I went around the town on Sunday 27th December (yeah it took me FOREVER to upload these to WP) and just took some photos of the damage and of the things I saw. We even saw some looters trying to get into some abandoned vehicles, but they ran away when they saw me taking photos of nearby things with a professional looking camera (pro-tip – don’t photograph the looters if they’ve noticed you; they’ll probably take your professional looking camera then resume looting). Click all of these to enlarge if you want to see them up close.
So some laughs, some drama, but most of all, I’m just very glad that my house isn’t flooded at the moment, and I hope to goodness it stays that way. I think this has justified the expenditure on my 40mm prime (non-zoom) lens for my camera – it’s performance in low light is absolutely stunning – these pictures are actually a little brighter than my eyes were able to see these scenes, because it was going dark as we left the house. If I go out photographing again tomorrow, I need to try and overcome my fear of photographing people because I saw some fantastic human-interest scenes today such as a family pushing their salvaged possessions in a shopping trolley, and some others standing outside a supermarket in their pyjamas waiting for friends to meet them and take them to somewhere dry, and the aforementioned looters although I wasn’t going to snap them in a million years, they were paying too much attention to my camera (although I couldn’t have photographed people very well as I didn’t have my zoom lens with me because I didn’t want it to get wet since it’s bloody expensive – I took my standard kit lens but it was just shockingly crap in the light levels so it captured NOTHING). I always worry that I’m imposing on others’ private emotional dramas by photographing them; I guess that’s why I’m not a “proper” journalist/photojournalist yet.
I awoke early to the sound of it raining inside the tent. The water was dripping on my face. I wrung everything out and carefully placed it all in the centre of the tent – the only place that wasn’t submerged. My friend appeared and we held a conference. We would sleep in her tent and try and move anything water-sensitive in there, because hers was considerably less wet than mine. Download 2015 Review Day 1: Slipknot can be found here.
We went to see Apocalyptica around lunchtime. We got there just as they were starting and got a place reasonably towards the front, where we could see what was going on quite well. They played their cellos, got to the end of their set, then said “well, we were only supposed to be on for half an hour but f**k it; we want to play another song” and they proceeded to do so. It was awesome. I think there were more than a few people in the crowd who didn’t know who they were, so it was nice to see people discovering awesome electric cello industrial music. They also played our national anthem which was amusing because half the people in the crowd started singing (myself included) and half of them kind of mumbled and blustered like they were in a school assembly. It was hilarious to think that we must be the only nation in the world where we don’t all know every word to our national anthem, but it doesn’t get taught in many schools and is distinctly lacking from the national curriculum – as a child, I didn’t know what the words were until I was about fourteen after reading an article that is sadly not findable on the internet, which basically showed that in a random survey of 500 people, something like 25% didn’t know what our national anthem was (it’s God Save The Queen, natch), and only 46% knew any of the words! But Finnish band Apocalyptica can play it on the cello and it sounds awesome (like all their music does). I was particularly interested to read that they started out as a Metallica tribute band, and later branched into their own music. I was very impressed by how much music they managed to cram into their half hour slot whilst at the same time talking to the audience, not long conversations, but just enough little snippets so you knew what they were playing and that they had noticed a rather large crowd had gathered in front of their stage.
Later in the day (I’ll spare you the day), we got back very late, and had a few minutes to find a spot so we could watch some of Marilyn Manson before we went to see Muse. Unfortunately, my friend wanted food, so we went to get her some food instead of getting a good spot, and while we were waiting for the food to appear, Marilyn Manson started. We stood at the top of the hill and watched from a distance, we got two songs in, Mobscene and Disposable Teens (both excellent tracks) but then I dragged us away to see Muse, because from our vantage point, I could hear the bass lines from Chris Wolstenholme’s bass guitar and they were calling to me, compelling me, dragging me away from the spectacle of Marilyn to observe the performance of the masters.
Muse were as technically accomplished as you would expect (probably the only way they could be more accomplished at playing music is if they hired Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page on second and third guitars), and I think a lot of the reason for their credible, un-astonishing but significant popularity is because of their ability to play their instruments. Oh God, they can play their instruments. And the time flew by as they played a nice selection of their songs (and they have so many to choose from).
However, I felt that both Marilyn Manson and Muse were distinctly lacking in the kind of showmanship and character that I’d been expecting. Particularly Marilyn Manson, although I don’t know if his show got better after I left, so I can’t say as much about it.
Muse had some incredible pyrotechnics and the giant silver balloons they released into the audience were really fun and cool, but they barely said hello, and didn’t really interact (apart from the perfunctory ‘I can identify which venue I’m playing’ greeting) and this created a distinct distance between performers and audience that directly contradicted the song lyrics for the setlist and made their lyrical persona feel hollow and pretentious. I would hope it’s just the kind of stage fright that comes with playing for such a crowd. Still, they put on a damn good show and they really can play their instruments, so I know I’m being over-analytical.
Marilyn Manson also felt hollow for the same reason – as the founder of the performance theory that states the artists’ existence is the performance, I expected more. A grand entrance that never came. A stage with some sort of a set. Backing dancers. I probably should keep all these notes to myself for if I ever play in my own band because I’ve learned so much about performance from watching all the great masters at work on my quest to fulfil my bands bucket list.
Day two ended after a spectacular firework display courtesy of Muse. They are clearly trying to establish themselves as an “alternative rock” band (a la their Wikipedia page), and they certainly deserve to transcend Britpop (where they languished for most of the 2000s, as far as most people were concerned – Blur met the same fate in the ’90s, it was terribly sad), but I feel they need to shake off the performance nuances that make you seem awesome in a pop performance but in alternative rock, just don’t fly. Alt fans want interaction, they want to know that the words of the songs have a wider meaning and significance. They want to feel that you care about the fact that they’ve driven hundreds of miles, put up with awful weather, slept in puddles of water, not to mention spent a lot of money, just to see you. And while I don’t think bands necessarily owe their fans anything, at the same time, it’s polite to acknowledge the people who are paying for you to do what you love full-time rather than put up that wall of idolatry. It’s clearly a trade-off between talking too much (so you don’t get to play as many songs) and not talking enough, but they could definitely have stood to spend 60 more seconds chatting to the crowd, to tear down that barrier that they put up when they went into their musical trance and played their songs. They had all the other elements of being the best band in the world ever, but the distance between performer and observer was profound, although I only think it was noticeable when compared to Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Who. If I hadn’t gone to so many concerts recently I don’t think I would have seen it, I would have just been left with a feeling of isolation.
Apocalyptica, then, won the day for their stage presence, performance skills and musical talent, all of which they had in buckets, and for 2016, I would like to see Apocalyptica headlining or co-headlining at either Download, Sonisphere or Bloodstock, because they deserve a lot more accolade for their work and I do think they would draw the same size crowd as Slayer, Within Temptation or Slipknot; I hope the half-hour slot was due to scheduling conflicts rather than because the organizers didn’t know how awesome they were, and I for one would love to see them do a longer set. I was just glad we didn’t miss Apocalyptica, because they really made my Saturday.
So I keep referring to my bands bucket list when I write about things I’ve been up to. Today I wanted to go back and explain what it is.
You are probably aware that a bucket list is usually something written by people of all ages to ensure that they get to do all the things they’ve dreamed of doing in life – all the things they want to do before they “kick the bucket,” to coin a term.
In my case, that would be my ever-dwindling 30-list and my currently being written 40-list, which are the things I want to do before I reach age 30 and age 40, respectively. It would probably not surprise you, then, to know that, when I was eighteen, I started this whole thing by writing a 20-list, a set of things I wanted to do before I turned 20.
The Bands Bucket List is very separate. My age-lists are really more a set of things I feel would be achievements, accomplishments, or that I have some control over. Things you can get with work and dedication. They are lists of things that are within my power to make happen, however unique the circumstances would need to be for the achievement to be made.
The reason I don’t include bands on my 30-list and 40-list is because anyone can buy a ticket and travel to a gig. Yes, some bands only tour in their homeland of Japan or The Faroe Islands, but by and large, live music is a capitalist, class dependent commodity (ooh er) that anyone with time and money can engage in. For that reason I don’t think it’s an achievement to see The Who or Lynyrd Skynyrd, in the same sense that it would be an achievement to climb a mountain or get a master’s degree. It would certainly be an achievement to play in a band, an honour that I have never been privy to (flutes tend to get stuck with orchestras rather than popular music bands, and ukuleles are the sonorous pariah unwanted in most ensembles), but seeing a band? I am responsible for quality control of my lists and I decided it would cheapen the accomplishment of a PhD or climbing Everest to liken them with going to Download Festival (sorry, Download, it’s not that I don’t think your wonderful, but you are very easy).
I did need to keep track of a large set of data though, to make it possible to organize, and as I was spending more and more time on the internet typing different band names into Google, I thought I needed a spreadsheet. I do love a good spreadsheet.
So I wrote them all down in alphabetical order, every band I could think of who, if their members died in a plane crash and they ceased to exist, I would feel like I’d missed out if I had neglected to attend them. I know I won’t see all of them, but I wanted to make a concerted effort to see as many as I could while I could.
The list doesn’t distinguish between bands who have been apart for 30 years and those who are still coherent, it does separate out individual artists who are known to currently have a solo career and also link them to the band they used to be in (so, for example, the entry for David Gilmour states “Dave Gilmour/Pink Floyd” and Roger Waters’ entry is “Roger Waters/Pink Floyd”) ensuring that the musical genius that spawned the bands are placed to be seen even when they can’t be in the same room as one another. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are another example, where their entries are “Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin” and “Robert Plant/Led Zeppelin” respectively. Either entry can be ticked off once the required people have been seen, so if I’d seen Jimmy Page, it would then be at my discretion whether I decided the performance was sufficient to tick off Led Zeppelin, or whether I also wanted to see Robert Plant first. I have ticked Guns n Roses off because I’ve seen Slash, and his performance with Myles Kennedy would be sufficient to tick off Guns n Roses (although GnR weren’t on my list) even though I haven’t seen Axl Rose and the band he’s put together when he kept the name Guns N Roses.
This list, and the ticking off part especially, has raised two very interesting dilemmas facing the modern music fan of older bands: To what extent does the name of the band matter if none of the original members survive, and what actually counts as having seen a band?
The naming question is difficult. So for example, there’s only one founder member of Lynyrd Skynyrd left in the band, but when I went to see them you could tell straight away that it didn’t matter. Trying to define a band as who they were when they first signed on the dotted line of that fateful first record deal in the 1960s is a constrained and counterproductive way of going about things. Take Pink Floyd again – guitarist Dave Gilmour wasn’t even in the original line-up, but for many people, he IS Pink Floyd, moreso than any other member. Likewise, I need to be cautious about letting too many things be defined as the correct band. It gets to a point where the only member of a band worth seeing is the drummer, and unless it’s Ringo Starr or Keith Moon, you might as well go and see a tribute band and tick off the real thing. It’s false. So somewhere between these two polarized opinions lies the way forward.
With The Who it was easy – the lead singer/guitarist and the lead guitarist are both still knocking around, the drummer is Ringo Starr’s son, and the bassist is an excellent session musician. Hearing them play, you can tell they’re the real deal not some tribute band which have learned their songs meticulously to the letter and never deviate from the script. They had the spark of Who-ness that made them Who-lesome. I make no apologies for the wordplay. Not all wordplay is a pun.
With Guns N Roses it would have been harder, since Axl kept the band name but is the only remaining member. Seeing Slash play was such a jaw-droppingly stirring experience that I decided there was no way any replacement guitarist could ever possibly outdo him, unless Axl had hired Hendrix or Jimmy Page (which he hasn’t, which is a good job because Hendrix is dead and in either case, they’d want to play like themselves so you’d not get the same result). It’s all a matter of style and substance. Tribute bands and lesser replacement musicians can copy the style but have no substance. Replacement musicians who are greater than the original will have substance but a differing style. It takes a rare genius to walk the line between these two and still come out on top. So I ticked off Guns N Roses.
The second dilemma is also one that I could spend years obsessing over if I wanted to: How much of a band counts as “having seen” a band. Here are my criteria:
1. It has to be live.
2. I had to be close enough to see and hear the band, not just watch the video screen, because that defeats the point.
3. I have to have heard the actual band play at least one full song.
4. Televised appearances are lovely, but there is so much loss of quality and atmosphere that they can’t possibly count, and the same goes for Youtube and other ways of seeing them. For example, I watched the Pink Floyd Live 8 performance live on the BBC as it happened less than 20 miles from where I was sat (2 days after my mother had tried to kill me resulting in my being removed and never returning home, and 5 days before the 7/7 bombings), but it doesn’t count as having seen them, even though it had a profound and evelasting impact on the course of my life after that moment and probably stopped me killing myself. That bit where they played “Wish You Were Here” and dedicated it to Syd had me in tears.
5. It doesn’t matter what they play: If I wanted to hear a specific song I could buy and listen to the proper recording studio version. That’s not what I’m looking for in my quest to see these bands.
Then there’s the single criterion for removal from the list: If there are no living members of a band or if a solo artist dies, they are taken off the list. Here is the list so far, there are currently 60 entries, and things are always being added:
For planning purposes, only the bands in white/orange matter: The ones in pale grey are supposed to be ones who are just not touring at all, so they’re discounted from planning purposes (but breakups/reunions etc are so fickle that I don’t exclude reunion tours until the last member has kicked the bucket). The ones in dark grey are ones I’ve now seen. The ones in lime green are currently not attainable due to either dates, cost, or some other factor of sheer preposterous awkwardness that makes them unachievable such as announcing on the day of sale, selling out in 10 minutes and placing ridiculous resale criteria on the tickets, that only means that WHEN the tickets are resold, they’re triple the price they would have been so the resellers make even more money. The ones in lime green are generally ones I’ve written off for this year.
So that’s my bands bucket list. What do you think? Who would be on yours?
Longtime readers will have realized I never ever miss a Travel Tuesday post. Yesterday, I decided that rather than pre-scheduling, I wanted to talk about the trip I was actually going to be on when I was due to post (if you see what I mean). At 3am yesterday morning, I got back out of bed to go to Dublin to see The Who. I just got back at 11am when I started writing this post (yeah I got interrupted by something VERY important to do with our house’s roof). Tired now. I packed some other stuff into my 24 hours in Dublin, I’ll do a separate article each on Dublin and Newgrange in future posts.
Anyway, I digressed, so I’ve cut my digression into a separate article, and I haven’t had much sleep due to sleeping last night for about an hour, all on the cold stone floor of an airport, so I will keep rambling I’m afraid.
The Who concert didn’t start well for me: When you’ve flown abroad and spent time hiring a car, the absolute last thing you want to hear is “your tickets been declined” at three different doors. I did eventually get in to find out I was seated next to the lighting rig. In case you’re wondering, that’s a terrible place to sit because the sound quality is as shit as a tyrannosaurus with dysentery.
It’s a shame because I was actually closer to the front (at the back of this venue) than I was to Marilyn Manson 2 weeks ago at Download, and I could see and hear a lot better at Download because they’ve got sound engineers who know how sound waves travel, and know they need to angle the goddamn speakers to point at the crowd, not aim it all at somewhere in the middle. The high notes were painfully shrill and the bass was non-existent. I fashioned myself some earplugs out of toilet paper so I could overcome the distortion as best as possible in order to actually enjoy the gig.
