Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh no, Steve Hillage!

I was really expecting someone to shout out Neil's famous lament when the man himself walked onstage last week, but it's just as well they didn't, as despite being a very nice chap he has a bit of a sense of humour bypass about his brush with popular culture, as Robin discovered when he interviewed him a couple of weeks ago. An excellent set from the Steve Hillage band (including Mike Howlett & Miquette Giraudy) with some great (astral) projections going on behind them too - none of the dancey ravey nonsense he's been toying with of late, just lots of oldies, which suited the crowd down to the ground.
With most of Gong already onstage, we waited with bated breath & not a little trepidation to see what Daevid Allen would be wearing on his head tonight... last time I saw him back in the eighties, he hopped around like a demented gibbon with a pair of underpants on his noggin, declaiming awful poetry while a bunch of matronly earth-mother types danced about with silk scarves. It was not a pretty sight.
Happily he was in full-on Pothead Pixie mode tonight, and along with the venerable Gilli Smyth (the Queen Mum of hippies at 76, Gawd Bless 'Er!) they delivered 2 hours of solid gold Gongery, including all the stuff I really hoped they'd play - great show, and an inspiration to young whippersnappers like myself (stop sniggering at the back) - if they can do it at their age, I reckon I've got a few years left in me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

He's behind you!

My first visit to Bristol's newly refurbished Colston Hall last night, to see Motorhead on their annual Christmas tour. As Robin observed, it looks rather as though someone had 10 million quid to spend on renovating a stately home, and decided to blow the lot on a huge conservatory. Doubtless it won loads of awards, but to me it looks like a gigantic Ferrero Rocher, and inside it closely resembles an airport departure lounge.
Never mind, on with the Panto, and all the traditional elements are there; some thigh-slapping Principal Boys in the form of Girlschool, still rockin' 30 years after they first played here, and doing it very well (although a few of the younger members of the audience looked distinctly uncomfortable: "I'd never let my mum go out dressed like that..."), followed by The Damned, complete with Dave Vanian's pantomime villain & Captain Sensible's comedy genie. I never got to see them back in the day, and was very impressed - all the hits, plus a smattering from the Black Album, excellent.
Rather sweetly, as we leave the auditorium there's a smiley lady with a tray of ice-creams for sale...
Off to the bar, and a further design fault rapidly becomes apparent: in a reversal of the usual situation, no queue for the Ladies, but a massive one for the Gents - there's a grand total of 4 urinals in there. Genius.
Back in for Motorhead and the grizzled old Dame himself, and as ever they don't disappoint - pretty much exactly the same show as last year, but that's the whole point of Panto - the audience knows what to expect, and everyone's happy.
"Turn up!" yells one (presumably deaf) punter at one point.
"Turn up? I HAVE fuckin' turned up," replies Lemmy "I've come 10,000 miles to play for you, you cunt!"

Altogether now... "Oh no he hasn't!"
"Oh yes he has!"

Monday, November 02, 2009

Appetite for self-Destruction!

I knew I shouldn't have mentioned Duff McKagan's exploding pancreas...
In a misguided attempt to appear even more Rock 'n' Roll than the former Guns 'n' Roses bass player, our drummer Nick has, by sheer force of willpower, caused his appendix to explode, and is now confined to bed in the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
And this is only a couple of weeks after he nearly broke his back falling over his own dog... frankly, he shouldn't be allowed out without constant supervision; if anyone's a candidate for a 'bizarre gardening accident' it's our Nick!
Get better soon mate!