Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Ejekt Festival 2017 - Day 2 - Kasabian & The Jesus And Mary Chain

So it was finally time for the 2nd day of Ejekt Festival. And all this on a night before a flight abroad for another concert (This was not the first time I was attending Ejekt Festival on a day before a trip abroad. The previous one was ten years ago under rather disastrous circumstances)

But it would all start with Peter Hook And The Light who I had already seen at the same festival at the same venue 4 years ago back in 2013. This time they were playing "Unknown Pleasures". I wasn't sure if I could make it on time to see them but I finally did. They had just started playing when I arrived at the venue. I saw most of their set and I was there for "She's Lost Control" and that would have been enough for me. 

The set ended of course with "Love Will Tear Us Apart".


I managed to find my friends and after their set I ventured around the venue for the usual freebies. These included the usual cokes, (I went around the entrance several times to get more of them), but this time I tried a different flavour of the noodle product. The added extra this time was that someone in the company of our friends was there with an invitation from Heineken, one of the sponsors, so we got free beers as well!

The time for The Jesus And Mary Chain set was approaching and we managed to get well up front. They were the main reason I attended this second day of the festival after all. And they didn't disappoint. Their set sounded like a "Greatest Hits" package most of the time. What did disappoint was the sound, something we had already noticed during the Peter Hook And The light set.


We stayed at the front for Kasabian, although they were almost half an hour late in appearing. I had already started worrying about my flight the following day.

When they did appear though, we were rewarded with a set that spanned most of their career, not just their latest album (which is pretty good by the way). They still played "Empire" which I had first heard at Wembley back in 2009. Plus they also played 3 songs from my favourite album "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum". It's my favourite, because it was during that tour that I had first seen them.

 One of the songs from that album, "Fire" was the last of the night. I had started to withdraw towards the exit (grabbing another free Coke in the process) in order to catch the last tram and that's when I realized something I could not see while I was upfront. The crowd was not a huge one. Not as huge as you would expect to find at a Kasabian gig in Greece anyway. It's a pity because Kasabian are one of the few bands that play here on each one of the tours like Depeche Mode.

All's well that ends well. The festival was completed, I caught the tram and this time, as opposed to 10 years ago, it didn't crash. So the Ejekt curse has been lifted! In fact, when I saw that the tram was 15 minutes away I caught the one going in the opposite direction. A couple of stops later I got off, and then got on the right one. In this way, I managed to avoid the congestion at the tram stop and get a seat for the long ride to the centre of Athens. From there I had another night bus ride and a short taxi ride to my house. I didn't get any sleep because in a couple of hours I had to leave for the airport and my flight to Rome to see U2. But that's another story, coming up on my next blog post...


01. Amputation
02. April Skies
03. Head On
04. Far Gone and Out
05. Between Planets
06. Blues From a Gun
07. Always Sad
08. Mood Rider
09. All Things Pass
10. Some Candy Talking
11. Halfway to Crazy
12. Nine Million Rainy Days
13. Just Like Honey
14. You Trip Me Up
15. The Living End
16. War on Peace
17. I Hate Rock 'n' Roll
18. Reverence

01. Ill Ray (The King)
02. Bumblebeee
03. Eez-Eh
04. Underdog
05. Shoot the Runner
06. You're in Love With a Psycho
07. I.D.
08. Club Foot
09. Re‐Wired
10. Treat
11. Empire
12. Bless This Acid House
13. Stevie
14. Put Your Life on It
15. L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)
16. Comeback Kid
17. Vlad the Impaler
18. Fire

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Oasis and Kasabian @ Wembley in 2009

Yes, I have seen Kasabian before. Back in 2009 they were supporting Oasis at Wembley. A friend of mine had told me "Make sure you get there early, Kasabian are very good!" Well, I did get there early because I was planning to see all three bands, Oasis, Kasabian and The Enemy. However The Enemy did not appear "due to illness" (there was that flu going around at the time). Now it's too late, The Enemy have split up (and little did I know then that Oasis were going to split up in the few weeks following that concert).

The connection between Oasis and Kasabian was already evident back then. When Oasis split one of those "Hitler learns..." videos appeared on YouTube  ("Hitler's Reaction To The Oasis Split"). At the end of it Hitler is wondering "What can I listen to now when I'm helping Eva tidy up the bunker?" and one of his aides suggests "Have you tried Kasabian?"
Anyway, I got out of the tube and started making my way (now renamed "Olympic Way" since in 3 years time, London would host the 2012 Olympic Games). Something that I had done several times in the past, but this time was different. It was going to be my first time in the "new" Wembley.

I arrived at the gate and the security guy proceeded to search me. He got two cameras, a mobile phone, an MP3 player and other gadgets out of my jacket, but "he still hadn't found what he was looking for". Finally he asked me "You don't have any alcohol, do you?". "No", I promptly replied (I honestly didn't). There was plenty of alcohol on offer inside, and lots of food, so I grabbed a pint of lager and went to my seat. Now my seat was in the 3rd and uppermost tier. It was my first time on a stadium with a 3rd tier and Ticketmaster had warned me that "you may feel Vertigo looking down from tour seat" so I was a bit overwhelmed. Nothing of the sort happened and although the seats were high up, they were close to the stage so I could see quite clearly. It was my first concert with my then new Canon camera with its 12x optical zoom (and 48x digital) and I made good use of it. That camera of course, after 7 years of heavy use in concerts (and lots of dust and debris on and in the lens) had to be replaced.
Anyway, as I got to my seat, Kasabian had just started. Their current album at that time was "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum" so their set relied heavily on that.

But afterwards it was time for Oasis, the reason most of us were there and the reason I had sat in front of my computer at work 9 months before that trying to beat the competition and get a ticket. These Oasis concerts sold out within minutes and I was lucky to get one, even luckier than I thought I was at the time, since, as I have already mentioned, a few weeks later Noel and Liam had a fight and Oasis split up.

None of these things concerned me at the time when Oasis came up on stage playing hit after hit plus songs from their then latest - and final - album "Dig Out Your Soul" which I thought was pretty good especially the single "I'm Outta Time" which sampled John Lennon's last interview and really had a Lennon-like sound. I thought the audience should at least know that and sing along with it - as I did - but no, they were only interested in the old ones. Well, never mind...

 The highlight of the night of course was when Noel announced "I'm not singing this song ever again" and he just played guitar while the audience sang all the lyrics to "Don't Look Back In Anger". Priceless!


After the concert was over we were faced with the usual, but almost impossible task, of getting back on the underground. We were waiting for what seemed like hours and on top of that it was raining (although I didn't mind that while I was inside the stadium since my seat was in the covered section).

I was standing waiting next to a police horse for quite a long time and we spent a lot of that looking at each other. Finally, I did manage to reach the tube station, get on a train and get back to my hotel in Earl's Court that night and on a plane to Athens the following day. The funny thing was that I did catch that flu during that trip, which manifested itself while I was attending a Paul Weller concert in Athens the following week, but was over at the end of the week just in time before my next trip which involved three Bruce Springsteen concerts in Italy, Rome, Torino and Udine, one every two days. But that is of course, another story...
I'm happy to say however that I will be seeing both of them soon. Kasabian and no, not Oasis, but Noel at least!


01. Underdog
02. Shoot the Runner
03. Cutt Off
04. Processed Beats
05. Empire
06. Where Did All the Love Go?
07. The Doberman
08. Fire
09. Fast Fuse
10. Club Foot
11. Stuntman
12. You Got the Love
13. L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)

INTRO. Fuckin' in the Bushes
01. Rock 'n' Roll Star
02. Lyla
03. The Shock of the Lightning
04. Cigarettes & Alcohol
05. Roll With It
06. To Be Where There's Life
07. Waiting for the Rapture
08. The Masterplan
09. Songbird
10. Slide Away
11. Morning Glory
12. My Big Mouth
13. The Importance of Being Idle
14. Half the World Away
15. I'm Outta Time
16. Wonderwall
17. Supersonic
18. Live Forever
19. Don't Look Back in Anger (Acoustic)
20. Falling Down
21. Champagne Supernova
22. I Am the Walrus
OUTRO. Married With Children

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Placebo @ Terra Vibe 7 years later

7 years later, Placebo were once again at Terra Vibe as headliners of the 2017 Rockwave Festival. I wasn't originally planning to go (and I was hoping that I could avoid Terra Vibe at least for this year) but then I found out that some of my friends were going and they had one available seat in their car. So I decided to tag along on one of the hottest days of this summer.
We arrived, after being welcomed by this friendly horse on a nearby farm, just a few minutes before Cigarettes After Sex were due to start their set on the other stage. After some thoughts on whether we should give up our places near the stage, some of us went to check them out. Our verdict: They are really good but it seems that their music should be heard after dark. And it was still quite early.

