Archive: May 2008

May 04, 2008

04 May 2008.QPR 0 West Brom 2.Not music relared but just an end of season summary.I have been to most of QPRs home games this season.Today was a sell out crowd of 18,300.Great atmosphere with most of West Brom fans in fancy dress costumes. West Brom were the better team and deserved the win.They got presented with the Championship Trophy at the end of the game.QPR team then did a lap of honour with their new moneybags owners so with a bit of luck we could be promoted next year.We shall see ........... 01 May 2008.Matchbox Twenty + Headway live at Wembley Arena,London.The first thing i think of when i walk to the venue is that this is only my second gig here this year because The 02 Arena has taken most of the bands that would normally play here.Support Headway play a decent 30 mins of catchy rock to promote their "The Start" EP. See www.myspace.com/headway......despite selling 28 million albums worldwide Matchbox Twenty have pretty much zero credibility in the UK.The venue is not sold out but its impressive that there is some 7500 fans here for a band who have been quiet for a few years.They play a 1 hour 50 mins set to promote their new album "Exile On Mainstream" which has six new tracks and ten greatest hits.Lots of females here mainly due to singer Rob Thomas.Setlist inc "Real World","3am", "Bent","If Youre Gone","All Your Reasons","Long Day" and then the guitarist went for a walkabout into the crowd.Nice use of the giant screen for images and live footage.Encores of "Im Not Crazy" and "Push" finished off a neat set of feel good rock.Much better than expected......... 27 Apr 2008.2pm to 7pm.Love Music Hate Racism Carnival feat The Good The Bad And The Queen + Drew McConnell And Friends + Hard Fi live at Victoria Park,Hackney,London.This event was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary Rock Against Racism show from 30 April 1978 which The Clash headlined and i attended.Its a free gig but its set out like a proper festival with only one entrance and security checks making sure no booze is taken inside.Hard Fi play a 40 mins set of hits inc "Hard To Beat", "Television","Cash Machine" and "Living For The Weekend" but the vocals are not loud enough.I then get my AAA pink wristband which gets me into the hospitality tent backstage for free food and drinks.Carl Barat is here then MP Ken Livingstone turns up and gets more attention from the press than all the acts put together. I watch Drew(Babyshambles)McConnell And Friends from on the stage as they invite guests up inc The View and the highlight of the day for me as two faces from the 1978 show do a turn.First its Poly Styrene singing "Oh Bondage Up Yours" then Jimmy Pursey singing "White Riot".Great stuff.Then back to the hospitality tent as the headliners take to the stage 30 mins late. Watch it from on the stage again as The Good The Bad And The Queen play a 50 mins set inc "Kingdom Of Doom","Three Changes" and "Herculean".They have a brass section with them. I like the way they go about their career but i still cannot really get into their music.It still sounds like unfinished demos.They finish off with a cover of "Ghost Town" joined by Jerry Dammers and a loads of other singers.The event was bigger than the acts today............. Steve Winwood plays a one off show at The Scala on May 19 inbetween American tour dates.Tickets are 25 quid.The show is to promote new single "Dirty City" and new album "Nine Lives".......... 24 Apr 2008.Sex Pistols Experience live at The 100 Club,London.The UKs number one Pistols tribute act back at The 100 Club.I have said it before but this band really are fantastic.A full 90 mins set of Pistols classics with the Sid and Johnny looking and acting the part and the guitar riffs are perfect and the overall sound is spot on.What a setlist."Pretty Vacant", "Seventeen","New York","No Feelings","I Wanna Be Me","Did You No Wrong","Steppin Stone", "Holidays In The Sun","Liar","EMI","Submission", "Belsen Was A Gas","Bodies","Problems","Substitute","God Save The Queen","Anarchy In The UK","Something Else", "Cmon Everybody","Silly Thing" and "My Way". Chaos down the front for superb encores of "No Fun " and "Public Image".An excellent show. Check www.sexpistolsexperience.co.uk............. 23 Apr 2008.Saxon live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Before this show i was at the trendy Cobden Club in Labroke Grove for the launch party for Mark E Smith(The Fall) book "Renegade".The booze and canopes are flowing. Mark E Smith arrives late and leaves early and does not seem to want to be here.....then off to see Saxon who play for nearly two hours.Its St Georges Day so lots of red and white flags. Most of the setlist tonight has been chosen by fans on websites and Metal Hammer mag.The sound from start to finish is way too loud with so much distortion,fuzz and generally too messy. Opening with "Princess Of The Night" was great but then the next hour was full of weaker samey tracks that blurred into eachother due to the poor sound quality.Later on it got much better with "Ive Got To Rock To Stay Alive" and "And The Bands Played On".Also the encores were good "747(Strangers In The Night","Denim And Leather" and "Crusader" but this was not one of their better shows.The band said on stage they have been added to Download Festival and will support Motorhead on their UK winter tour........ Def Leppard play a small club gig to launch their new album on May 6 at The Islington Academy .. Friday 13 June Download Festival at Donington gets better and better.The line up now includes KISS + Judas Priest + Motorhead + Kid Rock....... 21 Apr 2008.Russian Rhapsody at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London.One of the biggest nights in the Russian calender.Over 700 here for this black tie event.Champers reception followed by a 30 mins performance by The London Philharmonic Orchestra then a lovely 5 course meal with herb roasted quail for the main course. Faces here inc HRH The Duke Of Kent,Bryan Ferry, top celeb hairdresser Nicky Clarke and trendy jeweller Stephen Webster....and at midnight we nipped over to the afterparty at The Roof Gardens,Kensington for a couple of hours.A very posh night and very good .... 