At the beginning there was a slideshow of The Who pictures and trivia. I wrote some of the more interesting things down to share with you, because I can’t not take notes when someone puts words on a PowerPoint and plays it to me:
Apparently the proper name for their “target” motif is a “roundel” which is symbolic of Mod culture (I knew I didn’t like it for some reason, presumably because I inherited a dislike of scooters *cough*hairdryers*cough* in favour of real motorbikes – but then, I always thought the mod vs rocker thing was a bit of a non starter because they all dropped off the face of the earth when the hippie movement turned up and I think it was probably a lot of the same people wearing a different badge – psychedelia instead of “mod” or “rocker” but no-one seems to really know).
The drummer who’s been touring with The Who since 1996 is Ringo Starr’s son – Zak Starkey. Having seen him in action I can say he is an excellent drummer. There’s something that separates a good drummer from an outstanding drummer, and whatever it is, Zak Starkey has got it. I guess when your “Uncle Keith” (Keith Moon) buys you your first drum kit, you’re going to probably be inspired to become a great drummer. He has more than earned his unofficial membership as an honorary member of The Who. What’s bizarre is the photo above shows a figure with black hair and white face standing behind him, and I just looked for a picture of Keith Moon and he looked like this on Wikipedia:
I don’t know who replaced Moon from 1978 (when he died) to 1996, but John Entwhistle was replaced straight away when he died in 2002 by Pino Palladino. I found out by experience that he can pull out a canny bass solo when he feels like it.
I often feel like replacement members in a band as legendary as The Who have to be twice as good as the originals they replace. Taking Pink Floyd as a comparable example, Syd Barrett was replaced by Dave Gilmour, who is responsible for the characteristic sound of Pink Floyd as they were when they made it really really big. In fact, Gilmour was so good that his membership overshadowed Syd’s, and tragically, Syd was not welcomed back when his manager tried to arrange a “surprise reunion” at the recording of Wish You Were Here. Another example is Myles Kennedy, currently touring with Slash (of Guns N Roses) and I would say that their rendition of Anastasia (which gives me chills) must make Axl Rose green with envy that he missed out on being part of such a fantastic piece of music, not only that but Myles can cover all the old Guns N Roses stuff and you wouldn’t know it wasn’t Axl singing. I was very impressed by that. And I was very impressed last night in The Who Hits 50 in Dublin by Pino and Zak; certainly they are very, very good players and they are by no means a lesser substitute for John (E) or Keith. You’re not getting second best, you’re getting first best from people whose life path brought them here from a different place.
Apparently Keith Moon used Premier Drums. In 1967 they gave him a Pictures of Lily version (the famous Day Glow Victorian pictures of a similar style to the Monty Python’s Flying Circus animations). Keith Moon used this drum kit for 2 years, calling it something like (and I’m sorry if this is slightly wrong, the slide disappeared as I was scribbling it) “Keith Moon Patent Exploding Drummer Kit.”
The guitar smashing was apparently inspired by one Malcolm Cecil, a teacher at Ealing Tech, who did a performance where he sawed through his cello, inspiring Pete Townshend to think about the deeper artistic statement of it (yeah folks were all doing a lot of weird stuff back then). Pete smashed his guitars with the stated purpose of making an art statement about value and cost, as well as proving that there would be no encores after the guitar was wrecked. Apparently, because it’s become too commonplace and too many artists do it, he doesn’t smash guitars as a spectacle. Since 2000, 4 guitars have been smashed total – one in 2000, two in 2002 and one in 2004, although these were apparently because he was displeased with the performance of the instrument and wanted “to prevent a bad guitar from returning.”
The Union Jack jacket was inspired by Pop Art (the art movement) and David Bowie was inspired to get one for his 1997 Earthlings album as a throwback to The Who (also that year, Geri Halliwell made headlines when she wore to the Brit Awards a Union Flag dress which was very very short, but this wasn’t mentioned in The Who Turns 50’s slideshow, presumably because it’s less cool to inspire the Spice Girls than to inspire David Bowie, who was after all a contemporary of The Who).
Apparently The Who played at Woodstock. They didn’t like it because they had to leave the van miles away and one of them was carrying a tiny baby at the time.
