Wembley

Return of the Frantic Four: Status Quo, Wembley Arena 17/03/2013

As I mentioned in my previous post I was going to try and get tickets to see Status Quo, Reunion Tour. Boy am I glad I did.

I’ve been going to see Quo now for the best part of 15 years. This was my first time seeing the original line up. It was by far the best show I have seen. Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt seem to be energised by the return of the engine room of the band. Drums (John Coghlan) and Bass (Alan Lancaster)

Set List:

1. Junior’s Wailing
2. Backwater
3. Just Take Me
4. Is There a Better Way
5. In My Chair
6. Blue Eyed Lady
7. Little Lady
8. Most of the Time
9. (April), Spring, Summer and Wednesdays
10. Railroad
11. Oh Baby
12. Forty-Five Hundred Times
13. Rain
14. Big Fat Mama
15. Down Down
16. Roadhouse Blues

Encore:
17. Don’t Waste My Time
18. Bye Bye Johnny

If you know your Quo. That is an old school rip-snorting Rock set list, this was the original band. No keyboard distractions, no midsection of the gig where they play a few off the new album. This was a thank you to all those fans who have been following the band for even longer than I. No space for some of the more radio friendly songs here.

Quo “Oh yes, Rockin All Over the World, Right?”

Well yes, but this showed they are so much more. Musicianship, talent and a level of “good time” you don’t get anywhere else.

Quo_Rain

The support band for the evening do deserve a special mention. The Treatment, arrive to the stage accompanied by “Land of Hope and Glory” then proceed to announce every 80’s hair metal song in a mock American style. The lead singer seems to have chosen his stage persona by mixing David Lee Roth, 80’s Jon Bon Jovi, Sebastian Bach and Axl Rose up in a blender. Every song was preceded by a shrill “Come On!” as if he had his bollocks caught in the aforementioned kitchen device. Once you got over that, and accepted them for them. Not bad for support!

The atmosphere was superb once the Frantic Four hit the stage. Nuff and Spud (Lancaster and Coghlan) greeted like returning heroes, with the usually dominant vocals of Francis Rossi taking a back seat until In My Chair. Time flew by. This morning I ache, so it must have been good!!

Another special mention goes out to Barry, a guy who had travelled from Yorkshire to see the show. He was taken ill, shortly after the end of the gig. So we had to wait whilst he received treatment as he was in our row. This had a good outcome as Barry walked away and we were able to see the stage being taken down. Rockin and Techy. If you end up reading this Barry hope you are OK.

QUO_AfterShow

The gig I went to is available to purchase here as an Audio download and it will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in September.

Advertisements

The Dream is Dead… Long Live the Dream

It is the morning after the afternoon before. The dust has not quite settled. The mighty Reading FC have fallen once more at the last hurdle to reach the promised land. I don’t usually write about football, as a game anyway. Partly because I feel the game conveys emotion much better on it’s own than I ever could and there are much better football writers than me. As this is “the richest game in domestic football” I feel I may as well give it a stab.

Firstly, congratulations to Swansea City FC, Players, Management and even those supporters moronic enough to try to break my wing mirror off my car (You won guys, why is that not enough) Look forward now to a tough season in the premiership with a team full of Chelsea and Real Madrid loanees, as Brendan calls in favours from Jose. No sour grapes though, over 90 minutes you were the better team.

In the previous blog I criticised Wembley’s ticketing policy for disabled fans. This criticism  still stands, however the view from my spacious seat was good. Even though after Swansea’s quick fire double I began to look for a hole to open up and swallow me. In a situation like that it is interesting to observe the reactions of people around:

  • Some shout all the louder, for that, at the end of the day is all we, as fan can do.
  • Some shout criticising everything, the ref, the players, the sky.
  • Some turn in to cheerleaders (minus skirts and pom poms mind) try and lift others
  • Some go quiet for a period of reflection, (with a inner hope that the next leap will be the leap home.. no sorry where was I)
  • Some do all these things.

