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Monday, 31 May 2010

Two amazing nights of music and comedy: Peter Kay and Flight of the Conchords

May has been a very busy month among job interviews and other various things going on. Earlier this month me and Cheryl went to Manchester twice in one week, which was brilliant for me as I love Manchester and hope to live there one day. I love living in a City and having gone to College and worked in Bristol I love the buzz of the City and there is always something to do there.

Peter Kay, M.E.N Arena

If only we realised that Manchester Victoria Station was right next to the M.E.N Arena we would of got the train in and less hassle of parking, doh! Anyway apart from that it was great to see a comedy legend, very funny Northern bloke who did not talk about garlic bread this time. It was a real surprise to see Rick Astley come on as the support act for Peter Kay, he played a mixed bag of songs from his new album and a melody of Manchester hits (including Happy Mondays, Oasis, James and The Smiths). There was a hint though of what was to come ahead as a couple of Rick Astley posters were splashed across the side next to the Peter Kay merchandise.

On to the man that no one had heard of for about seven years, a man who lazed around and got fat (his words, not mine). So was he still the Peter Kay the nation cherished and loved, yep he sure was. He was still quick with his banter with the audience and even had time to have a jibe at Paddy McGuinness and his ever expanding wallet from him endorsing Greggs as his favourite baker. Kay did mostly new material as well from what I could tell and my face was aching so much from laughing. The only downside was every half an hour he took a break for 25 minutes, but the ending was worth it. Especially the outfit he wore as well, but I won't spoil for anyone who will be going to see him.

My view from the birds nest waiting for Peter Kay at the M.E.N Arena, with a surprise twist of Rick Astley being the support act.

 Flight of the Conchords, Manchester Apollo

An amazing night, better than Peter Kay! I have fallen in love with this dead pan duo from New Zealand, maybe it is being a Lord of the Rings thing. This was the only chance I would get to see them live in the flesh as this will probably be their only tour in Europe/UK. Cheryl got me into these guys from watching their HBO live gig on YouTube and being so randomly funny and very silly (my kind of comedy).

The setlist from what I can remember, ok here we go...

    * Too Many Dicks
    * The Most Beautiful Girl In The Room
    * Hurt Feelings ( this was HILARIOUS when firstly Bret forgot his words and then when Jemaine said to   stop laughing and they tried again he forgot his words too)
    * Jenny (I think, that was when Nigel came out and joined them)
    * Maybe then the Woo A Lady one?

I really can't remember the exact order from then on, but before the encore it went:

    * Bowie
    * Demon Woman

Then in the encore it was:

    * Business Time
    * the one about being on the tour bus, the mock-Aussie one
    * We're Both In Love With A Sexy Lady
    * Sugalumps

The Apollo is a wonderful venue and well suited the Conchords with their third member of the group was Nigel who was the New Zealand Philharmonic Orchestra (apparently there was two others but they could not get past passport control, something to do with sheep rustling?). It felt like we were in a big living room and the banter between them and the audience was brilliant, when they came on to do Demon Woman with Jermaine having apparently a scarf that was meant to be flying rigidly in the wind looked like Biggles, they were both wearing sparkly skin tight leotards. It was a real lo-budget gig which worked so well that it makes you realise that Bands over do it at times. I will never forget as a gig and will be in my top five all time. When I think back at the gig I still find my self giggling aloud. Five years ago, they were a cult duo with a clutch of great comedy songs. Now, they’re masters in their field; it’s a shame it’s happened just as they look set to call time on the project.

Peace, Love and Bananas xxx 

Saturday, 29 May 2010

My V.I.P day out at Preston Grasshoppers

The V.I.P hospitality pass I got as a leaving present from Business Link Northwest was used at the beginning of this month. Me and Cheryl went to the game at Lightfoot Lane to see Preston play Loughborough Students (well the team did not look like students). More about the game later on, I have to say me and Cheryl were bowled over by the kindness and warm welcome we got from the club. We had a free drink each when we got into the clubhouse and got talking to the Bar Manager who was putting his boots on to play that afternoon.

Sitting down in the Executive Lounge, which was a side room with the rest of the guests taking in the hospitality, we had a member from the club sitting on the table chatting to everyone and talking about the club. It was not long until the food came out and it was really nice home made 3 course meal (I did not include the cheese and biscuits afterwards). So the menu was this...


Home made Vegetable Soup

Beef and Ale pie with freshly cooked veg and a mix roasters and new potatoes

Lemon Cheesecake

By the time it all came out and me chasing for my pudding as they forgot about me it was time for kick off. The meal was so nice and we were both stuffed and Cheryl went a little bit further and tried out the three different blocks of Cheese on offer that came with the various crackers and biscuits. I had a pint of Cider still to finish off, which pretty much finished me off!  

(Below are pictures from the Preston Grasshoppers vs Loughborough Students, National League Division 2 North game played on May 8th 2010)

We both stumbled outside into the glorious warm sunshine and headed over to the Grandstand to watch the game, as the ground is like a Non-League football ground you could walk round freely and stand or sit where you wanted to. The game itself was a bit of a disaster from Preston Grasshoppers view as they got destroyed by a team that could easily play at international level. The Loughborough Students team came out decked in purple/maroon colour tight fitting shirts and shorts like you see England playing in. Cheryl really liked seeing the students running around without an announce of flab on them. Preston on the other hand looked like the students, yet fair play to them they kept the score down in the first half and played with heart and determination. The second half was a different matter all together as Loughborough steamrollered they way through the first 20 minutes then let their foot of the gas and let Preston score two tries. If Preston had not played without so much fear they might have got a losing bonus point out of it.

View of the Grandstand at Lightfoot Lane from the right hand corner of the pitch, out of shot is the club house which would be to your left.

All in all, a really enjoyable day out and I could not eat a thing until the next day. I think both of us would definitely go again and watch the 'Hoppers' as the locals call them.

Peace, Love and Banana's

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates due to being so busy with the list I have not had a chance to blog

Due to major events with the list of 30 things a host of blog entries will appear by the time the May Pole will be coming down after the Whitsun weekend.

Peace, love and bananas xxx