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News and Reviews: March 12, 2017
Sunday 12 March 2017.
Sad news that Joni Sledge from Sister Sledge has passed away.
Sledge and her sisters – who hailed from Philadelphia – formed Sister Sledge in 1971,
but had their first big success in 1979 with the smash hit 'We Are Family'.
The dance song became an anthem of unity and girl power.
The hit track was written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards.
Other hits included 'Lost in Music' and 'He's the Greatest Dancer'.
Rodgers offered condolences on Twitter, saying: “#RIPJoniSledge #WeAreFamily My heartfelt condolences to your family because they are my family too. We did something pretty amazing together.”
I saw them play a few times over the years including a headline show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1985.
Friday 10 March 2017.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS + THEATRE OF HATE live at The Forum,London.
Northern Irish punk legends SLF play their annual March UK tour which this year is their 40th anniversary.
17 March 2017 is the 26th anniversary of their annual St. Patrick's Day shows at Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom.
Yes on this date for the last 26 years SLF have played in Glasgow.
They still feature two original members from 1977.
I have seen SLF around 20 times since 1978 when they were a support act.
In the second half of 1978, they toured with the Tom Robinson Band, and in 1979, they released their first album on the Rough Trade Label, Inflammable Material. The band signed a contract with Island Records, but it fell through, leaving the band to release the album on their existing label.Despite the album's independent release, it reached number 14 in the UK Albums Chart and reached Silver status, selling over 100,000 copies.Inflammable Material was the first album distributed by Rough Trade records, and the first independent album to chart in the UK.
I saw Theatre Of Hate in 1981 and 1982.
Theatre Of Hate singer Kirk Brandon i have also seen sing with The Pack,Spear Of Destiny and
Dead Men Walking.
A good turnout of mainly middle aged punk rockers here tonight.
Lots of folks here i know which is always nice.
I catch the last 20 mins of THEATRE OF HATE support set.
They feature a sax player which was quite unusual back in the day of post punk rock.
They finish their set with their best known track 'Do You Believe In The Westworld' which skimmed
the single charts at No 40 in 1982.
I watch Theatre Of Hate from the stalls standing but it is totally rammed sold out down here so i sneak
upstairs to the front circle for a great view in a nice comfy seat.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS arrive on stage at 9.15pm and play for 1 hour 40 mins.
From the start the front stalls area is a heaving mass of bodies jumping around.
SLF are always great live but tonight they really are on fire.
They have some mega catchy punk tunes that are totally lethal when played live.
'Nobody's Hero' was an early fave with those great punk lyrics of
'Don't wanna be Nobody's Hero,don't wanna be Nobody's Star'.
The second half had loads of older gems with some nifty guitar riffs and lyrics.
They finish off with their debut album classic 'Alternative Ulster'.
An excellent show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Just Fade Away
My Dark Places
Safe as Houses
Each Dollar a Bullet
Guilty as Sin
At the Edge
Barbed Wire Love
The Roaring Boys
When We Were Young (a song Jake wrote after a boozy night with Phil Lynott)
Roots, Radicals, Rockers & Reggae
Johnny Was (Bob Marley & The Wailers cover)
Thursday 09 March 2017.
RUSSELL HOWARD + STEVE HALL live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Comedian Russell Howard plays show number NINE out of TEN shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
As part of a massive world tour that continues until July including these London shows then UK arenas,
mainland Europe, North America,Australia ,New Zealand ,Dubai etc.
Not sure how he has become so popular in countries where English is not the first language.
Perhaps his shows are shown on BBC Worldwide or viral internet views.
Russell Howard's Good News was voted the Best Ever BBC Three show on 9 February 2013
as part of the channel's 10th birthday celebrations.
Most bands would dream to play here the once yet a comedian can play ten shows on the trot.
It is an 'in the round' stage production which works well for comedy and we have five big screens.
Support act STEVE HALL was on stage for around 25 mins and does a decent set.
Some good tunes played in the interval including The Clash 'London Calling'.
RUSSELL HOWARD was on stage for around 85 mins.
He starts off with a great intro - he says "I often get asked what's the difference between playing
small warm up gigs to less than 500 and playing big venues like this one?" and then we had a full
monty pyro display that surprised everyone and he said "that's the difference,you can do all that stuff".
He rapped on politics,sex,family members etc and it was non-stop without a breather.
Like all comedy there was some very funny bits and some ok funny bits.
An enjoyable evening.
Thursday 09 March 2017.
This week sees the 40th anniversary of THE SEX PISTOLS signing with A&M Records in 1977.
9th March The Sex Pistols sign to A&M records at the offices of Rondor Music.
10th March Malcolm re-stages the previous day's contract signing outside Buckingham Palace for the benefit of the media. It was followed by an uneventful press conference at the Regent Palace Hotel.
12th March The Sex Pistols get involved in a skirmish at London's Speakeasy Club. Unfortunately it involves Bob Harris, presenter of BBC-2's 'The Old Grey Whistle Test" and results in one of the show's engineers needing 14 stitches in his head.
16th March Bob Harris's solicitors send a heavy note to Derek Green at A&M. Harris's management also manage Peter Frampton, one of the top acts at A&M. Green discusses the matter with the company's two founders Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert and the decision is made to cancel the Pistols contract and halt production of their first single, 'God Save The Queen".
The few singles that were produced are now some of the rarest in music as they have been sold at auction for
between £8,000 to £12,000 each.
Wednesday 08 March 2017...6.15pm to 9.30pm...
DUTCH IMPACT PARTY at Bodo's Schloss, 2a Kensington High Street,London W8.
Bodo's Schloss is situated next to The Royal Garden Hotel.
It is an Alpine themed venue that was formerly a casino.
Around 200 music industry folks here at this invite only showcase where four of the best new
bands from Holland all play short sets of 25 mins each.
All of the acts have at least one album out and are aiming to break out internationally.
I had a nice chat with legendary promoter JOHN CURD who promoted loads of great punk gigs at
The Roundhouse,The Rainbow ,The Lyceum and other venues that I attended in the 1970s and 1980s.
Also here was STEVE ZAPP from ITB who is the agent for Biffy Clyro and many more.
At 6.30pm NAVARONE took to the stage.
Navarone are a Dutch alternative rock band, who were formed in 2008.
They have supported Dutch rock legends Golden Earring.
They had a hi-energy rock sound with powerful vocals and were my fave band of the four acts tonight.
Great tracks like 'Snake' and 'Lonely Nights' deserve more exposure.
I was was kindly given a copy of their third album 'Oscillation' by their manager
who was giving them out to anyone that wanted a copy.
www.navaronemusic.comVisit their website here for more info.
At 7.20pm DOOL took to the stage.
Dool have a female singer and blend classic hard rock, gothic pop and psychedelic metal.
At 8.10pm PACESHIFTERS took to the stage.
A Dutch Noise Rock trio with energy and some nifty guitar solos.
At 9.05pm AMBER ARCADES took to the stage.
Amber Arcades is the stage name of Annelotte de Graaf, a Dutch singer-songwriter from Utrecht.
Her band were more indie sounding than the other more rock based acts tonight.
They support Grandaddy on their upcoming UK tour.
Complimentary wines,beers and lots of bowl food for all guests.
Wednesday 08 March 2017.
I came across an interesting pass today while looking for something else.
It says ADELE live at The Bush Hall on 25 July 2008.
She is now one of the biggest acts on the planet but back then she was just another
singer playing this small 350 capacity venue.
Tuesday 07 March 2017.
THE WHO released one of their greatest tracks 48 years ago today.
Happy 48th birthday to 'Pinball Wizard' which was released on 7 March 1969. It reached #4 in the UK charts.
Tuesday 07 March 2017.
Despite high ticket prices the GUNS N' ROSES World Tour of stadiums is doing great business.
GUNS N' ROSES sold a whopping 353,000 tickets during its recent tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The band also became the first international act to sell out the 74,000-capacity MCG in Melbourne.
In addition, 85,000 people saw the band perform over two nights in Sydney.
GUNS N' ROSES "Not In This Lifetime Tour" attendance figures for New Zealand and Australia:
Feb. 02 - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 33,000
Feb. 04 - Western Springs Stadium, Auckland - 50,000
Feb. 07 - QSAC Stadium, Brisbane - 40,000
Feb. 10 - ANZ Stadium, Sydney - 50,000
Feb. 11 - ANZ Stadium Sydney - 35,000
Feb. 14 - MCG, Melbourne - 74,000
Feb. 18 - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide - 36,000
Feb. 21 - Domain Stadium, Perth - 35,000
The tour arrives in London on Fri 15 June and Sat 16 June at The London Stadium in
Stratford,East London where West Ham United play footie.
This was the same venue i saw Axl Rose with AC/DC last summer.
Monday 06 March 2017.
ELBOW live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Elbow play the last of three sold out shows at Hammersmith Apollo on their UK tour.
All seven of their albums have been Top 20 hits and the last two have got to number one.
The critics love them and the four reviews for this tour i have seen all got great four stars.
Elbow take to the stage at 8.45pm and play for 1 hour 45 mins.
It is floor standing tonight so a nice atmosphere.
Elbow were a pretty average indie band for their first couple of albums but then took off big time.
They have headlined The 02 Arena in the past so this venue is smallish by their standards.
The band tonight are backed by two female backing singers/violinists.
Singer Guy Garvey has that 'your best mate down the pub' persona that the fans love as he sips
pints on stage and his warm friendly likeable stage personality is a big appeal.
After a couple of songs 'Happy Birthday Guy' appears on the big screen as singer Guy Garvey
is 43 today and the crowd sing Happy Birthday to him a couple of times tonight.
Guy gets the crowd to sing or wave along when needed.
He talked about some of the artists that have played this legendary venue and even joked about
The Guardian review that said 'he prowled the stage like a bruised bear'.
