News and Reviews: February 18, 2018

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For previous months REVIEWS please click on the latest reviews link above left.
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MY BEST GIGS OF 2017 LIST.
I went to an incredible 178 live music events & gigs in 2017.
This makes the grand total of 6731 gigs seen by me since 1973.
Best gig of 2017 for me was...
I am a bit biased but KISS at The 02 Arena on 31 May 2017 was the perfect live music day.
First i was one of just 100 guests at 5pm to see the band play a 30 mins semi-acoustic set without make-up
in the backstage area of The 02 Arena and later on it was the full bells & whistles of their superb stage show.
See upcoming news page link above for my Top 20 gigs of 2017.
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My early 1980s band Gun Control have set up on Twitter in advance of our summer re-union gigs.
See a photo and read an interview from back then on @guncontrol78
In 1978 we talked about forming a band, in 1979 we did some practice and in 1980 we played our first gigs.
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Fri 16 Feb to Tue 20 Feb---LONDON FASHION WEEK is held at various venues.
Catwalk shows, presentations and showcases from many designers and brands around London.
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Sun 18 Feb---The BAFTAS are held at The Royal Albert Hall...this year hosted by Joanna Lumley.
For the last four years i attended the Harvey Weinstein BAFTA party after the awards which always had some
big name A-listers but due to his recent downfall that party will not be on this year.
Mon 19 Feb---Day 4 of London Fashion Week.
Tues 20 Feb---Today is the last day of London Fashion Week.
Tues 20 Feb---Irit is playing at the Roundhouse Studio 2.
Her latest project is a jazzy folk album (produced by Jonathan Quarmby, who produced Benjamin Clementine’s Mercury winning album ‘At Least For Now’) with some darkly comic autobiographical lyrics. Release date is March 23rd.
Irit has had somewhat of an idiosyncratic life, serving as a sniper when conscripted to the Israeli military.
Wed 21 Feb---The BRIT Awards are held at The 02 Arena...live on ITV...hosted by Jack Whitehall...
Justin Timberlake is the latest star to be announced to perform on the night along with the likes of Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Stormzy, Rag'n'Bone Man, Jorja Smith, Foo Fighters and Dua Lipa.
Big parties held after the event by Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal.
Wed 21 Feb---Bon Iver play the first of EIGHT shows at Hammersmith Apollo.
Indie Folk Band from America are more popular than you would think.
Thurs 22 Feb and Fri 23 Feb---Seal plays The Palladium....promoting his recent covers album...
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Fri 16 Feb to Sun 25 Feb---Shen Yun is at The Dominion.
Shen Yun pushes the boundaries of the performing arts, melding timeless artistry with cutting-edge innovation—transporting you to a world where legends come to life. Discover the breathtaking beauty of classical Chinese dance, and treat yourself to Shen Yun’s unique blend of costuming, high-tech backdrops, and live orchestra. Be prepared for a theater experience like no other.
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Sun 07 Jan to Sun 04 March - Cirque du Soleil brings OVO to London's Royal Albert Hall for
an eight-week run continuing the RAH's longstanding relationship with Cirque du Soleil.
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From 06 Feb to 11 March.
Having played to packed houses and standing ovations across the UK, ALL OR NOTHING– THE MOD MUSICAL is coming home to London, playing a limited season at The Arts Theatre.
1965. A new phenomenon erupted out of London’s East End. It was the essence of all that was cool. It was Mod.
ALL OR NOTHING– THE MOD MUSICAL follows the rise and demise of Small Faces, the band who encapsulated all that was mod: a unique blend of taste and testosterone, clothes-obsessed and street-wise but, most of all, a dedication to rhythm ‘n’ blues.
This stunning new home-grown musical celebrates the unique mod sound including an arsenal of brilliant hits like Whatcha Gonna Do About It, All Or Nothing, Tin Soldier, Lazy Sunday, Here Comes the Nice and Itchycoo Park.
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Fri 23 Feb---BBC4 9pm to 12pm - Bob Harris presents a three hour special to mark the
30th anniversary of the last Old Grey Whistle Test broadcast.
Fri 23 Feb---Cindy Wilson plays Under The Bridge @ Chelsea Football Club.
Opening date of her UK & European Tour.
“Change” marks an important milestone for Cindy Wilson: her first solo LP during a 40-year career with the legendary B-52s! Cindy feels that this project allowed her to be free to experiment with genre and sound in a new way.
Sat 24 Feb---Franz Ferdinand play Brixton Academy with support from Albert Hammond Junior.
Sat 24 Feb---Sex Pistols Experience play The 100 Club.
Sat 24 Feb---Cock Sparrer + Cockney Rejects play The Forum...sold out...
Mon 26 Feb---Rollin' Stoned play The Theatre Royal, Windsor.
Along with The Counterfeit Stones they are the top Stones tributes in the UK.
Tues 27 Feb---Robin Trower plays Islington Assembly Hall...only UK show...
Wed 28 Feb---An evening of conversation with Frank Bruno MBE, hosted by Jed Stone, Beck Theatre, Hayes.
Frank will be talking about his recent book and boxing career, from starting out all the way through to becoming one of Britain’s most loved sports personalities.
Wed 28 Feb and Thurs 01 March---Imagine Dragons play The 02 Arena.
They played in Taipei , Taiwan when i was in the country Jan 2018 as part of their world tour.
Scroll back to 08 Jan to 20 Jan 2018 to read my press review of my visit to Taiwan.
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Fri 02 March and Sat 03 March---Stereophonics + Ten Tonnes play Wembley Arena.
Stereophonics will be touring the UK in support of their recent album ‘Scream Above The Sounds".
Sat 03 March---Paul Weller + The Strypes play The 02 Arena.
Paul Weller's 13th solo studio album 'A Kind Revolution' was released in 2017.
Sun 04 March---David Sinclair Four play Kew Sunday Market.
Market of around 40 food and craft stands in a leafy setting next to Kew District Line Station.
The market is on from 10am to 2pm with the band on around noon...free admission...
Sun 04 March---Mayday play The 02 Arena.
Mayday from Taiwan are one of the biggest boy bands in Asia.
Scroll back to see my review of my press visit to Taiwan from Jan 8 to Jan 20 this year.
Sun 04 March---Little Simz plays The Roundhouse.
Top notch UK female rapper plays a headline show after supporting Gorillaz in December 2017.
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Sun 04 March---The Oscars 2018 will be taking place in Los Angeles.
midnight start UK time...
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Wed 07 March---Elbow + John Grant play The 02 Arena.
Fri 09 March---At The Drive-In play Brixton Academy.
Fri 09 March---Temperance Movement play The Forum.
Fri 09 March---Johnny Moped plays The 100 Club...40th anniversary show...
Sat 10 March---Bermondsey Joyriders play The Fighting Cocks Bar in Kingston upon Thames.
Sun 11 March---Skid Row + Night Ranger + Toseland play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Mon 12 March---Brit Floyd play The Palladium.
Wed 14 March---Paloma Faith plays The 02 Arena.
Paloma's recent album 'The Architect' from 2017 was a fave of mine from last year.
Thurs 15 March---Michael McDonald plays Hammersmith Apollo.
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Morrissey is more popular than ever as he has added a FOURTH London show to his UK tour.
Thurs 01 March---Brixton Academy (extra show )
Wed 07 March---Royal Albert Hall
Fri 09 March---Alexandra Palace
Sat 10 March---Palladium
Morrissey says....“Well i don’t perform. I’m occasionally on a stage, but I don’t ever perform.
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Fri 16 March---Sister Sledge, Tavares, Rose Royce, Boney M., The Real Thing, Odyssey, George McCrae.
’40 Years Of Disco’ at Wembley Arena...Seven of the biggest and legendary disco acts on a UK tour...
Sat 17 March---Feeder play Brixton Academy.
Fri 23 March---Stiff Little Fingers + Ruts DC play The Forum.
Sat 24 March---Stranglers + Therapy play Brixton Academy.
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Mon 02 April onwards---Winner of Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 and nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage awards in 2018, Jim Steinman’s smash-hit musical Bat Out of Hell returns to
London at the iconic Dominion Theatre!
I saw this great show in 2017 when it was at The Coliseum.
www.batoutofhellmusical.comVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.
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It is a good time to see musicals and plays as special offer tickets are on at some theatres...
School of Rock ,Dream Girls, 42nd Street and others.
Also Young Frankenstein at The Garrick Theatre.
From 21 Dec 2017 - Hamilton - this musical has finally opened to great reviews.
It is the hottest theatre ticket in town this year.
It is on at The Victoria Palace Theatre which has had a massive refurbishment.
I saw gigs here between 1975 to 1977 when it was called The New Victoria Theatre.
Bands i saw included Alex Harvey Band, Thin Lizzy, ELO, Lou Reed , Judas Priest and others.
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Teenage Cancer Trust shows at The Royal Albert Hall as usual will have a great mix of acts including
Def Leppard first ever show at The Royal Albert Hall which will be mega.
Mon 19 March - UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey
Tues 20 March - An Evening of Comedy hosted by Russell Howard plus special guests
Wed 21 March - Nile Rodgers & CHIC
Thurs 22 March - Roger Daltrey
Fri 23 March - Courteeners
Sat 24 March - Kasabian
Sun 25 March - Def Leppard
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Tues 27 March---- The Wombats play Alexandra Palace.
The Wombats are on a UK tour to promote their fourth album 'Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life'.
Tues 27 March to Thurs 29 March---Steven Wilson plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Prog rocker who is getting more and more popular will play mainly solo tracks along with a few tracks
from his time in Porcupine Tree.
Sun 01 April - Toto play The Royal Albert Hall
Mon 02 April---Gregory Porter plays The Royal Albert Hall
Thurs 05 April---Black Label Society play The Royal Albert Hall
Fri 06 April---Massive Wagons play The Borderline.
One of my fave new rock bands are on a UK tour.
Sat 07 April---Sex Pissed Dolls play The 100 Club.
Wed 11 April to Fri 13 April---Arcade Fire play Wembley Arena.
Sat 14 April---RANDOX HEALTH Grand National at Aintree.
Sat 21 April---This year’s Record Store Day takes place on April 21st.
Sat 21 April---Lisa Stansfield plays The Palladium.
Grammy nominated and multi Brit Award winner Lisa Stansfield, recently announced the release of her new album ‘Deeper’ for 2018. With around 20 million albums sold worldwide, Lisa also announced a European tour to coincide with UK dates throughout.
Thurs 26 April---Kim Wilde plays Koko.
Kim Wilde has announced the release of her new album, ‘Here Come the Aliens’ along with a UK tour. The massive pop icon with over 30 million records sold worldwide has hit song ‘Kids In America’ under her belt along with a string of successful singles.




Saturday 17 February 2018....I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8.15pm
FASHION COLLECTIVE LONDON - London Fashion Week Catwalk Show ,
Waldorf Hilton Hotel, Aldwych, London WC2.

then
THE GODFATHERS + TEN BENSON live at The 100 Club, London.
The Godfathers are on a UK tour to promote their album 'A Big Bad Beautiful Noise ' released 2017.
The Godfathers are a great underrated British high octane rock n roll band.
I have seen them around 30 times since 1987 when they first got signed by Epic.
In their early 1990s heyday i saw them headline Brixton Academy.
Peter Coyne on vocals is the only original member.
Support act Ten Benson are a rock band from London, who formed in 1997. Their early releases saw them described as "psychedelic hillbillies",but they later moved on to a (cod-)heavy metal sound.
Great dj tunes from Jeffrey Munday on the night from the likes of The Sex Pistols, Ramones , Iggy Pop etc.
Historic England, a public body that looks after England’s historic environment, have included the 100 Club in a list of “100 buildings and places that tell England’s remarkable story”, published on 6th February 2018.
First nominated by the public, then chosen by novelist Monica Ali, the 100 Club is recognised as one of top 10 places in the Music & Literature category.
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TEN BENSON were on stage for around 35 mins.
THE GODFATHERS arrived on stage at 9.40pm and steamrollered through 22 uptempo gems in 85 mins.
Check back soon for full review.






Friday 16 February 2018..,8.45pm to 10.45pm...
FASHION HONG KONG - presentation - Somerset House , London WC2.
A big crowd of around 300 folks are here for this London Fashion Week event.
Quite a few people here that I know so that's always nice.
Always good to see Philip Sallon (now aged 66) and still wearing outrageous outfits.
Philip is a British, club promoter, event organiser, socialite, style innovator,impresario,and clothing designer.He is particularly known for being a prominent member of the Punk and New Romantic pop cultural movements during the 1970s and 1980s.
There are four up and coming Hong Kong Fashion Designers showcasing.
www.heavenpleasestore.comHEAVEN PLEASE+
www.house-of-v.comHOUSE OF V
www.maisonvermillion.comMAISON VERMILLION
www.methodologywears.comMETHODOLOGY
There are around 25 models here wearing the clothes from the four designers.
A choice of two different gin cocktails, wines, beers, canapés and chocs for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag on departure.
www.fashionhongkong.comVisit their website here for more info.




Thursday 15 February 2018...I went to three events tonight...
6pm to 7.30pm
FEAST CANTEEN - press launch - Kings Mall, King Street, Hammersmith, London W6.
This shopping centre first opened in 1980.
Being local to the area i have been there many times since the 1980s.
The centre is currently undergoing a multi-million pound transformation.
Part of the transformation is knocking down the area on the ground floor where Burger King used to be.
FEAST CANTEEN is a re-working of the canteen experience, located within Kings Mall Hammersmith.
Food and soft drinks from five quality names...
Patty & Bun
Made of Dough
Breddos Tacos
Salvation in Noodles
Sinchow
I chose to have a lovely meal with Patty & Bun
The Fresh Prince Burger - included Aged Beef Patty, Smoked Streaky Bacon, Monterey Jack Cheese,
Special Sauce, Lettuce , Ketchup, Brioche Bun.
Smoked Confit Wings With BBQ Sauce & Spring Onions (soooo yummy i had to have a second portion)
Chips with Rosemary Salt...along with drinks.
Well worth a visit when you come to Hammersmith.
Opening times
Mon-Fri : 9am to 8pm
Sat-Sun : 11am to 8pm
Eat In, Take-Away as well as Deliveroo Home Delivery
Hammersmith tube station is less than five minutes walk.
Hammersmith Apollo is seven minutes away so you can come here before a show there.
www.feastcanteen.co.ukVisit the FEAST CANTEEN website here for more info.
then
8pm to 9.20pm
WOLF & BADGER and PHOENIX MAGAZINE - LONDON FASHION WEEK - opening party ,
Wolf & Badger, Dover Street, London W1.
Wolf & Badger is a global online marketplace for independent brands, with storefronts in London and New York.
Phoenix Magazine is a fashion & lifestyle magazine that is celebrating their issue number 22 - AW18.
It is available in selected stores at £6.95.
Around 150 guests are here spread over the two floors.
A young trendy fashion crowd along with a dj playing tunes.
Chloe, Amelia and Lauryn Goodman showed off their enviable figures in equally chic ensembles at the party.
Complimentary drinks including two different cocktails, wines and beers.
All guests got a small goodie bag with the latest PHOENIX MAGAZINE and a couple of make-up items.
www.wolfandbadger.comVisit their website and use the code LFW10 for 10% off until 28 Feb 2018.
then
9.30pm to 11.30pm
PHOENIX MAGAZINE - after-party - Kadie's Cocktail Bar & Club, 9 Swallow Street, London W1.
Kadie's is a stylish basement club where actor Idris Elba had his recent Christmas Party in Dec 2017.
It got very lively here as guests including fashion designer Joshua Kane flocked here
from other London Fashion Week events.
Two female djs (The Lallas) were playing some cool dance tunes that got some guests dancing.
Complimentary drinks included two different cocktails.
www.phoenixmag.co.ukVisit the Phoenix Magazine website here for more info.





Thursday 16 February 2018.
VAN HALEN stunning debut album was released 40 years ago this month.
Released on February 10, 1978, it has sold more than ten million copies in the United States.
I got the album when it first came out as they had connections with Gene Simmons of KISS.
I saw their stunning debut shows in London in 1978 when they supported Black Sabbath.
I saw Van Halen then headline The Rainbow in 1978, 1979, and 1980.
Van Halen contains many of Van Halen's signature songs, including "Runnin' with the Devil," the guitar solo "Eruption," The Kinks cover "You Really Got Me," "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," "Jamie's Cryin'," and the cover version of John Brim's "Ice Cream Man."





Wednesday 14 February 2018...I went to two events tonight....
5pm to 5.30pm
HOUSE 99 -wet shave press visit - Harvey Nichols, Knightbridge, London SW1.
Football legend David Beckham has partnered with L'Oréal to launch House 99, a grooming line which
includes hair products and moisturisers.
David Beckham attended the launch event at Harvey Nichols a couple of weeks ago.
I found out about the launch event a bit late and the pr replied "sorry the guest is full but please come and
visit us for a complimentary wet shave".
The barber's is in the lower ground menswear department of this famous store.
All the products used are from the HOUSE 99 range.
As it's Harvey Nicks the price would normally be a steep £45 for the 30 mins session.
A full lather on your face along with hot towel and then cold towel and then a shave then moisturiser.
Really nice to treat your face once in a while...and my cheeks were as smooth as a baby's bum after.
www.aono.co.ukVisit the AONO website at HARVEY NICHOLS website here for more info.
then
6.30pm to 9pm
EROTIC "Passion & Desire " - private view - Sotheby's , New Bond Street, London.
We are at Sotheby's but it's not the usual gallery crowd.
Luxury lingerie brand COCO DE MER are hosting a party for over 300 guests.
The art on display is of a sexual nature so all the pictures are flashing the flesh.
They are hoping for £5m worth of sales for the 90 lots at tonight's auction (Thursday).
The invite said 'bring your own mask, or we will provide you with one'.
Most of the staff and half of the guests are wearing masks.
Many of the guests are in fetish clothing.
Well known face Dr Christian Jessen is here.He is a British doctor, television presenter and writer,
best known for presenting Channel 4 programmes such as Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny.
There is a jazz quartet playing covers throughout the evening.
At 7.15pm and 8pm we have an erotic dance by a female & male duo.
Complimentary champers, two different cocktails, canapés, oysters and chocs for all guests.
A very nice party.
www.sothebys.comVisit the SOTHEBY'S website here for more info.






Tuesday 13 February 2018...6pm to 10.30pm...
RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL - launch event - BAFTA, Piccadilly,London W1.
Around 200 guests here from the horse racing world to launch this famous
horse race for 2018 along with the weights and the starting prices.
Guests include well known jockeys, owners, trainers including Jonjo ONeill,
Tony McCoy,Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson ,Ruby Walsh and others.
Also horse racing tv and radio presenters including Ed Chamberlin from ITV.
Over 3 million pounds in prizes spread out for the three days of the festival.
Complimentary Taittinger champers, wines, beers and canapes for all.
then from 9pm to 10.30pm Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly,London W1.
All guests walked the three minutes to the nearby afterparty location.
Complimentary prosecco,wines,beers and a hot buffet was laid out.
RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL IS HELD ON SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2018.




Monday 12 February 2018.
I should really go to the cinema more often than i do but i always end
up going in Jan/Feb when the BAFTA and OSCAR nominations have come in.
Today i went to my fave cinema Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly Circus.
I watched three great films that have all been OSCAR nominated.
1...Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
2...Phantom Thread (Daniel Day-Lewis is excellent in the lead role)
Also it had a superb soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.
3...The Post (starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep)




Monday 12 February 2018.
This morning i did a nice hour long interview with Time Out magazine
about being the UKs number one gig goer.
It will be in their free edition as well as their paid one.
It will be published in a month or so...i will let you know when.




Sunday 11 February 2018.
Met members of my early 1980s band Gun Control to play drums at a
rehearsal studios session in Park Royal/North Acton in the afternoon.
It is on the same industrial estate where Mick Jones of The Clash/BAD
has his rehearsal space.
Also near to where The Rolling Stones and Phil Collins rehearsed
for their 2017 shows.
I am a bit rusty as the last time i bashed a kit for a bit was
around five years ago.
Great to play along to some of our original tunes again.
More practice is obviously needed by me.
In the summer we hope to bring out a vinyl single(something we sadly never
got around to doing the first time around although we have live tapes).
Also do a couple of gigs in West London and The West End.
See our progress when we eventually get on twitter and Instagram etc.
Then
In the evening I checked into my hotel.
EASY HOTEL - press stay - Sun, Mon, Tues in Old Street.
Great location with easy walking distance to...
Whitecross Market for many food street vendors and cafes.
The Barbican is five mins away.
Shoreditch and Rough Trade East is easy walking distance.
Easy Hotel focus on small modern rooms in great central locations.
www.easyhotel.comVisit the EASY HOTEL for good value rooms in the UK & Europe.





Sunday 11 February 2018.
Tottenham are getting huge crowds at Wembley Stadium while their new stadium is being built.
Saturday’s derby between Tottenham and Arsenal set a new Premier League attendance record.
Harry Kane scored the only goal of the game at Wembley as Spurs emerged victorious over their next-door neighbours.
The official attendance logged was 83,222, which exceeds the previous record of 81,978 set during Spurs’ home win over Manchester United on 31st January.
Indeed, the North London derby attendance was apparently just 38 people shy of setting a new all-time overall English league record, with 83,260 cramming into Maine Road to watch a game between Manchester United (not City) and Arsenal in January of 1948.





Saturday 10 February 2018.
HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES play UK shows as part of their European Tour.
The band feature Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp.
The support bands on the tour will be The Darkness and The Damned.
16 June - Genting Arena Birmingham, UK
17 June - Manchester Arena Manchester, UK
19 June - Glasgow SEE Hydro Glasgow, UK
20 June - Wembley Arena London, UK




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