Archive: March 2010

March 03, 2010

02 Mar 2010.KISS live at The Islington Academy,London.Needless to say this was a big night for me.KISS are my fave band after Sex Pistols and The Clash so for them to play a club show for around 800 people is a dream gig.I have seen them at least once on every UK tour since their first London shows in 1976 at Hammersmith Odeon.Also seen them in France,Belgium,Italy and America.I never wear band tshirts but i dig out my 1979 World Tour KISS shirt from when i saw them in Chicago.I get in early just after 7pm and stake my view just 5 rows from stage dead centre.KISS stage logo in place and loads of amps.KISS on from 8.40pm to 9.50pm for a 70 mins set.The band in full make up and costumes and the sound loud and clear.Its fantastic to see them up close in their full glory.Old classics mixed in with tracks from new album "Sonic Boom". The small venue means no pyros or blood spitting antics so just pure rock and roll.Paul Stanley is great with the rock n roll chat between songs and when all three front guys rock out its mega. "Rock n Roll All Nite" was a highlight as tons of white confetti was shot over the crowd the entire song.Also encore of "Detroit Rock City" was brilliant.Like all the best gigs tonight just whizzed by so quickly.You gotta go see them in May when they have the full stage production. Full 12 song setlist played "Modern Day Delilah", "Cold Gin","Let Me Go Rock n Roll","Say Yeah", "Dr Love","Got To Choose","I Love It Loud", "100,000 Years","Love Gun","Black Diamond", "Rock n Roll All Nite" and encore of "Detroit Rock City".I picked up a setlist and guitar pic at the end.The setlist had three songs not played tonight "Deuce","Shout It Out Loud" and "Lick It Up" so they were probably played at the soundcheck which was at the venue the night before but they dropped them on the night.Visit www.kissonline.com for some pix of the gig See aftershow page for this gig.................. 28 Feb 2010.Mika live at The Hammersmith Apollo,London.The first of two shows at this venue for this falsetto singing pop dandy. His debut album "Life In Cartoon Motion" sold a staggering 5 million copies worldwide but last years follow up "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" has not reached half a million sales yet.Lots of screaming women here.A nice big screen behind him showing neat colourful images was good.Full of energy Mika put on a decent 1 hour 40 mins show.Its singalong panto pop all the way.Tracks played inc "Big Girl(You Are Beautiful) with the first of two giant inflatables on stage.Also "Billy Brown" and "Dr John".His voice is great but too much falsetto can grate a bit.The second half was much better than the first as he played great lively versions of "Love Today" and "We Are Golden" and encores inc his mega hit "Grace Kelly" and "Lollipop" with balloons and ticker tape and streamers falling on the crowd.Good gig ...... 27 Feb 2010.Elvis Presley tribute show live at Wembley Arena,London.Part of a full arena tour. Music legend who died over 30 years ago still has a loyal following.The merch stands are doing a roaring trade.Not sold out but an impressive 6000 are here with many in Elvis costumes.Featuring members of his original TCB band inc James Burton and backing singers Sweet Inspirations and an orchestra meant some 30 people on stage playing along to Elvis singing on the giant video screen.Two sets of 55 mins and 60 mins.Lots of great footage and great songs that we all know and love.Great versions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water","The Wonder Of You","Suspicious Minds"(this stunning six minute version is up on Youtube),"I Cant Help Falling In Love With You" and "My Way".Lots of footage of Elvis kissing the women in the front row gets loud screams from the females here.The whole production was well done and enjoyable.......... 26 Feb 2010.Lady Gaga + Alphabeat live at The 02 Arena,London.First of two sold out nights here for the three time BRIT Award singer who was the hottest pop act of 2009.Up first we have Danish popstars Alphabeat who despite having a couple of hit singles are crammed into the space of a househouse doormat at the edge of the stage.On for about 30 mins they finish well with "Hole In My Heart" and "Fasination".A long changeover of 50 mins gets a few boos and slow hanclaps.I saw Lady Gaga here a year ago as support to Pussycat Dolls and she was hotly tipped back then. Her album has sold over 4 milion copies.Ms Gaga somehow makes the show last two hours with an 11.25pm finish mainly due to lots of silly chat between songs.A massive stage producton with stage extension and split into four themes with different stage set ups City/Subway/Forest/Monster Ball along with a dozen costume changes and dancers made it a visually fantastic show.Some of the album tracks seemed average compared to her big hits but the quality of the show made them better."Just Dance" was played early on.There was a piano in the boot of a car and for "Speechless" there were flames.A platform raises her 30ft into the air during "So Happy I Could Die"."Poker Face" is mega of course.A brilliant last two songs.A 20ft squid like monster came on for "Paparazzi" and "Bad Romance" went down a treat.A superb show but more quality songs are needed in her set if she wants to take on Madonna.............. 25 Feb 2010.6.30pm to 10pm i was at the relaunch of The Brickhouse,152c Brick Lane,London E1.This venue offers live dinner cabaret and entertainment every night.Venue holds 300 people over three levels.