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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  ds on Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:41 am

Tommy

Yet another excellent report on our gig at Birdwell which had me smiling/laughing from start to finish. The "relatively" small crowd was disappointing, but most Yorkshire folk, famous for their saying "How much ???" would prefer to see good bands in WMCs for free rather than have to pay a £3 entrance fee.

They also like to enjoy cheap drinking - you couldn`t get p****d at Birdwell unless you had £85 in your pocket !!!!!!!!!

Nevertheless, a great stage area, a big room which enabled DB to get a super sound and a very appreciative audience would tempt us back again, but I don`t think we would recognise you in your disguise, which is highly recommended in view of your observations.

Tommy, your reviews are second to none - please keep them coming .

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Hartlepool WMC, 8 December 2007

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:57 pm

Would you believe it? The boys just happen to be playing in the part of the country we happen to be in. Coincidence? Fate? The wife meticulously planning our social calendar? You decide...

Here's a wee confession; we've got an album playing on car journeys just now called, unoriginally, Jagged Edge Originals. It features the original (surprise, surprise) versions of just about all the tracks the boys cover and never fails to spark conversation.

* Just how fantastic would Higher Place have been if Perry sang it?
* Just how boring is ...Miss A Thing without Dan's virtuosity at the end?
* Why does It's My Life sound so 2-dimensional when compared to the Jaggie version?

It also highlights a few unhealthy traits in our collected psyche. When Dave Gilmour is playing the Comfortably Numb coda we probably shouldn't be shouting "Not like that! You missed the bit that goes diddly-diddly-weee-ow!"

Anyway...

The addition of assorted B&Q animated Christmas lights to the Hartlepool war zone hasn't made it look any less like downtown Basra but I suppose they're portable and easy to fence so I'd imagine car crime's down for a couple of weeks.

Inside The Compound, the boys started without us (not my fault - my hair doesn't take an hour to dry these days!) and were into Runaway before we got seated. The hall was pretty much full but, sadly, we knew why.

After really top-drawer performances of Blue Collar Man, Take It On The Run, Wayward Son and Separate Ways, Old Albert took over and we were treated to 40 minutes of hot, hardcore bingo action.

The second half was the usual song-and-dance-athon with all of the band on top form. The guys on the desk, meanwhile, were experimenting with some new lighting effects (very Phantom Of The Opera) and possibly some sort of cross-fade-side-to-side-phasing thing (sorry about the technical jargon there) on the sound (though that might just've been my ears playing up).

There was a sad absence of authentic mad dancers although one lass seemed keen to audition for the part. Unfortunately for her, the bar has been set very high and shaking your arse sub-Tina Turner style just doesn't cut it.

Hartlepool is a strange, strange place but that's two cracking performances we've seen at King Ozzy (as it seems to be known locally) Drive. Bingo or no bingo.

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Holmfirth Picturedrome - New Year's Eve 2007

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:36 am

To an architecture geek like me, the Picturedrome is a great gig; the building itself is a classic Arts & Crafts theatre and its interior shows little flashes of all the fashions which theatres and cinemas went through in the last century.

It's easy, then, for me to ignore the scaffolding which holds the place together these days, but the guy who bounced into the upright halfway through Whole Lotta Rosie would probably take issue with me. I suspect he's currently wondering where the black eye came from and vowing never to go out in Holmfirth again.

It's harder to ignore bar staff lacking a fundamental grasp of arithmetic. God help them if they ever have to deal with prices which aren't rounded up to the nearest 10p.

Hogmanay 2007 and the mirror ball over the dancefloor gives a nice 1960s heyday feel to the old place (it spent most of the latter half of the century as a bingo hall, y'know - "Picturedrome" was actually the name of Holmfirth's other cinema... am I boring you yet?)

DJ's doing his best to wind me up, mind; Motown, Queen, Pulp and Abba grind against each other and leave me whistling the refrain from the old Smiths song, Panic; hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ...

There's no support this year (last year's wonderful Cosmic Doris never played another show together after a good old-fashioned fall out within the band - rock'n'roll, baby!) so we get a bit more of the boys than usual.

Set one opens with the 2007 standard Journey/Jovi/Aerosmith combo and careers through Styx (Dann - almost twelve months into these reviews I've finally got the "official" spelling - is loaded with the cold, poor lamb, but you wouldn't know), Boston, Thunder and the like to Comfortably Numb. The lighting is excellent (apart from the dark stage corners) but the sound is slightly "odd"; the bass and snare drums are there but I'm not picking up the cymbals and the keyboards are just "lost" (thanks for putting the finger on that, Jason!)

Staff have a jar for "tips" on the bar by now. Here's two - learn to count and sort your prices out.

Honestly - £1.60 for half an orange-and-lemonade? You get away with London prices for pissed punters, but you can be reasonably sure that those of us on "softies" will notice.

Second set opens with It's My Life and DS's keyboards are suddenly very conspicuous in the mix; shall we just apply the old footballing cliche here? On occasions like this, the result (a seriously partying crowd) is more important than the performance.

A fair few rarities are aired - Final Countdown, Jump, Summer of '69 - but there's no Kansas and I was hoping for a bit of Sweet or Toto.

LingalongaJovi takes us up to the bells and Auld Lang Syne (hey DB - I can teach you the proper words before next year, if you like!).

No solo spot for Dann (somehow, I don't think the Holmfirth massive is ready for Yngwie) but he and his big brother bring the show to a great climax with the Rock'n'Roll/Rosie doublet.

Happy New Year.

Yeah, to all of you - the three Daves, Alan and Dann; Tracie, Val and Jodie; Phil and Jason; the familiar faces, the random liggers and, as they say in the best magazines, "all my readers" - hope you all have a fantastic 2008 and look forward to seeing you at a show or five.

May the best ye've ever seen be the worst ye'll ever see.
May a mouse ne'er leave your girnal wi' a teardrap in its e'e.
May your lumb keep blythely reekin' 'til your auld enough tae dee.
May ye aye be hale and hearty as I wish ye now tae be.
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Old Tramshed, 21 Jan 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:35 pm

More years ago than I care to remember, we had a burst pipe in the playground at primary school which, of course, was a magnet for us little'uns. I recall the dressing-down I got from the janitor while, soaked to the skin, I sat shivering next to the heater in his office. "I warned you. You'll catch your death..." I haven't felt that small in a long time.

"No-one cares about drummers. No-one loves us. We don't matter."

Alan was a couple of steps away from going down to the garden to eat worms after last night's show at The Tramshed. Thing is, like the jannie all those years ago, he was dead right; apart from a couple of oblique references, he and DS have been conspicuous by their absence from these musings. Due credit has not been paid.

Bad Tommy.

