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News and Reviews: November 01, 2014
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 early OCTOBER reviews and previous months reviews please click on the earlier reviews link above left.
Some good gigs and events coming up worth checking out
Sat 01 Nov---Black Stone Cherry + Airbourne play Wembley Arena.
BSC are promoting their fourth album 'Magic Mountain' that hit number 5 in the UK album charts.
Theory Of A Deadman - 7pm / Airbourne - 7.50pm / Black Stone Cherry - 9.10pm.
Sat 01 Nov---John Mayall plays The Cadogan Hall.
Sat 01 Nov---Steve Hackett plays Hammersmith Apollo.
Sun 02 Nov---Asia play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sun 02 Nov---Paul Carrack plays The Palladium.
Sheffield-born singer, songwriter and former frontman of Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics returns to the road following his widely acclaimed recent album release 'Rain or Shine'.
Mon 03 Nov---Happy Birthday to Adam Ant who is 60 today.
Tues 04 Nov---Classic Rock Magazine Awards are held in Los Angeles.
First time it is held in America.It was always a great event in London as I went each year.
Hopefully they will come back to London next year.
Tues 04 Nov and Wed 05 Nov---Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) plays Hammersmith Apollo.
He was massive in the 1970s and then retired from the music biz for 30 years...and now he's back.
The musical 'Memphis' has opened at The Shaftesbury Theatre in October.
Beverley Knight stars in this Tony Award winning 1950s musical telling the story of a white radio disc jockey who falls in love with a black singer. Christopher Ashley directs. Book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music and lyrics by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan.
Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook attended the opening night.
Opening reviews were very good.
Daily Mail---5 stars.
London Standard---4 stars.
Mail On Sunday---4 stars.
Rock legends Motörhead are to play three UK shows as part of a European Tour.
Lemmy and co will play the following dates:
November 4: Manchester O2 Apollo
November 6: Birmingham NIA
November 8: London SSE Wembley Arena
The show at Wembley is the band's biggest headline show in over a decade.
Punk royalty The Damned will support the band on all three dates.
Reports said that Lemmy looked very frail after his illness when Motörhead supported Black Sabbath
in Hyde Park earlier this month so fingers crossed Lemmy will be fighting fit for these shows.
Billy Idol is to play three UK shows as part of a European Tour.
05 Nov 2014---Birmingham Academy.
09 Nov 2014---Hammersmith Apollo.
10 Nov 2014---Manchester Apollo.
Billy Idol releases his new album 'Kings and Queens of the Underground' on 20 Oct 2014.
This is his first new album for nearly a decade.
Billy Idol talks about the albumWatch the video clip here.
Billy Idol has also released his autobiography this month called 'Dancing With Myself'.
Mon 10 Nov and Tues 11 Nov---Counting Crows play The Roundhouse.
Wed 12 Nov---Robert Plant plays The Roundhouse.
Thurs 13 Nov and Fri 14 Nov and Sat 15 Nov---Specials play three nights at The Roundhouse.
Miel de Botton releases her debut single 'Bad Men' on Mon 22 Sept 2014.
watch the video hereAlso Miel has a one off gig coming up.
Thurs 13 Nov---Join singer-songwriter Miel de Botton for an evening of live music at Pizza Express, The Pheasantry,152 Kings Road,Chelsea,London SW3 4QT.
Miel breathes new life into beloved French chansons (Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf et al) with innovative arrangements and also performs her own sensitive and stunning material in both English and French.
www.pizzaexpresslive.co.ukTickets are £20 and available from this website link.
Sat 29 Nov---Morrissey plays a one off UK show at The 02 Arena as part of his European Tour.
Mon 01 Dec---Kasabian play the first of five sold out shows at Brixton Academy.
Kasabian won two Q Awards on 22 Oct 2014 for 'Best Live Act' and 'Best Act In The World Today'.
Friday 31 October 2014.
Sheryl Crow + Red Sky July live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Tonight was Day 6 and the final show of Blues Fest at this venue.I went to five of them.
This was the last show on the Sheryl Crow UK tour.
Sheryl Crow has sold over over 50 million albums and had a dozen Top 40 hit singles in the UK.
I saw Sheryl Crow supporting Joe Cocker at Wembley Arena in 1994 when 'All I Wanna Do' was a hit.
Red Sky July are husband and wife duo Ally Mcerlaine (guitarist in 15 million-selling band Texas) and Shelly Poole (previously one half of million-selling duo Alisha’s Attic) along with former model Charity Hair (The Alice Band and latterly The Ailerons, with Blur’s Dave Rowntree). Red Sky July came together to make music they love without boundaries or expectations.
They played a polite 30 mins set of tracks from their two albums that was decent enough but hardly exciting.
Sheryl Crow takes to the stage at 8.30pm and plays a nice long 2 hours 15 mins set.
First for the first time this week at Blues Fest we have a big screen which was great as it nicely mixed
live footage with pre-recorded images and her old video clips.
Now aged 52 she still looks very yummy with a lovely smile.
She certainly has had a turbulent life that features a successful battle with breast cancer, a brain tumour – thankfully benign; plus a string of failed relationships with high profile lovers like Eric Clapton, actor Owen Wilson, and a particularly painful engagement to disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
The music is all pretty much mid tempo country based rock.
Some nice use of pedal steel guitar on a few tracks.
All her band are dressed and looking like they are in an Eagles video circa 1974.
The set was full of hits from her 1990s heyday mixed in with newer material.
For the last few songs all the crowd got on their feet for a dance and for the encore the
band finally went up a gear for a rockin' cover of Led Zeppelins 'Rock and Roll'.
An enjoyable show.
Full Sheryl Crow setlist played...
A Change Would Do You Good
All I Wanna Do
Callin' Me When I'm Lonely
Can't Cry Anymore
My Favorite Mistake
Give It to Me
The First Cut Is the Deepest (Cat Stevens cover)
The Difficult Kind
If It Makes You Happy
Soak Up the Sun
Everyday Is a Winding Road
Run, Baby, Run
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)
Thursday 30 October 2014.
Beth Hart + Robert Cray Band live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was Day 5 of Blues Fest at this venue.
This was a co-headline show as both bands did full sets with Robert Cray Band playing 1 hour 30 mins
and Beth Hart playing 1 hour 50 mins with the evening finishing at a curfew busting 11.20pm.
I have seen Robert Cray Band around 10 times since 1985 when he was the 'new blues' sensation.
Robert Cray Band released their 17th studio album 'In My Soul' earlier this year.
Loads of nifty guitar playing from Robert Cray throughout the show.
His band included a Hammond organ player that sounded great when he was let loose.
Chicken In The Kitchen
Blues Get Off My Shoulder
Right Next Door(Because Of Me)
Encores included a pukka instrumental titled Hip Tight Onions
then after the interval it was Beth Hart...
American white blues rocker Beth Hart has released seven solo albums and a couple with Joe Bonamassa.
Now aged 42 Beth has struggled with drugs and booze so that gives her a good platform to sing the blues.
The great band are much louder than Robert Cray and Beth Hart has a very powerful pair of lungs on her.
Some songs she got behind her piano.
Lifts You Up
The Ugliest House On The Block
Spirit Of God
I'd Rather Go Blind---Etta James cover
A neat pair of blues rock acts.
Wednesday 29 October 2014...I went to three events tonight...
6.30pm to 8pm.
Andrew Levitas: Metalwork Photography - private view at Phillips Gallery,30 Berkeley Square, London, W1.
Back again at this new gallery that I really like as it is so huge.
Around 300 smartly dressed folks here in the lower ground floor area where the exhibition is.
The artist is here as his wife who is pop opera singer Katherine Jenkins.
Katherine's manager Jonathan Shalit is also here along with another client he manages,Myleene Klass.
Also here was well known newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald.
Complimentary Ruinart champers,Brazilian cocktails and wines for all guests.
Elvis Costello(solo) + Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was Day 4 of Blues Fest at this venue.
I have seen Elvis Costello over 20 times since 1978 when he burst out of the 'New Wave' scene.
Now aged 60,Elvis Costello has released a staggering 24 solo albums plus others with fellow artists.
This show was the last date on his month long European Tour.
Up first i manage to catch 30 mins of Georgie Fame as he was down to play for an hour.
He played his 60s hit 'Yeh Yeh' and Elvis Costello came on for the last song.
Elvis Costello was on stage for 1 hour 55 mins.
The first few songs and the encores he was helped out by Steve Nieve on piano and Georgie Fame joined
him for one song but most of the show was Elvis Costello solo with his guitar.
Elvis is full of witty stage banter and sarcasm and tells some good stories.
He said on stage "he has written over 400 songs".
Some great hit tunes and some average tunes.
I prefer the band versions with The Attractions rather than just solo.
Accidents Can Happen
(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
Good Year For The Roses
Everyday I Write The Book
She---Charles Asnavour cover
Watching The Detectives
(What's So Funny About) Peace,Love and Understanding
Elvis Costello singing a track without the microphone.
A good show.
11.45pm to 6am.
Mario Testino - 60th birthday party at Chiltern Firehouse, 1 Chiltern Street, London, W1.
This was a mega bash for sure as one of the worlds top photographers has hired out
the number one most coolest and most talked about venue in London for his 60th birthday.
He has taken over all of the venue so 200 or 300 folks here.
A full complimentary bar including champers until 6am---and yes we stayed until the end.
Lots of nice food from the kitchen too.
Mario Testino held court in a white tux, surrounded by fashionable friends including Kate Moss,Naomi Campbell,Jade Jagger,Valentino, Nicky Haslam, Hugh Grant, Tom Parker Bowles and Stella McCartney. Sienna Miller, Rita Ora and Poppy Delevingne got into the Cuban theme donning Hispanic red dresses, while Keira Knightley, Suki Waterhouse, Eva Herzigova and Clara Paget added even more glamour to the evening. Stylish couples Mark Ronson and Josephine De La Baume and David Walliams and Lara Stone were also among A list revellers.
Nick Rhodes looked great in gangster suit.
The event was a 10pm start and I got there at 11.45pm but missed Kylie Minogue coming
out of a cake to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Mario.I think Kylie left early as I did not see her at all.
I got my photo taken with Noel Gallagher and had a nice chat to Yasmin Le Bon who said she was 50 today.
She still looks fantastic.
At 2am I noticed the bar tab had risen past £27,000.
Pictures of Mario from all stages of his life on the walls in the basement area.
There was a dj in one room all night and at 1am a fun 30 mins drag show was in another room.
I think Noel Gallagher left around 3am.
At 4am folks sang 'Happy Birthday' to Mario as he cut the cake with Naomi Campbell,Jade Jagger,
Yasmin Le Bon and Rita Ora all nearby.
Some stayed later than others.Mario Testino and Philip Treacy were here until 6am like us with 30 others.
A totally mega party.
Tuesday 28 October 2014...I went to two events tonight...
Van Morrison live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Day 3 of Blues Fest at this venue.
Northern Irish singer songwriting legend Van The Man is now aged 69.
Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.
I have seen Van Morrison around 15 times since 1979.
Tonight is sold out and as usual with Van there is no support and it's early start early finish.
Van and his pukka band were on for 1 hour 40 mins and the evening was all over at 9.15pm.
Van was introduced by BBC Radio London lunchtime dj Robert Elms.
Whether it’s the jazz singer, the soul brother or the blues man, you never quite know which Van Morrison will turn up on the day but this was a set that covered all three.
We had a great version of 'Baby Please Don't Go'.
Georgie Fame joined him on keyboards and co vocals for one song.
Van was switching from his gold saxophone to harmonica throughout the set.
His voice sounded great although his vocal style made it hard to make out the lyrics sometimes.
After an hour there was an epic, haunting version of 'It’s All in The Game', which slowly built to a rousing climax, ending with Morrison whispering and repeating the line ‘No plan B, no safety net, this is it’ as he walked off stage.
The last Van song was a stunning 'Ballerina' and the band then played an instrumental jam at the very end.
The set was a mixture of his songs and cover versions but he left out lots of his hits including
'Have I Told You Lately','Brown Eyed Girl','Moondance' and 'Gloria' but Van never plays to the gallery.
Van got a standing ovation at the end so the crowd didn't seem that bothered about that.
Van The Man is still rockin'.
10pm to 11.45pm.
Sunny Afternoon - press night & afterparty at The Cafe de Paris,Coventry Street,London W1.
I went to the afterparty of the musical that was on earlier at The Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, W1.
It’s difficult to think of a band better suited to lend their songs to a new British biographical musical than the Kinks. Those unstoppable hit-makers, fuelled by the fraternal fractiousness between Ray and Dave Davies, exploded onto the ‘Swinging London’ scene in 1964 and offer a back catalogue of unrivalled riches for a lucky creative team to plunder. It’s no wonder that this show, which premiered at Hampstead Theatre in April, has now arrived to be A Well Respected Man in the West End.
The London Standard gave the opening night a nice four star review.
A big crowd of around 500 folks here including all the cast members.
Also Ray Davies,Jerry Dammers ex Specials and Tony Banks from Genesis.
Marc Almond was at the show but I did not see him here at the afterparty.
All guests enjoyed complimentary presecco,wines and beers.
Loads of bowl food here including fish n chips,turkey and stuffing,risotto,sausage n mash,desserts and much more.
There was a dj playing 60s tunes in the background but oddly enough no Kinks tunes.
We left at 11.45pm although it was on until 1am.
Monday 27 October 2014...I went to three events tonight...
6pm to 7.45pm.
Boux Avenue: Love Christmas launch at Home House, 20 Portman Square, London, W1.
Always nice to attend events at this plush and cosy private members club.
Launched in April 2011 there are now 24 Boux Avenue stores around the UK.
Boux Avenue has made beautiful lingerie available to every woman with sizes ranging from
a 30A to 38G and from 6 to 18.
The Christmas collection at Boux Avenue encapsulates the festive season with the use of an
opulent colour palette with texture ranges from brushed cottons and fleece along with lace and soft silk.
Guests here included Boux Avenue owner Theo Paphitis who is a regular on tv show Dragons Den.
Other guests here included Sarah Jane Crawford,Linzi Stoppard,Ashley James,Stephanie Pratt,
Olivia Cox,Ola Jordan and Danielle Peazer.
The mainly female crowd were checking out some of the Boux Avenue items on the clothes rails
and there are a few models wearing some nice outfits.
We have a female dj playing tunes in the background.
There was a fun photo booth here.
Guests enjoyed complimentary presecco,Ketel One vodka cocktails and canapés.
Guests all got a nice goodie bag.
www.bouxavenue.comVisit the Boux Avenue website here for info and to check out their current offers.
8pm to 9.30pm.
Dom Pérignon and Iris van Herpen: Metamorphosis - launch party at Hus Gallery, 10 Hanover Street, London, W1.
Dom Pérignon has collaborated with Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen to produce a limited-edition champagne box and 3D-printed sculpture, as part of its Power of Creation project.
Iris van Herpen's gift packs were created specifically for the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004, drawing inspiration from concepts of metamorphosis and the length of time involved in making Dom Pérignon. Each box is signed by the designer and bears a sprawling, crystal-like green graphic set on a black backdrop.
Dom Perignon is regarded by most as the worlds number one champagne brand so very nice to have some
complimentary Dom Perignon and canapés and oysters here.
Guests here included Iris van Herpen,Sara Gilmour(daughter of David Gilmour),Jade Parfitt.Kristina Blahnik,
Mary Charteris,Suzy Menkes and others.
There was a neat laser light show going on above our heads.
9.45pm to 10.45pm.
Macmillan De'Longhi Arts Programme - silent auction at Darren Baker Gallery, 81 Charlotte Street, London, W1.
Acclaimed artists join forces with premium Italian coffee machine brand, De'Longhi, and Macmillan Cancer Support to display a collection of contemporary artworks in a week-long exhibition, which culminates in a silent auction tonight to raise money for the cancer support charity.
The host tonight was Jade Jagger.
