Friday, 31 July 2015

Looong day and Dark Matter

It was a very long day today. Not only did I get in early but I also ended up staying late when I had hoped for an early escape. To make matters worse I then ended up working when I got home as well. Still, I am sure my efforts will be appreciated :)

We started watching a new TV show today called Dark Matter. It's a promising sci-fi yarn that will hopefully turn out to be really good. It's a simple premise: a group of six people with no memory of who they are and where they came from wake up on a starship. Naming themselves "One" through "Six" in order of their awakening, they stabilize their vessel and begin trying to figure out what happened to them. Well worth checking out.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

No more Midnight Kiss for me

Just to give a quick update, I am no longer playing bass for Midnight Kiss. There are too many things going on at the moment that I just didn't feel that I was able to give them the time that was needed (especially since Pam's fall). I wish them all the best for the future though and I'm sure the new album will be well received. 

My musical interest has been rekindled as a result of this so I am sure there will be something coming along in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Pixels 3D

Cinema time again for Toni, Sam and I as e continue to thrash our Cineworld Unlimited cards. Today was an advance screening of Adam Sandler's new movie Pixels.

When aliens intercept video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack Earth, using the games as models. Knowing that he must employ a similar strategy, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) recruits his childhood pal, former video-game champ and home-theater installer Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), to lead a team of old-school arcade players (Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad) and a military specialist (Michelle Monaghan) to save the planet.

We chose to ignore the bad reviews and were delighted to find a very funny film. I guess it made a big difference coming from a generation were arcades were where we went for entertainment and shovelling coins into classic machines was the best fun you could have. Well, Sam wasn't but he had good exposure to all that stuff. All the icons were there with some great one liners. The film is worth going to see for Peter Dinklage alone but it is so much more than that.

An added bonus was that despite this being in 3D it was actually done pretty well and fitted in perfectly with the pixelated storyline.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Chilling and Minions again

Following on from all the fun of Ramblin' Man Festival yesterday it was a morning where we didn't have to rush to get up as Pam was at Leanne's. Extra sleep followed by a large breakfast at Richard's set the day up nicely.

After we'd picked Pam we set Sam on granny sitting duty and took Zoe to see Minions. Thankfully it's one of those films that you can watch more than once :)

Being totally lazy we then indulged in a Chinese for dinner rather than having to do some of that nasty cooking stuff.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Ramblin' Man Fair

After a large breakfast Toni, Sam and I headed out to Maidstone for the first Ramblin' Man Festival. Our first stop was Kent Showground to catch the bus to the venue.

It was a great venue, really well laid out with three stages and lots of stalls peddling wares and food. Here's a 360 view:

Some random pics of the site:

We had tickets for the seated grandstand on account of us being old and wanting a good view. One of our friends even got a picture of us there:

This was our view and roughly how far we were from the stage:

So, the reason that we were here was the music. There was lots of it and most of it was good. So, without further ago.......... here's how it went down.

This was a new band for us. The singer is James Toseland, a former superbike racer who notched up a couple of championships in his time on the circuit. The band were pretty good. Radio friendly rock music that was very well received by the crowd. A nice way to start the day (for us as we missed the first band) and a band I'll be checking out more of.

See all the TOSELAND pics here:

This was one of those back in the day moments for me. I hadn't seen FM live since way way back and was delighted to see that they are still going. It was a good set of old and new numbers and once again the crowd lapped it up.

See all the FM pics here:

Apart from THAT song this was uncharted territory for me. All the old folk suddenly appeared and were singing along word for word to everything. It was really nice to see. Some of the songs were pretty good, others so-so but they were well appreciated. Respect to them for still going after such a long time.

See all the BLUE OYSTER CULT pics here:

Here's THAT song (please excuse the sound quality but there was wind):

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal legends Saxon took to the stage next to thunderous applause. I had feared that Saxon were going to be a mere parody of their former selves but I was very wrong! It was a set of Saxon classics, some great singalongs plus a couple of new numbers. This was one hell of a way to warm things up and take it into overdrive.

See all the SAXON pics here:

...and here they are performing Princess Of The Night:

This is a bit of a galling one to have to write. I don't mind some of Dream Theater's recorded output but I am sad to say that live they were truly awful. The killed the brilliant atmosphere that Saxon had created with a really boring stage show. Sure they get a big thumbs up for being technically brilliant musicians but the performance was sterile and stagnant. None of the band members moved around apart from the singer who just did the same circle walk over and over again and it just made the whole thing appear flat and boring. I gave them a chance, I really wanted to like them and be impressed but something was not right. I wasn't the only one thinking this as they ended up playing to the smallest crowd of all the bands. The noise of the crowd during Saxon was gone and so was the fun. Sorry DT but you just didn't cut it. Saxon should have been above you.

See all the DREAM THEATER pic here:

..and so we came to the reason why Toni, Sam and I were at Ramblin' Man Fair. German legends Scorpions doing their first headline UK show in many years. The years might roll on but the Scorpions still have what it takes to put an amazing show and keep themselves at the top of their game. This was an amazing performance. There was something for everyone in the set:

Going Out With A Bang
Make It Real
The Zoo
Coast to Coast
Top of the Bill / Steamrock Fever / Speedy's Coming / Catch Your Train 
We Built This House
Delicate Dance
Always Somewhere / Eye of the Storm / Send Me an Angel
Wind Of Change
Rock 'n' Roll Band
In The Line Of Fire
Kottak Attack
Crazy World
Big City Nights

Still Loving You
Rock You Like A Hurricane

See all the SCORPIONS pics here:

My only complaint about this performance, it wasn't long enough!

We Built This House

Always Somewhere / Eye of the Storm / Send Me an Angel

Wind of Change


Big City Nights

As far as I am concerned the first Ramblin' Man Fair was a massive success (yes even allowing for Dream Theater). It's a great venue, everything was really well set up and it was a fantastic day out with some wonderful bands plus some delicious gluten free hot dogs. Can't wait to see what they come up with for next year!