Archive: September 2008

September 28, 2008

27 Sept 2008.Levellers live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.A very posh venue for this band who normally frequent festivals and scuzzier venues. The great thing about The Levellers is they never sold loads of records or were ever that fashionable but they have very loyal fans that always turn up in droves to see them.They play two sets of 45 mins and 60 mins.The first was more semi acoustic and the second more livelier. Promoting new album "Letters From The Underground".Setlist inc "Julie","The Boatman", "What A Beautiful Day" and great encores of "This Garden" and "One Way".Their music is rock based with some violins and tonight a four piece string section.They have been around for some 20 years or so.A bit like The Pogues in a way.Good times music really .. 26 Sept 2008.The Toast Festival at Olympia,Kensington,London.Feat Jimmy Barnes + Tyrone Noonan + Brooke Supple.About 5000 people a day here for day one of three for this huge antipodean exhibition for the best in food,wine and entertainment from Australia(today),New Zealand(Saturday)and South Africa(Sunday).Brooke Supple did a good set of catchy pop rock and finished well with AC/DCs "You Shook Me All Night Long".....then Tyrone Noonan also played a decent set.His female drummer was fantastic.... then Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes took the stage for a full 1 hour 40 mins set.That great rasping rock voice is still there even though the dodgy acoustics of The Olympia could have been better. Jimmy is promoting recent album "Out In The Blue" so sung two or three songs from that album. The crowd are singing along loudly to nearly every song.Setlist inc "Driving Wheels","I'm Still On Your Side","No Second Prize","Ride The Night Away","Merry Go Round" and for "I Put A Spell On You" he was joined by Andrew Roachford and Mica Paris.Jimmy had clearly put all his recent heart problems out of his mind as he stormed through "Khe Sahn" and "Working Class Man".A good event.www.toastfestivals.co.uk for full band info and tix ...... 25 Sept 2008.The End Of Summer Ball In Berkeley Square,London W1.A very posh glam bash this one where most of the 800 guests have paid around 700 quid to be here as its for The Princes Trust Charity.7pm for an hour of champers and cocktails then 8pm a lovely 3 course meal by top chef Marco Pierre White.Tonights theme is Vaudeville so between courses we get some burlesque dancers,a raunchy female dance troupe, some drag acts and a human beatbox act.The surprise live act is always pretty good.Rumours are Amy Winehouse is going to turn up and play with the Motown covers band here and she does. Well sort of!!.She comes on for three songs,sits by the side of the stage,does a little bit of mumbled backing vocals,some wild dancing and gives most of the band daggers for singing over her.It was a typically bizarre Amy showing and she looks awful.Now age 25 but looks double that and so skinny.The drugs dont work girl.A few faces here inc Jerry Hall with Jo Wood.From the football world Ian Wright,Tony Adams and Frank Lampard Senior.Cricket legend Phil Tufnell.TV presenters Vernon Kay and his wife Tess Daly. Also Philip Salon,Jenni Falconer,Emma Noble and dancer Brendan Cole.Not many music folks apart from Heidi from The Sugababes but lots of music promoters and agents here as host was Vince Power from The Mean Fiddler.A huge goody bag at midnight.Afterparty at The Pigalle Club but i was stuffed and had too much booze already for that .Needless to say a very nice event.......... 24 Sept 2008.Press launch for Ray Davies "Come Dancing" musical at The Theatre Royal,Stratford East,East London.Kinks legend Ray Davies finally gets his "Come Dancing" musical on the big stage this week.Set in and around the famous Ilford Palais in the rock n roll era of the 1950s.Ray Davies stars in it with a full supporting cast and live band.It features over a dozen new songs and the Kinks "Come Dancing" played 3 or 4 times in the set.Back to a time where the big weekend night out at the local Palais was a real highlight.Great outfits and for over two hours in total its a fun,lively heartwarming story of a period you really wish you were part of.Lots of boy meets girl,girls family dislikes boyfriend and all the bits inbetween. West End musicals like We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia do not feature any members of Queen or Abba on stage but here you get a bonafide Brit music legend and ticket prices much cheaper than the West End so well worth getting along to. Mark my words you will be humming the musicals title song all the way home.This lovely old venue holds only 450 so everyone gets a great view. Its on until 25 October 2008.Tickets 0208 534 0310.Stratford Tube.www.stratfordeast.com for full info 21 Sept 2008.Nickelback + Staind live at Wembley Arena,London.Staind are a great choice of support band as the venue is nearly full when they come on at 7.30pm.They seem to have gone off the radar a bit since the massive success of their 2001 album "Break The Cycle".A nice rockin grunge type sound went down very well with the 60 mins set inc "Its Been Awhile","Pardon Me", "So Far Away","Believe" and "Outside".Their new album "The Illusion