Friday, 9 March 2012

Mark Lanegan, Manchester Academy 2, 05/03/2012

Well, my continuing theme of 'let's write about gigs long after they occurred' is about to get worse as I'm on holiday next week, and have two gigs before I leave, and no time to post. Ah well.

So, Mark Lanegan. I've been listening to him since I heard 'Hit the City' on Kerrang...seven years ago, and he had got me though some of the roughest times of my life. But never seen him in concert, as no only didn't he tour, but when he did tour with SoulSavers (whom also also like, hell, 90% of the songs were covers of his material!), I bought a ticket to go, and it snowed. A lot. Masses. And as it was to a place I had never been to, a long distance from home, well, basically I decided to not go.

So when I heard he was touring (after seeing an ad on the walls on the Academy!) I had to go. Which made a change, as for once my boyfriend didn't know Mr. Lanegan's work, so I introduced him to it. (He loves it by the way).

So we get there, fashionably late as usual, and the place is packed. Not just slightly busy, packed to the rafters.  I had no idea what to expect, the stage was simple, with no set, just a microphone and instruments.

He came on stage, last, but there was little fanfare. He didn't introduce himself, just started to sing with that amazing voice. And that was it, just song after song, with a brief intro of the band (which my boyfriend said was incomprehensible) and when he returned from the false encore, a quick, faintly sarcastic 'thanks'.

But it didn't matter. The music was amazing, and although the sound quality occasionally let them down, the majority was crystal clear. It was all very emotional, and I loved it.

They also didn't change the lighting, so no flashing lights etc, but also no decent photos or film. But at least I finally got to see him!










Forget about visuals, I couldn't see myself! There are a couple of clips of him where I put my hand above the crowd, but I just won't do that for long periods as other's can't see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpEkzLIpOsg




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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQiiOWvDqQk



Now available at Amazon:
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*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.


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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Rammstein, Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN), 1/3/2012

Nothing like a good, industrial metal gig to get you set up for the year ahead... and Rammstein delivered in spades! In fact, there was so much going on in this gig...I'm not sure I'll remember it all!

To start with, we could see there was a stage in the middle of the arena. Mark told me that apparently they played a couple of songs there, but I couldn't see how they got accross. Then I noticed they were making a channel through the seated and standing fans with a wall of security. Then the lights went down, and they were walking down the steep seating into the center of the arena! The crowd naturally went wild, and being opposite we had quite a good view.

They didn't stop, however, as a large gantry was lowered down for them to walk from the mini stage across to the main stage. It was amazing, and as they got to the main stage, 'Sonne' started.

Although the quality of the video isn't very clear, we could hear every note. I noticed that Till Lindemann was stood very still, when suddenly flames came around him! Which is pretty typical for Rammstein, pyrotechnics the lot of them I think...

The gig certainly wasn't for the faint-hearted as there were plenty of very loud bangs as they continued to entertain us with hit after hit. The set was magnificent, very stark and industrial, but I loved the back-cloth that had a cellular look to it, in fact a lot of the set was very Giger-like. I loved the bunkers either side of the stage...I think they were needed for the support staff.

Other features included Till showering in sparks (which must have looked amazing from the floor) and roasting Christian Lorenz (in a fetching silver gimp suit) in a vat.

About half-way though there was a 'break' and Christian went crow-surfing in a very unsteady inflatable boat (I think the crowd wanted to give him a thrill), and then one of the crew went to the small stage. The rest of Rammstein were then led over the bridge that came down to the small stage, where they played a few songs, during which Till performed a sex act on Till, then rewarded the crowd by getting his Johnson out and, um, 'spraying' the crowd.

After they returned to the main stage, they played 'Engel', and Till came on stage as an angel, shooting flames from his wings.

Their last song, 'Pussy' was about as subtle as the song suggests, but notable as Till rode across the front of the stage on a giant penis, spewing foam (wink, wink) on the first few rows of the crowd.

All in all, they were magnificent, and if you can see them, it's worth the ticket piece. Just expect for there to be some no-very-suggestive suggestive bits.

For a metal band Rammstein can have some really tender songs, and are certainly worth a go. Just wear flame-retardant undies, and don't stand in the spunk zone...

Germans. Subtle to the end!



























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Now available at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/author/georgeebirch

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.


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GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing