Thursday, 14 September 2017


Recently, I spent a few short days in Copenhagen. I returned on August Bank Holiday Monday – which feels like months ago - when in fact it was only just over 2 weeks ago today. The main reason I visited the capital city of Denmark was to see Volbeat play a headline show in a stadium – but when booking I decided to hang around a little longer than the gig to take in a bit of the city. Before this trip, I’d never been to any of the Scandinavian countries – I had heard good things about Copenhagen but I was told I would need to take a fair bit of money with me as it was expensive. With that in mind, I flew out early on the Saturday morning but travelled to Gatwick Airport the night before. It was significantly cheaper to get a return train ticket and a hotel for the night than to get a return taxi which was nice and something I will consider doing again. I did have to trust Southern Rail which I was apprehensive about, given their poor press recently – but credit where it is due, it got me to the airport with barely any delay. I had thought about sitting down in the airport bar with a beer but going down there made me want to retreat to the relative comfort of my hotel room. Thoughts of sacking off the entire trip and just heading home the next morning entered my head but they went away fairly quickly – I write it off to just being nervous about travelling to a new part of the world by myself.

The first day of the trip was a long day. I woke up about 4.30 in the morning to make sure I got an early enough bus to get to the terminal to have a bite to eat and get through security. I find it amusing how some people still don’t understand the process of going through security. Anyway, after circling the post-security area of Gatwick until my gate was called, I was still feeling tired from my early start which I resolved to sleep off on my flight. Before getting on my flight however, the airline requested that barely anyone had paid to have checked luggage and if anyone wanted to check their hand luggage, they could free of charge. I decided against doing this as I wanted my bag on me, and how does an airline that charges for people to bring cases on board not see this coming? Sadly, sleep alluded me on the flight despite my best efforts (a complimentary copy of The Times did not put me to sleep, but rather kept me alert). The person next to me used my arm as a pillow at one point, as if to rub salt into the wound.

When I arrived at Copenhagen Airport, I remarked to myself how much it reminded me of Hamburg Airport. It was busy but well laid out, so I was able to get a metro ticket and get out fairly quickly. This however was my downfall as I had originally planned to eat lunch there before heading into Copenhagen proper. Within 30 minutes, I was stood outside the Forum venue wondering what exactly I was going to do for the next 2 hours and a bit before I could check into my hotel. I considered going there and asking to pay to check in early, but I dreaded how much it would cost (I would later learn that a late check out would have cost me about £10 an hour so this was probably a good call to not head there early). I went to find my hotel and walk around the local area before deciding a good way to kill some time would be to head to the gig venue. I wasn’t 100% certain where it was, which would help kill time – so off I set. I walked from the Forum metro station to Telia Parken – about a 40-minute walk. Despite dragging my case with me, I’m glad I used this spare time to do this as it meant when it was time to head to the venue later that evening, I could do so with confidence. When I got to the venue for the first time, I got to hear Volbeat sound checking a song, which was pretty ace.

By the time I got back to the Forum (my central point for anything), it was close enough to check in time so I headed to the hotel. There was a group of people checking into a couple of rooms as I arrived which worked out well for me as by the time they were done, it had gone 3pm which meant I could check in no problems. I got to my room to find a bunk bed and another single bed – not what I was expecting at all but would do for two nights of somewhere just going to be used to crash out. Almost as soon as I had checked in, I went out to a local supermarket as I hadn’t eaten at this point since my early breakfast at Gatwick and was pretty hungry. One staple of me being abroad (and sometimes even in England when I’m not paying attention) is managing to buy sparking water in place of still water. I did that again during this trip to the supermarket (and got charged a deposit fee for the bottle, I would later learn). I popped back to the hotel to freshen up before heading back to Telia Parken for the gig.