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails,canopes and bowls of sausage and mash for all here tonight.About six dfferent acts on the stage.A female comedian...then a Cirque Du Soliel type gymnast....then a snake woman with three snakes doing tricks.Later on i spent ten minutes with a huge snake around my neck....an old style female hoola hoop act......then some Burlesque but not the Dita Von Teese type.This was the Croydon chav type with baseball cap,white plastic shoes and attitude.Very good...and then some very funny drag acts.It was really good night out. The venue is 5 mins from Liverpool Street. See www.thebrickhouse.co.uk .. 24 Feb 2010.7pm to midnight.NME Awards at The Brixton Academy,London.Another rainy evening in London.About 1000 paid tickets upstairs and 1000 downstairs with 500 seated and 500 standing. Like last year here we have free booze and some dodgy hotdogs and hamburgers before the show.There are tables here but nobody has dinner. This rowdy lot just want booze.You can see how artists are with the press run.Courtney Love talks to everyone which is a surprise.Lily Allen talks to a couple then gets bored and runs off. 8.30pm the awards start.Some great acts here play one or two songs apart from Paul Weller at the end who plays six.Hosted by Jarvis Cocker.We get Maccabees.Kasabian are joined by Noel Fielding and mad antics.The Specials are superb playing "Gangsters" and "Too Much Too Young".Also Biffy Clyro play one.Hole play a couple inc "Skinny Little Bitch".The Big Pink are joined by Lily Allen for a stunning "Dominos".Paul Wellers set inc "Start","From The Floorboards Up" and mega versions of "Eton Rifles" and "A Town Called Malice".Also artists here to present or collect or just to get pissed inc Slash.I had nice chats with Mick Jones and Glen Matlock.Others here inc Bobby Gillespie,Shane MacGowan,The Mighty Boosh,Muse,Lily Allen,Arctic Monkeys,Kasabian, The Horrors,Bernard Sumner,Blur,Gorillaz,Friendly Fires,La Roux,Courteeners,Little Boots,The Drums,Bombay Bicycle Club,Jamie T,We Are Scientists,Mark Ronson and a few others.We got down to front left VIP area where near us were Lily Allen and funny to see Damon Albarn throwing stuff at Courtney Love when she was presenting.Awards finished at 11.30pm.Did some chatting to folks i knew for 30 mins then home. Aftershow last year was not much cop so did not bother with it this time.A great night........... See www.nme.com for winners,pictures and more info.Highlights on Channel 4 tv Friday 26 Feb.... 23 Feb 2010.30 Seconds To Mars live at Wembley Arena,London.A big London show as part of a UK and Europe arena tour.Do not know much about them apart from the fact that Kerrang readers voted them best band in the world in 2009.The band are all set up in the front half of the stage nice and near to the crowd.Its pretty clear that all the attention is on singer Jared Leto who has the looks and a mohican haircut too but looks more like a cartoon punk as he struts up and down the front of stage.The females love him.Great to see so many young kids really enjoying themselves at a gig.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins and promoting recent album "This Is War". They sound a bit like My Chemical Romance. Some good tracks played inc "Search And Destroy" (their own song and not a cover of Iggys) and the new album title track.We get far too many average songs though.The singer and band play a couple from the middle of the venue.Final song of the night "Kings And Queens" was great as 50 fans came on stage to help them out but overall not enough highpoints for me . 22 Feb 2010.Went to three events tonight.First was 7.15pm to 10pm.Amy Macdonald live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.This was an invite only show for 150 comp winners and media for Absolute Radio.Free HRC food and booze for all here tonight.Scottish singer songwriter whose debut album "This Is The Life" has sold a staggering 3 million copies worldwide.Has been away a while recording the second album "A Curious Thing" which comes out March 8.Only 7 songs in 35 mins tonight.Old and new tracks played inc "Poison Prince","Spark",a cover of Bruce Springsteens "Dancing In The Dark","No Roots","This Is The Life" and new single "Dont Tell Me That Its Over".A nice rockin sound but overall pretty average i thought....then 10.15pm to 11pm was The Osman fashion aftershow party in New Burlington Street,London.Had a couple of free beers in this nice looking club....then 11.30pm to 1am i was at the aftershow party for Elle Magazine Style Awards at The Grand Connaught Rooms,London WC2.This one is always a great party.The awards and dinner earlier had Naomi Campbell,Leona Lewis,Dannii Minogue,Kylie Minogue and a few others but they have all left.Supergrass are here as The Hot Rats playing some covers but sadly missed their short live set as i thought it was a dj only playing.The ginger one from Girls Aloud is here as is fashion party animal Henry Holland.Loads of free Moet champers and cocktails flowing.They have done a fantastic job on the venue.Loads of lovely looking girls here all dressed up.A decent goodie bag of female stuff on the way out too ...... 21 Feb 2010.Megan Mullally live at The Vaudeville Theatre,The Strand,London.Last of eight shows over six days at this venue for this actress who is better known for the Emmy Award winning role of Karen Walker in Channel 4 tv American hit comedy "Will And Grace".She has brought out three albums and has been playing shows off and on in America for 12 years but its her first ever shows over here.Lots of gay men in the crowd as the tv show features two gay men.Backed by a great band she is on stage for 1 hour 50 mins over 2 sets of 55 mins.Its a gentle mix of jazz,blues and country western and some "Hillbilly Shit" as Megan said.Lots of great chat between the songs.Cover versions old and more recent.Set included tracks by Ryan Adams,The Decemberists,Rolling Stones,Randy Newman,Chuck Berry,Tom Waits etc.Megan got a full standing ovation at the end for this enjoyable evening ............ 20 Feb 2010.Europe + Diamond Head live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Nice double bill of rock acts that i had seen in their glory days both headline Hammersmith Odeon.I saw Diamond Head there in 1982 and 1983 and Europe there in 1987,1989 and 1992.Nice to see Diamond Head again.They were part of the NWOBHM(New Wave Of British Heavy Metal)scene in the UK but got stuck in the shadows of Iron Maidens success. Bands like Metallica and Megadeth say how Diamond Head influenced them.They played a good 45 mins set including their anthem "Am I Evil?" which Metallica have recorded and played live. Europe were Swedens answer to Bon Jovi in the late 1980s.They reformed a few years ago and their 1 hour 45 mins set was really good.Their singer Joey Tempest still looks like a proper rock star as the smile,the hair,the great clear voice and the showmanship are all intact.Plenty of rock n roll babes in the crowd drooling over him.They played a few songs from recent album "Last Look At Eden" which were good.The band sounded great.Set inc "Last Look At Eden","Superstitious","Gonna Get Ready", big hit ballad from the old days "Carrie" then "Always The Pretenders","Seventh Sign","Start From The Dark","Let The Good Times Roll" and two songs that went down great "Cherokee" and another old hit "Rock The Night".Encores were "The Beast" and finally the place went bonkers for their massive hit "The Final Countdown".A great gig.... 19 Feb 2010.Day 1 of London Fashion Week.I went to three fashion related events.First was 5.45pm to 8.15pm at the very nice newly opened The Arch Hotel,50 Great Cumberland Place,London W1 for the press launch of Z by Zandra Rhodes.Like Vivienne Westwood Zandra Rhodes is a UK fashion icon who has been designing for over 30 years.Only about 50 people here in this posh drawing room that feels like a members club.Freebie cocktails are flowing as are snacks and pastries that have Zandra Rhodes images on them that you can eat.A nice touch.Zandra Rhodes gives a few interviews.The stunning Noelle Reno is here as are a couple of other "supermodel" types.See www.zandrarhodes.com......then from 8.30pm to 9.45pm was at the launch of Glass fashion magazine at Libertys,London.Totally opposite atmosphere to the last one.The rowdier fashion crowd are here.Had a couple of free drinks and canopes before moving on....then 10pm to 11pm was at the afterparty for Felder Felder clothing at Sketch,Conduit Street,London W1.Had a couple of freebie cocktails here.Held in the smaller room of this nice venue.The free booze run out at 11pm and thats when we departed along with half the crowd that were here.Check out www.felderfelder.com ......... 18 Feb 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First was 6.30pm to 10pm at the relaunch of The Red Fort,77 Dean Street,Soho,London W1.In July 2009 a massive fire destroyed the building next door and this venue suffered huge smoke and water damage.After a 1.2m refit(i hope their insurance covered it)we have a state of the art quality venue serving Indian food.Upstairs is the main seating area and downstairs is the bar area with dancefloor and dj.We had the choice of five complimentary house cocktails which were great and the food was very yummy with king prawns my fave but the meat and fish dishes were also fab.All of it fresh and hot.Could be a bit expensive here but quality costs as they say.See www.redfort.co.uk......then 11pm to midnight i was at The Landmark Hotel,Marylebone Road,London NW1 for the afterparty for The London Critics Circle Film Awards.The free wine is still flowing.A few big names are including director Quentin Tarentino who got the main award of the night.Also here are John Hurt and Andy Serkis(played Ian Dury in the recent biopic) and probably a few others.A great goodie bag for all stuffed with film dvds(inc the highly rated ones In The Loop and Fish Tank),cds and cosmetics and copies of GQ and Elle magazine.An excellent evening overall ............. 17 Feb 2010.Hole + Foxy Shazam live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.American support were a quirky bunch of oddballs with a camp singer but were great musicians.When full tilt with trumpet filling out the sound they were much better than first expected and very entertaining to watch.This was the first UK show by Courtney Love under The Hole name for 11 years.None of the original band are here and two of the new boys are British.I saw her play a small gig at The Bush Hall a couple of years ago but with The Hole name its bigger venues of course.On stage for 75 mins with a neat grunge rock sound with a slice of punky vocals she still is quite a rock n roll chick.Playing a mix of Hole oldies and new material her loyal fans lapped it up.Set opened with "Pretty On The Inside/Sympathy For The Devil" a bit later "Skinny Little Bitch".A few film cameras here.Album title track "Nobobys Daughter" is good and we get great versions of "Malibu" and "Celebrity Skin" then "Samantha". Encores were "Doll Parts","Northern Star" and Never Go Hungry Again".A good gig.Also near me in Level 1 seats were Gary Numan,Noel Fielding and Pixie Geldof ............. 16 Feb 2010.5.30pm to 3am.The BRIT Awards live at Earls Court Arena,London.The UKs most popular music awards hosted by comedian Peter Kay.Get to venue 5.30pm for an hour of freebie champers.We see a few of the artists on the press run walkway but they have their own party area backstage.Then 6.30pm its a three course meal.We have a table in row H.Its by far the biggest catering event of the year.Some 4000 people have the dinner downstairs and 4000 come in later just for the show in the balcony.Then at 8pm the show kicks off and lasts until 10.10pm.Every act has a one song big production number apart from Robbie Williams at the end.Those who played were Lily Allen,JLS(won two awards),Kasabian(won best British group),Lady Gaga(was main winner with three awards),Dizzee Rascal with Florence And The Machine,Jay-Z with Alicia Keys,Cheryl Cole and finally Robbie Williams who played a 20 mins set of mainly hits.About halfway through the show we headed down to the front to VIP Block A where all the artists and top music biz folks are.Others who were here presenting,collecting or just hanging out inc Liam Gallagher,Noddy Holder,Paulo Nutini,Sam Fox,Bat For Lashes,Mel B and Geri Halliwell from The Spice Girls,Courtney Love,Kylie Minogue,Alexandra Burke,Sinitta,Craig David,Ellie Goulding,Meat Loaf,Cat Deeley,Peter Andre,Katherine Jenkins,Suggs,Jonathan Ross,Dame Shirley Bassey,Mika,Leona Lewis,James Blunt,Alan Carr,Rachel Stevens and no doubt a few more.It all goes past so quickly but its great fun. See aftershow page for this event................ 15 Feb 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First was 6.45pm to 8.30pm at The Chinese New Year Party at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Knightsbridge,London.Always nice to be at this lovely 5 star hotel opposite Harvey Nicks.This year its sponsored by Sonatrach Petroleum.Lots of freebie champers and quality grub inc oysters.Normally there are a couple of well known faces but did not spot anyone tonight.... then over to see Nazareth live at The Garage,Highbury And Islington,London.I was lucky enough to have seen these Scottish rock legends a few times at Hammersmith Odeon in the late 70s.This show was part of a huge UK,mainland Europe and Russian tour that goes well into the summer.Really great to see a quality rock band in a "up close and in your face" club setting.They still have two original members. Singer Dan McCafferty whose amazing voice makes AC/DCs Brian Johnson sound like Cliff Richard. Also here is bass player Pete Agnew and his son is on the drums.A brilliant set of around 90 mins with virtually all the classic oldies and a couple off the latest album.As usual "Telegram" opened the set."Turn On Your Reciever" and "Miss Misery" go down well and oldies like "Bad Bad Boy" and "My White Bicycle" go down a storm.Both had some great use of bottleneck guitar.A couple of songs "Hearts Grown Cold" and "Holiday" were from the 1980 album "Malice In Wonderland" when Zal Cleminson was in the band for a while."Hair Of The Dog" featured Dan on some nifty bagpipes. Hits "Love Hurts" and the brilliant "Broken Down Angel" sealed the main set with all the crowd singing loudly. Another track "See Me" from the 2008 album "The News" then "Razamanaz" and finally another old gem "This Flight Tonight".Really enjoyable rock n roll gig. Complete setlist was "Telegram","Turn On Your Reciever","Miss Misery","Bad Bad Boy","The Gathering","My White Bicycle","Hearts Grown Cold","Shanghai'd In Shanghai","Hair Of The Dog", "Holiday",Love Hurts","Broken Down Angel" and encores "See Me","Razamanaz","This Flight Tonight".For info on tour dates and music releases visit www.nazarethdirect.co.uk.......... 14 Feb 2010.Eric Clapton + Jeff Beck live at The 02 Arena,London.Second of two shows here by these guitar legends.First time they have done proper shows together in the UK.They both seem to have been around forever on the music scene.Eric Clapton was in The Yardbirds in Dec 1964 when they were one of the support bands for The Beatles 20 night Christmas stint at Hammersmith Odeon and in March 1965 Jeff Beck replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds.The show basically was Jeff Beck for 50 mins then Eric Clapton for 55 mins then both together for 45 mins.Jeff Beck looks great for his age.He has an orchestra of around 20 behind him.Mainly guitar based instrumentals.His constant use of the guitars tremolo arm is fantastic and he has a more edgier style than Eric Clapton.He had some guests Sharon Corr on violin for one song and later on Imelda May on vocals for one.Joss Stone came on for "People Get Ready" last night but not tonight so we get it as an instrumental.We get a some well known covers "A Day In The Life","Moon River" and opera classic "Nessun Dorma" all done with superb guitar playing.Eric Clapton starts his set semi acoustic with "Nobody Knows You When Youre Down And Out" and "Love Comes Over Me".We get great electric and extended versions of "I Shot The Sheriff" and "Cocaine".His guitar tone is perfect.Then