Pearl Jam – Just Breathe

February 6th, 2011 • Posted in Music |

My favourite song right now …

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Bodyface, Kill Her, and Fallen

November 13th, 2010 • Posted in Music, Random Stuff |

New York band BODYFACE have recorded a brilliant song, called Kill Her, inspired by my novel FALLEN.  More accurately, it’s inspired by one of my two main, damaged characters Nomi.

It’s heavy and dirty and grungy, and hits all the right notes for me.

I’m thrilled that my work has inspired something great like this, and I hope you’ll all visit the Bodyface website to check it out.

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Ronnie James Dio

May 17th, 2010 • Posted in Music |

Heard yesterday that Ronnie James Dio – singer with Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Elf, and his own brilliant solo band Dio – passed away on Sunday. I’ve always been a huge metal fan, and Dio had one of the strongest, most dependable metal singing voices, a voice that didn’t weaken at all as he grew older.   Listen to this classic track.  Rock on, Ronnie.

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FLOGGING MOLLY live

January 8th, 2010 • Posted in Music |

If you’re any fan of rowdy, heartfelt, ballsy, honest music, this will be your next purchaseFlogging Molly are one of my favourite bands, and the best place to see them is live.  I’ve rarely seen a band enjoy themselves so much on stage, and this new live album and dvd is much anticipated in the Lebbon household (by me, anyway … I’ll have to hide my wife’s Will Young cds for a while).

To get you in the mood …

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Recommendation: Flogging Molly – Float

February 6th, 2009 • Posted in Music, Recommendations |

Flogging Molly, as you’ll know by now, are one of my very favourite bands, and this new single from their new album FLOAT is a cracker.  Not quite as barnstorming as some of their stuff, more reflective, it’s a really affecting song, and I think this interesting video works wonders.

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Motorhead, Beer and Naked Ladies

November 20th, 2008 • Posted in Music, Random Stuff |

Well they go together so well, don’t they?

Last Saturday my mate Gareth Morgan (he’s the drummer here) and set off to Cardiff to see Motorhead on their new Motorizer tour.  We started the day off with a nice slow afternoon drinking real ale (who wouldn’t?), visiting a couple of interesting pubs along the way.  There’ll be more about that on the beer blog Blog O’ Beer very soon, so watch out for that.  One incident of note to some of those reading this will be when I bumped into an old friend in the Rummer Tavern – Darren Floyd!  Darren was formerly head honcho at Razorblade Press, who published two very early books of mine Faith in the Flesh and Hush.  It was good to see him and have a quick chat, though he made sure to say he wasn’t writing horror anymore.

On to the Student’s Union in Cardiff for the gig, and we completely missed the first act Danko Jones whilst queuing to get in.  Shame. The bar there served Tetley’s beer out of a can for about £3.00, so I had to control my gag reflex to have a couple more pints.

Saxon were … Saxon.  My favourite band back in the mid-80s (and my mid-teens), their music still brings a nostalgic smile to my face.  But I can’t help thinking about the makers of Spinal Tap apparantly following Saxon around on tour before making the movie …

“We are Motorhead, and we play Rock and Roll.”  And so they did.  Very loudly.  Now, I’m not complaining. If I go to see Motorhead, I don’t expect to be able to sit down, have a cup of tea and talk politics and the state of the world with my mate.  But this was so loud that the songs were completely distorted … and I know them all.  Example: Lemmy said they were going to do a Thin Lizzy cover.  Great!  Lizzy are still one of my favourite bands, and it would be great to hear Motorhead’s take on one of their classic tunes.  But the sound was so distorted that it took me half a song to identify Rosalie.

Last week, Flogging Molly were bloody loud, but I could hear the songs, and every word Dave King said.  Lemmy needs to kick some sound engineer ass.

Oh well, maybe I’m just getting old.  The one surprising (pleasantly so) moment was when 5 strippers came on stage during Killed By Death.  Obviously professional ladies (and checking the Motorhead Forum, I think they were The Fuel Girls), they gyrated and writhed, and came very close to taking everything off without actually being naked (licensing laws, I suspect).  They hung from Lemmy afterwards, and it looked like the cover of an old Gor novel.  Lucky sod.

So, that was Motorhead!  Their new album is great – better than Kiss of Death, though still not quite up to the standards of Inferno for me.  And let’s face it, in his early 60s, Lemmy still knows how to deliver.

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Motorhead and William

November 15th, 2008 • Posted in Music, Random Stuff |

Last night I visited a small seaside town with my wife and two kids.  I made a trip into a book shop, raising a weak smile from my wife … it’s pretty normal, after all.  She said she’d take the kids off for a meal.

