News and Reviews: June 01, 2019

Friday 31 May 2019.
MARY BLACK live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Mary Black now aged 64 , has released a dozen albums over the last 40 years.
I saw this popular & respected back home in Ireland folk singer a couple of times back in 1997.
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It is stalls seated tonight so a near capacity crowd of around 1000 here.
I would guess that 75% of the crowd are from Ireland or whose parents come from there.
Mary Black and her five piece band were on stage for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets.
Mary is looking good and you can hear every word of her nice vocals.
Lots of references to Ireland as you can imagine that went down well with the audience.
There were a few covers in her set along with her own material.
Highlights included "A Song For Ireland " and "Only a Woman's Heart".
Encores included...
No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley cover)
Man in The Mirror (Michael Jackson cover) ( with her daughter Roisin O )
A good show.
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The Who + Eddie Vedder live at Wembley Stadium on Sat 06 July 2019.
2 for 1 tickets up in Level 5.... £77 tickets are now £38.50 for this weekend only.
Janelle Monae at Wembley Arena on 02 July 2019.
2 for 1 tickets standing or seats...£55.50 tickets are now £27.75 for this weekend only.
Ticketmaster Flash sale is from 09:00 Friday 31 May 2019 to 23:59 Sunday 2 June 2019.



Thursday 30 May 2019...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8.15pm
RUSS KANE - book launch party - The Wellington Club, 91 Jermyn Street, St James's, London SW1.
Russ Kane is launching his book "The Gatekeeper".
For 20 years Russ was Capital Radio's airborne traffic reporter, keeping London's drivers up to date with the latest tailbacks from his vantage point 1,500ft in the air. "It was everything I didn't like," he said. "Early mornings and small planes."
Two weeks' trial turned into two decades. He had great rapport with Breakfast Show presenter Chris Tarrant.
Around 100 guests here in this nice members club and there is a buzzy atmosphere.
Guests here included Tony Blackburn , Vicki Michelle, Lizzie Cundy, Liz Brewer, Patty Parfitt (Ricks wife),
Neil Fox was here (he told us he still rides his Harley Davidson daily).
A nice buzzy atmosphere and a few people here i know.
At 7.15pm Russ Kane gave a speech and started signing copies of the book.
Complimentary prosecco,wines and canapés for all guests.
About the book...
Four unrelated brutal deaths. No motive. No clues. But this a mere harbinger of the horror waiting to be unleashed. The Gates of Hell are opening and only The Gatekeeper can close them and prevent Lucifer inspired global carnage. With the countdown to Armageddon fast approaching, Nick Gold, TV’s cynical, irreligious ‘Paranormal Detective’ must face his own, and some very real, demons in a race across the world in the not-always helpful company of an American ball-busting lawyer, Lesley-Ann Trobe. The chase, as they say, is on!
then
8.30pm to 11.30pm
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2019 LONDON - launch party - May Fair Hotel, London W1.
Around 300 guests here from the film industry to celebrate the film festival
that takes place this weekend at Picturehouse Central in the West End.
AMERICAN AIRLINES are the sponsors tonight and they have brought in lots of comfy chairs
and other airline items with their logo on.
Complimentary food and drinks here including SIX different Jack Daniels cocktails,
prosecco, wines, beers,different bowl food and desserts.
www.picturehouses.com/sundanceVisit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.



