Sunday, August 31, 2014

George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and what younger musicians can learn from the grand statesman of funk

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, 30 August 2014
I've been lucky enough to see a George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic show twice in the past two years, both times at Sacramento's Ace of Spades: first time was March 2013, second time, last night, 30th August 2014. Every show I photograph, I try to do two things regardless of the venue, musical style or anything else: capture one decent shot of all the performers on stage at the same time, and capture at least one decent shot of each performer, individually. I think that last night I failed, big time. There were at least eighteen performers on stage--at least, that's what I counted (see first picture in this article). I think there were at least a couple more. So.... not sure that I have all in one shot, and probably don't have one of everyone!

How on earth do you control and guide and manage and direct so many talented and individual performers, and in such a small space, with such a freeform genre, while they also dance (and occasionally do hand-stands, thank you Sir Nose), often play multiple instruments and take on different personas, and make it a huge amount of fun at the same time? OK so one of the eighteen may have been the guy who was moving stuff, but still... lots of people in a very small space. Plus all the mic stands, instruments, Mr Clinton's chair...

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014

I challenge anyone not to dance to funk. I don't think it's possible, You Have To Dance. Last night's show was a little less raunchy, and a little more restrained than last year's, and it was very, very danceable.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014

Mr Clinton, the smart-jacket-and-hat-wearing Mr Clinton, (have we said goodbye forever to the multicoloured-dreadlocked Mr Clinton)... he's the elder statesman of funk, and -- no matter what musical style you play -- he has a few things to teach up-and-coming musicians.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014

1) Remember to appreciate your audience--they'll become your fans. You don't go to see a George Clinton performance, you become part of it. The audience matters. He wants to hear you. He sees you and encourages you. You're part of his music, and it makes the performance that bit more enjoyable; as a member of the audience, you're special and appreciated.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014

2) Surround yourselves with excellent band members. All the performers in Parliament Funkadelic are terrific musicians in their own right, and they make it work as a whole. Each is an individual whose talents shine out too. It's not an ego-contest; it's putting together the best talent and personalities to collectively produce a result that keeps listeners coming back.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014

3) Never give up and never stop working at it. (The man is what, 72 now?  Nope! Just turned 73!) He's still out there touring and working the show. Been through hard times, been through better times, and the music keeps going strong.

Highlight of the night for me was guitarist Ricardo (Ricky) Rouse. Beautiful solos!

Ricardo Rouse of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, August 2014

More photos from last night's show:  (last year's collection is in the same place, later in the collection). More info for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic:  Ace of Spades venue:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cold Cave, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails: huge show at Wheatland's Sleeptrain Amphitheater, and an open letter to Chris Cornell

Soundgarden, Wheatland CA, August 2014
Audience watching Soundgarden
I thought Soundgarden were wonderful. Seriously. Chris Cornell was totally in control, his vocal range impressive, and the performance was electric. The set wasn't long enough... it should have gone on all night.

"Jesus Christ Pose" was stunning. Finishing up with "Black Hole", and then "Beyond The Wheel", was sheer genius. The whole show was electric. In awe...

Soundgarden are a true, in-it-for-your-lifetime, rock band. They're alive and live and involved and in tune with the fans and the audience: it's a show, it's a rock concert, and I very much want to see them again. Now. Today.

For me? Soundgarden could have been the whole show, the headliner, and I would have been happy.

(Dear Chris Cornell, I would very much treasure the opportunity to photograph Soundgarden at some point in the future. Your show was amazing, and it would be an honour to capture a small fragment of the energy and light with my camera to share with the world. Yours truly, Alison Toon | Photographer.)

Nine Inch Nails August 2014
Audience watchng Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails were immaculate, perfect, totally in control. Rhythms that reach into the soul of ancestry. A light show that aligned totally with the sound and the atmosphere; music and vocals that (apart from the obvious song) would be perfect in a cinematic setting. A crowd enthralled. We were dancing on the lawn at the top of the hill, and I don't think anyone left early to escape the traffic.

