Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!
News and Reviews: April 21, 2015
Buy your books,cds,dvds etc from HMV and Amazon.
www.hmv.comVisit the HMV website here.
www.amazon.co.ukVisit the Amazon website here.
For previous months reviews please click on the earlier reviews link above left.
For my latest reviews please scroll down this page.
Some gig and other highlights coming up soon...
Tues 21 April---The Skints + Hollie Cook play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Tues 21 April---Happy Birthday to Iggy Pop who is 68 today.
Tues 21 April---Happy Birthday to Robert Smith from The Cure who is 56 today.
Thurs 23 April---Lynyrd Skynyrd play Hammersmith Apollo.
I saw them 5 times with their classic line-up between 1975 and 1977 which was before the plane crash in
Oct 1977 that killed three members of the band including their singer.
Thurs 23 April---Dave Santos plays The Monarch,Camden Town.
Americana singer-songwriter Dave Santos plays as part of an Americana/Folk night that takes place there every month.
There are a couple more acts on the bill. Dave will be playing a 45-minute set with a backing band;
and will play songs from the EP he released last January.
Fri 24 April + Sat 25 April---Comedian Jimmy Carr plays Hammersmith Apollo.
Sat 25 April---Olympia Music Fair is a great place to buy bootlegs and rare items...10am to 4pm £5.
Sun 26 April---John Lydon Q n A at The 100 Club...7pm to 10pm...
John Lydon returns to the venue where The Sex Pistols played legendary shows in 1976 and where
The Sex Pistols held their 'Filthy Lucre' 1996 World Tour re-union press conference.
John Lydon shares his experiences from the Pistols to PiL, from his beginnings as a sickly child of immigrant Irish parents, growing up in post-war London, to his present status as vibrant, alternative national hero and a true legend. But the actual agenda for this unique event won't be known until the night because the questions are chosen by the live audience. "Who needs Question Time!" John's autobiography Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored - a Sunday Times Bestseller is available in paperback from May 7th...Tix are £25 + BF and includes "Limited Edition Collector's Stamped Paperback".
Will be similar to the talking events held six months ago when the hardback version came out.
I went to the Rough Trade West Q n A when he was in the UK six months ago.
Sun 26 April---Status Quo play Hammersmith Apollo...also Thurs 30 April Royal Albert Hall...semi-acoustic shows..
Quo have reinforced their position among the all-time great British album acts by chalking up their
500th week on the Official Albums Chart.
The band reached the magic landmark with their latest album Aquostic (Stripped Bare), in its 11th week
in the Official Albums Chart.
The achievement puts Quo among a select group of only 50 acts with 500 weeks or more
on the Official Albums Chart.
Sun 26 April---Wilko Johnson plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
Thurs 30 April to Sun 03 May---The London Coffee Festival is on in Brick Lane,London E1.
The London Coffee Festival celebrates London’s bustling and vibrant coffee scene. With over 22,000 visitors expected, The London Coffee Festival promises to be an unmissable event for discerning coffee lovers and those working in the coffee scene.
The festival will feature over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations from world-class baristas, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs, art exhibitions and much more.
Visitors will also gain access to Milk & Sugar, the new festival feature showcasing some of the most inspirational brands spanning from fashion to design and food.
www.londoncoffeefestival.comClick here to buy tickets and for more information.
Thurs 30 April---Simple Minds play The Hexagon,Reading...capacity is 1200.
No show announced yet for London.
Simple Minds are on a massive European and UK Tour from Feb to May.
I have seen Simple Minds over 20 times since 1980 when I saw them as support band at gigs by
The Cozy Powell Band,The Only Ones and The Skids.
In 1984 they were massive and their UK tour featured 8 nights at Hammersmith Odeon.
Fri 01 May---Mike Peters plays The 100 Club.
Fri 01 May---Marc Almond plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
Fri 01 May---Guns 2 Roses v Toxic Twins play The Brooklyn Bowl --- two quality tribute bands.
Sat 02 May---Mega boxing fight Pacquiao v Mayweather live from Las Vegas on Sky Sports.
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will meet unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather
in a fight fans have long craved between the finest boxers of their generation.
Sun 03 May---Nick Cave plays The Royal Albert Hall...also Hammersmith Apollo on 02 May...solo shows.
