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News and Reviews: February 18, 2017
Friday 17 February 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 7.30pm
Coys of Kensington - auction private view - Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction
at Olympia, Kensington,London W14.
Around 100 stunning classic cars here to look at and admire.
Porsche,Bucatti,Rolls Royce, Ford Mustangs,Cameros,Bentley,Ferrari , etc.
Pretty amazing the top condition these cars are in even though some built in the 1960s and 1970s and earlier.
The auction is being held the following day at noon (Saturday).
Complimentary Lanson champers for all guests.
www.coys.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
8.15pm to 11.15pm
Fashion Film in Partnership with River Island x Serpentine Future Contemporaries Party
at The Serpentine Sackler Gallery,Kensington Gardens,London W2.
A massive London Fashion Week party as over 500 folks are on the guest list.
Faces here included Daisy Lowe,Lady Victoria Hervey,Erin O'Connor,Amber le Bon,
Dougie Poynter,Laura Jackson,Millie Mackintosh and others.
River Island showed their three minute film on the big screen in one of the rooms.
At 9.45pm PIXIE GELDOF and her band took the stage for a 20 mins set.
Pixie released a solo album titled 'I'm Yours' in 2016.
A dj kept things lively after Pixie left the stage.
Complimentary drinks included a very nice Cherry & Black Pepper Tom Collins Gin Cocktail,
Other Gordon's Gin cocktails,beers and fresh slices of pizza all night.
A great party.
www.riverisland.comVisit the River Island website here.
Thursday 16 February 2017...7.30pm to 10.30pm...
Special one off DAVID BOWIE concert film screening at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
The legendary concert film, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, will be screened at Hammersmith
Apollo for the FIRST TIME at the venue since the concert took place there over forty years ago.
DJ duo, The Smoking Guns and upcoming band Animal Noise are also confirmed to perform at the event. The 1973 documentary and concert film by D. A. Pennebaker, features David Bowie and his backing group The Spiders from Mars performing at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on 3 July 1973. At this show, Bowie made the surprise announcement that the show would be "the last show that we'll ever do", later understood to mean that he was retiring his Ziggy Stardust persona. Personal friends of Bowie, the event will kick of with a DJ set from female duo The Smoking Guns. Fresh from Bowie and Prince tribute sets at Bestival earlier this year, the girls will be playing classic Bowie tracks as guests arrive. Animal Noise, who are massively influenced by Bowie’s work, will then take the stage.
Although this concert has been seen on tv it is the very FIRST TIME being shown at the venue it actually took
place at in 1973 when it was called The Hammersmith Odeon.
Needless to say my lengthy history with this venue meant i had to be here.
I just missed the Bowie concert in July 1973 as i was just 14 at the time but it was just another six months
later in Dec 1973 that i would see the first of my 2000 plus concerts at this venue which was
Mott The Hoople supported by Queen.
Outside the venue handing out flyers for his website is Robin Mayhew who was sound engineer on all
David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust shows.He has a two cd version of the 1973 Hammersmith show for sale.
www.robinmayhew.co.ukVisit the music store section on his website here for the full track list and more info.
Lots of spare seats tonight as maybe only 1000 tickets out of 4000 been sold.
Having said that 1000 is pretty good when you think it is a whopping £30 that most have paid tonight.
£30 for an event where a film is the main event is a bit steep especially when it's been out already.
There is a thin line between celebrating the great music of an artist who has passed away and
trying to make a fast buck from grieving fans.
At 7.30pm female dj duo Smokin' Guns play 30 mins of Bowie classics.
At 8pm indie band Animal Noise play a 30 mins set of their own material.
At 8.30pm the djs return to play Bowie,T.Rex,The Who etc.
At 8.50pm the film is shown for 90 mins on the big screen.
Great that the film was all properly filmed for folks to see.
Great to hear those classic songs blasting out of the speakers nice n loud.
Great to see the 1973 footage on the fans outside and inside the venue.
The fans here tonight are cheering the start and end of every song.
Great to see Bowie changing costumes in his dressing room.
Great to see Mick Ronson play his Gibson guitar.
I would see Mick play with Ian Hunter in 1975 at this venue as well as other shows.
Also I went to Micks tribute show at this venue in 1994 after his sad death.
I saw David Bowie live around 25 times with the first time in 1976.
This included the only other time he played Hammersmith Odeon...in 1983.
Great to see the film again in this special setting.
Wednesday 15 February 2017...7.30pm to 11pm...
The NME Awards live at The Brixton Academy,London.
Pet Shop Boys have been confirmed as the recipients of the Godlike Genius award.
The event will also feature performances from Bastille,Dua Lipa ,Wiley and Bands 4 Refugees.
Charli XCX, Pixie Geldof, Marika Hackman and members of Years & Years, Swim Deep,
Black Honey, Slaves, Circa Waves and Peace will team up for a special Bands 4 Refugees supergroup performance.
As usual a big lively crowd for this annual awards show that i have been too many times before.
500 guests - stalls tables with the artists at the front.
500 guests and press - stalls standing at the sides and rear....where I was
1000 paying tickets upstairs.
Downstairs at one of the bars they are giving out complimentary Jack Daniels cocktails and
Domino's pizza are handing out pizza slices.
Tonight's host was Radio 1 dj Huw Stephens.
At around 8.30pm the first of the sixteen awards were given out...we had big screens here...
Five acts played between the awards.
All the winners were here except Metallica and Frank Ocean.
