News and Reviews: August 21, 2018

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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 interview with TIME OUT magazine in April 2018 is now online.
It features me talking about being the UKs number one gig goer...now over 6700 gigs seen...
Includes a mention of the 2000 plus shows i have been to at Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo since 1973,
along with a photo of me outside the venue.
Mentions some Sex Pistols stories and other bits and pieces.
www.timeout.com/london/newsSearch for it here..or google Time Out Ray Morrissey.
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The film 'The Festival' is in cinemas this weekend.
'The Festival', which might just be the first film to fully acknowledge that music festivals are a little bit shit, but they’re also the perfect breeding ground for a very British blend of brilliantly puerile comedy.
Directed by The Inbetweeners co-creator Iain Morris, The Festival tells the story of recent university graduate Nick (Joe Thomas), who heads to a music festival with best friend Shane (Hammed Animashaun) after he’s unexpectedly dumped by his girlfriend.
Upon arrival, it’s clear that the event is a million miles away from the manicured lawns of Coachella. Instead, it’s a muddy hellscape where things begin to go almost immediately wrong.
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These are the T's and C's.
What do I need to know?
This voucher is valid for 24 months for two people.
You will be able to select your chosen courses from a delicious set menu at each venue
Exclusion dates apply, including bank holiday weekends, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day weekend, Father's Day weekend, and between the dates of 16th December-1st January.
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Fri 24 Aug and Sat 25 Aug---Dirty DC play The Half Moon, Putney.
AC/DC tribute who have been playing since 1988..
Fri 24 Aug ,Sat 25 Aug , Sun 26 Aug---Britney Spears plays The 02 Arena.
Britney has sold 100 million records worldwide (albums and singles combined).
I saw her on her last UK tour which was visually great with multiple costume changes
but she only sung one song live.
The rest was mimed as she got stuck into some great dancing with her dancers.
Britney has over 20 million followers on Instagram.
Fri 24 Aug, Sat 25 Aug, Sun 26 Aug---Reading & Leeds Festivals Weekend.
Headliners are Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar and Kings of Leon.
The overall line-up gets worse and worse for this once great music festival.
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Sat 25 Aug---Kaiser Chiefs play Windsor Racecourse.
The Kaisers will take to the stage after a full day of horse-racing.
I have seen The Kaisers around a dozen times since when their debut album came out.
Sun 26 Aug---Brian Wilson plays Windsor Racecourse.
I have seen Brian Wilson over 20 times since 2002 when he started playing shows over here again.
I saw all six of his comeback shows at The Royal Festival Hall in 2002 when big name musicians turned up each night.
He has pretty much played the UK nearly every year since then.
Experience Brian Wilson's greatest hits live including selected songs from Pet Sounds, his top hits and fan favourites spanning his 54-year career with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist! Brian Wilson has also been described as one of the few undisputed geniuses in popular music. The Beach Boys are considered one of the most influential acts of the modern era, and have sold in excess of 100 million records world wide since the 1960's!
Support acts are Heaven 17 , Sister Sledge , & Heather Small(ex M People singer).
www.windsor-racecourse.co.ukVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets
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Sat 25 Aug, Sun 26 Aug , Mon 27 Aug---BBC Radio 2 celebrate Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson.
All three of them were born in 1958 so 60th birthdays....Michael Jackson is on 29 August.
Hard to believe Prince, Michael Jackson, George Michael and Whitney Houston all never made it to 60.
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Sun 26 Aug and Mon 27 Aug---Notting Hill Carnival.
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Tues 28 Aug---QPR v Bristol Rovers in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Thurs 30 Aug - 'The Sessions' with a live performance from Joe Chiari and company playing a rare mix of funk, soul and jazz
Singer, songwriter & guitarist Joe Chiari, who recently played British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall - will be joined by Rich Zbaraski on bass, Dom Anthony on percussion and, Jay Phelps on trumpet, as they tear down the house with two lively and unique sets.
Arrivals: from 630pm
Show starts: 7pm
RSVP: jazz@myhotels.com confirm your attendance ASAP, as spaces are extremely limited.
Address: My Chelsea, 35 Ixworth Place, London, SW3 3QX.
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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, Young Frankenstein and others.
Mamma Mia! The Musical is still packing them in.
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 and others.
08 April 2018 - Hamilton won seven awards including Best New Musical at The Olivier Awards.
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TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL opens at London's Aldwych Theatre is on until Feb 2019.
The hotly anticipated musical based on the life & songs of music legend Tina Turner.
Opening press night on 17 April got loads of great four and five star reviews.
Tina Turner and Rod Stewart turned up on the opening night.
www.tinathemusical.comVisit the website here for more info and to buy tickets.
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A documentary about John Lydon, the frontman of Public Image Ltd. and former Sex Pistols frontman, will be getting a wide release in the summer. The Public Image Is Rotten tells how the singer picked himself up after the dissolution of the Pistols and formed the post-punk band he refers to now as PiL. First-time director Tabbert Fiiller helmed the film featuring commentary by Flea, Ad-Rock, Ginger Baker and Thurston Moore, among others, alongside interviews with Lydon and archival footage.
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A massive PIL box set is to be released to coincide with their UK tour on 20 July.
5-CD/2-DVD box set will feature The PiL Singles Collection (1978-2015), B-sides, Rarities and Radio Sessions, 12" Mixes & Dance Tracks, and Unreleased Mixes and Tracks
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Erin Rae's second full-length album, 'Putting On Airs', was released in June 2018.
Erin Rae and the Meanwhiles are an American folk pop band from Nashville, Tennessee.The band is led by singer Erin Rae McKaskle.According to Rolling Stone, Erin Rae "makes smooth-edged music for Sunday afternoons" and "her arrangements — anchored by pedal-steel guitar and the steady strum of an acoustic guitar — may be rooted in modern-day indie folk, but the songs themselves rustle up comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne".
Erin Rae tour dates...
Rough Trade East (Wed 29/8) in store - 1pm
Supporting Hiss Golden Messenger @ Islington Assembly (Wed 29/8) - stage time TBC
Slaughtered Lamb (Thursday 30/8): stage time TBC
End OF The Road (Sunday 2/9 @ Noon)
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Fri 31 Aug, Sat 01 Sept , Sun 02 Sept---Concours D' Elegance is held in the amazing setting of
Hampton Court Palace.
For three days only, the gardens at Hampton Court Palace will be home to over 300 of the finest and rarest motor cars ever to be seen. The crown jewels of the automotive world – 1896 pioneers to present day supercars.
The new 'Future Classics' feature this year looks at the Concours stars of the next few decades. Crowned by the one-off, totally bespoke Rolls-Royce Sweptail, guests will also be able to see the McLaren Senna #001, Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster and V12 Vantage V600.
www.concoursofelegance.comVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.
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Fri 31 Aug---Glen Matlock Band play The 100 Club...£20 advance or £25 on the door.
The band feature Chris Musto on drums and Jim Lowe on bass and legendary guitarist Earl Slick.
Glen plays another London show to promote his new album 'Good to Go'.
This gig is the official launch for the album and Glen will be signing copies of it after the show.
With support from JC Carroll (The Members ) who is playing an acoustic set.
Sat 01 Sept---3pm - Reading play Sheffield Wednesday.
Sun 02 Sept---Bootleg Boss plays The Theatre Royal , Windsor...top notch Springsteen tribute...
Sun 02 Sept to Tue 04 Sept - Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2018 is held at Olympia.
Thurs 06 Sept + Fri 07 Sept + Sat 08 Sept---Barry Manilow plays The 02 Arena.
Thurs 06 Sept---Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges plays the first of six shows at Hammersmith Apollo.
Fri 07 Sept---Lenny Kravitz new album 'Raise Vibration' is out today.
Fri 07 Sept---Daniel Takes A Train play The Troubadour , Earls Court.
The band play their first gig for over 30 years.
Back in the late 1980s they played at every stop on The Circle Line to get some publicity.
Fri 07 Sept---Prince prodigy Kandace Springs releases her second album and new single.
Nashville’s very own honey-voiced soul-jazz siren, Kandace Springs, has announced her eagerly awaited second album, Indigo, which is due for release on 7 September via Blue Note Records. The first taste of what’s to come has also been revealed in the shape of Indigo’s lead single, ‘Don’t Need The Real Thing’.
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Mon 10 Sept---D.O.A. A Right of Passage, finally arrives for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD Dual format.
D.O.A.: A Right of Passage is the unique, grainy and up-close document of an iconic musical movement, packed with live footage of the Pistols’ incendiary American shows in 1978, as well as live performances from the greatest punk band you’ve never heard of, Terry and The Idiots, alongside Dead Boys, Generation X, Rich Kids, X-Ray Spex, Sham 69 with additional music from The Clash and Iggy Pop. It arrives on 10 September 2018, complete with brand new bonus features and limited edition booklet in the first 2000 copies.
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Sun 09 Sept---Kylie Minogue headlines BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park.
The other acts featuring in the line-up include Lenny Kravitz, Manic Street Preachers, Carrie Underwood,
All Saints, Rita Ora, The Band of Love.
Sun 09 Sept---Ghost play The Royal Albert Hall.
Sun 09 Sept---David Sinclair Four + Lorna Reid plus others play The Half Moon, Putney.
Fresh Tracks songwriters showcase.
Sun 9, 10, 12, 13 Sept---Arctic Monkeys play The 02 Arena.
Tues 11 Sept and Wed 12 Sept---Janelle Monáe plays The Roundhouse.
Wed 12 Sept---Puppy play The Borderline Club, London W1.
Puppy signed a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records in 2017
Fri 14 Sept---Sex Pistols Experience + Bermondsey Joyriders play Chinnery's, Southend.
Fri 14 Sept---Paul Weller releases another solo album today.
'True Meanings' will be Weller's fourteenth solo outing and, incredibly, his 26th studio album including LPs by The Style Council and The Jam. The album will be released on 14 September and comes after The Modfather celebrated his 60th birthday earlier this year.
I saw The Jam six times before they split up and have seen PW with The Style Council and solo.
I saw The Style Council at Live Aid in 1985.
Sun 16 Sept---Voodoo Room - a tribute to Hendrix, Clapton & Cream play Theatre Royal, Windsor.
Mon 17 Sept---Camel play The Royal Albert Hall.
I saw Camel headline Hammersmith Odeon back in 1976.
These Prog rockers definitely came under the 'not my cup of tea' category.
Tues 18 Sept---Dionne Warwick plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Thurs 20 Sept---Jimmy Osmond plays The Beck Theatre, Hayes...singing Osmonds hits and 70s covers...
Thurs 20 Sept---The Mercury Album Award is held at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Fri 21 Sept---Sex Pistols legend Glen Matlock releases his new album 'Good to Go'.