18 Apr 2008.Goldfrapp live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.Its a great start as there are some 20 people on stage dressed in white robes and clothing inc a 12 piece orchestra.The first half of the 85 mins is the mainly quieter tracks inc "A+E" and "You Never Know". They play a few from the new "Seventh Tree" album.Then everyone gets up for "Number 1" and "Strict Machine". Encores were "Ohh La La" where Alison looked and sung like Marc Bolans lovechild then "Caravan Girl" and "Clowns" before it went all very Polyphonic Spree for the superb new single "Happiness" with the choir singing and bodies a swinging.The crowd at the front were all given Kazoos to get in the party spirit.Alison was superb all night on vocals.A great show.......... 17 Apr 2008.James live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.James may not be the current flavour but their loyal fans sold this show out in one day. James have quietly sold over 12 million albums. Opening with a brilliant oldie "Born Of Frustration" the band played a two hour set which inc 8 or 9 tracks from new album "Hey Ma" that went down well.Another gem "Come Home" was great as Tim Booth wandered into the stalls to sing it.Any song the crowd knew the lyrics for signalled a mass singalong inc "Shes A Star" and "Tomorrow".Tim Booth still has that jerky dancing style that i love.Encores were "Johnny Yen","Upside Downside" and a mega "Sometimes". Not as good as their greatest hits comeback gig at Brixton last year but still very good. James return for another UK tour later in the year inc two shows at Brixton Academy............ 16 Apr 2008.The Krak live at The Orchid Club, Coventry Street, London W1.This was a lavish party to launch this new club that used to be called The CC Club.The freebie Mojito and Black Monk cocktails and canopes are flowing all night to put everyone in the party mood.Celeb dj Jodie Harsh is spinning the tracks and we have up and coming band The Krak play live.They feature members of all girl band Suffrajets who i saw a couple of times.The band are all really enjoying themselves on stage.The 45 mins set is a nice mix of indie ska .Tracks played inc "Dont Stop","Madame Riviere" and "You Know I Know Best".Check out www.myspace.com/thekrak. The blonde female twins from the last Big Brother were here and it was a decent night.............. Mon 14 April sees the new release from Canadian Rock Legends Rush. A superb 27 track double cd "Snakes And Arrows Live" recorded Oct 2007 from their Rotterdam show.Loads of great tracks old and new on it inc "Workin' Them Angels", "The Spirit Of Radio" and "Tom Sawyer".For a full track listing and more info on the band check out their website www.rush.com ... Phil from www.sex-pistols.net has done another great feature on a classic Sex Pistols single. Its "Pretty Vacant" with all the different worldwide releases and sleeves.Check out the New Zealand 7" of "Pretty Vacant".Top right is my face from a 1976 Sex Pistols gig................. 14 Apr 2008.Bjork live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.This was the first of three sell out shows at this venue from this Icelandic icon. She last played the UK in 2003 i think. The stage production is very impressinve as there is loads of lasers every other song,flames,huge flags, plasma screens around the stage and a full 10 or 12 piece brass band in full colour outfits. Bjork also included a couple of confetti showers. Bjork is still amazing to look at as she skips and twirls across the stage without shoes and with that amazing singing voice and the very cute and funny talking voice. The 90 mins set had a lot of tracks from the recent "Volta" album.Antony Hegarty joined her for "The Dull Flame Of Desire"."Army Of Me" was superb and a tunes like "Jola" had the lasers to full effect.The uptempo songs nearer the end gave it a dance rave feel and it was a good show......... 13 Apr 2008.The Who + Joan Armatrading + David Gray + Newton Faulkner live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.The acoustic finale of the TCT shows at this venue.The four acts all played short sets of 25 to 35 mins.Up first we have Newton Faulkner.He has done well to have got a Top 10 album but he is sooooooooo boring.Next up is David Gray who at least has some fun banter between songs.His set inc "The One I Love" , "The Other Side" and "Babylon".Nice to see Joan Armatrading has brought a full band and she plays electric guitar and a few songs from her last album that was blues based.She sneaks in a couple of oldies at the end "Love And Affection" and "Me Myself I".The Who(well Roger And Pete) arrive on stage at a late 11.05pm which means as its a sunday night people are leaving early if they have tube connections.Some not even staying for any of The Whos set.They play six songs old and new in a 30 mins set "Lets See Action","Behind Blue Eyes","Two Thousand Years", "Mike Post Theme","Wont Get Fooled Again" and "Tea And Theatre".Always good to see this legendary band but they are better with a full band.Overall an average kind of night............ 