Archive: August 2007

August 31, 2007

31 August 2007.Prince + Mutya Buena live at The 02 Arena,Docklands,London.This was show number 13 of 21 for Prince here and my 5th time.Some of the shows Prince has a support act.Tonight we have ex Sugababe Mutya Buena who does a decent 30 mins set of solo and Sugababes tracks inc "Real Girl" and "Ugly".Tonight we are right of stage. Prince is always great but tonight was a not as good as the others i had seen.It felt badly paced and he was only on for 1 hour 40 mins. It started funky with "Musicology" then a cover of INXS "What You Need" where he got a dozen punters on stage for a dance but it seemed too early for that sort of thing.Then "Play That Funky Music" then superb versions of "Cream" and "U Got The Look" then a great piano medley of "Diamonds And Pearls/Little Red Corvette/Raspberry Beret" also "Come Together" by The Beatles and the classics of "Kiss" and "Purple Rain" are always mega.Encores of "I Feel For You" and "Crazy" are ok but we need to hear Prince classics not cover versions. "Nothing Compares To U" was great then the houselights went up and the bemused crowd had to wait a full 10 mins for another piano medley of "Sign Of The Times/Pop Life/I Wanna Be Your Lover/When Doves Cry/Alphabet Street". So still very good but previous shows were better and longer ................... 28 August 2007.Launch party for Pattie Boyd book autobiography "Wonderful Tonight" at Century in Central London.Very enjoyable couple of hours here for Patties long overdue book on her life. She met George Harrison on the set of "A Hard Days Night" and they were married for 10 years before she left him for Eric Clapton.Lots of great rock n roll moments in the book as you can imagine.A great crowd here inc David Gilmour(Pink Floyd),Roger Taylor(Queen),Cilla Black and Ben(Curiousity Killed The Cat)who is with his mum who was a friend of Patties in the old days. Sadly some big names on the guest list did not turn up Eric Clapton,Mick Jagger,Ronnie Wood, Jerry Hall etc but a good bash anyway......... 26 August 2007.3pm to 7.30 Dirty Pretty Things + Automatic live at Clapham Common,London then 8.15pm The Rolling Stones live at The O2 Arena, Docklands,London.Bit of a mad day with 2 live music events.A lovely sunny afternoon for the Get Loaded In The Park Festival which is similiar to last months Lovebox Festival where there is a huge 20,000 crowd for a dance based day with lots of dj tents as well as bands.Automatic are lively and play "Monster" and "Raul" and later on i catch my boys Dirty Pretty Things.They are not that happy about playing in daylight but go down very well.Songs like "Deadwood" and "Wondering" send the crowd wild.Nice touch backstage where FILA are giving away trendy tops to artists and guests and WRANGLER are giving away jeans to artists and guests.www.wrangler.com were even doing a "jeans amnesty" out front where the first 200 people each day could get a brand new pair of WRANGLERS in exchange for their old jeans(any brand name not just Wranglers).With festivals usually taking money off you from all angles it was great to see a proper promotion for once.....a mad dash off to see The Rolling Stones on the last show of their world tour. My seat is further back than the other 2 shows but its a superb view for when they play the 4 songs on the second stage in the middle. Again they swop the setlist this time adding "Aint To Proud To Beg" and "You Cant Always Get What You Want".The 4 songs played on second stage were "Miss You","Its Only Rock And Roll","Satisfaction" and "Honky Tonk Women". For "Sympathy For The Devil" they had some females join on backing vocals but no special guests tonight.Another great show and there is a boxed DVD set of this tour out now that has had loads of great reviews so thats a "must buy" purchase for this week .. 25 August 2007.Red Hot Chili Peppers + Arcade Fire + Bloc Party + Panic At The Disco live at The Reading Festival,Berks.On the Thurdsay before the festival it poured with rain but on Day 2 of Reading its lovely glorious sunshine.Panic At The Disco are halfway up the bill but i found them to be really boring.Awful even......Bloc Party do a good 60 mins set with some neat tunes inc "Like Eating Glass"......Arcade Fire are really good.Lots of people and instruments on stage and their sound is perfect as the sun goes down.Their set inc "Keep The Car Running","No Cars Go","Intervention" and the last 2 songs "Rebellion" and "Wake Up" really went down well......a massive crowd for RHCP as they are one of the biggest live acts in the world.They had some guitar problems at the start but the sound was superb with each member really getting stuck into their funk rock groove.There was a bit of noodling between songs and i reckon the crowd wanted more of the older tracks as half the set was lesser known tunes.Goodies inc in the 1 hour 50 mins set were "Cant Stop","Scar Tissue","Dani California","Snow","Californication","By The Way" and encore of "Give It Away".A great day at Reading even though i am too old for these big crowds and queues and stuff .. 24 August 2007.Monkey Seed + Hogg + Gary Lammin live at The Inn On The Green,Ladbroke Grove, London.This was a low key event arranged by members of The Rolling Stones road crew.Gary Lammin was up first.On his own with some great dirty blues bottleneck guitar playing and fun singalong lyrics like "Football".Check his site www.myspace.com/garylammin.He was joined by a superb female singer in the Janis Joplin/Joss Stone mould for one song.It was a shame it could not have been more.Check her site for more info www.myspace.com/catherinetaylordawson.....had a nice chat with the guys from the UKs top Stones tribute band The Rollin Stoned.....next Hogg who feature Ronnie Woods son Jessie on bass.They were decent enough but nothing really special.....then Monkey Seed who inc members of The Stones road crew.The "surprise guest" turned out to be Stones band member Blondie Chaplin who played some great guitar for a few songs. They played some rock and roll covers. A decent night overall ...... 23 August 2007.The Rolling Stones live at The 02 Arena,Docklands,London.Back again to see them. Amazing view where i am 6 rows from stage right about 10 yards in front of Keith Richards.Like Prince this lot changes the setlist order and adds and drops songs each night.We get "Lets Spend The Night Together" and "Miss You" that were not played on Tuesday.Mick Jagger again strutting his stuff and dancing madly was again a joy to watch.Keith and Ronnie just soooooo casual."Start Me Up","Midnight Rambler" and "Tumbling Dice" were all good then as usual Keith sang a couple before the band moved into the middle arena stage for 4 songs.The last songs were all the same as the show here on Tuesday .A superb show but being so close to all the action always makes it better ....... 21 August 2007.The Rolling Stones + The Kooks live at The 02 Arena,Docklands,London.The Kooks may have had one of the best selling albums of 2006 in the UK and headlined the second stage at V Festival but Rolling Stones fans are not that interested in their indie guitar tunes at all. This was the first of 3 Stones shows in London at the end of their 2 year long "A Bigger Bang Tour".A total of 145 shows in 30 countries. The sound started a bit dodgy at first but got sorted after 3 or 4 songs.Mick and Ronnie are wearing the skinny jeans look very well.Lots of the usual hits over the 1 hour 50 mins set inc "Start Me Up","You Got Me Rocking","Let It Bleed",they played "I'll Go Crazy" for James Brown.The crowd cheered as they ignored the no smoking ban on stage."Tumbling Dice" was great then the stage moved into the middle of the arena for "Its Only Rock And Roll","Respectable","Satisfaction" and "Honky Tonk Women" then back to main stage for a superb "Sympathy For The Devil","Paint It Black" and "Jumping Jack Flash" and solitary encore of "Brown Sugar".Mick and the boys are always great to watch and after 40 years they still are a must see act ................. 20 August 2007.Kanye West live at Central Hall, Westminster,London.This was an invite only show for around 1500 comp winners and guests (inc X Factor winner Leona looking fab in a lovely dress)for The Vodafone TBA series of live gigs. They always pick interesting venues and they have done it again with this lovely old hall opposite Big Ben and Houses Of Parliament.Kanye is backed by a 20 strong female orchestra in bright dresses and facepaint.Kanye is promoting his new album "Graduation".Some good songs here inc "Cant Tell Me Nothing" and "Diamonds" with a nice surprise of a full laser show.Also "Big Brother" and current number one single "Stronger" and finale of "Touch The Sky" with gold confetti everywhere was great.On stage for about 65 mins Kanye really knows how to work the crowd up even though a couple of stop starts killed the vibe. The highlights will be shown on Channel 4 soon and The Vodafone Live Music Awards take place in London on Sept 19.For more info and to win tickets check www.vodafonemusic.co.uk........... 18/19 August 2007.V Festival at Chelmsford,Essex. Sat = Foo Fighters + Plan B + Pink ... Sun = The Killers + Kasabian + James......Like Reading and Glastonbury there is a huge crowd of 60,000 plus punters here.Far too many for my liking with queues everywhere,you cant get near the front and it rained on both days at some stage. Thankfully i have blagged a wristband for one of the main hospitalty areas The Virgin Mobile Louder Lounge where some 800 folks can get free booze and food all day along with djs,comfy seats and lovely clean toilets.The girls can get a free hair and make up session and the boys can get a free massage from the lovely girls from www.ibizaangels.com.None of the major bands are here but a few of the smaller ones are and some celeb faces are here inc Sophie Ellis Bexter,The Feeling,Kelly Jones(Stereophonics),Chantelle(Big Brother),Erin O'Connor,Danny Dyer,Gail Porter,Nicky Grayhame(Big Brother),Gareth Gates,Sarah and Nicola from Girls Aloud,Juliette Lewis,Jodie Kidd,Kelly Osbourne ,the ginger one from Harry Potter,Matt Willis and a few more.Spent my afternoons in there and just saw 3 bands each evening....Pink was very confident in her 60 mins set.Fun to watch with some goodies like "Just Like A Pill", "Trouble","Who Knew","Dear Mr President","You And Your Hand" and big hit "Get The Party Started"......had seen Snow Patrol a couple of times this year so skipped them to see up and coming UK rapper Plan B on a smaller stage.He was excellent with great lyrics and a great delivery......next The Foo Fighters who played a superb 85 mins set.Dave Grohl works the crowd and so many great songs inc "Monkey Wrench","Pretender","My Hero","Breakout","Times Like These","Stacked Actors" and "Best Of You". Encores inc "In Your Honor" and "All My Life" The Foos are always mega live(Dave said they will be coming back to the UK for a full tour in November)......next day the first band i see is James who play a great set of some old hits inc "Tomorrow","Come Home","Say Something", "Sit Down","Sometimes" and "Laid"......the singer from Kasabian comes on with some huge Jarvis Cocker type specs and the band are rocking.Loads of great songs like "Shoot The Runner","Empire", "Processed Beats","Club Foot","Lost Souls Forever" the crowd are loving it......The Killers also go down well.They also have lots of good songs on their 2 albums like "When You Were Young","Somebody Told Me","Smile Like You Mean It","Mr Brightside",and encores inc "Shadowplay" by Joy Division and "All The Things That Ive Done" and a second playing of "When You Were Young" sealed the 90 mins set.Overall a great weekend here but i prefer cosy indoor gigs to these massive festival crowds 17 August 2007. Prince live at 02 Arena, Docklands,London.Show number 8 for Prince here and Prince show number 4 for me.Thanks to my chums at AEG i am in a suite/box tonight with free food and booze and waiter all night.Virgin Radio breakfast DJ Christian O'Connell is also in our box knocking back whats on offer.Again Prince plays another blinder and again the setlist is changed.Starts with "1999"(he did not play it at the other 3 shows i saw) then "Take Me With U" and "Guitar".Also "Cream","U Got The Look" and a medley of "Diamonds And Pearls/Raspberry Beret/Alphabet Street" and also "Sign Of The Times","I Wanna Be Your Lover","If I Was Your Girlfriend","Kiss",a mega "Purple Rain" and encores inc "Lets Go Crazy".A slightly shorter set of 1 hour 45 mins but superb........ 16 August 2007.Goo Goo Dolls live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Not sure why i am here as i dont know much about this band apart from the fact they have a terrible name.In Oct 2006 they sold out 3 nights at Shepherds Bush Empire so they must be doing something right.They are massive in their American homeland and there are loads of Americans in the crowd.They play a good 80 mins set inc songs like "No Way Out","Name","Dawsons Creek" and their massive hit "Iris".The singer looks a bit like Jon Bon Jovi which pleases the loads of women here tonight.A decent enough show but nothing too exciting overall.This was a warm up show for their V Festival weekend gigs....... In October Mark Ronson + Candi Payne go on a UK tour with the London date at The Shepherds Bush Empire on 25 Oct and 26 Oct .. 15 August 2007.Annie Lennox With The BBC Concert Orchestra live at The Mermaid Theatre,EC4.This was an invite only show for 500 comp winners and BBC guests.We were row 3 of this all seated venue.Backed by an orchestra of around 30 Annie played a superb 90 mins show.She has sold over 78 million albums with Eurythmics and solo over the last 30 years and has won awards galore inc grammys,brits and even an oscar.A great mix of hits and a few tracks off soon to be released new album "Songs Of Mass Destruction".From the start her voice was clear and full of passion on "Little Bird","Walking On Broken Glass","No More I Love Yous" then 3 new tracks inc "Dark Road".The orchestration all through the set was great and the two backing singers were perfect. The songs were all taken to a higher level. "I Saved The World Today","Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves","Here Comes The Rain Again" and "Why?"were also excellent.Encores were "Sweet Dreams" and then repeats of "No More I Love Yous","Here Comes The Rain Again" and "Little Bird".A fantastic show and the only downside was there was nobody filming it for BBC TV.Quality. The show is on Radio 2 at 8pm on Sat 25 August. ......... 14 August 2007.Natalie Imbruglia live at The Apple Store ,Regent Street,London.Invite only gig for 350 comp winners and press for this I TUNES event to launch her greatest hits album out on 27 August.Greatest hits?? you ask.Hmmmm.Yes i cannot remember that many either.Natalie and her band play a 40 mins set of 8 or 9 songs that is tepid second rate Texas at best.Her big hits "Shiver" and "Torn" were good.She played her new single "Glorious" twice at the start and at the end and it will be all over the radio no doubt but it was a pretty average gig really.......... 09/10/11/12 August 2007.Rebellion Punk Festival live at Blackpool,Lancs.Up here for a few days for the UKs biggest and best punk festival.Over 100 bands over the 4 days.Pretty amazing to see some 5000 punks,skinheads,crusties and others walking around this seaside resort.Its a great venue with four stages in the one complex. A great atmosphere and a really great weekend. Day 1 =Last Resort + Alabama 3 + The Animals + Dirty Love + Monkish......Day 2 = Damned + TV Smith And The Bored Teenagers + The Casualties + Slade + Chas And Dave + Vice Squad + Goldblade... ...Day 3 = Cockney Rejects + Eddie And The Hot Rods + Hardskin + Neville Staple + The Beat + Ari Up And The True Warriors + 999.....Day 4 = Adicts + Kunt And The Gang + Dwarves + Penetration + UK Subs + The Ruts......The first day is a warm up day with only the small stages being used.Monkish are a great little band with lots of wacky rantings and good fun.Check them out on www.myspace.com/monkishtheband......next up its some trashy rock and roll from Dirty Love who are good and have a lively female singer.Check www.myspace.com/dirtyloving......The Animals go down really well with the older punks here with tricks like "Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood","Boom Boom","We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and "House Of The Rising Sun"...... the acid house blues of Alabama 3 was good with some great female vocals and mouth organ.Best tracks were "Woke Up This Morning(Sopranos)" and "Converted"......Last Resort are are a skinhead band feat members of Foreskins and play some decent catchy "oi" type songs......next day its Chas And Dave who go down well with the older punks for songs like "London Girls","Margate", "Snooker Loopy","Rabbit","Gertcha", and "Aint No Pleasing You"......then its uptempo punk rockers Goldblade who are really good.Singer John Robb is working the crowd and tunes like "Fighting In The Dancehall" and "Strictly Hardcore" go down well......Becki Bondage from Vice Squad still looks great but the band are still third rate......Slade have not had Noddy Holder singing with them for over 10 years but the singer does a good job and the songs are classic."Take Me Back Home","Far Far Away","Everyday","Coz I Luv You", "Goodbye To Jane","Mama Were All Crazee Now" and "Cum On Feel The Noize".Still a great live band......The Casualties are hardcore punks and i have never seen so many mohawks and amazing haistyles at the front of a gig ever but not my cup of tea really......TV Smith And The Bored Teenagers do a great set.TV on top form as he lets a band member play the guitar.Tunes like "One Chord Wonders","Bored Teenagers","Bombsite Boy" ,"No Time To Be 21" and "Gary Gilmores Eyes" are all rockers......The Damned are on top as usual.Their 80 mins set finishes at 2.20am.They keep the bands on late to stop the punters wandering the streets at midnight.Lots of great tunes like "Love Song","Neat Neat Neat","New Rose", "Smash It Up" and encores of "Eloise","Jet Boy Jet Girl" and "I Feel Alright"......next day we have old punks 999 who i always love seeing with gems like "Emergency", "Feeling Alright With The Crew","Nasty Nasty", "Homicide" and "Im Alive"......Ari Up from The Slits has a new band.Lots of nice heavy bass punky reggae.Ari Up is always fun to watch.She seems a bit barking mad.They slip in oldies "Shoplifting" and "Typical Girls"......then we have two lots of ska bands The Beat and Neville Staple(The Specials) who play lots of hits and get the crowd really dancing......Hardskin are beery skinhead types who were good fun......Eddie And The Hot Rods are always a must see with tunes like "Teenage Depression","Quit This Town" and the anthem "Do Anything You Wanna Do"......The Cockney Rejects play most of their simple "oi" tunes and their lively singer is a real bundle of energy."Im Not A Fool","Flares And Slippers", "Here They Come Again","War On The Terraces","The Greatest Cockney Rip Off " and "On The Streets Again".A really good set and a 2am finish...... next day The Ruts are the first band i see.Sadly Paul Fox cant make it due to ill health but the band are on fire with tunes like "Something That I Said","In A Rut","Babylons Burning" and "Human Punk"......UK Subs always draw a big crowd and best songs are "Teenage","Warhead" and "Stranglehold"......Penetration start off boring with too many new tracks but get better at the end with "Lifes A Gamble","Dont Dictate" and "Firing Squad"......The Dwarves are from USA and most of their songs seem to be sex related. Their guitarist plays the whole show naked.Not sure the security blokes were that happy when he rubbed his bollocks against the back of their heads but it was all good fun......Kunt And The Gang i had been told about by a friend to watch. He was very rude but just great fun with subtle songs like "Wank The Dog","Use My Arse" and "Shaven Haven".www.myspace.com/kuntandthegang... ...The Adicts looked great in their Clockwork Orange outfits and are entertaining on stage but most of the songs are just average......Four days of fun and frolics at Blackpool.See you there in August 2008 for next years Rebellion.... ......... 07 Aug 2007.Prince live at 02 Arena,Docklands, London.This was Prince show number 4 of 21 and i am back again for my 3rd.Its a 2 hour show and again the setlist is changed.It opens with Prince on guitar only singing "Little Red Corvette", "Raspberry Beret","I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" and "Alphabet Street" then the band get stuck in for "Cream" and "U Got The Look" before the ususl dozen(mainly female) dancers from the audience join him for 10 mins or so.A great Prince and piano only segment which inc "Diamonds And Pearls".His supertight funky band inc Maceo Parker join in for "I Wanna Be Your Lover","Kiss" and a stunning "Purple Rain". Encores inc "Lets Go Crazy","Take Me With U" and "Guitar".Another great show and so far all 3 i have seen have been slightly different.......... My fave band The Sex Pistols will be all over the place in October as best songs gets re released . Oct 1 = Anarchy In The UK...Oct 8 = God Save The Queen...Oct 15 = Pretty Vacant...Oct 22 = Holidays In The Sun...Oct 29 = Never Mind The Bollocks 30th anniversary edition....Also NME are launching a campaign to make God Save The Queen Number 1 to rectify the chart fix of 1977....... 06 August 2007.Urban Dogs + Sinnerstar live at The 12 Bar Club,Denmark Street,London.Neat double bill at this tiny venue that only holds 50 at max.Sinnerstar feature Koozie and Chris from Glen Matlocks current touring band.They play for 60 mins and Koozie is a great vocalist.Check out www.myspace.com/sinnerstaruk for more info.Urban Dogs are using this secret gig as a warm up for their Blackpool show this weekend.Charlie Harper(UK Subs) on vocals and acoustic guitar and Knox(Vibrators)on electric guitar and keyboards.They play a dozen songs in 45 mins and its good stuff. Punk legend Charlie telling the crowd lots of stories from the early days.Set included "Warhead"(twice) at the start and end,"Limo Life","Tomorrows Girls" and "Pills".Good fun..... 04 August 