The sky was your playground

Pumpkin, Railway Tavern 31.10.15

The more astute of the (precious few) regular readers of my blog among you will be acutely aware that I don’t always post as promptly as I intend. The record for a delayed post was the review of the Pearl Jam gig in Prague, which I got out a whole year – albeit to the day, I proudly trumpet – after the actual gig. (Great gig, btw.)

So I’m not doing too badly with this one, which is to share photos and a video from the Radio Seattle gig last Halloween – a meagre 14 weeks after the event.* It was our first gig with new members Paul on guitar and Markus on bass, and we were back at the Railway Tavern in Crouch End.

Railway Tavern image

We were joined live undead by an appreciative crowd of witches, ghouls and zombies, all at a loose entrail that weekend, for a spine-chilling grunge Halloween spooktacular: macabre make up and morbid masquerades a must (may have overdone the alliteration there). We even had a Jack Sparrow-alike in the crowd, merrily bouncing round to ‘Lithium’.

Markus, Railway Tavern 31.10.15

And here’s one track from the evening, Temple of the Dog, ‘Say Hello 2 Heaven’ – the lead-off song on an album that exemplifies the grunge spirit more than any other; it’s also the one where Chris Cornell confirmed his obvious potential and became a songwriter and singer of the highest calibre, adding a depth and subtlety to both those skills that hadn’t manifested itself in Soundgarden up to then (fine though their early albums undoubtedly were).

Some high notes on the last chorus! Don’t know how Jonny hits them…

Paul, Railway Tavern 31.10.15

As the gig confirmed, Paul and Markus have both quickly slotted in to Radio Seattle, giving the band’s sound a fresh dynamic and grungier solidity, and having speedily mastered an impressive number of songs. We’re all itching to get back on stage to spread the grunge love.

Thanks to the Railway Tavern and to all who came along. Monstrous riffs, bloodcurdling screams and devilish drums aplenty, but sadly no smashing pumpkins.

Setlist 1: Them Bones, Dam That River, Heart-Shaped Box, Outshined, Lithium, Rooster, Corduroy, Blow Up the Outside World, About a Girl, Given to Fly, Spoonman, Even Flow
Setlist 2: Once, Say Hello 2 Heaven, In Bloom, Fell on Black Days, Breed, Better Man, Black Hole Sun, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Touch Me I’m Sick, Would?, Man in the Box
Encore: Alive, Yellow Ledbetter

Pedal board, Railway Tavern 31.10.15

So, upcoming posts for 2016? If I predict what I’ll be writing about, does that increase the chances of my metaphorically chaining myself to my keyboard? Possibly… anyhoo, am now reading Heavier than Heaven, so expect something on that. I may even get round to seeing Montage of Heck one of these days. Chris Cornell is playing the Royal Albert Hall in May. Pearl Jam are out and about this summer, although it looks as though they’re staying on the other side of the pond. Radio Seattle will be gigging this year: one gig nearly confirmed and more in the pipeline. And I’ll pick up on my intermittent Pearl Jam tour posters series.** Watch this space…***

* Frankly, I’m simply not being quite big enough a slacker any more. Oh well. Too much effort keeping it up.
** i.e. have just found the drafts for 2012 and 2013 tours, and not too much work needed to finalise them…
*** It’s ok, you can close the browser tab and go do something else instead now. No, really, it’s fine. Honestly. Don’t worry about me. Please, just close the tab. Please


About Mark Anstee

guitarist, Radio Seattle View all posts by Mark Anstee

Share, if it makes you sleep, if it sets you free, if it helps you breathe…

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