What can you say about a legend like Paul McCartney. Well for a start you could continue to spread the rumour that he died in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike (here, here, here), but lookalike or original you can’t argue that he is an extremely talented man!
First, however, I feel the need of a short rant about why I do not like stadium gigs! They are just too big – you can’t see the band – there are too many drunk people around (well in a standing gigs at least), the sound isn’t great, they charge laughable prices for poor quality food and drink… etc. I promised to myself after a disappointing Red Hot Chillies gig in Hampden Park last year to avoid these at all costs. Since then I saw U2 last year, Snow Patrol last week, and when you score free tickets for a Beetle you just can’t say no!
Mentioning that we got these tickets for free does let me continue to moan a little bit more about stadium gigs – firstly the view from this distance and angle is ‘limited’ and we weren’t in the worst seats and the sound was fairly disappointing from where we were with audio dropping occasionally, lack of any distinction and a tinny quality… hard to describe exactly but overall disappointing. So I can honestly say that the tickets were worth every penny we paid :-/ but I wonder what the face price was.
I also don’t understand how places like Hampden can get away with enforcing a policy of not allowing and food or drink to be brought in and then charge £4 for a very low quality burger and £4 for a small glass of wine or pint of beer.
Right, now that is out of the way – Paul McCartney. He is incredibly good at his job! Switching between many different guitars, mandolin, ukulele, pianos and playing songs from the Beetles, Wings, some songs from John and George – it would be very easy for someone with a career like Paul McCartney to have turned into a parody of himself playing all the same old songs but he has managed to avoid that. When playing early Beetles songs with the gathered voices of the Hampden choir somehow it didn’t feel like a nostalgic moment but more of a party. You have to pinch yourself occasionally to think that this isn’t just anyone singing these standards but one of the guys who actually lived through it all.
Of course there were also many non-Beetles songs and I have to say the way the set was put together was a great mix (see the setlist from Glasgow below). The only Wings songs I really know are Jet and Band on the Run and they were good of course, but Live and Let Die was incredible with a full on rock-show firework finale – speaking of ‘finale’ there were at least two Encores according to the setlist below but an Encore to me means one more song… Paul just kept playing!
One of the many highlights of the evening (IMHO) was Mull of Kintyre when the band were joined by a school pipe band – and the massed voices of Hampden Park, really a great and moving moment which I have struggled to upload to youtube (is it just me or is youtube getting harder to upload to):
All in this was a fantastic way to spend a lovely summer evening in Glasgow, and it was the sun gradually setting over the stadium which made this photo look like everyone was standing to salute Sir Paul McCartney, after all he did deserve it!
Glasgow Setlist – Sunday 20th June 2010.
1. Venus and Mars / Rockshow
3. All My Loving
4. Letting Go
5. Drive My Car
7. Let Me Roll It
8. The Long And Winding Road
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
10. Let ‘Em In
11. My Love
12. I’ve Just Seen A Face
13. And I Love Her
15. Here Today
16. Dance Tonight
17. Mrs Vandebilt
18. Eleanor Rigby
20. Sing The Changes
21. Band On The Run
22. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
23. Back In The USSR
24. I’ve Got A Feeling
25. Paperback Writer
26. A Day In The Life / Give Peace A Chance
27. Let It Be
28. Live And Let Die
29. Hey Jude
30. Day Tripper
31. Lady Madonna
32. Get Back
34. Mull Of Kintyre
35. Helter Skelter
36. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End
Some months ago some good friends suggested getting tickets to the Snow Patrol. It seemed like a good idea at the time, I had heard of Snow Patrol but couldn’t actually have told you any of their songs. Since agreeing to go I had spent some time on Spotify trying to get to know some Snow Patrol songs only to discover that I really can’t get into any of their stuff. Honestly, I did try but I just seemed to zone out or even leave the room and find myself trying to figure out what I had been listening to and why.
I’m also not a big fan of outdoor or ‘stadium’ gigs because you rarely get a good view and people tend to be even drunker, more out of control and obnoxious. So, off to Bellahouston Park on a sunny evening, we found a nice little spot near front-of-house and settled down to wait… the first band after we arrived was Band of Horses, who were interesting enough at first but then all their songs started to meld into a very similar sound, they struck me as sort of 70s hippies out of time. After some time, the Editors (or perhaps it is just Editors with no ‘the’) came on, and they were really fairly boring, I have nothing else to say about them – they came, they sang, they went…
Eventually Slow Patrol came on. Many more lights were now used, more big screens with very good camera work(!) on a few songs I could also say that there were some extremely well thought out visuals to complement the music. However (In my opinion) this might have been be because the tech’s get so bored with the long slow tedious songs they have to find something to do during a gig.
