Archive: January 2008

January 03, 2008

This time last year an unknown singer called Mika was the hottest new act that music critics and radio producers were dropping.Since then he has had a great year.This year its the turn of two female singers Adele and Duffy.Over the next 12 months they both should make it very big. Adele has her debut album "19" out on Jan 28 and plays a sold out show at The Bloombury Theatre on Jan 29.See www.myspace.com/adelelondon........ Duffy plays Pigalle Club on Jan 16,23,30 See www.myspace.comduffymyspace .. One of my fave bands from the 1980s The Godfathers are reforming for a short european tour and they play The Kentish Town Forum on 14 Feb 2008 .................. Best selling acts of 2007 have been confirmed as Best UK Album Sales 1.Amy Winehouse "Back To Black" with 1.85m sales...2.Leona Lewis "Spirit"...3.Mika "Life In Cartoon Motion" ...4.Take That "Beautiful World"...5.Westlife "Back Home" and Best Selling UK Singles Of 2007 were 1.Leona Lewis "Bleeding Love"...2.Rhianna "Umbrella"...3.Mika "Grace Kelly"................ 31 Dec 2007.Take That + Sugababes live at The 02 Arena,London from 8pm to 2am.(live on ITV from 11.45pm to 12.45am).A massive NYE party that cost a whacking 99 quid for most punters.Handy that my guest list tickets had access to media and hospitality room on the 3rd floor with free booze and food all night.Sugababes did a good 45 mins set with lots of hits inc "Freak Like Me", "Round Round","Change","Red Dress","About You Now","Hole In The Head" and "Push The Button". They always seem like down to earth girls.Tonight was about two comebacks really.First Take That finish off their 50 date european tour and whose recent album "Beautiful World" was in the Top 10 best selling UK albums of 2007.Second this venue. Its been left empty for a few years but in just 6 months the new American owners AEG have made it THE venue to play in the world.I have seen so many A list bands there this year.Take That play two sets of 55 mins each.The first set had "It Only Takes A Minute" and "Pray" but had a few boring songs as all the hits were moved to the second half when the live tv kicked in.Part two was really good with "Shine","Patience" then TV host Kate Thornton came on for the midnight countdown."Relight My Fire" was superb with members of the band setting themselves on fire and the dancers and big stage production in full flow.Then down the catwalk to the smaller B stage in the middle for "Rule The World","Could It Be Magic","A Million Love Songs","Back For Good" then back to main stage for a great "Never Forget" with Mark Owen again with a huge grin on his face probably thinking we are getting shitloads of dosh for this.Like the Take That show i saw a fortnight ago much better than i expected.Also a word for the Guilty Pleasures DJ team who played a perfect set of party anthems all night Check Gary Lammins travels on this web link http://soniclobotomy.com/page10.html............. ......... 23 Dec 2007.Bootleg Beatles live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.The biggest and best Beatles tribute on tour to celebrate their 25th anniversary.The band played for 2 hours 20 mins with an excellent mini orchestra over two sets that had 6 costume changes including Sgt Pepper.They used lots of fab 1960s video footage.The band look great and put on the accents etc and joke along.Nice mention of "Its Great To Be Back Here At The Odeon" which was of course related to the legendary 3 weeks of gigs the real Beatles played here Dec 64/Jan 1965. They also played a new song?? "Wonderwall" which is by Oasis.They also joked about putting away your mobile phones "As They Have Not Been Invented Yet".The crowd were up and dancing for the last 30 mins and it was a good fun show. No real need to list all Beatles songs as they played lesser known tracks and hits like "Yellow Submarine","All You Need Is Love","Blackbird","Get Back","Hey Jude" and many more and encores inc John Lennons "Happy Xmas(War Is Over)" and "Twist And Shout". See aftershow page for this gig .. 