30 May 2012

If music be the food of love, play on.

About two years ago, I decided that I would start going to see more live music. When I say more, I mean some.

My experience up to that point had been limited to

·        1 x smash hit poll winners party (1990/91)

I went with my sister who was far too cool to even be there and spent the whole time going out for a cigarette! And she wouldn’t let me stand up! She made me feel quite paranoid when I did. Oh, the teenage years…

·        2 x Take That (1992 & 1998)

When I went to see them in 1992, it was all last minute because someone had dropped out, I persuaded my mother to lie to the school about my absence, queued outside the venue (the very small Cambridge corn exchange) all day,  was at the front, endured watching Cicero!, then in the second song I was nearly strangled with a T-shirt that they threw into the crowd, missed the second half through fear of hyperventilating and death, was permanently scarred with the sent of Tribe perfume (the sponsors – does anyone remember that?) and when I got home was told by my mother that she had seen me on the local news!! Fortunately the school never said anything J
Then in 1998, I was a chaperone to three young’uns and saw them at Wembley just before they broke up. I can still remember it and to give them their dues, they really put on a show!


Since the first walkman came out I have been listening to music on the go. I have many a time had it said to me that I must really love music, and I do. Friends often ask me to recommend music to them because they know that I will give them a good mix of artists and they are bound to find something that they like. So, I find it quite extraordinary that two years ago the above 3 gigs were all that I had been to. I can’t play an instrument, sing or write songs but I am great at listening to it. If I knew me I would have expected me to have seen more.

Anyway, in anticipation of this new found gig attending lifestyle, I booked tickets to go and see Corinne Bailey Rae with friends and Vampire Weekend at a time when they weren’t as well known and no-one would go with me L  I was really looking forward to it but then…


I took my nieces to the park and ended up breaking my ankle when I tried to catch one of them as they fell out of a pirate ship!  This meant 8 weeks on crutches and 6 months recovery, with it being a whole year before I was back to normal, and no longer limping. Suffice to say I sold my tickets to Corinne Bailey Rae and Vampire Weekend.

Then some friends invited me to go with them to the Glee Live tour…my GLEE relationship may well be documented in another post but not here. Its complicated!

So my gigs went up to 4!!

In the New year, I listened to an album by a then lesser known band called Foster the People, after one listen I booked tickets to see them in Brixton Academy, London, with a friend. After a few listens of the album I was starting to have my doubts about them. Whilst the tracks were good, I wasn’t happy to listen to the album continuously, preferring a track here and there.

They were supported by We are barbarians and Mini-mansions. I listened to both bands on Spotify before we went, actually the day before we went.  We are barbarians had a very U2 sound to them, and I like U2 and I liked them a bit. Mini mansions had a beatles sound to their music and I liked them a little less. My friend was of the opposite opinion.

Well, on the day we went to London, we attended the Accomplice London Tour beforehand and had to rush to get to the gig in time. We decided to have a drink first and ended up arriving at our seats just as We are barbarians finished. So I didn’t get to see them. Mini mansions came on and it was just noise – I vaguely recollected a couple of the songs but the vocals could not be heard over the instruments and there was terrible feedback. Hilariously, being a little tipsy, I tweeted the band mini-mansions between them going off stage and Foster the People coming on:

I nearly wet myself laughing at the reply! I am so glad they realised this. Must be frustrating for support acts if they don’t get a chance to soundcheck, especially when before Foster the People came on the techs re soundchecked. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt (how gracious of me!lol) and would like to see them again.

I have a bad habit of tweeting because I know I don’t have any followers and also because I don’t expect a reply – it makes me cheekier and a bit over confident. You can tweet me at @Dekeboo if you are so inclined!

On the day of the gig, I had my fingers crossed that Foster the People were going to be better live than recorded. I am happy to say that they were absolutely brilliant live! They really were, I would even recommend seeing them live and then buying the album or just see them live. They sounded great, the light show was great and they had the weirdest bubbles ever falling from the ceiling. They were on for about an hour, so not really that long (not compared with GnR), it was an interesting performance as I had absolutely no idea what to expect, from the venue and from them.  I forgot to google the band to find out how many there were and what they looked like etc. and as long as they sounded like Foster the People they could have been anyone. The main singer, Mark Foster wore all black, black trousers and a black lacoste T-shirt – I was distracted by the fact that he looked like a character from a British TV show called Skins – who wore that outfit all the time. But I was impressed by the instrumental sections and with all the band members playing different percussion. I also like it when an artist actually looks like they are enjoying it as much as the crowd. If you have the chance to they are performing at pretty much every European festival this summer, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch them. Do it! I am going to try and get tickets to Reading Festival just to see them again, and all the other brilliant bands that will be performing.

But this review is supposed to be about Guns n Roses!

For the last three weeks I have had the misfortune to be waking up at 4am every day regardless of when I go to sleep – last Saturday I received a text message about 4.30am from my friend – she had got complimentary tickets to see Guns n Roses in Birmingham LG Arena for that night and would I like to go.

Ironically, a few days before we had been discussing how we would like to go and see a big rock concert, after I listened to a starred track of mine..

Iron Maiden and The Number of the Beast. So I jumped at the chance and replied


I never listened to GnR when I was younger but was familiar with a few of their songs, I found out they were supported by Thin Lizzy and who doesn’t know ‘The Boys are Back in Town’.  Now, this is where I have to explain what I expected…regular readers know me well enough by now to know that I ALWAYS have expectations, and more often of the rose tinted kind. So in typical Suddenly Kate Show Style….

What I expected.

