Tag Archives: O2 Academy Islington

An extraordinary evening with the Mad Caddies..

.. that started with a Chilango burrito, some beers and a quick chat with Sascha (guitar) and Ed (trombone) from the band just before the show. We got talking about when I arrived late to their gig in Milan in 2003 and we ended up playing the dices and getting drunk, then, as soon as me and my friends got in, we found the perfect spot to watch the great performance they put together, just in-between the bar and the stage.

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Pulled pork burrito at Chilango

It’s impossible to fully describe how I felt, but I can promise you that when they played Macho Nachos, Road Rash and Leavin’ I was completely taken back  to the late nineties/early noughties, when it was all about skateboarding (or at least trying to) and Punk Rock music.

Needless to say that I was crying a little bit during that trip down memory lane, but y’all know how soft I am.

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Last night the boys from Santa Barbara were absolutely impeccable, and since they started 20 years ago they’ve only got better and better, especially live. Chuck’s voice is still amazing, Dustin smashed it at the keyboards, Graham and Todd did the same on the bass and on the drums, Sascha is still looking like a kid but he now plays like a pro, and Eddie the Sexy-Mexi wasn’t just epic at the trombone, but he also managed to jump all over the stage for the entire show and play the last song from the bar just behind where we were standing. S-U-P-E-R-B!!!!

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Unfortunately Keith, Caddies’ trumpet player since they started back in 1995, is on tour with Mariachi El Bronx, so wasn’t there to enjoy the party. I’m pretty sure he’s still having a good time though.

Mad Caddies

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Dear Mad Caddies, thanks a lot for being the soundtrack of my youth and for making feel like a kid again during your show yesterday. Funny enough it happened to be just 5 days before my 30th birthday, so I’ll take it as a pretty cool present.

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One more post before Xmas amigos, and I promise it won’t be about music this time.

Take’er easy dudes…. I know you will.

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Truckfighters, Tinariwen and Jack White

The past week was again full of live music excitement..

Last Friday Truckfighters played at the O2 Academy in Islington and, even with a pretty fucking late arrival (AGAIN!!),  me and Cozza managed to see them performing the last 4 songs..

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Jesus Christ I love these guys so much! And I truly love Desert Cruiser; they finish all their gigs with that song, with everyone in the house singing along, even the sweaty walls!

Sorry boys, next time I’ll try to drink less beers prior to the show and rock up on time.

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Talking about desert, Tinariwen (which in the Tamasheq language literally means ‘deserts’) and their West African guitar-driven sound, rocked the Roundhouse the following Sunday.

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Imagine being stuck in a big tent in the middle of the Sahara Desert with a group of local musicians, where the only thing that you can do, apart from asking for more tea, is listening to the music they are playing.. Well, that is the best explanation that I can give you about the atmosphere that these northern Malian rock rebels created during the gig, apart from beer and cider served instead of the tea.

Tinariwen

I discovered these guys this summer through my girlfriend’s dad Damian, the coolest 70 years old dude that I know, and since then I got addicted to their sound. If you still don’t know them then you should.

Not the best video quality, but will surely give you an idea..

Wednesday was the turn of Jack White at the O2 Arena..

I’m not a big fan of the Millennium Dome in all honesty, as I prefer more intimate gigs, but I had this thing in my head about seeing crazy Jack live that made me not care too much about the location.. Plus I got the tickets for my birthday (thanks Lucy) so why not.

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I much appreciated the fact that on top of White’s solo stuff (Freedom at 21 & Lazaretto) some great tunes by The White Stripes (Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground, Fell in Love With a Girl, Astro & Hotel Yorba) and The Raconteurs (Top Yourself & Steady As She Goes) were also played, but unfortunately at the end of the show I wasn’t as impressed as I though I would be.

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Maybe it was just the place, or Jack not being great in communicating with the crowd, or some of the musicians playing not matching at all that type of music, or maybe my expectations for this gig were too big, who knows? What I do know is that for the first time in my life I left a concert before the last song had been played, and that should explain everything.

Next gig will be Mad Caddies at the little O2 in Islington, the perfect band to play out the year..

Ciao B&G lovers, have a great weekend!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!!

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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!