Joe Bonamassa in Vancouver: How NOT to give a concert

joe 2015

I’m not a guitar solo guy, but I’d enjoyed SRV and Buddy Guy concerts and have been listening to Joe Bonamassa for years and was excited to see him despite the premium price tickets.

He started with a blast of light (above) and a blistering guitar solo. Very good start; glad I was there. We got a quick “Hello Vancouver” as he launched into song #2, song #3, song #4….and so it went for exactly an hour. Not one bit of audience interaction. He played like we weren’t even there. At the end of the hour we got a “thank you Vancouver”, band introductions, and one last guitar solo.

I recognized one song. If he has any personality, he sure didn’t share it with us. Being a guitar wizard only gets you so much goodwill – not enough, ever, to mail one in for the paycheck.

‘Spillyear 1997

1997: a British electoral triumph

So, last week was fun. Here’s a recap of the very simple instructions:

Pick 3 songs from the year in question. Add them as YouTube links to the collaborative playlist if you can – it’s very easy. Say stuff in the comments.

As there’s apparently some sort of election on this week, we’re going back to the last time a Tory government got a good kicking: 1997.

So how did you feel when Tony Blair got elected? Where were you when Diana died? Did you imagine, in the euphoria of Katrina and the Waves’ victory, that the UK would never win Eurovision again? And, mostly importantly, what were you listening to?

Listen to the playlist here:

And add your own songs to it here:

Happy Anniversary


And Cinco de Mayo too. So apparently today is the actual date of the Dead’s 50th anniversary, brought to my attention by a Beast article, for what that’s worth. If there’s a tribute post to be written here, i’m not really the one to do it. But i did want to drop this video from their Meet Up at the Movies, apparently screened yesterday, from the July 19, 1989 show in Wisconsin. (unfortunately, WP won’t take the embed, so a link will have to do.) Jerry’s voice sounds like shit, but love this beautiful guitar on Sugaree.

Think one of he Beast commenters said it best –

Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

Gig Review – Black at Zanzibar, Liverpool

DsMam, Colin Vearncombe, DsD My wife doesn’t *do* gigs. The last time I made her come with me was a day at the Leeds Festival over ten years ago. She suffered a couple of openers, was impressively unimpressed by The Delgados, and finally lost it during a particularly noisy set by The Deftones. She borrowed our friend’s car keys, and drove herself home, returning to pick us up after we’d stayed on to watch At The Drive-In (probably a good job she’d gone by then, TBH), Embrace, Gomez, Beck, Pulp & The Black-Eyed Peas. Even when the surroundings have been more comfortable, she has made me leave before the end: gigs by Ruby Turner and Blondie both spring to mind. So when it was HER suggestion that we not only go to see Colin Vearncombe play as Black, but to make a night of it by booking a hotel and staying over, you could’ve knocked me down with the proverbial feather! I shouldn’t have been surprised really. Our wedding first dance was to Wonderful Life, and THIS album has been our joint favourite for almost a quarter of a century now. Continue reading

Anybody remember “The Wire”? Anybody reading the Guardian?


by Randy Newman
Beat-up little seagull 
On a marble stair
 Tryin’ to find the ocean 
Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
 Ain’t nowhere to run to 
There ain’t nothin’ here for free
Hooker on the corner
 Waitin’ for a train, 
Drunk lyin’ on the sidewalk, 
Sleepin’ in the rain,
And they hide their faces 
And they hide their eyes
’cause the city’s dyin’
And they don’t know why
Oh, Baltimore, 
Man, it’s hard just to live, 
Oh, Baltimore
, Man, it’s hard just to live, just to live
Get my sister sandy 
And my little brother ray, 
Buy a big old wagon,
Gonna haul us all away
Livin’ in the country,
Where the mountain’s high,
Never comin’ back here
’til the day I die
Oh, Baltimore, 
Man, it’s hard just to live 
Oh, Baltimore, 
Man, it’s hard just to live, just to live