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2014 Update

March 3, 2014

Let me start this post by saying I hope everyone had a peaceful, happy Christmas and New Year, yes I know it’s been a while. For reasons which I’m about to divulge.

A few posts ago I asked someone to hire me as I’d just graduated university and like a lot of new graduates, was without work.

In early October I was offered some freelance journalism work at a group of radio stations in Warwickshire. After a few months living in hotels and driving 200 mile round trips from my home in Essex, they offered me a full time job.

So here I am, writing this in my new flat in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. I’ve moved out of my parents house and now live on my own.

So I hope you’ll excuse these last few months of silence, but as I’m sure many of you know, moving house and settling in to a new job takes time and is very stressful – especially over the Christmas period.

But I now feel like I am in a better place to pick up where we left off and give this website the care, love and attention I’ve always had for it and that I know it deserves. 

Coming up soon on musicformygeneration:

– David Bowie at the Brits

– My Top 5 Rolling Stones songs

– What I’m listening to at the moment

Ladies and gentlemen… The Rolling Stones!

September 13, 2013

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I’m afraid it’s going to be another one of those articles where I just gush about how amazing an artist is when I’ve had the fortune of being able to see them live.

This time, The Rolling Stones.

After the initial disappointment of missing out on tickets for the November dates at the O2 in London which were ticketed at around £1300 – much more than my poor student bank account could afford. Then they announced that they were playing the British Summer Time festival also in London but in Hyde Park in July 2013 and I knew I had to be there.

The Rolling Stones play in Hyde Park

I’m also aware of how overdue this article is, well my answer to that is that I’ve been working bit by bit on it since the day I saw them. I wanted to get it right, I wanted to do them the up most of justice. So after a long battle with my university computers, mid lecture, at 9am when usually I wouldn’t be properly functioning, I got them. I had to keep checking my Ticketmaster account. Because I couldn’t believe I’d actually got them!

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Now, I’d never even been to Hyde Park before, but it’s somewhere I’d always wanted to go because of the iconic “Stones in the Park” on 5th July 1969, and knowing that they hadn’t played there since made this time round all the more special. There was only one person I would have considered taking with me to such and important and again, in years to come, iconic gig, and that was my Dad.

Although showing subdued interest at the news that I’d managed to get tickets, I could tell by the spring in his step the closer and closer we got to the park that it was getting harder and harder for him to hide his excitement. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that he’d seen the Stones before back in the July of 1995 on their ’94 – ’95 Voodoo Lounge tour (you know, the one with the giant mechanical fire-breathing snake?) and had assumed that it would probably be the last time he would be able to see them all alive and playing together. But no, here he found himself, about 15 rows from the front, on a gloriously sunny 13th July 2013, waiting for The Rolling Stones.

As they started up their set, I thought to myself that the sound was better than what I’d been able to take from the Glastonbury set they’d done earlier in the year and my Dad agreed, there was a better clarity and the noise went right through you like a good rock concert should.

There’s only one song you can start a Rolling Stones set with and that’s ‘Start Me Up‘ – which happens to be one of my favourites. I just love the idea of a woman having so much effect that they can make “a grown man cry”.

This was then followed by:

It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)

Tumbling Dice

Emotional Rescue

Street Fighting Man (By Request)

Ruby Tuesday 

I was really surprised to see that they then played Doom and Gloom. Now I LOVE Doom and Gloom (as you can probably tell by my older articles about it) but I was surprised to see it in their set, what with it being a new song, I had just assumed that they’d stick to the classics. Pleasantly suprised!

Paint It Black came next. Shoot me down if you like, but I’d completely forgotten about Paint It Black. I know, I know. But you have to admit, there is something very un-Stones about it? Well, I think so anyway, or maybe I’m just trying to find a reason to justify my mistake! Either way, there is something very dark and almost hurried about the track, something which came to me when seeing it live, seeing all these thousands of people dancing as if in a trance to it. It was hard not to join in!

Honky Tonk Women

You Got The Silver (with Keith Richards on lead vocals)

Happy (with Keith Richards on lead vocals) – This was completely brilliant! My Dad really loves Keith Richards and it was great to see him up front, his voice really was not what I was expecting. It had an almost southern American drawl and bite to it, husky, weathered but oh so perfect!

Miss You

Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)

Gimme Shelter

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Sympathy for the Devil… WOO HOO! What more can I say? Well, a lot actually. This was my favourite of the whole set. Red smoke, Mick Jaggers outrageously over the top floor length black fur coat, strutting around as per usual. Then the crowd joining in with the whole “WOO HOO” throughout (and for most of the train journey on The Underground home too…)

I did film it for musicformygeneration when I was there but looking back on it now, my version was such shocking quality that it didn’t justify how good it actually was, so here is the one they did at Glastonbury.

