Monday, April 18, 2016

Record store day and the demise of Bowie

Apologies again for the lack of writing. Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans, to quote John Lennon. We went and visited Strawberry Fields in NYC when we were there recently. It's a good idea to keep people away from the Dakota, methinks. We also visited our pals at Looney Tunes, along with a few DC stores. Nice to see John, Carl Jr, Ryan and the gang.
For those living in caves, International Record Store Day was on Saturday 16 April. For our household, it's like Christmas for Mr. He spends weeks poring over the lists of releases, and then can barely sleep the night before the early morning, when he springs out of bed. So cute how he gets all excited. This year, it was Action Records up in Preston. He was there at 6:11am, and was 32nd on the queue. He got most of his wants, including the all-important David Bowie ones.
Which was another sad thing that occurred since I last blogged. I actually see the man's face every morning when I emerge from the bedroom (he's on the wall in our hallway) and I still can't kind of get my head around the fact that he's no longer alive. It was quite a frenzy back in January, with us taking condolences from friends and family alike. I had to remind a few people that no, we didn't actually know him, and he's not related to us. It was sad and we'll miss him, but I have no doubt that his re-releasing of box sets will go on forever. We went to a V&A showing of a film on the Bowie exhibition the week after his death, and it was kind of like being at a memorial service. Fitting, in a way.
One of the channels also treated the British public to a showing of Labyrinth shortly after his demise. Holy hat, that, along with just about every other movie the man starred in, was evidence that Bowie's talent lay in music.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Not so out of reach - Gabrielle at East Wintergarden, 14 April

Showing our age here with the visit to Canary Wharf to see 90s songstress Gabrielle. She was fab. Despite the passages of 20 years since Mr Gig saw her at Shepherd's Bush Empre, she still has an exceptional voice. "Out of Reach" has to be one of my personal favourite songs. By the end of the hour-long show, everyone was up on their feet despite the "cabaret" seating at the East Wintergarden location. Rise indeed!
Probably the only niggle I had was with the audience. Must you grab the woman who is singing her heart out's hand, and then turn away to your companion for a widely-grinning selfie? It seems kind of rude to me. But maybe I'm just an old grump. It must be a thing now.
Further points in Gabrielle's favour (not that she needs them). She also happily posed for photos with Mr and signed his vinyl records after the show.
The location itself was a bit corporate as it is in Canary Wharf, but the people running it were tops. I also liked the easy access to the food court two levels below. We went and had an Itsu noodle pot before the show.
Since we're in easy reach of the place, we'd be happy to go to more local gigs like this one. The wine was also reasonable and decent. East Wintergarden, add more dates!
Leddra Chapman opened up. She has a pretty soprano voice, but probably the main complaint is that she was a bit shy and didn't connect with the audience. She chatted between songs but we were all quiet. Perhaps it was actually the audience that was a bit shy. Still, nice tunes. She also happily signed her CD. Which I will listen to again.

Stars out of 10: I'd give it a 9.  Venue is tops, and Gabrielle is tops.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ben Watt Trio - Village Underground 10 November

Haven't blogged in a while so I thought I'd get back to it. Been busy lately. Mr and I headed to the Village Underground off Shoreditch High Street. Normally we head to Rough Trade East, which is also nearby. Then bagels. But not Monday.

Ben Watt, one half of 80s and 90s pop sensation Everything But the Girl, was performing hits old and new with Bernard Butler (guitarist from Suede) and Martin Ditcham, who has drummed for the likes of Talk Talk.

So it was a mashup of my teenage years, but with a twist. Everybody else there was kind of on the same page too. When I mentioned Ben Watt to my 20-something co-worker, she had no idea who I was talking about. I am getting used to this feeling.

Mike Chapman opened up. We missed the first act. His name was not Mark Chapman as Mr erroneously reported to me earlier in the evening. He did not look like someone who would shoot anyone, much less a president. He played with his eyes shut, which was a bit distracting. He said he sometimes is alarmed when they come up on stage while he has his eyes shut. I can't see why anyone would wander up on stage uninvited, but apparently Shawaddywaddy actively encourages it. Mike looked like he didn't need any help from us so we stayed where we were. Vaguely New Orleans-style guitar strumming.

Ben Watt's performance was one of those 90 minutes of tunes that just fly by. There were several songs from his new album Hendra, plus a sprinkling of EBTG tunes and other songs he has done. I really enjoyed it and sang along with the few tunes I did know from the olden days.

Afterwards, the band were available for autographs, which was good. I got a photo of Mr with Bernard and we went home. A very satisfactory outing to my musical past.

Music: 8
Atmosphere: 8. Good venue, this one.
Beer: Never had a Hobo before, but it was an acceptable brew. Fizzy.