Tag Archives: o2

Brooklyn Bowling London O2

Brooklyn bowl is a fantastic place to spend a Friday night; located inside the Greenwich O2 (Millenium Dome innit) it has a great restaurant, a couple of seriously stacked bars (cheap prices for central London!) and a stage for love gigs.  Oh, and a bowling alley!

It’s very authentic American redneck theme and friendly atmosphere absolutely warmed me right down to my cockles. 

The chicken wire ‘walls’ add a certain ‘Blues Brothers’ flavour to the restaurant;  whilst enjoying my meal, I could easily hear the dulcet tones of Tom Copson, support act for Hayseed Dixie (more of that later). 

I really liked how you could hear the performance due to the open-plan structure to the venue.  Rawhide!

As for the food, wow!  What a menu!  I heartily recommend the half rack of ribs; certainly the best that I’ve had outside the States!!!  Watching the plates come out for other people was torture, everything looked fucking great.

The bowling is £14.95 for half an hour, maximum of 8 people on a lane.  So it’d be dirt cheap if you split a nights bowling with a decent group of folks. 

The lanes are stuffed with very comfy leather armchairs and sit right next to the live stage, so you could avoid paying for a gig ticket and just bowl whilst listening to a band knock out their tuned. 

I was impressed by the bar products, American beers like Samuel Adams, a Brooklyn Lager and the largest collection of bourbon I’ve seen since I visited a Mormon Elders house in Utah.

So folks, y’all have a good time now!  Y’hear!

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The Spin Doctors – O2 Academy Islington

I think I’ve reached that age? I remember my parents going through the same phase when I was but a wee nipper; my Mum and Dad would take me to go and see bands that defined earlier periods of their lives; 50’s and 60’s legends like Chuck Berry, Del Shannon, Jerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers……an endless list.

Last night, I saw one of my favourite bands, The Spin Doctors, at the 02 Academy in Islington; they were FUCKING AWESOME.

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I was 15 when The Spin Doctors released their ‘A Pocket Full Of Kryptonite’ album; I eventually bought the CD a couple of months later (having turned 16) from the Sound and Vision department at Boots, I even got a cheeky 10% staff discount back then! Alas, I digress! I played that album to death!

Along with Primus and Presidents of the USA, the Spin Doctors defined my teenage years with their unique take on alternative rock and funky blues standards. At the time, Brit Pop was in full flow and dominated the radio waves in England; however, I felt more of a connection to The Spin Doctors than the poncy glam peacock bands from Camden Town.

The Spin Doctors played gutsy stuff, bluesy, funky and HAPPY! I don’t think there would have been quite so much self-harming in the UK had The Spin Doctors been a mainstream band in the UK!?!

David (who attended his first gig ever!) and I got to the venue for ‘early doors’ and I unashamedly took up a place in the front row, eager to get a glimpse of my idols do their thang.

I’ve never been front row at a decent sized gig before and found myself standing 4ft away from bass supremo Mark White whilst he oozed out the funk; it was hilarious watching him indulge the incredibly drunk tart who stood next to me with her constant attempts at reaching out to him!

The experience of Aaron Comess on drums was mighty to behold indeed; a veritable powerhouse on the skins, crisp, tight and clinical.

I genuinely felt like a teenager as I watched them utterly stomp through their set; I was not sure if Chris Barron (Vocals) would still sound the way he used to before the gig, but boy was I wrong to doubt him!!

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His pitch perfect dulcet tones lead the way whilst he commanded the audience with such a mischievous stage presence complete with his trademark moves and swaggering about!!! Oh, and fantastic banter with the crowd!

Watching one of my guitar idols, Eric Shenkman, utterly destroy everything in his path with a Gibson SG and Flying V will be something I’ll never forget. Words can’t describe the respect I have for his talent, sound and ability as a musician.

My first memory of the group was seeing Chris Barron sodding about in a big woolly hat, singing ‘Two Princes’ in a video on MTV.

So it was rather amusing seeing someone from the audience throw their own woolly hat onto the stage in an attempt to get Chris Barron to wear it during the rocky rendition of ‘Two Princes; only for Chris to kick it aside and almost say ‘Get a life douchbag!’ with his body language.

I can’t emphasise how great the performance was last night, four guys at the very top of their game bashing out fantastic versions of old and new material with absolute ease; I urge you to go and see them because you simply won’t see a better live band at the moment!

Oh, and buy their new album “If The River Was Whiskey”!!!

The Hounds – O2 Academy Islington

The Hounds were the second support act last night, a much meatier offering in the form of an alternative heavy rock band (2 guitarists sharing vocals, bass and drums).

 

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The sound production was a bit off which is a bit of a shame because their set really intrigued Me.

The guitar and bass playing was fantastic and gelled really well, but ultimately the instruments dominated over the vocals which were really low down in the mix (in my humble opinion of course). 

 They reminded me a little of ‘Gomez’ in their early days, before all the pointless experimentation.

I will have to grab some of their album stuff and see if that does their vocals any more justice!

Dollface – O2 Academy Islington

Dollface were the first supporting band for The Spin Doctors at the 02 Academy in Islington last night; I just wanted to throw up a quick thread about them as I thought they were rather good!

Their 3 piece set (drums, guitar, bass) was cool and the crowd ate up their cover of ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ by the Fine Young Cannibals.

I also enjoyed listening to their own material; the Fender telecaster backed 80’s influenced rock was a nice surprise and I thought the band chemistry was great.

Seemed like a good bunch of lads and I hope they get some decent exposure!