Brown Sugar

ENCORE

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with the Voce Choir and members of the London Youth Choir)

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (with Mick Taylor)

One of my favourite moments aside from the music was when Mick Jagger essentially dragged Charlie Watts to the front of the stage and said “Go on Charlie, say something.”, Yeah, yeah alright Mick, you can give it a go, but it might be like drawing water from a stone we all thought…  Watts was getting deafening cheers just standing there before, amazingly, after pausing for a while just said one word. “‘Allo.” and returned to his drum stool, sending the crowd wild. What an incredibly cool man!

The whole gig for me was just magical. I’d go see them again in a heartbeat and it was so nice to share the experience with my Dad who never thought he’d see them again live! Here’s to the next 50 years!

 

So I updated my ‘Band List’

May 24, 2013

typewriter_girlFor someone with such a bad memory, and having seen so many people in my life, I keep what I like to call my ‘Band List’.

Every time I have been to see a band, I add them to my list.

Big, small, global, unknown, they all go on there.

Just because you never know who will make it big in the future.

My perfect example of this is Lady Gaga. She supported another band I was seeing back in 2008 and nobody knew who she was. But I popped her down on my list… and look at her now!

So I’ve just updated my bands list from the last 12 months or so, was really behind on it all. Took me a while and I won’t share it all with you unless you want me to?

But here are a few of my highlights:

ELTON JOHN

PAUL WELLER

STEVE WINWOOD

RONNIE WOOD

ROGER DALTREY

TOM JONES

HUMAN LEAGUE

PET SHOP BOYS

I plan on adding lots more to this list over the coming months. But I also want to know… who have you been to see? Who was your favourite?

09/05/13 – On the home straight.

May 9, 2013

So this week I have been wrapping up my final year of university (very scary – now I have to be a proper adult and get a job!) and these are the songs that have been getting me through this week and my final pieces of work.

Comment below and let me know what you have been listening to this week – I’d love to know!

1. Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls

LOVE THIS. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t help but do the bass line “badow badow” and sing it out loud when I hear this song.

 

2. Dire Straights – Sultans of Swing

The guitar riff in this is just so iconic and is one of the very few songs I will bring out the air guitar for! One of my Dad’s claims to fame is that pre-Dire Straights, Mark Knopfler was a guitar teacher at his high school and used to occasionally borrow my Dad’s guitar for lessons. I have used this guitar once, although I have to admit, just because the great Mark Knopfler played it, none of his magic rubbed off onto me… I was, and still am rubbish.

 

3. Tom Jones – Delilah

I saw Sir Tom at V Festival last summer and he was incredible. For a man of his age (Sorry Sir Tom!) and to still have such power, tone and clarity in his voice is a real rarity! I’ve chosen this flamenco version because this is the version he played at V, and I personally prefer it to the original. What do you think?

 

 

I GOT ROLLING STONES TICKETS!!! YESSSSSS!!!!

April 13, 2013

ImageI cannot portray strongly enough how excited I am. I managed to buy tickets to the Rolling Stones 13th July gig at Hyde Park and wanted to share with you all my excitement! Will no doubt be posting a review and photos from the concert which I am going to with my Dad who isn’t showing his excitement just yet but I think he is secretly as buzzing as me!

Someone hire me!

March 24, 2013

ImageSo I am really close to graduating and I have been applying for literally 1000’s of jobs and I figured making a website would increase my chances of employment.

So have a little look and forward to anyone you know who is looking for a journalist or presenter or anything media related – I’d really appreciate it!

http://www.abbiechesher.com

Abbie x

Hold the line!

March 23, 2013

I’m really sorry I haven’t been posting on here lately. I am in my final year at university and I am currently working on my final project and dissertation which is taking up all of my time at the moment. 

Do not fear – I haven’t forgotten about you all, I’m just super busy but will get on here when I can and will be returning very soon with lots of exciting things!

Lots of love,

Abbie

xxx

Exciting News!!!

March 11, 2013

Just to share with you all, I have just bought the domain name for this site.

So from now on, I am http://www.musicformygeneration.com!!

I think this makes me sound so much more professional, this is a big new step on the way to making this a paid career for me!

Very happy!

Abbie x

Q&A: Vince Lupo – Charlie Watts in The Ultimate Stones

February 7, 2013

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Vince Lupo (now that is a rock star name if I ever heard one!) recreates Charlie Watts in The Ultimate Stones, a Rolling Stones tribute act based in Anaheim, California. For those of you who are USA based and can access AXS TV, starting on March 11th, make sure you watch ‘The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands’ a new series where The Ultimate Stones were amongst the first acts to be chosen, something Vince and the band are very excited about.

