Saturday, 14 December 2019


It seems late autumn is the busy time for touring bands.  I suppose the festival season now prevents summer tours so it makes sense to squeeze them in before the onset on the festival of greed.  We've managed to make it to three more in the weeks since Hawkwind.  

The first was at the UEA in Norwich, the excellent Primal Scream.  The Princess and I drove up with Mr H and Mr G then met the daughter at the Uni.  Having seen Bobby & Co at Latitude during the summer I wasn't too excited but tonight they played a much longer set and changed things around.  Starting with "Don't fight it feel it" they ripped through tune after tune, some more familiar than others, all sounded great, played by a tight band.  The favourites came out towards the end, best of the night for me was "Movin' on up" which was fantastic even without the full "Screamadelica" treatment. "Loaded" and "Come Together" don't quite survive the transition as well but were still very good. The encore of "Rocks" and "Jailbird" was a perfect uptempo finish and they stopped at the right time.  Afterwards the verdict was unanimous; Top band, top show, top night.
The following week Mr H chauffeured myself and Mr G into the dirty streets of Stoke Newington where we found the venue, found our friend from the west Mr S then found a proper pub.  The Guinness was rather good as was the conversation, so much so we lost track of time and had to scoot along the street to see the band.  Fat White Family, I don't know much about them and have hardly listened to them.  I have seen them live twice now and they've been very good both times.  I don't know how to describe their music but I'll try; seven piece, tight almost R&B rhythm section, lots of guitars, harmonies and a punky attitude.  Singalong and move your feet, which we did.  Tonight there was a weird interlude about 2/3 the way through when most of the band buggered off and no one seemed to know what was going on.  Least of all the musicians remaining on the stage who carried on regardless.  The rest of the show was back to full affect and they finished gloriously.

Finally a couple of days ago, after casting our votes we were back to the UEA, Mr H done his normal wonderful taxi service which the Princess, Mr G, Mr R and myself always appreciate.  The daughter met us again and it was a relief to get into a warm building and out of the rain.  I don't know who the DJ warming up was but he got us moving with some Hacienda vibes.  Then it was the Happy Mondays on the latest leg of their eternal tour, this time playing a set of greatest hits.  This band sound tracked some of the most debaucherous periods of my life and I will always love them.  Tonight was good but lets be honest, Shaun was never a great singer and he hasn't improved with age.  Rowetta has a decent voice but over does it, maybe trying to make up for Shaun?  Also the sound was pretty shit at times, particularly early in the set.  Apart from that they got most things right, But as the night went on the sound was tweaked and by the end the place was banging.  Some of the banter was hard to follow but did Bez really supply pills to the daughter of the Cheif Constable?  My daughter loved Bez and bounced about amidst the mayhem for a while.  They played almost all of the 'Pills and thrills...' album and loads of real oldies including "Rave On", "Mad Cyril" and "Hallelujah".  It's a shame the band think their greatest hits stopped in 1990 because there were a couple of good ones on 'Yes Please' and an album full on 'Uncle Dysfunctional'.  Last two tunes of the night were predictable in "Step On" and "Wrote For Luck" but they went down a storm anyway.  This was the fourth time I've seen the Mondays (and sixth I've seen Shaun in his various guises) over a period of nearly thirty years, it was good but a long way short of their best.
News on the drive home was horrendous.

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