Archive: June 2010

June 25, 2010

22 June 2010.KISS meet and greet and live show at Palacio De Deportes,Madrid,Spain.Even though i had seen seven KISS UK shows only a month ago i still simply had to see a show overseas.Here in sunny Spain at the same venue i saw Iron Maiden play in 2005.This is no ordinary show as Rod MacSween who is KISS UK and Europe booking agent as well as many other great rock bands has very kindly offered me a guest list place to The KISS Meet And Greet Experience for promoting KISS on this website.For me its an amazing gesture as this usually costs 1000 Euros as KISS and other bands are getting fed up with their autographs being sold on ebay.Get to box office at 6pm to collect laminate and wristband.There are about 40 Spanish KISS fans with me.We are told to meet later left of stage.We are allowed in the venue a few mins before the general crowd are let in.Sadly we cannot take up a front row view because of the meet and greet later.The venue itself is a bit of an ugly concrete slab of a building but the atmosphere is fantastic.A rabid sold out crowd of maybe 12 to 15,000.At 7.45pm we go backstage.We see KISS manager Doc McGhee and Gene Simmons partner and son.We are in a semi circle and told how things will go.We get a bag of swag.A set of four KISS guitar picks,a Sonic Boom tour programme,a glossy 10" by 8" thats presigned by the band,a larger print that is the main item to be signed later by all the band.The band turn up in full costume to cheers.We get two photos each with the band which taken by a photographer who will send the photos in a weeks time."Sonic Boom" album is on in the background and Paul is singing along to it so we get a kinda private little show.Then its autograph time and chats.I get five Gene,four Paul,two Tommy,two Eric.Paul seems impressed when i tell him i was at seven of the UK shows.The hour here goes so quickly but it was a totally amazing and unique experience that any KISS fan would really love to be at.Thanks again to Rod MacSween for arranging it.Then to the show itself.I am standing left of stage 15 rows back.The bands entrance is just mega.The google maps video then the "You Wanted The Best You Got The Best" battle cry and then the band appear from behind the drumkit on a riser.The songs old and new are just brilliant.Like the Italian show i saw a couple of years ago Paul Stanley says a few words in the local language as well as singing a couple of old Spanish songs.The crowd responds with "ole ole ole" every other song.The crowd really are up for it. We also get extra songs to the UK setlist as encores now include "Beth" and "Forever".So many highlights in what is now a 2 hour 15 mins show. They finish as usual with their anthem "Rock n Roll All Nite".Yep KISS destroy Madrid and as Spinal Tap would say this gig went up to 11. See ...... 21 June 2010.9pm to midnight.Simon De Pury party at The Saatchi Gallery,Kings Road,Chelsea London. One of the art worlds leading figures throws a massive party to celebrate his recent wedding. About 400 upmarket people here inc Bianca Jagger,Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran and supermodel Victoria Silvstedt.There are 70 beds,yes beds all covered in different foods and half a dozen guests relax on each one with crates of booze at the side.We have a piano player who plays a 30 mins set of rock tracks.Then downstairs there are 100 cakes on 100 stands made by 100 bakers.Nick Rhodes is taking photos of them.Then the dj for the last hour.A very lavish and amazing party............. 20 June 2010.Bon Jovi + One Republic live at The 02 Arena,London.This was show number eight of twelve here for Bon Jovi and my third show of the stint.Up first are One Republic who have had a couple of hit singles and recently headlined Shepherds Bush Empire.They play a pretty average set inc a cover of Tears For Fears "Shout" and their hit "Apologize".The atmosphere for Bon Jovi is again brilliant for a set lasting 2 hours 30 mins.Early on in the show JBJ asks how many fans have been to a previous show? About half the audience puts their hands up.He then says they have now played over 50 different songs so far.Each night is maybe 30 to 35 songs so we get three or four different each night which is great considering some bands never change their set.The opener "Blood On Blood" is different.Also "In These Arms" and cover versions of "Roadhouse Blues" and "Squeeze Box". Also "These Days" and "Have A Nice Day" were additions to shows i had seen earlier.Loads of great singalong older gems played and even newer songs like "When We Were Beautiful" gets better and better.Encores were "I Love This Town","Wanted Dead Or Alive" and a stunning "Living On A Prayer".Another fantastic Bon Jovi show ................ 19 June 2010.Green Day + Joan Jett And The Blackhearts live at Wembley Stadium,London. A massive show here for Green Day but there are a few empty blocks of seats.Missed the first act(Frank Turner)as was in the Bobby Moore hospitality area for some free booze and grub. Great to see Joan Jett again who played a 40 mins set.I loved her 1970s all girl band The Runaways who i saw a couple of times.Their documentary comes out in August.Her set inc "Cherry Bomb","Do You Wanna Touch Me?","AC-DC","I Love Playing With Fire" her big hit "I Love Rock n Roll","Crimson And Clover" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You".Green Day on stage for a lenghty 2 hours 50 mins.Full of energy just like the shows i saw at Wembley Arena and The 02 Arena before Christmas.Loads of flames and pyros and three huge screens as they continue to promote their album "21st Century Breakdown".Singer Billie Joe is great at working the crowd and again they get some teenage fans to sing with them then stage dive into the crowd. Loads of brilliant songs in the set inc "Know Your Enemy","East Jesus Nowhere","Holiday","Boulevard Of Broken Dreams", "When I Come Around",a medley of rock covers, "Basket Case","King For A Day","21 Guns","Minority".Encores inc "American Idiot", "Jesus Of Surburbia","Wake Me Up When September Comes" and "Good Riddance(Time Of Your Life). Very entertaining from start to the finish. Great show ................. 17 June 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First 7pm to 10.45pm was The First Birthday Party for The Kensington Hotel,109 Queens Gate,South Kensington,London SW7.Irish owned boutique hotel which is one of the dozen or so they own worldwide.Only meant to stay here for an hour before the bigger party later but it was so nice here we stayed here.Its a superb hotel in a great location.Lots of freebie Moet champers flowing and we went through their extensive cocktail list.Lots of hot and cold food too.A great draw later where they gave out ten weekend trips with flights to visit their hotels across the world.Main prize was five nights in Washington with flights.Very nice.They had a decent singer playing an acoutic set and a dj too.See 11pm to 1am was The Sony Ericsson Pre Wimbledon Party at The Roof Gardens,Kensington High Street,London W8.Annual party that gets a huge crowd of 700 plus people.Its mainly for the female tennis stars to get dressed up before Wimbledon starts on Monday.Those here inc Venus Williams,Serena Williams,Maria Sharapova and non tennis folks like The Sugababes.Very lively with the dancefloor in full swing and plenty of free booze still going.Always great to visit this great venue with its stunning roof garden area that i think is still owned by Sir Richard Branson .. 16 June 2010.7.30pm to 11pm.Went along to a press dinner at the recently opened Tompkins, 3 Pan Peninsular Square,Canary Wharf,London E14. This New York style brasserie and steakhouse has a lovely location by the water at South Quay.The starters of a dozen yummy grilled king prawns was a meal in itself.The steak with pepper sauce was perfect and the raspberry dessert was great.The staff were very attentive all night with drink refills without asking.Overall it was the best dining out experience i have had for ages.Only two mins from Canary Wharf tube which is one stop before North Greenwich and The 02 Arena complex so could easily be done before a gig.For more info check or phone them on 0208 858 2437 .. 15 June 2010.Went to two events tonight.A bar launch then a gig.6pm to 7.30pm was the launch of The Terrace Bar at The Langham Hotel,Portland Place,London W1.Always nice to go to this lovely five star hotel.Even though i am not a smoker all venues these days must have a decent area set aside for them and those that just want to be outside.Lovely freebie Laurent Perrier champers is flowing along with sushi.There is an old Cuban guy in the corner rolling huge Cuban cigars so i get one for a friend.Left there after a few drinks then on to see......Aerosmith + Airbourne play The 02 Arena,London.Very naughty of Aerosmith to sell tickets for 95 and 75 for this show when bands like KISS only charged 40.Up first its Airbourne who again play an energy filled 40 mins of rock n roll. Aerosmith are another band i have a lot of history with.I have seen EVERY London show they have done since their first in 1976 at Hammersmith Odeon and inc the secret gig at The Hard Rock Cafe in 2007.Tonight was their first official indoor UK show since the 1997 tour where i saw them twice at Wembley Arena and also at The Bercy,Paris.They have lots of guests standing on each side of the stage inc Jimmy Page.On stage for 1 hour 55 mins.Its pretty much The Donington Festival setlist plus two extra tracks.Steven Tyler spends a lot of the time at the front of the catwalk still looking every inch a proper rock star.Opening with "Love In An Elevator" and "Back In The Saddle".Others inc "Eat The Rich","Pink","Living On The Edge","Crying", and superb versions of "I Dont Want To Miss A Thing" and "Sweet Emotion". Great encores of "Dream On","Walk This Way" and "Toys In The Attic".Aerosmith are always great to see live ............ 14 June 2010.7pm to 11pm.Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards at Indigo,London.1000 ticket holders on the floor and 500 media and guests upstairs with the freebie beer.We had short live sets by some Download Festival bands.Steel Panther,Evile,Five Finger Death Punch,Skindred and Airboune as well as around 15 awards.Steel Panther come on early for three songs inc "Death To All But Metal " and "Turn Out The Lights".They were perfect hosts for the evening.Very rude and very entertaining.Then heavier bands Evile,Five Finger Death Punch and Skindred did three or four songs each that the crowd loved.During sets we had the awards.Some of the newer bands i dont know but a few faces are here.Always good to see gig going regulars like Chris McCormack(ex 3 Colours Red) and Luke Morley(ex Thunder).Joe Perry picked up an award.Zakk Wylde picked up an award.Also Joe Elliot and Scott Gorham here.A highlight was Tony Iommi presenting actor Sir Christopher Lee with an award and rightly calling this horror film legend "the original prince of darkness".Whats more Sir Christopher Lee has at the age of 87 yes 87 brought out an album of "symphonic metal" on Cadiz Music called "Charlemagne: By The Sword And The Cross".Lots of chants of Dio,Dio,Dio during the evening to remember this rock legend.Airbourne finished off the evening with a loud and fast 40 mins of Australian rock n roll.A great night. See for winners............ 13 June 2010.Bon Jovi live at The 02 Arena, London.Show number five of twelve here for Bon Jovi and my second time.Should mention that Bon Jovi are taking advantage of fans loyalty with ticket prices here.Block A seats are 100 and gold circle seats in the front ten rows are a whopping 200.As its a Sunday Bon Jovi come on stage 30 mins earlier.The set is a bit shorter at 2 hours 25 mins so that means four songs dropped and a couple added and a couple changed in the setlist order but overall it made a great set slightly better.As its Sunday lots of references to going to the rock n roll church,i need redemption,i have sinned,testify etc.For tonight they are without their keyboard player as he was back in New York for an awards show as his musical "Memphis" was a big hit.The keyboard player from Southside Johnnys band stands in tonight.The females are drooling over JBJ from the start."Pretty Woman" replaced "Hot Legs" as the cover."Runaway","Dry County" and "Always" were dropped and "In These Arms" was added.Loads of big catchty rock gems to sing along to.The encores were "In These Arms","Wanted Dead Or Alive" and their biggest anthem "Living On A Prayer".Another excellent show................... 11 June 2010.Steve New RIP.1pm arrived at the huge and beautiful Islington And St Pancras Crematorium,High Road,Finchley,London N2.Steve "Stella" New died aged only 50 of cancer.He was the guitarist in The Rich Kids in the early 80s.Glen Matlock was a close friend all his life and Steve joined Glens band and they headed out on a two week UK tour in 2002 where i was the roadie and merch seller and shared a hotel room with Steve a couple of nights.Friends here inc Glen Matlock(Sex Pistols),Mick Jones(Clash/Carbon Silicon),Tony James(Gen X and now Carbon Silicon),James Stephenson(Gen X and now The Alarm),Patti Palladin,Chris McCormack(ex 3 Colours Red) and some of Steves ex bandmates Chris Musto,Ray McVeigh,Terry Edwards and Koozie Johns.A lovely service even though very sad.Check back over the weekend for pics on all up the road for drinks at The Bald Faced Stag then 6pm to 11pm was more drinks at The George in Commerial Road,London E1.This was the venue were Stevs latest band Beastellabeast played most of their shows.Its a battered old pub that lets creative folks in the area jam on stage.Pete Doherty has played a couple of secret gigs here.Terry Edwards played some great trumpet and they showed some films of Steves projects.You can see why Steve loved this venue .... 10 June 2010.6pm to 11.45pm.Mojo Magazine Honours List 2010 at The Brewery,Moorgate,London. Around 450 people seated for a three course meal after the drinks reception and 50 people standing at the back for this quality awards show that always gets great names from music past and present.Here tonight presenting,collecting or just hanging out inc Jimmy Page(won an award),Roger Daltrey,Kasabian(won an award),Duane Eddy(won an award),Jean Michel Jarre(won an award),Roy Wood(won an award),Richard Hawley(won an award),Marc Almond(won an award),Richard Thompson(won an award), Daniel Miller-Mute Records(won an award), Sigur Ros(won an award),Teardrop Explodes(won an award)but Julian Cope did not turn up and left band members do it,Hawkwind(won an award),Wilko Johnson and Julian Temple picked up the award for film "Oil City Confidential".Also here Bez,Peter Hammill,Antony Hegarty,Matthew Wright,Geoff Travis,Emmylou Harris,Alex James,Devo,Tony Christie,Scott Gorham,Rufus and Martha Wainwright,JJ Burnel,Peter Blake,Paloma Faith,Bill Nelson,John Foxx,Andy Bell,Andrew Fletcher,John Leckie,Beth Orton,Midlake,Gang Of Four,Chip Taylor,Harry Shearer(Spinal Tap and The Simpsons),Jarvis Cocker and no doubt a few more.An excellent evening.I went to the afterparty across the road from the venue for one drink.Kasabian and a few others were here.See .. 