Tag Archives: Fu Manchu

My 14 of 2014

December 25th. I think the time for me to write my list of 2014 albums has finally arrived, even though I’ve been delaying this moment to the max.

I feel a bit frustrated because I’ve been so busy I haven’t been updated my album of the week section much, perhaps because I always like to develop the post a bit, add some story behind or develop my enthusiasm so I can sell the product in the best way, so to speak.

2014 in terms of album releases has been fabulous, and I’ve discovered many bands and discographies I had never been into before, which now I follow passionately. The two main reasons for a very eclectic list have been RockZone Magazine, which has placed names I wasn’t acquainted with right in front of my eyes, and since I’m more involved in the mag I felt the curiosity to dig into that stuff, and of course my beloved forum and the awesome people I have the luck to discuss about music and lots of other funny shit on almost a daily basis.

The problem here is that in a month I’ve written down a couple of lists and I’ve changed orders and modified/added records, because there’s so much stuff I haven’t managed to listen to I’m still discovering awesome things, which means that list could change in a month, but this list defines what I like the most lately.

Hope you find it interesting enough as to dig into the albums.

RYAN ADAMS / BEAUTY & RUIN

Sharing the throne like father and son, it couldn’t be any other way.

ryan adams ryan adams

 My fave messy hair boy has turned the screw magnificently and has delivered one of his most remarkable works up to date. I was a huge fan of The Cardinals era, and the last works left me a bit cold, but with Ryan Adams, breathing the essence of Tom Petty, has truly jumped to an upper level. More rock, more groove, and more livid. I think of ‘Trouble’, ‘Kim’, ‘am I Safe’ to start with, but I should mention all the songs as they are all absolutely terrific. As a complement, Adams previously issued a 16 minute ep named 1984, which was an excellent homage paid to 80’s American punk. 2014 has meant the rise of Ryan Adams at all levels, as he’s constantly playing life, issuing different singles and nonstop creating.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/09/09/ryan-adams-is-finally-here/

bob mould

Bob Mould is one of the biggest discoveries this year. I had barely listened to Hüsker Dü in the past, and this guy, thanks to Beauty & Ruin, has opened the doors to his universe. Another workaholic and singular character, very close to Ryan Adams nowadays, and with an immense talent. Songs such as ‘Low Season’, ‘I don’t know you anymore’ or ‘The War’ really make me vibe.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/10/19/album-of-week-42-beauty-ruin/

ANTEMASQUE

antemasque album

Cedric and Omar are back in track and this time they’ve got rid of lots of ornaments and progressive style to deliver straight and energetic songs so easy to assimilate, you get hooked in a nick of time.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/11/08/album-of-weeks-44-45-antemasque/

DO TO THE BEAST

do to the beast

The Afghan Whigs have assured their comeback releasing and impressive album which is not the continuity to their previous work but the starting point to a new promising future. Elegance and uniqueness are their trademark and once again they’ve proved they should be among the greatest bands on earth.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/04/10/album-of-week-15-do-to-the-beast/

INTO THE MAELSTROM

bigelf

Not being into prog, Into the Maelstrom is so expressive and grandiloquent, the result is a record with overwhelming songs. It’s like an intense trip to the vast corners of the land of the future, it opens your mind to a different experience and the ride is magnificent.

TILL MIDNIGHT

chuck ragan

Strong folkie tunes full of passion and intensity. Not the typical mild songs but rough ones as if it was a shot of bourbon you had. Harsh, hot, painful and glorious. Absolutely delightful, the more you listen to it, the more you love it, the more you want to fall in love with someone with Till Midnight as the most suitable soundtrack to live that with.

MÖNGOL HÖRDE

mongol horde

Frank Turner is not just a folkie boy. He’s got balls and he loves hardcore, and this project seems to be the perfect outlet for anger, rage and frustration. not many people around me are aware of this treasure, which contains absolute anthems.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/06/30/album-of-weeks-24-26-mongol-horde/

GREAT WESTERN VALKYRIE

rival sons

If Rival Sons had kept on tryinf emulate Led Zepp I wouldn’t be talking about this record, but these guys seem to have found a marking point to find their own style and sound and have delivered an outstanding album.

EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END

weezer

First Weezer album which hooked me immediately. Very teenager melodies mixed with brilliant guitars, great structures with wonderful chorus, have this time caught my attention.

TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES

against me transgender dysphoria blues

Emotionally speaking probably this album should be on top for all what Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! have meant to me this year. I’ve learnt about dysforia, I got the chance to interview Laura, and attend one of the greatest live shows this year. I have nothing but great words and it’s awesome to find such a great confession and statement on this album.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2014/03/20/album-of-week-12-transgender-dysphoria-blues/

WASTED YEARS

off

Punk and mayhem. What else do you need sometimes? OFF! deliver that shot of energy and rage you need which prevents you from blowing this world.

BACK FROM THE ABYSS

back from the abyss

My boys made it good again. Excellent album which confirms years of hard work have been worth the effort. There are outstanding anthems and songs are well built and developed. They seem comfortable with what they’re doing and it’s finally reflected on this album.

III

mariachi el bronx

If I had been told I’d be listening to mariachi few years ago I’d still be laughing but I’m currently doing it and the punk guys from California dressed in killing suits have stolen my heart. Viva Mariachi El Bronx!

*** Please don’t judge by the cover.

GIGANTOID

gigantoid

It’s true there are not anthems in this albums in the way Fu Manchu used to do, but the riffs are incredible, heavier songs and this road spirit will always be present, and the trio does never fail me.

***

There are many other albums I’m discovering which probably would deserve to be included, but at this poin this is my list and the way I feel right now.

Still, I made this playlist with a selection of songs of my personal soundtrack of this year, which might be of your interest.

Anxiety Reducer

Just a quick post before I go to sleep, to share with  you the single Fu Manchu has just advance few hours ago through Brooklyn Vegan, to introduce their upcoming album Gigantoid, published by their own label, Dojo Records.

Check the album cover. It’s stunning.

gigantoid

I’ve just listened to ‘Anxiety Reducer’ 4 times, and apparently that it moves on the same path as the band’s previous work, Signs of Infinite Power. Fuzz to the must, heavy, repetitive riffs, first grade lyrics and the voice of Scott Hill at his purest. It’s definitely a great single, very catchy. I fuckin’ love it!

Let’s see what my belove Californian guys have in hands. Fingers crossed.

Can’t wait for the party!

ALBUM OF WEEK 29: CALIFORNIA CROSSING

Few days ago my best male friend was having a bad time. One of the things I hate most is that my friends suffer. Sometimes I’ve been told about awful or very sad experiences and I’ve seen myself crying and thinking such suffering wasn’t fair for them.

Anyway, the good thing about male friends is that if they entrust you and ask for your opinion about their personal issues, you can go straight, even though what you say to them might sound harsh. At the end of the day, guys want things plain and simple, clear messages, and not typical female twisting sings. The straighter a person is the better, you might get angry at first but at the end of the day you’ll realize your friend was right and only wanted the best for you, for real.

Not entering in private bizz, after a long chat with him explaining his situation, and my understanding, I probably gave him one of the most simple yet effective advises I could, that he understood immediately. I’d never suggest something like that to a girl friend. I just said:

Hey, XXXXXXXX, if I were you, I’d go straight to the fridge, grab a super cold beer, lit a cigarette, go to your CD selves, look for California Crossing, and play it out loud.

His reply was a simple “damn right!”.

California Crossing

Probably I remarked time ago that fu Manchu are one of my favorite bands ever. I have a weakness for them, and never get tired of them. I cannot understand why this band is so underrated and ignored, especially here in Spain. Their live shows are solid and powerful and they always deliver. You should have seen them at the Islington Academy last year. it was insane!

Some bands have their Holy Trinity. I reckon in this case we’d have to talk about The Action is Go, King of the Road and this California Crossing.

This was the first release of one of their albums I experienced back in Spain after living in UK. I remember as if it was yesterday I used to chat on internet chats a lot. Jaume, Kiko and I were the cyber threesome and we both loved the band, thus we lived the album in a very intense way. I still remember before being able to purchase it, the downloading from Audiogalaxy was like a pain in the ass, as it look ages to finally play it.

California has several references that imply summer: first the word California. For an ignorant such as me who’s never been to the promised land yet, California is sun, beaches and glory. On the other hand the album cover basically sums up the concept I have of California: girls in bikini, sun, surf boards, beach, palm trees, and large yankee cars. Inner artwork is pretty much the same but fully detailed, adding Vans and striped polo shirts, their band stylish trademark. Yep, I started wearing Vans because of Fu Manchu and loved the red/black square slip-ons Brad Davis was always wearing.

