Tag Archives: heavy metal

A Mad Mental Musical Cultural Week in October

If you’ve been reading my weekly posts of late you’ll know that “Rock Mum” has been out to play once or twice.

Well, last week, she escaped several times to attend some quite diverse musical events.

I’ve been looking at the last week of October in my diary with a mix of eager anticipation and silent dread for several months. How would I make it from Saturday to Friday in one piece?

Ok, I’ll start at the beginning –

Saturday 25 October – up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight from Glasgow to London, Heathrow for a day out with the Big Green Gummi Bear. He had bought me tickets to the West End musical Miss Saigon for my birthday back in June. Secret confession – I love musicals! I’ve been desperate to see Miss Saigon for a long time. We arrived in London to a beautiful autumn day – a total contrast to the cold wet windy day we had left in Glasgow. By now it was late morning, so we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park, Mayfair, down Regent Street and eventually made our way to SoHo and theatre land. I say leisurely – the Big Green Gummi Bear does not know how to take a leisurely stroll. Military style route march is closer to the truth! (Only kidding, darling).Our tickets were for the matinee, so after a well-earned caffeine fix and a bun, we walked round to the Prince Edward theatre. I’ll not give away any spoilers regarding the show in case you haven’t seen it and want to. It was fantastic! The performance was breath-taking and emotional. By the closing scenes, the tears were flowing freely down my cheeks. A rapturous standing ovation. Loved it! Cue return route march to Paddington then on to Heathrow airport for dinner, some vino and our return flight home. Fabulous day! Thank you, Big Green Gummi Bear.

London Collage

Sunday 26 October- another eagerly awaited event was upon me. This time it was Black Stone Cherry, a rock band from Edmonton, Kentucky, at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Yes, Rock Mum and Rock Friend was out to play! Having rounded everyone up, we headed off into the rainy dark night towards Glasgow. (Huge thanks to my friend who drove us there and sincere apologies again for the contraband Mars Bar that was left in the car) Among the group (there were seven of us) we had a “Rock Concert Virgin”. Lady Luck was shining on us and we managed to secure a good spot in the standing arena near to the front of the stage. The four older teenagers escaped into the centre, hoping for and ultimately finding, a mosh pit or two. Yes, Rock Mum’s heart was in her mouth as she silently fretted over Boy Child’s safety. (He eventually emerged slightly damaged around the shoulder area) Black Stone Cherry were supported by Theory of a Deadman and Aussie rockers Airbourne. Quite a diverse choice of support bands but both excellent. I had thought that I’d prefer Theory of a Deadman but Airbourne were great fun- total RnFnR! After their set, I turned to the “Rock Concert Virgin” to ask what they’d thought. “That guy’s fucking mental,” came the immediate reply. Comment of the night! Black Stone Cherry were fabulous and it was a privilege to be there to enjoy their first ever UK arena outing. They played a blinding set that included all my favourites. “Hollywood In Kentucky” played live was every bit as good if not better than I had hoped it would be. I loved Ben Wells’s hat! The night ended with the Glasgow choir helping front man Chris Robertson with “Peace Is Free”. An awesome gig to lose your concert virginity at! Hurry back, boys! Missing y’all already!

BSC collage

Monday 27 October- almost glad to be at work! The day was powered by caffeine and magic beans!

Tuesday 28 October – a half day at the salt mine then out to play again at night as Rock Mum and Rock Friend. This was not my gig of choice I hasten to add. Girl Child had pleaded to be taken so, in good Rock Mum fashion, I agreed. I must be insane! Accompanied by a close friend and her teenage daughter (another concert virgin), we headed back to Glasgow to a small city centre venue called The Garage. And the headline act this time? – post hardcore heavy metal band Escape The Fate. One look at the crowd and I could tell we were in for a rowdy night! A couple of songs into the first support band, New Year’s Day’s set and the girl children bailed out to the far side of the room. Both in agreement that this was not the place to be seen with their Rock Mum’s. Their loss! Trying not to panic about the girls’ whereabouts as the circle pit opened and closed repeatedly, my friend and I genuinely enjoyed the gig. All three bands (second on the bill were Glamour of the Kill) were brilliant. Not my music genre of choice, a bit too heavy for me, and I’ll never be a fan of growling but a great and memorable evening all round!

ETF collage

Wednesday 29 October- a muffled day at work as I was deaf as a post! My ears rang and hissed merrily til bedtime. Another day highly caffeine fuelled with the additional support of multiple handfuls of magic beans.

Thursday 30 October- final outing of the week! This time it was neither Rock Mum nor Rock Friend who went out to play. Instead it was Proud Mum. Accompanied by my folks (Parents 1&2) and the same friend from Tuesday night, we headed along to the school for the annual Jazz Night. Watching Boy Child playing his trumpet with the Jazz Band and playing his solos with confidence made me glow with pride. Jazz certainly is not my favourite genre of music but it was a fabulously entertaining evening as staff and pupils shared the stage. Jethro Tull will never be the same again after a memorable performance by one music teacher. Loved it!

Friday 31 October – I’d survived! Four nights out in six days and I was still standing.

West End musical, rock, metal, jazz – I’d seen and done it all and loved every note of it!

Suddenly a Halloween sleepover for half a dozen fancy dressed teenage girls seemed like it was going to be a walk in the park….. but that’s perhaps a story for another day. My poor Boy Child may never be the same again!

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A Surreal Music Filled Friday Night

It’s been a while but the “rock mum” came out to play this past weekend.

I’ve come to the conclusion that concert tickets are like buses – none for months then BANG the diary is full and the credit card is smoldering. I’ve got tickets to seven gigs for between now and mid-December with another two for 2015 booked (OK – Girl Child is going to one of them with her Auntie Fi instead)

The first gig on the list was a little bit different and, as it transpires, a big bit special.

For those of you who don’t know, as well as writing this blog and working on my bigger “creative baby”, I also write music reviews for a friend’s website –http://phoenixmusiconline.org

Friday night’s gig was the first one I’d attend where I’d written a review of the band’s debut EP and was also to be the first gig review I would write for the webpage. Add to the already mounting nerves, I was also to catch up with the band after their set.

The band in question here are an amazing up and coming hard rock band called Crobot from Pottsville, Pennsylvania USA. This was their first UK trip and they were playing the support slot for a UK based band.

Girl Child drew the short straw and agreed to chaperone me for the evening.

Having taken the train to Glasgow, met up with the Big Green Gummi Bear for a quick hello and a coffee at his office before he headed home to Boy Child, we set off up the hill to the O2 ABC in the city’s Sauchiehall Street. We arrived at the venue ten minutes before the doors were due to open to be greeted by a suspiciously short queue – ok two suspiciously short queues and yes, we did join the wrong one! Eventually, after a circular tour of the former cinema, we found ourselves in the right room. It’s safe to say that Glasgow’s O2 ABC 2 is an “intimate” venue! (At a guess, I’d say it would hold 250-300 max, perhaps a few more)

When we entered there were perhaps thirty folk there. Gulp!

Girl Child drew me a withering look and retreated to stand near the back of the room, leaning against the low wall that bordered the raised lounge seated area. Sensing that she was best left alone, I wandered over to stand in front of the stage. The “barrier” was already lined with music fans- all 12 of them- and a handful of people were gathered behind. I joined them.

Bang on time Crobot walked out onto the smallest stage I’ve ever seen and, appearing totally unfazed by the distinct lack of audience, launched into a storming six song set. Right from the off, they performed as though they were playing to a sell-out crowd. Kudos to them!

A quick glance round told me that Girl Child had retreated even further back and was now curled up on a velour covered seat in the raised area. She was messing with her mobile phone. Definitely best left alone!

Standing among such a small audience made me feel surprisingly self-conscious. I almost felt as though I was intruding in a bizarre kind of way.

As Crobot started their final number audience numbers had swelled and they left the stage to an audible round of applause. Considering the situation, those guys did an awesome job out there.

With my ears ringing, I went in search of Girl Child who reluctantly admitted they had been ok.

A few minutes later I went up to the bar and spotted two of the band members standing chatting to some folk near the merchandising stall. With slightly shaking hands, I went back to where Girl Child was sitting and declared it was time to take the final leap of faith and introduce myself to Crobot.

Any of you who know me well will fully understand just how far out of my comfort zone this was taking me! “Rock Mum” persona was firmly painted on as we approached the band’s front man.

I needn’t have worried.

The band’s singer turned to face me, his face lit up as the sight of a familiar FB face and he embraced me like a long lost friend, declaring warmly, “You made it.” My nerves vanished. He then turned to Girl Child and hugged her too. The look on her face was priceless!

A few moments later the bass player joined us with a high five and a friendly if mischievous grin.

Two nicer more friendly guys you couldn’t hope to meet.

With the ice broken we chatted for a few minutes, struggling to hear each other over the headline act on stage, and posed for the obligatory photo (Yes Girl Child messed up the first one!)

The venue was now about two thirds full but the star act of the night had been and gone and done it. All those latecomers will never know the talent they missed.

Quietly Girl Child and I slipped out into the night in search of some dinner, leaving the headliners doing their thing. (I’ve never left a gig early before!)

A slightly surreal but wonderful experience!

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Oh and what do you talk to two heavy rock stars of the future about? Why – their trip to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the fact that you have actually been in and around their home town back in Pennsylvania. Small world!