they both played a few songs together which was great to see with lots of guitar dualing and for the encore we are treated to "Hi Ho Silver Lining" with shared vocals.A good gig............ 11 Feb 2010.Spent the evening at two events. First 6.30pm to 8.30pm was the launch of Recognise Magazine at Just St James,12 St James Street,London SW1.Freebie wines and tasty canopes in this superb stylish venue with high ceilings to launch this "Socially Aware Lifestyle Magazine For Men And Women".It features fashion,food and fast cars etc but with more of a lean to green/ethical/charity issues etc than other magazines.Debut issue is in the shops now for 3 at WH Smith and selected outlets and it will be coming out every two months.Check out www.recognisemagazine.com....... ....then a dash to see Massive Attack live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.A sold out charity show for "The Hoping Foundation" to promote their fifth studio album "Heligoland" out this week.These arty trip hoppers from Bristol made one of the classic albums of the 1990s with "Blue Lines".I once saw them in Milan,Italy in 1996 when they were the main support to The Sex Pistols at a festival.The two hour set finishes late at 11.15pm.Four or five different vocalists were used.A neat light show with changing political and social messages on the screen.The oldies still go down the best as "Teardrop" is great and white lights blazing away for a stunning "Safe From Harm".Damon Albarn from Blur joined them for the first two encores.The first as backing vocals then he sung "Saturday Comes Slow" from the new album.The classic gem "Unfinished Symphony" was dedicated to fashion designer Alexander McQueen who had died that day age only 40.Then a couple of more songs.A show of highs and averages but pretty good overall .......... 10 Feb 2010.Went to three good events today.I spent an hour at the press day launch for "Bob Dylan On Canvas" at the Halcyon Gallery,24 Bruton Street,London W1.The written and online press are outnumbered by many photographers and tv crews here.Bob Dylans original 12 pieces. They have never been seen in public before today. Well laid out at this very prestigious gallery. Each is 122.5cm x 91.5cm which is large poster size.Full of vibrant colours from this creative rock and roll legend who has sold over 100m albums.Open to the public from Sat 13 Feb.Free to get in.See www.halcyongallery.com for more info.Nearest tube is Green Park but Bond Street and Oxford Circus are also near.All here got a nice press pack with a "Bob Dylan On Canvas" book.....then 3pm i went to see Sister Act at The Palladium,London.Based on the film of course. Finally got to see this as its been on a while. Its a great story and its all singing and all dancing.Lots of uplifting mainly disco based tunes with lots of funny lines.Sheila Hancock is Mother Superior and the Whoopi Goldberg part is played superbly by Patina Miller.Two sets of 80 mins and 60 mins.Very enjoyable......then 7.30pm it was Pat Metheny live at The Barbican, London.Leading jazz fusion guitarist who some say is the best guitarist in the world.The only UK show on this leg of a massive world tour to promote recent album "Orchestration".Its a 2 hours 20 mins set of all instrumentals.The tone and sound of his guitar playing is fantastic.But on stage there is something amazing going on. Its a dream Pat Metheny has had for years.He has a full orchestra of about 20 instruments behind him but none have anyone playing them.The drums are all split up and stacked like Marshall amps and you can see the workings of all the other instruments.Somehow they are all played by computers.No wonder Pat Metheny has had so many sleepless nights getting ready for this tour. The equipment finally malfunctions at the end so a track is dropped before he ends with two well known older tracks and a full standing ovation. Quite a unique show here it has to be said. Pat returns to The Barbican on 10 July 2010...... 08 Feb 2010.6.45pm to midnight.TPI(Total Production Industry) Awards at The Novotel,Hammersmith,London.This is the main awards night for folks that work in the background to make live events come together.A different venue but like last year a big crowd of around 1000 people here.We get to the venue and it looks like there is also some kind of fancy dress party going on too at the hotel but we find out its a holding base for the Britains Got Talent auditions that are going on over the road at The Hammersmith Apollo.Adam Ant once sung "Ridicule Is Nothing To Be Scared Of".Indeed.Host is BBC Radio 2 dj Chris Evans.Most of the crowd have paid 150 to be here or their companies have.We have freebie champers for an hour then a nice three course meal with Rump Of Cornish Lamb as mains. Then there are 31 awards.The presenters inc The Pet Shop Boys,Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson and a nice rare surprise to see Jah Wobble who was Public Image Ltd bass player back in the day.U2 360 tour won the most awards.Live Production Of The Year = U2,Tour Manager Of The Year = Andy Franks-Coldplay,Catering Company Of The Year = Eat Your Hearts Out,Security Company Of The Year = Showswec,Venue Of The Year = The 02 Arena,Production Manager Of The Year = Jake Berry-U2,Rehearsal Facility Of The Year = Music Bank and loads more.Drinks after for an hour.A good event ................... 