Tag: <span>ABC</span>

I really don’t know why I didn’t do this last week, and since a few other bloggers have since been to see them, and they share my view that this is very much a band to see live, I feel chagrined into writing up my thoughts about the Elbow gig I attended a couple of weeks ago at the ABC in Glasgow.

Elbow are one of those bands that kind of snuck up on me, I remember hearing some of their second album, including Fugitive Motel, nicked from someone at work and thinking they were OK. Next time I saw them was on TV when they were at Glastonbury a couple of years back, around the time their third album came out… and it was this appearance that prompted me to buy that album.

I’ll happily admit that after the first few lessons I put it to one side but quality refuses to be lost and it was soon back in rotation. The more I listened to it to the more I got from it, and the more I realised that this was a band that could soar along on some glorious melodies and that lyrically they were tantalisingly brilliant. A few choice lines here and there (“and coming home I feel like I, designed these buildings I walked by”) seemed to spark off my surroundings as I used them to buffer my daily commute.

I revisited their second album and found it deeper than I thought, and then ‘discovered’ their first album (I’d been under the presumption that Cast of Thousands was their first album!) and shortly after that they released their current album (which is number 4, do keep up). Then I heard they were touring.

I’ve made public statements that I will not be revisiting the SECC so, frankly, it doesn’t take much to tempt me to a gig elsewhere (which essentially means King Tuts, ABC, Carling Academy or the Barrowlands), so Elbow ticked the list when I heard they were playing at the ABC (a converted cinema).

Not entirely sure what to expect what I witnessed was a stunning gig, which switched easily from rocking tracks, to gloriously heartfelt lump-in-the-throat ballads, interspersed with some witty banter to keep the crowd going and even singing the bass guitarist happy birthday (which I fear is part of the ‘show’!). A few stand out moments include being able to hear the lead singer over the amplified voice from where I was near the back of the hall (might’ve been The Stops? not sure which track), and the confession that the track Mirrorball (on the new album) was actually named “The ABC Glasgow Mirrorball” after the “biggest fuckin Mirrorball I’ve ever seen” which is about 20ft in diameter and hangs from the ceiling in the ABC… “but don’t worry, that’s just between us, everyone else will think it’s just called Mirrorball… but we’ll know the truth!”.

So, a great gig from an excellent band, with a talented yet self-effacing frontman, delivering some well-honed tracks. Can’t ask for much more than that really, can you.


Picture the scene, if you will, of a dashing and debonair young man, slim of body with flowing locks of blonde hair framing his sculptured face as he lounges gracefully on a chaise lounge. Soft music plays in the background, whilst the delicate fragrances of dinner waft from the kitchen. A tranquil scene I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now picture the exact opposite, a slovenly baw-faced guy slouching in front of the TV, his belt undone, his thinning hair needing cut, his face unshaven.

That pretty much sums me up at the moment, but then it’s been a busy weekend.

Friday night found me dashing into Glasgow to catch Elbow at the ABC. Doors opened at 6pm the ticket said, something I only realised at 6.04pm when I lifted my ticket to put it in my jacket pocket for later. Of course, having jumped in the car and raced into Glasgow, I arrive at the venue to find a growing queue standing outside and received confirmation from the bouncers on the door that doors didn’t open until 7pm. And yeah, it didn’t matter what my ticket said, alright?!

Minor glitch over, the gig was pretty damn good. I was largely going on the strength of their last album, having not had much chance to hear their new one, nor having spent much time listening to any of the others. It didn’t matter though, as the band were pretty slick, and BOY can that man sing, what a voice (although I should mention the quality of the sound, it was spot on, you could pick out every instrument and voice). Top gig, and I got to meet Paul as well, bonus!

Saturday and we were up early, with the car filled with a variety of rubbish to be taken to the dump, then a quick bit of shopping and a few other chores before heading back home. Then, alas, it was off to work for a few hours before hooking up with my parents for dinner.

And today saw some DIY, the fitting of a new light in the kitchen and a few other tidy up tasks as we continue to return our house to some sort of order.

