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: February 13, 2013
12 Feb 2013.I went to two events tonight.
First 6.15pm to 7.15pm was Penhaligon's pre Valentines party at 125 Regent Street,London W1.
Penhaligon's is an English perfume house. It was founded in 1870 by William Henry Penhaligon, a Cornish barber who moved to London and who became Court Barber and Perfumer to Queen Victoria.
All their scents are still made in England.
They also sell candles,bath oils,male grooming items etc.
Complimentary champers here and everyone got a goodie bag with male and female miniature scents.
See www.penhaligons.com for more info.
After attending the opening press night a month ago i was back again to see the Cirque Du Soleil production of "Kooza" at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Handy my press pass from the opening night was still valid for a ticket tonight.
The show was around 2 hours 20 mins over two sets.
Their clowns doing the usual slapstick routines and going in among the crowd for some fun audience participation.
They were the padding between the main acts.
A cracking band and a strong female singer and a stage production that was full of colour as usual with some great costumes.
A trio of Asian women who seem to find it as easy to bend backwards as forwards, with spines that appear to be made of supple rubber rather than bone, perform extraordinary feats of contortion. As their bodies intermingle the three become one.
There is also a stunning high-wire act, with the artists not just walking 30 feet above the stage, but also cycling across it too, and the grand finale, is an absolute blast, with the acrobats being catapulted almost as high as the lighting rig as they stand on one end of a see-saw and two burly chaps jump from a height onto the other end. The flyers somersault as they go, and some even perform the stunt on stilts before landing safely on a trampoline held by other members of the company.
The piece de resistance however is the Wheel of Death, consisting of two gigantic hamster wheels that revolve at either end of a steel axle. The performers stay upright by running frantically within the wire mesh cages, but the more daring of the pair also hitches lifts by hanging onto the outside of his wheel as it whirls him upwards, as well as performing skipping routines on top of it and taking terrifying leaps into the air before touching down again on the spinning machine.
You watch with your heart in your mouth because there isn’t a safety wire in sight and the act sets the whole house on a roar of delicious excitement and dread. At moments like this it is easy to forgive Cirque du Soleil its cheesier excesses.
There were other acts too.
An enjoyable show.
Thursday 14 Feb 2013 is the last day of their very popular annual five week stint at this famous venue.
11 Feb 2013.I went to two events tonight.
First was 6.30pm to 7.30pm where i popped in to the complimentary drinks reception for The Total Production Industry Awards at The Novotel, Hammersmith,London.
This is the main UK awards event for the folks that work in the background at live events.This includes production,security,catering,tour manager,mixing desk sound monitor, rigging,freight,video,equipment rental,rehearsal space,staging,barriers etc.
A big crowd of around 900 mainly men here.
Always nice to have a chat with my chums from Showsec Security and Headline Security.
Here are some of the winners with the full list up on www.tpiawards.com
Live Production of the Year
London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Favourite Venue of the Year
Favourite Catering Company
Favourite Transport Company
Fly By Nite
Favourite Security/Crowd Management Company
Favourite Travel Company
Music By Appointment
then 8.30pm to 11.30pm i headed off to the Liverpool Street area in The City for the opening launch for Sushinho,9a Devonshire Square,London EC2.
Sushinho is a restaurant and cocktail bar that takes its cue from the Japanese Brazilian culture thriving in Brazil today. Following in the success of the original Sushinho restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea.Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan.
Most decent restaurants have a soft opening of some sort the week before they fully open to test run the table waiters,chefs,menu etc.Tonight was a "have anything you want on the menu" complimentary evening so we started with some raw fish then had a lovely selection of different sushi,then some giant prawn tempura,a yummy sirloin steak with mushrooms and chips,then desserts.
The staff were great and the place is well worth a visit if you are in the area.This week Tues,Wed,Thurs is 50% off the food then it is full price from Friday.
They also have a bar area downstairs.
Call 0207 349 7496 for reservations.
11 Feb 2013.Johnny Marr is to be crowned NME Godlike Genius prize at this year's NME Awards.
The former guitarist for The Smiths, who has also played with bands such as Modest Mouse and The Cribs in his esteemed career releases his debut solo album on Mon 25 Feb 2013 and his debut UK solo tour includes a London date at The Shepherds Bush Empire on 15 March 2013.
10 Feb 2103.Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds plus a short film live at Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket,London.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds only UK show as part of a four show promo tour to launch their new album, 'Push the Sky Away'.
No surprise it sold out within 24 hours.
Similar events will be held in Paris(Feb 11), Berlin(Feb 13) and Los Angeles(Feb 21).
Excellent choice of venue as not many bands play here as it is home to The Phantom Of The Opera musical.It holds 1,216 seats on four levels – Stalls, Royal Circle, Grand Circle and the Balcony.The venue dates back to 1705.
A short 15 mins film by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard about the making of the album, which is out February 18, was screened before the band came on stage.
The band were on stage for 1 hour 55 mins.
The band played the album in full for the first 50 mins with strings section and a teenage choir.Then they played a selection of their best songs.Brilliant lyrics all through the show.
The band as always look super cool as does this crowd.Nick Cave is on top form with his slim frame prowling the stage.On first hearing the songs from the new album sound fantastic.The band
sounding big and powerful.
An excellent show and Nick Cave said the band will be back in the UK before the end of 2013.
Full setlist played...
We No Who U R....Wide Lovely Eyes....Water's Edge
....Jubilee Street....Mermaids....We Real Cool...
Finishing Jubilee Street....Higgs Boson Blues....
Push the Sky Away....From Her to Eternity....Jack the Ripper....Red Right Hand....Love Letter
Your Funeral/My Trial....Deanna....The Ship Song
....O Children....The Mercy Seat....
08 Feb 2013. Rolf Harris live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.
82 year old Aussie legend plays a rare show.
He is a musician, a singer-songwriter, a composer, a painter, and a television personality.
In 1952, he moved to the United Kingdom, where he started to draw animations for television programmes. Harris soon afterwards began a musical career, initially singing and playing the piano accordion. In 1957, he wrote "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport", which later became a Top 10 hit in Australia, the UK and the United States.
He returned to the United Kingdom early in 1962 and was introduced to George Martin, who re-recorded all Harris's songs the following year, including a remake of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" which became a huge hit in the US, and "Sun Arise", an Aboriginal-type song Harris had written with Perth naturalist Harry Butler. The song went to number two in the UK charts, losing the number one spot to Elvis Presley. He met and worked with The Beatles when they started recording with George Martin, and compèred their Christmas show in Finsbury Park Empire in 1963.
He has played Glastonbury Festival five times.
Harris uses unusual instruments in his performances: he plays the didgeridoo,a dew's harp and is credited with the invention of a rhythmic percussion instrument, the wobble board.He played them all at some point tonight.
On stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets with a full band.He played some of his old hits along with some cover versions.Lots of funny stories between songs and in the second half he did some painting for 10 mins while telling jokes.
Lots of singing along by the crowd tonight.
Highlights were "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport",
"Jake The Peg","Waltzing Matlida","Sun Arise","Delilah" and "Two Little Boys".
Encores were his cover of "Stairway To Heaven" which got to number 7 in the UK charts in 1993,then a reprise of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" and finally "Goodnight Irene".
A full standing ovation at the end for this very entertaining and much loved Aussie.
07 Feb 2013.Gala/Vip/Press night for the play
Great Expectations at The Vaudeville Theatre,London.
Based on Charles Dickens much loved book.
It’s a touring production that has a cast that includes Paula Wilcox as Miss Havisham, still fondly remembered for such TV sitcoms as Man About The House and The Lovers.
It has a very Tim Burton "Gothic" feel to it.
The show was just over a couple of hours long.
then 9.30pm to 11.30pm the afterparty for the play was held in the plush ballroom of the nearby five star Waldorf Astoria Hotel,Aldwych,London.
Lots of black ties here among the 500 plus guests.
Complimentary prosecco,wines and hot and cold canapes for all.
The cast and production staff are all here with faces including Paula Wilcox,Christopher Biggins,
Paul Gambaccini,Simon Callow,Anneka Rice,Jim Broadbent,Tim McInnerny and no doubt others.
Another sad death.
Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, who died in Ohio on 26 January at the age of 69, was the frontman for the hit-making funk band the Ohio Players. Known for their brassy dance music, catchy lyrics and flamboyant outfits, they got in the charts in the 1970s with hits such as "Love Rollercoaster," ''Fire," ''Skin Tight" and "Funky Worm.".
I saw them a couple of times at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1970's when it was a great period for
funky soul bands from America playing London.
06 Feb 2013.I went to two events tonight.
First was 6.30pm to 7pm.
Kriss Soonik Loungerie Voodoo Valentines Party at Wolf & Badger, 32 Dover Street, London W1.
Estonian designer Kriss Soonik launched in 2008 introducing her signature talent for giving the 'underwear as outerwear' concept a modern twist and calling it 'Loungerie'.
Only a small space that holds maybe 50 at max so popped in for 30 mins and had a couple of complimentary vodka cocktails.
They have three models wearing the new range who are walking around the store and posing in the shop window which is always a good effect.
See www.kriss-soonik.com and enter the code
loungelove for 20% discount.
7.30pm.WARNER MUSIC launch party for the new album "Heartthrob" by Tegan And Sara at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes,London WC1.
Tegan and Sara are a Canadian indie pop rock band formed in 1995 in Canada, composed of identical twin sisters Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin (born September 19, 1980). Both play the guitar and keyboards, and write their songs.
They brought with them their full band.
I saw them as support act to The Killers at The 02 Arena in Nov 2012 where they went down well.
Very popular in Canada and America but in the UK it is a small but loyal cult following.
Looks like things are about to change as this album their seventh looks certain to put them in the mainstream.The album was went in at Number 3 in The Billboard charts last week.
A nice choice of venue for this invite only event for music industry,press and comp winners.
We had a complimentary drinks reception for an hour before the band came on.
They played eight songs old and new in the 40 mins set.The new album is produced by Lily Allen producer Greg Kurstin and has a great electro pop sound to it with lots of catchy radio friendly tunes.Both girls had some fun on stage banter.
Both the single "Closer" and the album come out on Monday 11 Feb 2013.
Full setlist played was "Back In Your Head",
"I'm Not Your Hero","I Was A Fool","Goodbye Goodbye","How Come You Don't Want Me","Drove Me Wild","Closer",Walking With A Ghost".
Afterwards the band posed for photos and signed stuff for their fans and some of the other folks got stuck into the ten pin bowling.
05 Feb 2013.6.30pm to 10pm.
The 9th Johnson & Johnson Journalism Awards at The Corinthia Hotel,Whitehall Place,London SW1.
Around 300 here in this very plush five star luxury hotel for these awards recognising the work of UK beauty journalists.
12 awards were given out which included a couple of awards for beauty blogging websites so nice that they see how important their influence can be.
1 = winner and 2 = runner up.
Best National Newspaper Beauty Journalist
1 Claire Coleman - The Daily Mail
2 Beatrice Aidin - Financial Times
Best National Supplement Beauty Journalist
1 Emma Hill – Stella
2 Claire Coleman – The Daily Mail
Best Weekly Consumer Magazine Beauty Journalist
1 Joanna McGarry – Stylist
2 Liz Hambleton – Grazia
Best New Beauty Journalist
1 Ellie Balfe – IMAGE Magazine
2 Anita Bhagwandas – Stylist
Best Online Beauty Journalist
1 Amy Lawrenson – ElleUK.com
2 Harriet Chubb – Hip and Healthy
Best Trade Beauty Journalist
1 Lucy Copp – ECM Magazine
2 Julia Wray – SPC
Best Healthcare Professional Trade Journalist
1 Julie Van Onselen – Family Health Care
2 Jill Peters – Nursing in Practice
Best Monthly Consumer Magazine Journalist
1 Sophie Gridley – ELLE
2 Rosie Green – Red
Best Independent Beauty Blogger
1 Dil Uppal – ScforM: Skin Care for Men
2 Jessica Jones – The Good Glamour Guide
Best Independent Beauty Video Blogger
1 Ruth Crilly – A Model Recommends
2 Patricia OBright – Brit Pop Princess
Journalist of the Year
Service to Industry Award
Check out katiechutzpah.blogspot.com which is a great blog for fragrance and skincare.
Complimentary food and drink for all and everyone got a nice bulky goodie bag full of Johnson & Johnson products.
Johnson & Johnson recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and this famous company has operations in over 57 countries and products sold in over 175 countries worldwide.
Check out www.jnj.com
04 Feb 2013.The Troggs frontman Reg Presley has died a year after retiring from music to concentrate on battling lung cancer.
The Wild Thing hitmaker, 71, died at his home in Andover, England on Monday, surrounded by his family.
As the leader of The Troggs, Presley enjoyed success throughout the 1960s with songs like Wild Thing, With a Girl Like You and Love is All Around. He had a career rebirth in the mid-1990s when Wet Wet Wet's cover of Love is All Around spent 15 weeks at the top of the British pop charts.
I first saw The Troggs in 1979 when they were special guests support at a B52s London show.
03 Feb 2013.9.15pm to 3.45am.
Super Bowl Party at Koko,Camden,London.
Balitimore Ravens 34 San Francisco 49ers 31.
Invite only event at this live music venue.
A fantastic atmosphere here.One big screen and loads of smaller ones around the venue.
1000 comp winners downstairs for complimentary Budweiser and Papa Johns pizza and we are part of the 300 VIP/press upstairs with a full free bar,bowl food and Papa Johns pizza.
Before the game on stage at the venue we had a cheerleaders display,a breakdancing display and a really good soul covers band.
Jacoby Jones scored two great touchdowns for The Ravens to take a first half lead then after a power cut at the stadium for 35 mins The 49ers fought back a bit to make it a tense and close ending but the Ravens held on.
Beyonce was very entertaining at half time.
Starting with a few bars of “Love on Top,” she segued into “Crazy in Love,” with lots of power stomping and some foxy Busby Berkeley routines on the electronic stage. Just to raise the temperature a little higher, she whipped off a couple layers of her leather-and-lace warrior-woman outfit and hurled them into the crowd.
For a 12-minute set, Beyonce chose wisely. Some of her hits seem tailor-made for sports-stadium presentation, notably “End of Time,” with its incorporation of marching band drumline sounds and Fela Kuti-influenced Afrobeat rhythms. Likewise “Baby Boy,” which marries Jamaican dancehall with Arabian and Indian riffs.
Everyone that ever wept for girl-group members who got left behind when the star singer went solo could feel heartened by the arrival of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Clad in matching black leather dominatrix-wear, they literally bounced onto the stage via elevators to join Beyonce. The girls gave an obligatory nod to “Bootylicious” before getting serious behind a wall of flames on “Independent Women,” replete with iconic Charlie’s Angels pose. The surprise kick, however, came when the Destiny’s Child ladies joined Beyonce on one of her biggest solo hits, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”.
02 Feb 2013.Family live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
Second of two special reunion shows at this venue for Family as it is 40 years ago since they last played together.Tonight is sold out.
Family were an English rock band from Leicester that formed in late 1966 and disbanded in October 1973. Their style has been characterised as progressive blues rock, although their sound often explored other genres.They released seven albums.
The band's rotating membership throughout its relatively short existence led to a diversity in sound throughout their different albums. Family are also often seen as an unjustly forgotten act,when compared with other bands from the same period and have been described as an "odd band loved by a small but rabid group of fans".
Nine people on stage tonight as Roger Chapman, Poli Palmer, Rob Townsend and Jim Cregan were joined by Geoff Whitehorn on electric guitar & BVs, John Lingwood on drums & percussion, Gary Twigg on bass, Paul Hirsh on organ, piano & BVs and Nick Payn on sax, harmonica & BVs.
Lots of bald heads and grey hair in the crowd.
Family were on stage for one hour 45 mins.
Roger Chapman is now aged 70 but still has a brilliant blues rock voice and is very entertaining as his stage banter involves lots of swearing and funny mutterings.
Family split up before i started going to gigs but i did see Roger Chapman's Streetwalkers band in the 1970's after Family split and i saw Jim Cregan play guitar in Rod Stewart's great live band in the 1970's after Family split up.
Setlist played was Top of the Hill, Drowned in Wine, Holding the Compass, Part of the Load, Ready to Go, Crinkly Grin, Burning Bridges, No Mule's Fool, Sat'dy Barfly, Between Blue and Me, Hung Up Down, Burlesque, In My Own Time. Encore 1: Weaver's Answer; Encore 2: My Friend the Sun, Sweet Desiree. Roger Chapman paid warm tributes to absent band members Rick Grech, Tony Ashton, Jim King, Will Weider, John Wetton and Charlie Whitney whom he invited to come back (from Greece) to enjoy the English rain...a celebratory concert, rich in memories for all, and introduced by long time friend of the band and local Leicester hero, 1970's footie legend Frank Worthington.
An enjoyable show.
A venue that hosted The Jam and other bands back in the day is threatened with closure.
The Save the Tumbledown Fundraiser Gig was held on Sat 02 Feb 2013 and featured a bunch of local bands playing for free to help raise funds.
Official petition to Save The Tumbledown Dick Pub and Live Music Venue (Farnborough, Hants) www.gopetition.com
English Heritage turned down the initial application for the building to be Listed, but they will be appealing that decision because there is so much historical evidence.
01 Feb 2013.6.45pm to 12.45am.
Launch party for The Rum Shack at Floridita,100 Wardour Street,Soho,London W1.
Floridita is on the site from the building that was home to where the original legendary Marquee Club stood.
Floridita's brand new Rum Shack bar gives guests the chance to enjoy a Cuban ‘beach shack’ inspired drinking experience in the heart of London’s West End.
Floridita boasts the most extensive selection of rums in Europe, and offers a cocktail menu, which celebrates the huge versatility of rum with cocktails inspired from around the globe.Guests can choose from cocktails such as Hemingway Punch: a delicious blend of Barcardi Superior and Maraschino Liqueur inspired by Ernest Hemingway, In a Barrel: a concoction of absinthe, gomme, lemon & orange juice, shaken with Pussers Blue Rum and served in a barrel vessel, and Cheeky Monkey: a blend made using Chairman’s Reserve - mellow on the palate with a complex mix of ripe raisin fruit, tobacco and spice - served in a tiki glass.
There are 15 signature rum cocktails available.
There was a great party atmosphere here as the guests consumed the lovely complimentary cocktails,10 Saints lagers and some nice food.There was a live salsa band that got folks dancing and lots of the staff are dressed as if on a Cuban beach.
Everyone got goodie bags with rum drinks inside.
Floridita has already booked in lots of live acts
for the future so check out their website for more info.
An excellent venue to visit.
31 Jan 2013.I went to three events tonight.
7pm to 8.30pm.Launch party for "Upper West" club at 107 Kings Road,Chelsea,London SW3.
Upper West London brings a fresh New York vibe to the streets of Chelsea. This West London haunt has partnered with one of the capital’s most innovative galleries, Notting Hill’s London West Bank, to showcase installations from the nation’s most talented urban artists. Expect live music to be performed on a daily basis by both established and up and coming talents.The main room at Upper West houses the former piano of icon Elton John along with some lovely sofas to relax in.
A grand staircase leads the guest to an entirely different entity where an additional venue is housed; Madisons. This exclusive nightclub combines sounds and visuals with the best house and techno DJs from varying backgrounds and followings.
A female singer sang a few songs tonight.
Lots of glammed up females here.Complimentary champers,hot dogs and hot canapes.
8.45pm to 10pm.JLS "Love" fragrance launch at One Mayfair,Mayfair,London.
British boyband JLS - aka Jonathan Gill, Aston Merrygold, Oritse Williams and Marvin Humes - launched their second fragrance "Love" in front of comp winners and press just in time for Valentines Day. The boys took to the stage in front of an excited crowd to introduce their perfume and perform an hour long dj set and sign stuff and pose for photos with fans.The perfume follows the band's successful debut scent "Kiss".JLS really are a gang of hard working mates who really look like they enjoy their current popular status.
Complimentary food and drink here and everyone got a goodie bag wih the 30ml EDT inside.
JLS play another UK arena tour at the end of 2013.
The retail price for "Love" is
100ml EDT - £29
60ml EDT - £20.
30ml EDT - £14.
10.15pm to 11.15pm.Afterparty for the play "Old Times" at Mint Leaf,Haymarket,London.
Cast Rufus Sewell and Kristin Scott Thomas - and director Lia Williams partied at Mint Leaf Restaurant and Bar after performing the opening night of Harold Pinter's play, Old Times. Joining in with the celebrations were Ray Davies, Sam Taylor Wood, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bill Paterson, Greg Dyke, Lady Antonia Fraser and Bella Freud who turned out to see the new production, currently running at the recently renamed Harold Pinter Theatre, about a group of old friends reminiscing about past times.
Lots of complimentary yummy bowl food here and beers and wines.
30 Jan 2013.7pm to 10.30pm was Diet Coke 30th Birthday Party At Sketch,Conduit Street,London W1.
This party was to celebrate 30 years of this popular drink with an exhibition in the corner showing all the famous names that have promoted the brand over the years and the premiere of the new tv advert which will hit the screens in March.
They have reintroduced the Coke hunk in a 60-second spot called "the gardener", which uses the Etta James track ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ from the famous Diet Coke "hunk" spot from 1996.
The women spot the "hunk" mowing the grass and one of them rolls a can of the drink towards him as part of a plan to induce him to remove his t-shirt.
The Daily Telegraph's award-winning fashion director Hilary Alexander is tonight's host and introduces the tv advert and the "hunk" on stage.
Other faces here included a very pregnant Peaches Geldof,Pixie Geldof,Wretch 32,Sophie Ellis Bextor, Danny Goffey(Supergrass),Pear Lowe,Zoe Hardman and Laura Whitmore.
Lots of complimentary food and drink all night.
First it was an hour of Pommery champers then three different cocktails(each with diet coke of course) along with beers and wines.Sketch has a very nice restaurant so yummy food with gourmet burgers,hot dogs,tempura and canapes and sticky toffee pudding.
A dj playing good tunes in the background too.
I got some goodie bags with mainly girly stuff in and of course a bottle of diet coke in each.
The event was due to finish after midnight.
A really good party.
29 Jan 2013.Male grooming is more and more popular these days and i never leave the house without putting some ELEMIS Moisture on me so thanks to the folks at ELEMIS for sending me some products.
Maximum Moisture Day Cream 50ml
This fresh feeling day cream with adaptive technology intelligently adjusts to your skin's needs. Providing continuous hydration whilst actively helping to protect against environmental toxins, the lightweight formulation visibly improves skin's condition.
Unique desert plants Myrothamnus and Tamarind are known for their adaptation to extreme climactic fluctuations whilst being rich in anti-oxidant power. Combined with the moisturising virtues of African Baobab Tree, Saw Palmetto Berries and Black Poplar Bud, rich in trace elements and vitamins, skin is perfectly hydrated and energised.
Available at the usual shops and online from various websites from around the £28 mark.
28 Jan 2013.7.30pm to 10.30pm was the launch party for Casio Tokyo Trio Watch at The Study,Blandford Street,Marylebone,London W1.
Featuring 3 signature retro Casio styles in Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.Each watch brings functionality with an instant fashion edge.
Lots of young and cool looking females here.
Former Made in Chelsea star and tech entrepreneur Amber Atherton celebrated the launch of the Casio Tokyo Trio Watch on her online jewellery boutique My Flash Trash. Laura Jackson, Lydia Rose Bright, Zoe Hardman, Gizzi Erskine and Rosie Fortescue popped into the Japanese themed party and mingled with guests including Amal Fashanu and Sarah-Jane Crawford. Pips Taylor and Morwenna Lytton Cobbold also showed their faces, enjoying a DJ set from up and coming singer/songwriter Syron.
Complimentary food and drinks all night.Non stop sushi from ITSU Dining with the sushi trays moving around like in their restaurants which was very impressive.
The watches were on display in the middle section.
Drinks were Martin Royale(50% Martini Bianco and 50% Martini Prosecco) and Zeo drinks.Also here was Manga comic creator illustrator Chie Kutsuwada who did a great picture of me in just a few mins.
Casio Tokyo Trio Watch are exclusive to www.myflashtrash.com.
26 Jan 2013.TNA Impact Wrestling live at Wembley Arena,London.
Annual American wrestling event back in London.
A great atmosphere as the nearly sold out crowd were very rowdy what with all the cheering and booing.Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan comes in the ring a few times to hype the crowd up but does not take part in any bouts.
Non stop action really as i counted 11 bouts over 3 hours 15 mins with no proper interval and a mere 3 mins between bouts.Lots of crunching rock music over the pa as Kerrang Magazine are the main sponsors.
Of course it is all well rehearsed stuff but there are plenty of flying dives off the ropes and some risky moves.The canvas seems to have amplifiers underneath as any slam on it could easily be heard by all here.At times it was pure slapstick and panto but overall good fun entertainment.
Wrestlers here included Austin Aries,Kurt Angle,Bobby Roode,Rob Van Dam,James Storm,Samoa Joe,Sting,Bully Ray and some female wrestlers too as they had a couple of bouts of their own.The main event at the end turned into a messy but fun 20 man tag team brawl.
The highlights of tonight are shown on Challenge tv on Feb 17 and Feb 24.
See www.impactwrestling.com for more info.
24 Jan 2013.8.30pm to 1am.
Raymond Weil Pre-BRIT Awards Dinner at Mosaica Restaurant,Wood Green,London N22.
Luxury Swiss watchmaker RAYMOND WEIL celebrated it's sponsorship with The BRIT Awards by holding an intimate Pre-BRIT Awards Dinner, hosted by Singer/Songwriter and producer Labrinth.
Around 150 folks here with quite a few names.
JB and Oritse from JLS,2012 X Factor Winner James Arthur,Wretch 32,Conor Maynard,Stooshe,Tali Lennox,Gabrielle Alpin,Sway,Reggie Yates,Laura Mvula,VV Brown and no doubt a couple more.
Complimentary food and drinks all night.
Three different Grey Goose Vodka Cocktails.
Drinks reception then sitting down for a nice starters and mains.Desserts were at the back.
The table i was on had the two members of JLS on who were really nice and friendly as was table host Craig from Raymond Weil.At 11.30pm 100 more folks came in for the afterparty and they cleared half the tables away to make a dance floor area and we had three new acts play a couple of good songs each.
I departed at 1am but the event went on to 3am.
A really good event.
23 Jan 2013.6.45pm to 10.30pm was the launch of Voodoo Ray's ,95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London E8.
With a fantastic name like "Voodoo Ray's" i simply had to make the trek out east for the friends and press opening for this late night New York-style pizza palace with a basement bar and dance floor just down the road from The Rio Cinema.
"Voodoo Ray" is a 1988 acid house single by Gerald Simpson, recording under the name A Guy Called Gerald. The single was released in the UK in 1988.
He is here tonight as guest of honour for The Big Switch-On!.
Chefs here bake giant 22” pizzas in an American baker’s oven using the best ingredients they can find including Caputto flour for the dough, Italian plum tomatoes for the Napoli sauce and Fior di Latte mozzarella. Choose a large slice or two from the selection of fourteen slices that are affordably priced at £3.50-£4.20.
My faves were The Hot Mix 5 and The Meat Is On.
A good range of drinks too with the frozen margaritas going down a real treat.
A very lively cool crowd here with great music.
The staff worked their nuts off all night and it was done with a "nothing is too much trouble" attitude even though it got very busy.
A very nice complimentary treat for all here tonight.
See www.voodoorays.co.uk for more info.
23 Jan 2013.11.45am to 1.30pm.
Bon Jovi press conference at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel,Knightsbridge,London.
Around 100 tv and press folks here in this very nice 5 star hotel.
AEG LIVE announce that Bon Jovi are to play Hyde Park on Friday 05 July.They present a video on how they will improve the Hyde Park site for the six big shows to be held there this summer.The guy from their record company talks about the new single "Because We Can" which is out now and the new album "What About Now" which is released March 25.
After 15 mins of presentations by the promoters and the record company folks all the band then turn up and answer some questions for around 15 mins.
They loved watching The Rolling Stones in New York.
Bon Jovi always stay in this hotel when in London.
The hotel actually backs on to Hyde Park.
Complimentary coffees,teas,cookies and chocs for all before and after as the new album was played in the background.
I have seen Bon Jovi loads of times over the years dating back to when they supported KISS.
Very impressive they can still play UK stadiums.
Lets get ready to rumble as AEG take on Live Nation to see who can put on the best big stadium bands this summer.
Bon Jovi shows.
Sat 08/June/13 Manchester Eithad Stadium...
Sun 09/June/13 Birmingham Villa Park...
Wed 12/June/13 Cardiff City Stadium...
Thu 13/June/13 Sunderland Stadium Of Light... Sat 15/June/13 Dublin Slane Castle...
Sun 16/June/13 Isle Of Wight Festival(headline)
Wed 03/July/13 Glasgow Hampden Park...
Fri 05/July/13 London Hyde Park...
22 Jan 2013.Tonight was two invite only secret gigs in very nice small venues.
9pm to 11pm.
First was Spector at Scotch,
Masons Yard,London SW1.
Spector were one of my fave new bands from last year with a pukka album "Enjoy It While It Lasts".
Fred the singer is as usual very chatty between songs.
His dad is right in front of him.
They all look super cool and whizz through songs from the album including "Grey Shirt And Tie","Twenty Nothing",a brilliant "Friday Night,Don't Let It End",
"Lay Low","Celestine","Grim Reefer",a cover of RHCP
"Under The Bridge",then the superb "Chevvy Thunder" and finally "Never Fade Away".A really good set.
They played 11 songs in the 50 mins on stage.
The band have just been nominated for two awards at next months NME Awards.
Looks like the band are now taking a break to focus on the second album.
The dj tonight was Placebo drummer Steve Forrest who played a great selection of tunes on the decks.
This club holds only 100 max and is famous for being the first venue that Jimi Hendrix played at when he first came to London in the 1960s.
then 11.10pm to 1am.
Two Door Cinema Club live at Baroque,Mayfair,London W1.
This band from Northern Ireland had a great 2012 where their second album "Beacon" hit number two in the UK charts.
Five of their best indie dance songs in a 20 mins set.
"Sleep Alone","Undercover Martyn","This Is The Life",
"Wake Up" and "What You Know".
This club holds maybe 200 and is split with standing and table seating.Very plush here with velvet curtains everywhere and a fab place to see a band.
Grace Jones played their Christmas party.
This was a warm up for their UK/Europe/American tour dates which include sold out London shows at Brixton Academy and Alexandra Palace.
Short but sweet set in a brilliant venue.
See www.baroquemayfair.com for info on the club.
21 Jan 2013.The London Legacy Development Corporation today confirmed it has entered into a contract with music promoter Live Nation to bring a series of concerts and festivals to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, ahead of its full opening in spring 2014.
The deal gives Live Nation exclusive rights to host major music concerts in the North Park and stadium in summer 2013.Events already confirmed include the Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling in July which both used to be held in Hyde Park.Both events will be held in the North Park.Live Nation is also planning to host a number of concerts in the stadium during the summer.
Rival promoters AEG will host concerts in Hyde Park over the summer after Live Nation pulled out of hosting concerts there over problems with sound limits and local residents complaints.
20 Jan 2013.Donny and Marie Osmond live at The 02 Arena,London.
This was the opening show of their 11 dates on their UK arena tour.
Following the sell-out success of their eponymous shows in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, the legendary brother and sister duo celebrate their five decades in entertainment by bringing their full Las Vegas show over for their very loyal UK fans.
Donny and Marie have collectively recorded more than 70 albums.
I have a great seat a dozen rows from the stage.
On stage for a nice long 2 hours 10 mins over two sets with an impressive stage production featuring five big screens,staircases,male and female dancers and plenty of costume changes.
Lots of great video footage from the old days.
Lots of on stage jokey stage banter.
The crowd are standing up all the way through.
Donny as ever looks a very youthful 55 and Marie still looks stunning at 53 even though she has had eight kids.Marie wore some very glam outfits.
The show was well paced with them singing together and singing solo.Although all the females here are to see Donny,Marie used her first solo spot well getting a male audience member on stage for some very funny and flirty participation and singing her hits "Paper Roses" and "I'm A Little Bit Country".
The setlist was a mix of their own hits and cover versions.Some neat cover choices including Marie singing "Walk This Way"(Aerosmith/Run DMC) and Donny singing "Rock This Town"(Stray Cats).
Donny sung big hits "Crazy Horses","Puppy Love" and "Love Me For A Reason".
Special guest Susan Boyle came on for a couple of songs.She looked nervous but the crowd warmed to her as she sung "This Is The Moment" with Donny then a track on her own from her new album.
Both Donny and Marie have appeared on stage in musicals so we had a few well known show tunes.
They both went walkies through the audience which the crowd loved.Donny gave a signed item to a fan.
Marie took her lipstick in hand and planted a kiss on the foreheads of a dozen male fans.
Because of their wholesome image Donny And Marie are easy targets but they worked hard in a very entertaining show that had around 30 songs.
Donny And Marie Osmond continue their UK tour at..
Mon 21 Jan The Brighton Centre
Thu 24 Jan LG Arena Birmingham
Fri 25 Jan Bournemouth International Centre
Sat 26 Jan Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Sun 27 Jan Nottingham Arena
Mon 28 Jan Manchester Arena
Wed 30 Jan Odyssey Arena Belfast
Thu 31 Jan O2 Arena Dublin
Fri 01 Feb S.E.C.C.Glasgow
Sat 02 Feb Liverpool Echo Arena
See www.kililive.com for info and tickets.
17 Jan 2013.NBA Basketball At The 02 Arena,London.
NEW YORK KNICKS 102....DETROIT PISTONS 87.
This annual game is the highlight of the year for many UK basketball fans as it is the only league game that the NBA plays outside of North America.
18,500 tickets sold out pronto even though Level 1 tickets were a whopping £120.
My press ticket is right by all the action.In front of me are 100 press folks with tv screens and laptops and i am sitting next to wives/girlfriends of the Detroit team.I have a chat with a couple of them and they tell me each team has brought around a staggering 200 people over from the States for the three day trip with players,partners,cheerleaders, officials etc and New York Knicks have even brought their own organ player to use tonight.New York Knicks home is the famous Madison Square Garden.
Average wage of the players tonight is 5 million dollars a year.
The game is four quarters of 12 mins each but with breaks and time outs etc it is over 2 hours 30 mins for the event itself.It is non stop something going on in the breaks as we have music,cheerleaders, presentations,trick shot displays using trampolines and other stuff.
A very lively atmosphere in here tonight.
Lots of great three pointers in the game.
Carmelo Anthony starred as the New York Knicks ran out comfortable winners over the Detroit Pistons as they led throughout to claim a 102-87 victory.
Anthony, a member of the USA team that won gold at the London Olympics at the very same venue, ended the night with 26 points as the Knicks eased to victory to keep them top of the Eastern Conference with 25 wins from their 38 games.
A number of top Premier League players were in attendance with the likes of Chelsea's Ashley Cole and Ryan Betrand sitting courtside, as where former Arsenal legends Patrick Viera, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry.
Also here was new SONY act Misha B who played three tracks with dancers during the half time interval and comedian Jack Whitehall beat James Corden in a
hoops play off on the court.Also here were film director Spike Lee and singer/rapper Wretch 32.
An enjoyable event.
16 Jan 2013.Gary Barlow + Nell Bryden live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
My first proper full gig of 2013.
Support act from America Nell Bryden has had four albums out but her 25 mins semi acoustic set was very tame and boring.
In early 2011 Nell suddenly lost her hair from a stress-induced auto-immune condition called Alopecia.The crowd seemed to like her though.
Gary Barlow has had an amazing past few years.
Tonight he admitted that when his solo albums did not set the world on fire after Take That split he preferred eating to songwriting for a few years then Take That reform and have two massive selling albums and two massive selling stadium tours which in 2011 included a record breaking eight nights at Wembley Stadium.Then in 2012 he replaced Simon Cowell as a judge on X Faxtor.
On stage for 1 hour 55 mins.This was the last of three London shows spread out over his Dec/Jan UK tour.Lots of swooning females here as expected.
All the crowd are up and singing and swaying and dancing from the start.
A big screen showing images and old video clips but not live shots.Lots of nice friendly stage banter. Three quarters of the set was Take That tunes.
We had a marriage proposal on stage(she said yes) and the couple slow danced on stage to "A Million Love Songs" and James Corden came on to sing and join in the dance routine for "Pray" which they did before at Christmas for that tv special from Manchester.
That went down really well with the crowd.
Gary Barlow has penned loads of great songs.
While he is not the big showman that fellow Take That Robbie Williams is, Gary Barlow put on a really good enjoyable show.
Full Gary Barlow setlist played....
Greatest Day (Take That song)
Reach Out (Take That song)
A Million Love Songs (Take That song)
Pray (Take That song)(with James Corden)
Like I Never Loved You at All (Take That song) (with Nell Bryden)
I'd Wait For Life (Take That song)
The Circus (Take That song)
Love Ain't Here Anymore (Take That song)
Lie to Me
Why Can't I Wake Up With You (Take That song)
I've Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter cover)
Moondance (Van Morrison cover)
Sunday to Saturday (Take That song)
Wasting My Time (Take That song)
The Flood (Take That song)
Patience (Take That song)
Back For Good (Take That song)
Candy (Robbie Williams cover)
Relight My Fire (Take That song)
Shine (Take That song)
Rule The World (Take That song)
Never Forget (Take That song)
15 Jan 2013.HARD ROCK RISING GIVES ASPIRING BANDS A CHANCE AT STARDOM WITH WORLD TOUR THROUGH GLOBAL COMPETITION.
Announcing Call for Entries in 2013 Battle of the Bands.....Registration open now!
Hard Rock International continues its commitment to emerging musicians of tomorrow with this year’s Hard Rock Rising, the world’s largest and most far-reaching battle of the bands competition. Hard Rock Rising supports the musical careers of aspiring artists around the globe by giving one local band the opportunity of a lifetime – participate in a World Tour at Hard Rock Cafe locations, film a music video, record an album with Hard Rock Records and receive the equivalent of $10,000 in new gear.
