Archive: January 2009

January 25, 2009

24 Jan 2009. The Olympia Music Fair 11am to 4pm. 5 quid adm.A great place to buy rare records and bootlegs on vinyl,dvd and cd.I ended up with a dozen decent cd albums for a quid each and yet more Sex Pistols live bootleg albums............. 21 Jan 2009.Opening night of the musical "Thriller-Live" featuring the songs of Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson at The Lyric Theatre,Shaftesbury Avenue,London.Two sets of 60 mins and 75 mins.The first half was mainly Jackson 5 classics with the dance routines,afros and 1970s clothes.The second half was loads of solo hits.Not much of a story but the musical is one great song after another.There are half a dozen singers including Denise from Five Star(remember them??).I thought it was great fun. Mega finale of "Billie Jean","Thriller","Bad" and "Black Or White".Lots of faces here tonight. Tito Jackson,(Janet Jackson was in London but did not see her),Lulu,Vanessa Feltz,Kid Creole,Christopher Biggins,Kym Mazelle,Lucy Pinder,Faith Brown,George Sampson and others. Its on until 12 April 2009.See aftershow page for this event ............... 20 Jan 2009.A full day with great two events. First from noon to 4.30pm was The 13th South Bank Show Awards At The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London.The UKs top tv arts programme awards hosted by Melvyn Bragg.About 500 here at this posh five star hotel.Champagne reception for an hour then a three course meal.I was moved from the back to nearer the front.On my table sitting next to me were the very nice Sarah Donaldson from The Observer Review,Gillian Greenwood from The South Bank Show and BBC Radio legend Paul Gambachini.Paul told me he has been to around 4000 shows (still a few less than me)which is pretty good going.He was also at Mott The Hoople and Queen at Hammersmith Odeon in 1973.A superb amount of faces here from pop and classical music,comedy,theatre,opera,literature,tv,film etc.Those i saw inc Elbow(had a lovely long chat with a couple of them.They are lovely blokes and they picked up the pop music award), Ronnie Wood(had a quick chat.I asked him about Faces London shows.He said a big announcement would be made soon but there was a Hollywood Bowl show confirmed),Razorlight,Nigel Kennedy and Michael Ball played a song each,Michael Sheen,Ronnie Corbett,Sophie Ellis Bextor,Lulu, Will Young,Tracey Emin,Vic Reeves,John Hurt, Kevin Whatley,David Suchet(Piorot),Peter Blake, Michael McIntyre,Rob Drydon,John Sargent,the actors from Gavin and Stacey,the actors from Pulling(won best comedy),Ken Russell,Sir Ben Kingsley,Twiggy,Lesley Garrett,Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber,theatre producer Sir Cameron McIntosh picked up the main Outstanding Achievement Award at the end.A nice big goodie bag at the end and more drinks for an hour after the awards.Excellent event.Highlights on ITV1 on Wed 28 Jan 2009 at 10.30pm ...... then up the road from 5pm to 10pm for the The Chicago Rib Shack Barack Obama Inauguraion Party in Knightsbridge,SW1.A very lively party with huge screens showing extensive CNN live coverage. Non stop free Budweiser beers and ribs and burgers etc.The staff here are just fantastic. Not sure how i ended staying here for five hours but the dj was spot on and the band playing classic soul covers were great.Very good......... 17 Jan 2009.Elbow With The BBC Concert Orchestra And Choir live at Abbey Road Studios,London.An invite only show for 250 Radio 2 comp winners and guests of the BBC and the band.From the start you know its gonna be great.At this legendary venue in Studio 1 the 50 plus orchestra and choir are at the stage end,Elbow and the conductor are in the middle on the floor and the crowd are in the final third.They play the entire Mercury Prize 2008 Winning Album "The Seldom Seen Kid" in its track by track order.Elbow are on stage for around 75 mins.From the opener "Starlings" the sound is just superb. Then its on to "The Bones Of You".The single "Grounds For Divorce" is stunning with the crowd helping out the choir.The strings are lush and magical.There were three or four stop starts as Guy Gurvey wanted to get it just right.Also "The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver" was sublime and for "The Fix" they were joined by Richard Hawley on guitar and vocals.Needless to say their anthem "One Day Like This" went down a storm.This was quite a special gig for sure.Elbow headline a UK tour in March including Wembley Arena on 14 March 2009. The show is broadcast on BBC Radio 2 at 9pm on Saturday 31 Jan 2009 ......... Well the rumours have been confirmed.Mott The Hoople the first band i ever saw at Hammersmith Odeon with support from Queen in 1973 are to reform and play two special shows at the same venue on Oct 2 and 3 later this year......HMV have bought the brand rights to 11 live music venues in the UK from The MAMA Group including The Hammersmith Apollo which will now be known as The HMV Hammersmith Apollo 15 Jan 2009.Teddy Thompson live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.This was an invite only show for 200 comp winners and press for Q Magazines Music Club.Free booze and Hard Rock Cafe food all night for everyone here tonight.Teddy Thompson is the son of folk rock legend Richard Thompson who tonight was playing down the road at The Barbican.Teddy was on stage for 55 mins with his band and played songs from his four albums and focusing on his latest release "A Piece Of What You Need".He looks cool in a Jude Law kind of way but most of the songs seemed steady enough but not really that exciting."The Things I Do" and "In My Arms" were pretty good though. Teddy now starts are full UK show ending with a headline gig at Shepherds Bush Empire on 12 Feb. See www.teddythompson.com for more info.......... 14 Jan 2009.Opening night for "Oliver!" musical at The Theatre Royal,Drury Lane,London WC2. Press and invited guests all downstairs and in Level 1 with paying punters in Level 2 and 3.This famous musical comes back to London with a huge cast of over 100 and a big production.Its already a huge box office success with over 15 million quid taken in advance sales.So many great songs here.Rowan is a perfect Fagin and the many kids on stage are a pure delight.Two sets of 70 mins and 60 mins were excellent. Lots of faces here tonight inc Melvyn Bragg,Graham Norton,Alan Titchmarsh,Anneka Rice, George Sampson,a very rare sighting of Terry Wogan,the singer from McFly,Barbara Windsor,Nick Mason(Pink Floyd), and Elaine Paige and probably a few more i missed.For more info see www.oliverthemusical.com.See aftershow page for this event ................... 13 Jan 2009.Launch party for the new book by Garry Bushell called "The World According To Garry Bushell" at Filthy McNastys in Amwell Street,London EC1.From 7.15pm to 9.15pm.Garry was one of the main reasons i bought Sounds music magazine in the early 1980s.He invented the term "Oi" for the skinhead band movement and managed Cock Sparrer.He has since wrote loads of newspaper articles,appeared on lots of tv and wrote music books and novels.For more info check www.garry-bushell.co.uk.Tonight the free booze is flowing and everyone gets a signed copy of the book.People here included Max Splodge,Gary Lammin and Cass Pennant(wrote a book called Cass on his life as leader of West Hams legendary Inter City Firm football hooligans).Garry was here and made a speech and it was a decent bash. ......... I had a great time in Egypt from Jan 3 to Jan 12.Highlights were Cairo for a couple of days (Giza Pyramids + Cheops Boat Museum + Sphinx + Egyptian Museum - Tutankamun + Cairo's biggest bazaar) then overnight train to Aswan for a couple of days (again donkeys everywhere + Phila Temple + Calesh Horse And Cart Tour around Aswan + dinner at a Nubian house in the hills) then three days on a felucca sailing boat along the River Nile.Eight of us waking up every morning on the banks of the River Nile + visit to Kom Ombo Temple + Edfu Temple then two days in Luxor (Karnak Temple + Valley Of The Kings - Three Tombs + Ramesseum + a brilliant hour's donkey ride through the villages).Our guide was great and www.explore.co.uk did a great job of making sure we saw all the best places and arranging for taxis and mini buses.Excellent.... 31 Dec 2008.9pm to 1am.Elton John + Will Young + Alexandra Burke + Overtures live at The 02 Arena,London.Massive NYE event that was live on ITV and in countries around the world.Up first we had The Overtures who played a 45 mins set of 1960s cover versions from Beatles/Kinks/Doors/ The Who etc.The crowd liked them.Then we had X Factor winner Alexandra Burke with a full choir sing a great version of her Number 1 hit "Hallelujah".I have a lot of history with Elton John as i have seen him some 40 times since the 1970s.I saw this Red Piano show over a year ago at the same venue.On stage for around 1 hour 50 mins it was a fantastic greatest hits set with a stunning stage production of neon lights, a well used big screen and huge inflatables.So many classic EJ gems including "Bennie And The Jets","Philadelphia Freedom","Rocket Man","Someone Saved My Life Tonight","Goodbye Yellow Brick Road","Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word","Tiny Dancer","Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me","Candle In The Wind" then Will Young came to sing "Daniel" but i thought his voice was weak.Then at midnight Alexandra Burke and choir all came on to see the New Year in with Elton and Will with balloons,streamers and confetti all dropped on the crowd.For the encores Eltons great band upped the tempo for brilliant versions of "Rocket Man","The Bitch Is Back","I'm Still Standing" and for "Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting" some 50 fans were let on stage for a dance."Your Song" was magic.Eltons 2008 tour had 141 shows and he never seems to tire of playing live.A really great show................. Top 5 selling albums in the UK in 2008 were 1st Duffy...2nd Take That...3rd Kings Of Leon... 4th...Leona Lewis...5th Coldplay..........The HMV Poll Of Polls critics list has come in.They get all the music magazines,newspapers,websites etc Best Of Year polls and put them all together. 1st Elbow "The Seldom Seen Kid"...2nd Portishead "Third"...3rd Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds "Dig Lazarus Dig"...4th Fleet Foxes debut...5th Vampire Weekend debut.............. What have been the best selling UK singles of the last 10 years??? 1st is Will Young "Evergreen"(2002) with 1.8 million sold...2nd Cher "Believe"(1998) with 1.7 million sold...3rd Britney Spears "Baby One More Time" (1999) with 1.5 million sold............... 22 Dec 2008.Kings Of Leon + M83 live at Wembley Arena,London.Support band with the crap name M83 are a French/American electro act whose recent album "Saturdays = Youth" made the American Billboard 200 which is pretty good considering how many big British acts cannot get in there. Tunes like "Graveyard Girl" and "Kim And Jessie" had nice dreamy beats to them.I quite liked them. What an amazing 12 months Kings Of Leon have had. Recent album "Only By The Night" hit number 1. Just how did they become so massive in the UK? This was their last night of UK arena tour that already had an O2 Arena show some 10 days ago. On stage for 1 hour 40 mins the stage set was fantastic with a dozen moveable rectangle blocks hanging that were lights,images and live footage all in one.A front stage security friend showed me the briefing they get before every show.This one said "12,400 sold out lively drinking crowd" which pretty much sums up the Oasis type atmosphere tonight.I must admit i not a big KOL fan.Most of their songs seem pretty average. Set included "Use Somebody","Molly Chambers", "Crawl","Sex On Fire" and "On Call" and encores included rockin versions of "Charmer" and "Black Thumbnail".KOL dont really excite me to be honest but the crowd here loved it .. 21 Dec 2008.Blockheads live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Although i saw loads of Ian Dury shows back in their heyday this is the first time i have seen The Blockheads on their own since Ian died a few years ago.They still have four original members including the brilliant Norman Watt Roy on funky bass.The singer does a great job with Ians lyrics.The 1 hour 40 mins set had loads of old gems in the set and a couple from their album "Staring Down The Barrel" which is due out March 2009.Tracks played inc "Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll","I Want To Be Straight","Inbetweenies","What A Waste","Clever Trevor","Billericay Dickie","Sweet Gene Vincent", "Reasons To Be Cheerful" and "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick".Lots of "Oi Oi" chants from the band and crowd all through the set.A rowdy encore of "Blockheads" got the crowd jumping down the front.Great to hear those songs again... ......... 20 Dec 2008.Stereophonics + Courteeners live at The 02 Arena,London.The Courteeners sold out Shepherds Bush Empire a couple of months ago but tonight they are given a tiny postage size area to play on.Their indie guitar tunes sounded nothing special to me.This was the last night of Stereophonics UK arena tour to promote their "Decade In The Sun" greatest hits album.The place is total sell out and the floor standing along with it being on the Saturday night before Christmas gives the gig a really good atmosphere.Like with The Pogues the bars are selling loads of booze.A superb introduction over the pa by one of the American commentators used for boxing fights mentioned the band have sold 11 million albums.The 2 hour set had loads of good songs with loads of screens behind them. Set included "A Thousand Times","Mr Writer", "Have A Nice Day","Maybe Tomorrow" their great cover of "Handbags And Gladrags",then "Pick A Part Thats New","Traffic","Same Size Feet" and pukka versions of "Just Looking" and "Boy In The Photograph".There were a few songs that plodded a bit including the first two encores which were acoustic but the show finished well with great versions of "Bartender And The Thief" and "Dakota".A good show overall................ 