Archive: July 2009

July 18, 2009

17 July 2009.Madness + Pogues live at The Madstock Festival in Victoria Park,Hackney, London.Get to the venue and its raining.It rains off and on for The Pogues but thankfully there is no rain at all for Madness.Its amazing some 30 years on from when i saw their first gigs in ska's heyday that Madness and The Specials are still so popular live.The Pogues are on for 60 mins.Needless to say that Shane MacGowan stills looks rough and is now wearing an eye patch.He mumbles and slurs his way through each song but we all forgive him as hes a proper Irish music legend.His band are on top form and help out with half the vocals anyway.Lots of gems played inc "Pair Of Brown Eyes","Dirty Old Town","The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn" and "Sally MacLennane". Everyone dances along for The Pogues and even more so for Madness who play for 1 hour 45 mins. Suggs in a sharp shiny suit.They played a few tracks from recent album "The Liberty Of Norton Folgate" which has got loads of good reviews but its the classic oldies we want.So many great singles with brilliant lyrics inc "One Step Beyond","Embarressment","Prince","NW5","My Girl", "Shut Up","Bed And Breakfast Man","Sun And The Rain","House Of Fun","Wings Of A Dove","Baggy Trousers","Our House","It Must Be Love".For the encores they were joined by some pearly kings and queens in full outfits.Jerry Dammers came on to play keyboards for "Madness" then the usual finish of "Night Boat To Cairo" with a mass knees up as all the family and guests invade the stage.Madness are always great live.............. 16 July 2009.Simple Minds live at The Roundhouse,London.Another ITunes Festival show. Free for comp winners downstairs and guests and press in the balcony.Simple Minds play their full 1 hour 40 mins set as part of their World Tour to promote recent album "Graffiti Soul".The first three tracks i presume were from that album.Simple Minds have come in for a lot of stick over the years but they have some big songs inc "Waterfront" and "Dont You(Forget About Me) which were played early on.The oldies went down the best inc "Promised You A Miracle", "Glittering Prize","Someone Somewhere In Summertime" and a superb "Alive And Kicking". Like Placebo the other night here the screens behind the band were used to brilliant effect. Encores were "Home","Sanctify Yourself","This Is It" and "Ghostdancing".A very good show.......... 15 July 2009.Went to two good events tonight. First 6.30pm to 8.30pm was the launch party for "Mick Jones-The Rock n Roll Public Library" at 2 Acklam Road,London W10.An amazing collection of Micks personal items from music related to film to toys from the 70s/80s.An Alladins cave. This is the second time it has been out on display.First was at Chelsea Space but this time its in real Mick Jones/Clash territory.Under the Westway and near Portobello Road.In the outside area there is free booze flowing and a bbq and a stage where bands play.A lovely atmosphere.Lots of people here from the Clash/Pistols community. Those here included Mick Jones and all his family.Mick says to me "Hi Ray thanks for coming".It still means a lot to me when members of The Clash and Pistols know who i am.Ian Brown,Glen Matlock,Terry Chimes,Patti Palladin,Joe Strummers wife,Robin Banks(Micks school friend),Pat Gilbert(author of "The Real Story Of The Clash),Chris Salewicz,Ray Jordan (Clash and Roundhouse security from the 1970s), John "Boogie" Tiberi,Rodent,Dan Donovan,John Robb,Miquita Oliver(Channel 4 music presenter), Chris Musto and Koozie Johns from Sinnerstar, and not forgetting hardcore Clash fan Steve from Gosport.A really good event that was still rocking when i left for a gig just up the road. Its free to get in and on from July 18 to Aug 23.Nearest tube is Ladbroke Grove......then a mad dash to see The Pretenders at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.A sold out show for the band who are still promoting recent album "Break Up The Concrete".On stage for 1 hour 45 mins its a great set of old and new.The stage is nicely decked out with drapes and lots of lighting as its being filmed.This venue really is fantastic. Chrissie Hynde still looks fab with her slender frame and tight jeans and boots.Set inc "Message Of Love","Kid","Back On The Chain Gang","I Go To Sleep","Stop Your Sobbing" and superb versions of "Brass In Pocket" and "I'll Stand By You". Also "Middle Of The Road".The five song encore inc "Precious".A very good enjoyable show. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 14 July 2009.Placebo + General Fiasco live at The Roundhouse,London.All of July at this venue is the annual ITunes Festival with a host of big names playing free gigs for competition winners. Up first tonight are General Fiasco from Northern Ireland.A lively 40 mins set with some good tunes and a great drummer.ITunes have set up a massive production of screens behind the stage and side of stage and the support get the full treatment which was nice to see.Placebo are still promoting recent album "Battle For The Sun".There are loads of overseas folks here as Placebo are massive in countries like France and Poland.On stage for 85 mins they are confident enough to leave out a lot of their bigger tunes but the crowd still love it.Brian Molko is super cool as ever and the drummer is a total powerhouse.Set inc "Battle For The Sun","For What Its Worth","Every You Every Me","Special Needs","Special K" and "Song To Say Goodbye". Encores were "Infr-Red","The Bitter End" and "Taste In Men".A very good show as usual.They return to the UK later in the year for dates which include a headline show at The 02 Arena. See www.ituneslive.co.uk for other gigs here this month and how to win some free tickets. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 13 July 2009.7pm to midnight.Ashes To Ashes Gala Dinner at The Room By The River,Upper Ground,Waterloo,London.About 750 guests here paying 275 and 175 for this cricket event to support Ricky Ponting Foundation Childrens Cancer Charity.First we have freebie champers for an hour then sit down for a three course meal then an auction.Great timing for this event after that amazing draw in the First Test.Lots of video footage of famous test matches over the years.Host is Mark Nicolas from Channel 4 cricket team.About 20 cricket players here from the past and a couple from present teams inc Ricky Ponting,Mike Brearley,Adam Gilchrist,Matt Prior,Mark Butcher,Brett Lee,Paul Collingwood, Alec Stewart,Glenn McGrath,Derek Underwood,John Embury,Graham Thorpe and a few more.Lots of them on stage to tell some funny cricket tales.All were friendly and chatty and posing for photos. Also here was Sir Michael Parkinson asking a few questions and F1 driver Mark Webber just 24 hours after his first ever Grand Prix win on Sunday.A nice goodie bag for all at the end and a great event for cricket fans................... 12 July 2009.Oasis + Kasabian live at Wembley Stadium,London.Back to see Oasis for the second time.All the bands are starting 20 mins earlier today.Probably because its a Sunday.Another massive crowd.For Kasabians 60 mins set we watch from right side seats.All the floor is going mad for them and again they go down well.You get detached and sidetracked viewing from the seats so for Oasis we are in the front pitch standing area.Its always a better atmosphere down here but its messier with beer constantly being thrown and sweaty drunk bodies much too close for comfort.Oasis were on top form tonight.No sound problems and they looked like they enjoyed it.Liam in his long mod like coat which probably is part of his new clothing range "Pretty Green" singing with his hands behind his back and full of Manc swagger.Noel just stood still and played guitar with no fuss.After "Morning Glory" Liam had a dig at Take Thats recent big stage production "Who Needs Elephants?".They changed the set by at least one song.They played oldie "Whatever" as it was the last night of