“Hard Rock is eager to uncover another pool of budding talent and provide them with an international stage to showcase their talents,” said John Kirkpatrick, Head of Music & Artist Relations, Hard Rock International. “More than 12,000 bands entered Hard Rock Rising and nearly one million votes were cast by fans around the globe in 2012 – we hope the continued success of this programme will catapult an emerging band to success and introduce their sound to Hard Rock’s worldwide audience.”
Hard Rock, in partnership with online music services company ReverbNation, is hosting an open registration for bands wishing to participate in the global battle until Monday, January 21 2013. This will be the second year that Hard Rock has partnered with ReverbNation.
“The influence of Hard Rock’s iconic brand – fused with ReverbNation’s extensive network of over 2.4 million artists in 250 countries worldwide – is a match made in rock and roll heaven,” said Mike Doernberg, CEO and Co-founder of ReverbNation. “We’re looking forward to once again helping to create breaks for aspiring artists around the globe.”
To register, future rock stars can visit one of 96 participating Hard Rock Cafe Facebook pages – including Hard Rock Cafe London, Hard Rock Cafe Manchester and Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh. Following open registration, fans decide who moves on to the live performance phase of the programme and can vote on any Hard Rock’s city-specific, Facebook page by downloading free tracks from bands of their choice. For full rules and a list of participating locations, visit www.hardrock.com.
14 Jan 2013.I went to two events today.
12.30pm to 6pm was the press day for The London Boat Show at Excel,East London.
London's biggest and best-loved boat show to give visitors the chance to experience the best in boating, watersports and shopping.
Whether you're a seasoned boater or looking to dip your toe into the water for the first time, the London Boat Show offers an action-packed day out with more than 500 exhibitors showcasing the best in watercraft innovations, equipment and holidays.
From viewing small boats to walking around luxury yachts from the likes of Sunseeker or having a go at remote control model boats it is a nice day out with a lot to see.Luxury cars on display too.
As it is press day there are drinks receptions every hour from one of the stands.The best was Hempel who were promoting their boat cleaning product SilicOne who gave out champers and canapes and the press goodie bag included a nice Griffin Survivor US Military tested IPAD case worth around £30.Today BBC presenter David Dimbleby was here and on Saturday gone folks here included Sir Ben Ainslie,Alfie Boe,Chris Evans and Suzi Perry.
The show is on until Sunday 20 January.
See www.londonboatshow.com to buy tickets.
7pm to 9.30pm was The Waterstones Eleven reception at Waterstones,5th Floor Bar,Piccadilly,London W1.
This event was to announce the best 11 books tipped for success by debut authors that are to be released this year.
All 11 authors are here including award winning ballet dancer Carlos Acosta and French opera director Michel Rostain.
Complimentary wines,beers and canapes here for all.
With authors hailing from six countries around the globe, the eleven books will receive the full and committed backing of Waterstones branches and booksellers across the UK, as well as support online and through their loyalty card programme, The Waterstones Card, which reaches 1.5 million readers. The list in full (in alphabetical order by author):
Pig's Foot by Carlos Acosta (Bloomsbury, 30th October)
Idiopathy by Sam Byers (Fourth Estate, 25th April)
Y by Marjorie Celona (Faber and Faber, 17th January)
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence (Hodder & Stoughton, 31st January)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador, 29th August)
The Fields by Kevin Maher (Little, Brown, 7th March)
The Son by Michel Rostain (Tinder Press, 23rd May)
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland, 27th June)
Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (William Heinemann, 26th September)
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Viking, 4th April)
Ballistics by D.W. Wilson (Bloomsbury, 1st August)
14 Jan 2013.David Bowie has secured his first official UK Top 10 single in over two decades with 'Where Are We Now?'.
The comeback track, which has finished the week at Number Six, is the first to be taken from his forthcoming new album 'The Next Day' and sold 30,000 copies in the five day's since it's surprise release. It's his first Top 10 hit since 1986's 'Absolute Beginners'.
14 Jan 2013.KISS have a Limited Edition singles box set out today.
THE CASABLANCA SINGLES-1974 TO 1982.
29 original singles!
All Digitally Remastered
36-Page Booklet With Unreleased Photos And Track Annotations
Includes A Mask Of Each Band Member
Strictly Limited Edition
10 Jan 2013.5.15pm to 8pm was The BRIT Awards 2013 nominations launch at The Savoy Hotel,London.
Around 300 press and music biz folks here in this very plush hotel ballroom.
A full free bar except champers was nice.
No proper food.Just bowls of nuts.
A mixed bag of nominations as usual.
Emeli Sandi topped off an amazing 12 months with four nominations(two for best track award) and Mumford And Sons and Alt-J got three each.Great to see The Rolling Stones,Bruce Springsteen,Muse.The Killers,Vaccines and Jack White all get nominated.
The event hosted by BBC Radio 1 breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw, saw this year's Critics' Choice winning singer/songwriter Tom Odell pick up his award from last years winner Emeli Sandi and he performed a really good song.Faces here included The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue,Paloma Faith. Rita Ora, Alt-J, Delilah and DJ Fresh.Jessie Ware also sung one song.
Acts confirmed to play live at The BRIT Awards main event on 20 Feb 2013 at the 02 Arena include Robbie Williams,Muse,Mumford And Sons,Emeli Sandi,One Direction and Ben Howard.
With a couple of places to fill could The Rolling Stones be one of them???
See www.brits.co.uk for more info and photos.
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
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
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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