This time around, Telia Parken was positively heaving. I walked over to the merchandise truck I watched briefly being set up on my first visit which was displaying the event t-shirt. It wasn’t cheap, but I decided to buy it on the grounds it was my first time going to a gig in Copenhagen and as long as it lasts, it will be a nice reminder of the gig. I had all but worked out before heading to the stadium that I had managed to buy a top price seating ticket rather than an inner pitch standing ticket, which was a shame. Although when I took my seat, I felt really tired so maybe it was for the best I was seating for this one. The first thing I noted when I took my seat is that they closed the roof – which meant this would basically be a massive arena gig. I almost fell to sleep in my seat before the opening band came on. In fact, I think I may have actually drifted off and Amorphis woke me up. They were really good. At the time, I was thinking “I’ve seen this band a number of times now, but never listened to them properly, not sure why”. Turns out I’d only seen them once before – but I still haven’t checked them out properly. It is on the to-do list! The main support was Flogging Molly. I had seen them do about 40 minutes at Download and serve as main support for Frank Turner (where they were probably on stage for a similar length of time), but this would be the first time I’d see them play for an hour. They were superb. They are so much fun live and they have a great back catalogue to choose from. They are another band I need to go back and revisit. I think they won over a lot of people with their set, which is cool. However, the people (myself included) were there for one reason, and that reason was Volbeat. Their set was one of the best I’ve ever seen. I’d have loved to see them play some older material but I understand why they didn’t. They did pretty much play all of my favourite songs of theirs though, which was nice. They also bought out a number of special guests including Barney from Napalm Death (he has appeared with them almost every time I’ve seen them, which is ace) and Danko Jones. The biggest surprise however was when they bought out Lars Ulrich from Metallica, who played drums for Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood before the band covered Enter Sandman which was just amazing. I’ve said it before, it pains me that Volbeat aren’t bigger in the UK – but after this show, I will have no gripes about travelling further afield to see them, as they delivered in a big way. After the show, I couldn’t sleep straight away when I got back to the hotel, meaning that when I eventually did get to sleep, I had been awake for about 21 hours – long day.

The day after, I woke up really early – probably about 5am UK time. After how long the day before was, this was a surprise and not a pleasant one. I got some more sleep but not much and decided to wake up and go and investigate the hotel breakfast. It worked out about £8 a day and was quite basic but I decided it was better than trying to find something whilst out for breakfast as I wouldn’t know where to start. After breakfast, I came back to my room to grab some things before heading out for an explore to notice that it was raining – not overly heavy but when packing, I was really smart and didn’t bring a jacket with me – so I didn’t fancy a walk in the rain. I started to read one of the complimentary newspapers I picked up Saturday morning and ended up having a nap for about an hour or so. When I woke up, the rain had stopped, so I went out for an explore.

I had no fixed plans as to what to do. I had thought I’d walk from my hotel to Nyhavn where I could go on a boat tour, but decided instead to get the metro to just round the corner. Nyhavn, if ever you are in this part of the world, is a must visit. It looks really nice, and was busy whenever I visited which was cool. I saw there were several options for boat tours, so I opted for the one I found on Google Maps first – Netto boat tours. This cost about £4.50/5 and was worth every penny. There is a lot of water around Copenhagen, so you get to see and learn an awful lot – much more than I would have discovered by walking around by myself. The boat went out to the Little Mermaid statue which we got to see from the back. It is world famous although I couldn’t tell you why. Sailing along Christianshavn was really nice. For context, when googling to find out if I had spelled that correctly, I discovered that Freetown which is around that area is where you go if you want to buy marijuana – that wasn’t mentioned on the tour! The guide we had was really good, he delivered the tour mainly in English and Danish but also bits in German. I must say, when people can just switch languages freely like the guide did, I’m always impressed. Not only that, but he had a cracking singing voice, demonstrated when we went under a long and low bridge when he belted out the first verse of Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds. I know I said it earlier, but this tour was worth every penny and I almost did it again the next day, but I had my suitcase with me and I could imagine that being an annoyance if the boat got busy.

