“And they keep calling out, calling out someone’s name”…

normal_©Boris_Vallejo__Sirens_©

~

Like Siren’s on the rocks…

Calling ships to shore

Their voices fill the air

Tempting him once more…

Knowing all his secrets

All his dark fantasies

Exploiting his weakness…

Distorting what he sees…

The world around him

And all that he knows

Begin to melt away…

As the North wind blows…

Bringing their words to his ear

And infecting his soul…

A Voodoo type of magic

That simply takes control

Of his thoughts and actions

Which take a life of their own

And the darkness inside him…

Is once again shown

Yet there is nothing he can do…

He’s spellbound by their voices

Those serpents in the grass

Who remove all of his choices…

Telling him what to do

Commanding that he listens…

Like a puppet on a string

Who never learns his lessons

Sleepwalking back towards them…

The moment they appear

Numbing all his senses

Forgetting all his fears

But those Siren’s on the rocks…

Speak in tongues of strangers

And he needs to wake up

Then understand the dangers…

Yet they beckon him over

Knowing he will always fall…

And that he’ll forever be

At their sinful beck and call

~

“The way you hit me when you wanna fight”…

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~

Maybe it’s yes…

Maybe it’s no…

But it feels like…

It’s time to go…

And walk away…

Leave her behind…

Give her the freedom…

With peace of mind…

End the confusion…

Avoid more hurt…

Linked to seduction…

Spells and flirts…

Enchanted encounters…

Moments of pleasure…

That last a lifetime…

Imprinted forever…

Like a tattoo…

Etched on the skin…

A permanent reminder…

Of lust and dark sin…

Remembering the times…

He felt her force…

Riding that feeling…

Like an untamed horse…

Running so free…

Alone in the wild…

No sign of pressure…

Nature’s carefree child…

Creating memories…

But causing havoc…

Mental strain…

And internal panic…

That comes after…

Drowning in her eyes…

But for those seconds…

On wings, he flies…

But it must be yes…

And only silence will show…

If they were right…

And it was time to go…

~

“I shouldn’t say it, but I’m starting to think I care”…

He could never say it…

Or ever let you know…

What you mean to him…

Or how you move him so…

A lightning bolt strikes…

Whenever you are near…

Sparks a tingle of excitement…

Fills him with delicious fear…

Makes his life worth living…

Takes him to a different place…

His heart just skips a beat…

Whenever he sees your face…

Your eyes are so beguiling…

With a smile that’s full of sin…

Makes him full of longing…

Wants your nails deep in his skin…

You make him all tongue tied…

Whenever you are around…

He just can’t clearly think…

His thoughts get twisted round…

There’s things he just can’t tell you…

But so much he wants to say…

Yet even if he had the chance…

It would always be that way…

As it is the same universe…

But two very different planets…

Nothing could ever change that…

It’d be foolish to even chance it…

So it’s best to keep his distance…

And keep things to himself…

If you ever knew the truth…

You’d run and scream for help…

And that would just destroy him…

Because in his head he clearly sees…

Something unspoken, yet beautiful…

To be hidden for all eternity…

You appeared from nowhere…

Breathed new life into his soul…

Distracted him more than just enough…

To allow light into his Black hole…

For that he’s forever thankful…

But you’ll never understand or see…

That the world with your arms around him…

Is simply a better place for him to be…

“Words they always win, but I know I’ll lose”…

Tom Odell – Leeds

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So, cast your mind back to the early part of this year. I set myself a goal of 40 gigs for my 40th birthday. This quickly got changed to 40 events as it became apparent just how difficult 40 music gigs would be!

At the time of booking Tom Odell, I had never heard of him and other options were thin on the ground. But for 12 quid at the Leeds O2 academy it worked from the point of trying to keep the cost of this quest down. Fast forward 9 months and almost everyone in the UK now knows of Tom Odell.

He has done alright, sold a few CD’s, got a couple of awards and picked up one or two more followers after some really good sets, notably his Glastonbury appearance. His management must have been ruing that they didn’t see it coming as they could have easily sold out this gig at 20 quid + a ticket.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as it was with my ticket purchase. At the time, young Ollie had no clue who he was, so this was scheduled as another gig for 1. However that changed over time and in the end, we were fortunate to eventually find him a ticket on twitter. I say we were, what I mean is I was fortunate to end the strops and sulks!

It was only arriving at the venue that I realised that there could be a slight drawback. The O2 is split between standing and a balcony and looking at the amount of people already queuing for the standing, getting a view point for young Ollie was going to be a challenge. So on the 2nd attempt at asking, I managed to convince a young couple to switch with us for balcony tickets.

It proved to be the best thing we did for a couple of reasons that I will touch on as this ramble continues. Please remember, this is not a gig review, I am not a critic – if you want that, please go to Google and search, where you will find really good ones!

So we found a great view on the balcony, to the right of the stage and seats, which proved to be a godsend and this is my first moan. The ticket said doors at 7pm and we were queuing from 6.20pm, nothing too bad, but there was no mention of support on the ticket, let alone 2 support acts.

With a crowd that had a lot of young faces on a school night, Tom wasn’t to strut onto stage until 9.35ish. That’s a long time to wait, even for a seasoned gig goer like myself. OK OK, I sound like an old man, but this is my blog, my ramble and whilst Ollie was in awe of his surroundings at first, his attention began to wane after a long day at school.

The first support were the energetic Wildflowers. With a folksy / Nashville sound and a clutch of deeply written songs, they were very watchable and managed to quieten the very chatty gathering crowd. Young Ollie was not impressed however, it was a no from him. When asked the reason, he said it was because “girls singing make my ears hurt”. Who can argue with a 12 year old.

However – Ollie apart – The Wildflowers really got the crowd going and it was all credit to them and I will make an effort to look them up on you tube at some point. With that act over with, the stage was being changed around again and after what felt like an age, a young girl came on – Denai I think – who was a singer songwriter and to be honest, I felt sorry for her. The sell-out crowd was largely in at this point and very loud / talkative.

And in contrast to the Wildflowers, her subtle voice and delicate songs were drowned out by the crowd for the most part. At points she looked like a rabbit in the headlights. At this point, Ollie started to drift off and get grumpy. He came to see Tom and Tom was nowhere to be seen.

As Denai departed, I assured Ollie that Tom wouldn’t be far away, but how wrong was I. For a lad and his piano it seemed an amazing amount of time for things to be set up. He was to be accompanied by drummer, bass and guitar, but you do wonder what they do during sound checks. Do they set everything up and then just de-tune everything and start again as the crowd awaits – perhaps it’s a roadie in joke.

If this delay was planned to hype up Tom’s appearance, then someone needs to tell him it makes for more frustration than anticipation. I thought it was just Ollie being impatient, but the people around me of all ages were complaining too. Again hindsight is a wonderful thing and next time I will ring the venue when taking Ollie.

By 9.15 I was sure that he would appear, but no, we had to wait and wait and then when we saw him at the door – we had to wait some more before he strutted onto the stage to deafening female screams. It awoke young Ollie from his near slumber and from then on I had the pleasure of a double gig experience.

Let me explain. This was the first gig that Ollie had been to that it was – what we now consider – his music. Other gigs he has seen, Crowded House, Justin Currie, Bon Jovi and the like have been adopted from me if that makes sense. So to see his face light up and sing along as the songs were belted out were a joy to watch.

In many ways it made up for the delays and he was loving it. As were the sell-out crowd. Tom himself is clearly a very accomplished performer – amazing voice, amazing ability and a sublime talent. His songs hit the spot on many levels and seem to draw from the likes of Bowie and Elton John.

He rattled through his album “Long Way Down” – if you haven’t heard it, you really must, with most carrying an anthemesq sound that Coldplay would be proud of. It really will be interesting to see what he comes up with next, but “Grow old with me”, “Hold Me” and “Another Love” were just simply stunning

His Beatles cover of “Get Back” was really cleverly worked too. The stage was cleverly lit and the tightness of the band he worked with was clear to see. As a performer, there was a lack of interaction with the crowd, I would have like to have seen more of him in that respect, but in the end his set was so short, that it was better for him to stick to the songs this time.

I would think even he would want more connection from a crowd other than screaming and the odd “take your shirt off” request from men and women alike!  The main thing that struck me was the energy in which he puts into his songs, at one point, he had thrown away the microphone, kicked away the chair and was stood belting out his music.

OK, it wasn’t the Rolling Stones, but the crowd lapped it up and Ollie was in awe of his “new” hero! Liam Finn had better up his game by the time Ollie sees him in the flesh or he may well be overtaken. So as quick as a flash, the set was over and we departed into the dark. I suppose for the money paid that was fair enough, but encore included, it was little over an hour.

Still, another good night on my Forty for Forty quest that will now take me to London for my next music stop. Nick Cave. Did I mention that? Nick Cave in London. NICK FUCKING CAVE IN LONDON. However, until then I leave this ramble for the 2nd time this week with a Tom Odell track – this is the aforementioned “Another Love”.

Enjoy

“No, maybe I’ll just get drunk and it will all make sense”…

Jimmy Carr, Phil Jupitus, 2014, Moaning, Sambuca and Twitter…

So, a quick round up as to where I am at, where I have been and what I have seen. There has been so much happening, not sure where to start, so I will begin with Jimmy Carr.

“I would rather stick pins into my eyes that be in a room with Jimmy Carr” or words to that effect was the text I received on the day of the show. My Frenz Suzie was clearly quite restrained on her thoughts of the man. However, I was looking forward to it and the show was pretty much as expected.

If you can think of the most offensive way to spend an evening, joking about Sex, Race, Religion, you name it, Carr nailed it. It was wrong on so many levels, but I guess that is part of the attraction. Add into the mix attending with a couple of friends who are quite… prudish – it made for a fun night.

The show was mainly stand up one liners, but a lot of audience participation and he even got people up on stage at one point to act out a very rude sitcom script that he had written. Suffice to say, it won’t be aired on the BBC anytime soon! But it was a very funny night and I would really recommend if you get the chance to see him.

Not long after Jimmy, I found myself 3 rows away from Phil Jupitus. I was expecting another stand up show, however this was anything but. Split into 3 sections, Jupitus came on stage as 3 characters, with the premise of the show being that the audience asked questions and he made up stuff as he went.

Now, this was a brave idea, because clearly, a stand up show is well crafted and the jokes are honed to hit the spot – But ad hoc answers to random questions and make them funny – well they can be hit and miss. So it proved on the night – Jupitus is good, very good, but not everything had the audience rolling in the isles.

His first character was a dead actor, the second a dead U boat German and the 3rd a dead Phil Jupitus from the future. I was brave enough to ask 2 questions, for which we got entertaining answers – I asked the German if he had met Hitler and then asked Jupitus what happened to Simon Cowell in the future.

My next 2 “Forty for Forty” hit this week, as Ollie and I see Tom Odell in Leeds, before seeing Nina Conti on Thursday. There will then be a break before the long awaited trip to London for Nick Cave. Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to that.

I have also added my first 2014 gig to the list. After failing to get Glastonbury tickets, Franz Ferdinand are now booked in for next year. I am really looking forward to seeing them – there is a link with Glastonbury there as I saw their debut at the festival on my first visit.

As I said, I failed on 2014 Glastonbury tickets and it appears to have triggered my 40 year old moaning side. I am moaning about a few things and this weekend, I found myself in Nottingham with a friend. Stop moaning – he said – and drink.

Now, I have not drunk alcohol for a long long time, for various reasons, but Saturday was a bit of a watershed. Or a blow-out. Or, well, however you want to see it. Cocktails, Vodka and more Sambuca shots than was good for me – one good friend says she may have died if drinking so many shots – it left me ill.

It was a contrasting feeling, because from what I can recall for the most part, I reconnected with why I used to love getting drunk. Had I stopped at a point in time on the night, it could have been memorable for different reasons. Sadly, the shots killed that thought.

I always was a lightweight drinker. I could never deny that fact. Vodka had a way of infecting me and leaving the night before in a blur. That’s not always a good thing, or perhaps it is / was. Perhaps it was more a defence mechanism. The intoxicated versions of ourselves seldom do us proud.

Sick, ill, feeling sorry for myself.  No better reason to moan really and even if it was self-inflicted, then I reserve the right to moan about it! And what better place to do that than Twitter. Such a strange place. Think it, Type it, Tweet it.

Although I am becoming bored of the medium, a bit like I did with Facebook. Whilst Facebook became mind-numbing, Twitter hasn’t reached that point just yet. It is great for keeping up to date with news, but the amount of trolls and spam is becoming a bore. Still, it helps with tickets and I should be thankful I suppose.

However, if you Tweet, feel free to leave your twitter name on the comment for a follow. Now, I don’t think this ramble can be classed as moaning – or is it? I wouldn’t know, you let it show. So, will leave you with this from Tom Odell.

Young Ollie has been playing him repeatedly, will do a full review when I find time, in the meantime, this is the beautiful and haunting “Sense”

Enjoy