09 June 2010.7.15pm to 10pm.Amy Macdonald live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.Before i went here i popped along the road for half an hour to see some of the arrivals for The Royal Academy Of Arts Summer Party,Piccadilly,London W1.Lots of glammed up womwn going in.David Gilmour and Nick Mason(Pink Floyd) turned up as did Razorlight singer Johnny Borrell.No doubt a few more from music and the arts arrived later....then to this invite only gig for 200 comp winners and media.This was for Q Magazine-The Music Club.Free booze and HRC grub for all throughout the evening.Amy Macdonald debut album "This Is The Life" has sold 3 million copies worldwide and her second album "A Curious Thing" came out a couple of months ago.On stage for 50 mins with her band the comparisons to the singer from The Cranberries are fairly spot on.A sprinkling of songs from both albums and a neat cover of Bruce Springsteens "Born To Run".The full set was "Ordinary Life","Love Love","This Pretty Face","Mr Rock n Roll","Troubled Soul","Born To Run","Dont Tell Me That Its Over", "Spark","No Roots","This Is The Life".A decent gig.While in here i was thinking of all the great gigs i have seen here at this small venue since they put the stage in a few years ago which inc Aerosmith,Deep Purple,Bad Company,John Mayer and others ............. 08 June 2010.Bon Jovi + The Side live at The 02 Arena,London.Show number two of twelve here for Bon Jovi who were the first band to play The 02 Arena in June 2007.Up first we have an unsigned act who are one of the five that will open the first bunch of shows.Decent enough but i reckon most Bon Jovi fans wanted a name support.A nice stage production with fans behind the stage and ten rows of seats in a gold circle within a circular walkway and great use of giant screens. Its a long show of around 2 hours 40 mins.The band are promoting recent album "The Circle". I have a lot of history with Bon Jovi.Have seen them on every UK tour at least once and even saw them as a support band to KISS in the mid 1980s when "Runaway" came out and they were yet to take off.25 years later and its 120m albums sold. Of course they are not the electrifying rock band that i saw when "Slippery When Wet" came out and those fantastic shows at Hammersmith Odeon.Its starts pretty average with a couple of new songs inc "Last Man Standing" but its the big BJ anthems we wanna here."You Give Love A Bad Name A Bad Name" is mega.Jon Bon Jovis good looks means there are loads of woman here.Other tracks played "Born To Be My Baby","Lost Highway","Superman Tonight",a superb "Bad Medicine",a cover of Rod Stewarts "Hot Legs",more biggies like "Its My Life","Lay Your Hands On Me" and "Bed Of Roses".A semi acoustic half hour at the front of circular stage was a bit average.Then back to electric "Sleep When I'm Dead","Runaway","Who Says You Cant Go Home" and "Keep The Faith".Encores were "Dry County", "Wanted Dead Or Alive","Always" and a mental "Living On A Prayer".So as expected the new songs were all a bit average but tons of Bon Jovi oldies made it a really good show. They have said they will change the set every night by three or four songs which is good....... 07 June 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First was 6.30pm to 8pm The London Jewellery Week launch party at Goldsmiths Hall,Foster Lane,London EC2.Stunning building that is around 700 years old.Millions of pounds of quality items on display here from various top retailers. Lots of freebie champers,Pimms and canopes.A couple of faces like Sienna Miller were due to turn up but did not show.Always nice to see 70s singer Patti Boulaye who always looks great. See 8.30pm to midnight was The London Club And Bar Awards at The Intercontinental Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.Over 600 people here for the main awards night for Londons coolest clubs and bars .Some 12 awards given out alongside a three course dinner and tons of free booze from every angle.Some faces here inc Rusty Egan(told me he cannot make Steve News funeral on Friday as from Thursday he is djing for four nights at The Isle Of Wight Festival).Others here inc Mark Fuller,Philip Salon,Lee Chapman and Calum Best.Very lively crowd who cannot keep still.Like the time i went a couple of years ago it must be the noiseiest dinner ever.See for winners...... 06 June 2010.Capital Radio 95.8fm "Summertime Ball" live at Wembley Stadium.4pm to 10pm.By rights i should have been at Rage Against The Machine at Finsbury Park but Capital Radio offered me a freebie press review ticket with a nice padded seat in vip block along with free food and booze all day so here i am.A massive crowd of 70,000 for one of the biggest live pop events of the year.Over a dozen acts inc Rihanna,JLS,Cheryl Cole,Dizzee Rascal,Justin Bieber,Tinie Tempah,Ellie Goulding,Scouting For Girls,Alexandra Burke,Chipmunk,Pixie Lott,Jason Derulo,Kesha and Usher.They all play between 3 and 6 songs each so lots of pop hits for the mainly girlie crowd to scream at.A nice big production for each act and very quick changeovers between acts.Of the first half dozen acts i thought Pixie Lott was the best.Four great songs and she looked fantastic on stage. At 6pm for an hour i went into Bobby Moore hospitality area for my sushi,chicken curry,roast beef and yorkshire pudding and desserts washed down with a couple of beers.This meant i watched two or three acts on tv screen. Tinie Tempah was good.Justin Bieber is only 13 and playing this huge venue but the young girls love him.Dizzee Rascal is the best of the day. His stunning crossover success has been amazing and 70,000 all up and jumping to "Bonkers" was brilliant.Cheryl Cole and JLS went down well. Headliner Rihanna started slowly but a great finale of "Umbrella" with hundreds of the crowd putting their umbrellas up was very good.An enjoyable enough show overall 05 June 2010.Went to two music events today.First was 2pm to 5pm.The Carnaby Street Free Festival.Celebrating 60 years of this famous street.A nice sunny afternoon atmosphere with two stages and some of the shops giving out free drinks and nibbles.Lots of tourists about and great to see a few mods in their outfits.The two bands i watched were from the mod scene.First up The Univeral from Liverpool who played a decent 35 mins set with some neat guitar riffs.Their new single is called "Day In Day Out".Then next up is Connett.Their singer is a friend who i used to work with at Hammersmith Odeon.He has done lots of magazine and male model work as he has a perfect mod look.Again a decent 35 mins of catchy tunes and some neat guitar playing.Both bands play The 100 Club on Sunday 18 July......then 8pm The David Sinclair Trio live at The Half Moon,Herne Hill,Lndon SE24. A big old live music pub which brings your mind back to those great pub gigs in the 1970s.A full house here and a very receptive to blues related audience.DST play a sprinkling of tracks from their two albums.Quality blues rock with all their own tunes.Great lyrics that all told a story.Tracks played inc "Years Disappear","Going To Do Something","Perfect In Every Way","Eight Rounds Later" and "Living Like A Yo-Yo".Good gig. See 04 June 2010.Too hot and humid to go out to a gig tonight so stayed indoors.BBC2 tv showed that Bon Jovi documentary "When We Were Beautiful".Lots of great live footage but it seems Jon Bon Jovi is the bands manager these days and he makes all the decisions and all the other band members inc Richie Sambora just nod and do what he says.There were a couple of vomit inducing moments inc one where Jon Bon Jovi is on the phone telling someone he is "CEO of a major organization" .......... 