Ozzy Osbourne @ Hammersmith Apollo

The first time I saw Ozzy was supporting Motorhead at Port Vale in '81 - he blew me away... I was already a Sabbath fan having been sucked in with a copy of Paranoid I picked up at a jumble sale a couple of years previously, but had never managed to see them live. I saw Ozzy a couple more times in 81 and 82.

The last time I saw Ozzy was at The Hammersmith Odeon in 82 or 83, it was in his hanging-midgets period, and at the very tail-end of my heavy metal period. I don't remember particularly enjoying it... maybe because I was growing up, but I suspect it was more to do with the pantomime that Ozzy had become by then, don't get me wrong... I'm quite fond of the panto side of HM but I don't think he was doing it that well then.

Over the last few years the Internet has turned me into a nostalgia fiend and seeing that Ozzy was back at the Hammy Odeon last night I found too hard to resist. I took my Nirvana-loving son along... because you can't really love Nirvana and not love Sabbath.
Adam watches Ozzy
I loved it. Here are some reasons why I maybe shouldn't have:

  • Ozzy's voice is shot.
  • His stage patter takes three forms:
    • "I can't fucking hear you"
    • "Let me see your fucking hands"
    • "I still can't fucking hear you"
  • He has an unhealthy fondness for the HM ballad - we were treated to three including one as an encore - who wants an effing ballad for an encore!?
  • Drum solo
  • Guitar solo - with wind effects!

And here's why I did:
The man is a legend, he's 62 years old and still loves what he does. His energy is boundless, his love for the audience and for what he does is admirable. He has fun on-stage. Of course it's still panto complete with buckets of water and a foam-spraying water-cannon, but it doesn't seem to matter - in fact it's probably better this way. If Ozzy dared to try and take himself seriously this would have been awful but he's better than that. Much much better. I also love how he hobbles around the stage like an old man in his carpet slippers on his way to put the kettle on.

Water cannon

There're a few more pictures on Flickr:

Here's my video of half of Fairies Wear Boots (until my battery died):

And here's a better video of set-closer Paranoid: