Archive: May 2009

May 22, 2009

22 May 2009.Eric Clapton live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Erics show number five of eleven at The RAH.Trivia fact.This will be his 152nd,yes 152nd time he has played at The Royal Albert Hall.It is the second time i have been this week.The RAH is hot and humid and rammed to capacity with gallery standing and seats behind the stage.Eric again on for two hours.The sound is great and the band is great and Erics guitar playing is again on top form.A nice surprise is that the setlist is being changed by a couple of songs each night.He did not play "Lay Down Sally" tonight but he did on the opening night.He did play "I Shot The Sheriff","Layla" and his cover of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".Also "Badge", "Wonderful Tonight" and an extended version of "Cocaine" with a great wah wah solo from the other guitarist.The multi night fans all know to run to the front of stage at the end of the set for the encore of "Crossroads".Only complaint is that as you are watching a great guitarist is that it would have been nicer to be a bit closer to the stage.Another very good show.............. 21 May 2009.8pm.Jackson Browne live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.This was his last date on a two month long European Tour.I saw him at this venue a month ago in the middle of the tour.At the start he announces that for those who were at the first show there will be a different setlist of half a dozen songs.Again its a nice long show.On stage for 2 hours 35 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 90 mins.His band are great,the sound quality is perfect and some lovely lyrics and melodies.Still promoting his "Time The Conqueror" album.First set included "Rock Me On The Water","Jamaica Say You Will",and "About My Imagination".Second set included "Before The Deluge","Lives In The Balance","Going Down To Cuba" and superb versions of "The Pretender" and "Running On Empty".Encores inc "Take It Easy" the Eagles hit that he wrote with Glenn Frey .Also "I Am A Patriot".A very good show from this American songwriting legend........ 21 May 2009.Noon to 5pm.The 54th Ivor Novello Awards At The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London.This is the main awards event for songwriters in the UK.See www.theivors.com for the winners.A big crowd here as usual with 1200 seated downstairs for a 3 course dinner and i am upstairs with 100 press,media and tv folks.There are 15 awards given out.Presented by Paul Gambachini.Those presenting or getting an award or just hanging out inc Elbow(won 2 awards),Daniel Miller presented Vince Clark for Outstanding Song Collection (Depeche Mode/Yazoo/Erasure).Damon Albarn presented Massive Attack with Outstanding Contribution Award.Duffy acceped Most Played Song Award.Great to see Edwyn Collins get The Inspiration award from Roddy Frame.The International award was picked up by soul legend Smokey Robinson.Sir George Martin presented The Fellowship award to Don Black(film scores/tv/music).Also here Calvin Harris,Dizzee Rascal,Rolf Harris,Sophie Ellis Bextor,The Feeling,Robin Gibb,Cerys Mathews,Jeff Wayne,Phil Jupitus,Sharleen Spiteri,Damon Gough(Badly Drawn Boy) who have a very funny speech.Feargal Sharkey, Mike Rutherford.David Grant,Ian Broudie,Will Young and only a saddo like me would know Clive Wilson from 1970s pop act Racey but it was nice seeing him.Drinks after until 5pm.A good event........... 20 May 2009.10.45pm to 2.30am.50th Anniversary Party For Island Records At 33 Portland Place,London W.1.A big crowd of some 500 people celebrating one of the UKs greatest record companies.They signed Bob Marley,U2,Amy Winehouse and many more.The venue is a lovely big old house with high ceilings and framed pictures of Island Records acts all over the walls.The djs are playing all reggae on the lower floor and dance anthems on the top floor.I had far too many of the freebie cocktails and chicken burgers tonight. Record companies dont seem to have as many parties as the old days but this was a full on good one.Those here inc Elbow,The Feeling,Juliette Lewis,Mark Ronson,Aswad.Glen Matlock(Sex Pistols/Rich Kids) is having a good natter with Tony James (Gen X/Sique Sigue Sputnik/Carbon Silicon).Lots of behind the scenes music biz folks here.Pat Gilbert and Chris Salewicz who have both brough out Clash books are here.Djs spotted inc Don Letts,Annie Nightingale,Bob Harris and Sara Cox.A very good loud messy party.A free Island Records photo exhibition is on Mon to Sat 11am to 8pm at Phonica Records,51 Poland Street,London W1. Also there are the six special "Island Life" shows at Shepherds Bush Empire next week that feature Grace Jones,Paul Weller,Cat Stevens(Yusef),Amy Winehouse and others .......... 18 May 2009.Went to two good events tonight.Up first 7pm to 8.30pm i was at the opening party for Royston Blythe Hair Salon at The Alain Ducasse Restaurant at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London.About 150 guests here in this posh hotel with freebie champers and canopes flowing. Faces here include Barbara Windsor,Nancy Dell'Olio and Lorraine Chase.A great story here as Royston has worked his way up from the suburbs of Wolverhampton to have an in store salon at this very well known five star hotel.A hair fashion show featured about a dozen models. A good one....then a dash over to see Nick Lowe live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.A big gig for Nick Lowe but sadly venue is half empty and the circle is closed.Its more to do with Nick having the same promoter as Eric Clapton who is putting on acts inbetween Erics days off.Nick is promoting new album "Quiet Please:The New Best Of Nick Lowe".On stage for 90 mins with loads of great lyrics from his 30 years plus career.You could hear every word clearly which was great. Most of the songs had a country tinge to them. Tracks played inc "Whats Shaking On The Hill", "Indian Queens" a very good "Cruel To Be Kind" also "I Live On A Battlefield","Lets Stay In And Make Love","I Knew The Bride(When She Used To Rock And Roll)" and "Whats So Funny About Peace Love And Understanding".Not much going on visually but he told some great stories.Encores included "The Beast In Me" and he was joined by his support act Ron Sexsmith for a song.A good show overall as part of his UK tour.A good sprinkling of faces here.I saw Glen Matlock(Sex Pistols),Rat Scabies(Damned),Martin Chambers(Pretenders).Also Mark Lamarr and Jo Brand....... 17 May 2009.Black Crowes live at Brixton Academy, London.This was the last of just three shows in Europe(also Holland and Spain)for this blues rock band who i have seen some 10 times including a show in Los Angeles in 1995.You have to admire their love for all things early 1970s. Its all beards,long dank hair,old jeans,dodgy clothes.They really are all in their own little world.They play a two hour set.The oldies go down the best.Opener "No Speak No Slave" was good as was third song "Twice As Hard".Also good was "Moving On Down The Line".As usual Chris Robinsons vocals could have been clearer.A couple of new unrecorded songs played including one with a neat uptempo disco bass riff.In the middle was 30 mins of blues rock muso twaddle.Then it got better again with "She Talks To Angels","Hard To Handle" and encores inc a cover of "Shapes Of Things To Come".Always to good to see Black Crowes live 16 May 2009.Eric Clapton live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.This was the opening night of eleven shows here for this guitar legend.The place is totally rammed solid.Eric and his great band are on stage for two hours.I have seen him loads of times over the last 30 years including all four Cream reunion shows at this venue.Eric still is a fantastic guitar player and the sound he gets of out it still is stunning.Lots of goodies played inc "I Shot The Sheriff",then a semi acoustic section for "Layla","Lay Down Sally" and a surprise cover of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".Briiliant full electric versions of "Badge","Wonderful Tonight","Cocaine" and encore of "Crossroads".Needless to say a standing ovation at the end and a very good gig.......... 15 May 2009.Enrique Iglesias + Alesha Dixon live at The 02 Arena,London.Why am i here you ask?? Up first is Alesha Dixon.I really like her.She looks great,dances great and has a lovely personality.Her superb hit single "The Boy Does Nothing" is the highlight of her 30 mins set.She could be the British Beyonce with some better material.She headlines her own Winter tour. Enrique and band are on for 95 mins for the last night of their UK arena tour.Its a huge production with loads of lights,big screens and three stage catwalk extentions that he fully uses to get up close to his female fans who dont stop screaming.Its simple pop with a hint of latin disco.Good tracks were "Love To See You Cry","Dont Turn Off The Lights" and "Escape". He even got a couple of guys on stage.Enrique knows he has a huge gay following of course.A decent cover of "Purple Rain" was good as was "Tired Of Being Sorry" and "Do You Know(Ping Pong Song).Great encores of "Taking Back My Love" and his big hit ballad "Hero" where he did his usual party trick of getting a girl on stage to sing it too.He works the stage great and it was a good enjoyable show .... 