Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Recovered and Ready

That's exactly how I felt as the night approached and we got ready to go and see The Feeling at the Manchester Apollo, the venue this mammoth gig going week started at last Thursday. Tonight there were six of us going. The usual suspects being myself, Liz and Karen. However, tonight we were being joined by K junior her friend I and my nephew S. There was much excitement amongst the younger members of our group when they found out the support act were The Fray an American group currently starting out over here but with a track in the charts at the moment. So off we set, luck was on our side we found a parking space right outside the chippy, good said several of our younger members that will be chips when we come out then.

So into the gig, up to the bar for a quick drink (diet coke for the younger members and Liz), then off to take our places for The Fray.

The Fray are signed to Sony Music and the money behind them showed, they were not your usual support act. Obviously bigger in the states than here their slick musical performance showed along with their ability to work the audience. However, after you had heard the first couple of tracks you could not help feel that you had heard them all. Not unpleasant but all just a bit the same, Liz commented half way through the set "I think this would be the point where I shut my windows and drew the curtains" a fair point I think.

During the break however, the strangest thing happened. Rather the strangest question was asked, a man sidled up to us and wanted to know the name of Micheal Bolton's first hit. What concerned me the most was Liz was able to supply the answer! The man having remembered the name then proceeded to sing it to us, as he then felt compelled to do with every other song The Feeling played. You don't know how close we came!

By this time we had lost the youngsters who were now down by the front of the stage having weaved, barged, jostled and fought their way there. Content to stay in position to the left of the sound desk we settled down for the start of The Feeling.

They started with a video montage of their fans singing their hits taken from U Tube, very funny and an original way to start. This was followed by them rocking their way onto stage. High energy music with a high energy performance.

I was criticised recently for complaining about the Snow Patrol gig where I felt they had taken two superb albums and not lived up to the occasion when performing live. The Feeling were the opposite taking one good album and completely bringing it too life. They had energy, were together all the way through, worked the crowd well and left us wanting more, renditions of Video Killed the Radio Star and Fat Bottomed Girls added to their own more than capable set. Closing with Blue Piccadilly (my favourite track) the night for me was complete, all that was left now were those chips and home.

We arrived back at the car everyone piled in and Karen and Liz volunteered to go get the late night feast. Seconds later they were back, empty handed! Would you believe it, the chip shop closest to one of the largest music venues in Manchester, had just stopped selling chips to coincide with emptying out time. Left with no other choice we headed home happy but still ever so slightly peckish!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back To Normal - For Now!

The last two days have just been kind of normal, no gigs just work stuff, college and family life. I have been reading the purpose diven life, mmmmm clashed with some of it and as soon as I get chance I will post my thoughts for each day so far. To be fair it has got me thinking in a good way I just struggle to agree with a lot of its theology.

Wednesday is back to gigging off to see The Feeling at the apollo, I might just of recovered by then!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Day After!

Lent Study


Saturday, February 24, 2007


Tonight was the last of three nights in a row gigging. It was also the smallest venue and the newest bands. I guess to be fair they had a hard act to follow from the previous two nights. Academy 3 is a compact venue but does have an advantage that the bar is inside the venue so you can queue and listen at the same time. Having forgotten my phone (Hence why I have pinched Liz's pics) the night did not start well, Liz managed to upset some poor impoverished student at the bar who had't quite figured out how to get served and the band hadn't even started yet.

We had been looking forward to Cherry Ghost, tipped as the next big thing. However, we were sadly dissapointed. They weren't really bad just, well really bland. The kind of thing you couldn't help feel that you had heard before but only better. Not unpleasent, not offensive and at £7 even worth the money but not about to set the musical world alight. We managed to laugh and joke our way through their set and it was good for the three of us to collectivley make the gig.

Polytechnic were much better, they had a bit off umph about them. The crowd seemed a bit more up for it as well. Good tunes and catchy lyrics and you did feel you were watching a band who could possibly be on the edge of something big. Like Liz, I too worry about the Keane tour, still I guess there is no such thing as bad publicity. However they do need to learn one lesson, remember not to act bigger than you are. They left the stage declaring 'that's all folks', rather expecting I think a large shout of encore. Sadly, by the time they came back on stage half the venue had already cleared, a lesson to be learnt I think.

By the time it had all finished the toll of the previous nights was beginning to tell. As we sat down to eat at the Punjab it was all I could do to stay awake. The past three nights had been great, good music, good company, good beer, good food all I needed now was a good sleep, go on Jude what's your secret how do you do it?

Labels: ,

Friday, February 23, 2007

Party at Boothy's and the Academy

Just me and Liz tonight, K has a night off. So we start in Big Hands always the perfect start for a pre gig drink. Its the kind of bar that proves that even with cheap furniture and poor flooring its the music and atmosphere that counts. However, we leave showing our age, after all it was a bit loud. On to Kro bar for a quick drink and then to the gig at Academy 2. Not quite as slick as last night but that was more than compensated by raw enrgy and emotion. For such a new band Little Man Tate have quite a following. The crowd sang along and crowd surfing seemed to be a must, heck I thought Liz was going to go for it at one point. Really good gig which is saying something after last night. After the gig we went back to Kro bar for a few drinks, a good night roll on tomorrow when Karen joins us again.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kaisers Doing it the Modern Way

What a gig! Musically so tight, superb stage show and presence, crowd rocking and best of all it was completely free.

Even managed to remember to phone my friends during their favourite songs, what a top night, thanks XFM, roll on Little Man Tate

Labels: ,

I Predict a Riot

Some morning's you wake up and wonder to yourself, what will today bring? Well today in my case it was two free tickets to see Kaiser Chiefs at Manchester Apollo tonight. These came courtesy of the XFM ticket monkey. Basically clues are given out on air and if you can work out where they are walk up and say are you the XFM ticket monkey then you get the tickets. Simple as that and I got those tickets. So check out the link and over the next few days there should be a picture of me appearing in the gallery stood next to a gorilla.

So then that's a free Kaiser Chiefs gig tonight and then Little Man Tate tomorrow followed by Cherry Ghost / Polytechnic Saturday and The Feeling on Wednesday so go on then Jude Adam follow that if you can!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

For The Record

Joe Normal

17 % Nerd, 0% Geek, 8% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored less than half in all three, earning you the title of: Joe Normal.

This is not to say that you don't have some Nerd, Geek or Dork inside of you--we all do, and you can see the percentages you have right above. This is just to say that none of those qualities stand out so much as to define you. Sure, you enjoy an episode of Star Trek now and again, and yeah, you kinda enjoyed a few classes back in the day. And, once in a while, you stumble while walking down the street even though there was nothing there to cause you to trip. But, for the most part, you look and act fairly typically, and aren't much of an outcast.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Suggestions For Lent 2

In trying to decide what I should give up for lent I came across this idea on the Ship of Fools website.There is a different suggestion for each day of lent. Liz, don't worry I didn't see anything that suggested you should stop buying shoes!

Incidentally, following Sally's post about the purpose driven life course, I realised that I still have the book, so in an attempt to give impartial feedback I'm going to use it as a personal study over lent and try (note the word try) to let you know how I found each day.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sometimes it's SAD To be Right

As if to illustrate my point, I came across this news story this morning. So as I was saying its time to stand up and be counted. Forget your politics, race, creed, colour or religion and lets focus on the sanctity of human life! Then I saw this and came back and edited my post, I think i'll go away and cry!

Labels: ,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Suggestions for Lent

Came across this suggestion from the Methodist church. The idea is that in a stand against consumerism we all stop buying shoes for the period of lent. Now whilst for me that would neither be much of a problem or much of a sacrifice for others of us I suspect the task may be a little harder. So what are you ditching for Lent and why. I'll come back to you when I've made my decision, so come on Liz I think you know what we are all challenging you with!

Labels: , ,

These Mean Streets

*Warning Serious Post on its Way*

Many others of you cannot have failed, just like me, to have been shocked by recent events on the streets of London concerning the deaths of teenage boys. The levels of violence seen over recent weeks surely will have shocked even the hardest hearts. However, the sad thing is for London read Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, many of our major cities have experienced similar problems over recent months, years.

It will sadden at least one who reads this blog to know I’m not a huge David Cameron fan, however, I read a quote today that I could not help but agree with he says “This goes beyond any one policy or any one government. I think what we need is to recognise our society is badly broken and we need to make some big changes, starting now." I find myself for once agreeing with his words if not perhaps all the sentiments I suspect that may lie behind them.

The problems we are seeing today across our cities are much bigger than individual governments or policies. I wonder how much it has to do with the nature of a keep itself to itself society. I know that often fear (and with good justification) prevents us from becoming involved, however, there becomes a stage when we need to stick our heads above the parapet and say enough is enough.

For those of us with faith are we not indeed called to this way of life. When Jesus calls us to follow him, it is a call not into a comfortable existence but rather to costly discipleship. It is not as many would have us believe all about raising our hands in the air in constant worship. Rather we are called to roll our sleeves up and get stuck in. These problems are not ones we simply can throw money at or send a couple of youth workers out in a gesture of mission. These problems exist across our society and require us to become involved with our neighbours.

I spent two years working with and worshipping with the people of Moss Side. Moss Side, Manchester famous for its own drug and gun culture, yet strangely they are not my lasting memories of the place. The lasting memories I have are of the people and their struggle to let the world know that there is life behind the headlines. That beyond the newspaper stories and human tragedy is a community struggling to live alongside one another.

Within the churches there are people who daily witness to the kingdom of God, who live that costly discipleship not afraid to engage with those around them both young and old in the hope that they can witness to another way of life. When I went to minister among them I wonder what contribution I made but have no doubt about the impact they had on me. This is not a community that is unaware of its problems or a community that is afraid of facing reality. It is however, a community sick and tired of the rhetoric and empty words delivered by politicians (now matter if for once they are right or well meant).

The problem is the very society these politicians now create, a society that we also have to blame ourselves for. A society of increasing personal wealth and greed, a society where individual status means value. A society where power equates to having a voice, a platform, a medium in which to be heard and therefore to have an opportunity to change your circumstances.

Working in the prison has brought me into contact with members of ‘The Gooch’ and ‘The Doddington’ two of Moss Sides infamous drug gangs; they have all shared the same characteristics. Just below the façade of bravado and strength lurks the fear of a small child. When a Twenty Seven year old gang member (he had done well to make it to such a grand old age) was asked “how do you live every day looking over your shoulder wondering if it will be your last” he broke down in tears and replied “you just gotta be tough”.

Have you, is this the society we have created, where kids from the age of nine or younger need to be tough and carry guns in order to be heard. I hope those of us who hear the call of God in our lives and indeed those who don’t have the courage to stand up to the way of costly discipleship and enable glimpses of how the kingdom of God could just look. When Jesus was asked what should be done to receive eternal life he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ Is this not what lies at the heart of the Christian gospel, at the heart of the Good News we are called to proclaim and live?

I want to finish this post with the story of Patsy Mckie. Patsy Mckie lives in nearby Hulme. She is a member of New Testament Church of God and chair of an organisation called Mothers Against Violence. One day in 1999 her son Dorrie left home to play basketball as usual, however he never returned. Dorrie died after having been shot three times in the chest. Whilst it would appear that he was not involved in a gang, he had through association (he lived in the area and had friends) become mixed up with the drug culture that exists in this part of South Manchester.

Patsy told me, “The Church needs to become involved with the community. Too often we become hung up about places, but it is the people that matter”.

Her belief is that the church needs to be involved in bringing about social change not just spiritual change. “In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us that when he was hungry we fed him, naked and we clothed him - the church has a responsibility to feed and cloth the young people of our community.”
Patsy continued by saying, “The Church needs to pray, support and educate these young people”. She finished by telling the story of a young man who, when asked “Why do you carry a gun?” answered, “People don’t listen to me, when I carry a gun everyone listens”.

*Post Script*
By the time I had finished writing this post and came to link the Cameron quote it had been moved, to be replaced by more news worthy stories like Celebrity BB's Danielle having got back with Teddy Sheringham, need I say more about our society and our media!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It has arrived and I'm very, very, very excited. It's shiny and lovely and did I mention I'm excited!