me1

Glenn's Journal

Tune in, turn on, burn out.

(no subject)
me1
glenndm
Well it has been over a month since I last updated this thing. During that time I have thoroughly enjoyed the mittelalter night that erming organised, the Resurence goth night in Portsmouth and a day out in Oxford.

I have also been to a couple more gigs. The first one was the Gotham one day festival that I seem to go to every year (apart from last year). This year the main attraction for me on the line up were The Eden House and once again they put on a great show, though it was a shame they weren't on for longer. I also went to the Infernal Damnation metal all dayer which I've always seemed to miss in previous years which had 8 bands for the price of about £16. The main one for me were the Romanian ambient black metal band Negura Bunget who somehow managed to fit their collection of percussion and medieval instruments on the small underworld stage. The show was suitably atmospheric for the event and they were the highlight of the evening for me though I also enjoyed Fen and De Profundis.

As for this weekend, I think I'm off to Slimelight on Saturday for the last UK Voices of Masada gig. Maybe see some of you there.

Yesterday
me1
glenndm
Yesterday was one of those random, unplanned days that ended up being rather exciting. Emily had a job interview in Camden and since I'm off work at the moment I decided to meet up with her afterwards. We met up in the place that does nice tea and cake in Camden market before a wander around the market itself. We then had lunch in the Ice Wharf and bought tickets for Gotham from Resurrection Records. After that, we decided to go to Andy's Greek Teverna for the first time in years and I really forgot how amazing the food was there. When Emily lived in Camden we always used to go there to celebrate special occasions and it was good to be back again. Then on the way back to the tube station, Emily was spotted by a couple of friends from her PGCE so we ended up having a drink in a pub with them. It was a nice day out.

The Vision Bleak and Alcest on Wednesday night
me1
glenndm
Got to the Purple Turtle at 15 minutes before opening time and a queue had already formed for the gig. Was surprised to see that Orkus were one of the promoters of the tour over Europe but I guess at least 2 of the 4 bands on the night will be playing at WGT this year. Once doors opened, the queue was very slow to get in, thanks in no part to the bouncers IDing most of the queue (I felt a bit sorry for those who had come a long way to not be allowed in). This meant I missed most of the opening band Fen though I did catch their last couple of songs and look forward to hearing them properly at the Infernal Damnation festival in a couple of weeks.

Next on were a band called Fjoergyn who I'd never previously heard but liked their show. Despite their name, they are very German and reminded me a bit of Die Apokalyptischen Reiter without the on stage theatrics. French shoegazing post-metal band Alcest followed and seemed to draw the largest crowd of the night possibly from people who have waited years to see them live. The performanance was very atmospheric and strangely relaxing with some nice vocal harmonies and guitar effects though there was a bit of room for some of their earlier more black-metal inspired material too. Definitely recommend them for anyone looking for shoegazey stuff at Leipzig. Then the crowd emptied out quite a bit before The Vision Bleak presumably because the gig was over running, either that or Alcest are bigger than I thought. Anyway I managed to get to the front and really enjoyed their brand of horror-inspired metal, Yes, they are cheesy, but they always put on a good show. Carpathia and crowd pleaser Kutulu were highlights of the set for me.

The gig finished at about 11.30 and driving back was more problematic than I hoped with the closure of the A33 between Reading and Basingstoke. The diversion arrow disappeared and I drove down some country lane where a couple of deer walked in the road and I had to brake immediately! Luckily I was driving quite slowly and had plenty of time to stop but it was still a bit scary.

All in all it was a really good night though. Gig 3 of the week will be Gotham featuring Clan of Xymox, The Eden House etc at the Islington Academy tomorrow. Just out of interest does anyone know the policy on re-entry to the venue? I would like to get there in time for the opening band Legion but nothing else really interests me until Lahannya so at some point I'll probably want to pop out and find a bite to eat.

Opeth 20th anniversary show at the Royal Albert Hall
me1
glenndm
Went to the gig on Monday night. Emily and I allowed ourselves a bit extra time to get to the venue and made it there for about 6pm. We couldn't find any pubs nearby but the staff at the Royal Albert Hall did allow us in for a drink at the Champagne bar (which served Old Speckled Hen) and to use their toilets. Whilst there I met a couple that had come all the way from Cyprus for the gig and a webmaster of the Paradise Lost website. It was then that we realised that we had actually manage to dodge any outside queues and managed to get to the merchandise whilst the masses waited outside! There were also programs for sale which I found surprising. We made our way to our seats at 6.45. We had a really good view from the lower tier seating and the venue looked spectacular. I also noticed that Christian and Lorraine were sitting only a couple of rows behind us so we talked for a while.

Opeth came on stage at about 7.30. The first part of their set consisted of playing their Blackwater Park album in its entirety. There was no talking between songs, they just played the album from start to finish and the acoustics of the venue were great. The silhouette-style visuals featuring bleak forest scenes and variations on the Opeth logo also added to the experience.

There was then a 20 minute interval then the band return to play one song from each of their albums chronologically from oldest to newest. There was a lot more interaction with the crowd during this set. At the start of each song, the singer talked about the stage at which the band were at that point in time and there was much opportunity for his black humour and swearing! I could tell how much it meant for the band to be playing there though, bringing death metal to the halls of culture as he put it. It was especially nice to finally hear them play The Moor from the Still Life album. Even a technical hitch in their final song couldn't stop this being a great gig, easily the best time I've seen them. They were on for close to 3 hours and apparently the gig was filmed. I saw Italian Richard whilst walking back to the tube and he also really enjoyed the show.

Next up is The Vision Bleak and Alcest at the Purple Turtle tonight!

The Last Month
me1
glenndm
Updates seem to be a more monthly thing now! Anyway since I last posted here, I have been to Portchester Castle near Portsmouth, seen New Model Army play a fantastic gig in Southampton, visited a chocolate festival on London's South Bank and enjoyed dr_locrian's birthday meal at the Rainforest Cafe. I'm sure I have done other things but can't remember them at the moment.

As for immediate future plans, Emily's friends Elinor and Jenny are coming over soon and Emily has baked lots of cakes and scones! I am visiting relatives in Essex tomorrow. On Monday I shall be seeing Opeth play at The Royal Albert Hall! They should be on for over 2 hours and are playing the entire Blackwater Park album so that should be really good. The gigs continue on Wednesday night with The Vision Bleak/Alcest at the Purple Turtle. As for next weekend, there is Gotham and Scott djing at Reptile as well as Tanz Macabre which I will hopefully be able to make.

It is nice to have 2 weeks off work now. :)

What I've been up to + Top ten gigs this year
me1
glenndm
Been a while since I posted, mainly because I have spent a lot of time indoors. However, I did make it to the Christmas meal at Zetgeist that erming had organised and had a fantastic time. Great beer, food and company, it is a shame that Emily was too ill to make it. However, we did have a really nice curry at our local Indian restaurant last night. Definitely must return there at some point too.

The Saturday before Zeitgeist I did venture into Basingstoke goth nightlife attending a one off Zombie night at the Bang Bar. Was good and unexpected to see postie_chris there, I'm hoping that there will be more goth nights at that venue.

It has been quiet on the gig front though over the last couple of months. I thought about going to the Nightbreed all-dayer but was put off by the 20 pound on the door charge for the event. I remember the days when you could 3 nightbreed acts at the Duchess of York in Leeds for about £3.50. Thats inflation for you over the last 12 years! Nevertheless, I did see the 13 Candles performance as the gig was streamed on the Nightbreed website. I meant to watch Two Witches as well but forgot.

Speaking of gigs, I have been seen far fewer bands than in previous years partly because of the move further away from London and also doing just the one summer festival this year. Anyway, I have done a top ten for the last 5 years so why stop now. This years top 10 is as follows.

My top ten shows of 2009Collapse )

I may at some point compile a gig of the decade list though only a maximum of two of these would make that top 10 list I think.

Isle of Wight
me1
glenndm
Had a very enjoyable weekend with Emily on the Isle of Wight. We caught our ferry without any problem on the Saturday morning and went straight to the Victorian Christmas event at Osborne House, where we watched an amusing theatrical performance of A Christmas Carol, listened to Jack Black the rat catcher and some singing chimney sweepers and walked around the house and gardens seeing an actress playing Queen Victoria along the way. We then saw a cool one man magic/juggling/unicycle show before the event finished for the day. We then drove to Ryde where we found our hotel room (which was more like a mini apartment, couldn't believe how much we got for the price!) That evening we headed to a pub called the King Lud on the Esplanade for food and local ale. It was good to see how dog-friendly the place was and the locals also seemed friendly. Then a blues/hard rock band played mostly cover versions but they had a very talented guitarist and were good at what they did. When they finished the music went rather late 80s rock, which I was quite enjoying until a local opinionated nutter approached us. He was quite patronising but harmless enough. Think he was just a wind up merchant to be honest, though I'm a bit worried if I do really look like a member of Status Quo since they're about 30 years older than me and look it! We stayed until about 12 when we took the short walk back to the hotel.

On Sunday we woke up in time for breakfast, but had a fairly light one as we were looking forward to eating at The Garlic Farm that lunchtime. On the way, we stopped off at Waltzing Waters to see the light and water show. We arrived at The Garlic Farm at about 12.30 and just in time to get a table without having to queue. I really loved the food there, the main course must have had at least 3 types of garlic from the farm in it but still didn't feel overpowering and the garlic bread was also delicious, probably one of the best meals I've ever had. Also nice to see the peacocks and red squirrels outside while we ate. We stocked up on lots of nice garlicy food in the farm shop before going on a walk around the farm for a while. We then had time for a quick walk around Carisbrooke Castle where we saw a donkey on a large wheel taking a bucket out of the well (don't worry, it was the only work it did all day and is well looked after!). Soon after, we caught the ferry back to the mainland. It was nice to get away for a while, the rain didn't spoil a nice weekend. :)

(no subject)
me1
glenndm
Life has been quiet since I've returned to work but I did finally make it out to my local pub on Saturday night which was also holding a beer festival. The pub is owned by Fullers (like the Barrowboy and Banker where Vagabonds is held) so the usual range of beers is pretty good. Tried the Golden Pride which at 8.5% felt like drinking a Belgian beer. Glad I only had half a pint of that one! There was also an interesting chocolate orange stout as part of the festival and the staff were friendly offering us a complimentary beer since they felt our food had been delayed. Personally, I didn't think that the food did take that long to arrive but I wasn't going to refuse a beer on the house! The beer festival continues until Sunday so I may return at some point this weekend.

As for other plans, next week I'm off to the Isle of Wight. Emily and I will be at a Victorian Christmas event at Osborne House on the Saturday daytime followed by spending the evening in Ryde. Then we'll be returning on the Sunday evening. I haven't been to the Isle of Wight since I went with my parents 15 years ago. Last time I went, the holiday was cut tragically short with the sudden death of my Nan. Hopefully, things will be better this time!

My week off work
me1
glenndm
I have been up to quite a lot during this time. On the Saturday before last, I went to Zeitgeist for Clive's birthday celebration. There were lots of people there and many good German beers to be had. A group of us then went to the London Goth Meetup group night at Fleet Street which was also well attended and there was some great music courtesy of jonny_eol. At about 12 we then went to Slimelight where I have to say I was very impressed with the changes made to the venue. The new chillout pool and cake room has to be seen to be believed (and the cake is delicious) and I also liked the tube train bar in the courtyard area which I was quite amused to see "Upminster" as the destination. Quite apt for where I used to live. I also enjoyed dancing on the goth floor, but once that closed Emily and I then made our way back home. I renewed my membership during the night too so will have to make it back there.

As for the rest of the week, on Tuesday we made our made to nearby Wiltshire for the day. First stop was Stonehenge, which I had never actually been to. I found the place fascinating, though it was a shame that you could not walk inside the stone circle like you can at Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria for example. Still I enjoyed it and bought lots of stuff in the gift shop. we then made further use of our English Heritage cards and went to Old Sarum near Salisbury which was the site of an old fort and cathedral. Again it was very interesting. Next up was Old Wardour Castle which was at the top of some bendy narrow roads which made for an interesting driving experience! It was well worth the effort though. The castle was remarkably well preserved and had an imposing and atmospheric look about it. The surrounding countryside was nice too. Our final destination on the day was Salisbury where we went to the cathedral which apparently contains the oldest working clock in existence before finishing the evening with food in a local pub.

On Thursday we drove out again, the time to Brockenhurst where Emily could ride a white horse around the New Forest before going to a small village called Burley where every second shop seemed to have something to do with witches (due to a white witch living there in the 50s), even the pub we went into was suitably Halloween themed! We also found a gift shop to buy bottles of local scrumpy and mead.

Finally, there was Georgie and Lee's party on Saturday which was really enjoyable. They must have put so much effort into decorating the place and it looked great. Thank you letting us come! :) It was also nice to catch up with a lot of people. Given the traffic on the South Circular Road, we arrived a little later than I had hoped which meant that Vagabonds wasn't really an option. We left at about 2.30 when other people also started to leave, driving this time via Croydon to drop Jodie off which actually seemed a quicker route.

Back at work this week, so far so good.

Last weekend
me1
glenndm
Quite a busy one, even though I didn't make it into London. On Friday night Skippy came to visit and we ate pumpkins filled with cheese. Saturday was the Hampshire Octoberfest, which would have been great if the beer didn't keep running out! However, I still got to sample quite a few Hampshire beers, and the Milestones museum was pretty cool. On Sunday, we went to Bray Lake to watch Rose and her boyfriend Michael do their bungee jumps. The guy before them in the mankini was very brave considering the weather!

As for this weekend, on Saturday I'm off to Zeitgeist for Clive's birthday. Anyone know if there is a goth floor at Slimelight this week? It is about time I made it back there. Have next week off work so have to think of exciting things to do during this free time.

In other news, the first bands for M'era Luna next year have already been announced.

The Sisters of Mercy, In Extremo, Unheilig, Lacrimas Profundere, Das Ich und Illuminate

Looks good to me so far, though I hope to actually hear Andrew Eldritch this time after the performance this year! It's great to see In Extremo back on the line up, always a pleasure.

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