Nine Inch Nails were perfect in every way... a little too perfect for me. I was reminded of a Eurythmics show I saw, years back, when the band was so good, so tight, so self-contained, that there seemed to be an invisible barrier at the edge of the stage; I could have been watching them on a cinema screen, and had the same emotions. That's how I felt about NIN last night; we didn't quite touch. Almost, but not quite.

But maybe it's me.

And that's what live music is all about: listening to the music, finding what you like best, and just enjoying the show. And I did enjoy it, very much so.

NIN's and Soundgarden's tour continues: see or for more dates. Really, REALLY worth seeing!

(Not forgetting a shout out to Cold Cave, who opened the show; reminiscent of Depeche Mode, Wesley Eisold and Amy Lee filled the venue with song and sound and much more than should be possible from a two-person setup. I'm going to listen to more of their music.)

Cutting through the smoke at Wheatland's Sleeptrain Amphitheater, 27th August 2014


Much-awaited show last night out at Wheatland's Sleeptrain Amphitheater: I say "out", as it's around 45 minutes drive out from Sacramento, and the venue appears to be in the middle of nowhere (though it's really very close to Yuba City). Late summer in a drought year means that much of the surrounding landscape is yellow, barren, dusty, dry. There's always a day when you'll be stuck in a long traffic queue trying to get into the Amphitheater parking lot, in 100 degree temperatures or higher (it always seems hotter there than anywhere else), so we took the back roads, arrived early, parked early, and didn't see any traffic at all.

I didn't have pit photo credentials for this one so was able to relax and enjoy the whole show. Though I find it hard to disengage the photographer's mind... such good and animated musicians, such an impressive light show, such an expressive audience, I wanted to capture it properly for a review... but it was-what-it-was, cameras were locked away, and the show was phenomenal. See the review for NIN, Soundgarden and Cold Cave for the show itself: the comments below have nothing whatsoever to do with the bands who were performing. It's all about the venue...

Relax and enjoy... you didn't have much of a choice. The amphitheater was a cloud of marijuana-fug-smog; it was impossible to sit or stand anywhere without being enveloped by someone-else's dope cloud. Involuntary high.

I really don't care what anyone smokes in their own homes, as long as they don't impose it on their kids, I don't try to judge whether-or-not it's a good thing to do, I might even turn to it as a palliative one day when my arthritis is so bad that meds are needed (but that's not today). But I do care when you decide to impose your choice on my air. It's ignorant, it's selfish, and it pysically made me want to puke. (And to those of you who recognised this, thank you.)

You expect some skunk in the air at a concert, an outdoor concert at that. This is, after all, California. This is, after all, 2014. But last night was "some": it was excessive, it was ridiculous, and it was offensive.

Looking at reviews of the venue on Yelp and other forums, you'll see more of the same feedback. Is there some weird micro-climate in Wheatland that directs all exhaled smoke into the amphitheater bowl? Has there been such a tolerance extended to weed-smoking here over the years, that (part of) the audience comes here because of that tolerance? Do the "No Smoking" signs mean "No Nicotine Smoking" alone?

And there was more than weed being smoked. It was, seriously, ridiculous.

Yes, this did take away from my enjoyment of the show. If you're not a smoker, it feels like poison in such quantities. A little second-hand high never hurt anyone... a whole evening of forced inhalation was awful. People can fail employment drug tests just through second-hand smoke. IMHO, it's not right.

I enjoyed the concert... but this long-standing issue at this venue, and the lack of any visible effort to change it over time (is anyone even reading the venue feedback?) makes Mountain View with its parking issues, or Concorde Pavilion if the schedule improved, a better option for seeing a major show outdoors.

(We drove the back way home, too, and there was zero traffic. There's more than one way.)

OK, rant over. On to the reviews.

EDIT: 31 August 2016, changed link to the new amphitheater website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Buckcherry, new CD, and insulting emails from Amazon. Sorta. Kinda. Not their fault really, but it's funny.

