Michael Schenker Live!!

Venue: _ Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK
Date:- 2/11/2017

”I’ve never seen Michael Schenker live before although i have listened to his music now and again either as a solo artist or when he was in The Scorpions. When i came across a competition online to win tickets to see him live i thought ”Fuck it, what have i to lose??” I won a ticket!! Off i trundle down to Shepherds Bush on the Circle line and arrive at the venue just as support band The Departed are taking to the stage!! I’ve never heard of them before and to be honest on first exposure they were not my thing. My fires were lit but they only flickered not roared, that had to do with the extreme belly ache i acquired once i had found a suitable spot stage left to stand. Anyway the sound was hard rock 80’s style, a bit Bon Jovi, a bit David Coverdale, well executed and well rehearsed and confident onstage, something you’d expect from a band that i read afterwards had played on bills with the likes of Graham Bonnet, Status quo and Ginger Wildheart. As i write this my view of The Departed is one of comme si comme ca, something to try again at a later date sans belly ache!!”

”From where i stood stage left there were people who had no interest in The Departed whatsoever, they stood impatiently waiting for the main act of the evening, when the intro music started playing these guys were shaken out of their chats, their eyes pulled away from their phones and an air of life and excitement meandered through the tightly packed throngs!! My experience of the Michael Schenker set was, like for The Departed, sullied by a, at this point, worsening belly ache. But the musicianship and charisma was not lost on me!! There were 5 guys onstage but my eyes were constantly drawn to the right hand side of said stage only offering cursory glances to the rest of the band, sometimes it was as if they were invisible. he could have stood at the back of the stage in the shadows and the charisma would have lit him up like a firecracker. As i am not familiar with any of the tracks played tonight i’m unable to pick a stand out track that wowed me or the crowd, all i can say is that it was a great 90 odd minutes of musicianship that did on occasion become tedious, i mean some of the guitar solos just went on for way too long and my inner voice kept piping up and saying ”Oh FFS get with it, you can play, i know!!”

”And then about 45 minutes to an hour into the set the sound in the venue cut out for 15 or so minutes, i took the time to freshen up and mitigate against the effects of my belly ache to no avail. When the band came back onstage i stood right at the back behind a crowded bar for the remainder of the set. And then i left….”







Fields Of The Nephilim , Shepherd’s Bush Empire,London 5/11/14





















The Fields Of The Nephilim are one of my all time favourite bands! I bought all their stuff in the 1980’s and spent many an evening in my flat blasting tracks like ”Laura”, ”Trees Come Down”, ”Dawnrazor” etc at full blast whilst merrily clouded with cider and maybe the odd puff of ”Squidgy”. ”The Nephilim” has to be one of my all time favourite albums, i get goosebumps still when i listen, it’s a journey through the dark recesses of my mind, dim passages narrowing into cryptic spaces where my fears, hopes and dreams reside in cold storage waiting to be released from sinewy chains. After seeing them live once at The Fiesta Suite, Plymouth in the late 80’s and then experiencing  ”Elyzium” & ”Psychonaut” i stopped following the band, its fragmentation and various incarnations during the 1990’s. The 2000’s  peeked my interest in the band again and in my opinion they are just as good as they were back in the day. I still get the same goosebumps and there are still sinewy recesses to explore.

I turned up at the Shepherds Bush Empire just before the doors opened at 6:30pm. It was freezing!!! My companion arrived and we had a few large gulps of vodka in the  queue to keep warm and to help loosen the sinews whilst the aforementioned queue slowly  moved itself forward. It was a full moon that night but i could not get a shot of the moon, the venue and the queue in the same shot which is a shame! Anyway, after getting in and walking to our balcony seat we were offered our starter. Dolomite  Minor are a duo from from Southampton comprising guitar and drums. I don’t know anything about them other than they are a duo and sound a bit like BRMC. They were ok, a lot more palatable than HIM (His Infernal Majesty). HIM are not my cup of tea at all. When the girls sitting in front of us got  up and started screaming like, erm, girls  as the band took to the stage i thought to myself ”Ohhh God, one hour of this!!” And that was how it went for a whole bloody hour like an alternative X Factor, scream scream giggle giggle etc etc! I had to get solace in the bar and give my ears some respite from this piercing teenage cacophony. One saving grace about the set though was that the lighting  was interesting and helped with some decent photos.It was silvery and very Christmassy! Why were HIM on the same bill as Fields Of The Nephilim? HIM are influenced by FOTN and and Ville Valo is a friend of Carls, he got FOTN to play at the legendary Tavastia Club in Helsinki a few years back. I did notice that the stalls were only half full when HIM came on, the Watchmen and the hard core moshers flooding in as soon as they had left he stage.















At 9:30pm The Fields Of The Nephilim arrived on stage and started of with “Intro” (The Harmonica Man) from the “Dawnrazor” album followed by tracks from albums “The Nephilim”, “Elizium”, “Earth Inferno” and ”Zoon”. The voice of Carl McCoy has not changed in the past 25+ years, the vocals delivered with the same forcefulness and intensity,like Carl has been been chewing on burning coals and hot tar, the only change from the last time i saw them was that the  dry ices was used more sparingly, Whatever the reason it certainly helped with the taking of pictures!  There were plenty of Greek Watchmen in i noticed building their human pyramids and worshipping at the Altar like good acolytes. Once this bout of worship is done then they’ll be off to the next Ceremony!! Yes, it was an experience for me, a chance to renew my vows and feel those goosebumps again. It is around 25 years since i last saw them, the last time, there was so much dry ice you could not see the band at times and i was also in the crowd. Personally i would have liked the set to have been longer so i would have ditched Dolomite Minor on this occasion, having said that it was an experience to put on their cv and in 25 years if they are still together they will be playing an anniversary show at Shepherds Bush Empire, maybe!! Then again maybe Shepherd’s Bush may have gone the same way that a lot of London’s venues are going at the moment! I sincerely hope not!!!



































To Stream Fields Of The Nephilim, HIM or Dolomite Minor you can find your way to Spotify