Sunday, 18 December 2011

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

To start this week we have Mike's favourite Christmas song.

Christmas was always my favourite time of year.  I would start planning and saving for the next one as soon as the previous one was over.  I've never been much for going away on holiday and we don't socialise a great deal so all my energies were put into making Christmas special.  That was until 2007.

That year we were going to see Bruce at the O2 in London. That year the 19th December was more important than the 25th.  That year, for the first time, something was more exciting than Christmas and since then Santa has taken a back seat. He still 'came to town' but with a bit less vim and vigour than previously.

That gig was the start of two years of, almost continuous, Bruce shows to plan for and look forward to all over the world. My hard earned cash was put aside for tours rather than Christmas and I would have happily swapped 25th December for a Bruce gig.

This year I seemed to have got my festive mojo back a little so I'm really ready for Christmas. We are going to eat, drink and be merry. Then... we are going to look forward to 2012, to a new album, and of course the tour!

Hope you all have a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS 
 a Bruce filled 2012.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

It's Unusual

Thought I'd start with this video although it's from a week ago, partly because Mike introduced me to Bob Seger's music many years ago - before we got into Bruce and partly because Bob was interviewed backstage and told us more about Bruce's new album than we have learned from the man himself. There is a bit about it in Rolling Stone.

Apparently Bruce says his new album is really unusual.  OK - among other things "unusual" can mean amazing, remarkable, outstanding BUT it can also mean strange, bizarre, abnormal. This could go either way!!

The 'Rolling Stone' article also talks about a USA leg of the tour in spring next year. Unless I've missed something these dates haven't been announced yet.  I'm hoping for autumn dates.  We'll try for something then.  Not sure where though.  I fell in love with New York City when we went in 2009 but I quite fancy a trip to Boston, and my brother, who has travelled a lot around the States, says Chicago is a wonderful city.

Talking of my brother (Ian) - we are taking him and his wife (Irene) to Sunderland next year to their first Bruce show.   Some of you might remember that Ian is a keen amateur musician and still plays in a band from time to time. He will be a hard man to please.  I'm especially worried about the sound given that loads of peeps on the forums often say how bad this is.

To help them to make the most of the gig we have been trying to get together a CD of songs Bruce is most likely to play.  Obviously we have no idea what is going to happen on the new tour especially now Clarence is no longer with us.  We have decided to go with past experience and have chosen all the old staples - Born To Run, Badlands and the like.  I'll tell them to learn the first verse of Hungry Heart too.  It's as well to be prepared!!

The same goes for our best friends Jacquie and Mike who are coming to Manchester with us and are  Bruce virgins, and Mike's work colleague Allyson and her husband Bruce - yes Bruce! They will be with us in Sunderland.

This week there has been one of the regular discussions on Greasy Lake about 'Human Touch' (the album).  Got me to thinking he may play some of the tracks off this together with Lucky Town next tour.   After all they were played without a saxophonist first time round.  We can't be sure he'll play a lot of new stuff judging by the last tour.

I couldn't let this week go by without including this.  I know you will have all seen it already but it's worth another look.

Finally I'll finish with a Bruce Christmas song.  I only discovered it a couple of years ago and it's my favourite - well for the moment anyway.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Great Ticket Rush

Well the title of my blog has never been more appropriate than on Thursday evening when we were sat in Sheffield Arena waiting for... Bryan Adams. More of him later but first to one of the most important weeks in recent Bruce history - especially for Europeans I suspect.  I speak, of course, about ticket sales.

Does anyone else get really stressed out over buying tickets?  Silly question really I know you do.  Over here in Europe we had pre-sales.  So if you had bought from Ticketmaster or Live Nation previously and have an account with them you could get in a couple of days early.  If you are an O2 phone customer you could apply through their 'rewards' site also a couple of days in advance.  Then I think Vodaphone customers could get tickets early. There's probably more that I don't know about. So although tickets for the UK and Ireland went on general sale on Saturday 3rd December the pre-sales were selling on Thursday 1st.  So a day off work it had to be.

Before that, though, we were trying for Paris tickets on the Tuesday.  Paris seemed a good bet for two reasons.  Firstly there are back to back shows - two nights for the price of one air or train fare and secondly they are indoor shows.

Monday morning started well with Working on a Dream waking me up on the radio alarm.  Not my favourite track but any Bruce song is good for a cold dark Monday and maybe it was appropriate, as that night, we started working on our own dream of tickets for next year's tour.

On my way home from work I heard Born to Run coming out of the open door of a little boutique.  A good omen?

Paris turned out to be a bit of a mess all around really as we couldn't decide what time the tickets went on sale.  There was much panic around the net as we all tried to get the information together and the site was impossible to get onto on Monday night.  On our way to bed we weren't hopeful.

We were up 8.00am Tuesday, but to cut a long story short, neither Mike (on the desk top) or me (on the lap top) could get any further than the home page of Gerard Drouot.  I had to leave for work at 9.50am - without tickets and feeling very miserable.  By the time I arrived at the office I had a phone call from Mike telling me that our Bruce Buddy - Ceinwen had managed to get us seats for both nights.  So, in the space of half an hour or so, despair had changed to elation.  Thank you once again Cein.

Mike carried on his efforts out of curiosity and managed to secure tickets at 11.55am.  Of course he didn't need to actually buy them.

Thursday presented another problem.  We wanted tickets for three shows but they all went on sale at the same time.  We have a soft spot for Dublin as this is where we met the first in a growing group of Bruce friends and where our touring became about more than just the two of us.  Realistically and economically it made more sense to try for Sunderland and Manchester.  Mike managed to get us tickets for both

Despite our best efforts together with those of another Bruce Buddy - Sinead - we couldn't get Dublin tickets.  Thanks for trying Sinead.  The money we have saved by not going to Dublin will be put towards a trip to the USA in the autumn, assuming our man is still touring then.

So back to Bryan Adams.  We had never seen him before so had no idea what to expect.  This was a tour celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Waking Up The Neighbors. The album which featured Everything I do I do It For You among other songs you will know.  Apart from the tracks on this album he played all the hits.

Because it was, in a way, a greatest hits show it may not have been a typical Bryan Adams gig.  I don't know whether die hard fans go wanting to hear some obscure album track. If so I think they would have been disappointed.  On the other hand I've no idea whether there is any New York City Serenade or Wild Billy's Circus Story in Bryan Adams' repertoire.  I suspect not.  Having said that his kind of up tempo rock/pop or classic rock ballad is very easy on the ear and we really enjoyed the night.

There were no signs and no children in the audience to sing along but he did pick out a girl from the audience to sing the Mel C part of When You're Gone. I gather this is a constant on the tour.

Incidentally he was on for two and a quarter hours and didn't use an autocue.  Leaving the stage after playing three acoustic numbers, as a sort of encore, he remarked that he didn't know any more songs.

I was hoping to entertain you with a video from YouTube but they have all been taken down already!

My final thought on the matter is Bryan's hair which I could barely take my eyes off throughout the show because it did not move at all - I was reminded of Shania Twain's line from That Don't Impress Me Much - 'That extra hold gel in your hair ought to lock it'.

Lastly back to the main man

I hope you all got the tickets you wanted and don't have much longer to wait for confirmation of USA dates.  Looking forward to seeing you next year.