Guests enjoyed complimentary presecco and espresso martini cocktails and wines.
Sunday 26 October 2014.
Level 42 live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
British jazz funk band who were massive in the UK in the late 1980s.
In Dec 1990 they played 15 shows at Hammersmith Odeon and I did 12 of them on front stage security.
Last date on their UK tour before they head into mainland Europe.
To date they have released 14 studio albums, selling in excess of 30 million albums worldwide; notching
up 18 Top 40 UK singles along the way.
Tonight was Day 1 of six days of Blues Fest at this venue.
Last year I went to a few Blues Fest shows including Robert Plant,Ronnie Wood and Bobby Womack.
I think it was Bobby Womacks last London show before his sad death.
Level 42 were on stage for 1 hour 50 mins mixing older hits with newer material.
The stage set up is a bit odd as the drummer is front right side and the three man brass section are
where the drums usually are but I think that was because the drummer was pretty amazing.
Level 42 bass player Mark King is one of my fave bass players to watch live.
His record company once insured his thumb for £3m.
Mark King helped to develop and popularize the slap and pop style of playing the bass guitar in the 1980s. The slapping and popping style was developed in the 1970s by funk bassists such as Larry Graham and further developed by jazz fusion bassists such as Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller. King developed a rapid playing speed using this technique, and introduced technical elements that enabled him to produce a mix of percussive effects while still playing a bass line.
From 'The Sun Goes Down' onwards everyone was up and dancing.
Their sound is a bit samey but it was a really good show.
Full Level 42 setlist played...
Where's Yo' Head At
Are You Hearing (What I Hear)?
Kansas City Milkman
It's Not the Same for Us
Mind On You
My Independence Day
Leaving Me Now
The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)
Something About You
Lessons in Love
Build Myself A Rocket
Heaven in My Hands
The Chinese Way
Saturday 25 October 2014.
Lady Gaga + dj Lady Starlight live at The 02 Arena,London.
Lady Gaga plays the second of three shows at The 02 Arena.
Lady Gaga is on a European Tour for the artRAVE ARTPOP ball---Music-Fashion-Dance-Party.
I first saw her a few years ago at this same venue supporting The Pussycat Dolls.
In the venue there are plenty of loyal Gaga fans dressed up in wacky and revealing outfits.
Dj Lady Starlight does a good job of winding the crowd up with some loud club tunes.
I have a perfect view in the guest block on the right of stage.
Lady Gaga arrives on stage 20 mins late at 8.50pm for a 2 hours 5 mins on stage.
Her previous stage productions were massive and although this was not massive it was still
very impressive and there was a riot of costumes and colour along with walkways over
the heads of the floor standing and a b stage in the middle.
Also big screens,loads of lights,lasers,ticker-tape and guns shooting out t-shirts and cuddly pigs.
Half the show seemed to take place on the walkways and the second stage where there was a piano.
Lady Gaga had many stunning outlandish costume changes and wig changes and her 14 m/f dancers
were everywhere and they too had many costume changes.
The new album got some average reviews and has not sold as good as the previous albums
but those tracks all sound much better live as the whole evening has a full dance party atmosphere.
The walkways were covered with t-shirts and toys and cards from her fans on the floor.
She picked one of them up,read it out then invited the girl on stage to sit next to her by the piano and sing
a brilliant stripped back ballad version of 'Born This Way'.
Lady Gaga still has a fair amount of attitude but some of her rants were a bit annoying.
The show featured all the old hits plus some new album tracks and a track from the jazz album she has
just made with Tony Bennett which was 'Bang Bang(My Baby Shot Me Down)'.
This song she performed solo at the piano and other songs at the piano were also great.
Tonight was one of those shows that was visually amazing from start to finish and when it was over
the only thing you say was....wow that was a mega show.
Full Lady Gaga setlist played...
Intro(Welcome to the artRAVE)
Do What U Want
Yoü and I
Born This Way
Intermission(Jewels N Drugs)
The Edge of Glory
Mary Jane Holland
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) (Cher cover)(lyrics by Sonny Bono)
Outro(Applause DJ White Shadow Trap Remix)
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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