Archive: November 2008

November 01, 2008

31 Oct 2008.Slayer + Trivium live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.More like a mini festival with four name speed/thrash metal bands on the bill. Part of the "The Unholy Alliance" European Tour. I miss the short sets by Mastodon + Amon Amarth. Slayer and Trivium are pretty much co headliners as they both have long sets and full productions. Trivium are on for 70 mins.Loads of great fast guitar riffs and pounding drums.Their two guitarists sing.One is pretty good but the other has that horrible from the chest growl.Setlist inc "Into The Mouth Of Hell We March","Throes Of Perdition","Rain" and a 100mph cover of Iron Maidens "Iron Maiden".The singer smashes a guitar up at the end and throws it into the crowd.The band all give 100% and you can see why they have become so popular over the last couple of years...Slayer are thrash metal legends.They too have a brilliant lightshow.They also have a full backdrop curtain which looks good.Again the moshpit is mental.The 75 mins set inc "Chemical Warfare","Cult","Dead Skin Mask","Raining Blood" and "Angel Of Death".I will always take old school classic rock over thrash metal but this was a good night out.The cameras were there so expect a dvd out in the coming months............ 30 Oct 2008.Thurs 9am to 2.30pm i was at the launch of the huge Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush.Bearing in mind i live 5 mins walk from me this is a big event. The area has been disused for many years and i have seen all this gradually go up over the last couple of years. Over 250 quality shops and over 50 eating places. It looks fantastic and is well worth going to.Got in ok to the media room which is massive and very busy and they give everyone breakfast,lunch and goody bags.At 10.30am Mayor Of London Boris Johnson gives a speech and cuts the ribbon then there is a huge fashion catwalk show featuring Erin O'Connor then girl of the moment Leona Lewis does a 5 song 25 mins set to the huge crowd here. Short set includes new single "Forgive Me" ,also "Whatever It Takes" and her mega hit "Bleeding Love".She had a band but it looked like a playback.I presume Leona was singing live.The crowd loved it anyway. Also due to turn up in the afternoon for signings were Sugababes,Sophie Ellis Bextor and new all girl band The Saturdays ...... Thurs evening was a great double bill of blues rock feat Stephen Dale Petit + David Sinclair Trio at The 100 Club,London.The support have great lyrics.Songs like "Years Disappear" "Going To Do Something" and "Eight Rounds Later" all go down well here.They have an album out called "Hey" and they play The Half Moon,Herne Hill on Sat 1st Nov.www.myspace.com/davidsinclair ...then Stephen Dale Petit whose new blues album "Guitararama"got a brilliant 8 out of 10 review in Classic Rock mag.The first 30 mins of the set was great.Angry blues guitar with a nice funky band.He was joined by a superb harmonica player and the 85 mins set was a good one. Sadly the rumours that Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor would appear for the encores were false... 29 Oct 2008.I went to two events tonight.8pm to 10pm .The Harpers Bazaar and Moet And Chandon Party At Vendome,85 Piccadilly, Mayfair. This club is one of the hottest new venues in town after its opening a couple of months ago.A fantastic fully lit dance floor in the centre with a dj booth within it.Only face i saw here was novelist Salman Rushdie who danced clumsily. Plenty of Moet champers and nice canopes and a cool crowd......then on to Wardour Street Stringfellows for a couple of hours for their "James Bond" party.Again the free booze and seafood canopes are flowing.Peter Stringfellow is here with his young partner.Lots of scantily clad girls to look at although they were all trying their best to get 20 a quid a go off me for a private lap dance but i was happy just to look from a distance and chat............ Rumours that Led Zeppelin are threatning to go on tour without Robert Plant are increasing with Roberts refusal to get involved.Rehearsals with various singers in Putney now appear to include Aerosmiths Steven Tyler.Hard to believe that one but todays Sunday Mail says he spent a week in London with the band and struggled a bit......... 25 Oct 2008.Festival New Orleans feat Dr John + Allen Toussaint + Marcia Ball live At The 02 Complex,London.Free all day event for all to promote New Orleans as a tourist attraction after Hurricane Katrina nightmare of a couple of years ago.Over three stages The Pavillion,Indigo and Matter.Not the main arena as Disneys Nemo On Ice is there.You can imagine how busy the place was.I catch Marcia Ball on stage for an hour in Indigo.She was brilliant.A 59 year old white woman who played crosslegged all night at the piano with some dazzling boogie woogie and a great voice and band.Jools Holland probably loves her.....Then over to The Pavillion which holds twice as many as Indigo.Allen Toussaint is a producer/songwriter/singing legend of New Orleans and plays for 70 mins with a fine band. Tracks played included "Working In A Coalmine", "Get Out Of My Life Woman" and a nice finale of "Southern Nights"...then a another legend of New Orleans Dr John looking super cool in a pukka suit and hat.Setlist included a superb "Right Place Wrong Time" and a good newie dedicated to Barack Obama "Time For Change".His funky horns of trombone/trumpet/sax were really good.Nice encore of "Such A Night" sealed an 80 mins set. I am not a massive fan of the New Orleans sound but it was great to see some real New Orleans music legends at this event .. 24 Oct 2008.The Godfathers + Jim Jones Revue live at The Islington Academy,London.A great double bill of rock n roll.Up first are Jim Jones Revue who play a great set of dirty blues rock.Singer has the Jack White vibe going on and overall they make a great noise.I have seen The Godfathers over 20 times since 1987 and i am so glad they are playing live again after reforming earlier this year with all the original line up. The Godfathers play a superb 80 mins set.Sharp edgy lyrics sung with real conviction along with great harmonies and a band that are on fire. Opening with "This Damn Nation" and "She Gives Me Love" then a stunning "I Want Everything". Other gems include "Those Days Are Over","Love Is Dead","Obsession" and the main set finished with three classics on the bounce "If I Only Had Time","Cause I Said So" and "Birth School Work Death".Great encores included "Cant Leave Her Alone" and "Cold Turkey".A fantastic display of how a rock n roll band should play live.Their 2008 29 track deluxe version of "Hit By Hit" is a must have cd but all their albums really are worth getting ................ 23 Oct 2008.Level 42 + The Mercurymen live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.The support were three blokes with acoustic guitars who were far too polite and pleasant for their own good but the crowd liked them.When i worked at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s i saw Level 42 over 25 times.How about this for a fact.These jazz funkers were so popular that in Dec 1990 they played 15 yes 15 shows at Hammersmith Odeon(now the Apollo)and i worked 12 of them.They played a really good 1 hour 40 mins set of mainly oldies.Mark King is still in my eyes one of the greatest bass players out there.Just fantastic. In fact all the band are brilliant musicians. They soon get into a nice groove.Gems included "Leaving Me Now","Running In The Family","Love Games","Something About You" and "Lessons In Love".Great encores of "The Chines Way" and "Hot Water".Level 42 were never cool or trendy but they are a great live band and their loyal fans always come out in force.Their month long UK tour continues with a show at Croydon Fairfield Halls on Sat 25 Oct 22 Oct 2008.Went to two good events tonight. 7.15pm to 9.15pm launch party for Jonathan Faiers book "Tartan" at Central St Martins College Of Art,Bloomsbury,London.A book on Tartan fashion through the ages.Music of course is in it as Bay City Rollers and Punk Rock fashions used it a lot.Nice Scottish theme to all the free drinks(Scottish ales and Famous Grouse Whisky) , food(Isle Of Mull Crab Pate,Highland Cheeses , Walkers Shortbread Biscuits and even Tunnocks Snowballs and Caramel Wafer Biscuits) and entertainment and video clips.Nice surprise to see 1980s singer Sade here as shes keeps herself very quiet these days.She knew the author and i think she actually attended St Martins...then 10pm to 2am up the road to The Grey Goose And Character Cocktails Party at The Dairy,Wakefield Street,Blooomsbury,London.Very nice