Tag Archives: Gigs

Four gigs in a week – Part 1: The Lawrence Arms + Fat Freddy’s Drop

.. The only disappointment in going to see 4 gigs in a week is the fact that the budget for food is very very tight, like 50p late evening deals on Waitrose’s sandwiches just before the show, or a big plate of pasta with whatever-is-in-the-cupboard type of sauce when you come back home drunk as a skunk right after it.

But for some Rock ‘n’ Roll I reckon is a pretty fair price to pay.

It all started last Wednesday with The Lawrence Arms @ the O2 Academy in Islington.

Larrys 1

Larrys 3

No one wanted to come so I bought the ticket online at 4pm on the very same day (pretty risky to do that for a London gig), cooked some dinner, jumped on my Vespa and boom, here I am under the stage singing out loud old timers like The Devil’s Takin’ Names, Great Lakes/Great Escapes, Like a Record Player, Quincentuple Your Money, 100 Resolutions and new great songs like Seventeener and You Are Here from their last album Metropole.

Larrys 4
Chris (guitar) and Neil (drums)

I love these guys! The mix of melancholic lyrics and constant drunkenness makes the Chicago trio one of the best Punk Rock bands around, since 1999!

Larrys 2
Brendan Kelly (bass)

Last time I saw them was in 2010. Same place, same feelings during the show and a lot of beers shared with my best mate Alessandro. Since then he got married and he’s now father of a beautiful girl called Chiara. And what about me? No wife and no kids, but I’m still pretty good on getting drunk on a regular basis.

Even if they didn’t play it this song is still one of my favourite..

Starring: Cocky Balboa


Saturday was the turn of Fat Freddy’s Drop @ Ally Pally..

Mr Scruff was opening… But we missed him (insert Sad Face here)! However I had the pleasure to see him earlier this  year at Koko’s and God he was good! If you don’t know him go check it out!

mr_scruff

Quick watered down beer with an extraordinary taste of piss, quick look at the toilets just to realise that I’m not in the mood to queue for 45 minutes just to get rid of some liquids and then lights went down and the Kiwis appeared on stage, making the whole crowd go bananas!!

FFD logo
Great logo!

Just to give you a bit of knowledge, the Wellington music collective started back in 2005, when they released their first studio album called Based on a true story. The album went gold on its first day. Recorded in a basement studio in the home of one of the band members, it was released on the band’s own label, The Drop. It was the first independently distributed album to hit number one on the New Zealand album charts. Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW came next, followed by their latest masterpiece Blackbird.

And the Ally pally night was the perfect occasion for Joe Dukie and his gang to play some great songs from this new  fabulous album, Mother Mother and Silver and Gold for example, with the addition of old tunes like This Room and the mind-blowing cover of Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley.

One hour and forty minutes of greatness! No pictures and zero trips to the bar, just music, good vibes and the entertaining crazy little dances of sweaty pants Hopepa, Fat Freddy’s trombone player. What a dude!

Click here for some pics, click play on the video below for some beats..

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Miracle on Bleecker Street..

A couple of weeks ago I finally found the “miraculous” Bleecker St. Burger van at the KERB street food market just under the Gherkin building in the City.

I remember getting a Double Cheeseburger and a portion of Angry Fries and I also remember they got demolished in less than 3 minutes!

Bleecker St.

I promised to myself that I wouldn’t do any reviews about burger places, as everyone seems to be doing them nowadays, but the Bleecker experience was probably the best lunch break I’ve had since I started working in the City (AKA The Land of Corporate Robots).

The menu is straightforward and simple (a bonus for an indecisive dude like me) and the Combo deal was literally an “offer that I couldn’t refuse” (good old “funny-chin” Marlon Brando): £10.50 for a Double Cheeseburger and a portion of Angry fries.

Bleecker

The juicy patties were perfectly cooked (maybe I’d have left the meat 10 more seconds on the grill) and the Angry fries, even if they were not at the level of anger that I’m normally used to, were super tasty, with a pretty decent chili sauce mixed with melt cheese and mayonnaise.

I won’t tell you that these guys are better than others or worse or whatever. What I’m suggesting here is that you should do yourself a favour and go out and find this black van of magic! You won’t be disappointed!

For the right coordinates: http://bleeckerburger.co.uk/


Gigs&(way-too-many)Drinks: I went to see The Bronx at Oslo this past Tuesday.

Don’t remember much of it as I was completely hammered but if you’ve never heard of them you definitely should!

Fucked Up @ La Scala – 18th June 2014

Fucked Up

If you spend a night in a sweaty mosh pit at a hardcore punk show you have to bare in mind that the next day in the office will suck big fucking time! And those suicidal tendencies I’m having this morning are not because of the bruises all over my body…. It’s all caused by the fact that punk rock and hardcore punk shows are making me feel so ALIVE, bringing back beautiful memories of my early 20’s, when music wasn’t as mainstream as today and everything related to it was more romantic.

No Spotify, no YouTube, sometimes not even the Internet. Just Compact Discs and Cassettes. I still possess the glorious one that introduced me to this world: Straight Ahead by Pennywise on side A and Ballads from the Revolution by Good Riddance on side B.

Also going to gigs was much more fun: you firstly had to find the money, then a car, then a friend keen to drive until Milano, Genova or Torino, then a little shop to buy beers and then, most difficult part, the venue!

I think we reached the bottom of the barrel when we got lost on our way to Fat Wreck Tour in 2003. When we got there the gig was over, the fans have left and the only people in the venue were the barman of a deserted bar and some Mad Caddies and Lawrence Arms members playing dices. They obviously laughed at us, but just before the sadness in our faces was about to turn into tears, they invited us to their table and we spent the entire night up to no good with our new friends.

Fucked Up

Time to leave Memory Lane now and start talking about these Fucked Up Canadians and the immense gig they played yesterday.

 

Damian Abraham and co. had the brilliant idea to start the show with Echo Boomer, the opening track of their new album Glass Boys (Matador Records) followed by Queen of Hearts. I’m not complaining about that, it was the best start they could have possibly done, but I’m not exaggerating in saying that the floor almost collapsed.

The rest of the night was all about mosh pit, sweat, crowd surfing, beers and great songs like Black Albino Bones, The Other Side, Led by Hand, Sun Glass and Paper the House.

Fucked Up

I need to mention as well the fact that the singer Damian was never on stage! That dude can’t stay away from the action and from the love of his fans to a point that he spent the entire time in the middle of us, hugging everyone and smiling like a little child when people were kissing his bald head.

Fucked Up

I also managed to give him a big hug when the concert was over and you can really tell there’s nothing fake in that incredible human being!!

Great night, Great show, Great bunch of Fucked Up people!


Bibs&Tips: The Kings Cross Honest Burgers branch is literally 45 seconds walking distance (Angel direction) from La Scala… and we all know how good their burgers are!

Seasick Steve @ Royal Albert Hall – 23rd May 2014

Bibs&Beers

Random horny woman in the crowd: “Steve, I love you!”

Steven: “Great! What’s your number?”

That’s what you get from a down-to-earth “Walkin Man” like Seasick Steve!

You get that and an incredible show, where everything is 100% REAL! From the guitars made of hubcaps, cigar boxes, cans of beer, Christmas decorations and broomsticks, to the litres of red wine drank on stage by the Californian blues man and his drummer Dan Magnusson.

Unforgettable were also the lovely breasts of the super-talented violinist and the tears of joy of both musicians at the end of the gig, when they realised that everyone was clapping, shouting and going crazy for the tremendous show they had put together.

Seasick Steve

The entire event was more than a concert, it was a party! Creating a unique atmosphere and vibe that invigorated even one of the most classical of venues, the Royal Albert Hall.
A mixture of acoustic songs, dirty blues, Rock&Roll, rough sounds but also mellow ones when the violinist was on stage.

Steven and his friends played for over 2 hours and totally rocked the FUCK out of the place, absolutely deserving an incredibly warm crowd and a final standing ovation.

Seasick Steve @ Royal Albert Hall

“Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don’t look for work, and bums are people who don’t move and don’t work. I’ve been all three” – Seasick Steve


Bibs&Tips: If you have time either before or after an event at the Royal Albert Hall you should head to Macellaio RC for some great Gnocchi al Pesto or a big juicy steak.

Buon Appetito!

What’s that “Gigs section” all about?

Jack&Bibs&Gigs

Just to clarify: Bibs = food. Mainly around London, as it’s the beautiful city where I am living at the moment. And Gigs, mainly because I love Live Music as much as I love my Nonna’s Lasagna, beers, colourful sunsets, big Loblollies and the Stay Puft dude from Ghostbusters!

What you won’t find in the Gigs section is:

  • Negative reviews. And the same rule applies to the bibs one: If I don’t like it, I am not going to talk about it.
  • A Justin Bieber’s gig review.
  • Professional pictures – For 3 simple reasons: 1 – I am not a professional photographer; 2 – I rather use my hands to hold beers (even if a fiver for a pint served in a plastic glass is an absolute robbery); 3 – Taking thousands of pictures (which is the new hipster thing), as it is probably the rudest behaviour you can find during a concert. Even worse than nudity!
  • Professional reviews: Because they are so fucking boring!
  • The entire set list, unless I’m lucky enough to grab one directly from the band, or get invited (really unlikely) to an after show interview.

What you’ll be amazed to find is:

  • Fun stories: Not a lot of things in life are better than a night out to a gig with your mates! What you’ll get is not just my feelings about the event but also what I am able to read in other people faces, especially if they’re either drunk or high.
  • Shitty pictures and shittier videos.
  • Some rude language and several synonyms of the word Boobs (like Loblollies for example).
  • Some tips about the venues’ surrounding area in terms of food and drinks: Basically, if there are nice restaurants and cool pubs down the corner from the gig’s venue I’ll let you know about it. And I’ll also try to link some of the gigs reviews with the appropriate bibs ones.

Now, it’s Friday, and the sun is shining over London…. Let’s create the right atmosphere for the upcoming weekend….