I’ve seen Neil Young before back in 2008 at a festival but this was the first time I’ve seen him with crazy horse and the first time seeing him in a slightly more intimate setting of the Liverpool arena which must be the smallest arena around.
To be in the same building as Neil Young first and foremost is an honour and pretty mind blowing. His back catalogue of some of the greatest songs of all time and his continued high quality output are the blueprint for any other musician, his desire to keep moving forward and to follow ‘the muse’ as he described it in his autobiography ‘Waging Heavy Peace’ is pretty much how I’d like to live my life and aim for the impossibly high bar he has set.
I’ve see Dylan live playing the hits in an almost unrecognisable fashion and not talking to the audience at all, I’ve seen The Beach Boys live with Brian Wilson and Mike Love going through the hits with a backing band pretty much doing 90% of the work. But Neil Young especially with Crazy horse holds his own with any current band.
The intensity and passion he has still shine through in every song he plays whether it’s something off Zuma, Ragged Glory or Psychedelic Pill. He plays ever guitar solo like it’s his last and every song is sung like he just wrote it.
He was at the top of his game and after a few songs of just a simple thank you afterwards he started to interact with the Liverpool audience and was clearly in his element
‘Keep shouting all you want I can’t hear what you’re saying, I get easily distracted I have OCDD’ Neil says to the audience in repsonse to an ocean of song requests being shouted at him between songs. A guy in the crowd bellows out ‘you’re a fuck up’ Neil Young responses in a heartbeat ‘I heard that!’
Kurt Cobain burnt out after a couple of years but Neil young is still burning and shows no signs of fading away at all!
‘Rockin in the free world’ video
Love and Only Love
Days That Used to Be
After the Gold Rush
Love to Burn
Don’t Cry No Tears
Blowin’ in the Wind
(Bob Dylan cover)
Heart of Gold
Rockin’ in the Free World
Who’s Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth
Like a Hurricane
Should all gigs be in churches? Probably not, but we would love to do it again.
Last month we played with The Family Rain at St Clement’s Church for Chorlton Arts Festival and it was one of the most special gigs we had ever done.
Whilst there may only have been around 250 people there the size, shape, acoustics and stature of a building built in 1866 made the gig feel and sound like playing a large theatre size venue to a few thousand people.
With the amazing stained glass window backdrop it was an inspirational night.
Thanks to The Family Rain and Chorlton Arts Festival for putting us on, check out a couple of audience filmed videos below to hear the incredible natural reverb of playing in a church.
We can’t wait to do it again!
The past few months I’ve been flat out finishing the new EP so this blog has been slightly neglected, so here’s the first one of 2014 and expect a lot more to come sooner as well!
Sometimes the best things in life are the ones that happen by accident.
After reading an article in which Graham Nash was paying tribute to Phil Everly.
The next time I was on spotify his name came up in related artists so I thought I would actually listen to some of Graham Nash’s solo work and I immediately fell in love and found beauty and solace in the music.
I can’t believe I have never heard ‘Songs for Beginners’ before to me it’s definitely in same ball park as ‘Harvest’ by Neil Young and ‘Déjà Vu’ by CSNY.
Each track has a great melody and the confident laid back Californian laurel canyon feel.
The list of names that played on the album ( neil young, bobby keys) are as high quality as the songs. Whose subjects range from growing up in England to living in Californian and being heartbroken by Joni Mitchell to having the belief that music can really change the world.
Have a listen to this classic yourself
I hope to find it on vinyl ASAP!
So if you haven’t heard the thing we’ve been worked on for so long here is your chance below!
I have been a massive fan of Supergrass since the first time I heard ‘Caught by the Fuzz’, which I’m sure happened to many people my generation. As a young boy learning ‘In It For The Money’ on my guitar whilst I was watching the Glastonbury highlights in my bedroom (taped off the telly old school style), I felt that it was long overdue that I show my support for such a talented mind. Coupled with the fact that there has seldom been a weekend since the release of ‘Here Come The Bombs’, Gaz’s first solo album, that it hasn’t graced my stereo, even if I just had time for a few short bursts of ‘Simulator’ and ‘Whore’.
So, when I found out that Gaz was doing a small four gig tour of carefully chosen churches around the UK, and that Manchester (well St Philips Church Salford) was the starting place, it was an opportunity not to be missed.
As we arrived in the venue we were greeted by a bloke sitting at a pop up table (probably used in the fate held there the week before) and that old musty smell so typical of a real ‘Ye Olde England’ church. We walked through the large archway into the main hall where the support act, Norma Jean Martine, had just started her set. So as not to disturb, we shuffled awkwardly over to another pop up table selling the alcohol (and the fizzy pop) and whispered “a can of lager and a can of cider please.” I’m sure this isn’t right, drinking in a church, but when in Rome…
At this point, you could hear a pin drop, a theme that carried on throughout the evening. We found a seat near the middle, at the side, and enjoyed a wonderfully dreamy set from the excitable New Yorker and her band.
There was a hushed air of anticipation just before Gaz arrived, murmurings of what he may play, and how he would do it. Then he unassumingly strolled on stage with no real reaction from the room. It was only when he mumbled “hello” did his audience realise who it was and started to cheer, however this could have been down to one of two things, or a combination of both. A roadie had just been on stage moving some instruments around, and Gaz has a new look of a full beard (with his customary sideburns), so people may just not have recognized him and mistaken him for another roadie.
Once the crowd had died down a little, he explained what was in store for us. I believe his exact words were that he was going to be “trying something a little different”, and that he “hoped we enjoyed it”. This worried me a little, as I had not heard much of his new songs, and thought this was all he may be playing. Luckily, I was wrong. His set started with stripped down versions of ‘White Noise’ and ‘Hot Fruit’ on his acoustic, carried by his robust voice that sounded amazing with the natural reverb you would only get in these surroundings.
Something to note was the audience focus. As mentioned before during the support you could hear a pin drop (apart from the music), and the same respect was given to Gaz Coombes. After a few songs, Gaz introduced his brother (Charley) on the keys/loops, and former Ride/JAMC drummer Loz Colbert, to the stage. This bought a new level to the music with hits like ‘Bombs’, ‘Sub Divider’ and his new one ‘Buffalo’. By this time the crowd was pumped, well as pumped as you can be sitting on church pews. After every song it just seemed to get better and better, with an eruption of applause after each one and a profound talk of “how lucky we are to be here”.
When the set finished Gaz gave a bow and sauntered off stage wearing a large grin, and deservedly so. The set was excellently executed, so controlled and powerful. But before we knew it he was on stage again for the encore, and what was it? Only bloody ‘Caught By The Fuzz’, just Gaz and his acoustic again. As it finished the applause seemed to go on forever, and rightly so. What an amazing set and a great night.
Here’s a photo blog of us recording the rest of the tracks for the EP back at Butcher Row Studios in London. We managed to get basic tracking done for 3 tracks and record another track live so really looking forward to it all getting finished and mixed.
Matt took most of the pics again so that’s why he’s hard to find!
If ever a rock n roll tragedy suited a biopic film it’s the story of Badfinger the first band to be signed by the Beatles, who went on to write one of the biggest hits of all time and then got so ripped off by management it drove them to suicide.
One day these guys will get the recognition they deserve, check out some of my favourite Badfinger tunes below.
You could easily argue the point that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have made the album of the year so far, produced the best album cover and also the best festival performance.
The Glastonbury performance of ‘Stagger lee’ has an almost sermon like feel to it with Nick Cave’s intensity transfixing the crowd, if you haven’t seen it already enjoy! (If you watch the whole set online keep an eye out for our mate Pete in the crowd)
Back in the world of Hey Bulldog we have a brand new song online and available as a free download single.
It was recently exclusively premiered on Xfm so have a listen and grab your free download from here.
Jim Morrison was the handsome shamen lizard king spearheading The Doors but equally as important as his unique style was the musical interplay between the other three members particularly the massively underrated robber Krieger and the keyboard and baseline man the late great Ray Manzarek who recently died.
That’s enough words check out these clips to see and hear rays talent in his own words and music.
Thanks ray no party is complete with out losing yourself in a doors song.
If you listen to the mono version mix of Think For Yourself you can hear how much he was influenced by the Beatles
This isn’t ray playing but it shows you exactly his genius of doing the bass at the same time as the lead organ
Friday night, a few beers and the neighbours out, I was excited to notch the stereo up to eleven and listen to the long awaited fourth album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito. However, to my dismay, it never really seemed to get started. The title track was a pleasure to hear, as was the first single ‘Sacrilege’, but this may only be because it’s been pushed so hard on XFM. Therefore, it was with great trepidation that I picked up my tickets on the 1st of May and Rob, Susie and I made our way to the gig…
Outside the Apollo was its normal bustling self, with an eclectic mix of folk beveying themselves up for the night’s proceedings. People were spilling out of Aspley Cottage (the pub at the back of the venue) onto the road, but luckily this was no normal day in Manchester… the sun was out. This helped ease the feeling of disappointment we may all have by the end of the night if it was to be a show full of their new songs. A few drinks down and we made our way into the venue.
We had missed the support, K-Holes, a fellow New York based five piece, but this gave us the opportunity to stock up on a few more drinks. As we made our way to the front the atmosphere was building. The anticipation that we were going to see Karen O for the first time on English soil since 2009 was clearly creating a buzz. Then the lights dimmed…
‘Sacrilege’ was the first song and Karen O burst onto the stage wearing a bright yellow jacket and shorts. She bought the energy we all know and love, whilst the rest of the band were their usual understated self, if not with just a little more hair (mainly Brian the drummer, Nick the guitarist looks just the same as he always has). The set then evolved into what was a very comprehensive best of, including such hits as ‘Y Control’, ‘Gold Lion’, ‘Zero’, ‘Pin’ and ‘Heads Will Roll’.
There were the obligatory costume changes, where at one stage Karen wore her very familiar leather jacket with more studs than the whole of Kiss put together. She had the whole crowd in the palm of her hands. There was real excitement that built after every song and every action Karen performed, whether it was swallowing the microphone, or spitting water high into the air in time with the beat of the drum.
The band left the stage but we were going nowhere, we still had an encore to come, and it didn’t disappoint, ‘Maps’ and ‘Date With A Night’. The gig had finished but this wasn’t stopping people dancing as they left the venue. It was a great show and a great night.