Sunday, 24 July 2011

Dream Theater & Edens Curse Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Dream Theater Set List
  • Intro - Dream is Collapsing (Hans Zimmer)
  • Under a Glass Moon
  • These Walls
  • Forsaken
  • Endless Sacrifice
  • Drum Solo
  • The Ytse Jam
  • Peruvian Skies
  • The Great Debate
  • On the Backs of Angels
  • Caught in a Web
  • Through my Words
  • Fatal Tragedy
  • The Count of Tuscany

Metropolis Pt 1:The Miracle and the Sleeper

Yours Truly with Michael Eden of Edens Curse after the gig.

Really enjoyable gig and great performance from Dream Theater. Saw something that you would think could only happen in Spinal Tap. The Edens Curse guitarist flicked his 'plink' or 'plectrum' if you prefer into the crowd. It glanced of my nose and landed in the cleavage of the lady standing behind me. In golfing speak it was 'out of bounds' and unfortunately but quite rightly she claimed ownership.
Worse was to follow when the batteries fell out my camera shortly afterwards. I was on all fours amongst the legs and spilt beer groping in the darkness. Thankfully both were succesfully recovered.

Keyboardist Jordan Rudess

Bassist and founder member John Myung.

New drummer Mike Mangini who joined in April this year replacing the long standing Mike Portnoy. Mangini holds records for being the worlds fastest drummer and beat 6 other top musicians to get the role in Dream Theater.

Guitarist John Petrucci has literally scooped all the guitar awards going. If you have ever watched one of his tuition videos on You Tube you will understand why. In 2009 he was named the No. 2 Best metal guitarist by Joel McIver in his book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. He was also named as one of the "Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time" by GuitarOne magazine.

Legendary guitarist John Petrucci

James LaBrie lead singer in progressive metal band Dream Theater.

Edens Curse Set List
  • Trinity
  • Fly Away
  • Masquerade Ball
  • No Holy Man
  • Jerusalem Sleeeps
  • Angels and Demons
Lead Guitarist Thorsten Koehne

Bassist and Founder Paul Logue

Edens Curse were formed in 2006 by chief songwriter and Bassist, Scotsman Paul Logue. Very much a multinatiional band, vocals are provided by American Michael Eden pictured below.

This gig was all a bit 'last minute'. In fact I hadn't even planned to go until I won free tickets on Planet Rock Radio. It wasn't until going through the doors that I realised I actually had 4 tickets!But too late to do anything about that unfortunately.

Dream Theater are one of those bands I have a lot of respect for and have several CD's but have never got around to seeing. In fact I probably couldn't even name 3 of their songs for some reason.
Formed in 1985 The band is well known for the technical proficiency of its instrumentalists, who have won many awards from music instruction magazines.

My first visit to the Civic Hal in Wolverhampton and first up were 'Edens Curse'.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Pandamonium in the Park - Althorp House

Full set list

  • Kung Fu Panda - Hero Theme

  • KFP - Oogway Theme

  • KFP - Medley

  • Megamind - Giant Blue Head

  • Megamind - Love Theme

  • How to train your Dragon - This is berk

  • KFP - Training sequence

  • KFP - Po's Theme

  • KFP 2 - Story of Peacock

  • True Romance - You're so cool

  • Bee Movie - Medley

  • Chicken Run - Main title escape montage

  • Super Megamind variations

  • Shrek - Fairytale theme

  • KFP 2 - Zen Ball

  • Stallion of the Cimarron - Homeland opening

  • Pirates of the Carribbean - Pirates Suite

  • Madagascar - Best Friends

  • Mdagascar - Moveit/Kung Fu Fighting

The beautiful setting of Althorp House.

Great concert - great musicians and a day to remember.

Is there nothing that this man can't play ?

Our compere for the concert 'Danny Jacobs' the voice of King Julien XIII from The Penguins of Madagascar doing a brilliant rendition of 'Move it'.

Tina Guo, who plays both acoustic and electric cello. and also plays in a progressive metal band, Off the Deep End.

The amazing larger than life Aleksey Igudesman, Russian violinist, composer, conductor and actor.

Hans Zimmer

John Powell

As well as the Philarmonic orchestra there were amazingly talented solo performers. Ann Marie Calhoun (Centre).

Hans playing a Kazoo

The legendary composer Hans Zimmer with John Powell in the background.

Decided to put down the picnic blanket and reserve a space close to the stage in plenty of time for the full philharmonic orchestra with Hans Zimmer and John Powell later in the late afternoon. A couple of pints of excellent if expensive Hobgoblin had made me a little drowsy. It was very pleasant dozing in the sunshine until the peace was shattered. Suddenly I was surrounded by hordes of teenage girls making hell of an excited noise. Unbeknown to me I was in prime position for the boy band 'Big Time Rush'. Time for a sharp exit to the beer tent! Next up was some guy who had won or maybe was runner up in Brittains got talent.From the beer tent I heard him murdering Evanescense's 'Bring me to life'. I decided to stay where I was and have another beer.

Big Time Rush

Amazing displays of dragon dancing by the legendary Chen Brothers, kung fu demonstrations by the Shaolin Monks, and martial arts performances by Nam Yang - many had travelled especially from China for the event.

The grand surroundings of historic Althorp House in Northamptonshire took on a decidedly Chinese flavour. DreamWorks Animation has arrived to bring an all-day family festival, Pandamonium in the Park, which will celebrate the cinematic release of Kung Fu Panda 2 on 10th June. The event was themed around Po, the lovable hero of Kung Fu Panda. The culmination of the day was a concert featuring a world first exclusive live performance by film composers Hans Zimmer and John Powell, featuring music from the Kung Fu Panda 2 musical score and many others.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Stowe Landscape Gardens

Temple of Venus.

The Temple of Ancient Virtue built in 1737.

One of my favourites - The Temple of British Worthies. A who's who of British noblety and genius.The chosen individuals falling into two groups, eight known for their actions and eight known for their thoughts and ideas.

Captain Cooks monument - (built in 1778 as a monument to Captain James Cook) in the Elysian Fields

Exploring the 'Grotto'

Captain Grenvilles Column - one of Lord Cobham's nephews. In 1747 he was fatally wounded whilst commanding the ship 'Defiance' in the battle against the French off Finisterre.

Stunning setting for a cricket pitch. South front of Stowe House.

Looking back towards the Gothic Temple from beyond Palladian Bridge.

'Rotunda' enclosed in a ring of slender columns, stands this gilded statue of Venus . When the sun shines through to light the statue, the effect is stunning; it seems to glow with life.

Hidden away is a secluded Chinese House in its own garden.

Wherever you look there are stunning views, this one looking towards one of the Lake Pavillions.

The Pebble Alcove

The Palladian Bridge crosses Octagon Lake and is stunning !

Approaching from the Grecian Valley (Cobhams Walk) the first monument is Lord Cobhams Pillar. Built in 1747 by Capability Brown designed not only as a memorial to Lord Cobham, commissioned by his wife, but as a viewing tower see the entire garden.

Great to finish off the weeks holiday with a visit to one of my favourite places.
Stowe Gardens is set in 250 acres and started in the 1730's by the Temple family. It is a pure celebration of a love of art, music, and literature expressed in a classical romantic landscape.
For me it is pure escapism amongst tranquil waters and stunning monuments of all shapes and sizes.