The Ultimate

When we are in these funny times it is hard to know whether you are on to a good thing or not. When do we turn around and say – ‘I am content’. This is where I want to be… its tough man. What if you are the kind of person that always strives for more… After all, people say professionally we should do that constantly – always looking for the next big thing.

What about in a relationship. Whether it be the other half or even the family. How far do you go? Is it reciprocated? I guess it is like being in a band. When do you write the most sublime album? When do you know you should quit as you are ahead. Has anyone? Apart from the self confessed perfectionists, Im sure most artists would say they have yet to write THE album. Surfers have never done it. The constant struggle, the search for the perfect wave. That moment when time stops and we know, they know, God knows, we all know… that it doesnt get better than this.

It could be all good – but in that small period of time when we experience a dip in our relationship, our good times; when we develop struggles; when we become frustrated with what we thought was the path we are on it makes us think ‘what if?’. It makes us loose focus in a way and look for alternatives. Then we may change the course of our paths because of a gut reaction. Patience is a virtue perhaps….

So, do we make the most of what we have? Do we develop what we know, what we experience and let that pave the way for us?

Ill have done is ask questions in this blog. I guess I have many and I have no answers. On we go…
Answers on a postcard or at the bottom of this blog.


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Single? Its Christmas – go digital…

Does anyone care anymore? Singles, whether promoted with an accompanied DVD or similar, just don’t sell anymore. I vote for a change in the music industry. Lets use digital downloads as the barometer.

There was a time when we would all go down to the local music store and buy 3 or 4 singles at a time. Yes, i bought Tiffany ‘I think we’re alone now’ on 7 Inch vinyl. Couple that with ‘Two Tribes’ by Frankie goes to Hollywood – I couldn’t lose. Now though – if I am not getting my DVD, Remix, B Side and breakfast when I buy a single – I ‘aint buying it. Simple.

As much as they monopolize the industry, we all have to talk our hats off to Apple and realize that they have revolutionized the music industry. The ease in which we can buy not only what our local store would have carried but also from around the World is how it should be. I am not going to go off about Music being the language of the Planet. BUT… it is…

As I type ‘Oil & Water’ by Incubus is playing. I am not a huge Incubus fan, however, the song is phenomenal. Thank you iTunes. Thank you internet connection, Thank you Tiffany.

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Filed under Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Incubus, itunes, Music, Tiffany

Lollapalooza 2007 – Can it live up to England?

In Chicago on August 3rd 2007, Lollapalooza will kick off with a fiesta of artists, bands, groups linking 3 days of music together. Headlined by Pearl Jam and the French Electric Punk band Daft Punk.

Pearl Jam have been up there since the early 90’s. They prevailed out of the grunge era we all wore plaid shirts in. Two drummers later and a plethora of albums, Eddie Vedder seems to lead his band into every concert like it is their last. He gets lost in his songs. You can tell by the slightly stiff arm he shows whilst his eye balls roll in their sockets. It’s a refreshing site, believe it or not, to see a man generate the same passion 15 years on. Maybe the same shorts as well.

I have mentioned the Foo Fighters before on this blog. I genuinely think that they are the best live act on the planet right now. Though they only played 5 songs at Live Earth last weekend, you could tell that the ‘floor filling’ songs they have and the following they seem to pipe in front of show that they perhaps, in the words of the The Carpenters, ‘they’ve only just begun’. Can Pearl Jam do the same in Grant Park in a months time. Watch this space – literally. No… really…

A festival is not all about the main bands though. It has to be facilities, food, beer, pop and merch prices as well. Glastonbury had more toilets than ever and a new drainage system (which wasn’t porous enough this year). Reading, on the outskirts of London, boasts a solid line up but a 4.00 (Pounds) price tag for beer. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Razorlight, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and the Kings of Leon show it perhaps is a little rougher around the edges than most weekends.

The V Festival is relatively new in the festival sphere. It’s squeaky image appeals to the slightly older folk who want to live in the ‘pit’ but know they wont have to deep down inside. From the Foo’s, The Killers and Snow Patrol – they are all there to be fair.

That weekend in Chicago has Amy Winehouse. I dont think it will be set on fire like previous resurrected festivals. With Patti Smith and Modest Mouse in toe, I think the pressure is on Pearl Jam to bring some weather into the Windy City.

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Filed under artists, band, bands, Carpenters, electric, England, Foo Fighters, french, groups, Grunge, Kings of Leon, Live, Lollapalooza, NIN, planet, punk, Razorlight, Reading Festival, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Snow Patrol, The Killers, V Festival

No More Glastonbury… What now? What’s Next?

Festivals are a plenty. There are a lot more in the pipeline and thats just in Europe! More to come on the American invasion of weekend rock.

2 Weekends ago the Concert for Diana took place in Wembley Stadium. At £45 a ticket there were big expectations. But the tepid response it got was justified. Some horrible renditions of Diana’s favorites songs were thrown out in a very subdued audience forced to sit in seats and probably drink Pimms.

From Bryan Ferry to Joss Stone, this was nails on a blackboard at it’s best. Joss, put some bloody shoes on for Christs sake.

Ok, so I am a fan of the Foo Fighters, but really, was anyone better than them live at Live Earth? This concert, Live Earth – The Concert for a Climate in Crisis which took place this past Saturday at Wembley Stadium, London cost £55 this time. Well worth the extra 20%. Ok, so we were not too acustomed to the acts from the Far East, but, when we hit a little more ear friendly music by Noon, I realised that we are on to a winner here.

