Posts Tagged ‘gig’

Michelle’s comedy gig

Monday, March 16th, 2020 | Friends

Ultra Comedy is an organisation that takes volunteers, spends eight weeks training them up, and then puts on a stand-up comedy gig in which they all perform. The whole process is a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK.

The quality was high. You might not expect that from people who had never done stand-up eight weeks ago, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Some of the jokes did go a little too far, though. And, to be honest, that is not a sentence I ever really thought I would write.

Michelle did brilliantly and got laughs all the way through.

Mark Knopfler at Leeds Arena

Sunday, May 26th, 2019 | Music

Last year, Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits fame) announced he was playing a gig in Leeds. It seemed like an excellent birthday present for my dad. Thus began an agonising five-month wait where we all had to keep quiet about it, not easy when my mum’s friends were talking about how they were going. Well worth it in the end, though!

Leeds Arena has tight security on the night. Everyone had to go through airport-style scanners and put their valuables in a little tray. We were on level 2, which didn’t seem that high up until we took our seats. It also meant that I really struggled to see the stage clearly. But the audio was fine.

I saw Knopfler play in Sheffield a few years ago. Quite a lot has changed. First, he has gained in popularity. Sheffield had maybe 3-4 thousand people there, Leeds was closer to 10.

Second, this was more of a rock show. His Sheffield gig was a bit folkier and he was changing guitar mid-song to do little fiddly bits. This time he only changed his guitar at the end of each song (which is still a lot of guitars), played his more popular solo stuff as well as a few Straits classics and it was more upbeat.

Finally, he is definitely a bit older. He shuffles around the stage a little more and plays with more of a stoop. That is perhaps understandable when you are still busting our two-hour shows at the age of 69, though (not that it’s stopping Pete Townsend!).

An evening with Mark Knopfler

Monday, June 1st, 2015 | Music, Reviews

Mark Knopfler is an amazing guitarist and it was his work shredding the licks in Dire Straits that inspired me to pick up the guitar. So I was quite excited when he announced he would be touring with his band, including a stop in Sheffield.

We were in Nottingham in the morning, and I had training, so we had to drive all the way back to Leeds and then drive right back down the M1 to the gig that evening. We did get lucky though – I assumed there would be a support band on, so I didn’t set off until 6:40. Turns out he did start at 7:30, but due to sheer luck we got straight down the motorway and into the car park, ending up right next to the entrance and got in just as the lights went down.

Critics might say that the two hours and fifteen minutes they played for was fifteen minutes short of The Who. Lazy even. But I was pretty happy with the length!

He played Sultans of Wing, Romeo & Juliet, Telegraph Road and So Far Away, as well as a load of new stuff. He actually has more new stuff that I have actually listened to, as I only recognised one or two of his solo tunes even though I thought I had listened to most of it. His new stuff is so-so. It’s good, but it’s little guitar riffs, and doesn’t show off his skills as much as when he does a full song like Sultans or Telegraph Road.

I have never seen someone change guitars as much a Mark. It’s odd because in Guitar Stories he said he got the Pentair made because he didn’t want the hassle of switching between his Strat and his Les Paul. Yet in the gig he switched guitars every song, and in many songs, in the middle of the song as well!

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Sunday Assembly Leeds April 2015

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 | Humanism, Music

In March we totally rocked it with the first performance of the house band at Sunday Assembly Leeds. In April we strutted our stuff once again with an expanded line-up.

Bad Moon Rising was probably the most exciting for me as I was leading the vocals on that one. The other songs worked really well as well, though due to unfortunate camera placement, I’m mostly invisible in the other two.

Bad Moon Rising

The Monster Mash

The Time Warp

Cut Out Shapes at Wharf Chambers

Friday, May 1st, 2015 | Events, Music, Reviews


Wharf Chambers is a new venue located where the Common Place used to be. It’s a members-only club, though membership is just £1 and we just went in. With a good reason of course, we were there for a gig. We got there just in time to see one of the warm-up bands, Secateurs.

They were very good. At first they were just irritatingly loud but as our ears adjusted I began to really enjoy their set.

Cut Out Shapes put on the usual high standard of performance, even doing an encore of a song they claimed they did not know how the play.