2007.Prince live at O2 Arena,Docklands, London.This was show 3 of 21 for Prince and the second time i had seen it.We have mega seats on the floor some 15 rows from the stage on the best side of the venue.On the opening night Prince did a 2 hours 30 mins set but tonight we get a trim 2 hours set that had 30 mins of his funky jam stuff omitted but was much better for it.Prince really has got it all(apart from the height)as he looks cool,is a fantastic mover on stage,is a great guitar player and has loads of great songs.You cannot take your eyes off him.As expected he swopped the setlist around and tonight it starts with "Lets Go Crazy","Take Me With U","Guitar","Musicology" he also slips in the usual covers "Le Freak" and "I Feel For You". Classics galore inc "Cream" and "U Got The Look". Also "If I Was Your Girlfriend","Kiss" and a stunning "Purple Rain".Encores inc "Little Red Corvette","Raspberry Beret","Crazy" and "Nothing Compares 2 U".Tonight was live music at its very best and you simply have to catch 1 or 2 of these Prince shows at The O2 Arena............ 01 August 2007.8pm Prince live at 02 Arena, Docklands,London then 12pm Prince live at Indigo,Docklands,London.Wow what a comeback Prince has had.Due to cheapish ticket prices and publicity about giving his new album out free with The Sunday Mail he is playing 21 nights here at 20,000 punters a night and each night he is playing 21 midnight shows at Indigo which holds 2,000 punters.All in around half a million will have seen him when the run finishes on 21 Sept.In the round on a stage with his famous logo he plays a 2 hours 30 mins set.Its not all big hits as promised but a great mix of tracks from his career.He clearly loves and thrives on playing music.Opening song is "Purple Rain" and "Cream" and "U Got The Look" are also played early.He has a big band with him but they sound a bit muffled at times but the dancers give the show a sexy feel. The middle section was more recent stuff where he got a bit funky as expected.After 75 mins we get"Kiss" and "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and a mega "Take Me With U". New album tracks "The One U Wanna C" and "Guitar" were both really good.Encores were stunning with "Crazy/One Nation Under A Groove","Nothing Compares 2 U" and "Lets Go Crazy".He went off again and quite a few left the building only for Prince to walk through the crowd which caused a near riot as he played short versions of "Little Red Corvette","Raspberry Beret","Sometimes It Rains In April" and cover of "Le Freak".A great show from a quality performer who is a true star. Hits not played inc "1999","Get Off","Baby Im A Star","Sexy MF","Diamonds And Pearls","Alphabet Street" etc but he may play them on other nights. ............then over the road to Indigo which is standing downstairs and seating upstairs.We head for the seats as we are just too old for all this late stuff.His tight funky band turn up at 1.20am and play for about 1 hour 40 mins .Prince turns up for 20 mins in the middle and 20 mins at the end .Mainly its just great guitar playing as he let the band do the vocals and Prince only did vocals for one song (3121)at the end.It was good here but while i will be at a few more of his gigs in the arena i am not sure about 3am finish aftershow gigs.It was great to be at both the opening nights of this amazing Prince stint. You can get really close to stage here though. Not many celebs here.I only saw Lenny Henry and Simon Webbe(ex Blue) ......... The Coral and Candie Payne play a special invite only show at The ICA in Pall Mall,London for The ITUNES Festival on Monday 30 July 2007 8pm and i have a pair of tickets for one lucky winner.Q = Just tell which city both these acts come from? Send to ray@raysgigs.com .....Comp has now closed. The winner was Joanie from Wanstead,East London. The Coral release their new album "Roots And Echoes" on 06 Aug 2007.It features the hit single "Whos Gonna Find Me?" and other great tracks like "Remember Me" and "Jacqueline".The Coral play The V Festivals on Aug 18 and 19 and Roundhouse on Thurs 11 October as part of their UK tour......For more info on The Coral check www.thecoral.co.uk and www.myspace.com/coral...... Candie Payne will be playing tracks from her excellent recent debut album "I Wish I Could Have Loved You More".Her new single "One More Chance" is out on 03 Sept 2007.For more info on Candie Payne check www.candiepayne.com and www.myspace.com/candiepayne