Sunday, 25 September 2011

Songs from my iPod - Track 2

I listen to my iPod most days on my bus journey to and from work. 
 Always on shuffle - sometimes the whole library, sometimes just Bruce.
 This is a series of posts inspired by one of the songs I have heard during the previous week.

Some tracks bring back memories of particular shows and when Incident popped up this week as I was walking along it immediately took me back to Wembley Arena 2002.

I've talked about this before but I've remembered it before too, and of course, it doesn't stop me remembering again so I figured I could talk about it again.  This might be a strange logic but I'm sure you know what I mean?

It was only our third Bruce show and although by this time I think we had most of the back catalogue to be honest the older stuff didn't really interest us.  We both loved The Rising and were looking forward to hearing a lot of the songs from the new album.  Being relative novices we didn't know a rarity or two might turn up that would possibly make several people in the crowd cry with joy.

I think by this time I had done a little preparation and learned the words to Born To Run.  I listened over and over with the lyric booklet until I got it right. The toughest bit was the last verse where, let's be honest, it doesn't quite scan - 'Someday girl I don't know when we're going to get to that place where we really want to go and we'll walk in the sun'.

I also had a little note book with me to write down the set list.  In those days we didn't know that we could find the details later on the internet and anyway sometimes you want to discuss it straight after the gig.  Although now we could probably remember everything Bruce played during our walk back to the car or hotel in those days with our sketchy knowledge we weren't even sure of the title of each song.

I carried the tickets to that show and the note book around with me for ages but I don't have them any more. I didn't start keeping that sort of stuff until later - shame. Anyway I had no idea of the title of Incident and no idea that it was a rarity so it was lost on me.  A few bars in I looked at Mike who was obviously no wiser and I think he suggested I listed it as 'Spanish Johnny'.  

When we got home I trawled through our CDs, and yes, there it was. I put this track, along with all the others I could find, on a cassette - my way of reliving a show before we discovered the world of the bootleg! I don't have the cassette any more either but I do have a bootleg - a very good one.

So we've only heard Incident on 57th Street once since - at MSG on 7th November 2009.  It wasn't a surprise that night, of course, as Bruce was playing WIESS in it's entirety.

I can't let this week go by without wishing Bruce  happy birthday.

We might have been hoping for some good news to go along with this instead we hear from Steven that the band members are meeting up within the next few weeks to discuss their future. My first thought was a break up but Mike pointed out they might decide to carry on. Perhaps they already know they are continuing and are just chatting about how to go about this. In any event at least we might know one way or the other soon.

This week was my birthday too and to celebrate Sinead, one of my Bruce buddies sent me a YouTube clip of... Incident on 57th Street.  I like the song although it might not be in my top ten. Mind you it's pretty cool to hear Bruce sing 'Goodnight it's alright Jane'

See you all next week


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Album this Autumn - Do I Still Believe?

I listened to 'Bruce Brunch' today for the first time for ages.  When I first discovered this I would get very grumpy - and I mean VERY grumpy if we got visitors when it was on.  My Sundays revolved around these two hours.  After a while though, and I never thought I would say this, I got a bit bored with it!

Listening again today, for the first time in a while, I really enjoyed it.  We don't own a big selection of boots so one of the good things about 'Bruce Brunch' for me is the live stuff which I've never heard before.  I love the long drawn out stories Bruce used to tell.  Mike, on the other hand, just wants Bruce to sing.

The lack of news on the new album front is becoming a bit disheartening.  I'm not so sure about a release this year any more.  If my memory serves me, and I can't be sure it does, when a release is imminent we usually have leaks and much more speculation, discussion and excitement than there is at the moment.  Also don't we get a couple of tracks for radio play a few weeks before the release date to whet the appetite?  Unless... it's a Christmas Album of course!

I'm pleased to say that Blogness on the Edge of Town disagrees with me and I bow to Pete Chianca's better judgement on this.

Anyway to fill the gap I bought Elsie a couple of weeks ago and I like it.  Don't know if there is a stand out track for me but there isn't a song I don't like either. Some of it is very like 'Gaslight Anthem', perhaps because of Brian Fallon's distinctive voice, but other tracks are quite different.

The 59 Sound might possibly be my favourite album in the last five years (certainly my favourite non Springsteen album) so Brian has a hard act to follow as far as I am concerned.  

