The Darts at Lakeside

I’m sat at home watching the Darts at Lakeside on BBC and BT Sport and I’m honestly gutted that we decided not to go this year.

For the last two years we’ve gone to Lakeside for the last 4 days of the Darts.  I first started watching the darts on tv only about 4 years ago. It was New Year and Peter was watching it and I really enjoyed it.  The next year I watched more than he did, so for 2013, I bought tickets to the last 4 days.

The Darts at Lakeside
The Darts at Lakeside

When we walked in the first year I couldn’t believe the intimacy of the place and how it looks exactly like it does on the TV, the first year our seats were up on one side away from the stage.  However, the next year we managed to get floor seats and the view was incredible.  There aren’t really bad seats, but some better than others. We always record the Darts while we are there too, as it’s highly likely you’ll see yourself on TV!

The experience can’t be matched to any other live event, you buy tickets to a table, but not your seat. Your table will have up to 10 other people on it, so if you want the best seat at the table, get ready to queue.  We would be outside the venue at least an hour before the doors opened to be sure to get ‘OUR’ seats.  That might seem a little sad, but I can tell you for the past two years running it was always the same couple at the very front of the queue, so god knows when they started queuing.

Beer, Beer and more… Beer is sold by the jug, it’s easier to get one in than to keep going back and forth to the bar, and while people put a lot of beer away at the darts, I’ve never seen any trouble there.  Everyone is too busy having a good time.

The food is a little like a canteen at school, I can just about eat it for four days, however, by the end of the Darts I’m always looking forward to vegetables. There is only so much, Chilli, Curry, Jacket Potatoes and Chips a girl can take.

People dress up at the Darts, from Gorilla suits in honour of the Silverback Tony O’Shea or Where’s Wally costumes to Stars Wars or even a Dart Board anything goes and its those of us in normal clothes that look more out of place!

The experience of seeing Darts at The Lakeside is amazing.  The venue is not much larger than a working mens club and the atmosphere is lively! The players and famous fans walk through the same doors that you do, so you never know who you will bump into.

Peter & Tony O'Shea, BDO Darts, Lakeside
Peter & Tony O’Shea
Peter and Robbie 'King Kong' Green, BDO Darts, The Lakeside
Peter & Robbie ‘King Kong’ Green
Wesley Harms, BDO Darts, The Lakeside
Me & Wesley Harms

The crowd get behind every player, there aren’t really any national rivalries. However, the Dutch arrive decked out in orange each year to support their players. From the moment the music starts to welcome a player on stage the crowd are on their feet, Tony O’Shea’s ‘Hey Baby’ always gets the crowd singing.  The Dutch players always seem to pick random electro dance music to come out to! The nerves of the players can be felt and the crowd are respectful and quiet when the darts are being thrown, the excitement of a 180 though doesn’t keep the crowd in their seats, the signs are waved, cheers and shouts, but it always quietens again for the throwing of the darts.

I’ve not been to Ally Pally to see PDC, and while I’d want to go to experience it, for me the home of Darts is The BDO Championship at the Lakeside and I’ll be saving up to make sure I’m there next year!

Gig Of The Year – 2014

So after a year of gigs and events what would I pick out as my highlight of the year…
I’m going to be cheeky and pick a few well it’s my blog I make the rules!
Firstly looking at the non music gigs I went to, I’m going to choose Froch vs Groves at Wembley. This was my first ever boxing event. It was so impressive I like to watch boxing at home but am usually asleep by the main event and have to be woken for the big fight so I was worried that I would get tired and restless. But it’s not possible, one the seats aren’t comfy enough for sleep but secondly and more importantly the atmosphere is electric. I didn’t expect that really and it made it all the more enjoyable. I was so pleased Carl Froch won, it was a great punch. Though at the time Peter didn’t agree with the stoppage once we rewatched it at home you could just see Froch knock the stuffing out of him. It was a brilliant event and I really hope I manage to see more boxing live.
Now my best music gig… This is going to be hard… So let’s do a top 3… Like I said before my blog… My rules 🙂
In third place Kacey Musgraves with John and Jacob supporting. I love Kacey and I love John and Jacob so this really is the perfect gig!! Plus we met John and Jacob after and then went to their first headline gig 2 weeks later!
In second place Taylor Swift, I liked Taylor before I saw her in concert. I LOVED her and wanted to be her by the time the concert finished!!
And in first place Ed Sheeran one guy, a guitar and a loop pedal is all you need to have one of the best gigs ever! Well maybe ticker tape was missing, but I won’t hold that against him!
Happy New Year – here’s to more music in 2015!

