Author Topic: Bezza's Bit  (Read 48873 times)

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Neillwith2Ls

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #600 on: December 13, 2010, 00:30:12 AM »
Glad you enjoyed it Mark, I thought you'd written them off :)

Hawkwind were very good as usual, but the gig was let down by a seated venue and a boomy sound. Got to catch up with Niall in the pub beforehand though, and met a lot of old friends. The set was fairly heavy on the new album, but a few decent classics in there to keep in interesting. Lots of pissed/stoned hippies though ::)
17/04/92 - Wembley Arena, London
08/09/04 - Wembley Arena, London
09/09/04 - Wembley Arena, London
11/09/04 - NEC, Birmingham
24/05/13 - O2 Arena, London

- 'Decreasing Circles' - Geist (Decreasing Circles, 2006)

Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #601 on: December 13, 2010, 10:30:54 AM »
James, Brixton O2 Academy. 10th of December 2010

I'd originally planned to go to Hammersmith to see James on the Thursday night, but changed that due to Mrs Bez's school play being scheduled for then. Turns out to have been a great decision.

We arrived at the venue just in time to catch most of the support act (The Pigeon Detectives), who were OK. Bez junior is a bit of a fan so I was already familiar with much of their material. We stood at the back in "Dad corner" by the bar for the support before moving down to find a spot just in front of the crush barriers stage centre around 15 people back from the front. Having been caught in the James "bounce pit" in Cambridge earlier in the year we didn't want to get too much closer. there were a few familiar faces around us, so it was fairly guaranteed to kick off anyway. I managed to move us slightly to one side away from the most "likely looking" group which turned out to be a good move.

The band came on stage slightly later than billed and started with a low-key set of gentle songs and tracks from the new album. Guitarist, Larry Gott, was in hospital until 2 days before the show and was sitting on a chair for most of the performance. Things got going when the opening bars of "Born of Frustration" started, the place erupted and there was a huge surge forward from the "Likely lads" leaving the rest of the crowd to re-arrange themselves into some sort of order. BoF was followed up with "Getting Away With it" and then crowd favourite "Johnny Yen" Everyone was knackered after that, band included and we got a few more mellow tracks to calm things down before another anthemic onslaught including "Ring the Bells", "Sit Down" & "Laid" The pattern continued  - with a few real oldies thrown in - throughout the rest of the show up until the encore where a post curfew version of "Sometimes" rounded things out.

The sound was good from the off, sometimes there are issues with James' sound due to the number of different things going on (usually 7 people on stage with everything from guitars, through violins and horns all vying for space within the sound). I thought the sound man did a pretty good job, maybe the gentle start helped.... The lights were good, simple, but effective and the performance from the band was excellent. We got 2 and a quarter hours including an encore break and a later than curfew finish, so excellent value for a £32 ticket.

The crowd were buzzing as we left the venue, hot, sweaty and hoarse from singing along. Tim Booth thanked everyone when he first arrived on stage for being "rowdy Brixton" as opposed to "respectful Hammersmith" from the night before. There's no doubt that some bands feed off the crowd and up their game accordingly to a good reception. James are one of these and this was a great crowd.

An excellent show, not quite as good as Cambridge earlier in the year, but right up there in terms of enjoyment.

9/10
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Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #602 on: December 13, 2010, 10:48:14 AM »
Ezio. The Junction, Cambridge. 11th of December 2010

A bit of a pre-christmas tradition for myself and Mrs Bez is the annual trip to the Junction to see Ezio perform as a full band - they usually perform as a 2 piece and for many this is the best way to see them. I like both incarnations personally, the 2 piece is a great set-up if  the crowd are good, but sometimes gets let down by too many talkers. The full band is a different proposition, generally the set-list is more energetic with less in the way of ballads and a few different old favourites.

This particular show was broadcast live on the web, so I was a bit worried that the attendance might be reduced - it was also competing with the first part of the X Factor final. We arrived inside the Junction at around 8:15 and the room was less than half full. We moved across to our usual position stage left, but a fair bit closer than normal. The show was due to start at 8:30 for the webcast, but in the event was around 15 minutes late in kicking off and the crowd had filled in nicely in that last 30 mins or so.

The show started with a couple of duo numbers and then we moved into the full band . Bass player, Lidia, was back (she was absent last year) and there was a new drummer (Lars, from Germany). Setlist was largely taken from the band's new album (This is The Day), which has somewhat passed me by. I was already familiar with large parts of it from previous live performances and the new tracks haven't really grabbed me. The crowd seemed pleased enough though and  there was the usual good, hometown reception. Banter between lead man, Ezio, and the crowd was entertaining as well. the gig really kicked off with the introduction of a few older tracks, in particular brilliant version of "30 and Confused" from their début album.

The guitar playing was of the usual high standard and it was good to see Ezio get an electric out for one track, a rare sight indeed. The new drummer fitted in fairly well for his 1st gig and not much rehearsal, there were a few minor feck-ups, but nothing to spoil the enjoyment. In at least one place it added some good comedy. The sound was its usual high standard for the Junction, maybe a bit rockier than normal. Highlights, as ever, were the tracks from Black Boots on Latin Feet, with great versions of "go", "Thousand Years", "the Further We Stretch" and "Saxon Street"

A terrific show and great way to finish the year gig wise.

8.5/10
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Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #603 on: January 16, 2012, 11:22:15 AM »
Back in the review saddle for the new year....I may even list last year's gigs for posterity's sake...

Chickenfoot - Brixton O2 Academy. 14th January 2011

Unreserved upstairs seating for this show meant a meet in the queue to get a good spot. Arrived slightly earlier than expected to find Oz already there. We were soon joined by Oz's mate Nige, Rascal and his party and Rob Barchetta and his party (amid rumblings about queue jumping from behind. A quick turn through 360 degrees and a scowl soon quietened that  ;) ) We joined the O2 priority queue rather than the general admission one (one O2 customer + 1 guest get in slightly quicker at O2 venues. In the end no one actually checked any of the O2 phones that we had a s a group....certainly worth grabbing an O2 pay as you go SIM card though.

Found a good spot, dead centre on the balcony. Six rows back with the Houdi party on one side of the gangway and myself Oz, & Nige on the other. Support was from "Red, White & Blues". A traditional, straight up, rock band. Good voice, some nice playing, good "rock poses" with catchy choruses. The singer had shades of Coverdale about his delivery for me and Rascal pointed out a more than passing similarity to the late, great Steve Marriott. The sound was definitely "support act" quality with the whole thing being slightly muddied. I may check out if a download album is available. probably wouldn't buy anything by them, but wouldn't be disheartened if I caught them again....

Chickenfoot came on to a rousing welcome from a near capacity crowd. They rocked through a near 2 hour set with material taken in pretty much equal measure from both albums. Sammy Hagar was in fine voice (I would have liked to have seen him play guitar a bit more), Satriani was very good (to these ears) and the stand in drummer was excellent. Bass playing and backing vocals were very good as well from Michael Anthony. Hager didn't annoy me too much with his "rock-star antics" and the crowd seemed to love it. The sound was pretty good overall and the light show was functional rather than flashy (no pun intended). As ever at arena shows it got louder as the show progressed....A good 3 song encore and pretty much everyone left happy. As was said elsewhere on here : a show that provided exactly what it said on the tin... :D

I lost Oz & Nige at the end and met up with the Houdis on the tube. Having rushed off to catch the 23:24 there was no train until 23:45 which was a bit of a pisser. Managed to get a seat and there were no annoying drunks close by. Got caught staring at the "chesticles" of a rather attractive woman who was sitting opposite. She smiled as if to say "yes, they are rather magnificent aren't they...." and proceeded to thrust herself more forward than before.... ;D

One other thing to note was the price of beer. £4.55 for a tin of Tubourg  :o

A very good way to kick the year off gig wise and a good benchmark. 7.5/10
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Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #604 on: January 18, 2012, 09:18:40 AM »
2011 Gig Summary

Date           Artist                             Venue                        Score                    Comment
27-Jan   Justin Currie              Junction, Cambridge                   7.5   New venue, very restrained crowd
29-Jan   Justin Currie              Union Chapel, London           7.5   Different songs, guest artists
17-Feb   Ezio                              Halfmoon, Putney                   8   Sparse crowd. Right at the front. Great set
02-Mar   Elbow                      Junction, Cambridge                   7.5   Should have been great, but was only very good
05-Mar   Peter Frampton              Shepherds Bush Empire           8.5   Excellent, might have been show of the year in other years
08-Mar   Ezio                              Water Rats, Kings Cross           8   Short set as a press event. Very good
16-Mar   Decemberists              Hammersmith Apollo                   8   One of the discoveries of the year. Very good.
19-Mar   The Pineapple Thief      Underworld, Camden                   8.5   Excellent, some annoying people in the crowd
23-Mar   Peter Gabriel              Hammersmith Apollo                   4   Dull
28-Mar   Elbow                      O2, London                           8   Converted to a large arena very well. Great mirrorball.
08-Apr   Blackfield                      Shepherds Bush Empire           5   Poor sound on the floor. Aviv's voice doesn't get any better
12-Apr   Kings X                      Electric Ballroom, Camden           7.5   Great stuff.
20-Apr   Neil Finn                      Scala, Kings Cross                   8   Rammed ! Excellent versions of great songs
27-Apr   Jason Isbell                      Garage, Islington                   7   Good refurb on the venue
03-May   Bernie Marsden              Jazz Café, Camden                   8   Playing Rory Gallagher songs. Very good
09-May   Matt Schofield              Bullingden, Oxford                   8   Good crowd, good chat with Matt afterwards
11-May   North Mississippi Allstars    Dingwalls, Camden                   8   Surprise of the year. Drums & Guitars only
16-May   Riverside                      Scala                                   8   Very good.
18-May   Roger Waters              O2, London                           8.5   Great "show"
22-May   Rush                              Birmingham, NIA                   9   Great seats, good to re-enforce the fact that rush used to be my favourite band
25-May   Rush                              O2, London                           9   Excellent pre-show meet. Great to be at the front with mates
31-May   Joanne Shaw-Taylor      O2, Islington                           6   Needs to sort her voice out live. Its good, but not the way she uses it
06-Jun   David Gray                      Festival Hall, London                   7.5   Better than it sounds. Multi-instrumentalists and acoustic based show
29-Jun   Tedeschi Trucks Band      Shepherds Bush Empire           9   One of the gigs of the year. Album translated really well to live. Great performance
05-Jul   Warren Haynes              Shepherds Bush Empire           9   Another gig of the year, consumate performance.
12-Jul   Black Crowes              Shepherds Bush Empire           9   3 in a row for the SBE. Stunning 1st set. Great second set
13-Jul   Rival Sons                      Borderline, London                   8.5   A band on the cusp of a breakthrough and richly deserved. Great atmosphere
25-Jul   Philip Sayce                      Borderline, London                   7.5   Loud and brash
21-Oct   Joe Bonamassa              Hammersmith Apollo                   7.5   Good, but was better in smaller venues
31-Oct   Steve Wilson              Shepherds Bush Empire           7.5   Brilliant at times, self indulgent and wanky at others
02-Nov   Matt Schofield              The Stables, Milton Keynes   7.5   A great place to sit and watch a show. Competant performance
04-Nov   James                      Royal Albert Hall, London           8.5   Brilliant. With orchestra, great song selections and great arrangements
13-Nov   Peter Frampton              Hammersmith Apollo                   9   Loved every moment of the "Frampton Comes Alive" set
18-Nov   Rival Sons                      O2, Islington                           8   Not quite as good as the Borderline show, but a step up in venue and crowd.
22-Nov   Matt Schofield              Dingwalls, Camden                   8.5   Loved the chaos of the horn section and added guests. Great show
30-Nov   Pure Reason Revolution   Heaven, London                   8.5   Whole of TDT and the 2nd set was very good as well
10-Dec   Ezio                              Junction, Cambridge                   9.5   The band really up for this. Better song selection than last year's Christmas show
15-Dec   The Pineapple Thief      Borderline, London                   7.5   Good, but lacking something intangible.
17-Dec   Manic Street Preachers      O2, London                           8   38 singles in one show. Great performance, great crowd
19-Dec   Saint Jude                      Scala, Kings Cross                   8   Finally caught up with this lot. Plenty more to come, need some more material.
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Chris Quartly

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #605 on: January 18, 2012, 18:34:30 PM »
Lots of high scores! Nice one.
Last.fm playlist of previous 7 days:


Q's Comps

Some Other Suckers Parade

Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #606 on: January 18, 2012, 19:44:42 PM »
Lots of high scores! Nice one.

yep, a really good year for gigs, just a couple that weren't "good"
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rascal houdi

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #607 on: January 18, 2012, 22:54:48 PM »
2011 Gig Summary

Date           Artist                             Venue                        Score                    Comment
15-Dec   The Pineapple Thief      Borderline, London                   7.5   Good, but lacking something intangible.