12 Apr 2008.Muse live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.No surprise this was the hottest ticket of TCT week at this venue as Muse sold out two nights at Wembley Stadium last year and this is a now a small gig for them.They bring a decent stage show with them for the 95 mins set.Its floor standing so the front is a squashed pit with a great atmosphere just like Ace Frehley yesterday.Each song was greeted by huge cheers. They were introduced by host Roger Daltrey. They really rock out great as a band even though i do not really like Matt Bellamys vocal style. Tracks played inc "Take A Bow","Feeling Good", "Fury And Bliss","Supermassive Black Hole". About 20 giant white balloons dropped from the ceiling then into "Time Is Running Out" and encores "Meglomania" with Matt playing the venues giant organ behind the stage then a super "Plug In Baby" and then the last song a very rocking "Knights Of Cydonia" was great.Very good......... 11 Apr 2008.Ace Frehley + Tygertailz live at The Astoria,London.The support are very happy to be supporting one of their heroes.They finish off with "Love Bomb Baby" but are still a bit third rate rock.Being a massive KISS fan this show was a big deal for me and loads of other KISS fans who have come from all over Europe for Ace Frehleys first London solo show for 20 years.I was at that Hammersmith Odeon show in 1988.A great mix of solo material and KISS classics in the 1 hour 45 mins set.It was nice and loud and Ace had a rocking band half his age behind him.His trademark guitar stance and sunburst gibson les paul guitar are intact as he tears into "Rip It Out","Parasite","Snowblind", "Into The Void" then he brings his flashing guitar out for a superb "New York Groove" then its mega versions of "2000 Man" and "Shock Me" with smoke coming out of his guitar.Encores feat three KISS classics that left me with tingles down my spine and a tear in my eye "Deuce","Love Gun" and "Cold Gin" .What a really fantastic return from this rock legend.Ace has been added to the Download Festival in June that KISS are headlining so perhaps he may come on for a couple of songs with them??............. 10 Apr 2008.Paul Weller live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.7pm to 8.30pm Ended up missing support act Duffy as i overstayed at a book launch that was much better than expected that was held at the very posh Hotel Intercontinental off Park Lane, Mayfair. Cocktails,champers and tasty treats are flowing for this very posh crowd who surprisingly inc singer James Blunt and Nick Mason (Pink Floyd).The book by model turned socialite Lisa B is called "Lifestyle Essentials".She has also dabbled in music and sang on Malcolm McClarens track "Somethings Jumping In My Shirt" .....then off to RAH where Roger Daltrey introduces Paul Weller who is joined by Ocean Colour Scene mate Steve Cradock for a 90 mins acoustic set that featured loads of rarities and b sides for his many loyal fans.Setlist inc "Sweet Pea,My Sweet Pea","All On A Misty Morning","Wings Of Speed", "Liza Radley" then a superb "Butterfly Collector" then "Shadow Of The Sun".The end of the set only got mild applause probably due to the lack of better known tracks.Encores were good "I Wanna Make It Alright","Come On Lets Go". and brilliant versions of "You Do Something To Me" and "Thats Entertainment".So a good show but i prefer him with a full band 09 Apr 2008.Noel Fielding and guests at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Stand up comedy night at The RAH.Two sets lasting about 70 mins each. The first set was hosted by Noel who introduced 4 or 5 acts who varied from boring to good but really tonight everyone is here for Noel Fielding.I have told this story before.About 10 years ago i used to work with Noels dad so i saw some of Noels early pub gigs to 20 people but in the last 2 or 3 years since Noel and The Mighty Boosh have been on BBC tv he has become one of the hottest and biggest comedy acts out there.The second set started with Razorlight playing two songs "Fall To Pieces" and "America" then Noel did a full hour of great surreal stand up comedy for his loyal fans.The evening finished with the first ever performance of The Mighty Boosh Band playing 3 songs of electro madness that went down a storm. With his rock star looks and persona i can easily see them have an album out soon.A very good evening. The Mighty Boosh winter tour includes a staggering 6 nights at Brixton Academy and 2 nights at Wembley Arena.See you there for sure. See aftershow page for this event................ The Sex Pistols live at Brixton Academy dvd "They'll Always Be An England" complete with interviews with the band is out on Mon June 16 and there is rumours of a big screen premiere as the date coincides with The Pistols playing the Isle Of Wight Festival on 14 June 2008.......... 08 Apr 2008.Madness live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.This was the first of the six shows here for the annual Teenage Cancer Trust Charity. I first saw Madness in those great ska days of the late 1970s/ early 1980s and they are always a superb live band.You cannot keep still or sit down to Madness.Loads of hits in the 80 mins set inc "One Step Beyond","Embarrassment","The Prince","My Girl","Bed And Breakfast Man" then a couple of new tracks then more gems inc "House Of Fun","Wings Of A Dove","Baggy Trousers", "Our House","It Must Be Love" and encores of "Madness" and "Night Boat To Cairo".So much fun in those lyrics and always a pukka night out. Rumours that ska legends the Specials will reform with original members for live dates...... 07 Apr 2008.Launch party for The End Of Summer Berkeley Square Ball 2008 at Nobu,Berkeley Street,London.This is one of the top eating places in London and the cocktails and tasty food are flowing nicely.The main event takes place on 25 Sept 2008 with a 3 course meal along with djs,live acts and some celebs.James Brown played his last ever UK show there in 2006 and Tony Hadley Band played there last year.Faces here inc Vince Power who is promoting it along with Eddie Jordan ex Formula 1 boss,Radio 1 dj Edith Bowman, actor Damien Lewis and amazingly Formula 1 driver Jenson Button was here a mere 24 hours after racing in the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday. Tickets are 600 plus vat but profits go to The Princes Trust charity.www.bsquareb.co.uk......... 06 Apr 2008.Launch party for the new Jack The Ripper Experience at The London Dungeon,Tooley Street,London.I must admit i love the history of London over the years.This addition here tells the story of this legendary figure.The staff do a superb job of dressing up and really getting into their parts with a perfect mix of historical facts and theories alongside humour and entertaining the crowd.Yes they still have people jumping out of the darkness as you walk through.The sights and sounds are all here too. Whether you are a tourist or a Londoner its always great to come here for a couple of hours. Also here enoying it were some of the young chaps from Harry Potter,Skins and Eastenders. Staff were giving out free booze and food before and after the tour and a nice goody bag too. For info and to buy tickets check their website www.thedungeons.com .......... 