19 Dec 2008.Dressed To Kill + Lip Service live at The Standard,Walthamstow,London E17.Up first we have Lip Service who play a good set of original rock tunes and they had a singer that looked just like Gary Holton.DTK are the UKs top KISS tribute act.This fantastic show really did have everything.The make up,the costumes, the blood spitting,the fire breathing,rocket firing guitars and of course those great KISS songs.On stage for a staggering 2 hours 10 mins it was brilliant.Setlist had a few songs the real KISS never play.Gems played included "Deuce","Detroit Rock City","King Of The Night Time World","Shout It Out Loud","Firehouse" (complete with fire breathing),"Doctor Love", "Flaming Youth","Lick It Up","Beth"(complete with flowers given out to girls at the front), then "God Of Thunder"(Gene blood spitting), "Strutter","I Was Made For Loving You","Shock Me",(with Ace rocket firing guitar solo),then "Love Gun","Crazy Nights" and "Black Diamond". Every other song had fireworks going off. Superb encores of "God Gave Rock n Roll To You" and "Rock n Roll All Night" with a final blaze of more fireworks,confetti and fake snow.All four members really look and act the part and the whole show was just a real joy to watch. Strong rumours are the real KISS will be back in the UK this summer but until then DTK really are the next best thing...www.dressedtokill.org.uk... 18 Dec 2008.The Pogues live at Brixton Academy, London.First of three Brixton shows as part of The Pogues annual Christmas tour.The venue's bars must have broken all its sales records as The Pogues fans do like their booze.On stage for around 1 hour 50 mins.It does not seem to matter than Shane mumbles all the lyrics these days.The fact he is still alive(just)and present is enough it seems for this lot.The band and the audience sing the songs better than Shane for most of the night.Its a superb atmosphere."Streams Of Whiskey" is great as is "Dirty Old Town","The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn","Sally Maclennane" and "The Irish Rover".The encores include a spine tingling "Fairytale Of New York" with fake snow and one of the bands daughters singing the female part.A good show overall.................. 16 Dec 2008.Hawkwind + Huw Lloyd Langton live at The Astoria,London.This could me my last gig at The Astoria as it is due to close in Feb 2009. Up first we have ex Hawkwind member Huw Lloyd Langton who plays a rambling 30 mins acoustic set to polite applause.What can be said about cosmic rock legends Hawkwind.That they have survived over 35 years of doing their own thing with so many line up changes is just amazing.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins with the set including "Masters Of The Universe","Time We Left This World Today",great versions of "Angels Of Death" and "Hassan Sahba(Assassins Of Allah)".Also good was "Right To Decide".Neat visuals including strobes,film projections and dancers in strange costumes.Encore was a great "Silver Machine".A good show overall ........... 14 Dec 2008.Coldplay live at The 02 Arena,London. This was the first of their three shows here as part of the year long world tour to promote their fourth album "Viva La Vida" which like all their other albums got great reviews and has sold millions.Its safe to say Coldplay are now one of the biggest bands in the world.On stage for 1 hour 40 mins Chris Martin is full of energy as he runs around the stage and up and down the two catwalks extending from the stage. Loads of big songs here tonight including second song "Clocks" with the lasers in full flow.Also "In My Place","Speed Of Sound" and superb versions of "Yellow" and "Fix You".Also "The Hardest Part" a brilliant "Viva La Vida" then "Lost".Then a nice touch as they walked through the crowd to the back of the arena to play two acoustic songs where they were joined by actor/comedian Simon Pegg on harmonica.More gems like "Politik" and "Lovers In Japan" before the encores that included "The Scientist" and a fun cover of Take Thats "Back For Good".With so many good songs it could only be a great show......... 13 Dec 2009.Status Quo + Manfred Manns Earth Band live at Wembley Arena,London.Great to see Manfred Mann as support as have not seen them for around 20 years.They sound really good and are nice and tight.Lots of well known hits including "Blinded By The Light","Davys On The Road Again" and their number one from 1968 "The Mighty Quinn".Status Quo are yet another band i have a lot of history with.I have seen them over 40 times since 1974.Quo 1970s were a superb hard rock act and even though they have got older and gone more mainstream Status Quo are still a great good time rock n roll band live.They are promoting new album "Pictures - 40 Years Of Hits".They have had around 75 singles out since their first hit in 1968.They are on stage for 1 hour 50 mins with lots of catchy pop rockers including "Caroline","Rain","Is There A Better Way","Big Fat Mama",excellent versions of early hits "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" and "In My Chair".Then more gems like "In The Army Now", "Roll Over Lay Down","Dont Drive My Car","Down Down","Whatever You Want" and "Rockin All Over The World".Great use of five giant screens that showed videos and footage from the old Quo days. Encores of "Marguerita Time" and "Bye Bye Johnny" and then they showed the video of their new Christmas single.A great night out............... 12 Dec 2008.The Mighty Boosh live at Wembley Arena,London.The first of four Arena shows in London (Wembley Arena Dec 12 and 15 and The 02 Arena on Dec 17 and 18)as part of their truly massive 125+ shows five month,yes five month UK tour of theatres and every arena from Aberdeen to Brighton.Its hard to believe i saw The Mighty Boosh first perform to some 50 people 8 or 9 years ago.Now after three series on BBC TV this mad,surreal mix of comedy,theatre and music is massive but still retains a cult like loyal army of fans.A lot of have come in fancy dress too. Two sets of 75 mins and 60 mins that had loads of very funny sketches.For the encore The Mighty Boosh Band play three songs as all the crowd rushes the stage just like a Wembley rock show. See aftershow page for this event................ 10 Dec 2008.Capital Radio 95.8fm "Jingle Bell Ball" feat Sugababes,The Script,Lemar,Scouting For Girls,Gabriella Cilmi,The Pussycat Dolls,James Morrison,Alphabeat,Will Young, Boyzone,Craig David,Anastacia,Enrique Iglesias, James Blunt,The Saturdays,Rihanna live at The 02 Arena,London.This was the big Christmas party event for one of London's top commercial stations.Sixteen acts who all play between 2 and 5 songs each.Nice short changeovers between acts as they had a main stage and a smaller stage to the left of the main one.This 18,000 capacity show sold out in one day and the crowd is 80% teenage girls.Most play hit singles so its all songs everyone knows which helps to keep the atmosphere lively.Sugababes play three to a blaze of fireworks and are always good.The Script are good.Then Lemar and Scouting For Girls play a couple each.Then Gabriella Cilmi does a couple.Then The Pussycat Dolls play three hits with great outfits and neat dance routines "Dont Cha","I Hate This Part" and "When I Grow Up".Then its James Morrison,Alphabeat and Will Young.A lot of the acts were singing live but playing to backing tracks but nobody cared here. Boyzone played three then Craig David did a couple including " 7 Days".then Anastacia did four tracks.Then it was Enrigue Iglesias who upped the girls screaming and did four tracks.The best moment of the entire night was when like he does in his own show bring a teenage girl on stage to sing his ballad "Hero" to her.He does it so well by stroking her hair and having a close dance with her and even giving her a proper snog at the end.The place goes bonkers.Then the following song he jumps into the crowd and really works the audience.Then James Blunt does a couple including "You're Beautiful".New all girl act The Saturdays do a couple then headliner Rihanna plays five songs.She has the biggest stage production and its all fireworks and confetti for her massive worldwide hit "Umbrella". Better than expected event lasting some four hours. See aftershow page for this event................ 