Archive: July 2007

July 01, 2007

30 June 2007.Rod Stewart + The Pretenders live at Twickenham Stadium.The Pretenders are an ideal support for this show as they have loads of well known songs.Chrissie Hynde still super slender and the coolest rock n roll chick in the stadium. The 55 mins set inc "Message Of Love","Dont Get Me Wrong","Back On The Chain Gang","Kid" and superb versions of "I'll Stand By You" and "Brass In Pocket".We have great seats a few yards from the stage on the pitch but its pouring with rain.Rod Stewart at age 62 has had quite a year. Awarded a CBE in January,got married to Penny a couple of weeks ago and now another stadium tour of the UK.Maybe it was because i was in the middle of a bunch of tartan wearing ,Scottish flag waving loyal fans but this show was just incredible.It rained for all of Rods set but nobody seemed to care.Rod thankfully omitted all his American Songbook material and stuck to all his best songs of the last 35 plus years in the two sets lasting 2 hours 10 mins.Some 29 or 30 songs inc "You Wear It Well","This Old Heart Of Mine","Some Guys Have All The Luck","Young Turks","Passion"(the first of Rods trips on the very wet and slippery extended walkway with a wee umbrella),superb versions of Cat Stevens "Father And Son" and "Every Beat Of My Heart". Also "Stay With Me","Hot Legs","I Dont Want To Talk About It","Dirty Old Town","The First Cut Is The Deepest","Tonights The Night","Youre In My Heart","Do You Think Im Sexy" and the crowd really singing along to "Sailing","Baby Jane" and "Maggie May" and then a huge fireworks display.For the encores he was joined by wife Penny for "Twisting The Night Away" and "I Was Only Joking".It could have been a wash out but Rod and his fans really did make this special. The whole evening really was a case of "singing in the rain" but to be dry and in the seated area 500 yards from the stage was not an option. If you had told me 2 weeks ago that Rod Stewart would be a better show than recent big shows by Aerosmith and The Who i would have laughed but it was.One of the gigs of the year.............. 28 June 2007. Tesla + Diamond Head live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.A neat double bill of bands tonight.Up first we have Diamond Head who were part of the NWOBHM over 25 years ago. They play "Lightning To The Nations" and "Am I Evil".Lars from Metallica loves them.Tesla have sold over 16 million albums.I saw them four times between 1987 and 1991 at Hammersmith Odeon both as support and as headline.They played a good solid 1 hour 45 mins set that this crowd loved. Some decent songs like "Cumin Atcha Live","Modern Day Cowboy" and "Little Suzie".Their new album "Real To Reel" is a covers album and they played UFOs "Rock Bottom" from that.Also good were "Heavens Trail(No Way Out)","Signs" and encore "Edisons Medicine".The band are really happy to be here and its a good rock show. Met a nice chap from a heavy rock website called www.rockersdigest.com so have a peek when you have a few mins .............. 27 June 2007.The Who + Charlatans live at Wembley Arena,London.Get off the plane at Stansted at 4pm then stop off for food and drink and then on to Wembley.Nice to see a big name support here but its not one of the better Charaltans gigs. The singer looks bored and washed out.Their 40 mins inc "The Only One I Know" and "How High" but its totally lacklustre.The Who fresh from their Glastonbury headline slot were just fantastic.I have seen them a couple of times a year over the last 5 or 6 years and they are always superb. Tonight was 5th anniversary of bass player John Entwistles sad death.Lots of big screens and a set lasting just over 2 hours .Pete and Roger on great form.Classics played inc "I Cant Explain","Anyway,Anyhow,Anywhere","The Seeker", "Who Are You" and "Behind Blue Eyes".The middle section featured a few new songs and tracks from Quadrophenia then more gems like "My Generation", "Wont Get Fooled Again" and superb encores of "The Kids Are Alright","Pinball Wizard" and "Listening To You".Excellent show............... 26 June 2007.Aerosmith + Chris Cornell + The Feeling live at Marlay Park, Dublin.This venue was much better than Hyde Park as its half the size but there is still 20,000 here and not a drop of rain and we get much closer to the stage. The Feeling have some annoyingly catchy pop tunes like "Fill My Little World","Never Be Lonely","Sewn" and "Love It When You Call" then up comes Chris Cornell who plays for 65 mins and its much better than Hyde Park gig."Spoonman" "You Know My Name","Cochise" and "Black Hole Sun" all go down well.Aerosmith were just superb. Steven Tyler is an amazing front man and its no wonder there are loads of girls screaming as he struts and poses on the extended walkway .Its the same 90 mins set with a mix of mainly hits and a couple of blues songs.See below for the best songs played.Same encore of "Walk This Way" was superb and great to watch as a punter got past security and danced on the stage.Overall a better show than Hyde Park gig.................. 24 June 2007.Aerosmith + Chris Cornell + Jet + The Answer + Black Stone Cherry live at Hyde Park Calling,London.A much bigger crowd today of some 45,000 to catch Aerosmith first UK show for 8 years(not counting that amazing Hard Rock Cafe secret gig for 200 people earlier in the year). Lots of rain today but luckily i could nip in and out of The Hard Rock Hospitality Area all day. Black Stone Cherry from Kentucky,USA have created quite a stir and the second stage tent is packed. They play old school classic rock and songs like "Lonely Train","Hell And High Water" and "Maybe Someday" all go down well as loads here know all the words.....The Answer always do a good blues rock set with some great vocals and guitar....... Jet have some great rock and roll screams in their songs and "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?","Rollover DJ" and "Cold Hard Bitch" all went down well......Chris Cornell is looking good these days.He plays a good mixture of past and present.A lot of it seems pretty average but "Black Hole Sun" is stunning..........at last Aerosmith are here and its stopped raining.All the band look cool and its straight into "Love In An Elevator" and others like "Crying","Dont Want To Miss A Thing","Jaded" and "Dream On" .I am a lot further from the stage than i would like . "Livin On The Edge" and "Sweet Emotion" are both superb.Also "Draw The Line".Encore of "Walk This Way" they were joined by Run DMC.All over after 90 mins when i was hoping for a 2 hour set.They made good use of the extended walkway but it was proved tonight indoor shows are always better than outdoor shows.Spotted in Hard Rock Hospitality were Brian May,Noel Fielding and tennis star Pat Cash.So a very good show but i have seen better Aerosmith shows................ 