Hey, these reviews are written, primarily, to keep track of the good times I have. They're my diary; something to spark a happy memory in years to come. I'm no professional; I have no journalistic background or training; any "style" in my writing has been absorbed from years of reading Mick Wall, Dante Bonutto and Derek Oliver. I need the occasional bollocking to keep me focussed or I'll end up sounding like Gary bloody Bushell.

What, exactly, was Alan's gripe all about and why was it justified? Well, you'll have heard the TV and radio pundits talking about football referees and how they're considered to be at their best when you don't notice them. To those of us who don't actually know as much about music as we'd like to think, the same applies to drummers, bassists and keyboard players. Yes, they're there and we vaguely recognise them, but we only actually notice them when they balls it up.

Think about it; the famous members of every rock band are the guitarist(s) and singer(s). Bassists are anonymous (unless it's "their" band - Pete Way, Steve Harris - or they sing - Phil Lynott, Lemmy, our very own Dave R); drummers are interchangeable (unless they're "technicians" - Neil Peart, Ian Paice, erm...); keyboard players tend to be so shy they make bassists look like glory-hunting limelight hogs (unless they're Keith Emerson).

Not convinced? Here's a quick test. The following are/were the drummers, keyboard players or bassists in three bands the boys cover - who plays what and with whom?

Jonathan Cane, Alec John Such, Joey Kramer, Steve Smith, David Bryan, Tom Hamilton - you have 10 seconds, starting now...











Whaddaya mean you've never heard of them?

Long story short - this review is dedicated to the "referees" of the show; the guys we don't notice unless they have a bad game. Alan, Dave S and the guys on the desk, take a bow because your time is now.


All hands on desk...


Depending on who you ask, The Old Tramshed is either in Shipley, Saltaire or Bradford. It's a venue I'd heard a fair bit about so I was glad to finally take in a show. As you'd expect (the name's a bit of a giveaway) it's a big, airy building but it's been very nicely converted and the balcony offers a great view of the (perhaps rather small) stage.

Right from the opening bars of Higher Place, this was a great show. The sound was fabulous with the harmony balance approaching perfection and the vocals at just the right level in the overall mix. The big 80s drum sound in Faithfully was great and Jump featured DS's keys as they should sound. This was the kind of show that makes us keep coming back for more and it completely washed away any lingering bad taste from the Hogmanay mishaps. There you go, DB, The Oracle has spoken!

The songs slipped by, one by one; Blue Collar Man, Comfortably Numb, Separate Ways and Wayward Son all benefitting hugely from the well-balanced harmonies. Throw in the aforementioned Faithfully and Adagio and that's your highlights. Yes, the usual Bon Jovi, Guns'n'Roses and what have you too, but you knew that.

By the end of the night, voices, unexercised for nearly a month, were starting to tire but, after a performance like this, that's half expected. By way of a breather, we had a guest appearance from two guys - a vocalist and a drummer who must go uncredited as DB, in his inimitable way, completely failed to introduce them.

Bad DB.

Big Dave's usual pair to close out - a great start to the year.

Oh, afterthought - soundcheck was Is This Love, a song I've never mentioned in review so it must be a while since it was played in anger. Dust that and Hold the Line off and I'll be a happy camper...





Quiz answer :
Jonathan Cane - keys, Journey
Alec John Such - bass, Bon Jovi
Joey Kramer - drums, Aerosmith
Steve Smith - drums, Journey
David Bryan - keys, Bon Jovi
Tom Hamilton - bass, Aerosmith
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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  ds on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:06 am

Thanks Tommy for another excellent review - they always make interesting reading.

Just for the record, the "guest" musicians on the night were Alex Mullen on vocals, former singer/comic with the very popular club duo "Bandits at 2 o`clock" and on drums was Rocker Riley, the brilliant sticksman with the zany rockers "Smart Ass"

Thanks to all who braved the elements last Monday - it was much appreciated.

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Rock Cafe, 21 Feb 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:12 pm

Wah! Everything's flipped over! That's very unsettling! Anyhoo...

We arrived unusually early at the Rock Cafť to find the guys soundchecking Hotel California. I suppose with Bon Jovi turning into an Eagles tribute act on their last album it was inevitable that the Jaggies would go the same way.

The crowd was slow to arrive, but by kick-off the place was reasonably busy. The Rock Cafť doesn’t seem to get as much passing trade as it used to – the young, beautiful people seem to prefer the delights of Queen and Cross Church Streets these days - but that means that all but a handful of those present are there to see the band. This should be a good thing.

The sound was as good as the venue permits so, although the first set was fairly standard content-wise, it was very enjoyable. Dann was complaining that he couldn’t hear his monitor, but we’d never have known – the Miss A Thing and Comfortably Numb solos were awesome, as always.

Comment from DB which might or might not have been serious – Eloise as a potential new track. Is he going goth on us? If he dyes his hair black then I’m going to start watching Band Of Oz…

Second set had a few decent surprises; former Jaggie (and now Storm) drummer Neil sat in on Summer of ’69, but DB was stood up by Ian Roper so had to do the vocals himself.

Annoyed at not getting to sit down and watch for five minutes, DB then surrendered the mic to wee Jo Shorten for Sweet Child ’O Mine. Good stuff.

Unheard in ages, the Sweet’s (Love is Like) Oxygen got an airing then the Whitesnake slot was filled, not by Gimme All Your Love Tonight, but by Is This Love? And it was great. And I’m sure someone suggested that recently…

Big Dave was on blisteringly entertaining form. Terrific vocal on Separate Ways (he’s really made that song his own) and blew the roof off with the encores as usual. All this despite having consumed an industrial quantity of alcohol.

Ah, alcohol. Some folk just shouldn’t touch the stuff. It’s my other quibble with the Rock Cafť as a venue – that’s not a dance floor, it’s the main thoroughfare. This annoys the missus because she can’t have a decent bop. It annoys me because pissed birds who are old enough to know better spend the night spilling beer on me, banging into me and generally getting in my way.

How's the hangover, Amy?



Incidentally, I overheard someone saying the boys were "no oil paintings". I beg to differ...


And no, Alan and DS, I haven't forgotten you, I just need to get some decent photos to work from...
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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:28 pm

Woah! CONTROVERSY!!!

Just for once, my good lady disagrees with me and would like her own say!

M'lords, ladies and gentlemen - MrsD will now take the floor...



Hi all! This may well be the only time I'm allowed to air my views here, so I'll make the most of it !

Recent conversation chez Tommy:-

T: What would you like for Valentine's Day darling?
L: A holiday somewhere hot - oh, and a private gig with the band please!

With his usual efficiency, my other half quickly organised my first request, and when we walked into the Rock Cafe I thought he had also granted my second. We were greeted by the band, the crew and just a few choice friends. However it was not to be, and the crowds duly arrived. From my front row seat, with the masses behind us, I could still pretend!

