News and Reviews: April 27, 2017

Buy your CDs,DVDs and much more from HMV and Amazon.
www.hmv.comVisit the HMV website here.
www.amazon.co.ukVisit the Amazon website here.
For previous months REVIEWS please click on the earlier reviews link above left.
For my latest REVIEWS please scroll down this page.
Visit my upcoming news page for my interview on Roundhouse punk gigs of the 1970s.
Visit my upcoming news page for my Top 20 gigs of 2016...No 1 was Bruce Springsteen.
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It is a good time to see musicals and plays as special offer tickets are on at some theatres...
Check out Motown The Musical,Beautiful,Dreamgirls,42nd Street and others.
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ARTHUR HOOPERS - European cuisine restaurant opens this week at 8 Storey Street,London SE1.
Thurs 27 April---A special one off film screening with a live band is at The Palladium.
The loud and dark fairytale Gutterdämmerung is a rock ‘n’ roll / film / gig concept from the mind of Belgian-Swedish visual artist Bjorn Tagemose. Gutterdämmerung is part rock show part immersive cinema experience featuring some of the biggest rock names on the planet including Grace Jones, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Eagles Of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes, Motörhead’s Lemmy, Tom Araya, Mark Lanegan, Volbeat, Queens of the Stone Age’s Joshua Homme, Justice, Nina Hagen and Slash.
Much in the tradition of classic movies of 1920’s Hollywood, the film is mostly silent but instead of a lone piano a live rock band express the emotions and action whilst special effects from the film explode to life all around the audience. Think of a deafening rock ‘n’ roll version of Secret Cinema taking place in hell and you might just begin to have an idea of what Gutterdämmerung is.
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Fri 28 April---DEAD! play Omeara ,London Bridge...the band include both of Glen Matlocks sons...
Fri 28 April---Sam Bailey (X Factor 2013 winner) plays The Beck Theatre,Hayes.
Fri 28 April---Bob Dylan and His Band play the first of three shows at The Palladium...all sold out...
I have seen Bob Dylan around 25 times since 1978.
Bob has sold over 110 million records around the world and since 1988 has played around
100 shows a year in the ‘Never-Ending Tour’.
21 Apr 2017 - 13 May 2017 ---- Halcyon Gallery,144-146 New Bond Street,London W1.
Halcyon Gallery proudly presents The Beaten Path: The Silkscreen Collection, an exhibition of hand-signed
silkscreens taken from Bob Dylan’s major solo exhibition of the same name.
Sat 29 April--The Selector + The Beat play Shepherds Bush Empire...sold out...
Sat 29 April---Boxing Megaclash---Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko - IBF, IBO & WBA Super Heavyweight Championships of the World at Wembley Stadium.
Sun 30 April---Steve Hackett (ex Genesis guitarist ) plays The Hexagon,Reading.
Steve is on a UK tour to promote his recent album 'The Night Siren'.
Expect some Genesis tracks from his stint with the band in the 1970s.
Sun 30 Apr and Mon 01 May---Portobello Live Festival this weekend...one wristband covers all venues...
Headliners include John Cooper Clarke,Glen Matlock,The Members and djs Rusty Egan and Don Letts.
Tues 02 May---The Shires play The Palladium.
The Shires are the UK’s most successful Country act - 2 GOLD ALBUMS IN 12 MONTHS –
Second album ‘My Universe’ certified Gold alongside debut ‘Brave’.
This means they have both sold over 100,000 copies each.
The UK country scene has become really popular over the past couple of years.
Tues 02 May---Shakin Stevens plays The Shepherds Bush Empire.
Shaky is on a massive 33 date UK tour to promote his recent album 'Echoes Of Our Times’.
Wed 03 May---Blondie play The Roundhouse....a special show to launch their studio album...sold out...
Blondie will release new album 'Pollinator' on May 5.
It features collaborations with Johnny Marr and Charli XCX.
Blondie return in the summer to support Phil Collins in Hyde Park on Friday 30 June.
Blondie drummer Clem Burke has been saying Debbie Harry is feeling that this could be their last ever tour.
Support comes from DEAD! whose members include both of Glen Matlocks sons.
I have seen Blondie around 20 times since 1977 when they supported Television at Hammersmith Odeon.
A pop-up shop in Camden Market will be selling official Blondie merchandise from April 29.
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Chris Stapleton’s highly anticipated new album, From A Room: Volume 1 will be released on May 5 on Decca Records/Mercury Records Nashville, and is now available for pre-order digitally and with physical bundles. The highly anticipated full-length record is the first new music from Stapleton since 2015’s breakthrough double Platinum solo debut Traveller and will be followed by From A Room: Volume 2—coming later this year.
The album takes its name from Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, where it was recorded during the winter of 2016-17.
The lead song “Broken Halos,” premiered in mid April.
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Fri 05 May---Deftones + AFI play Alexandra Palace.
Fri 05 May and Sat 06 May---Daniel O'Donnell plays The Palladium.
Sat 06 May---The Dirty Strangers with Brian James play The Underworld,Camden.
Tues 09 May---Bob Dylan and His Band play Wembley Arena.
When I saw Bob play The 02 Arena a few years ago there were no big screens ,so expect the same here.
I have seen Bob Dylan around 25 times since 1978.
Bob has sold over 110 million records around the world and since 1988 has played around
100 shows a year in the ‘Never-Ending Tour’.
Tues 09 May---Andrew Combs plays The Borderline Club,London W1.
Nashville troubadour Andrew Combs plays the last show on his UK tour.
Andrew will be promoting his new album ‘Canyons Of My Mind' that came out on 07 April 2017.
Sat 13 May---George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic play The Forum.
Sun 14 May---Paul Rodgers plays The New Theatre,Oxford.
Sun 14 May---Brian Conley plays The Beck Theatre,Hayes.
Wed 17 May---Adam Ant plays The Royal Albert Hall....Anthems: The Singles Tour
I have seen Adam Ant around a dozen times since 1979 when he was a support act to The Lurkers.
Thurs 18 May---Imelda May plays The Palladium.
Imelda is on a UK tour to promote her new album 'Life.Love.Flesh.Blood'.
Thurs 18 May and Fri 19 May---The Cribs play The Forum.
Thurs 18 May and Fri 19 May---The Beach Boys play The Royal Albert Hall.
Fri 19 May---Steve Hackett (ex Genesis guitarist) plays The Palladium.
Steve is on a UK tour to promote his recent album 'The Night Siren'.
Expect some Genesis tracks from his stint in the band in the 1970s.
Fri 19 May---Sheryl Crow plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
Fri 19 May---Inglorious play Islington Assembly Hall.
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Sat 20 May---Lets Rock The Moor 80s Retro Festival ,Cookham,Berkshire.
OMD ,HOWARD JONES ,SISTER SLEDGE ,TIFFANY ,KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS ,GO WEST,
MATT BIANCO FEAT. MARK REILLY ,LIVING IN A BOX ,TECHNOTRONIC ,FROM THE JAM,
THE BEAT ,THE BLOCKHEADS ,FLOCK OF SEAGULLS.
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Sat 20 May---The Alarm play The Electric Ballroom.
Sat 20 May---The Cranberries play The Palladium.
Sat 20 May and Sun 21 May---Roger Hodgson plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Roger was the voice of Supertramp who were massive in the mid-1970s.
They went on to sell more than 60 million albums worldwide
Their 1979 album 'Breakfast in America' sold more than 20 million albums.
I first saw them twice in 1975 at Hammersmith Odeon.
Mon 22 May---Eric Clapton plays the first of three shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Despite tickets being £150 and £100 all shows are sold out.
In March 2017 at around the time of his 72nd birthday, photos appeared of a frail Clapton being wheeled
around Los Angeles International Airport by an attendant while holding hands with his teenage daughter
on his way to catch a flight.
These are his only shows in Europe...will they be his last ever UK shows?
Fri 26 May--- It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond is in cinemas 26 May,
including special Q&A previews. Released on digital 1 June and DVD 3 July.
Fri 26 May---Beatles epic six disc box set of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...50th anniversary edition...
Fri 26 May---Hacienda Classical is at The Royal Albert Hall.
Fri 26 May---Hawkwind play The Roundhouse.
Sat 27 May---FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
Sat 27 May and Sun 28 May---Iron Maiden play The 02 Arena...both shows sold out...
Iron Maiden play the last dates on their six week European Tour.
Sat 27 May---Simple Minds (semi-acoustic) play The Palladium.
Sat 27 May---Phil Rudd Band (formerly the drummer of AC/DC) play The Underworld,Camden...£25.00 adv.
Phil was ousted from AC/DC due to some bizarre behaviour that got him arrested.
Rudd, who has appeared on all but three of AC/DC's 18 studio albums, has just embarked on his first solo tour in support of his 2014 solo debut, "Head Job". It was the release of that album that led indirectly to Rudd's arrest, with the drummer allegedly so angry at a personal assistant over the way the record
was promoted that he threatened to have the man and his daughter killed.
Expect three or four AC/DC classics in the set.
Sun 28 May---Jenson Button will replace Fernando Alonso for McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Sun 28 May---Paul Rodgers plays The Royal Albert Hall...final date of his UK tour...
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KISS - My fave American band end their European tour in May with four UK shows
KISS - Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer - will rock arenas across Europe.
The support act for UK shows will be New York pop rockers The Dives.
Sat May 27, 2017 The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Sun May 28, 2017 Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Tues May 30, 2017 Manchester Arena, Manchester
Wed May 31, 2017 O2 Arena ,London
Mon May 29 2017 - The Dives will play their own headline show at The Water Rats,Kings Cross.
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BBC Radio 2 - KISS icon Gene Simmons will explore rock music in June with a six-part series.
In early June, BBC Two presents Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution, a new documentary from Huge Films directed by Francis Hanly, which will present Sgt. Pepper as you have never heard it before. The film will include extracts from material never before accessible outside of Abbey Road, studio chats between the band, out-takes, isolated instrumental and vocal tracks as well as passages from alternative takes of these world-famous songs.
Thurs 01 June---The Bootleg Beatles play The Royal Albert Hall.
Sat 03 June---The Professionals play Camden Rocks...one wristband gains access to all venues.
Sat 03 June---Elton John plays The Stoop Stadium,Twickenham.
The stadium has a capacity of 14,800 and is situated just across the road from the larger
Twickenham Stadium,where U2 are playing in July.
This will be Elton's first show after an illness that put him out of action for all of May.
In mid April Elton John is thought to have contracted the illness whilst on tour in South America.
He became “violently ill” on a flight from Santiago, Chile and spent two nights in intensive care at a hospital in the UK.
Sat 03 June---Depeche Mode play The London Stadium,Stratford,East London.
Sun 04 June---Simple Minds play The Theatre Royal,Drury Lane.
Sun 04 June---Phil Collins plays the first of five shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Mon 06 June and Tues 07 June ---Eddie Vedder plays Hammersmith Apollo.
Pearl Jam singer plays his only English shows on his European Tour...both shows sold out pronto...
Sun 11 June---Rod Stewart plays The Isle Of Wight Festival.
Strong rumours Ronnie Wood will join him for a couple of songs.
Wed 21 June---Kraftwerk play the first of three sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
I saw them play at Hammersmith Odeon on their debut UK tour in 1975 and again in 1981.
On May 26, the band will release 8-CD and 9-LP sets chronicling those shows, but the real gem will be the 4-disc Blu-Ray set which was filmed in high definition 3D and will be viewable in both 3D and 2D. Two-discs have the concerts while the other two contain tour films and concert projections. That special edition will also include a 228-page book with photos from throughout the shows.