05 Apr 2008. The Eagles live at The 02 Arena, London.This was the last night of their five shows at this venue and the last night of their european tour.It was the third time i had seen them on this tour.Again from the start the overall sound is perfect and the harmonies just superb.Again on stage for 2 hours 45 mins over two sets.Loads of great songs with highlights inc "Hotel California","Lyin Eyes","The Boys Of Summer","In The City", "Take It To The Limit","One Of These Nights", a mega version of "Lifes Been Good" with Joe Walsh on top form.Also great was "Dirty Laundry", "Life in The Fast Lane" and encores of "Take It Easy" and "Desperado".Sadly no "Rocky Mountain Way " like there was on the first night i saw them but still just an excellent total quality live show. We were sitting right of stage next to Gary Brooker fresh from last weeks court ruling where he retains all rights to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" and dj legend Nicky Horne who is now with digital station Planet Rock................. 04 Apr 2008.Beach Boys live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.The band were on stage a lengthy 2 hours 30 mins over two sets of 70 mins and 80 mins.The first set was mainly lesser known songs about girls,cars,surfin and having fun and the second set was mainly the well known songs about girls,cars,surfin and having fun.The band said they never do long sets like this in America as the crowds there only want the hits.Its not as good as seeing Brian Wilson but there are so many great tunes even though Mike Love does not put much effort into it and lets the backing guys sing a lot of them.We have a great view in fourth row from stage for gems inc "California Girls", "Sloop John B","Sail On Sailor","In My Room", "Disney Girls","God Only Knows","Help Me Rhonda", "Barbara Ann","Wouldnt It Be Nice" and encores "Good Vibrations" and "Fun Fun Fun".A nice party atmosphere and a good show ... 03 Apr 2008.Ali Campbell And Friends live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.A big London show for Ali who left UB40 in Jan 2008 after 28 years. He is promoting his solo album "Running Free". The show was filmed for future dvd release. He promised a few special guests too but the main ones Smokey Robinson and Mick Hucknell failed to appear but a few did turn up .The loyal UB40 fans were up and dancing from the start to the gentle pop reggae.The 1 hour 45 mins set had a nice mix of solo stuff and UB40 hits inc "Homely Girl","I Got You Babe" with Kim Wilde,"Baby Come Back" with Pato Banton, "Running Free" with Beverley Knight,"Would I Lie To You" with Bitty McLean. Sly and Robbie played a few songs on bass and drums too."Hold Me Tight","I'll Be Standing By" with Lemar, "Too Many Rivers To Cross","Kingston Town","Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic","Please Dont Make Me Cry","Cant Help Falling In Love","Red Red Wine" and encores inc "I'll Be On My Way".An enjoyable show............ After the show we went over to The Music Week Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel for a couple of hours for drinks.Caught a couple of the industry awards inc Tony Wadsworth ex EMI who got the lifetime achievement.Many people here i know and a few faces inc Harvey Goldsmith, KT Tunstall,Nicky Tesco(The Members)............. 02 Apr 2008.Rolling Stones premiere of their new film "Shine A Light" directed by Martin Scorsese in Leicester Square,London.7pm Get to the Odeon where the premiere is being held.Its a full scale event to match any other Hollywood release with police,security,barriers and hordes of photographers and onlookers.We see all of the four Rolling Stones go in as well as all of Oasis (except Noel).Also Phil Manzernera, dj David Jenson and old school rock dj Krusher and probably missed a few more.Then 7.45pm we headed to the Vue cinema 50 yards away which was one of the 100 cinemas showing it tonight. The two hour film was really good.Most of the footage is from New York Beacon Theatre 2006 which looks like a great place to watch a band. A great selection of old and rare songs.Mixed in with neat footage from over the past 40 odd years with some very funny moments.Its always great to see a music film or dvd on the big screen as the sound is perfect and the crowd here are even singing and clapping along.The film rolls out properly on 11 April 2008 and its a must see film for any Rolling Stones fan. Everyone got a special Rolling Stones "Shine A Light" free promo t shirt .... The Morrissey show at Hyde Park Wireless Fest on 04 july 2008 is shaping up nicely as supports inc Beck,Siouxsie and The New York Dolls....... The B52s have a announced a short UK tour inc a show at The Camden Roundhouse on 24 July 2008.. ................... Stranglers fans are signing a petition for band member Jet Black to be honoured for reaching the amazing age of 70 this August. http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/JetBlack/..... The best Sex Pistols tribute band Sex Pistols Experience play The 100 Club on April 24 and play a special gig on the River Thames on Sat 7 June. See www.sexpistolsexperience.co.uk...............