Tenacious D

Friday, December 20th, 2013 | Music, Reviews

I’ve never walked out of a gig before because it was so bad. That is, until I went to see Tenacious D.

The gig was really late. It was billed as starting at 7pm but when I arrived at 8pm the support act was still on and didn’t disappear until 8:25. This meant it was nearly 9pm by the time Tenacious D took to the stage.

The venue certainly didn’t help. Leeds Academy sell more tickets than they actually have seats for on the balcony with the end result being that a lot of people are standing. Because you face down towards the stage, this means if you’re not right at the front you can’t see anything.

I could barely see Jack Black and when I tried to ask the staff where I could actually see the whole stage, which seemed a fair enough question for the £35 I paid, they physically pushed me away and just said “not there”.

Not that it was a specular spectacle to behold anyway. With the description of a stripped-back acoustic session I expected an atmosphere that felt intimate and low-key. What they actually seemed to mean was that Jack and Kyle simply cannot keep up anymore.

Between every song there would be a few minutes of silence while they tried to get their breath back, had a drink and towelled off their sweating faces. No continuation, no stage presence, it could barely be called a show.

After half an hour I just couldn’t take anymore. Heart-breaking.

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Saturday, November 13th, 2010 | Distractions, Life, Reviews

With Norm having a spare ticket to the Gorillaz gig at MEN last night, I decided to take him up on the offer and head over. The train journey over there was a nightmare – pretty much every train in or out of Leeds was running late and so we started off fifteen minutes late only to find we could only crawl to Pudsey.

So an hour into this journey we hadn’t even made it out of Leeds yet with the official reason for the problems being a combination of a gearbox problem and “the track being wet.” So we spent another twenty minutes or so waiting for the Blackpool train which was only a few minutes behind us apparently so turn up so it could push us into Bradford at which point they gave up on our train and cancelled it.

Once we had found another train the journey finally got going and I ended up reaching Manchester about quarter past nine – over three hours after having set off but just in time for the set – Gorillaz had just taken to the stage and were onto their third song by the time I got to my seat.

Some, who regularly go to bland and unpopular bands who can’t fill a large audience, would wonder whether they were looking at musicians or ants at stadium gigs but luckily we had no such problems – the seats themselves were really good – it was as far forward as you can get (I was in seat 3) on the left side, about half way up the lower tier.

There were a huge number of people involved in the performance. The regular act consisted of Damon Albarn, three guitarists, two drummers, four vocalists, a five piece string orchestra and two or three other people meaning just as standard there were nearly 20 people on stage, plus on top of that they had a brass band and another orchestra that did some sets and maybe 8-10 guest vocalists as well resulting in there being probably 40 people on stage at various points throughout the gig!

Despite not being that familiar with a lot of Gorillaz’ music I really enjoyed the gig, well worth the wait.


Saturday, November 13th, 2010 | Distractions, Life, Reviews


On Thursday, we headed down to Sheffield to see Paramore. The wind and the rain made for an interesting journey, but never the less we made it down in good time and after grabbing some food we headed in just to see the final few songs of B.o.B.

Paramore themselves hit the stage at around 9:15 and played an almost identical set list to the one they had played in Nottingham a few days earlier, which was great, because those were the songs I had been listening to non-stop since 😀 .

I really enjoyed the gig, probably more than Linkin Park, mainly due to us having standing tickets which was well worth the premium cost as you get so much more atmosphere on the floor – not to mention more room to get into the rhythm.

Linkin Park

Sunday, November 7th, 2010 | Distractions, Reviews

Linkin Park

On Thursday myself and Norm headed over to Manchester to see Linkin Park at the MEN.

Turns out that the upper tier is somewhat higher than I remembered from last time I was there so booking seats up there wasn’t exactly the smartest idea. Still once you get settled in you eventually reach a point where you don’t feel like you could fall to your death at any moment which is nice.

Until recently I had forgotten how awesome Linkin Park where so having rediscovered them safely in time for the gig it was awesome to see them live. I’m not sure how well their new stuff really works in a gig setting as it’s a bit experimental a lot of the time, which works really well in the context of an album but maybe not so much in a gig.

Never the less they are still great songs though and when you add in the classics it made for a really enjoyable performance – especially when badly screaming along to every song is not only permitted but actually a good replication of the band 😉 .