That'll be a decent guitarist then....
There's only two Phil Spectors in this world...and I'm one of them! (Guy Stevens)

Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #608 on: January 19, 2012, 08:27:37 AM »
That'll be a decent guitarist then....

Ouch !  ;)

It was a bit strange, good atmosphere and a packed venue, but just not as exciting as the Underworld show earlier in the year....
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Rob Barchetta

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #609 on: January 19, 2012, 08:42:49 AM »
Back in the review saddle for the new year....I may even list last year's gigs for posterity's sake...

Chickenfoot - Brixton O2 Academy. 14th January 2011

Unreserved upstairs seating for this show meant a meet in the queue to get a good spot. Arrived slightly earlier than expected to find Oz already there. We were soon joined by Oz's mate Nige, Rascal and his party and Rob Barchetta and his party (amid rumblings about queue jumping from behind. A quick turn through 360 degrees and a scowl soon quietened that  ;) )


Great work Bez, glad you're back in the reviewer's seat again  ;D And thanks for quietening the queue-jumping rumblings on Saturday   :-[
Tho I think you may want to recalculate your angles.....  ;)
Can't get enough of that long hair music...

Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #610 on: January 19, 2012, 09:00:50 AM »
Great work Bez, glad you're back in the reviewer's seat again  ;D And thanks for quietening the queue-jumping rumblings on Saturday   :-[
Tho I think you may want to recalculate your angles.....  ;)

Angles are fine mate, I did a full 360 complete with a scowl at 180.... ;)
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Rob Barchetta

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #611 on: January 19, 2012, 09:10:53 AM »
Oh yes, I forgot about the 2nd 180  ;D
Can't get enough of that long hair music...

Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #612 on: January 26, 2012, 09:47:01 AM »
Marcus Bonfanti  - Hatfield Forum (The Attic). 19th Jan 2012

My first time at the Forum in Hatfield. Its around 15 miles from home and takes around 25 - 30 mins to drive. A free car park next to the venue and a wander round the outside of the building I eventually found "The Attic" on the top floor  ::) I'd arrived at around 7:50 expecting an 8:30 start, so I was surprised when the band wandered out on to stage at 8:10.

The venue itself seems purpose built. A long-ish bar down the left hand side. Mixing desk at the back, by the door. A raised stage and well positioned speakers. It's laid out with tables towards the back and the opposite side to the bar and there are casual benches in front of the tables. There's space to stand at the sides, but the view is slightly restricted by a couple of pillars. Sound was pretty good where I was...about halfway back, on the side, opposite the bar. Lights were very basic, but all around not a bad little venue.

The downside to the show was the size of the crowd. I reckon that we maybe (at a push) numbered 35 in a venue that looks like it would comfortably take 100+ seated and 300+ if they moved the benches and tables out of the way. This didn't seem to have much effect on the band who played for 75 mins including encore. The set list was a mixture of material from both solo albums and some new stuff from a self-released EP (that I picked up a copy of at the end of the show), all delivered with great energy and enthusiasm. Band were pretty good, I recognised the bass player and the drummer was part time Ezio collaborator Alex Reeves. Apart from those two it was all Bonfanti. He has a terrific (slightly unique) voice and is a pretty good guitarist. He also has an entertaining between song patter.

The small crowd were very enthusiastic and well behaved during songs and the early start meant I was home before Mrs Bez who was out with girlie mates. A ticket price of a tenner and less than £3 for a pint all added up to a good value and entertaining evening.

7/10



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rascal houdi

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #613 on: January 26, 2012, 22:45:52 PM »
I recognised the bass player

From St. Jude.
There's only two Phil Spectors in this world...and I'm one of them! (Guy Stevens)

Bez

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Re: Bezza's Bit
« Reply #614 on: January 27, 2012, 08:19:08 AM »
From St. Jude.

Ah, that's it...cheers mate...he has a nifty line in "chicken head bobbing"  ;)
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