Now somewhere back in the mists of Jagged Edge history it was decreed that there is a certain protocol to be observed. The first set is all about listening to the music and appreciating the talent on stage. ( Fair enough, except that my feet still feel that Higher Place should be in the second set ). The second set - and this is where I feel as though I missed out -is for audience participation. In other words, DANCING, actively encouraged by the band. However on Thursday, the audience - with one exception - failed to make it onto the floor, despite DB's entreaties. The exception - a mad / sad / drunk (please delete as appropriate) individual, reeling around the floor, and often over the band. She first made her presence felt by spilling her drink down my ( new ) boots. Not a good start, I wasn't impressed.

Reeling from side to side, she invaded the band's territory, at one point almost climbing onto Alan's drum kit! Joining her on the dance floor was NOT an option, so me and like minded ( ie waiting for the chance to dance ) friends sat and quietly fumed.

Overall review of the evening - the band performed with their usual magnificence ( Danny , you amaze me every time, DB - if you ever want someone to shake that tambourine, I'm your girl ) ,but I can't help feeling short changed. I've put my dancing shoes away until next time - roll on Barnsley Trades!

Thank you one and all for indulging me in this little rant, but it had to be said. Till next time.......
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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  diamond jo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:56 pm

I cant help but reply to 'Mrs Tommy' on this one and whole heartedly agree with her!! As a Licensed House manager myself once upon a time, it is the duty of the management to ensure the comfort, enjoyment and most of all safety of all patrons especially the band!! The girl in question was allowed to 'create ' for far too long and whilst she was amusing for about 30 seconds she was ultimately disruptive, annoying and far too drunk and should not have been allowed to remain on the premises!! Instead of focussing on the band, I found myself in 'landlady mode' watching her like a hawk and noting the location of the security!! At the point in which this girl decided to clamber over the band mid song to have a 'chat' with Alan the drummer, the doorman glanced across and carried on texting on his mobile phone!!! He should have been straight over to remove her! Dans concentration on his intricate solos was compromised more than once when she kept interrupting with no doubt some complete and utter verbal nonsense!!! Like 'Mrs Tommy' also pointed out, the minature area where you could have danced was avoided by everyone except her because you just knew you were going to be shoved, crashed into and it was more hassle than it was worth!! The Rock cafe is a great gig, the band were fantastic, the harmonies were fab, the sound was superb and it was well attended but this one individual who appears to be part of the fixtures and fittings at the venue, does seem to succeed in spoiling the complete enjoyment of quite a lot of people!

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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  James Toney on Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:30 am

Totally agree about the oil painting remark, but my wife thinks Dave the bass player is total sex.

would like to put some of your reviews on the main web site tommy

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Rochdale, 7 March 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:39 am

Go ahead. Care to introduce yourself???



...oOo...



More tea, vicar?

I wasn't quite sure what to expect of a Rochdale rock night, I mean, do they even have that new-fangled electricity on the wild side of the hill? Was it going to be the bikers' night from hell? Maybe it would be like some 1985 version of Life on Mars and we'd be surrounded by Gene Hunts in spandex?

Maybe we should stay at home? Nah, I had a new toy I wanted to play with and an otherwise free Friday night, so off we went.

The venue - Rochdale Transport Club - is a fairly standard (if rather small) WMC with an odd little stage built into one corner which was probably installed with dance bands in mind rather than acts people would watch. The seven quid(!) entrance fee doesn't encourage random trade, I wouldn't think, so you're left anticipating a fairly hardcore bunch of raucous rockers.

Wrong! I don't think I've ever been to a more civilised gig; no drunken twattery (despite fairly cheap bar prices), no spilled drinks; just a bunch of like-minded folk out to enjoy themselves either by bopping their socks off or admiring the talent (I'm talking musical virtuosity here, not tight-trousers-and-hair, OK?)

DB had been fretting about the problems the room geometry caused the sound guys but, from where I was sitting (too near the speaker stacks,if truth be told) they did him proud. You want to stick a tape deck on the sound board on nights like this - a handful of overdubs and the much-anticipated CD is doneÖ)

Dann's ...Miss A Thing solo produced utter stunned silence in those present who expected just another covers band.

DB couldn't resist a Rochdale Cowboy joke when introducing Wanted... Mike Harding would be turning in his grave. If he was dead, like.

We had the first of - count them - three guests when local lad Carl (or is it Karl?) played rhythm on Every Rose Has Its Thorn (he was followed by a bloke (whose name I didn't catch) playing keys on Jump and a girl who might've been called Rosie but certainly wasn't 19 stone).

The Journey quotient was turned up near max with Higher Place, Separate Ways, Don't Stop Believing, Be Good to Yourself, Anyway You Want It AND Girl Can't Help It all getting an airing, but not Faithfully. We're still waiting for Who's Crying Now, Edge of the Blade and Loved By You, guysÖ

You all remember Flick Colby, don't you? She was legendary for her literal choreography for Pan's People. I think her spirit was present on Friday as the massed women on the dance floor indulged in a lot of finger guns and heart pointing - SHOT through the HEART - not quite up there with mad Gordon, but amusing nonetheless...

Oh - DB did something that I wish he'd do much more often (read: every show) - he actually introduced the band. It's just a wee thing, but it makes the overall presentation much more professional*.

Anyhoo - apologies for the even-more-disjointed-than-normal review but, as I said, I was playing with my new toy...









* It can be dangerous, mind. I recall Ron Keel introducing his band to the audience at the Edinburgh Playhouse when they supported Dio 20-odd years ago...
"This is Joe Bloggs on drums - he's a rock & roll animal!"
<muted applause>
"This is Billy Smith on guitar - he's a rock & roll animal!"
<muted applause>
"This is Jimmy Jones on bass - he's a rock & roll animal!"
<muted applause>
"I'm Ron Keel - do you know what I am?"


Three and a half thousand people told him exactly what he was. In three-part harmony.
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Barnsley Trades, 15 March

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:40 am

As Linda has learned, I don't "do" wrong. Hence I find myself, once again, in a minority; not quite of one, but I haven't got much company. Last time it happened was during Euro '96 when I was the only person in the pub wearing a Scotland shirt. I still applauded that goal, mind. Through the tears.

Actually (warning - reviewer going off on a tangent - awooga - awooga - this is not a daffodil) it happens quite regularly. The Office, for example. Pile of pants. I was the only person in the country who dared say it in 2001; now they're queueing up behind me. Likewise Little Britain and Catherine Tate; alright for a single sketch, but you can't - scratch that - you shouldn't build a whole series on the back of a single joke. Castles made of sand slip into the sea, to quote a certain dead guitarist (a pint for the first person to come up with the tenuous link to Jagged Edge. No Googling!)

Oh yeah, Jagged Edge. That's what we're here for, not my deconstruction of the British comedy scene (that Chris Morris - thinks he's clever. He's not. He's not funny either.)

