Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Concerts 2019

Well, since my last post was all about the concerts of 2009, the year before I started this blog, I decided to do the same with the concerts of 2019, 10 years later than the previous post and the last year that proper concerts took place. Since there are no concerts forthcoming in the near future, it will serve as a reminder of "how it used to be"...

01. Uriah Heep, Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece, Friday 08/02/2019

02. Peter Hammill, Gagarin, Athens, Greece, Saturday 09/03/2019

03. Iggy Pop & James, Release Festival, Water Square, Saturday 08/06/2019

04. New Order & Johnny Marr, Release Festival, Water Square, Sunday 16/06/2019

05. Neneh Cherry, Summer Nostos Festival, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Tuesday 25/06/2019

06. Rod Stewart, 1st Central County Ground, Brighton, England, UK, Friday 12/07/2019

07. Happy Mondays, Dreamland, Margate, England, UK, Saturday 13/07/2019

08. The Cure, Ejekt Festival, Water Square, Athens, Greece, Wednesday 17/07/2019

09. Giorgio Moroder & Manic Street Preachers, Brussels Summer Festival, Place Des Palais, Brussels, Friday 16/08/2019

10. The Monochrome Set, An Club, Athens, Greece, Saturday 21/09/2019

11. The Big Nose Attack, Panagouli Square, Athens, Greece, Saturday 28/09/2019

12. Queensryche, Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece, Saturday 16/11/2019

13. Bryan Adams, Olympic Arena, Athens, Greece, Monday 18/11/2019

14. Little Boots, The Garage, London, England, UK, Saturday 23/11/2019

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Concerts 2009

The PAP DX Blog celebrated its 10th anniversary last February. Until the end of 2012, with the exception of one post, it was written in Greek. From 2013 onwards after requests from online friends living abroad it switched to English. From time to time I have published some of its Greek posts again, translated in English. Going back to February 2010, its second ever post (the first was an introductory one) was a recap of all the concerts I had been to in 2009, the year before the blog was officially started. And there was a good reason for that. 2009 was probably the year with the most concerts, especially abroad. What's more, two of them (Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park and Depeche Mode in Barcelona) were released as official DVD's! There were no reviews of the concerts, just a photo and a video (although now, if you click on the heading for each concert you will be taken to its corresponding English review from this blog). And while that post is still online (in Greek), some of the photos that were not uploaded to Blogger, but to ImageShack instead are no longer accessible. So, as part of the still ongoing 10 year "celebration" and since the current situation means that no concerts are currently taking place for me to go to and then post about, I decided  to "reconstitute" this post, in English and with all photographs from Blogger this time so that it can once again be viewed as it was originally intended. Enjoy!

01. Monika, Gagarin, Athens, Greece, Thursday 22/01/2009

02. Paul Weller, O2 Arena, London, England, UK, Saturday 21/03/2009

03. AC/DC, Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece, Thursday 28/05/2009

04. The Killers, Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London, England, UK, Friday 26/06/2009

05. Neil Young, Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London, England, UK, Saturday 27/06/2009

06. Bruce Springsteen, Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London, England, UK, Sunday 28/06/2009

07. Tiesto, Elliniko Olympic Complex, Athens, Greece, Saturday 04/07/2009

08. Santana, Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece, Wednesday 08/07/2009

09. Oasis, Wembley Stadium, London, England, UK, Saturday 11/07/2009

10. Paul Weller, Vrachon Theatre, Athens, Greece, Tuesday 14/07/2009

11. Bruce Springsteen, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy, Sunday 19/07/2009

12. Bruce Springsteen, Stadio Comunale, Torino, Italy, Tuesday 21/07/2009

13. Bruce Springsteen, Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy, Thursday 23/07/2009

14. U2, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, UK, Saturday 22/08/2009

15. ZZ Top, Tae Kwon Do Arena, Athens, Greece, Saturday 24/10/2009

16. Depeche Mode, Palau San Jordi, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Saturday 21/11/2009

17. Nouvelle Vague, Gagarin, Athens, Greece, Friday 27/11/2009

18. From The Jam, Sheperd's Bush O2 Empire, London, England, UK, Wednesday 16/12/2009

And one concert that never started:
00. Depeche Mode, Terra Vibe, Athens, Greece, Tuesday 12/05/2009

