Archive: December 2007

December 09, 2007

08 Dec 2007.UB40 + Maxi Priest live at Wembley Arena,London.Maxi Priest is a big name so most of the crowd were here early to see his full 60 mins set inc "I Just Want To Be Close To You" that warmed up the crowd nicely.I first saw UB40 in 1980 on their first UK tour supporting The Pretenders.Some 27 years later all EIGHT original members are still here.They played a near 2 hour set of their gentle reggae that the crowd loved as they were dancing and swaying from the start. Set inc "Cherry Oh Baby","Rat In Mi Kitchen", "Red Red Wine","Here I Am Baby","Cant Help Falling In Love" and encores "Kingston Town" and "Many Rivers To Cross".A nice show.............. 07 Dec 2007.Take That + Sophie Ellis Bextor live at 02 Arena,London.Support Sophie is showing her long legs off in heels and black shorts.Her decent set finishes with "Groovejet" and "Murder On The Dancefloor".Over the years i have avoided seeing boybands but the massive Take That reunion even without Robbie Williams is staggering.This was show number 7 of 9 at this venue.The show is a massive production with big screens,neon lights, dancers and colour.This show was beamed to over 100 cinemas across UK and Europe.Loads of screaming women here of course but its a great atmosphere.The band got stuck into some dance routines and hits inc "It Only Takes A Minute","Patience" and "Relight My Fire" got the crowd going over the 2 hour set.They played a few songs in the second stage in the middle of the arena including "Million Love Songs","Back For Good" and "Everything Changes" before back to main stage for "Never Forget" and encores inc "Pray".The band were far too nice saying "Thank You,Youre A Great Crowd" etc about 100 bloody times but apart from a few naff songs it was a very entertaining show................. 06 Dec 2007. Queens Of The Stone Age + The Gallows live at The Shepherds Bush Pavillion,London.This was an invite only secret gig for 500 comp winners and media to celebrate MTVs Gonzo 5th Birthday Party.Nice party with free booze and canopes for all.The Stereophonics are all here as watching are the singers from Franz Ferdinand and The Cribs.We have two of the coolest bands around playing live.Up first punk rockers The Gallows whose singer was voted number one in NMEs recent cool list.The band play a manic 30 mins with fast guitars and the singer is great.Rapper Lethal Bizzle joins them for a cover of The Ruts classic "Staring At The Rude Boys".The set ends with the singer smashing up the drum kit and giving it out to the audience. Queens Of The Stone Age have brought all their full mesh lighting production with them.They play a solid 45 mins set inc "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer" where the singer slipped in the Amy Winehouse lyrics "They tried to make me go to rehab,I said No No No",also "Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret" and "Little Sister" then DJ Zane Lowe spun the discs.A great party . 05 Dec 2007.Marilyn Manson + Turbonegro live at Wembley Arena,London.Support Turbonegro were as usual loud and trashy.Their 45 mins was decent enough but their banal banter between songs went down like a lead brick.Marilyn Manson still attracts a big batch of loyal if freaky looking fans.He played a very enjoyable 85 mins of theatre rock.Lots of good songs inc "Disposable Teens","Mobscene",a cover of "Sweet Dreams", "The Fight Song",a couple of tracks from recent album "Eat Me Drink Me" inc the single "Heart Shaped Glasses".Then "Rock Is Dead" and "The Dope Show" and "The Reflecting God" where he preached from 20 feet in the air and tore up a bible.Encores were "Antichrist Superstar" and "The Beautiful People" where for the second time he shook hands with those at the front as the confetti exploded on to the front rows.MM is always a great act to watch live.More Alice Cooper than anything really scary............... 04 Dec 2007.Michael Buble + Naturally 7 live at Wembley Arena,London.Not the sort of gig i normally go to but it ended up a good night. First up was an excellent support called Naturally 7 who were a 7 piece from New York via Stoke Newington where EVERY instrument and sound on stage is from the human voice.This inc bass, drums,guitar,trumpet etc and was great fun.Their entertaining mix of covers and own material got them a standing ovation.Check out their site www.myspace.com/naturally7.The venue is totally sold out for Michael Buble who basically is the Justin Timberlake of jazz.TV host Michael Parkinson has namechecked him lots recently. This Canadian has sold over 10 million albums with his most recent being "Call Me Irresponsible".Its mainly covers done in a fun jazz way inc "Me And Mrs Jones" and "Fever"with MB very entertaining and loose on the stage.Plenty of adoring female fans here.For "Home" he was joined by current X Factor star Leon on vocals and his big hit "Everything" was also good.The crowd got up for "YMCA" and stayed there for the last 20 mins which inc encores of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Let It Snow".A better than expected set lasting 1 hour 40 mins ............... 