14 May 2009.Wow what a great day this was.First of all i have a few words with Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickenson who i bump into in Shepherds Bush(i think he still lives in Chiswick) then up to West End for legends New York Dolls who are doing a rare signing at 1pm at HMV in Oxford Street to promote their new album "Cause I Sez So".Band turn up a bit late at 1.30pm and stay for an hour and everyone gets their stuff signed.I got the new album signed as well as The New York Dolls photo book by Bob Gruen and get a couple of photos.Excellent. Then back home for the afternoon......then back into town 6.45pm to 7.45pm for Pandora Jewelry launch of their Love Pod rings at the very posh Claridges Hotel,Mayfair.Freebie quality champers and top notch grub are flowing.They give a very over the top visual presentation.But its quality stuff.At the end they gave out 180 goodie bags. Five bags had diamond rings hidden in white roses.My bag had one.18 carat gold with quality diamonds and hallmark.Worth over 200 quid.See www.pandora-jewelry.com for more info........... .....then over to see New York Dolls + Spizz Energi live at The 100 Club,London.Up first Spizz plays a brilliant 30 mins set of gems from the early 1980s inc "Wheres Captain Kirk".He should be playing bigger venues than he does at the moment.Needless to say this gig sold out in four minutes.Just 300 people including Paul Simonen(ex Clash) and Bobby Gillespie(Primal Scream) in this legendary venue to see this legendary band.Everyone here knows its an I WAS THERE show that will never be repeated.By the time the band come on its very hot,humid and sweaty in here.Its a stunning 1 hour 40 mins set of old classics and new stuff Some 20 tunes inc "Babylon",the superb new single "Cause I Sez So","We're All In Love',"Private World',"Stranded In The Jungle","Gotta Get Away From Tommy","Looking For A Kiss","Frankenstein", "Nobody Got No Bizness","Pills","You Cant Put Your Arms Around A Memory","Dance Like A Monkey". Oldie "Trash" started as the original version then went into the soft version thats on the new album but i was not keen on the new version. Also "Jet Boy" and encores included "Personality Crisis".What a fantastic club show.The Dolls show finished at 11.10pm then i got a text to say Rod Stewart had just come on stage at the charity event in Battersea.....a mad dash over to The Evolution Arena where some 800 plus rich folks have paid a minimum of 500 quid each for this black tie charity drinks and dinner that had started at 7pm.Rod was on for 12 songs in 60 mins but i only saw the last three in 15 mins but got just few feet from Rod and the band.I saw "Baby Jane",then for "Do Ya Think Im Sexy" he got half a dozen stunning women in the crowd to dance on stage with him.Final song was a mass singalong of "Sailing".Rod stills looks and sounds fantastic.I stayed at the party until 1.30am for some drinks and a dance to a covers band.Celebs here included Elizabeth Hurley,Penny Lancaster,Bruce Forsyth,Chris Eubank,Nigel Benn,Carl Froch,Phil Tufnell,Esther Rantzen,Rachel Stevens,Sinitta,Colin Jackson,Alan Carr,Justin Lee Collins,Kelly Hoppen,Stephen Gately,Emma Noble and a few more. Ticket sales and auction and raffle raised 1.7 milion quid for Caudwell Childrens Charity What an excellent day ... 13 May 2009.Went to three events tonight.First 7pm to 8.15pm i was at the very posh Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane for the relaunch of their health spa which they have spent 3 million quid on.It looks fantastic.Champers and canopes are flowing.Nancy Dell'Olio is here.Nice goodie bag of spa related and Dorchester Hotel items....then 8.30pm to 9.30pm at luxury Italian clothing store Hogan for their party in Sloane Street,Knightsbridge.All the main paparazi are here.Nice to see Skin from Skunk Anansie who always looks great.She said her band have played two warm up shows to see how it felt.Also Beth Ditto from Gossip was here.Also Nicky Haslam and Pixie Geldof.Just many photos do the paps need of Pixie Geldof?? when she is out most nights. Champers and canopes flowing for this trendy fashion crowd....then 10pm to midnight was the 15th anniversary of Loaded Magazine at Bloomsbury Bowling Alley.A huge crowd here with loads of free vodka cocktails and Magners Cider.Had a few games on the table football but the bowling lanes were all booked up.Carl Barat from Dirty Pretty Things was here as were a few models inc Lucy Pinder.Lively bash.Goodie bag was loads of stuff from sponsors Durex.All three events tonight made a very good evening................. 12 May 2009.Miss Great Britain Beauty Pageant Final at Cafe De Paris,London.This event has been going for over 50 years and its heyday was in the 1970s when it was shown on tv but times have changed.It starts off well as we get into vip area where the free booze and judges and celebs are.Great to see football legends Paul Gascoigne and Teddy Sherringham.Gazza still looks a bit shaky and Teddy as usual has a few girls half his age around him.Also here is Vanessa Felz,Simon Webbe and Antony Costa from Blue,David Van Day,Lucy Pinder and some actors from the tv soaps.Hosted by Jack Whitehall.Lots of great looking girls in the buzzing crowd all dolled up with fake tan everywhere.There were 11 (one dropped out)girls in the final who first were in swimsuits then dresses then a q and a session.The answers were as bad as the questions. Someone from X Factor sung three or four songs. Winner was Miss Newcastle.The event seemed more an excuse for a party than a serious competition. The djs kept the party rocking after the event.A decent goodie bag at the end.Good fun............ 11 May 2009.Specials + djs live at Brixton Academy,London.This was show number three of five sold out shows at this venue as part of their 30th anniversary UK reunion tour.I was really looking forward to seeing these gigs as i saw them a few times in those great ska days of 1979 to 1981.Jerry Dammers is not here but that sounds like karma as he was such a pain to the other members back in the day.The vibe inside is perfect as the dj plays a host of ska classics before the band come on and the whole venue is rocking.The band come on at 9.30pm and play a superb 95 mins set.All the best tunes from their short career and no new material.The three at the front have aged very well.A dream setlist "Do The Dog","Dawning Of A New Era","Gangsters","Its Up To You","Rat Race", "Monkey Man","Blank Expression","Too Hot","Doesn't Make It Alright","Concrete Jungle", "Friday Night/Saturday Morning","Stereotype", "Man At C n A","A Message To You Rudy","Do Nothing","Night Klub","You're Wondering Now", "Ghost Town" and encores "Too Much Too Young", "Skinhead Moonstomp" and "Enjoy Yourself".The floor was heaving all night and from start to finish this was a fantastic gig.................. 10 May 2009.Sunday lunch with Leslie Phillips CBE OBE at The Marriot Hotel,Swiss Cottage,London NW3.Noon to 5pm.A smallish crowd of 140 to celebrate this legendary 85 year old comedy actor.Mixture of Leslies guests and paid tickets.First there was a drinks reception and a lovely three course meal.Lots of older faces here i grew up watching on the telly inc Liz Fraser and Jackie Piper from The Carry On Films. Leslie was in three Carry Ons.Also here are Barry Cryer,Jeremy Lloyd,Nicholas Parsons,the woman that played Madge in Neighbours, and dj Mike Read.After dinner there was an hour of film clips and Mike Read and Jeremy Lloyd interviewd Leslie Phillips on stage.He still is full of humour and even gave a couple of his famous "Ding Dong" catchphrases.With over 60 years of tv and film work Leslie Phillips is a bona fide national treasure.I got a nice photo signed by him.A really lovely afternoon.......... 