Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ebbw Vale 43 Llanelli 15, Premiership, 30/12/17

With the East/West split now over, it was time to get down to the business part of season as Ebbw welcomed Llanelli to Eugene Cross Park in the Premiership. It was not a happy visit for those from the west as a blistering second half spell of 30 points in 20 minutes by the Steelmen sent the Sospans bach home with nothing.

Following last weekend's welcome victory over Bedwas, it wasn't a great start by the home side as they trailed 6-10 at half time. After the break it was a different story, with Ebbw's power pack and sparkle behind from Dorian Jones and Dan Haymond to name but two, as a four try bonus point victory was achieved to send the faithful few hundred regulars into New Year with optimism.

There's an excellent, detailed report on the Ebbw Vale RFC website.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ebbw Vale 33 Bedwas 17, Premiership East, 23/12/17

It has been a dismal autumn to be a fan of Ebbw Vale as the Premiership Champions of just 18 months ago have been made to look less than average in a number of fixtures this season in the Premiership East division.

Thankfully, December was the month that the club rightly decided to rid themselves of the coaching staff appointed in the summer and, until Greg Woods takes over in January, were able to use the services of ex Steelmen, Jason Strange and Ceri Jones.

The difference, in this the first match since the change, was tangible.

There was very much more of the Ebbw we know and love present here in this pre-Christmas fixture; spirit, energy, commitment, exemplified when the defence wasn't even breached despite being down to 12 men.

A detailed report can be read on the excellent Ebbw Vale RFC website.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Madrid weekend, 23-26/11/17

We love Madrid, and had a cheeky weekend there at the end of November. 

Here's some images.

El Mercado de San Miguel

Real Madrid shop

Plaza Mayor

1 Euro for this - 1 Euro!

Some ham!

Retiro Parque

The biggest Primark I've ever seen

Near the Palacio Real

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Deep Purple (plus Europe), Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, 20/11/17

It's been titled the 'Long Goodbye Tour' and, who knows, with band members now in their 70s (as opposed to being 70s rock stars) then I guess it could be the last time, certainly in Wales. That said there was a great turnout at the Motorpoint Arena for this show and the bands didn't disappoint.


Europe made their millions from 'that' song in 1986, so they can't grumble that that's what most people know them for. But there is so much more to them than that and are a full on, functioning, 21st century rock band. Hard and soft, light and shade, great sound but heavy all the same, they never disappoint and will be back in Cardiff in May 2018 with their own headline show.

Europe, as good as ever

Deep Purple

And so to the main men, it'll be 50 years soon since they first formed in 1968. Of course, Blackmore is long off the scene and Jon Lord is sadly no longer with us, but the spirit of Purple is very much alive with Gillan, Glover, Paice, Airey and Morse.

Supern musicianship, pure craft and delivered at a volume and with power that few still can match.
What a band!

Set list

Time for Bedlam
All I Got Is You
Uncommon Man
The Surprising
Birds of Prey
Knocking at Your Back Door
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke on the Water
Black Night

Purple, likewise

Paicey on the big screen

Ian Gillan, in good voice at 72

Friday, December 29, 2017

Metallica, Manchester Arena, 28/10/17

It's been a long time since I last saw Metallica, 28th September 1988 to be exact, but it didn't seem like 29 years as the biggest and best of the big 4 of thrash metal brought their Worldwired tour to the UK.
Unsurprisingly, security was tight in Manchester, as over 20,000 fans filed patiently through the scanners and body searches, as it was barely 4 months since the terrible events at the Arena.
A great arena though, huge but with great seats and fabulous sound. What a band!
  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Seek and Destroy
  4. Of Wolf and Man
  5. The Day That Never Comes
  6. Now That We're Dead
  7. ManUNkind
  8. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  9. Halo On Fire
  10. Stone Cold Crazy
  11. Creeping Death
  12. Moth Into Flame
  13. Sad But True
  14. One
  15. Master of Puppets


  1. Spit Out The Bone
  2. Nothing Else Matters
  3. Enter Sandman

Kirk, James and Lars

and all 4 members

Thank you Manchester!