06 Feb 2010.Todd Rundgren live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.A one off UK show for Todd which features all of his 1973 album "A Wizard, A True Star".I first saw TR live at this venue in 1975.I never knew any of his material then as i only went along as he had produced some Sparks albums.35 years later i still dont know any of his material as this cult artist has had more success with producing over the years inc Meat Loafs "Bat Out Of Hell",New York Dolls,XTC and loads more.Its a full house of older punters. In the foyer i see Paul McCartneys keyboard player Paul "Wix" Wickens and also Rough Trade Records head honcho Geoff Travis.We have great seats 10 rows from stage in the centre.The first set is titled Todd Rundgrens Johnson which is Todd and band playing their fave Robert Johnson blues songs.Todd is a superb guitar player and they finish the 40 mins set with "Crossroads". The second set is 70 mins of all his "A Wizard A True Star" album which some critics say is Todds "Pet Sounds".The great band which includes Prairie Prince from The Tubes on drums are all dressed in white morning suits and Todd changes persona and costume nearly every song with wacky outfits inc spaceman,a bird with feathers,a chef,a mr blobby type fatty and more.The first half of the album is cosmic prog rock that is a bit daft but the second half of the album is much better with Todd in an all orange suit for a brilliant "La La Means I Love You" and the crowd all dance to "Cool Jerk". Also good was "Hungry For Love" and "Is It My Name?".The encore is the final song of the album "Just One Victory" which was excellent.The amount of effort Todd put into this show with all the costume changes was amazing and he was sweating buckets at the end of it but overall a much better show than i had expected.................. 05 Feb 2010.8.15pm to 1.30am.The February 1920s Feel-Good Ball At The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly,London.Most of the 300 guests have paid 125 to be here.Most have stuck to 1920s glamour as stated on the invite.The woman are wearing some amazing dresses and the men have great attire that makes my suit and black tie feel i am underdressed.Free booze and lovely food until 11pm in this very nice five star hotel.Lots of entertainment.Some 1920s dance demonstrations,a band playing 1920s tunes,some tap dancing,some burlesque and then a charity auction held by Channel 5 presenter Jonny Gould.Jockey Richard Dunwoody is here.Also here and very surprised to see me is Rusty Egan who is the dj later on.We chat about his stint at the Rich Kids reunion.He does a lot of dj work these days at trendy places like Boujis in South Kensington but he said he would love to drum on tour with Mick Jones and Carbon Silicon.OK magazine have an exclusive so a couple of pages of photos will be in the issue out Feb 17.We get a set by Kid Creole And The Coconuts.All four are here but no band just backing track but it still goes down great.A 30 mins set with five tracks played inc three of his hits from the early 1980s "Im A Wonderful Thing Baby", "Annie Im Not Your Daddy" ad "Stool Pigeon".All the coconuts have skimpy jungle outfits on and Kid Creole is very dapper as usual.Great fun.Then a female comedian sings a very rude song that has even these posh folks in hysterics.It was called "Im Just A Glamour Model Who Likes It Up The Bum".Lots of the lyrics aimed at John Terry and Chelsea.Then the 1920s band played a few more and Rusty Egan played some dance tracks.A really enjoyable event....... 04 Feb 2010.Rammstein + Combichrist live at Wembley Arena,London.Rammstein first show in London for a few years since that amazing Brixton Academy show has been sold out a couple of months and tickets going for twice face value outside.Up first we have Norway industrial dance rockers Combichrist.Relentless beats from this mutant looking band of two drummers,a keyboard player and a shouty singer.One song was called "This Shit Will Fuck You Up".I liked them and were much more entertaining than most support acts.I have a great seat left of stage. Led Zeps Jimmy Page is a couple of rows in front of me and Gary Numan is a couple of rows behind me.Never i thought would i see the day when a band could play this venue who sing all their songs in German but then again Rammstein are no ordinary band.Over the last 35 years i have seen plenty of big bands have fire in their shows but nobody does fire like this lot.Its a huge production that takes 20 trucks to move around. The 1 hour 40 mins show opened with "Rammstein". Lots of stuff going on to feast your eyes on. We had 20 laser eyed dolls hanging that all exploded at the end one by one.We had a great stunt where a hooded pretend stage invader jumped on the stage and the singer torched him as he run fully on fire to the side of stage. Fireworks and fire virtually every song.One song the three main members put face contraptions on and spurted fire 20 feet into the air.Flake the wacky nerdy keyboard player was great fun doing silly dances.Their anthem "Du Hast" brought yet more fire.Great to hear the crowd singing along in German.At the end the singer sprayed the crowd with foam as they were covered in ticker tape colours of the German flag.The encore inc Frank on a dinghy floating on the hands of the stalls standing crowd.For "Engel" the singer sported giant wings that spurted fire from the tips.An amazing show that suited their brand of industrial rock.It really was an amazing show.Rammstein were just totally on fire tonight.Geddit?? ....... 