We had to leave before they finished their set (and in the process missing what I guess must have been an amazing cover of "Keep On Loving You" of REO Speedwagon) in order to be able to get easily back at our reserved places.

Next up there was Sivert Hoyem. I was expecting him to be rather boring or, in the best case, mostly indifferent, but he and his band were quite good at first. It did become a bit tiring towards the end however, probably because as one of our company (who is studying music) remarked "all of his songs were in the same key".

Anyway, it was finally time for Placebo, who not only were 7 years older but were now celebrating their 20 year anniversary (I thought this was a good excuse for them to play "20 Years" which they did. In fact their set started with a video projection on the screens showing moments from these last 20 years.
The first song was "Pure Morning" and their set consisted of songs from both their early and later years. In fact, as our company consisted of three 40-year olds and two teenagers, one of us remarked that they catered for both our age groups, the young fans and the -ahem- old(er) ones...

Footage with David Bowie was shown (as was probably expected) during "Without You I'm Nothing" and while they did not play "Every You Every Me", one of my favourite songs, they did pleasantly surprise us with "Running Up That Hill" during the encore. But as far as I'm concerned the highlight of the night was "Slave To The Wage".

During this tour Placebo have been playing full 2-hour sets, however we only got 90 minutes... Still it was a lovely experience which was made much better as it turned out to be a reunion with friends. I usually feel nostalgia for the 80's. But on that weekend it was probably the first time I felt nostalgia for the 90's...

01. Pure Morning
02. Loud Like Love
03. Jesus' Son
04. Soulmates
05. Special Needs
06. Too Many Friends
07. Twenty Years
08. Exit Wounds
09. Protect Me From What I Want
10. Without You I'm Nothing
11. For What It's Worth
12. Slave To the Wage
13. Special K
14. Song To Say Goodbye
15. The Bitter End
16. Nancy Boy
17. Infra-red
18. Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Placebo @ Terra Vibe 7 years ago

Almost 7 years ago, Placebo were in Athens, at Terra Vibe again. I was afraid that the gig was going to be cancelled, because it looked like it was going ro rain (A Killers gig the previous year had been cancelled for that same reason) but thankfully the weather relented and the gig went ahead. There were still worries though, since the band had played Salonica the previous day and came off stage after playing for only 50 minutes.Placebo are one of the bands that often come to Greece (like Depeche Mode, Scorpions and James) but I still had not seen them before. So that particular evening seemed like the perfect occasion.
Support was provided by Aviv Geffen and that was funny, because this was the second time I was seeing him play live in 8 days. (He had played support for U2 at the Athens Olympic Stadium on the 3rd of September, appearing before Snow Patrol).

At the Olympic Stadium he struck me as extremely boring, but now that I was seeing him from up close he seemed much more lively.

Finally at half past nine Placebo went on stage!

They kicked off with "Nancy Boy" and thanked the Gods of Mt. Olympus for "clearing the skies so that the gig would finally take place".

They played for about 82 minutes including the encore (the last 4 songs). And since their songs are on average 3 to 4 minutes long I considered this a full set. Before I finish this post I must make a special mention of the keyboard player playing with Placebo, because she was not just a keyboard player as she also played the tambourine... ...the violin... ...and the theremin!  
Placebo are back at Terra Vibe tonight and The PAP DX Blog will be there...
01. Nancy Boy
02. Ashtray Heart
03. Battle For The Sun
04. Soulmates
05. Kitty Litter
06. Every You Every Me
07. Special Needs
08. Breathe Underwater
09. The Never-Ending Why
10. Bright Lights
11. Meds
12. Teenage Angst
13. All Apologies
14. Song To Say Goodbye
15. The Bitter End
16. Trigger Happy
17. Post Blue
18. Infra-Red
19. Taste In Men