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Archive: October 2005
October 04, 2005
Sex Pistols legend John Lydon releases his album "Best Of British £1 Notes" this week .It is a stunning collection of the best of The Sex Pistols , The best of PIL and his work with Afrika Bambaataa and Leftfield .Make sure you get the 2 CD version. Also out now is a John Lydon DVD .... Also out this week is the live CD and DVD from The Cream reunion shows at The Royal Albert Hall earlier in the year ......... Had a call from a ticket tout mate regards the Robbie Astoria gig. Hardly any punters turned up looking for tickets so the price on the night was 70 to 100 quid which was well below the 200 quid plus you had to pay when U2 and The Rolling Stones did similar wristband only short notice gigs at this same venue............ 30 Sept 2005 . Glen Matlock + Gary Lammin live at The Plough Inn , Walthamstow , London. Quality double bill over in East London tonight . First up ex Cock Sparrer Gary Lammin does a 30 mins set full of neat lyrics and great bottleneck blues punk guitar playing. Next Sex Pistol Glen Matlock plays a fantastic hour set feat the best of his solo albums , a couple of Rich Kids classics and two Pistols anthems "God Save The Queen" and "Pretty Vacant" . Glen is in fine form and the crowd are also in fine voice tonight.......... 29 Sept 2005. Guns 2 Roses live at The Hard Rock Cafe , London.To be honest i did not even know that the Hard Rock had been closed for the last 10 weeks due to a huge electrical fire that destroyed all the kitchen but none of the rock stuff on display. This was the first evening back which was a party for The Harley Davidson owners club. Loads of free booze and food and the G n R tribute band did a really good 10 song 45 mins set of all those great anthems like "Welcome To The Jungle " , " Sweet Child O Mine" and " Paradise City " etc .Very good event.......... 28 Sept 2005 .Ray Davies Band live at the Royal Albert Hall , London. A big gig tonight for this British music legend who first hit the charts some 40 years ago with the Kinks. Two sets that lasted for 2 hours 15 mins.Loads of fun stage banter and great songs "Sunny Afternoon" , " Dead End Street " , " I Go To Sleep" ," Days" ," Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" , " Lola " , "All Day And All Of The Night " , " You Really Got Me " , " David Watts" . Great stuff...... 27 Sept 2005 .Man-Raze live at The Spitz , Spitalfields , London. First time i have been to this great venue that holds around 250 punters. Eagerly awaited "showcase" debut gig by this trio who feature Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen. There are more Def Leppard fans than Sex Pistols fans here tonight.The short 9 song 40 mins set (no pistols or def lep ) was dominated by Phil Collens great guitar playing so most songs had a rocky sound to them although a couple had some soft dub reggae leanings. Debut single "Skin Crawl " was superb and expect an album and full UK tour next year . Setlist was Connected To You, Youre So Wrong, Every Second, Low , Fire , Runnin Me Up ,Skin Crawl , Halo , Its Entertainment . Really great to see Paul Cook playing live in a new band ..... Robbie Williams will be playing The Astoria this Saturday 01 October as a warm up to his album launch party arena gig in Berlin............ 24 Sept 2005 . Gang Of Four live at The Barbican, London. Another in the series of concerts by ATP under the "Dont Look Back" banner where bands play classic albums track by track . Tonight in this lousy venue for rock n roll Gang Of Four treat us to " Entertainment". Well respected from 25 years ago they still manage to sell out the venue tonight . Andy Gills jerky guitar playing is still superb and great songs like "Damaged Goods" and " At Home He Thinks Hes A Tourist " go down a treat .Thankfully the crowd stand up after 30 mins and give the gig a bit of atmosphere. For the encore they play a weird song as singer Jon King bashes a microwave oven with a baseball bat .A good 75 mins set but not as good as the Shepherds Bush Empire gig earlier this year...... 22 Sept 2005 . MOBO Awards live at The Royal Albert Hall , London. This was the 10th anniversary of this black music event . Never as good as the other main award events but it srill has plenty of good things going on here tonight. Loads of police , loads of security ,full body searches and metal detectors yep its The MOBOS. As usual the circle is only 75% full due to the staggering £90 ticket price to be up in the gods. Live acts up first include Lauryn Hill and John Legend but were followed by UK acts Lemar and a superb Kano stealing the show with a devastating "Typical Me " with a 30 person production here to recreate a club scene. Ms Dynamite played a song and Mica Paris ,Nate James and Omar did a neat tribute to Luther Vandross on " Never Too Much" . Damian Marley did a pounding "Welcome To Jamrock" and then the whole Marley family came to play "You Could Be Loved " for Bob who won the Icon award. Others here tonight included Public Enemy , Sway , Lethal Bizzle ,Estelle, Myleene Klass , Chris Eubank , Simon Webbe ,Akon and a few others inc DJ award winners Tim Westwood and Steve Sutherland. A good bash....... 20 Sept 2005. Nickleback live at Shepherds Bush Empire , London. One off UK show by these Canadian rockers to promote their new album "All The Right Reasons" out next month.The sound is great or it was until midway through the set the sound cuts out twice leaving a 10 mins delay but the band rescue themselves by throwing a couple dozen beers into the crowd. New single " Photograph " is fine but everybody wants the big songs from their mega selling album " Silver Side Up" and we get superb versions of "Never Again" , " Too Bad" and " How You Remind Me " . The encore involved a drinking contest that the drummer won .A good 80 mins set or should that be 70 mins if you deduct the delay for sound problems ......... Well the race to be the first band to play the new Wembley Stadium is starting to heat up . The Rolling Stones were hotly tipped but rumours are their promoters are worried it will not be finished on time and are looking at Twickenham .Also Robbie Williams is certain to play there in June but the first band to announce a show there will be Bon Jovi for 11 June 2006 ........ 18 Sept 2005.Benefit For Breast Cancer .The Tickled Pink Concert at Royal Albert Hall , London. Like last year a very entertaining evening of music and comedy .Each of the five acts did a couple of songs each Sugababes (lousy vocals), Sheryl Crow( new songs were pretty average) , Mariah Carey ( looked and sounded great) , Il Divo( pop opera tosh) , Westlife (well their mums love em i suppose ) .But really it was a night where for once the comedy was better than the music with superb 10 mins sets from Catherine Tate,Pam Ann, Nina Conti, Tim Minchin and Danny Bhoy .Overall a really good evening ........... 16 Sept 2005 .Offspring live at Brixton Academy, London. The band have been a bit quiet the past year compared to the success of Green Day. This tour was to promote the "Greatest Hits" cd. They have sold a mega 30m albums over their career.Does not seem to matter that Dexter and Noodles are old enough to be the fathers of most of the crowd tonight but the kids love em. The 80 mins set was good but not great to be honest but "Why Dont You Get A Job" and " Pretty Fly For A White Guy " were just superb.See aftershow party page for this gig...... 13 Sept 2005 . Simple Minds live at The Venue , Leicester Square , London. The last time i saw Simple Minds was a year ago headlining Guildford Festival to 20,000 people so to see them up close playing to a crowd of only 250 was very special. The crowd were mainly Capitol Gold comp winners. DJ David Jenson introduced the band saying this rarely used venue was chosen by Jim Kerr because The Sex Pistols played a famous show here in November 1976. I refrained from jumping up and saying "I was there" but its all up on this site. The band arrive , there is no pit and there is no security so every other song Jim Kerr is hugged by fans who cannot believe how close they are to him. The band start off by playing songs from their new album out this week on Sanctuary called " Black And White 050505" which heralds a real return to form with tracks like "Home" , "Stay Visable ", "The Jeweller " and "Stranger " all played tonight. Even in this tiny place the band are treating it like an arena show with full light show and that massive sound they have. Of course the oldies go down a real treat "Love Song " and " Mandela Day" were great but when they played "Waterfront" ,"Dont You Forget About Me " and " Alive And Kicking" the sheer power was enough to blow the roof off the place. The uptempo dance rock of " New Gold Dream" was a perfect finale to the main set .Encores including "Theme For Great Cities" and "Sanctify Yourself" confirmed what a truly great live band they are. Tonight was an awesome 15 song 80 mins set . This concert is broadcast on Capital Gold this Sunday at 6pm and Simple Minds return to the UK for a full UK tour in Feb which includes two shows at Londons Astoria ................
