Archive: January 2010

January 24, 2010

23 Jan 2010.Brand New + Glassjaw live at Wembley Arena,London.Support Glassjaw were average.Very impressive that Brand New can now headline this big venue.Did not know much about them apart from the fact NME gave one of their albums a 9 out of 10 review.Hailing from Long Island,New York and promoting fourth album "Daisy" which made the American Top 10 they were on stage for 90 mins.A young crowd.I was expecting a kind of Lostprophets type band but they are more serious than that.Deep lyrics and different styles ranging from EMO to Radiohead type songs to rock and grunge.Not much of a stage show as such.Tracks played inc "Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Dont","Limosine","The Archers Bows Have Broken","Jude Law And A Semester Abroad" and "Play Crack The Sky".The crowd loved it but i feel the music needs a few listens to really get into it.Not really my cup of tea............. 23 Jan 2010.2pm to 4pm.Went along to the Olympia Record Fair.Lots of great items as usual here. Got the new Sex Pistols related vinyl bootleg Sham Pistols "Natural Born Killer".Four live tracks and four studio tracks from June 1979 feat Jimmy Pursey,Steve Jones and Paul Cook..... 22 Jan 2010.7pm to 1am.Marriot Hotel Burns Night Ball,Grosvenor Square,London W1.A black tie event where most of the 450 people here paid 100 a ticket for Help A London Child Charity.A Scottish theme night.Drinks reception for an hour with bagpipers then a nice three course haggis based dinner with drinks.Hosts were dj David Jensen and tv sports presenter Jim Rosenthal.The auction and raffle went on a bit too long.Then an hour of ceilidh dancing and then an hour disco of 1960s/70s/80s hits.A nice evening .. 21 Jan 2010.Went to two good non music events today.First 11.30am to 4pm was Fish And Chip Shop Of The Year Awards at The Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel,Albert Embankment,London SE1.Yes there really is awards for everything these days.This was my fourth time to this as its always good.About 400 people here mainly from up north as Fish And Chip Shops in London have gone downhill these days.Drinks and fish canopes for an hour then a lovely three course meal with starters and main both fish based.Celeb chef and Zilli Fish owner Aldo Zilli was the host.About a dozen awards with main one going to Atlantic Fast Food of Coatbridge,Scotland.More info on www.seafood.org...........then 6.30pm to 9pm was reopening of Beneras,12 Berkeley Square,London W1.Very posh location next to The Jack Barclay car showroom.In through door and up to a sprawling first floor space.A big lively crowd here.A surprise to see Radio 1 dj Colin Murray here.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails and Indian grub.A good one ... 19 Jan 2010.Nickelback live at Wembley Arena,London.Love them or hate them Nickelback are one of the biggest rock bands in the world.They were 11th top grossing act in 2009 in America.The venue is a total sell out as part of their massive two year world tour to support the "Dark Horse" album.I had already seen this same show last year at The 02 Arena.The stage production is stunning.Nice to see a band spending some of their profits.Loads of lights,a big screen,a stage extension catwalk and tons of flames,fireworks and explosions.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins.There are a few average songs in the set but some good ones too.Tracks played inc "Photograph","Far Away","If Everyone Cared",then to front of catwalk for "If Today Was Your Last Day" and big hit "Rockstar".Then some roadies fired t shirts into the crowd.A neat drum solo with an elevating and revolving kit.The singer as usual is prone to talking cheesy crap between songs but he would call that "entertaining the crowd".Also good was "How To Remind Me" and "Too Bad".Encores inc a few bars of Bon Jovis "Wanted Dead Or Alive" and "Someday".The critics may hate them but it sure looks like fun beng in Nickelback.Visually a fantastic show............. 18 Jan 2010.John Mayer live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Back again to see John Mayer.Loads of punters stuck outside without tickets so touts easily selling 30 quid tickets for 100.When a i saw him play here at this venue a few years ago John Mayer was the first act ever to play this venue with the standing in the stalls set up.The official first act was that amazing AC/DC show but that was actually a couple of weeks after John Mayer.On stage for 2 hours 05 mins.His pretty boy looks have the women drooling but he plays some brilliant mellow blues guitar so you can see why Eric Clapton rates him.Last weeks Hard Rock Cafe gig was acoustic but tonight he has his full slick band with him.Again he talked some crap on stage by rambling on.Old and new tracks played and still promoting "Battle Studies" album.Set inc "Heartbreak Warfare",a cover of "Crossroads", "Perfectly Lonely","I Dont Trust Myself(With Loving You)","Half Of My Heart","War Of My Life", "Bigger Than My Body" and a long version of "Gravity".The crowd sang along loudly to most songs.Three song encore inc a great cover of Tom Pettys "Free Fallin" and "Who Says".A good gig. John Mayer plays Wembley Arena on 27 May......... Madonna "Sticky And Sweet" live dvd comes out on 30 March 2010.Should be a must buy item.......... 16 Jan 2010.After a couple of days running around getting all the food and booze in and tidying up, my housewarming party in Burnham,Berkshire went well.Friends still very surprised i moved out this far from gig central in Shepherds Bush but maybe hitting 50 last year had a factor in it.Its time to slow down a bit. Instead of getting to four gigs a week i will aim for two a week.I can get to Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith in an hour but The 02 Arena could be a daunting two hours each way....This time last year i was in Egypt but for the first time in years i did not see any gigs overseas in 2009 mainly because there were loads in London.This time of year is a good one to check bands websites and music websites like www.pollstar.com for worldwide gigs.If you are going to Paris check out my friend Patrice website for all the best stuff going on there rockerparis.blogspot.com .... 