Archive for the ‘Concerts’ Tag

Rock Of Ages – The Reunion Tour

“Hello The Willows!... we’re called Senakot!  And we’re gonna rock the shit out of this place!”

“Hello The Willows!… we’re called Senakot! And we’re gonna rock the shit out of this place!”

“What’s that?  My eyes a bit funny?  Been on the wacky-baccy?  Nah; just done six lines of ex-lax.”“What’s that? My eyes a bit funny? Been on the wacky-baccy?  Ounce of coke?  Nah; just done six lines of Ex-Lax.”

“It’s great to be down here among the audience again!  Now how the hell do I get back to the stage?!”

“Listen you old git… audience participation is later in the set – show up my solo again with those maracas and you won’t find your wheelchair!”

Old guy with guitar

“This one’s called Sympathy For The Devil…can’t be too careful at our age.”


care home concert1

“Alright gorgeous find your damn Zimmer Frame and meet me outside after the show – okay?!”


Old rocker2

“You’re a great audience… I think we played here about six months ago.  Well, I did… the rest of the guys have passed on I’m afraid… Though I guess that’s the same for you as well.  Did we play here six months ago?!  What’s that?!  You don’t know… Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll enjoy us again.  For those who don’t remember we’re doing the same set as last time.  Right… now why am I here again?”


Rock Of Ages – The Encore

"Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Good night The Willows. You've been a wonderful audience... 'til next time - keep on rockin'!!!"

“Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Good night The Willows.  You’ve been a wonderful audience… ’til next time – keep on rockin’ !!!”

care home singer

old man and guitar

“Right… Hands up if you like The Grateful Dead?”








“Me rider?  Oh; just two aspirin, an incontinence pad – and a nice cup of tea.”


“No… don’t play much no more these days… just keeps me hand in like.  What?!  Give it up altogether?!  No chance – I’d be missin’ them groupies too much!”

"Bloody hell Doris!  Why have you always got to spoil the quiet/loud bridge in Smells Like Teen Spirit?!"

“Bloody hell Doris! Why have you always got to spoil the quiet/loud bridge section in Smells Like Teen Spirit?! You know it’s my favourite!”

guitar and amp“Okay folks, we think you’ll really notice the difference from last time…  We got us a new Marshall stack that’s so loud it’ll make you shit yourselves.”

"Damn!  Since that Al Zheimer joined the band I never can remember the chords to Smack My Bitch Up."

“Damn!  Since that Al Zheimer joined the band I can’t remember the chords to Smack My Bitch Up.”

Rock Of Ages

"Winnie I said c-o-u-n-t-r-y and western..."

“Winnie I said c-o-u-n-t-r-y and western!”

"Now, unless you stop making devil horn signs at the vicar we’re going to wheel you back to your rooms!"

“Now, unless you stop making devil horn signs at the vicar we’re going to wheel you back to your rooms!”

nursing home concert

“Right folks we’ve reached our last song… and we’d like to do one of your old favourites for you – The Eagles of Death Metal’s Chase The Devil.  Feel free to clap along… “

Old folks concert

"A jumpin'-Jack-a-Flash-a-is-a-Gas-a..."

“A jumpin’ Jack-a-Flash-is-a-Gas-a…”

“I am not playing Kumbaya until you all promise to stop the circle mosh pit and the stage diving at the back!”

Phone In The Gig

gig phones 

Picture This…

Once there was the performer and the audience.  Two sides of a simple equation.  Performer came on stage… audience watched – responded; or didn’t – then both went their separate ways.  Good or bad, the gig was the hot topic of conversation next day.  Legends were refined, or destroyed; and memory was based on the sweet intangibles of the senses.  For sure… once it was all stories and glories around here.  A rich brew of modern folk tales simmered with urban myth: enhanced and ripened over the years.  It was good to bathe in the afterglow of the “I was there when…” moment in the pub or the playground.  These were times when we liked the distance between us… these were our heroes after all: larger than life; up there – on the stage doing what we couldn’t or wouldn’t dare to do.

What we could do is clap, scream, shout, dance, slash the upholstery, stand on our chair, run to the front, try to get on the stage, bop, get down, get thrown out, get punched, pogo, head bang, mosh, spit, throw something, sway from side to side, wave a scarf, put our lighters up, or a candle, or a glow stick; or put the light of our lives above our heads; or just point – excitedly.  That was the point.  That was participation.  We were a part of it.

“Like so many tuning forks to the devil’s own network… we have to suffer these pocket size connections to the (arse)soul.”