Lurking on Twitter, I saw mention of Buckcherry's new CD, and the amusing emails received from after ordering it. As Buckcherry will be at Aftershock, and I really enjoy seeing them in concert, I went to check it out.

This is why I couldn't resist ordering the physical CD. Amazon! Stop swearing!

Aftershock soon, and it's not another NorCal earthquake, unless you consider 5FDP

Ivan Moody, Five Finger Death Punch, Aftershock 2013
Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch at Monster Energy Aftershock 2013 
They ruled the show last year, at Aftershock 2013. Bet they do it again this year... but there's a HUGE lineup to compete with. Something for everyone. Really. You're going to be there, right? Ivan's not going to scowl cos you're not there, right?

Don't miss this show! (Did I say that already? Tough!)

All the info:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ten reasons music photogs need more gear

Nick Astacio, Lionfight live Sacramento 2014
lionfight, Feb 2014, 1/125 f4, Canon 60D and Sigma 70-300 at 70mm, ISO 1600, very under-exposed, low-light venue
  • There's little-to-no light in the venue and you know you really, reall need to get That Shot of the bass player doing his twirling jump, and your 50mm 1:8 only allows you to capture part of the stage, your wide-angle isn't fast enough, and you've spent far-too-many hours in the past wrestling the last drop of light out of raw images.
  • There's no light in the venue, you need to get the shot of the bass player doing his twirling jump, and the diva lead singer has stipulated that photogs must be No Closer than the sound desk which is miles away at the back of the venue behind two arches and sixty muscular beer-glass-toting six-foot-plus guys, the 70-300 5:6  mm zoom just won't cut it, but maybe a bigger, more-aggressive white zoom with a red ring on it will make people magically get out of the way, allow you a sight-line to the stage, and of course also capture more light and that image that no-one else has managed, yet.
  • You're outdoors at a festival, the darn dust is getting everywhere, so obviously you need one camera-body-per-lens to avoid switching any lenses: you rented an extra super zoom lens for the festival, and therefore you need a new 5D Mk III body to go with it.
Security staff, Aftershock 2013
Aftershock 2013 Sacramento CA, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 24-105L at 24mm, 1/1250 f4 ISO 800
  • You need a harness that can carry four camera bodies, because you rented the lens for the festival, you only have two hands, your current harness only carries two bodies, and you swear you once saw someone with a four-body harness. Or maybe it was six?
  • You need an extra camera body because you bought a harness that can carry four, but you only have three cameras (including the one you bought to go with the rented lens,) and it's easier to carry a balanced load than unbalanced.
  • You need a new lens for the fourth camera body, because you didn't want to go for a kit and it's a new camera, so it needs a new lens, not one you've been using on the other camera bodies, even though they are compatible. It's only right that a new camera body gets its own new lens. No second-hand stuff for my kids, really.
  • The festivals are over, you're back in that club and there's REALLY no light in the venue: that 1:2 lens you rented last time did a great job, and what's the point in paying to rent something over and over again, when the rental fees would be the same as buying it if you rented it every week for three or ten years, so you might as well buy it outright, right?
Aston “Family Man” Barrett, bass, The Wailers. Ace of Spades, Sacramento, 2013
The Wailers, Feb 2013, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 24-105L at 93mm f4 ISO 3200, underexposed, low-light venue
    • There's so little light in the venue, you totally give up and volunteer to bring in your own studio lighting setup, which of course isn't powerful enough, so obviously it's time to invest in your own a full venue lighting rig, a lighting engineer and a top-of-the-line laptop. Right?
    • You need a new truck to carry the full venue lighting rig...
    • There's now too much light in the venue, so you need some neutral density filters to reduce the amount of light.
    We all come up with some brilliant and not-so-brilliant reasoning for spending money that we don't have. But before we run out and spend it on something that's put into use once-in-a-Purple-Haze-on-the-moon, never forget: the most important things are composition, focus, anticipation of the performers' actions, and more often than we want to acnowledge, sheer luck!