Basically Slow Patrol aren’t for me. Their songs are repetitive, melodic, but with few real hooks. Performance wise they seemed to have a good time with what I think they said was their largest crowd of around 25000 people, but even still there wasn’t much of a vibe coming from the stage (again – in my opinion). Still had a good time, circling the crowd, watching from different angles, etc. an OK night – but I really did notice how much better and stronger the first song I heard in the car was.
I was around 13 when I discovered KISS, and started collecting their back catalog. I can still remember in 1983 hearing that they would take their make up off for the latest LP and ‘Lick It Up‘ and traveling up to Glasgow on the day it was released to see what they looked like (not a hansom bunch it has to be said). Shortly after that saw them in concert for the first time in the fantastic Glasgow Apollo, (27/10/1983 supported by Heavy Pettin). That was great and a year later they appeared again in the Apollo – 05/11/2984, this time supported by the unknown Bon Jovi who had just released their first LP and having seen them several times since, I still think that support set was the best I have ever seen them.
Back to KISS. I did see them once more in 1992 at the SECC but these weren’t really KISS’s best days, and I did have my doubts about seeing them again as the recent years of KISStory have had mixed fortunes. I would say that they went through a period where they did become their own ‘tirbute band’ putting on the make up again, reforming with the original line up (Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have been constant since 1973 when they started). But their latest album (19th Studio album, and first new recording for 11 years!) Sonic Boom rocks and sound very much like their early 70s hey-day.
I can say without a doubt this was the best KISS concert of the four times I’ve seen them across three decades. Within seconds of the opening I was completely lost to the experience, I was back in the loft with vinyl, headphones and air-guitar. This was my first proper KISS concert, with KISS in full costume, makeup, pillars of flame, rocket firing guitars, wire stunts bringing Paul (now 57) flying over the audience to the FOH position or Gene (still going strong at 60 and apparently still scared of heights) flying up into the lighting rig after his demon-bass-solo-blood-spitting thing. Add to this the latest video and lighting technology, new songs and enthusiasm of a sellout Scottish crowd which surprisingly included a lot of people who couldn’t have been born in 1983 when KISS played the Apollo!
Basically this was full on KISS THEATER with all the old-school tricks mixed with the latest tech. But don’t take my word for it … here’s the video I made :-)
So many things happening that I only have time for a quick +ve or -ve update…
- +ve visited my sister and family in Dunoon.
- -ve had to pass through Gourock :-(
- +ve went for a nice drive in the country
- -ve my car is falling apart
- +ve I get to go car-shopping soon
- -ve I had a large ‘fry-up’ last night
- +ve it included (in fact was caused by having) Charles Macleod’s Stornoway Black Pudding
- +ve helped friend with video project that has worked out really well
- +ve not stressed at all about Deeper this weekend
- -ve probably forgotten something for Deeper this weekend
- +ve attended an excellent reading and book signing by Simon Varwell of his book “Up the Creek Without a Mullet”
- -ve I’ve already read it
- +ve finally got hold of a CD of Seasick Steve (listening to it now – excellent!!!)
- -ve sister’s been not well :-(
- +ve been in touch with a couple of other folk who do Worship VJing
- -ve going to the dentist this week for the first time in many many years :-<
- +ve was sunny today and I spent some time in a park sketching, then doing some guerrilla filming on Byres Rd.
- +ve stuff I can’t blog about ;-)
OK, so to tally up… 11 +ve / 7 -ve …so all is well and good with the world. So here is a photo of Jake and I relaxing during the morning service last week (sorry about the messy background, what can you do)!
Last day of this year’s Celtic Connections, finally managed to get organised to go to a full gig, and probably in one of the best venues in Glasgow, The Fruitmarket! I hadn’t heard much from the Peatbog Faeries, but on Alan’s recommendation a small group of us got together for this gig. Also, it was on a Sunday night, so a good excuse to skip church ;-)
They have been classified as ‘Celtic Fusion’ which generally means upbeat non-traditional music with traditional Celtic instruments and music. From my limited experience of Celtic bands I would say they are similar to Shooglenifty with a great mix of sounds with bagpipes, whistles, fiddles, electric guitar, keys and a brass trio (sax, trombone and trumpet) which gives them what I thought was a jazz/funk feel and at other times a blues vibe with obviously a strong Celtic core through out.
The Fruitmarket or ‘The Old Fruitmarket‘ as it now seems to be called – rocks! It has an excellent atmosphere for this type of music with that old-world feel of a market place and cobbled street – good acoustics and you never feel that far from the band, even when like me you prefer to stand at the back by the tech-desks.
The only thing that detracted from this concert at all was the lighting which looked like a good rig but seemed to be operated in a very random way. The movers were over used, nothing was in time with the music very often and there seemed to be programs left on randomly for long periods which added nothing and just made it harder to watch the band.
Apart from that minor irritation it was a good night, with good company and some great sounds. I’d certainly recommend catching the Peatbog Faeries if you get the chance.