May 31, 2008

31 May 2008.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band live at The Emirates Stadium (home of Arsenal F.C),London.Back again to see Bruce as you know there will be six or seven different songs in the setlist compared to last night.I am right of stage pitch standing but not in gold circle area.A promoter friend told me a couple of hundred camped out straight after last nights show to get front of stage tonight.Amazing its again not raining.He comes on at 8pm and finishes at the same time so tonights set was 15 mins shorter than last night.Songs are moved around in the set as well.What you do notice is the pure quality of the songs on his recent album "Magic".Songs like "Radio Nowhere" are just brilliant.Tracks played tonight and not last night inc "Downbound Train" and "Im On Fire".The fans down the front are so close to him that they can touch him and shake his hand in the many up close moments.The band are just superb again.Versions of "Because The Night", "The Rising" and "Badlands" again are all great. The encores inc "Girls In Their Summer Clothes", a long and stunning version of "Jungleland" with that great sax solo replaced "Dancing In The Dark" and "Rosalita" which were left out tonight. Needless to say "Born To Run " was perfection and "10th Avenue Frezze Out" was good.A great show. Check www.brucespringsteen.net/setlists for a full breakdown of what he played................. 30 May 2008.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band live at The Emirates Stadium,London.Never seen any footie at this lovely new complex and its the first ever concert here.Some 40 to 45,000 people are here and it did not rain.Amazing. Bruce and his stella band took to the stage at 7.45pm and played a lengthy 2 hours 50 mins set.A great mix of very good tracks off the recent album "Magic" and loads of Springsteen classics.Bruce has plenty of energy and knows just what to say and do on stage.I have a good seat left of stage but i still feel a long way back.Setlist inc "Radio Nowhere","Lonesome Day","Magic", a brilliant version of "Because The Night" then at 9pm at halfway dusk fell and the full lightshow kicked in.Also superb were "The Rising" and "Badlands".Great encores inc "Thunder Road", needless to say "Born To Run" is fantastic then "Glory Days","Rosalita" and "Dancing In The Dark".A great show as always from The Boss but not as mega as that indoor show at 02 Arena in Dec 2007 when i was in gold circle just 10 yards from the stage.............. 29 May 2008.6.30pm to 8pm i was at the posh San Lorenzo restaurant in Knightsbridge for the launch of a book by Pauline Hyde titled "Midas Man".The champers and canopes are flowing.There are a few faces here inc Simon Callow and Donald Sinden......then up the road to see Mark Knopfler again at The Royal Albert Hall.The same 2 hours 10 mins set.Pretty impressive he can still play six nights at this venue but of course those of us of a certain age will remember how huge Dire Straits were and its still great to hear those songs again.The crowd rushed to the stage for the encores just like the other night i went. Joe Brown again came on for two songs............ Another quality female artist has come to my attention.Nicole Atkins is already well known in her native USA.Her album "Neptune City"is out 09 June which features her fragile vocal style with sweeping strings and atmospheric guitars. The catchy single "Maybe Tonight" is out now on Columbia.She is one of support acts for Morrissey at The Wireless Festival on 04 July. Check www.myspace.com/nicoleatkins............... 28 May 2008.Dio live at The Astoria,London.A great atmosphere here as 2000 loyal Dio fans are really up for it.He may be small in size but he is big in voice.Dio and his band play a brilliant 90 mins set.He is such a great rock vocalist and the guitar riffs are perfect.Loads of great songs inc "Holy Diver","Dont Talk To Strangers" a drum solo after only the fourth song, also "Rainbow in The Dark","Rock And Roll Children","Stand Up And Shout","Man On The Silver Mountain","Long Live Rock And Roll","The Last In Line" and encore "We Rock".Just a great show as always from Dio.Tennis star Pat Cash was floating around after the show ........ 27 May 2008.Liza Minnelli live at The Coliseum, London WC2.Back again to see this legend for the second time at the last of her three shows here. I have a superb seat four rows from the stage. Its the same show but considering she was in a wheelchair a few years ago her energy and pure love of performing on stage is just incredible. Andrew Lloyd Webber is in the front row and Liza introduces him during the show.Also here was comedian Frank Skinner.The showstoppers again were "Cabaret" at the end of the first set and "New York New York" near the end of the second set.An excellent show ....... 26 May 2008.Mark Knopfler live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Second of six shows here at this venue from the Dire Straits singer.On tour to promote last years solo album "Kill To Get Crimson". The first 30 mins is a bit too laidback and average for me and plods along . Mark Knopfler is one rocker not too bothered how he looks.Balding,greying and dressing like an unemployed school teacher he lets the music do the talking and he can still play a nifty bit of guitar.Of course its the Dire Straits gems we all want to here and the 2 hours 10 mins setlist inc "Sailing To Philadelphia","Romeo And Juliet","Sultans Of Swing" then 1960s chirpy chappie legend singer Joe Brown comes on for a couple of songs dedicated to Lonnie Donegan.Then the lightshow finally kicks in for "Telegraph Road" and the great encores of "Brothers In Arms","Our Shangri-La","So Far Away" and "Going Home - Theme From Local Here".So a good show overall . 25 May 2008.Liza Minnelli live at The Coliseum, St Martins Lane,London WC2.This was the first of three shows at this beautiful old theatre by this Hollywood legend of song and dance.Backed by a 12 piece orchestra this 62 year old put on a great show for her adoring fans.Half of the crowd were gay men.On stage for around 1 hour 50 mins over two sets Liza was full of great stories and ad libs on friends,family,ex husbands,weight loss,drink and drugs.Best songs of first half were "My Own Best Friend","Maybe This Time" and a superb "Cabaret".Liza got a standing ovation after nearly every song.The second half featured a tribute to family friend and vocal coach Kay Thompson who died 10 years ago.Liza got stuck into all the dance routines with gusto even though each one left her out of breath. Encores of "New York New York" and "Always" sealed a really good slice of old school razzle dazzle ... 