    Alison Toon has been photographing musicians since the days of pushing film. For more examples of Alison's work, see and follow on Twitter: @alisontoon

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    Force of Habit, opening at the Ace of Spades

    Force of Habit, Ace of Spades, Augus 2014

    As openers for Restrayned and Y&T, Force of Habit warmed up the already-big crowd last night at the Ace of Spades. It's been a few months since I saw them last, and they have come a long way musically. Good sound, good music, good show.

    Force of Habit, Ace of Spades, Augus 2014

    I still wonder though... why does the bass player disappear into the audience, instead of staying on stage and showing us how he really can play? It's a mystery to me...

    Force of Habit, Ace of Spades, Augus 2014

    More photos from last night's show: 

    Restrayned are not at all (restrained): Ace of Spades, 23 August, supporting Y&T

    ALISON TOON: Restrayned &emdash; Restrayned, Ace of Spades Sacramento, 2014

    Local hard rock/melodic metal band Restrayned held nothing back last night: real rock, real good local musicians.

    ALISON TOON: Restrayned &emdash; Restrayned, Ace of Spades Sacramento, 2014

    They have an album available: A Dark New Day (Amazon) and also through iTunes.

    ALISON TOON: Restrayned &emdash; Restrayned, Ace of Spades Sacramento, 2014

    More photos from last night's show:  Shots are grainy, yeah I know, it was dark. OK? (Gives me an idea for another post on photography...)

    ALISON TOON: Restrayned &emdash; Restrayned, Ace of Spades Sacramento, 2014

    Restrayned on Facebook:

    Watch out for them around town and on the road!

    ALISON TOON: Restrayned &emdash; Restrayned, Ace of Spades Sacramento, 2014

    Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) at Sacramento's Ace of Spades, 40 years and going strong

    ALISON TOON: Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) &emdash; Y&T at the Ace of Spades, August 2014

    I'm the first to admit, there's a whole list of mostly-American-but-some-non-American bands that I've never really heard (or even heard of), and Y&T fall into that list. Those eighties-ish rock bands that I know many of you adore: Motley Crue, Guns'N'Roses, Poison, Night Ranger, Great White, and others. Not that I don't like or appreciate the music; I do. It's just that they didn't make it onto my personal playlist at the time, or they weren't big in the UK or Europe, or I was simply listening to something else, instead.

    Y&T have been around since the seventies, and Dave Meniketti is still front and centre.

    ALISON TOON: Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) &emdash; Y&T at the Ace of Spades, August 2014

    Been doing some catching-up recently. Great White, Night Ranger, Bret Michaels... and last night, Y&T, at the Ace of Spades, who are arguably the keystone to many of these bands, and a big influence to many others.

    ALISON TOON: Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) &emdash; Y&T at the Ace of Spades, August 2014

    The venue was packed and it was easy to see how strong Y&T's fan base is. Mostly hard-core, long-time fans, really really happy and enjoying the show--which was excellent. Big fan favourites, like "Mean Streak" and "Lipstick and Leather", the room was alive!

    ALISON TOON: Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) &emdash; Y&T at the Ace of Spades, August 2014

    Great relationship with the fans, both on-stage and off--it's what makes all the difference. No matter how great the musicianship, how wonderful the lyrics, how perfect the sound, if you can't generate that kind of rapport, it doesn't work. Y&T proved last night that they know exactly how.

    ALISON TOON: Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) &emdash; Y&T at the Ace of Spades, August 2014

    (For the photographers: Y&T allow still photos to be taken by anyone, and from anywhere in the venue, but no pit photos, and of course, no video or sound recording, though that message doesn't get across to all the folks with cell phones...)

    ALISON TOON: Y&T (Yesterday and Tomorrow) &emdash; Y&T at the Ace of Spades, August 2014
    The majority of the fans were happy, smiling, having fun. A very-small minority were rowdy, overly-inebriated and rather obnoxious. I'm putting it down to overindulgence on a late-August night...

    Full set of photos:

    More info and tour dates for Y&T (they are off to Italy soon):

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    Aftershock preview: Chevelle, volume, loudness, and hearing the music this time

    ALISON TOON: Chevelle &emdash; Chevelle live 2012
    Chevelle, Aftershock 2012
    Last time I saw them--at Aftershock 2013--I remember their show being good but incredibly, incredibly loud. I.e., it's a rock concert, it's a metal festival, it's supposed to be loud, but Chevelle were more than that. There's a point at which it's too loud to hear. So this year, I hope to hear the music more than the volume. Because their music is well worth hearing, and their stage show is imbued with high energy.

    Take a listen to this year's release, La Gargola, especially "Take Out The Gunman", "One Ocean", and "Twinge".

    Looking forwards to seeing and hearing them in... oh not very long now!

    More about this year's Aftershock festival:
    A few more photos from Chevelle's set at Aftershock 2013:

    This is just beautiful: Morpheus, from Steve Rothery, from upcoming "The Ghosts of Pripyat"

    Features Steve Hackett

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Aftershock 2014 preview: Otherwise, and their new album is coming soon!

    ALISON TOON: Otherwise &emdash; Otherwise live at Aftershock Festival 2013
    Otherwise, Aftershock 2013
    A nice surprise at last year's Aftershock was Otherwise, who I saw--and heard--for the first time. (That's a link to the review.)

    They'll be here again this year. And their new album, Peace At All Costs, is out soon: a couple of tracks are already available on iTunes and on Amazon.

    If you've not heard them yet, check out Soldiers.

    More info:
    Last year's Aftershock photos from Otherwise's set:

    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy festival, 2014

    ALISON TOON: The Australian Pink Floyd Show &emdash; The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy 2014

    As with Marillion on Saturday, Steve Hackett on Thursday, Friday's inclusion of The Australian Pink Floyd Show was rock within the overall folk-rock festival. Makes for a nice mix of musical styles.

    ALISON TOON: The Australian Pink Floyd Show &emdash; The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy 2014

    If I hadn't know that this was the Australian Show, listening alone, I might have mistaken them for the real thing. Their sound is true to Floyd. And, performing on a very wet evening, the atmosphere was just perfect.

    ALISON TOON: The Australian Pink Floyd Show &emdash; The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy 2014

    We'd been drenched, soaked, earlier in the day by an impressive cloudburst. Don't ever imagine that rain will deter British festival-goers. The umbrellas went up, the macs and ponchos went on, the plastic bags went over cameras, and nobody gave a hoot for what they looked like. It was all about the music.

    ALISON TOON: The Australian Pink Floyd Show &emdash; The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy 2014

    More photos:

    (Below... photographers in the pit, and fans waiting for The Australian Pink Floyd Show to begin. In case you had any doubts about the rain!)

    ALISON TOON: The Australian Pink Floyd Show &emdash; The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy 2014

    ALISON TOON: The Australian Pink Floyd Show &emdash; The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Cropredy 2014

    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014

    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014
    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014
    I really enjoyed these guys' show. Celtic, energetic, vibrant, fun.

    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014
    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014
    My photos came out darker than I would like... thought it was me, but looking at others' from the same show, I think I can fall back on the "lighting" excuse. Or use it as justification for that Mk III purchase...

    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014
    The Waterboys, Cropredy 2014
    More photos:
    More about Fairport's Cropredy Convention:

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Cara Dillon singing at Fairport's Cropredy Convention, 2014

    Cara Dillon at Cropredy, 2014

    A beautiful woman with a beautiful, pure-as-spring-water voice, Cara Dillon sang at the Cropredy festival. Putting her unique voice to traditional, Irish song... just beautiful.

    Cara Dillon at Cropredy, 2014

    Steve Hackett, revisiting Genesis, at Cropredy festival

    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    I swear Steve Hackett hasn't aged a week since I last saw him live, and no, it wasn't a few months ago... it was the summer of 1979, at Leicester University, as my sister reminded me last week. He and his band took the stage on the first day of the Cropredy Festival, 7th August 2014. So it's been (ouch!) only about thirty-five years...  no, that's not possible. Right?

    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    He's still an amazing guitarist. Happy, too!

    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    And singer Nad Sylvan is an expressive marvel, able to handle the Gabriel and Collins songs alike.

    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    Nad Sylvan, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    They played my long-time favourite song, I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe, and I sang along all the way back to my seat, just like I used to sing along to it on the radio back-in-the-day.

    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    More photos from Steve Hackett's show at Cropredy festival can be found in the Toon's Tunes Steve Hackett photo gallery.

    More info and more tour dates:

    Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014
    Nad Sylvan, Genesis Revisited, Cropredy 2014

    Countdown to Aftershock 2014... not long now! Are you ready??? Check out The Last Internationale

    Wondering what new (to me) band I'll "take home" from Aftershock this year... might very well be these guys.

    The Last Internationale comprise singer Delila Paz, guitarist Edgey Pires, and drummer Brad Wilk (yes, he of Rage Against The Machine). Paz's voice is stunning... take a listen on their website:

    Their debut album, We Will Reign, is now available for pre-order and will be released in a couple of days--plenty of time to get in some listening ready for Aftershock.

    Marillion at Cropredy Festival, Fairport's Cropredy Convention, 9th August 2014

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014
    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014
    It's a week ago, already. Unbelievable that time can go, so fast. A week ago: waiting in the field at Cropredy in England, near Banbury, near Oxford in England, waiting eagerly for Marillion to take the stage at Fairport's Cropredy Convention 2014. Prepared with plastic poncho ready for the rain that was forecast to arrive, part-way through the set. And arrive it did, but not as heavily as the day before, when we'd been drenched and I'd somehow managed to sit in a puddle which had flowed out of the sleeves of the poncho onto my seat. (At folk festivals, you take a seat.)

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014
    Steve Hogarth "H"

    Marillion at a folk festival? you may well ask. But bear in mind that last year, Alice Cooper was there. This year, there was Steve Hackett, the Australian Pink Floyd show, Marillion and, dare I mention, Chas and Dave. Don't ask. But yes: Fairport Convention share the festival with not only some superb folk performers, but also rock. (Just don't mention C&D again.)

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014
    Steve Rothery and Ian Mosely, Marillion
    Marillion's set at Cropredy was a gentle introduction to the band for people who didn't know their music, and a reminder of favourites for the core group of fans who'd come to the festival, some from near, some from far afield.

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014
    Pete Trewavas and Mark Kelly
    Splintering Heart, Easter, Beautiful... Power, You're Gone, No One Can, Sounds that Can't Be Made, Man of a Thousand Faces... even Kayleigh and Lavender. Neverland.

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014

    And then, as an encore, Gaza.

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014
    It made me cry. I didn't think it would, but it did. And before you rush to judgement on the nature of this song, read my earlier review and remember that it's about conflict from a child's perspective. No-one should have to live in that kind of physical and mental environment today, whether in Gaza, high on a mountain in Iraq or in a village in Syria or in fear of one's life in a country surrounded by hostile nations. No-one. We're all one people, and if we look back to the roots of these long-at-war excuses-for-religions, all have Moses carrying the same commandment back to his/their people: Thou Shalt Not Kill. And yet, we do... or we stand helpless and impotent while others decide what is right, or we allow "religion" to interpret the commandment to mean just whatever the heck they want it to mean, rendering it meaningless. So yes, Gaza made me cry, and think. Again.

    Marillion, Cropredy festival, 2014

    Another wonderful Marillion show, and a really, really nice festival. I think Marillion gained some new fans last Saturday.

    All the photos from Marillion's set can be seen in the Toon's Tunes Marillion at Cropredy 2014 gallery

    More info about Cropredy festival: