Archive: February 2008

February 27, 2008

26 Feb 2008.The Cult live at The 100 Club,London. Secret gig for only 250 fans in this legendary small club venue.This is what gigs are all about.A great rock band playing in a tiny venue in your face.The Cult played for 85 mins and again changed the setlist by 2 or 3 songs. The atmosphere here was just amazing as they rocked through "Spiritwalker","Lil Devil","Rain", "Peace Dog","Dirty Little Rockstar","Wildflower" and a superb "She Sells Sanctuary".As they are big Sex Pistols fans and The Pistols made this venue famous they sneaked in a couple of Pistols lyrics in.Brilliant encores of "Dreamtime" and "Love Removal Machine" sealed a great night. In the crowd tonight were Ray McViegh(ex Professionals),James Stevenson(currently with The Alarm) and Mani (currently with Primal Scream) .. 25 Feb 2008.The Eels + Eels Film live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.First up we have an hour long film where E talks about his life and his family which is both funny and sad.The Eels were in 1997 the first band i ever reviewed for my local paper when their brilliant album "Beautiful Freak " came out.Just the two of them on stage swopping between piano,guitar and drums with a neat White Stripes feel to it.Its been a busy time for them with two albums out "Meet The Eels" and "Useless Trinkets" and E has had his best selling autobiography out too.Its a great start as they introduce HRH The Queen who is in the Royal Box.It was a lookalike but it went down well.Singer E is cool and laid back to say the least or even nerdy but he does write some amazing songs.The 90 mins set inc "Its A Motherfucker","I Like Birds" and E even read out fanmail and gig reviews before his stage chum read some bits from Es book. Also played was "Jeanies Diary","Last Stop This Town" and the superb hit "Novocaine For The Soul".E just does his own thing and this sell out crowd loved it... ......... 24 Feb 2008.The Cult live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.Back again to see The Cult for the last of their 3 shows here.Not as rammed tonight as Friday but its another great 85 mins set. A nice touch was they changed the set by a couple of songs.Opener "Spiritwalker" was not played on Friday and tonight they left out "Sweet Soul Sister".All the other rock gems are here inc "Rain","Lil Devil","Peace Dog", "Edie","Fire Woman"."Dirty Little Rockstar", "Wildflower" and again "She Sells Sanctuary" was superb.Billy Duffys brilliant guitar power chord riffing is just spot on.Encores inc "Love Removal Machine".Another rockin show . 22 Feb 2008.The Cult + Theatre Of Hate live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.This was the first of 3 shows here by The Cult to promote recent album "Born Into This".Up first for opening night only are Theatre Of Hate who are old friends of the band.While i like Kirk Brandon tonights show seemed a bit unrehearsed and wooden but it was nice to see Billy Duffy come on at the end for "Westworld".The place is rammed solid for The Cult who play an excellent 85 mins set. Loads of old classics mixed in with a few from new album.Billy Duffys guitar riffs are just superb as the set inc "Lil Devil","Sweet Soul Sister","Rain","Peace Dog","Edie","Fire Woman", "Dirty Little Rockstar","Wildflower" and venue went bonkers for the mega "She Sells Sanctuary". Ian Astbury in his "Cash From Chaos " t shirt still looks a real rock star.Encores inc "Born Into This" and "Love Removal Machine".Great gig. See aftershow page for this show................ 20 Feb 2008.The BRIT AWARDS at Earls Court Arena, London.The UKs biggest music awards show by far. 5.30pm to 6.30pm is drinks reception then 6.30pm to 8pm is a 3 course dinner for 3000 or so music biz folks.No dinner for us this year but we are in the media area where the artists walk through for photos and short interviews.A few of the big names presenting or playing came by and we also see James Blunt,Lulu,Atomic Kitten,Paul Young, and the real gent that is comedian Peter Kay, Huey from Fun Loving Criminals etc.8pm to 10.15pm we are in the main Block A vip area with Rhianna, Take That,Arctic Monkeys.Girls Aloud and Amy Winehouse parents just feet away from us and its a real buzz.Live we get Mika with Beth Ditto, then Rhianna with Klaxons,Kylie Minogue,Kaiser Chiefs play "Ruby"(the most played track on UK radio in 2007),then Leona Lewis,then Mark Ronson with Adele,Daniel Merriweather and Amy Winehouse, then Amy Winehouse sung a song on her own then easily the highlight of the evening Paul McCartney plays five songs "Dance Tonight","Live And Let Die"(complete with loads of explosions and fireworks),"Hey Jude","Lady Madonna" and "Get Back".The Osbournes were the hosts but they were out of their depth.They should get Jonathan Ross who always delivers at awards. Main winners were Take That,Foo Fighters and Arctic Monkeys who all won two awards each. See aftershow page for this event................ 17 Feb 2008.Total Production Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London.Very interesting event which awards those that work in the background in live music.About 800 guests are here in the main great room .7pm to 8pm = champers reception then 8pm to 10pm = 3 course meal in this lovely 5 star hotel then 10pm to 11pm Never Mind The Buzzcocks host Simon Amstell gives out the 20 awards which inc Production Manager of The Year,Tour Manager Of The Year(won by Kaiser Chiefs),Rigger Of The Year,Front Of House Engineer Of The Year,Best Venue(won by 02 Arena),Best Security(won by Showsec),Best Catering(won by Eat To The Beat),Best Production Of The Year (won by Genesis and picked up by Mike Rutherford),Best Trucking Company (won by Rock-It Cargo),Lifetime Contribution (won by Mark Fisher who has been involved with many stadium tours by Rolling Stones,Pink Floyd,U2 and many more),Editors Award(won by Harvey Goldsmith for Led Zeppelin at 02 Arena and they showed some footage of the show).Had a nice chat to Paul McCartneys keyboard player who said just two days of rehearsing Mon and Tues for The BRIT AWARDS short set on Wed.Then 11pm to midnight drinks with a few faces i knew here. A nice event ................ 16 Feb 2008.Smashing Pumpkins live at The 02 Arena,London.I have never been a big fan of Smashing Pumpkins but i do like the way they just do their own thing and can still play massive shows for their loyal fans.Billy Corgan arrives on stage dressed in a shiny skirt.The light show is minimal and coupled with no video screens means its hard to make the band out. The music can be a bit too intense and self indulgent for me and i do not really like Billy Corgans voice.A long set of 2 hours 30 mins was hard work at times. They are still promoting last years " Zeitgeist" album and the recent "American Gothic" EP. Setlist inc "Tonight","Today","Drown" and "1979" and neat covers of Uriah Heeps "Easy Livin'" and encore of Echo And The Bunnymens "Sugar Kisses".A decent show but i preferred Godfathers and Nazareth to this overall to be honest. See aftershow page for this show................. 15 Feb 2008.Nazareth live at The Islington Academy,London.Scottish rock legends back in London as part of a huge world tour to promote their new album " The Newz".Incredibly this is their 40th anniversary year.Still with two original members in the band with Dan on vocals still having that amazing rasping blues rock voice of his.The 75 mins set was well paced with loads of older classics mixed in with new album tracks which all went down great. Setlist inc "Razzamanaz","This Flight Tonight", "My White Bicycle","Big Boy"(the Zal Cleminson track),my fave track from the new album "Enough Love","Bad Bad Boy","Love Hurts","Hair Of The Dog" and "Expect No Mercy".Encore of another gem "Broken Down Angel" finished off an excellent show.See www.nazarethdirect.co.uk as they still have a few UK dates to play .. The Coral release another great single "Put The Sun Back" this week from their excellent "Roots And Echoes" album ............ 