their stadium tour.Encores were all the same as Thursday.Everyone singing along and having a good time.Better than Thursdays show............. 11 July 2009.Joe Bonamassa + Brian Wilson + Charlatans + Night Of Treason live at Day 2 of Guilfest,Surrey.A 35 mile drive out to this very nice area for this "family festival".This event always has a mad bunch of eclectic acts on over its three days.My first stop is the UNISON tent to see Night Of Treason who play a great set of punk rock classics.The packed tent is loving it and jumping around madly.Tracks by Sex Pistols,Clash,Buzzcocks,Damned,UK Subs,SLF etc are all here and whizz by.My faves were "Bodies", "New Rose" and "I Fought The Law".For more info on them see www.myspace.com/nightoftreason.... then to the main stage for The Charlatans.Their singer still has that awful bowl haircut.A 60 mins set of organ/guitar based indie goes down well.Set inc "Only One I Know","One To Another" and "North Country Boy"....then the legend that is Brian Wilson.I catch the first 20 mins of excellent tunes with his superb band but seeing that i have seen him over a dozen times in the last seven years i head for the second stage to see "the new king of blues" Joe Bonamassa.He plays a 60 mins set.Joe says about himself "I'm an American who plays British Blues" It pours down with rain all through his set.I have an umbrella but watching rock n roll holding an umbrella in the rain is not much fun.Joe is a great guitar player who teases great licks out of his Gibson Les Paul.His songs are good but not as good as his guitar playing.He has had a fantastic 12 months and in May 2009 for his show at The Royal Albert Hall was joined by his hero Eric Clapton for a couple of songs.The DVD of it will be in the shops soon.So a good but damp evening............ 09 July 2009.Oasis + Kasabian + The Enemy live at Wembley Stadium,London.Three massive shows here for Oasis as part of their 11 date UK stadium tour before they head into mainland Europe.A great three band package for "lad rock footie types" and beer sales inside and outside the venue are mental.The Enemy are small chaps at the best of times on stage but the Oasis crowd know the songs from their two albums and their 40 mins set goes down well.Same with Kasabian whose 60 mins set featured tracks from all their three albums inc "Shoot The Runner","Processed Beats","Empire" and "Fire". Oasis over the last 10/12 years have headlined EVERY major venue in the UK.The old Wembley Stadium,Knebworth,Milton Keynes,Finsbury Park,Earls Court,Glastonbury,Earls Court,V Fest, Reading Fest and many more.Pretty amazing.Its a two hour show.Lots of screens and lights but there is no walkway or big production like Take Thats last week.Oasis dont even do much on stage.They have however these big singalong anthemic songs.Set inc "Rock n Roll Star","Lyla", "Cigarettes And Alcohol","Roll With It","The Masterplan","Slide Away"."Morning Glory".During "Wonderwall" the sound cuts out and Noel G says three times nobody is getting their money back.(at a show in Manchester a month ago the sound cut out so many times the band offered the crowd refunds and 20,000 accepted).Then great versions of "Supersonic" and "Live Forever" and encores inc "Dont Look Back In Anger","Champagne Supernova" and their cover of Beatles "I Am The Walrus".Still a really good and very popular live act............ 08 July 2009."Thriller-Live" at The Lyric Theatre,Shaftesbury Avenue,London.I went to the opening night of this musical a few months ago but decided to go again after the shock news of Michael Jacksons death.I am as guilty as anyone for playing his music and videos a lot more since he passed away.The venue now has a shrine outside where there are photos and bits and pieces left.The show is two sets of 55 mins and 80 mins.The first set is 1970s Jackson 5 hits and Michaels early solo material and the second set is Michaels mega hits from 1980s and 1990s. Around six different singers both male and female inc a superb lookalike.Lots of dance routines and costume changes.Over 30 classic songs one after the other.The last four songs has everyone on their feet."Billie Jean","Thriller","Bad" and "Black Or White". Whether you had tickets for his 02 Arena shows or not this musical is a really great night out. For more info see www.thrillerlive.com........... 06 July 2009.The Killers live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Second of two "little" shows here for The Killers who are recording them for a live DVD.For the past couple of years its been arenas and festival headliners for The Killers in the UK.Only ten days ago they played in Hyde Park to a sold out crowd of 45,000.Looks like they have crammed all the production for that show into the RAH.Its floor standing too to get better crowd atmosphere.The set lasting nearly 2 hours inc "Human","Somebody Told Me" and "For Reasons Unknown" then there were 3 or 4 songs that were average before their neat cover of Joy Divisions "Shadowplay".Some big songs send the crowd mental inc "Smile Like You Mean It","Spaceman","Read My Mind","Mr Brightside" and gold confetti showers for "All These Things That I've Done".Encores were a bit average before an excellent "When You Were Young" finished off a very impressive show.Similiar to the one i saw at The 02 Arena earlier this year in many ways but of course in a much smaller venue.The DVD will look great when it comes out............... 04/05 July 2009.Madonna live at The 02 Arena, London.I was at both of Madonna's shows.This was the start of the next leg of "The Sticky and Sweet" World Tour to promote the album "Hard Candy" which i had seen at Wembley Stadium in Sept 2008.The first gig on Saturday i have press review tix.For 90 mins before the show starts we have free booze and a food buffet in the 3rd floor bar media area and are given a very nice Madonna "Sticky And Sweet" shoulder bag.Decent seats for the fantastic two hour show.Its a massive production and 90% its the same setlist as last years.Madonna age 50 with so much energy its incredible.Loads of screens and dancers and costume changes.Opening with "Candy Shop" then she brings out the pimpmobile for "Beat Goes On" then great versions of "Vogue","Into The Groove" and "Holiday".She brings on a Michael Jackson lookalike for a tribute section which goes down a storm.See the footage on www.madonna.com.We may have lost the King Of Pop but The Queen Of Pop is alive and kicking.Also great was "Shes Not Me" and "Music".Also "Miles Away" and "La Isla Bonita".Then it took on an uptempo disco feel for the last section of "4 Minutes","Like A Prayer","Ray Of Light"(complete with lasers) and for "Give It To Me" she wore a white MJ glove... For the Sunday show i managed to sneak into the 175 quid block A seating just yards from the walkway with a stunning view.When you are this close with Madonna in your face this really is how a show gets a 10 out of 10 marking........... 03 July 2009.Glen Matlock live at Dirty South,162 Lee High Road,Lewisham,London.A trek out to deepest South London to see Glens first London show since he drew a massive crowd at The Isle Of Wight Festival a couple of weeks ago.The venue is a big old pub with rock n roll stamped all over it.Glen is on stage for just under an hour and the crowd are very receptive.A great mix of solo material along with Sex Pistols,Rich Kids and a couple of covers.Glen has a knack of giving a great introduction to each song that makes the crowd want to sing along with him.That means the crowd end up singing along just as loud to solo material as SP classics.Glen added a new song "Rock Chick" that went down well.A very enjoyable evening. Full setlist.1)Somewhere Somehow.2)A Different World.3)Burning Sounds.4)Yeah Right.5)Ambition. 6)God Save The Queen.7)Idiot.8)On Something.9) Rock Chick.10)Steppin Stone.11)Pretty Vacant.and encore of 12)All Or Nothing .. Glens next London show is at The Monto Water Rats,Kings Cross on Mon 03 Aug 2009.............. 02 July 2009.Blur + Foals live at Hyde Park,London.This was the first of two big shows here for the highly awaited Blur reunion.Some 45,000 punters a night means they are bigger now than in their Britpop heyday.Up first we have Foals who play a decent 50 mins of indie rock with tunes inc "Cassius" and "Electric Bloom". Blur were always cool as hell in the 1990s. They all look great.Loads of gems in their set lasting 2 hours 5 mins inc "Shes So High", "Girls And Boys" where Damon ventures in to the front of the crowd for the first of many times. Also "Tracy Jacks","Theres No Other Way" and a stunning "Tender" with the gospel vibe really coming across well.Also good was "Beetlebum", "Coffee And TV" and a brilliant "Country House". Also great was "Parklife" where they were joined by Phil Daniels.Then "End Of A Century" and "This Is A Low".The six song encore inc a mental "Song 2" and finally "The Universal". Graham Coxons subtle guitar was fab all night long and it was a very good show................. 01 July 2009.Take That live at Wembley Stadium,London.This was show number one of four at this venue for Take That.This is the biggest stadium tour EVER in the UK.Twenty outdoor shows to over a million people.Like Britneys its based on an album called "The Circus".They are the boy band next door who are now a man band that this mainly female crowd love.The size of the show is incredible.They take 238 yes 238 people on tour with them.Rumoured cost of 10 million quid. Its a two hour show that starts with jugglers,showgirls,clowns,trapeze acts,tightrope walkers etc putting on a ten minute display before the band arrive to play the first half a dozen songs on the B stage in the middle.Opening with "Greatest Day" was good.The next song "Hello" sung by Mark Owen was awful.More good ones inc "Could It Be Magic","Pray","A Million Love Songs" and "Back For Good".They then brought out a huge mechanical elephant which looked fantastic as it took the band back to the main stage."Shine" was good but then a few recent album tracks were back to the bland. The circus performers were used on most songs. Then "It Only Takes A Minute" had them on unicycles down the walkway."Never Forget" was great with all the crowd singing."Patience" was good."Relight My Fire" had flames galore. Encores of "Hold up A Light" and "Rule The World" and a huge fireworks display finished the show.Visually its a superb show even though some of the songs were a bit dodgy 30 June 2009.Spinal Tap + The Folksmen live at Wembley Arena,London.It was billed as a "One Night Only World Tour" but they also played Glastonbury a couple of days ago.Up first we have The Folksmen who are Spinal Tap as folkies. Its a fun 25 mins set inc a cover of "Start Me Up".The venue is only three quarters full.High ticket prices of 50.00 and 42.50 seemed steep and kept some away.ST are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their rockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap" and the release of new album "Back From The Dead".On stage for 1 hour 40 mins it was good fun.Three big screens and the band can play too.Loads of Tap banter between songs.Set inc "Tonight Im Gonna Rock You Tonight","Back From The Dead","Listen To The Flower People","Hell Hole","Gimme Some Money","Saucy Jack" a very funky "Sex Farm" then "All The Way Home".Also "Diva Fever" and for their classic "Stonehenge" we had a 10 ft giant inflatable with a couple of dwarfs dancing around it.For a big finale of "Big Bottom" the band were joined by Keith Emerson(ELP) on keyboards and Andy Scott(Sweet) and Justin Hawkins on guitars along with 20 female dancers from the crowd.For the encore of "Heavy Duty" Keith Emerson stabbed his keyboard with a knife before pushing it over and then last song "Break Like The Wind".An enjoyable show................. 28 June 2009.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band + Dave Matthews Band live at Hard Rock Calling,Hyde Park,London.Got to venue and had a nice freebie 3 course lunch in the Live Nation Experience tent.Its shaded and seated but not as rock n roll as the Hard Rock Cafe tent.Then in to main arena for The Dave Matthews Band who are massive in the States.Their recent album "Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King" went straight in at number one Stateside with first week sales of 424,000.Very impressive.They played "Down By The River", the new single "Funny The Way It Is" and "Why I Am".DM vocals were a bit boring at times but the bass and drums were fantastic as they kept a really neat funk rock vibe going....then The Boss hits the stage.Now age 59 he played just short of three hours(2hr 55mins) and was pure class.Stunning opening of "London Calling" by The Clash left me with a tear in my eye.Other gems played were "Badlands","Shes The One","Outlaw Pete","Out In The Street" which had his first venture into the front of the crowd. Also "Working On A Dream","No Surrender" he was joined by The Gaslight Anthem singer for that song.Also "Waiting On A Sunny Day","The Promised Land","Racing In The Street","Radio Nowhere", "Lonesome Day","The Rising",a mega "Born To Run" then "Rosalita".Encores were "Hard Times",a superb "Jungleland","American Land","Glory Days" and "Dancing In The Dark".A fantastic show.Bruce has more energy than most acts half his age. Spotted backstage were Nick Mason,Bill Wyman,Eddie Jordan and watching it from side of stage were Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 27 June 2009.Neil Young + Fleet Foxes live at Hard Rock Calling,Hyde Park,London.Day 2 of this outdoor event.The Killers last night and Bruce Springsteen tomorrow have a 45,000 sellout but not Neil Young but its still a big crowd.First i head for The Hard Rock Cafe Hospitalty Tent backstage.About 500 guests here.I have a yummy freebie three course meal with cocktails served by those great Hard Rock staff.There are music items over the walls and on the floor is a Peter Criss-KISS drum kit.Venue is covered so its a perfect retreat if its too hot or rainy.Very nice.Fleet Foxes from Seattle are an ideal support for Neil Young.They were both at Glastonbury yesterday.A 60 mins set of sweet gentle harmonies from their debut album inc goodies like "Your Protector" and "White Winter Hymnal"....then Neil Young and band play a great two hour 5 mins show.Lots of neat guitar playing, brilliant lyrics and his unigue voice.Set inc "Hey Hey My My(Into The Black),"Words","Cinnamon Girl","Mother Earth" stunning versions of "The Needle And The Damage Done","Heart Of Gold,"Old Man","Down By The River" and "Rockin In The Free World".For the encore of Beatles cover "A Day In The Life" the place went bonkers as Paul McCartney joined him.A very good show.Went back after to Hard Rock Cafe hospitality for a couple of drinks and wait for the crowd to disperse..... 26 June 2009.AC/DC live at Wembley Stadium, London.The main support was due to be Thin Lizzy who i was looking forward to seeing but they were replaced by The Subways.Seen them before so missed them this time.AC/DC back in London on their "Black Ice" world tour.I saw them three times indoors in April.Its pretty much the same show and setlist.The opening of "Rock n Roll Train" has the train bursting through the back. Loads of rock classics like before inc "Back In Black".There is a walkway down the middle that Brian Johnson and Angus Young use well.To see the floor go mental is great but i preferred the indoors shows to here as at the 02 Arena i was only 20 yards from the band.The first half of the show is in daylight and the second half of the 2 hours 5 mins set has the full lightshow when it gets darker.Too many great rock songs to list but you know them all anyway."You Shook Me All Night Long","TNT","Let There Be Rock" etc.Angus played a fantastic solo spot on the second stage in the middle of the floor standing with the sweat pouring off him as he gave 110%.Stunning encores of "Highway To Hell" and the cannons blasting away for "For Those About To Rock(We Salute You)and then a full fireworks display.Another classic AC/DC show............... 25 June 2009.Went to two good events tonight. 7.15pm to 8.15pm i was at the launch of the Tesla Car Showroom in Cheval Place, Knightsbridge,London.Freebie champers and canopes flowing in this great location in a mews over the road from Harrods.Tesla is an American Electric Car company.Amazing downstairs space that they turmed into a disco bar area with djs......then off to see Chickenfoot live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.One off UK show on their debut European Tour for this supergroup.Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony were in Van Halen.Also here Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers and guitarist Joe Satriani.A great atmosphere with over 20 photographers in the photo pit and the band have brought all their wives and girlfriends over who are in the balcony.The band have only played around a dozen shows to promote their debut album.Saw the guys from Thunder here.The 1 hour 45 mins set mainly focused on the new album tracks inc "Avenida Revolution","Soap On A Rope","Sexy Little Thing","Down The Drain","Learning To Crawl","Get It Up", and "Future In The Past".Really great to see Van Halen members on a UK stage again.A rock sound with a slight funk edge.Sammy on great vocals and the band all in party mode.Stunning encores of "Bad Motor Scooter" by Montrose and "Highway Star" by Deep Purple.At the end Chad pushed his drumkit over and then threw a tom tom drum up in the air that landed on Sammy Hagars head.Could have been nasty but Sammy laughed it off.A great show .. 24 June 2009.Went to two good events tonight.First 6.45pm to 8.15pm was the press launch for Agent Provocateur "Soiree" lingerie at 154 Clerkenwell Road,London WC1.Freebie cocktails,champers and canopes on the roof terrace bar which was great then downstairs for the fashion.Seven models in amazing underwear wearing two outfits each."Kinky Couture"is what they call it.You can see why AP have been such a major success the past 15 years.Its in the shops from Nov 2009....then off to see UFO play The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.They were massive in the late 70s and early 80s but have gone off the radar a bit.All old blokes in the crowd aged 40 plus.Still have three original members but of course not as good as back in the day.Some new tracks from recent album "The Visitor" then loads of great gems from the old days inc "Mother Mary","Baby Blue","Only You Can Rock Me","Love To Love","Lights Out","Too Hot To Handle","Rock Bottom" and encores of "Doctor Doctor" and "Shoot Shoot".I really enjoyed the 1 hour 40 mins set although singer Phil Mogg in a kilt and desert boots looked odd................. 23 June 2009.7pm to 10pm was the launch party for Spaghetti House at Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush,London.Only ten mins walk from home for me up at the massive new shopping and eating complex that opened nine months ago. Some 200 or 300 people here overall i reckon. Hidden away up in the Loft area(2nd floor).Loads of yummy fresh Italian food here.Over a dozen dishes for us to taste.Washed down by great Boretti Italian beer.Tastefully decorated too.Well worth a visit if you go shopping here or on the way to a gig at The Shepherds Bush Empire which is five mins away.For more info check www.spaghettihouse.co.uk................... 22 June 2009.Seasons India Fashion Show Party At The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.7.15pm to 11.15pm.Always nice to be at this top five star hotel.About 500 people here standing inc Sir Philip Green and Jade Jagger.Lots of lovely looking glammed up women.I feel a bit underdressed.The freebie cocktails,champers and Indian food and sweets are flowing all night.Great in these credit crunch times some people can spend heaps like this event.Drinks reception then a female bangra dance display then an excellent fashion show from the likes of Rocky S and others,then an auction of 15 luxury lots for a childrens charity and then djs for the last hour.An excellent Monday night event. See www.seasonsindia.com for more info.......... 20 and 21 June 2009.Two F1 events at the weekend. Sat was 8pm to 3am.Kid Creole And The Coconuts + Mica Paris + Eddie And The Robbers live at The Formula 1 TW Steel Watches Grand Prix Ball At Boycott Manor,Stowe.(about 50 miles north of London).About 350 people here in the grounds of this lovely country house.Most have paid 400 quid to be here.First a drinks reception on the lawn.Then a three course dinner inside.Singer Mica Paris did a decent 30 mins set with some dancers behind her.Then it was the TW Steel girls in swimwear designed by Caprice who was here...Then Kid Creole And The Cocunuts played a great 45 mins set.Singer August Darnell is dapper as usual.All his early 1980s hits like "Im A Wonderful Thing Baby","No Fish Today","Annie Im Not Your Daddy" and "Stool Pigeon"....then Rddie Jordan and his covers band played a few songs to keep everyone happy inc "Pump It Up","Beds Are Burning","Mony Mony" etc. Then a dj until 3am.Needless to say over six hours of free booze took its toll.Slept in the car for a few hours before heading to Silverstone which was only 15 mins away.A great party.......Sun was The Formula 1 Grand Prix At Silverstone with The Counterfeit Stones playing the afterparty in the middle of the circuit.Got in 9am for the pre race stuff.Great to see 100 helicopters landing and taking off.Some races on the track before and after the main event.A great air display by the Red Arrows and later a Eurofighter Typhoon Jet.The main race was 1pm for 90 mins.The noise of the cars is incredible. Much louder than any band.At 5pm over to the stage in the middle of the track.All the drivers inc Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button come on stage and saw a few words.Eddie And The Robbers play again for 30 mins set.Then Counterfeit Stones play a 60 mins of Stones hits.A good party band in the sunshine for about 5000 people. Set inc "Brown Suger","Paint It Black","Honky Tonk Woman","Start Me Up" and loads more.It was all over about 8pm and i was whacked............ 19 June 2009.Pet Shop Boys + Frankmusic live at The 02 Arena,London.A big gig for PSB on the back of getting The Outstanding Achievement Award at The BRIT Awards in Feb 2009.They are promoting recent album "Yes".Up first we have electro pop bandwagon jumpers Frankmusic.They have been pushed loads by their record company with supports on this tour and the recent Keane arena tour but their 30 mins set was average at best.As expected lots of gay men here for PSB 95 mins set.They have four arty dancers with them along with costume changes and neat graphics on the screen behind them.No sign of a band so i presume its backing tracks via the computer.Lots of disco pop gems tonight inc "Love Comes Quickly","Love Etc" which is the great single off the recent album,"Go West","Always On My Mind","Left To My Own Devices" and superb versions of "Suburbia" and "Its A Sin" which finished with glitter cannons. Encores of "Being Boring" and of course "West End Girls" sealed a good show 18 June 2009.Had a superb full day out today. Noon to 6.30pm i was at Royal Ascot Ladies Day Horseracing.A massive crowd of over 40,000 with thousands in various hospitality areas.Its a great event that dates back to 1711.We had a two course lunch overlooking the course with drinks all day.At 2pm the Queen arrives on the course and there were six races.Afternoon tea/coffee and sarnies and at 6pm there is a mass sing song in the band pavillion.Lots of ladies in great hats and all dressed up.Not one dared to wear jeans or trousers today......then back into town 9pm to 1am for The Ralph Lauren/Sony Ericcson Pre Wimbledon Tennis Party at The Roof Gardens,Kensington,London.Annual bash that really is a top event.A big crowd of 700 or so in this fantastic rooftop venue with freebie cocktails,food and djs all night.Also here was Sir Richard Branson(he owns the venue) and his kids Holly and Sam.Loads of mainly female tennis players including Venus and Serena Williams.I also saw Kelly Rowland and a nice surprise to see Peter Gabriel who was very nice and very chatty.He is spending more time in London these days rather than Bath.Princess Beatrice also here.Great party ............. 