Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey, Shepherds Bush Empire, London 25/02/14

A good 40 years ago I bought one of my first singles, yes, a single on vinyl. It was at a second-hand shop, featuring Roger Daltrey’s ‘Giving it all wilko - rogeraway’.
And today I decided it was about time for me to catch the man on stage.Giving it all away
It was a bit of a long shot, the gig has been sold out for ages! Still, I posted onto Wilko Johnson’s page; maybe, just maybe someone has a spare standing ticket and is willing to sell at face value. On the actual day I received a message, a spare ticket, second tier……hmmmmm, it’s not what I usually do, but I got in touch with the guy, better than nothing.
After work I went straight into London, I had agreed to meet Alan at 6:30 -7pm at the venue. I got there in good time and I must say, the queues were unbelievable, and, 90 % of people in my age group, that makes a pleasant change…hehehehehe! I called Alan, no reply :-(, tried a few times, finally he answered. He was only just at Clapham Junction; gig won’t start till 9pm, so no rush. He so doesn’t Wilko Johnson-Roger Daltrey5know me! I told him that if I find a standing ticket I’ll be passing his, somehow I don’t think he was too bothered. I stood for a while to gauge the people, who looked like they were on their own? Maybe a mate had let them down. Walking up and down, the touts sticking stupid priced tickets under my nose…..no thanks, I’ll take my chances, there may be some returns at the box office once everyone has gone in. I passed a guy who was trying to take a photo of himself and the announcement banner above the entrance, I offered to take the photo for him and got chatting. Wow, he travelled here from Argentina and paid £145 for tonight’s ticket, mad fan! I explained my dilemma and he wished me luck as he needed to get back in the queue, which was growing by the minute. I saw another guy standing on his own, so I just asked him if he’s going to the gig tonight. He was a little reluctant to talk, but you know me, I don’t give up…lol! He told me he’d never been to the Shepherds Bush Empire before and when he said he Standard Lampshad a standing ticket I explained where he had to queue, I also mentioned my disappointment about the spare ticket upstairs and Alan not turning up till later. He looked at me and said: I have a spare standing ticket, my mate couldn’t come!! WHATTTT????? Can I buy it for face value??? YES, I got my hands on a standing ticket! Amazing!! David, my saviour (lol) and I joined the long queue. Plenty of time to chat now! Apparently he followed Dr. Feelgood/ Wilko Johnson for many, many years, came all the way down from Huddersfield and will make his way back with the night bus.
He told me that when he got here around 4pmish there was already a queue forming, he went for a little walk around the back and actually managed to see Roger Daltrey arriving, loads of paparazzi and he had 3 bodyguards with him….so the man is in the house! The queue started moving, I caught Mr. Argentina’s eye, he smiled and said: You managed to find a ticket, enjoy!! Finally we were at the door; any hopes of the front row had already left me :-(.  Once in the venue I made a beeline towards stage right as per usual, it was busy but not as busy as expected, we managed to position ourselves in the second row, not bad considering. Time went quickly, at some point I managed to find a tiny corner on the barrier for my coat, and yes, you guessed, as people shuffled along I got my barrier space. Chatting to David was a pleasure, he has been to a vast array of gigs in the past and even told me that he still has two unused tickets for The Rolling Standard Lamps1Stones Urban Jungle tour in 1990, he never made it to Wembley …..I’m glad to say I was there!!
Movement on the stage, the support band ‘Standard Lamps’ are getting ready to play. A new experience for me, but certainly not a disappointing one. They were a worthy support to the legends of Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey, the 3 man outfit delivered some great tunes with confidence and passion, connecting with the crowd and just the right mix of chat and banter. Certainly a group to look out for!

