The Liverpool Ticket Fiasco Rolls On!

Another mid November morning, another Liverpool half season ticket sale fiasco. The floored system that is Liverpool Football Club’s ticketing sale has begun to show once more how much work is still required moving forward. Members logging in for this mornings sale are, due to having 13 or more credits from last season on their card, guaranteed tickets. The difficult part will come with Thursday’s and then, Friday’s sales when, the 4+ and open season sales roll on.

Long wait times and disappointed supporters are the one certainty from the next two sales as supporters who were slugged upwards of £34 just for the privilege to join the members sales will be missing out completely in some instances despite paying for a membership. Liverpool have a vast fan base that come from all corners of planet earth with some 200,000 paid up members. A great portion of those members will be battling for only a couple of thousand tickets made available in Friday’s free for all. Rest assured though. Many hundreds, if not thousands of tickets will begin to appear at inflated prices on sporting tour websites and by way of the scourge of football, ticket touts.

It’s a sad and sorry system.

Previously, Liverpool sold match tickets on a match by match bases. For a long time, this system was reasonably successful for most and failed to create the congestion of recent years. Part of the American owners (FSG) plans to restructure ticket sales was to hold two seperate blocks in July and November. Naturally, you can understand with up to 10 home matches going on sale at any given time and massive volumes of supporters all vying for tickets, it’s safe to say, Liverpool FC’s outdated and seriously flawed online sales system will deliver more headaches and heartaches for supporters as the many clamber for the few.

If you are reading this then, it’s safe to say, you are privy to the intricate problems that go down on the days of the sales so I shan’t carry too far into that field. Despite numerous attempts to overhaul the problems that have been raised too many times to mention, the club still sit firmly on their hands and refuse to act. Why would they do this I hear you pondering? Because the club are only interested in getting the money in from the ticket sales and memberships. The more memberships they sell, the more money they make. If there are 200,000 people potentially battling for a couple of thousand tickets, it’s no real bother to the owners. Games are always going to sell out and generate the income required so why would John W Henry, Tom Werner and the board be too bothered by the problems faced by match going reds? As the season continues, the club will still push for more sales of new memberships despite prior knowledge that new members face almost no chance of obtaining match tickets between the new year and May.

The club have indeed made some positive changes. Local members now have a dedicated sale and there are £9 tickets available to young lads to ease the financial burden. However, despite all this, there is a very long way to go before the required improvements are implemented moving forward. The first starting point would be to envoke a cap on memberships. Allowing over 200,000 people to fight over a “chicken feed” portion of match day tickets needs to stop. An expansion of the Anny Road end is another important factor moving forward. And why allow people who aren’t eligible for selected ticket sale dates the option of joining queue and clogging up the server only to increase wait times for those who are in fact eligible?

Sadly, I think we will still be here this time next season bemoaning the same problems.

The Liverpool Machine Rolls On….

You have to cast your minds all the way back to April 23 2017 to find the last home defeat in the league for Liverpool as a 74th minute strike from Christian Benteke sank the reds 2-1 in front of a perplexed home crowd.  It was Benteke’s second goal of the match following a 24th minute strike from Barcelona bound discard, Philippe Coutinho.  Since that eventful loss, Liverpool have not lost in the league and have now gone on to become Europe’s record holders for the most consecutive home games without a loss.  A record previously held by Barcelona who lost to Real Betis at The Camp Nou over the weekend.

The defense has not been this tight since the Benitez era and you would have to go all the way back to the 1978/79 season when the team allowed in just 16 goals home and away over a 42 game season.  That same season, Liverpool finished a comfortable 8 points ahead of Nottingham Forest and 9 clear of third placed West Brom.   If the 2018/19 side keeps a fickle defensive record similar to that title winning side then they may end up champions themselves come May next year.

GettyImages-1020207900

The red men have gone 27 games in the league at home since the loss to Palace which has included 18 wins and 9 draws.  In that time, Liverpool have conceded just 11 goals all up with only 1 of those conceded in 6 matches at home this season thus far.  It’s an impressive run which will only lead to a greater confidence within the defensive members of the squad who continue to impress week in and week out.

It’s no secret that the signing of both Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson have been some of the most expensive and important signatures obtained by the club in recent memory which has guaranteed a growing reputation across Europe.  Anfield has, once more, become the fortress we have all been pining for as Klopp’s “heavy metal football” takes a back seat to a well drilled and disciplined defensive approach to matches.  As the season progresses, it is expected that more records will fall as the Merseyside club chase that elusive top flight title which has been within touching distance only a few times in nigh on three decades.  More than anything, it’s what Liverpool supporters want more than anything.

2_JS163291417

What’s more startling is that during this unbeaten 27 match run, Liverpool have scored 3 or more goals in 13 of those games.  That’s nearly half!  They have only conceded in 8 matches during this period which has allowed for no less than 19 clean sheets all up.  All this will be tested after the international break with visits from Everton, Manchester United, and Arsenal all coming before the end of this calendar year.  Sandwiched in between United and Arsenal are Newcastle United as well.  A floor-less finish to 2018 would see the reds move to 31 games in the league at home without a loss.

joe-gomez-liverpool.jpg

Early in Klopp’s reign, the manager was heavily criticized for taking the side down the Kop end of Anfield following a late equalizer against West Brom to “celebrate” a 2-2 draw.  At the time, Klopp reiterated that he wanted to build a unity between the supporters and the players.  Well, it’s paid off in a big way and this is exactly why Liverpool supporters must continue to keep faith in the German manager even if some rocky seas arise over the coming weeks and months.  Klopp is building something very special at Anfield.  You would be a fool not to keep the faith.  And with continued defensive displays like we have seen in recent times, one would suggest that success is only just around the corner.

The Bowie Concert Tape Files: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide – November 11 1978

“Fuck, they’re amazing!” cries one of the local male Aussie spectators as the band rip into the opening song, “Warszawa”.  Throughout the number, he simply doesn’t shut up and even questions Bowie’s “garbage bag pants” being worn on stage.  It’s Bowie first ever concert in Australia and people have come from far and wide to savor the experience.  Back in 1978, it was a bit of a trek to travel from Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Sydney to Adelaide however, by hook or crook, thousands of Bowie fans managed to find a way to the city of Churches.  They weren’t disappointed either at the first of seven Australian concerts to wind down the “Isolar II” Tour which had been on and off the road since it debuted in San Diego on March 29, almost 8 full months prior.

db78airport.jpg

With “Warszawa” now completed, Bowie moves into “Heroes” and the boisterous crowd begins to settle somewhat.  Well, at least our yobbo chatterbox either fucks off or settles down for a bit.  It’s hard to imagine that 40 long years have passed since this Australian tour.  There was a considerable amount of hype upon Bowie’s arrival into Sydney a few days prior to this show.  The band had set up shop in a small indoor arena to begin four days of rehearsals as it had been a few months since they last played together in England back on July 1.  This show in Adelaide was also his first ever large scale outdoor concert.  It provided great relief to the band who had been cooped up in tiny concrete spaces for much of the tour to date.

CBSd9jfUcAA5v_2.jpg

Bowie’s on song here.  His rendition of “The Jean Genie” is full of energy and not too heavy on the bass as it is with some shows from this period of concert recording.  As far as recording go from this tour, i’d say this would be in the top 20% or so.  What’s more, it’s a complete recording of the show unlike previous recordings which had only captured a smaller number of songs.  Another bonus is the fact the tape this is taken from seems to be a low generation recording.