14 Feb 2008.The Godfathers + The Bishops live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.The Bishops did an ok set of powerpop.I was really looking forward the The Godfathers.Their first UK show for about 8 years and the first for about 18 years with this original line up.I have seen them over 20 times since i witnessed their signing on showcase for EPIC way back in 1987.The 85 mins set was superb.Catchy rock and roll with great lyrics and great guitar riffs.Setlist inc the stunning opener "I Want Everything","Cause I Said So","She Gives Me Love","If I Only Had Time"."Those Days Are Over","Love Is Dead","Obsession","When Am I Coming Down","Cold Turkey" and excellent versions of " This Damn Nation" and "Birth School Work Death".Encores of The Sex Pistols "Anarchy In The UK" and Ramones "Blitzkreig Bop" sealed a really brilliant show.Come back soon pleaseeeeeeeeeee.The anniversary edition of the album "Hit By Hit" is out now with 29 tracks over two cds.............. 12 Feb 2008.Launch Party For Vivienne Westwoods OPUS book at The Serpentine Gallery,London from 7pm to 10pm.Massive party for this fashion icon. Faces here inc Glen Matlock,Ten Pole Tudor,Erin OConnor ,Skin and a few others.A great looking crowd and lots of cocktails and canopes flowing. The massive book weighs 25 kilos and has a limited run of 900 copies at a whopping 1400 quid each so only for the real collectors then. Vivienne gave a nice speech as well.....then 10.30pm to 1.30am we headed up the road to the Westway Tent ,near Latimer Road,West London for the biggest party of London Fashion Week which is hosted by Elle.Lots of celebs here earlier for the awards but most have left by the time we get here.About 1000 people here with more cocktails, djs and a very lively trendy crowd.Huge goody bag here too even though it was mainly girlie items in it as per usual ..... www.childlinerocks.co.uk hold a special one off show at 02 Indigo on Thursday 13 March feat Marillion,The Coral,The Zombies,Fish,Thunder, Ian Paice,Glenn Hughes and many more.Its a charity show so all proceeds to a great cause. Check the website for full info and tix.......... Eric Burdon and War play their first show since 1971 at The Royal Albert Hall on 21 April 2008. Tickets from www.livenation.co.uk or the box office on 0207 589 8212 ...... Exclusive news that ex KISS guitar legend Ace Frehley will play a rare show at The Astoria on Friday 11 April 2008.Tix are 20 quid.......... 07 Feb 2008.6.30pm to 9pm. Launch party for new private members club "One Alfred Place" London WC1.It has cost a few million and taken two years to complete so that it can rival the likes of Soho House and The Groucho Club for trendy media folks. Hidden away you get the lift to the second floor where they have converted the entire space .About 100 people here but it could easily hold 300 or 400.This club is backed by members of Pink Floyd and Genesis and a few are here tonight Nick Mason,Tony Banks,Mike Rutherford and Richard Wright but i did not see Phil Collins although he was down to turn up.The drinks are flowing and the tasty grub inc Scotch Quail Eggs is top notch.We get a tour of the building and i do an interview for their inhouse podcast.Needless to say membership is steep at about 1000 quid a year. More info check www.onealfredplace.com........... 05 Feb 2008.Press launch party for the "Kylie At Home" bed linen collections at Ladbroke Hall, London W10.5pm to 7pm.About 200 people here in this lovely old building that is now a photography studio.Champers and canopes for an hour then we are led into second room where there are seven beds all covered in Kylie designs. Kylie herself is here in a lovely puffy dress and talks for 10 mins about the collection.It is in big shops like Debenhams and House Of Fraser from next month.She already has her own lingerie and perfume. Huge goody bag of a complete set of duvet covers,pillow case covers,luxury towels and other stuff................then off to The Chinese New Year Party At The Mandarin Hotel in Knightsbridge.7.30pm to 9.30pm.Lovely 5 star hotel that acts like Aerosmith and Bon Jovi stay at when in London.Lots of champers and very tasty treats to eat along with chinese music, dancing,palm reading etc.A few faces here inc Henry Kelly,Andrew ONeill and Alan Whicker who told us he leaves next week to record more travel progs on places he first visited 50 years ago like Hong Kong and San Francisco............ Download Festival headliners have been confirmed with Fri 13 June = Lostprophets ,Sat 14 June = KISS,Sun 15 June = Offspring .Special guests will inc Judas Priest and Motorhead.This poses a problem for me as i love KISS but its the same day as Sex Pistols at Isle Of Wight.Hopefully both will add more European shows so maybe a trek to Paris or Amsterdam is coming up for me ....... 03 Feb 2008.Cirque Du Soleil-Varekai live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Over the last few years this "circus for posh folks" plays 6 weeks of shows over Jan and Feb at this venue.The show is two sets of about an hour each.Great costumes, bright colours and some europop muzak in the background.Trapeze acts,clowns,balancing acts, aerial displays,gymnastic skills etc .All of the highest quality with the guys lying on their backs spinning grown adults with their feet as if they were beachballs just jaw dropping.They also play matinee shows at the weekend.Very good. Its on until 17 Feb 2008.Box office is 0207 589 8212 ..... 02 Feb 2008.Great White live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London. Californian blues rockers play their first London show since that tragic night in 2003 where a fire broke out at an American club show of theirs that claimed around 100 lives.They have sold over 6 million albums but were never massive in the UK although i did see them as support to David Lee Roth at Hammy Odeon in 1988.A big venue for them to play but all 3 top levels were unsold and closed.Its simple t shirts and jeans basic rock and roll with the 2 hour setlist inc "Desert Moon","Face The Day", "Back To The Rhythm","On Your Knees" and "Save Your Love".The middle 30 mins plodded and was a bit boring as they sung solo album material. Then back to normal with "Rock Me" and encores inc Led Zeps "No Quarter","Cant Shake It" and their hit of the Ian Hunter track "Once Bitten Twice Shy".Good to see them still rockin......... ..........Lenny Kravitz will play a one uk show at Koko,Camden on Feb 19 to promote his new album.Tix 35 quid............. 29 Jan 2008.The 12th South Bank Awards At The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane, London.noon to 4.30pm.Excellent afternoon in this 5 star hotel where a host of well known faces from music,film, theatre,tv,comedy etc are here.Noon to 1pm is champers and Godiva chocs reception then 1pm to 2pm is the 3 course lunch with wines.We are moved from the back to front left to take up a couple of empty spaces on The Times Breakthrough Table next to Indian Pop Princess Bishi.Check out her website www.bishi.co.uk (ITV who were filming it do not like empty chairs and empty spaces so it looks good for the showing this Sunday at 10.40pm).About 500 people are here on 50 tables of 10.Kevin Spacey is on our table and makes a point of introducing himself to everyone and is really nice.Awards are 2pm to 3.30pm and are hosted by Melvyn Bragg.Others here inc Ronnie Wood,Arctic Monkeys,Damon Albarn, Ronnie Corbett,Alan Carr,Alan Davies,Michael Ball,Tracey Emin,June Whitfield,Christopher Biggins,Jack Dee,Patrick Stewart,Julien Lloyd Webber,Robert Carlyle,Matt Willis,Kelly Osbourne, Martine McClutchen,Rob Drydon,Vic Reeves,Alison Steadman,Alicia Dixon,Clive James,stars from Shameless,Maureen Lipman.Richard Attenborough, JK Rowling.Also we got one song each by Andrea Bocelli and Westlife.Arctic Monkeys won best Pop Music Award,Jennifer Pike won The Times Breakthrough Award and Richard Attenborough presented the main one Outstanding Achievement In The Arts to JK Rowling whose Harry Potter books have now sold over 400 million.Had a nice chat with Ronnie Wood,Vic Reeves and the Shameless guys and more drinks for an hour after the awards at the venue.A quality event for sure. Great goodie bag of cds,dvds,books and stuff was given to all the guests as well............