After the boat tour, I went for a stroll around the general area. I went over to the Copenhagen Street Food hall for lunch which was great. There were so many stalls selling all sorts of food. I think almost everyone would be catered for, which is cool. I ended up eating a shredded duck burger which was delicious. I walked through the shopping area and back by some of the areas the boat tour took us (stopping at one point for a beer at a pop-up bar). Tiredness got the better of me though so I headed back to the hotel where I ended up falling to sleep again. When I woke up, I decided to head out for some food before calling it a night. Despite having two naps, I was really still quite tired. The conclusion of my day was spent watching comedy videos on YouTube – cheers free hotel Wi-Fi!

My final day started again with the hotel breakfast. I decided I would try not to eat after this until getting to the airport. I figured eating before that could lead to be being hungry right around the time I would be boarding my flight. I could eat when getting back to Gatwick, but that time I think I would just want to head home and hope that Southern Rail would play ball with getting me home. Anyhow, my plans somewhat changed when the hotel explained how they operated their left luggage room. I had thought a member of staff would take the bag and would look after it, but actually anyone could access the room if they had left a bag in there. This left me nervous because it opened up the possibility of someone being able to fiddle with my bag without my knowing about it. Had that happened, and I got to the airport – that would have been bad news for me! I checked out the hotel and made my way back to Nyhavn. I decided to kill some time and walk up to the Little Mermaid statue – I wasn’t impressed with it the day before but hell, maybe seeing it from the front would change my mind. It didn’t. Lots of people were there to see it though and it was a nice walk, so all was not lost. When I got back to Nyhavn, I walked around by the water for a bit before heading to Christianshavn one last time before getting the metro back to the airport. Seeing it from the boat was nice, but I wanted to walk along the water there – which I did.

I remembered the metro taking about 30 minutes from the airport to the Forum station, so even though I was a bit closer this time, I figured it would be something similar from Christianshavn back to the airport. The train got held up at a station due to a problem and we were still there in less than 20 minutes. I had got to the airport about 4 hours before my flight, which was slightly poor planning but it was fine. There was a welcome committee set up, awaiting the arrival of someone/some people who were famous. I wondered if it might be the Danish football team, as I noted they were due to have a home match at Telia Parken in the coming days when I was there. It turned out to be a badminton player. Not quite the same thing, but I doubt I would have known any of the Danish football team anyway, so no matter. I had some food in the airport Burger King. Two things of note happened here. One – I misread the menu and ended up with a soft drink with my food as opposed to a bottle of water. I haven’t had a cup of soda like that in about 5 years, so I decided to choose a zero option and went with Sprite – that was a bad call. The second thing was that after the Sprite, I went back to the counter and bought a beer. That was the first time I could’ve bought a beer from a Burger King so it had to be done. Going through security, I successfully managed to lose my hat (I have bad form for that in airports) and got to passport control a bit later than I would have liked due to exploring the post security area of the airport.

A similar situation as the flight out presented itself at the gate in that they asked for about 35 bags to go into the hold – I think they got about 5. I think if you have a cabin size bag, on a flight where initially you are charged if you want to bring a big suitcase on the flight, and you volunteer to put it in hold, they should give you some sort of incentive as some thanks. Anyway, that has nothing to do with Copenhagen, just my thoughts on budget airlines. My flight was painless and got back in on time. Going through security was pretty smooth as well – took no more than 10 minutes I’d say and I was back in Blighty – my small jaunt to Denmark was over. It was fun. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017


Today was a standard Thursday for me really. Work during the day, cycled home and swapped my bag out in order to go to the gym. Truth be told, I wasn't overly feeling going to the gym as I'd much rather have sat on the couch and watched the Para Athletics coverage from London 2017. However, I did go, but made a deal with myself that I'd not mess around with weights today and just do a cardio session. When leaving the gym, I checked my phone before getting on my bike and there was nothing. By the time I had got home, I had two messages waiting from my brother. In recent times, we've shared articles, tweets and various other things on the internet that form two messages. I didn't think much of it so didn't read them immediately. Instead, I decided to shower and then I would read them. When I eventually did, I was dismissive of what he had written. He had told me Chester Bennington had died.