09 May 2009.Radio 1 Big Weekend at Lydiard Park,Swindon feat Snow Patrol + Kasabian + Dizzee Rascal + Script.Some 20,000 people each day for this free gig to Radio 1 comp winners. (Sunday was headlined by Prodigy + Lily Allen). A 75 mile drive each way from West London.The main stage is in a massive supertent which seemed odd at first but as its May and could be raining and it gets a bit chilly in the evening it was probably the right idea.All the bands do shorter sets than usual so its hits based which is great.Script have had a fantastic last 12 months with a number one album and they have 5 sold out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire in June. A 35 mins set had the females swooning with tracks played inc "Breakeven","We Cry" and "The Man That Cant Be Moved".They spolit it a bit with an awful cover of David Bowies "Heroes". ...next is Dizzee Rascal who is really flying at the moment.Another 35 mins set inc "Just A Rascal","Fix Up Look Sharp","Flex" and for "Dance Wiv Me" he was joined by Calvin Harris and Chrome.His last song was a stunning version of new single "Bonkers" out on May 18 which will be a massive hit and one of the dance anthems of the summer...every band was introduced by a couple of very annoying Radio 1 djs...next Kasabian played for 45 mins.Lots of goodies in their set inc "Shoot The Runner", "Processed Beats","Empire","Club Foot","Underdog" and "L.S.F."...then headliners Snow Patrol who went down a storm.Set inc "Hands Open","Spitting Games" and three songs on the bounce that the crowd sang all the words loudly too "Run","Shut Your Eyes" and "Chasing Cars".Also good was "Set The Fire To The Third Bar","Crack The Shutters","Open Your Eyes" and "Youre All I Have".Overall a much better day out than i expected ......... 08 May 2009.Fri,Sat,Sun all foodies should be heading to the Real Food Festival at Earls Court Arena where over 500 food producers will be having stands.For more info and tix see www.realfoodfestival.co.uk.I spent an enjoyable Friday afternoon there.The sheepshearing display was great.My faves were The Gourmet Burgers from www.laverstokefarm.co.uk...the Hibiscus drinks from www.www.hibdrinks.com....the organic chocs from www.choc-affair.com....not a live music related event of course but good fun............ 07 May 2009.I headed over the River Thames today. In the afternoon i spent a couple of hours at The Tate Modern for my annual trip there.Lots of tourists about in London...then 7pm to 8.30pm i was at the launch of Bermondsey Square,SE1 which is a complex of bars,shops,eateries etc in this up and coming area that needs regeneration pretty badly.Freebie drinks and canopes are flowing.A kind of festival feel as you nip from place to place via the outdorr square.See www.bermondseysquare.co.uk ....then back into town 9pm to 10pm for the book launch at The Embassy Club,W1 for Big Brother 7 star Nikki Graheme "Dying To Be Thin" which documents her battle with teenage anorexia and her outbursts and tantrums on tv.A few faces here inc members of Blue,Natalie Cassidy(Eastenders),David Van Day(Dollar) and a few others.Drinks and canopes flowing and a nice goodie bag of stuff including the book on your way out....then 10.15pm to 11pm at the launch for Bespoke Suit website www.asuitthatfits.com.The drinks and food are still flowing but got there too late for the fashion show ................. 06 May 2009.Was at two good events tonight.First 6.45pm to 8.45pm my other half wanted to go the launch of new German make up brand "Artdeco" at The Garden Pharmacy,Long Acre,Covent Garden,WC2. Its only a shop as such but there are freebie cocktails flowing and loads of glam looking girls.The host is Tara Palmer Tomkinson.There are makeovers for all the girls and a nice goodie bag of stuff for everyone.Super friendly staff.See www.artdeco.org.uk......then 9pm over to The Belvedere Vodka Party at 100 Mount Street,Mayfair,W1.The freebie cocktails are flowing for the fashion crowd.Faces here inc David Walliams,Estelle,Mischa Barton,Jo Wood, Miquita Oliver,Henry Holland,Pam Hogg,Darius Dinesh(remember him?)and others then at 10.30pm went over the road to the afterparty for this event at the very nice bar in the five star Connaught Hotel.Most of the above turned up for it and after more vodka cocktails departed at 12.30am.See some of the photos on website www.gettyimages.com .......... 04 May 2009.7pm to 10pm.The 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress at Kensington Palace,London. This venue is very choosy about who they let it out too and it costs a fortune too so a chance to be here was not to be missed.About 500 of the worlds top publishers here.We are greeted by flames and a fanfare of bugles and staff in tudor costumes along with some on stilts.There are food stations everywhere inc carvery and seafood selections and freebie drinks are flowing.A 30 piece brass band from the Royal Marines gives a 15 mins display on the lawn before we are taken on a tour of the main building which houses Princess Diana dresses and an exhibition called "1958:The Last Debutantes" which features items and sights and sounds from that era.Its like a bit of the countryside in Central London with its huge garden area here. See www.hrp.org.uk and www.fipplondon09.com for more info.An excellent evening.................. 03 May 2009.Tina Turner live at The 02 Arena,London.TT last of five shows here at this venue as part of her huge "50th Anniversary" European Tour.This show was postponed from 11 March 2009 due to flu.I had seen two shows already so a nice six week gap since i last saw it.Its the second last show on her huge world tour.She came on earlier at 7.50pm probably because its a Sunday and the Jubilee Line is closed both ways yet again.I saw 1970s singer Linda Lewis in the crowd but she goes to lots of stuff as she is married to booking agent Neil Warnock.Also Tina announced on stage that Pink was the house.Its song for song the same as the other shows.Its a huge Mark Fisher stage production with walkways,big screens,a big band feat John "Music" Miles on guitar,flames,fireworks,four female dancers and four male dancers.Tickets costing a hefty 50 to 100 quid.Tina is now aged 69 and looks amazing and still dares to wear short skirts.On stage for 2 hour 15 mins over two sets.It was a mix of hits and lots of suitable cover versions and no new material.Set inc opener "Steamy Windows" from 30ft up in the air.Also "River Deep Mountain High","Better Be Good To Me","Acid Queen","Whats Love Got To Do With It","Private Dancer" and the first set finished with the stage and costumes dressed for Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome as Tina belted out "We Dont Need Another Hero" with that great voice.Second half started with a few mins of old video footage then "Help","Lets Stay Together","I Cant Stand The Rain","Jumping Jack Flash","Its Only Rock And Roll","Golden Eye", "Addicted To Love" and a stunning version of "Simply The Best" then "Proud Mary".Encore had Tina hovering over the front stalls on an extended crane arm for "Nutbush City Limits" then "Be Tender With My Baby".Tina still does that funny little dance of hers and entertains the crowd well.A very enjoyable big production show 02 May 2009.Gary Moore live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Last night of his UK tour before he heads into Europe for this great blues rock guitarist who has been playing live for