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News and Reviews: December 10, 2016
Buy your CDs,DVDs and much more 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.
On until 07 January 2017 - The Bodyguard - theatre production
Beverley Knight stars in the musical version of film made famous by Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.
Book by playwright Alex Dinelarius, several Whitney Houston classics are included in the score.
Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1.
Check their website as Beverley Knight is not there for a couple of shows each week.
Also check out Kinky Boots,Motown The Musical,Sunny Afternoon,Beautiful,Jersey Boys and others.
In October The Roundhouse celebrated it's 50th anniversary.
They will launch a special website to celebrate their history.
I did an audio interview with them in September talking mainly around the 20 plus gigs I saw there
from 1976 to 1978 before it closed down for over 15 years.
These gigs included the first UK shows by Patti Smith and The Ramones in 1976.
Also meeting Sid Vicious at a Ramones gig who told me about The Pistols Jubilee Boat gig in June 1977.
There is a photo of my diary covering 5/6/7 June 1977.
Enter Roundhouse in my venues search menu to get the full list.
UPDATE on 18 Oct 2016.
The 23 mins interview is now up on their website within the 'Birth of Punk' section...6500 gigs and counting,..
Also drill down in the biography to see my recent picture taken with Lionel Richie.
50.roundhouse.org.ukVisit The Roundhouse CELEBRATING 50 YEARS website here.
RESTAURANTS OPENING in late November / early December.
INAMO are to open their third restaurant at 265 Hampstead Road,Camden.
Inamo isn’t just about the food; a visit here won’t just satisfy your hunger. inamo has pushed the technological boundaries and offers endless entertainment including state of the art ordering systems via tablets with the ability to instantly rate your dishes, interactive tablecloths that you can customise for your visit, engaging games such as pong & memory, and the ability to colour and draw directly on your table surface with inadoodle. All this makes the table experience at inamo unlike anywhere else in London or beyond.
I went to the opening of their Wardour Street branch in Soho which was really good.
www.inamo-restaurant.comVisit the INAMO website for more info.
They are now taking online advance bookings for Camden.
If you are in the BRIGHTON area go along to CLASS OF 76 free exhibition for BozBoz presents Mal-One.
30 Brighton Place,Brighton....selected afternoon openings until Dec 21....phone the venue on 01273 727581
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Punk Rock movement ‘Punk Art’ have produced a mixed media exhibition of collages and prints entitled ‘The Class of 76’. Featuring the first wave of bands who created what we now recognise as the last great rebellion, where music and fashion youth culture collided for the first and last time.
The groups featured in the show are the instigators of this movement; Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Buzzcocks, Generation X and The Stranglers.
Having already exhibited in London and Manchester they are proud to make the next destination Brighton.
The collages and prints are reasonably priced to buy.
Sat 10 Dec---Kylie Minogue plays the second of two shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Sun 11 Dec---Status Quo + Reo Speedwagon play The 02 Arena.
Due to his recent heart attack guitarist Rick Parfitt will be sitting out the upcoming
Last Night Of The Electrics tour, which would see the band hanging up their electric guitars after
their final performance in Liverpool's Echo Arena on Friday 23rd December.
Rick Parfitt has stated at he won't go to any of the electric shows and that he has no interest in being a
part of any future acoustic gigs as he is not keen on 'that acoustic malarkey'.
Ricks replacement will be Dublin born guitarist Richie Malone.
The mighty Quo have had more hit singles – 66 to be precise – in the UK than any other band. Their current album, Aquostic II, is their 44th hit album and it is estimated they have played live to more than 25 million people.
I have seen them around 50 times since the mid 1970s.
Given the current situation it was great to see a few of those 'Frantic Four' re-union shows a few years ago
which featured all four original members from their 1970s heyday.
A nice support act as Reo Speedwagon who were massive in the 1980s play their first Uk shows for 8 years.
Their ninth album 'Hi Fidelity' was released in 1980 .It went on to become the biggest selling rock LP of 1981, eventually selling over ten million copies. Six songs from this album hit Billboard charts, including "Keep On Loving You" which was the band's first Number 1 hit, and "Take It on the Run", which reached No. 5 on the charts.
They also had a big hit a couple of years later with another gem 'Cant Fight This Feeling'.
What with Reo being allowed only 40 mins and Quo down to one original member,is it worth it?
Sun 11 Dec---The Shires play Shepherds Bush Empire.
UK country sensations The Shires play the last show on their UK tour.
The Shires have done it again. Last year they made chart history by becoming the first ever UK Country
band to enter the Top 10 of the UK Album Chart with their debut, and their brand new album 'My Universe',
stormed the charts, landing at No.3 in October 2016.
Update from 28 Oct 2016…
Big Machine Label Group president Scott Borchetta (the man who discovered Taylor Swift)
has signed the Shires in the USA! First UK country act to sign to a high profile USA based country record label.
Mon 12 Dec---Rod Stewart plays The 02 Arena.
Sir Roderick back in the UK for another arena tour.
I have seen Rod live around 20 times since 1976.
BBC Radio 6 Music show, Steve Lamacq Christmas Ska Party live from the BBC's
legendary Maida Vale Studios on Tuesday 13 December from 4 - 7pm.
Joining Steve to toast the festive period will be a stellar line-up
that includes ska legends The Beat featuring Ranking Roger, 2 Tone
titans The Selecter, Glaswegian sound system Mungo's Hi Fi and the
reggae/ska dj don himself, David Rodigan.
Tues 13 Dec---Human League play The Royal Festival Hall.
Very popular in the 1980s electro-pop act are on a UK tour.
I have seen them over a dozen times including a show this past summer at Windsor Racecourse.
Since 1978, the Human League have released nine studio albums, four EPs, 30 singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums and eight singles in the UK Top 10 and have sold more than 20 million records.
Tues 13 Dec---Blossoms play Shepherds Bush Empire.
One of the new breed of decent bands coming through.
Wed 14 Dec---Culture Club play Wembley Arena..one off UK show...
Wed 14 Dec---Starsailor play Indigo @ The 02 Arena.
Wed 14 Dec---Bay City Rollers + Sweet play Hammersmith Apollo.
Bay City Rollers feat. Les, Alan and Woody
BCR return to this venue after the success of their 2015 Christmas show here that i attended.
In the 1970s BCR were massive.
A rare London show by Sweet who are on a farewell tour.
I saw Sweet play The Rainbow in 1974 when 'Teenage Rampage' was their new single.
They currently feature just the one original member - guitarist Andy Scott.
My friend Ian was a Sweet tour manager so I went with him to both the funerals of The Sweet members
Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker who have sadly passed away.
Over 55 million records sold worldwide.
"Without The Sweet there would not have been a KISS" - Gene Simmons.
"We wanted to be The Sweet" - Nikki Sixx - Mötley Crüe.
"This is the band I wish I had been in" - Joe Elliot - Def Leppard.
Thurs 15 Dec---Primal Scream play Brixton Academy.
Final date on their UK tour.
Thurs 15 Dec---Placebo play Wembley Arena---20th anniversary tour....
Placebo play the last date on their two month long European Tour.
Fri 16 Dec---The 1975 play the second of two shows at The 02 Arena.
Their second album was voted best album of this year by NME.
Fri 16 Dec---Korn & Limp Bizkit co-headline at Wembley Arena.
Fri 16 Dec---Sham 69 feat Jimmy Pursey play The Forum...with support from UK Subs.
Sham 69 line-up for this show is (Pursey, Parsons, Treganna, Guy)...first three names are from 1977 line-up.
Sat 17 Dec---Bootleg Beatles play Hammersmith Apollo.
The Bootleg Beatles are probably the best know Beatles tribute band in the world.
They have performed over 4,000 times since their establishment in March 1980.
In the 1980s tribute bands were pretty much nowhere to be seen apart from The Bootleg Beatles.
Sat 17 Dec---Fat Boy Slim plays The 02 Arena.
Sat 17 Dec + Sun 18 Dec---Family play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sun 18 Dec---Roy Wood & his Rock n Roll Band play G Live,Guildford.
Roy Wood is playing a UK tour but there is no London show.
Roy and his band Wizzard were the first proper gig i went to which was in Sept 1973 - Hammersmith Palais.
Sun 18 Dec---Adam Ant plays The Roundhouse...sold out...
Adam Ant plays a one off show before coming back for a full UK tour in May 2017.
Sun 18 Dec---The Darkness play Indigo @ The 02 Arena complex.
Sun 18 Dec---Red Hot Chili Peppers play The last of three shows at The 02 Arena.
RHCP are on a massive four month European Tour that started at Reading/Leeds Festivals.
RHCP will be promoting 'The Getaway' which is their eleventh studio album that came out in June 2016.
They will be supported by Babymetal.
Japanese pop-metal sensation BABYMETAL will release a new 13-track live album, "Live At Wembley", on December 9.
With a carefully selected track listing, the CD captures the spectacular performance recorded at BABYMETAL's first-ever U.K. arena show, "Babymetal World Tour 2016 Kicks Off At The SSE Arena, Wembley", which took place in London on April 2. The show saw BABYMETAL become the first Japanese artist in history to perform a headline show at The SSE Arena, Wembley. This concert garnered an attendance of 12,000 people, where BABYMETAL also broke the merchandise sales record of the venue.
I was at that show.
Thurs 22 Dec---TREMBLING WILBURYS play The Boom Boom Club,Sutton / Xmas Show
Fri 23 Dec---Chic featuring Nile Rodgers play Hammersmith Apollo.
Sat 31 Dec---Robbie Williams has announced that he will perform live in London this New Year’s Eve.
The pop star will appear at Westminster’s Central Hall for Robbie Rocks Big Ben Live.
The show will take place both before the countdown to midnight and afterwards.
It will be live on BBC1.
I saw the previous shows here for NYE - Queen in 2014 and Bryan Adams in 2015.
PANTOMIME at The London Palladium featuring Julian Clary,Paul O'Grady and a full celebrity cast
FROM 10 DECEMBER 2016 FOR 5 WEEKS ONLY!
The most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale of them all graces the stage of the West End’s most famous theatre this Christmas as pantomime returns to the London Palladium for the first time in nearly 30 years.
GOD SAVE SEX PISTOLS book is now out via Anthology Editions.
So many books coming out on The Sex Pistols this year and next but this is one of the better ones.
The book will be released as two deluxe editions. The first, a 320-page version, includes a “rubber” slipcase designed by French street artist Zevs, a newsprint companion book with rare press clippings, and a silkscreened print for the event ‘Screen on the Green’. The 500 page ultra deluxe edition includes silkscreen prints by Jamie Reid, Zevs and more.
Friday 09 December 2016
KYLIE MINOGUE live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
These are her only UK shows and both sold out pronto.
I saw Kylie play here last year at her one off UK Christmas show.
The gay community have come out in force to support one of their Icons.
There is a fantastic Christmas disco party atmosphere tonight.
All the crowd have a free Santa hat on their seats to wear during the show.
Kylie is on stage for 2 hours 10 mins over two sets of 55 mins and 75 mins.
Similar to last year with two sets mixing her many hits and some Christmas classics.
The stunning stage production is identical to last year.
A full band,a full orchestra,eleven dancers and four female backing vocals means there are
at least 40 folks on stage for most of the show and another 20 are added to that when the choir are used.
Pretty amazing that Kylie has been making music for nearly 30 years.
She still looks incredible for age 48 wearing various Dolce & Gabbana outfits.
Her male and female dancers also had different colourful costume changes and stage props.
Check back soon for full review.
Fri 09 Dec---Happy Birthday to acting legend Kirk Douglas who reaches the grand age of 100 today.
Fri 09 Dec---Sad news that legendary astronaut John Glenn has died aged 95.
In 1962 he was the first American to orbit the earth.
He is survived by his wife of 73 years...yes 73 years of marriage...incredible...
Fri 09 Dec---Will The Rolling Stones new album go straight in at number one today?...YES
Loads of great four star reviews from most of the press have made it top of the charts.
Thursday 08 December 2016.
I had a walk past the display at the Stella McCartney store in Bruton Street,London W1.
Last night they had their launch party for it.
Catherine Tate in her guise as 'Nan' switched the Christmas lights on that cover the front of the store.
I have been a couple of times when Paul McCartney has turned up but he was not there this year.
Attendees this year included Ronnie Wood and Pamela Anderson.
5.45pm to 6.30pm
Thomas Sabo - Christmas Party - 65 South Molton Street,London W1.
German fine jewellery and watch brand Thomas Sabo host a party at their British flagship store.
Around 100 folks browsing the display of Thomas Sabo's men and women's collections.
They have a nice collection called Rebel At Heart that features skulls etc.
There was a dj playing in the corner.
Complimentary gin cocktails and canapés for all guests.
Guests got a small goodie bag on departure.
www.thomassabo.comVisit their website here for more info.
6.45pm to 10pm
Christmas Lights Switch On Party - Shepherd Market ,Mayfair,London W1.
Shepherd Market is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, developed in 1735-46 by Edward Shepherd on the open ground then used for the annual May fair from which Mayfair gets its name. It is located between Piccadilly and Curzon Street and has a village-like atmosphere. It has been associated with prostitutes since the Eighteenth century;in the 1980s, Jeffrey Archer met the prostitute Monica Coghlan in Shepherd Market.In the 1920s it was a popular residential area for writers and artists, such as Anthony Powell, Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch.
As it is a free event for all there is at least 1000 folks here with a nice Christmassy atmosphere.
Amazing how mild the weather has been the past week in London which is handy as it's mainly outdoors tonight.
Actress and model ELIZABETH HURLEY switched the Christmas lights on at 7.05pm.
We also have a couple of live acts on the small stage singing cover songs.
Also street performers including a magician.
A few of the galleries and stores and eateries are giving out free drinks and nibbles.
Presecco,mulled wine, wines,beers,pizza,cheese, mince pies etc.
MAYFAIR BURGER are handing out kebabs to folks with a press pass which were nice and filling.
GALLERY 54 had a collection of art by Martin Fidler and Robin Holtom.
There was a woman on a 7ft high uni-cycle weaving in and around the crowd.
The same woman would later perform a 10 minute monologue & burlesque show for 10 mins
at Gallery 54 which was quite visually interesting...her name was Paisley X....model and muse.
www.paisleyx.orgVisit her website here for more info and pictures.
Thursday 08 December 2016...another musician sadly dies...
Celebrated British singer, musician, songwriter and producer Greg Lake has passed away after a long
and hard fought battle with cancer.
The Dorset born vocalist, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died at the age of 69.
Just as his number 2 hit from 1975 "I Believe in Father Christmas" is being played on the radio for Xmas.
It was kept off the number one spot by 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen.
Fellow ELP member Keith Emerson sadly died earlier this year.
Although I am not a big fan of ELP or Prog rock in general I did catch ELP last ever show
at The High Voltage Festival in London in 2010.
Wednesday 07 December 2016...6.30pm to 9pm...
SHAKE SHACK - launch party - 1- 2 Coventry Street,London W1.
Gourmet burger brand launch their fifth site in the UK in a prime location near Cafe De Paris.
They are already at Covent Garden,Stratford,80 New Oxford Street and Cardiff.
If you know the area it is the corner site at Wardour Street/Coventry Street where KFC used to be.
Shake Shack is an American fast casual restaurant chain based in New York City. It started out as a food cart inside Madison Square Park in 2004, and its popularity steadily grew. It eventually moved to a stand within the park, expanding its menu from New York-style hotdogs to one with hamburgers, hotdogs, fries and its namesake milkshakes. The company prides itself and emphasizes its use of all-natural 100% angus beef only and that its meat is completely free of hormones and antibiotics.
Every Shake Shake’s design is distinct and the Leicester Square Shack will have several unique features. Signage inspired by the neighbouring theatres will illuminate the square and inside. Seating includes black oak benches and Uhuru chairs framed in the Shack’s signature green and grey—all tucked under dark wood tabletops. Reclaimed pine and oak panels, together with geometric tiling will line the walls, offset with planters and clusters of hanging globes.
Luckily we found a table before it got busy and folks had to stand.
Upstairs there was a live indie band from Liverpool called The Night Cafe who played a good set of original tracks & covers.
Downstairs was a dj and it got quite lively as folks were dancing in the space in front of him.
Loads of enthusiastic staff fussing over us and bringing all the food and drinks to our table.
I had a couple of very tasty and filling burgers with a couple of tubs of fries...
ShackBurger ...sells for £5.50...Cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato, ShackSauce.
SmokeShack...sells for £7.50...Cheeseburger topped with all-natural applewood smoked bacon,
chopped cherry pepper, ShackSauce.
Other burgers included a veggie one.
I also had a Flat - Top Hot Dog...sells for £5.25...has all the trimmings with it...
There were wines and beers here but I also had two yummy shakes - Strawberry and Caramel.
I had a couple of their concrete frozen custard desserts - with Earl grey fudge and Coffee & Donuts.
All guests got a goodie bag which included a full size bottle of red wine and two vouchers.
Each is valid for a meal of choice of burger,fries ,drink and concrete (frozen custard ice cream).
Great food,great service and great location will make this restaurant a sure fire hit.
www.shakeshack.comVisit the SHAKE SHACK website here for more info.
More launches are planned for next year in Canary Wharf and Victoria.
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
Clothing at Tesco
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.
Party or event?
Let me plan it for you!
I know the best venues,the best catering and the best entertainment agencies to suit your budget whether its small drinks and canapes or something bigger. firstname.lastname@example.org