All the band are top notch musicians who deliver careful beautifully crafted unhurried quality music.
They have some mega tracks in their setlist including 'Lippy Kids' , a stunning eight minute version
of their anthem 'One Day Like This' and the equally rousing 'Grounds for Divorce'.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
The Bones of You
Fly Boy Blue / Lunette
New York Morning
Magnificent (She Says)
One Day Like This
My Sad Captains
Grounds for Divorce
Monday 06 March 2017.
Happy Birthday to David Gilmour who is 71 today.
Sunday 05 March 2017...I went to three events today...
12.15pm to 3pm
20TH CENTURY & CONTEMPORARY ART - BRUNCH & PRIVATE VIEW -
Phillips Gallery ,Berkeley Square,Mayfair,London W1.
A bit unusual to have a private view on a Sunday lunchtime but it could become more common.
A big crowd of around 300 folks over this massive gallery that is over three floors.
Lots of different nationalities from the around the world here.
Works on display include some by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.
The auction itself is held during this week.
A string quartet called THE XAVIOR QUARTET are playing some good covers including
a great version of 'Bittersweet Symphony'.
As it was a brunch all guests had complimentary Bloody Mary's,coffees,teas,juices,
hot and cold canapés,croissants, pastries,yogurt and honey pots.
www.phillips.comVisit the PHILLIPS website here for more info.
3.30pm to 5pm
HILLSONG CHURCH live at The London Palladium.
Hillsong Church is a Pentecostal megachurch in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, which is affiliated with Australian Christian Churches, the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God. The church was founded in 1983, originally called Hills Christian Life Centre in Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, by Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie.
It has spread around the world and has six locations in the UK.
In 1987 I saw American Christian rockers Stryper at Hammersmith Odeon when they threw out bibles.
I still have the one I got on the night which was in their black & yellow trademark colours.
A popular Briitish Christian act called Delirious ? headlined Shepherds Bush Empire and Hammersmith Apollo
before they split up in 2009.
I am a catholic but have always wanted to visit one of their church sessions.
The many volunteers are greeting everyone nicely with "welcome to church".
There is a full band on stage with six musicians and nine singers and there is a full stage production.
Loads of great uplifting ,joyous songs are sung with the lyrics on the big screen for everyone to sing along too.
For the band the full house is on its feet the entire time.
We only sit down for the sermon in the middle which focused on 'being a servant'.
The whole experience was very enjoyable.
Their next London date is Sunday 12 March 2017 at The Dominion Theatre.
The tickets are free via their website for the four sessions.
www.hillsong.comVisit the HILLSONG website here for more info.
GILBERT O'SULLIVAN live at The Barbican,London.
Since his debut single ‘Disappear’ launched his career in 1967, O’Sullivan has built a back catalogue of dramatic, piano-led Pop songs, ranging from the wistful melancholy of ‘Alone Again (Naturally)’ to the disco rhythms of ‘Get Down’. A tribute to Jazz singer - and his biggest influence – Peggy Lee, his new album 'Latin ala G' infuses his melody-driven songs with the Latin sounds that she so loved.
In the early 70s Gilbert was a regular when i first started watching Top Of The Pops.
Between 1970 and 1973 he had 7 x Top 10 hits including two number ones.
I first saw him in 1995 at The Jazz Cafe in Camden.
A contract with MAM Records greatly favoured the label's owner, Gordon Mills. A lawsuit followed, with prolonged argument over how much money his songs had earned and how much of that money he had actually received.Eventually, in May 1982, the court found in O'Sullivan's favour, describing him as a "patently honest and decent man", who had not received a just proportion of the vast income his songs had generated.They awarded him £7 million in damages (worth £20 million at 2011 prices). He had won, but the court battle had put his recording career on hold for five years and the hits dried up.
Tonight he was backed by a six piece band and two female backing singers.
Needless to say a mainly older crowd are here tonight.
A nice long show of 2 hours 10 mins over two sets of 65 mins.
We have a big screen showing old videos and images.
Gilbert is now aged 70 but still looks like he did 45 years ago in his heyday with his big curly hair.
Surely that has to be some sort of wig?.
He played his first hit 'Nothing Rhymed' which Morrissey has played in his live shows and Gilbert
always maintains that Jimmy Page was the session guitarist used on it.
Some of the non hits were a bit average and new album tracks were the same.
Great to hear and see all those 70s hits in an enjoyable show.
Setlist tonight included...
Disappear....his first single in 1967 that was a flop...
Nothing Rhymed....was a number 8 hit in 1970...
Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day.....was a number 8 in 1972...
Clair....a number 1 hit from 1972....
Happiness is You and Me......a number 19 hit from 1974...
What's In A Kiss....a number 19 hit from 1980...
Alone Again (Naturally) ....a number 3 hit in 1972....
All the crowd are up and dancing for the encores...
Matrimony...a popular live favourite...