22 Dec 2007. Jeff Waynes Musical Version Of "The War Of The Worlds" at 02 Arena,London.Back in 1978 at the height of punk rock and new wave the vinyl version of this event sold loads even though to me it was just boring old sci fi tosh. Anyway only 6 weeks ago Jeff Wayne won "The Showman Of The Year" from Classic Rock mag so i was at least hoping for a massive stage show. The venue is sold out with a very polite crowd. We get 2 sets of 50 mins each with some 50 people on stage inc the band and orchestra. Justin Heyward sings and talks a few songs and the main guitarist is Chris Spedding.The first half has "Forever Autumn" and "Thunder Child" sung against a massive screen showing martians and some dodgy storyline.The actual production is nothing special with just a 3 legged martian lowered from the ceiling in the first half and a staircase in the second half.In the second half i just got bored with the whole thing.The music was so bland and lame i just gave up............ 20 Dec 2007.From The Jam live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.The band feature Jam originals Bruce Foxton and Rick Butler playing Jam songs together for the first time since their heyday.The crowd are up for it as from the start they are jumping around madly at the front.The 85 mins set was full of Jam classics inc "Modern World","News Of The World","David Watts","In The City",a stunning "Thats Entertainment" then "When You're Young", "Start","Strange Town","Eton Rifles","Going Underground".The tour has been a really great idea and it ends tonight(Friday 21 Dec) with a massive show at The Brighton Centre.Encores of "Down At The Tube Station At Midnight" and "Town Called Malice" sealed a really good show.See aftershow page............. 19 Dec 2007.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band live at The 02 Arena,London.Another major coup for this venue as they get yet another mega act.One off English show that sold out in a few minutes that is to basically promote Bruces bigger shows later in the year.No massive production or gimmicks here which means no big screen behind the stage so there is seating there.Two video screens up in the gods are all thats here apart from the band,and what a band. Bruce and the boys play a stunning 2 hours 35mins set of just great great songs.I am lucky enough to be in the gold circle stalls standing a mere dozen rows from the stage with space galore.Not many faces here but i did see Bill Wyman and Mike Peters from The Alarm.Starts off with "Radio Nowhere" then other gems like "Lonesome Day","Magic",a superb "Because The Night","Shes The One","The Promised Land","Waiting On A Sunny Day","Racing In The Street","The Rising" and it got even better with "Badlands" and stunning encores of "Jungleland", "Born To Run" and "Dancing In The Dark" with all the houselights on.Finishing up with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" with all the band in red and white Christmas hats.A brilliant show that was one of the best i have seen this year. Bruce and the band return for some UK stadium shows in the summer inc two at The Emirates (Arsenal F.C.) on May 30 and 31.................. 18 Dec 2007.Hard Fi + Rumble Strips live at Wembley Arena,London.Rumble Strips are tipped for big things in 2008.They arrive on stage with a clothes line with their bands name hanging from it.Some 30 mins of ok indie tunes.Best thing about them was their constant use of sax.A couple of years ago Hard Fi sold out 5 nights at Brixton on the back of debut album "Stars Of CCTV" but now they have their second album out tonight is not sold out so that means they have lost half of their London fans as they are not flavour of the month anymore.They start off looking awkward on the big stage but gradually put on a decent 90 mins show with tunes inc "Cant Get Along(Without You)","Television", "Better Do Better","Surburban Knights", and their big hits "Cash Machine" and "Hard To Beat" and encores inc "Stars Of CCTV" and "Living For The Weekend".Lots of sax and trumpet beefed the sound up and the crowd loved it.A good show but still not in the major league yet............ 16 Dec 2007.Spice Girls live at 02 Arena,London. Spice Girls play show number 2 of their quite staggering 17 shows at this venue.The stage set is massive with huge screens,lights,lasers and a bunch of male dancers.Their comeback