Godlike Genius - Pet Shop Boys
British Band – Biffy Clyro
Best International Band – Metallica
Best British Male – Skepta
Best British Female – MIA
Best International Male – Frank Ocean
Best International Female – Christine & the Queens
New Artist – Dua Lipa
Best Album – Wild World – Bastille
Best Track – Tilted – Christine & the Queens
Best Live Band – The 1975
Best Video – Consume or Be Consumed – Slaves
Best Festival – Glastonbury - Michael & Emily Eavis
Outstanding Contribution To Music award - Wiley - the MC, who is known as the Godfather of grime.
Best TV Series – Fleabag
Best Film – My Scientology Movie - Louis Theroux
Other folks here presenting or hanging out included Goldie,Carl Barat,Richard Hawley,Michael Kiwanuka,
Busted..yes Busted...,Frank Carter,Rat Boy,Kano,Matt Berry and no doubt a few others.
Nice to see London Mayor Sadiq Khan here presenting to Skepta.
Nice to see Johnny Marr here presenting to Pet Shop Boys.
Bastille played one song live.
Dua Lipa played one song live.
Wiley played two songs live.
Bands 4 Refugees played one song live...a decent cover of The Stones 'Gimme Shelter'...
PET SHOP BOYS played a seven song 35 mins set from 9.55pm to 10.30pm.
They started off with newer tracks then the hits along with a full laser show throughout.
The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
It's a Sin
Left to My Own Devices
West End Girls
Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee cover)
At 10.30pm there was more chatting to folks I know.
I congratulated ITB booking agent Steve Zapp on the great job he has done with Biffy Clyro.
Folks downstairs got a goodie bag full of items from the sponsors including VO5 hair products,
Jack Daniels whiskey,a Topman record bag and Pilot pens.
A great evening.
Tuesday 14 February 2017.
Figures from rates and rents specialist CVS show that a fifth of pubs - or 11,443 - have closed between
April 2010 and the end of last year, which is the equivalent of four pubs every day.
There is now the lowest ever number of pubs in England and Wales, at 43,231, down from 54,674 in April 2010.
CVS, which compiled the research for BBC Radio 4's You And Yours programme,
said unfairly high business rates are a major factor behind the widespread pub closures.
Monday 13 February 2017.
Tonight, Vivienne Westwood, an icon of the highest order in her own right, presented Debbie Harry
with her 'Style Icon' ELLE Style Award, at the 2017 event, sponsored by H&M...held in Central London.
Beth Ditto from Gossip also attended.
Sunday 12 February 2017...11.30pm to 4am...
THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY Entertainment Film Distributors, Studiocanal 2017 BAFTA After Party
in partnership with Ben Sherman, Kat Florence & Grey Goose at Rosewood Hotel,Holborn,London.
This was my fourth year on the trot attending this very lavish party.
When we arrived there was around 100 guests but it swelled to around 500 after midnight.
Guests included Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein and BAFTA host Stephen Fry.
Also Dev Patel,Viola Davis,Amy Adams,Naomi Campbell,Jack Fox,Riz Ahmed,Felicity Jones,
Aaron Taylor-Johnson,Casey Affleck,FKA Twigs and no doubt a few others i did not see.
Weinstein only had one film that was nominated at BAFTAs this year - Lion.
It won two awards for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel).
It got lively on the dance floor as the dj played mainly 80s tunes.
Lots of complimentary food & drink including Ruinart champers,seven different Grey Goose vodka cocktails,
wines,beers along with burgers,fish n chips,canapés and yummy treats from the desserts room.
Most guests got a nice BEN SHERMAN goodie bag that included a watch,scarf and pack of three socks.
An excellent party.
Sunday 12 February 2017.
Adele won five awards at The Grammys in Los Angeles.
Metallica performed with Lady GaGa.
The film La La Land won five awards at The BAFTAs in London.
A nice touch at The BAFTAs was The Outstanding British Contibution went to Curzon Cinemas.
Sunday 12 February 2017.
Another sad death.
Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau, who transcended genres over a 50-year career,
died at a Los Angeles hospital on Sunday, just days after announcing his retirement from touring.
His official Twitter account and website say he died surrounded by his wife, son and a few other
family members and friends. He was 76.
I saw him headline Hammersmith Odeon in 1983.
Saturday 11 February 2017...Live on BBC1 from 4.50pm...
Six Nations Rugby Megaclash - Wales 16 England 21
Another great England win in a superb game.
Friday 10 February 2017.
SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS + The DeRellas live at The 100 Club,London.
Mancunian punk legends play the first of two rare London shows to promote recent album 'Vicious'.
They are on their most extensive UK & European Tour for many years.
Great they are playing two nights at this historic punk related venue rather than one bigger gig elsewhere.
I saw them play seven times in their late 1970s heyday period.
They still feature two original members - vocalist Wayne Barrett and guitarist Mick Rossi.
With support from The DeRellas - A Punk n Roll band in the tradition of The New York Dolls/ Ramones.
A buzzing atmosphere here tonight and they are some well known punk names in the crowd including
TV Smith,Gaye Advert ,Jordan and Tony James ( ex Generation X/Sigue Sigue Sputnick/B.A.D. etc).
DERELLAS arrive on stage at 8.15pm and play for 35 mins.
They looked the part and played a really good set of catchy uptempo garage punk rock n roll tunes.
Perfect punk classics sounds were played over the pa when the bands are not on including a loud
'Anarchy In The UK' blasting out that still sounds as amazing as ever.
SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS arrive on stage at 9.05pm and play for 70 mins.
Singer Wayne mentions to the crowd "that despite playing pretty much every club in London,
tonight was the first time the band had ever played The 100 Club".
Lots of classic oldies played along with a few tracks from the new album.
Nicely paced where it got livelier and livelier as the show went on.
It was bedlam down the front for the last few songs.
A great show.
Straight after the show the band all came out and chatted with the fans.
Full setlist played tonight...
Who Are the Mystery Girls? (New York Dolls cover)
Hell in New York
Maybe if we followed the Devil
I'm Waiting for the Man (The Velvet Underground cover)
Trash Talking Queen
Dame to Blame
Get It On (Bang a Gong) (T.Rex cover)
Cranked Up Really High
Ready Steady Go (Generation X cover ) (with Tony James)
Where Have All the Boot Boys Gone (with Tony James)
Tony James said he would also be joining them on stage for their Saturday show.
Thursday 09 February 2017...7.15pm to 10pm...
The Experience Showcase - The Scotch of St James,13 Masons Yard,St James's,London SW1.
Back again to this cool club as they have a second showcase evening.
A small venue that only holds 150 so they added an extra night to cope with the demand in interest.
Scroll down to Tuesday for the 60s musical background for this venue.
We had a female piano player playing some covers and we had an interesting burlesque show.
The dance floor was lively for the last hour as the dj sounds kicked in.
We made use of the fun photo booth...supplied by King Of The Booth...
It is a great intimate venue....I wish more bands and events would happen here...
All guests enjoyed prosecco,Moscow Mule cocktails,Tom Collins cocktails,
wines,beers and Tacos from the street food van parked outside the venue.
Four different Tacos all night...beef,pork,chicken and veggie...
www.the-scotch.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
Wednesday 08 February 2017...I went to three events tonight...
6.30pm to 7.20pm
WILLIAM & SON - Chinese New Year Party - 34 - 36 Bruton Street ,London W1.
Around 150 folks at this immaculately presented massive store that is over two floors.
It is situated a few doors down from Stella McCartney's store.
They sell jewellery,watches,clothing,shoes,leather accessories etc.
Half the crowd here are Chinese folks.
Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers,Tom Collins cocktails and canapés.
www.williamandson.comVisit the William & Son website here for more info.
7.30pm to 9pm
BARBECOA - launch party - 194/196 Piccadilly,London W1.
Well known celebrity chef Jamie Oliver recently announced he is closing 3 restaurants blaming Brexit,
but is opening new upscale Barbecoa in Piccadilly...next to the BAFTA building...
Around 200 folks here in this stunning upmarket BBQ steakhouse restaurant & bar that is in the basement.
A small entrance but it is a massive space downstairs with a very impressive open kitchen.
Jamie Oliver is here as well as Philip Schofield,Ronan Keating,actor and director Dexter Fletcher and
celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo.
As expected lots of complimentary top notch food and drinks and a buzzy atmosphere.
Full size Wagu burgers,steak strips,oysters,chicken wings,wild prawns,calamari,canapés and more.
The dessert station at one end had an amazing selection of tasty treats.
Berry Brothers champers and a full open bar including cocktails and Espresso Martinis.
An excellent event.
www.barbecoa.comVisit the BARBECOA website here for more info.
SHARKS live at The 100 Club,London.
Cult rock band who released two albums in 1973 and 1974 before calling it a day in October 1974.
I did not see Sharks back in the day as they had split up just as i started going to gigs but i did see
a couple of Chris Spedding shows in the late 1970s.
In 2016 Sharks reformed with three original members – Chris Spedding (guitar), Steve (Snips) Parsons and Nicky Judd (keyboards). Also on board are Sex Pistols/Professionals drummer Paul Cook (drums)
and Toshi Ogawa from King Mob and Hey! Hello! (bass).
They are promoting their new album 'Killers Of The Deep'.
I saw their show at The Borderline in 2016 which was their first proper UK show for over 40 years.
Sharks also playing The Hare & Hounds Brighton the following day on Thursday 09 Feb.
A near full house here tonight in this legendary club.
A rare sighting in the crowd tonight is Jock McDonald who was around in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
He was with Jimmy Lydon(Johns brother) in a band in the late 70s called the 4"Be2".
By Autumn 1981 the 4"Be 2" broke up and Jock formed The Bollock Brothers.
SHARKS are on stage for around 60 mins.
The band play a nice mix of older tracks and tracks from the new album.
Snips on vocals is a great front man with hints of Jagger and Lydon attitude.
Chris Spedding is playing lots of nifty guitar riffs.
Sex Pistol Paul Cook is clearly enjoying himself as he gets stuck in behind the kit.
Paul like Glen Matlock has a few music projects ongoing these days between Sex Pistols tours.
An enjoyable show and pretty amazing that Sharks are playing gigs again after all these years away.
Ya Ya Pop (check out the fun video on YouTube from Sept 2016 Kings Cross station event)
Snakes and Swallowtails
One Last Thrill
Wednesday 08 February 2017.
Another sad death to report.
TARA PALMER-TOMKINSON dies age 45.
Socialite and goddaughter of The Prince of Wales, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, has died at the age of 45, three months after it was revealed she had a brain tumour. The former 'It Girl', who chronicled the London party scene in the 1990s in a weekly diary for The Sunday Times, discovered the tumour in January last year. Police were reportedly called to her £4m fifth-floor flat in Earls Court, West London, yesterday lunchtime by ambulance staff and Scotland Yard said inquiries into the circumstances were continuing, explaining 'At this early stage police are not treating the death as suspicious'.
Tara was at quite a few events that i attended but it looks like her overuse of cocaine
back in the day may have contributed to her health problems and such a sad early death.
