News and Reviews: December 07, 2019

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23 September 2019 was gig number 7000 for me since 1973.
MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY - press review - Building 6 at The 02 Arena complex, London.
See my review dated 23 September is on until May 2020.
The evening features over 30 Abba songs and show, a four course Greek dinner , drinks and Abba disco.
www.mammamiatheparty.comVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.
Check out my upcoming news page for my stand out Top dozen gigs of 2018 and previous years.
My interview with TIME OUT magazine in April 2018 is now online.
It features me talking about being the UKs number one gig over 7000 gigs seen...
Includes a mention of the 2000 plus shows i have been to at Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo since 1973,
along with a photo of me outside the venue
Mentions some Sex Pistols stories and other bits and pieces.
Search for it on google under Ray Morrissey Time Out.
Visit the coolest menswear store outside of Central London.
Heroes of Richmond - an independent menswear store - 9 Golden Court,Richmond , Surrey.
Footwear, jackets and accessories from top brands unavailable outside Central London. their website here for more info.
Fri 08 Nov---in cinemas from today --- The Irishman....a must see film...over 3 hours long...
The film stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci as Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and Russell Bufalino, respectively, and follows Sheeran as he recounts his alleged jobs as a hitman for the Bufalino crime family.
In the cinema this week...
The film Blue Story looks well worth seeing.
The director defends his BBC-funded movie as 'about love, not black gang violence.'
MUSIC & SPORTS books make a great Christmas present without spending too much cash.
In residence at the Saatchi Gallery from Saturday 2 November 2019 - Sunday 3 May 2020, the exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, and is the final chance to see these glittering world heritage artefacts before they return to Egypt forever.
Explore the life of King Tutankhamun, and the storied discovery that captivated the world, through more than 150 authentic pieces from the tomb - three times the quantity that has travelled in previous exhibitions - more than 60 of which are travelling outside of Egypt for the first time.
The third of 10 cities to host TUTANKHAMUN: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh the London showing follows record-breaking stops in Los Angeles and Paris. In Los Angeles the exhibition was among the most successful in the history of the California Science Centre, while in Paris it became France's most attended exhibition of all time with over 1.4 million visitors.
Sat 07 Dec---New Power Generation (NPG) - A Celebration of Prince play Shepherds Bush Empire.
The reunion of former members of the New Power Generation (NPG) - including a number of those in the original configuration from 1990 - was born out of the official Prince Tribute concert in October, 2016.
I was lucky enough to have seen the real Prince perform around 25 times since 1986.
He was one of the greatest live concert performers for sure that i have seen.
On his last UK visit in 2014 i saw him play Shepherds Bush Empire and The Roundhouse.
The Roundhouse was amazing as he played two shows on the same night...I was at both.
Prince was a total genius who is very sadly missed.
Will be great to hear Prince classics like "Purple Rain" , "1999 " , "Cream" , "Let's Go Crazy" etc.
Sun 08 Dec---Temples play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Psychedelic rockers Temples are a young band from Northamptonshire.
They are touring their third studio album, which has not equalled the success of their debut album.
Sun Structures (5 February 2014) reached UK No. 7
Volcano (3 March 2017) reached UK No. 23
Hot Motion (27 September 2019) reached UK No. 51
Mon 09 Dec---ITV lunchtime - Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster on Loose Women tv show.
Tues 10 Dec---Skillet play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Skillet are a Christian Rock Band from America.
They are on tour to promote their 10th studio album "Victorious".
In 1987 i saw Christian rock band Stryper play Hammersmith Odeon.
I still have a couple of their black & yellow striped bibles that they threw out to the crowd.
Wed 11 Dec---a nice three band rock package plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
Three bands, three albums and 30 years of music, this is the ultimate night for rock fans ready to revisit a golden era of music. Dan Reed Network, GUN and FM come together for an incredible tour, which will see them perform their seminal albums, Taking On The World, Tough It Out and Slam in their entirety.
Thurs 12 Dec---Devin Townsend plays The Roundhouse.
Check out his epic track on YouTube - DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - Kingdom (OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO)
This video was recorded at a Royal Albert Hall show of his i attended a few years ago.
Devin & band are on a full UK & Euro Tour in Nov/Dec to promote his album " Empath".
METAL HAMMER made "Empath" their 4th Best Album of 2019, describing it as "brutal, beautiful and bonkers".
Thurs 12 Dec---Adam Ant plays Brixton Academy...hard to believe Adam Ant is now aged 65...
I have seen Adam Ant over a dozen times since 1979 including his show last year at The Roundhouse.
Fri 13 Dec---Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, Jimmy Somerville and more play Wembley Arena.
I saw them all in their 1980s heyday.
Fri 13 Dec---The Wonder Stuff play Shepherds Bush Empire.
The Wonder Stuff had 13 x Top 40 hits in the UK including 4 x Top 10s.
Fri 13 Dec---Rod Stewart plays Birmingham Arena.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Rod Stewarts debut solo album "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down".
I have seen Rod Stewart play live over 20 times since 1976.
Sat 14 Dec---Rod Stewart features in the next Reel Stories on BBC 2 @ 9.10pm presented by Dermot O’Leary.
Sat 14 Dec---Fying Colors play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Flying Colors is an American supergroup composed of Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue, Casey McPherson, Neal Morse and Steve Morse. The band's mission, chartered by executive producer Bill Evans, is to combine complex music with accessible songwriting.
They come to London in support of their third album, Third Degree.
Sun 15 Dec---Elvis Presley tribute at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sun 15 Dec, Mon 16 Dec, Tues 17 Dec---Madness play three Christmas party shows at The Roundhouse.
These are smaller venue shows for them as they usually play The 02 Arena every December.
These sold out shows are to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
I have seen Madness around 25 times since 1979 when the ska revival kicked off in the UK.
Mon 16 Dec---Sinead O'Connor plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
Mon 16 Dec and Tues 17 Dec---Robbie Williams Christmas Show at Wembley Arena.
Robbie Williams will release his first ever Christmas album, ‘The Christmas Present’, on Columbia Records on November 22.
The album includes duets with Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams.
Tues 17 Dec + Thurs 19 Dec + Fri 20 Dec---Rod Stewart plays The 02 Arena.
Rod plays the final shows on a massive year of touring which included UK stadium shows in the summer,
shows in mainland Europe and North America and Nov/Dec is a full UK arena tour.
His promoters Live Nation are calling it "His Biggest Ever UK Tour Rocks On".
Wed 18 Dec---The Sweet feat Andy Scott play The Assembly Hall, Islington.
Wed 18 Dec and Thurs 19 Dec---The Libertines play Brixton Academy (both shows sold out in mid Nov)
Thurs 19 Dec---Ronnie Spector plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
The iconic singer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ronnie Spector, will return to the UK this Christmas with her band, The Ronettes, for the ultimate holiday extravaganza! Their acclaimed, multi-media show will deliver a raucous, rocking and intoxicating blend of Ronnie’s Christmas classics, as well as cult gems from her back catalogue.
Ronnie got divorced from legendary record producer Phil Spector in 1974.
Thurs 19 Dec---The Members play The Hope & Anchor, Islington.
Fri 20 Dec---John Otway plays Sub 89, Reading.
Fri 20 Dec---Slade play ULU,Malet Street, London, WC1.
Glam rock legends still touring with two original members.
I have seen Slade around 15 times including all three Hammersmith Odeon shows in 1974 during their heyday.
Fri 20 Dec---The Darkness play The Roundhouse.
I have seen The Darkness a few times since their million selling debut album came out in 2003.
Sat 21 Dec---Alabama 3 + Ruts DC play Brixton Academy.
Sat 21 Dec---Ben Elton comedy night at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Ben Elton will be hosting and there will be half a dozen comedy acts supporting.
Sun 22 Dec--- The Libertines have added a hometown show in Margate to their forthcoming tour, just down the road from their new hotel / studio The Albion Rooms, at the Winter Gardens on Sunday 22nd December.
Sun 22 Dec---Slade play The Institute, Birmingham.
Mon 23 Dec---Kool as The Gang - tribute show - play The 100 Club.
Tues 31 Dec --- Last Great Dreamers play The George & Dragon, Acton...10pm to 2am...tix £10 adv.
Tues 31 Dec --- NYE Fireworks party at Embankment area down by The River Thames...10pm to 1am.
Fri 03 Jan---McCartney - The Songbook plays The Beck Theatre, Hayes.
McCartney - The Songbook takes to the stage recreating Macca masterworks spanning over six decades.
There are always special offers on for West End theatre shows so keep an eye out for them...
London Palladium panto in Dec/Jan with many big names including Paul O’Grady , Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin & Nigel Havers.