Anyway, even though I paid it lots of attention, for many years I considered California Crossing inferior to the previous ones, but nowadays I reckon that was something very stupid to think. California Crossing is powerful, fast, groovie and has a great bunch of hits. In fact it includes the short version of one of my personal top 5 favorite songs, Mongoose. It works as an anthem to the good times and an upper. Cowbell rules the world.

fu manchu

I’m not very good with the names of the songs sometimes, so I’m checking the tracklist while writing this, and you know what? There’s not a single bad song and none of them is expendable. Wiz Kids, Downtown in Dogtown, Squash that Fly, Ampn’, Bultaco…all of them are brilliant. Balch’s riffs are insane, Scott Hill’s nasty and peculiar style singing yet super catchy, and Brant Bjork’s super groovie drums (that drum solo in The Wasteoid must be mentioned here). By the way, it’s a pity the drummer left the band to start his solo career although it’s also true Fu Manchu have always had very outstanding drummers.

The natural speed feeling that comes with this album makes me feel like driving or skating. Unfortunately I can’t do any of them, but riding my little motorbike and music is not the option. The energy this album generates is only comparable and overcome by their live performances.

I should attend a Fu Manchu show once a year at least. Hope their new album finally comes out at the end of 2013. I need new more stuff. They’re so great!

FU MANCHU VOWS RENEWED WITH THE ACTION IS GO!

Some months ago I told you about me attending Fu Manchu’s The Action is Go 15th anniversary show in London. Well, as it’s always been said, what’s worth enjoying takes its time to arrive, and once here, the pleasure it causes is very intense but too brief.

I purchased tickets for this show mentioned early March, and since then many things have occurred. The event took place on Saturday evening, and I’m already back home, relived after resting in my own bed (God bless!). 36 hours invested in London, just to see one of my favorite bands’ live show. Likely you think I’m nuts, and this has been an excess, a whim, but you know, this is the way I am, and this show was something I couldn’t miss, for many reasons, some of them personal, as to close a circle which started in London, in 1999. You can call it nostalgia for the good old times. I won’t disagree. As explained, my love for Fu Manchu started with this album.

Everything had been quietly arranged in advance, with my favorite gig flash trip partner, Verónica, who’s also devoted to the Orange County boys. A low cost stay in London for a couple of nights being Saturday the day to wander around. I’ll explain about meeting London later on, because I have many feelings which need to be processed first.

Saturday arrived and we spent most of the day walking and enjoying one of the coolest and most beautiful days I’ve ever remembered in the city. We’re not used to early scheduled shows and as the doors opening were announced at 6pm, we managed to be around early, so we could be told the actual hours and the name of the supporting band.

I also had a very important target to accomplish, which was to purchase the limited re-edition of The Action is Go gatefold album, in red and blue vinyl. I HAD to have it, since I wanted it for so many years, and wouldn’t allow it to run out in front of my eyes. I’d feel miserable. So I had to make sure I could get it and keep things under strict control. After a beer at a pub nearby, with full of people watching soccer and long haired guys in rock-metal t-shirts likely to be also attending the show, we got in the venue.

I was frisked in a way I had to ask the security lady what she was looking for. She didn’t care about my camera, but opened and registered my wallet, looking for drugs (!!!). I couldn’t believe it.

Once in and after our visit to the merch stand, we were finally ready for the show. The Shrine, a Venice Beach trio, were the opening band. This punk-hard-heavy-metal-rock band, delivered several powerful tunes from his recently released album Primitive Blast, for half an hour, starting to warming up the audience, quite large, considering there was still an hour before Fu Manchu hit the stage. Their performance was really solid and the tunes were quite good. Wild riffs, very influenced by metal 70’s bands, and their song quite punk speed,  their formula is likely to hook many new fans during this tour, as they sounded very intense and fun, and songs were catchy. These young guys confessed being  pretty stoked for this  first time in Europe, and super honored to open for Scott Hill’s band.

Quarter past 8, Islington Academy sold out. Tony Alva’s aka The Action is Go skater’s anniversary design banner shining on top of the stage, everybody is nervous, we are in second row, in front of Brad Davis, the bass player, and we’re excited and hysterical.