24 May 2008. Chris Rock + Mario Joyner live at The 02 Arena,London.Second of two shows which were the biggest comedy shows ever in the UK with crowds each night of around 16,000.Support did a good 20 mins set before Chris Rock.Pretty amazing its just him and two big video screens. I have a great view in front quarter of the venue but still end up looking at the screens half the time.Most of the material was used in the Hammersmith Apollo show i saw earlier in the year.The set length was 1 hour 45 mins which was 15 mins longer too.He covered politics,women, men,relationships etc and was very funny. He comes back to the UK in September............. 23 May 2008.Paul Weller live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Last of his three shows at this venue and last night of yet another PW UK tour. There is a party atmosphere as on 25 May its Paul Wellers 50th birthday.Over the next week his new single comes out and his new album "22 Dreams" comes out.Did you know Paul Weller loves vinyl so much that he makes sure his record contract always includes the fact that all his releases are available on vinyl.The 2 hours 5 mins set saw Weller on top form and the first 30 mins he was just totally buzzing. Great versions of "From The Floorboards Up" and "Peacock Suit" were full of real passion.He sung a few off the new album inc the new single then brilliant versions of "Butterfly Collector" and "Wild Wood" then Gem from Oasis came on for a song then the main set finished with superb versions of "Come On Lets Go" and "Eton Rifles" that his loyal fans loved.At the start of the encore all the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him and a load of balloons appeared stagefront.Then Roger Daltrey came on to sing "Magic Bus" and play some great mouth organ.Then it was "Broken Stones" and "The Changingman" before Noel Gallagher came on for "All You Need Is Love". Needless to say this was a very special night. See aftershow page for this gig................. 22 May 2008.A busy day with noon to 5pm The 53rd Ivor Norvello Songwriting Awards At The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London then 8pm Robert Plant And Alison Krauss live at Wembley Arena.......at The Ivors we had a three course meal and drinks before the 15 awards were given out.A big crowd here of around 1200 for the UKs top event for songwriters and a nice bunch of big names here.Hosted by Paul Gambachini.Robert Plant presented Phil Collins.Others here inc Robin Gibb,Kate Nash,Brett Anderson,Elbow, Jazzie B got an award,Gary Barlow and Howard from Take That got an award for Most Played Track for "Shine",Beverley Knight presented an award to Amy Winehouse.Her dad picked it up but Amy did make it to the awards some 10 mins later,Gabrielle got an award,Mark Ronson presented to Squeeze members Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook,Gary Kemp,Cherry Ghost got an award,Tom Robinson,Mika picked up Songwriter Of The Year,Diane Warren picked up International Songwriter and the last award was presented by Robert Wyatt to David Gilmour.A great bash...... home quickly then over to Wembley Arena for Robert Plant And Alison Krauss.A clever move to announce UK arena dates for this tour straight after The Led Zeppelin reunion gig publicity has resulted in a near sell out tonight.Still promoting the album "Raising Sand" which most critics love.They played for some 2 hours 10 mins.Alison Krauss is a multi grammy winner who can sing well and play the fiddle.She looks great too and the band are great too as they include T Bone Burnett on guitar.There are half a dozen rugs on stage and as expected its a bluegrass/blues laidback sound that is more interesting than actually exciting to watch. The two video screens come in very handy. Alison sung a few songs on her own in the show. They play three or four Led Zep tunes in a reworked way inc a great "Black Dog" early on. The Townes Van Zandt tune "Nothing" was the highlight of the set for me.Encore inc "When The Levee Breaks".Robert Plant has to be admired for the way he sticks to playing what he wants and ignoring all the shouts for a Led Zep reunion.A good gig ........... 20 May 2008.Launch party premiere for Genesis live dvd "When In Rome 2007" at The Kensington Odeon,London.About 700 or 800 people here.A nice mix of fans and music biz folks.All three members are here Phil Collins,Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks,also their manager Tony Smith and their booking agent John(Madonna,Rolling Stones,U2, Sex Pistols,David Bowie etc)Giddings,also comedians Al Murray and Simon Pegg and host Philip Glenister from 1980s tv prog Ashes To Ashes.For the two hour screening i am sitting directly in the row behind the band. The documentary shows the ups and downs of getting a multi million stage production off the ground.The live show in Rome was watched by half a million people as it was a free gig. I saw the Twickenham show and it was superb. The size of the Genesis stage is just huge. Afterwards there is a 30 mins Q n A with the band.One of the questions was why a free gig in Rome and not England?? Tony Banks said the Italians dont like paying for live music. The 3 disc dvd box set is out on Mon 26 May and contains over 5 hours of documentary and live footage.Its well worth a purchase. See aftershow page for this event................ 19 May 2008.Roger Waters live at The 02 Arena, London.Back again to see this superb show.It starts 30 mins later than yesterday due to late arrivals and the later running tube service. We again have great seats to right of stage and a couple of rows in front of us are Mike Rutherford (Genesis) and Chris Squire (Yes). Its the same show(see yesterdays setlist).The band are just totally brilliant together.The drumming solo intro to "Time" was amazing.The sound quality was just perfect.This was a big music spectacle.So many highlights again and from start to finish this was a real quality live show 18 May 2008.Roger Waters live at The 02 Arena,London.Pink Floyd legend plays the first of two shows at this venue.Its pretty much the same setlist and massive stage production as last years Earls Court shows.On stage for 2 hours 30 mins over two sets.Setlist inc "In The Flesh","Mother" and stunning versions of "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".The band are just great and the three female backing singers superb.Three giant screens inc one the length of the stage. The amazing quad sound sent tingles down your spine.Lots of flames,fireworks,explosions and a flying spaceman and a flying pig."Wish You Were Here" and "Perfect Sense" also went down a treat.Second half featured DSOTM inc "Breathe", "Time","Money" and sublime versions of "Us And Them" and "The Great Gig In The Sky". We also had the album cover hanging from the ceiling. Encores of "Another Brick In The Wall","Vera" (complete with more explosions) and of course "Comfortably Numb" sealed an excellent show. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 17 May 2008.Girls Aloud live at The 02 Arena, London.This show is being beamed live to Vue cinemas across the UK and its packed with a mixed crowd out to have a good time.Their story is amazing really.Six years ago they came together after a reality show and now its another UK arena tour.A big production with five big screens,fireworks,dancers and a walkway into the middle of the arena.Also about half a dozen costume changes inc a couple of very raunchy outfits.The 95 mins set had plenty of hits inc "Sound Of The Underground","Love Machine","Biology" and a great version of their Pretenders hit cover "I'll Stand By You".Also some covers near the near the end "Push It", "Walk This Way" and "Jump(For My Love)".They also played "Call The Shots" and encore of "Something Kinda Ooooh" with the crowd showered in silver confetti.A good fun visual pop show. DVD of tonight will be out for Christmas....... 16 May 2008.Rick Astley + Bananarama + Paul Young + ABC + Curiosity Killed The Cat + Johnny Hates Jazz + Cutting Crew live at Wembley Arena,London.This Here And Now tour is a great idea where seven acts from the 1980s play sets lasting 10 mins(2 songs) to 40 mins(8 songs) so you get some 30 hits on the night.There is a house band for everyone so quick changeovers of just one minute.Cutting Crew played two inc their mega hit "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight".Then Johnny Hates Jazz played three hits inc "Shattered Dreams" then CKT Cat played five songs inc "Name And Number " and " Down To Earth" then the two highlights of the night for me ABC and Paul Young.ABC were brilliant with five great hits "Poison Arrow","Tears Are Not Enough","All Of My Heart","When Smokey Sings" and "The Look Of Love" then after the interval Paul Young also plays.He looks and sounds great.His five hits inc "Come Back And Stay" and "Every Time You Go Away".Then Bananarama play eight hits inc "Cruel Summer","Robert De Niros Waiting" and "Venus".Not sure how Rick Astley was top of the bill.Maybe because its 15 years since he last toured.Loads of ropey soppy hits before his big one "Never Gonna Give You Up".So a mixed bag of good and average acts but a fun night where the crowd where all up and dancing from the start. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 14 May 2008.The Charlatans live at Zavvi,Oxford Street,London.This was a free record store gig for about 400 people to promote their new album "You Cross My Path".The band played about nine songs in the 40 mins set with most from the new album.Its hard to get that excited about bands like The Charlatans new material.The band sound great but Tim Burgess with his awful new hairstyle and dreary voice never really gets into the show.Tracks inc "You Cross My Path", the recent single "Oh Vanity" and oldie "How High".Pretty average ......... 13 May 2008.Willie Nelson + James Hunter live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Support act did a nice 30 mins of rock and roll with a soul tinge.A mix of covers and their own material with a chirpy chappie singer.Country legend Willie Nelson has just had his 75th birthday and is over here to promote a 100 track box set called "One Hell Of A Ride".There is a full band here but the show has a semi acoustic feel as the drummer just has a snare drum with brushes. He has sold over 30 million albums and his fans really do see him as the real deal.Although there are a few covers in the set his unique vocal interpretation of them is superb.The 1 hour 40 mins set inc "Whisky For My Men And Beer For My Horses","Crazy(his track made famous by Patsy Kline)","Help Me Make It Through The Night","Georgia On My Mind","Mama Dont Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys","On The Road Again","Always On My Mind","Healing Hands Of Mine","Gotta Get Over You Again","Good Hearted Woman" and Jambalaya (On The Bayou) and encores inc "Superman" and "You Dont Think Im Funny Anymore".I am not the biggest country music fan but it was a real treat ...... 12 May 2008.6.45pm to 10.30pm.The High Street Fashion Awards at The Cafe De Paris,London. Invite only event for about 400 (mainly women). Loads of free booze and grub flowing all night. A few faces here inc Kelly Osbourne,Caprice, Myleene Klass,Abi Titmuss and a few others from GMTV inc host Lorraine Kelly.The 10 awards were dished out nice and quickly to the likes of Topshop, Primark,Accessorize,French Connection, River Island,New Look etc.Kelly Osbourne won best dressed celeb.Then pop r n b act Booty Luv did a few songs inc "Shine","Some Kinda Rush" and for "Boogie Tonight" they were joined by Kelly Osbourne who said she loves the band but looked a bit confused.Then we had 80s pop star Jason Donovan play a few songs inc "Too Many Broken Hearts","Any Dream Will Do","Sealed With A Kiss", "Nothing Can Divide Us" and "Everyday(I Love You More).Everyone is just pissed up so its a mass singalong.Jason has just signed a new record deal with Decca Records.Harmless 30 mins of fun and he does not take himself seriously at all. A nice goody bag from sponsors The Perfume Shop sealed a great bash that ticked all boxes....... then 11pm to 1.30am over to The Sony Radio Academy Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.This is the biggest awards show for the UKs radio industry.Get here at the end to catch the afterparty.Lots of the main radio djs are here inc Jonathan Ross(won best Radio personality),Bob Harris,Chris Moyles,Jamie Theakston,Colin Murray,Zane Lowe,Simon Mayo,Paul Gambachini,Nicky Campbell etc and a few music folks presented awards inc Edwyn Collins,Rod Argent,Mick Hucknall and great to see Sparks here.Mitchell And Webb were also here.Lively disco got a great atmosphere going despite it being a posh event.An excellent evening.......... 