upmarket crowd.Most of the 500 here have paid 100 quid as its a benefit for Elton Johns Aids Foundation.Lovely free cocktails and canopes flowing all night in this new venue that has been decked out very lavishly and nice. Faces here include David Furnish,Giles Deacon,Patrick Cox,Theo Fennell,Eva Hertzigova, Lily Allen,David Walliams,Jenson Button,Ozwald Boateng,Nick Grimshaw,Skin,Rick Parfitt Jr.The djs played the wrong music here for this crowd but it was a very good party . AC/DC release their first album for several years this week called "Black Ice" and they tour UK arenas in April 2009.Another must see event is Metallica who tour the UK Feb/March 2009...... 21 Oct 2008.The Specsavers Celebrity Spectacle Wearers Of The Year Awards At The Waldorf Hilton Hotel,Aldwych,London.7pm to midnight.A very nice bash in this posh hotel for some 300 or 400 people.From 7pm to 8.15pm its freebie champers and canopes.A few celebs here inc hosts Ben Shephard and Jenni Falconer.Also Gok Wan,Penny Lancaster(Rod Stewarts lovely long legged partner),Gloria Hunniford,Sian Lloyd,Cleo Rocas,Christopher Biggins,Jenny Eclair,Melanie Blatt(ex All Saints)and great to see Sally James from Tiswas tv show from late 1970s.Then we take our seats 8.15pm to 10pm for a full fashion show focusing on the specs the models are wearing of course.The 15 models have won regional heats to be here and all get asked a few questions on stage.Then the three celebrity spectacle wearers awards went to Christopher Biggins(Lifetime), Jenny Eclair(Iconic) and Melanie Blatt(Celebrity Spectacle Wearer Of The Year).Then Gok Wan does a great job on the auction.The main item is afternoon tea with Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster at a 5 star hotel.It went for 10,000 quid and two people paid that as Penny agreed to two sittings.Then 10pm to midnight more free drinks and dj playing some tunes.Gok Wan and Penny Lancaster both attended the afterparty and even though they had 100 plus requests each for photos they both were so friendly and always had a smile.Not sure how much Penny knows about Rods past career but i did ask her about rumours "Will The Faces Ever Reform".She said "Never Say Never".Great goody bag that included a voucher for 150 quid for glasses at Specsavers.Very handy as i do wear specs of course.Very nice evening ..... 20 Oct 2008.Kaiser Chiefs + Late Of The Pier live at The Forum,Kentish Town,London.Support did an ok set of jerky indie pop.First of KC two shows here on a UK theatre tour to promote third album "Off With Their Heads" which comes out today.A lively atmosphere and the band go full tilt for 75 mins.New single "Never Miss A Beat" is great which is then followed by "Everyday I Love You Less And Less" and "Heat Dies Down".The Kaisers really have a great bunch of songs now.The anthem "Ruby" goes down a storm and more gems follow "Everything Is Average Nowadays","Modern Way" and "Oh My God". The light show is impressive for this smallish venue."The Angry Mob" is yet another great tune. The crowd sang happy birthday to drummer Nick and encores included a mental "I Predict A Riot" Singer Ricky Wilson was on top form as he jumps into the crowd 3 or 4 times.Crowd surfs from the mixing desk to the front of stage and sings on the staircases.A great show .. 19 Oct 2008.Glen Campbell live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.This 72 year old country legend on tour to promote his "Meet Glen Campbell" covers album.Earlier in the month he picked up the Q Award for Legend.He was on stage for 95 mins over two sets.He had a neat backing band that included mandolin and steel guitar.A nice mix of new album tracks and older hits.His daughter Debby sang 2 or 3 songs and duetted with Glen.Set inc "All I Have To Do Is Dream" which he had a hit with in 1970.Also a great cover of Green Days "Good Riddance(Time Of Your Life)" also "Country Boy(You Got Your Feet In LA).A great version of his 1969 hit "Wichita Lineman" then more new album covers "Walls" originally by Tom Petty,"Grow Old With Me" originally by John Lennon and "All I Want Is You "originally by U2.The main set was ended with his lovely old hits "Southern Nights" and "Rhinestone Cowboy" which went down a treat. Encores were two more covers.A stunning version of Foo Fighters "Times Like These" and then Velvet Undergrounds "Jesus".A good show and it was all over by 9.45pm ...... 