It was kinda obvious the hit which would open the show, Evil Eye. In fact, they followed the correct track list, with no changes. The audience got crazy with Burning Road, Laserb’last and Strolling Astronomer, and I was delighted, singing and dancing nostop. Fortunately there was not massive mosh pit, as the last times I had seen them in Spain, and even though we received some shoves, it wasn’t too dramatic nor unbearable, and could remain in our current position for the whole show.

More fuzz and distortion than ever, Scott Hill and his poses, with his Fender Jaguar and his SSD classic see-through guitar, seemed to be really happy for being in London, as this is a very special city for them. Davis seemed more histrionic and funnier than usual, having Coronas all the time, Balch, as usual, playing his riffs in another planet, and, Oh God! Scott Reeder, the drummer (reminds me of Guy Pearce, by the way), playing sharp and accurate, yet with this groove, he was awesome. With the voice delay effect, the fuzz and other distort pedals beyond my knowledge, those slower tempo tunes, there were very lysergic moments creating a dreamy atmosphere. Some other times they were groove as Hell making audience dance merciless as if in a kind of celebration. So damn cool!

When they came back to stage to play the encore, we were all uncontrolled. Hill asked which songs we’d like them to play fo the night, and obviously we wanted all of them, but finally the winners were real Fu Manchu anthems: California Crossing, King of the Road, and the acid trip of Godzilla. What can I say? When the show was over, and the roadie guy attended my request of having Bob Balch’s set list (Hell Yeah!) I was plain and simply happy. I couldn’t care less about the rest of the world. I had seen Fu Manchu for the 9th time in my life and the show had been one of the most intense and fun I had enjoyed. The feeling of being in London, listening to The Action is Go songs, and then meeting Ben and Joe from Orange Goblin as it used to happen when I was living there, brought me back a familiar feeling as recovering those good old times I enjoyed in London 12-14 years ago. Time’s passed, but I had the same feelings and my mind was as fresh as young as back then. It was wonderful.

Thus, on Saturday I renewed my Fu Manchu fan vows for at least another 15 more years, and now it’s time to wait for a new album, said to be released next year, and the 15th anniversary of the wild King of the Road. In Spain? I don’t think so, the band seemed to lack motivation when playing if front of barely 100 people, and it’s justified they don’t feel like coming back here. Spain, musically speaking, and with pain in my heart, we get what we deserved, and sometimes even more.

Hail to Fu Manchu, one more time! Hope to see you soon, in London, Tokyo, LA… with you, anything goes, dear friends!

EVIL EYE HAS SET HIS PLAN…AND I WILL BE RIGHT BEHIND

About a month ago I was complaining here about how terrible was that many remarkable bands are not offering any shows in Spain anymore.

We’ve been left out, sort of rejected from tour schedules in Europe, and the question is that, at this point, I think all parties involved are to be blame: the audience, the promoters not risking or not covering the artists’ high fees, and the bands themselves, many perhaps disappointed and deceived by people response.

How many times people have requested and wished a band to come, and when this turns out to be for real, then they have missed the show? Thousands. And there are many excuses valid: ticket is very expensive, the venue is not good, the show is on Monday and I have to work the day after, or the last album is not so good… Bands playing in the US in front of 2000 people, have been playing at small venues with 150 capacity. They might like it in the beginning, but they get disinterested eventually.

I think one of the clearest examples is related to Fu Manchu, band that I adore.

It’s true that I discovered them in London, I already told you the story not so long ago, but I’ve seen them 3-4 times in Barcelona for sure. Truth is that gigs were less crowded every time, and venues smaller, but fans have always behaved very enthusiastic in shows.

The fact that In Search Of European tour dates were announced, without including any date in Spain, was, to say the least, the beginning of the end.

I had read a post of the band yesterday saying thanks to the fans for supporting and attending the mentioned past tour, and leaking that within today amazing news would be reveiled. I had thought of the covers album I had heard of, but it’s been already issued (gotta get it).

This afternoon, right after work, I finally discover what they have planned for Fall 2012, thanks to this invention I still don’t get properly, except for bands updates and some jokes among friends, named Twitter.

Fu Manchu are celebrating the 15th anniversary of The Action is Go by touring Europe in September and October. 24 nights in 24 different cities, none of them in Spain, of course (sorry for sounding bitter, I am).

