Sunday, 17 October 2010

Lacuna Coil - Northampton Roadmender

It was great to meet all the band after the gig who were great. Special praise has to go to Criz the drummer who is simply the nicest guy i've met in Rock !!
It was great to chat about Italy, life on the road, music and cigars. He very kindly even gave me some of his favourite Italian brand which i will save for Christmas!
Thanks for your time Criz hope to catch up again sometime and have a great trip to play in India.

Andrea - Dual Lead Vocalist

Cristina Scabbia

The Lacuna (Which means 'empty spiral' in Italian)started off with 'Underdog' followed by 'Im Not Afraid'. The crowd soon got into their stride and responded brilliantly to create a fantastic atmosphere.
The set list contained personal favourites such as 'Heavens a Lie', 'Swamped' and 'closer' as well a brilliant cover of the Depeche Mode hit 'Enjoy the Silence' which worked really well.

Full Set List

I'm not afraid
Fragments of faith
What I see
The Secret
I won't tell you
Heavens a lie
To the edge
Enjoy the silence
Cold heritage
The game
Our truth

Lacuna Coil were formed in 1994 in Milan. They are slightly unusual in having contrasting dual female/male vocal singers to help create a melodic, detached sound. Much of the band's recent material, however, sees a heavier and more down-tuned style, featuring a more distinct bass line and a higher mixing of the guitars.

First band on were London based band Slaves to Gravity. They made a good noise and are heading in the right direction for sure. In fact they will be supporting Alter Bridge on the UK leg of their upcoming tour. Thanks for the Jagermeister lads after the gig !!

I still had to pinch myself that a band I had wanted to see for a long time were playing in my home town Northampton.
I'm afraid to have to say that Northampton is something of a Rock wilderness. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of bands I have seen locally so this was an all to rare treat for me. It made a welcome change from travelling all over the UK and indeed Europe for my musical fix.

I managed to get away early from worlk and decided to call past the Roadmender just to see who was about?
Not only did I bump into an old mate of mine I also met Cristina Scabbia lead vocalist and face of LC. She had just been shopping in the Town centre which didn't measure up too well against her home town of Milan. Unless you happen to like Charity shops and Poundstretchers!!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Within Temptation Fans Day

Our Farewell




Sharon and Martijn

Towards the end of the afternoon came the highlight of the day that we had all been waiting for - the concert.
After a slightly false start the intro music fired up and WT burst on stage with 'See Who I Am' followed by 'The Howling' just brilliant !! Next to come was my personal favourite 'The Cross'. This was a real selection of fans favourites for sure. A real treat was in store when the most voted for song on the fan site 'Jane Doe' was played. Robert joked that he didn't know if his throat could take the growls any more ?
A brilliant set finished with 'Deceiver of Fools' and 'Ice Queen' despite Robert teasing the audience by saying they were bored with IQ and wouldn't be doing it....never!!

Full Set List

See Who I Am
The Howling
Stand My Ground
Our Solemn Hour
Jane Doe
Mother Earth

Deceiver Of Fools
Ice Queen

It was a truly unforgettable day - My thanks go to Within Temptation you Rock! The excellent organisation from Diny and friends at The Silent Force and finally to Trevor for getting us there and back safely !

The Fans day had many other things going on before the concert. All of which was brilliantly hosted by the one and only Ivar De Graaf in his own hilarious and chaotic way.
Ivar was the original drummer for Within Temptation before leaving to form his own band Kingfisher Sky. I will be seeing KS in a few weeks as they are supporting Delain in Utrecht. If he ever decides to give up drumming he certainly should consider a career as a quizmaster or maybe not?
As well as the quiz (Congratulations to Team Sharon) we also had lots of clips of previous of previous fan days from years gone by. Also there was the opportunity to listen to extracts from some of the songs that will be on the new album due for release early next year. I have to say I think it is going to be epic judging fom the snippets I listened to.
Finally we had the raffle where Ivar was joined on stage by Martijn to form a double act to rival 'Laurel & Hardy'. Lots of goodies were given away including some special creative packs hastily put together by Ivar. These included 'My Favourite Scarf' so Stephen was not forgotten either.

'Mr Compere' Ivar De Graaf

With Sharon.

With Martijn

With Robert.

With Ruud Jolie - Hope he likes the Sloe Gin!

Fans gather ahead of the opening welcome as I look down from the VIP balcony.

The 5th annual Within Temptation Fanclub Day (The Silent Force)was held on October 10, 2010. It took place at the Waerdse Tempel in Heerhugowaard (NL).
Myself and Trevor made the long trip from the UK over to Alkmaar using a combination of 6 different trains including the Eurostar.
Thanks to the brain power of Trevor who won a competition we had VIP tickets for the day including a 'meet and greet' with the band.
The doors opened around 10:30 and we were given the VIP passes and felt very priviliged as we were ushered into a seperate room and awaited the arrival of the band.

As they arrived I think we all froze for a few seconds! Until Robert called everyone forward. I have to admit I did feel nervous which was ridiculous because they were absolutely wonderful and a delight to meet.
I had taken a few photos from the Antwerp gig as well as a CD cover which I was hoping to get signed. First up was Robert , who I reminded that we had spoken briefly in Antwerp. He thanked me again for coming and we chatted about the new album. Then it was the turn of Jeroen who was very chatty and not like I had expected really. He did say that he likes to blend in the background and keep something of a low profile.
I had taken a special gift for Ruud as I am a huge fan of his guitar style. However I did ask him a bit of a daft question... Do you dink alcohol? Of course the answer was yes , so I presented him with a Cello shaped bottle of my home made Sloe Gin. I think he was a little surprised as Sharon usually gets the presents. I noticed he was hanging on to it and I hope he enjoys !!
I then spoke to Martijn who was actually bigger than me which I was surprised about as I am over 6ft !! He said that nobody kicks sand in his face anymore..
Then I met Sharon who not surprisingly was highly in demand. She was as lovely as I imagined and very patient signing so many things for the fans. In fact she almost had to be dragged away once the session was over.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Newmarket Races

Winning Lady Jockey Hayley Turner who has just won on 16/1 'Honeymead' I was kicking myself for not backing as had just been sampling Mead and bought a bottle !

The winner of the Cambridgeshire 'Credit Swap' after the race.

The Legendery Frankie Dettori

Jockey Tom Queally collecting his prize for winning on 'Masaya'.

Newmarket is Headquarters and the home of British Racing now for over 300 years. It is unique in having two complete and highly distinct racecourses - the Rowley Mile and the July Racecourse.
The Rowley Mile is named after King Charles II "Old Rowley" who founded the Newmarket meetings following his restoration to the throne in 1660. It hosts racing of the highest calibre during the Spring and Autumn, including two of the five classic races in early May: the 1000 Guineas and the 2000 Guineas. Today is one of the big Autumn highlights the Cambridgeshire Meeting.

After all the torrential rain yesterday it was a relief to see blue skies and sunshine.

I don't quite know how but I managed to pick a 20/1 winner in the first race !! 'Masaya' ridden by Tom Queally and trained by Clive Brittain. Not only that I also managed to forecast the exacta !! This is getting the first and second in any order which is a very tasty bet to land, especially at prices of 20/1 & 9/1..
All together I picked up over two hundred pounds- A perfect start. The lady in the Tote booth jokingly suggested that I should go home now..I wish I had listened because I didn't have any more winners -((. But I still ended well in profit and treated Marina to a fish and Chip supper on the way home.