April 07, 2006

London Bridge Vaults

London UK

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bcnhowls, Blackdog83, bliss, Blues, brewer07, carrasfe, dbenjafield, Deelila, dingding, dodjem, donniebrasco69, elliecat, emyleeloo, Griff, happyjack, LAMF, lazyfukc, lou11, mahoney, moonzyn, noodle, psycocandy, rob81, Rocksucker, sunchild, xrachx

elliecat says+3 Votes UP / DOWN
Couldn't easily decide where to post this diary/review of last night's 'secret' London gig. Began it in response to threads on the Forum, but guess the Tour Archive's the right place. Apologies for its length!

I feel very strange to be writing this as a long-time fan of this peerless band, long registered on the site and a frequent forum reader who barely ever posts (I think "lurkers" is the name for such cyber-cowards!). But moved by the account of Moonzyn and Dee's experience outside the venue last night and the so-far brief replies to Porcupiny's plea, I feel I owe it to everyone who didn't share my immense good luck in getting in to what was indeed a "surreal" show.

Where to start? -A wonderfully bonkers venue, under-railway arches with lots of dark alcoves, sudden changes in floor-pitch and unexpected steps. the way in was nicely lit with myriad tiny candles, but inside, mad shafts of bright light here and there, along with the vast wall-high mirrors in the bar were destined to blind/disorientate those indulging too much in the promoter's much-in-evidence product.

After a sleepless night and a day spent near-witless with joy/disbelief, I arrived at the venue a little before nine with my friend, a fellow fan and site-user who actually won the tickets (foreverinyourdebt, Lou!). Outside, we saw evidence of the "corporate types" alluded to in the Forum posts, as well as our first group of seemingly 'casual' competition-winners. I hope that's not too harsh a term. - I mean people who might have seen the competitions and thought, "Oh, I quite like BRMC", or "I'd like to check them out" (shades of "We don't like you, we just....., or "I'd like a night out/free JD/ a trip to London". 'Live and let live', and all that, but the mixed nature of the crowd was certainly to affect the atmosphere.

Once through the clearly necessary argy-bargy at the door, we only caught a couple of songs of the support band's set, but what we heard sounded good.

Peter and Robert were scheduled to play at nine-forty-five, so we went to find places to stand. The true nature of a fair proportion of the crowd was soon evident. In the half-hour or so between sets, had all you good people who really, REALLY wanted to be there made it inside, the tiny area between the side-wall of the room and the angle of the L-shaped stage would have been immediately and tightly filled. As it was, we were able to get a wonderful stage-side place easily (and without the normally obligatory very tall bloke in front of us). Amazing. But frankly, not quite right! Very aware of the continuing hubbub from the adjoining room (bars/free alcohol, oddly enough), we assumed/hoped this would die down once the music started.

Peter began the set in typically unassuming but brilliant fashion, "Grind My Bones" sounding perfect, and enjoyed in rapt silence by the crowd in front of the stage. Transfixed, as always, I didn't look around to see how it was received at the back of the room, but was seriously cross at the only slight lessening of the almighty racket from next door.

Some quite harsh lighting (presumably for the very-present film crew) made Peter look quite startled each time he looked up to receive a change of guitar during the applause. Having seen the band many times, I suppose that (apart from the 'in-store' shows), the UK gig most directly comparable with this one in terms of scale (?) and potential tone would be last year's night-before Reading one at the Barfly (when, of course, Nick was present). In contrast to the clear ease Peter displayed that night, he did seem a bit diffident, but that's natural when faced with the odd situation - an 'intimate' gig lacking the all-enveloping atmosphere of a truly empathetic crowd.

I was worried about Robert's reaction to the set-up when he joined Peter on stage, but needn't have been. He seemed on good form, engaging well with the audience and with some nice sardonic humour. Introducing "....Hattie Carroll", he warned us that it'd be a long song, and a great opportunity for anyone "needing a piss" etc. to do so then. (Anyone who did made absolutely the wrong choice).

Robert also very neatly referred to the fact that the gig was sponsored, that something like 200 people had been flown in from all over Europe, and that BRMC were "cool with that", without (unless I missed it) actually saying the JD words.

Hopeless at accurately remembering setlists, I'll leave that for others. Highlights in my view included "Too Real" and "Mercy" (a rueful aside from Robert telling us it should've been on the album but "they like 'em short these days"), and very impressive keyboard-less versions of "Promise" and "Howl".

Time, as usual, seemed suspended, and I don't know for sure, but think that true to form, they played longer than the scheduled hour. Also as usual,we wanted them to play the entire back catalogue, then do it all again.....

Afterwards, they both honoured their promised brief to meet with the crowd, again presumably a bit weird for them, not always knowing whether they were talking to new or long-time fans, or to representatives of companies and/or their guests. Both gamely gave many, many autographs and (it will come as no surprise to anyone here to learn) were approachable, charming, and kind.

Having agonised yesterday about posting when everyone was so desperate to know who was going, I'll end by saying that absent friends (both Nick and yourselves) weren't forgotten. We definitely missed you, and I'm pretty sure Peter and Robert will have, too.

Here's to Nick's new visa, to September (hopefully, anyway, for us here in the UK), and a return to normal in BRMC world!

Posted Saturday, April 8, 2006 pm30 at 12:52pm
bcnhowls says0 Votes UP / DOWN
Here's the complete set list of that surprising show, yesterday in London. It was almost an hour and a half of an accoustic set, in an exciting venue:

-Grind My Bones
-Fault Line
-Restless Sinner
-Complicated Situation
-Weight Of The World
-Sympathetic Noose
-Devil's Waitin'
-Too Real
-(Kill The) US Government
-The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (BOB DYLAN)
-Shuffle Your Feet
-Ain't No Easy Way
-Love Burns
-Whatever Happened To My Rock'n'Roll
Posted Saturday, April 8, 2006 pm30 at 4:30pm
Deelila says0 Votes UP / DOWN
DATE: 7.04.06

This ghastly, carbon-monoxide filled area would make a superb film set for the next series of "Prime Suspect". Lyn, (mad as a hatter and can gab for England) and I tried every which way we could to gain entry into this 'secret' gig. As we hung around the station it became clear to us that this was gonna one heck of an oddball night; in line to get into the gig were what looked like the entire cast (x 200) of "MY FAMILY" (British sitcom about daffy middle-class suburbanites) and assorted 'Industry' types.

Never before have I seen so many weird, straight-laced and dull-looking people at a BRMC gig. It didn't bode well for the night and no surprise to me AT ALL that when I spoke with Peter Hayes at the end of the night, the first thing he said was "That was a hard gig to do!".

Lyn & I even saw a mum, with her 10 year old boy...both had matching shoes...matching PATTERNED shoes, LOL!!! We shrieked with laughter and decided hanging out at the entrance was pointless, so made our way to the 'Production' door. This was to be our saving grace...the sound was loud n clear. We heard the entire acoustic set. I sang my heart out to the all songs. And danced. And cheered and whooped! Shame the boys didn't hear it. It was freezing cold out there but we didn't care. Peter and Robert managed to keep the magic strong, despite the whole affair being a surreal joke. I pleaded with security to let us in. There was space in the venue. Security even let slip that altho' there was space for 400, only around 250 people turned up. So why couldn't they have let in a tiny group of us die-hard BRMC fans?

Grind My Bones was the show opener and it sounded stunning from where we were! The song stayed in my head right to the end of the show and into the morning light...WOW! We could hear quite a bit of chatter throughout the set...I hope Robert and Peter read these reviews so that they know that the substance and emotion of their songs really shone through that night...

The small group of tartlettes behind us spent the whole night chatting and smoking. They were meant to be fans from Italy, but didn't know the songs, couldn't sing along to anything, didn't show their appreciation and were trowled in so much make-up and hair dye they could give Pete Burns a run for his money! OK, back in the knife drawer, Miss Sharp.

Faultline, Restless Sinner, Complicated Situation and Weight Of The World...Sympathetic Noose, Howl, Devil's Waitin' and Promise...Mercy, Too Real, Rifles and US Government...Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll...what a great set so far!!!!! We danced our lil asses off to Shuffle Your Feet and Ain't No Easy Way (I was stood right in front of security and he was dead impressed I knew the songs, LOL!) Love Burns follows, and then...AWESOME to hear Punk Song done acoustically.

Peter came out at 12ish and hung out with us all. I managed to chat with him several times. He even honoured my request for some 'privacy' and we walked across the road to chat on the other side. He's easy-going and considerate. I thought he seemed a little lost...and tired? So I gave him a hug and he hugged me back. We chatted about the record company n the gig n stuff.

I have always felt that the record company ain't ever done enough for the boys. Too many missed opportunities...poor promotion...and maybe too many hangers-on?

BRMC are just so much BETTER than this JD sponsored event.

They need a visionary in their lives, to help guide them to where they need to be.

In summary then:



Peter mentioned comin' back in 'The Fall'?

Well, "it might as well rain until September..."

Love to you both, Peter and Robert.

