Another competition win, yes, my lucky streak has not ended yet. Thank you Carl from the o2 Islington. I send a message to my friend Neil to see if he wants to join me, just to be told he won as well. Brilliant, we ask our friends Nigel and Kathy and both are coming out to play. 🙂

Neil offered to come and pick Kathy and me up, I planned to have a drink or two as I had a record viewing on my blog of 380 today, happy day’s (little did I know that a few day’s later it would beat that with 678 views).
We parked the car at Burnt Oak, free parking after 17:30, and hop onto the tube, being the o2 Islington we get off at Angel, from there it’s only a short walk.
We were running a little late, so Nigel was already waiting for us. at the box office we got crossed of the list, hand stamped and in we go.  It is quite busy already, I do like the downstairs venue of the o2 Islington, it’s much bigger, but still intimate. I have seen a few gigs here and the atmosphere has always been great, even for the Hammer Fest, which was so not my scene but nevertheless very enjoyable.

We manage to get a a space on the barriers, stage right as always, a little to far over maybe as it was right in front of the speakers. Next to us was a family, Mum, Dad and two smallish children, about 8 and 9 years old. Really? Why? And why no ear protectors?….I didn’t think Rich Robinson was that appealing to young children, surly some small festival like Cornbury’s or Standon Calling was far more suited. I would have liked to ask the question, but somehow I just didn’t feel them to be approachable, come to think of it, not many were. Maybe it was me today and I was lacking communication skills, or the crowed was just not up for chatting. Even the guy to out left who made a bit more space for us just nodded but didn’t speak.
There is movement on the stage, a man and his guitar,  I don’t know who he is or what to expect, so let’s be surprised.  I’m pleasantly surprised as I listen to him sing, it’s mellow, it’s country, it’s nice, I like him, His stage presence is brilliant, he is funny without being crude (many performers seem to think crude is the way forward these days….well, it’s not!), he get the crowd somewhat involved, as I said earlier the people seem very reluctant to do anything (nothing from the family next to me). The song I obviously know is the cover of ♫ a little help from your friend ♫, I do like his track ♫ dirty little secret ♫….and than, as he started another song I get really confused, I know the lyrics but I just can’t place it.  OMG, it’s ♫ Billy Jean ♫ and what an absolute superb cover. Dave O’Grady (he has mentioned his name meanwhile…) has done an amazing job, no pretending “I’m Michael Jackson” ….but taking it and making it his own, I so love it!! His set is finished and he mentioned that he will be at the merchandise stand in a while…I will have to go and find him.
Kathy and I went off when they were changing the stage for Rich Robinson, and yes, we found Dave at the merch stand, he is as nice as he seemed. I had my photo taken with him and got the his EP for Neil (he ask me to get it !), I also ask him to sign it for him once I explained his health status, and Dave did, wishing him well….:-)

We went back to our place, and it wasn’t long till Rich Robinson came on stage, he went straight into his first song, but I’m not familiar with his music, so I couldn’t say which one it was. He sounded good and despite the “odd” crowd people seem to be enjoying themselves. I have to say, after the 3rd or 4th song I got a bit bored, it sound all a bit samey, but his guitar playing was superb, having long stretches of guitar solos was not for me. Maybe its the high pitched noise, I seem to struggle with female voices that are high pitched too. Or maybe it’s the kind of music a herbal smoke or two may have helped! 😉
Talking about a smoke, since when can you smoke at the o2? Why does nobody interfere? The crowd is really not a nice one tonight, I can’t really put my finger on it…it just doesn’t feel right! Maybe there has been one too many smokes! Mr. Robinson carries on at the same level, and yes, I’m bored!!! He has no stage presence, does not really communicate…dreary. 😦  What was lovely to see was Dave O’Grady standing by the side of the stage, filming it and obviously enjoying it, he is obviously a fan.
But I would have never know if I hadn’t seen him, and I would have never heard Dave O’Grady, he made the night for me. My 3 fellow gig-goers did agree with me, nice enough music for chilling out on a sofa!
I tried for the set list, but the bassist decide both of the should go to the kids at the front next to me, fair enough I guess. I can’t actually tell if anyone in that family enjoyed it, maybe the Dad, he was doing a bit of head banging earlier, oh and I did see the Mum’s finger tap at some point.

We left the o2, just in time to witness a fight outside, a girl was screaming (not in fear..lol), one guy had a nasty gush on his head and the male security guys seem to be a bit lost, it took the female guard to split it up….yes girls rule!!!
On our way to the train Nigel and I were talking, we have been to many many gigs, but not once have we witnessed a fight. As I said, the crowd was odd!

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About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

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