single may have been a flop but their show is great. We have prime seats in Block A just 20 rows from the stage and closer when they use the walkway. Do they sing well?? ,Are they miming?? ,Who wears the most fake tan??, Why does Mel C never show her legs??.Who cares when they put on a show like this.I have seen them before at Wembley in their heyday when they were massive stars and its like they have never been away.There are costume changes and dance routines and its all fun.The 1 hour 45 mins set had all their hits and a few covers inc "Spice Up Your Life","Stop", "Two Become One","Who Do You Think You Are", "Are You Gonna Go My Way(Mel B),"Its Raining Men(Geri),"Mama","Celebrate","We Are Family" and of course "Wannabe" near the end.An enjoyable show that is a visual treat.David Beckham and kids were sitting near us in the front row where the walkway comes out.They sneak in with their security after a few mins of the show starting and leave a few mins before the end............. 15 Dec 2007.Status Quo live at Wembley Arena, London.The Quo are one of those rare bands that still do proper 6 week UK tours rather than just play a few shows.They are not the same Quo as i saw in the 1970s but more of a rock band all the family can like as there are kids here as well as some who must be at least 70 years old. Its pretty much the same great set they always do. A big knees up for their fans pre Christmas. A nice big light show and tunes that just make you shake your head and move your body.The 1 hour 50 mins set inc "Caroline","45OO Times","Rain", "Paper Plane","All Stand Up","Big Fat Mama", "Roll Over Lay Down","Whatever You Want" and encores of "In The Army Now","Rockin All Over The World" and "Bye Bye Johnny".The band are really enjoying it and the fans loved every second.Another great Quo show 13 Dec 2007.Thin Lizzy + Diamond Head live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Great double bill of classic rock acts here on the last date of their month long UK tour.Diamond Head played a really good 45 mins set with some pukka tracks inc "Heat Of The Night","Helpless" and their anthem "Am I Evil?" which was superb.I have seen Lizzy so many times over the last 30 years and they always put on a great show.Scott Gorham may be the only original Lizzy member in the band but the other musicians on stage have great rocker credentials inc John Sykes on guitar/vocals and the amazing Tommy Aldridge on drums.The tour is to promote the release on DVD of the classic 1978 Thin Lizzy live recording of "Live And Dangerous " with bonus features inc the "1983 Sight And Sound Concert" which is a must buy purchase.The entire 85 mins set was one Lizzy classic after another inc "Jailbreak","Waiting For An Alibi","Dont Believe A Word","Are You Ready","Emerald","Dancing In The Moonight", "Southband","Suicide","Cowboy Boy" which as always leads into the brilliant "The Boys Are Back In Town".Scott Gorham and John Sykes share the solos but its best when they are duelling together.Encores "Rosalie","Cold Sweat" and "Black Rose" sealed off a great set.............. 12 Dec 2007.La Dolce Vita Christmas Ball feat Billy Ocean + Jamelia + Kid Creole And The Coconuts live at Battersea Arena,London.This was a very posh bash where most of the 900 strong crowd paid over 400 quid each for live acts,djs a 3 course meal and EIGHT hours of free booze. Kid Creole And The Coconuts who play a short but fun set inc "Stool Pigeon","Im A Wonderful Thing Baby" and "Annie Im Not Your Daddy" then next up we have Jamelia who looks great as usual.She also plays a short 25 mins of hits inc "Superstar","Thank You","Beware Of The Dog" and a cover of "Hey Ya".Then its 1980s star Billy Ocean who has been touring again after a decade away.He has long grey dreadlocks and is a born again christian i read recently.Lots of hits in his 50 mins set inc "Love Really Hurts Without You","Red Light Spells Danger","Get Outta My Dreams Get Into My Car","When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going" and finally "Caribbean Queen".All the acts got everyone dancing.A few faces here inc Michael Portillo, Anthea Turner,Lord Brockett,Eddie Irvine and Peter Stringfellow.A great party.................

January 05, 2008

Happy New Year.... well its that time everyone is doing their Top this or that so here is www.raysgigs.com..... Top 20 Gigs Of 2007 out of the 216 l music events i have seen this year. This brings the total to 4883 gigs ,yes 4883 seen since 1973. (looks like i will hit 5000 shows before my 50th birthday after all..... Top 20 Shows Of 2007..... 1.Sex Pistols live at Brixton Academy,London on 14 Nov 2007. (ok i am a bit biased but all 7 UK shows were fantastic)..... 2.Led Zeppelin live at 02 Arena,London on 10 Dec 2007. (what a totally stunning show that lived up to the pre gig anticipation)..... 3.Paul McCartney live at The Electric Ballroom,Camden,London on 07 June 2007. (loads of Beatles hits in this historic old punk venue)..... 4.Aerosmith live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London on 19 Feb 2007. (secret gig for 250 people to launch their Hyde Park Calling show)..... 5.Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium,London on 07 July 2007. (all day huge event with Madonna + Foo Fighters + RHCP and others)..... 6.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band live at The 02 Arena,London on 19 Dec 2007. (one off London show that was Bruce at his very best with loads of old classics)..... 7.Prince live at 02 Arena ,London on 21 Sept 2007. (i went to 6 shows of his 21 night run here but the last was very special)..... 8.The Rolling Stones live at 02 Arena,London 23 Aug 2007. (i was at all 3 Stones London shows but this night i was very near stage)..... 9.The Eagles live at 02 Indigo,London on 31 Oct 2007. (one off UK show with four new songs then all their greatest hits)..... 10.The Who live at The Royal Albert Hall ,London on 31 March 2007. (the band always at their best at this legendary venue)..... 11.Rod Stewart + Pretenders live at Twickenham Stadium,London on 30 June 2007..... 12.Linkin Park live at The Astoria on 03 May 2007..... 13.Foo Fighters live at V Festival,Chelmsford,Essex on 18 Aug 2007..... 14.Elton John live at 02 Arena,London on 05 Sept 2007..... 15.Duran Duran live at The Lyceum,London on 03 Dec 2007..... 16.Roger Waters live at Earls Court Arena ,London on 11/12 May 2007..... 17.Kylie Minogue live at Wembley Arena,London on 02/05 Jan 2007..... 18.Motley Crue live at Hammersmith Apollo,London on 11 June 2007..... 19.Manic Street Preachers live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London on 31 May 2007..... 20.The Ruts with Henry Rollins + The Damned live at Islington Academy,London on 16 July 2007..... Best Overseas Gig = Aerosmith + Chris Cornell + The Feeling live at Marlay Park ,Dublin on 26 June 2007. Half the size of their Hyde Park show but twice as good..... Best Band Aftershow Party = Prince live at 02 Indigo ,London on 21 Sept 2007. After Prince played his last show at the main 02 Arena he played a staggering 2 hours 45 mins set over the road at the smaller venue that started with Amy Winehouse singing a song and finished at 4.15am..... Best Non Music Related Event = Went to loads of good ones but this is one that stands out. LG Shine Mobile Phone Launch at Cirque Hippodrome,London on 07 Feb 2007. Massive party for over 800 people .They flew top American magician David Blaine over to perform stunts and tricks and everyone got a free LG Shine phone worth 200 quid.....

January 29, 2008

28 + 29 Feb 2008.Linkin Park + Biffy Clyro live at The 02 Arena,London.I went to both these sold out shows by Linkin Park.On the first night only i caught Biffy Clyro.Their last album "Puzzle" was voted number one of 2007 by Kerrang critics and number eight of 2007 by NME critics.The trio play a good 40 mins set with lyrics you can hear. Remind me a bit of Feeder with longer hair. Linkin Park are fantastic on both nights.On stage for around 1 hour 40 mins their brand of heavy crushing rock anthems with hip hop beats sent the place wild from the start.They have sold some 40 million albums inc 24 million for the classic "Hybrid Theory" album.This tour to promote "Minutes To Midnight" album that was released last year. Setlist inc "What Ive Done","Faint","Papercut","Somewhere I Belong", "Points Of Authority" and superb versions of "Numb", Crawling" and "In The End".Also "Bleed It Out" and encores "Breaking The Habit", "Place For My Head" and a mental "One Step Closer".There were a couple of songs that swopped order between the shows.Chester Benningtons vocals were great and the energy was relentless. Only downside was the poor backdrop used and no video screens for the poor sods up in Level 4 but otherwise it was brilliant................. 27 Feb 2008.Alison Moyet live at The London Palladium.The big Essex girl with the big strong voice out on tour to promote her new album "The Turn".She has lots of fun banter with the crowd for all of the 1 hour 40 mins set.The voice still sounds great and its a good mix of material from the last 25 years inc "Windmills Of Your Mind","All Cried Out","Love Resurrection","Love Letters" and Yazoo faves "Only You" and "Dont Go" near the end.It was a good show overall. Yazoo reform to play their first shows for over 20 years in June ............. 