Wednesday 29 May 2019...I went to two events today...
4pm to 6.15pm
World Cup Cricket opening celebration party - The Mall, London SW1.
The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, will to be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019.
The hosting rights were awarded in April 2006, after England and Wales withdrew from the bidding to host the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was held in Australia and New Zealand. The first match will be played at The Oval while the final will be played at Lord's. It is the fifth time that the Cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales, following the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups.
The format for the tournament will be a single group of 10 teams, with each team playing the other nine once, and the top four at the end of the group phase progressing to the semi-finals.
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We had a couple of hours of light rain here then thankfully it stopped.
This summer’s Cricket World Cup opened with an eye-catching party on The Mall — right outside Buckingham Palace.
The night before England, the favourites to win the tournament, play the first match against South Africa at The Kia Oval on May 30, 4,000 people (free tickets via ballot) pack onto The Mall for a “party”.
The main show took place between 5-6pm and broadcast globally. The timing will be friendly for south Asia, cricket’s biggest market.
To close The Mall on a work day afternoon...The Cricket World Cup certainly is a big deal.
They are expecting a worldwide tv audience of a billion viewers.
The two main areas by the stage require wristbands and laminates which is where we were.
There are big screens all along The Mall.
Presenters Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness introduced the 10 captains on the stage.
On the same day all the captains met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Rudimental feat John Newman performed their hit "Feel The Love".
We have a celebrity fun cricket match which included cricket legends and faces including
Sir Viv Richards, Pat Cash, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Hughes (Love Island), Bret Lee, Yohan Blake,
Sean Fitzpatrick,David Boon,Michael Clarke,Graeme Swann and others.
Finale was Rudimental performing The Cricket World Cup song with pyros and ticker-tape.
There is a nice 19 mins highlights video up on YouTube.
then
9pm to 11.45pm
DIOR - magazine launch party - Two Temple Place, London WC2.
This lavish fashion party was for "A magazine curated by by Kim Jones".
Kim Jones, creative director of Dior Men, has edited the new issue of fashion publication “A Magazine Curated By.”
Two Temple Place, known for many years as Astor House, is a building situated near Victoria Embankment.
It is known for its architecture, and contains notable works by the likes of William Silver Frith, Sir George Frampton RA, Nathaniel Hitch and Thomas Nicholls.
Around 300 guests here over the two floors of this stunning historic venue.
Guests included Bella Hadid, Giorgio Moroder, Kelly Osbourne, Jefferson Hack, Ozwald Boateng,
Lottie Moss, Alfie Allen, Princess Julia, Lady Mary Charteris, Jamie Winstone and others.
Lots of female and male models here that Dior use in their fashion shows.
Loads of amazing outfits worn by many of the fashion crowd here.
Around 25 male models in immaculate full tails are serving us the drinks.
It was a full on party vibe as at 10pm the dj and dance floor got very lively with dancing.
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers, five different cocktails and canapés for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag which included the book that is now in selected stores for £20 / 20 Euros.
Kim Jones artist “letter” pages that make up the hefty 248-page tome.
The designer’s approach for the issue takes the form of an alphabet retracing his inspirations and eclectic circle of friends: Subjects range from “A” for Naomi Campbell’s Africa, “P” for punk with a photo shoot by Jackie Nickerson, and ending with “Z” for Amanda Lear, whose song “Alphabet” was one of the inspirations for the magazine.
An excellent party.




Wednesday 29 May 2019.
Happy Birthday to FRANCIS ROSSI who is 70 today.
Halley Birthday to NOEL GALLAGHER who is 52 today.
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Tuesday 28 May 2019.
Happy Birthday to KYLIE MINOGUE who 51 today.



Monday 27 May 2019.
Play-off final at Wembley Stadium kick-off at 3pm.
The Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby County. The prize ? A place in the Premier League for the 2019/20 season, estimated to be worth around £170million.
The last time i was at a Championshop play-off final was May 2014 when QPR beat Derby 1-0.
A massive crowd of 87,348 was at that game.
ASTON VILLA 2 DERBY 1
A full house crowd of over 85,000 here for this very important game.
ASTON VILLA ended their three-year Premier League exile after goals from Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn secured a deserved 2-1 win over Derby at Wembley.
A great atmosphere with both teams fans waving their free flags before the kick-off.
The Aston Villa fans were louder and rowdier than the Derby fans.
We were in the Derby end today.
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Mon 27 May---This day 42 years ago, one of the greatest singles of all time was released.
The Sex Pistols "God Save The Queen".
I bought it on the day of release which was my exact 18th birthday.
You cannot imagine the furore when this incredible record was released back then.
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Sat 25 May---Happy Birthday to PAUL WELLER who is 61 today.
Mon 27 May---Happy Birthday to SIOUXSIE SIOUX who is 62 today.



Sunday 26 May 2019...I went to two events today....
League One play-off final at Wembley Stadium kick-off at 3pm.
Sunderland will take on Charlton Athletic at Wembley Stadium, for a place in the Championship.
SUNDERLAND 1 CHARLTON 2.
Charlton recover from a nightmare start to win it dramatically in injury time.
Sunderland were gifted the lead through Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips’ calamitous error which allowed Naby Sarr’s backpass to find the net with less than five minutes on the clock.
Comedian JIM DAVIDSON was here as he is a life-long Charlton fan.
We are up in Level 5 with the Sunderland supporters.
A few empty blocks in their end but their must be nearly 80,000 here in total.
then
MARIAH CAREY live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Mariah plays the second of three shows at this venue.
Carey’s Caution World Tour comes in support of her 15th studio album, Caution, which features lead singles GTFO, With You and A No No.
Mariah Carey is one of the worlds biggest selling recording artists with 200 million album/singles sold.
Mariah has had 24 x Top 10 hits in the UK including two number ones.
I have seen Mariah play a couple of short sets on multi-act bills but this will be the first time i see a full show of hers.
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It is not sold out tonight but near capacity as 95% sold.
Pretty good when you consider it costs £200 for the best seats down the front.
MARIAH CAREY arrived on stage at 9.20pm for her 90 mins set.
A very nice stage production with two big side screens showing live footage and smaller screens
in the middle are showing pre-recorded images...there is a staircase too.
Mariah has three backing vocalists and four very camp male dancers...lots of gay men in the crowd...
Mariah looks every inch the glamour queen and i counted Mariah in five different outfits.
She still belts out that high range of hers every now and then.
She brought her two kids on stage to introduce to the crowd.
The final two songs of the show "Hero" and "Without You" were a highlight.
Musically it ticked along ok and it was an enjoyable show to watch.
Full setlist played tonight....
A No No
Dreamlover
You Don't Know What to Do
Emotions
Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme) (Morales Club Mix Edit)
Fantasy (Def Club Mix/Bad Boy Fantasy)
Endless Love (Diana Ross & Lionel Richie cover) (with Trey Lorenz)
Always Be My Baby (with elements of So So Def Remix)
Caution
GTFO
Stay Long Love You
My All
Love Takes Time
Never Too Far
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (Indeep cover)
Loverboy
Didn't Mean To Turn You On
Heartbreaker (Desert Storm Remix/Album Version)
Touch My Body
We Belong Together
Encore:
Hero
Without You (Badfinger cover)