Bowie was also splitting the show into three parts consisting of 10 songs mainly built around his recent “Low” and “Heroes” albums before taking on a small break of around 15 minutes to return with the second set which produced a selection of songs mainly from the Ziggy era.  It’s also interesting to note that during “Sense Of Doubt”, the crowd are much more settled with less chat and screaming going on.  One suspects they were quite mesmerized by what was going on before them.

e959e4225cc015c32569790a7494e29a

So what of Adelaide in the 1970’s?  Well, with a small population of predominantly white locals, it could easily be classed as a small town with small minded views.  Homosexuality had only been decriminalized in 1975 by the local government meaning men would no longer spend 5 years in prison for committing acts of indecency.  I know right?  Crazy!  The cities population was around 650,000 and the Premier (local leader) of the state of South Australia was Don Dunstan, now in his second spell as the Labor leader.  As you can see by this car advert below, the fashion was a bit touch and go in Adelaide during the late 70’s.  The local sports were centered around cricket and Australian Rules Football.

3916c8c2f25b2b4eca6dbd67996efa13.jpg
A car photo shoot taken in Adelaide circa 1978

After “Fame”, you can hear a girl scream out, “Bullshit!” when Bowie asks, “What’s your name?”.  I wonder if that girl knows she was captured on tape?  From there, you can tell the taper has felt the need to change his tape and this means that part of the opening of “Beauty & The Beast” is cut.  Only a few seconds mind.  Bowie goes on to say that, “We’ll see you after a short interval.  I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is being here.  Thank you for making us feel so welcome.”

From there you hear the following exchange which is quite funny but also frustrating having been a concert taper myself in previous years.

Random of his head concert goer: “Is this a Peter Frampton concert? Are you taping this?”

Concert taper:  “Yeah mate, shut up”

Random of his head concert goer:  “Well, get the crowd scenes, it’s really sort of exciting.”

The drunk or perhaps off his tree concert goer then continues to ramble on about seeing John Lennon.  Crackers I tells ya!  I’m just grateful he decided to shut up as Bowie launched into the band introductions and “Five Years”.  I remember recording Bowie’s Dublin show in November 2003 and a drunk Irish girl wearing nothing but a bikini and flip flops tried to push through and was elbowing and kicking people to get her way before the guy next to me swiftly and promptly elbowed her flush in the face, knocking her down.  She then crawled on her hands the knees through the crowd to get to wherever the fuck she was going. Twat!

Bowie live 78 2

There are a handful of interruptions as the show moves towards its climax but nothing too sinister.  Overall, this show is a reminder of more innocent times when going to concerts seemed to be more like an event.  I was only 18 months old during this tour and learning be a human whilst Australia was starting to come of age and thousands of Bowie fans were finally getting their fix of the man himself, in the flesh.  You do get a feeling the concert goers were a little “wild west” and uncultured but thankfully, Bowie was able to give the rowdy ones a lesson in how to be cool.

I’ll be writing up concert tape reviews of shows from Melbourne and Sydney in the coming days to coincide with their 40th anniversary performances so please keep coming back for those.

Setlist:
1. Warszawa
2. “Heroes”
3. What In The World
4. Be My Wife
5. The Jean Genie
6. Blackout
7. Sense Of Doubt
8. Breaking Glass
9. Fame
10. Beauty And The Beast

Second Set:
11. Band Introductions
12. Five Years
13. Soul Love
14. Star
15. Hang Onto Yourself
16. Ziggy Stardust
17. Suffragette City
18. Art Decade
19. Moon Of Alabama
20. Station To Station

Encores:
21. TVC-15
22. Stay
23. Rebel Rebel

Bowie Pianist Loses Everything In Fire!

News has emerged tonight that long time Bowie pianist, Mike Garson has lost everything following widespread fires that have destroyed his home and studio in Los Angeles.

Tweeting only moments ago, Garson expressed his sadness at the pain many are going through as houses continue to be burnt to the ground.

Our thoughts are with Garson and all those affected by the devastating fires which have already claimed 11 lives.

Authorities say they are hoping to get the fires under control in the coming days though it is expected more homes will be lost. Let’s hope everyone can stay safe.

