Posts Tagged ‘Wembley Stadium’

Last week I blogged twice about the unexpected death of David Bowie on the 10th of January, at the age of 69 from stomach cancer. In part 1 of this blog (see here), I mentioned that I would be posting a second part but would have to wait until I got back to Cardiff. Well, I have managed to track down the video which I wanted to post in the second part; I thought I was going to have to rip the relevant part from my own DVD collection.


David Bowie performing at Live Aid in July 1985

The clip comes from Bowie’s performance at Live Aid in July 1985. I was lucky enough to be at the Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium, and Bowie had the same 4 or 5-song slot as the other major artists (see below). He was scheduled between Queen and The Who. Queen, with the charisma of Freddie Mercury, had whooped the crowd up into a high state of frenzy, and Bowie  continued this with a very dynamic set, ‘TVC 15’, then ‘Rebel Rebel’, ‘Modern Love’ and ‘Heroes’.

But, as he finished ‘Heroes’, with the crowd all enjoying themselves in the glorious weather, he decided to forsake his fifth song. Instead, he introduced this harrowing video to remind everyone why we were there – to raise money for people starving unnecessarily in Ethiopia. The footage had recently been taken by a film crew from the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC).

David Bowie’s set list at Live Aid

To say that the mood of the 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium changed in a few seconds would be an understatement. I have never seen so many people weep simultaneously as the images played before us; images of a famine which had shocked the western world so much over the previous 6-7 months. As a stroke of genius, the images were shown to the eery and moving accompaniment of the Cars’ hit song ‘Drive’.

Bowie, not needing the publicity that a Live Aid performance was giving to many artists, decided we all needed to be reminded of why we were really there.

I cannot say “enjoy”, as this video is not enjoyable. But, it is very moving.

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At number 18 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest albums is “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.


This was the first Bruce Springsteen album I ever owned. And the story behind my owning it is quite funny. I had bought it as a Christmas present for my then girlfriend, Christmas 1981. But just before Christmas she ran off with another boy, dumped me for him. So I kept the album, and I have to say I think I got the best of the deal, as it is still an album I listen to and like.

The title track, which is also the opening track, has to be one of the best rock songs ever. It is Springsteen at his best. After this album I became quite a fan of Springsteen, and own 5 or 6 of his albums including “Darkness on the edge of town”, “The River”, “Born in the USA” and even “Nebraska”. I saw him live in Wembley Stadium in 1987, and it is one of the best concerts I have ever attended, he played for well over 2 hours and gave all he had to the performance.

If you haven’t heard this album I highly recommend it.

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On Tuesday evening (24th of January), Cardiff City football club won their semi-final of the League Cup (currently called the Carling Cup), beating Crystal Palace in a penalty shoot-out, after drawing 1-1 on aggregate after extra time. This puts them through to the final, where they will meet Liverpool, who beat Manchester City last night.

Amazingly, this will be Cardiff City’s fourth trip to Wembley Stadium, the home of English football, in 4 years. In 2008 they reached the final of the FA Cup, but were beaten by Portsmouth 1-0 (they beat Barnsley in the semi final which was also played there). In the 2009/10 season they reached the Football League Championship play-off final to gain the 3rd place promotion to the Premier League, but were beaten by Blackpool 3-2.

I only live about 2km from the new Cardiff City Stadium, and when Crystal Palace missed their penalty on Tuesday evening, I could hear the roar from the crowd. I am pleased for Cardiff City, as they have had a heartbreaking string of near misses over the last several seasons. In the 2008/09 season, they failed to make the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League by the narrowest of margins, only being placed below Preston on goals scored during the season, as even their goal difference was the same.

In the 2009/10 season, as mentioned above, their lost in the play-off final at Wembley to Blackpool, and in the 2010/11 season (last season), they again made the play-offs, but lost to Reading on aggregate in the 1st round of the play-offs.

They have also had to see their fiercest rivals, Swansea City, gain promotion to the Premier League last season. Although I grew up supporting Chelsea, as I now live in Cardiff I also support my local club, and my teenage son has a season ticket so goes to most Cardiff City home games.

The final of the League Cup is on the 26th of February, and Liverpool will be an interesting opposition. Until 2009, Liverpool were the most successful English football club in history, having won the old first division a record 18 times. This record was equalled and then surpassed by Manchester United in the 2008/09 and 2010/11 seasons. Liverpool have still won the European Cup more times than any other English (or British) football club, 5 times. Amazingly, they have not been to Wembley to play a final since 1996.

Given Cardiff City’s recent years of close misses, I am hopefully they can upset the expectations and beat Liverpool in a month’s time, and win their first major trophy since they won the FA Cup in 1927. We shall see.

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