03 June 2010.Went to two non music events tonight.First was 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Wheelers Of St James,72 St James Street,London SW1.This was to launch the book "William And Harry" by Katie Nicholl who is the Royal Corresspondent for The Mail On Sunday.Very nice upmarket venue. Lots of freebie champers and hot and cold food for all.Mica Paris the singer is here.All the main showbiz photographers are here talking pictures of posh types.Katies agent Jonathan Shalit is here who is always very friendly and really is one of those old school managers/agents who really networks and promotes his clients. Excellent goodie bag for all which inc the book itself which sells for 20,Ted Baker perfume,a voucher worth 100 for a free 60 mins facial at very posh Georgia Skincare Salon in Beauchamp Place,Knightsbridge and other stuff....then 8.45pm to 9.45pm i was at the Coco De Mer store in Monmouth Street,Covent Garden,London WC2.Luxury underwear brand lauches its new range "Circus Child".Lots of the trendy and cool looking fashion crowd here so i look a bit of a twat in the suit i had to wear for the book launch earlier.This store really has got some beautiful and sexy quality items.There is freebie Tequila Patron cocktails flowing and a couple of burlesque performers put on a show..... 02 June 2010.Michael Schenker Group live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Guitar rock legend plays a 30th anniversary tour with an allstar band of oldies that inc Gary Barden,Chris Slade and Chris Glen.Levels 2 and 3 are closed which proves how hard it is for some of these older rockers to sell tickets and survive and why a lot choose smaller venues like The Islington Academy.On stage for 1 hour 40 mins.It started well with "Armed And Ready".Then a bunch of songs that plodded a bit but at least they had lots of nifty guitar riffs from MS and his flying V guitar.Gary Barden waa a bit weak as a vocalist i thought.Neil Murray guested on bass for one song.Then a drummer from The Scorpions guested for a superb "Lights Out".For encores it was great to see ex UFO members Pete Way and Paul Raymond come on for "Doctor Doctor" and Dougie White helped out on vocals for "Rock Bottom".Overall a very enjoyable show........... 01 June 2010.Rod Stewart live at The 02 Arena,London.Back again to see Rod at this venue.This was Rods second of four shows here.Again he is on stage prompt at 8pm so loads of punters still coming in as he takes the stage.Its the same set as Saturday.Loads of fantastic singalong gems from the 1970s and 1980s.Sadly Penny Lancaster does not come on stage for a dance tonight.Some hardcore fans hate the fact he does the soul covers instead of his own material.Rod has not released a decent album for years but like Elton John he has got so many great songs from the old days thats its always a really good night out................... 30 May 2010.Lady Gaga + Semi Precious Weapons live at The 02 Arena,London.The hottest popstar on the planet back at The 02 Arena for the first of two shows.Up first are Semi Precious Weapons who i missed the last time.They are mates of Lady Gaga from New York.Led by a very camp and mouthy male singer and his lively band their 30 mins of catchy shock rock was much better than expected with tunes like "Put A Diamond In It And Bite Down" and "Sticky With Champagne".I saw this same Lady Gaga show in Feb 2010 and tickets were 35 quid and then she won some BRIT Awards and now its 75 quid a ticket.More than double.The promoters say we got got her cheap the last time around.It a way they could be right because Lady Gagas live show is massive. Again its spread over four themes and every half hour a new theme and new stage is produced and every song has something happening visually. Loads of costume changes on stage and props.Its a pure visual treat that will surely be hitting stadiums next year.She is on stage for around 2 hours 10 mins.Nearly all the tracks from her 10 million plus selling album are played.Loads of comparisons with Madonna but Madonna is a better dancer and has loads more better tunes.Lady Gaga has half a dozen great tunes but the rest is average stuff.Good stuff was "Just Dance","Telephone","Alejandro","Poker Face", "Paparazzi" and a brilliant encore of "Bad Romance".Speaking of Paparazzi i noticed some music photographers i know who were the furthest back i have ever seen them.Not in the pit,not at the end of the walkway,not by the mixing desk but behind the level one seats.No doubt even a shot of Lady Gaga with a long lens is worth it. They were over 50 yards behind the mixing desk at the very opposite end to where the stage was. Lady Gagas management putting them there and told take it or leave it ..... 29 May 2010.Rod Stewart live at The 02 Arena,London.First of four shows at The 02 as part of a huge UK and European Tour to promote his covers album "Soulbook".Nearly missed the start of the show as got held up at Green Park tube as London Underground had suspended the Jubilee Line thanks to Millwall fans messing about on the way back from their win at Wembley. Rod on stage for two hours 05 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 60 mins.A nice big glossy stage with big screen and a big band and backing singers.The set was a few covers from his recent album,loads of greatest hits and thankfully nothing from those "American Songbook" albums. Now aged 65 and still looking great.The Jack The Lad of rock whose career spans 40 years and over 30 Top 10 hits makes sure there is plenty of his singalong classics in the set.Tracks played inc "Tonights The Night","Some Guys Have All The Luck","You Wear It Well","This Old Heart Of Mine","Rhythm Of My Heart","Have I Told You Lately That I Love You","Handbags And Gladrags", and for The Faces hit "Stay With Me" he wished the new line up well even though the crowd gave out boos to Mick Hucknalls name.He said he would catch up with them next year.So surely Rod with The Faces is on the cards for next year.Also played was "I Was Only Joking" then his Mrs came on to dance to a couple of songs.Penny Lancaster in heels and short red dress looking stunning. More good tunes inc "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy","First Cut Is The Deepest","You're In My Heart" and then he kicked out a bunch of signed foootballs like he always does during "Hot Legs". Then a superb "Maggie May" and encores of "Sailing" and "Baby Jane".A great show....... 28 May 2010.Pendulum + Sub Focus live at Wembley Arena,London.Rave alert.Rave alert.Getting in early for the support act and the place is already buzzing.Sub Focus is really a dj with a huge circular light show going on in front of his console with him in the middle.He goes down very well.Pendulum have just released their third album "Immersion" to pretty average reviews but it looks set to enter at Number One in the charts on Sunday.They have done things their own way without any help from the media.