Monday, 17 November 2008

Viva Espania!

I've just returned from a few days in Spain, but not sunny Spain at this time of year, unfortunately. First time in Barcelona and Bilbao and as well as making the most of the time I had to see the best parts of town, I saw Simple Plan and Co. again at their two stops in Spain. Last time I saw the band in the same country was in Madrid for the Under 18 festival back in July. I went to the main tourist area and took some photos of the amazing views on the mountain where there is an art gallery, escalators going up and down and cafes. I can't even remember what it's called, but it was a good, interesting walk and the fountains at night are great to watch.

Again, as always, I managed to get some good photos of Simple Plan at the Sant Jordi Club in Barcelona and at the smaller venue they played in Bilbao, the Rock Star Live club. The Bilbao venue was actually changed at the last minute. It was originally supposed to be at the Pabellon de la Castilla, just five minutes from my hotel, but no such luck! I had to spend a lot more money this time on cabs, a last minute flight to Bilbao (as it was a lot further away by train than I'd thought!) and I just got there in time to catch Simple Plan walk onstage at Rock Star Live! The damn hotel in Bilbao failed to give me a wake-up call this morning and I almost missed my flight back to London!
It was all worth the hassles, though! See all my live photos from Barcelona and Bilbao within the next week on the usual Simple Plan websites.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

First trip to Poland

Below: View of Warsaw from my room window on the 41st floor of the Intercontinental hotel

Simple Plan bass player David Desrosiers after the concert in Warsaw

Below: Ali Tabatabee from California rockers Zebrahead who toured Europe with Simple Plan

Below: Andrew Shay, bass player with Welsh band Kids In Glass Houses

I went to Poland for the first time last weekend, mainly to see Simple Plan perform at Stodola, a venue just outside the city centre. Stayed in a fantastic hotel, the Intercontinental, which boasts the highest leisure club in Warsaw and it was rather nice swimming in the pool on the 43rd floor and seeing spectacular views of Warsaw!
Simple Plan took Welsh band Kids In Glass Houses and California's Zebrahead with them on this European tour. Great choice of support, all bands were brilliant in Warsaw and the Polish fans had been really excited about this show since it was announced. Poland is still a country that often gets let out of major bands' tour schedules, even though more bands are now doing shows in Eastern Europe than ever before.
See the whole set of photos from Stodola in Warsaw here:
AND (with support band shots)

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Halloween with Funeral For a Friend, Cancer Bats and Co.

A pair of friends dressed-up as the couple featured in the artwork for Funeral For A Friend's 2003 album Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation and got the chance to be onstage with the band! Great idea for a Halloween costume!

Energetic hardcore Canadians Cancer Bats are one of the hardest bands to ever get good photos of, because they are always moving around. Vocalist Liam Cormier did his usual thing and crowd surfed while performing. The band looked like members of a voodoo tribe!

It was Halloween last night, and although nothing can beat the annual West Hollywood Halloween parade which I've been to several times over the years, I made the most of it by seeing Funeral For a Friend, Cancer Bats, In Case of Fire and Attack! Attack! at Portsmouth Pyramids. The British weather is getting freezing and last night was a clear example of it! It was relief to get inside the venue and sweat it out in the audience!
Cancer Bats were just as mad as they were when I last saw them on the Radio One Lock-Up stage at the Reading festival. Total onstage chaos and body make-up that made lead singer Liam Cormier resemble some kind of voodoo tribe member ( who'd been dragged through some bushes by the end of the set, because he crowd surfed! ). Funeral For a Friend were stunned when bass player Gareth Davies quite the band during late Summer, due to the ongoing stresses of living in Las Vegas, when the rest of the band remained in the UK. The constant travelling became too much and Gareth was quickly replaced by new bassist Gavin Burrough. Luckily, Gavin fits into the band brilliantly.
Hard to believe that it's been five years since Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation came out and gained the band huge success. Now, almost exactly five years later, the fifth album Memory and Humanity is out.
To view the whole set of photos from the show, go to:
Go to Member Galleries and SophieRockshots.