Wednesday 26 April 2017...8.30pm to 5am...
THE NED - launch party - 27 Poultry,Bank,London EC2.
Hotly anticipated five star luxury hotel finally opens.
The transformation of London’s former Midland Bank into one of the city’s most spectacular heritage hotels.
London-born Soho House & Co has partnered with US Sydell Group (behind boutique properties such as The NoMad in New York and The Line in Los Angeles) to create a 252-room hotel and members’ club in The City.
The advance press had mentioned 'this will be the biggest opening event of the year in London'.
Quite a big statement but this really was the full monty with the wow factor.
A massive crowd of around 1500 guests here and there are 800 staff waiting on us.
Different levels including a roof top bar and swimming pool on the 9th floor.
During dinner there was a jazz band in the background.
The host tonight on stage introducing the acts was JACK WHITEHALL.
We had short 15 mins sets from some big names.
GARETH MALONE and a 100 piece choir sang a medley of tracks including 'Hey Jude'.
TINIE TEMPAH played three of his biggest tunes.
PALOMA FAITH played her first gig since giving birth.
GARY BARLOW played three tracks including a pair of Take That hits.

The last couple of hours were spent in the basement Vault bar which had a dj.
Check back soon for full review.

www.thened.comVisit THE NED website here for more info.






Wednesday 26 April 2017.
This day in 1976 I saw AC/DC play for the first time at The Nashville Pub,West Kensington.
This was only their third ever gig in the UK.
In 1976 I would see AC/DC 10 times in the one year.
They played a staggering 25 shows in London that year and got popular very quickly.
Pub gigs at the start of the year and later i saw them play Hammersmith Odeon in Nov 1976.





