Monday, 31 October 2011

Buddhist Katina Ceremony - Blaby Leicestershire

Receiving my wrist band at the end of the ceremony

The fully ordained monastics retreat into into a practise of intense teaching and study. I suppose it's almost like a 'Buddhist Lent' in a way.
The Monk deemed to have been most studious is awarded the robe.

The Venerable Monks enjoying their lunch.


There were soo many people attending that the parade was held in the car park.


Lighting the traditional oil lamp.




I was invited to attend the Katina ceremony which is one of the most important events in the Buddhist calendar.
It is an annual robe offering ceremony marking the end of the retreat.(Vassna).
This falls within the July full moon through to the October full moon.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Leaves Eyes - The Underworld Camden

With Alex


With Marcella



Full Set list
  • Spirits Masquerade
  • Velvet Heart
  • Oceans Way
  • My Destiny
  • Etain
  • Farewell Proud Men
  • Melusine
  • For Amelie
  • Take the Devil in Me
  • Krakevesia
  • Empty Horizon
  • Elegy
  • To France
Encore - Froyas Theme


Really enjoyable gig - Not so many photos from me this time because the lighting was very poor.


The melodic singing vocals of Liv Kristine are up by death growled vocals from Alex Krull who is also her husband.The vocal style is referred to as "beauty and the beast" by Liv. It was fantastic to talk to them afterwards, Alex is a big English football fan and was pleased that Arsenal had signed the German international Thomas Mertasaker. He thought it quite funny when I told him they call him the 'BFG' - The Big Friendly German'. I have to say Alex has probably got the longest hair i've ever seen on a male or female !

Alex Krull


Have to admit that i'm not totally up to speed with the back catalogue of Leaves Eyes lot of the songs are about Norse Mythologhy and Vikings Eyes. I did pick up a copy of the new album 'Meredead' which I was pleased to get signed by the band.


Before Leaves Eyes we had two support bands. Originally it was going to be Visions of Atlantis who I was looking forward to seeing for the first time. But they were switched with Streams of passion for reasons unknown. First up were 'Awake by Design who had also seen supporting Sonata Arctica. They put on a good set and front man Adrian Powell was his usual enigmatic self emerging himself into the audience and doing a lap of honour for good measure!
Was really impressed with Streams of Passion who I last saw in Utrecht supporting Delain. The sound seemed heavier and really delivered a great set!

Marcella - Streams Of Passion


Live Kristine - Leaves Eyes founder and vocals


Leaves' Eyes are a German-Norwegian symphonic metal band from Stavanger, Norway and Ludwigsburg, Germany along with a couple of Dutch bandmembers and a fellow German. They were formed in 2003 by Liv Kristine,the former lead singer of Theatre of Tragedy.
My first visit to The Underworld in the heart of Camden in the basement of the Worlds end pub. Quite surprised by the size as I thought it would be much bigger. Apparently holds 500 so very intimate with the stage virtually at audience level.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tony Iommi Book signing- Birmingham

Tony Iommi on stage



The book that tells how Black Sabbath went on to become a superband, playing to massive audiences around the world and selling millions of records, and Iommi led the life of a rockstar to the fullest - with the scars from all the drug-fuelled nights of excess and wildness to show for it. Iron Man is his exclusive account of the life and adventures of one of rock's greatest heroes.


The most extraordinary thing is that his music creer was nearly ended at the very start when and industrial accident saw him lose his fingertips. His "revolutionary signature sound" being the result of the accident and experimentation with 'detuning' the guitar and lighter strings to ease the tension on his fingers.




Tony Iommi is a living legend in the world of Heavy metal there is no doubt. So the chance to meet him at the signing of his new autobiography 'Iron Man' was not to be missed. In fact along with Jimmy Page (Led Zeppellin) he is credited with creating the unique heavy metal riff.
In 1969 he formed Black Sabbath along with, Ozzy Osborne (Vocals), Bill Ward (Drums) and Terry (Geezer)Butler (Bass). Tony has remained the only ever present through numerous line up changes over the years.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Blackmores Night - Birmingham Town Hall

Full set list:
  • Locked within the crystal ball
  • Queen for a day
  • Under a violet moon
  • Soldier of fortune
  • Durch den wald zum bacchaus
  • Diamonds and rust
  • All the fun of the fayre
  • Renaissance fayre
  • Solos/carmina burana
  • Strawberry girl
  • Journeyman
  • Loreley
  • Greensleeves
  • Home again
  • Clock ticks on
  • Toast to tommorow
  • Village lantern
The great man himself with 'Strat'


The only downside on an otherwise grat night was the total ban on photography. However as you can see I managed with some cunning to sneak a few. We were treated to a great cross section of songs from the twelve albums released. With Ritchie playing everything from guitars, mandolin, domra, to the hurdy gurdy. With the occasional blast of the famous Fender Stratocaster. Candice also played various pipes whistles and tambourine. Highlights for me were the haunting version of the Joan Baez classic 'Diamonds and Rust, along with 'Soldier of Fortune' written by Ritchie Blackmore and David Coverdale (Whitesnake). The first two rows were reserved for the fans who had all dressed in medieval costume which really added to the atmosphere.



Support was in thye ample form of Albert Dannemann of German Renaissance band The Geyers. Albert also plays in the current line up of Blackmores night along with:

Bass - Earl Grey of Chimay
Keyboards - Bard David of Larchment
Drums - Squire Malcolm of Lumley
Violin - Gypsy Rose

Albert played a variety of pipes from across the world.



The venue is Birmingham Town Hall. A Grade 1 concert venue established in 1784.It was refurbished between 2002-2008 into a proper concert Hall


Ritchie Blackmore & Candice Night in Rennaissance costume.




Not every day that you get to see a genuine Rock legend such as Ritchie Blackmore. He is best known for his role in Deep Purple and for later fronting his own band, Rainbow. He was one of the first guitarists to fuse Classical music elements with rock. In the late 1990s he retired from hard rock to concentrate instead on the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night, which features his wife Candice Night on vocals.
The band has released a new studio album about every 2 or 3 years and performs in small, intimate venues. The musical style differs radically from DP and Rainbow with inspiration from his favorite Renaissance music which blends well with Night's lyrics about medieval themes. It features a mixture of Renaissance-themed songs, contemporary songs, arrangements and instrumentals. Richie plays mainly acoustic guitar and various other medieval instruments including a Hurdy-Gurdy! Perhaps not surprisingly for those who know about his reputation there has been a large turover of backing musicians, around 25 so far.