11 May 2008.Give It A Name Festival live at Earls Court Arena,London feat 30 Seconds To Mars + Billy Talent + Glassjaw + Silverstein.A big crowd here of around 9000 all standing to watch the best of these EMO(or whatever its name is this week) groups from America and Canada.Nice to see so many girls in the crowd.I am twice the age of virtually everyone in the building. Silverstein play a 35 mins set and are pretty good with tunes inc "My Disaster","My Heroine","Here Today Gone Tomorrow","Smile In Your Sleep" and "Smashed Into Pieces".....next Glassjaw who were my fave band on the night mainly due to a fantastic drum and bass who gave songs like "Tip Your Bartender" and "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss " a nice heavy Rage Against The Machine feel.....next up Billy Talent who have headlined Brixton Academy with their catchy rock tunes inc "This Suffering","Surrender","Fallen Leaves" and "Red Flag"......then headliners 30 Seconds to Mars who have headlined Hammersmith Apollo recently who have a proper stage set.They feel a bit cartoon rock for my liking but the 60 mins set inc tracks "From Yesterday","The Story","Buddah For Mary" and encores "The Kill" and "Fantasy" went down well.So an average night but i kept thinking that when i was age 18 in 1977 the rock bands i was watching from America and Canada were Kiss,Aerosmith,Rush and Bachman Turner Overdrive etc and you cant get better than that ..... 09 May 2008. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Last night of three shows here for one of the coolest bands in rock. The two hour set is focused on recent album "Dig Lazarus Dig!!!" which had great reviews and did well in the charts.Nick Cave is now aged 50 but with his dodgy moustache and hair looks like a pimp and he still gestures like a mad preacher. The band are total quality and make a fantastic brutal rock noise.Loads of great songs inc "Get Ready For Love","Tupelo","Red Right Hand","Dig Lazarus Dig!!!","Todays Lesson","The Ship Song", "We Call Upon The Author" and "More News From Nowhere" and encores inc "Lovely Creature", "The Lyre Of Orpheus","Into My Arms","Hard On For Love" and "Stagger Lee".Singer David Gray was in the crowd.A great gig . 08 May 2008.Celine Dion live at 02 Arena,London. Second of two shows here for Celine who is the biggest selling female act in the world with over 200m album sales.Its been nearly 10 years since the last UK shows of which 5 years were spent in Las Vegas where she played a staggering 717 shows at Ceasars Palace.Well i know the music will be middle of the road but as promised its a massive "in the round" stage production with half a dozen costume changes,dancers,trap doors for Celine and the band,walkways and loads of video screens that is visually great to watch. Celine looks and sounds fantastic even though its a bit too reheased at times and the band could have been a bit louder.The 1 hour 45 mins set inc Roy Orbison cover "I Drove All Night", "The Power Of Love","Its All Coming Back To Me Now","Because You Loved Me","Think Twice" and covers of Eric Carmens "All By Myself" and Hearts "Alone" which the crowd loved.She also sung a couple of Queen classics "We Will Rock You" and "The Show Must Go On" and a soul medley as well.Not sure why she had to pad out her set with so many covers.Celines on stage chat was mostly cringeworthy.Encores of "River Deep Mountain High" and Titanic theme "My Heart Will Go On" finished off a show that was very entertaining overall ......... 07 May 2008.Another one of those busy nights with three events on in the same evening.First its 6.45pm to 8.15pm at The 100 Club for the launch of their new photos up on the walls.Lots of great pix of bands who have played there inc Sex Pistols,Clash,Siouxsie,Rolling Stones,Chuck Berry,Metallica and others.Great to see a photo up of Sex Pistol Steve Jones from 1976 100 Club Punk Festival with me in the crowd.The free booze is flowing and faces here inc Glen Matlock,Spizz and photographer Ray Stevenson then over to Knightsbridge 8.30pm to 10pm to launch of Chicago Rib Shack.Lots of people here as its a huge place.Lots of lovely grub inc spare ribs, bbq wings,cheeseburgers etc and booze but the food leaves your hands so messy.....then over to one of Londons coolest nightspots Bungalow 8 at St Martins Lane Hotel 10.30pm to midnight where high fashion mag www.woundmagazine.com and Devetta PR are having a joint party.A very cool crowd ,the djs are playing some great sounds and the freebie cocktails are flowing. Cok Wan from the tv is here.Good one ...... 06 May 2008.Def Leppard live at The Islington Academy,London.Small club show for 800 people (600 paying punters and 200 media and guests) to launch their new album "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge".The venue looks great as they have huge posters and cardboard cutouts of the band, Guitar Hero 3 consoles are everywhere and the stage is dressed with curtains like their new album cover.Nice to have free booze all night in the upstairs media/guest bar.Def Leppard played a 75 mins set that was just superb. Basically 4 or 5 tracks off the new album and loads of hits with perfect on stage sound quality.Setlist included "Let It Rock","Action","Armageddon It","Rocket" a couple of new tracks "Nine Lives" and "Hallucinate" went down well then "Animal","Photograph","Pour Some Sugar On Me","Lets Get Rocked" and encores "Cmon Cmon","Rock Of Ages" and early tracks "Mirror Mirror(Look Into My Eyes)" and "Wasted". All the band looked and sounded just great. Just fantastic to hear so many big rock classics in this small venue.Just a brilliant night. See aftershow page for this gig.................. Rumours are Metallica are play a warm show for their European tour at The Astoria on 12 July......Billy Idol plays Brixton Academy on 31 July.........Ratt play The Astoria 2 on June 4... The Mail On Sunday have another major cd freebie with the Sunday 18 May edition with Paul McCartneys recent album "Memory Almost Full".....