Professor Green at The Roundhouse

Final gig of the year and pro green smashed it.

It was a sad day for us, a first anniversary of a loved one passing away. Six months ago when I realised the gig was the same day I mentioned to Peter about asking his cousin to the gig. The day of gig would be the first anniversary of his mums death and we felt that a day out would help keep Craig’s mind busy.

The gig soon approached and it felt wrong to be looking forward to it and I wasn’t sure if we’d done the right thing. Peter and I did the usual gig prep. I’d found the set list we listened over and over to the songs and we were excited for the gig.
We met Kate and Craig in the afternoon and headed into London. Roundhouse isn’t too far from St Pancras so I said we should walk… I’m pretty used to traipsing round London for gigs or just a day out but it would seem Kate isn’t.. So we find a pub to break up the walk. We settle in and got a round of drinks and some jagers and we toasted Annie.
Jager Bombs
Another round of drinks and more jagers and we ordered some food. It was lovely sitting with Kate and Craig and talking. We see them a lot but always with their kids (who we love) so it was great to see them both relax and enjoy themselves.
So we finally get into the Roundhouse and I forgot what a great venue it was. I’ve only been here once before and you forget how intimate it is but it also feels grand too. Doesn’t matter where you stand the view is amazing. There were two support acts one being a DJ just before Pro Green came on and he was brilliant. Normally I can’t wait for the support to be over but this guy was good!
Finally the lights dim and the start of Lullaby plays. The female backing singer sang the chorus and her voice was amazing. Pro Green walks out and the crowd go crazy!!! This is the bit I love the most. The smile on his face as he soaked up our reaction. This is someone who’s persona might make you think he’s pretty tough but the more I’ve read about him recently and the interviews I’ve seen you realise he’s just a normal bloke dealing with life. There something about seeing a rapper live the way lyrics come spilling out. In total pro green sang 17 songs and barely paused for breath. We had the set list (of course) and we knew when our favourites were coming up…. Lullaby is a song that means so much to me as it talks about his struggles with anxiety and depression something I am dealing with now, Name In Lights with Rizzle Kicks was so good and my favourite Astronaut was just beautiful. It’s a really sad song and the crowd singing along made it sound even better.
Suddenly we were at the end waiting for the encore we knew the final song was Read All About It and while waiting for him to come out I checked Twitter… If a singer I’m seeing does any duets then I just like to  see if the other person happens to be in the country just in case of a surprise appearance. Imagine my excitement when I saw Emeli Sande has tweeted ‘Roundhouse here we come’. She was here!!
Emeli Sande
The encore was three songs, we had two to wait and then the opening bars start to play pro green is talking, thanking us for waiting for the album and tour, thanking Millie and then his Nan who brought him up. And then a female voice starts to sing, it’s not the backing singer….. Emeli Sande walks out and the place goes nuts!!!
What an amazing way to end a year full of music.  2015 already has John & Jacob, Saint Raymond, The Script, Country 2 Country, and a trip to Nashville to name just a few gigs. I can’t wait, my happiest place is standing in a crowd of people, singing till I have no voice left, watching a singer do what they love.

Darius Rucker Live + In Session with Bob Harris

A couple of weeks ago I got to see Darius Rucker at Shepherds Bush.  I loved Hootie when I was younger (which you can read a bit about here http://wp.me/p5oOZ3-z) and when Darius was announced as a Country 2 Country act for 2013 I started listening to his country music. I was so excited to be seeing him for a second time.

When Darius performs, he has this cute little wiggle and dance he does and a smile on his face. He looks so happy to be up their singing.  Now he always plays a couple of Hootie songs and at C2C he covered Family Tradition. That first time seeing him the UK fans weren’t really sure what to do in this song. But by this visit we all knew our parts and this is one of my favourite songs to sing along too.

Now my sister had googled the set list and as it neared the end my friend turned to me and said “No Wagon Wheel?” and I whispered “Encore!” The band left and came back on to this song, now the set list said the final song was Purple Rain, and Darius had ended his C2C set with this song.  As the opening bars started to play, I thought, this isn’t Purple Rain, it was Champagne Supernova, by Oasis! Now my sister and I were very much team Oasis in the whole Oasis vs Blur Battle of the Nineties, so we just SANG our hearts out! Apologies to those around us as we were SCREAMING! It was a brilliant end to an amazing gig!