Get Down....a number 1 hit in 1973...(Gilbert stands on his keyboard for the second half of the song)
A few mins after the show Gilbert happily signed stuff and posed for photos with over 100 fans in the foyer.
Saturday 04 March 2017.
THE DANDY WARHOLS live at The Roundhouse,London.
Super cool American indie band return to the UK for more shows.
Becoming a fan of the band after seeing them play at the Glastonbury Festival in 2000, David Bowie personally selected them to play at the 2002 Meltdown festival. Bowie and the Dandy Warhols played a rendition of "White Light/White Heat" together as an encore to the July 29 gig, which was billed as The New Heathens Night.The band also supported David Bowie on his 2003 A Reality Tour.
I was at the above shows and a couple of others by them.
Check out the great video on YouTube for their 1997 track 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth'.
The Dandy Warhols took to the stage just after 9pm and played for around 1 hour 45 mins.
Somehow i end up in the front row in front of the pa right of stage.
They are as cool as ever with their psychedelic fuzzy feedback tinged sound.
The drummer keeps a simple beat on a small drum kit that looks like it come from Toys R Us.
The best songs came in the second half of the set.
They did not play my fave song of theirs 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth' which was a shame
as i was really looking forward to seeing it played live again.
A good gig.
Full setlist played tonight...
Crack Cocaine Rager
(Tony, This Song Is Called) Lou Weed
I Love You
Everyone Is Totally Insane
Catcher in the Rye
Holding Me Up
You Are Killing Me
Thick Girls Knock Me Out (Richard Starkey)
We Used to Be Friends
Bohemian Like You
Every Day Should Be a Holiday
All the Money or the Simple Life Honey (with The Specials brass section)
Godless (with The Specials brass section)
Pete International Airport
Zia keyboard outro solo
Friday 03 March 2017.
PROCOL HARUM with full orchestra and choir live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.
This is a special one-off show for their 50th anniversary - with a full UK tour to come in May.
They have had five Top 40 hits in the UK including a No 1 with 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' in 1967.
Original member and vocalist Gary Brooker still leads the band.
Procol Harum supported Jimi Hendrix back in 1967.
Procol Harum contributed to the development of symphonic rock, and by extension, progressive rock. Their best-known recording is their 1967 hit single "A Whiter Shade of Pale", which is considered a classic of popular music and is one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies.Although noted for its baroque and classical influence, Procol Harum's music also embraces the blues, R&B, and soul.
I am not a big fan of Procol Harum but i did see them in 1976 and I have seen Gary Brooker
when he has done short solo sets.
Fri 03 March---Dave Mason plays The Union Chapel,Islington.
Co-founder of Traffic plays a rare UK tour.
I saw him twice in 1975 when he headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
Fri 03 March---Mandoki Soulmates play Hammersmith Apollo.
A mixed bunch of older rock musicians are playing at this show.
One of those nights where there is a choice of three gigs for the older rock fans.
We have a full house for PROCOL HARUM and there are regular rock gig-goers here including
Dave Ling from Classic Rock and David Stark from Song Link who have chose the same gig as me.
Procol Harum play for two hours over two sets of 60 mins each.
Each inch of the massive stage is taken up as there must be 70 or 80 musicians on stage.
They played older songs and a few off the upcoming new album.
All bands sound great with a big orchestra and choir at full tilt.
Needless to say final song 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' was a big highlight.
Lots of fun stage banter from Gary and the guitarist between songs.
A worrying accident happened at the end of the first set as Gary Brooker tripped over side of stage
and fell flat on his face/head and blood was on the floor as he lay motionless.
We were told there would be an extended interval that ended up being around 50 mins.
Gary returned to the stage with his head and bridge of his nose covered in bandages and he was
wearing a beret.The crowd gave him a standing ovation and he carried on...at age 71...What a trooper...
Some songs were a bit proggy and average sounding to me but a good gig overall.
Full setlist played tonight...
Shine On Brightly
Sympathy for the Hard of Hearing (Gary Brooker song)
A Salty Dog
In Held 'Twas in I
Neighbour (with Sam Brown)
I Told On You
Man With a Mission
Into the Flood
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Friday 03 March 2017.
ALISON KRAUSS releases her new solo album 'Windy City' today.
This is her first solo album for 17 years.
As of 2016, she has won 27 Grammy Awards from 42 nominations, tying her with Quincy Jones as the most awarded living recipient, second only to classical conductor Georg Solti, who holds the record for most wins with 31.She is the most awarded singer and the most awarded female artist in Grammy history.
The new album features 10 classic songs carefully selected with producer Buddy Cannon (Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard’s final solo album) - panning different eras and musical genres original/previously recorded by artists including: Willie Nelson,The Osborne Brothers, Glen Campbell, Brenda Lee, Ray Charles and more.
The production on these classic songs is top notch and Alison's voice sounds great.
1. "Losing You" - Brenda Lee 2:55
2. "It's Goodbye and So Long to You" - The Osborne Brothers and Mac Wiseman 3:11
3. "Windy City" - The Osborne Brothers 3:15
4. "I Never Cared for You" - Willie Nelson 2:45
5. "River in the Rain" - Roger Miller 3:52
6. "Dream of Me" - Vern Gosdin 4:03
7. "Gentle on My Mind " - Glen Campbell 3:34
8. "All Alone Am I" - Brenda Lee 3:26
9. "Poison Love" - Bill Monroe 2:55
10. "You Don't Know Me" - Eddy Arnold. 4:18
Here is the video for the single "Losing You".
Thursday 02 March 2017.
On this day in KISSTORY - March 2, 2010 - KISS performed at a special intimate promotional gig for
800 fans at the packed O2 Academy Islington in London
The show was a rare chance for fans to see one of the world's biggest bands in an intimate venue.
I went to this mega gig.
Thursday 02 March 2017...6pm to 9.30pm...
PIZZA PILGRIMS - launch party - 136 Shoreditch High Street,London E1.
Pizza Pilgrims open another London branch in super trendy Shoreditch.
They make traditional Neapolitan pizzas – using ingredients sourced from in and around Naples.
Around 100 guests here over the two levels.
Like last night some great music played over the pa...nothing from the last 20 years.
We got there early to get a table near the window.
Lots of hot fresh slices of different pizza being given out all through the evening.
My fave was Portobello mushroom, Coppa, buffalo mozz & truffle oil.
We had beers and a choice of two cocktails through the evening.
Including "The DIY Americano". Martini Rosso with ice & a slice and Campari soda.
They have not got a license so it is Bring Your Own Booze if needed when it opens.
SPECIAL OFFER : When they open on Monday 06 March they are having a
'Pay What You Want' offer with all monies going to The Samaritans.
DON’T FORGET TO BRING SOME BEERS/CIDER/WINE IF YOU FANCY A DRINK WITH YOUR PIZZA.
THEY DON’T HAVE A LICENCE TO SELL BOOZE HERE!
www.pizzapilgrims.co.ukVisit the PIZZA PILGRIMS website here for more info.
Wednesday 01 March 2017...I went to two events tonight...
7.15pm to 9.15pm
THOMASINA MIERS - book launch - at Wahaca,19-23 Charlotte Street,London W1.
Thomasina Jean "Tommi" Miers is an English cook, writer and television presenter.
She is the founder of the Wahaca chain of Mexican street food restaurants.
Wahaca have 25 branches in the UK with most in London.
She is launching her new book 'Home Cook - Live Well & Eat Well'.
Around 150 folks standing here in this Wahaca branch that has most of the seating taken out tonight
but we find some seats in the far corner.
Faces here include John Torode from Masterchef and Fortnum & Mason CEO Ewan Venters.
At 8pm Thomasina gave a speech and thanked everyone for coming.
We enjoyed complimentary Margarita's,Mojito's,wines,beers and bowl food,lamb tacos,fish tacos,
canapés and Mexican brownies.
www.wahaca.co.ukVisit the WAHACA website here for more info.
9.45pm to 11pm
World Premiere of The LAND ROVER VELAR at The Design Museum,Kensington High Street,London W8.
A big crowd of around 500 folks at the new Design Museum....mainly men in suits...
A few faces here including Piers Morgan,Damian Lewis,Poppy Delevingne and singer Rag n Bone Man.
Also David Gandy,Zara Tindall,Jimmy Carr and Sharleen Spiteri.
Back in the day I went to this site when it was The Commonwealth Institute.
The SUV car is on display and looks great....it should do as the price tag is from £45,000.
This, the fourth Range Rover model, fits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport in size and price. It's also the acme of the stripped-down style evinced by Land Rover's design department under Gerry McGovern. Even the door handles sink back into the doors and the headlamps are super-narrow LED slits.
Guests enjoyed Ruinart champers,gin cocktails,vodka cocktails,wines,beers, bowl food and canapés.
All guests got a big hard book on departure that was all about the car.
www.landrover.co.ukVisit the LAND ROVER website here for more info.
11.15pm to 1am
LAND ROVER VELAR after-party at Mr Foggs,15 Bruton Lane,Mayfair,London W1.
Selected folks are taken by cars and mini buses to the after-party in Mayfair.
We get in a nice luxury Mercedes and are dropped at the door of Mr Foggs.
Mr Foggs has lots of interesting items on the walls and hanging from the ceiling.
Around 150 guests are here including a rare sighting of Gordon Smart.
He was for six years at the helm of the famous Bizarre column in The Sun paper.
He moved on to be the editor of The Scottish Sun.
A dj duo were playing some decent tunes...nothing from the last 20 years.
Guests enjoyed Moët champers,a choice of three cocktails including a nice whiskey sour,
wines,beers and some ham n cheese toasted sandwiches.
It was still lively when we departed.
Wednesday 01 March 2017.
Happy Birthday to Roger Daltrey who is 73 today.
Tuesday 28 February 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8.30pm
MOD Pizza - pizza school experience showcase - 17/18 Irving Street,Leicester Square,London WC2.
