Tag Archives: crowded house

This guitar has seconds to live – September Sing #13

Bourne Beat Hotel on Wednesday, an amazing, almost tense atmosphere in the most incredible room packed full of gig posters of every shape and style of music on every available space on the walls. Secret Musician’s Club indeed. My guitar decided it didn’t want to play without putting up a fight against its battery and any lead attached to it but I eventually got a sound out of it.

Thursday was at The Dancing Jug and an audience of the barman and a very drunk girl. The barman had a stab at Wonderwall when I played it for him and the girl tried to steal the mic on several occasions. I’m not sure she knew what she wanted to do with it though. A fantastic night’s music, however, with the Bluesmen Three on scorching form, Ant the perfect host as always, and I allowed to do two sets. Nice jam with blues Pete and Ant on the last song too.

Setlists:

Bourne Beat/Secret Musician’s Club, 19th September

Message In A Bottle

Without Words

Pandora

I Want You Bad

Somebody To Love

Dancing Jug, 20th September

Say Hello Wave Goodbye

Message In A Bottle

Without Words

Under Pressure

Jumping Jack Flash

Four Seasons In One Day

Pandora

Staying Alive

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Camden Bar Set List – 21st February 2012

Anyone Else But You

Pandora

With Or Without You

Somebody To Love

Fall At Your Feet

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Camden Bar Set List – 16th January 2012

Fall At Your Feet

Just Like Heaven

Here, There & Everywhere

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Camden Bar Set List – 12th December 2011

Four Seasons In One Day

I Want You Bad

Somebody To Love

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Are you what you love? Am I?

If so, somewhere in the following wonderful things is a little box with a keyhole shaped like my soul!

Some lovely songs I enjoyed a dalliance with in 2010:

I loved The Writer by Ellie Goulding, it had a big heart and wasn’t afraid to throw it out there. Either Side Of The World by Crowded House, One Life Stand by Hot Chip and Stylo by Gorillaz were stupendous and sexy. The Bike Song by Mark Ronson and the Business International was possibly a pop highlight, definitely the number one singalong for me.

The albums I took to my heart started with Plastic Beach by Gorillaz. The aforementioned Stylo was adored by me all year but the album has an ambition and grandeur that it pulls off completely with help from the bold and beautiful from varied corners of the music world whilst containing a bewildering number of classic pop songs – Superfast Jellyfish, Broken, On Melancholy Hill, Some Kind Of Nature, Rhinestone Eyes, To Binge and my fave, Empire Ants. I enjoyed the Bon Iver album, ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ and I discovered I Am Kloot, their eponymous album being an almighty joy. Also loved Angles by Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip. Mark Ronson’s Record Collection appeared to contain much in common with mine and the 80s revival never sounded so good. Another album with a wealth of pop classics.

But three albums towered above all others for me this year. I finally caught up with The End of History by Fionn Regan as it was donated to me by a very generous and beautiful benefactor and became a soundtrack for my autumn and is truly special for me. The Bees released their 4th album, Every Step’s A Yes. I felt it should perhaps be subtitled, Essence Of Bees as it distills everything that is wonderful about this amazing band. It is my favourite of their albums and opens up in me a beautiful reverie. Not quite as much as my favourite album of the year though. High Violet by The National walks a tightrope between uplifting and heartbreaking almost constantly and I played it every day for about three months and still love it now and I become a little helpless if it catches me in the right (or wrong) mood.

There were three gigs that hit the right note for me this year. Crowded House made me cry, The Bees made us love life and the Pet Shop Boys at Glastonbury were a revelation.

A televisual gem I caught up with this year was the Flight Of The Conchords – Carol Brown, Hurt Feelings, Sugalumps, Brahbrah, ‘he’s gonna wake up in a smoothie’, ‘baguette, haw haw, haw’ – classic! On a darker note, Red Riding and Any Human Heart were amazing but not quite as amazing as Accused.

And as for films, it was a thrill, and an education, to see Metropolis on the big screen, Toy Story 3 hardly needs any introduction (not a dry eye in the Glastonbury house!), The Town was wonderful and Inception became my favourite film of the year…once I’d seen it twice!

Happy New Ones everybody.

x

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The Intriguers

The Intriguer

The Intriguer

So there I am, in one of the cubicles, eating a Penguin and a ham and cucumber (and salad cream) sandwich which SIL kindly made for me. Maybe I’m the intriguing one, just for a moment, in my head. But I’m slowly getting the meaning.

Blonde wigs and sustaining guitar does indeed intrigue me. The word intriguer intrigues me, I can’t get my head around the spelling. I wonder if Neil likes that fact. I’d guess he spends time pondering the relevance of words.

I’m in the mood for music on this night (10th June, a Thursday) despite exhaustion, a brain that won’t shut up, hunger. I buy a programme (as is my tradition with the important gigs) and wait for intrigue…

The stage is decorated. Teddies, geese, mushroom…Bambi. The name of the band is spelt out – an arty, messy, beautiful take on ELVIS’ Vegas lettering, perhaps.

And then the band are there. Smart. Ready. Powerful. Bespoke. With us on their side. The first two songs are juggernauts of sound rolling around the room with precision and intensity. I don’t remember a crowd so immediate or so hysterical after the first song of a gig. I don’t remember enjoying those songs so much. The cheer after Everything Is Good For You is deafening and deservedly so. We are ravenous for the music throughout.

They do favourites. They do new songs. They do obscure songs. They batter our eardrums. They play like demons. They make us laugh and when Neil gets the crowd(ies) to sing Fall At Your Feet I let the tears go, in the middle of too joyous a moment to fight it. Neil makes me literally gasp when he starts to play Lester (one of my very favourites).

Matt is a powerhouse, a bright shining star of a drummer and the band are closer, tighter than I’ve ever heard them. Mark is still like a shadow, still ageless, adding the magic that you wonder if you deserve wrapped around the greatest of songwriter’s songs. Nick is the jester and the bass player that most closely reminds me of my own (we’re in very very good company and I’m very very lucky).

And Neil? Neil is simply the greatest living songwriter. He is The Intriguer. Crowded House are the best live band I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be in the same room with. And Thursday 10th June 2010 is religious. It is the best gig I’ve seen them perform. And I’ve seen them do a few…

They seem full of joy and ready for anything. They seem to play forever and be gone in an instant.

The game is still on….

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