23 June 2007.Peter Gabriel + Crowded House live at Hyde Park Calling,London.Well the best news is i have blagged weekend passes for The Hard Rock Hospitality Area where some 500 guests are treated to free food and booze all day along with guitars and posters on the wall and big video screens.Crowded House have reformed but one of the Finn Brothers is missing.They play a 75 mins set that even with a few hits is soooooo boring. The rain pours down at the end of their set. Peter Gabriel has sold 25,000 tickets which is pretty good.He plays a 90 mins set but all the stage gimmicks from his in the round shows a couple of years ago are missing.Lesser known tracks like "I Dont Remember","No Self Control" and "Lovetown" before the bigger songs like "Steam","Solsbury Hill" and the encores "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes". It was good but the Wembley Arenas were better. Run DMC , Andrew WK and rock legend Gareth Gates were seen in the Hard Rock Hospitality.......... 22 June 2007.John Fogerty live at Wembley Arena, London.Last years comeback show at Hammersmith Apollo was sold out but its only half full tonight in this big venue.John and his band play a good 2 hour set of bar room rock n roll with tracks like "Travellin Man","Susie Q","Born On The Bayou","Looking Out My Back Door" and "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?".Lots of Creedence stuff from late 60s/early 70s tonight.Got rockier in second half with "Down On The Corner","Bad Moon Rising","Up Around The Bend","Who'll Stop The Rain" and encores of "Rockin All Over The World" (Status Quo made it a big hit but he wrote it) and "Proud Mary".A good gig overall but next time he should pick a much smaller venue.............. 21 June 2007.INXS + English Beat live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Nice to see the support band who play a lively set and play a killer version of their hit "Mirror In The Bathroom".INXS come on to a blaze of white lights and from the first song the sound is just perfect.Straight into "Suicide Blonde" and other hits like "Mystify","Disappear" and "Taste It". Their funky sound just makes you move your body as the slick guitar riffs and lashes of sax take a grip.The not so new now singer has a great time with the fans as he chats to them nonstop and hands out the drinks.The tracks from recent album "Switch" like the superb "Hungry" mingle well with the older classics.They play "Original Sin" then stunning versions of "Need You Tonight" "What You Need" and "Devil Inside".The 1 hour 45 mins set was finished off with great encores of "New Sensation","Never Tear Us Apart" and "Dont Change".INXS are a must see live band as they have so many big songs.Excellent gig............. 20 June 2007.Iggy Pop And The Stooges live at the Royal Festival Hall, London.My first proper gig at the refurbished RFH.This was one of the shows as part of Jarvis Cockers Meltdown.Loads of black curtains behind the stage meant they did a good job of making it look like a gig venue.Iggy is still amazing live.A bit like a punk Ozzy. He really has done and seen it all.His skinny body twists all over the stage and hes compulsive to watch.The first 30 mins of the 70 mins set is superb with "I Wanna Be Your Dog","TV Eye","No Fun"(with a 30 plus strong stage invasion) all totally brilliant.".After that it just fizzled out a bit as he played too much new album material and the encores of "She Took My Money" and "Not Right" felt like a real anticlimax.So a good show but the Iggy Pop And The Stooges Hammersmith Apollo show a year or two ago was much better.See afterparty page for this show ..... 19 June 2007.Ozzy Osbourne + Black Label Society live at Wembley Arena,London.Zakk Wylde did a neat double tonight as he played with his own band before playing with Ozzy later on.BLS do a decent 45 mins but its not memorable apart from the amount of times Zakk keeps spitting.We are all gathered here for Ozzys first UK solo show for some 10 years as hes been busy with his TV show and the Black Sabbath reunion.For 90 mins he slurs the lyrics but we dont care.Ozzy is a rock and roll legend who has seen and done it all. Loads of great songs like "Bark At The Moon","Mr Crowley","War Pigs",2 or 3 songs from new album "Black Rain","Road To Nowhere","Suicide Solution","I Dont Know" and great encores of "Mama Im Coming Home","Crazy Train" and of course a mental version of "Paranoid". In between it was vintage Ozzy as he threw buckets of water over the audience and security and shouted "Lets All Go Fucking Crazy".Great fun and a overall a great show.................. 18 June 2007.Pearl Jam + Idlewild live at Wembley Arena,London.Nice to see UK indie boys Idlewild here at the special request of Pearl Jam.The venue is totally sold out as its PJ only UK show as part of their European tour.We have got great views in the standing area which is just as well as there are no big screens tonight. A nice long set lasting 2 hours 20 mins.Lots of great songs here played by great musicians but some of it was still a bit dreary and samey. Setlist included "Comatose","Immortality","Down", "I Got ID","Faithfull" and encores included a great "Alive" dedicated To Marky Ramone along with "Parachutes","Crazy Mary" a great cover of "Rockin In The Free World" then "Indifference". They did not play "Jeremy" tonight.So a good show but i still take the likes of Motley Crue or Ozzy over Pearl Jam anyday ....... 16 June 2007. Muse + The Streets live at Wembley Stadium,London.Mike Skinner is clearly well happy to be here and the band play some great songs like "Dont Mug Yourself","Never Went To Church", "Dry Your Eyes Mate" and "Fit But You Know It". Just how did Muse get to be such a massive live band?.Two nights here to 70,000 plus punters a night is huge.They promised a big production and we got it.They appeared from within a cage in the middle of the venue to a confetti shower.Six giant satelite dishes and loads of behind stage huge balls and a blitz of lighting mixed in with great footage on the video screens.Near the end we had two acrobats attached to balloons hovering over the standing area which was superb. I am not the biggest Muse fan as Matts voice gets on my nerves a bit but as a live 3 piece they really do rock .All their big songs played in the 2 hour set inc "Knights Of Cydonia", "Supermassive Blackhole","Plug In Baby" and "Stockholm Syndrome".Visually a fantastic show... ......... 15 June 2007.Faithless live at 02 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park,London.Faithless are one of the biggest UK dance acts having completed an arena tour earlier in the year and their greatest hits album has sold a million copies.Its a lively 90 mins set with bald headed singer Maxi on top form.Best songs were dance anthems "God Is A DJ" and "Insomnia" and others like "Mass Destruction" ,"We Come 1" and encore "Salva Mea".There were a few average tracks as well but overall a good show ......... 14 June 2007. The White Stripes + Queens Of The Stone Age + Satelite Party + The Only Ones live at 02 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park,London. Pretty amazing to see The Only Ones back on stage after last seeing them some 25 years ago.Peter Perret still looks like death warmed up after many years of drug abuse but they have loads of mega songs like "Programme","Another Girl Another Planet" and "The Big Sleep"......next up is Perry Farrells new band Satelite Party who are good to watch due to Perrys stage antics and his sexy female dancer in a skimpy outfit.They feature Nuno from Extreme on guitar and they do a good set inc "Been Caught Stealing","Hard Life Easy" and "Mountain Song"..................next up are Queens Of The Stone Age and they are much better than that dreary 100 Club gig from last month. Loads of good rockin tunes like "Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret","Go With The Flow","Feel Good Hit Of The Summer" and "Song For The Daed"...... next up is headliners The White Stripes who are all over the media promoting new album "Icky Thump".Its all red and white everywhere as usual and even the video screen footage is in red and white.They are a very unique duo who just make this blues racket that just works.Best songs were "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground","Hotel Yorba", "Jolene" and encores "I Just Dont Know What To Do With Myself" and "Seven Nation Army".A good 70 mins set and all four bands today all rocked..... 13 June 2007.Mattafix live at The Roundhouse, London.Excellent invite only party for some 800 people to launch the new Fiat Bravo car and Fiats new website.The venue has been tastefully decorated for the night and the freebie champers, cocktails and Italian food are all flowing. Mattafix play a 30 mins set inbetween the djs. Catchy hip hop with a nice dance feel.They play the singles "Big City Life" and "Passer By" from their "Signs Of A Struggle" album.Good one....... 11 June 2007.Motley Crue live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.MC were the kings of Glam Metal and their book "The Dirt" had many tales of sex ,drugs and rock n roll excess so its great all four original members are still with us. However the bad news is Tommy Lee their legendary drummer has injured his shoulder the day before and they have got the drummer from Evanescence in at 24 hours notice with Tommy behind the amps coaching him .Lesser bands would have cancelled but MC turn what could have been a shambles into a stunning rock and roll show. Lots of hits like "Dr Feelgood","Shout At The Devil","Looks That Kill","Live Wire","Home Sweet Home"(with Tommy Lee on one handed keyboards) "Girls Girls Girls", their usual cover of Sex Pistols "Anarchy In The UK".Every song was backed by explosions,flames and fireworks so visually a treat.The songs were very messy at times but it just added to the overall fun. The set only lasted 80 mins which meant there were a few boos and plastic bottles thrown at the end but even the dumbest rock fan must have understood that was due to the lack of rehearsal with the stand in drummer.It was so much better than that Velvet Revolver show last week.Superb. ......... 10 June 2007.George Michael live at Wembley Stadium,London.GM sneaks in before Muse to be the first music act to play the new Wembley.Some 70,000 punters per night is very impressive.Its the same big production i saw 3 times indoors just before Christmas and its pretty much the same setlist with a 2 hour show over 2 sets.We have a decent view on pitch right near the walkway.It must be amazing to headline such a big show.Everyone here just to see George.Lots of good songs like "Fast Love","Father Figure", "Everything She Wants","Shoot The Dog" with its funny giant inflatable "Outside","Jesus To A Child".The lightshow kicked in for the second set goodies like "Faith","I'm Your Man" and encores of "Careless Whisper" and "Freedom" .So a very good show and fun was had by all................. 09 June 2007.Sex Pistols Experience + Steve Diggle live on The Queen Jubilee Boat,The River Thames,London.Excellent party for 250 hardcore Sex Pistols fans who have come from all over the UK to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most famous punk rock events.The Sex Pistols Boat Trip Of 1977.Up first we have Buzzcock Steve Diggle who does a good 30 mins set which inc a couple of Buzzcocks classics "Harmony In My Head" and "Ever Fallen In Love".Its a lovely sunny evening as we head down to the Docklands area and beyond.From a boat all the buildings on the Thames look great.Even more so at night.The Pistols tribute band play a 75 mins set full of total classics "Liar","God Save The Queen", "Seventeen","EMI","Pretty Vacant","Anarchy In The UK" and many more.Half the crowd cannot see the band as there is so much jumping around in front of the band.It may not be the real thing but its bloody good.At 11pm when we pull up it appears the captain of the boat has called the police "just in case" and we are greeted by a dozen coppers as we get off.Just like it was in 1977. What a great night .......... 