Dee :)
Posted Monday, April 10, 2006 am30 at 5:17am
moonzyn says0 Votes UP / DOWN
Dee suggested I could've posted here, so here goes.
Me & Dee on a mission.
What a weird venue, entrance in the station. We met Griff & dodjem & psycocandy, who commiserated our lack of success so far.Fans arrived early, many corporate guests around 10pm. Very unusual crowd for a BRMC gig. Dee tried various ploys, we have both talked our way in or been invited into gigs many times, but not this one! We walked round, under the arch to the rear. Support band were sound checking, & security guys were friendly, but unable to help.(one of them asked his boss if we could come in-he estimated about 250 of the invited 400 were there when they played). The guys were not in the building, so cold & unimpressed, we fell back to the pub to re-group. Considered tunelling from the gents, getting desperate!
Just missed the guys arriving, not our night. More trips to front & rear. Dee spoke to Harv, tour manager she said. He knew her but still no help. I gave him a copy of my band's demo, best I could do. Should we give up? Getting cold, glad I wore the leather.
Then they came on! Stage was very near the back door, & we could hear everything quite clearly. We (me, Dee & a young Irish girl & her mum)danced, cheered & sang along on the pavement, under the arch. The crowd seemed quiet, but the boys sounded great. Perhaps we were having more fun, who knows? It was frustrating not to see Peter moving with his guitar, the passion & committment. I often dance with my eyes closed, so enjoying what we got & good company, we had a great time. Security guy thought Dee & I had been friends for years!(we met at 6pm) Dee has the set list, though I don't think they stuck to it. 2 numbers had false starts, but I was totally happy when they played Shuffle your feet & Ain't no easy way. Acoustic version of punk song was interesting(Peter said they'd done it a couple of times). So apart from some traffic noise, security radios & random groups of people looking for the eco party at another club, we had great sound.
Should I stay or should I go?
Fleet of black transport arrives for corporate guests, who are given their *JD goodie bags. One lovely lady gave hers to Dee, and anonymous guy gave me his copy of HOWL, thank you.
For those who stand long!
Then Peter came out & it was oh so worth it. He spoke with Dee & I and signed my copy of HOWL. He even accepted a copy of my demo & put it in his pocket. He said they won't be back 'till September, & they have no record deal in England, what does that mean? He lit my cigarette, & even seemed to seriously consider my offer to come & jam, a real gentleman. Then he hugged Dee & me. Amazing guy, Amazing performer, Top man.
He stayed outside, talking to fans for about 50 minutes. Each group took a turn, & then moved away a little to let others have their turn, very friendly. We left when Peter went back in, & I got the last train to New Cross.
Extra L&K from Cloud 9. moonzyn XXXXX
This morning it has a dream-like quality. I'm so glad we went, we had the best time!
* JD goodie bags containing JD teeshirt, miniature & beermat. + HOWL
ps Dee will fill in details on monday-ish L XX

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Posted Monday, April 10, 2006 pm30 at 1:56pm
lazyfukc says+1 Votes UP / DOWN
Where do i start on a truly great night. Firstly recieved my confirmation email on the thursday with details and directions etc so packed my bag and next morning headed off to the big city. when arrived at the tube station at london bridge was somewhat shocked at where the entrance to the venue was, like a little entrance to a tunnel under one wing of the station. was a bit nervous about the guest list being right but everything turned out ok, inside was nicely set out with lights, posters and ladies with free drinks.
While waiting for Peter & Robert to take to the stage Peter came out and did his own soundcheck/setup, could hear parts of songs every so often. When the gig got going it started off with Peter on his own for a few songs then Robert came out for the rest of the set. There was a bit of crowd interaction but probably not as much as usual given the circumstances but Promise acoustic was a nice surprise and Roberts little warning that never played before on guitar anything could happen!
Overall i thought the setlist was great and played brilliantly, was one or two false starts for one reason or another but nothing like an ian brown gig!
Had a chat with one of the camera guys after the show and he said he thought it was being filmed for a dvd, whether thats right who knows! Would be great to see again but being lucky enough to attend the show will stick with me for a long long time. Was a shame about the limited number of guests and ways to get there too but we all know why it was done so the boys can return to play for the masses at a later date. Can't wait for then, keep the faith people.
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 am30 at 4:47am
happyjack says0 Votes UP / DOWN
very strange evening.in the beginning i have to say i was skeptical and **** bored..when a friend of mine asked me to come to this brmc show i wasn t very interested..i thought this was a definitely overrated band.What a mistake!this acoustic show turned out to be amazing,probably also because of this unusual location, there was something magic in it,great songs, great guitars,nice atmosphere.. and very down to earth guys, the guitarist spoke with everybody after the show,he seemed to be a cool guy!people was great too,infact there was no teenage fans hysteria ,everybody was so cool and relaxed like we were at a private party or something,definitely the kind of the show i like,i also had the chance to hang out with three absolutely stunning girls outside the club that gave us cigarettes,really had a great time, cant wait to see them with the drummer playing an electric set.
Posted Monday, April 24, 2006 am30 at 5:52am
Blues says0 Votes UP / DOWN
well it was awhile ago.. but thought i would say.. it was amazing..... it had only been 2 weeks... so i well can't complain.

They all seemed tired.... long trip for a short show... made me feel guilty about complaining about our long flight to their side of the world...

we rushed to the front down this massively long hallway.. of course only to realise everyone was rushing to get free drinks..

but yeah.. peter was a bit pissed off with the talking... as he mummbled after the second song... if you wanna talk.. then you can talk.... but

robert was lovely....... and yes that is me... idiot holaring durning Mercy on the live tracks.. i couldn't stop laughing..... it just kills me...
i was caught inbetween the small stage and the camra man... but it was nice being closer to robert but still being on pete's side....

but i did love hearing promise on guitar... Robert the crooner..... ohhhh la... sexy

anyway it was a bit over hyped.. even the meet and great... bit.... soo many PR people everywhere.. but it was nice peter was running around inside and outside the venue to talk to fans alike.... awe welll still counting down the months... cross fingers.... for september.... xx

Posted Saturday, June 3, 2006 am30 at 6:31am

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