Tara was a talented piano player and there is a nice video for her track '5 Seconds'' on YouTube.
Tuesday 07 February 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8pm
Revolution : Russian Art 1917 - 1932 -- private view -- The Royal Academy of Arts,Piccadilly,London W1.
A massive crowd of over 500 folks on the guest list tonight including artist Grayson Perry who has left
his usual female attire at home and come dressed in jeans and a red Harrington bomber jacket.
A female string quartet are playing in the foyer as guests arrive.
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this powerful exhibition explores one of the most
momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art.
Renowned artists including Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko were among those to live through
the fateful events of 1917, which ended centuries of Tsarist rule and shook Russian society to its foundations.
Amidst the tumult, the arts thrived as debates swirled over what form a new “people’s” art should take.
But the optimism was not to last: by the end of 1932, Stalin’s brutal suppression had drawn
the curtain down on creative freedom.
Taking inspiration from a remarkable exhibition shown in Russia just before Stalin’s clampdown, we will mark the historic centenary by focusing on the 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when possibilities initially
seemed limitless and Russian art flourished across every medium.
Guests enjoyed complimentary prosecco,bowl food and canapés.
A bit odd that for such a big Russian event there was no vodka.
www.royalacademy.org.ukVisit their website here for more info and to buy £18 tickets...on until 17 April...
then a short walk across the road..
8.05pm to 11.30pm
The Experience Showcase - The Scotch of St James,13 Masons Yard,St James's,London SW1.
On the 24th Sept 1966 a then unknown musical prodigy named Jimi Hendrix landed in the UK.
and that same night he played first ever UK solo show at this venue.
It was on this night that Hendrix met Kathy Etchingham who became his girlfriend.On 25 October 1966 the Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first UK gig as a private showcase at Scotch of St. James.The club was also where Paul McCartney first met Stevie Wonder, after the latter's live performance at the club on February 3, 1966.
During its heyday in the mid 1960s, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, Rod Stewart, the Moody Blues, Spencer Davis Group, Eric Burdon, the Animals were regular patrons and
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were given their own tables.
Scotch St. James was relaunched, after 25 years of closure, in 2012.
I have been here a few times since including on 01 June 2012 when Axl Rose had his afterparty here
after a Guns N Roses show at The 02 Arena.He only stayed for around 30 mins.
Also I have seen a couple of showcases here including a band called Spector.
The club has a cool vibe over the two levels - the bar is ground level and live acts are downstairs.
There are half a dozen cosy booths downstairs and the capacity is 150 max.
It pretty much a club on Fri and Sat and available for private events during the week.
An up and coming singer played a few acoustic songs and we had an interesting burlesque show.
The dance floor was lively for the last couple of hours as the dj sounds kicked in.
A quick mention to bar staff member Vincent who brought drinks to our table for the last couple of hours.
It is a great intimate venue.
All guests enjoyed Veuve Clicquot champers,prosecco,Moscow Mule cocktails,Tom Collins cocktails,
wines,beers,canapés and Tacos from the street food van parked outside the venue.
www.the-scotch.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
Monday 06 February 2017.
ANDREW COMBS is set to release his third album, Canyons Of My Mind, on April 7th 2017. The 11-song set was co-produced by Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose) & Jordan Lehning (Rodney Crowell, Caitlin Rose) and recorded at Battle Tapes Studio in East Nashville, TN. After touring behind his second album All These Dreams - which earned him international accolades and comparisons to everyone from Leonard Cohen to Harry Nilsson .
The video for the single “Dirty Rain" can be seen below.
He will soon announce a full European tour in May 2017.
Monday 06 February 2017...BBC1 at 9pm...
The fourth and final episode of APPLE TREE YARD is on tonight.
Without the doubt the best tv I have seen this year.
Lots of twists and turns and every episode ended with a great moment.
Watch it on BBC iPlayer when you have some spare time.
Sunday 05 February 2017.
VANITY FARE + STEVE ELLIS FROM LOVE AFFAIR + DAVE BERRY live at The Theatre Royal,Windsor.
Original 60’s performers Dave Berry, Vanity Fare and Steve Ellis from Love Affair
join forces for one unforgettable evening of 60's hits.
60's popstar Dave Berry still doing the rounds and recreating all the fun of the times with hits such
as 'The Crying Game', 'Little Things' and 'Baby it's You'.
Vanity Fare play the hits 'Hitchin’ a Ride', 'I Live For The Sun' and 'Early in The Morning'.
East End pop legend, Steve Ellis, originally the front man with 60's band Love Affair,
is also coming to Windsor with his No 1 hit 'Everlasting Love' and Top 10 hits 'Rainbow Valley'
and 'Bringing on Back The Good Times'.
Steve Ellis was in a rock band called Widowmaker in the 1970s who I saw three times.
Love Affair had five Top 40 hit singles.
Dave Berry had seven Top 40 hit singles.
Vanity Fare had three Top 40 hit singles.
The show was on for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 55 mins each.
Each act played their own hits and covers from the 1960s.
First set included...
VANITY FARE played for 25 mins.
Vanity Fare still have two members that have been there for over 40 years.
I Live In The Sun...reached No 20 in 1968
Early In The Morning...reached No 8 in 1969
Better By Far
DAVE BERRY on vocals backed by Vanity Fare played for 30 mins.
Dave Berry now aged 75 but still looking great for his age.
His still does his twirling the microphone like Alvin Stardust who copied him.
Memphis Tennessee...reached No 19 in 1963
Little Things...reached No 5 in 1965
Mama...reached No 5 in 1966
The Crying Game...reached No 5 in 1964
Second set included...
VANITY FARE played for 25 mins.
A couple of Byrds covers...Turn,Turn,Turn...and Mr Tambourine Man...
Hitchin' A Ride...reached No 16 in the UK and No 5 in America in 1970.
STEVE ELLIS FROM LOVE AFFAIR on vocals backed by Vanity Fare played for 30 mins.
Steve Ellis now aged 66 and still looking like a bit of a older Mod.
Amazing how many teenagers had hit singles back in the 1960s.
Bringing On Back The Good Times...reached No 9 in 1969
A Day Without Love...reached No 6 in 1968
Steve said he knew Steve Marriott from The Small Faces and dedicated a cover of ' All Or Nothing '
to him as Steve Marriott would have been 70 on 30 Jan.
Everlasting Love...reached No 1 in 1968
An enjoyable show and good to see these 60s acts are still ticking over.
Saturday 04 February 2017.
ROY 'CHUBBY ' BROWN live at The Beck Theatre,Hayes,Middlesex.
Chubby is a Northern 'blue ' comedian who has been very popular for well over 30 years.
Brown is rarely seen on television, as many of his jokes are deemed sexist, racist, or otherwise prejudiced
and he relies on strong language,so if easily offended stay away.
I have seen him a few times before so I know what to expect.
Roy celebrated his 72nd birthday the day before this gig.
Arrive at the venue and visit Chubby's merch stand which is full of DVDs,CDs,books and even fridge magnets.
Around 500 folks at this cosy all seated tiered venue that holds 600.
As expected mainly men here but there is 10 per cent female turnout including a couple of older
women who were of bus pass age.
First up and surprise to me and the crowd was a duo playing 30 mins of 80s and 90s cover songs.
It was all a bit naff and they should have put another comedian on as the support act instead.
ROY 'CHUBBY' BROWN arrived on stage at 8.20pm for performed for 85 mins.
He is greeted by the crowd with the usual welcome chant "You Fat Bastard", "You Fat Bastard".
Chubby plays the piano on a few covers where he changes the lyrics in naughty Chubby style.
He has a joke on everything and everyone and is mostly very funny although a bit crude sometimes.
For the encore he stripped to a giant g-string with some huge testicles that was not a pretty sight.
He got stuck into a few pissed up hecklers and ended the show by insisting "whatever I say,it's just a joke".
Very smutty in places but loads of very funny gags.
A bit of trivia about this building in Hayes which is just two minutes from Hayes train station.
Now called THE OLD VINYL FACTORY.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Dark Side Of The Moon. Stereo sound. Television. CAT scanners. 3D audio.
They were all made in Hayes.
It’s not hard to be inspired by all the brilliant things that happened here and how they link to the present day and the brilliant things happening here right now. Like the records that were made here the story of The Old Vinyl Factory is circular, future informed the past and the past informs the future, and the more you dig the more you realise how special this place is.
To music-lovers of the 1960s and 1970s, Hayes was the centre of the record-making universe. A place the world listened to. This was where vinyl was made. It was here a century ago that an artist arrived with a painting of a dog listening to a gramophone - a painting that would go on to become, for His Master’s Voice, one of the most recognisable trademarks of all time. LPs and singles by Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Queen and other EMI artists were mastered, pressed, packed and dispatched from here until well into the 1980s. Printed on the back of them all, the legend, ‘Hayes – Middlesex – England’ became a familiar sight the world over.
In 1976 25 staff voted with their feet, refusing point blank to listen to the provocatively titled,
uncouth-sounding new single the factory was pressing for a band called the Sex Pistols titled 'Anarchy In The UK'.
In April 2011 the site was purchased for redevelopment by a joint venture of Cathedral Group PLC and Development Securities plc (now U + I Group). Under plans for £250 million of works, the site, covering
17 acres (6.9 ha), is to include commercial and residential units and a university technical college.
Friday 03 February 2017...6.45pm to 9.30pm...
ZOOM F1 AUCTION at The InterContinental Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.
Over 300 folks standing for this auction event in the ballroom at this luxury hotel.
Formula 1 drivers & staff have donated 50 photographs they have taken,and most are signed.
All monies go to STARLIGHT children's charity.
The auction was on from 8pm to 9pm.
Most of the photos went for between £1000 and £2000.
A few faces here as usual....
SCOTT GORHAM - Thin Lizzy & Black Star Riders guitarist.
He was at this event a couple of years ago.
I had a nice chat with Scott for several minutes and he told me that the BSR Shepherds Bush Empire
gig on 17 March will be his 66th birthday.
HEATHER SMALL - lead singer with M People.
LIZZIE CUNDY - presenter who later that night was on Celebrity Big Brother.
ANTHONY HAMILTON - Father of Lewis Hamilton who is a three-time F1 world champion.
MAX MOSLEY - a leading name in F1 who was a racing driver in the 1960s and is the former president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), a non-profit association that represents the interests of
motoring organisations and car users.
All guests enjoyed complimentary champers,German beers along with burgers,fish n chips and canapés.
www.zoom-auction.comVisit the ZOOM website here for more info.
Friday 03 February 2017.
Touts sell Ed Sheeran tickets with large mark-up.
Ed Sheeran fans were left 'livid' yesterday after tickets for his first UK tour in two years sold out in minutes and then reappeared online for up to £1k. Touts overwhelmed online sellers to buy seats, before listing them for resale for hundreds of pounds more. Several fans called on Sheeran to intervene.
Bearing in mind he played Wembley Stadium shows on his last tour it was pretty obvious
that a few indoor shows would be a mad scramble and would sell out pronto.
Folks can blame touts and Ticketmaster but the artist and their management and agents should
put on enough shows to cope with the demand in the first place.
Wednesday 01 February 2017.
Today was a busy day as i went to two films then a gig and then an awards afterparty.
It is good – but it does take a while to work out exactly what type of film it is supposed to be.
It seems almost purpose-built to deliver Natalie Portman her second Best Actress Oscar (after 2011’s Black Swan).
The biopic covers one of the most significant moments in American history – the assassination of president John F Kennedy on November 22, 1963 – and the effect it has on his traumatised wife, Jackie (Portman) in the face of a still-marching government and the security services.
Sir John Hurt plays a priest in his last role before his sad death.
Natalie Portman is excellent in the lead role and it was very enjoyable.
T2 : TRAINSPOTTING
Some 20 years after the original film the four Scottish chums all gather for the sequel.
The first film was one of my fave films of the 1990s.
Begbie (Robert Carlyle) escapes from prison and is intent to doing serious damage to
Renton (Ewan McGregor) for nicking the bag of cash scene that ended the first film.
The film has highs but never quite matches the original (and frankly,how could it?).
An excellent scene in a Unionist club where Renton and Sick Boy have to make up a
song about hating Catholics to save their skins and prove they are locals.
Drugs are about but not as much as the first film.
The buzzy soundtrack ticks along nicely.
The film ends with the feel that there will be a third film.
There are enough great bits to make it a must see.
RUMOURS OF FLEETWOOD MAC live at Cadogan Hall,Chelsea,London.
The UK's most popular tribute to Fleetwood Mac are on another massive tour.
Around 700 of the 900 seats sold tonight so pretty impressive for a tribute act.
They are on stage for 2 hours 15 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 85 mins.
I saw them a year ago and it's pretty much the same show as they were introduced on
the big screen by Mick Fleetwood so are fully endorsed by him.
The big screen also shows half a dozen Fleetwood Mac videos during the show.
The two blonde female singers have the Fleetwood Mac type voice,hair and attire.
The first set included 'Gypsy','Rihannon','Dreams' and 'Second Hand News'.
The second half started with 30 mins of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac where the two females
left the stage and we had some of their blues rock tracks that went down well including
'Black Magic Woman','Albatross','Man Of The World' and 'Oh Well'.
Then the two female singers came for more Fleetwood Mac hits including 'Landslide','Songbird',
'Big Love', 'The Chain' (crowd all up and dancing from here)','Go Your Own Way' and encores of
'Tusk' and 'Don't Stop'.
An enjoyable show.
11pm to 12pm
THE BROADCAST AWARDS - after-party - Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.
Piers Morgan, Grayson Perry, Clare Balding, Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen were among guests joining host Jonathan Ross at Grosvenor House on Park Lane for the annual Broadcast Awards which honours key players in the industry.
Most of the main faces had departed but Will from TGI Friday was here.
Complimentary wines,beers and Thornton's chocs along with a dj and fun casino.
Tuesday 31 January 2017.
Happy Birthday to punk rock Icon John Lydon who is 61 today.
Monday 30 January 2017.
LA LA LAND - film review
This much talked about film has 14 Oscar nominations.
The cinema tonight is over three quarters full.
Basically it is a love story set in Hollywood where the guy starts off as an
aspiring jazz piano player and the girl is an aspiring actress who works in
the coffee shop on the Warners film lot.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are excellent in the lead roles.
Both have been nominated for an Oscar.
It is a musical so lots of singing and dancing...very enjoyable.
Sunday 29 January 2017.
BLACK SABBATH + RIVAL SONS live at The 02 Arena,London.
Heavy Metal legends BLACK SABBATH to play their final UK tour...'The End'.
REMINDER...the band are saying these really are their last ever shows.
Sun 01/29/17 The O2 Arena - London
Tue 01/31/17 The O2 Arena - London
Thu 02/02/17 Birmingham, Genting Arena
Sat 02/04/17 Birmingham, Genting Arena...sold out...
Home-town shows in Birmingham are 16,000 capacity each night.
Black Sabbath still feature three original members.
I have seen Black Sabbath over 30 times since 1974 when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
I saw Van Halen twice as their support act in 1978 when they were promoting their classic debut album.
Ozzy Osbourne's regular abuse of alcohol and other drugs led to his dismissal from the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Following two albums with Dio, Black Sabbath endured countless personnel changes in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin, as well as several drummers and bassists. In 1992, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record Dehumanizer. The original line-up reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album Reunion. Black Sabbath's 19th studio album, 13, which features all of the original members but Ward, was released in June 2013.
With support from RIVAL SONS who are promoting their recent album 'Hollow Bones' which
reached number 13 in the UK album charts in 2016.
Ozzy Osbourne will resume his solo career in the summer after these shows.
As it is a Sunday night the show starts 30 mins earlier than midweek.
i see Biff Byford the singer from Saxon going into the venue.
It is a full house tonight with a great atmosphere.
RIVAL SONS are on stage for around 40 mins.
They play a good set of blues rock tracks.
They go down well but they do not a big stand out song.
BLACK SABBATH arrive on stage at 8.15pm and play for 1 hour 40 mins.
For Sabbath i am in the gold circle front of stage.
It is a big gold circle area that takes up nearly half of the floor standing.
i am 15 rows directly in front of guitar legend Tony Iommi.
They are charging folks a whopping 95 quid plus booking fees for gold circle.
No doubt this will help with enjoying their retirement funds.
There are three big screens,lots of lights and flames on some songs.
I must be close as i can feel the heat from the flames that are used.
Ozzy is still a bit doddery on stage but those mega bulldozing guitar riffs
from Tony Iommi were as always pure hard rock heaven.
He has kept Sabbath together through different singers and band line-ups.
Their current drummer is not an original member but he is shirtless from the
start and gives 100 per cent pure energy that Bill Ward could never match.
His drum solo was really great with his arms all over the place.
They introduced a keyboard player who was hidden away side of stage.
At the end there are hundreds of black and purple balloons dropped from the
ceiling and there is ticker tape with the Black Sabbath logo on.
A fantastic show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Fairies Wear Boots
Under The Sun/Every Day Comes And Goes
Into The Void
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Children Of The Grave
HOTEL PRESS REVIEW --- 29 Jan to 01 Feb
I will be at 80 Old Street,London EC1 from Sunday afternoon to Wed morning.
The room here is a decent size,much bigger than the box room i had a couple of weeks ago
at one of their sister hotels in the South Kensington area.
I had one of the 19 rooms that are on the ground floor which was handy.
There were lifts here for the other floors.
The room is clean and tidy.
Location is across the road from St Luke's which hosts classical concerts and the odd pop/rock.
The Barbican is 5 mins walk away...they have free internet for an hour as hotel charges for wi-fi use...
Spitalfields, Shoreditch,Liverpool Street,Bank,Hoxton,Islington are all are easy to walk too.
Just seven stops on the tube for the 02 Arena.
Loads of bars,restaurants,cafés,street food vendors etc are all very near the venue
Reception staff are on duty 24 hours and are nice and friendly.
No tv facilities here or coffee/tea in the room.
Most rooms do not have a window.
Much better value here than other nearby hotels.
www.easyhotel.comVisit their website for more info on their hotels.
Saturday 28 January 2017.
Imelda May’s new single ‘Black Tears’ features guitar legend Jeff Beck on guitar.
Long time admirer Jeff says- “I knew it from the start ...you cannot ignore talent this unique”
Imelda May's new album Life Love Flesh Blood is released on 7 April.
Saturday 28 January 2017.
Another sad death to report.
Legendary actor SIR JOHN HURT has died, aged 77.
He appeared in over 200 films dating back to the 1960s.
In 1975 he starred in the classic TV drama The Naked Civil Servant (it is all up on YouTube) which traces the life of the flamboyant British eccentric Quentin Crisp as he grows up in a society not prepared to accept his openly homosexual lifestyle. A landmark of British television, this adaptation of Crisp's autobiography earned BAFTAs for both its star, John Hurt, and director, Jack Gold.
The Elephant Man and Alien star had battled with both cancer and an intestinal complaint in recent years.
He recently starred as a priest in the Oscar nominated biopic of President John F. Kennedy’s widow,
Jackie, currently showing in cinemas.
Friday 27 January 2017.
This weeks top selling albums is quite a mixed bunch.
Mike Oldfield and Rick Wakeman both have Top 10 albums some 40 years after their heyday period.
1.CLASSIC HOUSE - PETE TONG/HERITAGE ORCHESTRA
2.LA LA LAND - MOTION PICTURE CAST RECORDING
3.GLORY DAYS - LITTLE MIX
4.RETURN TO OMMADAWN - MIKE OLDFIELD
5.I SEE YOU - XX
6.PIANO PORTRAITS - RICK WAKEMAN
7.MODERN RUIN - FRANK CARTER/THE RATTLESNAKES
Thursday 26 January 2017...7.15pm to 11.30pm
THE LALIT LONDON - hotel launch party - 181 Tooley Street,Tower Bridge,London SE1.
The 180-year-old neo baroque edifice which once housed the erstwhile St. Olave’s Grammar School is now unveiled as The Lalit London. The luxury boutique hotel features 70 beautifully designed rooms, each ornamented with bespoke Indian art - combining Indian culture with a quintessentially British charm. Located a stone’s throw away from Tower Bridge, the hotel is discreetly tucked away in the heart of city -conveniently close to many of London’s stunning attractions and business hotspots.
Indian luxury hotel group,Lalit launch their first overseas property in London.
We are greeted by Indian drummers in full national dress and an army of staff fussing us.
A big crowd of at least 300 guests are here tonight in this stunning building.
VIIP guests included Steven Berkoff,Luke Pasqualino, Ella Eyre ,Roxy Horner,Ashley James, Clara Paget,
Jack Guinness, Amy Jackson, Richard Biedul, Alexis Knox and Alice Chater.
The main bar has great photos of the building and it's 180 year old history.
Just after 8pm we had speeches and a 50 mins set by a trio of Indian musicians.
SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR arrived on stage at 9.15pm and was on stage for 35 mins.
Sophie sung to a backing tape and had two female dancers with her.
Sophie now aged 37 still has her slim model like figure even though she has had four children.
Sophie did not stop dancing in a very enjoyable and energetic set.
The nine track setlist included a nice mix of hits,recent album tracks and cover versions.
Tracks from her recent album 'Familia'
Yes Sir,I Can Boogie (Baccara cover)
Get Over You
Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) (Spiller cover)
Sing It Back (Moloko cover)
Murder On The Dancefloor
Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)
At 10pm we had an Indian duo with a dance vibe who got all the crowd dancing on the floor.
I must mention the super-duper toilets with heated seats.
All guests enjoyed complimentary Pommery champers,various cocktails,wines,beers
and Indian canapés.
All guests were given a thank you for coming gift of a Decorative Indian Marble Jewellery Box.
A great party in a superb hotel.
www.thelalit.comVisit THE LALIT website here for more info.
Thursday 26 January 2017.
Happy Birthday to guitar legend Eddie Van Halen who is 62 today.
Wednesday 25 January 2017...I went to two events tonight...
5pm to 8.30pm
THE LOCKHOUSE PADDINGTON - showcase - 3 Merchant Square,Paddington,London W2.
This massive bar & kitchen recently opened and is five mins from Paddington Station and Edgware Road.
Is is situated in the area behind Praed Street by the water which has undergone a total re-generation
with flats,offices,restaurants and bars etc and looks gleaming compared to the nearby Praed Street.
It is an all-day dining with a 180-cover bar, restaurant and mezzanine, plus 70-cover dining area.
The menu is global, featuring burgers, Indonesian salads, and 'New York deli' sandwiches.
There is around 50 folks here for the showcase in an area away from paying customers.
It is always freezing around this area but it was warm and comfy inside the bar.
There are lots of complimentary drinks and food as we have a choice of FIFTEEN cocktails
and i have SEVEN of them which were all freshly made and very nice.
Also beef burgers,chicken burgers,wings,butterfly prawns and canapés.
A very enjoyable evening here.
They have a Happy Hour from 5pm to 8pm Mon to Thurs where all cocktails are £5.
www.lockhouselondon.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
8.45pm to 9.15pm
BXR LONDON - launch party - 74 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1.
The entrance to London's first state of the art,members only boutique boxing gym is actually
in 24 Paddington Street around the corner from the official address.
Dedicated to developing a championship mindset, they offer members the standard of training,
facilities and advice expected by professional athletes, regardless of level or ability.
With boxing discipline at its core, BXR offers a wide array of combat disciplines, including kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as strength & conditioning and circuit training.
Around 200 folks here with me at a party with a boxing ring for first time.
Boxer Anthony Joshua is a co-owner and is here tonight.
Also here were Guy Richie,Jo Wood and Julian Macdonald.
We arrived late as it was finishing so just had the one drink.
All guests got a goodie bag with half a dozen items in it including a pair of designer boxer shorts from
HAMILTON & HARE in Chiltern Street that retail for £20.
www.bxrlondon.comVisit their website here for more info.
I did not get along to the launch event for Motörhead Road Crew Beer as I was committed to
the above events that were on at the same time as the beer launch.
Tuesday 24 January 2017...6.30pm to 9.30pm...
The Community Awards of Mayfair & St James's 2017 at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane ,London W1.
Over 300 smartly dressed folks standing at this famous luxury five star hotel.
Tv presenter Claudia Winkleman was the host for this year's Community Awards of Mayfair and St James which saw David Gandy, Stephen and Assia Webster and Nancy Dell'Olio among the VIPs celebrating individuals who have made a positive contribution to local life.
There was a four piece female mini string orchestra playing all night in the foyer.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food for all guests.
A mention for the sponsors...
THE ARTS CLUB in Dover Street for the champers.
BOISDALE of MAYFAIR in North Row for the two different whiskey cocktails.
AQUAVIT of St James's Market for the tasty canapés.
MARC patisserie for the yummy desserts.
All guests got a nice goodie bag from FORTNUM & MASON.
Monday 23 January 2017....6.15pm to 11.15pm...
OMEARA - showcase - 6 O'Meara Street,off Southwark Street,London SE1.
This new music venue opened in Oct 2016 and the launch party featured a live set from The Pretenders.
Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons is opening a pulsating, multi-disciplinary cultural hub that will play host to live music, comedy shows, and indie club nights in a live room for 320 people, as well as exhibitions in the additional gallery space. It’s called Omeara, and, funnily enough, can be found on O’Meara Street, nestled between London Bridge and Borough as part of the new pedestrianised ‘Low Line’ development.
With peeling paint and vintage lighting, the whole look of the place is a bit like if a derelict Victorian music hall had popped up in the Aztec Zone of the Crystal Maze. But don’t be fooled – this disguises state-of-the-art sound systems and, as you make your way through the warren of interconnected railway arches, you’ll come to the contrastingly bright & minimalist food hall, where the focus is on the flurry of pizzas getting shovelled into ovens and the hissing of hot woks. At the end of each archway, you’ll also catch glimpses of the Flat Iron Square food market outside, where vendors like Where The Pancakes Are and Cantina Carnitas have set up shop.
And your tastebuds will be similarly tickled by the offerings at the bar, where you’ll find flights of tequila shots and cocktails on the menu as well as intimate booths and a buzzy mezzanine level where you can sit with your street food, and enjoy a smoking terrace with a view.
The venue is 5 mins from London Bridge tube and is hidden down a side street.
First of all we were given a quick tour of the main venue next door which was closed tonight.
It is a stunning space for 320 folks and a welcome new addition to the live music scene.
It is mainly used for up and coming talent but a few big names have played here.
We got here early so found a nice table in the corner for the entire evening.
The bar & restaurant is open during the day as well as the evening.
Around 150 folks here including dj Rusty Egan who in the 1980s played with Glen Matlock in The Rich Kids
He was one of the pioneers of playing Kraftwerk and electronica in the UK.
Downstairs we have a choice of SEVEN different tequila based cocktails from TEQUILA OCHO.
Upstairs we have a full range of spirits including JD n cokes plus lagers and Guinness.
Also we had lots of nice Mexican food in cartons and canapés.
A really enjoyable evening here as five hours flew past.
www.omearalondon.comVisit the OMERA website here for more info
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. email@example.com