Shakira can move, but cannot sing live. I would still watch her move for 4 and a half minutes though. Duran Duran even played a better gig this time. They’re just seemed to be a little more meaning behind picking up the instruments. God rest Diana’s soul, however, it seems the climate has a little more of a passionate effect over everyone compared to that of the peoples princess. Phil Collins was so passionate he even used the “F-Bomb” during Genesis’ set.

The arrogance of Madonna came through, though she performed well and even a subdued David Gray played his one hit that made him for life, Babylon. Great to see the Beastie Boys live as well, somehow they get away with it in their 40’s.

Keane showed up as well. Newly out of rehab, Tom Chaplin, showed he has not only stopped drinking, but eating as well. Damn it, I thought ‘bigger’ rock stars were back. Better find someone else to hide behind.

There are two more big festivals left in England. The V Festival (Chelmsford) Saturday & Sunday the 18th & 19th of August. At £130 the revellers are going to be expectant. The Foo Fighters are playing here as well, along side some Glasto greats like The Killers and The Kooks. Also to close out the summer,is the Reading Festival Friday 24th August thru’ Sunday 26th August. At £145 for the weekend, the 3 day event promises the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ash, Razorlight and the newly reformed Smashing Pumpkins.

Al Gore, opened our eyes a little bit this weekend. Just by putting the right amount of air into our tyres, we can save gallons of fuel. Makes sense to me. Ok, I will one less peice of paper to wipe. Times that by 6 Billion.

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Filed under Al Gore, David Gray, Foo Fighters, Genesis, Glastonbury, Keane, Live, Live Earth, Music, Rock, Shakira, Stadiums, Tour News

Glastonbury 2007 – Day 3

Day 3

Will it ever stop? It almost sounds cliched. The rain fell the heaviest it did all weekend as The Who took the stage to close out the returning Glastonbury festival. There were some new songs on there, but the entertainment definately started when the aging rockers rumbled through various C.S.I. theme tunes. Oh wait, they were used by American Television after! I am sure that many in the crowd heard the songs first in an edited format with police sirens and graphic images accompanying them. Still, the test of time has been passed by Daltrey et al. The front man still throws the mic in the air. Not exactly Cobain, but he sure can catch.

Shirley Bassey in all of her pinkness belted out ‘Hey Big Spender’ much to the delight of the crowd. Cue sing a long. Only Glastonbury could have Shirley Bassey and Damian Marley on the same bill. What a mixed bag of talent. He vibed out some of his fathers songs, including ‘Exodus’ and the emphatic ‘One Love’.

Other big acts on the third and final day of Glastonbury include British music sensations the Kaiser Chiefs, angsty rockers Manic Street Preachers, Californian indie band Cold War Kids, and Arkansas’ The Gossip.

Finishing on ‘Tea and Theatre’ was a slight anti climax in my book. However, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and ‘Pinball Wizard’ in the middle of the set allowed for blind eye’s to be turned. This weekend last year, The Who played Hyde Park Calling in front of 45,000 people. This year it was 120,000 in a country farm. The bright lights and big city don’t have it all after all.

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Filed under Gig, Glastonbury, Headliners, jam, Live, Music, reggae, Rock

Glastonbury 2007 – Day 2

Day 2

It seems to get wetter and wetter, but better and better.

The Killers did not want to headline Glastonbury 2 years ago as they did not think having one album under their arm was enough to carry the weight of 170,000 people. This year they took the gamble. It paid off.

Babyshambles lived up to their name of immature pop rock that did turn out to be the later half of their name. If the 120 English pounds was worth seeing Kate Moss in perfectly clean clothes singing along with her beau Pete Doherty for a song – good for whoever saw it! Time to find another stage. Thank God they were on the “Other Stage” and we could turn our attention to the main stage again.

The Kooks played before The Killers and lifted the spirits of an ever dampening crowd. The Main Stage was damp, dirty and inspired as they rattled through their Brit-Indie songs of their original album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’. As the sun set and the stage show was more appealing, the Kooks brought their collective teenage angst and uplifting anthems to an appreciative crowd. The hint of island reggae could be heard from time to time emerging from the 2006 album.

The show was stolen by The Killers however. An over the top firework display was a little too much for a festival based on the roots of the planet and peace signs. Hope it wasn’t sponsored by someone. The self indulgence soon passed though. Ok, so some of the songs were crowd pleasers, but that is what festival goers want. A good old fashioned sing a long. What else do you expect from a Las Vegas band that is so used to pleasing the planet with it’s bright lights and spectecal. Cue more fireworks? Maybe Day 3.

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Glastonbury 2007 – Day 1

Day 1
It’s cool and showery into day 2 of the festival. Day 1 was a success. The always maligned Arctic Monkeys took the stage as the headliners in front of the now cold and weary crowd. After all they had already delights from The Magic Numbers and the brilliant live act that is Kasabian. The heavier than they look Bloc Party also decided to grace with a distorted set of melody and noise. Perhaps not the best of the night, but still, the warm up for the aforementioned was welcomed.

The Arctic Monkeys covered none other than Dame Shirley Bassey during their headline performance on The Pyrmaid Stage last night. The band were three songs from the end of their set when Alex Turner introduced ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ in honour of the legend who is playing Glastonbury on Sunday afternoon.

In a set full of surprises, earlier on the fervently received set, the Sheffield lads were joined by non other than Dizzee Rascal onstage with them for the ‘Brianstorm’ flipside ‘Temptation Greets You Like A Naughty Friend.’

After the fact, they came and they conquered. Now everyone is looking forward to Day 2 of the revered 3 day event. The weather looks bad but the spirits are good. The Arctic Monkeys and their supporting acts made sure of that last night.

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