Top 10 Live Acts EVER!


The other day, I discovered the Rolling Stones magazine’s top 500 most influential songs of all time. Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about anything with regards to influential music and amazing musicians. But I do know what I like.

Unfortunately, most of the acts I consider to be “the greatest ever” are either dead, part dead (in relation to bands) or split up. And as I’ve only seen a handful of concerts, the chances are I will NEVER get to see my top 5 acts live. To this end, I’m using the 21st Century to share them with you. So here are my top 10 acts who I’d love to have seen in their prime. Some may still be performing, but ageing acts can never quite match the heady heights of their prime. I’m sure people will disagree, so why not comment and give us your top 5 or 10:

No. 10 – Buddy Holly – I was brought up on music from this era. My mum loves the old rock and roll era music and thankfully, she has passed this down to me. Here is a man who was taken from us too early. The impact he had on the music world in such a short time is phenomenal. Just imagine what could have been accomplished if he had lived on? 

No. 9 – Madonna – I’m not a big fan of her new stuff. Just not my cup of tea. But her 80’s music, the Immaculate Collection album…….. WOW! It just collated all her greatest tunes. 

No. 8 – Bob Marley – I have to be in the mood for Bob, but when I am, god I love him!! I imagine his concerts not to be a standing, dancing affair, but everyone sat in a big field, chilling out and smoking things they really shouldn’t! 

No. 7 – The Rolling Stones – I’ve only recently discovered the Stones. I’ve known the most infamous songs for ages, same as pretty much everyone does and can sing a long to a few without even realising who they are. It also helps that the come from the same town as I do (Dartford, Kent)! Don’t know a great deal about them to quote, but I do know I’d have loved to have seen them back in the day. 

No. 6 – Tina Turner – Come on!! You got to love her!! What a voice, she loves to shake it and her songs are so infectious!!! I can honestly say I think Simply The Best was the first proper song I can remember. 

No. 5 – Elvis Presley – Maybe a surprise he isn’t higher, but I think live, there are better. Still the King and love pretty much all of his songs 

No. 4 – Elton John – Yes, Sir Elton is here! Not for his awful Diana tribute song, but for his energetic songs and amazing voice! His songs know how to drag your emotions to whatever destination he wants, be it party anthems, melodic songs, romance……. 

No. 3 – Meat Loaf – I don’t think this particular choice will get a lot of love, but I’m a big Meat fan. The power in his voice combined with the songs of Jim Steinman make for an amazing partnership 

No. 2 – The Beatles – Of Course the Fab Four would be here!! What list of greatest musicians WOULDN’T have them in the top 5?! I don’t think I need to put anymore really….. Run VT 

And the top prize goes to………..

No. 1 – Queen– Where do I start? The music? The lyrics? The power? I love Queen and I think the music they made is pure genius. I cannot think of a bad song they made and without doubt at least 2 or 3 of their songs would be in my top 10 all time fav songs. But the reason they are number 1 in this list if simple….. Freddie Mercury. If you haven’t seen videos of Queen live, you’re missing out. The man was a true performer and captivated everyone and everything when he performed. He didn’t just sing and walk about the stage, he performed! The Live Aid concert was a huge success, but without doubt the Highlight of it was Queens performance. Enjoy. 

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Can’t Sleep


Don’t you just hate it when you’re absolutely shattered, but can’t sleep.

It’s so infuriating!!

So I’m thinking of things. So far, lottery win division, an offer for my old job back and San da.

I’ll start with the old job. I left it over a year ago after suffering major stress related depression. It nearly destroyed me and ruined my marriage. Now I’m in a job where I’m VERY happy, feel appreciated and get to spend time with my family (moneys crap though). But I received an email out of the blue today from my old boss asking if I wanted my job back. I’m considering it purely for the money (my wife is only part-time because of our daughter.) Down sides: won’t get to spend much time with the family, won’t be able to train as much if at all, run the risk of depression again.

Other thoughts were just my previous San da fights. Keep running through my mind where I went wrong etc. Hopefully the new mma training I’m starting Monday will solve a few issues.

Then the lottery division. How would I divide up £12,000,00.00? So far, it goes like this:

£2 mil to charity (undecided which ones)
£2 mil into offshore account and live on interest
£1 mill each to my mum and mother-in-law
£1 mil split between my brother, sister and brother-in-law
£500k each to dad and father-in-law
£1.5 mil to rest of family
£500k round the world trip for me, the wife and daughter
£2 mil for house and car etc.