Tues 05 May---AC/DC play the opening night of their European Tour in Holland.
Thurs 07 May---Rodriguez plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Thurs 07 May---UFO play The Forum.
Fri 08 May---Mike & The Mechanics + James Walsh play The Royal Albert Hall.
Fri 08 May---Magma play The Cadogan Hall.
Sat 09 May---Limehouse Lizzy play The Swan,High Wycombe.
I saw them twice back in 1994 which was their first year as a band.
Sat 09 May---Bryan Ferry plays The New Theatre,Oxford...also 01 June at The Royal Albert Hall...
Mon 11 May---Prodigy play The Rivermead Centre,Reading...3000 capacity venue sold out in one day...
Also Prodigy play Alexandra Palace on May 15 and May 16.
Prodigy on a European Tour to promote their 6th album 'The Day Is My Enemy'.
The album went straight in at Number 1 in the UK charts on 05 April 2015.
Thurs 14 May---The David Sinclair Four play The Borderline Club...tix £9.50 including booking fees...
The DS4 gig will launch the new album 4 at the Borderline on May 14.
The band will be playing the album in full with special guests.... Support is Morrissey & Marshall.
Fri 15 May---Eric Clapton plays the second of seven shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
He reached his 70th birthday on 30 March 2015.
Pretty amazing he made it to his 70th after all the heroin and booze he consumed in the 60s and 70s.
I have seen Eric play over 30 times including all four Cream shows at The Royal Albert Hall in 2005.
I first saw Eric Clapton in 1976 at The Crystal Palace Bowl.
Other acts will play The Royal Albert Hall on Eric Clapton rest days.
Sun 17 May---Lulu plays The Theatre Royal,Drury Lane.
Lulu on a UK tour to promote her new album.
Lulu still looking amazing for age 66 after 50 years in the music biz.
Tues 19 May---Don McLean plays The Royal Albert Hall.
A 16 page draft and lyrics to his mega hit 'American Pie' from 1972 sold for 1.2 million dollars in April 2015.
Sat 23 May and Sun 24 May---Paul McCartney plays The 02 Arena.
Sun 24 May---Ride play a sold out show at The Roundhouse...their first tour for 20 years...
Wed 27 May---Fleetwood Mac play the first of six nights at The 02 Arena.
Sat 30 May---The Camden Rocks Festival features a solo acoustic set from Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.
Mon 01 June---Melody Gardot releases her 4th album 'Currency of Men' on Decca/Universal.
Her 2nd and 3rd albums both made the Top 20 in the UK.
See my review dated 20 April 2015 of the album playback,interview and Q n A with Melody.
Thurs 09 July---Lionel Richie plays The Henley Festival.
Lionel Richie returns to the UK after his six week European Tour in Feb/March.
Lionel has sold over 100 million records and has got loads of great solo tunes and Commodores hits.
Lionel is on a massive UK and mainland Europe arena tour.
I saw him in 1978 with The Commodores and he then left them in 1982 to become a massive solo star.
Thurs 06 Aug to Sun 09 Aug is the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool.
The Boomtown Rats,The Damned,The Buzzcocks,Sham 69,The Boys and The Gang Of Four
are headliners among the 100 plus bands playing the UKs biggest punk related festival.
See the link on the right for more info and to buy tickets.
Memphis --- The Musical has got loads of great five star and four star reviews.
Sunny Afternoon --- The musical based on the story of The Kinks is on on The Harold Pinter Theatre
Filled with classic hits including Waterloo Sunset, You Really Got Me, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and Lola.
Opening at the end of Feb at The Aldwych Theatre---Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is a jukebox musical with a book by Douglas McGrath that tells the story of the early life and career of Carole King, using songs that she wrote, often together with Gerry Goffin, and other contemporary songs by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Phil Spector and others.
The press night reviews got four stars from The Standard,Daily Mail and Independent and
three stars from The Telegraph and The Guardian.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at The Victoria & Albert Museum,London...is now open until 02 Aug 2015.
The life and works of the iconic British fashion designer are explored in exhibition which has previously taken place at New York's Metropolitan Museum. Featuring over 100 pieces, from his postgraduate collection to his final catwalk show.
Savage Beauty has already sold 70,000 tickets two days before it opens to the public, beating the previous advance sales record of 67,000 set by the David Bowie Is blockbuster.