I have been speaking to Vince over the last few weeks to find out just how cool you have to be, and what it takes to be in a Rolling Stones tribute band, especially now they appear to be making a massive comeback and rumoured to be headlining many festivals this summer.

Did you do anything special for the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary?

Yes, we actually have done some shows where we perform songs from across all the
decades. Charlie’s first gig was January 2013, so the Stones actually consider that the
50th anniversary. We’ll continue the theme throughout 2013 as well and probably beyond.

Has interest in your act increased since the band’s comeback and the release of Grrr! ?

A bit more, to be certain. We’re about to embark on a new leg of our journey. In a way,
2013 is a turning point year in our relatively short band career. We will have a one hour
concert shot for a new cable station called AXS TV (USA) that will be available in
approximately 28 million homes. I’d imagine there will be a positive impact from that.

Where do you think the Stones are heading?

The Stones are headed to the stage – again! They have no plans to slow down at any time
soon, which is why the current anniversary tour was named “50 and Counting”. It’s what
they do, perform live, and they still bring the passion and energy to each and every show.

How have you found it performing as a British act in the US?

Tribute bands of all types are in high regard now here in the US and have gained both a
good measure of respect and acceptability. Where can you go to see the real Stones for
$20US? So, British, American, whatever, it’s all good this side of The Pond.

What inspired you to be a Rolling Stones tribute act?

When you consider all the many choices, they sure have endured and withstood the test
of time. The Stones have one of the very largest fan bases throughout the world, have
some of the greatest timeless classics ever recorded, the great iconic characters in Jagger,
Richards, Watts and Woods, and the riffs. Those beautiful riffs. What’s not to like about
the World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band? They’re still lots of fun.

How did you guys get started?

Our original Keith, no longer with the band, placed an ad in a local paper and initially
found our bassist followed two months later by our drummer, yours truly. From there, it
mushroomed. Along the way there were times when we’d never think that we’d get it off
the ground, roughly nine months from inception to first gig! But it was worth the struggle
in the end. It’s still the beginning, in a way. Once we realized we all resembled the five
core Stones, we went all out and created the current large Stones band version, ala the
Martin Scorsese concert movie “Shine A Light”.

What’s the most memorable gig you’ve played?

New year’s Eve, 2010-11, Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas. Approximately 30,000
people at the outdoor venue. However, what makes it most memorable were the
conditions. Outdoors. 28 degrees Fahrenheit at show time with 30 MPH gusts of wind.
Not breeze – wind! To say that we were cold would be a gross understatement.

What’s the biggest gig you’ve ever played?

That Vegas show was certainly one of the largest. The biggest in terms of importance
was this past October. We were asked to perform for a major Los Angeles radio station’s
40th Anniversary celebration – K-EARTH 101. Besides being right there in Hollywood at
the unbelievable Gibson amphitheater, a new crew from FOX TV was there to film the
bands and do a report. Turned out it wasn’t a local piece but a national one emanating
from New York and they chose us, as the Rolling Stones, to anchor the piece! An even
bigger one, that TV show, is coming.

Why the Rolling Stones?

For all the right reasons. So many people love the Stones, their music remains a
soundtrack to our lives, and we’ve painstakingly reproduced their passionate, energetic
shows. Why not the Stones?

What sort of music do you like to listen to in your spare time?

Really, a little of everything from The Beatles to Beethoven, Queen and Bowie to
Mozart.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still doing this. It’s too much fun and too rewarding in many ways to stop.

Who are your other musical inspirations?

We’ve all picked up stuff throughout the years from jazz to funk to Motown to big band
to classic rock and even country. You are the accumulation of all you’ve ever been
exposed to.

If you had to pick a favourite Rolling Stones single and album, what are they and why?

Good one. Honestly, there are so many but I think that the Mick Taylor years seemed to
be the best for creativity but it’s hard to single one out. That’s not a cop out, it’s the truth.
With around 490 songs in their catalogue, you can see how tough it is to pick just one.

Have you been to see anyone live that you’d like to tell us about?

Too many to mention, really. Other than the Stones some great ones were the Who,
Traffic, Green Day, Frank Zappa, The Kinks, and so on.

Do you think Rolling Stones’ music is still relevant today?

Absolutely! Ever get one of those songs stuck in your head as you are trying to sleep?
But seriously, their music in continuously used in TV commercials and movies, their
faces are everywhere, their names and music are referenced all the time. You can barely
flip through the TV dial without hearing something Stones! That said, their music is
classic. We do many all ages shows and are constantly amazed that people in their teens
and twenties not only come out but know the lyrics to the songs. It’s amazing. Relevant?
You bet!