Saturday 25 May 2019.
ALICE IN CHAINS + BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB live at Wembley Arena, London.
ALICE IN CHAINS remains one of the most successful and influential American rock bands of all time. Over the course of their remarkable career, ALICE IN CHAINS has garnered multiple Grammy nominations, sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and amassed a diehard international fan base whose members number in the millions. Alongside Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, ALICE IN CHAINS was one of the Big Four to emerge from Seattle in the 1990s.
I have seen Alice In Chains a few times over the last 30 years.
Get there early to see special guest support band BRMC who i have seen a few times since 2002.
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A nice double bill of rock bands tonight.
It is not sold out so maybe 75% of tickets sold.
I have a perfect view in the guest list block, looking at the stage right from Block N6.
BRMC arrive on stage at 7.45pm and play for 40 mins.
I love their scuzzy guitar tribal sound that's laden with feedback.
Minimal lights on stage that created a cool vibe.
A really good set that included "Beat the Devils Tattoo" and "Spread Your Love".
Full BRMC setlist played tonight...
Red Eyes and Tears
King of Bones
Beat the Devil's Tattoo
Berlin
Shade of Blue
In Like the Rose
White Palms
Spread Your Love
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ALICE IN CHAINS arrive on stage at 9pm and play for 1 hour 50 mins.
The floor standing area is very lively tonight and creates a great atmosphere.
The band always seem to attract a fair amount of dressed up "rock chicks".
The band have a great light show including banks of lights either side of the drummer
than turn into screens showing pre-recorded images throughout the evening.
It is nice and loud and guitar hero Jerry Cantrell is getting plenty of chants "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry".
My eyes wandered many times to the drummer and his gleaming drum kit.
The show started off great for a few songs then it got a bit samey but the big hardcore crowd and the
big production really suited them well and an expected good show ended up being a great show.
Highlights included "Check My Brain", "Them Bones", "Down in a Hole", "Man in the Box"
and final encore "Rooster".
Full Alice In Chains setlist played tonight...
Bleed the Freak
Check My Brain
Again
Never Fade
Them Bones
Dam That River
Hollow
Your Decision
Rainier Fog
Down in a Hole
No Excuses
Stone
Red Giant
We Die Young
Nutshell
Angry Chair
Man in the Box
Encore:
The One You Know
Got Me Wrong
Would?
Rooster





Friday 24 May 2019.
THE WATERBOYS live at The Roundhouse, London.
The Waterboys are promoting their new album "Where The Action Is".
The title track, which opens Where the Action Is, is a vamp on Robert Parker’s Northern Soul classic “Let’s Go Baby” and makes it clear that Scott and his crew won’t be revisiting the band’s Raggle Taggle folkie years this time around. Instead, Brother Paul Brown’s soulful organ takes control while Scott yearns for something that reaches beyond mere artifice and digs considerably deeper. Elsewhere, “London Mick” is a fanboy homage to Clash guitarist Mick Jones.
“Ladbroke Grove Symphony”, on the other hand, is an ode to a bohemian West London.
The album has received lots of great four star reviews in the press this week.
I may head for The Waterboys this time as have seen Little Steven (The Forum) twice in the past three years.
I have seen The Waterboys several times since 1984 when they supported U2 at Brixton Academy.
I also saw his pre-Waterboys band Another Pretty Face in 1980 when they supported Stiff Little Fingers at
Hammersmith Odeon and their own headline set at the sadly missed Fulham Greyhound.
Mike Scott signs copies of the album at Fopp Records, Covent Garden...Sat 25 May 2019 at 1pm...
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Not sold out tonight but i reckon 90% of tickets sold.
THE WATERBOYS are on stage for around two hours over two sets of 60 mins.
A great band who include electric fiddle and two female backing singers.
The new album comes out today and it's the opening night of their UK tour so many of the
new album tracks are getting their first ever live outing.
The album title track and newies "London Mick" and "Ladbroke Grove Symphony" are top quality.
The band have a big soulful joyous sound that is fab and Mike swops guitar for piano as and when.
Mike has a great vocal style and his lyrics are top notch.
Oldies "Fisherman's Blues" and "A Girl Called Johnny" went down a storm.
Final song of the show was their spine tingling anthem "The Whole of The Moon" which was mega.
A great show.
FIRST SET
Where the Action Is (Live debut)
London Mick (Live debut)
All the Things She Gave Me
If the Answer Is Yeah
Old England
The Right Side of Heartbreak (the Wrong Side of Love) (Live debut)
Nashville, Tennessee
Still a Freak
Medicine Bow
Ladbroke Grove Symphony (Live debut)
SECOND SET
Out of All This Blue (Live debut)
When Ye Go Away
Dunford's Fancy
Nearest Thing to Hip
Fisherman's Blues
The Raggle Taggle Gypsy ([traditional] cover)
Let It Happen
In My Time On Earth (Live debut)
Encore:
A Girl Called Johnny
The Whole of The Moon





Friday 24 May 2019.
Happy Birthday to the legend that is BOB DYLAN who is 78 today.
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An interesting turn of events...
RICHARD ASHCROFT has regained rights to his song Bitter Sweet Symphony after more than two decades, after Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards agreed to hand over their legal entitlement to royalties.
The Verve singer lost the rights to his most recognisable song in 1997 thanks to a four-second orchestral sample of Rolling Stones song The Last Time used as a backing track.
On Thursday at The Ivor Novello Awards, Ashcroft disclosed that Jagger and Richards had returned them to him as a “truly kind and magnanimous thing to do”, after his management approached them directly to appeal.
All future royalties that would have gone to the pair for Bitter Sweet Symphony will now go to Ashcroft, and they have removed their names from the credits for the track.



Thursday 23 May 2019...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 7.30pm
BRUTON PLACE 'SPRING PARTY' , Bruton Place, Mayfair, London W1.
Bruton Place is a quiet road off of Berkeley Square.
Tonight half a dozen upmarket stores are having drinks celebrations.
We focus on two large stores that have entrances in both Bruton Street and Bruton Place.
Established in 1835, HOLLAND & HOLLAND are world-renowned gunmakers, shooting school and creators of the finest English countryside clothing. Complimentary prosecco, wines and canapés in here.
Next door was a similar store WILLIAM & SON for complimentary Laurent Perrier champers.
Top quality items in both stores that are very expensive.
There is a trio playing covers in the street for guests as few cars come down this road.
then
ROGER HODGSON live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Roger Hodgson plays the first night of two nights at The Royal Albert Hall.
These are Roger's only UK shows on his European Tour.
I have seen Roger with Supertramp twice in 1975 before he left the band in 1983.
Supertramp were massive for a decade as they sold 60 million albums worldwide.
Their 1979 album 'Breakfast in America' sold more than 20 million albums.
He departed Supertramp in 1983 and moved his family away from the Los Angeles music scene to live a simpler lifestyle close to nature and be home with his children as they were growing up. Hodgson returned to touring in 2001.
I have seen him solo a few times as well , including his last tour which was also at this venue.
Roger wrote their hits “Dreamer”, “Give A Little Bit”, “The Logical Song”, “Breakfast In America”, “Take The Long Way Home” and “It’s Raining Again" and others.
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The venue is full tonight and the choir seats behind the stage have also been sold.
Roger Hodgson and his top notch band are on stage for two hours over two sets.
This is a couple of songs shorter ( 15 mins ) than his show here in 2017.
A crowd pleasing set with 14 Supertramp songs played in the 18 song setlist.
The production was very similar to when i saw him here in 2016 and 2017 as Roger is again wearing an
all white suit and shoes and the trees behind him are still being used from those shows.
For some songs three musicians played keyboards...and some nice sax too.
So many catchy radio friendly songs had all the crowd singing along.
In the second half he walked through the crowd to play the famous Royal Albert Hall organ for one song.
Mega encore of "Give A Little Bit" and "It's Raining Again" as the crowd got up from their seats.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Take the Long Way Home (Supertramp song)
School (Supertramp song)
Breakfast in America (Supertramp song)
Easy Does It (Supertramp song)
Sister Moonshine (Supertramp song)
Hide in Your Shell (Supertramp song)
Along Came Mary
The Logical Song (Supertramp song)
INTERVAL
Lord Is It Mine (Supertramp song)
Death and a Zoo
Even in the Quietest Moments (Supertramp song)
Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)
Child of Vision (Supertramp song)
Say Goodbye (with Roger playing The Royal Albert Hall organ)
Dreamer (Supertramp song)
Fool's Overture (Supertramp song)
Encore:
Give a Little Bit (Supertramp song)
It's Raining Again (Supertramp song) ( over a dozen umbrellas opened in the audience)




Wednesday 22 May 2019...I went to two events today...
CHARITY FOOTBALL EVENT at Chelsea F.C. Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, London.
2.30pm to 7pm
Over 200 guests are watching in the lower stand here.
Sixteen five-a-side teams from the casino and betting industry are here.
Companies represented here included HiPay, Checkout, SBC Gaming, Optima, Playtech,
Sporting Index, Trustly, Play N Go, Betway ,BetContruct and the winners Catena Media.
We have group games, then quarter-finals, then semi-finals then the final.
Most of the teams have a female included which was nice to see.
The final was good as both teams had some great players and Catena Media goalie got best player.
Full trophy presentation after the end of the final.
Complimentary Pimms, wines, beers and a nice BBQ with huge cheeseburgers, grilled chicken breast,
pulled pork, jacket potatoes and sides in the stand as you watched the football.
The final finished around 5.30pm , then it was drinks at Frankie's bar within the stadium complex.
then
MARK KNOPFLER BAND live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Mark Knopfler plays the second of two sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Mark has sold over 120 million albums across his Dire Straits and solo career.
His set will include a few Dire Straits classics including "Romeo and Juliet" and "Money For Nothing".
Mark is on a world tour to promote his latest album "Down The Road Wherever".
I have seen Dire Straits around 20 times since 1978 when they supported Talking Heads at
The Roundhouse and i have seen Mark playing solo a few times, including this same venue.
Looks like there will be just four or five Dire Straits songs in the set.
The Rolling Stones recent "Blue & Lonesome" album was recorded at Mark Knopflers studio in Chiswick.
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As expected we have a middle aged crowd who remember how popular Dire Straits were in the 1980s.
Mark and his top notch band were on stage for around two hours.
There is a decent light show behind the stage.
Mark now aged 69, is bald on top and grey at the sides and looking a bit like a school teacher.
His guitar tone sounds great but he does not really project excitement on stage.
Like Eric Clapton he does not say much and lets his guitar do the talking.
His solo material mixes Americana/Celtic//Blues/Jazz and is a bit too laid back at times.
Flute and fiddle were played on some tracks along with sax and trumpet.
He plays a few Dire Straits classics that are easily the highlights of the evening.
The crowd are pretty quiet until they get up for the encores.
A good show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Why Aye Man
Corned Beef City
Sailing to Philadelphia
Once Upon a Time in the West (Dire Straits song)
Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits song)
My Bacon Roll
Matchstick Man
Done With Bonaparte
Heart Full of Holes
She's Gone
Your Latest Trick (Dire Straits song)
Postcards From Paraguay
On Every Street (Dire Straits song)
Speedway at Nazareth
Encore:
Money for Nothing (Dire Straits song)
Encore 2:
Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits song)
Going Home: Theme from Local Hero




Wednesday 22 May 2019.
Happy Birthday to MORRISSEY who is 60 today.
He is a few days older than me.



Tuesday 21 May 2019...I went to two events tonight...
7pm to 8.30pm
MONTY DON - book launch party - Christie's , King Street, London SW1.
"Japanese Gardens : A Journey ".
Bestselling author and BBC gardening presenter Monty Don and photographer Derry Moore explore the exquisite beauty of Japanese gardens on a personal journey to complement the BBC2 series, Monty Don's Japanese Gardens.
It is beautifully produced with over 200 original photographs by Derry Moore and written by Monty Don, the duo behind the highly-acclaimed Paradise Gardens.
Good timing as the book is out in the week of Chelsea Flower Show.
We are greeted by Japanese drummers as we enter the venue.
Around 100 guests here and there were a few well known faces.
I got my picture taken with OLIVIA HARRISON (widow of George Harrison)
Jon Snow (long time Channel 4 news presenter)
Nigel Slater ( food writer, journalist who also has his own tv food show)
Mark-Francis Vandelli ( who is best known for his role on the E4 series Made in Chelsea)
Guests were buying the book and Monty Don was signing copies.
At 8pm Monty Don and Derry Moore gave a speech.
You can buy the book a bit cheaper via my Amazon link at the top of this page.
Complimentary wines and canapés for all guests.
www.montydon.comVisit his website here for more info on Monty Don.
then
8.45pm to 10.45pm
LOLA'S UNDERGROUND CASINO -press launch - Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London WC2.
Around 200 guests here in the basement of this very popular casino.
The Hippodrome are launching their new "curved digital big screen" which looks very impressive.
On the stage in front of it we have circus & theatre acts performing their routines including a magician,
an acrobat, a trapeze act, a contortionist, showgirls, hola hoop girl , a couple of singers etc.
You can watch the show from a table or the bar or from your gambling table.
Upstairs they also have a great show venue called The Matcham Room.
Complimentary bar including spirits n mixers (so i had some JD n cokes), prosecco, wines, beers,
canapés, fried chicken drumsticks and desserts.
www.hippodromecasino.comVisit their website here for more info.



Tuesday 21 May 2019.
Happy Birthday to NOEL FIELDING who is 46 today.
I used to work with his Dad Ray in the 1980s and 1990s and saw a couple
of Noel's first ever comedy shows including when i surprised him when i turned up
to see him at The Melbourne Comedy Festival a dozen years ago.



Tuesday 21 May 2019.
Sad news that F1 racing legend NIKI LAUDA has died aged 70 after health problems.
Lauda, who famous rivalry with British F1 legend James Hunt inspired the Chris Hemsworth film Rush, won three world championships in 1975, 1977 and 1984.
During his battle with Hunt, Lauda was left with severe burns to his face, body and lungs after a near-fatal crash in 1976 but amazingly not only came back to the sport but won the world title the following year.
He was instrumental in helping Lewis Hamilton over his F1 career.



Monday. 20 May 2019...7pm to 9.30pm...
Chelsea Flower Show - Charity Gala Preview Evening - Chelsea, London.
The world famous RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW returns for its annual stint - May 21 to May 25.
All 168,000 tickets have now been sold as it is always a very popular event.
The Queen and other members of The Royal Family were here during the day.
Tonight was a charity evening where most of the 1000 plus guests have paid £520 to be here.
It is a well known networking event for all the banking and finance CEOs to meet up for a chat.
A few faces here including.....
Ewan Venters (CEO of Fortnum & Mason)
Matt Dawson MBE (who was part of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winning side)
Robert Peston (ITV Political Journalist)
Sir Stuart Rose (former M&S chairman)
Lord March ( British aristocrat and owner of Goodwood Estate in West Sussex)
We had a nice wander around the display gardens which all looked amazing.
Complimentary Fortnum & Mason champers and canapés at stations all over the huge venue.
The station with various salmons and oysters was very popular.
A nice goodie bag with half a dozen items inside from sponsors Fortnum & Mason.
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Many stores and other venues will have amazing flower displays outside their front doors in
Chelsea & Mayfair over this week.



Sunday 19 May 2019.
STING & SHAGGY live at The Roundhouse, London.
Following this year's GRAMMY’s, where Sting & Shaggy were awarded Best Reggae Album for their collaborative UK Top Ten hit record 44/876, the pair have announced their return to the UK with The 44/876 Tour.
The setlist will mix tracks from their album as well as from their own classic hits.
Sting has a new Best Of album out on 24 May to coincide with the tour.
Sting has announced My Songs, a new album comprised of the 17-time Grammy Award winner's most celebrated hits from his unparalleled career. Sting says: "My Songs is my life in songs. Some of them reconstructed, some of them refitted, some of them reframed, but all of them with a contemporary focus."
I have seen both The Police and Sting solo a few times each over the years.
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Just the one show in London so no surprise that it is sold out and rammed inside.
Guests spotted here included Sir Bob Geldof, Jemima Khan, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Charles Dance.
STING & SHAGGY arrived on stage at 8.05pm and played for a mammoth 2 hours 15 mins.
At first you think they make an odd couple but when you remember how many of the classic Police hits
had reggae vibes to them it all makes perfect sense.
The band with two backing vocalists sounded top notch.
The setlist was a perfect mix of hits from The Police, Sting and Shaggy along with their album tracks.
The evening started with a couple of tracks from the recent album. The title track led on to the sunsplash-tinged vibes of "Morning is Coming". It set the tone for the evening. Shaggy (50) was the showman dressed in a flowing white shirt, hat and shades. He roamed and gyrated freely around the stage while Sting (67), looking remarkably buff in his t-shirt, stayed rooted to the spot. His bass guitar became the musical anchor.
As Shaggy sung "Englishman in New York" he riffed about being a Jamaican in NYC with "a big spiff in his hand". He turned out to be a better singer than you might imagine.
On "Crooked Tree" they hammed it up in costumes to play out a court scene. Another highlight was "So Lonely"/"Strength of a Woman", where Shaggy exercised some of his iconic priapic banter.
The whole show was fun, warm and joyous.
Lots of cameras were filming the show for future release.
An excellent show.
FULL SETLIST PLAYED...
44/876
Morning Is Coming
Englishman in New York (Sting cover)
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (The Police cover)
Oh Carolina / We'll Be Together
If You Can't Find Love
Love Is the Seventh Wave (Sting cover)
To Love and Be Loved
Message in a Bottle (The Police cover)
You (with Alexander Stewart)
Brand New Day (Sting cover)
Waiting for the Break of Day
Gotta Get Back My Baby
If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (Sting cover)
Don't Make Me Wait
Angel (Shaggy cover)
Dreaming in the U.S.A.
Crooked Tree
Shape of My Heart (Sting cover)
Walking on the Moon/Get Up, Stand Up (The Wailers cover)
So Lonely / Strength of a Woman
Hey Sexy Lady (Shaggy cover)
Roxanne / Boombastic
Encore:
I Can't Stand Losing You (The Police cover)
Desert Rose (Sting cover)
It Wasn't Me (Shaggy cover)
Every Breath You Take (The Police cover)
Encore 2:
Next to You (The Police cover)