Guests at the vip gala dinner for it on Thursday 12 March included Kate Moss,Naomi Campbell and
David and Victoria Beckham.
Some of the main winners at The Olivier Awards on 12 April 2015 included...
Ray Davies --- Olivier award for outstanding achievement in music.
Best actor in a musical --- John Dagleish for Sunny Afternoon(Kinks) at Hampstead theatre/Harold Pinter theatre
Best actress in a musical --- Katie Brayben for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Aldwych theatre
Best new musical --- Sunny Afternoon(Kinks) at Hampstead theatre/Harold Pinter theatre
Special award --- Kevin Spacey --- For his 11 year stint at The Old Vic.
Monday 20 April 2015...6.15pm to 8.45pm...
Melody Gardot new album playback,interview and Q n A with Melody Gardot at
The Black Dice, Momo, 25 Heddon Street, London W1.
This cosy Moroccan speakeasy channeling 60s London vibes is neatly tucked away underneath Moroccan restaurant Momo.
Melody is promoting her fourth album 'Currency of Man' which is out 01 June 2015 via Decca/Universal.
Her 2nd and 3rd albums both made the Top 20 in the UK.
Melody has sold over 3 million albums worldwide and is very popular in France and many other countries.
Melody is a Grammy-nominated American singer, writer and musician from Philadelphia, though she considers herself a "citizen of the world".She has been influenced by such blues and jazz artists as Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Caetano Veloso.Her music has been compared to that of Nina Simone.
Around 60 or 70 media folks are here.
BBC Radio dj Jo Whiley is here to host the interview with Melody.
Melody arrives on stage dressed sleekly all in black brandishing...a whip.
The main part of the evening lasted around an hour where four tracks were played between being interviewed.
When the four tracks were played you could hear a pin drop as everyone listened fully.
'Same To You' and 'Preacher Man' had videos on the big screen.
Melody Gardot and The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation have created a film to accompany 'Preacher Man',
inspired by the story of Emmett Till, a black teenager in 1950s America, whose racially motivated murder
marked a landmark moment in the Civil Rights movement.
‘Currency of Man’ finds Melody reunited with producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Madeleine Peyroux).
With its funky bass rhythms, Hammond organ retro-soul brass arrangements, euphoric gospel singers and esoteric orchestrations, the songs on ‘Currency of Man’ are the very antithesis of ‘smooth jazz’. In a departure that is sure to surprise her more conservative fans, they transport us back to the late Sixties and early Seventies. Grooving through the middle of this melange of steamy soul and funk is Melody Gardot, the Grammy-nominated international best-selling singer, songwriter and self-styled “citizen of the world.”
As Melody explained: "Every album is a journey and this disc in some ways is a leap into the unknown. After spending time in LA, the songs all became about the people I'd meet: people who were experiencing life on the fringe…"
In particular Venice Beach was a place where Melody found inspiration.
I asked "when would Melody be playing UK shows? and Melody replied "they will soon be announced for November".
Melody mentioned her love for France and Portugal and is looking forward to her shows there in the summer.
The album is destined to a big success for sure.
All guests enjoyed complimentary Pommery champers,cocktails and hot canapés.
watch the video here Melody Gardot 'Same To You'....▶ 2:08
watch the video hereMelody Gardot 'Preacher Man' live.
Sunday 19 April 2015.
AC/DC rumours to play Glastonbury 2015 are getting stronger and stronger.
Anyway, Brian Johnson was talking to Chris Evans on Radio 2 and Chris asked if AC/DC were the final headliner.
Brian didn't say yes (obviously) but more interestingly he didn't say no, and he gave a vague "I'm not sure what we're doing" response. However, he then implied they may play next year.
Seeing as their Wembley Stadium show has been sold out for ages any announcement cannot harm ticket sales.
AC/DC play Hampden Park on Sunday 28 June and they have days off on Fri 26 June and Sat 27 June
so it would fit into their schedule and the Glastonbury Festival weekend perfect...we shall see...
Saturday 18 April 2015.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held in America.