Fri 21 Sept---Spiritualized play Hammersmith Apollo.
Sun 23 Sept---Europe + King King play The Royal Albert Hall.
Mon 24 Sept---Biffy Clyro play The Royal Albert Hall....Biffy are on a UK acoustic tour...
Mon 24 Sept---Nick Mason plays The Roundhouse.
Nick Mason back at this venue where Pink Floyd played gigs in the late 1960s.
Wed 26 Sept---Franz Ferdinand play The Roundhouse.
Wed 26 Sept , Thurs 27 Sept , Fri 28 Sept---Kylie Minogue plays The 02 Arena.
Kylie on a UK arena tour to promote her country tinged album 'Golden'.
The cassette version of her album is the best selling cassette this year selling over 2800 copies
since it's release date.
Thurs 27 Sept---Pale Waves play Shepherds Bush Empire.
A great new band who have broken through this year.
Goth on the surface but glittering pop underneath, the Manchester quartet have taken the airwaves by storm, with "Kiss", "The Tide" , ‘Television Romance’ and ‘There’s A Honey’ getting frequent exposure.
They are on a UK to promote their debut album, 'My Mind Makes Noises', released on Friday 14 September.
Fri 28 Sept---Rod Stewart's brand new album ‘Blood Red Roses’ is out today.
Fri 28 Sept---Peter Hook & The Light play Koko.
Fri 28 Sept---Sex Pistols Experience + The Vulz play The 100 Club.
Sat 29 Sept---Sex Pistols Experience play The London Stone, Staines.
Sat 29 Sept---Ocean Colour Scene + Echobelly play Brixton Academy.
Sun 30 Sept---Soft Cell play The 02 Arena.
Synth-pop pioneers Soft Cell will reunite for one last time ,in their first UK show for 15 years.
Marc Almond and Dave Ball will perform together for a one-off show, ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’, as they celebrate their 40th anniversary as a duo with their first UK show since 2003.
Tues 02 Oct--- 8pm - Reading play QPR.
Wed 03 Oct---Sophie Ellis Bextor plays The Royal Festival Hall...with orchestra...
Thurs 04 Oct---Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited - at The Royal Festival Hall...- Band with Orchestra -
Fri 05 Oct----Sir-Vere release their wide ranging and energy-packed ‘PsychoBallisticFunk’ album on
Wall of Sound....Think Prodigy mixed with AC/DC.
Thurs 11 Oct and Fri 12 Oct---Paul Weller plays The Royal Festival Hall.
Paul's new solo album 'True Meanings' is released on 14 Sept 2018.
These shows will be the only UK shows for the new album in 2018. He will be accompanied by his usual band members and an orchestra to present and celebrate the release of the album.
Fri 12 Oct and Sat 13 Oct---Suede play Hammersmith Apollo.
I have seen Suede around a dozen times since 1993.
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The very first National Album Day has been announced.
A week of celebrations culminating on the 70th anniversary of the album on Saturday October 13 will take place, with all corners of the British music industry coming together to honour the format.
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Sun 14 Oct and Mon 15 Oct---Cliff Richard plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Cliff is playing a UK tour to celebrate his 60 years in the music biz.
The show on 14th Oct will be celebrating his 78th birthday.
It will beamed live into many cinemas across the UK.
Sir Cliff has sold over 250 million records ( albums/singles ) in his career.
He is the third-top-selling artist in UK Singles Chart history, behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
This tour is his first since winning his privacy court case against the BBC.
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Tues 16 Oct---Tony Hadley plays The Palladium.
Wed 17 Oct, Thurs 18 Oct, Sat 20 Oct , Sun 21 Oct---Jeff Lynne's ELO play The 02 Arena.
Jeff & ELO back for another massive UK tour.
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U2 return in Sept/Oct/Nov for a European Arena Tour.
Fri 19 Oct and Sat 20 Oct---Manchester Arena
Tues 23 Oct and Wed 24 Oct---02 Arena, London
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BluesFest is at the 02 Arena.
Thurs 25 Oct---John Fogerty + Steve Miller Band
Fri 26 Oct---Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters + Van Morrison
Robert Plants first London show since he turned 70 on 20 August 2018.
Sat 27 Oct---Zac Brown Band + Beth Hart
Sun 28 Oct---Counting Crows + Alison Krauss
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Sat 27 Oct---Tom Robinson Band play Shepherds Bush Empire.
TRB play a UK tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their debut album.
'Power In The Darkness' - the Tom Robinson Band's debut album - was released in 1978. It was followed by their 28-date Out Of The Darkness tour of the UK and Ireland, with Stiff Little Fingers as special guests.
I was at both the London shows at Hammersmith Odeon on that tour in Oct 1978.
I have seen Tom Robinson Band around 20 times since 1977.
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Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Olafur Arnalds is playing a UK tour in October to promote his new album
which is released on Mercury KX / Universal.
‘re:member’ comes out on 24th August, and the Icelander is set to take the record on a world tour, which runs for the rest of the year, finishing in his hometown of Reykjavik just before Christmas.
In May 2018 he sold out The Royal Albert Hall and returns for a full UK tour that includes
two nights at The London Palladium on 30/31 Oct 2018.
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Mon 29 Oct---Spandau Ballet play Hammersmith Apollo.
After a debut club show, this is the first major show with their new singer.
First time ever that Spandau Ballet have played this venue in their 35 year plus career.
Fri 02 Nov---Richard Ashcroft plays The Forum.
Fri 02 Nov---Sham 69 play Sub 89, Reading...featuring three original members...
Mon 12 Nov---MC5 + Michael Monroe play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Fri 23 Nov---The Damned play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sat 24 Nov---From The Jam play Shepherds Bush Empire.
From The Jam feature original bass player from The Jam - Bruce Foxton.
'All Mod Cons' album 40th anniversary UK tour...with support from Nine Below Zero.