Nearly 9pm, the stage has been set and the Shepherds Bush Empire is packed out, every single space has been occupied, it is a more mature age group, long time followers like David or doing the gig scene the second time round like myself. What I do notice the most is that there is no shuffling or pushing, we all have breathing space and no monkeys on our backs!! Bliss. Looking down the front row I see a familiar face, Irish Wilko Johnson-Roger DaltreyBrian, we do seem to share a similar music taste, must catch him after the show.
Finally Wilko Johnson walks onto the stage with his fellow musicians, Norman Watt-Roy and Dylan Howe, the room erupts into a roar of shouts and clapping, starting the evening with the song ‘All right’, wow, there is no need to warm up the crowd, everybody is on board from the first note played. What an atmosphere, totally electric!! Wilko, looking in good shape considering he was supposed to die last October, maybe the music and the fans keep him going! He moves backwards and forwards, left to right, it’s quite hard to get a decent photo, he is too fast…lol! Wilko and bassist Wilko Johnson-Roger Daltrey1Norman are a good team, very much in tune with each other, not just musically it seems. Wilko kept the stage to himself for the first few songs, playing Dr. Feelgood songs like ‘The More You Give’ and ‘Roxette’.
Smiling at the crowed, stepping back, Wilko announces Roger Daltrey, Roger bounces onto the stage to yet more screams and whistles. Wow, few years older like all of us, but unmistakably Roger Daltrey, suddenly I’m a young girl seeing a much loved idol finally on stage…..awesome!
The engery on that stage (stage) is being thrown into the audience who are not hesitating in taking it on, smiles, dancing, head banging (well Wilko Johnson-Roger Daltrey6gently..hehehehe), singing, everybody seems emerged in this time warp. Songs like ‘Going Back Home’ or ‘Keep On Loving You’ keep us entertained, I’m loving the Bob Dylan cover ‘Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window’ harmonica and everything!!
Half way through Daltrey bends down to pick up some pieces of paper, he laughs and shouts out “…this is a lot to remember at my age…”, there are a couple of occasions when Wilko or Roger have to check what’s next, but it only adds to the uniqueness of the evening. Considering Roger Daltrey is 70 in a few days and Wilko terminally ill, one can only stand in awe seeing the joy and energy these Wilko Johnson-Roger Daltrey3two rockstars are displaying on stage, how happy am I to have made the effort on the off chance tonight!!!!
Finishing the set with the Who cover ‘I Can’t Explain’ makes me feel great and sad because the magic is coming to an Wilko Johnson-Roger Daltrey4end. The band poses and thanks the fans, wander off the stage just to rush back seconds later for a final song, ‘I Keep It To Myself’………….and that is it 😦
Nobody is moving in the hope for a second encore, no luck, the show is over the lights come up.
David has to rush off to catch the night bus back home, a hug, a goodbye and a maybe another time and he is gone, and I make my way to the centre of the barrier. Brian is still there, more hugs and he makes room on the barrier as he knows what I’m after, the set list..lol! It took quite some effort, but I managed to get that precious piece of paper, now I’m ready to make my way home!Wilko Johnson-Roger Daltrey7
Walking to Shepherds Bush Tube station I can’t help but smile, I feel alive!!

Rod Stewart, Jo Wiley Radio 2, BBC London, 16/05/13

Yay, Rod Stewart in a tiny venue, not being able to secure tickets for the O2 arena in London, I just had to win tickets for this. After entering, I also got some of my friends to apply; one of us just had to win!
Sadly we all got emails saying “We’re sorry to let you know that on this occasion you have been unsuccessful”, never rod ticketsmind, better luck next time. 😦
Still, we got our hands on some winning tickets 🙂 mind you, I seem to be stumbling from one dilemma to another: Martina is over from Switzerland for a few days, and she would so love to see Rod, having MS makes it uncertain how long she will be able to attend gigs. But then there is my friend David, a die hard Rod fan, who only asked days earlier if I happened to have won any Rod Stewart 3tickets and at that point I didn’t know that I would have some. I could of course send Martina and David…..but I really want to go too. So, time to be selfish, Martina and I will go, sorry David, but you did manage to get a ticket for the June tour.

We arrived at a good time at the BBC Center just off Oxford Circus, expecting a long old queue….but as we got nearer there was no queue. Wondering if we are at the right place or if it had been cancelled, we came nearer the entrance, a few people hanging around and we got told that we could go in now. Great, our belongings got scanned and in we go, find a seat, grab a coffee, it is all very civilised!  Nevertheless, I’m a bit worried about Martina standing with no support all through the gig, when I was here for Madness it was all seated but apparently it is standing only today. I went off to find a BBC person just to check if there are any provisions for disabled people. I have to say, they are all really lovely people, The young lady I first spoke to told me to find the ‘purple lady’, I did, and yes, she is RODlovely too. She tells me that there isn’t much to lean on or against, but she will get us through with the first batch of people to enable us to find a spot where Martina can have some support.