09 Dec 2008.Man Raze live at Monto Water Rats,Kings Cross,London.This was the last of their four UK club shows to promote their debut album "Surreal".Man Raze feature Sex Pistol Paul Cook,Phil Collen from Def Leppard and their old mate Simon Laffy who used to play in Phils pre Leppard band Girl.Both The Sex Pistols and Def Leppard have completed huge summer tours so now they can concentrate on Man Raze for a while.This club holds about 200 and there is no pit so you can get up nice and close which always makes a gig better.Before they come on Paul Cooks Union Jack Sex Pistols drum kit sits proudly at the back.Like their Spitz show a couple of years ago this was strictly about Man Raze and there was to be no SP or DL tonight. The 50 mins set started off with "This Is" and "Connected To You" and for the third song Phil Collen had discarded his shirt.Phil was 51 yesterday and has a very fit flat chest that puts most of even the younger males here to shame.The songs come thick and fast.Uptempo pop rockers with a splash of reggae on some."Every Second of Every Day " was great.The dub reggae of "Runnin' Me Up" was a pure joy to hear then rockers "Turn It Up" and "Skin Crawl" knocked the crowd for six.Pauls drumming was on top form and Phil Collen has always been a great guitarist.A couple of pukka covers at the end "Search And Destroy" and encore of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" sealed a great set.After a few mins break all the band came out to say hello to anyone that stayed behind.Ray McVeigh was here too. Setlist was This Is,Connected To You,"Spinning Out","Every Second Of Every Day","Halo","Low", "Cant Find My Own Way","Runnin'Me Up","Turn It Up","Skin Crawl","Its Entertainment","You're So Wrong","Search And Destroy".Encore was "Fire". Its not too much asking Santa for 2009 shows by Man Raze and The Professionals.We shall see. For more info check out www.manraze.com.......... 08 Dec 2008.6.15pm to 8.30pm.Launch party for The Swarovski Crystal Snowflake at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel,Knightsbridge,London.Always nice to be at this lovely 5 star hotel that is used by loads of big music acts when they come over inc Aerosmith,Metallica,KISS,Bon Jovi etc.Freebie Moet champers and canopes flowing.Stings wife Trudie Styler does the switching on of the giant snowflake hanging over the main Knightsbridge road junction which they said had the same weight as a Bentley Car.......then 9pm to 1am. The OK Magazine Christmas Party at The Living Room,Heddon Street,London.A big bash for 300 or 400 people with lots of girls all dressed up. Freebie cocktails,beers and yummie Baileys flowing all night with some decent dj sounds and a lively atmosphere.Some z listers from Big Brother and X Factor were here.Also Vanessa Felz(again).The "special live guests" turn out to be Same Difference.That awful boy and girl from one of the tv talent contests.30 mins of crap.Someone mentioned they have a UK tour next year including a headline show at Hammersmith Apollo which is hard to take in.A great party and loads of goody bags for all.................. 06 Dec 2008.Black Rock Masters Tennis at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Not a music event of course but i had to see my tennis hero John McEnroe play so its worth a mention.This was part of the week of matches here for tennis "seniors" including Pete Sampras and Pat Cash.Up first Jeremy Bates beat John McEnroe in a very close competitive game on a deciding tie break after winning a set each.John even had half a dozen of his "tantrums" with everyone including shouting at one of the ball boys.Great to see John play.At the end John McEnroe gave an emotional speech where he said that after being here at this great venue for all of its 12 years this year was the only time he has lost all three of his matches and perhaps its time to call it a day.The crowd as one shouted various forms of no and gave him a standing ovation.A real legend.Next we had a tennis doubles exhibition match featuring Bahrami the worlds most famous entertainer on court with lots of trick shots and fun.Then another doubles match featuring Henri Leconte.A nice evening.The event is held every year in first week of December..... 05 Dec 2008.6pm to 8.30pm.Cliff Richard "50th Anniversary - The Time Machine Tour" DVD launch party at Quo Vadis,Dean Street,Soho,London.Only about 40 people from national press and tv here....plus me.No Cliff fans here apart from maybe a couple who do his website/fanclub.Cliff is here for most of it and spends a few mins with everyone.The dvd was recorded a couple of weeks ago at the Wembley Arena show i was at.Of course it will make a perfect Christmas pressie for any Cliff fan.Its already number one in the midweek charts.Freebie drinks and canopes flowing.Half a dozen dvds were grabbed by others as soon as Cliff left the building but i missed out this time but it was a nice bash............. 04 Dec 2008.Barry Manilow + Bobby Davro live at The 02 Arena,London.Bobby Davro was very funny for his 30 mins set with lots of quickfire jokes and music impersonations.This was Barrys first of three shows at this venue.He has sold over 75 million albums.All the crowd have been given free blue glo sticks which makes an impressive sight.Barry was on stage for 95 mins with a 10 piece band that sometimes was a bit too loud.A mixture of average songs and those big hits inc "Could It Be Magic","I Made It Through The Rain" and "Cant Smile Without You". Of course it was a bit cheesy and Las Vegas in parts but his loyal female fans loved every second.It was great to see so many middle aged women all in one room really enjoying themselves. "Mandy" and "I Write The Songs" were both excellent and first encore "Copacabana" was great.Other encores were "Its A Miracle" with streamers and confetti and "Forever And A Day". An enjoyable show but 95 mins seemed short when you consider the older Cliff Richard was on stage for 150 mins a couple of weeks ago......... 03 Dec 2008.Simply Red + Beth Rowley live at The 02 Arena,London.Beth Rowley played a 30 mins set based on "Little Dreamer" cd.Plenty of soulful vocals and restrained arrangements that would be more suited to a small club than a massive venue like this.i first saw Simply Red in 1985 when they supported soul legend James Brown at three Hammersmith Odeon shows.Even then Mick Hucknall had a fantastic voice which he still has.He is an easy target for critics these days who seem to give him non stop stick.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins promoting new album "25-The Greatest Hits".They had most of the crowd up and swaying from the start.Set included "Its Only Love","A New Flame" and a great "Holding Back The Years". In the middle for four or five songs it went on auto pilot with average tunes and a couple of weak covers.Then more big hits like "Your Mirror","The Right Thing","Stars","Something Got Me Started" and "Moneys Too Tight To Mention". Encores were a fine "Fairground" and his stunning cover version of "If You Dont Know Me By Now".A good show but i have seen them better. Simply Red return to The 02 Arena on 02 and 03 April 2009 ................... 02 Dec 2008.The Spectator And GQ Magazines "Politics Meets Style" party at Browns Hotel, Albemarle Street,W1.7pm to 10pm.About 250 people here in this posh hotel for these two top mags.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails and canopes flowing.A few faces here including Dylan Jones and Toby Young from GQ.Hotels owner Sir Rocco Forte.Also Nick Mason from Pink Floyd,Piers Morgan,Quentin Wilson,Nancy Dell'Olio(Svens ex)and turning up right at the end with a rucksack on his back Mayor Boris Johnson.A nice crowd and a good bash ........ 01 Dec 2008.After six quality gigs in seven days it was time for a change so tonight did three drinks parties and a BBC Radio 5 interview... 6.30pm to 8.15pm was the launch party for Ann Summers "Enchantment" collection at 1 Marylebone Road,NW1.Lovely old converted building opposite Great Portland Street Tube.The freebie cocktails and canopes are flowing and there are half a dozen models in Ann Summers underwear.A few faces here including the owner Jaqueline Gold, new face of their advertising campaign actress Lois Winstone who is the daughter of Ray Winstone,Vanessa Felz and the blonde twins from Big Brother.A dj playing tunes and a burlesque show along with a lovely goody bag packed with stuff meant it was a great event....8.30pm to 9.15pm over to The Tatler Travel Awards at The Ritz Piccadilly,W1.Great to be in this famous old luxury hotel.Had a couple of drinks,canopes and goody bags again.The five winning hotels were in Australia,France,South Africa,Indonesia and Italy.More details in the new Tatler mag out this week.....9.20pm to 10.20pm.At Tatler a friend invited me to The Westminster Conservative Christmas Party,Hey Jo Club,Jermyn Street,SW1.Lots of posh folks in a long queue for the buffet with paper plates was a fun sight. Among the crowd was Steve Strange from 80s band Visage who told me he is about to restart his music career with a new single.He still gets fully dressed up which is great.....10.30pm I was at The Hilton Hotel,Park Lane,to meet my BBC car for journey back to BBC Centre,Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush for BBC Radio 5 interview with dj Richard Bacon.On air for about 20 mins from 11.30pm.It was great fun even though the time went very quickly and i only managed to get the raysgigs.com mention in once.Then the BBC drove me home .. 30 Nov 2008.Kid Rock live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.Only UK show by Kid Rock on his winter tour of Europe.He has sold around 25 million albums and has had a great 2008 as he continues to promote recent album "Rock n Roll Jesus".He arrives on stage and looks super cool in whiter than white top,trousers and trainers.He has a brilliant 10 piece band behind him which includes two female backing singers and a dj dropping in some beats.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins Kid Rock knows how to work the stage and entertain the crowd.Set included "Rock n Roll Jesus","Devil Without A Cause","Lowlife(Living The Highlife),and the massive hit single "All Summer Long".New single out this week "Roll On" went down well too.Also "Amen",a great version of his hit "Cowboy" and "Half Your Age" all rocked.The overall sound on stage was perfect and Kid Rock easily mixed up rock/hip hop/blues/country/funk/gospel throughout the set which was great.Plenty of naughty lyrics but the crowd here tonight lapped them all up.Also good was "Forever","3 Sheets To The Wind(Whats My Name) and cover of "Cat Scratch Fever" by fellow Detroit rocker Ted Nugent with Kid Rock playing drums.(He also played keyboard,guitar and even did a spot of dj scratching earlier too).A big finale of massive hit "Bawitdada" sealed off a really good show ............ 29 Nov 2008.Simple Minds + Deacon Blue live at Wembley Arena,London.A double bill of acts from Glasgow.Deacon Blue were quite big in the late 80s/early 90s and were an ideal support.Singer Ricky Ross has a wry sense of humour on stage. The 45 mins set included "Real Gone Kid","Fergus Sings The Blues","Wages Day" and a fine "Dignity" .The venue is sold out tonight for Simple Minds 30th anniversary show.Another band who i have a lot of history with.I have seen them over a dozen times since 1980.Lots of big songs here tonight and a great light show with two giant screens.On stage for two hours they got the place singing with a set including "Waterfront","Mandela Day","Love Song","The American","Someone Somewhere In Summertime", "Promised You A Miracle","Glittering Prize",a superb "Dont You (Forget About Me),also "Belfast Child".Encores included rocking versions of "Sanctify Yourself" and "Alive And Kicking".They are a band who are always great live in concert. Actress Patsy Kensit was sitting a couple of rows in front of me right of stage.She of course used to be married to singer Jim Kerr............ 28 Nov 2008.Primal Scream live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.On a full UK tour to promote recent album "Beautiful Future" Primal Scream were on stage for 1 hour 40 mins.Lots of dirty dance based rock n roll tunes.Set included "Jailbird" and "Beautiful Future".Nice use of a big screen behind them along with strobes and lasers.Great versions of "Swastika Eyes","Moving On Up" and "Rocks".Encores included "Higher Than The Sun" and "Country Girl".As always Bobby Gillespie's vocals were low in the mix but Primal Scream are always good to watch live .... 