Of Progress" is out now.This was the last night of Nickelbacks European Tour so the band are in party mode.The critics hate them but with 25 million album sales i doubt the band are that bothered about that.Their recent album "All The Right Reasons" has sold millions over the last couple of years.Loads of women here to drool over the singer.The production is fab with loads of screens and lights mixed in with enough fireworks and flames during each song that is second only to Kiss.Yep these boys really love their pyros.Good solid rock songs in the 1 hour 45 mins set.Nice and loud with plenty of distorted guitars.Set inc "Photograph","Far Away",a cover of Elton Johns "Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting" then "If Everyone Cared" then a fun few mins as they got four hand held cannons to blast some 30 tshirts into the crowd. Lots of onstage chat by the singer between each song.Also "Saving Me","Someday" a full drum solo then great versions of "How You Remind Me" and "Too Bad".Encores started with their recent mega hit "Rockstar" and then a member of the crowd threw a pink cowboy hat on stage.Band members wore it to great applause.Then it was "Figured You Out" with a final onslaught of pyros that really sealed an entertaining show.... 20 Sept 2008.Maze + Light Of The World live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Nice to see UK 1980s funksters LOTW as support.A decent set of soul covers and they finished with their own singles "Number 1 Girl" and "London Town".When i did security for 12 years at Hammersmith Odeon now The Apollo Maze were one of those bands that just blew me away.I have seen them over 20 times and every time have been fantastic.Their last London show was in 1999.Singer Frankie Beverly blamed the gap on 9/11.Always a bit of an underground band even in their native USA.They played for 1 hour 45 mins and soon got into their trademark warm groove that got everyone dancing. Singer Frankie Beverly is age 61 now and looks like old blues man Seasick Steve with his greying beard.So many brilliant tunes here inc "Southern Girl","We Are One","Running Away", "Back In Stride","Happy Feelings" and of course a stunning 12 minute version of their anthem "Joy And Pain" with the entire crowd really singing their hearts out.Then "Before I Let Go" and encore "I Wanna Thank You".It was just another totally fantastic Maze show.............. 18 Sept 2008.The Vodafone Live Music Awards feat Primal Scream,Glasvegas,Will Young,Automatic, Pussycat Dolls,Bryn Christopher,Estelle,James Morrison and The Ting Tings at The Brixton Academy,London.Nice big stage production here.About 2000 comp winners here in the stalls and i am on the media and guest stalls viewing platform where 300 people are guzzling the free booze.Hosted by Juliette Lewis and Channel 4 TVs Steve Jones.The nine live acts here played between one and three songs each.The Ting Tings played a good couple inc "Thats Not My Name" then James Morrison did a couple then Estelle played a couple inc "American Boy" then new pop soul talent Bryn Christopher sung a brilliant "Smiling" then The Pussycat Dolls in very raunchy outfits performed a song.Lots of great live footage of live music events over the past year on the big screen was played inbetween inc Led Zep at 02 Arena and Sex Pistols Isle Of Wight.The Automatic played "Steve McQueen" and Will Young played a song.The final acts were my faves.Glasvegas played their two superb singles "Geraldine" and "Daddys Gone" then Clash legend Mick Jones presented Primal Scream with their Outstanding Contribution To Live Music Award and they then blasted through three songs inc "Rocks".Other faces here presenting or collecting awards inc Freddie Flintoff,Mark Ronson,Lewis Hamilton,Emma Bunton,Alex James. Check www.vodafonemusic.co.uk for winners list. TV highlights this Saturday evening on Channel 4 at 11.35pm ................... 16 Sept 2008.The Peth live at Marie Claire's 20th Birthday Party,One Marylebone Road,London.London Fashion Week in full flow so hit three of the dozen or so events on today....First to Harrods 4th floor for The Rock And Republic Fashion bash.Champers and canopes from 6pm to 7.30pm. Tamara Beckworth and Harrods owner Mr Al-Fayad were here.Nice posh friendly crowd and great goody bag inc Vera Wang perfume......then to The Met Bar,Park Lane for their Pink Drinks Fashion Candy Party.Very lively but cocktails were a bit sickly.Another nice goody bag....then to the main party of the night 9pm to midnight to celebrate magazine Marie Claires 20th birthday.A great venue with about 500 people here with loads of stunning women all dressed up.The lovely cocktails and canopes are flowing.Pam Hogg does a dj set then its the band.The Peth feature actor Rhys Ifans who seem to play as many gigs at private parties as they do normal gigs.The band inc a couple of Super Furry Animals members. A 30 mins set to promote their debut album "The Mission".They are much better than expected.A great rock n roll Oasis type sound with plenty of swagger.Tracks inc "Lets Go Fucking Mental","Shoot On Sight","Sunset Veranda" and "Last Man Standing".They go off and Sophie Ellis Bextor and her hubby from The Feeling are the celeb djs.Also here was fashion guru and radio dj Robert Elms who also supports Q.P.R too.A great party and another goody bag.......... Very sad news that Richard Wright of Pink Floyd has died of cancer age 65 .... 15 Sept 2008.Metallica live at The 02 Arena, London.Another Metallica show.This time its for fanclub members only and only 5 quid charity donation to get in.The staging is in the round or rectangular so to speak.It works fantastic as there are eight mics that all the band use throughout the show.Floor standing as well.We are in great Level 1 seats.Sadly no pyros that were used at Reading Festival but loads of blazing mainly white lights.Most of the songs from yesterday and a few more.A great mix of old and new.How do Metallica always get their unique stage sound so perfect??.Drummer Lars i could watch all night on his own.For the very last song photographer Ross Halfin is on stage with the band taking close up photos.He points the camera at Lars only for their guitar player to creep up behind Ross and pull his shorts down. Very amusing.They played for two hours and spent another five mins throwing out guitar pics etc. Setlist for this awesome Metallica show was That Was Just Your Life,The End Of The Line, The Thing That Should Not Be,Of Wolf And Man, One,Broken Beat And Scarred,Cyanide,Frantic, Until It Sleeps,Wherever I May Roam, For Whom The Bell Tolls,The Day That Never Comes, Master Of Puppets,Blackened,then encores of Stone Cold Crazy,Jump In The Fire and Seek and Destroy.The band return to the UK in Feb/March. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 14 Sept 2008.Metallica live at The BBC Radio Theatre,London.Three weeks ago they they played to 50,000 plus at The Reading Festival but tonight its just 400 people(300 comp winners on the floor and 100 media and guests upstairs).We are upstairs sitting next to Phil Alexander editor of Kerrang music mag.This building has had a multi million makeover recently and it feels like a real gig venue.The band are loud and awesome and the sound here was fantastic. All four members really going for it.A 10 song 75 mins set that was very special to be at. A great mix of new album tracks and older gems. 01.That Was Just Your Life,02.End Of The Line, 03.Until It Sleeps,04.Broken, Beat, and Scarred, 05.Cyanide,06.Frantic,07.For Whom The Bells Tolls,08.The Day That Never Comes, 09.Master Of Puppets,10. Blackened.No retakes and only one mention to Radio 1 at the end. Their new album "Death Magnetic" tonight went straight into to the top of the UK album chart. The show will be broadcast on Radio 1 on Monday evening and will be up on the web for seven days after to listen to ........... 13 Sept 2008.Magic Numbers live at The Queen Elizabeth Hall,London.This was one of the shows at The Southbank over the weekend to celebrate 18 years of Heavenly Records.I ended up missing support Beth Orton as the free activity outside for the Thames Festival by the RFH was good fun with loads of street entertainers,a few songs by The Chris Jagger Band and a great display of "free running".The cuddly boys and girls of Magic Numbers have been holed up in the studio the past few months so they were keen to blow off some cobwebs in their 95 mins set.Lots of neat catchy indie pop tunes here tonight inc "Take A Chance","Forever Lost","Loves A Game", a neat cover of "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush.Also "Mornings Eleven" and "Love Me Like You".For the first encore they were joined by Beth Orton and they finished with "Undecided". So a decent set overall for this act who clearly love being signed to Heavenly Records. I must mention the excellent free programme put on everyones seats.48 pages of great interviews and pictures of Heavenly acts along with the full discography of their 187 singles and 69 albums. Its put to shame most of the overpriced shoddy tour programmes i have seen at gigs recently. Saw Sex Pistol Paul Cook going in to see his old mate Edwyn Collins at The Purcell Room next door to this venue ................ 12 Sept 2008.6pm Glasvegas live at HMV Store,150 Oxford Street,London.One of the hottest new bands around play a free show to launch their debut album.At these record shop gigs you get between four and ten songs.Sadly we only get a four song 20 mins set tonight but its total quality.Such is the hype and great reviews on their album it looks certain to outsell Metallica to the number one spot in this sundays uk charts. They played the two stunning singles "Geraldine" and "Daddys Gone" with swirling guitars that send tingles down your spine.Check out both the videos on youtube.With a feel and sound of early U2 and a singer with the cool of Ian McCulloch and who looks like Joe Strummer they will be massive. ......and then 7.30pm Bond Street-North Woolwich tube to see Stevie Wonder play show number two of four at The 02 Arena,London.This is the first European Tour for around 10 years for this Motown soul legend.The love and affection that the UK has for Stevie is really great as the whole venue gives him a standing ovation as he is led on stage by his daughter and for most of the show they stay up on their feet.A great band with some 15 people on stage inc backing singers and 3 man percussion.It was a long 2 hours 20 mins set that was mostly great. Early goodies inc "Master Blaster","Higher Ground" and "Dont You Worry About A Thing".In a long set like this there were half a dozen lesser songs when the quality dipped inc a couple of overlong instrumentals.He spent quite a long time talking about the loss of his mother a couple of years ago and bigging up Barack Obama.More gems later though inc a great "Living For The City","Lately","Signed Sealed Delivered(Im Yours),"Sir Duke","My Cherie Amour","Until You Come Back To Me","Do I Do" and a stunning version of "Superstition".A great show overall really. Annie Lennox was a couple of rows in front of me dancing away and singer Omar was here too. Stevie Wonder returns to The 02 Arena on Sept 30 and Oct 1st .................. 11 Sept 2008.Madonna live at Wembley Stadium, London.A massive sold out show with some 80,000 people here for Madonnas only London show on her massive "Sticky And Sweet" world tour to promote her recent "Hard Cany" album.She keeps the audience waiting until after 9pm but then its a stunning 1 hour 55 mins set.Some 8 costume changes,16 dancers,loads of screens.Show split into four sections Pimp/Old School/Gypsy/Rave. Madonna looks amazing for age 50 and dances with the energy and passion of someone half her age.Raunchy outfit for opening song "Candy Shop" then she came out on a pimpmobile into the extended stage.Lots of songs reworked.Set inc "Vogue","Into The Groove","Borderline","Music", "Miles Away","4 Minutes" and brilliant uptempo versions of "Like A Prayer","Ray Of Light","Hung Up" and "Give It 2 Me".There are loads of great female acts out there but Madonna still rules. So Madonna is still the Queen Of Pop.Nice choice of outro music over the pa at the end with Sex Pistols "God Save The Queen" . 10 Sept 2008.Stray Cats live at Brixton Academy, London.A sold out show tonight as surely the coolest looking crowd ever pour into the venue in great clothes and style that is hard to beat. The three guys in the band are dressed superbly too and their equipment looks fantastic.The band are on stage for 1 hour 50 mins.Loads of their greatest hits inc "Rumble In Brighton", "Stray Cat Strut","Runaway Boys","Gina" a cover of Ian Durys "Sweet Gene Vincent","Fishnet Stockings" and "Rock This Town".I felt the overall sound could have been a bit clearer and louder as this would have moved the crowd more. They still play with stand up drums and double bass which visually looks just brillant. Encore of "I Fought The Law" dedicated to Joe Strummer and they were joined by their old producer Dave Edmunds on a couple of tracks inc "The Race Is On".Always great to see The Cats. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 05 and 06 Sept 2008.The Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gastiez, Northern Spain.Fri 05 = Sex Pistols + Ray Davies + Sonics + Hanoi Rocks and on Sat 06 = Dinosaur Jr + Jayhawks + Gutter Twins + Duff McKagans Loaded + John Cale Band.This was a nice size festival of around 10,000 people over each day over two stages.The crowd look great in huge sideburns with Ramones, Iggy Pop,Dead Boys t shirts etc.Spain loves punk rock which why they are second to the UK in shows played here on this tour by the Pistols with three.The sun is out but its not too hot. A nice few days in Spain with the aim of seeing the last Sex Pistols show on their summer tour. Up first are Hanoi Rocks who play a really good uptempo trashy rock and roll show....then The Sonics who were originals from the 1960s and who have reformed.They go down well here with their old style rock n roll....Ray Davies plays a long set of over 80 mins.The old classic Kinks songs are great inc "You Really Got Me","Sunny Afternoon","Come Dancing","Tired Of Waiting For You","All Day And All Of The Night" and of course "Lola" but he played too many newer ones......... The Sex Pistols are just superb again tonight.For the first 3 songs i am in the photo pit with a great view before getting moved.In the photo pit an object thrown at the band hits me with a thud on the back.Its a tomato.What sort of dickhead brings a tomato to a gig to throw at the band? Also in the show a mobile phone is thrown at John Lydons head.Thankfully it missed.John as you can imagine is totally pissed with whoever threw it. Later on talking to Spanish friends most of them seem to think because he kept saying Espana when this region is in The Basque region.Its like calling someone from Liverpool "a cockney". Steve Jones classic guitar riffs and Glen and Paul keeping it rockin and John Lydon the master. Its the same 90 mins set but so many gems here. There was no mention on stage it was the last of the tour and John did not even thank the crew for three months of hard work setting up stuff. I got a nice VIP wristband for both days that gets me backstage with food and drink too........ Next day we start with The John Cale Band but i cant get into it at all....next up are Duff McKagans Loaded who play a decent hour of rock. Setlist inc solo stuff then some big G n R tracks."Seattle Head","Wasted Heart" and a great version of Neurotic Outsiders "Good News" and dedicates it to Sex Pistol Steve Jones then "Attitude","Dust And Bones","Its So Easy" and a cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog".A great finish... Then its The Gutter Twins who headlined Shepherds Bush Empire a couple of months ago but are pretty boring......then The Jayhawks who somehow are second headliners.Nice catchy melodic with harmonies inc "Two Hearts" and "Bad Time" and they go down well.....Dinosaur Jr are the headlners tonight.Some 80 mins of grunge noise that passed me by as nothing special.So the second night was pretty average compared to the mighty Sex Pistols show the previous night. See aftershow page for Sex Pistols night......... 03 Sept 2008.Went to a couple of launch parties. 7pm Ripleys Believe It Or Not drinks reception at The Trocadero Centre,Piccadilly. This has hints of Madame Tussauds and London Dungeon and with its perfect location will be a hit no doubt with tourists.Ok for an hour.Celebs here inc Vanessa Felz,John Barnes,Derren Brown, Kelly Rowland,Rick Parfitt Jr and Emma Noble then a walk up the road 8.15pm to 11pm Living TV 15th Birthday Party at No 1 The Piazza in Covent Garden.Very nice lavish bash nicely done out. Freebie cocktails and tasty grub is flowing. There is a games room,lots of human statues,djs, upper body massages.Celebs here inc Kelly Brook, Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole.Good one......... 02 Sept 2008.Sex Pistols live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Get into the area at 7pm and all the pubs are full with Pistols fans who have come from all over the place to see the first ever Sex Pistols gig at this venue where Steve Jones used to nick bands equipment in the 1970s.To say i am very excited about seeing this gig is an understatement.This venue is my old stomping ground.I have seen over 1000 shows yes 1000 shows at this venue alone since 1973. I worked on front stage security for 12 years. I dreamed of the day the Pistols would finally play here.I have seats in front centre balcony although we all stand from the start anyway. Its a great view and the front row in front of us has the partners of John,Paul and Glen.Band arrive on stage and the stalls is a mass of heaving bodies.Steve Jones guitar sounds mega. Sex Pistols outdoors at festivals is great but indoors to hardcore fans is even better.Every song gets wild applause.The same 90 mins set with the four song encore.John Lydon holds court on stage and you cannot take your eyes off him. When he sings of talks its just so entertaining. They play all their anthems and it feels so surreal.This band finally at this venue.Near the end the crowd sing Happy Birthday to Steve Jones as its his birthday tomorrow.For me this really was one of the greatest evenings ever. I have now seen over 5040 shows since 1973 and its safe to say this was up near the top. See aftershow page for this gig................. 31 Aug 2008.Sex Pistols + Gossip + Grinderman + CSS live at The Electric Picnic Festival, Stradbally,County Laois,Ireland. It takes about a 90 mins drive from Dublin into the heart of the beaufiful Irish countryside to get to this massive site.Its a three day multi stage event with a 35,000 sell out crowd.CSS are 4 girls/2 boys in spangly outfits from Brazil who play for 55 mins and their synth disco pop goes down well.Near the end they play their excellent single "Lets Make Love And Listen To Death From Above"...then Grinderman play a really good 65 mins set.Nick Cave and the band really get stuck in.Setlist inc "Get It On","Electric Alice","Honey Bee(Lets Fly To Mars) and a stunning "No Pussy Blues". Encore of "Tupelo"... then its Gossip who are on the main stage and the band before The Pistols which seems odd.They struggle a bit even though Beth Ditto have a great stage personality.They inc a disco cover of Talking Heads "Psycho Killer" and their mega tune "Standing In The Way Of Control"........... I am of course hear for one reason only.To see The Sex Pistols finally play their first EVER show in Ireland.As soon as The Gossip finish i get to front row right of stage in front of Steve Jones but a bit too near the PA but who cares. We get a special intro song over the PA "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" then the band tease us with the country and western version of "Pretty Vacant" before tearing into the real thing. "At last they have let us in " says Johnny and its the usual 90 mins of classics.John is on top form breaking into an Irish accent all through the show.The band sound tight and storm through gems inc "God Save The Queen","EMI" and all the others from the greatest album of all time. Encores of "Bodies","Anarchy In The UK","Silver Machine" and "Roadrunner" knocked us for six. Outro song over the PA was "Its A Long Way To Tipperary" sealed off another stunning gig. No sleep till Hammersmith .... 28 Aug 2008.Big Star live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Big Star featuring Alex Chiltern are one of those American bands with massive credibilty but not much record sales.They were major influences on the likes of REM as they were a 1970s power pop band.The 90 mins set inc "The Ballad Of El Goodo","Way Out West",a neat cover of "Baby Strange" by T.Rex also "September Gurls" and "Thank You Friends".Encore was a cover of The Beach Boys "Wouldnt It Be Nice".Some decent harmonies and an ok gig but not really that exciting to watch ...... 