The Hop, Skip & Jump Tour, July 2008 Print E-mail

14th JULY 2008 : THE DEVIL MADE ME BLOG IT!

Yup, Thunder is on the road again - this time with Def Leppard and Whitesnake. The tour started today in lovely Cardiff and Thunder have just come offstage. What a show it was - The crowd sounded like an arena full of Thunder fans - everyone seemed to know ALL The words to songs new and old. We'll post the setlists at the end of the tour, but needless to say it was 45 mins packed with Thunder's greatest hits. Not bad considering we almost had to do it without Luke, Danny and Ben who seemed to have major problems navigating through Cardiff's one way system (they blame an inadequate sat nav but we know better!). Thanks to all the Cardiff fans that gave the band such a warm welcome. Can't wait to do it all over again tomorrow in Liverpool. The bar is calling....

The Thin Not Navigationally Challenged One


16th JULY 2008 : HERE I BLOG AGAIN ON MY OWN...

So, yesterday it was sunny Liverpool. After a very tiring 5 hour drive from Cardiff we were all pretty exhausted, but there's no rest for the wicked. It's worth noting though folks, that on the drive up I heard the new Thunder album. All I'm going to say for now is...be very excited...after a first listen it feels like this one could be something special. More on this soon...

After a short rest it was off to the venue. 2 confused taxi drivers, and twenty minutes later we arrive in the dressing room, where it is a customary Thunder pre-gig ritual to put an iPod in the music box and blast out some tunes to get us all in the mood. Chris was DJ today which meant lots of Tom Petty, Earth Wind & Fire, Foo Fighters, and Jellyfish among others.

It's at this point that we are informed by tour manager Mark 'Chopper' Harris that Ben's organ has been well a truly broken. Fortunately for Ben, but unfortunately for the band, Chop was referring to Ben's Hammond organ - which makes it impossible to include Gimme Some Lovin' in Tonight's set. A lengthy debate ensues as to which song should replace it - Backstreet Symphony, Higher Ground and You Can't Keep A Good Man Down are suggested. Eventually the later is decided upon and Chris plays it on his iPod to quickly refresh everyone's memory. As the song comes to an end Chop comes bursting in to the room proudly announcing that the problem has been solved and the Hammond has been revived by backline roadie Brian. Oh well, back to Gimme Some Lovin' it is then...

Next thing we hear is the booming voice of the one and only Mr. David Coverdale from outside the room. "Hello Lads, How are we all this evening?". Once Coverdale enters he seems larger than life and also 10 times louder than anyone else in the room. He shakes everyone's hand then comes over to shake mine. "Who are you?" he asked, obviously never having met me before. I explain that I'm Thunder's web guy to which he replies "why the bloody hell and I shaking your hand then?". Sorry, Mr Coverdale sir, I bow down before thee. In all seriousness it was all taken in the good humour that it was intended and Sir David sits himself down next to me as he catches up with the Thunder guys (it's been 18 years since the last time Thunder and Whitesnake shared the same bill - time flies)

Before we know it it's showtime and Thunderstruck is blasting through the PA system! Thunder take to the stage as the Echo arena is starting to get quite full and launch into the same set as in Cardiff. The crowd, while very up for it, are not quite as intense to begin with as last night, but as time goes on the band slowly but surely wins everyone over. The sound was better tonight, mainly down to the arena having better acoustics (Cardiff ironically seemed way more echo-y than the Echo Arena...). 40 short minutes later and it's all over. Time for food before checking out the end of Whitesnake's set and the beginning to Def Leppard's (both sounded great). Then it's back to the hotel to freshen up, then...you guessed it...the bar....more soon....

The Thin Not Worthy Web Guy One


18th JULY 2008 : LET'S GET, LET'S GET, LET'S GET, LET'S GET BLOGGED!

So, where were we when I last left you. Oh yes the Bar...moving on...

The following day was a day off in Nottingham which was mainly spent travelling from Liverpool, doing a bit of shopping in Notts and going out for a lovely Indian meal at The Curry Lounge in the evening - highly recommended. Great food and great people. Some of you may have seen this place on Gordon Ramsay's programme a while back. Next up, the bar (for a change) and then bed for a very long lie in.

So it's Gig day and after finally surfacing around lunch time and then just chilling out for a bit we head over to the venue first of all to meet some children from a local school. The three kids all have disabilities, yet were still three of the happiest little ones I'd ever come across. They seemed really excited to be there and took a real shine to the Thunder guys. They also impressed us with their air guitar skills - in fact I noticed Luke steal a few moves from Thomas on stage that night! As for the teachers, they were truly insane. Altogether now - "my, my, myyyyyyyy...Delilah...".

I decided to watch the whole show tonight. Thunder were of course on top form yet again. People were still streaming into the arena as they hit the stage, but it filled up very quickly. Tonight show is sold out and easily the biggest of the three. It occurred to me tonight how so at home the Thunder guys look and feel on the big stages in front of big crowds. It's where they belong! These kind of gigs are always great for Thunder as they have the section of the crowd that are already Thunder fans and know all the words etc, then you have the ones that may not have heard the band before, or only know a couple of the hits. BUT, by the end of the show Danny has them all in the palm of his hand and a whole new bunch of Thunder fans are born. You couldn't walk away from Thunder's set without a smile on your face. By the amount on new members of the message board here and the comments made on other website, Thunder have made a lot of new friends over the course of these few shows. As 'I Love You More Than Rock 'n' Roll' comes to an end and Thunder's part in this short but sweet tour is over, it's clear from the crowd reaction that it's been a huge success! Roll on November....

Next up was Whitesnake and before the first song is over Coverdale has already had several pairs of women's underwear thrown at him. I guess some guys just have it. The band are tight as...a tight thing and I was particularly impressed with Doug Aldridge on guitars. All the biggest hits are there, as well as a good number of tracks from the new album. I personally would have enjoyed to see a few more older tracks from the earlier Whitesnake records, but on a tour like this it's really all about the big ones! Maybe the acoustic version of 'The Deeper The Love' wasn't the greatest idea though!? But hey, I'm just the web guy, what do I know...

Def Leppard did exactly what Def Leppard do best - went out there and delivered a good fun show packed with all the hits. Only 2 new ones tonight and a nice little acoustic set, which featured a great version of 'Bringing On The Heartbreak', to balance things out. I did miss 'Go' which is the best track off the new record, but all in all very enjoyable.

So, that's it - it's done....we'll almost...the hotel bar is still open. The Leppard guys are in the same hotel as us, but I only noticed Joe Elliott come down. We sat around mingling with all the familiar faces that were there until only a small group of us remained including me, Luke, Joe and some of their friends. Now I always thought Danny could talk for England, but he has major competition from Mr. Elliott. The guy has some stories to tell, and it was really interesting to sit there and listen to him and Luke putting the world (or rather the Music Biz) to rights. We finally call it a night at 5:15am knowing that it's gonna hurt in the morning....and probably all weekend...

The Thin Back In The Real World One

 
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