Archive: May 2007

May 31, 2007

31 May 2007.Manic Street Preachers live at The Shepherds Bush Empire, London.The Manics were so good a couple of days ago at The Forum i simply had to see them again and this was even better. Pretty much the same setlist with first song "You Love Us" and third song "Motorcycle Emptiness" and its all quality .During the 3 song acoustic set Nicky Wire again puts on his short skirt.They told a couple of stories about when they lived and wrote songs in Shepherds Bush in the old days and mentioned a fish and chip shop in Askew Road that i know well. The sound was superb all night and such a great bunch of tunes meant another great Manics gig......... 29 May 2007.Manic Street Preachers + The Enemy live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.The support are getting some good reviews but it was all too shouty for me.I have seen the Manics a dozen times since 1991 including their last couple of arena tours.For this month long trek they are back to venues that are perfect for them.This was the first of 3 London shows(also Astoria on the 30th and Shepherds Bush Empire on 31st).Its a perfect setlist with loads of great oldies like "You Love Us","Motorcycle Emptiness","Everything Must Go" ,new single "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough" from the recent "Send Away The Tigers" album.James Dean Bradfield guitar playing is superb all night and the overall sound just buzzes."If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next" is followed by mega versions of "You Stole The Sun From My Heart" ,"Motown Junk" and "A Design For Life".Over the last few years i have seen loads of indie guitar rock bands but tonight we saw one of the original and best back on form ................ 27 May 2007.Simply Red live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.This was show number 4 of 6 for Simply Red at this venue.The first 45 mins was swamped with very average songs from their new album "Stay".Mick Hucknalls soul voice still sounds great and some women are still screaming (they must need glasses)but its very tame.It gets much better later with "Holding Back The Years", a great version of 1970s Faces gem "Debris" then "Thrill Me","Stars",then the crowd stood up for "Moneys Too Tight To Mention",and the encores were also fab "Fairground","Something Got Me Started" and "If You Dont Know Me By Now".Not as great as the many shows i saw them play back in the 1980s and 1990s but still good.............. Sunday 27 May 2007 is the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest singles of all time.The Sex Pistols "God Save The Queen".I bought it on the day of its release which was on my 18th birthday.So yep on Sunday i will be 48.......... 26 May 2007.Girls Aloud live at Wembley Arena, London.Back for another UK arena tour to support their "Greatest Hits" album. Its totally sold out with a mixed crowd of all ages.There are hundreds of glo sticks being waved about.When they won their TV talent show some 4 years ago its hard to believe how popular these "girls next door " would become.A nice big production with giant screens,flames,fireworks and giant staircases.They were lowered down from the ceiling in a giant cradle.Then their 8 male dancers came on to help with some fun routines. Five sexy costume changes in the 95 mins set. Lots of harmless pop tunes via their Xenomania writing and production team and a few covers. The girls voices could have been better.Best tracks were in second half "Sound Of The Undeground","I Think We're Alone Now","I'll Stand By You","Love Machine" and encore "Biology". The girls are having a ball and so are the crowd. Quite an amazing few years for Girls Aloud...... 24 May 2007.Noon to 5pm.Ivor Norvello Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane, London. This is the main awards event for songwriters. Some 1000 people here seated on 100 tables. Hosted as usual by BBC Radio DJ Paul Gambachini. First there was a drinks reception then a lovely 3 course lunch.Then it was awards time with lots of big names here inc Mick Jones(Clash)with his chum Tony James,Corinne Bailey Rae,Rolf Harris, Alex Turner(Arctic Monkeys),Catherine Tate,Amy Winehouse,Divine Comedy,Magic Numbers,Roy Wood, Yusuf Islam(Cat Stevens),Scissor Sisters,Elton John(he was getting a helicopter straight after this for his gig in Sheffield later that night),Feargal Sharkey,Paul Heaton(Beautiful South),Norman Cook(Fatboy Slim),Robin Gibb, Scott Matthews,The Feeling(Songwriters Of The Year), Peter Gabriel(UK Lifetime Award),Quincy Jones(Internatinal Lifetime Award).A few drinks after sealed off an excellent afternoon.A perfect production with 5 video screens showing great footage of all the artists 23 May 2007.Meat Loaf + Marion Raven live at Wembley Arena,London.Support did a 30 mins set but acoustic guitar and piano in this big venue just did not impress.Meat Loaf is on a huge world tour to promote the "Bat Out Of Hell 3" album that came out a few months ago.Always a big show with video screens,fireworks,flames etc and Meat is a real showman on stage.Loads of great songs that suit this venue inc "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth","Life Is A Lemon", "I Would Do Anything For Love", and of course "Bat Out Of Hell".Most songs seemed to last about 10 mins with all the stage chat that Meat does in them.For 2 hours 30 mins he really put 100% into the show and he looked sweaty,exhausted and drained but it was a great show to watch......... 