03 Feb 2010.Pixie Lott + Tiffany Page live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London.Invite only show for 200 comp winners and press for Q Magazines The Music Club.Free booze and Hard Rock Cafe grub for all here tonight.Up first we have Tiffany Page who Q Mag have tipped for the future.A nice sultry dark haired female with catchy pop rock tunes.Pixie Lott has had a great last 6 months with two number one singles in the UK.Aged only 19 with a nice happy stage presence along with a great voice and blonde looks and with three BRIT Awards nominations at the Feb 16 event.Her 40 mins set had a mix of her own stuff and some covers.Tracks played inc a cover of Stevie Wonders "Isnt She Lovely", her hit "Boys And Girls",a cover of The Strokes "Last Night" and a cover of The Killers "When You Were Young".Also album track "Nothing Compares".Also the very good new single "Cry Me Out" and finally her debut number one single "Mama Do".A good gig..... 02 Feb 2010.A very busy night as i went to four events inc a gig.First 7pm to 8pm was The 20th anniversary of Elemis Skincare at 1 Marylebone Road,London NW1.Its mainly females here but male grooming is more and more accepted these days.Elemis is my fave brand and every morning i use Elemis Moisture Boost.Freebie champers and canopes for all.Marie Helvin the 1980s supermodel is here....then 8.15pm to 9.15pm was the 135th anniversary party of The Criterian,224 Piccadilly,London W1.Very famous eating place right in the heart of things.Loads of silly tourists waiting in the cold not knowing what the event is but see a red carpet and just gawp.More select than expected as i thought 300 plus would be here but there is maybe 100 but lots of famous faces inc Jo Wood,dj Paul Oakenfold,Trinny Woodall from tv,actor Rhys Ifans(Notting Hill,The Boat That Rocked etc),fashion folks Henry Holland and Pam Hogg,Jodie Kidd,rock n roll jeweller Stephen Webster and a few more inc some from the Elemis party inc Marie Helvin.Freebie champers, cocktails and oysters here......then over to Koko,Camden for the premiere of the film "Oil City Confidential" which is about Canvey Island and Dr Feelgood and the pub rock scene in the 1970s.Sadly missed the film as at the other events but caught the 60 mins live set by Wilko Johnson Band.Its a mix of Dr Feelgood tunes and rock n roll covers.Wilko still has that fantastic jerky machine gun style of playing guitar and Norman Watt Roy is superb on bass.These two just love to play live.We get a vocal treat as Alison Moyet joins them for a few songs inc "Down By The Jetty" and "Boom Boom".Then Wilko took over.NME journo from 1970s Charles Shaar Murray played some mean harmonica.Other tracks played inc "She Does It Right","Wooly Bully","Dont Let Your Daddy Know","Johnny B Goode/Bye Bye Johnny" and "Route 66".A good gig.A funny sight was the films director Julian Temple clearly very drunk mumbling stuff on stage to the crowd......then 11.15pm to 12.15am i was at the aferparty for The Drinks Retailing Awards at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.The place is awash with free booze as all the sponsors and drinks companies have stands.We stick to Sailor Jerry rum cocktails.All here got a huge goodie bag full of booze.For more info and a list of winners see www.offlicencenews.co.uk............. 01 Feb 2010.6.45pm to 9pm.Conde Nast Traveller Readers Spa Awards at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel,Knightsbridge,London.Always nice to be at this posh 5 star hotel opposite Harvey Nicks where a lot of big names stay when on tour inc Metallica,Tina Turner,Fleetwod Mac,Bon Jovi etc. When i was going in i saw Nigel Lythgoe leaving the hotel who is a current judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" and was Nasty Nigel back in 2000 on Popstars before taking a back seat but making a fortune with his work with Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller.After his divorce he is now dating Jerry Hall.Yes that Jerry Hall.Lots of freebie Laurent Perrier champers and tasty snacks for all here tonight.The awards were for best UK and overseas spas.The full list is in the latest edition of Conde Nast Traveller which is in the shops now.Goodie bags had ESPA boxes of bath oils in them ......... 30 Jan 2010.TNA(Total Nonstop Action)Wrestling live at Wembley Arena,London.When i was a kid watching Saturday afternoon wrestling in the 1970s on ITV was a must with my dad.The likes of Mick McManus and Jackie Pallo were great.These days the UK wrestling scene has been killed off as big American wrestling productions have taken over.Loads of lights and loud music and a loud crowd make it like a gig in many ways.About six bouts over 2 hours 30 mins.Names like Samoa Joe,Beer Money,Team 3D,AJ Styles and Kurt Angle seem the most well known.Its all well rehearsed slapstick wrestling but looks like they can still get injured.One bout had five in the ring and another had six in the ring.The crowd really got into it but even at the end parade the wrestlers just said "its entertainment".Visually it was good to watch and a good laugh............ 28 Jan 2010.Went to two good events tonight. First was 7.15pm to 10pm The launch party for the opening of The Arch Hotel,50 Great Cumberland Place,Marble Arch,London W1.Up the same road from older hotels The Montcalm and The Cumberland.This hotel has 82 stunning individually designed rooms.Its all just total quality.There are tvs in all bathrooms set in the walls.Around 200 or 300 people upmarket folks here inc design guru Peter York.