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Katerine Duska & Leon Of Athens live in Athens September 2020

Incredibly enough, there were concerts in 2020! For a moment we even thought there was going to be one from an international artist when it was announced that Jethro Tull would perform at Technopolis (one of the concert areas in Athens which followed all the health protocols outlined by the government). I might have already seen them twice, and the last time was also at Technopolis (the first one was at Terra Vibe) but I would have gladly gone a third time if it had actually taken place. However, by the time the concert date was approaching, the recorded cases had risen and consequently it was cancelled. Leon of Athens with Catherine Duska had also performed at Technopolis this summer and I intended to attend that as well but somehow I missed it. But I got a second chance at Gazarte Roof Stage. During the summer the stage is completely open so it fulfilled the health protocols for concerts (No indoor gigs were allowed). And one of the reasons that I chose to see Leon Of Athens was that I had actually seen him by himself three times already in the past and two of them were at Gazarte (The first one was at the main stage and the second one was at the roof stage but it was closed as it took place during the winter). So, I now wanted to see him perform with Katerine Duska. Katerine Duska was of course Greece's participant in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest performing a song written by Leon Of Athens.

I arrived at Gazarte early, before the doors had even opened. I had to wear a mask up upon entering (because I was actually indoors now), but I could take it off when I reached the roof (where I would actually be outdoors with an amazing view of Athens). 

I was therefore able to find the ideal place to sit, a stool facing the stage with a bench in front of it where I could place my drink. The gig was advertised as "show only" meaning there were no complimentary drinks but you could buy something from the bar. The waitress however, was wearing her mask below the nose so I didn't order anything.

Caterine and Leon appeared on stage, starting with the song that they have released together "Anemos" which is sung in Greek. I was wondering whether that was signifying a career change for Leon Of Athens as he was usually singing in English in the past. That didn't seem to be the case as they did a few Greek cover versions (Leon Of Athens used to do a couple of these in the past by himself, like the Stereo Nova tune for example), but all of Leon's hits from the past were there, Katerine sung "Better Love" (her Eurovision entry) and they both did some cover versions on English as well (the highlight of which was Katerine's rendition of "Killing Me Softly"). The show ended as it had started, with "Anemos".

The only gig of 2020 turned out to be a great and enjoyable night for me, but it must have also been a success for the artists, as it was due to be repeated at the same place the following month. 

Unfortunately, by that time cases had once again risen (a situation which led to the current lockdown) and all subsequent planned gigs were cancelled. Let's hope that the situation will finally improve in 2021...

Monday, 14 December 2020

Little Boots live in London November 2019

The story of how I ended up in London in 2019 watching Little Boots is quite a long one. Back in 2007 I saw Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark live at Lycabettus Theatre in Athens. Back then I thought that no-one was listening to synth-pop anymore. But at the same gig I discovered that support band Marsheaux not only listened to, but played synth-pop as well. Trying to find a way to buy their albums I joined their MySpace page. Through that page I was informed when they decided to start a forum page. At that forum we didn't just talk about Marsheaux but about other synth pop artists. One of the artists that I discovered through the Marsheaux Forum was Little Boots. Another one was La Roux. Anyway back then I thought of Little Boots as "the Lady GaGa of synth-pop". So having seen the real Lady GaGa in 2014, I thought "Why haven't I seen Little Boots yet?".  One of the reasons was probably that she preferred doing DJ sets instead of gigs. My chance finally came up with the 10th anniversary of her first album "Hands". She released a special deluxe edition of it and I was part of the crowdfunding process. She also announced an anniversary mini-tour where most of the dates were in the USA and one, just one in the UK: London on the 23rd of November 2019. I bought a ticket even though I didn't know if I was going to be able to go and it was lucky that I did because it was soon sold out.
On the night of Friday the 22nd I went straight to the airport from work. And since I wasn't working on Monday I was going to make this a long weekend. I was able to find a hotel room in my favourite area of London, Bayswater (where I had also lived for a year!) and the venue was on Holloway Road near University Of North London (it has a different name now), where I got my first degree from. So this was like a trip down memory lane! 