Hammersmith Apollo panto Dec with many big names including Sharon Osbourne.
Legend of screen and stage DAVID HASSELHOFF joins the London cast of Dolly Parton’s smash-hit 9 to 5 The Musical from 2 December 2019 until 8 February 2020.
School of Rock until 05 Jan 2020 and Mamma Mia! The Musical is still packing them in.
Mary Poppins is on until May 2020.
The Book of Mormon got rave reviews when it first opened.
From 21 Dec 2017 - Hamilton - this musical has finally opened to great reviews.
It is the hottest theatre ticket in town this year.
It is on at The Victoria Palace Theatre which has had a massive refurbishment.
I saw gigs here between 1975 to 1977 when it was called The New Victoria Theatre.
Bands i saw included Alex Harvey Band, Thin Lizzy, ELO, Lou Reed and others.
08 April 2018 - Hamilton won seven awards including Best New Musical at The Olivier Awards.
04 March 2019 update for Only Fools & Horses - The Musical at The Haymarket Theatre.
As expected it has been a huge success and the run has been extended to Feb 2020.
It has taken over £8 million at the box office and sold over 150,000 tickets so far.
April 2019 update - the pure quality of Michael Jackson songs will always live on.
The Michael Jackson musical Thriller Live is extending its West End run for another year.
Now in its 11th year and one of the longest-running in West End history. The show is based on Jackson’s solo hits and songs recorded as part of the Jackson Five.
I have seen it three times, it is excellent.
The Professionals featuring Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook release three EPs in 2020.
The trio of EPs are called 1, 2, 3 and are available in cd and vinyl form - out Jan , Feb, March
Sat 25 Jan---A Bowie Celebration play Shepherds Bush Empire.
MADONNA plays FIFTEEN shows at The London Palladium - Mon 27 January 2020 to Sun 16 February 2020.
The Times gave her New York show five stars.
Madonna's 14th studio album, "Madame X," was released in June 2019.
Madonna has said her shows will be " phone free".
“Use of cellphones, smart watches, smart accessories, cameras or recording devices will not be permitted in the performance space,” an email to fans read.
Phones are placed in lockable ‘Yondr’ cases which can only be opened in designated areas at the venue with the mobiles staying in the owners possession at all times. Anyone found in breach of the rule will have their device confiscated.
‘Eric Clapton & Friends: A Tribute to Ginger Baker’ will take place on 17 February 2020 at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. The line-up is yet to be announced.
Mick Fleetwood has announced a special show to celebrate the music of Peter Green and the early years of Fleetwood Mac.
The concert will take place on February 25 at the London Palladium and will see Fleetwood joined onstage by a raft of musicians including former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Johnny Lang, Andy Fairweather Low, John Mayall, Zak Starkey, Bill Wyman and his Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie.
The house band will feature Mick Fleetwood on drums and Andy Fairweather Low on guitar.
Tues 03 March---charity concert for Royal Marsden Cancer Charity at The 02 Arena.
Performing will be a formidable line-up including Eric Clapton, the legendary Tom Jones, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum plus Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall, John Illsley from Dire Straits, Paul Jones, Mike Rutherford, Rick Wakeman, Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Paul Carrack and Nick Mason and Bonnie Tyler. Paul Young and Zucchero will perform the smash hit duet Senza una Donna. More artists will be announced at a later date.
Gary Brooker, of Procol Harum, is Musical Director of the show and has worked tirelessly to bring together the line-up of the greats playing their hits live onstage, as well as the all-star house band. The house band will include Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens (keyboards), Andy Fairweather Low and Robbie McIntosh (guitars).
Sat 28 March---SAXON play Hammersmith Apollo with support from
+ Krokus + Girlschool + Diamond Head...a very nice four band package bill.
Sat 28 March---STIFF LITTLE FINGERS play The Roundhouse with support from
+ The Professionals + TVSmith + Neville Staple Band...a very nice four act package bill...
It is months away but a major gig clash already for me.....damn.
Queen + Adam Lambert at The O2 Arena - five shows - 2 Jun - 3 Jun, 5 Jun - 6 Jun, 9 Jun 2020.
They will head up north for shows at Manchester Arena on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th June 2020.
Download Festival 2020 headliners have been confirmed...
Fri 12 June---KISS + Deftones
This looks like being KISS only UK show on their European Tour.