My immediate thought was "this must be a hoax" because how could it not be? I thought the same thing when I started seeing news break about Chris Cornell. "What sick fuck does this?" I remember that was my immediate thought when I started seeing stuff about Cornell. But, this couldn't be real...could it? It turns out that whilst I was initially in a state of disbelief, the facts were confirmed - at the age of 41, Chester Bennington had committed suicide - on what would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday.

I won't go into my feelings of the band that Linkin Park became, because this isn't the time nor the place. But I credit Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit with introducing me to heavier music. Without them, I honestly don't know how my life would have played out. I'm not asking you to read previous posts now, but look at the archive on the side - and see how many rock gigs and festivals I've written about. Without Linkin Park, none of this would be possible. They helped shape my music taste into what it is today, and for that I thank them. I also thank them for the two albums of theirs I adore. Hybrid Theory and Meteora are both fantastic albums, but Hybrid Theory is something special.

I only saw Linkin Park perform once. I missed them at Download 2007 in favour of seeing Motley Crue in a tent. I saw half their headline set at Download 2014 - when they played Hybrid Theory in full. I remember standing before they came on stage thinking this would be no big deal. At this stage, I'd basically given up on Linkin Park. This set would be a nice little nostalgia boost and nothing more. Granted, it was a nostalgia boost but it was so much more. It was special. It was a reminder of just how good Hybrid Theory is. I walked away when they finished the album - knowing that nothing else they could do would top that for me. I only saw Linkin Park once, and it truly was a special night for me.

I feel daft even writing this next sentence, because I know how it will sound. I find myself writing this and not feeling gutted, but more numb. I promise that word wasn't chosen because it is a song title, but because it is the most appropriate word to use. I can't think of another way to describe my feelings. I'm shocked and I do feel sad. But numb is the best way to describe how I currently am feeling about this.

RIP Chester. You had a profound impact on my life, and I will be forever grateful for that.


Campaign Against Living Miserably

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Live Review: Guns N' Roses - Not In This Lifetime - Live at London Stadium 17/06/2017

Yesterday, I went to the Guns N’ Roses “Not In This Lifetime” tour when it was in its second night at the Olympic Stadium in London - now rechristened since West Ham United made it their home as London Stadium – catchy. I had seen Guns N’ Roses twice before this day – Download 2006 (the least said the better) and Manchester in 2012 – which was excellent. Occasionally, when I would mention the fact I’d seen Guns N’ Roses and list these dates, people would scoff and say something to the effect “no, you’ve seen Axl”. I’m sure there are other bands in a similar situation where the line-up had all changed aside from the singer – perhaps not as big as Guns N’ Roses were/are. Regardless of where you stand on this one, I saw a band who toured under the name Guns N’ Roses with Axl Rose on vocals and previously that had been good enough for me. I have also seen Slash (and Duff McKagan for that matter) play GnR songs live, so that was cool.

It probably doesn’t need stating but I imagine I was in the minority of people by having this view as the band Guns N’ Roses were playing arenas in this country and they weren’t full (on their last arena tour – London tickets were being given away for free on the day – limit quantities of them but still). On this tour, with Slash and Duff back in the band, they have been playing big open air gigs and stadiums around the world (selling out several them as well – don’t know how many off hand). When the rumbling of a reunion between Axl and Slash started, I didn’t believe it would happen – there just seemed to be too much bad blood between them. I was quietly hopeful though as I never got the chance to see these two perform on the same stage together. Then it was announced that it was taking place and I knew that if/when it was coming to this country, I had to go. There was a bit of chat about them headlining both the Download and IOW festivals – but when Download announced their headliners and Guns N’ Roses weren’t one of them, it was clear that wasn’t happening – not in 2017 at least. They instead announced a date at London Stadium, which quickly became two dates due to demand for tickets. I couldn’t get one for the Friday but managed to grab one for the Saturday. This was back in December (apparently) so since then, it has been the waiting game.