11 Jan 2010.John Mayer live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.Invite only gig hosted by Q Music Magazines-The Music Club for 200 comp winners and press.Free booze and Hard Rock grub for all. John Mayer is massive in America so great to see such a big act in a tiny venue but has not sold many albums in the UK.He is promoting his recent fourth album "Battle Studies" which got some great reviews.He was last over here a few years ago and has dated a string of hot babes inc Jenifer Aniston.He has the pretty boy looks but appears a bit arrogant on stage.No band tonight just John and guitar but great to see he was joined by guitar legend Robbie McIntosh and they both played some neat guitar licks.The 65 mins set focused mainly on the new album.Set inc "Heartbreak Warfare","Belief","Half Of My Heart","War Of My Life","Who Says","Edge Of Desire" a great cover of Tom Pettys "Free Fallin" then "Assassin".Encore was his first ever single from 1999 "No Such Thing".A good little gig.The females all went home happy. He now plays a week of sold out UK shows with Hammersmith Apollo on Jan 18................. 08 Jan 2010.Billy Connolly live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Scottish comedy legend back in London for his usual stint at this venue every few years.This was show number three of twenty that ends on 31 Jan.The place is rammed solid for his 1 hour 55 mins set.Now aged 67 with long grey hair.Plenty of stick given out to easy targets like bankers and politicians.As usual he rambles on without finishing stories and comes back to them later.His Scottish accent makes the jokes and stories seem a bit funnier than if it were an English accent.Lots of funny bits made it well worth going to ....... 07 Jan 2010.Rich Kids + Midge Ure + Beastellabeast + Patti Palladin + Carbon Silicon + Viv Albertine + Illuminations + TV Smith live at The Islington Academy,London.A sold out gig to celebrate Rich Kids first show for over 30 years.All four original members(Glen Matlock,Midge Ure,Rusty Egan,Steve New)and a great bunch of support acts for this four hour event.Its a benefit show for guitarist Steve New who has got cancer.In 1978 Rich Kids released an album and three singles and split up at the end of that year but i was lucky enough to have seen them three times in 1978 including their first official show at The Nashville in Jan 1978.The support acts all played between three and six songs each.TV Smith from original punk rockers The Adverts played three acoustic songs.Then The Illuminations featuring Glen Matlock,Ian Broudie and Clive Langer played some songs including a great version of Wreckless Erics "Whole Wide World".Then Viv Albertine played three.Viv was a member of all female punk rockers The Slits back in the 1970s.She looked fantastic in a kind of Courtney Cox way.Then it was Carbon Silicon with Mick Jones and Tony James.Smartly dressed as usual.Their four songs included great versions of "The News" and "What The Fuck".Rusty Egan was their guest drummer for tonight only. Then a rare live showing by Patti Palladin who recorded an album with Johnny Thunders back in the day.She still has it.Neat versions of "Baby Its You","The Singer Not The Song" and "Face In A Crowd".Then Beastellabeast who are Steve News band.Their edgy female singer and sound had a touch of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs about them.Then Midge Ure came on.A very impressive big voice and a very good five song set that included "Fade To Grey","Dancing With Tears In My Eyes","If I Was" and "Vienna".Then the main attraction as The Rich Kids take the stage for 55 mins and its fantastic.Joined by Terry Edwards on keyboards and Maggie Ronson and Tracie Hunter on backing vocal.Starting with "Strange One" and "Hung On You" then brilliant versions of "Marching Men" and "Put You In The Picture".Also "Here Comes The Nice" and "Only Arsenic".Then their superb debut single "Rich Kids" then Gary Kemp joined them on guitar for a stunning "Ghosts Of Princes In Towers".Encores had most of tonights artists on stage with them for a reprise of "Rich Kids" and a great cover of "All Or Nothing".Tonights four hours went past so quickly but it really was an "I Was There" event.Tonight was recorded by a film crew so hopefully that will eventually come out and there are lots of pictures and Youtube clips up on www.sex-pistols.net.See aftershow page for this event .......... 07 Jan 2010 sees The Royal Mail issue a special set of ten stamps featuring classic album covers from acts inc The Clash,The Rolling Stones,Blur, David Bowie,Pink Floyd,Primal Scream and others.. After a very busy Nov and Dec with gigs and stuff every day its time to have a couple of weeks rest as its a very quiet period for gigs... 23 Dec 2009.Public Image Ltd live at The Electric Ballroom,Camden,London.The last date of their seven show UK tour.Nice and cosy venue that holds 1000 and has plenty of punk history. I dont think John Lydon has ever played on this stage before.I have seen many play here in their heyday inc The Clash,Ramones,Gemeration X,Sham 69,The Greedies and Sid Vicious only UK show way back in 1978 was at this venue.Its the same set as Brixton.I am second row with a fantastic view. John Lydon really does seem to be loving it. When the PIL tour was announced and original members Keith Levine and Jah Wobble were not in the line up a few moaned but this band are way better than Levine and Wobble could ever be.They really do get into a great groove on stage.What can you about John Lydon.The mans a legend. PIL will be back again with a USA tour in Apr/May and UK and Europe shows June/July 2010. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 23 Dec 2009.2pm to 4.30pm.Aladdin at The New Wimbledon Theatre,London.Traditional panto starring Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson and big voiced Shakespeare actor Brian Blessed.Its on for around ten days with two shows a day.Have not been to a panto since the kids were small but have to see Pamela Anderson here as it feels a bit surreal.Two sets of 60 mins each although Pammie is only in 10/15 mins of each set.She is in full blonde bombshell mode with red baywatch top along with stockings and high heels.She sings a bit but generally gives it the barbie look.She is not a great actress but gets in the full panto spirit.Brian Blessed as the baddie is superb as always.Lots of simple fun lines with a few local jokes too.Very enjoyable............... 22 Dec 2009.Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena,London.One off English show as part of a short European Tour to promote his "Live In New York" dvd.We have fantastic seats right of stage in VIP block 112.The six rows direct in front of us are all Pauls main guests.Lots of family here inc kids Stella,Mary and James and their children and Pauls brother Mike McGear and Pauls stunning new girlfriend Nancy.The seat in front of me has X Factor presenter Dermot O'Leary. Lovely surprise to see Ringo Starr turn up with Joe Walsh from The Eagles a full 30 mins late.Also here was Nigel Godrich who has produced Macca as well as Radiohead.Sharleen Spiteri from Texas,Gem from Oasis,Twiggy,Peter Blake,Damon Hill,Olivia Harrison and prob a few more i missed.Three big screens with the two side ones featuring live action and the middle had images.It looked great.It was a long show but it whizzed past so quickly.Mainly because apart from 3 or 4 songs it was just fantastic.So many brilliant Beatles and Wings classics inc "Jet","My Love" and nice to hear "Wonderful Christmas Time" .The second half was top heavy with Beatles gems."Live And Let Die" was stunning as full of flames and pyros.Have a look at the selist below.The last ten songs(the last 3 of main set and 7 song encore)were pure quality.Needless to say one of the best shows of 2009.Seems likely he will play UK summer shows. The full setlist for this 2 hour 50 mins set was'Magical Mystery Tour','Drive My Car','Jet', 'Only Mama Knows','Flaming Pie','Got To Get You Into My Life','Let Me Roll It'/'Foxy Lady', 'Highway','The Long And Winding Road' 'I Want To Come Home','My Love','Blackbird', 'Here Today','Dance Tonight','And I Love Her', 'Eleanor Rigby','Leaning On A Lamp Post'/'Something','Mrs Vandebilt','Sing The Changes','Wonderful Christmas Time','Band On The Run','Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da','Back In The USSR', 'I've Got A Feeling','Paperback Writer' 'A Day In The Life'/'Give Peace A Chance' 'Let It Be','Live And Let Die','Hey Jude'and encores 'Day Tripper','Lady Madonna','Get Back' 'Yesterday','Helter Skelter','Mull Of Kintyre' 'Sgt Pepper'/'The End' ....... 21 Dec 2009.Public Image Ltd live at The Brixton Academy,London.Really looking forward to this gig.Punk icon John Lydon reforms his post Sex Pistols band for their first tour since 1992. I was at their first ever show at the Rainbow on Christmas Day in 1978.Get to the venue at 8.30pm to find its fairly sparse inside and easy to get five rows from the front as only 3500 tickets sold out of 5000 so you can see why the second Brixton show was downsized to Electric Ballroom. Of the many times i have seen The Sex Pistols and PIL they have never played over 90 mins but tonight PIL play for a staggering 2 hours 10 mins.Early on we get stunning versions of "Public Image" and "This Is Not A Love Song".John Lydon really does appear to enjoy PIL more than The Sex Pistols.You cannot take your eyes off John Lydon.His backing band are fantastic and really get over PILs sound.The bass is dub heavy when needed and Lu Edmonds edgy guitar playing along with other instruments is amazing.Quite incredible how different PIL were to The Sex Pistols back in 1978.Some of the songs were hard work if you are a casual fan but i loved it."Religion" was great and encores of "Rise" and "Open Up" were mega.In the old days PIL would play "Anarchy" or "Pretty Vacant" but not tonight and righly so as this was a long overdue celebration of PIL.A really good show. Set List: Public Image / Careering / This Is Not a Love Song / Poptones / Albatross / Tie Me To The Length Of That / The Suit / Death Disco / Four Enclosed Walls / Flowers of Romance / Psychopath / Disappointed / Warrior / USLS 1 / Banging The Door / Chant / Bags / Memories / Annalisa / Religion / Encore : Sun / Rise / Open Up.See aftershow page for this gig............... 19 Dec 2009.Ray Davies live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.The last show on his American and UK tour for this Kinks legend.On stage for 2 hours 25 mins over two sets of 70 mins and 75 mins.The first set is acoustic then with the band and the second set is band and some 40 strong choir.Opening with an acoustic "You Really Got Me" also "I'm Not Like Everybody Else","Apeman","Dedicated Follower Of Fashion", "Sunny Afternoon","Dead End Street","Till The End Of The Day" and "20th Century Man".The crowd are in full voice for all the Kinks classics. Second set had the choir who were very impressive and create a real big sound.Tracks played inc "Shangri La","Victoria","See My Friends" and stunning "You Really Got Me" with band and choir in full flow.Then a medley of songs from "Village Green".Also "Postcards From London","Celluloid Hereos" a brilliant "Waterloo Sunset" and superb encores of "Days","All Day And All Of The Night" and "Lola".A great gig..... 18 Dec 2009.Spent a whole 12 hours today finally moving into my new house.A 3 bed cottage style detached with garage in Burnham,Berkshire.Its lovely with all the snow and greenery and space.A long way from gigs in London so 2010 will see me slow down a bit but Reading,Oxford and Birmingham are easier to get to as i am between the M4 and M40.As i am downsizing its also half the price of my Shepherds Bush house... 17 Dec 2009.Ace Frehley + 16 Second Stare live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.I love KISS but i feel sorry for Ace.His wayward behaviour gets him sacked from KISS and despite this show being his only UK show at the end of his European Tour its only half full.Up first we have a support band from Florida who have a chubby singer.They have a couple of albums out but are nothing special.Ace it seems is in a pisstaking mood as the 30 mins interval becomes a staggering 75 mins which means Ace comes on stage at 10pm and the 90 mins planned set is cut to 75 mins and three or four songs are dropped inc "New York Groove".Thats all forgotten as Ace hits the stage and plays loads of KISS classics with his trademark guitar style.Set inc "Rocket Ride","Parasite","Snowblind" and a couple from new album "Anomaly" inc "Outer Space".Ace voice is not perfect but us KISS fans are blind to that.Then its gets mega as "2000 Man","Shock Me","Shout It Out Loud" and "Love Gun" all go down a treat.Brilliant encores of "Deuce" and "Cold Gin" rocked.A great show but because of the late on stage bit it was not a good as The Astoria show a couple of years ago........... 16 Dec 2009.8pm to 2am.Rio Ferdinand Live The Dream Foundation Launch at Old Billingsgate, London EC3.Another posh black tie event for me. A big crowd of around 1000 people here.Most of them had bought their 500 quid tickets from websites a couple of months ago that said Robbie Williams was to play but over the last couple of weeks his name was taken off with no reason given and of course he does not turn up so i think a few will complain.8pm was the drinks reception for an hour then a three course dinner. The live entertainment is always hit and miss at these things.A few faces here but not many.Rio Ferdinand is here with his brother Anton.Ray Clemence is here.Boxer David Haye is here.Elton Johns partner David Furnish is here.Actor Tamar Hussain is here who has been great in films with Danny Dyer.We get a couple of songs from new female duo Addictive then a fun Q a A with James Corden(Gavin And Stacey) and Rio Ferdinand then an auction hosted by Jeffrey Archer then Ali Campbell ex UB40 sings four songs "Homely Girl", "Kingston Town","Cant Help Falling In Love" and "Red Red Wine" then new boy band sensations JLS did a very good three songs with some slick dance routines.They played both their number one singles and a cover of "Umbrella".They play UK arenas in 2010.Simon Webbe sang a couple of good disco based covers of the Killers "Human" and Kings Of Leon "Sex Is On Fire".Then after from 1am to 2am was a very lively 80s based disco. So a good event but like all these charity events the punters should have got more.......... 15 Dec 2009.Quite an amazing day as i went to a pub launch party + a jewellery launch party + Depeche Mode gig and afterparty.At lunchtime 12.15pm to 2.30pm was the launch of The Swan Pub,Hammersmith Broadway,London W6.A pub dear to my heart as it was my local way back in 1980 when my band Gun Contol played our first three gigs here.Its been called Edwards or something the last few years and now its back to its original name and now a traditional pub with real ales etc.Today we were all treated to a freebie 3 course dinner with drinks.I had a yummy Rib Eye Steak for mains.Really great its back to its original name.Very cosy here too. Its open to the public from Wed 16 Dec 2009..then 7pm to 8pm i was at The Garrard Jewellery Party at 24 Albemarle Street,London W1.The oldest jeweller in the world they say as they were established way back in 1735.Had a couple of freebie cocktails here.Rock n roll jeweller Stephen Webster is here as he is their creative director.He is a mate of Mick Jones and is the manager of Micks new outfit Rotten Hill Gang.He told me they were due to support The Cult at The Royal Albert Hall but Mick changed his mind at the last minute.Everyone got a nice Garrard item in goodie bag too....then on to Depeche Mode at The 02 Arena,London.The first of two shows here this week.Part of their massive "Tour Of The Universe" to promote recent album "Sounds Of The Universe".Pollstar made it the 20th biggest grossing tour of 2009.Its amazing how i saw them in 1981 when their debut album and brilliant first three singles came out when they were fresh faced Basildon boys and then they got a bit heavier and deeper and became this huge act. On stage for 1 hour 55 mins.Lots of big screens.The first half was very good and the second half excellent.Dave Gahan is in full rock star mode as his tall slim frame slides across the stage and walkway with tattoos exposed.Songs played inc "Wrong","Walking In My Shoes","A Question Of Time","Home" and later on great versions of "I Feel You","Enjoy The Silence" and "Never Let Me Down Again".Very good encores inc "Behind The Wheel" and "Personal Jesus". As expected they sadly did not play any of the first three singles or "Hurt".A great show. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 14 Dec 2009.7pm to 12.15am.Capital Radio 95.8fm "Capital Rocks" feat The Saturdays and Daniel Merriweather live at Old Billingsgate, Monument,London EC3.Another black tie event for me although the crowd is not as glam as last night.Its a charity night for Help A London Child.Most of the 750 people here have paid 295 quid to be here.We had an hour of free drinks then a nice 3 course dinner with goose as the main along with more drinks.Between the courses we had an awful line up of acts that mirror a crap radio station like Capital.First we had Daniel Merriweather sing 3 or 4 tracks inc "Red". He sent me to sleep then a couple of acts from tv shows, Stavros Flatley then George Sampson.Only about ten mins each but awful.Headliners The Saturdays were late replacements for James Morrison who had the sense to pull out at the last minute.The girls looked great in skimpy outfits and their 4 song set inc "Just Cant Get Enough".One of the auction prizes went for a huge sum.This Thurs 17 Dec Robbie Williams plays a small gig for comp winners at the Nokia Store in Regent Street.A pair of tickets went for 10k.Wow.A few faces here inc Alesha Dixon, Brendan Cole and Jodie Kidd.Then the Capital djs kicked in with crap Capital Radio type songs and i headed for the door.A decent bash but the entertainment both live and recorded was pretty dire for the money they charged folks............ 13 Dec 2009.Elton John Aids Foundation Ball at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London.I was here from 6.45pm to 12.45am at this very glam party hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish. Around 750 guests mainly in black tie.Most have paid over 300 to be here.6.45pm to 8.15pm was freebie Grey Goose Vodka Cocktails then 8.15pm to 10.15pm was a nice 3 course meal with drinks. A few faces here inc yummy Swedish supermodel Victoria Silvstedt,Lily Allen(her designer bar went for 100k at the auction),Elizabeth Hurley,Richard E Grant,Kevin Spacey,Sam Taylor Wood and Duncan James from Blue.Then at 10.30pm Sir Elton John gave a speech regards his AIDS foundation.Then it was the auction.Then Kelly Rowland and a full band with four dancers played a good 35 mins set of solo material and Destiny Child hits.Needless to say quite a night......... 12 Dec 2009.Status Quo + Roy Woods Rock n Roll Band live at Wembley Arena,London.Excellent double bill of acts who i first saw as a teenager in the 1970s.In fact Roy Woods Wizzard was the first proper gig i ever saw in Oct 1973. Roy Wood despite being in his mid 60s still has that huge mane of her.A big band with a 4 piece brass section played an excellent 50 mins set full of Move and Wizzard hits inc "California Man","Ball Park Incident","Fire Brigade","I Can Hear The Grass Grow","Angel Fingers","Flowers In The Rain"(first ever record played on Radio 1 in 1967),"Are You Ready To Rock?",a mega "See My Baby Jive","Blackberry Way" and of course "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"...Status Quo i have seen over 30 or 40 times since 1974.The venue is again only three quarters full but a Saturday night at Wembley in December is now a Quo tradition.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins.Loads of great heads down rockers in the set inc "Caroline","Rain","Dont Drive My Car","Hold You Back" and "Pictures Of Matchstick Men".A few songs plodded in the middle then it was "In The Army Now" and four Quo anthems on the bounce at the end of the set "Roll Over Lay Down","Down Down","Whatever You Want" and "Rockin All Over The World".Encores inc "Paper Plane" and "Bye Bye Johnny".All in all a really good pair of live bands............. 11 Dec 2009.Jimmy Carr live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.First of three shows here by this popular comedian who is raking it in this time of year with a huge theatre tour thats lasting months.Two sets of 70 mins and 60 mins.A lot naughtier and riskier than his tv stuff but as he says himself "Its Only Words".Loads of sex related jokes and lots of audience participation inc a guy in the second half who screamed "Its Christmas" every ten minutes in his best Hoddy Holder voice.Plenty of funny bits in the show.... 10 Dec 2009.Pink + Evermore live at The 02 Arena,London.Up first are a very lightweight pop act called Evermore.Their only good feature was a neat drummer who played some songs standing up. The last of five shows at The 02 Arena for Pink(3 in May and 2 in Dec) as part of her huge 18 month world tour that now includes outdoor UK shows in summer of 2010.On tour to promote her 5th album "Funhouse" Pink has sold over 23 million albums.On stage for 1 hour 55 mins.Its a massive Funhouse/Circus/Cirque Du Soleil type stage production thats visually fantastic with big screens,stage extention,clowns,acrobats, trapeze,beds,walkways,loads of dancers and colourful costume changes.Pink is a great performer but for me the show had far too many average songs in amongst the good tracks.Her tomboy looks mean there are loads of female couples in the crowd.Set inc "Just Like A Pill","U+UR Hand","So What","Dear Mr President","Trouble","Sober", a pointless cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody". Also "Funhouse" and a cover of "Crazy" and then a good version of "Get The Party Started"........ 08 Dec 2009.Went to three events tonight. First 6pm to 6.45pm.Launch of Asprey Protector Collection,167 New Bond Street,W1.New range of snake icon jewellery that has Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as the faces of the campaign with all profits going to childrens charity.Always great to have a look at some of the luxury items here. Had a couple of freebie Bellinis...then 7pm to 7.45pm was Grosvenor Shirts - collection launch at 87/88 St James Street, Mayfair, London SW1.Luxury shirt brand launches new 2010 FIFA World Cup collection featuring 32 limited designs.Freebie drinks and canopes here.A few faces here inc 1980s supermodel Marie Helvin and ITV presenter Jenni Falconer.Amazing that this venue used to be one of the post office counters i used to work at in the early 1980s. It was where i first met Noel Fieldings dad Ray as he worked on the counter and we still keep in contact.Sadly had to leave before the fashion show.....for Man-Raze live at The Met Bar,Park Lane,London.Invite only gig for 100 friends,family and comp winners in this trendy club to celebrate guitarist Phil Collens 52nd birthday.Phil is the guitarist in Def Leppard and Man-Raze also feature Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.On stage at 8.05pm for a 35 mins set. Nice and tight sound as they have just came from supporting on Alice Coopers tour.I love the reggae vibe of "Running Me Up" as well as rockers like "Every Second Of Every Day","Skin Crawl" and "Turn It Up".The crowd sung "Happy Birthday" to phil and a few gave him cards and pressies.After the show Pauls daughter Hollie was dj for a couple of hours and played a great mix of punk rock and classic rock.Lots of people here i knew and all band members stayed behind and chatted until the end.A good one............. 07 Dec 2009.Went to two good events tonight.First 6.30pm to 8.30pm was Tatler Travel Awards At The Ritz Hotel,Piccadilly,London.Have been to this a couple of times before.Stunning five star hotel with attentive staff everywhere giving out the freebie cocktails and tasty grub. Only five awards with the winners from Morocco, Corsica,Egypt,New Zealand and Spain.The next issue of Tatler is out Thurs 10 Dec and will have full features on all the winners.....then a dash to see Simple Minds live at Wembley Arena,London.Missed the start due to previous event but managed to catch 1 hour 40 mins of the two hour show.Its a nice big production with screens and loads of lighting.First song i watch is "All The Things She Said" which was good. They are still promoting recent album "Graffiti Soul".These tracks fall flat in this big venue as crowd just wants to hear the old stuff.Simple Minds seem a bit on autopilot these days.They should follow Alice Coopers example thats its better to play a sold out Hammersmith Apollo rather than a three quarters full Wembley Arena. Things get better with a superb "The American" and others inc "Someone Somewhere In Summertime" and "Once Upon A Time".Everyone singing along to "Dont You Forget About Me".Other goodies were "Promised You A Miracle","Glittering Prize" and "New Gold Dream".Nice touch for the encore where they were joined by both members of support band OMD for a cover of Kraftwerks "Neon Lights" then a brilliant "Alive And Kicking" and a cover of "Gloria".So still plenty of good songs there but maybe its time to go back and downsize to the theatres ..... 