Nice to see Foo again!
‘You have always stood by our band, and we will always stand by you.
Like I say at every show, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys. And I mean that.
‘I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I will do everything I can to come back and give you a night to remember for the rest of your lives as soon as possible.’
That was the message sent from Dave Grohl to his fans following his now legendary fracture that happened in June when he took a tumble from the stage during a gig in Gothenburg.
We say took a tumble, but actually that leg-break looked excruciating, and we have taken a tumble of our own in the past, so we know the trauma – except that our snap wasn’t heard around the world!
But hey, they say every cloud has a silver lining, and though Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl fracturing his leg was more than a little inconvenient, the forced cancellation of the Wembley Stadium shows does mean the band get to return to the site of one of their best ever concert experiences.
Heck, you’d think he’d done it on purpose!
In a chat with me, Foo guitarist Chris Shiflett said the band’s dates here back in 2011 hold particularly special memories.
“I can honestly say those two shows were two of my favourite Foo Fighters shows that we’ve ever done,” he recalled.
“When we go on tour now, especially in the summer, we all bring our wives and kids and our families out, and for the Milton Keynes shows in particular, my mum and stepdad, who had never been out to a big Foo Fighter show.
“We don’t do big dates like that in America, it’s mostly Europe and Australia where we do those stadium sized shows.
“I’d regretted that I hadn’t brought my mum over when we played Wembley, so I flew my mum and my stepdad and my wife’s mum and stepdad out, and it became this big thing – then a bunch of our really close friends came over with their friends and we had the best backstage set-up that we have ever had,” he says.
“Our tour manager put together this incredible thing backstage, mostly for the kids, and we had this whole crazy play area.
“When we were playing those shows I would look over and see my whole family and it was amazing.”
And the venue itself scores brownie points with Chris: “I really like the way that venue is set up.
“It’s really amazing the way you have that big open space and then it goes up at the back, just like a big giant amphitheatre...”
And 65,000 people liked the way the Foos held court on those summer days four years ago. Here’s to a successful return this weekend...
You should never underestimate the power of a great double-act – Royal Blood are recent proof of that.
The Brighton boys arrived with decidedly more than a bang and a clang in 2013, released their soaraway success of a debut album in 2014, and now?
Well they’ve just been playing with the Foo boys in the US, and this Saturday bring their sounds home for The National Bowl gigs.
It was hardly a surprise when vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher were confirmed for these shows late last week.
But their name on the billing was a welcome addition.
After months away from home, Ben had barely got in the front door and dumped down his gear before we nabbed him for a few questions...
Despite hitting some big stages stateside in recent times, the Milton Keynes dates could see you stage-step to around 65,000 a day.
It must still feel a little bit bonkers playing to such huge numbers?
“Totally!” Ben told me, “We’ve never been there as punters so we’re walking into the unknown.
“We were gutted when the Wembley shows got cancelled so I think everyone will be in the mood to make these shows a huge party.”
How did the Stateside trek work out for you guys?
“It’s been an amazing experience, to be able to play to that amount of people every night and to play in these massive places, we’ve really enjoyed ourselves.
“It’s good to tour with a band at that level and see how it’s done.”
Your self-titled album has just celebrated its first birthday.
To us, as outsiders looking in, the past 12 months seem like a whirlwind. What’s the reality?
“Exactly that,” Ben says, “Apart from today I hadn’t been home in five months.
“But it’s amazing, I’d never complain about it. All that I sometime wish for is a chest of drawers – living out of a suitcase is a hassle.
“You lose so many socks!”
Have Dave and the boys given you the benefit of their wisdom during the tour. Has any advice been doled out?
“Not to break your leg before the start of a world tour, ha! “They’re such a lovely bunch of guys, everyone has been very welcoming and it’s been a really fun tour to be on.
“To be in their presence is a special thing.”
And when you take the stage this weekend, what can the assembled expect?
“The unexpected,” Ben says.
“The most cliched answer you’ll get, but playing live we like to give it our all, and it’s an honour to be included on this line-up.”
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday’s gigs are still available.
Book now at www.gigsandtours.com or www.seetickets.com Gates open at 4pm.