That waiting game came to its conclusion yesterday. I’ve been to London Stadium before for athletics, rugby and to run around as part of the Great Newham 10k, but never for live music so this was going to be a new experience. I can now say that I’m a fan of London Stadium as a live music venue. Whilst being slightly smaller than Wembley in terms of overall capacity – I can see it becoming London’s home for stadium rock gigs as the standing area is noticeably bigger than Wembley’s (and other comparable stadiums like Twickenham and Arsenal’s ground I would say). Because the area as well was built with the London 2012 Olympics in mind, it can easily cope with the numbers of people that would come to a big gig as well. When I arrived in the area yesterday, it was dead easy to find where I needed to be, and I ended up entering the stadium concourse right by a merch stand (funny how that happened) – so I grabbed myself a tour shirt. £30 is steep for a t-shirt without doubt – especially when the tickets weren’t exactly cheap – but I don’t do it very often.

On to the gig itself. The opening band were called Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. I’ve seen their name about but never actually listened to them (a brief bit of research tells me they just played Download). They also supported AC/DC last year at London Stadium – someone in a high place is a fan of this band clearly! That aside, I enjoyed their set. It made me want to go back and listen to them again (I haven’t yet because in all honesty, my soundtrack to writing this is Guns N’ Roses with the shuffle button on). I will aim to check them out some more though. I suspect they will be back in this country before long. The main support was The Kills. Now, I’m not complaining, but I did note that the main support in Dublin was Royal Blood, and around Europe, it is Biffy Clyro – are The Kills a slight drop off? In my view, yes. I’ve just googled to find out some more tour supports and seen that one of the founding members of the band used to be married to Kate Moss. Odd that information was offered up without needing to search for it. Anyway – I first heard of this band when they were due to support Metallica in Paris in 2012 - almost every other European show had Gojira and Machine Head. Paris got Gojira and The Kills – bullshit if you ask me! Anyhow, I didn’t mind some of The Kills stuff, but overall I would say it is not for me. It probably would have made more sense to swap the bands around – maybe The Kills are bigger than Tyler Bryant, but genre wise I would have said Tyler Bryant is more fitting for a rock show like this. Oh well. The Kills weren’t terrible, but I doubt I will go out of my way to listen to them again.

On to the main event, and my word – what a main event it was. For about 15 minutes before the band came on, the stage graphics started moving around which was good. A Motorhead song on the PA went quiet, and gun shots rang out from the speakers and then the Looney Tunes theme tune. Not long after this, the band were on stage. It was quite surreal actually seeing Axl, Slash and Duff on the same stage together – even though they had been touring together for a little while at this point – to actually see it was quite something.

What then followed was 2 and a half hours plus of Guns N’ Roses playing a set list which was immense. Early doors, the question of whether the set would feature Chinese Democracy material was answered, with the title track being the 3rd song played. Two others from that album were played – Better and This I Love. I was really pleased to hear them and that the album hasn’t been ignored as there are some great songs on it. I would have loved to have heard Shackler’s Revenge as well, but you can’t have everything! Looking over the set list again now, it is hard to pick out highlights as the whole thing was excellent. The opening of It’s So Easy into Mr Brownstone into Chinese Democracy into Welcome To The Jungle was outrageous. The run of Estranged, Live and Let Die, Rocket Queen and You Could Be Mine before a cover of The Damned’s New Rose was brilliant. Civil War into Yesterdays and Coma? Fantastic. The build up to Sweet Child O’ Mine before Slash launched into the very familiar intro was great. An instrumental cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here into November Rain (with the Layla piano outro as an intro) was just massive. Gun to my head, November Rain is probably my favourite Guns N’ Roses song and this was a great performance of an epic song. The mood changed considerably as the band paid tribute to the recently departed Chris Cornell by playing Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun. It was a special moment. Axl then dedicated the moment to the people who had died recently in the UK in the terror attacks and the Grenfall tower fire before the band played Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. The main set ended with Nightrain – but the band were back before long to end the gig with Don’t Cry, a cover of AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie and ending proceedings with Paradise City. To me, that is a near perfect set list. I would have loved to hear My Michelle (which was played the night before at the expense of Out Ta Get Me). There are other songs from the Use Your Illusion albums I would have liked to have heard but as said earlier – you can’t have everything.

Not only was the set list a great one, but the band matched it with how good they were. The band have introduced a backing vocalist who also plays some other instruments when needed to support Axl’s vocals which I think worked really well – for the most part you couldn’t tell she was singing (which I guess is the point). This gig was one of the best I’ve been to – that is a sentiment that is easy to express as the gig is still fresh in my mind but I feel as though this one will live with me for a long time and for all the right reasons – it will take something special for this not to be my gig of the year.  The one thing I wish I had done differently? I wish I had stumped up for a golden circle ticket just to be a bit closer to the action – without doubt it would have been worth it.

Will they come back to the UK with this line up on this tour? Will it be the same set or slightly altered? Will it be their own shows again or will they headline festivals? At this stage, it is impossible for us to answer these questions (the only people I suspect who know are the band and their management). All I can say is I hope so. Absolute belter of a gig, that was! 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Live Review - KT Tunstall @ Warwick Arts Centre

When heading to the Warwick Arts Centre last night to see KT Tunstall, there were three main thoughts on my mind. The first was about the first & last time I was at that venue, which was a few years ago to see David Gray. The second was about the gig I was attending that night and how I was very happy to finally be at a KT Tunstall show - there have been a whole series of reasons for why I haven't been able to see her live. When KT was announced for Victorious Festival - a festival in my hometown, which I won't be at because I'll be in Copenhagen - I decided to do what I could to get to one of the dates on her headline tour. The final thought was about the horrific bombing in Manchester. I didn't go into the venue scared it might happen again but I couldn't help but think of the people that went to see Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena with the same intent as me at this gig - to have a good time - and never came home (not forgetting those who died collecting children at the show). By continuing to go to gigs, and most public gatherings, we show that we will not be broken by acts of terror and that love will triumph over hate.

Onto the gig, and the opening act was Nina Nesbitt. She was really good. Seeing her live definitely made me want to go and check out more of her songs. Predominantly, you will tend to find me at rock gigs and occasionally, when a support act tries to get the crowd to join in, it can end up being a bit awkward when no-one does. The worst example I can recall of this was a support band for Motörhead who tried to get the crowd to clap along to a song and if memory serves, not a single person clapped. Anyway, that wasn't the case for Nina as the crowd joined in when requested for a singalong which was good. I really enjoyed this set.

KT Tunstall came on not long afterwards and was excellent. I had wondered if it would be KT with a live band or on her own. It was KT accompanied by an electronic band so to speak (Pete, Hans and Wee Bastard). Occasionally there were little issues with the band which with lesser performers could have derailed the set. However, KT took it in her stride and, perhaps most importantly, made the issues that occurred funny (#prayforpete). How often at a gig does William the Conquerer show up to play trombone? (That might classify as  a "you had to be there" moment).

For me, the set list was nearly perfect. I like a lot of KT's material but there are 6 stand out favourites of mine and 5 of those were played which is ace (Still A Weirdo, Other Side Of The World, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, Hold On and Suddenly I See). There were a couple of occasions when other artists songs were incorporated in some of these songs - Seven Nation Army and Walk Like An Egyptian - which was great. KT, as part of the "KT's Covers Challenge" covered The Undertones - Teenage Kicks which was really good (and indicative of how good a live performer she is as she was told by her guitar tech Tristan she'd gone to play the song too early in the set - proving her show can be flexible as opposed to a rigid set as you would more commonly see).

All in, this was a superb night out. I'd been waiting many a year to see KT Tunstall live and she did not disappoint. I will now hope it doesn't take me as long to go and see her again.