Yes I know, I told myself I’d take it easy regarding flash trips, I’m flying to Amsterdam to see Rich Robinson in 10 days and bought my ticket for ARF 2012 although not major confirmations have been made public yet. I was thinking of travelling to see Ryan Adams again, but dates he’s performing on, are not the most suitable for me, therefore I’ve decided not to make it this time.

But I’m not failing Fu Manchu this time. As a diehard fan I am, I must attend a show which will consist on the performance of the first album I listened to, and the first tour show I attended in 1999 (yep, totally wasted, I know). That’s called nostalgia, and sort of time travelling, don’t you think?

City hasn’t yet been decided, and this time I’m positive I won’t travel alone. We have to hurry up and agree the place, who knows, Hamburg, Gothenburg, London, Vienna… Anyplace will be the perfect set to headbang with Urethane!

We need some Fu Cowbell!

ALBUM OF WEEK 2 – KING OF THE ROAD

I was meant to have a quiet week, the past one. I was so exhausted after Xmas, my only wish was to get back to normal. The question is, what is normal in my life? I’m still not sure about it, plus routines had gone on holidays for the past 2-3 weeks.

Because I’m supposed to talk about the album, I’m not going into what I expected from last week, and what it actually happened, truth is that my musical choice, is quite meaningful and attached to my state.

Fu Manchu is one of my favorite bands ever. Yes, I know I’m telling this quite often, but this time is for real. Probably from your point of view, my devotion is way beyond, and excessive, and probably you’re right, but I can’t help it, I simply adore them.

I discovered Fu Manchu in London. I used to hang out at the original Intrepid Fox, in Wardour St. (Soho), from time to time, till that place became my second home, being the first the coffee shop I was working at. My room in East London was just a place to crush from time to time and my logistics headquarters. But during my first months in the big city, living with Jose,  my night habits were dormant, and this place was a very special joint for rare occasions. Some day I will tell you about my London days in depth, the craziest time in my life, and one of the finest.

Should I go on with the subject once and for all. I remember one evening, we were having some pints and all of a sudden I noticed an insane riff which charmed me immediately. What was that? I didn’t know, but it was one of the most powerful songs I had ever heard, absolutely rad. It was something exploding right in my face. I will never forget those seconds, and the feelings I experience. I was so impressed, I went straight to the bartender and asked him what that was, and he told me the song was named Evil Eye*, and the band, related to Kyuss and the uprising stoner movement, was called Fu Manchu. It was an instant crush I had. You can see why.

Few months after I got single (yep, we were back together one year later, but that’s another story), I recover my night habits, made new acquaintances, and used to hang around with Orange Goblin guys. They informed me of Fu Manchu coming to town in October, a gig I shouldn’t miss, thus I bought my ticket. The day of the show I was so excited and in such good mood, I got completely wasted before they started to play. My only memories were that I’d been headbanging nonstop having lots of fun, and that after the show, I had been talking to the band, offering my services as translator during their tour dates in Spain. I think they didn’t like the idea my ex boyfriend was gonna be there, so after an initial ok, they turned back their decision.

So frustrated due to such behavior, I promised myself not to attend a gig in such terrible state ever, and bought The Action is Go, and weeks later, their new album release, King of the Road.

Inexplicably, and for my joy, the band came back one month after, and this time, I enjoyed the show as deserved. It was reckless, wild and super strenuous. Since then, I’ve attended all the shows I’ve managed to see (about 8), and I reckon to be one of their most diehard fans. Believe me, their live performances are awesome.

So, this little story told, there’s nothing much to say about King of the Road. For me, it’s achieved a status of classic, and it’s a sequence of hit after hit.

I remember talking about the lyrics with the Goblins, and they were telling me not to be much bothered, Fu Manchu’s are kind of just fun. The clearest example is easily found in Weird Beard.

Riffs, rhythms, and Scott Hill’s personal phrasing, create a unique groove. But the most outstanding feature of this album is just energy, straight to the listener, like a punch.

Listen to Over the Edge, King of the Road, Hell on Wheels… it’s like you’ve just shot a fix of adrenaline and feel on top of the world.

Thus imagine, feeling the queen of the world, pretending to be back to normal, I behave in many ways but normal. Still, recovering King of the Road last week, gave me a very positive perspective of some thoughts and commitments to myself I’ve decided. With energy and strong will, I can achieve whatever I want.