Ohh yes, the kitchen… it’s lovely, thanks (see for yourself)

Anyway, harissa chicken is cooking on the oven, some roast vegetables will be going on soon so I’d better get the table set and open a bottle of wine. Hope your weekend is ending as well as ours.


First time I’ve been in the ABC in Glasgow and as first impressions are, supposedly, important then I think my relationship with the venue is off to a flying start. Small without being dingy, large enough to hold a big crowd without feeling crammed in, it’s an ideal venue for all but the largest acts.

I’ll skip over the support act as they were largely ANOTHER punk/rock type band (was supposed to be The Spores but they pulled out). All thin trousers, raspy guitars and more energy than craft. They were called “The Mothers of… ” something or other but their lead singer needs some elocution lessons. I want to say “.. Invention” but I seriously hope it wasn’t.

Waiting for the band to come on stage, AC/DC played ‘gently’ in the background before, with little warning, the PA suddenly kicked up a notch or ten and my chest started thumping intime with the hip-hop beat of… well I can’t recall the name but it certainly set the tone for the evening.

A few seconds later the leader singer Jesse Hughes strutted on stage, with the rest of the band following in his wake. Whilst they are a very tight act, there is no doubt who the frontman is… and what a frontman, definitely a rock star, with the slicked back hair, sunglasses, tight jeans and shirt open to the waist, the hint of cowboy reminded me of Brad Pitt in Kalifornia.. southern rock hick.

Musically, the name of the band is off putting. They are not a death metal band, and there are accounts that suggest the name came about because they wanted to mix the sound of The Eagles with some death metal influences. Whether or not that’s true, it’s grimy, dirty rock and roll and they kept the placing jumping and dancing for the entire set. A few cover versions —Stuck in the Middle with You, Brown Sugar, and Beat on the Brat— kept you guessing, and almost everyone joined in the obligatory “Wooo yeahh” crowd singing moments.

With Hughes dancing and preening and cajoling and teasing the crowd, it’s almost tempting to think that we WERE witnessing the best gig of the tour. Certainly their claim that they were going to, for the first time, play “Solid Gold” live seems to be true, and Hughes in particularly seemed genuinely overwhelmed at the response. As was I. It may be in part due to the size of the venue but it’s been a long time since I felt so involved, so part of a gig and a lot of credit has to go to Jesse Hughes.

Of course the music lended itself to the good atmosphere, with hip-hop inspired beats backing some fairly heavy guitar, the band sit on the edge of being “metal” with just enough “americana” thrown in to keep things from destructing. Every gig is the “best gig since the last one” but this one might just push it’s way into my top three. I’d certainly love to see some of my favourite bands play somewhere as small as the ABC, in particular the Foo Fighters (their gig at the SECC – AKA the “big red shed” – now seems even less personal and involving than I realised).

So, to summarise: Eagles of Death Metal, Glasgow ABC, 5th March 2007. Kicked. Fucking. Ass.

P.S. Can anyone tell me why my last.fm accounted has been switched to French?


Today I will be posting random thoughts as and when they pop into my head. Call it an experiment if you will (or call it the desperate product of a brain-dead mind) but that’s your lot. I urge you to do the same in the comments box. Together we will create a masterpiece of nonsense. Spike will be proud.

Is there a term for that time when you are snoozing in bed and EVERY position you move into is extra comfortable?

At what point will things like this stop making me giggle? It’s childish and immature. I wish our office had cubicles. But then I hate being disturbed each and every minute of the day.

Charmin toilet paper – don’t believe the hype (too much information, right?)

Which movie should I watch tonight? The Passion of the Christ, or The Pianist?

Why IS Diet Pepsi less fizzy than Diet Coke?

Gay school – good thing or bad thing? I say long term bad thing as they aren’t learning to cope with real life. I’m sure it’s making their schooling easier but school is about more than learning ABC, it’s about learning life and unfortunately that also means dealing with bullies.

Arguments used by adults when dealing with children: “If X jumped off the Eiffel Tower, would you do that too?”

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[insert stream of vitriol]

I had/have four domain names managed by my current host. I’ve cancelled two of them recently as they were just a bit of silly fun (if you want monkeybombing.com or galactictossmonkeys.com they will be available soon), the other two are for this site and scottishblogs.co.uk. I also use the same company to host the content for both of these sites.

I’ve managed (well I was very generously offered) some server space and decided to move the Scottish Blogs site there. So, I thought to myself, I’ll just get the domain name pointed at my new host (this consists of changing something called a nameserver, at the moment scottishblogs.co.uk will be pointing at nameserverABC, I want to change it to point at nameserverXYZ – the nameserver then processes requests for the domain name and points them at the actual files that make up the site… still with me?). Sounds simple enough – change ABC for XYZ – yes?

Seemingly, and I’ve yet to get an answer to WHY, my current host can’t change nameservers for .co.uk domains. Arsebuckets.

So I’ve signed up with 123-reg.co.uk and cancelled the contract for Scottish Blogs. If the following means nothing to you let me summarise.

I own the domain name scottishblogs.co.uk. If I want to change it I should be able to. Nominet agree, my host 1&1 don’t. I’ve written to both parties to get more information about this, and I will be hitting the forums soon.

I’m majorly pissed off about this. I’ve been happy enough with 1&1 but now want nothing more to do with them, I’ve had several emails and phone calls with their support staff who have been rude, and completely useless. Yes, there prices and packages are very good but if they don’t have the support to back it up then I’ve no choice but to look elsewhere, and if they can’t even manage to change a nameserver… well it looks like I’m looking for a new host for this site.

Any suggestions? 123-reg.co.uk offer a hosting package which I’m considering. All I need is PHP support, and a couple of email addresses, space and bandwidth aren’t too much of an issue.

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I mentioned Biggar last week, but I neglected to mention the little olde fashioned shop selling all the sweets from our childhood. Flying saucers! Cinder candy! We spent the best part of 10 minutes oohhh-ing and ahhhh-ing over the display. Cherry Lips! ABC Letters! What fun we had, and from the expression on the shop owner’s face we weren’t the first people to react that way and I got the feeling that half the fun of the shop was taken from watching people’s reactions.

Then a long distance memory dredged itself up from the deepest, darkest recesses of my brain, I turned to the shop keeper and asked: “Do you sell Chelsea Whoppers?”

Alas, she didn’t. The mood was soured slightly, we made a few purchases and left.

This morning the doorbell rang. A parcel was delivered.

Ain’t my wife just the best!

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No it’s not. And David Blaine doesn’t claim otherwise. However the amount of attention that has been lavished on him for this stunt is slightly baffling. Similar stunts were popular in the 20s, and the saint San Simeon’s time living on a pillar, is well documented. But why the hype now? Are we really that unable to entertain ourselves?

I’m a fan of David Blaine the magician, but this kind of ‘death defying feat of physical endurance’ leaves me a bit cold, but he does seem genuine in his efforts and he is constant in his determination to outshine his idol, Harry Houdini.

A recent interview on ABC lets us see that he is wily enough to sell his stunts and plays on the ‘danger’ aspect well, illiciting help from experts in the field who assure us what he is doing is very dangerous… but unless that danger is real and perceptible by the audience I just feel conned: Block of ice – v.cold, but difficult to judge on telly. Buried alive in a coffin, again a bit dodgy but you have to presume that the coffin has been tested to take the weight etc etc.

His next ‘trick’ should prove a bit better, being chained, tied, put in a coffin and pushed into the Thames, all sounds very scary. But knowing what we now know about ‘magic’ (it’s highly likely that he will be out of his shackles before the coffin hits the water) it’s beginning to fail me as to what he would have to do to make me sit up in suprise.

His hand manipulation tricks are amazing. You know it’s sleight of hand, but the fact that you can’t see it, or do it yourself adds to the aura of it being ‘magic’, whereas these stunts seem a bit too contrived, like he’s trying too hard to prove they are dangerous.

These days it seems to be more about the amount of publicity you can drum up than about the validity of the ‘trick’. If that’s the case, David Blaine has certainly got it cracked.


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