The supporting band:
The supporting band were called The Last Internationale. The lead singer had a powerful voice but she was shrill despite not being high pitched, which was a distinct disadvantage. This was when I made earplugs because my ears were in pain and I guess it serves me right for going to a The Who concert with a migraine.
I wasn’t very impressed with them because they seemed to have no idea what to do with a crowd that big, and I think the best way they could have warmed the crowd up would be to leave. They failed to win me over, and I’m not sure that what they were playing classes as music, but they at least started to get my attention, from about their 3rd or 4th song, which was called something like “Wanted Now” and by their finale they were successfully demonstrating that it was possible to play and jump around at the same time, which seemed to be their party trick. Apparently they’ve just released their first single in the US so you’ll probably hear about them s’more soon unless they bomb on the charts. Not sure Wal-Mart will add them to the playlist though since they tend to avoid rock-y sounds, but you never know.
A very long wait during changeover while the stage is re-set:
I don’t want a sausage inna bun.
I don’t want a sausage inna bun.
I don’t want a sausage inna bun.
I should have had a second lunch before the show.
I don’t want a sausage inna bun.
Or a programme.
Yes, it will be a collector’s item in 20 years’ time but will the increase in value justify the space I’d need to keep it in my house just for that reason? Nope. Imagine if I did that with every potentially valuable item, I’d end up keeping millions of things just for the sake of selling them again at some point in the future. It’s hoarding, and it’s the complete opposite of minimalism.
Maybe I should distract myself with a sausage inna bun?
NO! I don’t want a sausage inna bun!
The trouble is, the snacks available are either full of sugar (eg skittles) or they are hot dogs. Which are also very bad for me as I cannot tolerate pork at all and I’d probably get more nutritional value from eating the programme than the sausage inna bun.
Half to two thirds of the attendees didn’t turn up until 5 minutes before The Who started – I think about 50 people in consecutive seats all arrived at once, presumably a late coach, but the others just seemed to have it sussed to avoid all the waiting. They’ve clearly been before. There was so very much waiting.
Here’s as much of the setlist as I managed to write down:
Song 1 and 2: ???
Song 3: Who are you?
Song 4: The Kids Are Alright [sic]
Song 5: I can see for miles.
Song 6: My generation. Which had a verse which was a drum-underscored bass solo. Excellent.
Song 7: Behind Blue Eyes.
Song 8: Bargain.
Song 9: I wasn’t sure at the time, thought it was “join the river” which was really confusing but it’s actually “join together.” I’d never heard it before.
Song 10: You’d Better You Bet.
Song 11: I’m one.
Song 12: Love Reign O’Er Me
Song 13: Eminence Front
Song 14: A quick one (while he’s away).
The heat was problematic, and the temperature control was non-existent. I was sat by the lighting rig. Lights get HOT at concerts. But I wasn’t the only one suffering. The band paused after a song to try and get someone to do something about the temperature. They weren’t precious about it though, and even made a bit of a song out of it while they waited for someone to put a fan on, the Air Con, or get them some water because it was far too hot.
Sadly, at this point in the concert, I was overcome with heat and listened to the next two from the doorway. I think if it’d been brought back with something I had wanted to hear after A Quick One (while he’s away) I would have stuck around, but the last one I’d actually heard before (and I’m not an ignoramus I just don’t know their whole back catalogue) was #8, and number 15 was nothing I recognized so I decided we must be nearly finished, and that I would just go back to the car hire place and return the car. When I looked up what I’d missed, I found that only two (Pinball Wizard and Baba O’Riley) of the five remaining songs were ones I’d wanted to hear. I know it’s good for a band to play what THEY want not just what fans want, but when you’ve got such a fabulous back catalogue I don’t know why you would pick below average pop-tastic songs unless they just can’t play the others any more or hate them so much that they can’t stand them. Who knows.
See what I did there.
I did it again there. Instead of a question mark, the full stop makes it a statement which answers the question which would be posed if there was a question mark.