Not much Bruce news this week just a bit from NJ.Com saying he is going to be playing at the Stand Up For Heros benefit on 9th November. This isn't a surprise as he has appeared for the last five years. We usually get a couple of clips on YouTube so, and this is really clutching at straws, there's something to look forward to.

Bruce is also turning up for Sting's birthday on 1st October. Wonder what he is doing for his own special day? Announcing a new album perhaps??

Finally to round off this week Ten things you need for a great Springsteen tribute band.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


For reasons that I won't bore you with there will be no blog this week.  

However I can't let the day pass without marking it's significance. 

In memory of all those who lost their lives 10 years ago today:-

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Remembering The First Time (Again)

When my old laptop died we lost the spreadsheet listing the gigs we have been to and the set list for each. This week I began to prepare a new one starting with the set for Sheffield 1993. I don't remember much about that first show except that at some point during the concert I was hooked.

Having spent the 18 years since, getting to know Bruce's back catalogue, collecting boots, reading biographies and keeping up with discussions on message boards it's hard to imagine what I felt like that virginal night.  I know the crowd around us stood up the moment Bruce walked onto the stage and never sat down all the way through.  I know we thought they were booing.  I know we went on the first night of two because I can remember quite clearly wishing I was going back the next night.

I also remember regretting that I didn't buy a programme. We knew someone who was going the following night and toyed with asking him to get one but I reasoned that it would just get stuck in a drawer and eventually be thrown away.  I have never bought a programme since - there's no point starting now - but I wish I had them to look back through.  I did buy a T shirt and I have one from every tour we've been to except Devils and Dust. (It was a very hot night, time was short and a drink was more important).

I've talked about this first gig before, but I bring it up again now because when I went back over the set list it struck me that it wasn't great. Bruce opened with three acoustic numbers - Seeds, Adam Raised A Cain and This Hard Land.  Mike especially doesn't care for Seeds or Adam.  Now, I have no problem with the 'other' band or Human Touch and Lucky Town. I think we all have a soft spot for our first tour and I am no exception.  It's these albums (bad or not) that really got me into Bruce.  I have to say though that listening to the boot again today 57 Channels was just awful, Atlantic City wasn't so good and Badlands just plodded along.

It's kind of a surprise that we ever went to another show!  I know many of you would say that the only way was up from here.

Anyway, although the band wasn't so good and the set list wasn't great there was a point during that night when I knew that this couldn't be the only time we would experience the magic of a Springsteen gig. Could it be the charisma of the man himself? Or the enthusiasm of the crowd? Or just the fun everyone had, including Bruce.  Most fans who can't bear this part of Bruce's career will, at least, concede that he looked like he was enjoying himself.

The other thing I've been doing this week is trying to decide what is wrong with our Blu-ray player.  We bought it when The Promise boxed set came out so, not so long ago.  We can be happily watching something and poof! the sound goes: the picture goes: the picture comes back: the picture goes snowy - we give up.

So to test it I popped in The Paramount Darkness DVD.  It gave up during Adam Raised A Cain.  I wiggled the HDMI lead but no joy.  Got out those other leads - you know the ones - they are red and yellow and white.  Plugged these in and... success saw Darkness from beginning to end.  Plugged the HDMI cable back and watched it through again!  It was a chore, you know, but had to be done just to make sure.  The upshot of this is I think it's a dodgy HDMI cable - only works sometimes - a bit like me!

Why am I boring you with this tale?  Well seeing Darkness all the way through got me thinking about set lists again. Do I need to get a life?

Obviously as we were lucky enough to be at MSG in November 2009 we have heard all the tracks from The River and The Wild The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle but have we heard ALL the tracks from any other album?  From memory I'm pretty sure we are missing Factory and Something In The Night from Darkness.  Well, when I get the spreadsheet back up to date I'll know for certain.

There was one of those great little Bruce stories this week. He was in Boston and stopped to chat to a busker  - he can't resist a guitar can he?  Here's a picture from the story which is here

And the You Tube clip 

The other story doing the rounds at the moment is this about a teacher using The Rising to help his students,who were only five six and seven in 2001, understand the impact of 9/11. 

Finally that up coming album?  Nothing really new on this but the rumour is that Shore Fire Media will make an announcement sometime around Labor Day and that's tomorrow.  

In the mean time you could go out and buy Brian Fallon's new album which is out tomorrow. 

A taster for you

PS: -  Still listening to the Sheffield boot - hadn't realised how different that sound was. Hmmm - not sure I would like it now.