25 Feb 2008.Bit of a mad night where i went to two punk related events in West London.8pm "The Ruts with Henry Rollins - Islington Academy July 2007" dvd film premiere at The Shepherds Bush Empire.London with live acts inc Alabama 3,Dirty Strangers, Pain, Vice School,TV Smith, The Members,Captain Sensible,and Henry Rollins. Each act did 2 or 3 songs.Up first Alabama 3 whose set inc the great "Woke Up This Morning" then Dirty Strangers whose set inc the superb "Shepherds Bush City Limits" then Pain who were a bit crap then Vice School(members of Vice Squad and Girlschool) rocked through "Something That I Said" and "West One(Shine On Me)" then TV Smith played "Bored Teenagers" and "Babylons Burning" then The Members(minus Nicky Tesco) set inc "Jah War" and "Sound Of The Suberbs" then Captain Sensible rocked with "Neat Neat Neat" and then Henry Rollins with Captain for a super "Staring At The Rude Boys" .Henry Rollins then spoke for a few mins and the film started but as i was at the actual gig i skipped this to head over to the next gig............ a quick dash up the road over to see Carbon Silicon at The Inn On The Green who came on stage at 10.45pm.It was really hot and humid in this small club that holds about 200 and has a tiny stage only 6 inches off the floor so you can only see heads and shoulders of the band.Mick Jones and Tony James are smiling and really enjoying themselves.The first 40 mins of their 80 mins set was a bit samey but got much better later with great versions of "The News" and "What The Fuck".The encore for me was dream ticket punk rock heaven as first Sex Pistol Glen Matlock sang vocals and played bass for a belting "Twist And Shout" and then Sex Pistol Paul Cook joined them for drums with Glen Matlock again on stunning vocals for "Steppin Stone".So on stage we had members of Clash,Sex Pistols and Generation X .Just an amazing finish to a pukka night of punk rockin in West London where at both events there were loads of old faces i knew. Also in the crowd here was comedian Noel Fielding and Razorlight singer Johnny Borrell............. Chris Rock is coming back to the UK for a massive show at 02 Arena on May 23............... As you know i love all things punk rock so i gotta mention that HMV sale includes live dvds at only 3 quid each by Buzzcocks (Shepherds Bush Empire 2003),Stiff Little Fingers (Ocean Hackney 2004) and UK Subs (Marquee 2002)................. 21 Jan 2008.Mika and The Feeling play an invite only show for press and comp winners from 6.30pm to 9.30pm next to The London Eye to launch the new FIAT 500 car.A bit of a risk to hold an open air event down by the river in January but thankfully the rain stopped just before the event and never came back.About 500 comp winners here from Virgin Radio.They have to watch outside with no food and drink but 5 of them win 1000 quid each in a lucky dip draw from Virgin Radio. I am one of the 500 odd media and VIP guests indoors with a warm covered viewing area who get lovely Italian food,desserts,drinks and a bit of Sushi as well.A few faces are here inc Kelly Osbourne,Jade Jagger,Eddie Irvine, Eva Herzigova,Leah Wood and Lawrence Dallaglio. See the photos on www.fiat.co.uk.We get two live bands who both play short 20 mins sets. First up The Feeling whose set inc the hits "Never Be Lonely" and "Love It When You Call" then at 8pm the car is launched(time was dead on 500 hours into 2008)with a full light show.The car is a cool trendy small car like a mini. Then Mika also plays for 20 mins inc hits "Grace Kelly" and "Love Today".His album "Life In Cartoon Motion" was one of the best selling in the UK last year and is still in the Top 10. On the way out we all got a gift bag of model cars of the new FIAT 500.The live music was a bit tepid on the night but the party was great. ......... 20 Jan 2008.Spice Girls live at The 02 Arena, London.Back yet again to see the Spice Girls. This was show number 16 of their staggering 17 nights here and my 4th time.The atmosphere is again just amazing as the mainly hyper female crowd are very excited.I am in the guest list VIP area to right of stage sitting a couple of rows behind Tony Blairs wife Cherie and film chappie Richard Curtis(Four Weddings And A Funeral,Notting Hill,Love Actually etc).David Beckham was not in his usual place and tonight that area was full of Emma Buntons friends and family as it was her birthday.Later on in the show all the crowd sang to her as she blew the candles out on a huge cake.There is an army of people working on a big show.A big band, dancers,costume changes etc. Visually just great fun to watch and pure entertainment.The hits are of course the best.See previous reviews for the setlist in full ..... 17 Jan 2008.Michael Schenker And Friends live at The Boom Boom Club,Sutton Utd F.C,West Sutton, Surrey.This rock club in South London is really going from strength to strength and to bag Michael Schenkers only show in the London area on his current tour is a major booking so its no wonder the 300 tickets sold out pronto.Last summer i saw the band supporting The Scorpions at Hammersmith Apollo and Michael was sloppy but tonight we get the real MS we know and love. He looks great with slicked back short blonde hair and shades and trademark flying v guitar. The guitar playing is just superb as the band play an excellent 75 mins of tracks featuring loads of U.F.O. classics.Highlights inc "Too Hot To Handle","Only You Can Rock Me","Armed And Ready" and a stunning "Lights Out". The riffs were all there and Michael was really enjoying it.Great encores of "Doctor Doctor" and "Rock Bottom" sealed an excellent show. A few mins after Michael came out to sign stuff and gladly pose for photos with the fans. Check www.michaelschenkerhimself.com for dates and for future shows at this great club venue see www.feenstra.co.uk ... 15 Jan 2008.James Blunt live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Not really a big fan but to have sold over 10 million copies of your debut album deserves some attention and respect.This was part of his world tour to promote second album " All The Lost Souls".Loads of women here to see this ex serving army officer.JB and his excellent band play a 90 mins set that is better than expected. His on stage banter goes down well and the giant screen with a mix of video clips and live footage worked a treat.Lots of decent songs inc "High","Carry You Home","I'll Take Everything", "Goodbye My Lover", a superb cover of Supertramps "Breakfast In America",the mega hit "You're Beautiful" then "Wise Men" and encores inc "Same Mistake" and "1973".I went along not expecting much but it was surprisingly pretty good. See aftershow page for this gig.................. The Eagles are to play four shows at 02 Arena on March 20,22,23,26.Tix on sale this Friday........ 14 Jan 2008.BRIT AWARDS 2008 Nominations At The Roundhouse,London.5.15pm to 7.45pm.About 1000 people here.500 BRITS school students and comp winners at the front and 500 media and music biz folks at the back.Plenty of free beers in the press room before the event.Kelly Osbourne and Reggie Yates are hosting tonight as its for a tv show.We get four acts playing one song each. The Editors play their superb track "Smokers At The Hospital Doors" then its female singer Bat For Lashes then the hotly tipped Adele then The Hoosiers play their hit "Worried About Ray" (Despite rumours in the press i can deny that this song was written about me and my recent multi visits to see The Spice Girls and Take That).Nice atmosphere as there were loads of music chums here i knew and chatted with. THE BRIT AWARDS 2008 are on Feb 20 At Earls Court Arena with Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne as hosts.The show will open with Kylie Minogue and close with Paul McCartney playing 4 or 5 sings... ......... 12 Jan 2008.Spice Girls live at The 02 Arena, London.Well its cold and grey outside so back to see The Spice Girls for their big ,bright fun show for my third time.Spice Girls show number 11 of 17 here.As its a Saturday night they arrive 15 mins later on stage.I have a superb seat in Block A only 10 rows from the stage and in the same row as Geri Halliwells mum.David Beckham is here again in the same seats at end of the walkway. Film producer Michael Winner is also nearby. Its the same well rehearsed show with lots of dancers and the hits mixed in with other stuff. See earlier reviews for the full setlist. Tonight is Mel Cs birthday so the band and venue sing "Happy Birthday" as she blows the candles out on a huge cake.The encore of "Wannabee" is a highlight and the girls seem to really having fun on stage.Another great show.................. Before The Spice Girls show i went to the legendary Tutankhamun Exhibition in The 02 Complex.Not content with just having the most famous music acts at The 02 they also have one of the most famous exhibitions too.Last here in 1972 this collection of over 130 items was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.Included here are some items found in Tutankhamuns tomb. The workmanship is just staggering.They are over 3000 years old and look amazing.You walk through 11 galleries which takes 60 to 90 mins and is a must see event as it may be another 30 plus years before it comes back to the UK. Over half a million tickets have been sold. It runs until 30 August 2008 and you do it on its own or make a day of it like me by going in an afternoon when they is a show on at 02. For info and tickets check www.kingtut.org and www.visitlondon.com/tut ..... 