18 Oct 2008.Scorpions with Michael Schenker + Uli Jon Roth live at Hammersmith Apollo,London. Another great three act line up of classic rock from promoters Live Nation.Up first we have Uli Jon Roth who plays a good 45 mins set with some fantastic atmospheric rock guitar playing.Then The Scorpions play a superb set of around 1 hour 50 mins mixing new tracks with older classics. Every time i see The Scorpions live they seem to get the sound just right and tonight its the same.They played "Hour 1" and "321" from their last album "Humanity Hour 1" which went down well.Loads of rock gems played included "Coming Home","Bad Boys Running Wild" and "Holiday".They were joined by Uli Jon Roth for a couple of songs then the place erupted for Michael Schenker who looks great as he joined them for four songs inc "Lovedrive" and "Another Piece Of Meat". MS went off then it was "Loving You Sunday Morning","Dynamite","Blackout" then "Big City Nights" finished off the main set in style. Encores were "Loving You Sunday Morning","No One Like You" and then Michael Schenker came on again for "Doctor Doctor" and "Rock You Like A Hurricane".Scorpions are always just great live. The Scorpions have been coming back to the UK every year recently so lets hope they come back again in 2009.The UK loves them.................. The Who are to finish their world tour with two shows at the 2,000 capacity 02 Indigo,London on Dec 14 and 15.Tix only available from website www.thewho.com.As Coldplay are playing the main 02 Arena on the same days this really does confirm that the 02 complex is the worlds most popular live music venue ..... 17 Oct 2008.Oasis live at Wembley Arena,London. Back again to see Oasis here and again the crowd is buzzing and loads are stuck outside without tickets as touts selling for over 100 quid each. They come on a bit later but its the same 1 hour 45 mins set.Oasis do not move much on stage but thankfully so many great singalong songs and one of the best crowds a band can have really make it a top event.The beer sales here must have been higher than any pub although its a bit of a tradition on the floor to drink half your pint and lob the rest in the air which was fun to watch.Another great show ..... 16 Oct 2008.Oasis + Twisted Wheel live at Wembley Arena,London.The support did an ok 30 mins set but sound like a 1000 other bands.The atmosphere was totally rockin by the time Oasis arrived on stage for this show that was going out live on MTV.They are promoting new album "Dig Out Your Soul" which has got very average reviews but still went straight in at Number 1 and 180,000 tickets for this UK arena tour sold out in one hour.The sound is great and the band are tight for their 1 hour 45 mins.A brilliant setlist with loads of gems from their first two albums.Liam keeps his scarf on all night with effortless cool and swagger.The crowd sing loudly all night and the arena standing is a mess of heaving bodies.Setlist inc "Fucking In The Bushes","Rock n Roll Star","Lyla","The Shock Of The Lightning","Cigarettes And Alcohol","The Masterplan","Slide Away","Morning Glory,"Wonderwall" and "Supersonic".Encores inc "Dont Look Back In Anger","Champagne Supanova" and "I Am The Walrus".Love then or loathe them Oasis are always a totally fantastic live band. Oasis + Kasabian + The Enemy play massive UK stadium shows in the 2009 inc two big gigs at Wembley Stadium on July 11 and 12............... 15 Oct 2008.Starsailor live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.This was a benefit show for cancer charity The Caron Keating Foundation.250 people crammed in here.200 hardcore fans and 50 vips and media in the raised area where i have some freebie drinks and Hard Rock Cafe food. Starsailor have gone off the radar a bit but i have always loved them.They played a brilliant 70 mins set with loads of great songs inc "Poor Misguided Fool","Alcoholic","Fever"and "In The Crossfire".Also "All The Plans We Made" from their fourth album out in early 2009.Then stunning versions of "Keep Us Together","Four To The Floor" and "Silence Is Easy".Lively encores of "Good Souls" and a neat cover of "Champagne Supanova" by Oasis.Dont write Starsailor off yet.With a bit of luck they could easy do an Elbow who also took off big on album