Glastonbury 2010… 40 years on!

No we haven’t been sucked into a great big black hole, it’s just been a busy few weeks and June was extremely hectic what with 3 concerts (Bon Jovi, Green Day and Glastonbury), and all the football from the World Cup in South Africa.

Glastonbury was fun although it started off with a mini disaster. I mistakenly placed my non waterproof camera into my pocket and then placed a tin of beer in the top pocket only for it to tip over and of course my camera was below it! No more camera and no photos of Glastonbury. Well I got a few from my mobile phone (Nokia N95), which appear to be OK.

Camping was awesome with James, Glenn & Ronelle and Shane oh! and Pammie (blow up doll). Talk about having confidence in the weather, we even brought along our very own swimming pool and placed it in the middle of our tents. It was the talking point for most people wallking past us. The weather was boiling hot for the entire 5 days that we were there – not many people that have been to Glastonbury in the past can say that!

There was so much going on

and tons of stuff to to see, some weird and some amazing.

So many places to eat and drink. You got to go if you’ve never been before. It is such an experience.

Sadly the choice of crowd singing bands were CRAP to say the least. (my opinion).

So some of us decided to do some crazy pole climbing.

I only wanted to see U2 and they pulled out a month before the show because Bono hurt his back (poor rock star). However the Edge did show up right at the end of Muse’s gig and played  “The streets with no name”.  The crowd went mental and were singing along. It was an amazing few minutes.

There were a few semi decent bands on the various stages namely Dizzee Rascal, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Muse, Scissor Sisters, Jackson Browne, Lightning Seeds, Stevie Wonder, Faithless, Jack Johnson, Ray Davies, Slash, Norah Jones, The Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, The Stranglers, Magic Numbers, to name but a few.

Green Day Wembley Stadium 19th June 2010 Review.

We witnessed the most fantastic, incredible, awesome Green Day concert at Wembley Stadium. We’ve never seen them live until tonight, but wow! was it worth the wait? Singing along to all their songs with the crowd singing in unison was an amazing feeling. Wembley Stadium as a venue for bands such as Green Day is just brilliant!

They kicked off their show at 8pm with four songs from their latest album “21st Century Breakdown”.

The crowd went ballastic. Then a few recent awesome songs from the American Idiot album and then Billie Joe got into gear singing some of the older songs from Dookie (Basket Case, When I come around, Burnout etc).

The three main band members – lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool were brilliant and played their part well and looked like they were really enjoying themselves on stage.

Billie Joe is certainly a wonderful showman and could easily get the crowd to sing and clap at his command. Even Tré Cool is a showman in his own right and quite a funny guy.

Tré sang a song or two while Billie Joe played the drums and there was a moment where the two of them went for some record by singing and dancing to the song “shout” made famous by the Isley Brothers. It was quite funny though.

The band even dressed up in drag and sang one or two songs while lying down on the stage.

Some people in the crowd went mental especially where we were standing. That can be a good or bad thing depending on what you are expecting from the concert. I personally don’t mind people jumping around if they think of others, but when they push and kick and punch just for the fun of it, then it can become a bit unpleasant. There were definitely a few English idiots in the audience.

There was a good mix of stage videos behind the band and on the side screens.

With the various lights going on the atmosphere was electrifying.

The concert went on for well over 2 and a half  hours with two encores. The last 6 songs were just incredible, with spectacular fireworks, fireballs, ticker tape even toilet paper being thrown up into the air.

Below is the playlist for the concert.

  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. East Jesus Nowhere
  5. Holiday
  6. The Static Age
  7. Give Me Novacaine
  8. Are We The Waiting
  9. St. Jimmy
  10. Blvd. of Broken Dreams
  11. Nice Guys Finish Last
  12. Burnout
  13. Waiting
  14. Geek Stink Breath
  15. Dominated Love (Slave Tre on Guitar and Vocals, Bille Joe on Drums)
  16. Hitchin’ A Ride
  17. Welcome To Paradise
  18. When I Come Around
  19. Metal-Jam Iron Man/ Sweet Child of Mine/ Highway to Hell
  20. Brain Stew
  21. Jaded
  22. Longview
  23. Basket Case
  24. She
  25. King For A Day
  26. Shout/Hey Jude/I cant get no satisfaction/Teenage Kicks/Always look on the bright side of life
  27. 21 Guns
  28. Minority

Encore:

  1. American Idiot
  2. Jesus of Suburbia

Encore 2:

  1. When It’s Time (Acoustic)
  2. Wake Me Up When September Ends (Acoustic)
  3. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

33 songs in total made it one helleva good evening. If they were playing another night in London I would definitely go again.

All photos taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 and belong to lookatbowen.com

Pikemen and Musketeers marching to a tune in London.

I was walking towards Bank Station this evening when behind me I heard what sounded like a flute playing. It’s quite an unique sound so I turned around and behind two police horse riders were a squad of men slow marching behind a man that looked a little like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. To his left was a drummer keeping the beat.

The men were dressed in tradional red uniform with armour plates on their chest. Some of the men were holding pikes (a long pole with a spike on the end), while the others at the back of the squad were holding old style Matchlocks.

The matchlock was the first mechanism or “lock” invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. This design removed the need to lower by hand a lit match into the weapon’sflash pan and made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon at the moment of firing, and, more important, to keep both eyes on the target.

The main disadvantage of the matchlock was the time it took to reload after each shot. To solve this problem, musketeers in the front line fired their matchlocks and then they retired to the back to reload.

The pikeman carried pikes that were between twelve and eighteen feet long. When the enemy employed a cavalry charge, the musketeers sheltered behind and between the pikemen. During the cavalry charge the pikemen aimed their pikes at the chests of the oncoming horses.

Something was definitely going on, because behind the Pikemen & Musketeers were a few fancy cars, a Bentley and one very large black Rolls Royce. Normally the number plate is a give away, but this one had normal letters GCX 342J, so it wasn’t immediately obvious. It turns out that one of the duties of the Pikemen & Musketeers is to escort the Lord Major to civic functions. So there is the answer I think! I didn’t catch a glimpse of the Lord Major, but it was wonderful display of history.

The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers are veteran members of the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army.

The HAC can trace its history as far back as 1296, and received a Royal Charter from Henry VIII on 25 August 1537.

Related Sources and Links:

The 1st, 4th & 5th photos and video were taken using my Nokia N900 🙂

The main disadvantage of the matchlock was the time it took to reload after each shot. To solve this problem, musketeers in the front line fired their matchlocks and then they retired to the back to reload.

Bon Jovi at the O2 arena on 11th June 2010 review.

There are not many bands these days that can belt out 25 songs with such pace as Bon Jovi did on Friday night. Throw in the fact that they have been around for over 26 years, have released 11 official albums, two compilation albums and 1 live album, and have sold over 120 million records, then you start to see what an incredible feat they have achieved?

This was the second Bon Jovi concert we’ve been too in the past 5 years, the other one being in Hyde Park a few years ago.

The opening act was very disappointing to say the least (The last republic), apparently hand picked by Kerrang! Radio. We don’t listen to Kerrang! Radio because they are crap and their choice of band was proof of that!  At the Hyde Park concert ‘LIVE’ were the opening act, and they were absolutely awesome, playing loads of classic songs that they have become famous for. We have all their albums so that was very special.

We went to the Bon Jovi concert on Friday night with Mike and Kerry of  Wrightaboutnow.com who are also massive Bon Jovi fans. We had seats in row Q of block 106, which were directly in line with the stage but raised over the crowd. The position and location was perfect for seeing all the action and worth the 16500 pennies in my opinion. 🙂 The O2 is a truly amazing venue for concerts.

The opening scene showed the band walking in a tunnel, similar to the cover of their latest album The Circle. The build up was immense before they lifted the electronic screens and Jon was standing there with his arms in the air singing “Happy Now”.

The two opening songs came from their latest album “The Circle”, before they launched into “You give love a bad name” and “Born to be my baby” from the Slippery when wet & New Jersey album. There was a really good mix  of music from their various albums. It must be quite tricky being Jon and deciding which song they will sing considering they have hundreds to choose from.

There were quite a few songs from the New Jersey album as this was one of their most popular albums with so many classic sing a long anthems, “Bad medicine” was awesome and part way through the tempo eased and Jon and one of the guitarist broke into a rendition of “Pretty Woman”.  Afterwards Richie Sambora sang “Lay your hands on me” by himself and then him and Jon sang the classic “I’ll be there for you”, which had the crowd going nuts and singing the chorus over and over again.

Then Jon called David and Tico onto the mini platform and they sang a few songs from “These Days” and “100 000 000 fans can’t be wrong” with only acoustic guitars, and an accordion. Tico has some sort of a box he was hitting and also had what looked like a rattler. They showed they can sing without the heavy equipment, but any die hard fan would have known that already.

I am not sure if the fancy electronic screens were theirs or part the O2 Arena, but they were cleverly used throughout the concert. There were platforms that moved up and down and the screens could be broken up into different segments and moved independently of each other adding to the atmosphere.

Below is the song list they managed to get through with ease.

  1. Happy Now (The Circle)
  2. We Weren’t Born to Follow (The Circle)
  3. You give love a bad name (Slippery when wet)
  4. Born to be my Baby (New Jersey)
  5. Radio Saved My Life Tonight (100 000 000 fans can’t be wrong)
  6. Lost Highway (Lost Highway)
  7. When We Were Beautiful (The Circle)
  8. Raise Your Hands (Slippery when wet)
  9. We’ve Got it Goin On (Lost Highway)
  10. Sleep When I’m Dead (Keep the faith)
  11. Bad Medicine /Pretty Woman (Slippery when wet) / (Roy Orbison).
  12. Lay Your Hands On Me (Richie Vocals) (New Jersey)
  13. Open All Night (Bounce)
  14. Diamond Ring (These days)
  15. I’ll Be There For You (New Jersey)
  16. Something For The Pain (These days)
  17. Someday I’ll be Saturday Night (100 000 000 fans can’t be wrong)
  18. Let it Rock  (Slippery when wet)
  19. It’s My Life (Crush)
  20. Working for the Working Man (The Circle)
  21. Who Says You Can’t Go Home (Bounce)
  22. Keep The Faith (Keep the faith)
  23. Have A Nice Day (Have a nice day)
  24. Wanted Dead or Alive (Slippery when wet)
  25. Living On A Prayer (Slippery when wet)

One particular moment I will remember well was at the beginning of the song “Wanted dead or alive”. Jon started talking about watching the football world cup and then he asked the crowd if there were any cowboys in the house? Richie and Jon then started playing the intro of the song and the crowd sang the entire intro of the song. It was a goose bump moment hearing everyone sing in unison and seeing a beautiful sun rise sillhouetting the band from behind the stage.

It was an awesome night. I’ve uploaded a few photographs into our gallery. Videos and photographs taken with our Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7. Videos shot in High Definition AVCHD lite format. Videos owned by Lookatbowen.com

World Cup Soccer 2010 – Pelota – Nokia N900 Widget.

The world cup starts today in my homeland South Africa and keeping up to date with all the latest scores over the next few weeks is going to be critical especially if your name is Bowen and you have multiple bets running on the various games that are being played. So I am pleased to report a little football widget / application called Pelota for the Nokia N900 /N97 and Nokia 5800.

Funlabs have realeased the widget called Pelota, which run in a real-time mode. It informs you about the status of the world cup games being played. For every goal that is scored, the widget beeps and vibrates and displays the score on your screen.

Update @ 1703: The widget works brilliantly, beeping loudly when a goal was scored.  What an exciting game that was?

Where are our Bon Jovi tickets GETMEIN?

It’s less than 4 days to go until the Bon Jovi concert at the O2 arena in London and we have not yet received our tickets. They were ordered through GETMEIN! seven months ago, yet they are telling us that we should expect to receive the tickets 2 days or 1 day before the event. All because there has been a promoter problem. Is this acceptable? What if we was travelling from another city, does that mean we have to delay our trip until the tickets have arrived? It seems insane! Of course phoning the number provided on their website only gets an automated response.

It’s one of those situations that is almost out of our hands. GETMEIN have our money and all we can do is hope and pray we get the tickets before Friday. It is a major FAIL for GETMEIN!

Tonkinese Bailey joins the Bowen household.

Here is our new edition to the Bowen household. His name is Bailey and he joins Tamsin and Whiskey our other two Tonkinese cats. He was full of energy when we took this photo after sleeping for most the day under the duve. (spoilt).

He has started to explore the house much to the disgust of the other two. There has been a lot of hissing, but that is about all. Bailey even hissed back at Whiskey who made a bee line for cover.

He is so cute. 🙂 and naughty when we are not watching him.