Monday, 27 March 2017


I’ve said to myself the last few times that I’ve written year-end review blogs that I should write more frequently. I always enjoy the writing of that particular blog (even if choosing the eventual top 10 is always a right prick) which I guess helps matters. I’ve only been to one live music gig this year, and I did give thought beforehand to writing a review of it – but then booze happened. For those who read this and don’t know, I went to see The Wildhearts in Nottingham perform their only UK show (to date) of Fishing For Luckies in full. It was an early curfew gig (10pm) so my plan was to eat after the gig. Boozing on an empty stomach meant that I got drunk quite quickly and by the time The Wildhearts came on stage, I was nicely pissed. The gig was fantastic from top to bottom without doubt. What was a bit daft though was that I’m not familiar with Nottingham at all – this being my only visit. I managed to get quite spectacularly lost on the way back to my hotel (even managing to cross the road my hotel was on whilst getting lost). I eventually gave up and called an uber from where I was to take me back (much to the amusement of the driver) and, after one more drink, called it a night. Now, that story is quite amusing – even when back at the hotel I was amused about how much of an arse I’d been. However, that would not make a good blog as I have just retold the entire story in a paragraph. Maybe that is where I am going wrong – my blogs tend to be longer than a paragraph. Anyway…

I am going to a gig next week and a couple of others in April including to see one of my favourite artists, Ginger Wildheart, which should be good. I’m looking forward to seeing While She Sleeps as well in Southampton. That one is twofold actually – While She Sleeps are a superb band who ought to be bigger than they are. Their last album, Brainwashed, was just stunning. It is also a chance for me to visit the new Talking Heads in Southampton. I really liked the old one and saw some outstanding gigs there, but for a while there has been a threat of it closing and last year it finally did. However, it has relocated to nearer Southampton Central train station (which is a win for me) so I’m looking forward to checking out the new location. I will be heading back to Coventry to the Warwick Arts Centre for the first time since seeing David Gray there in 2011 to see KT Tunstall (one of about 4 acts I’m really gutted to be missing at Victiorious Festival). I’ve wanted to see her live for ages. Then of course, there is the small matter of Guns N’Roses, Volbeat in Copenhagen and Weezer at Wembley Arena. I’m sure something there will yield blog worthy material.

However, one thing I wanted to write about is the fact that over a week ago, Metallica announced a UK arena tour. These don’t happen very often (thinking a proper tour in arenas, I can think of 2004 and 2009). A Metallica indoor show these days is pretty rare. I’d imagine that is because they still do good business headlining festivals (in that, they don’t play to empty fields). As Metallica are my favourite band, I suspected this news was coming but I was still excited when it was confirmed. I won’t lie, when I saw the prices, my excitement waned a little bit – I still wanted to go but I was shocked. To stand on the floor, it would cost over £100 when you factor in all the booking fees and postage. All lower tier seating in any arena was the same price, hell even some of the upper tier seating cost that much. The remainder of the upper tier cost either £60 or £80. There is no way to sugar coat it – that is a lot of money for one gig. Due to the timing of the gigs, members of my family have paid my way into two of the gigs as birthday presents– one of the London shows and Birmingham. I am an excited man. I cannot sit here and defend the price rise – it is a significant rise, so much so that it cannot be explained away simply by shouting Brexit! It probably won't come as much of a surprise to learn that the tour sold out in under a day - or at least I believe that to be the case. I know both London shows sold out. 

However, with that all being said, I’m now getting lost in the ideal setlist planning based on what they’ve done so far for the World Wired tour. As such, this for me would be perfect

Atlas, Rise!
For Whom The Bell Tolls
King Nothing/The Memory Remains
The Unforgiven
Now That We’re Dead
Moth Into Flame
Creeping Death
Halo On Fire/Confusion/Spit Out The Bone (delete as appropriate)
Phantom Lord/Hit The Lights
Sad But True
Master of Puppets
Fade To Black
Seek And Destroy
Battery/Fight Fire With Fire
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman

Now that, would be cool! I write this whilst pro-footage of their gig in Brazil is on in the background. Sure it has cost a lot of money, but it is going to be outstanding. They say you shouldn’t wish your life away – but roll on October!

I will definitely write more often. I really enjoyed the revisiting series I started doing last year. I should do another one of those again soon. I think if I were to do another one, it would be Weezer or possibly Frank Turner. That could be a fun day or so.