16 June 2009.7.30pm to 11.30pm.Launch party for The Bathhouse,8 Bishopsgate Churchyard,London EC2.Time to take a night off from music as just done nine gigs and The MOJO Awards in the last ten days.Restored Turkish bathhouse that was originally built in 1897.Only three minutes from Liverpool Street Station.It still has loads of great original features.All the trendy fashion crowd are here.Lively and busy with djs playing. Lots of freebie cocktails all night.Good fun. See www.thebathhousevenue.com 15 June 2009.Kings Of Leon + Glasvegas live at The 02 Arena,London.First of three shows at this venue(also June 16 and June 30)on KOLs massive year long world tour to promote the "Only By The Night" album that has now sold over 3m copies. Up first we have Glasvegas who are a great band but their sound is not suited to to this crowd. The 45 mins set inc brilliant versions of "Geraldine" and "Daddys Gone" but when they finished they only got some mild applause.The UK cannot get enough of The Kings Of Leon.The stage production is massive with great use of all the lights and screens.The 1 hour 45 mins set was really good even though they still have lots of average songs.Opening up with "Be Somebody" and later great versions of "Mollys Chambers","Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody" with all the beered up crowd singing loudly.They really are a band at the right place at the right time............ 13 June/14 June 2009.Download Festival at Donington Park,Derbyshire.Sat was Day 2 with Slipknot + Marilyn Manson + Pendulum + Manraze.Sun sees the best day of "classic rock" for years on Day 3 with Def Leppard + Whitesnake + ZZ Top + Journey + Black Stone Cherry + Tesla + Stone Gods.Huge crowd of over 60,000 per day and lovely sunshine on both days.I catch the Manraze on the third stage from the front row. Phil Collen is shirtless from the start.Great to see Sex Pistol Paul Cook on drums.For the 30 mins set they tick along nicely with good versions of "Turn It Up","Spinning Out","Skin Crawl","Its Entertainment","Youre So Wrong" and a cover of "Search And Destroy"....then to the main stage to see Pendulum.I have never seen them before and i was really looking forward to it.They were well known as drum and bass djs before getting a touring band behind them to give it an aggressive rock sound and like The Prodigy the rock crowd love them.For the entire 60 mins it was everyone dancing.An amazing set. Messed up drum and bass with bits of Prodigy and Linkin Park on the rock side.Their DVD "Live At Brixton Academy" comes out this week.Maybe it was the sunshine but on the Saturday it was the day for girls getting their tits out for the camera on the big screens.All day long they were flashing them to rounds of cheers from the males. Marilyn Manson usually puts on a good show but today was poor.He looked bloated and tired and there was no stage gimmicks to back him up. "Disposable Teens" and "The Dope Show" were ok. He had two assistants coming on stage at the end of each song to wipe him down,apply make up and give him oxygen.Totally naff.His 65 mins set finished with "These Dreams(Are Made Of This)" and "The Beaufiful People" but it was too little too late...Then headliners Slipknot who bring their full monty stage production with them for their 95 mins set.Nine members on stage in masks with flames,explosions,elevating drumkits and a tilting drumkit.The crowd went mental for the show.They have been going for ten years now. As part of their "All Hope Is Gone" world tour. At the end they play "People = Shit" and the crowd love it....On the Sunday i am in early as Stone Gods come on at 11am.A 25 mins set of catchy rockers....then Tesla play a 30 mins set. Great to see them but they simply do not have the quality tunes that the bands later on have....Black Stone Cherry have had a great 12 minths where they can now headline Brixton and Hammersmith.Their American rock goes down well. ...Journey play a 45 mins set and are superb. The melodies and catchy tunes are great as is their brilliant little singer and some great guitar playing.Set inc gems "Ask The Lonely","Wheel In The Sky","Dont Stop Believing" and the crowd all singing "Faithfully".... then it was ZZ Top who played for 70 mins with loads of Texan blues boogie.Loads of great guitars and great guitar playing from Billy Gibbons.Tunes played "Got Me Under Pressure","Pin Cushion","Cheap Sunglasses","Gimme All Your Loving","Sharp Dressed Man","Legs" and "Tush"....then Whitesnake who play a 90 mins set.David Coverdale looks and sounds like a proper rock star.Loads of great tunes inc "Love Aint No Stranger","Is This Love?",then ten mins of guitar solos,"Aint No Love In The Heart Of The City","Give Me All Your Love" "Here I Go Again" and "Still Of The Night".................. then headliners Def Leppard who play a full 1 hour 45 mins set and are the only band to have a screen behind them on top of the two side screens.They were fantastic.They sounded great and have loads of great songs.They played a couple of covers inc "Action" by The Sweet and "Rock On" by David Essex.Gems inc "Two Steps Behind","Animal","Armageddon It","Photograph", "Pour Some Sugar On Me".Phil Elliot introduces drummer Rick Allen who gets a MASSIVE reception.Still playing drums for DL a full 23 years after losing his arm in that accident. Also "Rock Of Ages" and encores "When Love And Hate Collide" and "Lets Get Rocked".Brilliant. The backstage areas had a few hundred guests but the only person i saw who was not playing was Brian May from Queen who was talking to the Def Leppard boys.Download was fantastic............ 12 June 2009.Damned + Alarm + Henry Cluney live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Great package of acts from the late 1970s.Up first we have Henry Cluney who was in Stiff Little Fingers.He plays a 30 mins set of SLF hits inc "Alternative Ulster","Wasted Life" and "Suspect Device".Then The Alarm play a 55 mins set of old and new.The oldies inc "Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke?" and "Absolute Reality" and recent track "My Town" was great.Singer Mike Peters still plays as though his life depended on it. More gems inc "Strength","Spirit Of 76","45 RPM", "Rescue Me" and "68 Guns".A very good set.Then The Damned play a really good 85 mins set.Gems played inc "Love Song","New Rose","Wait For The Blackout","Neat Neat Neat" and "Eloise".The band are tight and Captain keeps his stage antics to a minimum.Encores were "Noise Noise Noise","Jet Boy Jet Girl","Stretcher Case" and superb versions of "Smash It Up" and then a cover of "20th Century Boy" where they were joined by The Alarm and Henry Cluney.The Damned still as good as ever over 30 years since i first saw play live. See aftershow page for this show................. 11 June 2009.6pm to 1.30am.The 6th MOJO Honours List Music Awards at The Brewery,Moorgate, London.Quality monthly music mag again gets a stunning mix of legends and newer acts.First off its 6pm for an hour drinks reception then 7pm to 9pm around 19 awards are handed out.Look at these names who presented or collected or just were hanging out.Yoko Ono,Sean Lennon,Mark Ronson,Jeff Beck,Billy Gibbons(ZZ Top),four members of Mott The Hoople inc Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs,Manic Street Preachers,Georgie Fame, Elbow,Fleet Foxes,Duff McKagan,Joe Elliot(Def Leppard),Chris Blackwell(Island Records),Seasick Steve,Buzzcocks,Zombies,Joe Brown,Specials,Paul Weller,Phil Lynotts mother,Scott Gorham,Blur,Cat Stevens(Yusuf),Pretty Things,Dinosaur Jr,Joy Division members,Cribs,Johnny Marr,Bernard Butler,John Cale,Richard Hawley,Kate Nash,William Bell(Stax),Harvey Goldsmith(promoter),Geoff Travis(Rough Trade),Glenn Max(Royal Festival Hall)Sir Peter Blake,Judy Collins,Mark Knopfler and no doubt a few more. 9pm to 11pm was a lovely three course dinner with drinks.Our table is next to Yoko Ono.There are 450 seated for dinner and 50 standing.Goodie bags of cds and Ford "toy" Trucks and Transit Vans as they were one of the sponsors.Mega night. At 11pm my AAA wristband gets me into the photo room where Ross Halfin is taking the photos.I witness the group photo of around 25 musicians. The lower front row had Yoko Ono in the middle with Jeff Beck and Billy Gibbons on each side. All the photos will be in the next MOJO mag. See www.mojo4music.com for full list of winners. See aftershow page for this event................ 