Sunday 19 May 2019.
Happy Birthday to GRACE JONES who is 71 today.



Saturday 18 May 2019.
FA CUP FINAL at Wembley Stadium....Man City play Watford...5pm kick-off...
This game will be my first time at an FA Cup Final since 1982...I went to both games...
Sat 22 May 1982 Spurs 1 QPR 1 - then the replay on 27 May 1982 Spurs 1 QPR 0....
Man City may be out of the Champions League but the treble is still on.
Having already won the Caraboa Cup and Premier League, powerhouse Manchester City are still in the running to scoop a domestic treble for the 2018/2019 campaign if they win The FA Cup.
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MAN CITY 6 WATFORD 0
We are up in Level 5 in the Man City end and their fans are making a lot of noise.
A great atmosphere just before the game as pyros galore hit the sky as the players arrive on the pitch
and the crowd are waving their flags and scarfs etc.
A massive capacity crowd of 85,854 are here.
The sheer class of favourites Man City easily beat Watford.
Shame that Watford did not get a goal or two.
They had a good chance to score before Man City started their goal avalanche.
Six goals scored (Silva, Sterling*3, De Bruyne, Jesus)
Man City thrash Watford 6-0 to become the first English team to do a domestic treble.




Friday 17 May 2019.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS + GWENNO live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Manic Street Preachers play the first of two sold out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire.
I have seen The Manics around 20 times since an early club show back in 1991.
They are celebrating 20 years of their album "This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours".
It reached number one in the UK charts and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
The Manics have had 15 x Top 10 hits singles in the UK including two number ones.
GWENNO and her band arrive on stage at 7.30pm and played for around 40 mins.
Gwenno was a bit odd as performs mostly in Cornish, with some Welsh thrown in.
She was quite cool in a way but the songs drifted past without being memorable.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS arrived on stage at 8.45pm and played for one hour 50 mins.
James Dead Bradfield played some very nifty guitar from a big selection of guitars.
Nicky Wire was covered in glitter as usual.
Loads of their big anthemic hits were played which were great but some of the lesser known
album tracks seemed to plod a bit.
Excellent finale of "You Love Us" and "A Design For Life" had everyone singing loudly.
A great show.
Full Manics setlist played tonight...
THIS IS MY TRUTH TELL ME YOURS album played in full...but not track order.
The Everlasting
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
Ready for Drowning
Tsunami
My Little Empire
I'm Not Working
You're Tender and You're Tired
Born a Girl
Be Natural
Black Dog on My Shoulder
Prologue to History
S.Y.M.M.
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
HITS & OTHER TRACKS
Sleepflower
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
International Blue
Motorcycle Emptiness
Solitude Sometimes Is
People Give In
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
You Love Us
No Surface All Feeling
A Design for Life (ticker-tape over the crowd)





Thurs 16 May 2019...a full day out at different events...
1.15pm to 4.15pm
FORTNUM & MASON 7th Food & Drinks Awards 2019 - 181 Piccadilly, London W1..
Around 250 guests on the fourth floor of this famous store that dates back over 300 years.
I have been to every one of their awards which are usually held in the evening.
It is earlier today as special guest is PRINCE CHARLES who received a lifetime achievement award.
Lots of well known chefs & restauranteurs are here along with a few other celeb faces
I got my picture taken with SHARLEEN SPITERI from Texas (who is married to a chef).
Other VIP guests included Chris Evans who handed Mary Berry her award, Judi Dench, Stanley Tucci, Jimmy Carr, joined celebrity chefs and restaurant critics Angela Hartnett, Jay Rayner, Mark Hix, Ken Hom, Candice Brown and Monica Galetti at Fortnum & Mason's for this year's food awards. Claudia Winkleman was on hand to present accolades to winners Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussain, while other guests included Nigel Slater, Celia Imrie, Tom Parker Bowles, Fay Ripley and Felicity Blunt.
Also Ronni Ancona , David Mills , Helen Lederer, Wilnelia Forsyth, Nick Ferrari and Stephen Webster.
Awards were handed out from 2pm to 2.45pm with Prince Charles getting the first award after Fortnum's CEO
Ewan Ventners introduced Charles to the main celebrities here who were all stood in a line to greet him.
Prince Charles gave a great speech full of humour and interest on his 30 years of organic farming.
Complimentary Fortnum's champers, wines and lots of tasty food and desserts from Fortnum's kitchens.
Also guests got a nice goodie bag with five Fortnum's food items inside.
An excellent event.
www.fortnumandmason.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
6pm to 8pm
THE BENTLEY CENTENARY OPUS - book launch party - Jack Barclay, Berkeley Square, London W1.
Around 150 guests here in the car showroom to launch this huge tomb that celebrates 100 years
of the Bentley luxury car brand.
The guy opening the pages was wearing white gloves as not to mark the book.
Only 500 copies worldwide plus 100 copies special edition with extra bits and pieces.
Ex Formula 1 supremo BERNIE ECCLESTONE was here.
There were speeches at 7.15pm.
Complimentary Bentleys champers, three different cocktails and canapés.
All guests got a limited edition framed print (150) of a Bentley classic car.
www.thisisopus.com/BentleyVisit their website for more info.
then
8.30pm to 11.15pm
BELMOND CADOGAN HOTEL - summer party - 75 Sloane Street, London SW1.
Nicely positioned between the high-end luxury stores of Knightsbridge and the boutique shops in Chelsea.
Around 200 here at this very nice luxury boutique hotel.
I got my photo taken with a singer / actress JANE BIRKIN who is now aged 72.
"Je t'aime… moi non plus" (French for "I love you… neither do I") is a 1967 song written by Serge Gainsbourg for Brigitte Bardot. In 1969, Gainsbourg recorded the best known version with Jane Birkin. The duet reached number one in the UK, and number two in Ireland, but was banned in several countries due to its overtly sexual content.
Other guests here included Alex Zane, Alison Jackson, Betty Bachz ,Laura Bailey, Gala Gordon ,
Stephen Jones, Angela Scanlon, Alistair Guy, Mark Hix , Pam Hogg, Matthew Williamson, Rosanna Falconer,
Pips Taylor, Noelle Reno, Meredith Ostrom and a few others.
A female dj was playing dance tunes and it was a great party.
Complimentary Taittinger champers, three different cocktails, wines, beers, bowl food ,canapés, oysters, desserts.
www.belmond.comVisit their website here for more info.




Wed 15 May 2019....I went to two events tonight.
6.45pm to 8pm
FOOD : Bigger Than The Plate - private view - V & A Museum , London SW7.
From gastronomic experiments to urban farming, this exhibition brings together the politics and pleasure of food to ask how the collective choices we make can lead to a more sustainable, just and delicious food future.
Around 500 guests are here at this famous venue.
As expected it was not as glamourous as some of the previous private views here.
I spotted Jackie St Clair and Basia Briggs here.
At 7.15pm we had a couple of speeches.
Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers and canapés for all guests.
www.vam.ac.ukVisit their website here for more info...it is on until 20 October 2019.
then
ERIC CLAPTON plays the second of three shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Eric has been swopping the setlist about these days from his Japan shows.The opening RAH show
did not include "Badge" or "Wonderful Tonight" or "Cocaine" but it did include a mega encore of "Purple Rain".
Eric Clapton announces his return to the Royal Albert Hall for a series of concerts in May 2019.
The three shows will be his only UK performances for 2019. Eric will be accompanied by his band members Chris Stainton, Nathan East, Doyle Bramhall and Sonny Emory.
All three shows sold out by Dec 2018 even though best seats are £150 each.
Having first performed at the Royal Albert Hall with The Yardbirds in 1964, Eric Clapton has played at the venue more than 200 times including farewell and reunion gigs with Cream and numerous residencies.
I have seen Eric solo over 25 times since 1976 plus all four Cream re-union concerts at The Royal Albert Hall in 2005.
Eric is now aged 74.
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The venue is totally rammed solid sold out tonight.
ERIC CLAPTON and band arrive on stage at 8.35pm and play for 1 hour 45 mins.
Eric is standing on his usual stage rug.
The band are top notch and include two female backing singers.
Eric does not do much talking on stage but he lets the guitar talk for him.
He gets a delicious tone on his guitar all throughout the show.
It is nice he is changing the setlist around a bit.
His life long love of the blues is still there for sure.
The regulars run down the front on cue for the opening bars of "Layla".
For the encore he was joined by the support act, Jimmie Vaughan.
A great show.




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