The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

After weeks of waiting, yesterday finally came – The Rolling Stones gig at the O2 in Londond . All of the worrying about whether they’d be any good. All of the worrying about whether I’d actually be able to get to the gig after part of the Jubilee line was shut down following an accident. All of it blown away long before the end of the opening song, Get Off My Cloud. In fact the Stones were absolutely awesome from the first note to the last. They helped themselves by picking a set list that stuck to the classics (only three songs from during my lifetime!)

So, highlights? The special guests all get a mention here; Eric Clapton drawing out some excellent solos from Ronnie and Keef. Florence Welch (minus her Machine) did likewise to Mick on a livewire Gimme Shelter as they went toe to toe. Bill Wyman actually seemed to be enjoying himself for a change but the undoubted highlight was Mick Taylor’s appearance on Midnight Rambler.

The only real lowlight for me was the new track, One More Shot which, despite the engergy they played it with just doesn’t sound like a very good song. Doom & Gloom on the other hand, sounded really good, much better than the record.

Ending the set Brown Sugar – Sympathy For The Devil and then playing You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Jumpin’ Jack Flash – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was the perfect end to an evening. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but think that Mick at 69 is older than my dad and there’s no way that I could imagine my dad running round, dancing, strutting and singing for over two hours.

Keef

In then same room as my hero, Keef

After the gig, hanging around in the bar, waiting for the tub queue to die down, I got chatting to James who very kindly sent me the pictures on this post. As he said, we’ll be telling our grandchildren about this gig in the future.

All in all, to paraphrase those credit card commercials – Ticket £326, hotel £48, train £64, seeing The Rolling Stones live, priceless.

Another view: Rock’s Back Pages review

Strike A Pose

Gav poses for Andy

Awesome night last night, got so much done:

Recording

I put down my vocals for one of our new songs, Misread The Signs. I spent all week listening to the demo that Anthony had sent me featuring his vocals but I still managed to miss lots of cues and flub lots of lyrics. I always forget how different singing alone is to singing along. The old days of being able to do the vocals in one take are long gone. Anyway, the song will be up here once Ant has finished mixing it.

Filming

We also filmed a six-song acoustic gig in my lounge:

On Top Of The World
All I Want
I’ll Get By
She’s His Girlfriend
Everything I Do
While You Wait

After two false starts, erm, checking for sound level I mean, we managed to get through the whole thing (now let’s track it, you bounder, you cheat!) We actually sounded pretty good considering we’ve not played for three years. I just need to trim the video and then I’ll post that on the site too.

Photo Shoot

My friend Andy, from 1st Capture Photography also came round to take some pictures. After shooting the above, we started to do some portraits. I’m pretty sure that Andy has now realised that it was a lot easier photographing the toddlers from the other week than me. Simple instructions like “face that way and look this way” are clearly way beyond me. Despite my incompetence, he managed to get some really good pictures (including some Please Please Me-esque ones leaning over the landing) With literally hundreds of pictures taken, it may be a while before we sort through them all and pick the best ones. Once that’s done and Andy has done his post-production magic, they’ll be up here too.

Hey now, hey now, don’t dream, it’s over

Cheesy

I think I might have to lay off the cheese before bedtime – I had a dream where I was auditioning for The X Factor. I’d evidently sang some indie song and the audience had thought it was alright. Then Simon popped up and asked what I’d do during “Abba Week”. I thought for a moment and then started describing a version of SOS as if it were arranged for Nico – slow with deep baritones.

Clearly, this impressed the judges enough to put me through as the next scene was me on ’70s week singing 20th Century Boy by T. Rex. I was wearing a white jumpsuit with frills all down the arms and I had my back to the audience. Above me were the letters G-A-V and as the riff kicked in I was shaking my arse and alternately pointing at the G and V.

Is, “I had a cheese dream about it” reason enough to enter The X Factor? Surely it’s at least as good as some dead family member filled in the application form before popping their clogs? I think it might be worth it just to realise my vision for SOS…

Cor Blimy Guv’nor!