26 Nov 2008.Jarvis Cocker live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.This show was part of the 30th anniversary shows for legendary record shop Rough Trade which was were i bought most of my punk records back in 1976/1977.Jarvis Cocker and band played for around 95 mins.He is a great on stage with plenty of fun banter and charisma. He still twists and shimmys his skinny tall frame across the stage.Set included "Tonight", "Girls Like It Too","I Will Kill Again","Big Stuff",a nice rocky version of "Black Magic". Encores included "Just A Fucking Song","Cunts Are Still Running The World" and "Dont Let Him Waste Your Time".Not many acts would admit like Jarvis did on stage on how on the afternoon of the gig the band had their soundcheck then went over to the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush for a couple of hours to see what all the fuss was about.A good gig................ 25 Nov 2008.The Alarm live at Islington Academy, London.Last of three Tuesday night shows at this venue for their UK tour to promote their new album "Guerilla Tactics".Another band who i have seen loads of times over the last 25 years.They played for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets.For me Mike Peters really is a Welsh legend.His passion for music and performing is amazing.Set included a few good ones off the new album and loads of great oldies including "Unsafe Building","Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke","Sold Me Down The River","Rain In The Summertime" and "Strength".At the start of the second set Mike Peters played a few acoustic songs in the middle of the floor with crowd around him starting with "Rockin In The Free World" then on stage with the band for "Rescue Me","45rpm","Stand","Marching On","Blaze Of Glory","68 Guns" and encores of "One Step Closer To Home" and "Spirit Of 76". Yet another fantastic Alarm gig.See aftershow page for this gig ............ 24 Nov 2008.Extreme + Hotleg live at The Astoria,London.A nice sold out atmosphere here. Hotleg feature Justin ex Darkness singer on vocals.I quite liked The Darkness but Hotlegs 40 mins set was just pretty average stuff really. I saw Extreme a few times in their 1991/1992 heyday and this is the first London show in some 13 or 14 years as part of their reunion world tour.They were on stage for 2 hours 5 mins and were really good.The sound was great and they still have neat lashings of funk in their rock. Set included "Decadence Dance" ,"Kid Ego" and a couple of tracks "Star" and "Ghost" from their first studio album in 13 years just released "Saudades De Rock".Nuno Bettencourt is still a great guitar player and posing for the ladies. Their big hit "More Than Words" had all the crowd singing. Their superb anthem "Get The Funk Out" is one of the best rock singles ever.Encores were "Am I Ever Gonna Change","Hole Hearted", Led Zeps "Communication Breakdown" and Justin came on to help them for a 10 minute four song Queen medley as it was Freddies anniversary. "I Want To Break Free/Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race/Tie Your Mother Down".A really great finish. The gig was a huge success for Extreme and i can see them playing the UK every year from now on. ......... 22 Nov 2008.Motorhead + Saxon live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Get to the venue at 7.30pm and there is 100 in the guest list queue so end up missing the first band Danko Jones.The girl in the box office tells me there is a massive 300 or 400 on the guest list tonight.Wow. Saxon play a really good 50 mins of catchy rock. Tunes inc "Motorcycle Man","And The Bands Played On","747(Strangers In The Night" and "Princess Of The Night".The crowd loved it.What can you say about the rock legend that is Lemmy? Motorhead are another band who i have a lot of history with as i have seen them over 25 times since the 1970s.Even now Lemmy stills calls it The Hammersmith Odeon and refuses to say the A word.I was there for "No Sleep Till Hammersmith " live album in the early 1980s.Their dirty wall of noise is just brilliant.The 95 mins set included "Stay Clean","Metropolis", "Over The Top" and their cover of Sex Pistols "God Save The Queen" dedicated To Steve Jones.They played a couple of tracks from new album "Motorizer".Also "Just Because You Got The Power" and a stunning "Killed By Death" where they were joined by five female dancers in underwear with fire tricks.Encores of "Whorehouse Blues" a pukka "Ace Of Spades" where they were joined by Wurzel on guitar and then a perfect "Overkill" with a blaze of strobes and the dancing girls came back on.A great show. This was the last night of their UK tour before they head into mainland Europe for a month.See aftershow page for this gig .. 19 Nov 2008.The Fratellis live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.This was an invite only acoustic show for some 250 people for Q Mag Music Club. Its half comp winners and half music biz and media.Free cocktails,beer and Hard Rock grub is flowing all night for all which is great but that means loads of the music biz/media folks at the back are more interested in the free booze and chatting away for the bands entire set.The Fratellis have had a great year with the success of their "Costello Music" album.Tonight they play for 60 mins but never really get going. Set included "Baby Doll","A Heady Tale" neat covers of Pink Floyds "Breathe In The Air" and Led Zeps "Rock And Roll",also "Stacie Anne" and "Whistle For The Choir".They did not play their big hit "Chelsea Dagger".They seemed keen on just getting the gig over with.Maybe with a full band electric gig would have been better but tonights acoustic set was just drab.............. 18 Nov 2008.Leonard Cohen live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Had to go back and see him again.Its the same setlist as yesterday with even the same six encores but its again superb. Some of the songs here are just sublime perfection that send a tingle down your back.His main heyday was late 60s/early 70s and he can make you feel if you are in a Soho or Parisian cafe from that era.Another fantastic show........ 17 Nov 2008.Leonard Cohen live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.L.C.back in London for the third of four shows after getting fantastic reviews from the 02 Arena gig in July that i was at.The setlist has been changed around a bit too.He is now aged 74 and he was on stage for 2 hours 40 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 100 mins.That golden voice and those lyrics are just amazing with the crowd in total silence as he sings and they hang on to every word.His band are superb as are the three female backing singers.First set included "Aint No Cure For Love","Bird On The Wire","Everybody Knows","Who By Fire","Chelsea Hotel No 2","Hey,Thats No Way To Say Goodbye" and "Anthem".Second set included "Tower Of Song","Suzanne","Boogie Street",a mega "Hallelujah" got another standing ovation, "I'm Your Man",a stunning "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and "Take This Waltz".The six encores were "So Long Marianne","First We Take Manhattan", a superb "Famous Blue Raincoat", a brilliant "If It Be Your Will","Democracy" and "I Tried To Leave You".He sung with his hat on but took it off every time he spoke to the audience.There was plenty of humour from him too.The Royal Albert Hall is much more suited to him than the massive 02 Arena thats for sure. Most of the crowd downstairs had paid 100 and 90 quid to be there but i doubt any felt they did not get good value tonight.Pure quality.......... 16 Nov 2008.Fish live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.In their 1980s heyday i saw Fish with Marillion 25 times with over of 20 of those at Hammersmith Odeon.They were a great live band. Times have changed and tonight Level 2 and 3 are closed due to lack of ticket sales.Fish was on stage for 2 hours 05 mins.He has a great stage personality which he uses as a part time radio dj now and still has loads of stories to tell between songs.Too many in fact.The opening of "Slaine Mhath" was great and "Warm Wet Circles" and "White Russian" were also good.It dipped a bit in the middle with average songs from new album "13th Star".A cover of SAHBs "Faithhealer" was briliant as Fish walked into the stalls laying his hands on the punters heads."Cliche" was good and the finale of old Marillion gems "Kayleigh" and "Lavender" were great.Encore was a neat "Clutching At Straws". So a mixed show really but enough good bits to send everyone home happy enough.................. 15 Nov 2008.Cliff Richard live at Wembley Arena, London.This was the last of Cliffs four shows at this venue.I was there a few days ago on the first night.As expected its the same set. Again it starts prompt at 7.30pm on the dot. Better atmosphere as the place is rammed with not a spare seat in sight as tonight is being filmed for DVD release on 01 Dec 2008.As mentioned in my full review of his earlier show lots of great songs and lots of average songs. Cliff always mentions all his songwriters on stage.When you consider he started before Beatlemania and has still survived through punk rock,grunge,britpop,indie and all the rest for a staggering 50 years its quite amazing.Near the end it looks like its "What Car" as the cue song for 200 females to storm to the front of stage past the hopeless security to bombard Cliff with cuddly toys,flowers and gifts.Its a nice feel good show to watch.Sir Cliff on stage for 2 hours 30 mins at age 68.Respect is due........... Sat afternoon i was at QPR 1 Burnley 2 where i bumped into Clash legend Mick Jones.He was at Old Trafford for the recent QPR Man Utd game. His band Carbon Silicon play two Christmas Shows at Hammersmith Working Mens Club on Dec 15 and 16 with tickets at 15 quid adv or 20 on door........ 14 Nov 2008.Robin Williams live at The Gielgud Theatre,Shaftesbury Avenue,London W1.There has been an unprecedented number of comedians playing shows the last couple of months inc Lee Evans,Sarah Silverman,French And Saunders,Steve Coogan but all have had average or worse reviews. Robin Williams is an A list actor and comedian who despite being on tv interviews often these are his first stand up comedy shows for some 25 years.This was the last of just three lowkey shows in London which sold out in minutes.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins he was total quality. Talking at 100mph most of the time the laughs came pretty non stop.Politics,sex,rehab etc with loads of different accents and funny faces.For the encores he took questions from the audience with some witty ad libs.Very good................ Have a peek at this famous Sex Pistols clip from when they played in Wales in 1976.Its so funny. www.itvlocal.com/wales type in Sex Pistols....... 13 Nov 2008.Stereophonics live at The Riverside Studios,Hammersmith,London.This was an invite only show for 500 people(400 comp winners and 100 guests and media)to launch their "Decade In The Sun" Best Of/Greatest Hits album.Their last couple of studio albums have been panned by the critics but The Stereophonics deserve more recognition than they get.For the last ren years they have toured constantly to a loyal fanbase that has kept them playing arenas each tour. They now have a whole bunch of great tunes.The 85 mins set included "The Bartender And The Thief","A Thousand Trees","Pick A Part Thats New","Mr Writer","Just Looking","Local Boy In The Photograph" and encores "It Means Nothing", "Maybe Tomorrow","Have A Nice Day","Traffic" and ending with a brilliant "Dakota".I love their Oasis type heavy distortion guitar sound.Kelly Jones on good form and it was an great show. They play the 02 Arena on Sat 20 Dec 2008 as part of their December trek around the UK. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 11 Nov 2008.9pm to 12.30am.Claridges Bar 10th Anniversary Party,Claridges Hotel,London W1.This invite only event was just superb.Plenty of freebie cocktails,champers and canopes flowing in the main bar of this famous 5 star hotel always used by A listers.Lots of faces here include Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster and Rod's daughter Kimberley.I had a lovely chat with Rod Stewart.I asked him "whats the latest news about a Faces reunion?".The answer is a total exclusive to this website.This Monday Rod is meeting up with Ronnie Wood and the others in the studio for their first rehearsal. "Just to check if they can remember the songs". Great news.They will use Rod's current tour bass player as Ronnie Lane has sadly passed away. Also here was the lovely and friendly Cilla Black who was very cosy with Reading F.C. chairman and hotel owner John Madejski.Also Jade Jagger,Ozwald Boateng,Rick Parfitt Jr,Nicky Haslam,Rosamund Pike(actress from James Bond Die Another Day etc),Zandra Rhodes,Donna Air,Leah Wood.A great crowd and dj playing cool tunes. This was a quality bash ..... 10 Nov 2008.Cliff Richard live at Wembley Arena,London.This was the opening show of his UK arena tour and the first of four shows at this venue.Its his 50th yes 50th anniversary tour as his first single came out way back in 1958.It might seem a bit odd that for someone whose fave bands are The Sex Pistols and The Clash to be here but i have seen Cliff before and its always a good show.Despite being aged 68 he is on stage for 2 hours 30 mins over two sets and he danced a fair bit.Backed by a nice big stage production with four video screens ,8 dancers and 4 backing singers his loyal older crowd loved it.Hit after hit with the year of release on the screens and old footage from that year which was fun.Set included "Move It","Living Doll",a really good "Wired For Sound" also "Daddy's Home" and loads more gems "Devil Woman","We Dont Talk Anymore","The Young Ones","Summer Holiday", "Bachelor Boy" and "Congratulations". The second half dipped a bit as there were too many ballads i thought and the songs were less fun and his version of "The Lords Prayer" was plain awful."All I Ask Of You" from Phantom Of The Opera was good as was "Misty Nights","Ocean Deep" and "What Car".The set finished with two average new songs from 2008. A true professional with lots of friendly stage banter Cliff is better than you would think. Tonights show profits went to www.tearfund.org At the end he announced that in 2009 he would reunite with The Shadows for a full UK tour and that his Saturday 15 Nov show would be recorded for a live dvd for shop release on 01 Dec........ Looks like all the rumours were true.Ultravox are reforming for a full UK tour in April 2009 and includes Hammersmith Apollo on April 24...... 