Friday 30/03/12

This is it, The Hamsters final tour, they have decided it’s time to take life easy and retire. There was no way that we could miss such epic shows, so we booked both dates…..just to find out much later that they added another final date, :-(, to be honest we were a bit disappointed as we really wanted to be at the very last one. So shame on you Hamsters…lol

The first date we did was the Friday, it was going to be a ZZ top/Jimi Hendrix set, sounds good to me!
We decided to drive up to Putney, as parking seems to be fairly easy, and it was fine, we found a space just a couple of roads down from the Half Moon.
We wanted to find some food first, I must say that is not an easy task! After the last food experience at the Half Moon when we came to see the Skinny’s we didn’t really want to eat there. There was nowhere else to grab a quick bite, except the fast food place opposite, as I’m trying to stay away from fast food that wasn’t an option. So, the only thing to do was going to Sainsbury’s, we bought some yummy things, sat down on a bench and ate, luckily it wasn’t too cold!

We were still a bit early when we went inside the Half Moon, so we got a couple of drinks and sat down in some comfy chairs. It was quite busy, I guess Friday night it would be. Once the drinks were drunk we made our way to the back room, it isn’t always clear if the people are queueing in front of the door or just enjoying a pint. Quite a few people were already inside, but there was no problem sneaking right to the front. We chatted to the couple next to us, they are obvious fans, wearing the Hamster t-shirt (from way back…lol). The wait for the band wasn’t too long, without much of an entrance Slim, ZsaZsa and Otis took there places and after saying hello, tuning the instruments they went straight into their first song. After 25 years touring and playing music they have come home to the Half Moon to finish what have been an amazing few years. The sound and quality of the performance is superb as always  and soon everybody is dancing and singing. Slim delivered some really funny lines about the “only way is Essex” program, telling us what everybody will be getting up to once they retired. Otis is moving to Cyprus, ZsaZsa bought a Caravan and apparently Slim is getting back to his proper job, Microbiologist, he’s going to run a study on alcohol……do I need to say more? …..then there was the Viagra joke….enough said!!! They are planning to do the odd appearance at Festivals, so we wont loose them completely, also their facebook page will stay open…..!
Somewhere in between they went on a 20 minutes prostate break! Slim had changed into another one of his wonderful shirts…..the tunes and banter kept coming. At the end when bands traditionally go of and come back for an encore, they announced they wont bother going off stage and come back, as it causes havoc with their knees, they just play a couple more songs straight away. They also did their “swapping over” instruments in the dark while walking around the audience, with LED lights on both of the guitars. Slim ended up playing the drums, Otis the bass and ZsaZsa the guitar……a quirky little twist at the end!
There was no set list to be had…..we bought a couple of T-shirts though……and they came to meet the fans more or less straight away afterwards. I manage to get Neil to pose with Slim for a photo!

Saturday 31/03/12

Here it is day two for the Hamsters, sadly it’s the one before the last one :-(…..still, we will enjoy it! As it is Saturday we went a little earlier to grab something to eat beforehand. We drove all the way into Putney again, managed to park easily again. We walked up and down Lower Richmond Road, but we couldn’t find a little place to get a snack  or a space to sit anywhere. We had no choice but to go to the Half Moon and eat something. This is actually putting me in a bad mood already remembering the unpleasant experience from last time. We go in and it is packed with people, no space at all in the restaurant bit, never mind, we find a table and decide on bar snacks, still wanting Nachos which they stopped doing. Oh well, Neil goes to the bar to order a Meat Platter…”sorry haven’t got one” , ok, the Cheese platter please…..”sorry haven’t got one” , …..hmmm, ok, the Fish Platter please .”sorry haven’t got one” …great, so what can we have? ” a Scotch egg or Sausage Roll”, no thank you we don’t eat either of those. Great, this isn’t helping my mood! Neil comes back with a bags of crisps….”noooo, I want food, not crisps (I don’t really like crisps)” In desperation Neil goes off to Sainsbury’s to get something, anything!!!! I stay inside as we now got some drinks and it is freezing outside. I should have gone to the Petrol station, Neil was struggling a bit today and wasn’t feeling too great, it was’t very nice of me to take my mood out on him, I blame the hormones! 😦
He came back with some fruit and a Sandwich….I opened it and as I took a bite….yes, you guessed it the “all so important” manager came and said we couldn’t eat it here. Well, I told him that I’m hungry and that we tried to buy food but apparently whatever we wanted wasn’t available….he made us go out in the cold to eat! Needless to say, my mood was now completely destroyed and I just wanted to go home. I didn’t feel like eating anymore and Neil put the remaining food in the car! While I was Waiting for Neil to come back the manager appeared, talking on the phone, I went up to him and made it clear how unhappy I was, I can understand why we can’t bring food in to eat, and if he would have offered to serve us with a platter of meat that we wanted originally we would have happily paid for it! Half Moon, get your act together were food is concerned please, this is the second time we’ve had a negative experience here….I don’t think I’ll be back for a third!!!!!!

Eventually we were able to go into the backroom, took our place at the front of the stage and waited. Somehow the atmosphere didn’t seem as good as yesterday, but that could be The boys came on stage and after a little banter they started playing, today was supposed to be a different night from yesterday. But I must say, some songs were the same as last night, and what was most disappointing, exactly the same jokes and banter, about the Essex program, guy from Liverpool and Viagra…….and there was us thinking it was spur of the moment stuff, no, scripted and rehearsed no doubt. Shame!
One bit that was lovely was when after the set as they were leaving the stage, Slim passed me his plectrum. Thank you, that is now safely stored away in the CD case! I felt a little sad that tonight wasn’t as enjoyable as last night, but at least we can say we were there.
Hopefully we catch you at one or other Festival in the future…..good luck Hamsters!!


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!

One response »

  1. Martina Weidmann says:

    What an experience !! Half moon and hamsters !!! Nothing to say !!!!

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