over 35 years.I was 10 rows from the stage so had a great view of his nifty guitar playing.On stage for two hours Gary Moore proved yet again that although he has not got the best voice he sure can make his guitars sing.He has moved from an all out rock guitarist to more blues based in the last decade but virtually every song tonight had a brilliant guitar solo in it.He is promoting his new album "Bad For You Baby".An artist with a huge number of songs to choose from.Set included "Since I Met You Baby", "Mojo Boogie","Too Tired" and an excellent "Walking By Myself".Last song of the night was a stunning "Parisienne Walkways".A good gig........ 01 May 2009.Rick Wakeman + Strawbs live at Hampton Court Palace,Surrey.First of two shows here from this prog rock keyboard legend playing his 1972 album "The Six Wives Of Henry V111" which has sold a staggering 15 million copies.Up first is Strawbs who Rick Wakeman was in for a couple of years around the 1970 period.The 30 mins acoustic set was pretty tame as the singer has a very nasal voice.They played "Shine On Silver Moon" and "Lay Down" but sadly not their biggest hit "Part Of The Union".The scale and location is just fantastic.Its like olde England out here.On stage is Rick with a over a dozen keyboards,a full band,a 50 piece orchestra and a 50 piece choir.On either side of the stage is The Hampton Court walls and behind the stage too. It will look fantastic when the DVD comes out. No wonder its taken over a year of planning. Venue holds 5000 and its around 90% full. On stage at 9pm and a bit chilly as its all open air and 100 yards from The River Thames. The two hour set featured the songs on the album.Not my cup of tea really as its all keyboard led instrumental rock but it ticked along nicely within the context of the show.Remember i am a punk rocker and stuff like Yes and ELP were the enemy.Before each song big voice actor Brian Blessed gave a five mins talk on each wife and the history in a very humourous way and he was just perfect.Rick wore three or four big cloaks.For the encore he played a medley of stuff and had a stand up keyboard dual with his band member.Its taken Rick 36 years for the venue to let him play this here as he first asked in 1973.As he said "Dreams Can Come True". I thought the whole event was just great and i never thought i would ever say that about RW. See aftershow page for pre gig and after gig news on this show ............ 30 April 2009.Rumble Strips live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.This was an invite only gig for 150 people made up of Q Magazine comp winners and music biz folks and media.The freebie Hard Cafe Food of burgers,chicken,etc is being giving out to all as is the free booze.Rumble Strips play a 45 mins set of tracks from their debut album "Girls And Weather" and the new album out next month "Welcome To The Walk Alone" which is produced by Mark Ronson.They are being pushed along nicely by Island Records.Their best songs have a neat uptempo indie feel with lashings of horns/sax like Dexys but their mid tempo songs seem a bit average.Set included "No Soul",the new single "Not The Only Person" and later on "London " and "Daniel".Good exposure for the band as clips will be up on www.q4music.com and they will get a full page review with pics in the next issue of Q Magazine. A decent gig.Their progress will be interesting.. 29 April 2009.Bit of a mad night as i went to FIVE events between 6pm and midnight.First was the preview screening of punk band The Gallows 30 mins film "Grey Britain" at The Curzon in Soho to coincide with the release of their new album.A bit dark and heavy in places but they are a great band.It shows them playing live and out and about in London.Had a couple of free beers in the reception after....then 7.30pm to 8.30pm was the launch of luxury watches www.benneywatches.com at 125 Charring Cross Road. Beers and canopes here and some nice watches..... then 8.45pm to 9.45pm was the launch of a new lifestyle service website www.gogoboots.co.uk at The Kingly Club,4 Upper St Martins Lane,WC2.Had a couple of freebie cocktails here.Some faces here.Great to see actor Tamer Hassan who was in Football Factory,The Business,Cass and others. Also Gary Lucas (Eastenders and Footballers Wives) and Cheryl Fergison (who plays the lovable Heather in Eastenders).....then 10pm to 11pm went to www.blackknave.com and Drama Magazine Party at Maddox,Hill Street,W1.Had a couple of free cocktails but this was pretty lame compared to what was promised on the invite....11.30pm to 12.30am was The New Look 40th Birthday Party at The Dairy,Wakefield Street,Bloomsbury,WC2. This looked the best party of the night but missed most of it as elsewhere.Had a couple of freebie cocktails,got some goodie bags and off after a great night .......... 27 April 2009.Launch party for Michael Kors shop at 153 New Bond Street,London W1.7pm to 10pm.As per usual an event where the info or invite says vips expected i take with a pinch of salt but this one really did deliver.American designer of luxury goods opens his first boutique in London.First at the shop its cocktails,champers and canopes flowing for around 150 very upmarket folks.Those here include Yasmin Le Bon, Eva Hertigova,Claudia Schiffer,David Walliams, Nicky Haslam,billionaire hotel owner Sol Kerzner,Tim Jeffries,Tanya Bryer and even one of Fergies daughters(Princess Beatrice).At 8.30pm its all over to the posh China Tang bar/eaterie at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London for more cocktails in this very swanky venue.At 10pm 120 are seated for dinner but 30 including us only have drinks invites so have to depart.It must have cost Mr Kors a few quid.Credit crunch?? See.michaelkors.com for more info................ 26 April 2009.Bob Dylan And His Band live at The Roundhouse,London.Smallish gig by Dylan that was a ticket ballot via his website for most here.This holds 2000 compared to last nights 18,000 but i was nearer the stage in the bigger venue last night.Fans have been in the queue since midday to get front places.On stage at 8.25pm for a two hour set.He opened up with great versions of "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" and "Dont Think Twice Its Alright".The mark of a true arist here as half the songs were different from last nights set although not sure they were what his loyal fans wanted."Highway 61 Revisited" and "Like A Rolling Stone" were both again great and i really warmed to Bobs vocals.His band are again superb.The same three encores like last night were again all really fab "All Along The Watchtower", "Spirit On The Water" and "Blowing In The Wind".Again his only words to the crowd were at the end were "Thank You Friends" and he introduced the band.There was a great poster of the gig for sale at 7 quid in the foyer with the date and venue which eventually sold out. See www.bobdylan.com for tonights full setlist. Spotted by me in the crowd was Bill Wyman,Chrissie Hynde,Ian Broudie(Lightning Seeds) and Terry Gilliam(film producer and Monty Python chap) ................. 25 April 2009.Bob Dylan And His Band live at The 02 Arena,London.Jubilee Line again suspended both ways today so thanks London Transport.(Not). A big London show for this music legend as part of a UK tour to promote his 33rd album "Together Through Life".I am not the biggest Dylan fan even though i have seen him some 20 times including two of his legendary Earls Court Arena shows from 1978.Its his voice that i cannot handle usually.There are no big screens tonight so it must have awful to have been in the rear half of the arena or up in Level 4.I am just 10 rows from stage on the floor direct in front of Dylan.Bob and his band arrive on stage at 8.15pm for a two hour set.Bob is on stand up keyboards facing sideways.His excellent 5 piece band spent half their time looking at Bob.They open with gems "Maggies Farm","The Times They Are A Changing" and "Things Have Changed".Then it was a bunch of songs that i did not know as i have not bought any Dylan stuff for 20 years.I can see beads of sweat dripping off Bobs face on to his keyboards i am that close.Nice to be down the front with all the hardcore Dylan fans.Most of the lyrics i can hear too but would this be the same if i was at the back? i doubt it.Also good was "Highway 61 Revisited".The main set ended with a great "Like A Rolling Stone".The encores also were great with "All Along The Watchtower","Spirit Of The Water" and "Blowing In The Wind".Before the last song he spoke his only words to the crowd all night "Thank You Friends" and introduced the band.So for me a much better Bob Dylan show than i have seen for many years.A couple of faces here were Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze wearing some dodgy suede fringed jacket and Don Warrington who played the posh black guy in 1970s comedy hit tv series "Rising Damp".See www.bobdylan.com for full setlist.....after Dylan show we went over to Indigo 2 for a couple of hours for The Guilty Pleasures djs 1980s party night which was great fun i must say .............. 