07 and 08 Nov 2008.Queen with Paul Rodgers live at The 02 Arena(Fri)and Wembley Arena(Sat),London.Another band with whom i have a lot of history.I saw Queen around a dozen times with Freddie Mercury.First as a support band to Mott The Hoople in 1973 and all the way up to their legendary Live Aid show.I went to both these shows which were the last two of their European Tour.The first six songs of the 2 hours 20 mins set are all gems with "Hammer To Fall","Tie Your Mother Down","Fat Bottomed Girls","Another One Bites The Dust","I Want It All",and "I Want To Break Free".A stunning lightshow and perfect use of the giant screen.Paul Rodgers then plays "Seagull" acoustic and for the middle part of the show the songs are performed on the extended walkway inc Roger Taylors drumkit."A Kind Of Magic" was good.Their new album "The Cosmos Rocks" has had pretty bad reviews and they play four or five songs from it tonight.They play "Bad Company" at The 02 Arena and this was swopped for "Feel Like Making Love" at Wembley Arena.The last 50 mins was fab with "Radio Ga Ga","Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "The Show Must Go On" and a superb "Bohemian Rhapsody" with the first half sung by Freddie on the big screen before Paul Rodgers comes on for the rocky bit.Encores of "Cosmos Rocks", a mega "All Right Now","We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" all had everyone singing. Freddie is of course sadly missed but this was a hugely entertaining live show.The crowd loved it and those Queen classics live on................. 05 Nov 2008.A busy night tonight as attended three very good events....6.15pm to 7.30pm.Status Quo album launch and art auction at Bonhams,New Bond Street,London.A large crowd here of 300 or 400.Lots of free champers and canopes flowing. All of Quo are here.All are very friendly and chatty and posing for photos and signing stuff.Also here was Quo original drummer John Coghlan and 70s pop star Leo Sayer.New album out this week "Pictures - 40 Years Of Hits" and the art auction was 50 one off paintings by musicians and celebs all with a Quo theme.A couple went for over 10k each.Over 100k raised for Prince's Trust Charity..then a mad rush over to see Bryan Adams at The 02 Arena,London.A sold out show here on the last date of his UK tour.And its his birthday today.49 i think.As its Guy Fawkes night we get a full firework display at the start which was a nice touch.He starts on the second stage on the floor with a couple of songs inc "Cant Stop This Thing We Started" then it was loads of catchy pop rock gems from his career.A long set of 2 hours 20 mins inc "Somebody","18 Till I Die",a mega "Summer Of 69","Everything I Do I Do It For You","Cuts Like A Knife" then he gets a girl from the audience to help with "Baby When You're Gone".She does a good job.Halfway through it a pregnant Melanie C comes on to help out to great applause.Then it was "Thought I'd Died And Gone To Heaven","Shes Only Happy When Shes Dancing","Heaven","Its Only Love","The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You",a superb "Run To You".Encores included "Cloud Number Nine","C'mon Everybody","Straight From The Heart" and "When The Night Comes". Another one of those acts i have seen over 20 times and Bryan Adams always puts on a great show.....then back into town midnight to 2am for The Tatler Magazine Little Black Book Top 200 Party at Tramp,London.Legendary 1970s venue thats still going.A posh crowd of all the so called cool and trendiest Sloane Rangers in town. Not sure who was here earlier but Bryan Ferry's kids are still here.The list includes Pippa Middleton,James Blunt,Mika,Alexa Chung,Princess Beatrice,Princess Eugenie,Coco Sumner(Stings daughter)etc .The full list is in this months Tatler Magazine in the shops now.Lots of freebie cocktails,a rockin dj ,canopes and goodie bags.Very good ........ 04 Nov 2008.Bill Wyman And The Rhythm Kings live at The Dorchester Hotel,Mayfair,London.Popped into this posh hotel at 11pm for the entertainment after The Dyslexia Awards evening. Ex Rolling Stones legend Bill Wyman has been playing with this band of his now for over 10 years after taking the brave decision to leave The Rolling Stones.They were on for 55 mins. Mainly covers with a boogie woogie blues feel to it.I imagine a lot of the people that like this would also see The Jools Holland Big Band.They sneaked a Stones song "Honky Tonk Woman" and the set included Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" and a version of "Mustang Sally" was sung by someone who was in the crowd.It all kind of felt a bit average but Bill Wyman really loves playing this music he likes . 03 Nov 2008.Classic Rock Awards at The Park Lane Hotel,Piccadilly,London.One of my fave awards events as it always gets such a great mix of big classic rock names and surprises.7pm to 8.30pm its freebie champers reception.Faces here include Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne,Slash,Jon Culshaw(who impersonates Ozzy on the tv),Ronnie Wood (without his new girlfriend),Jeff Beck,David Coverdale,Wayne Kramer(MC5),Martin Turner(Wishbone Ash),Mick Rock,Ross Halfin,lots of big promoters and booking agents include Harvey Goldsmith,John Giddings,Rod McSween,Neil Warnock and others,Toby Jepson(Little Angels),Peter Green (ex Fleetwood Mac),Quireboys,Thunder,Airbourne, Todd Rundgren,Alter Bridge,Jaz Coleman(Killing Joke),nice surprise to see Sex Pistol Paul Cook and Ray McVeigh.They played in a band called The Professionals when the Pistols split in late 1970s and are planning possible reunion gigs in 2009??.Jack Bruce,Phil Manzanera,Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone (both from The Zombies).Primal Scream,Fish,Joe Bonamassa,Gary Moore and the boys from Anvil whose film is out Feb 2009.From 8.30pm to 10pm was the seated 3 course dinner for 400.We are part of the 50 or so media and standing folks at the bar.The 16 awards are 10pm to 11.30pm.Some of the winners were Whitesnake who won Album Of The Year for "Good To Be Bad".It was fantastic to see Paul Stanley of KISS get Showman Of The Year.Sadly we saw some great video clips only as Paul could not turn up.The Classic Album went to Cream for "Disraeli Gears" which Jack Bruce picked up. Outstanding Contribution was presented by Ronnie Wood to Jeff Beck.Finally the main award for Living Legend was presented by Slash to Ozzy Osbourne and we were treated to a brilliant 10 mins of solo and Sabbath video clips.More drinks for 45 mins at the venue.Picked up goody bags. So many great artists here i really love.Superb. The Classic Rock mag issue out on dec 10 will have over 20 pages devoted to the awards show. See aftershow page for this event................ 02 Nov 2008.Focus + Wishbone Ash + Groundhogs live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Nice three band rock package of acts that were pretty big in the early 1970s.This was the last night of their UK tour.The Groundhogs were a bit too loose.Tony McPhee on guitar tried his best but it was all pretty average......next Wishbone Ash played a very good 55 mins set.They sounded very tight and played accurate versions of all their oldies despite only having Martin Turner as the sole original member.Four of five songs from their Number 3 in the charts album in 1972 "Argus" went down well as did last song "Jail Bait".....i presume Focus came on last as they dont really tour that much compared to the other two acts.Their 60 mins set was a bit too much prog rock twaddle for me with a drum solo, bass solo,keyboard solo and a flute solo.Their hits from 1973 "Sylvia" and "Hocus Pocus" were good to hear live but the night belonged to Wishbone Ash.13 March 2009 sees Wishbone Ash support Golden Earring at this venue. See aftershow page for this gig.................