*Evil Eye belongs to The Action is Go album

TOI AND THE GIGS, UFF! TOUGH QUESTION

Yesterday somebody asked me for the gigs I’ve enjoyed most ever. Shit! That’s one of the most difficult questions to answer, impossible to reply instantly, plus there are many shows to come.

I’ve been thinking of a top 20, because a top 10 wouldn’t be enough, but then it’d be too long, plus, no matter whether the list names 10,20 or 30 bands, I’m gonna be regretting all the time for forgetting this or that band, so…let’s make it once and for all, following a chronological order.

Here they go!

GUNS N’ ROSES, MADRID, 1993

At that time I already adored this band, but wasn’t conscious of what they would mean for the rest of my life. Guns n’ Roses are my favorite band, and they were the first ones I had to move my ass from my hometown to see on stage.

I was 16, my parents wouldn’t allow me to go to Madrid on my own, thus I managed to gather money for my father’s ticket, as a birthday present. He liked them and couldn’t refuse. Eventually, he had so much fun as to give me the money back.

The trip was crazy, it was organized, and the coach was plenty of diehard fans packed with booze and joints. By the time we reached Madrid, everybody was pissed and stoned, me and my dad included.

The show was great, despite the fact that Izzy wasn’t in the band anymore. And yes, Axl went on stage almost two hous later than supposed. Didn’t mind.

KISS, REUNION TOUR, MADRID, 1997

I wasn’t a big fan, in fact, I wasn’t to excited about going to Madrid to see Kiss, but I had given Rock n’ Roll Over to my boyfriend as a present, and he insisted I should go, so finally I accepted.

I had to help him and another friend with the make-up, and remember while going to the venue, people stopping us to take some pix.

I was left on the stands, half babysitting two kids in their 15’s, scared for so much noise and the explosions. I started to vibe and cheer up with all the show, fire, explosions, blood, guys flying…it was awesome! Remember when Paul Stanley came flying  towards us singing Love Gun, and there he was, on a platform, 10m from when we were. I had a total crash, fell in love with the band for good.

Kiss is a band you should see at least once in your lifetime, and the younger you are, the better. I’d pay millions for seeing Kiss when I was fifteen.

BACKYARD BABIES, @  WATER RATS, LONDON, 1998

I had been living in London for 3-4 months more or less. Weather was crap, my job at a laundry services factory was shit, and living with my boyfriend a nightmare, plus I had had a huge argument with him hours before.

The previous night, the Swedish were meant to open for Monster Magnet and Rob Zombie, but unfortunately due to doors opening delay, they couldn’t make it. Still I got the chance to talk to Nicke, and moreover, have a long chat with Dregen, who ended up being really cool and I promised to bring him a bottle of Spanish wine the day after.

The show was organized by the band fan club, and not being members, we weren’t allowed to get in the venue. It was freezing, raining, and we couldn’t believe it, until he came out for changing his creepers for his ragged sneakers, Dregen came straight to me and asked what was going on. I explained, and he begged, I swear, to the guys at the door, to let us in. After some talks we made it, for free, so I spent all the money on merch, and gave him the bottle that he drunk during the show.

The Yo-Yo’s were the supporting band, a blast, but then Backyard Babies came after, and God, such energy and rage were unfuckinbelievable!

THE HELLACOPTERS @ THE BARFLY, LONDON, 1999

My first gig as a single, I went with a friend from my hometown who was spending summer working in London. I was a bit down yet in the mood for having fun.

The venue was very small and we were around 100 people. Before the show, I was sitting on a pool table, and the guys in the band were asking me for my lighter all the time. It was like a big family having a party, we jumped onto the stage, danced and everybody got crazy. They were introducing my favorite Hellacopters album, Grande Rock.

BLACK SABBATH REUNION TOUR,@ ASTORIA, LONDON, 1999

I received the news that Black Sabbath original lineup were performing their first show in London when I was on holidays in Spain. My friend Lukas called me after he tried to buy a pair of tickets unsuccessfully, apparently they were sold out in just a couple of hours.

Once back in town, I heard of a new ticket selling place and gave them a call, in order to buy one for Iggy Pop and try luck with Sabbath. And I won, but just one, at the initial cost, 19.50 pounds. Tickets sold by scalpers were over 350.