We get chatting to the people sharing our table, a guy from Enfield, who like myself has found the love of live music again, attends a lot of gigs and like me, prefers the smaller venues. Looking around, this gig is definitely for the more mature rockers, love it! The couple opposite have come down from Liverpool and are making a little city break out of it. Steve has seen Rod a few times, they are both really looking forward to seeing him at such an intimate show.

It’s time, so we make our way to the entrance, and make sure the ‘purple lady’ knows where we are. She sends a young man over who tells us he will take us in a few minutes before the others. True to his word, he comes and asks us to follow him, frontrow-Rod Stewartthrough the doors, there was a chair for Martina to sit down and wait while he went off to get another person. We then get led into the theatre, a few more minutes wait and we are told to go and pick a good place. 100% to the BBC staff here, every single person is lovely, accommodating and helpful…brilliant! We choose a space on stage left, a barrier is erected around the camera man which is perfect for Martina to lean on.
People are piling in behind us, and soon there is movement on the stage. I think the man who appears is called Michael, the same guy who asked us to be interviewed when we came to see Madness. He talks us through the process of the show, making sure we know when to scream loudly……as if we need to be told…lol! We are also being asked not to take any photographs but to just enjoy the show, so all the photos on here are screenshots from the recording, I do hope that’s ok BBC 2.

Finally Jo Wiley appears to announce the one and only Rod Stewart, the crowd goes berserk, the shouting, screaming and clapping is deafening. The lights go low and Rod bounces on stage as if the years have had no impact on him, something is obviously keeping him very young 😉Rod Stewart
His very first words as he arrives on stage are: “Alright?” He thanks the crowd for coming out in the rain and tells us that there were 80,000 requests for tickets. Suddenly reality dawns on me how very lucky Martina and I have been getting our hands on a pair.
Rod’s first song is a tribute to his Dad and getting into the show business ‘Can’t Stop Me Now’ from the new album. The energy is amazing right from the start. The three backing singers are lovely young girls, each one with an amazing voice and a great big smile on their faces all the way through the gig. Considering I wasn’t too bothered seeing Rod live when the tour was announced I’m well and truly enjoying this gig, may have something to do with the tiny venue size, I so dislike huge arenas.
Rod announces that he will be playing a mix of new and old songs, yes, we were hoping he would. :-).
The second track is: ‘You Wear It Well’, and apparently this one get’s mentioned every time there is something Rod Stewart 2written in the paper about him.
Again, amazing energy, amazing sound and the young lady accompanying him on the violin is brilliant. It’s the big smiles on everyone’s face that helps make my night, such a feel good vibe! Glancing at Martina I can see she is feeling it too.

The song ‘It’s Over’ is quite literally choking me up, it’s a written about getting divorced and what happens to the children, lyrics like: “…♫♪♪…I don’t want our kids to suffer, Can we talk to one another,You were once my light, my lover…..♫♫…” will be ringing home to everyone who had to go through a divorce, never mind how messy.
Cheering us up straight afterwards with ‘Rhythm Of My Heart’, where all 3 of the girls take a turn in doing a little solo! “Some Guys Have All The Luck’ and ‘Have I Told You Lately’ bring yet again a lump to my throat, I guess the flashbacks to the past are to blame, let’s face it, fan or not fan, you couldn’t help hearing Rod Stewart songs all through the years. I could never decide if I liked his or Van Morrison’s version best….right now it’s Rod’s…lol!! At some point RodRod Stewart 6 disappears off the stage, arriving back having changed his shirt. I guess he likes spots…lol, first shirt was white with black spots and this one is black with white ones.
‘Brighton Beach’ where his daughter Sarah was conceived, right under the burnt down pier he explains, proudly; he also tells us that they have found a way to each other again and are in touch all the time and are good mates now.
She Makes Me Happy’, a declaration of the love he has for his wife Penny Lancaster , beautiful, she is also in the audience, sitting upstairs giving a wave 🙂
‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ wanting us to sing with gusto, if Gusto happens to be next to you, Rod you are funny, love it! And yes, the crowd certainly joined in!! The Saxophonist, and the Harpist by the way are awesome too, I say it again, Rod Stewart 5the sound is fantastic!  ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’.…..love love love it!! Amazing how Martina and I still know all the words…hehehehe, we must be secret Rod fans!!!
A new song ‘Sexual Religion’ is a very catchy tune, with lyrics like: “..♪♫♫…tell me how do you do that thing that you do to me…over and over again…♫♪…” are easily picked up, everybody is already singing along to it.
Somebody throws’s a football t-shirt onto the stage, Rod drapes it around his shoulders while singing ‘Maggie May‘ which started it all. He invites the young lady onto the stage (lucky lucky girl) and they sing together, bless her, she joins in even though as Rod says “its not quite her key”….:-). Right towards the end of the song he surprises us as he is jumping off the stage to come and give a couple of people a hug and shake hands, Martina just misses out on the hug though.Rod Stewart4
A simple “Good night guys” at the end of the song and Rod walks off the stage. Martina and I both manage to get hold of a set list …….Wow, what an evening…..Rod Stewart you were amazing, the only song missing for me was ‘Baby Jane’, obviously it was written for my baby Jane!!

Greenday, Emirates Stadium, London, 1/06/13

This mini review is not my own, my lovely goddaughter Jade went to see Greenday, I have to wait a little longer for my turn 😉 Greenday 10613 London
I’m sorry it has been quiet of late, but life has got in the way supported by a touch of writers blog, I’m coming out the other end now, the blogs will continue very soon.
As I said, this is a guest blog, which made me smile as it is written down to the point with such love and passion, it must be shared with the world. Having spoken to her Mum (yes, she went too 🙂 ) the one major complaint was the way the crowed were organised prior to gaining entry, it was mayhem apparently. And leaving the venue wasn’t easy either. I might give the Emirates Stadium a miss…!
Now see below, the young ladies entry:
Greenday 010613 LondonJade Cheyenne’s Facebook entry 2/06/13
Waking up at 6:00am, waiting about 11 hours, being crushed in the mosh pit and missing all the last trains home was so worth it.I was three rows from the front and Billie sprayed us with a water gun, t shirts and even their famous toilet roll gun. I stopped breathing when Billie came down and blew us kisses, Tre dressed as a woman, Mike threw his bass about 5 metres into the air and they ended the night singing ‘Brutal Love’ and I don’t think I’ve cried that much at a song ever before.
-And can I just say: BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG IS EVEN MORE GORGEOUS IN REAL LIFEGreenday 010613 London (2)
This isn’t my video, but this was my view (‘: ♥

Dan Reed, Underworld, Camden, 15/03/13

About 18 months ago I saw Dan Reed at the Union Chapel in London performing a blinding acoustic set. Not having been familiar with him at the time, it soon became obvious that I had missed out on a great artist. What a voice, amazing lyrics and what a smile, it brightened up the whole church and made that a very special evening.  Dan Reed
That was it, I was hooked!

So, when the announcement appeared that Dan is playing at Camden’s Underworld we just had to get tickets, especially as I love his new album ‘Signal Fire‘ that was released in February, “All I Need Is You” being my favourite at the moment.
Arriving at the Underworld it is already open, doors opened at 6pm which is unusual, usually doors are opened at 7pm. It doesn’t matter though, not many people have arrived yet so we take a space at stage right. I like the Underworld, the place has character, but to be honest, I don’t think I want to see it in proper light it might just have a little too much character…hehhehehehe. I  noticed  that the metal strip was broken and sticking up slightly, I was likely to trip up on this. A guy appears on stage, I ask him if he has any gaffer tape so we could tape it down, but no was the answer. Surely gaffer tape is present on every stage………..? I go off to find another responsible person, the young girl I got hold of was Sarah and she was very sweet, went backstage and organised some tape. Once everything was nicely secured the show could begin as far as I was concerned.

There are 2 support bands tonight, the first band on stage was ‘Boomin‘, three guys from Wigan formed in 2006, their debut album ‘Original Junkie‘ was released last August. I had no idea what to expect, but from the first song I liked them. BoominCatchy tunes, fantastic stage presence, amazing voices. Bassist Rory displayed a lot of silliness but it only added to their performance. The song “Kill The DJ” nailed it, the Underworld wasn’t packed yet but the people that were there got carried away with the energy conveyed from the stage. Towards the end of the set, Mr.Edd the drummer came to the mic in the front, I think he felt left out stuck right at the back. A little chat and he started off the next song, and you know Boominwhat, I was totally blown away, I just didn’t expect that amazing voice to come out of this guy, fantastic, and I loved the song too.  Halfway through the song he ran back to his drumkit whilst the guitarist  took over the singing. These guys are brilliant, in fact so brilliant I went straight after to buy their album. I also managed to grab the set list, and while doing so bumped into Brian, we have met up a couple of times before at ‘Pains of Jena’ and ‘The Von Herzen Brothers’. Love it when you bump into fellow gig-goers.

The next band on stage was Sons of Icarus, judging by the size of the speakers, they were Marshall amps (very Spinal Sons of IcarusTap), that got dragged onto the stage we assumed it’s going to be loud! Earplugs at the ready!!
Hmm, the guys are putting a lot of effort into their set, I don’t quite feel they are a well chosen support band, as the front man said:” ….we will stick out like a sore thumb”. The music isn’t quite for me and a bit too loud. Some of the songs are quite good, especially the last one, otherwise it is sounding a little samey to me. Sorry guys, you didn’t quite do it for me.

Finally it’s time for the man himself! Mr. Dan Reed arrives on stage, with that lovely big smile of his. The room has filled up now, people wearing Dan Reed t-shirts edging closer to the stage, cameras at the ready. A tiny women manages to push herself right in front of Dan, good for her, she wouldn’t have seen anything otherwise.Dan Reed
Dan starts with my fav song “All I need Is You“, perfect, looking around it isn’t only me that is immediately captivated, I see happy faces singing along, oh yes there are a lot of fans in the audience. A couple more songs from the new album, “Signal Fire” and “Only Love” before another favourite “Coming Up For Air”….and just to make sure he has everybody’s attention “Rainbow Child”, a track from the formerly known ‘Dan Reed Network’ era. I love the energy that comes Karl Sweeneyfrom the stage, Dan can’t stop smiling, just enough banter in between and he is also making sure every single band member gets included in his glory. For instance the introduction to bassist Karl Sweeney from Liverpool  (I hope I got the name right), not only is he playing a 6 string instrument but only had 48 hours to learn the songs as he was roped in to cover for the original bassist who couldn’t be here. Karl even gets his own little spot of fame, Dan asks him to take the place in front of the microphone and he performs a cover of ‘Paul Simon’s’ “You Can Call Me Al” beautifully, while dan displays some rather smooth dance moves ;-). On another occasion Dan lets the drummer have his solo (amazing by the way, I love a drum solo), he kneels down to make sure everybody gets a good view.Dan Reed - Drummer
Somebody in the crowd shouts: “..you are the man…”, Dan smiles and replies: “I hope I am, last time I looked I was…:-)” there are more funny little anecdotes, like when he broke his string and carried on playing regardless: ” ok, so he (meaning Karl) is playing with 6 strings and I have 4″. Dan tells us about the man who died just a few day’s ago, I didn’t quite catch his name, but I Dan Reed assume he was a techie or promoter,  always the first on the set and the last to leave, giving more than 100% every time, “this song is for him” Dan says, “…no, the whole tour is for him” he corrects himself.
There is one amazing song after another, “Stronger Than Steel” another Dan Reed Network track, “Closer” and “Loosing My Fear” from the ‘Coming Up For Air’ Album. Every single song is performed with such passion and conviction, you feel that Dan Reed is at peace with himself, signs of tai-chi while performing and references to his own journey in his songs mainly. Written in a way that you can Dan Reedeither just hear a lovely love song or something just a little bit more, deeper and more poignant to the world around us.  Many of his songs have a much deeper message which will only become clear after intensively listening to the lyrics. I’m in total awe of this man, not only an amazing musician, a lovely human being, but also able to conveying his message with lyrics written so beautifully that it is up to the individual what you take from it. Two encores later, finishing with “Cruise Together” I’m left with a warm happy feeling, an amazing gig, loved every minute of it. Dan also announced his only reunion show for ‘Dan Reed Network’ in the UK at the ‘Enchanted Festival’ in  Chelmsford, Dan and Frontrowstefapparently only about 450 places. I would so love to go, but right now my purse is just not allowing it 😦

We hang around for a little while, hoping Dan will come and meet the fans, and it doesn’t take long for him to appear. People stop him on the way to the Merch table, and when he finally gets through, he is more than willing to sign CD’s and pose for photo’s, and yes, I got both.

Dan Reed, thank you for tonight, it was amazing. 🙂

The Airborne Toxic Event, Koko, London, 28/02/13

The Airborne Toxic Event tonight, I know, I say it loads of times but I have really, really been looking forward to tonight. I discovered the band a couple of years ago when I went to the Oxegen Festival in Dublin. It was an instant love affair, and after catching them again at Shepherds Bush Oxegen-2011later in the year, I was well and truly hooked!
I love their music, the energy of their performance and how they treat their fans. I remember at the end of the  Shepherds Bush gig Mikel jumped off the stage, over the barrier and asked me if I know where the girl in the red dress went. The girl stood next to me throughout the gig but disappeared shortly before the finish. How I wished to be that girl in the red dress at that moment of time……I can dream can’t I? At Least I got a photo with Mikel! 🙂Mikel and I in 2011
But back to tonight’s event, my partner in crime Kathy and I are planning to leave as early as possible, but best laid plans and all that…hehehehehe. I must admit I did fret a bit about being at the end of a long queue as I was sure queuing started hours ago. To our surprise when we arrived at about 6:30pm the queue wasn’t huge, there was a good chance of getting to the barriers. 🙂  Chatting to the people behind us I discovered that they have actually travelled down from the furthest away point in Scotland, that is what you call dedication, I do know fans travelled in from Europe too.

We don’t have to wait long to be let in, I’m not too sure about KOKO‘s layout anymore, it’s been a while since I have been here. KOKOMany many moons ago I did come clubbing here when it was still the Camden Palace..good days!
We are in, the race is on ….arrrghhhh, where are the stairs to get to the stage? Found them, down we go and manage to get the last barrier space at stage left, ok so we have massive speakers in front of us, but we should be able to see ok.
We have been trying to find out who is supporting tonight, but apparently nobody seems to know…..asking one of the photographers in front of us she tells us it’s ‘An Escape Plan’ and that they sound pretty damn good. I haven’t heard of them so I’m looking forward to discovering a new band.

It took another hour of waiting until ‘An Escape Plan‘ came on stage. I must say, almost immediately I liked this band, I’m not sure yet how to categorise them, they are different to your average support band. I’m taken by the softness of their tunes yet they sound strong and firm, the An Escape Planharmonies between the band members are brilliant. I love the fact that not only front man Craig does the singing, everybody seems to contribute in the vocal department. We also get told that tonight’s bassist is borrowed and has managed to learn all the songs within 48 hours, pretty impressive, a sign of a talented musician. It seemed a real close knit band, enjoying playing together, sharing the banter with the crowd, talking about the banter, for me the gaps between An Escape Plansongs were too long, it seems buying time was the main reason. I’m not a musician, so maybe tuning a guitar is a headache and needs to be done all the time, but it just didn’t flow and I thought it would break the attention of the crowd, who knows, there may have been a bit of nervousness being faced with a sold out venue or a problems with the equipment, what do I know…lol! (Since posting this I had a lovely reply, it is the tuning that takes ages, one day they will have more guitars and a “tuner” person)
The ‘BeeGee’s’ cover “Living Together” showed young Kathryn taking the lead, what a beautiful voice, you want to close your eyes and be swept away by a wave of emotions. Actually I think that was what happened, the tunes, voices and performance played with your emotions :-).
I really want to see them again soon, there is a free gig at The Monarch in Camden on the 7th March, I’m already busy that night, but get yourself down there and check them out. Love them or hate them, but check them out! Click here to hear “Warm Hearts Break Slowly” which is another song I really liked!
Once the techies were on stage I tried really hard to get their attention to grab a set list, no luck. I managed to tap the young photographer (who set list!insistently danced all the way through their set), on the shoulder to get her attention. She picks up a screwed up paper which has been thrown on the stage floor and passes it to me, yes, it’s a set list. Just then the  technician who chucked it and came over to me, he smiled and said: “…what are you picking up…..come on, give it to me…” I’m a bit disappointed but give it back to him, he looks at it, smiles and says “that’s ok”…and passes it back to me. He wanders off, comes back and passes me another piece of paper, I take The Airborne Toxic Eventit, look at it and all I can see is ‘The Airbourne…’………OMG, it’s the set list. I quickly fold it up and hide it in my bag, I don’t want to know what will be played yet, but I’m really happy to have one already! Thank you so much Mr. Techie, hope I didn’t get you into trouble here…..but that was soooo lovely of you. 🙂

The Stage is ready, anticipation ripples through the room, every time the lights get dimmed slightly excited shrieks….they are letting us wait…lol!
Finally they are here, screams, shouts and clapping is greeting the band, launching straight into “All At Once”, Mikel is straight away working the stage, standing on the drummers podium with his back to us or sidling up to Noah, coming back to deliver the first song The Airborne Toxic Eventwith such energy and passion that the crowed is immediately drawn in. I don’t think it matters what he plays next, he’s got us in the palm of his hand! Love, love, loving it!!! Arms in the air, people are jumping, including me, you just can’t help it! His “Good Evening London” at the end of the song seem to comes from the heart,how happy am I to be here, glancing at Kathy she feels the same! 🙂
The Airborne Toxic Event“Wishing Well” and “Timeless” are next, loads of banter in between, like: ” …We are all going back to his place after the show..” Mikel is pointing at a bloke in the audience. I catch Noah smiling and nodding at the girls next to us, he obviously recognises them. Nobody is standing still and many know all the lyrics and sing along in fine voice (or not as in my case), there is no way to describe the energy, the buzz and emotions that are going on here. You just had to be The Airborne Toxic Eventthere, Mikel is actually transferring all the feeling he shows while singing the songs onto his fans, a mixture of joy, sadness and ecstasy sweeps over us like a big wave crashing onto the shore. It’s really weird,  I felt like I have to totally The Airborne Toxic Eventsurrender myself to this music, I can’t stop smiling, jumping, screaming……..good job my kids aren’t here, they might just get a tad embarrassed, but I just don’t care any more! Anna seems to be staying slightly in the background today, maybe I just feel that as I’m on the other side of the stage, she does however jump into the crowd at some point for a bit of crowd surfing. Steven also looks a bit solemn, only ventures a couple of times nearer the edge of the stage and poor Daren stays hidden behind his drum kit. I hear a shout out behind me, first a bloke and then a girl” Noah I love you”, oh, that was Kathy……hehehehehe, I’m not the only one getting carried away. But it’s Mikel who steals the show, not only with his heartfelt and powerful vocals, “Sometime Around Midnight” for instance, you feel his The Airborne Toxic Eventpain, I did read somewhere where he stated: ” When I write a song,I’m trying to get down an emotion, a scene or a setting. Everything important that happens after that happens between the music and the listener; the rest of it is all mythology. The collective interpretation of it is way more important than what I think.”, and how true is that? Coming back to stealing the show, Mikel is mental, he is attempting to climb onto the balcony on stage right when he was singing “Something New”, he couldn’t though, The Airborne Toxic Eventended up on his roadies shoulders promptly launching into the crowd for a spot of crowd surfing. Another time he came to our side of the stage, again climbing up pleasing the fans on the balcony including the couple we met in the queue, shame we didn’t catch their names, Mikel disappears behind the curtains just to burst back onto stage a few minutes later. He must be a security nightmare…lol! “Numb”, “Wedding Day”, “Changing” one amazing song after another, the new one “True Love” apparently it is what it says on the tin, amazing. Finishing with “All I Ever Wanted” they leave the stage, we know they will be back, but we’re still shouting and screaming!
Starting the encore with “Innocence” another awesome song, laughing at the banter when he started “Happiness Is Overrated” about The Airborne Toxic Eventhow NICE Catherine was, he did ask for it not to be put on uTube, well, it is there but you’ll have to find it yourself!
Finishing with “Missy” where he strays mid-song into Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”, Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and the Boss’s “Born In The USA”, this last song turned into a 10 minute track, absolutely f******* fantastic! Mikel’s final words ” We love you”, the feeling is mutual……I’m writing this 2 day’s later, and I’m still buzzing.Noah - Kathy, The Airborne Toxic Event
In true ‘Airborne Toxic Event’ spirit Mikel jumps off the stage to come and meet the fans, shaking hands, signing stuff and posing for photos, Anna and Noah join in later but by the time Steven comes along it’s too late :-(, at least I have 2 signatures on my album cover. No photo with Mikel today  but Kathy got hers with Noah.

An absolutely brilliant amazing night, thank you, please don’t stay away too long. ♥