For a small seaside bookstore, I was delighted to see that they had a sign up stating “BERSERK – coming soon!” (even given that BERSERK is not yet published in the UK).  I asked the owner if he liked authors signing their books, and he said, “No worries, I’ve got a bloke in the shop who signs them all.”

“How the hell can he do that?” I asked.  “How can he sign my book with my name?”

“Oh, he doesn’t.  He signs every book William.”

Whereupon we had an argument. What as strange, strange dream.  So if anyone out there finds any of my books signed by ‘William’, please do tell me … and there’ll be a novel in there somewhere, I’m sure.

Today, I’m off to Cardiff with my mate Gareth to sample some splendid real aleas, and then this evening we’ll be watching Motorhead, Saxon and Danko Jones.  Seen Motorhead many, many times, so tonight I hope Lemmy’s in a good mood.  Saxon … what a blast from the past!

Full report soon.  Watch out for William the Imposter.

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The staggeringly brilliant … Flogging Molly!

November 11th, 2008 • Posted in Music, Recommendations |

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to catch Street Dogs, Skindred, and Flogging Molly in Bristol on the last UK date of their Eastpak Antidote Tour (unfortunately we turned up too late to see Time Again).  And I have to say, this was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in many, many years.

My mate Gary Greenwood and I spent a couple of hours in a pub first (I was driving … J20 is not my friend), then we went on to the gig, just in time to see Street Dogs‘ performance.  I’m a big fan of Fading American Dream, and I was looking forward to seeing them …. but I have to admit, I wasn’t quite prepared for how professional and polished these guys are, and what a fantastic perfromance they put on.  Lead singer Mike McColgan is a superb frontman, engaging the crowd from his first moment on stage to the last.  Their songs are fast, punchy and intelligent, and the audience were obviously heavily into them.  Gary and I stood about 20 feet from the stage, and from us forward was one big mosh pit.  They made some kid’s night by inviting him up on stage (it was his 18th birthday … he won’t forget this one in a while), then after the last song McColgan threw himself on the mercy of the audience.  Last I saw of him he was being carried away towards the bar, and maybe they’re still carrying him somewere down the M5 now …

I picked up their new album State of Grace after the gig, and it’s brilliant.  Go.  Buy it.  Back already?  Then let’s move on to ..

Skindred.  Again, the frontman was a true professional, having a real rapport with the audience from the start.  Didn’t realise that they’re from Newport, very close to where I live!  Their music is a merging of reggae, rap and thrash, and they put on a stunning show.  I was again struck by their professionalism – it’s unusual to go to a gig and see three such talented bands on the same line-up.  Good stuff: fast, powerful, brutal.

Now, then.  Flogging Molly.  I’ve been a fan for years.  Always wanted to see them, and now I’m kicking myself for not doing so sooner.  This is one of those gigs I’ll remember for a long, long time … and out of the hundreds I’ve seen, this is definitely one of the best.  They all have a great time on stage.  You really get the feeling that they’re enjoying themselves, and that can’t help but transfer to the audience.  And it did, big style.  The mosh pit grew, the jumping and singing was loud and exuberant, and the mix of songs they played – at least 6 songs from the first album Swagger, and just as many from the latest, Float – shows the consistent quality of the music this band’s putting out.  Dave King is a great frontman, chatty and funny, and he took that audience and made it his own.  They did such a slew of great songs that it’s difficult to pick out favourites: Within a Mile of Home, Drunken Lullabies, Float, Swagger, Salty Dig, Whistles the Wind, Seven Deadly Sins … fantastic.

Every album this band has produced is a classic, in my mind, from their first Swagger, then Drunken Lullabies, Within a Mile of Home, and the new album Float.  Then there’s the brilliant Whiskey on A Sunday, of course, which contains some fine acoustic and live versions of some of their best songs.

First encore?  Dave King on his own, acoustic guitar, couple of great songs … True class.

What more can I say?  Best gig in years.

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Flogging Molly

November 7th, 2008 • Posted in Music |

I’m going to see Flogging Molly!  Just bought tickets to see them this coming Sunday at Bristol Carling Academy, along with my mates Gary Greenwood and Ly.  Hoorah!  Flogging Molly are one of my may favourite bands of the last few years, and I’m so excited.  I’m even excited by the support bands, especially Street Dogs, whose album Fading American Dream is a classic. Yet to pick up their new album, but I will soon.

Full report early next week!

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