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Thread: First major gig since Covid, at Utilita arena Birmingham!

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Cool First major gig since Covid, at Utilita arena Birmingham!

    The princess WANTED to see Erasure, one of her fav bands from the 80s, and also taken shopping of course lol, so we booked up and stayed overnight in the UK's second largest city (down early Sat morning on the train, back teatime on Sunday), which beforehand we'd only just passed through - a great time was had!

    I have to say we were both very impressed with Birmingham city centre, which had all-manner of interesting shops, pubs and eateries (and the people were very friendly), including some rather nice architecture, both old and modern. It also had a very cool, chilled out vibe and nightlife, down by the canal:



    Some different shots:











    Chinese quarter, where we had lunch:



    Arena rom the outside:



    We arrived early, in order to avoid queuing for long to get in (with Covid checks, etc), and just chilled out to some choons the resident DJ was playing (all pretty cool mixes of classic 80s tracks)... At 6.30pm, the arena looked like this:



    And by 7.30pm it was like this:





    ...and continued to get more and more rammed (approx 25,000 people in total) until the gig started just after 8pm. Although I'm not a massive Erasure fan, Del LURVES them and was like a kid in a sweet shop, dancing about and having fun some other girls sat beside us she'd been chatting to, so if she's happy, I'm happy - and it was a good night

    Even at the rip old ages of 57 and 61, respectively, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke still had their mojo! And the stage set was superb... Sound was LOUD as fuck!! And pretty decent quality too, with bass that rattled your ribcage! Del took some vids on her phone, which she's still to send me, so will take a few screen grabs from those and post them later.

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!


  2. #2
    Alex_UK's Avatar
    Alex_UK is offline Spotify + Facebook Moderator / Chilled-Out Wino and only here for the shilling
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    Looks like you had a great time! Used to stay in Birmingham city centre a lot 25+ years ago, seems like it has improved dramatically in that time!
    Alex

    Main System: Digital: HP Laptop/M2Tech Hiface/Logitech Media Server/FLAC; Marantz SA7001 KI Signature SACD Player and other digital stuff into Gatorised Beresford Caiman DAC Vinyl: Garrard 401/SME 3009 SII Improved/Sumiko HS/Nagaoka MP-30
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    only part of birmingham ive been really was Solihul, and that was an auful long time ago. 50 years i guess, staying overnight for a flight.

    good pics. glad u both had a good time
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ ......Don't be such a big girl's blouse

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2008

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    Great to get back to some live music, my first was Elbow in Leeds with my daughter a few weeks ago. Great gig and we went out after and got shitfaced lol. A great weekend.
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

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  5. #5
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    Great to get back to some live music, my first was Elbow in Leeds with my daughter a few weeks ago. Great gig and we went out after and got shitfaced lol. A great weekend.
    this is setting a good example? well yeah i suppose it is really lol
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ ......Don't be such a big girl's blouse

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D - PANASONIC UB450 - LEAF HD BLUETOOTH - NURAPHONE' HEADPHONES - 2*ZBOOK'- ROON - MULTI HDD'S -

    **I’ve studied deeply in the philosophies and religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through**

    "An old man sleeps with his conscience at night, while young kids sleep with their dreams"

    "Justice is sinking to the bottom of the sea, And it feels like I'm living in the wasteland of the free"

    It was the weakest practical joke since Cardinal Wolsey got his nob out at Hampton Court and stood at the end of the passage pretending to be a door!

    “I like my whisky old and my women young.” – "Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak!"

    ***SMILE, BE HAPPY***

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2016

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    25,000 people far too big a gig crowd for me, stopped going to the big gigs many years ago, went to see Dylan at Earls Court, we so far from the stage you needed binoculars to see the stage, could have been anyone up there. Of course the big screens help now but I have a big Telly if I want to watch someone on a screen.
    Regards
    Robin

    .....................



    Acoustic Solid Wood MPX, Ortofon Quintet Bronze
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_UK View Post
    Looks like you had a great time! Used to stay in Birmingham city centre a lot 25+ years ago, seems like it has improved dramatically in that time!
    Churz, dude. All in all, it was good weekend. Found a couple of superb (and very authentic) Chinese restaurants in Brum's version of Chinatown, but forgot to take pics of the food Was just chatting away and having a laugh with Del, and it skipped my mind. Even grabbed some provisions from the local Chinese markets, so will be doing a bit of oriental cooking soon!

    But yes, the city seems to have changed and improved over the years, which is the case for most in the UK. I'd thoroughly recommend spending a long weekend there, as there's a cool cosmopolitan vibe going on and plenty to see and do

    We're fortunate in that we can get s train there (to New St) direct from Wrexham, so no changes, and the journey takes less than a couple of hours, Hotel was within walking distance from the station, as was the gig! Defo wouldn't entertain taking a car there, as there's emission/congestion charges in force, same as London, and like most major cities, in general it's a nightmare to park.

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!


  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    Great to get back to some live music, my first was Elbow in Leeds with my daughter a few weeks ago. Great gig and we went out after and got shitfaced lol. A great weekend.
    Nice one, mate. You can't beat it, can you? Your daughter must think her dad's cool, as for teenagers that would normally be a strict no-no! Hope you didn't embarrass her, lol!

    Jeez, even Del wouldn't want me anywhere near her on a night out with her (much younger pals)

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!


  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 110,087
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcin626 View Post
    25,000 people far too big a gig crowd for me, stopped going to the big gigs many years ago, went to see Dylan at Earls Court, we so far from the stage you needed binoculars to see the stage, could have been anyone up there. Of course the big screens help now but I have a big Telly if I want to watch someone on a screen.
    Lol, showing yer age now, Robin!

    The arena was absolutely rocking when it was full, but not a patch on the AO in Manchester, similarly so, a few years back when we went to see Rammsetein!! Fuck, that was something else... You know how we talk about 'trouser-flapping' bass? Well, that's *exactly* what happened at one point with the legs of my jeans!!

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!


  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: West of Scotland

    Posts: 2,914
    I'm Robin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Lol, showing yer age now, Robin!

    The arena was absolutely rocking when it was full, but not a patch on the AO in Manchester, similarly so, a few years back when we went to see Rammsetein!! Fuck, that was something else... You know how we talk about 'trouser-flapping' bass? Well, that's *exactly* what happened at one point with my jeans!!

    Marco.
    Definitely getting old, the Hydro holds just over 14,000 which is also to large for me, have been to the Armadillo a few times, which was ok
    Regards
    Robin

    .....................



    Acoustic Solid Wood MPX, Ortofon Quintet Bronze
    Pathos Classic Remix Amp, dac
    Primare R 32 phono stage
    Arcam CDS50 Sacd Network Player
    ART Stiletto 6V3. Loudspeakers

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