MOD Pizza is a chain of fast casual pizza restaurants based in the United States.Founded in Seattle, Washington in 2008, MOD currently has more than 200 locations worldwide.
They now have five locations in the UK and this is the first in London.
It is a large venue by the cinemas in Leicester Square that is spread over three levels.
Around 40 of us start in the basement area by the kitchen.
In groups of 6 or 8 we are brought into the kitchen to make our own pizza.
We are handed the 11" base then I put around a dozen toppings on of the 34 available.
We then back to our table for wines,beers,soft drinks.
We had garlic bread and dips for starters.
The pipping hot pizza came back and it was the best pizza I have had for ages.
Their usual pizza price is good value as it is £7.87 with as many toppings as you like.
The pizza school experience is from £20 per person.
All guests got a goodie bag of a MOD satchel and MOD beanie hat.
www.modpizza.co.ukVisit the MOD pizza website here for more info.
9pm to 12.30pm
SUSHISAMBA x Cool Earth Carnival Party - SushiSamba ,Heron Tower,Liverpool Street,London E1.
Sushisamba's glass-walled express lift hurtles up the outside of Heron Tower, taking you
38 storeys above the City in under 30 seconds with some stunning views of London.
This massive Brazilian & Japanese restaurant is very popular with the City folks.
A big crowd of around 500 folks are here over the different levels.
The carnival was in full swing as VIPs joined host PAMELA ANDERSON at SUSHISAMBA's Cool Earth Carnival Party. Jamie Campbell Bower, Vanessa White, Ashley James, Charlotte de Carle, Dougie Poynter and Oliver Cheshire were greeted by Brazilian dancers shaking their stuff at Heron Tower as environmental charity Cool Earth threw the fundraising party. Anderson - currently rumoured to be dating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange - cosied up to Cool Earth's director, her pal Matthew Owen, before introducing Kelis to the stage for an energetic performance which had the likes of Xenia Tchoumitcheva, Clara Paget, Laura Pradelska and Jack Guinness taking to the dance floor.
Also here were striking looking fashion designers Joshua Kane and Daniel Lismore.
At 10.40pm we had three Brazilian & Japanese dancers in full costumes.
At 10.45pm KELIS arrived on stage for her 40 mins set...she sang along to a backing tape...
A decent set that included her big hit 'Milkshake'.
Complimentary champers,different cocktails,wines,beers,sushi,canapés,fried chicken and chocs for all.
Dj sounds kept the buzz going and a great party.
www.sushisamba.comVisit the SUSHISAMBA website here for more info.
Sunday 26 February 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 11pm
The 5th British Kebab Awards at The Park Plaza Hotel,Westminster Bridge,London SE1.
Yes you read it correct...I am at The Kebab Awards...along with a massive crowd of over 800 guests at tables.
The British kebab industry is constantly growing and contributes more than £2 billion to Britain's economy every year. The British Kebab Awards aim to celebrate the best of the industry and improve the public image of the kebab. The awards are sponsored by the UK's largest takeaway website JUST EAT.
There are over 20,000 kebab outlets in the UK selling over a million kebabs a day.
We had a couple of singers do a song each.
BBC Radio 1 hosts Scott Mills and Chris Stark were the presenters.
The awards are given out by region.
We had a prosecco reception then wines and Cobra beers with our three course kebab balls dinner.
All guests got a goodie bag with full size kebab sauces and bottles of Bira beer.
www.britishkebabawards.co.ukVisit their website here for a full list of winners.
11.30pm to 5.30am
The 89th Academy Awards (The Oscars) ceremony - live screening - Ham Yard Hotel,London W1.
Luxury watchmakers ROLEX are hosting a lavish party for around 300 guests at this luxury hotel.
The red carpet arrivals and interviews were until 1.30am and then the awards started.
We are part of the 200 watching it in the main cinema and there is another 100 watching it on smaller screens
just outside the cinema including over the bar area.
We missed the champers reception but there is lots of complimentary food and drink through the night.
Espresso Martinis,Bloody Mary's,bowl food ,canapés and later bacon butties and scrambled eggs at 3am.
Justin Timberlake performed a great musical dance routine introduction number.
Host Jimmy Kimmel did a good job and Matt Damon was his main target for ribbing.
The Trump word did not get mentioned as much as expected.
The main talking point was at the very end.
Just when we thought it was all over... Warren Beatty had to apologise after he and Faye Dunaway
managed to read out the wrong winner of the Best Picture Oscar.
Everyone thought ‘La La Land’ had won, but it turned out it hadn’t, it was actually ‘Moonlight’.
Yes, that really happened - after 200 minutes plus of Oscar action...you gotta laugh...
They were given the wrong envelope...DOH!....
As expected La La Land bagged the most awards with six...
The main winners were...
Best Picture: Moonlight
Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Animated Feature: Zootopia
Cinematography: La La Land
Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Direction: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
www.rolex.comVisit the ROLEX website for more info.
Sunday 26 February 2017.
Happy Birthday to Rock n Roll Legend Fats Domino who is 89 today.
Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records,
and he has had 35 hit records in the U.S. Top 40.
Fats has had 16 hit records in the UK Top 40.
I saw him headline two shows at Hammersmith Odeon in 1981.
Saturday 25 February 2017.
The Beatles guitarist and singer George Harrison would have been 74 today.
Friday 24 February 2017...6.15pm to 9.15pm...
DIRTY HARRY'S SOHO - launch party - 203 Wardour Street,Soho,London W1.
This building was formerly Peter Stringfellows 'Angels' lap dancing club.
It was never as popular as the original Stringfellows which is still open.
It is now split in two with Dirty Harrys on the ground floor and the club Paper will be downstairs.
In 1977/1978 this site was a punk club called THE VORTEX where i saw a few gigs.
Punk gigs were Mondays and Tuesdays and i would also go there at the weekend when it was a cool
soul club called Crackers.
Dirty Harry’s, an American-style cocktail lounge and diner, will open in Wardour Street in Soho on Saturday.
The female bartenders will get on the bar and crank up the music before dancing —
sometimes spraying guests with beer for good measure.
The bar will have live bands and dance shows throughout the night and host a team of street food chefs operating on a pop-up basis. From February to April, Cajun chicken specialists Otherside Fried and Burger and Beyond, a gourmet burger outfit, will be providing the food. The team behind the bar described it as a “rock ‘n’ roll blue collar bar”.
We got there on time to grab a table and some 200 guests eventually came in.
It does have the feel of a saloon and the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry film catchphrase of
"Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk? adorns each of the walls.
The sound system was blasting out some decent tunes.
Blues rockers THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT played a good 45 mins set with a hint of Black Crowes/Quireboys.
They are a great band i have seen before and they played tracks from both their albums and a cover of
David Bowies 'Ziggy Stardust'.
For a few songs at the end of their set they were joined by half a dozen female bartenders who danced sexily
on the bar in their Coyote Ugly style clothing/dancing.
All guests enjoyed complimentary prosecco and mini cocktails in shot glasses.
Also burgers and some very yummy Cajun chicken.
www.dirtyharryssoho.comVisit the Dirty Harry website here for more info.
Wednesday 22 February 2017...6.30pm to 10.15pm...
THE HOP EXCHANGE - showcase - 24 Southwark Street,London SE1.
Tonight started so well...then got very very very messy...so read on.
This stunning building near London Bridge station has got a lot of history.
The Hop Exchange is a Grade II listed building at No. 24 Southwark Street, London, in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark. Opened in 1867 and designed by R.H. Moore it served as the centre for
hop trading for the brewing industry.
Hops, introduced to England from the Netherlands, are still used in the brewing industry. They are harvested from farms (known as "hop gardens") in Kent, and in the 19th century they were brought by railway to London Bridge Station, or by boat up the River Thames. They were then stored in the many warehouses in the Borough area.
Over 200 folks in their main entertaining room which looks very grand i must say with its high ceiling.
We got there on time so bagged some cosy armchairs and sofas.
We had a jazz quartet playing some tunes.
Complimentary prosecco,different cocktails including a yummy whiskey & amaretto,
wines,beers,canapés and a dessert station.
www.hopexchange.co.ukVisit the Hop Exchange website for more info.
Just a few mins walk and then it got a bit messy....no make that very very messy.
SONY MUSIC BRITS after-party at Aqua at The Shard,London SE1.
Sony again have chosen the best venue out of the three main record company parties.
31 floors up at this iconic building is Aqua.
Around 500 guests here over the two levels.
The rest is what others have told me as I REMEMBER NOTHING.
I had been behaving 'loudly' during the walk to The Shard.
We arrived at the same time as Craig David and went in the lift with him.
I am now singing out loudly "I'm in the lift with Craig David on repeat".
I get in the party and folks are telling me to wake up as my eyes are closing.
After 30 mins someone brings me to the bathroom...I am sick everywhere..
I go out of the building for some fresh air...I am sick again in a nearby alley...
Feel dreadful and in no condition for a party so i had to go home.
Not sure what caused it...maybe a reaction to tablets I am taking.
I drank normally at the previous event...all a bit worrying but there you go.
I spent most of the following day in bed recovering...messy...
Wednesday 22 February 2017.
The mobile operator O2 has struck a deal thought to be worth about £125m to keep the naming rights to the
London venue the O2 until at least 2027.
The 10-year deal, announced the day after the venue played host to the 2017 Brit awards, means the Telefonica-owned mobile operator’s relationship with what was once the ill-fated Millennium Dome will stretch to at least 20 years.
Under the agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) – the US company that purchased the site five years after it was shut after the millennium celebrations – O2 is thought to be paying between £10m and £15m a year in a wide-ranging partnership deal.
A key component of the deal is a doubling of the number of priority tickets that will be made available to O2 customers, giving them access to tickets to events 48 hours before they go on sale to the public. The number of tickets to be made available each year has not been disclosed.
Tuesday 21 February 2017...5.45pm to 9.15pm...
DARBAAR - showcase - 1 Snowden Street,Broadgate West,London EC2.
Darbaar by Abdul is a temple to modern Indian cuisine reinstating the sharing experience which once use to be the charm of the Royal houses of India. The shared dining experience is inspired by the rich history and traditions of the banquets of the Indian Royal Court – Palace of India. Authenticity is everything and no dish or detail is without a link to the great Royal Houses. Techniques and ingredients are as true to the spirit and traditions of Indian gastronomy as it is possible to be – only the finest spices are imported from the markets of India, marinades and preserves are exclusively made in-house from first principles and each dish has a story to tell. Being at once steeped in history and strikingly modern, it’s no accident that Darbaar is poised on the edge of both the City of London and vibrant Shoreditch.
Set over a sweeping and majestic 5,500 feet, Darbaar plays host to a 220-cover restaurant and bar, including an interactive grill seating area, 20-cover private dining room and a bespoke chef’s table for entertaining up to 12 people.
The skyline is changing in this area as new high rise office developments are everywhere.
Top notch restaurants & bars like this one are competing for the spare cash of high earning city folks.
It is hidden away a bit as the street of old is more a path that is easy to miss like i did.
Around 100 folks here in their ground floor bar area.
We have a choice of three different cocktails,wines and Cobra beers.
Also some tasty canapés and bowl food including Tandoori Salmon with green spices and lemon rice.
Also Chicken Biryani with tempered yoghurt raita.
Indian music is playing in the background.
The head chef makes a speech and chats to all guests.
Very nice here.
www.darbaarrestaurants.comVisit the DARBAAR website here for more info.
Monday 20 February 2017...6.45pm to 10.45pm...
FRANCO MANCA - launch party - Nova Victoria,London SW1.
Nova Victoria is the new bar & restaurant complex opposite Victoria Station.
Nova Victoria is on the site where a great gig venue called The Venue Victoria was located in the
late 70s/early 80s which was a late night hang out for musicians as some gigs were midnight starts.
I went there around 20 times from 1978 to 1983 and watched some great acts including
Alex Harvey Band,Adam & The Ants,David Johansen,Ramones,Iggy Pop,Hanoi Rocks and others.
See the full list on the venues search on my website.
The venue is smaller than expected compared to other restaurants nearby as only seats around 30.
Lots of young enthusiastic young staff fussing over all the guests.
We each had a nice three course meal including my mains - large pizza with chorizo.
Lots of Italian drinks here including Aperol Spritz Cocktails,Amaretto over ice,wines,beers,coffees.
Nice and relaxed here as no rush to leave after you finished your meal so the drinks flowed.
Well worth a visit.
Franco Manca was founded in 2008 in Brixton market by Giuseppe Mascoli and since then his sourdough pizza has been taking London by storm. With its seriously good value, it’s easy to see why Franco Manca has earned a cult following. Their minimum 20 hour slow-risen sourdough bases are topped with high-quality ingredients like homemade mozzarella, organic tomato and cured organic chorizo, resulting in genuine, Neapolitan-style pizzas. Watch out for daily changing specials.
This latest branch at Nova will offer organic wine and an open kitchen from 22nd February.
www.francomanca.comVisit the FRANCO MANCA website here for more info.
Sunday 19 Februay 2017.
Bon Scott sadly died 37 years ago today.
The legendary AC/DC frontman had been out drinking with friends in London — but the casual evening
took a terrible turn as Scott passed out in his car, and ultimately choked to death on his own vomit.
He was only 33 years old.
I was lucky to have seen him sing with AC/DC many times.
Saturday 18 February 2017.
BRIT FLOYD live at The Cadogan Hall,Chelsea,London.
Top notch Pink Floyd tribute act play the opening night of yet another UK tour.
I have seen them before at The Royal Albert Hall and Hammersmith Apollo so this is a smallish gig
by their recent standards as this venue only holds 900 folks.
Most here have paid a whopping £47.50 for their ticket which is very steep for just a tribute act.
They played a long show of 2 hours 30 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 90 mins.
They have Floyd type film projections on the back wall along with some nice lights and lasers.
A full band with lots of equipment along with three female backing singers.
Always great to hear those Floyd classics and each tour they drop and add certain songs.
I think their visuals work better on a big screen at a big venue rather than on the wall here.
The crowd were all up dancing and singing along for the last two songs.
Setlist tonight included...
Coming Back To Life
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2
Us and Them
Syd Barrett era songs
The Great Gig In The Sky
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Run Like Hell
After the show most of the band were sat at a table signing their CDS and DVDs.
Oddly enough the lead member of the band thought he was above doing it.
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 par
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.
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I know the best venues,the best catering and the best entertainment agencies to suit your budget whether its small drinks and canapes or something bigger. firstname.lastname@example.org