Sorry for the misleading name but you will find some posts that are specifically about walking in London. The rest is the other stuff I get up to.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Noise 2014

You've guessed it! Another stub from Walking in London. I will finish this post soon - I promise! Leave me a shitty comment if you care enough.

I used to love going to gigs.

It felt like we found some awful band to see every spare night, until we finally put a band together ourselves. I wish my memory of that time was better, but hey, it was a long time ago.

Anyway, I've been making a special effort to see lots of live bands over the last couple of years. So far in 2014 I've been to fifteen gigs with tickets to five more already bought. Here's a rundown with a mini review of each, an although I shouldn't make rash promises, I try to update this at the end of the year to make it a definitive 2014 gig list.

28th February Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and Old Man Malarkey at Shepherds Bush Empire, or O2 thingy... Whatever. I'm a huge fan of the band and the gig was good but I was with Brian who I hadn't seen in years so we ended up near the back getting pissed and chatting instead of moshing up the front. The band were great and I had a lovely night but the two things might not have been linked. Highlight was Jolene, which we also used to cover in our band. A five-star night, but only four of them for the gig.

9th April Halestorm at the Forum
I'd seen Halestorm once before, supporting Bullet For My Valentine. To be honest I preferred them to the main act so getting to see Lzzy and crew again was a treat. The noises she can make are astounding; singing, screaming, wringing metal from her (now signature) Gibson Explorer. Four-stars. I highly recommend Halestorm - great fun.

1st May Clutch at the Forum
We first saw Clutch on the in-house TV in a Hard Rock Cafe, and they look like the sort of thing I'd like, so I was very pleased when I saw them coming to the Forum. I took Ant with me, who's a metalhead. The crowd were interesting - loads of check shirts and neck tattoos for the ladies and massive beards for the men. Music was very good, like a single barrel bourbon; smooth, strong, serious. Solid four-star performance. Recommended.

7th May Bo Ningen, The Wytches at Heaven

9th May Nick Lowe at Union Chapel

27th May Paul Heaton and Jaquie Abbot, Cherry Ghost at Shepards Bush Thingy

3rd June Desperate Journalist, Terminal Gods at Aces and Eights

16th July Franz Ferdinand at Somerset House

23rd July Bert Bacharach at Royal Festival Hall

30th September Weyfest. The Feeling, The Undertones, Ian Anderson, Chaz and Dave

25th September Andrew O'Neill's History of Heavy Metal at the Garage

2nd October The Jim Jones Review at the Old Market, Brighton.

1st November 10cc at GLive Guildford

7th November Difford and Tilbrook at Union Chapel

14th November The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, The Cesarians, False Flag at The Garage
This gig write-up should get it's own post. I knew it was going to be good, and had planned to stay in town for the night which is a first for me - but the freedom of not worrying how I was getting home might have led to little more drinking than normal, which in turn led to me hitting a wall at about 11pm. Yeah, I know, I'm getting old.
We had a couple of pints in the Famous Cock to start, and by 7 it was starting to fill with the interestingly dressed. We headed over to the Garage early, and I'm glad we did. Andrew O'Neill introduced False Flags, encouraged everyone to get down the front, which we did, and then came around and moshed for a minute. Oh, and if you're reading this Andrew, and you thought your hair was particularly glossy Saturday morning, that was my Guiness.
False Flags were interesting - a bit "shouty Metal" which is not really my thing, but fun; I hope they go far.
Next up The Cesarians. Check them out on Youtube, particularly She Said. Really like the sound... Except... Didn't work for me in context between the other two acts. I'd like to see them headline somewhere.

Still to come...

26th November Bryan Adams at Wembley Arena

5th December Bring Me The Horizon at Wembley Arena

6th December Fields of the Nephilim at Hammersmith?

13th November Paul Heaton and Jaquie Abbot again at the Roundhouse

21st December Me First and the Gimme Gimmes again at Brixton Acadamy

Friday, 3 January 2014


This is a stub. One day I'll get around to finishing it.
In fact this trip ti Iceland was a year ago! We're going back tomorrow!

Ok, quite a big pause between visiting Iceland and getting to write it up here. I've had a lot on.
I know I'm not alone in having always been intrigued by the idea of visiting Iceland. In my case I can trace this to about 1989 when my then girlfriend went on an expedition for her Duke of Edinburgh award. I helped her train a bit - mostly by hiking round the surrey hills with her to get her.
Anyway - fast forward 24 years and I get the opportunity to go there with Mrs G. Only when we thought about it did I realise that it was a place I really wanted to see. I wouldn't go as far as to say it would lay a ghost to rest but maybe I was jealous of that old girlfriend's trip more than I realised at the time.
We actually went to attend Iceland Noir - their first English language celebration of crime fiction, and even the build up was interesting, as we were invited to the Icelandic Embassy in London for a drinks reception.

The first night we met up with Sarah Ward of in a Reykjavik bar. As always at these events, knowing someone who knows someone else makes the whole thing more special, both Quentin Bates and Ann Cleeves joined us at our table.