24 April 2009.Ultravox live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.This was their first tour for over 20 years.I had seen them a dozen times in the early 1980s including Live Aid in 1985.Mostly when i was on front stage security including four shows here in Dec 1982.Ultravox were never trendy back in the day and even tonights crowd looks a bit nerdy.They arrive on stage and they have not aged as well as the likes of Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet who were also around then.Lots of keyboards on stage for the 1 hour 40 mins set.The first half was pretty average but the second half was a lot better.Set included "Passing Strangers","We Stand Alone",a nice gesture by Midge Ure as he said "Not sure what they call this venue now but it will always be Hammersmith Odeon to us".I love it when bands who played here in the 1980s say that.Also good was "Thin Wall",a great "Vienna" then "Reap The Wild Wind","One Small Day","We Stood Still" then very good versions of "Dancing With Tears In Our Eyes" and "Hymn".Encores were "Sleepwalk" and "The Voice" which ended up with the three at the front all banging drums at the front of stage which they did back in the day too.They also used their grey guitars and bass from the old days.So an enjoyable show.This show was sold out and they play another show at The Roundhouse on Thurs 30 April which will be recorded for a DVD. Trivia fact in the late 1970s Thin Lizzy were managed by Chris O'Donnell and Chris Morrison and when Lizzy split up Morrison-O'Donnell then managed Ultravox ............. 23 April 2009.Launch party for the opening of Sanctum Soho Hotel,20 Warwick Street,London W1. (off Regent Street and near Carnaby Street). 7pm to 1am.Massive party for over 500 people for this boutique hotel with 30 rooms that has rumoured to have cost 10 million quid.It is owned by Mark Fuller who also owns The Embassy Club and is a popular figure in London clubland. See www.sanctumsoho.com for more info on it. It also has financial investment from Iron Maidens management team.Lots of freebie cocktails,champers and grub here including oysters on the open air roof top bar and spa. Its a fab looking hotel."Crash Rooms" or small single rooms to you and me are from 175 to 250 a night so its pretty pricey.Bruce Dickenson and Nico McBrain from Iron Maiden are here as is their management team of Rod Smallwood and Andy Taylor.Also here is legendary booking agent Rod MacSween whose roster includes Def Leppard and Whitesnake.Have a nice chat with him and ask about possible London shows by either band before or after Donington.He says "cannot be done as the Donington contract is tied in an exclusive".Also here is Simon Webbe(ex Blue) and Liz McClarnon(ex Atomic Kitten) and a few other faces from tv.At 11pm we moved to the afterparty at The Embassy Club for another couple of hours of freebie cocktails and food.Great night........ 21 April 2009.AC/DC live at The M.E.N.Arena,Manchester.This was my third AC/DC show in a week.The band could have sold out two or three shows here but as its only the one loads have turned up without tickets and touts ask and get 150 quid a ticket as touts have not got enough to go round.Last time i was at this venue was Nov 2007 for The Sex Pistols.It seems to get a lot hotter and stuffier in here compared to the 02 Arena.The band take the stage at 8.35pm which was same time as first 02 Arena show.Its the same set as usual.Fantastic loud classic rock tunes galore.I am a bit further back than both the shows in London which was a bit of a downer but its well worth the trip. Only face i saw was Geordie actress Denise Welsh who is married to Tim Healy 20 April 2009.Bonnie Prince Billy + Susanna live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.Up first for a 40 mins set is blonde female Susanna from Oslo. She looks like Phoebe from "Friends" tv series. Nice gentle piano and gentle lyrics.She did a great piano ballad version of Thin Lizzys "Jailbreak".Bonnie Prince Billy aka Will Oldham from America has had over half a dozen albums out but is pretty much an enigma even to his beard stroking Guardian reading fans.Tonight is a total sell out.Will and his excellent band played a set lasting 1 hour 50 mins full of quality country/folk tunes.Good tunes played include "I See A Darkness","Cursed Sleep",superb new track "You Dont Love Me" from recent album "Beware" and "Nobodys Darling On Earth" with all the band singing a verse each.An impressive gig and you can see what the fuss is all about....... 19 April 2009.Van Morrison live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Second of two shows where Van The Man plays his classic 1968 album "Astral Weeks" in full and other hits.Despite all the seats in the arena and stalls costing a wallet sapping 200 quid and 110 quid the promoter assures me tickets are selling well and true enough on the night its a sell out.On stage for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 80 mins.Although i have seen Van a dozen times since 1979 i still do not really like his vocal style.I feel the same way about Bob Dylan.The first set includes "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You","Its All In The Game" and "Caravan" but he leaves out a few well known tunes inc "Bright Side Of The Road" and "Brown Eyed Girl". His big band are excellent and include a string section and three backing singers.Van swapped between guitar,piano,harmonica and sax.The second set was "Astral Weeks" which is a jazz/folk/blues album that Van recorded in his early 20s.Tracks included "Sweet Thing","The Way Young Lovers Do" and "Ballerina".But still his style of singing where i cannot make out much of the lyrics gets to me.That and the fact he talks to the crowd once all night and fails to introduce his great band.A super final rendition of "Gloria" gets a standing ovation.A decent enough show overall but for me thats all........ 18 April 2009.Cameo live at The 02 Indigo,London. A capacity crowd are here to see Cameos first London show for at least 10 years.They have been together for over 30 years and were massive in the mid 1980s.I was lucky enough to have seen a few of their Hammersmith Odeon shows back then. They arrive on stage in shimmery outfits and singer Larry Blackmon is wearing his trademark red codpiece.The sound is loud and funky for the 80 mins set and the crowd are up for it from the start.Opening with two hit gems "Shes Strange" and "Single Life" complete with nifty dance moves.Also great was "Attack Me With Your Love" and the ballad "Why Have I Lost You?".For their hit "Candy" half the folks on the floor joined up for what to the outsider would be line dancing but of course it was a famous 1980s dance routine in the UK clubs.The band were blown away seeing it.An extended version of their massive hit "Word Up" went down a treat.Encores were "Aligator Woman","Flirt" and they repeated "Candy" again so they could see the crowd again do the communal dance.A really good show and lets hope they do not leave it so long until the next time they come back to the UK.The dj here was great as he played the right tunes before the show and after until 2am. Promoters McKenzie Samuel Events next Ultimate Boogie Night is in June with The Fatback Band. More and more bands are playing this great venue. For more info and tickets www.theindigo2.co.uk. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 17 April 2009.Prodigy + Dizzee Rascal live at Wembley Arena,London.Second of Prodigy two shows here as part of UK tour to promote recent number one album "Invaders Must Die".The place is rocking and from the front to back everyone is up and dancing and thats just for the support Dizzee Rascal who goes down a storm.His 40 mins set inc "Stand Up Tall","Dance Wit Me" and new single "Bonkers".Also the dj between acts played the right sounds to keep up the vibe.What can you say about a Prodigy crowd? The atmosphere is electric as most are boozed up and a few are pilled up no doubt and the whole place erupts when the band take the stage.As usual its a short 80 mins set of menacing aural assault and energy to match as Keith Flint and Maxim Reality both prowl the stage.A few newies mixed in with old gems.The lightshow matches any rock band.Set inc "Worlds On Fire","Their Law","Breathe", "Omen","Poison",a stunning "Firestarter","Voodoo People","Jericho","Comanche" and encores "Invaders Must Die","Diesel Power",it was pure bedlem for "Smack My Bitch Up",then "Take Me To The Hospital" and "Outer Space".Fantstic show. Still the best dance rock live band out there. The band will be playing all over the festivals of UK and Europe in the summer................... 16 April 2009.AC/DC + The Answer live at The 02 Arena,London.Back again for the second of two shows here.Impressive AC/DC facts.Their back catalog sales are second only to The Beatles and their 40 million plus sales of "Back In Black" make it the second best selling album of all time after Michael Jacksons "Thriller".Aimed to get to the venue early tonight but was messed up by the Jubilee Line which was suspended for an hour.Thankfully the show was running 15 mins later than the first night so i caught the last three songs by The Answer.I like their blues rock sound.I end up virtually where i was Tues night with a superb view right of stage.Near me is Justin Hawkins ex Darkness now Hot Leg and his brother Dan ex Darkness now Stone Gods.Also Biff Byford(Saxon singer)and Geordie actor Jimmy Nail.Its identical to the show on Tuesday song for song but it did seem a bit louder and more distorted.How can one band have so many gigantic thunderous guitar riffs??.Its just another fantastic show.Angus with his shirt off and sweating loads has given 110% again and it looks like he will pass out on stage.The merch stalls did a roaring trade again tonight.For "Highway To Hell" Angus wears his red devil horns and you turn around and hundreds of fans are wearing them.Being totally spoilt for choice in London means rarely needing to go elsewhere but i will hope to see them next week in Manchester or Birmingham.See aftershow page for this gig....... 15 April 2009.Spent a very enjoyable couple of hours at the press launch for Louis Mariette bespoke hat couture,bejewelled headpieces and accessories,Sloane Gardens,London SW1.Louis will be one of the judges on the new series of Britains Next Top Model alongside series stalwart Lisa Snowdon and Icelandic photographer Huggy Ragnarsson which starts on Monday 20 April 2009 at 9pm on Living TV.Louis's renowned flamboyant creations have been worn by Pink,Jerry Hall,Sophie Dahl,Jodie Kidd and many more and his personality will be a sure fire hit with the viewers.The champers and sushi flowed. See www.louismariette.com .... 14 April 2009.AC/DC live at The 02 Arena,London. Opening show of their short UK tour as part of their huge world tour that started six months ago to promote their recent album "Black Ice". Even this jaded and seen it all old git is very excited about tonights show.I have since this band around 40 times since 1976 which includes a staggering 19 times with Bon Scott and six of those where at The Marquee Club alone in 1976. AC/DC have now sold over 200 million albums. I have fantastic seats right block just ten yards from the stage.A couple of rows behind me are Justin Hawkins(ex Darkness singer and now Hot Leg) and a couple of the blokes from BBC TV Top Gear Programme(not Jeremy Clarkson).The show is five mins under two hours and is superb. It starts with a 30 ft train engine bursting through the back screens for recent single "Rock n Roll Train".The sound is pure rock power and the riffs are just brilliant.A few tracks of the new album mix in well with some of the greatest rock classics ever.Angus now in his 50s and losing his hair but still in his trademark school uniform and duckwalking the stage.Brian Johnson on vocals looking like your fave uncle but with a fantastic rasping rock voice.The 90% male crowd lapped it all up.A walkway down into the floor standing was used by Brian and Angus. Angus did his famous striptease during "The Jack" and a huge bell was lowered for "Hells Bells". Loads of flames all through "T.N.T.".A huge 50 ft buxon blonde blow up doll straddled the train for "Whole Lotta Rosie". and during "Let There Be Rock" Angus did his famous on the floor guitar solo spinning a full 360 degrees.The encores really cannot be bettered with "Highway To Hell" and six cannons rising at the back and blasting away to "For Those About To Rock(We Salute You).Although i must say the cannons were not half as loud as previous tours.Anyway a 10 out of 10 gig and i will be back for more for sure even though it looks like the same setlist is played every night with no variation at all. Complete setlist was "Rock n Roll Train","Hell Aint A Bad Place To Be","Back In Black","Big Jack","Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap","Shot Down In Flames","Thunderstruck","Black Ice","The Jack","Hells Bells","Shoot To Thrill","War Machine","Anything Goes","You Shook Me All Night Long","T.N.T.","Whole Lotts Rosie","Let There Be Rock".Encores of "Highway To Hell" and "For Those About To Rock(We Salute You)............... 13 April 2009.David Byrne live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.Second of two sold out shows at this venue for the ex singer of Talking Heads playing The Songs Of David Byrne And Brian Eno.Another artist i have a lot of history with. I saw Talking Heads first London shows as support to The Ramones in June 1977 and i was at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980 when Talking Heads were supported by some Irish upstarts called U2. As expected its a very visual show with all the band dressed in all white including the three backing singers and the three dancers.The set lasted five mins short of two hours and was really good.Mixing old and new (recent album called Everything That Happens Will Happen Today).A nice percussive dance feel to most songs.Set included "One Fine Day","Walking The Line","Heaven","Born Under Punches" and superb versions of "Once In A Lifetime" and "Life During Wartime".Encores included brilliant versions of "Take Me To The River" and "Burning Down The House" and for the final song the new track "Everything That Happens" he was joined on stage by the legend that is Brian Eno. Sadly no "Pyscho Killer" tonight but a great show overall .. 12 April 2009.Jackson Browne live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.JBs heyday was in the early 70s and was he inducted in to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002.In London as part of a long European Tour.On stage for a lengthy 2 hours 40 mins over two sets of 70 mins and 90 mins.Age 60 now but he still has that floppy hairstyle and looks 20 years younger.He is promoting his recent album "Time The Conqueror".His band are superb musicians and the sound is just perfect.The first set was a bit average as it had a sprinkling of tracks from the new album and only the last couple of tracks were really good.The second half was geared mainly towards his older stuff.Jackson moved between guitar and piano.Gems included "Late For The Sky","These Days","Going Down To Cuba","Your Bright Baby Blues" and brilliant versions of "The Pretender" and "Running On Empty".Like most Americans that play this amazing venue he seems genuine about loving playing here tonight. You could hear a pin drop when he sung tonight. He returns to The Royal Albert Hall on 21 May.... 11 April 2009.Royksopp + Fever Ray live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.First we have debut London show from Swedish electronica act Fever Ray.Like the headliners its dreamy sounds played but they have a stunning laser show than will no doubt grace a lot of European festivals over the summer.See www.feverray.com.Royksopp debut 2002 album "Melody AM" has quietly sold over a million copies worldwide and is regarded as one of the greatest chill out albums of all time.The 80 mins set was filmic,dreamy and mostly instrumental bar a couple of female singers who came on every so often.A couple of tunes i knew from tv adverts.The sold out crowd were up and dancing after four of five songs.They featured tracks from their new album "Junior".The crowd loved it but its not really my scene.Again for an hour after the show we attended the lively free dj party in the RFH foyer................... 