22 May 2007.Launch Party for Alan Parkers new Sid Vicious book "No One Is Innocent" at The 100 Club,London. Nice to see so many familiar faces here.Alans book has got some fantastic never seen before photos and an interesting take on Sids final days.Available to buy now on Orion books.Also here were Pistols tribute band Sex Pistols Experience who played a short but sweet 40 mins set starting with Sid related material like "Something Else" before storming into the classics like "God Save The Queen","Pretty Vacant","Bodies" and "Anarchy In The UK". All in all a great evening ...... 19 May 2007.FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.This was the hottest football ticket in ages.After 7 years the new Wembley Stadium would at last reopen its doors and host the final between the two top teams in England. Not the best of games with Chelsea beating Man Utd 1-0. By the way i am a QPR fan and my mate who got me the ticket is a Coventry City fan.(Man Utd end). The atmosphere on the day was amazing and the stadium itself with a staggering 90,000 is now without doubt the best in the world.You must get a ticket for one of the summer music shows here.George Michael plays on June 9 and 10..... Muse play on June 16 and 17.....The Concert For Diana is on July 1.....The Live Earth Concert is on July 7.....Metallica play there on July 8..... 18 May 2007.OMD(Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark)live at Hammersmith Apollo, London. Back together again for their first tour in 15 years i have a lot of history with OMD.I saw one of their first ever gigs in 1979 at the Nashville where they supported Joy Division with just a backing tape instead of a drummer.When i worked at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s i saw them a few times so its no surprise they are back here at the same venue.They have a huge video screen behind them which helped the show visually.The 90 mins set started with all the "Architecture And Morality" album which includes "Joan Of Arc" and "Maid Of Orleans" then they played a dozen hit singles one after the other inc "Messages","Tesla Girls","Locomotion", "Sailing On The Seven Seas" a superb "Enola Gay" and encores "Walking On The Milky Way " and a brilliant "Electricity". Loads of catchy pop synth tunes and the singers "arms everywhere" dodgy dancing still amuses.Its a good show but hard to get really excited about......... 17 May 2007.Glen Matlock And The Philistines live at Trent Park Golf Club, Oakwood, North London.Another mad mad evening with 2 events. First from 7pm to 10.15pm i have been invited to the launch party to celebrate the 76 million pound refurbishment of the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane,Mayfair.Over 400 people for cocktails and canopes before a 4 course meal.Needless to say the food was superb and the staff were just fantastic.A few faces here like Esther Rantzen,Ainsley Harriet,Rory Bremner.It was on until 2am with djs and auction but i had to miss the live set by Beverley Knight so i could be in leafy North London at just after 11pm to catch a rare UK show by Glen Matlocks band.They were fantastic.So great to hear Glens songs with twin electric guitars blasting away. A 15 song set lasting 65 mins inc first time ever play of "Born Running" as well as the usual "God Save The Queen","Whose Side Are You On?", "Steppin Stone","Burning Sounds","Piece Of The Action","White Knuckle Ride" and mega encore of "Pretty Vacant".Well worth all the dashing about. ............... 15 May 2007.Saxon + Masterplan live at The Astoria,London.Good to catch the support band Masterplan as they have one of the best rock drummers i have seen for quite a while.A sold out show for Saxons first London gig since their Channel 4 tv docu where promoter Harvey Goldsmith advised the band on how to "update their sound and image".Harvey has put on some great shows over the years but as far i can remember he does not promote metal bands now and he never promoted any metal bands in the 1980s.Hey it was just great to see Saxon on tv. Anyway this is Saxons 40th show of their lengthy european tour.Lots of people in their 20s which was nice to see.Saxon played a storming 2 hour set with loads of their catchy rock gems like "Motorcycle Man", superb versions of "Strong Arm Of The Law" ,"Princess Of The Night" and "Crusader".They played a few tracks off new album "The Inner Sanctum" inc "If I Was You" and "Ive Got To Rock(To Stay Alive)"which went down really well.The encores all rocked "Heavy Metal Thunder","747(Strangers In The Night)","Wheels Of Steel","The Bands Played On","Denim And Leather" and "Power And The Glory".Saxon were a great live band in the 1980s and they still are............ 14 May 2007.We Will Rock You live at The Dominion Theatre,London.This was the 5th birthday show for this excellent Queen musical.Another packed house for Queen hits one after the other. Like last year Queen members Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums came on to play the last 2 songs "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Show Must Go On" which brings the house down. Ben Elton came out to say a few words and comedian Al Murray (a big Queen fan) came on. I have seen it about 6 times now and its still really worth going back every few months or so. See aftershow page for this event................ 13 May 2007.Lionel Richie + Natasha Hamilton live at Wembley Arena,London.Support used to be in Atomic Kitten.She did a decent enough 30 mins set inc her old band massive hit "Whole Again".Since i saw Lionel Richie 6 weeks ago at this same venue he has been all around the arenas of Europe.Its the same 2 hour set but again the packed crowd love every minute.He is a bit cheesey with his onstage banter but he really is a perfect entertainer.Great tunes like "Easy", "Dancing On The Ceiling","Three Times A Lady", some Commodores hits like "Brickhouse" and encores inc "Hello" and a superb "All Night Long".Another hugely enjoyable show............. 11 and 12 May 2007.Roger Waters live at Earls Court Arena,London.In the 1970s i was never a Floyd fan as jumping around to The Sex Pistols and The Clash bands like Pink Floyd were seen as "old mans music" and they still are really.As i get older they do grow on you.Roger Waters always has a big show which is why i went to both dates. Three huge screens with great images to match the music.A great band.Two sets lasting around 2 hours 25 mins in total.Best in the first half "Shine On You Crazy Diamond","Wish You Were Here" and a brilliant "Perfect Sense" with great footage and explosions ,fireworks and flames. We had a remote control giant pig floating over our heads as well as a spaceman.Second half was "Dark Side Of The Moon " album in all its glory inc "Breathe","Time","Money","Us And Them" etc. For the second night Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason played drums for all the second half which did make it a better show atmosphere wise. Encores inc "Another Brick In The Wall" and a stunning "Comfortably Numb" .Great shows......... 10 May 2007.Bryan Adams live at Wembley Arena, London then Prince live at Camden Koko,London. An amazing evening where i caught both these acts who were massive in the 1980s.Bryan Adams has no new album to promote but he can still play 2 nights here.This was his 25th show at Wembley in his career and i have seen quite a few of them.Still in jeans and tshirt he did a really great set of catchy guitar laden pop rock. Hit after hit tonight in the 2 hour set.The first 3 songs were played from the second stage in the middle of the arena. Set included "There Will Never Be Another Tonight","Cant Stop This Thing We Started","Please Forgive Me","18 Til I Die",a mega "Summer Of 69","Everything I Do I Do It For You",a mega "Cuts Like A Knife",a girl joined him onstage and did a good job for "When Youre Gone",then it was "Its Only Love" and "Heaven".Encores included superb versions of "Run To You" and "Straight From The Heart" Bryan Adams might be a bit uncool these days but as usual he played a great show.................. then a dash over to see Prince at Camden Koko. We get to venue at 11.20pm .Thankfully we have a guest list as its 200 quid a ticket outside. There are 300 guest list and VIPS in the balcony. Inside there are 1500 crammed in and the venue atmosphere is electric.Prince plays a 2 hour set from 11.40pm to 1.40am.You cannot take your eyes off him.As its a small gig we get a funky r n b based set with only a few hits.The brass section feature Maceo Parker and there are two sexy Beyonce type dancers strutting their stuff.Some of the set seemed to be a loose jam at times as the crowd wanted the hits. "Kiss" was great.He got some punters on stage for a dance but one girl went to kiss him and Prince pushed her away. Prince oozes pure superstar quality on stage. The set included covers like "Play That Funky Music" and Amy Winehouse "Love Is A Losing Game". Near the end we got "Cream" and "U Got The Look" which were both just total quality before the superb encores of "Crazy","Nothing Compares To U" and "Lets Go Crazy".A special show for sure. Prince in August will be totally awesome.Its in the round like the legendary "Lovesexy" tour i saw back in the day.You have to be there....... 09 May 2007.Diana Ross live at Wembley Arena, London.Motown legend back in UK for a short arena tour.I saw her here 2 or 3 years ago in a superb lavish production "in the round" buzzing show but tonight its only 75% full and the stage and lighting is poor by arena standards and there are no big screens.However the first 45 mins of this 1 hour 50 mins show was just fantastic. Just full of solo and Supremes classics like "Chain Reaction","Where Did Our Love Go","Baby Love","Stop In The Name Of Love","You Cant Hurry Love","Touch Me In The Morning".She still looks fab for age 63 and there were i think four over the top costume changes tonight.Thankfully only 3 or 4 songs from her new ballads album "I Love You"(what a crap album title).Stunning versions of "Im Still Waiting" and "Upside Down " were mega and her loyal fans swamped the stage with bunches of flowers.More gems like "Endless Love" and "Aint No Mountain High Enough" were great and encore of "I Will Survive" kept the crowd on its feet.A really enjoyable show................ Rock legends Thin Lizzy + Queensryche tour the UK in Nov/Dec with a London show at Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday 13 Dec .Tickets on sale Friday 11 May at 9am on 0870 400 0688................... Prince was in London yesterday to announce an amazing bunch of London shows.He plays the O2 Arena on Aug 1,3,4,7,10,11,14 playing a greatest hits set and he plans to announce smaller shows playing mixed material.He has stated his band have learned a staggering 150 songs............. 04 May 2007.Australian Pink Floyd live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.I first saw this Floyd tribute band in a small club way back in 1993. Since then they have become the biggest and best Floyd tribute out there.They now visit this big venue every year.Tonights show is based around the Floyd 1994 Earls Court"Pulse" DVD show where they have a huge circular screen behind them showing images and an arc of lights with lasers thrown in as well.Two sets over 2 hours 40 mins is just a pure visual treat of the highest order and the musicianship is top notch.Loads of Floyd classics played note perfect like "Shine On You Crazy Diamond","Money", "Us And Them","Brain Damage","Time",a pair of giant pig and dancing rabbit inflatables came out for "One Of These Days".Then "Wish You Were Here","Another Brick In The Wall" and stunning versions of "Comfortably Numb" and encore "Run Like Hell".It may be just a tribute but the quality has to be seen by any Floyd fan as its a totally brilliant production.The show was filmed for DVD release to come out later in the year .... 03 May 2007. Linkin Park live at The Astoria then Queens Of The Stone Age live at The 100 Club and then Groove Armada live at Hammersmith Palais,London.Amazing night where i was at ALL the three events above.First up Linkin Park was one of the hottest gig tickets of the year with prices of 100 quid outside and on the internet. They are here to promote new album "Minutes To Midnight" which is out on 14 May and they also headline Download Festival on 09 June.They bounce on stage and its a stunning 65 mins set.Playing loads of classics from their 15 million selling album "Hybrid Theory" as well as a couple of new album tunes."Somewhere I Belong","No More Sorrow","Papercut","Dont Stay" and crushing rock at its best with "One Step Closer" and "Crawling" along with a superb encore of "In The End".Mega. They leave the stage at 9.40pm so on to next gig which is only 2 mins walk away................... Queens Of The Stone Age play a secret gig for 300 punters inc lots of NME journos and Radio 1s Zane Lowe.They play a 55 mins set with a few new songs like new single "Sick Sick Sick" as well as "Little Sister" and "Mexicola".They suffer a power cut but overcame that.They are ok but nothing special really.Now over to the famous Hammersmith Palais in West London as dance duo Groove Armada are playing what really is the very FINAL gig at this venue where i first set inside way back in 1973.Its a launch party for their new album "Soundboy Rock".I only catch the last 10 mins which as luck would have it were their 2 big tunes "Superstyling" and "I See You Baby". They have half a dozen video screens up with some nice visuals.The Palais was always a dance venue rather than a gig venue so it is only right and fitting that a dance act should be the last ever act to play here.After in the bar upstairs SONY are dishing out the free booze and canopes and at 1am i leave this legendary venue for the last time.What a night ..... 01 May 2007 Invite only party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Clash "White Riot" tour at Central Saint Martins College Of Art ,London WC1.This fantastic tour opened 1 May 1977 at Guildford.On this tour i was at London Rainbow show on 09 May 1977 and St Albans show on 21 May 2007.Sadly no members of The Clash are here.Clash manager Bernard Rhodes was here along with Clash clothing designers Michon and Kowolska who all said a few words.Sex Pistol Glen Matlock was also here.Good one ... After a two year refurbishment costing over 50m The Royal Festival Hall is to reopen with The Meltdown Festival curated by Jarvis Cocker .From June 16 to 24 it has a superb set of acts inc Motorhead(16th),Devo(19th),Iggy Pop And The Stooges(20th),Jesus And Mary Chain(22nd),and Jarvis Cocker(23rd).Buy tickets on 08716 632520. .............The record for ticket prices has been broken.Best seats for Madonnas last tour were 160 each and The Rolling Stones was 150 but Barbara Streisand has smashed that by wanting a staggering 500 for best seats for her show at The 02 Arena on July 18.............