Paul McCartney will induct Ringo Starr into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The former Beatles musician has been confirmed as a presenter at this year’s ceremony, which takes place on April 18. He has been given the role of initiating his old bandmate Ringo into the prestigious museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Stevie Wonder is inducting Bill Withers, Patti Smith is inducting Lou Reed, Peter Wolf is inducting the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Fall Out Boy is inducting Green Day, John Mayer is inducting Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Cropper is inducting the “5” Royales, and Miley Cyrus will induct Joan Jett and the Blackhearts!
Friday 17 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
5.15pm to 10pm
The Bottlescrue at Davy's --- re-launch party --- 33 Foster Lane,St Paul's,London EC2.
Over 200 mainly suited folks here in this basement bar area.
It's an ideal place for the City workers to visit after a day at the office
We enjoyed complimentary cocktails with our faves being Espresso Martinis and French Martinis.
Also prosecco,wines,beers and canapés here.
Davy's have over 25 individual central London locations and 50 private rooms.
www.davy.co.ukVisit Davy's website here for info on all their wine bars.
10.15pm to 12.30pm
Joyeux Bordel --- press view --- 147 Curtain Road,Shoreditch,London EC2.
A walk up the road to Shoreditch which is totally buzzing with late night bars and clubs EVERYWHERE.
This cocktail bar is one of those with no name or sign above it.
Just a guy outside with his list as it looks like you have to get your name down in advance every night.
He then leads us down the stairs to the stunning bar area.
The sound system is built into the walls with the amps visible as the dj spins only vinyl tunes.
Complimentary cocktails here with our fave being The Jolly Mess.
A cool vibe here.
It is open until 2am Mon to Wed and to 3am Thursday to Saturday
Experimental Cocktail Group, the company behind London's Experimental Cocktail Club, and Compagnie des Vins Surnaturals, is to open Joyeux Bordel on Shoreditch's Curtain Road later this month.
Owned by childhood friends Romée de Goriainoff, Olivier Bon and Pierre-Charles Cros, along with Xavier Padovani who became a partner in 2010 with the addition of London’s Experimental Cocktail Club, the new bar promises a "vintage" sound system, with an emphasis on vinyl, with music until the early hours.
In charge of the music will be Daniel Willis of the Clove Club, and his brother Sam Willis of R&S Records.
Interiors of the bar, which has a capacity of 130 people, were designed by Dorothée Meilichzon (CHZON), with the aim of creating a dark and interesting space that references classic French design.
Walls are inky blue or deep green, and Meilichzon enlisted Alexandre Poulaillon to create a dark fresco on the walls inspired by the curved shapes in stones and curtains. Mismatched rugs were sourced from Kempton Park for the floor and the bar in oak and white marble is modelled after a 1920s French bathtub.
Romée de Goriainoff said: "Joyeux Bordel is a dream for us. East London is increasingly where we go out and the location is flanked by some of our favourite restaurants. The name is a French term used to mean a ‘happy mess’ and how we’ve always described our approach as a team – a bit crazy and spontaneous but driven by a will to produce the best experience. With Shoreditch we are extending our musical focus further than we have before, it felt right for the area and we never want to rest on our laurels. We’re incredibly lucky to have Daniel and Sam on board as collaborators in that respect."
www.joyeuxbordel.comVisit the Joyeux Bordel website here.
Thursday 16 April 2015... I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 7.45pm
Converse x Dazed --- Emerging Artists Award --- private view at The Royal Academy Of Arts,London W1.
After an onslaught of applications, the search for the most exciting art talent of 2015 has uncovered a clutch of future stars. With a £1,000 production grant to make brand new work, the finalists are making plans for an epic exhibition at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts from 18 April. Judges will reconvene to decide who will take home the £5,000 top prize.
The finalists were Tasmin Snow,Sarah Tynan,Rachel Pimms,Jonathan Trayte,Lawrence Lek and Patrick Cole.
The exhibition is on here until 17 May --- Free Entry.
A big crowd of over 300 folks here over the two floors.
The staff here were all wearing Converse footwear.
Guests enjoyed complimentary vodka cocktails,beers and canapés.
7.50pm to 9pm
Avaunt Magazine launch party at Wolsey Store,83 Brewer Street,Soho,London W1.
Port magazine founders Dan Crowe and Matt Willey have launched a new bi-annual publication with polar explorer Ben Saunders, described as "an adventure and innovation magazine for the international luxury market." We spoke to Crowe, Saunders and design director Alex Hunting about the title, and plans to expand it into a luxury lifestyle brand.
Co-edited by Crowe and Saunders with creative direction by Willey, Avaunt is aimed at affluent males aged 30 plus interested in science, geography, adventure, travel and fashion.
In a media pack promoting its launch, the magazine claims to cater to readers who enjoy taking part in endurance or sports events in their spare time, from marathons to long distance cycle races, enjoy buying expensive kit and are looking for a more style-conscious alternative to traditional adventure mags such as Wonderlust or National Geographic.
The inaugural issue, available to buy online, features an article on Oliver Steed's experience of living with the Kombai Tribe in Papua New Guinea while filming a new Discovery Channel series, an article by David Byrne on the science of sound, a behind-the-scenes look at BMW's innovation centre in Munich, and features on the solar system, bionics, literature, Amelia Earheart, freediving and space travel.
Around 200 folks in this quality British menswear store that dates back to 1755.
Guests included Ben Saunders,Olivia Cox,Sally Kettle and Dan Crowe.
A dj is playing tunes in the background.
Complimentary rum cocktails and beers for all guests.
All guests got a goodie on the way out.
www.avauntmagazine.comVisit the Avaunt Magazine website here.
Thursday 16 April 2015.
25 years ago this month the Madonna classic track 'Vogue' was number one in the UK.
Thursday 16 April 2015.
Bill Wyman will soon release his first album since 1982.
Unbelievably, it’s been that long since Bill Wyman, illustrious ex-Rolling Stone bass player, released his last UK solo CD. And Back To Basics is only his fourth UK solo album.
Not that the man’s been idle, far from it. Bill Wyman is a man of many parts.
Since quitting the Stones at their peak in 1993 having spent 31 years with them, he has been the author of seven learned books, a globally exhibited photographer, a metal detecting expert with his own brand of metal detector, a producer, a composer for film and TV and the founder of the very successful Rhythm Kings who release CDs and tour regularly .
It was only when archiving old demos last year he realised he had around 60 songs he’d never released. and the notion of Back To Basics came into play.
He chose three songs that needed reworking and did just that. He put them together with a bunch of brand new songs and went into his studio to record them.
‘Initially I thought I’m a bit old for this but then I thought all the old blues musicians played till they dropped so why don’t I give it a go.’ B.W.
On June 22nd, the result of that labour, Back To Basics, hits the streets. Released on Proper Records, the CD comprises 12 tracks, nine of which are brand new songs, while the digital version also features a bonus track, ‘Exciting’.
Wednesday 15 April 2015.
Back again to Broadgate Circle by Liverpool Street for two events.
5.15pm to 6.45pm
Beany Green launch party at Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
Around 200 folks here on the first floor overlooking the Broadgate Circle main space.
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers,presecco,espresso Martinis,Aperol,wines,beers,
lean beef sliders and canapés...also a full range of different coffees...
A nice vibe here.
All guests got a goodie bag.
Committed to bringing the City lunch to life - this independent Australian coffee shop serves brunch, bold healthy salads, wraps and award-winning banana bread.
The baristas are serving perfectly executed flat whites from their brand new bright yellow four-group La Marzocco FB70 named Dolly. For lunch you’ll find huge healthy salads, big balls of protein and bold spinach wraps, all made in-house and changing daily.
Also on offer is Beany’s award-winning banana bread (Great Taste 2014) and mountains of light fluffy Lamingtons, as well as pastries from The Little Bread Peddlar.
All available to go or eat in amongst the colourful street art installations, quirky bespoke deckchairs and friendly Aussie accents – experience a true taste of Bondi in the City.
6.45pm to 11.30pm
The Botanist launch party at Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
We move on this event which is just 50 yards from the previous event.
There is a massive crowd of around 500 folks here.
Some are outside where there are are fire eaters and stilt walkers.
Others are inside where there are lots of tables and more are downstairs in the more livelier
and louder club room where folks are dancing to the dj sounds.
Complimentary Joseph Perrier champers,different cocktails including espresso Martinis,wines,beers,
and lots of lovely food including lobster and oysters.
An excellent event that was buzzing from start to finish.
Set over two floors, The Botanist boasts a bar, restaurant and club, as well as a spacious outdoor terrace
providing al fresco dining.