Where was I? A small minority, that's right, because I rather liked the Rochdale Transport place; liked the cosiness and the rather laid-back ambience. It was a bit like a low-budget cruise. I know I'd rather listen to Dann than Celine bloody Dion if my ship was going down. Hell, I'd rather listen to Monty than Celine Dion.

Focus, Tommy.

This week it's another place we've heard about but never visited, the Barnsley Trades Club. This is more likely to appeal to you big venue lovers because it's a big space with a big stage and a bloody big crowd. Biggest I've seen in a long time, in fact. Maybe Rochdale needs to reconsider its pricing policy - it was a pound to get in here and, although there might not have been seven times as many people (though I wouldn't be surprised if there were), I'm sure the bar takings more than made up for that.

One other thing that's "big" is the sound - no geometry problems this week and the guys on the desk do a cracking job to get a really good balance which isn't ruined by the odd strange snap, crackle and pop.

This is a fun show. Right from the start Big Dave is bouncing about like he's forgotten to take his ritalin; he's back and forth across the stage all night.

Oh, best performance of Blue Collar Man to date.

I'm sweating buckets by the end of Uncomfortable Bum - Dann's coda is that good.

The interval music features 747 by Barnsley's own Saxon, the mighty UFO doing Only You Can Rock Me and Rainbow's Stargazer, any of which would be a welcome addition to the Jaggie playlist. We also get an apology from the club chairman for his behaviour and language last week (remember this, it's important later).

The second half is another Journey-laden set, this time with added Faithfully (cheers, DB!) during which I get an unaccustomed view of proceedings as Linda drags me onto the dance floor. Now, I've filled a column inch or forty on here with my judgement of others' (lack of) dancing ability, so if anyone wishes to critique my two left feet, then feel free.

Both Whitesnake tracks get an airing (another back catalogue ripe for picking; Fool for Your Loving is a bit obvious, what about Guilty of Love or Slow and Easy? I'm sure Big Dave would deliver an awesome Still of the Night)

The dancefloor bounces throughout the closing Jovi fest then Dann makes his Axis sing - fantastic Adagio.

Big Dave finally gets to burn off some of that energy (though being careful with the voice) and the show's in the can.

Oh no it isn't.

They're a demanding audience in Barnsley; not one but two encores, the latter of which is accompanied by the first recorded waltz headbang in history as one couple manage to somehow combine smooching and moshing. Later, as they're leaving, the chairman (told you he was important) launches into a stream of obscenities which would make Gordon Ramsay blush. I've no idea what the poor lass did to deserve it, but I trust he'll be making another apology next week.

Barnsley - odd place, great show. We'll be back.















Of course, the night was just too exciting for someÖ

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The Old Tramshed, Shipley, 7 April

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:43 am

If you think it's easy doin' one night stands
Try playin' in a rock roll band
It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll


It's also a long way to the Tramshed if you lose confidence in your sense of direction and try following the road signs to Shipley from the M606. Our detour around a large arc of the Bradford ring road meant we got there about half an hour later than expected, but the party hadn't started without us so no big deal (Linda's nerves notwithstanding).

The Tramshed was considerably busier than on our previous visit but they have plenty of staff on both the bar and working the tables so it runs pretty much like clockwork (even if some of the table staff are a bit too keen to recover "empty" glasses). Other places could learn a lot from the Tramshed. Yes, Rock Cafť, I'm looking at you.

We weren't anticipating any surprises and, sure enough, the setlist was an unchallenging crowd pleaser.

The sound was a bit hit-and-miss throughout; Dave's keys were overly-prominent in both set openers, the top half of the guitar sound went completely AWOL during More Than A Feeling, the delay on the vocals seemed to be set at about a verse-and-a-half in places. When it came together, though, it was fantastic; Blue Collar Man, Faithfully, Comfortably Numb, Sweet Child o'Mine, Take it on the Run and Rock'n'Roll were all top-drawer performances; Wayward Son would have been on that list too if it hadn't tripped over itself somewhere in the instrumental break.

A good, fun show that knocked off any ring rust the guys might've had before Friday. Am I the only one excited about Friday? It has an "event" feel about it, can't put it any other way. Oh, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the crowd make-up; I'm expecting a bunch of hen parties and work leaving "do"s - can't wait to see the reaction to Adagio from people who think Noel Gallagher is a guitarist.

No offence, folks, but I'll be really disappointed if it's all the usual faces in attendance!

What else to say? Big Dave's big voice is just about back to full strength (hopefully that top note in Rosie hasn't set it back). I've got a theory about that which might just have taken shape by the weekend, so watch this space. Apart from that, schoolnight gigs - well, maybe just Monday night gigs - are a bad idea. Tuesday comes around too soon...

Scream for me Shipley... the crowd goes wild


The Blue Boy


Key Player


Drum'n'Bass


Yer Mann
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Cedar Court Hotel, April 11

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:48 pm

You're going to have to cut me some slack here, because I'm writing this, what, a fortnight after the show? And I've been basking in the Portuguese sunshine for most of that time (when not dodging the Portuguese rain or hiding from the Portuguese wind, that is).

So, how did the Cedar Court gig go? It would be awfully easy to slip into consultant mode, here.

The Cedar Court has many, many problems. First of all, no-one knows the name; to 90% of locals, the hotel at Ainley Top is the Pennine President or the Hilton. Secondly, it doesn't know its market; is it a business hotel, a ramblers' stop-off or a dirty weekend hide-away? Finally (well, not finally, but if they want me to sort out their business strategy they can pay for it) it just comes across as, well, half-arsed; laid out as if for an awards ceremony with staff dressed to the nines, yet serving up pie'n'peas and not even table service? Come on, make an effort...

The WAGs were (understandably) unhappy at being asked to pay but spirits were high by the (unnaturally early) time the boys hit the stage.

doof...doof...doof...doof...DUM-A-DUUUUUM...

Higher Place sounds amazing - the volume's turned down and we can hear every detail. This is going to be good. Well, for us anyway. Polite applause from the assorted birthday parties who have never heard of Journey and were probably hoping for a Robbie Williams tribute act or some Motown covers; they perk up at the mention of Bon Jovi, but they're not familiar with Runaway either. It takes that bloody Aerosmith song to get them onside.

Credit where it's due - we might not have particularly liked it, but DB's reading of the crowd is spot on and we're treated to the poppier side of the Edge with all the Jovi/Europe/Thunder chart-y stuff getting aired.

Part-time roadie (and full-time Brummie) James gives us a couple of his own songs before the second half and pretty damn good they are, too.

The second half sees a full dance floor with an early contender for dancer of the year who seems to have stones in her shoes. A request from the floor brings us another improvised version of Smoke on the Water, the location for which, interestingly, Big Dave moves from Montreux to Montrose. I went to Montrose once (to see Albion Rovers and, yes, we got gubbed); that's not Lake Geneva, that's the North Sea.

Again due to a request, ...Bad Name and ...Prayer are played out of order. This is much more unsettling than it should be.

Anyway, Adagio, Rock'n'Roll, Rosie... too soon (and stupidly early) it's all over. An interesting night - not as good as I'd hoped for, but not as bad as it could have been. The faults were not with band or crew - both were on top form; maybe I'm just becoming too demanding a punter?

See you at Broad Oak (in the rain, probably).

Awards Venue:


Awards Venue (Band-eye view):


Full-time Brummie:




Full Dancefloor:


Why are they dancing the Y-M-C-A?


New Song - Skip-to-ma-lou-Rosingana


Portuguese sunshine:
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Eastwood View WMC, Rotherham, 17 May 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Mon May 19, 2008 7:26 am

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. - Sir John Lubbock

It's been a long time since they rocked and rolled and the boys look unusually keen to get on stage. Rain stopped play at Linthwaite (a fairly common occurrence, to be honest) so they've had their feet up for the best part of a month and, it has to be said, they look the better for it.

The venue (once we finally figure out how to get into the place) looks for all the world like someone's wallpapered over the wooden panelling in my old school assembly hall. There's a big, high stage and, OK, the bar's a bit incongruous, but the hall's big and boxy - the ideal layout for a great sound; so no pressure on the crew!

The setlist is a joy for the Journey lovers with the full repertoire (Higher Place, Faithfully, Any Way You Want It, Don't Stop Believing, Separate Ways, Be Good To Yourself and Girl Can't Help It) being aired between the usual Jovi, Aerosmith, Styx, Floyd, GnR, Free etc. Poison and Thunder fill the "sometimes" spots.

All is well in the world - DB's in fine voice for the ballads, Dann's pulling all sorts of foot-on-the-monitor poses, big Dave's sporting a grin the width of Rosie's celebrated rear, DS is boogie-ing away and Alan, even though we can't see him, sounds like he's having a ball.

Comfortably Numb illustrates just how good the sound is - the vocals (which can be a bit cluttered and muddy on occassion) are crystal clear and Dann's solo is a veritable wall of sound. Linda and Tracie claim there's a bum note in there somewhere but I reckon that means his hit rate is still something like seventeen-trillion-to-one.

Best moments? With a show like this there are so many to choose from. Blue Collar Man has, as predicted, become a show highlight; Faithfully (another song which can lose its impact when the sound isn't right) just rocks; Sweet Child… gets the dancefloor swinging; the three drunk guys channelling Freddie Mercury with the campest dancing ever seen in a WMC; even the half-time bingo provides entertainment as we debate just what language the caller is speaking ("South Yorkshire" might be a bit more of a challenge for big Dave's translation software than French or German).

Oh, and the encores. Remember I hinted at a theory a couple of dates back?

Just because my position on imaginary sky pixies makes Richard Dawkins look like the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't mean I didn't pay attention in RI class, y'know. According to Judges, God bestowed a child upon an infertile couple on condition that he never have his hair cut or drink alcohol (OK, that might be a weakness in my analogy but, come on, some people believe the biblical stuff). The deal was that God would stay with the child - Samson (he was part of the Tribe of Dan, don'tcha know) - for as long as these conditions were met.

It's some nine months since big Dave had his locks shorn and, though not (yet) back to the Coverdale/Plant proportions of yore, his curls are at least bothering his collar again. Now, it might just be me, but I reckon his performances are getting better and better as his hair returns. Both ...Rosie and Rock & Roll are blistering tonight; the voice is restored and he really looks like he's enjoying himself.

So, great show; the guys are refreshed following their little break and head into a busy period firing on all cylinders - a good time to catch them if you can.











Looks like someone's having fun...



Oh yes, and to complete the oil painting collection;



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Old Tramshed, Shipley, 26 May 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Fri May 30, 2008 5:56 am

doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof

The Tramshed is packed to the rafters on Bank Holiday Monday. The boys are playing their third show in as many nights (the Barrow posse having clocked up over 600 miles so far) and Alan's drumkit is very, VERY LOUD!

doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof

Seriously, I went to the loo during Faithfully and thought the place was coming down; the walls start shakin', the earth was quakin', my mind was achin'...

Well, the plumbing was rattling in sympathy anyway...

So, brief (sorry, I'm busy!) highlights of the night;

(i) BLUE COLLAR HEADBANGERS! During Blue Collar Man, there were a dozen or so people lining the staircase, heads nodding merrily. I've never seen anyone headbang to Styx; maybe time to add some Quo to the Tramshed set?

(ii) NEW SONG! No, not the Howard Jones track (though it was good - hey, I'm an eighties kinda guy!) - Whitesnake's Fool For You Loving. You'd guess Big Dave would take the vocal and you'd be right - bloody good it was too (I still want to hear him sing Still of the Night, though). Good choice, good interpretation; a future set fixture is born, I'm betting.

(iii) EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! Y'know that pillar in the middle of the stage? It was fairly inevitable that someone, someday, would indulge in a bit of pole dancing, wasn't it? How come it was a BLOKE? And a bloke in a HAWAIIAN SHIRT at that? Only at a Jaggie show...

Oh yeah, the Blackpool squad were in town and wee Jo did her usual cracking job on Sweet Child...

On the whole, another good night out.

Did I mention that Alan's drums were very, VERY LOUD?

doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof - doof



Mr Tambourine Man



Lonely Boy, Lonely Guitar



Hey Jo(e)



Prince Charming (Ridicule is nothing to be scared of)



Invoking the Spirit of Jim Morrison

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Broad Oak Cricket Club - 4 July 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:30 am

Independence day. America is, what, 232 years old this year? And still acting like a spoilt brat playground bully? They need to shift their fat arses along to a Jagged Edge gig or two; learn to relax. Maybe we could get Osama along, too; they could all have a beer together and debate whether Whitesnake counts as "heavy" or not.

I'm wandering again, aren't I?

Over the last few years I've missed a fair number of gigs because of prior commitments -
2005 Styx (away on business), Dio (performing Holy Diver in its entirety, no less - holiday)
2006 Journey (Augeri - holiday)
2007 Journey (JSS - business), Marcus Brigstocke at the LBT (holiday)

Last week takes some beating, though; Def Leppard. Whitesnake. Journey (Pineda).

What a week to fly to the Canaries.

Ah well; if I'd taken the punt on tickets for Saturday's Harewood House show we'd have missed it anyway thanks to flight delay; just need to make do with this outdoor event...

The Jaggies' last attempt at playing Broad Oak fell foul of the weather and it looked - as late as Thursday - like this one might go the same way. Thankfully, the God of Rock smiled upon his chosen ones and Linthwaite partied all night long.

The sound was a bit weedy in the first half with the vocal delay being lost to the slowly-darkening night sky, but that didn't detract from a set chosen to be recognisable to the large contingent of younger attendees. The assorted hoodies, ladettes and other "bangin' tunes" afficianados sang along with the ones they knew (Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Thunder) and politely ignored the ones they didn't (pretty much everything else, including a fantastic rendition of More Than A Feeling).

Quote of the night came from a skinny, pasty-white, red haired lad in an England trackie top who spoke like Ali G (honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up); "That guitar guy's wicked, man".

The sound came together much better in the second set; Alex Mullen joined the band for a cracking run-through of Bad Company's Can't Get Enough, we had The Sweet, Journey, Guns'n'Roses and Bon Jovi before "that guitar guy" defied the plummeting temperature to deliver a stunning solo spot.

Adagio just sounds better in the open air, somehow.

The encores pushed the show right up to the midnight curfew. Great show.

For trailer trash.


Trailer trash.


Where's my crowd?


We're over heee-eere!


It's all gone a bit Eye of the Tiger


Listen closely and you can hear this photo


Alex'n'Dave


Tubthumpin'


Psychedelic


What does this button do?


Michael Bolton moment


Plugging the website. This guy's a closet Big Brother viewer, y'know...
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Rock Cafe, 17 July 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:23 am

I think it's fairly well documented that the Rock Cafe isn't my favourite venue, but our most recent visit started promisingly with a much-reduced PA; maybe it wouldn't be as ear-splittingly loud as usual.

DB's tired, Dann's voice is in doubt; there must be a good case for the band to take a proper break – it's only rock'n'roll, after all.

Our understanding of DB's psyche; as revealed by his iPod; was furthered in an interesting direction. MSG followed by Gary Numan? Kiss by Leif Garrett?

Remembering the 70s disco heart-throb knocked me right off kilter, I must admit, but it turns out he's lived the regular fallen star lifestyle and is a hopeless junkie these days as this mugshot from his bust for heroin possession proves;



He's only forty-something, y'know. Drugs is baaaad, kids.

Anyway, the boys gave a knockout performance on Thursday; the Journey/Jovi/Aerosmith trio sounded fantastic and the first set included REO, Styx and Boston to scratch my AOR itch good and proper. The sound had deteriorated a bit by the time Comfortably Numb came around, but it was still an order of magnitude better than normal for the Cafe.

The sound was sorted out for the start of part two and the second set featured wee Jo on Sweet Child... and an unexpectedly loud guest on ...Bad Name. The highlight of the night, though, was big Dave's encore spot – the big man was rock'n'roll personified; a blistering performance.

Throw in Bed of Roses as a bonus and the night's easily the best we've had at the venue.









Loudest ever crowd participant;



At least one former teen heart-throb has aged a bit better than Leif;
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Riffs Blackpool, 9 August 2008

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:56 am

We didn't know it but, back in the much-maligned eighties, we were spoilt rotten.

In the days before 24 hour music television, the big bands recorded an album a year then toured - really toured - so we unwashed masses could see our gods in the flesh. It was the only way for them to stay in the spotlight; rock fans have always been fickle.

Looking back to calendar year 1984 (end of high school/start of college), I reckon I saw; (deep breath) The Scorpions (with Mama's Boys supporting), Saxon, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Thompson Twins, Ultravox, OMD, Iron Maiden (with Waysted), Dio (with Queensryche), Kiss (with Bon Jovi), Big Country (at least twice), Duran Duran, Malmsteen's Rising Force (that might've been '85) and Hanoi Rocks. The most expensive ticket was Kiss at £8; I think Hanoi was a couple of quid on the door.

In and among these big shows, though, were the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights spent at The Heathery Bar, The Dial Inn, The Mayfair, The Howff, various students' unions and dozens of other pubs and clubs hosting a most vibrant local music; The Dolphins (the finest band who never made it), Glasgow (named for their home city because "it's good enough for Chicago or Boston"), Zero Zero (whose least talented member, Andy McCafferty, changed his name to Tantrum and went on to play guitar in the Almighty), Heavy Pettin' (Scotland's Def Leppard, until some muppet promoter talked them into entering Eurovision) or Chasar (a heavily Rush-influenced power trio with the biggest - I'm talking size of individuals here - following I've ever seen; not one of them under 6 foot).

So what if my memories are from Lanarkshire and the west of Scotland? Barrow, Huddersfield and Bradford would have had their equivalent (OK, maybe not Barrow); take a moment to wallow in your own nostalgia...




Feels nice, doesn't it?

OK, there is a point to this (apart from me namedropping all the rather cool bands I got to see, even if OMD were well past their best) and that is that we simply don't have the wealth of places for bands to play these days. The money men tied up acts and venues alike many moons ago, so it feels bad to criticise a new place, especially a rock-friendly one, but...

Naughty, naughty, very naughty. To advertise a support band - on the door, on the night - when you know perfectly well that they're a no-show - is just rude. Especially when they sound as good as Whitefire do on their MySpace page. I was rather looking forward to seeing them; not to an "I'd go to Blackpool specially" extent, but I'll certainly be keeping an eye open for them appearing on this side of t'hill.

Apparently, Riffs don't employ cleaners, either. The boys' last appearance there resulted in numerous complaints about muck being dislodged from the ceiling into glasses, so this performance is an adventure in lo-fi; Jagged Edge on a house PA, no fancy flashing lights, no annoying flashing laser; just The Rock.

Let's smell what it's cookin'...

Without the distractions, I'm immersed in the sound. The mix is fantastic; swirling keys and wailing guitars twist and turn around the solid rhythm; vocals are perfectly blended; DB will hate me for saying it, but this sound is up there with the very best presentations with the full kit. Only a slightly muddy bass and some spurious feedback let it down.

Runaway trips over itself in the closing bars so we get a rather ramshackle improvised ending; ...Miss a Thing has rarely sounded so chilled; Boston, Styx and Thunder are effortless, Comfortably Numb is possibly the best it has ever sounded; all the more surprising, then, when we learn that Dann can't hear a thing onstage.

Opening part two, Big Dave teases us by introducing Asia's Don't Cry but the song (sadly) doesn't get an airing ( I hope the rest of the band are listening to the big man's new song suggestions). The set is, instead, fairly standard with Jo making her usual appearance in front of her home audience, Don't Stop Believing and the Bon Jovi double providing the singalong soundtrack and All Right Now and Rock'n'Roll filling the dancefloor; the audience becoming more animated as the night draws to a close.

Dann's solo highlights just how good the sound is; every single note is crystal clear; watching the slowly encroaching crowd gather around him brings back school memories; fight! fight! fight!

As I noted previously when we visited the Royal Oak, the Blackpool crowd enjoy their music and show their appreciation; it's a shame that Riffs doesn't have the same respect for its punters.

The rather feeble house spotlights didn't make for great photography, either;













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Rochdale Transport Club, August 29th

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:30 am

Best laid plans and all that... Seems that Blackpool's Whitefire have called it a day before I got the chance to see them.