Monday 20 August 2018...6.30pm to 9.30pm...
CELEBS ON THE FARM - launch party -
CELEBS ON THE FARM new series starts on Channel 5 tv at 10pm.
Complimentary cocktails, prosecco, wines, beers, burgers and canapés for all guests.
Check back soon for full review.




Monday 20 August 2018.
Happy Birthday to ROBERT PLANT who is 70 today.
I saw Led Zeppelin in 1975 at Earls Court as well as their big re-union show at The 02 Arena in 2007.
I have seen Robert Plant solo over 15 times since 1983.
PHIL LYNOTT would have been 69 today.
I first saw Thin Lizzy in 1975 when they supported Bachman Turner Overtime at Hammersmith Odeon.
Amazingly i saw Phil with Thin Lizzy 23 times which included their final show with Phil
when they headlined The Reading Festival in August 1983.




Saturday 18 August 2018..3pm - READING 0 BOLTON 1.
Looks like i will be watching Reading more than QPR this season.
Both Reading and QPR have had a bad start to the new season.
It's the third game of the Championship season and Reading lose again after back-to-back defeats against
Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
Reading had a couple of good chances but Bolton were the better team today.
Today's attendance before kick-off was 13,318 with 856 away fans.
QPR got slaughtered 7-1 by West Brom so they go bottom instead of Reading.
QPR and Reading managers must be thinking they could be sacked soon, if results don't improve.
They play each other on 02 Oct so that game should be very interesting.




