Tag Archives: gig

A movie-themed Christmas party

I know the lads who play in the BibleCode Sundays, a really good Celtic rock band from west London. They are a great band and don’t get the recognition they deserve in terms of album sales, but if you go and see them in a pub you will be blown away – and will almost certainly come away as a convert, seeking out their stuff online.

Andy Nolan plays accordian in the band and he has recently written a movie called ‘Clan London’ based on gangland London, particularly in the Irish community. I haven’t read the script, but from what I can see of Andy’s comments online it looks like West Side Story with more violence, more Guinness, and with a bit of Goodfella’s chucked in for good measure.

Andy is already casting the movie and he has a director ready to work on the project, but he is still working on more funding and distribution for the project, so he has organised a big party in Hendon, north London, on Dec 11th.

Guests include Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, world-champion boxer Steve Collins, the director of the film, Stephen Patrick Kenny, and there will be a DJ slot by Tony Lundon of Liberty X. The BibleCode Sundays are going to play a live set as well so it looks like it will be a really good evening, and should focus a bit of attention on the forthcoming movie – both Steve Collins and Razor have agreed to take parts in the film!

The party takes place at the Claddagh Ring in Hendon. Details are all online here. I’m going to be there. Let me know if you plan on coming too!

Drums

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Christy Moore @ the RFH

Christy Moore played the Royal Festival Hall last night. He launched straight into a series of songs without a break before finally pausing to say hello. A request came out of the darkness and Christy initially ignored it, before stopping and telling the audience member that he played for nine years before anyone ever requested a song so he always appreciates *every* request.

He also reminded the audience that his gigs in London back in the day were not in such auspicious surroundings, it would be a bunch of musicians in a pub in Kilburn playing all night just for the beer they could drink…

Christy did all the hits and some of his more recent stuff. When he finished he announced an extra song, ‘Victor Jara’, because he had just read something in the newspaper about Thatcher and Pinochet. Christy was always political, but when he did ‘Ordinary Man’ this evening, the theatre felt charged with electricity. It could have been written about the recent financial collapse, though Christy released the song 25-years ago.

This was a great gig, but it was all over so early. A 7.30pm start with no support act meant that we were all cast off into the night before 9.30pm…

Christy Moore @ RFH

Rodrigo y Gabriela live in London

I was at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday night to see Rodrigo y Gabriela. I saw them three years ago supporting Muse at Wembley stadium, and I was impressed, but in such a cavernous arena and as the first of several support acts, it was always going to be hard for them.

But in a smaller venue, and as the headline act, they were stunning. A friend of mine saw them recently and he was seriously impressed, even though he had never heard of them before the show. I can understand why. Not only are they incredibly talented guitarists, they are friendly, approachable, charming with their on-stage banter – even in slightly broken English – and not just your average run-of-the-mill Latin guitarists. These guys seriously know how to play, but also how to charm an audience.

After performing two songs, Rodrigo announced that this was the setlist finished for the evening. They now had no fixed plan and would play whatever songs felt right, or whatever the crowd called for. Immediately a shout went out from the crowd and the duo responded. It was a fantastic way to organise the show, and with 5 nights this week in London it would be possible to come and see them several times in a week with the show feeling fresh each time.

Their diverse influences even take in a significant amount of metal, and Rodrigo performed a long solo cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ with breaks from the main riff to take in some Slayer, Metallica, Pantera… etc… all on acoustic guitar.

Alex Skolnick (of thrash legends Testament) provides the support and is worth arriving early for – he also joined Rodrigo and Gabriela for a song featuring two acoustic and one electric guitars…

Including tonight, they are in London for three more shows. Make sure you see them because this is the last tour before a long rest and recording the next album…

Feeder @ Shepherd's Bush Oct 28 2010

Ealing Tweetup with Ronan MacManus

What a fantastic evening last week in Ealing! Ronan MacManus did an amazing job with the music, even managing to avoid the temptation of playing Stairway to Heaven… despite offering to play ‘any’ requests!

The team at the Rose & Crown did a fantastic job keeping every glass full. It was a Tuesday evening, but the pub was packed… Thanks go to Xerox for ensuring that the food and drinks were free for the bloggers attending the event. Neville Hobson wrote a great overview of the tweetup here.

BBC Radio 6 came to cover the event and about 90 people showed up to talk, network, chat, and hear the music. It was the best Tweetup yet. I was thinking about trying to do another one before Christmas, but with all the usual parties at Christmas and with only a month left to plan, I think it’s too much of a rush… Early February looks like a better option to me. Opinions?

I have over 40 vox pop videos – people giving their opinion on the event – and the entire set by Ronan, so you can expect to see me tweeting some video links soon. I’ve been holding back on the video because it’s taking a while to get everything edited, but you can expect to see it all arriving soon.

Ronan Macmanus live in Ealing

Come to Elvis Costello’s launch party!

Elvis Costello’s new album ‘National Ransom’ is out next week.

On Thursday the 28th, he has a very special and very private launch party for the album at lunchtime in Soho. It’s going to be in the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz club and these tickets are not for sale – it’s press and invite-only.

But you can win two tickets to this special event through a competition by entering on the Elvis Costello website here!

I’m going to be there live blogging and commenting on the event on Twitter, so if you win, do say hello!

Elvis recently joined Twitter, so if you are on there then why not go and follow him? And if you are a Twitter user then I’m hosting the Ealing Tweetup next week, featuring a live set by Elvis’s brother, Ronan MacManus…

Elvis Costello

How is the music industry changing?

Ronan Macmanus is playing at the Ealing Tweetup on Oct 26th. It’s going to be a gig in a pub jam-packed with bloggers and tweeters.

So, I thought I would try grasping at the collective intelligence of all those bloggers on that evening. I’ve printed these cards that I will cascade all over the pub that evening… aimed at getting the bloggers to think about how they can help an artist like Ronan – and maybe to do some immediate blogging and tweeting while they can see him performing!

If you are a music blogger then you are very welcome to join the tweetup. The nice people at Xerox are making sure that the bloggers have drinks to help lubricate the writing process. I’m very interested in how social media is changing the music industry and I’m planning to write some more about this next week and will be at the Music 4.5 conference soon – let me know if you plan to be there…

Ronan MacManus Tweetup

Stop press: Seetickets website can’t cope with Glasto traffic

I – like millions of others – tried to get Glastonbury 2011 tickets yesterday.

I was there online in the morning waiting feverishly. I had registered ages ago, so I had all my details ready. I tried the website – crashed. I tried the booking phone number – no answer.

I repeated the above. I gave up. I tried again later, constantly hitting refresh on my browser and redial on my phone. But nothing worked.

Then, later in the day, I saw that all the tickets had sold out in a few hours – as expected.

What annoys me is that Seetickets, the agency that sells the tickets on behalf of the Glastonbury festival organisers, don’t make any provision for their phone lines or website to actually work on the day when the tickets are released… why don’t they strike a deal with a major IT supplier like IBM for example and ask them to make sure the website can take millions of hits per hour?

At least if the website worked then all of us who were sitting there and waiting to login could actually do so. It’s not hard to buy a bit of extra computing power when it is needed for just one day of the year – it’s called utility computing, or even the cloud if you prefer that term…

So now, I’m waiting for returns. Though I know the website will collapse again when the returns are announced. It’s worth a try, Maybe next time I might get lucky and find a connection…

CSS at the Shepherd's Bush Empire