I spent most of the weekend either driving round or walking singing the songs that we’re going to be playing on Wednesday in an attempt to make sure that I actually know them. For some reason, I started singing She’s His Girlfriend in a cockney accent and then I couldn’t stop singing:

I can’t look him in the boat race
Cos I wanna take her back to my place oh yeah
She’s a cockney
She’s a cockney
She’s a cockney
She’s a cockney

Hmm, Knees Up Mother Brown indeed…

Carry That Weight

Late weigh-in this week due to the future in-laws being round:

Weight 69.5kg
BMI 20.7
Fat 14.7%
Water 59.8%
Muscle 42.8%

Another week of everything moving in the right direction. Not really quite sure how that happened since I only went to the gym once and ended up going to pie night on Monday and eating a take-away on Wednesday and Thursday.

Start Me Up!

The talented Mick in The Rolling Stones

I had an absolutely awesome day yesterday. I came out of an energy-sapping meeting yesterday afternoon to read on-line that Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman will be joining The Rolling Stones on stage next week! To say I’m excited about seeing the classic ’69-’74 line up live would be a massive understatement. Having said that, I was so worried about William from the Black Eyed Peas being involved that I would have been happy if Bill Wyman had been named as the support act playing his hit.

Then in the evening Anthony popped round and we had our first rehearsal for three years. We went through half-a-dozen songs and it’s kind of amazing how much we actually still remember. It took us a while to remember how a couple of the middle-8s went and I’m a bit rusty on the lyrics but it went a lot better than we expected it to go.

Checkmate

A Bishop that everyone would vote for

Yesterday, the Church of England voted against allowing women to become Bishops. This got me thinking about how odd it was that the head of their church is The Queen, a woman. Being an atheist, it also got me thinking about that other type of bishop – the one in chess. I got to thinking about how strange it is that the most powerful piece in the game is female – The Queen. Meanwhile, the target of the game, the King, is largely impotent in terms of attack. Given how backwards looking we can be around gender equality these days (see the CoE vote as proof) the fact that hundreds of years ago, game designers were giving the Queen all the power looks enlightened.

Use The Farce

True dat

Over the last few weeks ITV1 has been showing the Star Wars films on Saturday afternoons and, like a lot of people of my generation, I’ve been wallowing in the nostalgia of the original trilogy. Well, technically they weren’t the original trilogy but rather the “special editions” in which George Lucas took a CGI dump over my childhood memories. Yes, the battle on Hoth does look slightly cleaner but that doesn’t make up for the frankly ludicrous Jabba the Hutt scene in Star Wars (or A New Hope as I believe it’s called now) or indeed the pointless bit where Gredo shoots at Han and misses from about two feet away.

However, that’s not what this post is ranting about. In fact it’s not even a rant about the bit in Return of the Jedi when Leia tells Luke, “I’ve always known” after he reveals that he’s her twin brother. You’ve always known? So you knew when you kissed on the Death Star? You knew when you kissed in the hospital on Hoth? You knew at the Death Star destruction party when you’d both had too much champagne? No, this is a rant about the evolution of the force…

Firstly, I’m ignoring the prequel trilogy where it turns out that the force is the result of some kind of symbiotic relationship with some tiny tiny alien species. So, in the first movie it appears that anyone can master the force. We have a farmboy from the middle of nowhere who, with a little training from a wizard, turns out to be pretty powerful in this mystical energy. That’s a bit like the American Dream, it can happen to anybody. Then, in the second movie, we find out that this isn’t quite the case. In fact the force is an hereditary power – Luke is only strong in it because his father is. Just like the American Dream; in reality it’s a lot easier to be successful if you come from success. Finally, in the third film, we find out that Luke’s twin sister is Princess Leia. So, to be proficient in the force you have to be royalty!

That’s quite a big change: Anyone can do it -> Anyone can do it as long as their family already do it -> Anyone can do it as long as their rich, powerful family already do it. Thanks George, that’s a great message.

Carry That Weight

This week’s results just in:

Weight 70.4kg
BMI 21
Fat 15%
Water 59.6%
Muscle 42.7%

Everything going the right way for the second week in a row! Elmo has also had a great seven days; after her worst weigh-in so far last week she’s not far off the numbers she had five weeks ago when she had her best week.