So in January 2011 I went to my first and last Big Day Out style concert… and the only thing that enticed me to go was Rammstein was on the bill.  The 20-25 mins they were on stage was easily the BEST music gig I have ever been to (second runner up would have to be Pavarotti’s Farewell Tour – ooh goosebumps just thinking about that one), and sadly felt like a teaser trailer with such a short set.

Anyway, I have this one photo taken when we saw Rammstein in 2011, and I’ve always loved it; blurry mess of non-image forming blown out highlights, that it is… myself, BigSal, Yale and DA were at the show and man, did we pity poor Tool who came on after them and seemed so completely flat and boring in comparison.  Ever since, I have always wanted to go see them do a big stadium show in Europe – preferably Berlin, (but the dates just were not going to play nice – and I’m so not gonna be fussy on this one).  This has literally been on my ‘Things to Do Before I Die List’, and last night I finally got to see them in Lyon, France.

It was a fucking amazing, visual and visceral spectacular… and so worth the wait.  I have uploaded a pile of photos here – mostly because this page has slightly less crap image compression than when you share images on FB.  Most of the pics below are mine from last night, and ah and full at the end are some from a Rammstein Forum where they encourage people to steal/share and spread the fiery goodness.   🙂

One thing that is particularly evident – mobile phone image capture quality has improved considerably int he last 11 years!  😀
Stephola and I having a few ‘no shit, here we are!’ moments when we arrived and found out that (due to language barriers) I had booked us seats in a corporate box and the view was excellent of the entire stadium! Spent half the night wishing I was in the mosh pit; the other half of the night thanking fuck I wasn’t!  😉 When these huge flames leapt into the air, seemingly punctuating the music, I swear it felt like our eyebrows had been singed off!  The heat was intense.There was a small stage half way through the GA area that the support act had used earlier in the evening – a duo of pianists playing effectively, Rammstein Unplugged.  It really got the crown going.  The band also turned up on this stage to sing, ‘Engel’ which was beautiful, the crowd sang along (German surtitles provided) and lots of mobile phone torches made for a beautiful backdrop.After they finished that song, they crowd surfed back to the stage on rubber dinghies. Caught this pic of Till Lindemann’s flaming backpack, you can see the accelerant has sprayed out, right before the streams are ignited.  Way to go iPhone 13 Pro… not bad under difficult lighting.It’s a crazy thing to do – fly 15,000 kms to go see a band, but was so totally worth it.  After seeing this stadium gig, I imagine we won’t ever see anything like this in Australia.  We don’t have the populace to warrant the equipment, expertise and expense of bringing this show or anything like it, Down Under.

So glad we went. Even the walking and try to get an Uber for an hour couldn’t dampen our elation…. Though I was having second thoughts when we didn’t get back to the hotel until 0130 and I had to be up for my flights at 0445.

Life in the Fast Train

I’m awake bright and early this morning to pack my suitcase and get my shit sorted because we are heading to Lyon!  We’ve got to take a train from Leighton Buzzard to London, then a cab from Euston Station to St Pancras, then the Eurostar from there to Lille in France then change to the TGV to Lyon… so we are setting off from ‘the Buzz’ (I’m almost local now so I get to call it that 😉 ) at 0900 and fingers crossed – we should arrive in Lyon at 1900.

Right… let’s skin this cat!

I’m back.  Strangely we will have a bit of time today sitting around on trains and naturally glued to our phones. Got to the train station, and this is totally not connected to anything at all, but there is a cool sprung section of pavement at the Buzz that generates electricity when you walk on it… it’s beta test of some sort to see whether or not larger areas of spung walkways could generate power.  Very cool, I wonder if it’ll become a thing.

However, I digress.  The first segment of our transit went ok… train from the Buzz to London was fine. Met a nice cabbie this time who didn’t make a song and dance or try to rip us off over a short fare from Euston to St Pancras and so for his trouble I gave him £12 for the £8 fare… Take note, Sydney cabbies – it pays not to be a prick!

Once at St Pancras we found we had to wait around until the passengers from previous Eurostar trains had been cleared away before we could be checked though. There was scant little seating but we managed to find somewhere to wait about half hour. The rope lines they have set up are worse than bloody Disneyland and everyone not happy about being directed around like cattle. Anyway, eventually we went in, got scanned out of the UK, went though security and then in through French customs. Was reasonably painless but then we were herded into a large departure lounge with about half as much seating as was required. People were sitting around all over the floor or perched on luggage or coffee tables. But silly really. We managed to snavel a pair of seats and then time completely stopped!  It seemed to take forever for our 12:40 boarding time to roll around. No idea why… it’s a mystery.

Eventually our train was boarding and we settled ourselves onto the Eurostar premier economy seats that Stephola had chosen. Very comfy all round… chairs were good, tables were a useful size and the meal that came with our ticket was quite nice with a wee bottle of rosé to go with it.

The train is incredibly fast and amazingly quiet. Everyone was also abiding by the unwritten rules of being quiet in snooty class travel, which I have to say – I’m really getting used to. I don’t know why economy seats on planes and trains are always so noisy – people playing games and phones not on silent, people just talking too loud… it’s maddening but there’s always a sort of hushed serene atmosphere that comes with more pricey seats. Dammit.

Going through the Chunnel was cool and I honestly had no idea who quick it would be. One minute it’s gone black – the actual tunnel is about 50km long and you’re through it in about 30mins. Before you know it, you’re hurtling through the French countryside which looked beautiful as we passed fields and quaint little villages.

We arrived in Lille to change trains to the TGV much sooner than I expected (possibly because my phone hadn’t automatically changed time zones for me) and then it was a short amount of confusion regarding bathrooms (that were miles away) and platforms (which was the one we had just come up from!) before we were settled on the next train to Lyon.

Another couple of hours in a comfy carriage and next thing we knew we were pulling into Lyon. The Lyon Gare de Part Dieu is being renovated atm so it was a bit of a clusterfuck looking for a bathroom – and ffs France, really?  €1 to use the loo?  Don’t you know that’s really expensive for Antipodeans?! We’ve just paid a small fortune to take a train is it too much to ask that you maintain comfort stops for passengers?  Harumph.

Found our way out to the taxi ranks and met another lovely cabbie (man, I hope that Sydney arsehole got sacked!) who drove us to our hotel… where, oddly enough, every other guest is walking around in black with metal bands on their shirts. Yep. We’re in the right place.

Threw our stuff into our room and went down for a late dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Discovered my French is way too rusty when we ended up with mineral water we didn’t want and two serves of fries we also didn’t want. Never mind we had a nice meal and took a spare bottle of wine to take up to the room.

Slept like a dead thing. Tomorrow – chill out day and then Rammstein!
Very excited. 🙂 

RIP Lemmy… Stone Dead Forever

Twenty four and a half years ago, a bunch of excited wannabe metal heads packed themselves into their crappy, barely roadworthy cars, and drove down from Brisbane to the PlayRoom on the Gold Coast, to see what was promising to be one of the biggest gigs of the year…


This was huge.  We had been looking forward to this gig all year, and after we had finished ignoring Frozen Doberman for about 45 minutes or so, the mosh pit packed tighter as Motörhead came out on stage and opened hard, and stupidly loud, with ‘Ironfist’ assaulting our eardrums – the sound waves physically beating our chests thanks to the Marshall stack from hell covering all the walls barely 15′ in front of us.  Sadly, the whole thing fell apart in a spectacular and rapid fashion when some idiot in the crowd threw a beer can at Lemmy. He warned the crowd to wind their fucking heads in.

They didn’t.

Some complete wanker who was obviously stoned, or missing a few neurons, (or both!), decided to flail a second beer can at the biggest, nastiest looking, motherfuckin’ rock legend the PlayRoom had ever seen. And then, Lemmy pretty much said, ‘Fuck you lot’ and just kinda walked off, leaving the rest of the band momentarily confused before they up and followed him.

Some reports say they played about 5 or 6 songs, some say only 3.  My recollection is more, ‘Fuck! What?! They were just getting started!’ We were unceremoniously herded outside the venue as the crowd was turning ugly – angry people milled about, cops were called, punters were demanding their money back, dog squads arrived, disheartened fans took pictures of Lemmy’s ugly mug out of cherished silver lockets and burned his image on the spot… ok, only one fan (that I know of), burned a tiny cut out picture of Lemmy’s wart covered face that night – any idea who that might be, BigSal? – but you get the idea. We dispersed into the night and never got the chance to see Motörhead play live again.

The incident went down in local metal folklore and still holds a place in various lists of rock’n’roll disasters.  The acrimony towards Lemmy was short lived… one can only be so mad at God for so long.

RIP Lemmy… thanks for the music.

“1991 also saw us support MOTORHEAD on the 1916 TOUR at the now deceased GOLD COAST PLAYROOM. It went down in local folklore for a few reasons, not because we played, but MOTORHEAD only played about 5 songs and walked off pissed at the dumb crowd who threw cans at them, we were left with their rider..we drank till oblivion..trashed their dressing room, almost got our arse kicked by management and high tailed back to Sydney with stupid arsed grins on our faces. Our management was contacted, threats may have been made, deals probably done. We chose to move on. We never did play there again.”
Adam (vocalist) – Frozen Doberman

“Oh yeah. We played on the Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise one night. We had 1500 people there. It was packed. “

Of course, there is always the ugly and that came in the form of their performance at the Gold Coast’s now defunct Playroom in 1991 where punters were hurling beer cans stageward early on during Motörhead’s performance. After warning the crowd about stopping the show if their behaviour didn’t cease, Motörhead simply walked off stage after only a few songs.

“Yeah, fuckin’ right y’know? I’ve had fireworks just miss my head. The worst one for me was in Belgrade in this festival. Somebody had taken the time use a glass cutter to chop off about that much (his fingers indicating about a 1cm) off of the bottom of a wine bottle and then shape it into a nunchaku star and fuckin’ throw it at me. It missed my eye by about that much (again indicating with his fingers about 2cm from the right side of his face). I just fuckin’ walked off. The promoter was shittin’ himself. I said, ‘I ain’t fuckin’ goin’ on man. You can forget it!’ They convinced me eventually and they assured me that it wouldn’t happen again. It just ruins it. It somebody doesn’t like me or whatever if I fuckin’ shagged his sister years before and, probably I have,” jokes Campbell. “People throw stuff at me like that and go ‘Hey wanker!’. I say ‘What’s your problem? Did I shag your girlfriend last time?’ There’s no need to throw stuff. I don’t know why they bother to come. It’s not cool to do that. We can’t see nothing. We’re in the dark. It’s cowardly. If you wanna come up, come up afterwards and say ‘C’mon, I wanna fuckin’ punch you Phil!’ y’know?”
Phil Campbell – Lead Guitarist Motorhead (via The MetalForge)

Twitch. Twitch.

They’ve gone and done it again!  No explanation.  No apparent reason.  No earthly logical reason why changing the introduction music to a TV show is a cunning plan… unless of course it’s to save royalties because the original artists were starting to get greedy about it.

song changed boring temperence brennan agent booth angel

Watched Bones S08E01 tonight and got 5 minutes in only to discover that they have changed the intro music/sequence and it is now a watered down pathetic version of it’s former self.  Why?  Especially after seven successful seasons where they have indelibly imprinted the associations in our brains between that particular piece of music and their show?!?  I’m sure you can damn well get it as a ring tone for crying out loud.  To change it, well… it makes no sense!!!

I may have railed against this in the past in regards to ‘The Unit’ and ‘Veronica Mars’ amongst other shows, but I just don’t understand why (when you’re obviously on a winning formula) you decide to fuck with it?

I was quite disappointed to hear the new intro, it’s like a cheap knockoff version of itself and it no longer has the same connotations as the original Bones tune… it was all I could do not to switch it off in disgust and never come back!


Turn the radio up for that sweet sound

I woke up this morning, feeling rather ordinary… bit of a chesty cough, the start of a headache and a slight fever.  I splashed some cold water on my face and looked in the mirror and thought to myself, “Meh, you’ll be right.”  Not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed or overflowing with squirrel-esque enthusiasm, but I’ll start worrying about it when I actually look like the age stated on my birth certificate or if I bear anything more than a passing resemblance to my passport photo – whichever comes first.  In the meantime, however, I think, “I can get through this!”

back to school exam week research cram

And by ‘this’, I mean the BIG day of Latin study I had ahead of me which at this point is simply not optional given the potentially horrendous end of semester exam I have to face tomorrow, which involves copious quantities of rote learned verb conjugations and noun declensions, not to mention things like interrogative pronouns, pronominal adjectives and demonstrative pronouns and adjectives, infinitives, imperatives, actives, deponents and all other no doubt important things I can’t remember! :S   So I tried to tidy myself up a bit. Put on a bright pink jumper (people tend not to notice ‘that’ look around your eyes when you’re in bright colours) some jeans and sneakers.  Packed up my school bag with all my Latin study notes, threw in my laptop, grabbed my keys and jumped in the car. Heading for Uni feeling only so-so, but trying sooo hard to pretend that I’m fine and just heading off to campus to study like any other poor sucker… err I mean student.  So far so good.

Then from out of nowhere, the radio gives me a swift spiritual kick to the head in the form of Eric Carmen’s “Make Me Lose Control”.  Now seriously?  Who would credit Eric Carmen with being able to do that?   Well, it came on the radio and without realizing it, I had done exactly what I was told and ‘turned that radio up’ as I zipped along in my little red Suzuki Swift down Macrossan Avenue and through McClelland Corner, which suddenly became a trip down memory lane of many other trips taken that way years ago in a little red Gemini!  All the while Eric and memories of that hair serenaded me along!

Turn the radio up for that sweet sound
Hold me close never let me go
Keep this feelin’ alive make me lose control – Baby

When I look in your eyes, I go crazy
Fever’s high with the lights down low
Take me over the edge
Make me lose control – Baby, baby!

I was even vaguely amused and smiled to myself when it got to the bit where he’s belting out: ‘Jennifer’s singin’ “Stand By Me”, and she knows every single word by heart’ as it dawned on me that I had been singing along and knew all the words to this song by heart, even though I have not heard it for years!

And then the radio DJ came on with his forced levity which is oft accompanied by cringeworthy attempts at humour, and do you know what he says?  Well, I’ll tell you.  He says, in a typical smoothed out radio voice, “And that was Eric Carmen’s ‘Make Me Lose Control’ which hit the Number 3 spot on the US charts and hung around for about 13 weeks in the Top 40 waaay on back in 1988!”

slow balloon bouncing room noise sound effect

You ever get that feeling that someone has just pricked your balloon, and you’re going ‘Ptbtbtbtbtbt!’ while bouncing all around the room like an unwanted leftover from a kids birthday party???  Sigh… Well, all of a sudden, I felt old and more than a little bit tired, and all my efforts to get up and go; got up and went!  Thank you, 97.3FM.