Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Arcade Fire - 2013-11-27 - Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, UK

This was the one we'd all been waiting for. The Arcade Fire (A.K.A. The Reflektors for this mini-tour) were back on the road celebrating the release of their latest album, Reflektor, and Blackpool was the last stop on the tour.

As with other recent shows, the band requested everyone turn up in either fancy dress or formal wear to help create a party atmosphere, and boy did they oblige! There was everything from spacemen to dancing unicorns to Zippy from Rainbow! As for the atmosphere, this was my 15th time watching the band and I have never been in an Arcade Fire crowd like it - they were awesome!

The show itself was truly memorable. Very rarely have I seen the band in such a jovial mood. At the start of the show, the curtain dropped to reveal the band playing the introduction to Rebellion (Lies) whilst wearing enlarged papier-mâché lookalike heads. After a few seconds, the real band then appeared and ushered the imposters off stage! They then launched into the opening song, Normal Person, and the place erupted when it reached its rousing chorus. The sprung floor of the Empress Ballroom, with something like 2,000 bouncing bodies on it, is a feeling every concert goer should experience at least once in their lifetime!

As great as the show was, I'm sorry to say it is not reflected in the recording.  After the show, I discovered that my left-hand mic had started playing up just after the recording had started. Couple this with the fact that, from where I was stood, the vocals were quite low in the mix and (unusually for Arcade Fire) the bass was also top-heavy. I therefore had to do more processing on this recording than I would normally care to do and even had to copy data from the right-hand channel to make it listenable.

For any other show I probably wouldn't even upload it here for people to download but, despite all these problems, I know this show was very special for the majority of the people who were lucky enough to witness it, so here's the chance for them to hopefully enjoy it again.


Here's a sample of the recording for those who want to know the quality: Afterlife.mp3

544MB RAR archive, FLAC format

142MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Intro
02. Normal Person
03. Flashbulb Eyes
04. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
05. Joan of Arc
06. You Already Know
07. We Exist
08. It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)
09. Porno
10. Afterlife
11. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
12. Wake Up
13. Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World [Ramones cover]
14. Here Comes the Night Time
15. encore break
16. My Body is a Cage
17. Reflektor
18. Haiti

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Who - 2013-06-23 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK

I'd missed the last time The Who toured Quadrophenia, so this show was long awaited and, once booked, seemed a bloody long time arriving too! The band themselves have said that previous attempts to bring the album to the live stage had not wholly satisfied them and that they wanted one last go at getting it right. And from what I (and everyone else who was present) witnessed, they certainly achieved that - and then some!

At various times there were up to 10 musicians on stage bringing this music to life, along with 4 behind-stage screens that were continually showing archive footage from the band's career. These screens were even used to allow sadly-departed band members John Entwistle and Keith Moon to have solo spots during the show. When Moon sang his parts during Bell Boy, Roger Daltrey stood with his back to the audience, gazing longingly at his old friend.

I would dearly have loved to have seen this great band with all 4 original members in their prime. Alas, it was not to be, but to have seen them twice in the twilight of their amazing career - and to nail a great recording too - will do me for now.

Once the Quadrophenia portion of the show was complete, the band gave us a further 40 minute treat of several songs from their extensive back catalogue. If the show had ended after Quadrophenia I would have gone home happy, but the elongated encore just rounded off a great evening.

And so onto a bit of a whinge about the MEN Arena...

As soon as tickets went on sale, we paid £80 for the best seats available. With some confidence, we half-expected to be towards the front of the arena with a decent view of the stage. What a load of bollocks! We were at the back of the main floor of the arena, some 50 metres from the stage. How they can justify full price for those tickets is beyond me. I was lucky in that I was on the end of the row, towards the centre of the arena and could see the stage quite clearly from an unrestricted view. Other people in the middle of the rows could see bugger all once the show had started and everyone had stood up. If people have to stand to see the show, at least let them choose where they want to stand. The only reason for making shows all-seater is to charge more for seats and thus to make more money: poor, poor form in my book.

As for the recording - I've already commented that I think I nailed it, especially given my relatively poor location within the arena. I think I was helped by the almost static crowd around me - given that we were so far away from the stage, people didn't join in like they may have done if they were further forward. A small mercy, for the recording at least.

The thanks and goodbyes at the end of the show sounded far too real for my liking. I know they're not getting any younger, but it would be a crying shame if we never get to see The Who on tour again, in some form at least.

Here's to Roger and Pete's continued good health.


The Who - 2013-06-23 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK - FLAC
878MB RAR archive, FLAC format

The Who - 2013-06-23 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK - MP3
235MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. I Am the Sea
02. The Real Me
03. Quadrophenia
04. Cut My Hair
05. The Punk and the Godfather
06. I'm One
07. The Dirty Jobs
08. Helpless Dancer
09. Is It In My Head?
10. I've Had Enough
11. 5:15
12. Sea and Sand
13. Drowned
14. Bell Boy
15. Doctor Jimmy
16. The Rock
17. Love, Reign O'er Me
18. Band Introductions
19. Who Are You
20. You Better You Bet
21. Pinball Wizard
22. Baba O'Riley
23. Won't Get Fooled Again
24. Band Talking
25. Tea & Theatre

(No credits available for photos. If either is yours, let me know!)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Andrew Bird - 2009-05-13 - Academy 3, Manchester, UK

This was a wonderful gig in a tiny hall at Manchester University's Students Union building, commonly known as Academy 3. At a guess, I'd say it held maybe 250 people, every one of whom can't have failed to have gone home knowing that they had just witnessed one of the best singer/songwriters, of any generation, plying his trade.

I'd looked forward to this gig for months. It's rare that we get to witness these very talents anywhere near the North West of England (he still hasn't been back over 3 years later), so I was there early, eager to secure a likely-looking spot in an unknown venue, fully knowing that I probably wouldn't get another chance to record his wonderful music again any time soon.

As it turned out, I chose well, standing immediately in front of the soundboard, but afterwards I wished that I'd stood closer to the small stage so that I'd had a better view of the great man himself.

As for the recording, I was so mesmerised that I inadvertently forgot to unplug the remote from my iRiver. This led to a slight ticking sound on some of the quieter parts of the recording (a known iRiver problem - sorry!).  In my opinion though, it doesn't detract from the performance.

The original start of Opposite Day was disrupted by an equipment failure. I've tracked this separately so that you can skip through to when the band restart the song. Part way through, a member of the audience shouts out for Andrew to play Dr Stringz. Although it was not in the scheduled setlist, he duly obliged in its usual spot, immediately before Fake Palindromes. Whether this was actually scheduled to be played or not, we will never know!

For someone who has been totally enamoured by Andrew Bird's outstanding work for the last few years, it amazes me that he is not one of the most well-known musicians on the planet. He certainly doesn't deserve to be merely the world's best kept secret! If you've never listened to him before, do yourself a favour and search him out. You may well just change your music-listening life.


552MB RAR archive, FLAC format

176MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Swirly Intro
02. Darkmatter
03. Masterswarm
04. _equipment failure!_
05. Opposite Day
06. Natural Disaster
07. Oh No
08. Effigy
09. Trials & Tribulations
10. Fitz & Dizzyspells
11. Cold Blooded Old Times
12. Anonanimal
13. Imitosis
14. Cataracts
15. Skin Is, My
16. Dr Stringz
17. Fake Palindromes
18. _encore break_
19. Why?
20. Tables & Chairs

(Main photo courtesy of novasupreni)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

New Download Links

I've finally managed to upgrade the download links contained in all the posts on here. The originals became obsolete with the demise of Megaupload.

If you do find a link that's not yet been replaced, please leave a message in the comments section and I'll update the link ASAP.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Handsome Furs - 2011-09-14 - Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK

This was my only time seeing the Handsome Furs before they unfortunately decided to call it a day. I'm glad I got to experience their live show, it's just a pity more people didn't feel the same way, as the tiny Deaf Institute was barely troubled by an audience of merely 40 or so people, enthusiastic though they were. The band even joked that it was good to see a larger audience than their previous show in Manchester!

A couple of points to note:

Firstly, Dan and Alexei decided to forgo using their microphones when talking to the audience between songs, so they obviously come across rather quiet in the recording.

Secondly, they dedicated the song Radio Kaliningrad to a couple in the audience who had met at a previous Handsome Furs show. I got this couple's email address after the show so that I could send them a copy of the recording, however, I subsequently lost it and therefore apologise profusely if, by chance, they ever get to read this!


Handsome Furs - 2011-09-14 - Deaf Institute, Manchester - FLAC
356MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Handsome Furs - 2011-09-14 - Deaf Institute, Manchester - MP3
99MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. When I Get Back
02. Damage
03. All We Want, Baby, Is Everything
04. Memories of the Future
05. Bury Me Standing
06. What About Us
07. Repatriated
08. Radio Kaliningrad
09. Serve the People
10. _encore break_
11. Agony

(Photo courtesy of John Gleeson)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Download Problems

As everyone is no doubt aware, Megaupload is no more. Unfortunately, all download links on this blog were hosted there so, until I find a site that can replace the speed and convenience of Megaupload, no download links will work on this site.

Please be assured that I fully intend to fix all of the broken links, along with providing many more recordings for you to enjoy.


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Arcade Fire - 2011-09-01 - Edinburgh Castle, UK

As soon as this show was announced at the start of the year, it was obvious it ticked all the boxes for turning into something special. It was due to be their final show in the UK for some time and it was a new venue for the band. Given these circumstances, a fair number of Arcade Fire friends acquired tickets and everyone started making their own arrangements for a late-summer pilgrimage to what is undoubtedly the jewel in the Scottish crown.

Come the day of the show and everyone made their way up to the castle in order to get a first sight of the venue. What was unexpected was that the venue was completely open down one side, as a walkway had been created to allow tourists to come and go from the castle itself. And being the band that they are, the Arcade Fire obligingly posed for photos with fans as they went about their sound check. They even performed the rare track "Cars and Telephones" at the request of a fan. Unfortunately, I missed most of this, but I will get to record a sound check one day!

Come show time, our small group ended up to the right of centre of the stage, close to the right-hand speaker stack - not the ideal spot for recording, but it was a great spot to watch this amazing band from. I knew I'd still have a half-decent chance of capturing something decent due to the proximity of the speakers and hoped the crowd around me were there to watch rather than sing. And so it was, thankfully.

From a personal point of view, the show itself was excellent, yet it seemed to be missing something to take it to the next level - a rare song or a guest appearance or a cover version. Just something different. What we got were the same songs as the previous night in Manchester, albeit with a different running order. Wake Up was still mid-set though and I hope the band soon realise the error of their ways with this one.

After the show, some people commented about the lack of enthusiasm from the Edinburgh crowd, especially in comparison to previous shows by the band in Scotland. From my point of view though, it was perfect - little audience noise and no jostling for position during the bouncier songs. The Arcade Fire are a very visual band and there is always something happening on stage to grab your attention. I'm sure that is why many in the audience just stand and stare as they perform - people are in awe of what they are witnessing. I know that's how I feel anyway.

As for the recording, it's actually pretty good! I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I've already described where I was stood, so the right-hand channel has therefore got a very slight gain with regards to the music, with the left-hand channel picking up slightly more crowd noise. It's hardly noticeable though and actually adds a good stereo mix to the sound; hence I decided to leave the balance as it is.

Enjoy! :-)

Arcade Fire - 2011-09-01 - Edinburgh Castle - FLAC
633MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Arcade Fire - 2011-09-01 - Edinburgh Castle - MP3
175MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Ready To Start
02. Keep The Car Running
03. No Cars Go
04. Haiti
05. Rococo
06. Speaking In Tongues
07. Intervention
08. Suburban War
09. Wake Up
10. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
11. The Suburbs
12. Month of May
13. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
14. We Used To Wait
15. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
16. _encore break_
17. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
18. Rebellion (Lies)

(Photo courtesy of

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Arcade Fire - 2011-08-31 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK

This was the band's penultimate UK date before they disappeared from these shores, probably until the release of their next album, whenever that may be. I hadn't had the chance to see them since the end of 2010 and, given certain events that happened around that time, I'd hardly listened to them over the previous few months. I just couldn't raise my usual excitement for seeing the band, even though I was still looking forward to the show.

How wrong was I??!!

The turnover between the support band (Noah & The Whale, whom I also recorded) leaving the stage and Arcade Fire's intro starting up was only 30 minutes, but in that time I realised I was well and truly back in the grips of what I honestly consider to be the best band in the world today.

I decided, just minutes before they came on stage, that I would try and get the best recording I could of the show, so I moved back from my 4th row, right of stage spot and positioned myself in what I consider to be the "sweet spot" for recording at the MEN Arena - dead centre of the stage, 10 yards/metres back from the front row of fans.

I'd not watched the Arcade Fire from a similar location since my first time seeing them back in 2007 at Manchester Apollo (first night), at what was, and still is, the worst show of theirs that I've ever attended (dire sound and an awful audience). However, I was not to be disappointed this time. Ok, I had a few occasional talkers around me (who doesn't in the middle of a crowd at a rock show?), but the quality of the sound shines through on the recording. In fact, this was the 13th time I've recorded the band and I reckon it's my best attempt yet.

Now onto the show itself. As far as the Arcade fire are concerned, I find it a tad difficult to rate their shows in comparison to previous ones, pure and simply because of their amazing consistency. Some shows may have had better setlists than others (which is a very personal thing anyway and always causes opinionated discussion!), but invariably they have all had something that made them special. This show did not have anything special in its setlist, but the ordering of the songs was surprisingly good and the band themselves were as stellar as any other time that I've seen them.

That first show of mine which I mentioned earlier, it had no Wake Up in its setlist. Unbelievable, I know! Every other time I've seen them, this inspirational song has always been the show closer, yet here we had it 10th song on the bill, mid-show. This was a real surprise, and I'm not totally convinced that it worked, but it was still good to experience it all the same. We also had the relatively new song Speaking in Tongues - it's always good to hear a song live for the first time. And any show that has a run of songs that goes Wake Up/Laika/Tunnels/We Used to Wait/Power Out is bound to rate highly on the Richter scale.

And then there was the encore. Somebody on the sound desk turned the volume up a couple of notches and the band launched in to an ear-bleeding, monumental version of Month of May. I can honestly say that I have never heard them so loud. In fact, the young kid stood to my left had his hands over his ears! When Rebellion (Lies) got under way, I could hardly hear anything other than the drums and bass - they either left the volume turned up or my hearing was temporarily fucked! Fortunately, the recording wasn't affected as I'd set my little box of tricks to auto-adjust to volume changes.

I'm going to thoroughly enjoy listening to this recording on repeat. I hope you do too.

Enjoy!  :-)

Arcade Fire - 2011-08-31 - MEN Arena - FLAC
605MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Arcade Fire - 2011-08-31 - MEN Arena - MP3
171MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Ready To Start
02. Keep The Car Running
03. Haiti
04. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
05. No Cars Go
06. Rococo
07. Speaking In Tongues
08. Intervention
09. Suburban War
10. Wake Up
11. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
12. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
13. We Used to Wait
14. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
15. _encore break_
16. Month of May
17. Rebellion (Lies)
18. The Suburbs

(Photo courtesy of the ever-wonderful Shirlaine Forrest Photography)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Antlers - 2011-05-13 - Club Academy, Manchester, UK

The Antlers are one of those bands that you just have to see live. Each band member truly gives their all to bring their recorded material to life for the audience. Add this energy to the tiny, claustrophobic surroundings of Manchester's Club Academy and you have the perfect recipe for a great gig, and that's exactly what we got here.

This show was pretty early in the band's somewhat lengthy itinerary for the release of their latest album Burst Apart. That said, you could be forgiven for thinking the new songs were long-time mainstays of their setlists, fitting in well with a few tracks from the band's previous offering, the haunting and much heralded Hospice. Even though many people would have been hearing the new tracks for the first time, the audience were very respectful towards them and the recording is quite clean with regards to audience noise during songs.

Enjoy!  :-)

The Antlers - 2011-05-13 - Club Academy, Manchester - FLAC
359MB RAR archive, FLAC format

The Antlers - 2011-05-13 - Club Academy, Manchester - MP3
112MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. French Exit
02. Parentheses
03. No Widows
04. Kettering
05. Bear
06. Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out
07. Rolled Together
08. Hounds
09. Putting the Dog to Sleep
10. _encore break_
11. Two

(Photo of Pete Silberman courtesy of John Gleeson)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Madness - 2010-11-30 - Manchester Apollo, UK

This is quite a poignant recording for me and I've thought long and hard about what to do with it over the last few months. A day or so after the concert, David, a good friend who was with me on the night, was to enter hospital for a stem cell transplant in his final attempt to beat the cancer that had blighted his life for several years. To cut a long story short, and despite the actual success of his fight against cancer, David's body could take no more and he tragically lost his battle for life on Sunday 22nd May, 2011 at the far-too-young age of just 28.

My memories of this show will forever be watching him dancing and singing the night away with his girlfriend and just thoroughly enjoying himself as much as anyone else in the building. You would never have guessed that he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

So, this recording is dedicated to the wonderful memory of David Horan. A braver man you could never wish to meet.

There is some crowd noise present (cheers Keith!), but hey, this was a Madness concert after all! At the start of the song "Madness", the crowd started singing the tune of "Tom Hark" which Suggs went along with for a minute or so. I've tracked this separately within the recording, but it is in no way the complete song.

Enjoy!  :-)

Madness - 2010-11-30 - Manchester Apollo - MP3
161MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. One Step Beyond
02. Embarrassment
03. Shut Up
04. Driving in my Car
05. NW5
06. Hey Girl
07. My Girl
08. Lovestruck
09. Forever Young
10. The Sun And The Rain
11. The Young and The Old
12. Tomorrow's Just Another Day
13. Bed And Breakfast Man
14. Clerkenwell Polka
15. The Prince
16. La Luna
17. Chrissy Boy's Showtime
18. House Of Fun
19. Tom Hark
20. Madness
21. Baggy Trousers
22. Our House
23. It Must Be Love
24. _encore break_
25. Tarzan's Nuts
26. Wings Of A Dove
27. Night Boat To Cairo

(Photo courtesy of the wonderful Shirlaine Forrest Photography)

(Download link updated on 27th January, 2013)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Arcade Fire - 2010-12-11 - Manchester Central, UK

A small group of us managed to get a place up front, stage left, and fortunately the recording turned out pretty good. This is particularly true given I was stood on the 2nd row with the left-hand speaker stack high above my head. There is the occasional moment of “crowd participation”, but what else would you expect when such singable and join-inable songs are on offer! Anyway, I’ve already berated one or two of the offenders (you know who you are!) on behalf of any potential listeners.

Many people expressed reservations about seeing The Arcade Fire in such a large venue, but all the reports I read gave both a big thumbs up, and I heartily endorse those sentiments. The venue was great and these days the band are equally at home in arena-style venues as they are in their occasional foray back into the realm of intimate shows.

Despite a somewhat unsavoury incident caused by the band's management (before the support act came on stage - an incident well-documented elsewhere), the show itself was typically excellent. And although their set lists remained pretty static during this tour (probably to help the band members plan for their next instrument and location from the myriad used during their shows), it was still a pleasure to watch these soon-to-be Grammy winners at work. You could tell they were enjoying it right from the moment they took the stage and this was often backed up by Win's frequent banter both between and during songs.

Enjoy!  :-)

Arcade Fire - 2010-12-11 - Manchester Central, UK - FLAC
615MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Arcade Fire - 2010-12-11 - Manchester Central, UK - MP3
178MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Ready To Start
02. Month of May
03. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
04. No Cars Go
05. Haiti
06. Empty Room
07. Rococo
08. Deep Blue
09. The Suburbs
10. Crown of Love
11. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
12. We Used To Wait
13. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
14. Rebellion (Lies)
15. Intervention
16. -encore break-
17. Keep The Car Running
18. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
19. Wake Up

(Photo courtesy of John Gleeson - see more by clicking on his name)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Friday, 9 July 2010

Arcade Fire - 2010-07-07 - Hackney Empire, London, UK

Deemed as a "secret show", this was The Arcade Fire's first UK appearance since the back end of 2007 and boy were the audience ready for it! The tickets were primarily sold via a pre-sale on the Universal website that was done in conjunction with Ticketmaster. This pre-sale would have been better organised by school kids, I kid you not. Eventually a small number of tickets went on open sale and typically disappeared within seconds. So, other than a handful of seats reserved for the press and the odd guest-lister, the show was generally attended by fans who would have sold their soul to be there (and several of them virtually did, looking at the eBay listings).

The Hackney Empire is your typical old-style, grandiose theatre, more used to pantomimes and variety shows than out-and-out rock concerts. Thankfully the ground floor seats were removed to allow a large proportion of the audience to stand, with the multi-tiered seating providing a great view for everyone else. I was situated in the 1st tier of seats, 5 rows back, slightly to the right of stage-centre. This not only provided a great view, but the sound was better than I was expecting too.

The volume of noise that greeted the band arriving on stage was deafening. In fact, it caused the auto gain control on my iRiver to adjust the levels down by 4 settings before the music had even started! This didn't affect the recording though and everything progressed smoothly from then on.

As to the show itself, what can I say other than it was everything I expected of it and more! The setlist contained 8 songs from the band's forthcoming new album, The Suburbs, along with 7 from Funeral and 3 from Neon Bible. Watching from above, it was obvious (and to be expected) that a fair number of the audience were not familiar with the new songs and it was the Funeral tracks which typically brought the house down. In particular, I would describe the encore as the best I've ever seen from this great band, which isn't bad considering this was my 10th time seeing them live!

The recording turned out very well indeed, given my distance from the speaker stacks, and audience chatter during the songs is minimal. It could maybe do with a touch of boost in the bass department, but that is down to personal preference and I would never perform equalisation on a source recording. What you get here is as it was recorded, with just a volume boost being performed by myself.

This recording is dedicated to all the people from (Us Kids Know) who were at this show. You guys make following this great band all the more special. Thank you for a fantastic day.

Anyway, after too long away, The Arcade Fire are back and I strongly suggest you try and catch at least one of their shows. You will not be disappointed!

Enjoy!  :-)

Arcade Fire - 2010-07-07 - Hackney Empire, London, UK - FLAC
563MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Arcade Fire - 2010-07-07 - Hackney Empire, London, UK - MP3
175MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps) 


01. Ready To Start
02. Modern Man
03. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
04. No Cars Go
05. Haiti
06. Empty Room
07. Rococo
08. The Suburbs
09. Suburban War
10. Intervention
11. We Used To Wait
12. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
13. Rebellion
14. Month of May
15. -encore break-
16. Crown of Love
17. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
18. Keep The Car Running
19. Wake Up

(Photos courtesy of John Gleeson - see many more by clicking on his name)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Green Day - 2010-06-16 - Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester, UK

What a superb way to spend a beautiful summer's evening! The band were on stage for a whopping 2 hours & 45 minutes, and that was 2 hours & 45 minutes of spectacular quality.

An excellent setlist was supplemented by Billy Joe's usual crowd interaction and he once again had the near 30,000-strong crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. The songs that were played covered all but the earliest part of their career and all were delivered as if the band's lives depended on it. A truly awesome experience!

As you can imagine, with me only being 20m from the stage, the crowd were quite boisterous and vociferous throughout the show. This obviously comes across on the recording, but gets noticeably better as the show goes on, particularly after I managed to move away from one tone deaf youth! Once Green Day got into the "old school" section, the extra vocals were then provided by my mate Sam, but thankfully he disappeared into a mosh pit after a few of the songs!  :-)

Now for the bad news: I started recording when the drunken rabbit came on stage, but somehow it paused before the band came on. I can only think that I didn't lock the remote and the pause button was pressed at some stage. All this meant that I didn't actually start recording until I checked the levels just before the 4th song of the set, East Jesus Nowhere. Sorry!

Anyway - enjoy! :-)

Green Day - 2010-06-16 - Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester, UK - FLAC
779MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Green Day - 2010-06-16 - Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester, UK - MP3
254MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


Unfortunately, the first 3 songs of the set are missing from the recording-:

- Song of the Century
- 21st Century Breakdown
- Know Your Enemy

01. East Jesus Nowhere
02. Holiday
03. The Static Age
04. Give Me Novacaine
05. Are We The Waiting
06. St. Jimmy
07. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
08. 2000 Light Years Away
09. Nice Guys Finish Last
10. Burnout
11. Coming Clean
12. Geek Stink Breath
13. Hitchin a Ride
14. Welcome to Paradise
15. When I Come Around

Rock Medley:-
16. Iron Man
17. Sweet Child of Mine
18. Highway to Hell

19. Brainstew
20. Jaded
21. Longview
22. Basketcase
23. She
24. King For a Day
25. Shout Medley:-
- Shout
- Teenage Kicks
- (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
- Champagne Supernova
- Hey Jude
- Shout (reprise)
26. 21 Guns
27. Minority
28. --encore break #1--
29. American Idiot
30. Jesus of Suburbia
31. --encore break #2--
32. When It's Time
33. Wake Me Up When September Ends
34. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

(Photo courtesy of the wonderful Shirlaine Forrest Photography)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Monday, 31 May 2010

Wolf Parade - 2010-05-21 - Club Academy, Manchester, UK

Gearing up for the June 29th release of their latest album, Expo 86, Montreal's Wolf Parade hit Manchester's Club Academy on the warmest night of the year so far.

And just like the Ruby Lounge gig in 2008, this was a great show from a very talented, yet somewhat understated band. The new songs (which didn't actually seem that new to many!) blended in well with the older stuff, and the usual crowd favourites got the place well and truly bouncing, leaving everyone ready for a change of clothes once the night was over. Aircon would certainly not go amiss in the Club Academy!


Wolf Parade - 2010-05-21 - Club Academy, Manchester, UK - FLAC
526MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Wolf Parade - 2010-05-21 - Club Academy, Manchester, UK - MP3
149MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Intro
02. You Are a Runner And I Am My Father's Son
03. Language City
04. What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)
05. Ghost Pressure
06. This Heart's On Fire
07. I'll Believe in Anything
08. Oh You, Old Thing
09. Fine Young Cannibals
10. Cave-O-Sapien
11. Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts
12. Palm Road
13. California Dreamer
14. --encore break--
15. Two Men in New Tuxedos
16. Shine a Light
17. Kissing The Beehive

A review of this show can be found on God Is In The TV and also on the excellent A Heart Can Stop A Bullet (along with the London Borderline show).

(Photo courtesy of John Gleeson)

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Madness - 2009-12-15 - Manchester Apollo, UK (Revisited)

Madness - don't ya just love 'em! I've had a rethink about posting my recording of this show, so here it is! Anyone who wanted to purchase the official recording would probably have done so by now, but the link's included below, just in case.

This was the best performance I've seen from Madness since the early 90s. The Apollo was a far more suitable venue than the larger arenas they've played around Manchester over the years. They were on top form and delivered a great setlist with genuine enthusiasm that was thoroughly appreciated by the crowd, both young and old alike.

Please be aware that this show was also officially recorded by Concert Online and is available to buy here (in superior quality too!).

Madness - 2009-12-15 - Manchester Apollo, UK - MP3
156MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. One Step Beyond
02. Embarrassment
03. The Prince
04. NW5
05. My Girl
06. Dust Devil
07. The Sun And The Rain
08. Johnny The Horse
09. Shut Up
10. In The Rain
11. Clerkenwell Polka
12. Chase The devil aka Iron Shirt
13. MK II
14. Bed And Breakfast Man
15. That Close
16. E.R.N.I.E.
17. Forever Young
18. House Of Fun
19. Wings Of A Dove
20. Baggy Trousers
21. Our House
22. It Must Be Love
23. encore break
24. Tarzan's Nuts
25. Madness
26. Night Boat To Cairo

(Download link updated on 27th January, 2013)

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Specials - 2009-11-04 - Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, UK

This was my first visit to the rather ornate surroundings of the Empress Ballroom and my 3rd time seeing The Specials during 2009. The venue was excellent, as were the band, and I can still feel the sprung dance floor bouncing beneath my feet as it teetered under the weight of 3,000 pairs of dancing, skanking feet! The only disappoint for me was the sound within this great hall which, to my ears, was poorly mixed with high bass and low vocals giving a "muddy" effect. Fortunately, my microphones hear considerably better than me and the recording turned out far better than I ever hoped it would. In fact, I can hardly believe it's the same show that I witnessed!

The setlist was very similar to when the band toured in the spring, with the welcome additions of Stupid Marriage and Guns of Navarone, though unfortunately at the expense of Too Hot, Liquidator and Skinhead Moonstomp. Why couldn't they have just played them all?

Will we get to see this great band again after this autumn tour? I don't know, but I'm just glad I've had the privilege to witness them first-hand. Maybe not in their prime, but definitely in all their glory. Cheers lads.

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think. :-)

The Specials - 2009-11-04 - Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, UK - MP3
143MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Intro
02. Do The Dog
03. (Dawning Of A) New Era
04. Gangsters
05. It's Up To You
06. Rat Race
07. Monkey Man
08. Blank Expression
09. Doesn't Make It Alright
10. Hey Little Rich Girl
11. Stupid Marriage
12. Concrete Jungle
13. Friday Night, Saturday Morning
14. Stereotype
15. Man At C&A
16. A Message To You Rudy
17. Do Nothing
18. Little Bitch
19. Nite Klub
20. Too Much Too Young
21. Long Shot Kick The Bucket
22. Guns of Navarone
23. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)
24. -encore break-
25. Ghost Town
26. You're Wondering Now

(Download link updated on 27th January, 2013)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Green Day - 2009-10-30 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK

This was simply an amazing show performed by an equally amazing band. It had everything - crowd participation, pyrotechnics and regular explosions.

Billie-Joe Armstrong had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand from the moment he walked on stage and he never let them rest until he was finished almost two and a half hours later. He disappeared up into the seated area; he danced with fans onstage; he got fans onstage to sing songs (well done if you're that woman, but Dale from Preston, don't give up the day job!); he got a 10-year old (-ish) kid on stage to be "saved" during East Jesus Nowhere; he fired t-shirts into the upper reaches of the arena from a gun; he soaked the crowd with a hose and giant water pistols. A tad pantomime at times, but a true showman and great entertainment nevertheless!

And then there was the music. The 16,000 strong crowd lapped it up and sang along all the way through. We even had a couple of treats with "2,000 Light Years Away" and "Coming Clean" making rare setlist appearances "for the old school"! The highlights for me were East Jesus Nowhere and Jesus of Suburbia, both outstanding songs that this great band do proud. Cheers lads!

Enjoy! :-)

Green Day - 2009-10-30 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK - MP3
245MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)

Green Day - 2009-10-30 - MEN Arena, Manchester, UK - FLAC
799MB RAR archive, FLAC format


01. Song of the Century
02. 21st Century Breakdown
03. Know Your Enemy
04. East Jesus Nowhere
05. Holiday
06. The Static Age
07. Give Me Novacaine
08. Are We the Waiting
09. St. Jimmy
10. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
11. 2000 Light Years Away
12. Hitchin' A Ride
13. Coming Clean
14. When I Come Around
15. Iron Man (Black Sabbath cover)
16. Brain Stew
17. Jaded
18. Longview
19. Basket Case
20. She
21. King For A Day
22. Shout Medley:-
- Shout
- Orgasm Addict
- Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
- Champagne Supernova
- Teenage Kicks
- Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Reprise)
- (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
- Shout (Reprise)
23. 21 Guns
24. Minority
25. -encore break #1-
26. American Idiot
27. Jesus Of Suburbia
-encore break #2-
29. Last Night on Earth
30. Wake Me Up When September Ends
31. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Many thanks to user Bonzon for the use of the great photo in this post. More photos from this show can be found here.

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Arcade Fire - 2007 - Neon Bible Live

And now for something completely different .....

Here's The Arcade Fire's 2nd album, Neon Bible, made up of tracks taken from recordings I made of the band at various UK venues throughout 2007.

All extraneous chat, tuning, etc. has been removed to just leave the actual music and I've normalised each track to the same levels to improve the listening pleasure.

The news trickling out of Canada is good and it looks like we'll see the band's 3rd album some time next year. And that, of course, means another tour for me to follow (and record!) around the UK. I can't wait!

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible Live 2007 - FLAC
249MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible Live 2007 - MP3
78MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 224 kbps)

Track List:

01. Black Mirror - Manchester Evening News Arena, 2007-10-27
02. Keep The Car Running - Alexandra Palace, 2007-11-18
03. Neon Bible - Alexandra Palace, 2007-11-18
04. Intervention - Manchester Apollo, 2007-03-09
05. Black Wave / Bad Vibrations - Manchester Apollo, 2007-03-09
06. Ocean of Noise - Latitude Festival, 2007-07-15
07. The Well and The Lighthouse - Nottingham Arena, 2007-10-31
08. (Antichrist Television Blues) - Manchester Apollo, 2007-03-09
09. Windowsill - Brixton Academy, 2007-03-16
10. No Cars Go - Nottingham Arena, 2007-10-31
11. My Body is a Cage - Manchester Apollo, 2007-03-08

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Sincerely, John Hughes

A little out of the norm for this blog, but EVERYONE should read this fantastic piece on the late, great John Hughes.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Final Fantasy - 2009-08-03 - RNCM, Manchester, UK

This was my first time in the company of Final Fantasy and it most certainly will not be my last. The concert hall at the Royal Northern College of Music was the perfect setting for this show, the well designed auditorium giving great acoustics for the wonderful talent that is Owen Pallett - his candle lighting and bottle of wine simply adding to the occasion. The show lasted a little over an hour and every song was very much appreciated by a thoroughly spellbound and respectful audience.

This excellent recording is dedicated to Jules the Fanboy, whose dedication to this wonderful artist is exemplary.

Final Fantasy - 2009-08-03 - RNCM, Manchester, UK - FLAC
272MB RAR archive, FLAC format

Final Fantasy - 2009-08-03 - RNCM, Manchester, UK - MP3
105MB RAR archive, variable bit rate MP3s (min. 245 kbps)


01. Song Song Song
02. Adventure.exe
03. Midnight Directives
04. Keep The Dog Quiet
05. Lewis Takes Action
06. Dance Dance Dance
07. Flare Gun
08. The Butcher
09. This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine
10. E Is For Estranged
11. CN Tower Belongs To The Dead
12. Lewis Takes His Shirt Off
13. -encore break-
14. The Great Elsewhere
15. This Lamb Sells Condos

(Download links updated on 27th January, 2013)