Anyway, I enjoyed what I saw of The Who, despite the heat and stress of the two people in front of me being coked up twats and very tall and talking nineteen to the dozen with grand gestures and snogging (like, the gross kind that 15 year olds do to show everyone in the vicinity that they’re going out, not the passionate kind of snog that people in love do) and stretching whilst talking and snogging and basically doing as much as they could to ruin my view and then trying to feel me up (I shit you not), and despite the fact the sound quality was awful in that part of the 3 Arena, it was still a very good show. I was struck by how much interaction The Who had with the audience – literally, after every song they would talk for a bit and tell you a bit about the background to the next one. It was fascinating. I made brief notes because I didn’t want note-taking to get in the way of enjoying the show. But they didn’t short-change on the songs, either, and they played plenty (although theirs tend to be shorter than most other bands I listen to, because they were always more poppy when they were making big hits).
Afterwards I balked at how much parking had cost – my ticket came up as E30 when it should have been E12 for event parking, but I had to get the car out of the car park because it was a hire car so I just paid.
So lots of things conspiring to put a downer on the day, and I wasn’t necessarily in the right place to be as caught up in the hype as I would have been if I hadn’t needed to manage a migraine, but even though I left early I was happy with what I’d seen, felt it just about justified the effort and more than justified the expenditure (which was STILL cheaper and more convenient than going to London) and think I can definitely tick them off my Bands Bucket List. I should post that list at some point in its entirety.
More on Ireland, specifically Dublin and Newgrange, soon…
What do you think of those weird psychedelic photos? I was going to delete them until I saw that some of them looked very artistic, now I’m intrigued by the possibility of interference from the spiritual realm. Glad I bought a silver Virgin Mary medallion (it’s an Irish thing) earlier that afternoon!
It’s anything can happen Thursday and I’m going to Download Festival on a three night camping ticket until Monday. I have ordered a tipi for the camping to happen in. When I return, I can tick the following bands off my bands bucket list:
And possibly Alice Cooper if he’s making a surprise guest appearance (it’s a possibility, because he’s supporting Motley Crue on their farewell tour and is playing at all the other festivals that they’re doing).
Also I will see Slipknot, Lacuna Coil and possibly Marilyn Manson (possibly not, the set timings have NOT been thought out very well on the Saturday) although these aren’t on the bands bucket list – the list of bands I want to see before THEY kick the bucket.
Still, exciting times. I’m a little nervous as I’ve never camped at a festival before (last year we got a day ticket for the one day all our favourite bands were playing on, and got to see Iron Maiden, Slayer and Anthrax on one day), and I’m going with my best friend rather than my husband so I am concerned that I might not sleep so well. Add to that, the tent arrived while I was on the school run, literally two minutes before I got home, and now I’ve got to collect it from the depot this evening (they very specifically said I could only collect it at 6:30… bizarre), and it will need waterproofing (which I knew when I ordered it) and I am still off alcohol and sugar for reasons of sanity, and no, that’s NO pressure at all.
Still, I’m sure it will be great. I felt like backing out of Lynyrd Skynyrd at the last minute and it turned out to be the most awesomest show ever.
It’s been an exciting 8 hours, and I have learned that Bob Dylan and Dave Gilmour are both touring in the UK this year (we’re definitely in 2015, right??).
So my favourite favourite band of all time is Pink Floyd. If I got stuck with one band on a Desert Island, they’d be it. If I could build a time machine, I’d go back and see Syd play “See Emily Play” along with my other favourites from their first couple of years as a band. They’re number 1 on my bands bucket list: The bands I need to see before they kick the bucket
So I regularly check the listings to see whether Roger Waters or Dave Gilmour are doing tours in 2015.
