Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Simple Plan in London and Bristol

Canadian pop/punk band Simple Plan finished their UK tour in Bristol last Monday, April 21st and it was a big success. I only made it to two shows, in London at the Astoria theatre and at Bristol Academy.

It was good to return to Bristol after about three years, because the last time I was there was to meet up with my youngest sister Millie who was a student at Bristol university. I think the last band I saw their was Stone Sour (Corey Taylor and Jim Root from Slipknot's other band).

I brought along two friends who I met from going to see rock concerts here in England since I came back last August and the same old faces from years ago are still around. By coincidence, the very person who I met the first time I ever met Simple Plan back in April 2005, showed up at the Good Charlotte show in Brixton, then as a guest of Simple Plan at the Astoria and that was nice to see her again after about two years. I also decided to stay in the same hotel where I first met the band, which happened to be just 10 minutes walk from the Astoria and came up top of the list for last minute hotel deals on and that was lucky! It was worth the spending, especially as rooms in that particular hotel are normally at least £200 a night during the week. I am trying to save money right now for the Summer festival season and going on a trip to Japan, but life is too short for negative thinking and I want to enjoy myself while I am still young(ish)! There was a lot of talk about the Astoria being demolished before the end of 2008, which is just awful to think about. Everyone is so pissed off about it all, especially as the venue is the only decent size venue in central London where so many big bands play. Next stop there for me will be Lostprophets in June.

I filmed a series of Simple Plan live captures from the Astoria show and a few from Bristol. Only got a few shit photos, but they are better than none at all.

All live video captures are here:

Monday, 14 April 2008

Good Charlotte at Brixton Academy on Saturday April 12th

I decided to go to Brixton Academy last Saturday to see Good Charlotte and what a good show it was! The Madden twins have been more focused on in the press for their recent Hollywood relationships with people like Nicole Richie (Joel) and now Benji is coincidentally dating Nicole's friend Paris Hilton!?! but that was all out of the window when I heard their fun hits again like Girls don't like boy, girls like cars and money and I wanna be like you and Lifestyles of the rich and famous, which I think is a pop punk classic. This band are always great fun to watch and make an effort to entertain and talk to the audience in between songs.

Before the doors opened, I was waiting around outside with some fans who I know from having seen other bands and we met actress Mischa Barton who played Marissa in The O.C. She was a friend of the support band, so she was just hanging out and enjoying the show.

Video captures from the Good Charlotte show can be viewed on my YouTube page. I didn't get any photos as there were too many people in front of me and I didn't have time to arrange a photo pass.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

I got back yesterday from a crazy few days in Amsterdam and got to see Velvet Revolver's final show with Scott Weiland as vocalist

I returned from a few days in Amsterdam and had a great time and was very lucky that by coincidence, Velvet Revolver were staying in the same hotel and I finally got to meet Slash and Scott Weiland, who are two of my favourite rock stars of all time! A surreal moment happened when I was by the hotel reception last Monday afternoon and the reception desk in this particular hotel (which I won't name, as many bands are known to stay there) is next to the entrance to the hotel bar and there is a photo of Slash with Duff on the wall in the bar that is clearly visable from when you stand at reception. I looked at that very photo and when I looked back, right behind me was Slash in the flesh and I never usually get starstruck anymore, but at that moment I felt ecstatic!

The rumours about Stone Temple Pilots reforming have been circulating for a while and it's true. Scott's last performance with Velvet Revolver was in Amsterdam and I was so pleased to have been there on Tuesday night. I can't wait to see Stone Temple Pilots again after so long. I actually had an encounter with Scott in our hotel just two hours before the show started and him and his friends asked whether I was going to the show. I then had the opportunity to tell Scott that out of all the live photos I've ever taken of so many bands over the past ten years, he is one of my favourites. When I photographed him onstage at Rock City in Nottingham in August 2001 with Stone Temple Pilots, those photos were some of the best I've ever taken.

I got a few of these crap photos of Velvet Revolver onstage at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, but because I only took my small camera, they aren't the usual professional shots. A shame I never managed to arrange a photo pass for the show. That would have been amazing.

Video captures from the show in Amsterdam can be viewed on here: