Alabama 3 At The O2 Oxford And The Great Phones At Gigs Debate

I don’t go to anywhere near as many live gigs as I used to. I can’t stand the big stadium gigs anymore and prefer to stick to smaller venues supporting independent artists wherever I can. The O2 in Oxford is probably the biggest venue I’ve been to for a while now and even that still feels quite intimate.

Friday night we went to see Alabama 3 at the O2 Oxford. I’m not known for my love of dancing at gigs, mainly because I have no rhythm, coordination or style on the dance floor but Alabama 3 is a band that no matter how badly I dance or how uncool I look I don’t care, I defy anyone to go and see them and not venture beyond the ‘tapping your foot on the spot and swaying a bit’ moves.

They were brilliant, I danced, I drank and I ached like f%*k the following day but it was worth it.

I rarely take pics at gigs unless I have a pass to take the ‘real’ camera in with me. As someone who’s a little on the short side it’s hard enough to see anything of the band at most venues as it is without someone waving their phone in the air in front of me trying to make a wobbly, out of focus, video that they can post on social media.

But it’s still nice to have clips we can look back at and most of the time there isn’t an official video and if there is it costs too much to be able to use and arguably by posting on social media we’re helping the band by promoting them?

With that in mind here’s a video that I found on youtube of my favourite Alabama 3 song. Buy their albums, go see them and Dance 🙂


A New Chapter?

Well 2016 was a bit crap wasn’t it?

Never mind the day the music died, 2016 was the year the music died – Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frey, Rick Parfitt, George Michael, Greg Lake and Prince Buster were just a few of the musicians that left us this year.

At times it felt like it wasn’t safe to read the news in case someone else had died and the curse of 2016 came home for us when Matts Mum died in  April after a short battle with Cancer. It’s been a difficult year at times with a lot of changes that were out of our control.

We’ve got a lot of plans for 2017, more changes, big changes but positive moves this time and I’m excited for the year ahead but there were good times last year despite the world going slightly mad so it’s time for the traditional end of year round up of my favourite albums.

Continue reading “A New Chapter?”

Scavenger Hunt 101 – A Flag Other Than My Native Country.

Common People came to Oxford on May 28th and 29th. The sun shone, the (very expensive) wine flowed and the music blasted out across South Park.


(Photographic Scavenger Hunt 101 – the full list)

I have to admit to being a bit out of practice on surviving a festival and although Common People was a two-day event we only went for the Saturday, too much sun, too much excess and too much money spent on day-one put us off going back for the second day but it was a lovely day. What’s not to enjoy, live music, friends and a drink (or several).

Continue reading “Scavenger Hunt 101 – A Flag Other Than My Native Country.”

Picnic In the Park


In the absence of getting off my (uninspired) butt and doing a 5 things for last week here’s the short version – 1 thing I liked about last week.

An hour or so in a slightly wet (but mainly sunny) and very windy Brockwell Park at an acoustic Picnic with Laura Kidd aka She Makes War. A perfect soundtrack for a Sunday afternoon.

Here Comes The Rain.

The UK Music Festival season has begun. Kicking off this weekend with the first of the major venues – The Isle Of Wight Festival, and with it comes the rain. There was a time when I’d have braved anything the elements could come up with to spend a weekend in a field listening to music but, even if it pains me to say it, I don’t want to do it anymore.


I’ve gone for days without decent food or sleep, lived on a diet of alcohol and junk, levitated above festival loos and loved every minute of it but there comes a time in life when proper food, a comfy bed and hot and cold running water become necessities and much as I love the idea of a festival the reality is not for me anymore. There’s still a part of me that would love to do Glastonbury one day but unless there’s a hotel and a guest pass  it’s not going to happen.

Thankfully my festival days were back when we had film in our cameras. I don’t think we even had phones, if we did they definitely didn’t have cameras (yes – I am old) so there aren’t a lot of photographs but even then I always had a camera on me. (unless I’m in it – I took it).

(Click on any image to view large/as a slideshow)

So to get into the spirit of the season from the comfort of home I’m playing an album from all the bands that are at the Isle Of Wight today that I have in my itunes, enjoying a glass or two of wine and hosting my own, civilised, warm, dry version of the day.


The Line Up