Before this show, KISS play indoors at Accors Hotels Arena, Paris on Tues 09 June.
Sat 13 June---Iron Maiden + Gojira
Sun 14 June---System of a Down + Korn
Isle of Wight Festival headliners have been confirmed...
Fri 12 June---Lionel Richie + Lewis Capaldi
Sat 13 June---Snow Patrol + Chemical Brothers
Sun 14 June---Duran Duran
Sat 27 June---Paul McCartney headlines Saturday night at Glastonbury Festival.
Glastonbury celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020.
Aerosmith playing Glasto on the same day...a very nice pairing...
I went to Glasto three times in the 1990s.
The six Hyde Park shows this summer are gradually being confirmed.
Sat 04 July---Little Mix + Rita Ora plus others.
Fri 10 July---Pearl Jam + Pixies plus others.
Sat 11 July---Taylor Swift plus others.
See the link on the right to buy tickets.
Aerosmith are touring Europe....
Wed 15 July---02 Arena, London
Sat 18 July---Manchester Arena
John Lydon will be all over the UK in Sept/Oct/Nov 2020 for a 54-date spoken tour.
John Lydon will talk about Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited, his art, life story and more during 2020 run.
www.johnlydon.comVisit the John Lydon website here for a full list of the tour dates.

Friday 06 December 2019.
EMMA BUNTON'S CHRISTMAS PARTY live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Emma Bunton performs festive favourites, solo songs and some Spice Girls classics in this one-off show.
Guests joining her will include Will Young , Matt Goss and her real life partner Jade Jones.
I attended two of the three Spice Girls shows at Wembley Stadium this summer in July 2019.
Just under 700,000 tickets were sold to see their thirteen UK stadium shows in the summer.
Emma had 7 x Top 10 hit singles in the UK including a number 1 in 2001 with "What Took You So Long".
A pretty full house tonight, although circle blocks in the corners are unsold.
Like The Spice Girls shows, there were loads of gay men here.
Emma said there were lots of friends & family & celebrity friends here.
I spotted Spice Girl Geri waving to the crowd below from her box set.
Also seen here were Myleene Klass, Vanessa Feltz, Tallia Storm , Christine Lampard,
Kelly Brook, Tasmin Outhwaite, and Holly Willoughby.
The show was on for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 45 mins and 65 mins.
Emma has eight male dancers with her and three female backing vocalists.
Emma wore a sparkling outfit for each set.
There were a couple of large Christmas trees with lights dotted around at the back but i think
they are being used for all the shows at this venue in December.
The first part of the show was full of Christmas classics and solo material and in the second half
Emma played a few Spice Girls gems, which of course went down a treat with the crowd.
Emma is now aged 43 but quite happy to keep the girlie Baby Space image.
Emma is not the greatest singer but she has a nice friendly persona on stage.
A very enjoyable show.
Full Emma Bunton setlist played tonight...
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee cover)
Jingle Bell Rock (Bobby Helms cover)
Baby, It's Cold Outside (Frank Loesser cover) (with Jade Jones)
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles cover)
I Only Want to Be With You (Dusty Springfield cover) (with Will Young)
Winter Wonderland (Richard Himber & His Orchestra cover)
Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt cover)
Take My Breath Away
Free Me
Don't Call Me Baby (Madison Avenue cover)
Baby Please Don't Stop
Too Many Teardrops
You're All I Need to Get By (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell cover) (with Jade Jones)
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (Carpenters cover)
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Vaughn Monroe cover)
Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls song) (Snippet) (with four Spice Girls mini-me's)
Say You'll Be There (Spice Girls song) (Cabaret Version)
Viva Forever (Spice Girls song)
Mama (Spice Girls song) (with Chicken Shed)
2 Become 1 (Spice Girls song)
What Took You So Long? (Cabaret Version)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland cover)
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams cover) (with Matt Goss)
Coming Home For Christmas ( Emma's Christmas Single)
Rockin' Robin (The Jackson 5 cover)
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Roy Wood cover)
One year ago today we heard the shock news that punk rock legend Pete Shelley had passed away.

Thursday 05 December 2019...I went to three events today...
12.45pm to 3.45pm
WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 - Royal Horseguards Hotel, London SW1.
Around 150 guests at this very nice five star hotel.
From 1.15pm to 2.15pm we are seated for the award in the adjacent room.