27 Aug 2008.REM + Editors + Guillemots live at The Rose Bowl Cricket Ground,Southampton.All these three bands play Twickenham Stadium this Saturday but i will be in Dublin to see The Sex Pistols first ever Irish show so had to go down to this nice venue where some 17,000 are gathered.Guillemots play a good 40 mins set. Their debut album was nominated for a Mercury Award a couple of years back.Set inc "Get Over It","Made Up Love Song #43" and "Dont Look Down" then The Editors play a really good 60 mins.They have been the main support for all of REMs huge European Tour.Setlist inc "All Sparks","An End Has A Start","Munich" and a stunning version of "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" then "Fingers In The Factories".....REM play for nearly 2 hours and are fantastic.A great set feat loads of classic oldies and a few from recent album "Accelerate".Michael Stipe is on top form and the guitar sound is brilliant.Set inc "Bad Day","Whats The Frequency Kenneth?", "The Great Beyond","Animal","The One I Love", "Nightswimming","Orange Crush","Ignoreland", "Electrolite" and a brilliant "Its The End Of The World As We Know It".The three huge video screens are used to perfection with a mix of live footage and images and spilt between black n white and colour.Encores were great inc "Losing My Religion", "Imitation Of Life" and "Man On The Moon".We had great views front left of stage.As the band left the stage a very drunk NAKED woman tried to get on stage but security nabbed her. A funny end to a great evening................... 26 Aug 2008.QPR 4 Carlisle 0.Rangers looking good.Nice to see two of my fave rockers here Glen Matlock(Sex Pistols)and Mick Jones(The Clash and Carbon Silicon) .... 25 Aug 2008.George Michael live at Earls Court Arena,London.This was the second of GM shows here over the weekend and rumoured to be his last ever shows in the UK.The 106 date 2 year 25LIVE world tour has played in over 30 countries to over 1.5 million fans.Its the same massive stage production i had seen at Wembley Stadium,Earls Court Arena and Wembley Arena with loads of screens and lasers and that curved stage with that infamous inflatable.GM was on stage for around 2 hours 30 mins over two sets.His loyal fans were certainly up for a good time.I had a superb block A seat very very close up.A great mix of slow then uptempo then slow then uptempo etc inc "Fast Love","I'm Your Man","Father Figure","Everything She Wants","Jesus To A Child" and "Monkey".He praised Barack Obama.A great version of "Faith" and some covers inc Nina Simones "Feeling Good",Roberta Flacks "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" and "Roxanne" by The Police.A rare version of "Precious Box" was great.A friend told me the set was 3 or 4 songs different from the previous night.More gems inc "Amazing","Flawless(Go To The City),"Shoot The Dog" and "Outside" and he put on his LA cop uniform for that one. The encores really got the crowd singing along loudly to "Careless Whisper","Fantasy" and "Freedom 90".A great night and George said tonights show would be out on DVD for Christmas. ......... 24 Aug 2008.Iggy Pop And The Stooges + Supergrass + Gogol Bordello + The Hives live at Get Loaded In The Park Festival,Clapham Common, London.A lovely sunny day for this 20,000 sell out over three stages.The Hives come on very early at 3.30pm.Always fun and entertaining.The singer still calls his own band "The greatest rock n roll band in the world".A bit tongue in check but they play great uptempo garage rock.... ....next up Gogol Bordello who are always a lively festival band but does anyone acually buy any of their albums??Enjoyable to watch though... Next i see Supergrass who have been around for 10 years plus now and have seen better days. They still play a few of their earlier hits...... What can you say about the legend that is Iggy Pop?.Despite celebrating his 60th birthday last year he has more energy and on stage charisma than all the acts put together.Loads of classic Stooges songs played and a couple of his own.A very good day out overall .... 21 Aug 2008.Kerrang Awards at The Brewery, Moorgate,London.Good idea by Kerrang to hold their awards when all the rock bands are in town for Reading and Leeds Festivals.Some big names here and not so big inc Metallica(arrived in four Merc limos.One band member in each),Rage Against The Machine,Slipknot,Gallows,30 Seconds To Mars, Avenged Sevenfold,Biffy Clyro,Bullet For My Valentine,Trivium,Carl Barat from Dirty Pretty Things and a few others.Lots of burlesque girls. See aftershow page for this event................ 20 Aug 2008.UK film premiere of "The Wackness" at The Curzon Soho,Shaftesbury Avenue,London. I knew i was going to love this film just from the films title and the fact it was set in New Yorks sweltering summer of 1994 against the soundtrack of hip hops finest year.Before the film several of the films stars turned up for the photocall and female singer Adele was here. The films story is about a teen drug dealer who swaps the hard stuff for therapy but falls for the shrinks daughter.A stunning performence by Sir Ben Kingsley.This is a coming of age story about sex,drugs,music with lots of laugh out loud comedy moments.It opens in UK cinemas from 29 August and is well worth checking out.See www.thewackness.co.uk for more information. Went to the afterparty for a couple of hours at the super hip Bungalow 8 club where the cocktails were flowing and the dj was playing some great tunes ............ Metallicas London show for Sept 15 has been confirmed as The O2 Arena with tix only 5 quid each which is a nice gesture . 19 Aug 2008.A very weird thing happened today.In the afternoon i was watching a Metallica DVD "The Videos 1989-2004" then a couple of hours later a familiar face walked past me in Shaftesbury Avenue.I shouted out "Hi Ross" thinking it was rock photographer Ross Halfin. No reply.Then i knew why.It was actually Lars Ulrich the drummer from Metallica who is a complete lookalike to Ross but he was 20 yards up the road before i tumbled.School boy error.... 18 Aug 2008.Inamo,134-136 Wardour Street,Soho, London.This was a drinks reception preview for this pioneering Oriental fusion restaurant and bar with an amazing interactive ordering service set within the table.Its a must visit when it opens to the general public on 05 Sept 2008.See www.inamo-restaurant.com 0207 287 7265........... 16 and 17 Aug 2008.V Festival in Chelmsford, Essex.Sat saw Prodigy and Muse.Sunday saw The Verve + Lenny Kravitz + Echo And The Bunnymen+ The Feeling + Scouting Fot Girls + James Walsh(singer from Starsailor)+ One Republic....A massive crowd here of some 50 or 60,000 people for one of the UKs biggest live music weekends over five stages.Its far too big for my liking as i prefer bands indoors and being nearer the stage.For one reason or another i got to the site very late on Saturday. Sadly missed Siouxsie and Carbon Silicon but catch The Prodigy play a stunning show.They played a 70 mins high energy set that really got the crowd jumping.Their two singers dominating the stage and winding the crowd up.Setlist inc "Their Law","Breathe","Spitfire","Firestarter", "Poison","Smack My Bitch Up" and "Out Of Space". Their crunching bass heavy dance rock is superb. ....then dash to the main stage to see The Muse play their last three songs.Loads of lights, lasers and fireworks.It looked good.....Saturday i got to the site a bit earlier.Lenny Kravitz played only for 50 mins so not as long as the Brixton show i saw a couple of days ago but still very good.Then i was in The Virgin Radio VIP tent for a couple of hours where the freebie cocktails and food is flowing.XBOX consoles are here as well to play as well as Virgin Radio djs broadcasting live and some decent acts playing 3 or 4 tracks each to this crowd of 300 or 400. Tony Hadley and Sophie Ellis Bextor are here. Nice posh toilets in here as well.One Republic are getting more and more popular.Their set inc "Stop And Stare","Apologize" and "All Fall Down".Nice to see Starsailors James Walsh play a few songs inc "Four To The Floor" and "Good Souls".Then its Scouting For Girls whose set inc "Heartbeat","Its Not About You","Shes So Lovely" then Tony Hadley joins them for a cover of "Suspicious Minds" then its The Feeling whose set inc "I Thought It Was Over","Never Be Lonely" and "Love It When You Call".Handy to see all these bands up close and getting more drinks in between set changeovers.Headed out to one of the smaller stages to see Echo And The Bunnymen play a brilliant 45 mins set.Ian McCulloch in trademark shades and long heavy overcoat.Loads of great tunes inc "Rescue","Seven Seas","Bring On The Dancing Horses",People Are Strange","The Back Of Love","Nothing Ever Lasts Forever", "The Killing Moon","The Cutter" and "Lips Like Sugar"then over to the main stage for The Verve who play a great 80 mins set.The Verves set brought the first rain of the weekend.Setlist inc "This Is Music","Sonnet","History","The Drugs Dont Work","Lucky Man","The Rolling People" (dedicated to the memory of Issac Hayes) then stunning versions of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and the brilliant new single "Love Is Noise".A bit odd they did not come back for an encore.So a tiring weekend at Chelmsford but always fun...... 15 Aug 2008.AC/DC video shoot for new single "Rock n Roll Train" at Black Island Studios,Acton,London W3.SONY BMG did a great job of keeping this top secret in the week running up to it.Only letting the 300 competition winners the meeting point at lunchtime on the day.I had a nice tip off at 3pm by my friend Iggy who said i had to be at Victoria Station by 5.30pm at the latest.I was on my way pronto as i was not going to miss a chance to see one of the worlds greatest rock bands up close.At Victoria the comp winners have been told to dress in AC/DC clothing.The guest list girls turn up at 5.30pm and six buses turn up at 6pm.Those with invites get on first four coaches and we are part of the 30 strong crowd without tickets.ALL of us get on the last two coaches and off we go.Result.Everyone is expecting it to be Bray Studios near Windsor which the band have used before but we go up the A40 by the Renault complex before Park Royal to Black Island Studios which has six stages that bands use for tour rehearsals.Arrive at venue just after 7pm where we are briefed on health and safety etc. Apart from a couple of shows AC/DC have been quiet for 7 or 8 years as they have just finished recording their new 15 track