I was the quiet type yesterday. Getting elbowed by the guy next to me every time he got animated. He was up and down like a Kangaroo in the mating season, sitting down with such force that he broke the seat. Funny and annoying in equal measure as my seat was connected to his and hanging on the wembley concrete work by a single thread. Swansea added a third and by Half Time and our chance of promotion shared the same chance of me having a functional seat by the end of game.

Half time in a daze, wondering if my team or me would wake up. Either would do at this stage, only one of our players seemed to have got off the bus in the first half, 1 vs 11 (12 at points, Mr Dowd the ref not on my Dad’s Xmas card list) is not fair really. Then finally at the start of the 2nd half, after a brief discussion with Dad about 3D glasses(when the game is not going your way, you talk about all kinds of things.) we scored. The largest sigh of relief masquerading as a cheer you will ever hear. Then we scored again, game on!

However it wasn’t to be, we came close as we hit the post. This changed momentum, and Swansea were awarded their second penalty kick of the afternoon to send a Welsh team into the English Premiership.

So the dream for another year is dead. Some players have played their last game for the club, some bit part players will now step up and become legends of tomorrow. Strange thing is that this statement would have been true had we won. Football is a moveable feast, with only die hard fans staying truer to the cause than they would to her indoors.

Football is a game about chance, fractions of an inch, the if’s, buts and maybes, that we try to eradicate from everyday life. The grey area that keeps us all alive, if life was black and white, it wouldn’t be life at all and there would be an app to speed us through the dark times.

Reading FC have appeared in 3 playoff finals. Won none. I said to my Dad that if we got to another I wouldn’t go. I think I lied.

Reading 2-4 Swansea City

The FA vs The Disabled

I should be delighted. I’ve had a pretty good week. (I’m not bragging there is a point)
On Sunday 15th May I went to the O2 in London to see Roger Waters perform The Wall.

As you can’t see from my photo, it was awesome, I would recommend it to anyone even if you hate Roger Waters/Pink Floyd/Walls/Bricks. Part of thing that made the show so good was the fact that I was able to sit with my very good friends, within the excellent disabled section at the O2. (In previous blogs I have mentioned my disability, here I am doing it again)

Since 1994 I have attended various gigs/events at all types of venues. During that time the accessibility to venues has improved no end, also most provide a discount on ticket prices to enable you to be accompanied by what most venues call “a carer” I am lucky enough not to require a carer but am happy to take the discount and by accompanied by what most people call “friends” At the most recent gig, I brought two such unfortunates to the O2 and sat with them throughout. Which brings me to the second reason to be happy.

Yes Reading FC (my punishment of choice) have reached the playoff final at Wembley. Today me and my Dad went to The Mad Stad to get tickets. I thought it would be good also to bring The Resident Weeble along too to put to bed the jinx he has on Football teams which he is supporting. After about 40 mins, we got to the ticket window:-

Dad: Disabled, Carer and One full adult ticket please

Ticket Guy: I’ll be right back

D: OK

TG: I have been told by Wembley that I can sell you that adult Ticket but it will be upto 5 blocks away

Me: Thats a crock of shit.

Yes the FA in their infinite wisdom, don’t want my money. They assume that disabled people only have one friend. To clarify my ticket is a mobility impaired one. Which means, a normal seat, not even at the end of a row. Just cheaper!! Wembley are unable to sell me the seat next to me. Why am I fussing?

Well it’s ok for me, as I stated I do not need a carer. However those who do, may have children they would like to bring to such a showcase event. So now they have to choose, because they cannot sit with their kids and carer, and lets just say it might be considered inappropriate for a 10 year old child to act as a carer to assist in bathroom trips. Yes the tickets are discounted but when presented with such a choice the tickets may as well be 6 times full price. It effectively excludes them from the event.

The O2, Earls Court, Wembley Arena, Wembley Stadium (for gigs!) Queens Park Rangers FC, Hammersmith Apollo. All let me have more than one person accompany me. The third person paying fully. Why then is this option not open to me now?

I will find out and post again. Like it’s something the big wide world should care about.

PS: I got my ticket. C’mon URZ! (sorry RW)