10 June 2009.Went to two good events tonight. First 7.15pm to 9.30pm was the relaunch of the Langham Hotel,Portland Place,W1 after a five year 80m quid refurbishment.Its a stunning five star hotel which when built way back in 1865 was Europes first ever grand hotel.About 500 people here inc actor Bill Nighy and comedians Rob Brydon and Stephen K Amos.A small orchestra played and a very funny speech from the manager. Loads of great staff waiting on you.The freebie cocktails and canopes are flowing.Nice goodie bag of arabic perfumes from www.amouage.com See also www.langhamlondon.com......then a dash up the road to see The Buzzcocks live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.This was the last show of three here sponsored by MOJO with Manics on Monday and Dinosaur Jr last night.Two supports on so Buzzcocks on for a shorter than usual 60 mins set.The vocals seem a bit low in the mix but with so many pop punk perfect tunes tonight who cares.Set inc "I Dont Know What To Do With My Life","You Say You Dont Love Me","Noise Annoys","Breakdown","Love You More","Promises", "What Do I Get?","Harmony In My Head","Ever Fallen In Love" and "Orgasm Addict".No song seemed to last more than three minutes before another gem came along.Always great live. See aftershow page for this gig................. 09 June 2009.Went to three events tonight.First was 6.45pm to 8.15pm.Mayfair jewellers Wright And Teague held a reception at The Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel,Portman Square,W1.Lots of quality pieces on display.Freebie cocktails and nice grub flowing in this upmarket venue. See www.wrightandteague.co.uk as part of the www.londonjewelleryweek.co.uk....then 8.30pm to 10pm was the launch of new fashion magazine Rococo at Il Bottaccio,Grosvenor Place,SW1. Lovely old building overlooking the gardens of Buckingham Palace.More freebie cocktails and canopes for the trendy lively fashion crowd here. See www.rococomagazine.com for their online site. Hotly tipped new act VV Brown plays six songs in a 25 mins set.She plays the two singles "Crying Blood" and "Shark In The Water" from her album "Travelling Like The Light" which is out this month.She went down well with this crowd.Expect to see her at festivals over the summer....then 10.30pm to 12.30am i was at the afterparty for the press night of "The Cherry Orchard" at The Buddha Bar,Victoria Embankment,SW1.The play is on at www.oldvictheatre.com.Lovely venue down by The River Thames.More cocktails and canopes. Oscar winning director of the play Sam Mendes gives a speech as does actor Kevin Spacey.I also notice Jeremy Irons here.A great night out but way too much booze consumed .. 08 June 2009.Beyonce live at The 02 Arena,London. This was Beyonces third of four shows at this venue as part of her six week European Arena tour to promote album "I Am Sasha Fierce".At 27 she is same age as Britney and both have had ten years of mega success.Its a huge production that has a massive screen that is well used for live close ups,old video clips and 3d graphics.An all female band inc two drummers and a percussionist and some dancers too.Its a two show and Beyonce looks incredible and has around ten different costumes and she shakes those Texan thighs.She has a great voice and can dance great too.It opens with a superb "Crazy In Love" with confetti at the end. Also good was "Naughty Girl".Things get a bit dodgy when she sings three average power ballads in an outfit that looks like a wedding dress.Back on track for "If I Were A Boy" and a decent cover of Alanis Morissettes "You Oughta Know".Also good was "Me Myself And I" then she was lifted 30ft in the air and across the floor arena to the second stage in the middle for great versions of "Baby Boy" and "Irreplaceable" and a Destiny Child medley inc "Bootilicious" and "Say My Name".Back to the main stage for great versions of "Single Ladies(Put A Ring On It)" and encore of "Halo" with more confetti.A very enjoyable show......... 07 June 2009.Capital Radio 95.8 FM Summertime Ball at Emirates Stadium,North London 4.45pm to 10pm featuring Blue,Kelly Clarkson,James Morrison,Lionel Richie,Leona Lewis,JLS,Daniel Merriweather,Akon,Saturdays,Shontelle,Noisettes, Ciara,Enrique Iglesias,Alesha Dixon,Dizzee Rascal.A massive crowd of around 50,000 at the home of Arsenal F.C.Each act plays one to four mainly hit songs each and the last act Blue play six.Managed to get a couple of media tickets so we have a nice place right of stage under cover and the free bar and food is flowing.We have tables to put it on and own our tv monitor.I do feel a bit detached from the stage though.Never a big fan of Capital Radio as they play crap most of the time.A mixed bunch of acts here. Dizzee Rascal is great with "Dance Wiv Me" and "Bonkers".Alesha Dixon plays three inc "The Boy Does Nothing".Enrique Iglesias plays four and again getting a trembling girl on stage for "Hero" brings the house down.Ciara plays her hit "Love Sex Magic".Noisettes play their hit "Dont Upset The Rhythm" and Shontelle aings "T Shirt".Pop babe females Saturdays play four inc "Issues" and "Just Cant Get Enough".Akon plays "Dangerous" and "Right Now" and does some crowd surfing.Daniel Merriweather plays four inc "Stop Me".JLS play a couple inc new single "Beat Again".Then Leona Lewis does four inc "Bleeding Love" and "Run".Then my highlight Lionel Richie plays four big hits "Running With The Night","Dancing On The Ceiling" complete with fireworks,"Hello" and "All Night Long".James Morrison plays four inc "You Give Me Something" and "Broken Strings" which had fireworks.Kelly Clarkson went down well with the girls here for four songs.Blue back together for the first time in four years.Six songs inc "All Rise" a great duet of "Easy" with Lionel Richie and last song "One Love".So a good day out overall even though the music was hit and miss ..... 06 June 2009.Britney Spears live at The 02 Arena,London.This was show number three of eight at this venue for Britney.Quite a comeback really as only a couple of years ago she was pressing the self destruct button by shaving her hair off,wild behaviour,rehab and a messy divorce.Calling her recent album "Circus" makes it easy for the shows theme of course.Before she even comes on stage we are treated to a 20 mins circus show inc clowns,trapeze acts,gymnasts and midgets.The show is on the floor with three circular stages with the biggest in the middle. For the opening Britney is lowered from the ceiling in a giant hoop dressed as a ringmaster. Visually its a fantastic 90 mins show with a dozen dancers along with the circus acts on stage for every song and Britney in various raunchy outfits.The problem is i see no band above or below the stage and Britney mimes to every song apart from the ballad "Everytime". By miming she can concentrate on the dance routines and to be honest most of this crowd do not seem that bothered about it.Half her set is bland pop that sounds its come via a pro tools computer programme.Some songs were good inc "Piece Of Me","Boys"."Breathe On Me" and the last four songs "Im A Slave 4 U","Toxic","Baby One More Time"(that song is now 10 years old) and encore of "Womanizer" with Britney in policewomans outfit and fireworks and confetti a gogo.I enjoyed the show as it was great fun to watch as it was Cirque Du Soleil meets pop but so much miming is totally out of order........... 05 June 2009.noon to 6pm.Polo In The Park, Hurlingham,Fulham,London.Lovely location in this members club and grounds hidden away in Fulham. Champers reception for an hour then sit down 3 course lunch for around 800 posh yuppie types. Faces here inc Jodie Kidd,cricketer Freddie Flintoff and ex politician Norman Lamont.At 3pm over to watch the two polo matches from the VIP tent where the free booze and food is flowing. You feel as though you are in the countryside. This event is various paid tickets Fri and Sat but Sunday 07 June is free admission as they hold a Polo Open Day which will have polo displays and plenty of family entertainment in this great location.Ideal for a picnic etc. See www.polointheparklondon.com.................. 04 June 2009.7.30pm to 2.30am.ARK Charity Gala Dinner at The Former Eurostar Terminal,Waterloo Station,London.Some 900 city highflyers and celebs paying between 1,000 quid and 10,000 quid to be here.Its the size of an aircraft hanger but it has been done out superb.There are working steam trains all fired up and Pullman Carriages you can walk around that are used for Orient Express Trips.There are bagpipers,a 100 piece orchestra,jugglers,street entertainers, Rolf Harris type painting displays,and even the toilets are called Waterloos.Faces here inc Uma Thurman,Boris Johnson,Elizabeth Hurley,Jemima Khan,Sinitta,David Walliams,Yasmin Le Bon,Eva Herzigova,Dylan Jones,Sir Philip Green,Ben Goldsmith,Tanya Bryer,Jeremy Clarkson,Tracey Emin,Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and a few more inc loads of stunning women all dressed up.The reception had loads of food stations along with champers and cocktails then it was a 3 course meal.Boris Johnson gave one of his usual funny speeches.The sax player from the recent Britains Got Talent played a couple of tunes. Then the auction that raised a staggering 15 million quid.Then it was a full on laser and lights show with dancers.The main entertainment this year was only a decent covers band for an hour .Last year they had Stevie Wonders first show in the UK for 10 years which was great.The food and drinks were still flowing when we left at 2.30am.This really was a big event.Everyone got a pashmina in the goodie bag................. 03 June 2009.Two good events tonight.First the The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition VIP Preview, Piccadilly,London.Very glam and glitzy bash.Over 500 people here with the woman all dressed up and looking fab.I spotted John Cleese,David Gilmour and Nick Mason from Pink Floyd with their wives,Beth Ditto,Dermot Oleary,Stella McCartney,Nancy Dell'Olio,Janet Street Porter, Johnny Borrell and a few more.Very nice here. Freebie cocktails and canopes flowing....then to The National Portrait Gallery for the afterparty for Hamlet which is on at The Wyndhams Theatre. Jude Law has the lead role and is here tonight and still looking good.Freebie drinks and canopes . 02 June 2009.The Tubes live at Islington Academy,London.One off UK show before they head on to mainland Europe festivals.Another band i saw in their heyday.Four times at Hammersmith Odeon between 1977-1981.Always a quality live act.They have not got the big budget of the old days but singer Fee still does several costume changes and is still full of great on stage banter.On stage for 2 hours and 5 mins.Lots of goodies inc "I Want It All Now","What Do You Want From Life?","Amnesia","Shes A Beauty","Sports Fans","No Way Out",an uptempo punk version of The Beatles "I Saw Her Standing There" and a superb "Dont Want To Wait Anymore". For a couple of songs Fee put on a wig and pimp suit for some James Brown type soul numbers before changing into 70s glam rock zombie Quay Lude complete with big heels,wig and satin outfit for "Boy Crazy" and their anthem the fantastic "White Punks On Dope".Encore had Fee in s and m black leather for "Mondo Bondage". Last song was "Talk To Ya Later".The Tubes do not seem to get the recognition that some of the other older bands get but they are great......... 01 June 2009.Childline Rocks featuring Steve Harley,Glenn Hughes,Jon Lord,The Pretty Things,Thunder,Uriah Heep,Hot Leg,Sons Of Albion and DJ Bob Harris and more at The 02 Indigo,London.Annual classic rock event for this childens charity.Up first we have Pretty Things who play a couple of songs before shooting off to do another gig.Then its Sons Of Albion who feature Robert Plants son Logan on vocals.They play a few good solid rocking songs.Then its Uriah Heep who have sold over 30 million albums.Just four songs inc "Gypsy" and "Easy Living" and Mick Box and co go down well.Then after the interval Thunder are the house band for the second set but first they play four great tunes on their own inc "Back Street Symphony","Gimme Some Loving" and "I Love You More Than Rock n Roll".They will be sadly missed when they play their final show ever at Hammersmith Apollo on 11 July.Then Hot Leg play a few songs.Justin looks great even though his foot is in plaster due to an accident.They finish with "Cocktails".Then singer Steve Balsamo from The Storys who has a superb voice takes the stage with Jon Lord for "Pictured Within" then Thunder join them for "Sweet Child In Time" which was fantastic.Then Glenn Hughes,Jon Lord and Thunder played a brilliant "You Keep On Moving" then Jon Lord left the stage for Glenn Hughes to display his vocal prowess on "Mistreated" then Glenn and his funk rock bass playing rocked through "Soul Mover".Then it was Justin Hawkins in dodgy shorts with Thunder for a great version of "I Believe In A Thing Called Love".Then Steve Harley on a for a couple including his massive hit "Make Me Smile(Come Up And See Me).Then the finale with everyone on stage except The Pretty Things for a rousing "Smoke On The Water".The whole event was hosted by dj legend Bob Harris.Half a dozen great rock acts and on stage pairings that you will never see again.What a great night.See you there next year for sure.See Check out www.childlinerocks.co.uk where you can buy a live cd of this show.See aftershow page for this gig ................. 31 May 2009.Lynyrd Skynyrd live at The Brixton Academy,London.A sold out show here for these "Southern Rock" legends as part of their "God And Guns" world tour.Another band who i have a lot of history with.I saw them FIVE times between 1975-1977 including that amazing Rainbow Theatre show in Jan 1977 before their fatal plane crash in Oct 1977.Sadly in 2001 and earlier this year two more members have died. They came on stage to an amazing reception and play a perfect all killer no filler 90 mins set.Only one original from the old days but its still a seven piece band with three guitarists.Lots of gems inc "Saturday Night Special","Gimme Back My Bullets","Whats Your Name?","Simple Man","Double Trouble","Gimme Three Steps" and superb versions of "Sweet Home Alabama" and a 13 minute encore of the classic "Free Bird".It was a great show................ 30 May 2009.Manic Street Preachers live at The Roundhouse,London.Last of three shows at this venue to promote their new album "Journal For Plaque Lovers" which features lyrics from their guitarist Richey Edwards who went missing in 1995.Needless to say i saw them with Richie including an early club show in 1991 in Fulham.They also supported Bon Jovi at Milton Keynes Bowl in 1993 which was very odd at the time.On stage for nearly two hours.The first set was 45 mins of all the new album track by track and second set was 70 mins of greatest hits.Bass player Nicky Wire has hurt his back so is not jumping around as much as usual.Second song from new album "Jackie Collins Existential Question Time" features the great chorus "Mummy Whats A Sex Pistol?".Manics are always better when they are uptempo as i love the sound that James Dean Bradfield gets from his guitar.Second set was brilliant with gems inc "Motorcycle Emptiness", "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough","You Love Us", "Tsunami","If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next","Little Baby Nothing","Australia", "You Stole The Sun From My Heart","Motown Junk", "Everything Must Go" and the entire crowd singing along loudly for "A Design For Life".A great show .................. 29 May 2009.Paul Weller live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.This was show number four of five nights at this venue to celebrate 50 years of Island Records.This was the first London show by Paul since his dad died a month ago who was also his manager the last 30 years.The measly 75 mins set was all semi acoustic that was just a bit lacklustre.It started well with Paul and the band(no Steve Craddock though) on stools with a four piece female string section playing "You Do Something To Me" and "English Rose".Also good was "Walk On Gilded Splinters","Wild Wood","All On A Misty Morning" and "The Butterfly Collector".Then Paul Weller seemed to lose interest and walked offstage and let the guitarist and then the drummer sing a song so that meant Paul really only on stage for 65 mins. Encores were "Love-less" and "Pretty Flamingo". The houselights went up to a wall of boos and lots of hardcore Weller fans thought it was one of his worst shows for ages .. 28 May 2009.Went to two events tonight.First was 6.45pm to 8.15pm at Sketch ,Conduit Street, London W1 for the launch of the Yari-Aino-Satio SONY ERICCSON W995 phone applications.About 300 press here with lots of freebie booze and food going.A nice 360 degree presentation of this quality phone and what it will do.There were 20 phones on display to play with.The contract price seems steep.40 quid a month on an 18 month term.Then a mad dash over to see........ Nickelback live at The 02 Arena,London.Even though the critics hate them they are one of the biggest bands worldwide and have signed a mega bucks deal with Live Nation which is like the one Madonna has.I have seen them before and again its a massive stage production and loads of fireworks,flames,stage walkways,big screens. The lot.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins and still promoting recent album "Dark Horse".Set inc "Photograph","Far Away" a cover of "Highway To Hell" sung by Chris from Black Stone Cherry. Also "If Everyone Cared","If Today Was Your Last Day" and a great version of mega hit "Rockstar" from the second stage area.Some roadies fired some tshirts into the crowd for some fun.The drum solo featured a rising and revolving kit. Smug singer Chad gave an annoying introduction to every song as if the crowd were 3 year olds. Both "How You Remind Me" and "Too Bad" were excellent.Encores were a cover of "Use Somebody" by Kings Of Leon then "Someday" and last song "Figured You Out" had a full barrage of fireworks,flames and explosions.This is the kind of show that was perfect for this venue.......... 27 May 2009.George Thorogood And The Destroyers + Dirty Strangers live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.My 50th birthday today and gig number 5207 for me.Support act Dirty Strangers are from my manor Shepherds Bush so that was nice on my birthday.They have a new album out called "W12 To Wittering" which features Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on a few tracks. They played a decent 30 mins set inc "South Of The River","Bad Girls","Shes A Real Botticelli","Gold Cortina" and the very catchy "Just Another Story".George Thorogood And The Destroyers are over the moon to be playing this venue even though the balcony is virtually empty.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins playing good time blues rock n roll originals and covers. George is a showman guitarist and plays great. Songs played inc "Rock Party","Who Do You Love", "The Fixer",a great cover of John Lee Hookers "One Bourban,One Scotch,One Beer".Plenty of bottleneck guitar playing.Also good was "Get A Haircut" and "Bad To The Bone".A couple of times George played guitar in the crowd and encores inc "Madison Blues".A good show .. 26 May 2009.Went to three good events tonight. First 6.45pm to 7.45pm was at the launch party for Nar Restaurant And Bar,Albert Embankment,Nr Vauxhall Station.London SE1.Nice decor here under the railway arches.They gave us a nice Mediterranean buffet dinner and some drinks.Not sure about the rumblings overhead as the trains go past...then five mins walk on to the 15th Club And Bar Awards At The Park Plaza Hotel, Albert Embankment,London SE1.This is the Brit Awards of the best bars and clubs in London.Loads of owners and staff from the top clubs here inc Embassy,Maddox,Movida etc. Loads of lovely looking girls all dressed up. A buzzing crowd of over 500 people.Loads of freebie cocktails flowing.A few faces inc Jo Wood,Leslie Ash and Martin Chambers(Pretenders). I was there 7.50pm to 9.15pm but had to leave before the awards...........then a mad dash over arriving at 10pm to see Sly And Robbies Compass Point Allstars feat Grace Jones + Tinchy Stryder + VV Brown + The I-Threes live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.This was the first night of the five shows here celebrating 50 years of Island Records.Sly And Robbie provide all the backing.I miss Kid Creole and Aswads short sets. Nice to see The I-Threes do a short set as they were Bob Marleys backing group and feature Rita Marley.Their set inc Bob Marley songs and a brilliant "No Woman No Cry" sung by Rita Marley. New Island signings Tinchy Stryder and VV Brown played a couple of songs but this crowd were not that bothered.They want the old stuff. Needless to say Grace Jones was the star tonight. Standing on a raised platform singing and looking amazing.Just three songs "Love You To Life" her recent single then "Pull Up To The Bumper" then "One Love" which had The I-Threes come on to sing with her.A mixed show that finished at 11.10pm but worth it for Grace....... 24 May 2009.Girls Aloud live at The 02 Arena, London.The UKs biggest all girl band since the Spice Girls on a massive month long tour of UK arenas promoting their recent album "Out Of Control".They play five shows in London.This was show number three at this venue and they play Wembley Arena on May 26 and 27.Its a massive production with walkways,big screens,fireworks, flames,lights,dancers and costume changes.Lots of cameras here as its being recorded for a Christmas dvd.The 1 hour 40 mins set was visually great fun to watch but i thought they got the setlist a bit wrong.It started well with "The Promise" and a brilliant "Biology" but they played seven or eight tracks from the new album as well as a couple of pointless covers of James Morrison and Britney Spears to a crowd of excitable females who had clearly come to see most of their 20 odd chart hits.Halfway through they glided over the front stalls on a platform to sing three songs on the second stage.Then back to the main stage for "Call The Shots",a great "Sound Of The Underground" and "Something Kinda Ooooh".Encore was a 10 minutes medley of six of their hits which seemed rushed.It was an enjoyable show but like i said the set should have been more hits based for this crowd........ 23 May 2009.Night Of Treason live at The Kings Head,Acton,London.I caught this excellent punk covers band on one of the smaller stages at Guilfest where they went down a storm.Again they face a lively crowd and play an excellent 80 mins of punk rock classics.Bands covered inc Sex Pistols,Clash,Buzzcocks,Slaughter And The Dogs,Damned,Ramones,999,UK Subs and others.You can see the band clearly love playing this music in their spare time.I knew the words to every song myself and so did the crowd.If you like old school punk rock you must check them out when they play your local venue.The band play Guilfest.co.uk 2009 on Sat 11 July. See www.myspace.com/nightoftreason...............