The elegant restaurant offers a classic British and European menu, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and superb Sunday roasts. A wide selection of fine wines and beers sit alongside The Botanist’s refined selection of seasonal cocktails that are a speciality.
Steps from Liverpool Street station, it's sure to become a weekday favourite and a definitive destination for weekends, taking you through into the early hours in the downstairs club, Soda Room. Sister restaurant to The Botanist on Sloane Square, The Botanist Broadgate is sure to impress local workers and visitors alike.
Wednesday 15 April 2015.
Motörhead have been confirmed to play The Glastonbury Festival for the first time.
Tuesday 14 April 2015...6.30pm to 10.30pm...
Restaurant press preview at Aubaine, 38 Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
French restaurant open it's 9th branch next door to Liverpool Street train and tube station.
They always choose an upmarket area where there are folks with a few quid to spare.
Aubaine is a true blend of cosmopolitan style and French cuisine. Combining the elegance of a Parisian salon with the relaxed ambience of a Provençal bistro Aubaine serves both simplicity and style.
Superb food, urban yet rustic interiors and personable service give Aubaine an air of relaxed sophistication and an aura of chic. Evolving from the quest to find perfect French bread in London Aubaine still holds true to its philosophy of simple luxury: “simplicité c'est beauté”.
Aubaine serves exquisite French food all day, every day
Aubaine has perfected the all day dining experience in London. Using seasonal produce each dish is created à la main by their talented chefs. With an emphasis on simplicity and quality, from eggs royale to filet de boeuf, their food brings the best of France to London and serves it with impeccable style.
The decor is great here and there is plenty of space between tables and they have an outside area which
is good timing as the sunshine finally came out this week.
We had a really nice four course meal with drinks here.
We had the following...
Aubaine sharing board = £18.00
Beef Carpaccio = £14.50
Lobster Spaghetti = £26.00
Mille-feuille (puff pastry with vanilla and custard slice) = £5.50
A great ambience here and the staff are fussing over us,a bit too much sometimes.
The drinks were fab as we finished off with a cappuccino and espresso martini.
A four course meal with drinks costs around £150 for two but you can get a two course meal
from their set menu for only £13.50.
No doubt this place will be very popular with city folks.
www.aubaine.co.ukVisit the Aubaine website for more info.
Tuesday 14 April 2015...another sad death...
Percy Sledge, the American R&B and Soul singer who gave the world ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’
has died from liver cancer in Louisiana at the age of 73.
Sledge was 23 years old when he released his first song ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ on April 16, 1966.
The song was recorded just eight weeks earlier on February 17, 1966 at Norala Studios in Sheffield, Alabama.
I saw him live a couple of times in the 1990s and a couple of times after that.
Monday 13 April 2015.
The Devin Townsend Project live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
The Devin Townsend Project play a special show to celebrate the release of their album Z² .
Devin has been around some 25 years and brought out over 20 albums and has quietly built a loyal
bunch of fans who have filled The Royal Albert Hall on a Monday night.
This Canadian guitar ace and singer came to attention by appearing on the Steve Vai album 'Sex & Religion'.
Townsend's solo albums, a diverse mix of hard rock, progressive metal, ambient, and new-age, have featured
a varying lineup of supporting musicians.
Many bigger bands have played this venue but not many have had a better stage production than DTP.
There are 11 big screens showing a mix of live footage and wacky videos and some podiums filling the stage.
We have some odd looking costumed folks on stage for some songs.
His excellent band are backed by 8 female/male singers.
The show starts with around 25 mins of wacky sci-fi adventures videos along with more of the same during the interval.
The video story begins with Ziltoid arriving at Planet Earth and demanding their ultimate cup of coffee.When he is not pleased with the coffee he receives, Ziltoid decides to attack earth with his army and his secret weapon, the Planet Smasher
Captain Spectacular of the humans devises a plan to escape by exposing Ziltoid as a nerd etc.
The band are on stage for a lengthy 2 hours 40 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 95 mins.
It is floor standing so the hardcore fans are down the front and there are 20 or 30 hand puppets
being held up and half a dozen are in fancy dress outfits.
I am near the stage in those great swivel chairs in the side stalls.
Devin's great on stage personality shone throughout the whole gig, asking the crowd to do "a load of silly Metal things" like the countdown, the jumping up, the lighters in the air, and all the rest of it, but said he knew we would like it because "if you're here to see me you must know you're at least a little nerdy", and he does know his audience.
