Ginger Wildheart, Brooklyn Bowl, O2 Arena, London

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#Cantina, Brooklyn Bowl, O2 Arena, London

Ash played a “Secret” gig in the build up to their 1977 tour, this show was part of a special event put on by Star Wars fans, for Star Wars fans. This I never noticed when I purchased the ticket so I was expecting to see loads of people dressed as Stormtroopers or Jedi’s. Only a handful were dotted around the venue, and most of these were part of the staff so it was pretty much like a normal gig.

All 3 bands had a Star Wars vibe going through them with the night set into a trilogy as both toy adverts and clips were beamed around the venue on giant screens while the crew were setting up the stages. Each band was introduced with their own opening crawl. The event was really well put together. The money raised went to the Alzheimer’s Society, if only AXS UK would also donate their rip off £3.50 fee to collect a ticket as well.

Blues Harvest were a really entertaining covers band, I wouldn’t mind catching them again to be honest. Really enjoyable for a support band.

Next up were Darth Elvis and The Imperials, this is where the evening really went to new levels… They are all dressed in Star Wars outfits, while the singer is a cross between Darth Vader and Elvis, highly entertaining and their re-work of Green Day’s Welcome to Paradise is classic!

Now onto the main act and the reason I’m here, Ash. I saw Ash on their 1977 tour back in 1997 and that gig still remains as one of the best shows I can remember. I’ve since seen them a few times over the years but I’ve never felt they have matched that energy of that show in Astoria. Last night proved they are still great musicians and still great to see live. The set was full of classics from their debut album 1977 and the Trailer Ep with just a couple of other hits thrown in.

Marks daughter (I think), Scarlett joined them onstage during Kung Fu for a lightsaber battle.

Overall this was a great gig for a last minute purchase considering I grabbed one the day before. I had considered to go to their forthcoming Round House show but never got a ticket in time so it was a real bonus getting this one.

Line Up

  • Ash
  • Darth Elvis and The Imperials
  • Blues Harvest

A quick note on the venue. The Brooklyn Bowl is a bowling alley by day within the O2 Arena, I was unsure how it would work as a music venue but they have done a really good job with it, it’s also interesting that you can watch the band from the side of the stage as well.

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EURO 2016, Italy v Republic Of Ireland, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, France

Italy 0 – 1 Republic Of Ireland

This was probably the best game we attended of the tournament but there was a problem. A massive storm was due to hit Lille just as the game was about to start so as a precaution the decision was made to close the roof. Of course the storm never hit, instead that appeared over London and the stadium became this massive sauna. Vinny was falling asleep, I was yawning like mad and eventually had to go get some air in the stadium concourse.

Ireland totally dominated a changed Italian team and deserved the win. Italy still had the quality to win this match but never really got out of second gear for longer than 30 seconds. When they did however they looked dangerous. Italy could win Euro 2016.

We had 2 spare tickets for this game and we managed to sell them to 2 Irish fans who decided the day before to travel over for the match, their plan was to watch it in some pub. I persuaded them to part with €160 euros and they joined us in the stands. They both agreed that they were glad I did as they really enjoyed the experience of the game. When they won they thanked and hugged us saying it was the best €80 they have ever spent.

Ireland progressed to the next round as the best place 3rd team.

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Northern Ireland v Germany, Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Northern Ireland 0 – 1 Germany

Northern Ireland fans I applaud you. You were incredibly entertaining on the metro to the stadium, even more well behaved with your bottles of wine outside the stadium, and you stayed on mass at the final whistle, for almost an hour despite your loss singing Will Griggs on Fire.

The game, like all the ones we attended so far at Euro 2016 was average at best.

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Slovakia v England, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Étienne, Loire, France

Slovakia 0 – 0 England

England absolutely dominated this game from start to finish but just couldn’t break down the Slovakians. I feel that we as a country have gone backwards during this tournament. England had a 100% perfect qualifying campaign winning every single match, yet we hit a major tournament and everything goes out the window and we fail to break down teams.

One thing which is good for LFC fans is that Adam Lallana has been Englands best player at Euro 2016 by a mile. I think Woy cocked up during this game, during the first part of the first half he dominated the left side of the pitch and easily had the pace on Martin Skrtel. Woy moved him more centrally and I felt we lost a big part of our game by doing this. Martin Skrtel eventually won Man of the Match.

Side note: The crowd was 85% England fans who were by far the loudest I’ve ever heard them.

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Portugal v Austria, Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Portugal 0 – 0 Austria

Ronaldo missed a penalty, and the fans all chanted Messi at him BWHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, Czech Republic v Croatia, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Étienne, Loire, France

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia

So this was an interesting one… Initially we were sat in the lower tier behind the goal within the mixed section which was mainly filled with Croatia fans however we choose to move as it was getting ridiculously crowded there. This proved to be a wise move later on in the match.

The game itself was nothing special at all with both sets of fans behaving. Then something strange happened. 5 minutes before the end the French police lined the pitch in riot gear, why? no idea, there was nothing at all in the crowd to suggest this was needed, at all other games there has been stewards there with a massive rope, hardly threatening at all. Their presence changed the atmosphere and soon flares were raining down onto the pitch. At this point it was 2-1 to Croatia with 5 minutes to go and they were well in charge of the game, so pretty crazy. We took this cue to leave the ground and on doing so passed a line of riot police running to the ground.

A late penalty was scored by the Czech Republic which we missed.

Report: BBC

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EURO 2016, France v Albania, Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France

France 2-0 Albania

Report: BBC

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Garbage, Rock City, Nottingham

We needed to get up early and head to Lincoln so that Simon could make his hospital appointment. Not only this but I needed to get back that night after the gig as I had a flight to Nice booked to get back to France for Euro 2016. Needs must which meant that my day started at 05:00 and ended at 02:30 as I was driving. What we should have done, but never really thought about was head to Boston after the London show, stay there the night then drive back after the show as I’d have never been as tired as I was.

Anyway the venue in Nottingham is one of the UK’s legendary venues and this is my first time there. Kristina and I joined Simon on the balcony and had a great view of the show. Surprisingly the stage at Rock City isn’t that big at all with the band not even using their Strange Little Birds back drop, I expected it to be larger to be honest but a great venue nonetheless.

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Garbage, Troxy, London

Garbage Troxy

I’ve now seen this band over 60 times and I have to say that this is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen by them. It’s easily inside my top 5 Garbage shows from which I’ve seen and possibly my favourite in London. The last time they played in Troxy I thought the show was fantastic, this bettered that.

The rendition of Vow was one of the best they must have played, truly incredible.

This was also the show in which we got Simon a Meet & Greet for his 50th birthday.

They were supported by the The Pearl Hearts.

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