08 June 2007.Noon to 3pm.Darren Hayes live at Soho Revue Bar,London.Lovely lunchtime press event to launch Darren Hayes new album "The Delicate Thing We've Made" out 20 August.Lots of free booze thanks to a 3000 quid bar tab and canopes.Darren i have seen before play a full show but today its just 6 songs in 30 mins inc "Step Into The Light" and "On The Verge Of Something Wonderful" which are both quality. His old band Savage Garden were pretty massive but thats behind him as his great voice sits nicely in with Justin Timberlake/Scissor Sisters which means radio stations like Magic and Capital will love him.A full tour is planned for September and it obvious the album and tour will both do well. More info on www.darrenhayes.com................. 07 June 2007.Paul McCartney live at The Electric Ballroon,Camden,London.Like the Prince show this secret gig was only leaked out 12 hours before the show.This venue for the last 30 years has been used by punk,indie and metal bands (i saw Sid Vicious only UK shows here in the late 70s) and to see Macca on this stage is pretty surreal. All tickets were free to comp winners and press. About 1100 people are in here.Only 5 new songs in the 20 song 90 mins set with loads of Beatles hits.I am in second row just a few feet from Macca who looks great and is having plenty of fun banter with the crowd.His band are rocking. New songs are pretty simple but they mix in well. "Here Today" was dedicated to fallen heroes John, George and Linda and Paul got very emotional. Beatles songs non stop in the second half of the show brought the house down with "Hey Jude" one mass singalong.To see this legend who virtually co invented music as we know it up close in Camden of all places was a total dream and needless to say one of the best gigs of 2007. Faces spotted inc David Gilmour,Jeff Beck,Pierce Brosnan,Stella McCartney,Kate Moss,and that publicity seeking twat Gareth Gates. 1.Drive My Car.2.Only Mama Knows.3.Dance Tonight. 4.C Moon.5.The Long And Winding Road.6.Follow The Sun.7.Calico Skies.8.That Was Me.9.Blackbird. 10.Here Today.11.Back In The USSR.12.Nod Your Head.13.House Of Wax.14.I've Got A Feeling.15. Matchbox.16.Get Back.17.Hey Jude.Encores.18.Let It Be.19.Lady Madonna.20.I Saw Her Standing There .... 06 June 2007.Guy Pratt book launch "My Bass And Other Animals" at The October Gallery, London WC1. Guys book has many quality stories from his 25 years plus of playing bass starting with Sylvain Sylvain and Icehouse in the 1980s and Pink Floyd and more recently David Gilmour and Bryan Ferry amongst others.Not just a great bass player he also is held in high regard as a person judging by the faces here inc Jon Lord,Richard Wright,Gary Kemp,Phil Manzernera and comedians Roland Rivron,John Thompson,Mark Lamarr and Kate Robbins.The book is out this week on Orion Books and is well worth a purchase. Guy also is on tour now so check his website www.guypratt.com for more info.................. 05 June 2007.Velvet Revolver live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.When VR first played here some 2/3 years ago there was a real buzz as they feature members of Guns And Roses but this time around its just not the same.They all look pure rock and roll cool and play a 90 mins set to a sold out crowd.Scott the singer moves his skinny hips all over the stage but its hard to hear his vocals over the loud guitars.There were some goodies like "Big Machine","Sucker Train Blues" and "Fall To Pieces" but there were loads of fast average songs and the tracks from the upcoming second album "Libertad" do not sound that brilliant.Encores were great fun. Pink Floyds "Wish You Were Here" then Guns And Roses "Its So Easy" a dodgy version of Talking Heads "Psycho Killer" that baffled most of the crowd and then "Slither" went down well.They may have members of GnR but they are just good not great 02 / 03 June 2007.Beyonce live at Wembley Arena, London.I went to both these Beyonce shows.The Sunday show was totally sold out but the Saturday show had empty blocks of seats at the back. Nice big production with video screens and a 13 piece all female band along with some female dancers for the boys and male dancers for the girls.Two hour show with Beyonce the total professional.How she can dance and sing so well at the same time is amazing. She looks fab and when the wind machine gets her curly mane of hair flowing it looks very sultry.There were also 7 or 8 costume changes which meant her being offstage for 3 mins at a time as the band and dancers filled in for her.Best songs were "Crazy In Love","Baby Boy","Naughty Girl", a neat medley of Destiny Child hits inc "Bootylicious","Say My Name" and "Survivor".Finale of "Irreplaceable" was superb with the whole crowd singing and swaying and encore "Deja Vu" was also very good. With last years acting success in "Dreamgirls" under her belt she really is a true megastar. Visually a very entertaining big arena show even though there were a few average songs mixed in with the big hits .. June/July are always excellent months for live music with loads of quality big names playing. One of my faves is the Guilfest in Guildford. This years festival is on the weekend of July 13,14,15 and features Madness,Squeeze,Supergrass, Saw Doctors,Uriah Heep,Jimmy Cliff and many more. Ticket info on http://www.guilfest.co.uk or 0871 4240050....... also The Royal Festival Hall reopens after a massive refurbishment with highlights inc Motorhead(16th),Devo(19th),Iggy Pop And The Stooges(20th) and Jesus And Mary Chain(22nd). More info on www.southbankcentre.co.uk and 0871 663 2500..................