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails and food.Good one. The rooms cost 180 upwards.Their website is www.thearchlondon.com....then 10.30pm to 11.30pm i popped into to The Drapers Etail Awards at Bloomsbury Ballroom,London.Missed the awards and fashion show to celebrate the best of online fashion sellers inc www.mandmdirect.com, www.schuh.co.uk,www.mytights.com,www.coggles.com, www.radley.co.uk,www.farfetch.com,www.girlmeetsdress.com,www.my-wardrobe.com.Had a couple of freebie cocktails and got a couple of average goodie bags on the way out .. 27 Jan 2010.7.30pm to 10pm.Launch party for James Tudor Underwear at Vendome,Piccadilly, London.Freebie champers and cocktails flowing here for the launch of this quality snug male underwear brand that is mainly online only.There are six male models and two female models in JT underwear walking among the crowd giving out the drinks.The dj booth is in the middle of the dancefloor and revolves.Probably suited for toned and younger males than me.They have a great slogan "Think Outside The Boxer".Goodie bags only had small and mediums in so wil have to give them to my sons i reckon otherwise i will look like Kylie in her gold hotpants. See www.jamestudor.co.uk for pics and info. Normally they retail from 18 each but put in the discount code JT40VE10 for 40% off........... 26 Jan 2010.Went to two very good events today. 12.15pm to 4.45pm was The South Bank Show Awards at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1. Its totally criminal that after 32 years the UKs top tv show for the arts will not be on our screens so this is their final awards show.As usual an excellent bunch of talent here from theatre,film,music,dance,comedy etc inc host Lord Melvyn Bragg,Billy Connolly,Ronnie Wood,Sir Ian McKellen,Rob Brydon,Grayson Perry,Jo Whiley,Dominic West,David Attenborough,Jarvis Cccker,Diversity(well two of them),Rachel Weisz,Andrew Lloyd Webber,Julian Lloyd Webber(both played a couple of songs),Michael McIntrye,Emilia Fox,Miquita Oliver,Peaches Geldof,Vic Reeves and his yummy wife,Sir David Frost,Will Young,Rachel Stevens,Mika,Fearne Cotton,Ronnie Corbett,Elaine Paige,David Morrissey,Michael Ball,Lee Evans,the actors from The Kumars,Tracey Emin,Sir Peter Blake,Timothy Small and no doubt a few more. Freebie cocktails for an hour then a 3 course lunch.I was on a great table.To my left was Miquita Oliver (Channel 4 music presenter) with three friends but we never spoke a word.On my right was the lovely actress Emilia Fox and we chatted lots.She told me her fave new band is Mumford And Sons so shes knows her stuff.She wrote down the two new bands i like (Delphic and The Jim Jones Revue).Also on my table were two guys from dance act Diversity who were great and also Rachel Stevens and Mika.Mika missed all the lunch as he arrived late from a recording session.About 13 awards given out."The Thick Of It" won Best Comedy."Florence And The Machine" won Best Pop."Fish Tank" won Best Film."Red Riding" won Best TV and Lord Melvyn Bragg himself got a standing ovation for the main award of the night for Achievement.More drinks after the awards for an hour.Huge South Bank leather notebooks in goodie bag.Tried to chat to Ronnie Wood but his horrible pr woman would only let him be interviewed by tv cameras.A quality event.The awards are on ITV Sunday 31st Jan around 10.30pm.Seeing i was next to Emilia Fox my ugly mug should be seen a couple of times..... then 7.30pm to 10.30pm was the launch of Abbaworld at Earls Court Arena,London.Hidden in one of the corners of this huge building at the West Brompton end.About 500 guests here for freebie drinks and canopes for an hour.I spotted Boy George,Caprice,Phil Manzernera(Roxy Music),Stephen Baldwin and Sisco(both doing the rounds after coming out of the Big Brother house).Great to see two Abba members here Bjorn and Anni-Frid who both said a few words and picked up a disc from the head of Universal Music for sales of a staggering 375 million albums.The 25 room display has costumes,gold discs,rooms recreating studios and backstage,interactive quiz machines and plenty of memorabilia.You can sing along to Abba on stage.Tickets seem a bit steep at around the 20 quid mark but it was fun and enjoyable.All here tonight got a goodie bag with a Abba book and Abba Gold cd.See www.abbaworld.com............... 25 Jan 2010.7.15pm to 10.45pm.Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky Burns Night Party at Paramount,London W1.Quality Scotch Whisky brand host in this private members club on the 31st floor of Centrepoint with stunning views to Canary Wharf on one side and all along Oxford Street on the other.Below you can see the flat piece of land where The Astoria used to be.A lively big crowd with yummy Monkey Shoulder cocktails all night including John Barleycorn,Bobby Burns and Ginger Monkey along with yummy Scottish canopes including haggis.We had a Robert Burns reading along with a set from The Red Hot Chili Pipers who are bagpipers with a drummer and electric guitar.Their set included "Smoke On The Water", "Thunderstruck","Rockin All Over The World","We Will Rock You" and others.They went down a treat and then it was on the dancefloor for the dj.Great drinks,great food,great venue,great entertainment.All boxes ticked at this event. See www.monkeyshoulder.com for more info........