03 Dec 2007.Duran Duran live at The Lyceum, London.Nice to be at this venue again that used to be a regular gig haunt of mine in the 1980s before it was turned into a theatre(The Lion King is on there now).This was a one off show to promote Duran Durans new album "Red Carpet Massacre".Tickets were sold out in a day due to Durans loyal fanbase.Some of who were probably at those amazing 6 six shows i saw in Nov 1982 at Hammersmith Odeon when "Rio" album came out and Duranmania was at its height.Tonight is split into three sets with the band on stage for 2 hours 15 mins.I am in the dress circle VIP block with a few celebs like Bob Geldof, Beverley Knight and a few other non music faces. The first set is all the new album which despite getting some very average reviews i really liked as Duran have been brave enough to change musical direction to a cool r n b electro sound. Tunes like "Nite-Runner","Falling Down" and "Skin Divers" were all good and they played "Skin Divers " a second time for the VH1 cameras. After a 15 mins break we have the four of them standing behind electronic equipment just like "Kraftwerk" do for tracks inc "Last Chance On The Stairway","All She Wants","I Dont Want Your Love" and "Skin Trade" then a 5 mins break and the band with brass section play loads of hits and the crowd get rowdy starting with "Rio", "Notorious","The Reflex","Ordinary World", "Planet Earth","A View To A Kill" and "Sunrise". Encore was "Girls On Film" and band introductions.An excellent gig although even the band know they are gonna get slagged off for starting off with an hour of new material here. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 02 Dec 2007.Thunder live at The Astoria,London. Another rock band i have a real soft spot for. Another full house here as they played a 1 hour 45 mins of good time rock and roll.The singer really knows how to work the crowd and he really makes you feel as though you are mates with the band.Lots of catchy guitar riffs.Lots of good rockers like "Higher Ground","River Of Pain", "Backstreet Symphony","Love Walked In" and encores inc "I Think I Love You More Than Rock And Roll".Sadly like on the last tour they did not play their hit "Dirty Love" which was odd but still it was a good show ..... 01 Dec 2007.Human League live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.1980s synth pop legends back in London for their annual tour.They are still using the white intruments and production set from recent tours.They start playing their classic album "Dare" track by track and it all still sounds fab inc "Open Your Heart","The Sound Of The Crowd","I Am The Law","Seconds" and of course "Love Action" and "Dont You Want Me?". The video clips and graphics above the stage are superb and mix well with the music. The two girls are in black for the first half then change into glam outfits later.Phil struts the stage as best as he can.More gems follow like "The Lebanon","Human","Tell Me When","Fascination" and "Mirror Man " and great encores of "Being Boiled" and "Together In Electric Dreams".At the end a punter got on stage and started to lift the blonde singer off her feet before the secutity stepped in.A really enjoyable 90 mins set ........ 30 Nov 2007.Buzzcocks + Chelsea + Johnny Moped live at 02 Indigo,London.Back into gig mode after a busy week of non music London party events. Nice package of bands from the original 1970s punk era.Johnny Moped is up first.He was not much good back in the day and nothings changed.Then we have Chelsea.Gene October and co do a decent enough set and finish well with "Urban Kids", "I Fought The Law" and "Right To Work".Then its Manchesters pop punk legends The Buzzcocks who play an excellent 80 mins.Loads of catchy tunes and the sound is great in this venue. Set included "Promises","Love You More", "I Dont Mind","Harmony In My Head","Everybodys Happy Nowadays","Times Up" and encores inc "What Do I Get?","Orgasm Addict" and "Ever Fallen In Love". Pete Shelley,Steve Diggle and Tony Barber all on top form.Loads of jumping around down the front.Great fun.See aftershow page for this show ......... As i mentioned a couple of weeks ago The Sex Pistols will be playing a month of shows in Europe in the summer.The first date has been confirmed.A massive headline show at The Isle Of Wight Festival on Sat 14 June 27 Nov 2007.Bryan Adams "Modern Muses" private view at The Hospital ,Endell Street,Covent Garden,London.Canadian rocker Bryan Adams has been a keen photographer for over 10 years.All the giant photos here are of females.The booze and canopes are flowing for