Anyway, just a few brief comments because this was simply a thoroughly enjoyable show by a bunch of lads who looked to be ready for the well-deserved break they are now taking.

A considerably bigger crowd for this, our second, visit to Rochdale Transport Club. Bigger crowd and smaller PA (this is becoming a theme this summer) which gave a great sound in the oddly-shaped room.

The first set followed the customary playlist; highlights were Blue Collar Man, Every Rose Has Its Thorn (with local boy Carl guesting again) and Comfortably Numb.

The second set kept the dancefloor rocking, with all the usual G'n'R, Bon Jovi, etc being augmented by Whitesnake (...Love Tonight) and Van Halen. Now, the Transport Club building is probably close to a hundred years old and it was probably built to withstand some serious abuse, but some of those Rochdale lads'n'lasses really shouldn't have been encouraged to Jump.

Big Dave (who'd been even more animated than usual throughout) brought normal proceedings to a close in his own inimitable manner then we were treated to (the always welcome) Girl Can't Help It as a bonus.

Enjoy the sabbatical, guys - you've earned it.











This is the voice of the Mysterons...



Who ya gonna call...?

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Colley WMC, 3 October

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:41 am

Once again, my mental sat-nav got us to within yards of a venue then got us lost; this happens alarmingly often - I can get you to within half a mile of just about anywhere in the country you care to name, but don't ask me to find the hotel/pub/theatre. Usually, it's no big deal but tonight the band were closing Runaway when we arrived.

A cracking venue, Colley WMC; big and symmetrical with lovely woodwork which looks as if it's probably recycled from a previous premises. It's also the only club I've ever been in with a dedicated, cordoned off and signposted "Standing" area. I smell health and safety...

Standing at the bar I hear a tsst-tsst-tsst sound similar to that hiss you used to get when you played records quietly with the turntable lid up. Stage centre, though, the sound is great; despite (or possibly because of?) being limited by a Waterloo-style decibel meter.

First highlight of the night is Blue Collar Man. Dann's in terrific voice - best I've heard him sing, I think. The song gets a fantastic reception from the sizeable crowd, most of whom I'm guessing haven't heard it before (this being the first time the boys have played here).

An excellent Take it on the Run follows, then Comfortably Numb seems to come around much sooner than normal (missing a couple of songs really does shorten the set) and is spellbinding enough to stop the two blokes behind me discussing their sex lives for five minutes.

Oh joy... an hour of bingo. Ah well, it gives us time to catch up on gossip.



The dancefloor is filled for the second half. I've been disappointed by the number and standard of mad dancers this year - one bloke tonight looks like he should be auditing the local high school, but whither the sunburnt teletubbies and leprechauns of yore?

(Love is Like) Oxygen gets an airing and the well-deserved second encore is Is This Love? but the highlight of the second act is Big Dave being outscreamed on ...Rosie. I don't think he needs to worry about being replaced, somehow.

Dave'n'Dave


Dave'n'Dave


Dave'n'Dann


Dave'n'Alan


Dave'n'Dann


Let's Dance


Anything You Can Scream...






Dann: So then I wiggle my finger here and it goes peeee-ooow
Dave: Cor! That's clever!
Dave: <mutter, mutter> I showed him how to do that <mutter, mutter>
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Bellhouse WMC, 14 February 2009

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:48 am

Been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time...

It seems barely possible, but with various illnesses, Christmas breaks and just bad booking (bloody Cleethorpes, I ask you!) it is fully FOUR MONTHS since we last saw the boys. The last time that happened was way back in 2006 - before their internet presence made stalking sooooo much easier!

Anyway, what's changed? Well, not the opening to the set, for a start - Higher Place/Runaway/...Miss a Thing/Love Walked In/Wanted - the familiar numbers greet us like old friends but then - gatecrasher!

It's about time we had some Rainbow in the set. Stone Cold wouldn't have been my first choice but it fits well with the other American-sounding (and genuinely American) stuff in the first set. I'm holding out for Big Dave singing Long Live Rock'n'Roll, though! Oh, the big man assuming the role of musical director - counting and cueing his bandmates through the new number - is an entertaining (and informative) sideshow!

Informative, oh yes. I never thought I'd be able to crowbar work into one of these reviews, but this is the structure of the compound disodium 6-hydroxy-5-[(4-sulphophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulphononate.



That's a bit of a mouthful and we chemists are idle buggers, so it is commonly known as "sunset yellow" food colouring or E110. It can cause hyperactivity in children who consume it so, obviously, it is widely used in stuff like soft drinks and sweets. The sort of stuff kids never touch, y'know?

They must've gone through an awful lot of orange juice on Saturday.

Up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down.

Pause. Breathe. Check mum hasn't abandoned you (who's that man and why is he trying to eat her face?). Have a drink of orange (gotta keep those chemical levels up, don't wanna come down before supper time). Resume.

Up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down.


It says more than I ever could for Dann's Comfortably Numb solo that even the eight-year-olds stand in silence.

We're into the break and I realise my ears are ringing - no volume limiters here! Fortunately, this means that the bingo caller is little more than a background buzz. It seems they like their bingo here as much as they do in Hartlepool. It's a looooong interval! We win the twenty quid mini tote, though.

Back onstage, the rhythm section (Alan is hidden away out of the lights tonight) tease us with Dancing in the Moonlight. It has got to surface in the set one of these days!

Along with all the usual dance floor fillers, we get the always-welcome Wayward Son in the second half then Dann (who has been unusually animated throughout the night) turns in a blinding solo spot.

Big Dave is relieved of his AC/DC duties by a local lad (didn't catch the name) but delivers (as always) on Rock'n'Roll before the band is called back by the big, appreciative crowd for not one but two encores.

And so in Pink Floyd's Time, we are treated to the second new track of the night. By the close, DB's looking rather pleased with himself. He's probably entitled to, but I'll reserve judgement until I've heard it at more conservative volume.

Good gig. Best not leave it so long till the next one, though.

DB's best Tina Turner impression


Alan, out of the limelight


Dave, trying to see through the rather excessive fog


Big Dave practicing looking sincere


Ross Halfin made millions taking photos like this, y'know


Big Dave's got his hair back


Someone tell Snow White we've found the missing dwarfs


Remember Bros? These ones have better hair
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Trying a new approach...

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:30 pm



___oOo___


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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue May 12, 2009 1:54 pm




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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue May 12, 2009 2:02 pm










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Re: Reviews Thread

Post  TommyDGNR8 on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:23 am

The fully formatted version (with pictures) is over on my blog; http://tommydgnr8.blogspot.com/

Jagged Edge - East Dene (May), Waterloo (June), Rock Cafe (Feb)
A bit of a mish-mash of unpublished comments;

We collared DB at Deighton to petition (again!) for Who's Crying Now. At East Dene (31 May 2009), we got some idea of what he meant when he said he didn't want to become just a Journey covers band.

Higher Place, Faithfully, Separate Ways, Anyway you Want It, Don't Stop Believing, Be Good To Yourself, Lights, Stone in Love.

That's quite a set by anyone's standards and with the usual Bon Jovi, GnR, Floyd and what have you, it made for a thoroughly enjoyable night.

Where that was fun, the next week's show at Waterloo had a real sense (for me at least) of occasion; a true alpha to omega event.

You'll recall my first encounter with Jagged Edge was when the then soon-to-be-Lady-DGNR8 dragged me along to a Sunday afternoon show at the bowling club; it seems appropriate that this chapter should close at the same venue.

Higher Place is cut short by the Waterloo's infernal volume limiter but DB leans on his electrical background to "overcome" that problem and the boys keep it hard, tight and loud through the show.

Well, until half-way through It's My Life when the kitchen circuits (for that, gentle reader, is where the juice is being pulled from) are overloaded by someone putting the kettle on.

I really want it to have been Polly.





Time passes. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Whatís that noise? Iíve got a new bit; it ticks with the regularity of Alanís drums.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Things have changed.

Six months ago, Donít Stop Believin' was my song. Journey was my band. Had been since 1983 when my schoolmate Jim Robertson came back from a visit to the States with copies of Escape and Frontiers.

Wow.

Sure, I shared them with a few of you, but it didnít stop them being mine.

When last we spoke, all 99% of the British population knew about Journey was Donít Stop Believiní. Half of them didnít even know who it was by; it was just that awesome song from the end of The Sopranos. Thatís probably where Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole heard it, anyway. They gave it to the little Geordie with the crooked teeth and the axe-murdererís smile. He sang it on The X-Factor and it was obvious from that moment that he was going to win.

Itís not like Simon to miss an opportunity, but he took his eye off the ball; Joeís attempt at the Christmas number one wasnít the song we all expected; they gave him a Smiley Virus number instead. The rest is history; Rage Against the Machine got the Christmas number one.

Poor Joe.

Journey finally got UK chart success a quarter of a century after it was deserved and a cover Ė by the Kids from Fa... the Cast of Glee Ė meant that Donít Stop... was a top ten hit twice, at the same time.

Suddenly, Donít Stop Believin' is everybodyís song. Journey is everybodyís band. I donít suppose Steve Perry or Neal Schon is complaining and Iím pleased to have been proved right (again), but I feel as if Iíve lost something.
Things have changed in Jaggie Land as well. Finally, ...Miss a Thing has gone, to be replaced by Home Sweet Home. Bowling For Soup asked it and no-one answered, so Iíll ask again; when did Motley Crue become classic rock?

Certainly not in 1986...


Some things never change, though; the Rock Cafe sound was woeful and the women there canít hold their drink.




Regeneration or evolution? Jagged Edge, Barnsley Trades, April 2010

"I don't want to go."

David Tennant's incarnation of Dr Who signed off with those words a few months ago. Tonight, his successor, Matt Smith, assumed the mantle and made a decent fist of a thankless task. Tennant was a hard act to follow and only time will tell if Matt has the talent, the style and the je ne sais quoi to carry it off.

Closer to home, another well loved, well established act may be even harder to follow. Dave Bamforth has, under doctor's (no, not Matt Smith's) orders, relinquished the spotlight and Jagged Edge have a new frontman. As a fellow member of the zipper club I have to say GET WELL SOON, DB!

Bob Wider has previously worked with Bradford's Street Sleeper, a heavier band than the Jaggies who feature Metallica and Iron Maiden tracks in their repetoire, so he's not an obvious choice, but let's see...

We speak to the diminutive singer before the show. He's a quiet, unassuming wee soul but he's excited about the gig having thoroughly enjoyed his first "official" booking the night before; when he excuses himself to "go and put on my dancing pants", Dann's unusually reluctant to give us any clues about what to expect.

Whatever we get, there's standing room only at the Trades.

"Here's a song for ya..."

Bob borrows David Coverdale's traditional introduction as the band launch into Fool For Your Loving; interesting opener, definitely a heavier sound than when they've jammed it in the past and, yes, Bob can sing.

Foreigner's Feels Like The First Time is debuted and is all kinds of great then She Don't Know Me, Home Sweet Home and Love Walked In all showcase different aspects of Bob's vocal abilities.

Blue Collar Man sounds as good as ever and, where Wayward Son has been subtly modified so that it's more faithful to the original, Comfortably Numb has been completely rearranged to let Bob deliver a Roger Waters-style solo vocal rather than the harmonised version we've become accustomed to.

Actually, Wayward Son highlights my only complaint about Bob's vocals; he needs to learn to drop into harmony lines rather than maintaining his lead volume over the top of them.

Dann, as always, owns the place as he solos the first half to a close.

The second half opens with a new Bon Jovi number - Lay Your Hands On Me will be a crowd pleaser, but I don't rate it; personally, I'd rather have In and Out of Love or old favourite Runaway.

Among trusty stalwarts like Sweet Child O'Mine and (dragged into mid-set) Rock'n'Roll, we get a few Journey numbers; Big Dave retains vocal duties for Separate Ways, but Bob has relieved Dann of both Be Good To Yourself and Don't Stop Believing; watching Dann remembering not to sing was one of the more amusing sights of the night.

Whitesnake's Don't Break My Heart Again is the final new song of the night; I've never been a big 'Snake fan - a bit too blues-y for my taste - but it's an inoffensive choice and, obviously, it's bloody well played.

Don't Stop Believing actually finds itself stuck in the nominal "last number of the night" slot where, in light of its recent over-exposure, it doesn't really have the impact it once would.

Dann's solo doesn't need reviewing, but I miss the segue into Rock'n'Roll.

Bob (I originally mistyped that as "Bon", hmmm...) replaces Big Dave on ...Rosie and, for the first time, something jars.

Living On A Prayer opens the way Desmond Child originally intended - as a tender, acoustic number - before bringing the night to a rocking climax.

No ...Bad Name? Really? Didn't see that one coming.

A difficult show for the guys to play, a difficult show for me to review, but in the cold light of day, how was it?

WHAT I LIKED: Feels Like The First Time (a lot); the re-works of Wayward Son, Comfortably Numb and Living on a Prayer were great; the absence of Wanted was welcome (my heart sank when the hat appeared at the end); Bob has terrific stage presence.

WHAT I WAS INDIFFERENT TO: both Lay Your Hands On Me and Don't Break My Heart Again. I can see both songs catching on, though.

WHAT I'D CHANGE: Ooooh - sorry, even ignoring my prejudice, I don't think Whitesnake's a good opener - give us something bouncy with harmonies. And Rosie... Bob's vocal may be more authentic, but Big Dave's is just better; give the big man his song back!
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