four........ 14 Oct 2008.Africa Rising Music And Fashion Show feat Christine Aguilera and Seal Live At The Royal Albert Hall,London.A nice big event production with multi screens and stairways with six live music acts playing 3 to 7 songs each and during each act was a full scale 10 mins fashion catwalk show with around 30 models on the floor area.Up first we have female singer Asa who plays three ok songs then a nice fashion show by Momo then 2Face did a few songs.A lot of the crowd were Nigerian and a lot of these acts are big back home.Then Seal played four songs. He worked the crowd great and used the catwalk very skillfully for tunes inc "This Is A Mans World","Killer" and "Crazy".Then a fashion show by Deola Sagoe.After the interval Youssou Ndour played three songs but was very average.Then a great fashion show by The King Of Bling Chris Aire.Then rapper Dbanj did a lively 3 or 4 songs. Highlight was he got General Colin L.Powell up on stage to dance and rap.The General gave a great speech earlier.Ozwald Boateng was the biggest fashion show tonight.Not sure why Christina Aguilera is at an African event like this but she is very professional in her 7 song 45 mins set that had 4 costume changes and loads of dancers.Set inc "Aint No Other Man","Lady Marmalade","Candyman","Beautiful" and "Keeps Getting Better".A very late finish at 11.45pm but overall a good evening ... 12 Oct 2008.NBA Basketball At The 02 Arena, London.This was a pre season game from two of Americas top teams.Probably the biggest basketball event of the year in the UK with a 18,000 sold out crowd.New Jersey Nets 94.Miami Heat 92.Its a very close game and full of American razzamataz as each time there is a time out or break there is cheerleaders,dancers, music,gymnastics,stunts.Also t shirts and merch thrown into the crowd so it ends up being nearly three hours of non stop visual entertainment. Plenty of quality basketball.A few faces from football,rugby and swimming in the VIP area and rapper Jay Z was here too.A nice event........... Got home and watched a video of tonights Peter Kays tv spoof " Pop Factor Jesus Christ Superstar Strictly On Ice".Two hours of comedy brilliance ................... On 06 Oct 2008 two excellent live dvds come out from the Soundstage concert series.Both filmed in Chicago with a dozen cameras giving stunning HD and 5.1 Surround Sound.The first is Reo Speedwagon "Live In The Heartland " which has tracks from their recent album "Find Your Own Way Home" alongside all those old classics including "Take It On The Run","Cant Fight This Feeling","Dont Let Him Go" and "Keep On Loving You".See www.speedwagon.com for full info and tracklisting.I was at their brilliant O2 Indigo show this year and this dvd shows what a great live band they still are....also Heart "Live" shows them in perfect quality.They play songs from their recent album "Jupiters Darling" alongside older classics including "These Dreams","Even It Up","Alone" and "Barracuda".It also has three covers of Led Zeppelin songs "The Battle Of Evermore","Black Dog" and "Misty Mountain Hop".See www.heart-music.com for full info and tracklisting.These dvds are just how live concerts should all be and are a must buy purchase.See www.pbs.org/wttw/soundstage/ for full list of dvds in The Soundstage series....... 08 Oct 2008.6.30pm.John Mellencamp live at The Borderline,London.This was an invite only club show for just 150 comp winners and media.Its his first UK show for over 10 years.Timed nicely a couple of days after John picked up a Q Award for Classic Songwriter.He arrives on stage for his 9 song 40 mins acoustic set with the greatest rock n roll hair that i have seen on any 57 year old.The set is a perfect mix of old and new.His 2008 album "Life,Death,Love And Freedom" has a very folksy blues feel to it as most of the songs are about death and loneliness. Songs played from it included "Longest Days", "Dont Need This Body" and "Troubled Land" He still delivers each song like a mini story. Lots of great onstage banter between songs too. Oldies played included "To Washington","Rain On The Scarecrow","Small Town" and encore "Pink Houses" all had the crowd singing along.A great set and hopefully the audiences plea to come back soon to the UK for a full tour will be answered................then a mad dash over to 9.30pm.Glen Matlock live At Filthys At The Red Lion,Twickenham,Middlesex.This was Glens first solo show since the very successful Sex Pistols summer tour.Its a lowkey gig for the owner of the pub who like Glen is a massive Small Faces fan.Its another really great acoustic set.For 60 mins Glen mixes solo material with covers and Sex Pistols/Rich Kids classics.Set inc "Burning Sounds","Yeah Right","Steppin Stone","White Knuckle Ride","Ghosts Of Princes And Towers", "Ambition","Debris","On Something","Sad Meal For One" and "All Or Nothing".The two encores were stunning with the entire crowd singing along loudly for "Pretty Vacant" and then he was joined by JC from The Members to sing "Sound Of The Suburbs".In the new year Glen will be bringing out an album featuring the best tracks from his three solo albums remixed............... Well the news is in www.raysgigs.com came 46th in the www.btdma.com Top 100 Best Music Blogs. Thanks to everyone that voted.I love you all.... 07 Oct 2008.BMI Awards Feat Bryan Ferry At The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London.A lovely evening for just 280 people in one of the UKs poshest hotels to celebrate mainly successful UK composers in America.7pm to 815pm is the champers reception then 8.15pm to 9.45pm its a lovely three course dinner with wines.We are sitting to a nice chap called Richard Kerr.He has written music to lots of lyrics inc three by Barry Manilow "Looks Like We Made It","Somewhere In The Night" and the amazing piano on Barry's mega hit "Mandy".Richard openly told us that one song more or less paid for his house.Then 9.45pm to 11pm about 20 awards given out mainly to writers you have never heard of but hugely successful. Very interesting which songs have been massive in America by UK acts.Some big winners were Beyonces "Irreplaceable" with two awards and KT Tunstall "Suddenly I See" which also won two. Also some awards for multi million radio plays with the biggest being 7 million plays for Rolling Stones "I Cant Get No Satisfaction" and Eric Claptons "Layla".Faces here inc Lily Allen who picked up an award for "Smile" and both members of Roxette who got an award for 4 million plays of "Listen To Your Heart".Also here to support the main winner Bryan Ferry was Brian Eno,Phil Manzernera and Paul Thompson.Bryan Ferry got a full standing ovation.They showed a fantastic 15 mins of great songs on the screen dating back to that stunning 1972 Top Of The Pops performance of "Virginia Plain".He gave a speech that was quite emotional but it went on a little bit longer than it should of.Bryan said "Sorry if i am repeating myself but i have had a few glasses of wine".He is a bonafide legend so will let him off.11pm to midnight more drinks.A really great night.See www.bmi.com/awards for the full list of songs and composers .. 06 Oct 2008.Q Music Mag Awards At The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London.Noon to 5pm.Always a big turnout of great current acts and some older legendary acts.Get to venue just after midday for 75 mins of freebie cocktails.Had a nice chat with Kaiser Chiefs and Fran Healy but a lot of the acts turn up and skip this.Then into main room for the awards from 1.15pm to 2.45pm where 450 are seated and 50 are standing.This year Alan Carr has replaced Jonathan Ross.He was ok but nobody can touch Jonathan Ross really for sharpness.Those here inc David Gilmour,Adam Ant,Roger Daltrey,Grace Jones,Coldplay,Kaiser Chiefs,Keane,Sugababes,Fran Healy from Travis,Kelly Jones from Stereophonics, Sharleen Spiteri,Michael and Emily Eavis,Goeff Travis from Rough Trade,Cerys Matthews,James Walsh from Starsailor,Phil Manzernera,The Last Shadow Puppets,Vampire Weekend,Fratellis,John Mellencamp,comedian Al Murray,Meat Loaf,Cocteau Twins,Glen Campbell,Kimberley Stewart,Massive Attack,Tom Jones.Of the 15 awards it was great to see John Mellencamp on a very rare UK visit win Best Songwiter.Meat Loaf picked up his award but looked unwell and unsteady on his feet. Cocteau Twins won The Inspiration Award.Glen Campbell won the Legend Award.Kaiser Chiefs won Best Live Act.Coldplay won Best Album and Best Band In The World.Massive Attack won an award. Great to see Adam Ant who picked up The Icon Award.He gave an emotional speech as he has suffered health problems over the last few years. David Gilmour won The Outstanding Contribution Award and dedicated the award to Richard Wright in a moving speech.Then we had a lovely 3 course meal and more cocktails until about 5pm.Great. See aftershow page for this event................ 