blog – My Chemical Romance/Iron Maiden/Various football programs on TV.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Some People... (Part Two)

A common thought I find myself having is “what is wrong with people?” I have this thought because I see people (or hear about people) doing things which really makes me sigh. Two things occurred today which really fit into this category. For sake of making it easier to read, I am splitting it into two parts. This part is about the attacks on a mosque in Portsmouth.

I read the story about the poppy burning on Remembrance Day with disgust. We dedicate two (one when the two combine) to bow our heads in remembrance for the brave men/women who lost their lives/injured themselves defending this countries interests in WW1, WW2 and subsequent conflicts. Whether or not you support the conflicts of the 21st Century in Afghanistan and Iraq, this time of year is also a good time to remember the people who have lost their lives in these conflicts as well. That is all this time of year is for, to remember these people. So, as I read this story about the people burning the poppies - I was angry. But the people that I was angry at were the people that burned the poppies – not all Muslims. I suggested in my post on September 11th that I suspect these people aren’t real Muslims and Muslim extremism is not the mainstream view as is portrayed in the media in this country. That is a side point but I believe there really needs to be more focus on the people who do not support extremist Muslims: just focusing on the worst of them fuels the hatred that allows groups like the English Defence League to grow. I honestly hope and believe that the majority of Muslims do not support groups that wish to harm the people of this and other countries.

With this view of mine being as it is, I heard via Twitter that there was a protest today outside the Jami Mosque in Portsmouth. This is following the poppy that was spray painted on it yesterday. The fact people are protesting against this Mosque and feel it is acceptable to protest it and attack it is as bad as the people who think it is acceptable to burn poppies. Maybe people will disagree with that view but I really don’t care – that is just how I feel. I heard the news about this protest and I was angry again. Why people think that these Mosque and the people that run it, even the people that worship there have anything to do with what happened in London is beyond me. Oh, could it be that Muslims burned poppies, and these people are Muslims therefore they are instantly connected. That is a really idiotic point of view. The Imam for this Mosque told the BBC he was mystified why his Mosque was targeted; he also gives his view on the issue better than I could. I will link the story rather than do selective copy/pasting. You can read the story by clicking here (Thanks to Dave Hartley for showing me this link). I think Muhammad Muhi Uddin is absolutely right in the statements he has given in this story. However I can answer his question. He says that he does not know why people have targeted his Mosque. I’m afraid to say that I do – it is because we live in a world that is really quite scary where some people believe everything they are told without questioning it. I said earlier I believe there should be more media focus on Muslim people who do not side with extremist Muslims – a perfect example is in the story above with Muhammad Muhi Uddin. I do not know the man but he seems to be a perfect example of what I am talking about. However, the media do not focus on people like this man; they focus on the “scary evil Muslims that just want to kill you and your family”. They believe the English Defence League when they say that this country will become a Muslim country if we don’t “act now” or whatever it is they say. So when they see a story like the one from Thursday, they instantly think “all Muslims are to blame for this!” Of course there are just people that are complete dickholes as well who don’t seem to realise this sort of behaviour is wrong and unacceptable! That is why the Jami Mosque was targeted – because people are stupid, ignorant and racist. I could post a disclaimer like I did on the last blog but I don’t feel the need to this time because this blog is long enough already. Can I also just say I'm really sad to see there is a Portsmouth chapter of the English Defence League? I don't know why I thought there wouldn't be one, but learning there is one makes me sad

I will post about other little things during the week

Soundtrack of this blog – Ray Davies – See My Friends

Some People... (Part One)

A common thought I find myself having is “what is wrong with people?” I have this thought because I see people (or hear about people) doing things which really makes me sigh. Two things occurred today which really fit into this category. For sake of making it easier to read, I am splitting it into two parts. The first part is about homophobia in football.

The first of these things occurred when I was sitting in a Wetherspoons about to have breakfast this morning. An investigative story on Sky News came on the TV which covered homophobia in football. It is something which sadly still exists and is likely going to continue existing for some time to come. The story basically focused on the abuse that football fans would likely give to openly gay footballers. I would like to think that, as a football fan, we are not all tarred with the same brush but I fear this is the case. I would like to state that I would never dream of seriously holding a footballer’s sexuality against them because at the end of the day – it honestly does not matter what sexuality a person is. Seeing this story made me feel sad that we live in a world where a person feels that they couldn’t have a successful career in their chosen field because of something they cannot control or choose. Max Clifford was focused in this story because he said that he has had 4 footballers coming to him asking for advice – all believing that what I just said was true: if they came out, their career would be finished. The overall theme of this part of this post is that I am really sad this is the case.

Two further things came from this story. Firstly, there is a campaign video out from the FA (I think it is direct from the FA but the channel was on mute) relating to this subject. The video shows a male swaggering through a work place office, insulting gay people as he passes them. He then gets in the lift and shouts something (the reporter spoke over this bit and therefore I am unsure what was said). Text comes up on the screen saying “This behaviour is unacceptable here”. The video then changes to the same swaggering man in a football stand yelling homophobic abuse at an unseen player on the football pitch. The text then reads “So why should it be acceptable here?” This is such a good campaign video because put bluntly, it is not acceptable. I think it is the best way the FA can get this message across that homophobia at football isn’t acceptable. The second aspect of the story I wanted to draw attention to was a quote from the President of the Croatian FA from earlier this week. He said: “While I'm a president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team." This is such an appalling attitude to have towards something which honestly is not a problem. When it comes to football, my main concern is that players play well, and that the team I support plays well. I really could not care less whether the players are straight, gay, bi or anything else for that matter. It doesn’t matter to me – I don’t see why it should matter to anyone else. I don’t wish to come across here as preaching from a mount upon high. I am someone who has and still does use shock value in jokes I tell in social situations where occasionally I have used the word “faggot”. This word is a derogatory word for a homosexual – however in the context I am using it, it is not the meaning I attribute to it. I see “faggot” as an offensive word the same as “cunt”. These words are seen as offensive and I use them as such – I don’t use the word “faggot” to offend gay people – if it does I apologise but that is not the intent. If my use of that word offends homosexuals or anyone else for that matter then the context should be analysed. When this happens, I am confident that the original meaning of these words will not be relevant to the context in which they are used. Does this excuse the use of them? In a social circle I feel it shouldn’t. I am not saying you have no right to be offended by them – but please look at the context in which they are used before demonising me. There is I believe a very small amount of times I’ve ever used that word in the presence of homosexuals anyway – and most of those occasions have been where I have not known that a person involved in the conversation was gay – and were all I believe followed by an apology. I would also just like to state that no-one has had a go at me recently for using these words; I am just clearing up my view in case someone attacks my position on this matter by saying that I do use offensive and derogatory words towards gay people. I use the words, but they are not used in a context of which a homosexual should be offended I hope. Again, I hope that I have not come across as preaching from a mount upon high, I just wanted to share my view on this matter. Homophobia in football should not be a problem in the 21st century and it is very sad to learn that it is.

Soundtrack of the Blog - Ray Davies - See My Friends