11 Jan 2008.Take That live at Old Billingsgate, Monument,London.7pm to 1.30am.The first big bash of the year.This was a massive charity event for the Outward Bound Trust.Most of the 1200 people here paid 500 quid a ticket so a mix of corporate folks and hardcore Take That fans.My punk rock credibilty now completely out the window as this is my third Take That show in 6 weeks.The champers is flowing from 7pm to 8.30pm then its a 3 course meal cooked by Jamie Oliver and his team at FIFTEEN.Take That tour has just finished so quite a coup to get them to play. A few celebs were floating around here too. Take Thats comeback album has sold over a staggering 2 million copies in the UK alone. (Bon Jovi played a secret corporate gig to 500 city bankers at this venue last year).The full band is here with a full lights and laser show. They were on for 65 mins and it was different to 02 shows.Setlist was "Shine","Pray","Rule The World","Everything Changes","A Million Love Songs" and they were joined by Bee Gee Barry Gibb for "How Deep Is Your Love" then a medley of a few Beatles songs then "Patience" and "Relight My Fire" with Beverley Knight and "Back For Good" then the encore of "Never Forget" and Beverley Knight came on again to sing with them. Great to be just 10 yards from stage and an excellent evening ............ The Black Crowes play a one off UK show at Brixton Academy on 09 April 2008 to promote their upcoming new album "Warpaint".............. How about this for a mega line up.Dep Leppard + Whitesnake + Black Stone Cherry play UK arenas in June with a London date at Wembley Arena on 26 June .. 09 Jan 2008.Chris Rock live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Chris has been a huge film ,tv and comedy star in America for the last 10 years. This was his first ever tour of the UK. This was his first of 10 shows in London(8 here and 2 at Brixton Academy).His Hollywood whiter than white teeth smile was as bright as his 90 mins set that was just superb and so funny. The current American presidential race gave him plenty of material at the start before this generations Richard Pryor really got rude with jokes on men,women,sex,race,money and the n word.Just total quality from start to finish. I saw UK comedians Jimmy Carr,Phil Jupitus and Never Mind The Buzzcocks host Simon Amstall here ..... 08 Jan 2008.Helloween + Gamma Ray live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.My first rock show of the year from this double bill of German power metal who are playing just this UK show as part of their European tour.Gamma Ray play ok for 75 mins inc "Fight","From The Ashes" and "Heavy Metal Universe".Helloween have brought a neat Iron Maiden type stage set with them which looked great.The singer looks a bit like Peter Stringfellow.I saw them 3 times in their mid 1980s heyday.Setlist inc "Helloween","Soul Survivor","March In Time","As Long As I Fall", and a very funny version of "Smoke On The Water" with squeaky hellium balloon type voices.Also good was "If I Could Fly" and "Dr Stein" and encores of "Perfect Gentleman" and they were joined by Gamma Ray for "Future World" and "I Want Out" to finish the 1 hour 45 mins set. A decent show overall really . Check www.sex-pistols.net as Phil has done an amazing job of putting the whole of the John Lydon press conference(i ask John the first question "What Does He Miss About London?) and our meeting/full interview with John Lydon after the event from 07 Nov 2007 in Hoxton up on the site to watch on www.youtube.com/sexpistolstv ......... Last weeks rumours of Michael Jackson playing 10 nights at 02 Arena are gathering pace.The shows could happen as early as Febuary.Will be a great chance for MJ to restart his career after all that dodgy stuff recently 04 Jan 2008.Spice Girls live at The 02 Arena, London.This was show number 6 of 17 at this venue for them and the second time i have seen it. Its Friday night and the place is rammed full of screaming women.Its the same as the one i watched two weeks ago.Very entertaining as its a massive production of lights,lasers,dancers etc.Not sure if any of them can sing that great individually but as a group they work superb. They all look just fab in their numerous Roberto Cavalli outfits.David Beckham is here again sitting in the front row by the catwalk taking some photos.The best bits are the hits of course inc "Spice Up Your Life","Stop","Say You'll Be There","Two Become One","Who Do You Think You Are" and "Mama".Encores were a super "Wannabee" and "Spice Up Your Live" for the second time. A few singalong covers and solo tracks were good. Another visually great fun show................. Queen With Paul Rodgers are soon to announce details of a European Tour starting in Sept. They will play a show at The 02 Arena..........