There were 151 entries and the 6 shortlisted authors are interviewed on stage by Mark Lawson.
Tom Watt is here , who played Lofty in Eastenders in the 1980s...he is a co-author for a book here.
1.The Rise of the Ultra Runners - (Adharanand Finn) - running in the desert of Oman
2. The Great Romantic : Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus (Duncan Hamilton) - cricket
3. How Boxing Brought Hope in the Troubles (Donald McRae) - boxing in Northern Ireland
4. Riding the World's Wildest Horse Race ( Lara Prior - Palmer) - Mongol Derby 1000km race on wild horses
5. Commander in Cheat : How Golf Explains Trump (Rick Kelly ) - Donald Trump golfing deceptions
6. Position of Trust : A Football Dream Portrayed (Andy Woodward with Tom Watt) - child sex abuse in football
THE WINNER - Duncan Hamilton’s The Great Romantic: Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus
“The judges were bowled over by the quality of the writing and the way in which Hamilton brings to life the characters that defined cricket between the two world wars. The author explains that Neville Cardus was unknowable but this book does a very fine job indeed of guiding us through his career and motivations.”
Complimentary Moët champers, wines, beers, hot & cold canapés and macaroons for all guests.
4.30pm to 5.30pm
THE CLASH : London Calling at The Museum of London,150 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2.
40th anniversary exhibition of the bands classic third album that was released in 1979.
I finally get along to see this exhibition.
A few friends had told me it was smaller than expected.
That would explain why it is free entry rather than a paid ticket.
The display features the London Calling album and their two American tours in 1979.
I saw The Clash live in Sept 1979 in Boston, USA on their "Take the 5th " tour.
I saw The Clash live 20 times from 1976 to 1984 - they were a superb live band.
Tour diaries, stage clothes, guitars including Paul's broken Fender bass from their 1979 New York show.
Lots of hand written notes and other bits n pieces.
The Clash songs are playing in the background.
I did notice an error though.
They said The Clash gig for Kampuchea in Dec 1979 was at Hammersmith Palais, it was Hammersmith Odeon.
The exhibition is well worth a visit.
15 November 2019 – 19 April 2020 - FREE ENTRY their website here for more info.
SNOW PATROL live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Snow Patrol play the second of two sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
I have seen them play live a few times before.
Their major-label debut album, "Final Straw", eventually sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Their next studio album," Eyes Open " (2006), and its hit single, "Chasing Cars" – the most widely played song of the 21st century on UK radio – propelled the band to greater international fame. The album topped the UK Albums Chart and was the best-selling British album of the year, selling over 6 million copies worldwide. The band's third compilation album, "Reworked," was released in November 2019 and features reworked versions of old songs and three new tracks.
"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol has been named the most-played song on British radio this century.
The epic ballad was released in 2006 and only reached a high of No 6 in the UK charts, but went on to spend a total of 166 weeks in the Top 100.
Music licensing body PPL calculated that it received the most plays, ahead of I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, and Happy by Pharrell.
The venue is totally rammed sold out.
The band are on stage for two hours over two sets of 45 mins and 75 mins.
Around a dozen musicians on stage including strings, brass and percussion.
Some stripped lighting.
The first set was mainly down tempo and the second set was much more livelier.
They played all of their hits but I think I preferred the original versions to the reworked versions.
Great crowd singalong for big tracks like "Run" and "Chasing Cars".
Plenty of fun stage banter by singer Gary Lightbody.
Gary said tonight was the 5th time they had played this venue in their 25 year career.
Actress Minnie Driver joined them for one song.
A very enjoyable show.
Full Snow Patrol setlist played tonight...
You're All I Have
New York
Warmer Climate
I Think of Home
Crack the Shutters
Made of Something Different Now (First time played live)
Take Back the City
Spitting Games
A Dark Switch
Heal Me
Set the Fire to the Third Bar (with Minnie Driver)
Called Out in the Dark
Shut Your Eyes
Chasing Cars
Open Your Eyes
What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?
Just Say Yes

Wednesday 04 December 2019...8pm to 11.30pm...
Christmas Reunion Drinks in Wimbledon.
Meeting up with the folks i worked with throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Around 15 of us are here.
A couple of them i see at gigs , but most i only see at this annual meet up.
Great to catch up with everyone.
We are all now aged 55 to 70, so more of us are up the doctors and hospitals more often.
Some nostalgic chat about the good old days.
Always a very nice evening.