album. Director is David Mallet who has done over 100 music videos including loads of AC/DC stuff. The stage is the full monty with giant wheels and cogs along with flames,lights and dry ice.The single is played over the pa a couple of times for the crowd to get used to the chorus.At 8pm AC/DC turn up to wild cheers and the atmosphere is electric.The crowd are really up for it.Over the next 90 mins the band play the song four times with breaks between each for new camera angles etc.Most of the band still smoke a lot so its fag break time.There is no pit and i am second row.The band are mere feet away and i shake hands with both Brian Johnson and Angus Young.Brian Johnson is the most friendly but all sign autographs.My friend Iggy got a staggering FOUR albums signed by ALL five members of the band.The band leave the venue at 9.50pm by thanking the crowd and then the crowd are filmed twice more alone along to the song which i think comes out sometime in September.The track is a trademark classic AC/DC catchy rocker.I cannot wait to see AC/DC live when they play again. After the shoot we all collect a bag of food and drink on the way out which was great and everyone got an AC/DC t shirt as well although sadly it was just a normal one with no mention of todays event/date on it.On the coach back the driver turns AC/DC up to 10 on the sound level. Back to Victoria at 11pm.Amezing night........... Oasis have announced a UK arena tour to support their new album "Dig Out Your Soul".They play Wembley Arena on Oct 16 and 17................... 13 Aug 2008.Lenny Kravitz live at Brixton Academy,London.Lennys last couple of albums have not sold that well but tonights show has been sold out for a month.He still attracts loads of adoring women judging by this crowd.The band sound great and are beefed up with two sax players for a nice funk rock brass sound and the lights are great too.On stage for nearly 2 hours. Lenny still as cool looking on stage as ever. Loads of great tracks inc "It Aint Over Til Its Over" and "All I Ever Wanted" then a few tracks of the recent album.Most were slower paced but still pretty good. We also had a full guitar solo and drum solo.More gems nearer the end inc "American Woman" and a brilliant "Fly Away" then "Let Love Rule" with Lenny jumping into the front rows.Encores of "Love Revolution" and a superb "Are You Gonna Go My Way" sealed off a very good show.He plays V Festival this weekend. See aftershow page for this gig.................. Its what i have known all along as my manor Shepherds Bush has been voted the most rock and roll place per head in the UK.A population of 11,000 has produced band members from The Who, The Sex Pistols and The Clash and many more says www.guitarrockstar.co.uk.See the full story on www.bignewsday.com and www.lifestyleextra.com.... 10 Aug 2008.Status Quo + David Essex + Les McKeowns Bay City Rollers live at Central Park,Dagenham,Essex.5pm to 10pm.This was a benefit concert for Cancer Research UK and St Dunstans Blind Charity.Would not normally trek 30 stops on the tube over to Dagenham but there is not much else going on this time of year.About 5 or 6,000 people here and it rains off and on all evening.The host is dj legend Tony Blackburn who is great fun and informs us he has released 17 singles.A few were hits as well.Lots of older folks here as its a 1970s theme.Les McKeowns Bay City Rollers play a decent 40 mins set.There is tartan worn on stage and his website girls do a great job of handing out cheap Tartan scarves to the crowd so it looks like the old days.Hits inc "Summer Love Sensation" and "Give A Little Love" and a few dodgy cover versions. The set finishes well with "Shang-A-Lang" and "Bye Bye Baby" and its all good fun.The sun comes out as soon as they finish...David Essex is very grey now and looks like Peter Gabriel but the women still love him.He has done well for an East End lad.His songs have some of the simplest lyrics ever written but i like him.The 55 mins set inc "If I Could","Lamplight" and "All The Fun Of The Fair".(This is the title of his opcoming musical that tours the UK this winter. Check www.allthefunofthefair.com)then more gems like "Rock On","Hold Me Close","Silver Dream Machine" and "Gonna Make You A Star"......we get an amazing rainbow in the sky during the interval then Status Quo came and played a 1 hour 40 mins set.Started great with "Caroline","Rain" and "Paper Plane" then a few average tracks from their last two studio albums then back to gems inc "In The Army Now","Roll Over Lay Down","Down Down" and "Whatever You Want".Encores inc "Rockin All Over The World" and "Bye Bye Johnny" and a full fireworks display sealed a great if a bit damp evening ................. 09 Aug 2008.The opening game of The Championship Footie.My team QPR have new owners and we have got some exciting new players.We are tipped for promotion to The Premier League.Should be an interesting season.QPR won 2-1................... Back home after a few days in France and Belgium.August is always a quiet month for gigs as the big bands stick to playing weekend festivals all over Europe.....I will be going to the last three shows of Sex Pistols Summer Tour which are Aug 31 Ireland,Sept 2 Hammersmith Apollo and Sept 5 Spain ......