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The Who, Wembley Arena July 8 2013

July 14, 2013 Leave a comment

The last time I saw The Who was 1985 at some football ground near my venue for tonight at an event called Live Aid (does anyone remember this !).

So we have all moved on and The Who have become one of those bands that they can do an entire tour where they just play one album. The album in question was the second “Rock Opera” written by Pete Townsend, the legend that has spawned a film and influenced more than one generation (including me !), Quadrophenia. The story of a young man and his passage through his late teens where he learns that Monday to Friday are still an arse no matter how good the weekends are. Anywhere !

We open and close as you would expect with Love Reign Over Me. Both are elongated versions to take into account the well put together visual trail of news events from WW2 to 1963 and ending with 1963 up to now. The real band these days only number two but with some serious players in the extended band (including Pete’s brother, Simon Townsend) the original West London band, fire through the set like teenagers. The main highlight for me was always going to be 5:15. They didn’t let me down even including a bass solo from John “The Ox” Entwhistle. Using some clever tech they managed to have a solo from John on on of the huge screens, and fed the sound perfectly. Crowd goes wild ! A bit of digging found the solo here. Keith Moon wasn’t left out as he had plenty of footage on the big screen (which was a Vespa headlight and indicators).

Post the refrain of LROM, we get the classics, Baba, Pinball Wizard, and Who Are You et al. No My Generation though, maybe dying before you get old isn’t as bold a statement when you are 70 !

All in all, exactly what you would expect from a band who have been playing these tracks for over 40 years. The energy in Roger Daltrey alone has puts me to shame. Great tracks , great night.

4/5 MrBens.

Hard Rock Calling 2013

June 30, 2013 1 comment

This years Hard Rock “festival” has moved to the new venue of the Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, or to give it its casual name, The Olympic Park. This event is part of the reopening events for the park.

Travel was a doddle and although not quite at Olympic levels, stewards were on hand to direct punters across the river to the venue. It was nice to see the place again and brought back great memories for me of my visit last year (see here).

The layout was a bit odd if im honest, stages 2 and 3 were no where near the main stage which made stage hopping a bit of a chore, so we stayed mainly in the main arena. The other key issue was that of queues, the beer queues were longer than the loos, which is a rarity  and something i hope the organisers take on board for future events. The afternoon was spent with a couple of ciders and introduced to me Twin Atlantic, who I have to say impressed me, with their semi new wave powerpop, which i always been a sucker for. Next up was Miles Kane. Now, here is a guy who doesn’t read weather reports, as his tight suit in the blistering heat made perfectly obvious ! But his set was spot on with his mix of 60’s style rock, and Artic Monkey moderism made the afternoon end with a bang and a few tunes spinning around my head.

Talking of moderism, next up was the man himself Mr Paul Weller. Despite his ageing years, he rocked it out as usual. nice to see Steve Craddock back on stage as well, (his second show of the day as he did a solo stint in one of the tents as well). Some classics were played and dreams were made for the young lads in front of me when he finished off with Town Called Malice. I didn’t have the heart to tell them the Jam did it better! My favourite of the day, was his cover of Start !. I say cover as it had been rearranged a little, and if I may say so even improved on what was the second number one for The Jam. For those that are interested here’s the highlights of the setlist:

Sunflower

Wake up the Nation

From the Floorboards up

Fast car slow traffic

Sea Spray

Ever changing moods

Kling I Klang

Baby come on

Peacock suit

That’s entertainment

Start

Changing man

Town called Malice

So, that’s three Jam and one TSC and some classic Weller. A whole lot to beat.

Kasabian were up last, and to be fair are a bit of an “OK” band to me. They put on a good show (and came onto the old Grandstand theme tune) but the work had been already been done if you ask me. The set was pretty spectacular though (Weller didn’t even have a backdrop !).

Some piccies:

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The full Saturday line up.

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The new West Ham Stadium (and the wife !)

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Main Arena- Note ; Astro Turf makes no mud !

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All going off for Kasabian from the back of the arena

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A Hard Rock hot air balloon ?

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Miles Kane getting heat exhaustion.

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Weller and his 2 drummers is the new Adam Ant.