I was, in fact, checking them today, when I was crashingly disappointed to find out that Dave Gilmour’s first tour in years sold out within an hour of being announced on 6th March. All the dates are in October. I must have last checked hours before that got announced! I would have known this in April if my dad hadn’t died as I was totally caught up with that until now. To top it off, Dave (or his management, because it’s not a standard ticket condition) has insisted that to prevent ticket resale, the person who booked the tickets MUST be present with photo ID on the day of the event! So people can’t buy tickets as birthday presents, and if you’re in a group and the person who booked them is sick and can’t go, you’re going to get turned away at the door! If your circumstances change or you have a bereavement? Your tickets are non-refundable, voided and non-resaleable. This seems unreasonable conditions to impose on people who are paying to see someone perform. So no hope of last minute re-sales. I don’t think disappointed covers it. I thought I was going to start spiralling down into the blackness of depressionland again (and I’m not due for at LEAST another month or so), I mean, literally, I would have sold my car to go to this concert if that was a way to make it happen. Or blown my meager inheritance. I know my dad would have implicitly approved; Pink Floyd were his favourite as well, along with the venerable Bob Dylan, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
I checked Roger Waters (because they often used to plan dates to clash with each other, back when they had a bit of a feud), and all his dates were in America (I might go to America to see him at some point). So I went to look at the Royal Albert Hall’s tickets page in case there were still some left at the venue and the “sold out” thing might have been a mistake.
No they were sold out of Dave Gilmour on all ten dates.
But they did have a scrolling banner of upcoming acts and Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan were both billed (not together, although that would have been epic).
I’ve never been the biggest Clapton fan although I totally appreciate what he did for the field of guitar music. Bob Dylan is one of my favourites, though, and the one that I never thought in a million years that I would ever get to see play live.
I excitedly went to the listing and looked at this:
There was only one UK date left for Bob Dylan, and best news ever, it was a Saturday sometime in October, so I looked at seats to see about getting some tickets. The only seats were those ones BEHIND the stage, that I remember looking at year on year back when I used to watch TV, whenever there was a televised performance, because I remember thinking, “why would people buy tickets to sit where they can’t see?” I still don’t understand why you’d do it to see, like, the Spice Girls or something (and y’know, when I was 11 I used to dream about being their long-lost sixth member, Jasmine Spice. Like literally go to sleep and dream this), but for Bob Dylan, I would do it. Bob Dylan is a freaking LEGEND.
This was all about 8 hours ago, then my husband came home from a party and I excitedly bounced up to him and said, “Bob Dylan, Albert Hall, 24th October, it’s a Saturday, they’ve got a few tickets left.”
He said we’d talk about it in the morning which is responsible-person-speak for “no. And I don’t want to talk about it.” Okay, London is very far away and train tickets are generally stupidly expensive and its neither of our favourite place, in fact we both have it at the bottom of any list of places we’d like to go, next to Slough and Luton (Paris is only slightly higher on the list, give me Salzburg or Rome ANY day), and he doesn’t tend to love 60s alternative hippie music as much as I do because his parents worked for the man their entire lives and mine tuned in, turned up and dropped out, and grew me in a cloud of narcotics and other “plants.” We are Dharma and Greg (except for the whole Kitty thing). But Bob freaking Dylan!!!
Anyway, it’s the morning (or it was when I started writing this) and we talked about seeing Bob Dylan live in concert in October, and I pointed out that although it was in London, it WAS a Saturday, and he agreed that this WAS a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a musical legend and that even choir seats were better than missing it since we missed out on so many concerts this year due to late announcements and tickets being held for fan clubs, and that’s how he very generously bought two Bob Dylan tickets, one each, and said that mine can be my birthday and Christmas present for a couple of years.
Excited doesn’t even cover it. And I know this sounds awful but things happen for a reason and if I’d checked Dave Gilmour in April I wouldn’t have seen Bob Dylan’s tickets because he didn’t announce until 1st May. So something slightly good came from losing my dad when I did. I know my dad is looking down on me going “yay! Tickets!”
Ooh and the third band I listed in the title, what about them? Well, I’ve had my Download 2015 tickets for a while, it’s in 2 weekends’ time, and I was looking at the line-up last night when I saw Apocalyptica were confirmed.
Which put me in mind of one of my favourites of theirs: The Hall of The Mountain King. Which is an awesome interpretation of a classic and reminds me of when I used to work as an Ice Dancer at Alton Towers (because they’d licensed the classical version as their “ambient music” for some areas). Enjoy: