Bang! U.K. Tour - November 2008 Print E-mail

21st NOVEMBER 2008 : THE GREAT HALL, EXETER UNIVERSITY

18:24:
You will have all heard the news about Harry by now, and yes, as you can imagine, we are all pretty gutted. But it could be worse, the show must go on and all that! John Tonks has stepped in at the last minute and saved the tour. I've just heard them soundcheck and do some last minute rehearsals with John...yes it's different, and yes it's a little strange to see the guys on stage without Mr. James, but there's no need to worry, everyone and everything is sounding great, especially the new tracks from Bang! We will miss Harry for sure, but the shows are going to be...explosive...in more way than one....More soon....it's time to eat!

Sound check:

Dirty Dream
Love Walked In
Empty City
Don't Wait For Me
Carol Ann
On The Radio

The Thin Hungry One


22nd NOVEMBER 2008 : MANCHESTER ACADEMY

12:21:
Currently sitting backstage at Manchester Academy....last night's show went incredibly well....there were a few first night bugs, but all in all it was a blinder. There seemed to be a few technical issues during 'Honey' as well as the new intro to the show. John did brilliantly, especially considering that he only had 2 days to learn the whole set. Just a few hours before the show he was still listening to the tracks on his iPod, sitting in the canteen making notes. A true professional and his home town crowd gave him the reception he deserved (including his mum and dad who were in the audience). As well as a bunch of new tracks from Bang! a good number of old favourites made welcome returns to the set. Meet and greet went well, lots of new faces that we hadn't seen before, probably due to the fact that the band had never played in Exeter. I'm sure they'll be back...

I've just seen the setlist for tonight's show and as usual for the first couple of shows on a tour there have been some changes. Word just came in that tonight's show is completely SOLD OUT!! A little bird also tells me that a certain drummer is feeling a lot better and could be on a train to Manchester as we speak...

16:10:
Ladies and gentleman...Harry James is in the building!!

Sound check:
On The Radio
Carol Ann
Stormwater
Empty City
Candy Man
Backstreet Symphony (Intro)

The Thin Looking Forward To A Good Gig One


23rd NOVEMBER 2008 : SHEFFIELD CITY HALL

14:17:
After a long lie in, I finally arise around midday in Sheffield. Everyone backstage seems to be whistling tunes from Machine Head by Deep Purple...did I miss something?

Last night was awesome and I have to say one of the most enjoyable Thunder shows that I've seen for a long time. Both the SOLD OUT crowd and band were very up for it right from the get go. The place was absolutely rammed and the atmosphere was electric. Slight changes to the set were made as mentioned previously, things had been moved, Honey was gone and Candy Man was in. Candy Man worked very well as a live track and was one of the highlights of the set in my opinion. I hope it stays. And of course it was fantastic to have Mr. James back on the drums...John was around just in case, but Harry was fine for the whole whole set. Welcome back Haz!

Meet and greet was a very long and busy one, but most enjoyable. Was great to see many familiar faces including my old friend Harry James' Webmistress NC, fans from Japan, ladies dresses in union jack outfits and lots of other interesting folks.

Sheffield is usually a good gig, despite being an all seated venue, so looking forward to tonight again...

Sound check:
Kashmir
Carol Ann
Pink Panther Theme
Dirty Dream
Empty City (Intro)
On The Radio
Backstreet Symphony (Intro)

The Thin Fully Rested One

 

25th NOVEMBER 2008 : GLASGOW ACADEMY

13:51:
Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday. I was forced to stay up drinking wine on the bus until 4am after the Sheffield show, so when we got to the hotel in Glasgow I was in not in any shape to turn on my laptop...

Backstage at the Academy is not the most roomy of places and the dressing rooms can't seem to pick up the internet so I'm currently sat in the canteen. Sheffield's show was another great one. Scampi the lighting guy finally got to use the new lighting rig to it's full potential and it looked fabulous. Props to the Scampmeister. The setlist was the same as Manchester and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it stays as it is for the rest of the tour as it all seems to flow very well. Once again the crowd were insanely noisy and the band were firing on both barrels (unlike the pyro during On The Radio, which failed to Launch. What happened Mark!?). Mark is responsible for the pyro going off every night, so if anything goes wrong it's automatically his fault! For those wondering there was no pyro in Manchester as the council wouldn't allow us to do it...

I'd better mention sound man Big Pete, as I know he's reading these blogs and will be upset if he doesn't get a mention sooner or later. Thunder shows nearly always sound great and this tour in no exception! Pete does a great job, and you never get the issue of the guitars being too low or the vocalist being drowned out like you do at so many shows. He's also asked me to let you know that he's NOT the true identity behind Thinny, so please stop asking him. He get's the irony, but...no...!

Soundcheck was a fun affair earlier in the day, the guy opened with a jam on Zep's "Kashmir" while waiting for Danny, which was great to hear. Later on Ben, Chris and Harry launch into an impromptu version of The Pink Panther theme. By the way...the Pyro worked fine at sound check...so...what happened Mark!?

Yesterday was a day off and we were in Glasgow for the day. We went out for a meal in an Italian restaurant that is owned by the Gizzi family (Jools and Dante are our friends from GUN. Hopefully they will be coming to the show tonight). This was followed by a few drinks by the bar and a relatively early night (1:30am). It was nice to have a real bed....

Temp drummer John Tonks left us this morning...he's only been with us a few days, but I have to say I will miss him being around. He has many interesting stories to tell from his years in the business and he's just a really nice guy that it's been a pleasure to get to know. Hopefully he'll be coming to the London show so we'll see him then...

About an hour and a half til sound check....

Sound check:
Pinball Wizard
Miracle Man
Carol Ann
Empty City (Intro)
On The Radio
Backstreet Symphony (Intro)

The Thin Definitely Not Big Pete One
 

26th NOVEMBER 2008 : NEWCASTLE CITY HALL

18:21:
Currently sat in the bands dressing room, having just had a fantastic 3 course meal courtesy of our friends in catering...lovely...

Glasgow was fantastic as always and probably the most enthusiastic crowd of the tour so far! The guys in the band were also in a great mood tonight, grinning from ear to ear and laughing and joking with each other on stage throughout the show. It's nice to see a band that has been doing this for so long still up there enjoying themselves. So many bands at this stage of their careers just seem to be going through the motions, doing it for the paycheck, or just becoming a boring nostalgia act. The fact that every single person in the audience tonight knows exactly when to scream "F*** You" back at Danny during 'On The Radio' is testament to the fact the band are still making and selling records as strong as ever...

Speaking of 'On The Radio', the Pyros worked exactly as planned in Glasgow and looked absolutely stunning! Well done Mark, all is forgiven....til next time...

Carol Ann is is fast becoming one of my favourite tracks from Bang! and I really enjoy hearing it live every night. Miracle Man made it's debut in Glasgow and sounded fantastic. Thanks to Ben for pointing me out in the balcony for not clapping along to You Can't Keep A Good Man Down. Cheers mate! I was asked the other night if I was Ben's brother as we apparently look alike. I'm not. And we don't.

I also made a point of watching Heaven's Basement in full in Glasgow. I'd seen bits and pieces but not the whole set until yesterday. They are a great band and the more I hear the songs the more I am really liking them. They have the right amount of on stage attitude, mixed with rock star swagger, and they know it. While they are on stage they act as though they own it, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Anyways, fast forward to today and another lie in was in order for me this morning and although I'm told I still look like death warmed up I'm actually feeling much better. Last night, all the late nights and non stop intake of alcohol seemed to catch up with me a little. I'm not a well oiled touring machine like the rest of the guys...

Sound check was an interesting one again today, with a run through or 2 of the currently unplayed Retribution (still my fave from Bang!) and a jam on another couple of Zep numbers.

Sound check:
Retribution
Black Dog
Misty Mountain Hop
Miracle Man
Carol Ann
Empty City (Intro)
Retribution (again)
Backstreet Symphony (Intro)

It's now 18:50 and the doors will open in 10 mins. Hope everyone enjoys the show....

The Thin Definitely Not Ben Matthews' Brother One
 

28th NOVEMBER 2008 : DAY OFF

17:02:
Ok, so I'm back home for the day off and will rejoin the guys in Cambridge tomorrow. I must confess it was nice to be back in my own bed. Currently listening to Chinese Democracy for the first time and really not sure what to make of it at this stage....I like some of it, some of it really don't like and the rest of it just confuses me. It's definitely not the GNR we all know and love...

Both Newcastle and Wolves shows were once again huge successes. No matter how many times they play it, one song that I will never ever get tired of is 'Don't Wait For Me'. It's great to see it back in the set on this tour and it seems to sound better every night if that's possible. I still get the old goosebumps with this one! It's hard to believe that this song is almost 20 years old...scary...

During sound check in Wolves we were treated to a run though of Thin Lizzy's 'The Boys Are Back In Town'. Luke, Danny and Ben recently performed this song (along with 'Don't Believe A Word' and Bad Company's 'Can't Get Enough) at Guitarfest at the NEC where they did a guest spot with Marco Mendoza on Bass and Brent Fritz on Drums.

Sound check:

Carol Ann
On The Radio (Part)
The Boys Are Back In Town
Empty City (Intro)
On The Radio
Backstreet Symphony (Intro)

So, it's off to Cambridge tomorrow where the fun and merriment will begin again for a short 2 day spurt. See you there!

The Thin Back In Town One
 

1st DECEMBER 2008 : THE END

16:09:
Well, we are now all home and real life is back upon us...let's rewind a couple of days to Cambridge...

I missed sound check for the first time this tour, but was reliably (?) informed that they played the whole of the first four Led Zep albums, the soundtrack to Tommy and a complete recreation of Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous. And I missed it. Bugger...

Lots of family and friends were at the show tonight. Also saw Robert Hart from Bad Company kicking around with the Get Vegas boys. The Set list remained unchanged. 'Empty City' and 'You Can't Keep A Good Man Down' were highlights tonight. 'Stormwater' is also going down very well. It's a shame there's not a few more tracks from Bang! in the set, but I'm sure they'll come. I expect that may be down to the lack of rehearsal time that they had with Harry prior to the tour, for obvious reasons...

Next up was the last show of the tour in London. Sound Check was minus Danny today so all tracks were played instrumentally.

Sound check:

The Boys Are Back In Town
Dirty Dream
Carol Ann
Empty City (Intro)
On The Radio
Backstreet Symphony (Intro)

The Astoria once again held a SOLD OUT crowd and you could barely move in there, but it's ok - rock shows are meant to be up close, personal and sweaty affairs! This will be the last time that the band play the venue as it's due to be knocked down very soon. 'Backstreet Symphony' which has opened every show had some problems last night. For the first verse we couldn't hear Danny at all. We could see that he was singing his heart out, but we heard nothing. Then as the chorus kicked in so did Danny's Microphone and everyone cheered! Phew! 'Gimme Some Lovin'' made it's one and only appearance on this tour tonight during the encore. The rest of the set remained unchanged and as glorious as ever.

Also managed to catch the full Get Vegas set for the first time tonight. I'd seen bits and pieces before and I'd been a little bit confused. I'd been told that they have a retro Free kinda vibe, but I wasn't getting that at all. It sounded to me like they were trying to be much more current than that. After speaking to the band at length after the show I can see that that is exactly what they are aiming for. I'm glad I finally caught the whole set as I finally started to get it. They are still very young and they need to work on their stage presence a little and maybe define their direction a little more, but if they keep at it and get help and advice from the right places it could be an interesting couple of years for those guys. Nice lads as well. Good luck to them.

Meet and Greet was as hectic as London always is. It was nice to see Peter Shoulder, Les Linyard and Chrissy Shannon (Chrissy used to work with Thunder back in 1872-ish when the band were signed to Geffen in the States. It was the first time she had seen the guys for 16 years or so!).

Some quick highlights of the tour:
- Don't Wait For Me - every night
- Watching people jump out of their skins at the BANG! intro
- The return of Harry James (after missing just one show!)
- Seeing the Millennium Falcon in action (Scampi's new lighting rig)
- Meeting lots of new faces and seeing all the old ones again!
- Manchester. Not sure why but I felt this was the best show of the tour. Everything just seemed to click.
- Hearing the band Jamming to Led Zep tunes in sound check
- Everything else!

Now, on a final note, I know that some of you have managed to discover my secret identity and I was forced to sign a few autographs on tour, which is fine. Weird. But Fine. However, the huge crowd of people that turned up to say goodbye to me at St. Pancras station as I left for home was ridiculous. And the screaming was totally unnecessary. This has got to stop. Now. Seriously. It's getting beyond a joke. It's also very confusing for other people. There was some group called Take That there and they seemed to think you were all there to see them. It was very embarrassing for everyone...

Thanks to everyone that came and helped to make this tour a great one! See you at the Xmas Show!

The Thin Back To Reality One

 
Share This Page
Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious Google Bookmarks
Latest Updates
Search
Facebook
Gallery