July 31, 2007

The site was down for 3 days at the end of July as i forgot to pay my annual website hosting fee. Sorry about that.Normal service is back.......... 30 July 2007.Scorpions + Michael Schenker Group (MSG) live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.A neat double bill of German rock legends.MSG only played for 30 mins but they sounded good musically with oldies like "Lights Out","Too Hot To Handle","Armed And Ready" and "Doctor Doctor" still great.The singer was a bit average and Michael Schenker was in his usual zombie state not saying a word to the crowd but the flying V riffs were still there.Scorpions back on their London stomping ground of the 1970s and 1980s where i saw them loads of times.They always seem to sound pretty good.Their set at a staggering 2 hours 30 mins is a bit too long. They supported Judas Priest last year and played a solid 60 mins of mainly hits that rocked. "Bad Boys Running Wild" is played early but a section in the middle where they play a few tracks from new album "Humanity:Hour 1" and then Uli Jon Roth joins them for a few songs is all pretty average.The last hour is great with "Tease Me Please Me","Blackout","Big City Nights" and encores of "Still Loving You","Wind Of Change" and "Rock You Like A Hurricane" all really good.Overall a great night................ 28 July 2007.Scissor Sisters + DJ live at O2 Arena,Docklands,London.First of all a rare mention for a DJ set but it was because he played perfect tunes to warm this crowd up.Scissor Sisters are now so popular that this was the last night of 3 sell out 20,000 crowds here. The stage production is great with a huge SS logo as its base with loads of lights and lasers. Its a pure glam disco pop party atmosphere and the crowd are up for it.Jake Shears the singer is more camp than ever with some very dodgy stage outfits.The 1 hour 40 mins set had loads of big songs in it to get everyone dancing like "Tits On The Radio","Laura","Music Is The Victim" "Take Your Mama",and P. Floyd cover "Confortably Numb", "Filthy/Gorgeous" and encores of "Mary" and "I Dont Feel Like Dancing".A really good fun and entertaining show .... 26 July 2007.New Young Pony Club live at Rough Trade East,Nr Brick Lane,London E.1.This was the invite only launch party to celebrate the opening of this new branch of this legendary record store.In 1976 i used to buy some of my punk records there in the shop off Portobello Road. Anyway the free booze is flowing for this cool crowd.New Young Pony Club play a 30 mins set but have no stage lighting at all and it does not feel like a proper gig.Have seen them better. The space is great so you can have a coffee on the sofa as you listen to the music etc.Bit of a risky time to open a record shop but their knowledge of the indie scene is second to none and all the vinyl here is heartwarming.I really hope its a success for them.Also here was Graham Coxon,Don Letts,Nicky Tesco(The Members) and a few others ................ 25 July 2007.Barbra Streisand live at The O2 Arena,London.This was her last of 3 shows in London and the last show on her European Tour. Although i had been a week ago a female friend wanted to go and i managed to blag a couple of guest list tickets as it was not as sold out as the first night show i went to.Our seats are in the second block back on the floor(500 each face value)but we see a bunch of spare seats in block A(600 area) so we end up wathing it 9 rows from the stage with a totally amazing close up view. Near us is actress Meryl Streep,actor Ralph Fiennes,Michael Ball,Paul O'Grady and others. Its pretty much the same 2 hour show over 2 sets. Barbra is relaxed and chatting to the crowd.The four man vocal group that come on for a few songs still get on my nerves.Highlight again were a stunning version of "You Dont Bring Me Flowers" and it was again good to be here but it will not be as good as Prince at this venue next week..... 24 July 2007.The Hives live at The 100 Club, London.One off UK secret club show that sold out in under an hour.The perfect venue for The Hives uptempo garage rock n roll.They have been playing festivals all over Europe this summer but tonight its for just 300 punters.The singer is on top form as usual with his over the top on stage banter.The band are all in black and white blazers and must be roasting as even though the air con is on its really hot and sweaty in here. The 65 mins set was a mix of old and new tracks from next album.Tracks included "No Pun Intended","Try It Again","Die All Right" and things really started rocking for brilliant versions of "Two Timing Touch And Broken Bones", "Hate To Say I Told You So","Walk Idiot Walk" and encore of "Main Offender".Always a great live band .... 21/22 July 2007.The Lovebox Weekender , Victoria Park, Hackney, East London.Sat was Sly And The Family Stone + Blondie + The Jive Aces and Sunday was Groove Armada + B52s + Hot Chip + Last Man Standing.This was the 5th Lovebox Fest and the 3rd at this venue.I had never been before as its a bit too dance based for me but rare London shows by Sly And The Family Stone and B52s got me along this time.A big crowd of some 25,000 trendy dance folks .Its a lovely vibe with loads of interesting stalls,tents and stuff going on like line dancing,beach volleyball,table tennis etc.I caught The Jive Aces on one of these small stages.They are the UKS number 1 jive and swing band playing over 200 gigs a year and are a great energetic fun band to watch.Check out www.jiveaces.com......i had managed to blag Access All Areas passes for today so i ended up watching Blondie and Sly on the side of stage. Blondie play a 60 mins greatest hits set.The sound could be better but its hits a go go like "Call Me","Hanging On The Telephone","Atomic" and many more......next up its Sly And The Family Stones first UK show for 20 years but what a fiasco this was.I was told in advance of short sets but this was a joke.The band came on and played great versions of "Dance To The Music" and "Everyday People" but Sly was nowhere to be seen. He shuffled on after 30 mins ,sung 3 songs and left the stage after 15 mins and that was it. Loads of boos and it was one of worst headline shows i have ever seen......On the Sunday we saw Last Man Standing in the afternoon.Their dirty blues country rock was a great way to start the day.The singer doing a fine job of getting this hip crowd to dance to the band......next we saw Hot Chip who are highly rated by the press. NME end of year critics poll made their single "Over And Over" number 1 and their album number 4 .I found their style a bit too laid back and boring......Really looking forward to B52s first UK show for over 10 years and they were superb. Fred is on vocals and both the girls are here looking like older versions of Baby Spice and Ginger Spice.Its just great party tunes.A couple of new tracks but loads of hits in 75 mins set like "Mesopotamia",stunning versions of "Roam" and "Love Shack" .Encores of "Planet Claire" and "Rock Lobster" were both fab.Excellent stuff. ......next up were Groove Armada who i thought would not compare to B52s but they were great. Remember its their festival and to have 25,000 people dancing in a field(including me)to their uptempo dance was great fun.Great percussion player and big bouncy tunes.New single "Song 4 Mutya" was really good and the last 2 tunes were GA anthems "I See You Baby(Skakin That Ass) and "Superstylin" were pukka.A really good GA show. ......... 18 July 2007.Barbra Streisand live at The O2 Arena,Docklands,London.Its official as Barbra S has the most expensive concert tickets ever in the UK with cheapest at 100 quid going up to 600 quid (YES 600 QUID)down in Block A on the floor. She last appeared here in 1994 and i suppose she is protecting her " premium A list artist who is the female Sinatra " but it all stinks of greed. Anyway there are cheaper ways of getting a ticket.Unlike other venues in London where you can sell tickets outside the venue at O2 Arena there are police,security and trading standards officers here stopping touts AND the general public from selling tickets anywhere between the tube and the O2 concourse.This means its a real nightmare to sell spare tickets so i picked up a 250 quid ticket in Level 1 superb seat for only 10 quid.Yes only 10 quid.Barbra got a standing ovation before she sang a note.She looks fantastic at age 65 and with over 45 years in the biz.With a huge orchestra she played two sets that lasted 2 hours in total.But she spent a lot of time talking between songs which like the lyrics was all scripted on autocues on the stage and hanging from the ceiling.Fun chat about her career but i presume the idea was she sings??.She only sung 8 or 9 songs in each set. A sickly 4 man singing group took the stage to sing 3 or 4 songs during costume changes.Barbras voice is still great."Starting Here Starting Now","The Way We Were","Funny Girl","Children Will Listen" a superb "You Dont Bring Me Flowers" also "Unusual Way" and "Somewhere" and then encores of "Dont Rain On My Parade", "Smile" and "All Of My Life".Of course i am not a fan of her music but it was good to be here. In the crowd i saw Andrew Lloyd Webber,Anthea Turner and Andy Gray(SKY TV football reporter). Barbra comes back to The O2 Arena on July 22 and 25.Get down there and you can pick a ticket up for 20 quid max outside i reckon................ 16 July 2007.The Ruts feat Henry Rollins + Tom Robinson with TV Smith + The Damned + Misty n Roots + UK Subs + Splodge with Wurzel and John Otway live at The Islington Academy,London. A special benefit night for Ruts guitarist Paul Fox who is suffering from throat cancer.A rammed solid sold out crowd of 500 or 600 punk fans here to celebrate a special event.All the support bands played 5 or 6 songs in 20 mins sets and The Ruts played 35 mins.Splodge started the evening off in a very sad way by telling the crowd that last night Kelly from 1980s all girl rock band Girlschool had died of cancer.Splodge was joined by ex Motorhead guitarist Wurzel and John Otway and finished with their hit "Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps"......then UK Subs get the crowd jumping for "Stranglehold","C.I.D" and "Warhead" and a couple of others......Misty n Roots used to play with The Ruts and other punk bands back in the late 1970s so it was nice to have some punky reggae in da house......The Damned were superb for their 5 songs "Love Song", "Eloise","Neat Neat Neat","New Rose" and "Smash It Up"......Tom Robinson and TV Smith brought the mood down a bit but "Up Against The Wall" was good......then it was main event time The Ruts back together and on vocals they have american punk legend Henry Rollins .He is just pretty amazing as he sings the songs with passion as if he had wrote them himself.Songs played included "Something That I Said","SUS","Jah Wars" and manic versions of "Babylons Burning" and "In A Rut" where members of all the support bands joined in.It was a totally great night........... 13/14/15 July 2007.Guilfest Weekend At Guildford, Surrey .Friday = (Supergrass + Ordinary Boys + Rodrigo Y Gabriela + The Hold Steady + Thirteen Senses)Saturday=(Squeeze + Morcheeba + Captain + Crazy P)Sun=(Madness + Toots And The Maytals + Dub Pistols + The Icicle Works + Night Of Treason). Here we are again at the cosiest and friendliest festival in the UK.We even have perfect weather with just an hour of rain on the Sunday.Friday opens with Thirteen Senses who do a decent set including a great version of "Into The Fire"......Next its The Hold Steady who are really good although the vocals could have been louder and clearer......next its Rodrigo Y Gabriela whose Mexican guitar playing has really taken off mainly because he gets the crowd involved.He played a neat cover of "Stairway To Heaven" but most of it bored me......next it was The Ordinary Boys who were best band today for me.Despite his split from Chantelle Preston looked and sounded great and the band played loads of catchy indie pop with a mod slant like "Talk Talk Talk","Life Will Be The Death Of Me", "Nine2Five" and "Boys Will Be Boys"......then its headliners Supergrass who have been away from the last 3 months recording a new album and spoil their set by playing too many new songs from it.They played some old gems like " Caught By The Fuzz","Sun Hits The Sky","Grace" and "Moving"......On to the Saturday where i sadly missed an early showing for Jimmy Cliff......new Manchester band Crazy P were really good with some bouncy pop tunes and a female singer really working the crowd well. Reminded me of Swing Out Sister......Captain were all great musicians and very tight as a band.Some good tunes inc "Frontline" and "Glorious"...... Morcheeba are back with a new female singer.They play their laid back breezy tunes like "The Sea","Part Of The Process" and "Rome Wasnt Built In A Day".They are joined on new song "Enjoy The Ride" by Judie Tzuke......Squeeze are another band who have reformed and this was only their second gig.They have so many hits you can sing along to with those great lyrics "Take Me Im Yours","Tempted","Labelled With Love", "Pulling Mussels From The Shore","Up The Junction" and "Cool For Cats".Encores were "Is That Love" and mass singalong for "Black Coffee In Bed".A very good 85 mins set.All the bands seem to have all their kids watching them from side of stage......Sunday sees me wandering a lot around the many stages here.I spend an hour in the comedy tent where Junior Simpson does a great set.I also come across the UNISON tent where i come across a great band from the Gosport/Portsmouth area called Night Of Treason. They play a brilliant punk covers set mainly of Clash anthems but also a few others.The packed tent loved them and the stewards had a problem trying to control the pogoing crowd. "Complete Control","Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone","White Man In Hammersmith Palais","Tommy Gun","GLC" and many more.In many ways better and more fun than most of the bands on bigger stages. Check out myspace.com/nightoftreason......The Icicle Works spoiled their set by playing too many cover versions and leaving out too many of their own songs but they did play "Birds Fly" and "Evangeline"......Dub Pistols played a set of heavy bass rumblings and were joined by Terry Hall from The Specials......nice to see the legend that is Toots And The Maytals play a nice early evening set......massive crowd here for Madness who are always great live.Lots of catchy hits and great lyrics "House Of Fun", "Baggy Trousers","Our House","It Must Be Love" and many more.Encores were "Madness" and "Night Boat To Cairo" where they were joined by Neville Staples from The Specials and all of their kids. So another Guilfest over and again just a great way to spend a summer weekend................... 11 July 2007. Blondie live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.Another band that i see live every year. That they can still sell out this venue is very impressive.Perhaps that is why there is a musical featuring Blondie tracks opening in the West End in October.From the start there is so many great pop songs like "Call Me","Dreaming","Union City Blues","Hanging On The Telephone","Atomic", "Sunday Girl","Maria","The Tide Is High", "Picture This","Rip Her To Shreds","Rapture" and "One Way Or Another".Clem Burkes drumming is just superb but he could have been a bit louder. Debbie is looking great but plimsoles dont suit her.She should stick to heels.Encores were all good "Denis" followed by a cover of Beatles "Please,Please Me" and then "Heart Of Glass". Blondie are always great to watch in concert. See aftershow party page for this gig............ 10 July 2007.Justin Timberlake + Timbaland live at 02 Arena,Docklands,London.My first visit to this new venue(it was The Dome).It holds about 20,000 and looks fantastic and there are lots of bars and eating places here.Its very american in style.Coming by tube is a must as they want 20 quid to park your car here.This was Justins last of 5 nights in London and the 80th show on this world tour.Its in the round with four extended walkways in each corner.As expected its a largely female crowd who scream at every chance they get. JT still moves well on stage but the vocals are muffled and the overall sound is not that good. He is on stage for two hours over two sets and Timbaland had a 20 mins set in the middle which bemused many.He played "Senorita" and "Like I Love You" but there were too many lifeless songs for a big venue like this.Second half was a bit better with "Rock Your Baby","Cry Me A River" and "SexyBack" but really it should have been a lot better ................... 09 July 2007. Courtney Love live at The Bush Hall,Shepherds Bush,London.This was one of four secret gigs(also Paris ,New York and Los Angeles) to promote Courtneys upcoming album "Nobodys Daughter".Its also her 43rd birthday and her loyal fans have brought flowers,cards,balloons and chocs along for her.She looks fantastic. Lovely cosy venue that has chandeliers and only holds about 250 people at the very most. The 80 mins set was a mix of new album tracks and some past gems including "Malibu","Stand Up Motherfucker","How Dirty Girls Get Clean" and stunning versions of "Doll Parts" and "Celebrity Skin".Courtney fluffed a few songs by forgetting the lyrics or chords or both but just laughed it off.Fact is she still has more rock and roll in her little finger than most female musicians can ever dream of ........... 08 July 2007.Genesis live at Twickenham Stadium. Back together again for the first time in over 10 years for a massive stadium tour of Europe ,USA and others.Hardly surprising its a 50,000 sellout as Genesis and Phil Collins solo were 2 of the biggest acts of the 1980s.The stage production is awesome.A giant steel construction with loads of lights and 3d graphics. The sound is superb. We have great seats 15 rows from the stage.Seated near us are Roger Taylor(Queen),Will Carling, Angus Deayton,Phil Manzernera and Eddie Jordan. Genesis play for 2 hours 30 mins.Loads of great songs like "Turn It On Again","No Son Of Mine", "Land Of Confusion","Follow You Follow Me" then mega versions of "I Know What I Like"(In Your Wardrobe) and "Mama"."Throwing It All Away " was followed by a great double drum solo by Phil Collins and Chester Thompson.Then it was "Tonight Tonight Tonight " followed by a brilliant "Invisible Touch" and a huge fireworks display. Encores were fab versions of "I Cant Dance" and "Carpet Crawlers".Much better gig than i was really expecting from these "dad rock" old chaps .... 07 July 2007.LIVE EARTH Concert at Wembley Stadium.The biggest live music event of the year with some 20 acts and some big names.2 billion saw it on tv.Most acts did 3 to 5 songs and a couple just did 1 or 2.In order it was Genesis, Razorlight,Snow Patrol,Damien Rice,David Gray,Kasabian,Paulo Nutini,Black Eyed Peas, John Legend,Duran Duran,Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bloc Party,Corinne Bailey Rae,Terra Naomi,Keane, Metallica,Spinal Tap,James Blunt,Beastie Boys, Pussycat Dolls,Foo Fighters,Madonna.A fantastic atmosphere and some decent weather.A couple like Genesis and Duran Duran had sound problems and Foo Fighters and Madonna benefitted from playing at the end when it was darker.First 6 hours i was standing near the front then went to media seats on right of stage.My top 6 acts were 1.Madonna.2.Foo Fighters.3.Metallica.4.Red Hot Chili Peppers.5.Kasabian.6.Spinal Tap.Mega day. See aftershow news for this show................. 06 July 2007.Seal live at The Tower Of London Festival.Like the summer shows at Hampton Court this is a stunning location to watch live music. Set within the grounds of this historic Tower and the Beefeaters are still on parade.It seems like years since Seal played a live UK show.He has sold over 15m albums.A 95 mins set of uptempo songs and acoustic songs that went down well with his loyal fans who have come from all over the country to be here.Second song was a killer version of er "Killer".Other goodies played inc "Waiting For You","Loves Divine" and the superb "Crazy".The ladeeez are still swooning a bit down the front when he reaches over to touch hands.Encores inc a mega "Kiss From A Rose" (he won a grammy for it) then "Future Love Paradise" and "Get It Together".Seal seemed really emotional to be back in London(he lived in a squat here in the early 1980s)and it was great to see him play live again.A very good show. The festival runs until 14 July.For more info check www.towermusicfestival.co.uk.............. 03 July 2007.Travis live at The ICA ,London. The whole of July at The ICA is devoted to free gigs hosted by www.itunesfestival.com with loads of big names.Its invite only for 350 comp winners and press each night.Its a great intimate venue to watch a big band in.Travis headlined V Festival and Reading a few years ago and are still very popular.They are a bit too nice for their own good as all 3 members at the front proudly display wedding rings and talk onstage about fatherhood.They have loads of catchy hits up their sleeves in the 65 mins set like "Side" and "Driftwood".They play old song "Good Feeling" before last single "Closer" and hit "Sing" and "All I Want To Do Is Rock" with the guitar player on top of the amps cranking up the feedback. Another hit "Turn" is great and the encores are stunning as "Flowers In The Garden" is sung acoustic without any microphones and "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" has Fran asking and getting the crowd to all mass pogo.A very good show. Travis are still alive and kicking............... 02 July 2007.The Hold Steady + The Steers live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Up first are The Steers who do a decent set of indie rock.The Hold Steady are Americas hottest bar band.The critics here love them and a month ago they rocked on The Jools Holland TV show.Its a near sellout tonight so the word is spreading.They are on tour to promote their new album "Boys And Girls In America" which i think is their 3rd long player. The singer may look like a computer geek but he has bundles of energy and passion.Its uptempo rock in the early Bruce Springsteen/John Fogerty vein along with a hint of 1980s new wave.They play for 90 mins and its a really good set.In a world dominated by jangly indie guitars and r n b this type of music rarely hits the big time but this band really are breaking through.The crowd love it and the band clearly love playing. Fresh from Glastonbury there are playing loads of summer festivals.You must check them out......... Monday 02 July 2007 is the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest singles of all time "Pretty Vacant" by The Sex Pistols ... Two of my fave festivals have still got tix left. Guilfest in Guildford on 13/14/15 July has got Supergrass,Ordinary Boys,Hold Steady,Saw Doctors, Squeeze,Morcheeba,Jimmy Cliff,Captain,Madness, Magic Numbers,Toots And The Maytals,Uriah Heep and many more.Info and to buy tickets on www.guilfest.co.uk and 0871 4240050.............. Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool 10/11/12 Aug has got Damned,TV Smith,Slade,Chas And Dave,Cockney Rejects,Ari Up,999,Eddie And The Hot Rods,Adicts,Penetration,UK Subs,Ruts and many more .Info and to buy tickets please check out www.rebellionfestivals.com ...