Setlist

Radio
Heartbreak Road
This
Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It
Time
Pink Horses
Homegrown Honey
Southern State of Mind
Let Her Cry
Exodus
Alright
Shine
Family Tradition
Hold My Hand
It Won’t Be Like This For Long
Only Wanna Be With You
Come Back Song
East Bound and Down
True Believers
Encore
Wagon Wheel
Champagne Supernova

In Session with Bob Harris

While Darius was over he also did a session with Bob Harris, this was aired last night on Radio Two as part of Bob Harris Country.  He sang the latest single, Homegrown Honey, Radio and a song called What God Wants for Christmas. Bob hinted a new studio album at the start of 2015 and Darius talked about wanting to return to the UK as often as he can.  He wants to play The Royal Albert Hall and I’m sure a lot of Darius Fans what his too as well!

Listen to his session here (available till 2nd Jan 2015)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04q1fdq 

The Killers – Wembley Song

Sometimes at a gig, something amazing happens…

One of these times was at The Killers Wembley gig on 22nd June 2013

The Killers had a treat for us, they’d written a song about Wembley…

I don’t think there are any words to explain those moments as The Killers played this song. I have just sat and watched a video of it 3 times and it gives me shivers, makes me cry a little and makes me smile.

That’s the magical thing about music, it makes you feel everything.

Oh, and after watching this again I just remembered how much I heart Brandon Flowers!

The Band Perry

Almost a year ago, I saw The Band Perry at The Forum in London.  It was our second time seeing them.  The first time came about on a complete whim. I had been listening to Bob Harris Country and he played a couple of songs by the band and mentioned they were playing Koko in Camden the next week. One quick visit to itunes and I had their album and another quick visit to a ticket site and I had tickets to see them for me and mum. This was also the first time we saw John & Jacob too who have gone on to become another of our favourite Country Bands.

To non country music fans, The Band Perry are probably best known for the song ‘If I Die Young’ which was featured on a Glee episode in memory of Cory Monteith’s death last year.

The Band Perry do not disappoint live, they are high energy on stage. I remember seeing Kimberly Perry jumping around and I wished I was in the band. One of the best moments of is when they sing ‘ Fat Bottomed Girls’ by Queen. My Mum and I are very close, and maybe thats why the song ‘ A Mother Like Mine’ is also one of my favourites. The lyrics are beautiful and I know my  mum believes in me no matter what I am trying to do, just like the lyrics below say:

She’s the sky that holds the clouds
She’s the lady of the house
A blind believer in all I dare to be
There’s no safer place I’ve found
Than the shoulder of her white night gown
Oh I’ve got the best and the worst of her in me
I’d share her if I could

Oh the wars would all be over
‘Cause she’d raise us all as friends
And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them
We’d walk on grass that’s greener
And our cares would all be freer
If the world had a mother like mine

She’s our father’s one great love
She’s the one he wanted most
She’s the light in the window of the house I grew up in
She takes the midnight call
She’s the bravest of us all
And she sings in the garden that she let’s her hair down in

I’ve seen The Band Perry a total of 3 times now, the last time was at the C2C Festival at O2 in March of this year, where we were lucky enough to be second row.  I just hope they continue to visit the UK!

The Band Perry
The Band Perry

2014…. finally

Finally, this year’s gigs

Sun 2nd Feb – Taylor Swift @02

Sun 2nd Mar – Eric Church @Shepherds Bush (for the second time)

Tues 4th Mar – Beyonce @02 (for the second time)

Sat 15th Mar – C2C Festival feat Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks & Zac Brown Band

Sun 16th Mar – C2C Festival feat Chris Young, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts & Brad Paisley

Wed 14th May – Barry Manilow @Wembley Arena

Wed 28th May – NKOTB @Hammersmith (third time)

Sun 8th Jun – One Direction @Wembley Stadium

Sun 6th July – Kasey Musgraves @Shepherds Bush (second time & John & Jacob support)

Sat 12th July – Eminem @Wembley Stadium

Mon 21st July – John & Jacob @The Borderline

Sun 12th October – Ed Sheeran @02 (for the second time)

Tues 18th Nov – Darius Rucker @Shepherds Bush

Plus still to come

Thurs 11th Dec – Professor Green @Roundhouse