I was there on time, before the doors opened and so I joined the queue that had formed. Once we got in, I didn't go to check the merchandise stand, I just went to secure my place as close to the front as possible. As this was a sold out gig, I knew that it would fill up quickly.

Opening act Girli was a pleasant surprise. At that time I was worried because I couldn't find her music anywhere, however she has now released an album and I'm planning on ordering that soon. 

The wait for Little Boots was over when the opening notes of "New In Town" were heard. Because yes, she was going to play the complete "Hands" album from start to finish! One of the highlights was a special extended version of "Stuck On Repeat", while "Remedy" was, at least for me, the best part of that night... so far (Because the best part of the night for me would come at the after show party... read on!). 

On "Perfect Symmetry" Phil Oakey's part was sung by Tom Aspaul. Unfortunately her beloved Tenori-On gave up halfway through the gig.

After the main part of "Hands", she sat at the keyboard and treated us to an acoustic medley of "No Brakes" (the last track from "Hands"), "Echoes" (an outtake now finally released in the deluxe edition) and two cover versions: New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" and Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill". 

And she told us about how her boyfriend had proposed to her (and that she had said yes!). It wasn't over though, because then she treated us to songs from her later albums, ending with my favourite from "Nocturnes" (her second one) called "Shake" where Girli, Tom Aspaul,her mum and several members of the audience joined her on stage. 

That was the end of the gig but there was an after show party coming up upstairs. I still hadn't decided whether I would go to that one, so I hang out at the merchandise stand which was manned by her brother, so I got to meet him as well. I bought a 12 inch EP I didn't have and a long-sleeved t-shirt. 

Then we were told that the venue would have to close and would we please move on upstairs for the after-show party. So, right there and then, 12 inch in hand, I decided to go. I wanted to experience one of her DJ-sets anyway. And the fact that the London Underground is now running through the night on weekends meant that I wouldn't have any trouble getting back to my hotel. Technically, the upstairs area of The Garage is a different club called The Grace. So I found myself on a Saturday night in London going nightclubbing! Not bad!
She didn't spend much time behind the decks though. She was mostly among the crowd. I was too shy to talk to her though. But then someone from the crowd noticed me standing there with my 12 inch and thought that I wanted her to sign it for me (well, I did!) and he talked to her mum (I got to meet her as well!) who in turned talk to Victoria who signed my record and took a picture with me. Thank you Wayne for taking that picture! Meanwhile, I told her all about how I had come all the way from Greece for that gig. All the while I was enjoying the music, this was a very good DJ set featuring amazing soings from the 70's ("Use It Up And Wear It Out"), 80's ("Funkytown"), 90's and even 00's favourites ("I Follow Rivers"). And even Little Boots' own songs ("Get Things Done"). I even got a drink from the bar and I was surprised at how reasonably it was priced. Totally unlike the clubs in Greece. 

And so, at the end of the night, with my now signed 12 inch still in hand I made it to the London Underground and back to Bayswater and my hotel.

I spent the next day strolling through London, I went to the Clash's "London Calling" Exhibition at the Museum Of London and shopping for clothes at Primark among other things but these will probably be the subject of another blog post.
On Monday morning I went to the airport to go back to Greece. What I didn't know then was that this would be my last trip and gig abroad because of the subsequent lockdowns. It was a special one, though!

01. New In Town
02. Earthquake
03. Stuck On Repeat
04. Click
05. Remedy
06. Meddle
07. Ghost
08. Mathematics
09. Symmetry
10. Tune Into My Heart
11. Hearts Collide
12. No Brakes / Echoes / Bizarre Love Triangle/ Running Up That Hill
Encore 2:
13. Working Girl
14. Get Things Done
15. Shadows
16. Motorway
17. Every Night I Say A Prayer
18. Shake