The house wouldn’t be anything too large or grand. Couple of £000k should cover it. Four rooms I suppose. Garden has to be big though.

Christ I need sleep!!!!

Kindness Vs Fairness


I work next door to a Baptist Church and in this church they have a little cafe bit where people can go and get sandwiches/crisps/drinks etc. all at reasonable prices and the sandwiches are always filled out nicely. As I was waiting for my change today, I did consider saying “put it in the charity pot” or something like that. But then I thought no (b*****d aren’t I?) I’m not that well off. But it did get me thinking……

Imagine, if you will, that there was no kindness in the world. No-one did anything for anybody for nothing, out of the kindness of their heart. Pretty sad place. Or is it? See, if we lived in a FAIR world, would we need kindness?

  • In a fair world, people would get paid a fair wage for a fair days work. So pretty much instantly, you wipe out slavery and people working in third world sweat shops will get paid a decent wage and therefore raise their living standards.
  • Corruption would be eradicated. No more fat-cat politicians sat in desperately poor countries soaking up all of the natural wealth. This would then mean more money for countries that need it for education/health/public services etc.
  • Resources would be shared fairly. So many countries in the world have natural resources, but almost none of them are shared equally. If everything were shared equally and fairly, for a fair price would be fine, the whole world could share in everything and want for nothing.
  • Famine would be all but a memory. True, fairness cannot compete with disease,weather or natural disasters, but as the world’s food would be shared and traded equally, the hit of such things wouldn’t be anywhere near as hard as it currently stands.
  • If all in the world is shared fairly, envy will be drastically reduced. Everyone should have their fair share and thus be content.

In my mind, the list can go on and on. Kindness is an amazing thing, but greed and envy will always hold a higher place in the human being, thus meaning people’s kindness will always be fighting a losing battle. Even out the playing field and everyone will be happy.

Me and Anthropology


One of my favourite television programmes is Tribe. It’s about this guy, Bruce Parry, and he goes off and lives with all these different tribes around the world, learning their cultures, living their lives and generally trying, for a very small time period, to become one of the Trieb. If you’ve read my piece on Hunter-Gathers, you will know this is a dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a bit of investigating. Turns out anthropology is the subject that covers all this sort of thing (study of people, cultures etc) and would be the way forward for me to chase after this aspect of my dream. And, lo and behold, the university of Southampton (my home city) actually runs this course!!! Perfect!!!

Until I read further.

I’d like to think I was naive in thinking that it would be easy to sign up, study and fulfill a dream. But I think I was just deluding myself. Hoping beyond hope that it would say

X amount of A-Levels needed EXCEPT for Dan Wade who, obviously, wants this soooooo much he can join the course with just his accounting background and get some corporate backing for the adventures of a lifetime

Silly me………………….

Of course, like any uni course, certain entry criteria are needed. This one needs 3 A-levels graded ABB and a C in GCSE maths. I got the maths but no A-levels (through choice I may add). It’s not exactly a huge entry level. If I had stayed at college and not got bored, I would easily have hit this target. The knowledge of this frustrates me even more. Fingertips away from this pot of gold and my impatience and lack of attention scupper the whole thing.

So it looks like my dream is being put on hold a little longer. My travelling dream WILL come true, just another road to it seems to have been blocked. For now……..

Living the Quiet Life


I’ve lived in cities all my life (with the exception of a country pub my mum and dad ran when I was 3) and I’ve always enjoyed the hussle and bussle of life and people and the activities one can do in a city. But I’m increasingly finding myself drawn to the quiet village life and reading this article made me want to write about it.

I’d love to live either in the middle of a farming village (like Emmerdale) surrounded by moors and forests or a fishing village which is miles from anywhere (somewhere in Devon or Cornwall would be cool). My house would be nothing flash, an old stone-walled house, with bare timber inside and an open fire-place. The kitchen would be the biggest room in the house so all the family could get round the table and eat.

The social centre of the village would be the pub. Not for huge drinking sessions (although the weekly lock-in would be obligatory and all would attend) but a place where all the locals gather together to be friendly, chat about life and their health ailments and generally keep the close-knit village life going strong.

