People Watching at a Rock Concert

So the rock music year began a couple of days ago with a visit to legendary Glasgow venue ‘The Barrowlands’, to see Halestorm. For once hubby and I didn’t queue all day like mad people to get to the front. For this one, we lurked at the back, drank Irn Bru, and enjoyed the music. I also enjoyed something you can’t do if you’re on the barrier: people watching.

The wonderfully tacky  Barrowland sign  - its been like this for as long as I can remember. Pic courtesy of Gordon Soutar

The wonderfully tacky Barrowland sign – its been like this for as long as I can remember. Pic courtesy of Gordon Soutar

It’s fascinating to watch other people at gigs. Most people are similar: bouncing up and down, air punching, horns up, singing along, having a good time and not spoiling anyone else’s night, even if they’ve had a few drinks. It’s great fun looking around and seeing everyone united in support of a fantastic band.

Then there are those who behave in such a way that they either a) mystify me or b) get on my nerves. Here are a few examples:

Moshers. Especially the ones who are clearly off their face. Why go to a gig and throw yourself into a melee of nutters where you’re extremely likely to get injured? The ones who are totally out of it – they could be anywhere. Why pay all that money when you’re not paying attention to the band?
Having said this, my friend’s son seems to be on the way to becoming an expert mosher. Must ask him what he sees in it… 🙂

Excessively drunk people in general. Who appear to have no idea where they are. Again, why not just go the pub? Then there are the ones who are rowdy and aggressive and spoil it for others, especially youngsters who are new to gigs. Take your drunken bad attitude somewhere else. Home, preferably.

On to something not annoying, but mystifying…okay, it is annoying. The couple who stood near to us and basically snogged the faces off each other for most of the gig. Hello, the band is over there! Yuck, you’re distracting me. Again, please take it home where you can’t gross everyone else out.

If you’re a big lad, don’t squeeze through and then stand in front of the shortest lassie you can find. That’s just rude. Stand behind her, you moron! She might thank you for it later…okay, probably not. 😉

When the band play the occasional ballad, don’t talk all the way through it. There’s Lzzy Hale with her beautiful voice and piano, singing her heart out – for all of about two minutes. Don’t worry, hardcore rockers, the noisy stuff will be back shortly. In the meantime, shut the f**k up.

I’m sure those of you who don’t see the appeal of going to gigs are thinking ‘Ugh, that’s why I don’t want to go!’ Let me reiterate that most people are NOT like this. Rock fans are some of the nicest folk you will ever meet. I’ve made so many friends around the world and had so much support from my rock music community. It’s become a cliché in itself, I know, but I find that the tattooed, pierced, black-clad brigade are usually far nicer and much less judgemental than many others I’ve met. Anyway, I digress.

Mz Lzzy Hale rocking out wearing our flag. Pic courtesy of Coral McCallum

Mz Lzzy Hale rocking out wearing our flag. Pic courtesy of Coral McCallum

Halestorm played a blistering set and further secured their place on my list of top bands to see live. I love Lzzy Hale’s lyrics – her songs really resonate with me: strong empowered women taking charge of their lives, especially in the bedroom. Sexy stuff. Some of my erotica pieces are actually inspired by her words. Then there’s her brother Arejay on drums. This guy has to be seen to be believed! No hiding behind the drum kit for him – he’s a consummate entertainer and a huge part of the rock show.

Arejay Hale demonstrates his unique drumming style. Pic courtesy of Coral McCallum

Arejay Hale demonstrates his unique drumming style. Pic courtesy of Coral McCallum

Next gigs are folk and orchestral music – yes, really! Then it’s back to rock again at the end of April. Until then, I’ll just have to crank up the new surround sound system. 😉


(This post also features on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog Fiction Writers Blog Hop.
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Let the craziness commence!

Hello and goodbye! No, not forever, just for a week! Tomorrow is the start of my October holiday. Gigs, friends, shows, funfairs, ballrooms, cups of tea, pints of beer, too many calories…you get the idea.

As you all must know by now (unless you’ve been going la-la-la over my last few posts, and I wouldn’t blame you), I’m off to see awesome band Alter Bridge in concert on Monday AND Tuesday. They will be ably supported by other excellent bands Halestorm and Shinedown. So during the day for the first two days I will be standing in a queue, wearing lots of layers and drinking lots of coffee. In the evenings, I will be getting crushed against a barrier, singing screaming my head off and loving it. Some of you will be mystified by why this could be thought fun, but for me it is, honestly!

Then I’m off to Blackpool for a few days. Once more I will try and drag long-suffering hubby onto the Pepsi-Max Rollercoaster. He always wriggles out of it somehow. 😉 Blackpool, for those overseas readers who don’t know, is the quintessential British seaside town. It’s glitzy, it’s tacky, it’s chilly (at least at this time of year) and it’s fun. The reason we visit in October is for the Illuminations. The town is lit up by millions of bulbs, including the Tower (smaller version of the Eiffel Tower) and the Promenade (which is six miles long). This Lights Festival was founded in 1879 and runs from September to November.

Blackpool Illuminations

Blackpool Illuminations

Blackpool has three piers, which together with the town have theatres, fortune tellers, and all kinds of other attractions. There is also the Pleasure Beach, one of the most visited amusement parks in the world. It’s home to the massive rollercoaster I keep trying to get hubby to ride on. I think I like Blackpool so much because it reminds of my childhood. We were a seaside holiday sort of family. We didn’t go abroad for various reasons, so resorts like Blackpool were where I spent my summers. I won’t be paddling in the sea at this time of year, though!

When I get back, Halloween will be almost here! That’s an important day in our neighbourhood. More on that next time. On the day itself, Jennifer M Zeiger will be guesting on my blog, talking about scary anthology Midnight Abyss, which is published on Halloween. I’ve read a few of the stories from this new book and they’re great. Looking forward to chatting with Jennifer, and reading Midnight Abyss whilst lying in wait for trick-or-treaters!

Well, I better sign off and start packing lots of woolly jumpers for my queueing and my seaside break. I can’t go without leaving you with an early Music Monday: one more song from Alter Bridge. This is a real crowd pleaser. From their Live at Wembley DVD, here’s ‘Rise Today’.

See you all in a week!

Music Monday: Shinedown

Next stop on the Rocktober countdown: Shinedown. I confess I got to know this band quite late, considering it’s ten years since they released their first album. I’d been hearing them on rock radio stations for years, but only started to pay proper attention when they released their third album, The Sound of Madness, in 2008. Their fourth album, Amaryllis, is one of those perfect, not-a-bad-song-on-it albums for me. I can happily drive around for hours listening to it.

Pic courtesy of L-R: Zach, Barry, Eric, Brent

Pic courtesy of
L-R: Zach, Barry, Eric, Brent

Shinedown formed in 2001. Of the original line-up, Brent Smith (vocals) and Barry Kerch (drums) remain, their current line-up featuring Eric Bass (bass) and Zach Myers (guitar). Don’t they do a good job of looking scary in this photo? 😉

Shinedown, along with Halestorm, are supporting the wonderful Alter Bridge on their UK tour – now only one week until I see them all! Yay! Lots of interconnections between these bands: many years ago in 2006, Shinedown played their first overseas concert in London supporting Alter Bridge. In 2010, Shinedown released a deluxe edition of their album The Sound of Madness, featuring the song ‘Breaking Inside’, with guest vocals from Lzzy Hale – great song. Wonder if they’ll sing it together on the tour? Halestorm’s ‘deluxe version’ of ‘Here’s To Us’ features both Brent from Shinedown and Myles from AB on guest vocals.

I think this line-up of bands for a gig is pretty near perfect. Each is a headline act in their own right, so it’s an icing-on-the-cake, cherry-on-top situation to see them altogether. I would also like to say here, that the ticket price is the same as it would be for one band of that calibre. I commend whoever resisted the chance to charge silly money for this tour – because they could have.

My video for this week is ‘Unity’ from Shinedown’s latest album Amaryllis. Shinedown’s music can be quite dark (same as Halestorm and AB – you detecting a pattern here?), but this track is really uplifting. Great concert footage, starting with one of those little mantras that bands chant, to get psyched up to go on stage. They all have them!


Music Monday: Halestorm

Yay, it’s week two of the countdown to entertainment madness (otherwise known as the last week in October). This week it’s the mighty Halestorm on my blog. This band feature a brother and sister who are, respectively, one of the most barking mad drummers I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few), and my rock chick girl crush. 😉

Pic courtesy of L-R: Arejay, Josh, Lzzy, Joe

Pic courtesy of
L-R: Arejay, Josh, Lzzy, Joe

Lzzy Hale and her brother Arejay started the band over a decade ago when she was 13 and he was 10! Joined in 2004/2005 by guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith, they released their debut album ‘Halestorm’ in 2009. They toured constantly for the following two years, and in 2012 released their second album, ‘The Strange Case Of…’ I loved everything about this album as soon as I heard it, from the title to the wide mix of songs. The album features beautiful ballads, alongside rousing rock anthems and surely one of the fastest songs ever (‘Love Bites’). It was when the band were writing the album that they realised the collection of songs was a bit schizophrenic. Lzzy then went off and wrote ‘Mz Hyde’ about the two different sides to her personality. I think the song perfectly describes me as well, along with quite a few of the other songs that Lzzy has written! I also find that her lyrics inspire my flash fiction and short stories a lot. Hence my little crush on her.

Here’s the video for ‘Freak Like Me’, from the album ‘The Strange Case Of…’. It has some great ‘on tour’ footage, including crowd surfing. It also pretty well describes the bunch of people I’ll be at the gigs with. That’s a COMPLIMENT, guys, before any of you give me a pile of verbal abuse. 😉

Really looking forward to seeing Lzzy and her guys in October. Here they are – enjoy!

Musical inspiration (and practising adding video!)

I’ve just finished the first draft of a short story. Before I tackle draft two, I’m taking a break and a step back, as I always do. I thought I’d use the time to play around with adding video to my blog, something I haven’t tried yet. I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Huh? What’s the big deal?” Listen, for a technophobe like me, it’s all very challenging.

So, what’s the video? It’s something that’s part of what could be called the ‘soundtrack’ to my writing. Well, some of my writing. Okay, the erotica.

Halestorm, and in particular Lzzy Hale, writes some great, dark, sexy rock songs. I adore Lzzy’s lyrics – she seems to have the same attitude to men in her lyrics as I do in my fiction. Not in real life, of course, or hubby would have divorced me by now. 😉

Anyway, this is ‘I Get Off’ by Halestorm. Although some of you will enjoy just watching Lzzy, if you listen to the lyrics you’ll see what I mean by dark and sexy. It certainly gets me in the mood when I want that feeling in my writing!

Just checked the video and it’s worked – yay! Now roll on October when I get to see the band for real.

So, this is Frisky Friday…on Music Monday I could practise posting a video from my iPad instead! (Everyone groans). Hey, don’t knock it – I might need to do that while I’m on holiday. There may be video footage of me doing something terribly interesting/exciting/embarrassing – the latter being the most likely…