04 Oct 2008.The Secret Policemans Ball live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.A big comedy event for Amnesty International that was shown live at selected cinemas in the UK,USA and Canada.Two sets lasting over three hours in total.The usual mix of very good and very average.Acts did between 5 mins and 20 mins each.Opening with a funny Frank Skinner then Ed Byrne then Alan Carr was good then Graham Norton.Ross Kemp introduced Mitchell And Webb.Also a few acts whose name i missed.Razorlight opened the second half with two songs "Before I Fall To Pieces" and a new one.Russell Howard went down well.Then Edinburgh Festival Best Newcomer Sarah Milligan was very funny.Sean Lock was good.Eddie Izzard was on last but i did not rate his routine that much at all.A fun evening overall.Highlights on Channel 4 tv 9pm Sunday .............. 03 Oct 2008.Dragonforce + Turisas live at The Astoria,London.This was the first of two Astoria Dragonforce shows who are on a huge world tour promoting their new album "Ultra Beatdown".On their last tour i saw Swiss rock legends Krokus with them and tonight they have another decent support called Turisas who are Finnish viking metal and are in the Gwar,Lordi OTT style of dress with full viking outfits and warpaint.Good fun with "Battle Metal" and "To Holmgard And Beyond" and their mad version of "Rasputin".Even though they are rarely on tv or radio Dragonforce have built up a very loyal fanbase for their speed/power metal songs that all seem to last 7 or 8 mins or more.The stage production is amazing as they have squeezed everything bar the kitchen sink in here.Walkways,stairways,drum riser,keyboard riser,video screen,podiums and even two mini trampolines.It works wonders.A set lasting 1 hour 50 mins inc ""Heroes Of Our Time", "Reasons To Live","Soldiers Of The Wasteland" and "The Last Journey Home".Loads of superfast guitar playing and great encores of "Valley Of The Damned" and the crowd went mental for "Through The Fire And Flames" which was voted the hardest song to play on Guitar Hero 3.A very enjoyable double bill tonight 02 Oct 2008.A busy night with three good events. 7pm to 8.30pm.Opening night launch for new Swiss Vegetarian restaurant Tibits in Heddon Street,off Regent Street.A big turnout here with lots of champers,pimms and a huge buffet for all.Saw Martin Fry from ABC here.Nice goody bag with a vouchers for a full dinner for two here at a later date.www.tibits.co.uk.......then on to The Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury for menswear fashion label DS Dundees "A Return To Heritage" bash.www.dsdundee.com. Had a couple of cocktails and they gave us a lovely presentation box full of stuff.......then on to Harrods for launch of menswear label "Form".Those here inc Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and his family and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.Lots of champers flowing and tasty treats.A posh young crowd.A great night .......... 01 Oct 2008.A busy night with three good events. 5.30pm to 7pm.MTV Autumn Schedule Launch Party, Home House,Portman Square.Lovely old venue with big rooms and high ceilings.Champers and canopes are flowing nicely.We get a screening of some big events for MTV in the future with the MTV Europe Awards in Liverpool on November 6 and they are showing Oasis live from Wembley Arena on Oct 16.Amongst other items is "Whole Again" where Kerry Katona tries to rectify her boob job.The clip of Kerrys saggy boobs was enough to put me off me grub.Nice goody bag of tshirts,dvds and cds.....then 7.30pm to 10pm was Company Magazine 30th Anniversary Party at Proud Gallery,Camden. Lots of lovely looking women here making up 80% of the crowd.Great atmosphere.Lots of cocktails and canopes flowing and proper birthday cake. Lots of nice treats here for the girls with free haicuts and makeovers.A fun photo booth.Sophie Ellis Bextor and her hubby are the celeb djs. Huge goody bag of girly stuff at the end........ then 10.30pm to midnight The BT Digital Music Awards afterparty at The Roundhouse,Camden.Missed all the dinner and awards.Acts that played or collected awards inc British Sea Power,Ida Maria,Basshunter,Fightstar,Beardyman and Iglu And Hartly.Lots of record company people here.Had a couple of glasses of wine.See www.btdma.com for full results which will also eventually mention where www.raysgigs.com came in Best Music Blog.A great night ..... Judas Priest + Megadeth + Testament play a UK package tour with the London date at Wembley Arena on Sat 21 Feb 2009.Tickets are 37.50 from www.livenation.co.uk ......... Spizz Energi + The Priscillas play The Inn On The Green,near Ladbroke Grove tube on Oct 16. Tickets are 10 quid for an 8pm start............. 30 Sept 2008.Stevie Wonder live at The 02 Arena, London.Stevie back in London for his third of four shows at this venue.Its another long set of some 2 hours 15 mins.I have seen him twice before this year at The 02 Arena and at that amazing secret gig in Greenwich where i had a front row standing and yet again the set is three or four songs different to the other shows.Again he got a standing ovation when he came on stage.The first hour probably had too many newer songs for this crowd that wanted to hear the hits but there were so many great songs here tonight from this Motown legend inc "Master Blaster","Higher Ground","Dont You Worry About A Thing","Living For The City","Part Time Lover","Lately","My Cherie Amour" and for "Signed,Sealed Delivered" (Im Yours) he was joined by Joss Stone on fine vocals.Also "Sir Duke","I Wish","Isn't She Lovely","You Are The Sunshine Of My Life","I Just Called To Say I Love You","Superstition" and "Always".Another great Stevie show............... 29 Sept 2008.7pm.Wired Desire live at The Fly, 36 New Oxford Street,London.A very healthy buzz going around for this young rock band from Glasgow.Fresh from supporting rock legends Nazareth on their last UK tour they played a really good 45 mins of solid rock with hints of AC/DC,Aerosmith and Guns n Roses.Loads of great guitar riffs and uptempo rock n roll just how i like it.Setlist included "No One Sleeps","The Hard Stuff","Badlands" and "Dirty Addiction". While the current market seems to want third rate indie jangly guitar bands i was speaking to a couple of the boys in the band and they were more than ready to fight their way up the rock n roll ladder to bigger things.Their EP "Barely Illegal" is available from next week. Wired Desire play tonight(Tues)at The Metro,19 Oxford Street,London.6 quid adm.For more info check the bands website www.wireddesire.co.uk.... .....then 8.30pm a quick dash to see Siouxsie at Koko,Camden for the last show of her "Mantaray" world tour.This really was the mother of all Siouxsie gigs.I had seen a few of the summer shows with sets lasting 90 mins at most but tonight we get a full two hour show over two sets of 50 mins and 70 mins.She looks better than ever and her outfits are all stunning.The first set had her in a gold catsuit.So many great aongs inc "Hong Kong Garden","Christine"(she wore a tutu for this one),"Happy House","Into A Swan".She highkicks away and is more sex kitten than her ice queen of old.For the second half she wears her silver and black catsuit that KISS Ace Frehley could wear with pride.More gems inc "Israel","Arabian Knights","Here Comes That Day", a cover of The Doors "Hello I Love You" then a totally mesmerising "Nightshift" then a cover of Nancy Sinatras "These Boots Were Made For Walking" and then a superb "Spellbound". Fab encores inc "Nicotine Stain","Cish Cash" and another outfit change as Siouxsie put on a huge black feathered number for "Into A Swan"(Reprise).This really was a top quality gig. Saw a few faces here inc Boy George,Pam Hogg and me old mate Spizz Energi.The whole show was filmed but not sure if its DVD or for TV......... Thanks to everyone who voted for this website in the BT Digital Music Awards.The results should be known in early October .... Manraze the band featuring Paul Cook from Sex Pistols and Phil Collen from Def Leppard play a few club shows in December. 3rd = Manchester, 4th = Birmingham,8th = Barfly,Camden and 9th = Water Rats,Kings Cross..........The Zombies perform their classic 1968 album "Odessey And Oracle" for the very last time at Hammersmith Apollo on 25 April 2009.....The Killers play a one off show at The Royal Albert Hall on 03 November......ray@raysgigs.com