There would be summer festivals on the village green where the local schools put on shows, nativity and carol services at Christmas for all the village to come and sing (even though none of them believe in God or attend church) and everyone would support the local sports team (cricket in the summer, rugby/football in the winter).

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever leave the city. Not through choice, but I just don’t think my life will take me in that direction. Possibly when I retire, but then I have the hurdle of convincing the wife it’s a good idea!!!

Everyone needs a Master


I looked on Facebook the other night and my friend’s status was a legendary quote:

Nuk Soo Kow!

Of course, it could only mean that he was watching the movie Kickboxer with the immortal Jean-Claude Van Damme. Straight away, I changed the channel so I too could watch this 80’s classic.

For those of you who have not sampled this cinematic delight, it goes along the typical 80’s martial art line of: white man who thinks he’s hard as coffin nails gets slapped silly by ethnic nutter. Family member wants revenge so seeks the aid of little old man (who is a social recluse) to teach them the secret ways of martial arts so revenge can be had. Final show down always consists of a bloody battle with our hero the victor and little old man standing in the corner smiling and nodding knowingly.

You can’t help but love these films! I’ve watched this one, Karate Kid (1, 2, 3 and 4!) and many others and the one thing running through them all is the little old master who transforms the hero from being a useless whelp to the big strong, ass kicking hero. Wouldn’t we all love one of these!

Xian Chow took a lowly karateka in Jean-Claude and trained him in the ancient art of Muay Thai (although the training they did looked suspiciously like kata which, of course, doesn’t appear in Muay Thai. Not to my knowledge in any case) and gave him the ability to extract his revenge against the hardcore Tong Po!

I’m sure this man needs no introduction. Which child of the 80’s wouldn’t want Mr. Miyagi as their friend and mentor. Daniel LaRusso turns up with no friends and instantly gets bullied (granted he has a dodgy hair-do and deserves it for this reason alone). Then out of no where, the mysterious and masterful Mr. Miyagi comes in, saves the day, teaches him kick-ass karate and mentors him in becoming a man. Daniel gets the girl, beats the bully and becomes a town hero all thanks to the little old man.

Now, who can honestly say they DON’T want

Too Old To Travel?


I’m still a young, sprightly 26-year-old man, with my whole life ahead of me. But my mind wonders what the future holds.

My wife is currently expecting our first baby. This is a fantastic thing and I am over the moon about it. What better adventure is there than parenthood. Obviously, I’m terrified of balling it up, but on the whole, excitement is the order of the day. But it is going to change my entire life!

I’ve always dreamed of travelling. I went to Bangkok for my 21st birthday with my best friend and had the time of my life. ever since then, my one over-riding dream is to travel and see the world. I then met my wife, who never really shared my passion. True, she’s more than happy to go on holiday to places and I have got her to Thailand and Bali, but it’s never been a major thing for her. So my plans of traversing Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh and India have fallen by the wayside, but I always half expected to be able to talk her round. Then we bought a house, so the money disappeared and the responsibilities appeared. Now, the biggest responsibility is about to make an appearance.

This may sound like I’m moaning and blaming my wife for the circumstances leading to my current position, but I’m not. Far from it. I wouldn’t change things as I love my life. However, I still have to fulfill my dream. Only it looks like this won’t be completed until I’m in my 50’s (barring a lottery win).

So I guess my question is: how old is too old?

Without being prejudice or ageist, does being of an older vintage hold you back when travelling to places? Does it make you less inclined to take risks, go without any little luxuries, take a chance on things that younger people wouldn’t think about?

Again, this all seems very ageist of me and I really don’t mean it to. I just look at my parents. I can’t imagine my mum hiking through jungles to reach some remote village, or travelling through a country on the back of a pick-up on the basis that “Juan the driver said he knew where he was going”. No, she’d want to know the coach was legit, the driver was registered and that the remote village exists and has a nice room for her to freshen up in when she gets there.

This is all well and good, but it is not the dream I have in my mind’s eye. I picture a back-pack, me walking through towns and villages without a clue where I am and trying to communicate with people. Trying new foods, new experiences, new cultures without any form of preconception or any “necessary” requests. And I’m worried my future age will block this dream.

But I’m sure if I truly want it and keep the dream in my mind, I can make it come true.

Let me know about your dreams (travel related or not)