As well as being a great guitar player full of power riffs,Devin also has a strong opera like rock vocal.
The second set had my two fave tracks of his which were mega versions of 'Supercrush' and 'Kingdom'
that had the crowd moshing down the front.
Other great tracks were 'Deadhead' and final track 'Universal Flame' where he got 50 fans on stage as well
as all his family members including his young son for an emotional finish.
At the end of the show Devin spent a whole 5 mins shaking hands with the entire front row.
A very enjoyable and interesting show.
FIRST SET = Z2
From Sleep Awake
Ziltoidian Empire (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
War Princess (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
March of the Poozers (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
Ziltoid Goes Home
Through the Wormhole (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
SECOND SET = By Request ---Chosen by the fans via Facebook
The Death of Music
watch the video hereDevin Townsend Project---Kingdom---Official Live Video......▶ 5:04
Monday 13 April 2015.
Vinyl sales to hit 'record' sales.
More than a million vinyl albums were sold last year for the first time in almost two decades, after seven years of growth. With sales expected to hit two million this year an official weekly vinyl chart has been brought back, with the inaugural top spot being claimed by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds for Chasing Yesterday, released last month.
Sunday 12 April 2015...1.30pm...
QPR 0 Chelsea 1.
Third from bottom against the top team in the country.
I went to this game with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.
It was an even game and we played well and had some chances but Chelsea
nicked a goal a few minutes from the end.
It was Chelsea's only proper shot on target in the game so a bit of a body blow.
We deserved a draw at least.
For those of you that do not know members of The Sex Pistols support...
Glen Matlock = QPR
Paul Cook = Chelsea
Steve Jones = Chelsea
John Lydon = Arsenal
Friday 10 April 2015.
System Of A Down live at Wembley Arena,London.
SOAD play Wembley as part of their ‘Wake Up The Souls’ World Tour.
Just eight selected shows around the world ending up with a free gig in Armenia for their first ever show there
marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
This Wembley Arena show will be their first indoor show in the UK since 2005.
The group's big break arrived when their second album 'Toxicity' debuted at No. 1 on the
American and Canadian charts in 2001 and has since sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
System Of A Down’s heavily politicised brand of rock has seen them sell in excess of 20 million albums worldwide.
There was plenty of controversy surrounding the album's hit single 'Chop Suey!'.The song was taken off the radio as it contained politically sensitive lyrics according to the 2001 Clear Channel memorandum at the time such as "(I don't think you) trust in my self-righteous suicide." Regardless, the video gained constant play on MTV as did the album's second single, 'Toxicity'.
I saw System Of A Down at The Reading Festival in 2001.
Tonight is totally rammed sold out with a great buzzing atmosphere.
I am floor standing around a third of the way back from the stage.
A warm evening outside the venue and hot and sticky inside the venue.
There is no support act so lots of folks arriving late at the show.
SOAD arrive on stage at 8.52pm even though were down to start at 8.30pm.
Maybe they were waiting for the latecomers to get in.
Striking a balance between delivering a good-time rock show and a socially conscious message requires a deft touch. And when the consciousness you're trying to raise is awareness of a genocide that happened a century ago, walking that line seems like it could be particularly tough.
Not for System, though, who handled the mix of message and moshing masterfully in a 2 hour show.
I know a few of their songs but I would not claim to be a big fan.
Plenty of crunching rock tunes even though a couple were a bit too thrashy for me.
The latter hour was better than the first as the best tunes created a very lively moshing frenzy on the floor.
The fans know all the words to songs like 'Chop Suey' and many others.
The drummer was amazing and he had one of those truly massive drum kits.
There is a great stage production with loads of lights including strobes.
The show is split into parts 1,2 and 3 and each has a cartoon video introduction for a couple of minutes
on the three big screens with the message about The Armenian Genocide and other acts of terror.
A bit odd that the screens are not used for any live footage which seemed a waste.
Perhaps it's an artistic choice like the fact they do not play encores.
I wouldn't fancy being in the rear half of Wembley Arena for a show without big screens.