The All American Hero!

Ladies and gents, I want you to pause for a moment and admire the heroics of an all American God loving hero! This, my friends, is Alison Reynolds from good old Wyoming, US of A!

Alison likes to dress up in camouflage gear, grab her guns and arrows, then head out to kill innocent animals for, well, I guess she thinks it’s “fun”? You know what I mean? A bit of a laff yeah?

Alison is also deeply religious and kneels down to Christ every night so she can thank the man himself for her ability to line up defenceless animals from a distance and put them to slow, unjust and painful deaths for her own pleasures. Alison is also a bit of a cunt. But you have probably already figured this out yes?

Alison also enjoys having photos taken with her victims because that’s generally what psychopaths do after they have committed atrocities against creatures who had no say in the matter.

And if that wasn’t enough, Alison also like to go to the firing range and get photographed shooting guns because it makes her look sexy and she knows that thousands of lonely middle aged men will want to befriend and follow her so they can masterbate over her “sexy” photos late at night when nobody is around. Awesommmmme!

And if you still wanted more from your all American hero, well, look no more because Alison Reynolds also hates gays, blacks, Jews and Muslims too! Why? Well, I’ve not got a fucking clue but I’m pretty sure she read it in the Bible…..

2018: Was It Your Year?

So hear we are, pushing towards the final stretch of what has been another eventful year depending on how you look at things? Over recent days, I have begun to see a growing number of thoughts and views expressed on social media about how crap 2018 has been. I call bullshit!

2018 has been yet another spectacular year. Why do you ask? Because, once more, I have managed to focus solely on my own life and not really given two fucks about what has been going on around me in the world for the best part. I mean, I can’t control what Donald Trump says so why obsess over him 24/7 like so many others seem to thrive on. I’ve just got on with my love of travel, film, reading books, going to the cinema and surrounding myself with a small handful of great people. I’ve also focussed more on enjoying watching other people enjoy themselves. Of course, I could have spent many days and nights watching news stories on Muslim terrorists and dreadful reality television shows about people trying to “out-stupid” one another but why on earth would I want to let an idiot box control my life when I could have gone to Athens and witnessed some extremely beautiful sights and immersed myself in the rich history?

If 2018 was a shit year for you, chances are, you allowed other people and circumstances run your life for you in 2018.

So how are you going to make sure you aren’t sitting here around this time next year wondering why 2019 has turned to shit? Let me help you.

Firstly, if you are in a shit job, leave it. There is always another job waiting for you so why stay where you are not appreciated or embraced? Too often, I see people sitting on trains en route to work looking like they want to slash their wrists! Tell your boss to do one, book a holiday, work on your tan and jiggle your resume with some fresh style then go grab a new job. Preferably one that won’t leave you sitting on the train to the office wishing a Somalian terrorist twat wannabe would jump on and shoot your sad and sorry ass! Next up. Relationships! For all of you currently in unhappy domestic situations, fucking well get the fuck out and go and find yourself. Don’t spend another year in a lifeless relationship wishing things could be different. They can be! You just have to grow a pair of balls and get rid of that twat siphoning your energy and love whilst giving nothing in return. If it’s your sex life that has gone a bit Alan Partridge, then have a weekend away in a foreign city and take your partner to a swingers club and let another man or woman have some guilty pleasures with your soul mate. Jealousy is for weak people so get over yourself and get swinging!

Feeling lethargic? Tired all the time? Can’t sleep because you are worried about Trump’s wall? Go and buy a gym membership! Now, before you use excuses like, “I can’t afford $15 membership each week” or the old favourite. “I don’t have the time to commit”, have a sharp word with yourself and make it happen. Do you think Bill Gates, Richard Branson or David Bowie got to where they did by using excuses? Like fuck they did! They made things work by putting in the hard work! A solid gym/exercise routine will change your life! Walk to the shops instead of being a lazy soft cock and jumping in your SUV for a change. That 6 km return walk 3 times a week will get you on the pathway to a healthier life in no time and, over the course of a year, you will walk some 1,000 km’s over 2019. That’s a 1,000 km’s more than those lazy bastards will do in the air conditioned comfort of their cars. And gym’s are almost always open 24 hours and can be afforded by cutting down on the beer and ice cream you consume. No excuses! And, a healthier life will benefit you in so many ways.

Improving your life is just so damn easy!

I could carry on and on right now. It’s so frustrating seeing so many people taking on the role of a defeatist.

Go out and book that holiday today! Write up a list of things you want to do and challenge your self to accomplish as much as you can. Delete news pages from your timeline. Oh, and delete all those negative types from your social media accounts. Turn your TV off, join the gym, be more active, read more books, sign up for a language class, take your partner on romantic dates and stop giving two fucks about how many likes your half naked Instagram pics are getting because, in all honesty, most of those likes are coming from 65 year old men sitting in dark rooms batting loads of spunk out over you in your Lorna Jane active wear.

2019 is yours for the taking so get yourself out there and stop waiting for shit to happen!

The Bowie Concert Tape Files: Shinjuku Koseinenkin Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan -11 April 1973

Back in April 1973, David Bowie embarked on his very first tour of Japan.  Thankfully, there were plenty of concert tapers to capture most of the shows in what one can only describe as incredibly marvelous sound quality for the time.  This recording of the 3rd show in Tokyo on April 11 is one that boasts a high level of energy and thrust throughout.  All up, he played no less than 5 shows in Tokyo as he also closed the tour in Tokyo for the final two nights.

david-bowie-1973-california-billboard-1250

The set-list isn’t too dissimilar from other shows on the tour.  For completest’s, the entire “Ode To Joy” intro is capture before Bowie strides on stage to deliver a killer “Hang Onto Yourself”.  From there, he pours through a blistering set of belting numbers, fourteen in all, and refuses to let up until the end of the show.  I can’t find many floors with this recording if I am being honest.  I am not aware of the origins of the recording but it is well and truly up there as one of the better recordings from 1972/73 that’s for sure.  The audience remain quite subdued throughout with polite clapping between songs.  As the band launch into “The Width Of A Circle”, you can feel the energy rise somewhat.  Listening back to this show, I think you would struggle to find a better show from the Ziggy era than this.  One can only wish that the set-list was a little longer than the 14 songs performed.  Another feature of this recording is that you can hear all the instruments high in the mix.  This wasn’t always the case for shows during this era due to the lack of quality recording equipment available to tapers.  If memory serves, I was sent a copy of the Leeds show that took place on June 2nd 1973 and it sounded very much like it was recorded from the toilet.  Either that of the recording device used was shoved under a seat and covered by a jacket.  Purely dreadful it was which is exactly why shows like this Tokyo recording are even more exciting to hear back!

David-Bowie-and-Ka_2510760a.jpg

You will also find an excellent jam during “The Jean Genie” take place here as Mick Ronson decides to go a little off the beaten track in search of some mid-concert experimentation.  Whatever it is that he’s doing, I love it.  And you will too!

At the beginning of this recording, you can hear murmurs from some of the audience and it does make you wonder how well Bowie would have been accepted in Japan all the way back in 1973?  Being a very conservative nation, I suspect Bowie would have been accepted by some quarters with a little trepidation.  Bowie wouldn’t return to the land of the rising sun for 5 years yet, he left a mark with his tour there in 1973 with a series of unique concerts that left a lasting impression on the minds of those who were there.

SETLIST: Ode To Joy/Hang Onto Yourself/Ziggy Stardust/Changes/Moonage Daydream/John, I’m Only Dancing/Watch That Man/The Width Of A Circle/Space Oddity/Let’s Spend The Night Together/Time/Five Years/The Jean Genie/Suffragette City/Rock’n’Roll Suicide