Later I knew that it was kind of launching, not a proper tour gig, so most of the audience were guests and media coverage.

I cried, and screamed, most of time on my own, although at the end of the gig, people were hugging each others, moved by happiness for real.

FU MANCHU @  BORDERLINE, LONDON, 2000

I had already seen Fu Manchu twice before, but this time it was kind of pre-launching of California Crossing mixed with King of the Road, the venue, able to hold barely 150 people, was overcrowded, and once again everyone got crazy.

It was so full of people, some in the first rows got hit by Scott Hill’s guitar. Fuzz was so loud, I had this uncomfortable whistling for a couple of days. It didn’t mind, I got what I wanted.

RYAN ADAMS, @ HAMMERSMITH ODEON, LONDON, 2007

The unfortunate performance and bad attitude of the singer years before have forced a kind of veto into this country, so if you feel like seeing him performing, be sure you’ll have to move your ass somewhere else. This is gonna happen next month, I’m going to see Adams to Portugal, and happened three years and a half ago.

My ex and I arranged an exciting weekend in London with three gigs in three nights: Adams, Alice Cooper with Joan Jett and Motorhead, and as special dessert, Lucinda Williams.

Adams played for more than two hours. I liked him, but not as much as I do now. He introduced Everybody Knows EP, and the feeling I got it was as if Heaven was down to Earth. I got these flashes, these sparks in my mind, very fresh, I will never forget. I was listening to beautiful songs with my beloved one, felt grateful for what was happening, and was also aware of being really happy…shy tears brought out from my eyes…everything was perfect that night.

THE WILDHEARTS @ RAZZ 3, BARCELONA, 2008

I had already seen The Wildhearts twice, one at the festival in Vitoria, and second, one month after seeing Ryan Adams, in London as well.

Once the gig was confirmed we bought the tickets thinking they might be sold out. No way, this doesn’t happen in Spain,  this band is doomed or something here, venue was even changed to a smaller one, which in the end was better, because we were closer to the band, packed and one thing was for sure, those 100 people there, were diehard fans of the band.

It was party animal gig, jumping onto the stage, sweating, we lost our voice…I got the set list and a pick from CJ. Everyone was so happy! It was a “I was there” moment, once in a lifetime, full of magic.

NEIL YOUNG, PRIMAVERA SOUND, BARCELONA, 2009

I had seen Young at a festival in UK I worked for, back in 1996, and got really impressed at the time. Although I always liked and respected him, it took me many years to take him seriously and become a devotee of uncle Neil. Gotta give the credit to my ex, he became completely obsessed and eventually convinced me I should pay him more attention.

When Young came to Barcelona, it was the right time, and enjoyed the gig a lot, surrounded by good friends. Once again, I cried. You can’t get enough of Young on stage, he could be playing for 4 hours, sure you’d like him to play four more.

MICHAEL MONROE @ ISLINGTON ACADEMY, LONDON, 2010

I reckon this was the best show I witnessed last year, so great, I’m seeing him in two weeks twice, here in Barcelona, and two days after in Madrid.

Monroe is one of the finest front men ever, set lists are like bombs, and this guy sweats and shit energy wherever he goes.

First time I saw him in London, on my own, and was another party with the guy stage diving, jumping, climbing and everything. I was in shock!

Last year was mayhem at the venue, supported by an amazing lineup, he left his balls on the stage, the setlist was just perfect, and they sounded best ever.

******

It’s two o’clock already, I’ve been thinking on this post for many hours this afternoon, but started writing very late, and with all the decisions, memories back, and all the stuff, I’ve been here for two hours. I will edit the post and add some pictures, probably when you read this, they’ll be already uploaded.

Many bands and shows have been left out, but it had to be 10.

I feel lucky for still being able to feel passionate about live music. Many people who go to gigs on a regular basis, have lost this emotion or illusion, you name it. I’m able to cry of happiness, get excited to abnormal levels when a date of a band is officially confirmed, and feel the groove in the pit, standing right in front of a band.

Some other day, I’ll talk about stuff collected from gigs, you know, setlists, picks, drum sticks…there’s stuff all around my Hellhouse.

 I know you feel shy regarding writing comments in here, I don’t care the language you use as long as I can use Google Translator, I beg you, I’d love you to participate telling me those gigs which have left a mark on you for the rest of your lives.