06 Dec 2009.Alice Cooper + Man-Raze live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.Totally rammed sold out show for this 1970s legend "Theatre Of Death" tour.Most of the crowd are in early to see the support as they feature Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen and Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.They play a tight 40 mins set based on their debut album.Rockers like "Skin Crawl" and "Turn It Up" were great.I have seen them twice in small clubs but good to see them on a big stage.Alice Cooper on for 95 mins and its a full on theatrical show as always.Loads of props dragged on during the show.The stage is a neat red and black production.The DVD cameras are filming it for future release.He opens with the classic "Schools Out" and the set inc "I'm Eighteen","Go To Hell" and a superb "Poison". Three or four tracks plodded a bit in the middle but there was always something good visually going on.Other gems later inc "Only Women Bleed", "Billion Dollar Babies","I Love The Dead" and great versions of "No More Mr Nice Guy" and "Under My Wheels".For the encore he played "Schools Out" again wearing a full shiny coat.Alice Cooper is always fantastic live.One small quibble not sure why he played "Schools Out" twice but failed to play "Elected". See aftershow page for this gig................. 05 Dec 2009.Capital Radio 95.8FM Jingle Bell Ball Day 1 at The 02 Arena,London.Starting at 5.30pm it lasted nearly five hours with 14 pop acts playing between two and seven songs each.Headlined by Lady Gaga and JLS.Two stages so only a few mins gap between acts.Lots of screaming girls here.Up first is Jordin Sparks who was an American Idol winner.Her four songs came and went.Noisettes were great with "Never Forget You" and "Dont Upset The Rhythm".Then Tinchy Stryder looking like Public Enemys Flavour Flav did four tracks.All the acts have had hit singles of some sort.N-Dubz did a couple.Westlife i have avoided seeing live until now.Two watery ballads.Pixie Lott played three inc hit single.Taio Cruz did four.Sugababes new line up were good fun.Five songs inc "Push The Button" and "About You Now".Miley Cyrus is now massive in the UK with young girls.Her arena tour this month features five shows at The 02 Arena.She was rockier than expected with lots of dancers.Three songs played inc "Party In The USA".Chipmunk played three inc a hit single.Jedward twins turned up to murder "I Wish It Could Be Xmas Every Day".They are so bad from every angle.All girl act Saturdays were good for three songs inc "Issues" and "Just Cant Get Enough".New boy band sensations JLS bring the house down.Four tracks inc both their number one singles.They will have a brilliant 2010.There is no doubt the pop star of 2009 has been Lady Gaga as she has taken off worldwide.She has had 25m singles downloaded.Been nominated for 60 music awards worldwide.On stage for seven songs in a tiny red oufit."Just Dance" and "Poker Face" send the crowd mental.She is a bit kooky on stage.She also has an army of dancers.Overall a decent evening of big selling pop acts......... 04 Dec 2009.New York Dolls live at The Kentish Town Forum,London.I must admit to getting really excited every time these New York legends play. There are loads of people in the crowd who i know so lots of chats before and after the show. The 85 mins set is a nice sprinkling of tracks from their two comeback albums and a bunch of old classics.There is a problem.Someone needs to shoot the sound man.From the start the bass and drums are booming too loudly and it stays like that the whole show.From the reunion shows at the RFH to The Forum a couple of years ago and even that stunning 100 Club show earlier this year their sound was great but not tonight. Having said that New York Dolls with bad sound for me is still better that most bands.Set inc "Babylon","Cause I Sez So","We're All In Love","Private World","Subway Train","Dance Like A Momkey","Gotta Get Away From Johnny","You Cant Put Your Arms Around A Memory","Pills","Trash", "Jet Boy" and encores inc "Personality Crisis". So good but should have been better.............. 03 Dec 2009.7.30pm to 10.15pm.The Fortnum And Mason Christmas Party,Piccadilly,London.Suit and tie tonight for me at this very posh shop as one has to blend in you see.Over 500 people here. Nice staff everywhere making a fuss of everyone. Loads of freebie champers,gin cocktails and full portions of quality food inc oysters.There is entertainment on all five levels.There is a jazz quartet,caricaturist,tarot readings,some magicians who included Marco my old mate from the 1980s who manned the backstage bar at Hammersmith Odeon and gave magic displays at the afterparties there when there was a bar above the dressing rooms.They closed it and made it a production office in the early 1990s.There was also a ballet performance.Britains Got Talent winner Paul Potts sang four opera songs on a carpet.He has a face only a mum could love but he has done well since he won it.Also a good Frank Sinatra tribute.Some faces here too inc tv legend Ronnie Corbett.Designer Linda Barker.Fashion folks Julian MacDonald and Henry Holland.Lots of good items in the silent auction for Cancer Research UK.A great party............. 02 Dec 2009.Here Come The Girls with Lulu,Chaka Khan and Anastacia live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Very interesting how this three big name female line up will arrange this show. A sold out gig as part of a full UK tour. Its a big production for this venue with loads of big screens,walkways,platforms and dancers and then you notice why.There is no band.Its just backing tracks but nobody seems that bothered.A great neon light show that does make the venue like an 80s disco and most are up and dancing from start to finish.Two sets of 60 mins and 55 mins with all three on stage together most of the time.It was a crowd pleasing set of their big hits and loads of well known cover versions.Chaka Khan sang "Im Every Woman","I Feel For You" and "Aint Nobody".Anastacia sang "One Day In Your Life","Im Outta Love" and "Left Outside Alone" and Lulu sang "Independence",a superb "Shout" and the mass party encore of "Relight My Fire".Inbetween we had soul and disco covers and covers of Duffy,Beyonce and Robbie Williams "Angels".A very entertaining show that this female heavy crowd loved.A couple of rows in front of me was style icon Twiggy.... 01 Dec 2009.Still feeling a bit rough from my stomach bug but went to two events tonight.First 6.30pm to 8.30pm was the launch of the Ed Hardy clothing shop in Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush,London.A nice 10 mins walk to this for me.Its much bigger and better than expected as its not in the shop but in the main foyer of Westfield.I get into the VIP bit for freebie cocktails and canopes but take it easy as my tum still feels delicate.A few faces here inc sprinter Linford Christie and boxer Joe Calzaghe.The fashion show is delayed for the arrival of guest of honour....Peter Andre.About 20 models in the full catwalk show.The clothes have a cool rock n roll look to them.Before and after the catwalk was displays by Adam Saaks who is a t shirt cutter.One by one Ed Hardy models in Ed Hardy t shirts came on stage and he gave them all amazing backless and different design t shirt cuttings....then 9pm to 10.30pm i went to see Joss Stone live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London. This was an invite only charity show for "Imagine Theres No Hunger".I missed the freebie food but the free drinks are still flowing.Joss Stone comes on stage looking fantastic.Her voice is still simply stunning. Full of Janis Joplin type soul blues power.For these kind of shows you expect short sets of 30 or 40 mins but tonight its a mere 15 mins 3 song set.Far too short but an ok event................ Sun and Mon i was out of action as i had the worst stomach bug i have had for ages.On Monday spent the entire day in bed or on the sofa.At midnight on Channel 4 i watched the excellent hour of The Killers Live At The Royal Albert Hall from July 2009.I was at that gig and knew the dvd would be great and it was.A great venue,a great crowd,great camera work and some big tunes.Normal gig service to resume soon...... 28 Nov 2009.Motorhead + Damned + Girlschool live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Excellent three band rock package from promoters Live Nation.All three bands i had first seen 30 years ago.I first saw Motorhead in 1975 and Damned in 1977 and Girlschool in 1979.Girlschool were the UK answer to the best all female band ever The Runaways but were never in their league.Some decent tunes and Lemmy came on at the end for "Please Dont Touch".Then it was The Damned who played a tight punchy 45 mins set inc gems "New Rose","Neat Neat Neat","Eloise","Love Song" a mega "Smash It Up" and Captain even got in a few bars of "Happy Talk".Monty on keyboards was manic as usual and they went down very well. Motorhead on stage for 1 hour 40 mins opening with the battle cry "We Are Motorhead And We Play Rock n Roll".Its very,very loud as usual. Everything is on 11 and Lemmys treble knob on his bass is to max.His voice growls away.Its a full on wall of unique sound with setlist inc "Stay Clean","Metropolis","Over The Top","In The Name Of Tragedy","Just Because You Got The Power",a stunning "Killed By Death" where they were joined by Lemmys son and then "Bomber".Encores were an acoustic "Whorehouse Blues" then great versions of "Ace Of Spades" and "Overkill" and they were joined by ex guitarist Wurzel.A great night...... 27 Nov 2009.Specials live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Last of three shows at this venue and the last night of their UK tour.Simply had to go back and see The Specials.Again they keep the crowd waiting until 9.30pm.Most of the crowd have had a few drinks before the show.They remind me of an older Oasis crowd.Again the atmosphere when they come on is amazing.The place is rocking.Its the same 90 mins set.Loads of great tracks.They dedicated "Stereotype" to ex keyboard player Jerry Dammers with Terry Hall calling him a "Twathead".Also they dedicated "Monkey Man" to their personal security guy in the pit who turns 40 this weekend.If only all gigs were this great. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 26 Nov 2009.Went to two good events today.First 1.30pm to 4.30pm was The William Hill Sports Book Of The Year 2009 at Waterstones,Piccadilly, London.152 sports books have been reviewed and the six finalists are here.Freebie wine,beers and tasty grub are flowing.The host is John Inverdale from BBC TV and Talksport broadcaster Danny Kelly is here.Last years winner Marcus Trescothick presents the winners cheque to Duncan Hamilton for his book "Harold Larwood" who was a cricket player involved in "Bodyline". Nice goodie bag at the end where we were allowed to pick three of the six books.I chose Rick Broadbent "Ring Of Fire-Moto GP Valentino Rossi",Nicholas Clee "Eclipse-The Story Of Horse Racing Over The Last 200 Years" and Ian Hawkey "The Story Of African Football".......then later over to The Barclays ATP World Tennis Tour Finals at The 02 Arena,London.Held all this week its the biggest indoor tennis event ever with over 250,000 tickets sold.Again its another reason why The 02 Arena is the most popular venue in the world.It focuses on eight of the top male singles players inc Federer,Nadal and Murray.The first game is a decent doubles game but its like watching a support band at a gig as the venue is half empty.Its totally different for the main event as every seat is taken.Its a great match with a surprise upset as World Number 5 Juan Martin Del Potro beat World Number 1 Roger Federer 6-2,6-7,6-3.But both go through as top two of group.Great to see quality tennis stars.Great rallies and plenty of power and super tennis.At the end Man City footie star Carlos Tevez joined his Argie mate Del Potro on the court for a messabout ... 25 Nov 2009.Went to two good events tonight. 6.30pm to 8.30pm.Launch of the Swarovski Snowflake Illumination at The Mandarin Hotel, Knightsbridge,London.Always very nice to be at this 5 star hotel that is used by big names like Bon Jovi and Metallica amongst others.Lots of freebie Moet champers,cocktails and tasty grub here.The guest of honour is Claudia Schiffer and i spotted dj David Kid Jenson here amongst the posh crowd.The English National Ballet gave a performance.Decent goodie bags of Swarovski items.When you go past Harvey Nicks you will see the 5 metre Snowflake hanging over the main road......then a dash to see The Specials live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.This was the second of three sold out shows here.Back again for a second UK tour after the success of their 30th anniversary shows a few months ago.Again like the Brixton show i saw the atmosphere is fantastic just like when i first saw them 30 years ago in smaller venues.The stalls standing is a heaving mass of dancing bodies.Same songs as Brixton but in a slightly different order. Set inc "Do The Dog","Dawning Of A New Era","Gangsters","Its Up To You","Monkey Man", "Rat Race","Blank Expression","Doesnt Make It Alright","Too Hot","Concrete Jungle","Friday Night/Saturday Morning","Stereotype","A Message To You Rudy","Do Nothing","Night Klub","Too Much Too Young","Enjoy Youself" and encores of "Ghost Town" and "Youre Wondering Now".So many bouncy ska gems in the 90 mins set with brilliant lyrics.Some reunions really are as good as the old days.See aftershow page for this gig......... 24 Nov 2009.1pm to 3pm.Went to the launch day for "The Bull" Gastro Pub in Westfield Shopping Centre,Shepherds Bush,London W12.Another quality addition to the eating places at Westfield but this is the first pub in Westfield.Its a huge well decorated space.As it was opening day we all were treated to a lovely three course meal and drink although my dining chums said the veggie options should have been better.Very near to the Central Line tube so its ideal to go there before a gig at Shepherds Bush Empire which is 5 mins away as well as the shopping.See www.thebullatwestfield.co.uk.It opens to the public on Thurs 26 Nov.......then later off to see Michael McIntyre live at Wembley Arena,London.At this time of year there are always a couple of huge comedy acts playing multi nights at arenas that bands would give a testicle to play just one night.Last year the main one was Lee Evans in top spot closely followed by The Mighty Boosh and this year its Michael McIntyre in top spot closely followed by Eddie Izzard.His tour is massive.Now coming to the end of a five month stint.Around 10 shows in London alone.I think its 6 at Wembley and 4 at The 02.A staggering 500,000 tickets sold.His dvd "Live And Laughing" has sold 750,000 and this month his new dvd "Hello Wembley" is expected to do the same.Just him and three huge screens so these comedians must make mega huge profits at this level.Two sets of 50 mins each.His plummy tones and wide grin along with his spot on "we've all been there" humour was really very funny on a cold,damp and windy evening.There is one great sketch about The Pogues Christmas single "Fairytale Of New York" which was weird because the same morning i got an email from a member of The Pogues saying what a great website raysgigs.com is.A fun show...... 23 Nov 2009.Taylor Swift + Justin Bieber live at Wembley Arena,London.The venue is a total sell out with every corner seat sold and most of the 11,400 are in early to see both acts.Justin Bieber is a mere 15 years old and the mainly female crowd love him.He has already had four hit singles in America and Canada.On for 30 mins its obvious he will be massive here soon.If i asked you who is the biggest selling act of 2009 you would give me dozen names but not the correct one.Its Taylor Swift.She is only 19 years old but at 14 she signed a songwriting publishing deal in Nashville and now both her albums have sold over 4 million copies each. This country pop star really has done well. In the last month she has won many awards in USA.She has brought over the full American stage production with walkways,podiums,dancers,massive screens,costume changes etc.Its a full two hour show too.She is a tall slim blonde who shakes her long hair a lot.Songs mainly about boys.Set inc "Our Song","Fearless" and three songs from the second stage in the middle inc the new single "Fifteen".She came back to main stage thru the crowd and got a full five mins of screams and applause.Also played was "White Horse","Love Story","Youre Not Sorry" and "Picture To Burn" with confetti falling. Encore was "Should Have Said No" with Taylor getting soaked under a waterfall.So confident as a performer.A very entertaining show............ 22 Nov 2009.David Essex live at The Palladium, London.Those of a certain age will remember David Essex as a pin up teen idol in the 1970s. He was in great films like "That'll Be The Day","Stardust" and "Silver Dream Racer" as well as having loads of hit singles.It was the heady days of vinyl,tank tops and when watching Top Of The Pops on tv was a must.In his heyday in Oct 1975 he played Hammersmith Odeon.I was at all four of these shows.He is in his 60s now but the adoring women are still here standing up from the start.His cheeky smile and east end banter are all still here.On stage for 80 mins with a couple of newies and loads of old classics in the set.He has had over 20 Top 30 hit singles. Set inc "City Lights","On And On","Stardust", "Imperial Wizard" then the big hits with everyone singing every word to "If I Could", "Lamplight","Gonna Make You A Star","Hold Me Close" and "Silver Dream Machine".Encores inc his first big hit "Rock On".A nice feelgood gig. See aftershow page for this gig.................. 21 Nov 2009.In the afternoon i went to see the Michael Jackson film "This Is It".Based on the rehearsals that were for the 50 night stint at The 02 Arena before he died.The 95 mins is better than expected.Lots of MJ on stage and it would have been a great production with loads of dancers,a big band and pyros etc.MJ looks very thin but its the quality of the songs.From his own material to the Jackson 5 stuff the songs are fantastic.It would have been a great.I was lucky to have seen him a few times live........ In the evening i went to see "Calendar Girls" at The Noel Coward Theatre,St Martins Lane,London WC2.This is the true story of the ladies of The Womans Institute who bared all for a calendar to raise some cash for charity.This calendar has now sold nearly 2 million copies. This play has lots of funny bits related to the girls getting their kits off.The yummy Kelly Brook is in the cast on stage as is Helen Lederer and Jan Leeming.The packed crowd loved it ....... 18 Nov 2009.David Gray live at Floridita,Wardour Street,London W1.7.15pm to 9.15pm.This was an invite only show for 200 comp winners and guests of radio station Magic 105.4FM.For an hour we had freebie cocktails and canopes at this lovely eating place a few yards from the original site of the old Marquee Club.Then David Gray and his band played an eight song 50 mins set.His music is ideal for this middle of the road radio station.His voice was in pretty good shape..A couple of new ones then "The One I Love","Draw The Line","As Im Leaving" and of course "Babylon".Encores were a cover of Bob Dylans "Meet Me In The Morning" and then "This Years Love".A decent set ....