April 3rd, 2006

Old Friend

(Gig) Depeche Mode

Sunday saw me head over to Wembley Arena to catch Depeche Mode live in concert. It was my first trip to the Arena since January '99 when I saw Garbage play supported by Moloko. It was my first time at the Wembley Complex since they knocked down the old Wembley Stadium and started building the new one which is now terribly overbudget and overdue. I remember being at the last ever England football match at the old Stadium (we lost to Germany but hey, at least we kicked their ass in the return match ;p) and remember the fans saying their goodbyes to the place. But I digress. DM were playing the Arena not the Stadium. Although the Arena has undergone rebuilding work as well and now sports a nice fountain and foyer area . The ends have changed too as the 'front' is now where the 'back' used to be. Confused me a bit there to start with too....

Anyway, I met up with snesgirl and bumped into a load of other people at the show including the ever lovely cookwitch, d_floorlandmine, colin_boyle and club_slut to namedrop just a few.

First up were The Bravery...or what I'll call The Bravery II as I'm 90% sure that they have a new lead singer and a new guitarist or bassist since last time I saw them. Certainly the lead singer was a lot less agile and charismatic on stage, didn't have as a good voice as the original and let the original guitarist do a lot of the talking to the crowd. I don't know if there's been a split in the ranks or if the singer was just having an off night (and with my eyesight I couldn't be 100% definite he was different). In any case they weren't as vibrant as early last year and the set didn't really kick off until half way through when they played 'Honest Mistake' which ws their breakthrough hit last year.

I'll stop here a moment and say I'd forgotten what good large 'Arena' shows are like. Most of the bands I see play to crowds of upto about 4-5,000 I'm guessing (Festivals aside). I don't know how many people the Arena holds but I'm guessing it's more in the 15-20,000 range. It was packed out last night. Apparently the tickets had sold out in two hours upon being made available last year. Depeche Mode's stage set was brilliant. As was their light show, as was the useage of six giant tv screens set at angels at the back of the stage. Visually they were one of the most exciting bands I've seen in ages and you can really tell the difference - in quality as well as everything else - between them and most other bands around at the moment. Dave Gahan still looks fantasic and IS A GOD (and let no one tell you otherwise). He was certainly a lot more camp this time round, strutting his way around the stage, going topless and showing off his fine physique..ahem. Anyway, with a back catalogue going back 26 years you can guarantee that there are plenty of hits to be rolled out at shows like these. They didn't disappoint either with a host of past hits with four (I think) new tracks from their latest album sprinkled in for good measure. The most glaring omission, for me at least, was the lack of 'Master & Servant' which is one of my all time favourite DM tracks.

Anyway, to round off it was an absolutely cracking show. I hope everyone who is going to tonights gig has as much fun as I did last night. Depeche Mode go down as one of the truly brilliant bands to have ever graced this planet. I'm so glad I got another chance to see them. May I get many more.
  • Current Music
    The Warlocks
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Reading Festival......I try, and I try, and I try..........

Tickets for this years Reading Festival went on sale at 19:15 this evening. I have been trying for pretty much the last FOUR HOURS to try and get tickets with my phone on automatic redial and with me refreshing the online page every few seconds trying to get a connection.

It is defeating me. I have not had an ounce of joy as yet. I shall keep on trying so please, dear readers, wish me luck.....

Highlights for me from the announced bands so far include: Franz Ferdinand (Friday headliners), Kaiser Chiefs, The Subways and Panic! At The Disco (all Friday), Muse (Saturday headliners - I MUST SEE MUSE), Artic Monkets, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dirty Pretty Things and The Raconteurs (all Saturday), Pearl Jam (Sunday headliners), Placebo and My Chemical Romance (all Sunday). The Streets are also playing on the Saturday and I must confess my interest in catching them if they don't clash with anyone better in a Festival atmosphere as I think they'd be pretty good in that envirnoment. Christ, I even ended up really enjoying Billy Bragg when I saw him at Glastonbury one year and I couldn't stand him before that!
  • Current Music
    Still The Warlocks (second of there CDs that arrived today!)
Old Friend

Reading Festival Update

All the tickets for Weekend Passes have now sold out accoridng to the website (which explains why I can now suddenly get through...grrr)

But...BUT... I have found a sneaky way in. The Weekend tickets have sold out but the coach plus Weekend tickets are still available. It means leaving a day earlier (Thursday) and having to get the coach to Reading (and they'll issue you your concert tickets when you get on the coach so you have to use the coach - which is a shame as I was just after the tickets and would have made my own way, but hey...).

Now all I have to do is hear from goldmoonrj to make sure she's ok with this. So if you're reading this girl PHONE ME! Or answer your phone! One of the two would be good :p
Old Friend

...and he shall go to the ball.... he'll be broke, but he'll be there.....

I'm sure I remember going to Reading Festival for £75 for the weekend. It may have even been £60.

Standard tickets (you know, the ones that sold out before I could get them) were £135 this year! Oh, plus booking fee plus postage - lets call it £147!

The ones I just brought (and yes I did finally get them, and yes it does mean I have to take a spoddy coach there....but at least I'll actually be there) cost just under £165 per ticket. And with that I'm getting 2p change out of the £165!!!

But I'll be there. So will Nicole. She'll be happy. I'll be broke.

Today has been a very expensive day one way or another. I hope I don't have another like it ffor some time.

I may go out for a cigarette now. I think I need one, even though I've been a terribly good boy this evening and not had a single one.

Just wish I had some Diet Coke as I'd mix it with the little Southern Comfort I have left. Mind you having it neat at the moment seems like an equally good idea.....
  • Current Mood
    shocked ...broke.....n