Which of Rolling Stones music would you recommend to someone who had never
listened to them before?

Ah! Get “Grrrr!” It’s a greatest hits collection of 50 tracks representing the 50 years of
their existence. That should pretty much touch on everything you’d need to know. Then
go backward and listen to all of the following albums: Sticky Fingers, Let It Bleed, Exile
On Main Street and Beggar’s Banquet. You won’t be disappointed.

As a child what music were you brought up with and is this something you’ve tried to pass on yourself?

Big Band was played a lot in my house so I was greatly influenced by films with Gene
Krupa in them. Musical theater, too, especially West Side Story – ground breaking. The
Ultimate Stones approaches performances as musical theater. We do the hair and
makeup, the moves and mannerisms, the note for note perfections of the recording, the
duets and various solos. Yes, we’re very much musical theater, so that theme is actively
being passed down.

What sets you apart from other Rolling Stones tribute acts?

We’re nit pickers in every sense. The instruments played are all throwbacks including
that iconic Gretsch drum kit and the 5 string Telecaster. We are a larger band; not your
typical Stones five or six piece group. Most assume that we’re the smaller variety and are
surprised by our size. As soon as the first few tunes are performed, you can literally see
how the crowd ‘gets’ what we’re about. Think Rolling Stones TODAY with their 14 piece
band. Sax and keyboard parts are played by the real instruments, not by guitar. The show
is fully choreographed, as it needs to be. We also do not use any backing tracks of any
kind. Let’s just say that we don’t “cheat” to fill in the sound, especially the vocals. It’s all
right there as a feast for the eyes and ears.

You can find out more about Vince and the band here, and as mentioned before, don’t forget to tune in to AXS TV on March 11th for ‘The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands’!

From one David Bowie to another.

January 22, 2013

ImageA little while ago I interviewed Nick Butcher, a David Bowie tribute act from the UK, an article which was very popular. So when the real Bowie released his new track this year, I thought to myself, who better to critique and give an opinion on Bowie’s work than Nick?

So here is David… on David.

Where are we now?

“So for nearly ten years Bowie has remained in the wilderness. Rumours of retirement and poor health were being stated as reasons for his apparent inactivity.
That was until the morning of his 66th birthday on 8th Jan 2013 when a new single was released with a new album to follow in March.
I must admit that I have not down loaded the single as I am an album man myself, so I will be ordering my copy as soon as it is available.
I have however listened to the single a number of times and am happy to offer my thoughts for Abbie’s blog which are as follows…

My first reaction on hearing the single was that Bowie’s voice seemed to have changed considerably, now sounding week and fragile. Since reading comments from the producer Tony Visconti stating that Bowie purposely sang like this, I feel a little relieved and perhaps not that surprised either as Bowie has often altered his voice to suit his work over the years.
Interestingly Visconti points out that the rest of the album is nothing like ‘where Are we now? and that Bowie’s voice is in fact still very strong.

I must be honest and say that I think for Bowie the single is quite week. I am sure it is a song that will grow on me the more I hear it but as a first single myself and apparently Tony Visconti agrees that it is not that strong. It doesn’t grab you on first hearing and is perhaps more than a little over reflective and melancholy.Image

On the plus side the song is very well produced. It is smooth sounding and there is a touch of class to it musically that is often sadly missing from recordings these days.

The intro reminds me a little of ‘Absolute beginners’ which I understand was the last time Bowie had a top ten hit, which I am sure is simply coincidental. After that promising start the song then drops off somewhat and is quite sparse sounding with the vocals very much at the front of the mix. The chorus also I find simplistic in the fact that the lyrical content during the verses is quite clever and demands you listen and attempt to analyse so that the chorus then doesn’t quite feel like it fits alongside.

There are no clever guitar solo’s or long weaving Mike Garson keyboards on this track, but as the song builds there is a nice musical piece near the end which reminds you perhaps of something ‘Coldplay’ might do and I feel the song certainly ends stronger than it starts.
Bowie has obviously not tried anything new or adventurous on ‘where are we now’? and going on what I can hear on the single and what Tony Visconti has said has largely opted to use the same musicians he was recording and touring with before his Houdini act.

As a Bowie tribute I Imagine most people would expect me to pour adorning praise on any new material from Bowie but as I have said before I am more an admirer than fan.
At 66 Bowie has took a risk coming back with new material. If the reaction was a poor one you run the chance that some shine maybe taken off of the legend in some way, but so far so good.

I am looking forward to the album and the promise of ‘rock tracks’ which Visconti has hinted at !?
Little wonder then that ‘David Bowie’ still has the power to surprise and captivate an audience even in a world where little surprises us anymore…Long may he continue.”