I expected the place to smell of Patchouli, the universal scent of rock gods. I expected a lot of leather – although with it being so warm, I had changed this to jeans and black, a lot of black. I expected rock chick make-up, with lots of long lashes, eyeliner and guyliner. I expected some long haired dudes. I expected a high energy crowd all headbanging and jumping around. Actually, I expected a lot from the fans of GnR and on that note I was disappointed. I expected nothing from GnR and was impressed. What does that tell you? Is there a lesson to be learnt? Maybe something about going with no expectations and then you can’t be disappointed – well, forget that, half the fun (I had always imagined) was feeding off the energy of the crowd!

What actually happened.

There were a lot of people in the bands T-shirts and my friend said that it was probably the most merchandise clad crowd she had seen.  There was a mix of ages but the majority were in there late 30s to early 50s. Some had brought their familys with them!  Plenty came with a teen child or two.

There was no Patchouli!

The crowd sat down a lot, and even when they stood up it was like they were watching the golf! On a few songs they jigged a little. I think I was more into it than them. I wonder if this is because they had seen the old lineup and did have expectations.

Thin Lizzy were good, but it was disappointing that they never had full sound system, so they were slightly muted at the back where we were. I fell in love with their merchandise before I even got in to see them. The classic Thin Lizzy T-shirt just spoke to me, it said….

Buy me, buy me..you know you want to, look how beautiful I am..how timeless..a true classic…come on…buy meeeeeeee

I fought temptation and then kicked myself relentlessly when I had to watch DJ Ashby rock out in his Thin Lizzy T for the 3 hours that GnR were on! Grrr. By the time the concert was over the concessions were closed. L I am welling up just thinking about it.

Anyway, like I said, Thin Lizzy were great and people woke up a bit when they played their final track ‘The Boys are Back in Town’.  We had read that GnR had been starting late on the tour and people had been complaining and I only have this to say about that..


If you are worried about having to stay over, and having to arrange childcare, and work in the morning then PLEASE DO NOT go to a gig on a weeknight, otherwise make appropriate arrangements. I want my rock gods to stick two fingers up at conformity and be demanding and misbehave (as long as its legal!) because I am not going to get to and I want them to be wild! Pipe and slippers are no place for a rock concert! And to all those journalists who complained about it, really?!, come on, all the fans who went to see GnR back in the day would have thought themselves pretty kick ass and wild back then, they need to revert and get back to their young carefree selves – leave the shackles of maturity and responsibility behind for 3 hours!


After Thin Lizzy performed for an hour, everyone settled down for a long wait…it was 10.20pm when they came on and no-one was expecting them so early, and everyone was shocked they had started!

The sound was better, the lights were as good as any other gig, and I cant believe Axl sings like that night after night on tour  - and that he has any energy or a voice left afterwards.

Yes, some of the video was dodgy!

But I ignored it! It was old school GnR video apparently. There were large screens too for us at the back, the show was endless. Each member of the lineup was giving a song to showcase their talents – some journalist said that this was unnecessary – but I disagree, I love guitar solo’s and I loved theirs. I thought it was a great way to introduce the line-up, I know what to expect from each of them. The only person who didn’t have a moment in the spotlight was the drummer but he accompanied almost all of them. There were no long gaps and it was constant barrage of track after track.  It finished at 1.40am, 3hrs 20minutes after they first came on. We had lights, we had music, we had fireworks and tickertape and at one point the smoke machine made the crowd seem to disappear in a cloud. By far my favourite song of the night – the one that makes me want to head bang along with every beat – was Night Train.

It was a great night! And it won’t be the last…coming up this year will be;

·        Olympic Torch Relay Party   - in Birmingham with Loick Essien – 30th June
·        LIGHTS – I only like the latest album Siberia – in Birmingham – 2nd July
·        Swedish House Mafia – they are playing a nearby outdoor arena on 14th July and so I will be able to hear them, if its sunny – will be hanging out with a picnic by the nearby lakes – they are doing a 8-10 hour recorded show!
·        Mutineers – fingers crossed I work out a way to get tickets, as far as I can tell you have to buy them by going to the venue in person L, which means buying them on the day – so leaving work at 4.30, catching the train (takes 2hrs15mins direct) to Manchester by 6.45 and getting tickets for a 7.30pm start will be a close run thing. Worth a try? And will still be a weekend in Manchester, a place I have never been to before. – 10th August Manchester Academy 3.
·        Fun. – Shepherds Bush Empire, London on 2nd October
·        Skunk Anansie – Brixton Academy, London on 1st December

WOW! I am really pushing the boat out, and there are still so many bands I want to see – it’s a good job a lot of them aren’t playing Europe again till next year or how would I cope?

Who have you seen live? Who was the best? Who do you want to see play live? Are you going to any gigs this year?


  1. you need a gig diary! sounds good, nice to have lots to look forward to.glad you liked GNR.

  2. You wont believe this, but 10 minutes ago, I found out that I have won a pair of VIP tickets to meet Miike Snow (a band who have worked with Madonna, Beyonce, Britney, Vampire Weekend etc)and watch the gig at Brixton Academy, all courtesy of Sony UK!!!!!!

    I never win anything! This is so exciting :D

  3. I have seen Daniel O Donnell quite a few times and other Irish singers when I lived in Ireland. Going to be very busy here in the UK in the next few months.
    Have fun.


  4. You brought back a ton of my own memories! I may have to do a blog of my own!

    And I'm still TOTALLY jealous because you've seen TT x 2!!

    1. You should! I cant wait to hear about Duran Duran.

  5. i've seen the beach boys, three dog night, dan folelberg, quicksilver, james taylor, the grateful dead, and i am sure there are more i cannot remember haha!

    1. Talking of bands I can't remember, I realised I have seen Bon Jovi too! In 1997 maybe? How could I forget! What was your favourite?


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