Friday 17 August 2018...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 8.30pm
STREET FEAST at Hawker House - showcase - Surrey Quays Road, London SE16.
Around 300 guests here at this massive space that is outside as well as inside.
There are several street food vendors and several bars offering different drinks.
You can play table tennis, pool , shoot hoops etc.
There is a dj playing in the background.
Complimentary rum cocktails, wines, beers and full portions of food for all guests.
I had some very tasty fried chicken and fries from MOTHER CLUCKER (buttermilk soaked, twice battered )
Also some very nice beef steak strips with peppercorn sauce from SALT SHED.
The Canada Water street food mega-market open every Friday and Saturday from 5pm to Late.
Food, booze and grooves – Families welcome.
It is three minutes walk from Canada Water tube station.
www.streetfeast.comVisit the Street Feast website for more info on their six sites around London.
then
THE TEARAWAYS live at Nells Jazz & Blues, West Kensington, London W14.
The Tearaways were part of the New York power pop scene of the early 1980s.
The Tearaways featuring Clem Burke, John Finseth, John Ferriter, Greg Brallier & Dave Hekhouse.
CLEM BURKE of course is the legendary drummer with Blondie.
Blondie drummer Clem Burke has been playing them a couple of years and is with them tonight.
Pretty amazing the amount of bands Clem has drummed with over the years besides Blondie.
I saw him with The Plimsouls who are another American power pop band when I was on holiday
in Barcelona in May 1997.
The Tearaways released this debut single “Sounds like…” in 1981. After a hiatus the band started again in the 1990’s releasing a series of CD’s and released “The Early Mankey Sessions” in 2014.
Influenced by 1960's counterculture, The Tearaways combine the rock music subgenre of the British Invasion, lead most notably by the Beatles with the sunshine pop and surf music of the likes of the Beach Boys.
I was at their debut London show at The 100 Club this time last year.
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For a low key club there was a lot of well known names here including Glen Matlock, Chris Spedding,
Tony Hadley and major showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit is with Lizzie Cundy and Bruno Tonioli.
THE TEARAWAYS arrived on stage at 9.30pm and played for around 85 mins.
Mainly their own catchy power pop material along with a few covers.
Songs from the new “Anthems” album, coupled with “Esquire” and the “Earle Mankey Sessions” albums.
Great melodies and harmonies throughout and plenty of stunning drumming from Clem Burke.
An enjoyable show.
Setlist tonight included...
Do You Remember Rock n Roll Radio? (Ramones cover)
Name That Tune
I Love My Life
John Wayne
Call Me (Blondie cover)
Girls Who Love Cars
Encore :
You Should Be Dancing (Bee Gees cover)





Thursday 16 August 2018....I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8.45pm
KISS x Billie Faiers - launch party - Marylebone Hotel, Welbeck Street , London W1.
KISS Nails & Lashes announce Billie Faiers as their new brand ambassador.
Around 150 guests here with maybe 90% female as expected.
Thankfully i am with a couple of female friends as it was very girly here.
Billie Faiers was the star of the party as she celebrated her new role as ambassador of KISS Nails and Lashes at The Marylebone Hotel. The former TOWIE star was joined by her co-star Jessica Wright, as well as Love Island's Laura Crane, Francine Lewis, Annaliese Dayes, Hayley Palmer, Georgie Clarke, Annabel Giles and Lizzie Cundy.
A band in the corner played several cover versions and there was a dj too.
Girls can get their nails and lashes done for free.
Complimentary prosecco, rum cocktails, vodka cocktails , canapés and ice-cream for guests tonight.
A huge goodie bag here with their full range of nails & lashes inside so over 20 items worth over £100,
so i will put it to good use for friends & family.
then
9.15pm to 10.30pm
CRISPIN - launch party - Whites Row, Spitalfields, London E1.
The duo behind the Lundenwic coffee shop and Borough Market’s Scotchtails take things to the next level with their latest project, an all-day eatery housed in an East London ‘zinc and glass kite’, with low intervention wines, local produce and even a ‘listening bar’.
This stand alone venue is stunning in design.
Maybe 60 guests here.
Opening offer in August of £1 coffees and 50% off food.
Complimentary wines, beers and canapés for guests tonight.
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I was on the guest list for this one but sadly it was the same time as above girly event so did not get along.
Proud Central - private view of Audrey Hepburn: Beyond the Screen.
Photography by Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson, Bob Willoughby, Eva Sereny, Mark Shaw and Douglas Kirkland will all be featured in the exhibition, which marks 25 years since Hepburn’s death at the age of 63.
Proud Central Gallery
32 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6BP





Thursday 16 August 2018.
ARETHA FRANKLIN has sadly passed away aged 76.
Aretha Franklin, 'The Queen of Soul" known for hits like Respect and Think, has died in Detroit aged 76.
The legendary singer was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and announced last year she was retiring from music.
Franklin won 18 Grammys, and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades.
Aretha was one of the few legendary artists I never saw live which was mainly due to her fear of flying
after an incident in 1984 when she vowed she would never leave North America again by plane.






Thursday 16 August 2018.
Happy Birthday to MADONNA who is 60 today.
Tomorrow (Friday) BBC4 tv are dedicating two programmes to her in tribute.
10pm
Documentary charting Britain's relationship with Madonna, examining the influence Madonna has had on British music and fashion, and how she provoked a debate over sexual and gender politics - inspiring a generation of women, whilst remaining a huge gay icon. The film follows a group of fans on their journey to Barcelona for the first night of Madonna's Drowned World Tour and finds out what Madonna means to them. Contributors include backing singer Donna DeLory, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rosanna Arquette, Mel C, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Hear'Say and Janet Street-Porter.
11pm
Madonna live in concert - Rebel Heart World Tour 2015/2016.
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Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is recognised as the best-selling female
recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records.
I have seen Madonna live around a dozen times since 1987....always a fantastic visual show....





Wednesday 15 August 2018.
AEROSMITH have confirmed that they will play a total of 18 shows in Las Vegas in 2019.
The band will take to the stage at the Park Theater at the new Park MGM resort in the city throughout April, June and July next year for a run of performances under the 'Deuces Are Wild' banner.
Aerosmith are one of the rare bands with all five members still there from their 1970s line-up.
Aerosmith celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2019.




Tuesday 14 August 2018.
We went for a drive out to Berks and Bucks to visit Windsor and a showcase at Hedsor House, Taplow.
1pm to 5pm...Windsor, Berkshire.
We had a very nice afternoon in Windsor including a visit to Windsor Castle.
Even more tourists than usual here due to The Royal Wedding a couple of months ago.
We walked across the bridge to Eton.
Always great to have a proper wander around Windsor every so often.
then
5.30pm to 7pm...Hedsor House - showcase - Taplow, Bucks.
A right Royal history. This manor house was originally designed by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, with the help of King George III and Queen Charlotte. They were captivated by Hedsor's picturesque position high above the River Thames and its proximity to London..the current house on the site was completed in 1868.
Hedsor House remained as the Boston family's country house until early in the 20th century, during which time Queen Victoria was said to be a frequent visitor to the house and its beautiful surrounding parkland.
It is available to hire for corporate events and weddings...it has also been used in film and tv.
It featured Tom Hardy in the 2015 film Legend and in 2016 as the mansion George Clooney is kidnapped to in a Nespresso advert.
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The Taplow area has many large country estates including Cliveden House and Taplow House.
A stunning entrance with a long drive as we wind half a mile or so to the car park and entrance.
A stunning house over three floors with over a dozen rooms, a ballroom, sunken gardens etc , set in 85 acres.
Everything here looks luxurious and immaculate.
Folks with a few extra quid hold their weddings here...would be pricey.
Would be very tricky to get here without a car.
Complimentary prosecco, coffees, teas and canapés for around 100 guests.
www.hedsor.comVisit the Hedsor website here for more info.





Monday 13 August 2018.
Some facts about IRON MAIDEN who i have seen over 30 times including just a couple of days ago.
In the 1980s they would always rather play multi-nights at Hammersmith Odeon than play Wembley Arena.
In Nov 1986 I saw all six of their Hammersmith Odeon shows on that tour.
Oddly enough that the support band for those shows were Samson who were Bruce Dickinson's band
before he joined Iron Maiden.
I saw Bruce Dickinson sing with Samson in 1979 and 1980.
I saw Iron Maiden in 1980 when Paul Di'Anno was their singer before Bruce Dickinson.
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I was at this mega gig 30 years ago this month.
Iron Maiden,KISS,David Lee Roth ,Megadeth,Guns And Roses,Helloween Monsters Of Rock Festival , 20.08.1988
Iron Maiden did a superb full 2 hour set. KISS did 75 mins set ( no make up ) David Lee Roth did a mega 60 mins . sadly a death when GnR played .




Sunday 12 August 2018.
Any regulars that go to events at The 02 Arena in London will know that
drinks & food are a total rip-off but they have defied belief by having yet another price increase.
They now charge £7 for a pint of lager, yes £7...total thievery.
Best to drink outside the venue or not at all if you can.




Friday 10 August 2018
On this day in KISSTORY - August 10, 1973 -KISS auditioned for their soon to be manager Bill Aucoin at the Crystal Ball Room of the Hotel Diplomat in New York City.
Bill Aucoin: When I first saw KISS at the Hotel Diplomat in 1973 they didn't have much of a show. They had the red beacons, a couple of amps. They were wearing black jeans. No one could afford leather. The show was just a regular rock 'n' roll show except they had spontaneity. They wanted to do something different and they wanted it very badly. That kind of devotion is worth more than anything. It's so special and you start picking up on it. I saw that magic in them.
When i first went to New York in Sept 1979 i headed for a two week stay at Hotel Diplomat as KISS and
The New York Dolls had played there.
During my stay there i saw The Buzzcocks playing in the same ballroom KISS had played in.
Hotel Diplomat is no longer there.




Friday 10 August 2018.
IRON MAIDEN + KILLSWITCH ENGAGE live at The 02 Arena, London.
Iron Maiden play the first of two sold out shows here.
These are the final dates on their European Tour.
Expect a nice big stage production.
I have seen Iron Maiden over 30 times since 1980 when they were a support band to Judas Priest at
Hammersmith Odeon and throughout the 1980s they headlined Hammersmith Odeon many times.
Not sure why , but I did not see their shows at The 02 Arena in May 2017 on their last UK tour.
Iron Maiden are one of the biggest metal bands in the world with over 100 million album sales worldwide.
Support band are Killswitch Engage who are an American metalcore band.
They have released seven studio albums and sold over 4 million albums worldwide.
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Get to the venue and as per usual with Maiden fans the merch stands are doing a roaring trade.
Every other person seems to be wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt.
I caught the last 15 mins of support band KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.
Heavy metal guitar riffs were ok but the shouty aggressive vocals were not my cup tea.
They finished with a cover of 'Holy Diver' so not sure what Ronnie James Dio would have thought of that.
The majority of Maiden fans did not seem that impressed and the band barely got applause when they finished.
IRON MAIDEN had the great full tape intro of UFO's 'Doctor Doctor ' then a famous Churchill speech and
then they came on stage at 9pm and played for around 1 hour 50 mins.
There is a big screen showing great pre-recorded images and two side screens showing live footage.
Iron Maiden’s Legacy of the Beast tour has to be one of their most visually extravagant show ever. Their mascot, Eddie, appears first as a 12-foot trooper, swordfighting with singer Bruce Dickinson, and then as a stage-dwarfing demon. There are pyrotechnics, a giant noose and a vast model of Icarus. Most eye-popping of all is the 90% lifesize model of a second world war Spitfire, which “flies” over the stage for the opening track and almost takes out drummer Nicko McBrain with its tailfin.
Lots of lights as usual as Bruce sweats his nuts off running around the stage and the other members
swop positions on stage throughout the evening and Janick Gers does his funny guitar theatrics.
The first half had a few lesser known tunes but the second half was a superb batch of Maiden anthems.
An excellent show from Iron Maiden.
Full Iron Maiden setlist played tonight...
Tape intro : Doctor Doctor (UFO song)
Video intro : Churchill's Speech
Aces High
Where Eagles Dare
2 Minutes to Midnight
The Clansman
The Trooper
Revelations
For the Greater Good of God
The Wicker Man
Sign of the Cross
Flight of Icarus
Fear of the Dark
The Number of the Beast
Iron Maiden
Encore:
The Evil That Men Do
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Run to the Hills
Tape outro : Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python song)
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Amazingly a fan has put this entire show up on YouTube the following morning.




Thursday 09 August 2018...I went to three events today...
2.30pm to 6pm.
Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, London.
I went back here for the second time...it is on until Saturday.
Britain's flagship beer festival returns to Olympia London. Living up to its reputation as ‘Britain’s ultimate beer festival,' The Great British Beer Festival will showcase over 900 real ales and other craft beers including ciders, perries, fine wines and gin.
Greene King - Great British Beer Festival’s headline sponsor is set to bring its iconic 5X brew to the festival.
Live entertainment on each day for the big crowd of 5000 expected.
Thursday is Planet Rock Day and i saw two of the six bands who played throughout the day.
Mollie Marriott and Danny Bryant.
Around 500 of the 5000 crowd are watching the bands play at one end.
MOLLIE MARRIOTT and band were on at 3.20pm and played for 40 mins.
Mollie is the daughter of rock legend Steve Marriott (Humble Pie and Small Faces) who sadly
died in a house fire back in 1991.
With long blonde hair and thigh high black suede boots , she looked the part.
Mollie played some decent tracks from her album 'Truth is a Wolf'.
Mollie also played cover versions by Aretha Franklin and Tom Petty.
DANNY BRYANT and band were on at 4.30pm and played for 45 mins.
Danny Bryant has released several albums over his career.
He played some really good blues guitar and his band included nice boogie woogie piano.
A couple of blues covers in the set as well.
www.gbbf.co.ukVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.
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then
6.30pm to 7.30pm
arc. - private view - Herrick Gallery,93 Piccadilly, London W1.
Around 100 guests here inside and outside the gallery.
arc. brings together the work of Fani Parali, Victor Seaward, Mark Corfield Moore and Nathaniel Faulkner and is Kristian Day Gallery’s second collaboration with Herrick Gallery.
Incorporating film, tapestry, installation, 3D printing and sculpture arc. explores notions of communication, code, ritual, material and process.
Complimentary wines and beers for all guests.
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then
7.45pm to 11pm
1883 magazine 'Royalty' issue party - Cuckoo Club, Swallow Street, London W1.
This was the venue where i saw Guns & Roses play a 75 mins set in 2006 after they played Wembley Arena.
Around 150 guests here including Martin Chambers from The Pretenders.
Martin played drums on the soon to be released new Razorlight album.
1883 magazine celebrates all that is new & exciting in the world of fashion, music, film & arts.
RAZORLIGHT arrive on stage at 9.40pm and played a five song hits based 20 mins set.
Four hit singles and a new track.
There is no stage and Razorlight are playing on the floor in the corner.
We are just a few feet from them as they played a lively set that went down well.
1.In The Morning
2.Golden Touch
3.Before I Fall to Pieces
4.Carry Yourself
5.America (dedicated to President Trump)
Fat Tony was the dj after Razorlight finished their set - he is Kate Moss fave dj.
It got very lively so we had a boogie on the dance floor.
Complimentary prosecco, Stoli vodka cocktails, Cenote tequila cocktails, Bayou rum cocktails for guests.
A great event.
www.1883magazine.comVisit their website here for more info.





Tuesday 07 August 2018...I went to two events today...
3.30pm to 5pm
Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, London W14.
Britain's flagship beer festival returns to Olympia London. Living up to its reputation as ‘Britain’s ultimate beer festival,' The Great British Beer Festival will showcase over 900 real ales and other craft beers including ciders, perries, fine wines and gin.
Greene King - Great British Beer Festival’s headline sponsor is set to bring its iconic 5X brew to the festival.
Live entertainment on each evening for the big crowd of around 5000 daily.
Today was the opening day for trade and press until 5pm.
All the beers have a description so you can read before you try and part of the fun is buying a third of a pint.
Lots of street food vendors here that are selling all types of food.
Lots of traditional pub games to play including skittles etc.
Lots of pub merch and memorabilia on sale.
Lots of seating all around the venue.
www.gbbf.co.ukVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.
then
STEVEN TYLER & THE LOVING MARY BAND live at The Forum, London.
Legendary singer of rockers Aerosmith plays a one off UK show at the end of his European Tour.
This will be his first ever solo show in the UK.
The setlist will mix Aerosmith classics, choice cover versions and tracks from his country tinged solo album.
I have seen Aerosmith over a dozen times since 1976 at Hammersmith Odeon when they played
their first ever London show.
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Needless to say i was really looking forward to this show as this was a 'must see gig'.
Steven Tyler live at The Forum for just 2300 fans is one of those ' I was there' gigs.
Apart from a secret gig at The Marquee Club in 1990 after a Monsters of Rock show , Aerosmith
have only played arenas and big festivals in the UK over the past 30 years.
The show was slow at selling out due to steep ticket prices of £130 and £100 but it sold out a couple of days
before the show and as it was scorching during the day the venue is very hot & humid inside.
STEVEN TYLER & THE LOVING MARY BAND arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for around 80 mins.
On stage for only 80 mins seemed a bit short but this was a classic case of quality over quantity as
Steven Tyler oozed A-list rock star charisma for the entire show as he played a crowd pleasing set featuring
loads of Aerosmith classics and covers that Aerosmith play live and not too many tracks from the new album.
Even at the grand old age of 70, Steven Tyler still looks incredible.
Long hair, big mouth, all his nails painted, rock n roll jewellery...along with his trademark scarves on the microphone.
Kind of odd not seeing Joe Perry and co backing him and his band tonight included
females playing drums and bass and most songs had three guitars but a few had two guitars...and a banjo.
Thankfully the band sound 'more rock than country'.
We have three big screens showing live footage including great close-ups of Steven Tyler.
Steven Tyler on piano for a stunning version of 'Dream On'.
Encore was a mega version of 'Walk This Way' and a minute of 'Whole Lotta Love'.
He could have played a full version of the classic Led Zep cover to make the set a bit longer.
A short but excellent show.
Full Steven Tyler setlist played tonight...
Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith song)
Cryin' (Aerosmith song)
I'm Down / Oh! Darling (The Beatles cover)
Come Together (The Beatles cover)
Rattlesnake Shake (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Jaded (Aerosmith song)
Only Heaven
Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin cover)
Piece of My Heart (Erma Franklin cover)
We're All Somebody From Somewhere
Livin' on the Edge (Aerosmith song)
Janie's Got a Gun (Aerosmith song)
Dream On (Aerosmith song) (followed by band introductions)
Train Kept A-Rollin' (Tiny Bradshaw cover)
Encore:
Walk This Way (Aerosmith song)
Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin cover ) (one minute snippet as outro)





Monday 06 August 2018.
The Official Top 8 biggest VINYL albums of 2018 so far...
Amazing how many classic older albums are still selling on vinyl.
1 TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL & CASINO ARCTIC MONKEYS
2 RUMOURS FLEETWOOD MAC
3 THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON PINK FLOYD
4 THE GREATEST SHOWMAN MOTION PICTURE CAST RECORDING
5 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 2 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
6 NEVERMIND NIRVANA
7 STAYING AT TAMARA'S GEORGE EZRA
8 WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY OASIS





Sunday 05 August 2018...6.15pm to 8.45pm...
My band from the early 1980s - Gun Control - are having our 5th rehearsal in North Acton.
It was our first rehearsal for over a month due to holidays and stuff.
Things going a bit slow as we cannot get our original singer up from Southend where he now lives.
Our new singer is doing a good job.
Hopefully there will be a couple of gigs just before Christmas.








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