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins with three big screens their singer says "we have waited three years for tonight" which is their biggest London headline show to date.The energy from the crowd is amazing.I cannot remember the last time a crowd danced and jumped so much for the entire set.They played tracks from all three albums. They even had some fireworks and flames too. Relentless drum and bass with synth riffs.It did feel a bit samey but Pendulum are one of those bands that are ten times better live than on record.All the lights are behind the band and not once was there a spotlight on any of the guys at front.Even when the singer wound the crowd up between songs there was no spotlight on him.Tonight is classic example of why gig going is still so popular.Half the young men on the floor are shirtless at the end as they are sweating so much.There is more moshing than any metal gig.The singer gets the entire crowd to crouch down and all jump up and go mental on his word.As a live show the whole crowd loved it. Prodigy and Pendulum play a sold out show to 50,000 people at Milton Keynes Bowl on 24 July. That will be quite an event 27 May 2010.6.30pm to midnight.Alicia Keys + Kasabian + Bryan Ferry live at St Johns,Smith Square,London SW1.Wow what an amazing event to attend for my 51st birthday.Last night i watched Alicia Keys play to around 18,000 and tonight its a mere 350.This was a 500 a ticket charity ball for Keep A Child Alive with 300 people having a three course meal downstairs and 50 people upstairs.Free cocktails,champers and canopes for everyone all night too.Some faces here too inc Chris Martin from Coldplay who turned very late wearing a hoodie.Actress Thandie Newton.Katie Price,Alex Reid and JLS all on the same table.Also Salmon Rushdie and footballer Sol Campbell.Up and coming rapper Tinchy Stryder.French shoe designer Christian Louboutin whose heels are amongst the most sought after.Alicia Keys wears them.Also here are musiz biz legends Rob Hallet and Rod MacSween.Rod is booking agent to KISS and many other rock giants.He told me this time of year he is criss crossing Europe catching his acts.Indeed the following morning he was off to Budapest to see KISS.Nice.After a 90 mins drinks reception it was the food then Thandie Newton introduced Alicia Keys who thanked us for coming then an auction.Then the live music.At 10.40pm for a 50 mins set Alicia and all her band take to the stage of this venue thats used for classical concerts.They open with a brilliant version of "No One" then Tom and Serge from Kasabian come on sing to two of theirs with Alicias band backing them for "Underdog" and "Where Did All The Love Go?.What a superb couple of songs that was and Alicia on BVs too. Later one of the band said they only had four hours rehearsal to learn the songs.Then Alicia plays a trio of songs inc "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" then Bryan Ferry came on to sing "Love Is The Drug" and "Slave To Love" and again Alicias big band and backing singers really nailed it.Last song was Alicias big hit "Empire State Of Mind".I was watching from just a few feet from stage.A pretty amazing gig.Got a couple of very nice goodie bags that inc Italian trendy designer watches from ToyWatch(Union Jack Crystal Glitter) that retail for 185 quid and Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Womans Fragrance ........ 26 May 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First 7pm to 8.40pm was the launch of gastro pub The Tommyfield,185 Kennington Lane,London SE11. The name of the pub is better than the area its in.Kennington is only half a dozen stops on the tube from The 02 Arena so a handy stop off tonight.Its a nice looking venue with freebie champers,Pimms,lagers and real ales flowing along with over a dozen tasty bits of grub.....then a dash to see Alicia Keys live at The 02 Arena, London.Her second of two 02 shows to promote recent Number One album "The Element Of Freedom".I get to the venue at 9.20pm and as soon as i get to my seat the lights go down.Alicia must have been saying "I simply cannot start the show until that guy from is here".Unlikely.Its a bigger production than expected from someone who spends a lot of time behind the piano.The band and overall sound is really good but her sole male dancer looked a bit awkward at times.Alicia is a multi grammy award winner with millions of albums sold now.She had four different types of keyboards inc a guitar shaped one that was like a giant key.For opening song she looked great in a tight black outfit as she sang in a giant cage.Her 95 mins set inc "You Dont Know My Name","Fallin'","Sleeping With A Broken Heart","Superwoman" and "I Aint Got You". She was best when she was behind a piano singing with that great voice.Last two songs of the night were excellent "No One" and encore "Empire State Of Mind".A good show ... 24 May 2010.Mike Batt And Orchestra live at The Cadogan Hall,Chelsea,London.A rare show for this singer,songwriter,arranger,conductor and producer whose 40 year career has covered a wide range of musical projects inc massive success with The Wombles in the 1970s and more recently discovering and writing for Katie Melua.On stage for two sets of around 60 mins each backed by a 50 plus member orchestra.His recent best of album "A Songwriters Tale" was a chart success. "Caravan Song" had Florence Rawlings on vocals. "Imagine Something Yesterday" was a great tribute to The Beatles with the lyrics to these three famous songs all mixed up.Lots of hits he wrote for other artists as Mike has not got the best of voices.He sung a great "Bright Eyes" that was a hit for Art Garfunkel.Things got a bit rockier as he was joined by two guitarist friends well known to me Chris Spedding and Jim Cregan for "Tarota" and "Imbecile".Great to see them.Second set started with a couple of Wombles songs "The Wombling Song" and "To Wimbledon With Love" that both sounded really good with the orchestra.A trio of hits he wrote for others "A Winters Tale"(David Essex),"Please Dont Fall In Love"(Cliff Richard) and "I Feel Like Buddy Holly(Alvin Stardust).All the songs tonight got a nice story about how they came about."The Vanishing" had dj Simon Bates do the talking bit and encore was "The Closest Thing To Crazy" which he wrote for Katie Melua who was in the balcony.Rolf Harris was also here.A good show. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 23 May 2010.Ray Davies Band live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.1960s Ex Kinks legend back in London only six months after i saw him at The Hammersmith Apollo.Perhaps thats why all the balcony is unsold.On stage for two hours 10 mins.The first hour is semi acoustic as there is no drummer.Lots of great oldies in this set inc "Where Have All The Good Times Gone","Dedicated Follower Of Fashion","I'm Not Like Everybody Else","A Well Respected Man","Sunny Afternoon" and "Waterloo Sunset".Lots of crowd singalongs and then the drummer appeared for "Come Dancing", and then half a dozen more recent songs,then "Tired Of Waiting For You","All Day And All Of The Night" and "David Watts".Encores inc "Days", "Lola" but he did not play "You Really Got Me" tonight.A very enjoyable show 22 May 2010.Natalie Merchant live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Ex singer of 10,000 Maniacs plays her first London show for a few years as part of her European Tour to promote recent album "Leave Your Sleep".Dont know much about her really but i did see 10,000 Maniacs support REM at this venue in 1987 and when they headlined here in 1989.Its a long set as she plays for two hours 30 mins.The first 90 mins is the new album which is classic old childrens poems set to music.She used over 100 musicians on the album.Each song had an introduction with photos on the big screen.Informative but it felt like a school lecture at times.Should have been 30 mins shorter.She has a great voice and every word is nice and clear.The last 60 mins of the show was older material inc "Tell Yourself","Carnival", "Break Your Heart","San Andreas Vault","Dont Talk","These Are The Days","Motherland","Cowboy Romance","Weeping Pilgrim" and finally "Kind And Generous".She was quite a good mover on stage. A standing ovation from the crowd.A decent gig. Her debut solo album "Tigerlily" sold over 4 million copies when it came out in 1995. See aftershow page for this show................. 21 May 2010.Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood live at Wembley Arena,London.The second of two shows here at Wembley as part of their European Tour. Two elder statesmen of the blues.Eric is now aged 65 and Steve is now aged 62.A mainly older crowd who dont mind mind paying 85 quid for tickets.Both together on stage all the way through the 2 hours 10 mins set.The show of course features tracks when they were in Blind Faith and their sole album from 1969 inc "How To Cry Today","Presence Of The Lord" and "Cant Find My Way Home".Plenty of great guitar playing from Eric and Steve is great on the Hammond organ.Its a laid back show as you would expect as no way is Eric into KISS type visuals and even though its a big venue its pretty much just the band and a couple of big screens.The first hour was electric with "Forever Man" and "Georgia On My Mind" both superb.Then an acoustic set for 30 mins inc "Layla".Then back to electric for great versions of "Voodoo Chile", "Cocaine" and encore "Dear Mr Fantasy".A full standing ovartion at the end and a good show. Full setlist on 20 May 2010.Went to two quality music events today.First noon to 5pm was The 55th Ivor Novello Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.This is the UKs main awards show for songwriters.About 1100 seated downstairs for a three course meal and drinks before and after and i am up in the press balcony where there is 100 or so media folks.Hosted by Paul Gambachini.Lily Allen was the main winner picking up three awards.Also winning and turning up were Paulo Nutini,Sir Tim Rice,Bat For Lashes,Paul Weller,Imogen Heap,Trevor Horn,Johnny Marr,Neil Sedaka.Also here to present or just hang out were Noel Gallagher,Glen Matlock,Alex(Franz Ferdinand),Simon Le Bon,The Feeling,Martin Fry,Rod Smallwood,Phil Manzernera,Rolf Harris,Duckworth Lewis Method,Chipmunk, La Roux,Ralf Little,Annie Lennox,Elaine Paige,Dom Jolly,Tom Robinson,Zoe Ball,Tommy Steele,Grant from Feeder and no doubt a few more. An enjoyable afternoon.....then 6.45pm to 1am was Elton John + Peter Andre live at The Butterfly Ball,Battersea Evolution Arena, London.Around 1000 here at this glam event to support Caudwell Childrens Charity.Most here have paid between 500 and 5000 to be here. The women have their best frocks on.A few celebs here inc Sarah Ferguson and Princess Beatrice,Dame Shirley Bassey who was in a fun mood and very friendly to all,Rod Stewarts other half Penny Lancaster is here.Over six foot tall in her heels she looked stunning.Also here Sinatta,Robbie Earle,Alan Hanson,Richard Dunwoody,John Inverdale,Phil Tufnell,Bruno Brookes,Jeff Banks,David Furnish and no doubt a few more.Champers reception for an hour then a ariel display as four gymnasts appeared from the four giant butterfly structures hanging from the ceiling.Then a three course meal with drinks.Peter Andre does a short three song 15 mins set inc "Behind Closed Doors" and "Unconditional Love".A few girls are swooning but most of the crowd are chatting. We have speeches and an auction for an hour. At 11.15pm Elton John takes to the stage with his piano for a fantastic 15 song 75 mins set. I get a great view a few feet from stage right in front of Elton.He really enjoys it.Great tunes one after the other.Full setlist was "Your Song","Border Song","Daniel","Philidelphia Freedom","Tiny Dancer",a brilliant extended version of "Rocket Man","I Guess Thats Why They Call It The Blues","Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word","Candle In The Wind","I'm Still Standing","Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me","Bennie And The Jets","Crocodile Rock"(with David Furnish and a couple of female friends dancing on stage),"The Circle Of Life" and encore "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?".I have seen Elton John some 30 or 40 times since the 70s and he is always great but tonight was up close and intimate.An excellent show. He plays Watford Football Ground on Sat 29 May with his full band ........... 19 May 2010.7.45pm to Summer Kick Off Party at The Penthouse,9th Floor,May Fair Hotel,London W1.Up on the top floor of this five star hotel with its outside terrace.This party was to promote all the other things that you can do via if you want to get away from the World Cup football.Lots of freebie Pimms,beers and hot grub.The djs are Jodie Harsh and Tom Crane.The girls can get their nails done by Lipsy which proved very popular. A few celebs are here inc Ex Arsemal footballer Ian Wright, Kirsty Gallacher,Tara Palmer Tomkinson and ex Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon.A good bash. Got a couple of average goodie bags.............. 18 May 2010.7pm to 10pm.Tanqueray Gin No Ten Terrace Bar launch party at The Fifth Floor,Harvey Nichols,Knightsbridge,London.Always nice to be up here on the top floor of this upmarket store.Only about 50 people here but its in the new corner terrace bar overlooking the streets below.Lots of freebie gin cocktails and canopes flowing.A decent enough evening.......... 17 May 2010.Flight Of The Conchords live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Monday night in Hammersmith and a few celebs are here in the front balcony for this cult New Zealand folk comedy duo inc Jonathan Ross and his wife Jane Goldman,Jude Law,Richard Curtis,Rob Brydon,Nick Frost and Bill Nighy.I am going in blind to this show as i do not know any of their material but the fact that their UK tour now includes a very impressive two nights here and two nights at Wembley Arena has got me interested.The set lasted one hour 45 mins.Two big screens.There were some great fun lyrics in the comedy based songs.Opening with "Too Many Dicks On The Dancefloor" and in the middle "I'm Not Crying" which were both pretty good but half the show i felt was average even though the crowd loved it. Lots of self mocking chat between songs too. Encore "Sugalumps" was great but not enough laugh out loud bits for me overall.............. having a weekend away from live music as the shows out there will be too average compared to the KISS spectacle.Looking into going to one or two KISS shows in Europe but all the dates coincide with major gigs in London and Download Festival etc.We shall see .... 14 May 2010.BBC4 TV 9pm to 1am.Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers documentary "Runnin' Down A Dream". Finally got around to seeing this superb FOUR HOUR album by album film from 2007.They took off in 1976/1977 alongside when punk rock was in full flow.Loads of fantastic songs and footage.I saw them a couple of times in the late 1970s and i saw their last London show in 1999 at The Shepherds Bush Empire so over ten years since they played the UK.They gotta come here soon..... 13 May 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First was 6pm to 8pm at the launch of JW Steakhouse at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.Historic five star hotel which is the main awards venue in the UK has had a total refurb over the last couple of years.Their new eating space has great views looking out to Park Lane and Hyde Park and an outside area too on the Park Lane side.The main menu is Prime American Beef cuts and Seafood inc jumbo prawns and oysters.Lots of this yummy grub was being given out along with freebie champers and cocktails.Surprised to see footie legend Gary Lineker here.See got a bottle of Makers Mark Kentucky Whisky in the goodie bag.Shame i had to leave here as it was on until 9pmish but the Gods Of Thunder were waiting......KISS live at Wembley Arena,London.I get to the venue at 8.45pm and KISS come on just after 9pm.Its a great sold out atmosphere tonight.Its the main London show and the last night of their nine UK arena shows before they head into mainland Europe.I was at seven of them which was very impressive i must say.We have superb seats left of stage in guest list block.Near us is Liam Howlett from Prodigy with Natalie Appleton.Her sister Nicole is also here but sadly hubby Liam Gallagher is not.KISS are just jaw dropping brilliant yet again.This band really has got the X Factor for me.There is so much fun,colour and great tunes in their set that somehow they make me feel just great.The last couple of weeks have been really amazing. I will be seeing some great shows this year but none will top this.As Vinnie Jones said "Its Been Emotional" .............. 12 May 2010.KISS live at Wembley Arena,London. This was the extra show to Thursdays sell out. Its only three quaters full and promoters Live Nation have given out 300 or 400 guest list tickets to put bums on seats tonight.Wembley is a long but not wide venue so no space for KISS army flags and the side stage walkways are up against the seats.That means our seats to right of stage have a superb view.On stage at 8.45pm its the same stunning show song for song as the rest of the tour.Simple lyrics they may be so no doubt all the major newspapers will slag them off as usual.I was sitting next to one of the guys from The Times who i know.Paul Stanley asked if anyone was at Hammy Odeon in 1976 when KISS first played London?.Well i was there.Eight rows from stage the first night and front row centre the second night.Tonight was drummer Eric Singers 52nd birthday so we sung him Happy Birthday and the band produced a cake with candles.As expected Led Zeps Jimmy Page was there in the crowd with rock photographer Ross Halfin.These days Jimmy looks old and grey next to the perma tanned Ross.So many highlights as usual.I just love watching this band.Only them and The Sex Pistols would get me to do multi gigs outside of London on the same tour.......... 11 May 2010.Rihanna + Pixie Lott live at The 02 Arena,London.Second of two shows for Rihanna here at the 02 to promote her recent album "Rated R".Up first we have Pixie Lott who is all smiles and looking very yummy.All blonde hair and dressed in a sexy black dress with black boots.Her debut album "Turn It Up" features two number one singles "Mama Do" and "Boys And Girls" and other hit singles "Cry Me Out" and "Gravity" so a good 40 mins set.All the crowd is in early to see her support set. Rihanna has had quite a last year or so.A massive stage production with stage extension,screens,lights,lasers,dancers,a huge pink tank,a pair of giant guns,a giant rotating couch,hydraulic stuff etc.The songs were some good and some average.Lots of raunchy costume changes.On stage for 95 mins.Very surprised to see ex Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt in her band but at least that meant lots of rock riffs.Set inc "Shut Up And Drive","Rude Boy",a cover of "Wonderwall" by Oasis,"Dont Stop The Music" and "Take A Bow".Encores were "Live Your Life","Run This Town" and her massive hit "Umbrella" with pink confetti over the crowd and Nuno playing on top of the tank.So visually a good show but still another female act who cannot touch Madonna or Kylie when it comes to live shows ................... 10 May 2010.KISS + Taking Dawn live at The Manchester M.E.N. Arena.My fifth KISS show on the tour and i could easily do another five.Last time i was at this venue was AC/DC last year and before that it was The Sex Pistols.Tonight its a full 13,000 here.The bands setlist may be the same but there are always different things at each venue.I see a big queue inside the venue and there are four local make up girls selling KISS painted faces for a fiver and also here posing for photos are Dressed To Kill the UKs number one KISS tribute act.I see some of Taking Dawns support set and they again finish with a cover of Fleetwood Macs "The Chain" with the singer in the crowd.Lots of folks in make up and the merch stalls selling loads.KISS arrive on stage at 9pm which was 15 mins later than the other shows.From start to finish i am blown away by how stunning this live show is even though its the same as the four previous shows.Paul teasing the crowd and doing a fantastic job with the on stage banter.The 2 hours 05 mins set flew past.So many highlights that i have already mentioned from previous nights reviews.I see KISS legendary manager Doc McGhee at the end. The band now move on to Wembley Arena.Dont you dare miss it ....... 08 May 2010.Dame Julie Andrews with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra live at The 02 Arena,London.Legend of stage and screen for over 60 years gives her first UK show for 30 years.Her mid 1960s films "The Sound Of Music" and "Mary Poppins" are classics.When first announced i thought this show would be more suited to The Royal Albert Hall than this huge venue but the promoters got it right and its a full house despite hefty ticket prices of 95,75,50.Backed by a large orchestra of 70 or 80 it was two sets of 65 mins each.As she explained in pre tour interviews it would be a mixture of singing and chat.She looks fantastic for age 74 and must be the oldest artist to headline a show here.She still has that classy very English look about her.She has five singers to help her out with the high notes(3 male and 2 female)as age and vocal surgery in 1997 have tamed her stunning voice.The opening was great with "The Sound Of Music" with Julie singing and footage from the film on the screen behind her.She got a standing ovation after every song she sang.The first half was mainly Rodgers And Hammerstein classics from films and musicals.She sang bits and pieces but the other singers did a lot of it.The last song before the break was a brilliant "Do Re Mi".The second half started with Simeons Gift which was 45 mins of Julie narrating her book but with the other singers singing.It was a concept piece that was a bit boring really.She finished with two brilliant songs inc "Edelweiss" which went down a treat.So great to see this proper legend but i felt she could have sung a few more songs.The other singers were good but the punters have paid to hear Julie Andrews sing not them......... 06 May 2010.Black Eyed Peas + Cheryl Cole live at The 02 Arena,London.Up first its Cheryl Cole from Girls Aloud for a 35 mins set.In the papers daily it seems regards her on /off problems with footballer husband Ashley Cole of Chelsea.She has a full band with backing singers and dancers and costume changes.Plays the tracks inc the hits from her debut album.Pretty good.Black Eyed Peas have had an amazing last year or so.A more poppier sound and bang its four nights at the 02 Arena.Two this week and two at the end of the month.Now the royalies are flowing in its a massive sci-fi fantasy based stage production with extended walkway,lasers,lights,dancers and more.A full two hour visual treat even though half the pop/rap/dance songs seemed average at best.Fergie the female vocalist easily was better than her three male singers.Set inc "Lets Get It Started","Rock That Body" and "My Humps".The motorbike on wires above the crowd was a nice KISS type stunt.Other tracks played inc "Big Girls Dont Cry","Pump It" and the finale was great with "Where Is The Love?" and encores of their two massive recent hits "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" which sent the crowd mental.A better show than expected overall . 05 May 2010.KISS + Taking Dawn live at The LG Arena,Birmingham.This was the biggest and best crowd so far.Some 12,000 here out of 14,000 capacity with the floor standing totally rammed. People of all ages in KISS make up as usual. I have a great seat left of stage front row of the guest list block.Spike from The Quireboys is here.I catch the support.Again its decent enough.They are label mates of KISS on Roadrunner Records which is why they got chosen over 101 bands i would have rather have seen than them on this tour.I have been to this venue a few times before but its had a nice big refurb due to the new sponsors with more eating and drink outlets and a huge smoking area.KISS destroy Birmingham just like they destroyed all the other cities.From the amazing entrance to the amazing finish its just brilliant.Even after four shows i want more.I will miss Dublin and Glasgow but will be at Manchester and both Wembley shows next week ...... 04 May 2010.KISS live at The Echo Arena, Liverpool.Had a nice afternoon in the sunshine here along The Albert Dock and even went for a walk through the Toxteth area.Still loads of boarded up buildings there.Last time i was at this venue was to see the Def Leppard/Whitesnake tour.Sadly only 4,000 here in a venue that holds 10,000 but that is great for me as easy to get ten rows from stage in standing area.KISS as usual very prompt at 8.45pm on stage.Its the same stunning 2 hours 05 mins set.While the KISS club show in March in Islington was intimate and amazing the full KISS arena show is something else.This is an outdoor stadium production indoors for the UK leg.Think Donington indoors. KISS have a guy who walks around the crowd and gives out KISS guitar plectrums to any kids he can see.They also have another guy who gives out a dozen aftershow passes to young females in the crowd.Another really fantastic visual treat..... 03 May 2010.Iggy Pop And The Stooges + Suicide live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.Second of two sell out shows here for this punk rock godfather.Up first were Suicide who some say where ahead of their time in the 1970s but i thought they were crap then and are still crap.Alan Vega now in in his 70s but still a grumpy old man.Just too much bad noise really.Iggy Pop comes on shirtless from the start.His scrawny old body writhing all over the stage.The front stage pit area is a mass of bodies jumping about.The 80 mins set is based on the "Raw Power" album but is not played in order.Opening with "Raw Power" and "Search And Destroy".Iggy jumps into the crowd three or four times.We have an invited stage invasion with 50 punters dancing.Other tracks inc "Death Trip","I Got A Right" and superb versions of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "1970".Also "Open Up And Bleed" and encores "Fun House" and "Kill City".Iggy the legend rules man.See aftershow page for this gig ...... 02 May 2010.KISS live at Newcastle Arena.Never been to this venue to see a gig.I think there was 9,000 here in the venue that holds 11,000. As expected the setlist was same as last night. "Modern Day Delilah","Cold Gin","Let Me Go Rock n Roll","Firehouse"(Gene spits fire),"Say Yeah","Deuce","Crazy Crazy Nights","Calling Dr Love","Shock Me"(Tommy Thayer guitar solo with rocket firing guitar),"Im An Animal","100,000 Years","I Love It Loud"(Gene spits blood and sings up in the gods),"Love Gun","Black Diamond","Detroit Rock City"(drumkit elevates), and encores "Lick It Up","Shout It Out Loud","I Was Made For Loving You"(Paul flies through the crowd to sing on the second stage),"God Gave Rock n Roll To You" and "Rock n Roll All Nite"(confetti galore over the crowd and enough pyros and explosions to start World War 3).Again i am on the floor about 20 rows from the front.Its such a visual treat with so many great songs old and new.KISS are just getting better and better.Another stunning show.I must mention at both these Northern venues the bar sold 2 pint supercups of beer.You dont see that in London.After the gig had some drinks in Newcastles Mosley Street bars and nearby.It was a Bank Holiday Sunday so very busy everywhere. Despite freezing conditions all the women still wearing virtually nothing but some cloth and heels.They still dont bother with coats......01 May 2010.KISS + Taking Dawn live at Sheffield Arena.Opening night of KISS "Sonic Boom Over Europe Tour".Been to this venue a couple of times before inc a Paul McCartney show. Up first we have Las Vegas rockers Taking Dawn. They play a decent set and finish with a cover of Fleetwood Macs "The Chain".Great atmosphere in the building but its not sold out.Some 7,000 in a venue that holds 13,000.I spot Tracie Hunter here but no sign of her dad Ian or Joe Elliot and Rick Savage from Def Leppard who played at a benefit in Sheffield the night before but i would imagine they are here.Also here is Dave Ling from Classic Rock mag.They are sponsors of the tour.KISS promised their biggest show yet and rare outings for big hits "Crazy Crazy Nights" and "God Gave Rock n Roll To You" and they delivered that and more.A huge screen that covers all the back of the stage.Two more in the corners and around 40 mini screens the size of Marshall amps.Needless to say there were loads of great costumes,make up,lights,pyros, explosions,flames,rocket firing guitars,Gene spitting blood,elevating drumkit,Paul flying over the crowd for "I Was Made For Loving You".A visually perfect show.On stage for 2 hours and 05 mins it really was a 10 out of 10 gig.You must see them play live.See and for video clips and photos and more.After the gig i went to the G Casino to watch the Mayweather v Mosely megafight live from Las Vegas.That did not finish until 5.30am..