a couple of hours.Bryan Adams as always is very friendly and chatty to everyone.Lots of his upmarket friends are here including Cilla Black, Erin O'Connor and Janet Street Porter. Got Bryan to sign a copy of the book for me. He appeared to remember me from our last meeting which was backstage at the Babyshambles gig at Selfridges a year ago.A good bash............... 21 Nov 2007.Ronnie Wood "First Barbarians" cd and dvd launch party at The Rex Cinema,Rupert Stret,London W.1.Way back in 1974 Ronnie Wood had a band with Keith Richards called The New Barbarians.I think they only played a total of around 20 shows around the world.The Kilburn Show from London is featured here.It starts with drinks for an hour for 150 people.Glen Matlock from The Sex Pistols is here as is The Edge from U2 and Phil from The Pretty Things.Everyone is given a free copy of the cd and dvd.Then for 10 mins Ronnie Wood talks about the band and answers a few questions.Then we watch the 70 mins dvd version which is super rare stuff though the quality is very 1970s.Great to see Rod Stewart do a couple of songs with Ronnie and Keith. A must buy for any Rolling Stones/Faces fan. More info on www.woodenrecords.co.uk............. Classic rock legends Saxon have a dvd out this week from Monday 19 November called "To Hell And Back Again".It features over 5 hours of footage over two discs from various live shows and videos.All their classics are included here inc "747(Strangers in The Night)","Strong Arm Of The Law","Motorcycle Man","Princess Of The Night", "Wheels Of Steel","Crusader" and many more inc the recent "I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)". Well worth buying.For more on the band check www.saxon747.com ............. 18 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols live at The Glasgow S.E.C.C.My first ever visit to Glasgow this was. The venue is not to my liking.Like an aircraft hanger with all floor standing for 6,000 plus and its another sellout.Cant get near the front. There are quite a few in tarten kilts. They wisely change the intro to "I Belong To Glasgow" and place goes mental as the band launch into "Pretty Vacant".John tells the crowd "You Were Robbed" which referred to the footie game the day before.The band are stunning again and tonight we get a 3rd song encore of "Roadrunner" which is probably the best they have done it on the tour.The band take a big Rolling Stones bow at the end with their arms around each other. What a band.All four original members playing songs that really did change music as we know it. So all seven UK shows seen by me.Its been tiring, emotional but utterly amazing.Looks like a full european tour and american tour for summer 2008 will confirmed in the new year.See you there. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 17 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols live at The Manchester Evening News Arena.What a night this was.Before the show we are at the bar of The Lowry Hotel where the band are staying.All of them are here watching the football up until about an hour before they go on stage.We get to the venue at 9pm and are greeted with an amazing site.The venue of some 16,000 is a rammed solid sell out. We have superb seats in Block 115 near stage. A strange site is that door staff here wear bright yellow blazers just like the Never Mind The Bollocks album cover.They look very odd. The band have not played Manchester for 30 years. This makes it The Pistols biggest ever indoor show in the UK.The band arrive on stage and as usual its bedlam down the front.There are two giant video screens which work well and the band play a stunning 70 mins set but there is no 3rd song encore tonight.So many great songs again. "Pretty Vacant","Problems","God Save The Queen" "EMI","Bodies","Anarchy In The UK" etc.Superb A very brave punter got on stage tonight which did not happen once at Brixton shows. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 16 Nov 2007.Stereophonics + Enemy live at Wembley Arena,London.Enemy have had a great last 6 months where they have headlined their own shows at Brixton Academy and The Astoria in support of their hit album "We'll Live And Die In These Towns".The singer sings and swaggers very much in a Paul Weller style and they play a decent 40 mins set.Stereophonics are still a massive live draw as this is the second of two shows here as part of their UK arena tour.Their new album "Pull The Pin" got pretty average or bad reviews but still managed to get to number one.They played a good 1 hour 45 mins set but it was hardly exciting as such.Tunes inc "Bartender","A Thousand Trees","Pick A Part Thats New","Just Looking" and "Mr Writer".Kelly Jones played a solo acoustic medley in the middle. Encores of "It Means Nothing" and "Dakota" were great.A good show overall then.................. 14 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols live at The Brixton Academy,London.Back again for the live music event of the year for me.I have been to all the five Brixton shows by these punk legends.There is a real buzz for the last night at Brixton. The Sex Pistols play a stunning 75 mins set with the 3rd song encore being "Roadrunner".They are wearing the same clothes as Fri and Sat as Julien Temple is again filming them.There was a Spinal Tap moment when the God Save The Queen backdrop came down a song early (Problems) which made John and Steve laugh.The crowd again were jumping around madly and for the first encores of "Bodies" and "Anarchy In The UK" i never seen a crowd go so wild here.Another superb show. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 13 Nov 2007. Alice Cooper + Motorhead + Joan Jett And The Blackhearts live at The Brighton Centre.Another execellent three band rock package from promoters Live Nation.Up first for her first uk shows for over 15 years is Joan Jett.I saw her with the legendary Runaways in the mid 70s who were the best all girl rock band ever.She still looks great and does a neat 40 mins of catchy rock n roll inc "Bad Reputation","Cherry Bomb","Do You Wanna Touch?",some tracks off her new album "Sinner" inc "Naked","AC/DC","Fetish" before a mega "I Love Rock And Roll" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You".Really good to see her play live again.Up next we have Motorhead who are great as always.Lemmys voice and bass growl as all the fans down the front go crazy.Lots of killer tracks inc "Stay Clean","Metropolis" a cover of Thin Lizzys "Rosalie" then awesome versions of "Killed By Death","Ace Of Spades" and strobes galore for "Overkill".A pukka 70 mins. Alice Cooper plays a really good 90 mins set starting with "No More Mr Nice Guy","Under My Wheels" and "Im Eighteen".Its a very theatrical show as usual with mock killings,straitjackets, fake blood and a hanging all here."Only Women Bleed" was great.His daughter really threw herself into the role playing.Superb encores of "Billion Dollar Babies","Poison" and "Elected". What a great night of live rock entertainment. The London leg of this tour is at Wembley Arena on Sat 17 Nov at 7pm check www.livenation.co.uk for tickets and info ......... 12 Nov 2007. Sex Pistols + Cribs live at The Brixton Academy,London.Back again for my fourth Sex Pistols show here.Cribs play an ok set.They have been confirmed as headliners for the NME tour in early 2008.See www.nme.com The atmosphere for these shows has been great. Tonight John Lydon and Glen Matlock arrive on stage with their arms linked together.Its a 70 mins set tonight with no third song encore. John is really in top form and the band are rocking.Johns intro to "No Fun" is superb as is Steve Jones delayed start to "Bodies".Another great show.I cannot get enough of them live. Every song played tonight is a real classic. Jimmy Page from Led Zep was seen at this show by a friend of mine sitting in the balcony. See aftershow page for this show................. 10 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols + Cribs live at The Brixton Academy,London.Over to Brixton for Pistols show number three.Up first we have Cribs who are much better tonight than on Thursday. The Sex Pistols are again just fantastic.All these songs mean so much to me.The band are all wearing the same clothes as yesterday for the filming continuity.Another 75 mins set with "Roadrunner" added on at the end.The crowd are amazing each night with the whole venue rocking. John Lydon is really enjoying it even though he again messes the lyrics up a bit.For "EMI" he actually said sorry for forgetting half of it. But he still is an amazing entertainer.Another super gig.See aftershow page for this gig........ 09 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols + Thirst live at The Brixton Academy,London.Back here again for the second Pistols show.Up first we have Thirst who look,talk,sing and sound like Bloc Party.Pretty average like Cribs.Again the dj played for about an hour until the Pistols came on at 9.30pm. The lights go down and Vera Lynns "There'll Always Be An England" rings out as the huge door and curtain at the back of the stage opens and the four band members appear to huge applause. They tear into "Pretty Vacant" and the venue erupts.John Lydon had a PIL shirt on.They played the same set but changed it about at the end a bit and dropped "Belsen Was A Gas" so just 70 mins on stage tonight.The overall sound sounded even better than last night.What band has more powerful songs than "God Save The Queen","Anarchy In The UK","EMI","Bodies" etc. Just stunning. John is again joking and winding the crowd up. The stalls is a mess of heaving sweating bodies dancing and pogoing all night long.A great show. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 08 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols + Cribs live at The Brixton Academy,London.Well here we are at last for the first of five Pistols shows here.Up first Cribs do a pretty average set that failed to win over the crowd.Then the dj overstayed his welcome and starting getting boos.This may not be like "the old days" but The Pistols played a great 75 mins set of all killer with no filler.John Lydon dressed in his country squire shooting outfit and you still cannot take your eyes off him.They played nearly all the their best tunes. "Pretty Vacant","Seventeen","No Feelings","New York","Did You No Wrong","Liar","Holidays In The Sun","Submission","Steppin Stone","No Fun","Problems","God Save The Queen"(when a giant backdrop appeared),"EMI".The already mental crowd shifted up a gear for superb encores of "Bodies" and "Anarchy In The UK" and then finally "Belsen Was A Gas".The band sounded great with Steve Jones distorted guitar playing a treat. Will be interesting if any of the setlist is changed over the next gigs.Roll on show number 2. See aftershow page for this event................ The countdown begins now as my fave band The Sex Pistols play seven shows in the UK at Brixton Academy Nov 8,9,10,12,14 then Manchester on Nov 17 and Glasgow on Nov 18.I plan to be at all of them.This week the greatest album of all time "Never Mind The Bolloocks" celebrates its 30th anniversary and a special vinyl edition is in the shops now.The Cribs are the support band at four of the Brixton shows.Not the Nov 9th one.Its gonna be mental.You gotta be there............... 07 Nov 2007.Sex Pistols Press Conference And Launch Party For Guitar Hero 3 XBOX Game At The Hoxton Bar And Grill,London N.1.This was so last minute i nearly missed it.Anyway in the afternoon John Lydon does loads of tv interviews that later make the 6pm news on all networks. Steve Jones and Glen Matlock also do a few interviews but John handles most of it.We get to the venue at 7pm and Steve and Glen have left. The Sex Pistols have re-recorded "Anarchy In The UK" for the Guitar Hero 3 Game.There is about 100 media here with lots of tv crews from all over Europe.The free booze and tasty grub is flowing. At 7.50pm we get a demo as two gamers test out Anarchy in a play off on the big screen. Then 8pm to 8.30pm John Lydon gives a full 30 mins Q n A type press conference .John is on top form and seems to enjoy the banter up there. He hinted at an American tour in 2008. See aftershow page for this event...............

December 11, 2007

10 Dec 2007.Led Zeppelin + guests live at The 02 Arena,London.Well in terms of live music events it does not get much bigger than this. Rock legends Led Zeppelin perform their first full show for some 27 years.(I had seen Led Zep at Earls Court in the 1970s).Its a tribute night for Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegan who died last year.Tickets for this show are going for silly money on touting websites even though promoters did their best with id checks and wristbands.The evening starts with Harvey Goldsmith giving a speech then Keith Emerson(ELP) Alan White(Yes),Chris Squire(Yes) and Simon Kirke(Bad Company) play "Fanfare For The Common Man" with Bill Wymans Rhythm Kings who are the house band for the support acts.Paulo Nutini and Maggie Bell sing a couple of tunes before Paul Rodgers belts out "All Right Now" and "Seagull".Then Foreigner sing " I Want To Know What Love Is" then an interval where they showed some footage of Ahmet Ertegan. Needless to say the venue erupted when Led Zep quietly took to the stage to play a stunning 2 hours 10 mins set.After 6 weeks of rehearsals they were tight and the overall sound was spot on.Opening with "Good Times Bad Times" then "Ramble On" the quality of Robert Plants vocals and Jimmy Pages guitar were perfect."Black Dog" and "No Quarter" rocked before the slower blues of "Since Ive Been Loving You".The second half of the show was incredible as Jimmy Page brought out his violin bow for "Dazed And Confused" as he was boxed in by green lasers.The intro to "Stairway To Heaven" brought more wild cheers. The set finished with brilliant versions of "Kashmir" before encores of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Rock And Roll". A stunning show that really did live up to all the hype.Check this out for the massive rock star turnout who were sitting very near me . I saw Paul McCartney, Liam and Noel from Oasis,Marilyn Manson,Jeff Beck,Vic Reeves,John Sessions,Brian May,Chad from RHCP,Joe Elliot(Def Leppard),Bob Geldof,Juliette Lewis,Dave Mustaine(Megadeth),the singer from The Hives,Mike Rutherford(Genesis),Dave Grohl(Foo Fighters),David Gilmour(Pink Floyd)and there were a few more i did not see inc Mick Jagger,Priscilla Presley,Peter Gabriel,Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell etc.Check aftershow page..........