10 April 2009.Peaches + Jonny Woo live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.The R.F.H is the place to be this Easter as the ETHER FESTIVAL has four days of shows in the evening and free pre gig stuff and free aftershow gigs in the foyer.See www.southbankcentre.co.uk...Tonights support act is Jonny Woo who is a very camp variety act dressed in womans thigh high boots and wearing a cape made of cds.He has a great way with words and is far more entertaining than expected.See www.myspace.com/jonnywoouk.Then its Peaches who along with her band come on the The A Team theme.This is a big show for this electro pop provocateur who is previewing some tracks from new album "I Feel Cream" which is released on 04 May.Her stage antics are well known so its no surprise that she has run into the audience and climbed all over the seats and then back up on to the amps all before the third song has finished.There is a costume change virtually every other song and visually you cannot take your eyes off her in the 85 mins set.Songs played included "Hot Rod","I Dont Want To Lose You","Boys Wanna Be Her","Talk To Me","Set It Off" and "Tear It Up" where her band member takes his shirt off to do a great Iggy Pop impersonation.Then for "Rock n Roll" Peaches was singing it high up in the air on wires floating across the stage.Another gem was "Fuck The Pain Away" and encores included "Lovertits".Her raunchy lyrics have kept her off the radio and thats probably why she is not bigger than what she is now.A really good show.....After the show in the foyer was very lively as dj Jodie Harsh and friends including a band kept the party going until just after midnight.................. 09 April 2009.Starsailor + Parlotones live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.A sold out London show at the end of the UK tour by Starsailor in support of their fourth album "All The Plans" that was released last month.Up first we had Parlotones who are huge in their South African homeland.Starsailor supported them over there and are now returning the favour.Dressed in black shirts with red ties they played some good tunes from their recent album "A World Next Door To Yours".They have a hint of The Killers in their image and sound.Starsailor arrive on stage to huge cheers for their 1 hour 40 mins set.Singer James Walsh in a smart jacket and that heartwarming voice soon gets all the crowd singing along loudly.Gems played included "In The Crossfire" the excellent new album title track "All The Plans",also "Poor Misguided Fool" and "Alcoholic".The anthemic "Keep Us Together" always sends a tingle down my spine.Other goodies were "Silence Is Easy" and recent single "Tell Me Its Not Over".The five song encore was "Lullaby" then covers of "Jealous Guy" and "Dancing Queen" and then a couple of oldies "Floor To The Floor" and "Good Souls" brought the house down with the crowd in full voice. There is still plenty of life in Starsailor...... 08 April 2009.Went to two really good events. First ABC live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.ABC one off special show playing their classic 1982 album "The Lexicon Of Love" with 50 plus members of The BBC Concert Orchestra. On stage for two sets of 45 mins and 60 mins. First set was a batch of hits.Martin Fry in a very smart suit as usual and Anne Dudley(has won an oscar)is conducting the orchestra.The lush sounds take everything to a higher level.Every band should play with an orchestra at some stage. Gems played inc "When Smokey Sings","S.O.S", "The Night You Murdered Love","One Better World", "Ocean Blue","How To Be A Millionaire" and "Be Near Me".Second half is introduced by legendary producer Trevor Horn who produced tonights classic album which is full of great strings, great melodies and great lyrics.They all sound fantastic."Show Me","Poison Arrow","Many Happy Returns"."Tears Are Not Enough" and stunning versions of "The Look Of Love" and "All Of My Heart".For the encore Trevor Horn joined the backing singers and Martin Fry wore his famous gold lame suit to much delight in the crowd for a reprise of "The Look Of Love".Great gig...... then 11pm to 1.30am i was at The Music Week Awards afterparty at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London.Loads of free booze here flowing with 1000 members of record companies and behind the scenes music biz folks.There are a couple of faces here inc Duffy,Billy Bragg and Guy Garvey(the singer from Elbow).About 20 awards given out inc Record Company Of The Year = Polydor for Duffy,Girls Aloud,Snow Patrol,Elbow etc.Independent Record Company Of The Year = XL for Prodigy,White Stripes,Dizzie Rascal,Mia etc.UK Music Executive = Chris Blackwall for Island Records,Bob Marley,U2 etc. Music Venue of The Year = Brixton Academy.Manager Of The Year = Jeanette Lee for Duffy.Music Retail Shop Of The Year = Rough Trade East.Concert Promoter Of The Year = Rob Hallett for AEG Live ,mainly 02 Orena.A disco helped things along until the end.Had a nice chat with Paul Ballance from a sponsor www.mbopmegastore.com who used to play in The Warm Jets about 25/30 years ago.A good bash. Everyone got some free tickets for The British Music Experience at The 02 Arena complex which was handy as i wanted to go along to that. See www.musicweek.com for full info.............. 06 April 2009.Went to three events today.First 3pm to 5pm i attended The Natural And Organic Products Trade Show at Olympia,London.A massive event featuring organic wines,beers,omega oils,foods,clothing,skincare,cosmetics,chocs etc but the best bit was meeting a nice chap called Matt who was looking after the press room.He played drums in a skate punk band from Brighton called Phinius Gage who played all over Europe a few years ago and still have stuff up on youtube etc......then 6.45pm to 9.30pm was The Arabian Fashion Show Party at The Hotel Intercontinental, Mayfair,London.About 400 people inc including Middle Eastern Royalty and loads of tv crews and snappers.First we had an hour of champers and canopes then a great fashion show lasting 50 mins where five designers had 10 mins each.The models looked classy and elegant and most of the dresses were fab.Then desserts and coffees for an hour after.See www.arabianfashionworld.com for pics and info........then 10pm to midnight i was at The Sports Bar,Haymarket,London for the launch party for opening of new Major League Baseball Season on ESPN America tv.Lots of burgers,ribs,chicken and beers flowing in the upstairs area.You can get it on tv over here via Sky channel 417 and Virgin Media channel 533. They gave us a nice goodie bag of stuff too. See website www.espnamerica.com for info......... 05 April 2009.Lionel Richie live at The 02 Arena,London.This was Lionels second of two shows here as part of his huge UK and European arena tour.On stage for just under two hours he is always great to watch.So many pukka songs tonight from an artist who has sold over 100m albums.Set inc "Easy" then a couple of songs from new album "Just Go" including the title track.Gems followed one after the other."Penny Lover","Stuck On You",a superb "Running With The Night","Say You Say Me","Still","Hello","Brick House",all the crowd singing along to "Three Times A Lady","Sail On" and a brilliant "Dancing On The Ceiling".Massive stage production with loads of big screens.Lots of friendly banter with the crowd and that big smile of his.Encores included "Endless Love","Truly" and a great "All Night Long".Everybody loves a bit of Lionel.Very good show 05 April 2009.11am to 4pm.Relaunch event for 200 press folks that was a really nice 3 in 1 day out by the river.From 11am to 12.30pm we visit the refurbished and renamed London Sealife Aquarium which has lots of lovely sea creatures. See www.sealife.co.uk for more info.Get kids stuff goodie bags then buffet lunch in the press hospitality room.Then 1.45pm to 2.30pm we go on a 45 mins London Eye River Cruise along the Thames seeing all the great sights.Then 3pm to 3.30pm we get fast track tickets for The London Eye Big Wheel with its great views.Loads of tourists about here because of the location and all three things were right next to each other so no time wasted and a lovely Sunday out....... 04 April 2009.Boot Led Zeppelin + Rollin Stoned live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.A double bill of quality tribute acts.Up first are Rollin Stoned who are more well known than the Led Zep tribute coming on later.They are on for around 85 mins.Lots of fab costumes with tongue in cheek ad libs and classic Stones hits inc "Start Me Up","Its Only Rock And Roll","Not Fade Away","Paint It Black","Ruby Tuesday","Sympathy For The Devil","Street Fighting Man","I Cant Get No Satisfaction","Get Off Of My Cloud","Honky Tonk Woman","Jumping Jack Flash","Starfucker" and "Brown Sugar".The crowd loved it and really got into it.See their website for future gigs www.rollinstoned.com.... then it was Boot Led Zeppelin.Its quite a statement to say you can sing like Robert Plant and play guitar like Jimmy Page but they pull it off.On stage for around 95 mins they got better and better and the singer has Robert Plant nailed perfect.Lots of great Zep classics inc "No Quarter","Dazed And Confused" complete with violin based guitar solo.Also more gems like "Black Dog","Since Ive Been Loving You",superb versions of "Houses Of The Holy","Stairway To Heaven","Whole Lotta Love" and "Rock And Roll". See www.boot-led-zeppelin.co.uk for future gigs. Both bands were really enjoyable................. 03 April 2009.Stiff Little Fingers + Chelsea live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.Always good to see Chelsea although they were third rate in 1977 and some things never change.They play "Right To Work" which is still brilliant. This was the last night of SLFs month long tour of Spain and the UK.Stiff Little Fingers brought out one of the greatest punk albums of all time "Inflammable Material" around 30 years ago which was the first album ever released on Rough Trade Records.Tonight they play for 90 mins and are faster,harder,tighter and punchier than ever.Lots of jumping around and pogoing front of stage tonight for gems inc "Wasted Life",a couple of brand new songs,"Guitar And Drum",a lethal "Suspect Device",also "Barbed Wire Love" and "Strummerville".Songs like "Nobodys Heros" and "Tin Soldiers" always go down well.Encores of "Johnny Was" and a stunning "Alternative Ulster" As always Stiff Little Fingers were just great. See www.slf.com for more UK shows in May 2009. See aftershow page for this gig................. 02 April 2009.7.30pm to 10.30pm.Reopening party for The Whitechapel Gallery,Whitechapel High Street,London E1.(nearest tube Aldgate East). Massive event for Londons art crowd as this building has had a 13 million quid refit which is a lot of dosh.A massive guest list of some 800 people here with loads of free booze and nibbles.Snappers taking photos of arty people but not sure who they were.I did see Alex James(Blur),Janet Street Porter and Henry Holland. Well worth the trek over to East London.See www.whitechapelgallery.org..............then 11.15pm to 12.15am was at Whisky Mist,Mayfair, London for the launch of www.bellinski.com bikini swimwear.Currently one of the hottest clubs in London due to celebs and royalty who come and the posh young crowd.A fashion display of half a dozen models in nice bikinis.One part of the club is for this event and one side is for the normal club night.Prices here are mental as its 170 quid for a bottle of champers or vodka.With that you get a waitress with sparklers and a girl playing bagpipes!!!!.Yes playing bagpipes.Its one of those tacky eurotrash things that are invading some London clubs "look at me i can afford a vastly overpriced bottle in this club".Thankfully our side had the free booze ...... 01 April 2009.www.1click2fame.com final at Proud Galleries,Camden,London.Culmination of internet talent search where members of the public vote online for their fave uploaded clip.Lots of free flowing booze here to give it a nice party feel. First we get all girl pop act The Saturdays play a couple of hits then one by one the finalists perform.Singing,dancing,comedy,street and variety are all here.Its varied and of a very high standard.My faves are five girl acapella beatbox crew Bellatrix And The Boxettes but winner was Lucie Evans who gets the staggering 100,000 quid sponsorship prize.See the youtube video on www.1click2fame.com website of the 10 finalists including the winner................... 31 March 2009.Bat For Lashes live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.Invite only show for 200 comp winners and industry folks for Q Magazine-The Music Club.BFL is actually Natasha Khan and her band.Her 2006 debut album "Fur And Gold" was shortlisted for the Mercury album prize so hopes are high for her second album "Two Suns" out 06 April.They are on stage for 55 mins and played tracks from both albums.I am front row left of stage with a great view and well away from folks at the back more interested in chatting than watching.Lots of free booze and Hard Rock Cafe food here for all.Her quirky dreamy vocals are not very commercial but she has got plenty of style.Set included oldie "Sarah" also "Piece Of Mind" and "Whats A Girl To Do?".Her songs i feel need a few listens before you can really get into them properly. Check out www.qthemusic.com for clips of this gig and for info see www.batforlashes.com.Next week they start a UK tour that ends with two shows at Shepherds Bush Empire on Apr 17/19...... 29 March 2009.TCT Comedy Night at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Two sets of an hour each with around six acts.Hosts Mathew Horne and James Corden do about half a dozen very funny sketches between the acts.The first set had Nick Mohammed then Gok Wan got involved for a few mins and then Sean Lock was very funny.Second set had a very lively Jack Whitehall and Noel Fielding brought his surreal material to the stage to the delight of loads of screaming girls.A good event......... 28 March 2009.Metallica live at The 02 Arena,London.Back again to see Metallica at this venue for the third time in six months.The band come on 20 mins earlier than the show three weeks ago as yet again The Jubilee Line is closed both ways so travel is a right mess as its cars or buses only to and from the venue.From the start its pure quality.Stage in the middle of the floor with lasers everywhere for the entire first song.On stage for 2 hours 15 mins.Set inc "Harvester Of Sorrow" and a stunning "One" with flames everywhere.Also great was "The Day That Never Comes" and a brilliant "Sad But True" where the lights in coffins are lowered.A trio of songs "Master Of Puppets","Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman" just rocked totally.Encores were Motorheads "Overkill" then "Kill Em All" and "Seek And Destroy" where again 100 giant black balloons fell from the ceiling and the band gave out loads of plectrums.All four members of the band were just on top form.Those songs with those lyrics and that stage production are the reasons why Metallica are one of the biggest and greatest rock bands out there.See aftershow page for this event ............... 27 March 2009.Kasabian live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Another TCT show at The RAH.Its a Friday night Kasabian crowd so most of them have