October 23, 2005
22 October 2005. Dio live at The Astoria ,London. Just like the last tour when Dio played The Astoria its totally sold out and its like bloody sardines in here .Early start and early finish to make way for the club night later . Dio play a stunning 2 hour set .Ronnies vocals are always superb and the band sound fab. After a couple of songs they play their classic 1983 debut album " Holy Diver " track by track so we get "Stand Up And Shout " , "Holy Diver " , "Dont Talk To Strangers" and " Rainbow In The Dark" which are all fantastic.We also get other gems like " Heaven And Hell" and " Man On The Silver Mountain" . Superb encores of "Long Live Rock And Roll" and "We Rock" . Fashions may come and go but Ronnies been rocking for over 30 years and live he is still a top quality act....... Well October was certainly Robbie Williams month as he was all over the tv and radio promoting his new album as well as playing The Astoria and Berlin and next month November will be the turn of Madonna who will be all over the tv and radio promoting her album and already 2 small London shows have been pencilled in for Camden Koko on Nov 14 and a midnight Astoria show on Nov 19.The ticket frenzy will begin soon........ 19 Oct 2005. Steve Vai live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.Flashy American guitarist back in London with his band of fellow musos . After about 15 mins Steve admits to the crowd to being " a poser and a bit of a wanker" which at least saves me from saying it. He loves the venue as much as himself. First here in 1982 as part of Frank Zappas band .I was at both those shows. A long set lasting some 2 hours 30 mins which only featured a couple of songs with vocals. The rest were all guitar work outs and of course all the band had solo spots .Steves hair being blown in the stage wind machine as his fingers raced up and down the fret board. It was hard going in parts but at least he makes playing the guitar entertaining viewing........... 18 Oct 2005. BT Digital Music Awards at The Hammersmith Palais , London. There seems to be an award show for everything these days.So far this year i have been to the award shows for NME, BRITS,Ivor Norvello , MOJO ,Metalhammer , Classic Rock ,MOBOS ,Kerrang and Q and heres another one. Digital music is of course growing very rapidly. 6pm = Champagne reception. 7pm = The Magic Numbers do their best two songs before heading off for their own Bush Empire gig. 7.15pm Free food and free booze for all. There are 500 downstairs sitting for the 3 course meal and we are part of the 200 in the balcony with buffet.8.30pm =Host Jo Whiley starts to give out the 17 awards . Nice to see Tom Robinson pick up one for BBC 6 Extra and Chris Evans is here to pick up one for Radio 1 s coverage of the massive Live 8 concert . The best unofficial fan website went to Depeche Mode. A few bands played a song each between gongs Shelley Poole, Roots Manuva, Turin Brakes,The Crimea, Mew and finally the nutters from Goldie Lookin Chain. Coldplay won best official band website. 10pm Aftershow party starts with a DJ not playing my kinda tunes but he does slip in a couple of tracks from that amazing Paul Anka covers album like "Jump" the Van Halen anthem . Depart at midnight and another good awards bash........ 17 Oct 2005. Michael Bolton live at The Royal Albert Hall , London. Well tonight was a case of choosing between two extremes really .Do i go and see one of the uncoolest Americans in rock = Michael Bolton or do i go and see one of the coolest Americans in rock = Sufjan Stevens . No contest uncool is always more fun.Remembered more for his dodgy haircut than his voice Mr Bolton has taken some stick over the years from critics but has still sold over 20 million albums.He still has lots of adoring female fans . He still sings too many cover versions but he has still got a decent voice."To Love Somebody", "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay" ,"Til The End Of Forever" , "Georgia On My Mind" ,"Go The Distance" ,"When A Man Loves A Woman" ,"How Can We Be Lovers" and the power ballad "Time Love And Tenderness " .A good in parts show........ 14 Oct 2005.Keith Urban live at Hammersmith Apollo , London. Keith is a massive act in the States but virtually unknown in the UK but his recent support slot with Bryan Adams got him a whole bunch of new screaming female fans . He plays simple , catchy uptempo country rock with a great backing band .He looks a bit like Jon Bon Jovi to be honest ."Raining On Sunday " and "Homespun Love " were good as were fun covers of " Jolene " and " Blue Jeans" . The middle acoustic section was dreary MOR but he rocked things up later with tracks like " These Are The Days" . A good but nothing special show but he will be massive..... 13 Oct 2005 .Saw Doctors live at The Bush Hall , London.What a superb venue this is . Holds only 250 people and its only 2 mins walk from my home. I was last here a year ago for the REM secret gig. Saw Doctors are one of Irelands top live bands . My parents come from Galway so as most of their lyrics are based around West Of Ireland themes it helps if you know the area and most of the crowd look like they have a bit of Irish in them. This was a low key gig to promote their new album "The Cure" which comes out next week . They play a fun filled 1 hour 45 mins set full of great tracks like " N17" , "Tommy K " and "Clare Island " and a few off the new album .As always there is a good time party atmosphere when they play and there is plenty of dancing down front. Encore included a mad cover of Pussycat Dolls "Dont Cha" . The Saw Doctors return for a full UK Christmas tour including a Shepherds Bush Empire gig on Dec 10 .Great show in a great venue........ 12 Oct 2005. Glen Matlock live at The Strongroom Bar , London EC2 . Another really good acoustic show by The Sex Pistols legend. This time its a very trendy venue in Shoreditch . 55 mins set full of great solo material like "On Something" , "Whose Side Are You On " ,"Ambition" ," Idiot" and classics like " Stepping Stone " , " Ghosts Of Princes And Towers " and Pistols anthems "God Save The Queen" and " Pretty Vacant " . Glen on top form and the crowd loved it ........... Monday was a superb day for me starting with the Q Awards at lunchtime then off to the Q Awards aftershow party for a couple of hours then a secret gig by rock legends Deep Purple later at a small London venue , read on ........... 10 Oct 2005 .Q Awards At Grosvenor House Hotel , Park Lane , London. Along with the MOJOs this awards bash always gets lots of quality talent old and new turning up. 550 here with 500 seated and 50 standing in this lovely 5 star venues ballroom. Hosted again by a very funny Jonathan Ross there were 17 awards given out .Here are most of the names who were here to present , receive or just have the lovely 3 course meal and free booze. Oasis ,Coldplay,Jimmy Page ,Paul Weller, Yoko Ono, James Blunt, Bjork ,New Order , Ray Davies , Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) ,Robin Gibb(Bee Gees),Sparks ,Richard Ashcroft, Nick Cave ,Ian McCulluch(Echo And The Bunnymen) ,Charlotte Church , MIA, Prodigy , Chris Evans ,Elbow , Micheal Eavis (Glastonbury Festival) ,Hard Fi , KT Tunstall ,Magic Numbers, Grant (Feeder), JEM, Sugababes , Sharlene (Texas) ,Trevor Horn ,Robert Wyatt .The main winners were Oasis ,Coldplay , Paul Weller ,Bee Gees and Yoko Ono accepted a special award for John Lennon. Excellent stuff. 5pm The awards finish and they lay on cars and cabs to drive us to the aftershow party at Destino nightclub ,off Regent Street. This is a fantastic building that used to be the Mexican Embassy and has amazing carpets and tiling on all levels.More free booze and food here with somw DJs. As usual not many of the artists bother with this but James Blunt and Sparks are here and Luke Morley from Thunder is here .Have a good couple of hours here then off to the next event..... 10 Oct 2005. Deep Purple + Rooster live at The Hard Rock Cafe , London. When this was first mentioned to me i said "no chance" but yep here they are to play at the relaunch party for The Hard Rock Cafe after the fire in July. It is totally rammed in here as the venue only holds 300 . Rooster play a decent set but its cooler to watch them from the outside champagne bar . We are down the front for Deep Purple though . An amazing "in yer face" 60 mins 10 song set. Ian Gillan bare foot and sweating buckets. It was pretty special to see them in this tiny place best known for burgers and fries. While the venue is totally rocking there are not many real Deep Purple fans here to witness this one off event as the clubs PR people have kept it to media and i even spotted a couple of Big Brother twats here .(Deep Purple fans? NOT!). Setlist was Fireball ,I Got Your Number, Strange Kinda Woman , Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye , Rapture Of The Deep , Wrong Man , Lazy , Perfect Strangers, Highway Star and Smoke On The Water . Set included a couple of songs from new album "Rapture Of The Deep " . This was the first date of a year long world tour which will include another London show on Jan 17 .A great night and they even gave us a Hard Rock goodie bag at the end with T shirts and stuff ........ 09 Oct 2005. Small Faces Fan Convention, Marquee Club , London.This venue has struggled to get decent bands and decent sized crowds since it reopened earlier this year but tonight is a 500 punter sell out. Half a dozen tribute bands do good sets of all the SF great songs but the main event is the guests who turn up .Buzzcock Steve Diggle does one track , Sex Pistol Glen Matlock does four tracks and r n b great Chris Farlowe does a couple . A good evening........... 08 Oct 2005. Donny Osmond live at Hammersmith Apollo , London.First of all let me make it clear these were guest list freebie tickets. A mainly female crowd here tonight to see this 1970s teen idol.A nice stage production with walkways and three giant video screens showing 1970s footage. On stage for two hours over two sets with a decent mix of old and new songs along with a couple of covers . "Love Me For A Reason " , "Puppy Love " ,"One Bad Apple " , "Let Me In " and rocktastic encores of " Soldier Of Love" and the mega "Crazy Horses" . Enjoyable show and i would rather watch Donny Osmond live than warm acoustic rock crap like David Gray or James Blunt to be honest........ 05 Oct 2005. M People live at Hammersmith Apollo , London. They were one of the UKs biggest dance acts in the early 1990s but this is their first UK tour for 5 years . From the start the crowd are all up and dancing themselves silly .Singer Heather Small looks stunning and her voice is just superb and the band sound great . " Excited " , "Angel Street" , "One Night In Heaven" ,"Open Your Heart " were all fab . Highlight of the evening was Heathers solo single anthem " Proud" . What an incredibly emotive song that is no matter how many times you hear it."Sight For Sore Eyes " and "How Can I Love You More " kept the punters on their feet. Encores of " Search For The Hero" and their cover of Small Faces " Itchycoo Park " went down a treat before " Moving On Up " their biggest hit . A really enjoyable evening....... 04 Oct 2005 . Classic Rock Mag Awards at The Cafe De Paris , London. This was the first ever awards event by this much loved by me rock monthly. . Only 220 here on 22 tables of 10 .7pm drinks reception .8pm 3 course dinner and drinks. 10pm 12 awards are given out .Midnight finish. There are hundreds of bands that should have been here .For starters theres no Iron Maiden ,no Def Leppard ,no Sabbath etc and even Judas Priest and Billy Idol(best comeback) are not here to collect their awrds. Still there are some big names here like Deep Purple, Jimmy Page ,Ian Hunter, Arthur Brown ,Motorhead ,Mick Box(Uriah Heep) ,Chris Squire (Yes) ,Phil Manzernera (Roxy Music), Scott Gorham(Thin Lizzy) and others like Ross Halfin, Geoff Barton, Howard Marx ,Peter Stringfellow and nice to see familiar faces here from behind the scenes from rock promoters Clear Channel and rock band booking agents ITB and Neil Warnocks The Agency (Neil is married to 1970s singer Linda Lewis who is also here tonight) and the gang from Sanctuary who have signed up nearly every old rocker in the last couple of years. It was a pretty tame affair with highlights being Arthur Brown wildly jumping out of his wheelchair to collect his Best Showman award . Hero of the night Lemmy won The Living Legend Icon award then he played an acoustic song to this jaded crowd who were visibly bored while he strummed away .A small goodie bag at the end which included a Motorhead album and a couple of bottles of Jagermeister (its really horrible). Most of the award winners are now aged over 50 but it was really great to see them here and hopefully next year will be bigger and better................
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In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
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