Overall a great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Wake Up the Souls - Part 1
Soldier Side - Intro
Dreaming (Incomplete, middle breakdown only)
Wake Up the Souls - Part 2
Satarabad ([traditional] cover)
Psycho (The Rolling Stones' Start Me Up intro, first part in English, second in armenian)
Kill Rock 'n Roll
Lost in Hollywood
Wake Up the Souls - Part 3
Chic 'N' Stu
Arto (Daron + John jam while Serj held a speech and thanked the crowd for supporting)
Thursday 09 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 7.30pm.
Peter Perrett live at Rough Trade West,Talbot Road,off Portobello Road,London W11.
Happy Birthday to Peter who celebrated his 63rd birthday the day before this event.
Peter Perrett is an English singer-songwriter, best known as the frontman of the 70's band The Only Ones.
Perrett formed The Only Ones in 1976. After self releasing their debut single 'Lovers Of Today', the band signed to CBS Records and released three great albums 'The Only Ones',' Even Serpents Shine' and
'Baby's Got A Gun' before splitting up in 1982.
Peter was a drug buddy of Johnny Thunders in the 1980s.
Perrett finally re-emerged in 1994 with a new band called The One. The band released their debut EP Cultured Palate via their manager's record label Dwarf Records, before signing to Demon Records and releasing their debut album Woke up Sticky in 1996. The band split up that year, with Perrett disappearing again until April 2004 when he appeared on stage with The Libertines. He also appeared on stage with his sons Jamie and Peter Jr.'s band Love Minus Zero. Long hiatuses in his music career have been ascribed to his enduring struggles with heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
The Only Ones reformed in 2007 to play odd gigs now and then.
I saw them headline Shepherds Bush Empire in 2007.
I saw them live seven times between 1978 and 1980.
They were best known for their classic single 'Another Girl Another Planet'.
Peter Perrett plays a short set to promote the re-issue of his autobiography that has an extra chapter.
It's a free gig on a first come first served basis and not a wristband in sight.
A very rare show as Peter has not played live that often since The Only Ones reformed in 2007.
Around 50 people here in this small basement room but thankfully I am near the front.
Nice to see an entire room of vinyl on all four walls.
It's a pretty bizarre set up as Peter Perrett is playing behind the counter standing on two album crates.
Plus one is an inch or two lower than the other...they couldn't find two of the same???
Peter is playing an electric guitar and his joined by another guy at the side playing electric guitar.
Peter has his shades on but looks healthier than ever.
That great unique voice of Peter's still sounds fantastic.
Five songs played in the main set from 6.45pm to 7.10pm.
1.Is This How Much You Care
4.My Sweet Angel
5.C Voyeurger with snippets of Johnny Thunders 'You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory'.
I had hoped for two or three Only Ones gems but tonight none were played in the main set as it was post
Only Ones material.
Still it was great to see Peter play live again.
Then he signed the books for the 50 or so folks here.
6.At the end of the main set Peter said he would do one more song after the book signing
but I had to miss it as I had to get to restaurant event on time as the table was reserved for 8pm.
Peter Perrett will play a full London show at The Garage on 24 July 2015.
8pm to 10.30pm.
Press preview of Duck + Rice restaurant ,90 Berwick Street,Soho,London W1.
We had a very nice three course meal here.
Also drinks that started with a yummy Espresso Martini.
The staff were all great.
Much anticipated restaurant opening from Alan Yau, famous for spearheading Wagamama Hakkasan and Yauatcha. Duck + Rice is an Asian comfort food pub concept that cares to Soho’s heritage, with the addition of Asian food in the kitchen. There is Pilsner Urquell served brewery-fresh, Tribute regional cask ale, Fuller’s London Pride, Harviestoun, Bath ales gem, Samuel Adams lager, Guinness, High Wire pale ale and a West Country cider, Bee Sting, for drinking. The bottled beers are even vaster. If the beers play the part of the British pub – as the open fireplaces and comfy corner booths also do –then it’s the food’s work to bring the spice.
www.theduckandrice.comVisit The Duck + Rice website here.
Thursday 09 April 2015.
Video of the day.
Thanks to Paul from Bristol for bringing this video clip to my attention.
watch the video hereJesse Jo Stark performs 'Cherry Bomb' by The Runaways with Steve Jones and Duff...▶ 2:21
There are a few other videos up on youtube with this line up.
Links I Like
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toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, Berkshire
Shepherds Bush Empire
Isle of Wight Festival
Classic Rock Bands
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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