Tuesday 25 April 2017... I went to two events today...
THE ROXY - blue plaque unveiling and gallery private view - Neal Street,London WC2....2.30pm to 6.30pm...
The Legendary 'Roxy' punk club that was in Covent Garden gets some deserved recognition.
It was London's first club dedicated to punk.
The Sex Pistols never played there but The Clash,The Buzzcocks ,The Damned and many others did.
On Tuesday 25 April at 3pm, the ROXY plaque will be unveiled at 41-43 Neal Street by a series of special guests, which will then be followed, on Wednesday 26 April, by a two-week free exhibition open to the public at 35-37 Neal Street.
The ‘Fear and Loathing at the ROXY’ exhibition, curated by artist and historian Jane Palm-Gold, will showcase iconic moments of the ROXY club through a series of photographs and historic club posters from Derek Ridgers, Jeremy Gibbs, Rebecca Hale and more.
Exhibition runs daily from Wednesday 26th April - Wednesday 10th May - 11am - 7pm - Free entry
I went to five gigs at The Roxy Club in early 1977...it was only open for a couple of years.
The main period was the first four months of 1977 when Andrew and Susan were running it.
The venue changed hands when they could not work with the then landlord.
The creatives of the ROXY, including Andrew Czezowski and his partner Susan Carrington, have recently launched the world’s first duography book earlier this year based on their personal experiences and memories of the infamous club including over 100 rare and previously unseen personal archive photos, flyers, artwork, media clippings and quotes.
Damned,Boys - Roxy Club. London 17.01.1977 ---- first gig I went to at this punk club
Damned,Rejects - Roxy Club. London 31.01.1977 ---- Damned played five mondays at roxy club
Damned,Johnny Moped - Roxy Club. London 21.02.1977
Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers,Siouxsie And The Banshees - Roxy Club. London 02.03.1977
Cherry Vanillas Police,Chelsea - Roxy Club. London 03.03.1977
Today the site is the flagship store for the swimwear brand Speedo.
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I arrive in Neal Street at 2.30pm.
It is a bit different to 40 years ago as there are trendy stores and tourists everywhere.
Gradually folks arrive and there must over 200 in the street by the unveiling time of 3pm.
Great to see so many old punk rock mates and punk band members here.
At 3pm Andy and Susan who ran the club in early 1977 make speeches and an old guy who
i presume was from The Seven Dials Trust or Heritage Trust makes speeches and the unveiling
happens to big cheers from the crowd below.
We had a punk poetry reading of 'An Ode to The Roxy Club'.
Then 3.30pm to 6.30pm is the drinks reception and private view at the gallery nearby.
It is over two floors with repro posters and flyers (originals are worth many £££).
I particularly liked the gig list of all the gigs that happened there.
Folks here included Jordan,Peter Perret (The Only Ones),Pauline Murray (Penetration),
Jock McDonald (The Bollock Brothers),Gaye Advert (The Adverts),Marco Pirroni (Adam & The Ants),
Alan Edwards who was pr for many of the punk bands including The Stranglers back in the day and
is now one of the main music pr in London by looking after David Bowie and many more.
Tessa Pollitt(The Slits),Andy Blade (Eater) and other members of Eater,
Eugene Butcher (Vive Le Rock mag) - check his Facebook for videos and comments,
Photographer Ray Stevenson who took many iconic punk photos in the 1970s,
Members of The Rejects,Richard England (Cadiz Music),Tony Holton,
Shanne Bradley from The Nipple Erectors,
Steve Diggle (The Buzzcocks) turned up late after 5pm.
Great dj punk dj sounds from Jeffrey Munday in the basement.
Complimentary wines and beers for all guests...a totally great event...
then
KINKY BOOTS --- The Adelphi Theatre,Strand,London WC2...7.30pm to 10pm...
Bizarrely I went to the huge lavish opening night for this musical in Sept 2015 but was not at the show itself
so this was my first time seeing it.
Winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this fabulous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.
Harvey Fierstein’s book closely follows the outline of the movie. It remains the story of Charlie Price, who turns an ailing Northampton shoe factory into a roaring success by catering for a niche market: that of drag queens demanding thigh-high red boots that offer “two-and-a-half feet of irresistible tubular sex”. At the same time, we see how Lola, the project’s design consultant, overcomes the prejudices of Charlie and his co-workers to the sight of men in frocks. All ends happily at a Milan shoe fair where the collapsing business is glamorously rebooted.
The show was on for around 2 hours 5 mins over two sets.
Lots of camp humour ,dancing and great songs.
A hugely enjoyable musical.
www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.ukVisit their website for more info and to buy tickets.





Tuesday 25 April 2017.
Happy Birthday to big screen legend Al Pacino who is 77 today.
Happy Birthday to rock vocalist Fish who is 59 today.





Monday 24 April 2017...I went to two events today...
3.45pm to 5.30pm
GLASS OF BUBBLY AWARDS 2017 - Le Meridian Hotel,Piccadilly,London W1.
Glass of Bubbly is a magazine and website that does what it says in the title.
A big buzzy crowd here as there are maybe 50 stands and over 300 different champers,prosecco,
cava and sparkling wines from the UK and abroad to taste.
The champers were lesser known brands including CASTELNAU.
There are 11 Categories that judges were giving points on.
There was a room where the experts gave advice on drink pairings etc.
www.glassofbubbly.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
6.15pm to 8.15pm
DAVID BEGBIE - 'Cutting Edge' - private view - Contini Art Gallery,105 New Bond Street,London W1.
Internationally renowned sculptor David Begbie has worked almost exclusively with the human form throughout his career. Since his first pioneering solo show in London 1984 a whole new genre of steel-mesh art has evolved and continues to grow. He is the master of wire mesh art and his work speaks for itself.
Begbie has a diverse practice that includes mono-prints, etchings, ink and charcoal drawings, mixed-media work and photographs but he is primarily known for his work with steel and bronze mesh.
David gave a QnA session for around 10 minutes to the crowd in the corner.
Now in his 60s he has the suntanned look of a rock star who spends half the year in somewhere sunny.
Around 150 guests enjoyed complimentary prosecco,wines and canapés.
www.continiartuk.comVisit their website here for more info.






Sunday 23 April 2017.
THE BEACH BOYS STORY live at The Theatre Royal,Windsor.
Learn how The Beach Boys began, how their songs were constructed and about the private lives of The Beach Boys.
A nice warm up for the real thing as The Beach Boys play in the UK in May and Brian Wilson
plays in the UK a few weeks after.
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The show was on for 2 hours 15 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 75 mins.
On stage they have some props including beach balls,fake palm trees and surf boards.
For each set they are wearing a different Beach Boys type outfit.
Three or four of them are the same age as the current Beach Boys and one looks a bit like
Mike Love in his baseball cap.
Over 30 Beach Boys classics played and an encore tribute dedicated to Chuck Berry.
The main singer did a great job of telling The Beach Boys story between songs.
A section on 'Pet Sounds' where he described Brian Wilson when he stopped touring with the band
and stayed in the recording studio to focus on that side of things.
All the band got involved in some great Beach Boys type harmonies and backing vocals.
An enjoyable show.
Some of the tracks played tonight...
Fun Fun Fun
California Girls
Wouldn't It Be Nice
God Only Knows
I Get Around
Surfin' USA
Barbara Ann
In My Room
Kokomo
Sloop John B
Good Vibrations
Encore
Johnny B.Goode (Chuck Berry cover)
www.beachboysband.co.ukVisit their website for a live video medley promo and full list of their UK tour dates.






Sunday 23 April.
Another sad death to report.
Erin Moran – best know for playing Joanie Cunningham in American 1970s sitcom Happy Days –
has passed away, aged 56.
Cause of death - a suspected heroin overdose.
Henry Winkler and Ron Howard led the tributes to their Happy Days co-star.
Happy Days was one of my fave tv programmes in the late 1970s.





Sunday 23 April 2017.
Bass player CHRIS GLEN has released his autobiography 'The Bass Business'.
Chris is a Scottish bass guitarist, who has played in The Jade, Tear Gas,The Party Boys, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB) (1972–78),John Martyn, and The Michael Schenker Group (1980–84, 2008-2010).
I saw him play live several times in his career including when The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
were the main support band to The Who at Charlton Football Ground in 1976.






Sunday 23 April 2017.
JOHNNY THUNDERS sadly died this day in 1991.
Johnny was a New York rock and roll/punk rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.
I saw him play live 18 times between 1977 and 1990.
He was always really great to watch on stage.





Saturday 22 April 2017 ---RECORD STORE DAY.
Limited edition releases by many artists including Sex Pistols,Prince,Pink Floyd,Iggy Pop and others.
Key releases this year include live albums from David Bowie, along with his collaboration with Placebo ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ being issued on picture disc vinyl for the first time. Other notable vinyl releases include a triple live album of Iggy Pop’s ‘Post Pop Depression’ show from Royal Albert Hall, The Cure’s greatest hits and acoustic hits on deluxe vinyl and even Toto’s ‘Africa’ on vinyl in the shape of the continent.
Also vinyl by The Smiths and The Cribs.
Lumineers release 'Seeds'. It's an exclusive 10” vinyl from the critically-lauded Denver-based outfit...showing the progression of two of the most popular tracks from their No.1 sophomore album ‘Cleopatra’ (‘Angela’ and ‘Long Way From Home’) from initial demo, through recording to the live entity.






Friday 21 April 2017.
JOE BONAMASSA live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Joe plays the second of two sold out shows at this iconic venue.
I am back to see it a second time to see how Joe will change the setlist about.
I enjoyed the show much more tonight as i have a perfect view seat left of stage in the stalls swivel seats.
Watching Joe play stunning guitar solos and riffs up nice and close was pretty amazing.
Again he was on stage prompt at 7.30pm and on stage for 2 hours 05 mins.
This was around 15 mins shorter than the night before as three songs were dropped but only one added.
Again he mentioned how The Royal Albert Hall gig in 2009 changed his life.
Again it was nice and loud and his band played great.
Again he got all the crowd to stand up around 30 mins from the end.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
This Train
Mountain Climbing
Blues of Desperation
No Good Place for the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Boogie With Stu (Led Zeppelin cover)
Never Make Your Move Too Soon (B.B. King cover)
Angel of Mercy (Albert King cover)
Drum Solo
Love Ain't a Love Song
Dust Bowl
Little Girl (John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers cover)
Going Down (The Alabama State Troupers cover)
How Many More Times (Led Zeppelin cover) (with "The Hunter" snippet by Albert King)
Encore:
Hummingbird (Leon Russell cover)





Friday 21 April 2017.
PRINCE sadly died one year ago today...what a shock that was.
Happy Birthday to the legend that is IGGY POP who is 70 today.





Thursday 20 April 2017.
JOE BONAMASSA live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Joe Bonamassa plays the first of two sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Tickets ain't cheap to see Joe...Seats downstairs on the floor and stalls are £150 and £100.
Circle seats are £75 and even gallery standing up in the gods are £60.
Despite the high ticket prices both shows are sold out.
Joe burst on to the scene around a decade ago and critics called him "the new Eric Clapton' and in 2009
i saw Joe Bonamassa and Eric Clapton on stage together at The Royal Albert Hall and
now Joe is charging the same price for tickets as Eric Clapton himself.
Blues rock guitarist Joe will be playing his own material and covers including by Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.
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Like other times I have seen Joe , he likes to come on early and finish early.
Tonight he arrives on stage prompt at 7.30pm and it is all over by 10pm.
Having said that Joe and his band play a nice long set for 2 hours 20 mins.
Top quality musicianship in his band, made up of drums, bass guitar, piano/keyboard, saxophone , trumpet
and two female backing singers.
Joe in his trademark slicked back hair,sunglasses,snazzy suit and shoes.
The first 30 mins is uptempo blues rock and it is nice and loud.
Then the pace slowed down for a bit.
Pretty much every song has a nifty guitar solo in it.
Joe used a few different guitars including a Flying V.
A recent article said he has amassed a staggering collection of 242 guitars.
As expected he plays his solo songs alongside some cover songs.
His own songs seem to blur into each other a bit as there are no real stand out tunes.
Tonight he does not play 'Sloe Gin' or 'Ballad of John Henry'.
The last 30 mins were a highlight and he got all the crowd up and standing for this section.
A good show.
Full setlist played tonight...
This Train
Mainline Florida (Eric Clapton cover)
Mountain Climbing
Blues of Desperation
No Good Place for the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Boogie With Stu (Led Zeppelin cover)
Never Make Your Move Too Soon (B.B. King cover)
Angel of Mercy (Albert King cover)
Drum Solo
Love Ain't a Love Song
Dust Bowl
Little Girl (John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers cover)
Pretending (Eric Clapton cover)
Black Winter/Django
How Many More Times (Led Zeppelin cover) (with "The Hunter" snippet by Albert King)
Encore:
Hummingbird (Leon Russell cover)






Wednesday 19 April 2017.
Symfunny No 2 live at The Royal Albert Hall,London
A dozen musicians and comedians performing a night of music and laughter for Parkinson’s UK.
The musicians include Pete Townshend and Katie Melua.
Townshend said. "My beloved father-in-law Edwin Astley, who helped me break into orchestral arrangements for some of my songs in the ‘80s, suffered and eventually died from Supranuclear Palsy which is a horrible type of Parkison’s Disease. Together we collaborated on several songs, one very silly fugue called Football Fugue, which I will perform on the night.
If I’m allowed to speak, I can be funny too.”
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The show was on for 2 hours 45 mins over two sets of 90 mins and 75 mins.
JASON MANFORD was the host and his comedy routines throughout the night were great.
He also sang three musical theatre songs during the night as he has a surprisingly good voice.
There was an orchestra of around 70 musicians and a choir of 200 on stage...yes 200.
COLLABRO sung a couple of musical theatre tunes.
JOSH WIDDICOMBE did a good comedy set of around 12 minutes.
ALED JONES sung a song and a few lines of 'Walking in the Air'.
ROB DEERING did a good comedy set of around 10 mins.
KATIE MELUA has sold over 11 million albums worldwide.
Just the one song tonight which was her biggest hit 'The Closest Thing To Crazy'
Second half
JACK DEE was question master for the BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue routine tonight.
Two tables on stage for 25 mins and the trio answering questions were TIM BROOKE TAYLOR ,
JEREMY HARDY and BARRY CRYER....lots of funny bits and mad banter...
AGNES BROWN (Brendan O'Connell) from Mrs Brown's Boys did a good 15 mins comedy routine.
PETE TOWNSHEND was the main act for me to see tonight.
He was on stage from 10.15pm to 10.30pm.
He was the final artist on stage and sung three songs with the full orchestra behind him.
He performed two gems by The Who and a rare airing of 'Football Fugue'...really good...
I'm One (The Who song)
Football Fugue
Love, Reign O'er Me (The Who song)
Finale was all tonight's cast including Pete Townshend on stage for a singalong to
'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'
An enjoyable evening with Pete Townshend the highlight for me.






Tuesday 18 April 2017...I went to two events in North London tonight...
6.30pm to 7.45pm
DOM PATTINSON - private view - Zebra One Gallery,1 Perrins Court,Hampstead,London NW3.
Dom is having his first exhibition in London for three years.
On Thursday he has a private view in New York.
Around a dozen large paintings by Dom on display here - full of vivid bright colours.
Dom is here and told me all the hidden Easter weekend art had been found surprisingly quickly.
Dom Pattinson rose to fame after George Clooney bought his work as a wedding gift for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, he is now an internationally known artist with many collectors, there will be a Dom Pattinson Treasure Hunt Easter Art Giveaway across London from Good Friday (14 April-15th) in the run-up to his exciting Zebra One Gallery exhibition, April 19th.
Complimentary prosecco for all guests.
www.zebraonegallery.comVisit the gallery website here for more info.
then
KASABIAN + CABBAGE live at The Forum,Kentish Town,London.
Kasabian play the first of three shows at The Forum...all sold out pronto..
Small gigs by their standards to promote the release of their new album.
Their sixth studio album, 'For Crying Out Loud' , is out on the 05 May 2017(postponed from 28 April 2017).
Four of the five Kasabian albums have hit the number one spot and they have had twelve Top 40 hits.
They headline Reading & Leeds Festivals in the summer and no doubt a TBA UK tour Nov/Dec.
I have seen Kasabian several times over the past 15 years.
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CABBAGE from Manchester are one of the most talked about new indie bands out there.
I saw the last 20 mins of their support set.
With hints of The Manics/The Libertines/The Fall in their edgy songs with attitude.
I thought the vocals were a bit messy tonight but i look forward to seeing them again.
They are playing many festivals and headline gigs over the next few months.
KASABIAN arrive on stage at 9.35pm and play for 90 mins.
An overlong gap between the support band and Kasabian coming on stage as i suspect they were watching
their beloved Leicester backstage in their big Champions League game - 2nd leg.
It was a 1- 1 draw so Leicester are knocked out as they lost the first game by a goal.
Needless to say the bars are busy and it is a buzzing sold out atmosphere.
Loads of lights and equipment more suited to an arena were crammed on the stage here.
Kasabian arrive on stage and their rock with a dance edge gets everyone bouncing.
Down the front is a heaving mass of bodies when the older classics are played.
There is a four piece female string section that are used on a few songs.
Tom (vocals) and Serge (bass and vocals) really do seem to have a special bond that not many bands have.
The pair do all the interviews together and know how to talk the talk when on stage.
New album track 'Bless This Acid House' (as played on Jools Holland last week) is superb
and sure to be a fan fave when the album comes out.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Comeback Kid
Bumblebeee
Underdog
Eez-Eh
Shoot the Runner
You're in Love With a Psycho
Club Foot
La Fée Verte
Re‐Wired
Bless This Acid House
Treat
Empire
Stevie
L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)
Encore:
III Ray (The King)
Vlad the Impaler
Fire






Tuesday 18 April 2017.
Mrs Merton's Paul Daniels jibe voted best TV put-down.
Mrs Merton's 'memorable quip' to Debbie McGee, the wife of magician Paul Daniels, has been chosen as the greatest comedy put-down in British TV history. The late comedian Caroline Aherne starred as the elderly host of mock talk show The Mrs Merton Show in the 1990s and her 'brazen' question, where she asked McGee 'So what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?', has been voted TV's best one-liner in a poll of 2000 fans.






Saturday 15 April 2017.
THE MAGPIE SALUTE live at Under The Bridge @ Chelsea F.C.,London.
The Magpie Salute play the last of four shows at Under The Bridge @ Chelsea F.C.
The band feature former THE BLACK CROWES guitarist Rich Robinson.
The band also includes former Black Crowes members Marc Ford and Sven Pipien as well as
Rich Robinson band members Matt Slocum, Joe Magistro, Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen.
After selling out their four-night New York residency at The Gramercy Theatre, The Magpie Salute
have announced their first ever shows on these shores...their first in Europe...
Together with songs by The Magpie Salute, the band will be performing tracks from
The Black Crowes back-catalogue, solo songs by Rich Robinson and more.
Like their debut shows in New York in January they will change the setlist around each night.
This 550 capacity venue is a superb venue to see a band with its mix of standing and seats for a perfect view
along with great music memorabilia on the walls.
I have seen The Black Crowes around a dozen times over the past 30 years including The Pantages
in Los Angeles in 1995 and supporting The Rolling Stones at Wembley Stadium in 1995 and Aerosmith
at Wembley Stadium in 1999.
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Always nice to be at this state-of-the-art venue.
Lots of The Black Crowes hardcore fans are here as when asked by Rich Robinson during the show
"how many had come to two shows or more?",many hands went up.
THE MAGPIE SALUTE arrive on stage at 8.30pm and are on for a nice long 2 hours 25 mins.
We have the full compliment of musicians as the New York shows with ten on stage including
three guitarists and three female backing singers.
The setlist is frankly incredible as only a handful of songs were played on any of the other nights.
They must have played over 60 different songs over the course of the four nights here.
Rich Robinson has a nice selection of guitars and is changing his guitar after every song.
As promised we get loads of The Black Crowes songs,solo songs and some covers.
After 30 mins there were a few slower paced songs and later on we had a couple of extended jams
with superb duelling guitars and keyboards at full tilt.
Their blues rock sound is just sooo cool.
How Rich and the band just play so many different songs each night is just amazing.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
No Speak No Slave (The Black Crowes cover)
Stare It Cold (The Black Crowes cover)
Let Me Share the Ride (The Black Crowes cover)
Down the Road (Rich Robinson song)
Call Me Faithful (Marc Ford cover)
Time to Leave (Rich Robinson song)
Oh Josephine (The Black Crowes cover)
Darling of the Underground Press (The Black Crowes cover)
Sister Luck (The Black Crowes cover)
Laila II (Agitation Free cover)
Goin' Down South (R.L. Burnside cover)
Eclipse the Night (Rich Robinson song)
I'm Free (Marc Ford cover)
Rollin' Over (Small Faces cover)
Every Picture Tells a Story (Faces cover)
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (The Velvet Underground cover)
Good Morning Captain (The Black Crowes cover)
Paint an 8 (The Black Crowes cover)
Tied Up and Swallowed (The Black Crowes cover)
Rich Robinson said "pretend we have gone offstage and have come back for an encore".
(Only) Halfway to Everywhere (The Black Crowes cover)
Thorn in My Pride (The Black Crowes cover)
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www.underthebridge.co.ukVisit the venue website for upcoming gigs list info.
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This gig was number 6600 i have seen since 1973...yes 6600.





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