If you needed them – there were triggers to the memory: buy a poster, a t-shirt, or a programme at the merchandise stall – “a small remembrance of something more solid.”  But these were just a series of frames in which to display the greater picture.  It was our sweat that had mixed with musky humanity in a darkened hall.  It was our pores that leaked salt, desire and a mutual affirmation.  We were all in it together.  For what other reason would we get that close to someone who wasn’t lover or family in the pursuit of belonging.  And yet, we were all family: one of the many defined by our feelings for the few.  Though here lay a contradiction that was also confirmation of the open channel between audience and stage.  Each and every one of us felt implicitly that we were also one of the few.  That we were the ones who really understood; the chosen ones who truly appreciated the lyrics.  That we were eye-to-eye with destiny – the ones being contacted directly.  Oh yes, we had lived their struggle for recognition as if it were our own.  Now was time for our reward.  Oh; and how we knew that without this glorious conspiracy – our secret signature on the contract – things just wouldn’t be the same.

Now special is as special does.  Go to any gig and be swamped by mobile technology on tour.  And it’s not on the stage.  Apple, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG and their poor sweated relations turn up like spurned partners at a wedding – determined to have a good time while spoiling the party for everyone else.  It’s all one big mobile performance.  Like so many tuning forks to the devil’s own network… we have to suffer these pocket size connections to the (arse)soul.  Receivers wired up though not fired up – for how could they be – in the hands of these anal-retentives who eschew the roughage of life: constipated via the tiny windows that serve as gateways to the huge void in their heads.  A becalmed sea of arms held aloft as the storm of the gig rumbles around them.  A convention of scenes of crime officers with independent film director mobile mass of phonestendencies.  Limbs in an emotionally arid landscape: a desert of oil derricks: nodding donkeys – Hee-Haw!  Film, edit, tweet and post.  A design for life… like self-publicising millionaires.  Then phone a friend to confirm your public poverty.  Your creative deficit: a lazy inability to recreate from memory- from concrete evidence only.

Ian Brown (quoted in the NME) upon viewing a sea of cameras at The Stone Roses reunion warm-up gig in Warrington last year: “If you put down all them phones, you can be in this moment.  Otherwise you’ll just wake up tomorrow with a recording of a moment you weren’t in.”  Made of Stone.  Not feeling the electricity: just static – new and in the way.  Camera obscura: a thousand pictures that prevent everyone seeing what’s right in front of them.  Creating a generation who are only able to experience from hindsight.  Fully paid up contracts on the proxy network: so busy cataloguing; facebooking; youtubing and tweeting: their self-obsession made manifest.

There’s no genuine involvement from these rows of lightning conductors: these android wastelands with all the substance of a spark.  Appendages to the machine – theirs is the dead hand of interaction on the “democratic” technology busy sucking the lifeblood out of some of our senses.  A life half-realised and half-remembered by a blank generation of halfwits moving toward a collective Alzheimer’s.

Watch out for the sudden and annoying shift from stationary to squirrel; darting this way and that, busy storing away scenes in a fleeting archive that will never last the winter of download frenzy – let alone a lifetime.  Squirrels?  Crazy Frogs more like: deeply annoying and hopping from gig to gig.  Ring-ning-ning… Bah!

“That was the point.  That was participation.  We were a part of it.”


4G – but only one function.  Get! Get! Get!  Get the picture at all costs!  Get the video! (Even better)  Get out of my way!  Have you captured the moment?  Got the edge?  Here’s the overwhelming proof that I was there; the defining essence of me: right here; of me – right now!  Screw you!

It’s a substitute for experience for those with the attention span of gnats.  Japanese tourists in their own lives – click, snap, click, snap, click, snap: next!  Going through the (e)motions of calling someone up… “Hey, listen to this!”  But it’s not for them to hear – only for them to realise how important; how keyed in; how ubiquitous; how about town, and how bloody precious you are.  “So I talked over the top of a couple of songs so loud that no one else could avoid the distraction?  Do I care?!  It’s my life and my film.  I’m the only one really in it.  And I’m me.  So much more important than you darling.  I’m the star!  I’m top of the bill.  You?  Forget the supporting bill; you’re lucky to be one of the extras!”

It doesn’t end there… “Can you see?  It’s me with them right after the gig: they were such nice people!  There they are – right behind me.  Here I am again with them in the bar.  The best song?  The performance?  Did I dance?  How long were they on? Grade the gig?  What are you talking about?!  I got the pictures!”  It’s a one man/one woman show playing in an office, a pub, a playground, a club, a street, a factory near you.  Life through a backward lens and a permanent project(ion) of me.

But does it end there?  “Hello… yeh it’s me.  I’m in hospital.  Yeh; that’s the nurse – I’ll send one of her. What’s that noise?  It’s the heart monitor stupid?  How do I feel?  I don’t.  What am I doing?  I’m dyin’… see?”

Picture that…Mobile phone and guitarist at gig

Love your music? And your life? Then think of others who pay their ticket money and take your choice… who would be better off staying at home and watching YouTube next day.  Why not switch off your life support?  Or better still leave it at home for once.

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