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Archive: October 2011
October 02, 2011
01 Oct 2011.All The Fun Of The Fair musical featuring David Essex at Ricmond Theatre,Surrey.
I have always had a soft spot for David Essex and have seen him over 20 times in concert since 1975.
He was a massive pop and film star in the 1970s.
This production was on tour last year and David Essex has brought it out again to no doubt cash in on his recent acting stint in the Eastenders tv programme.
Its mainly an older crowd that remembers him from his heyday and the females are still swooning.
Stitched together from his greatest hits and assorted album tracks, it stars Essex himself as a gnarled old fairground proprietor, recently widowed and having troubles with his teenage son who has fallen in love with a girl from outside the travellers’ community.
Its a simple feel good musical that is set in the 1970s.
The hits played inc "Hold Me Close","Rock On","Nightclubbing","Gonna Make You A Star","Lamplight",
"If I Could","A Winters Tale" and the women screamed as David drove on at the end astride a motorbike complete with full leathers on for "Silver Dream Machine".
The show lasted mearly two hours over two sets and it was really enjoyable.Its on tour until 2012.
All The Fun Of The Fair Website
29 Sept 2011.I went to two good events tonight.
6.30pm to 7.45pm i was at the reopening of The Dorchester Hotel Ballroom,Park Lane,London W1.
Extensive renovation of this famous ballroom that has hosted many famous events over the past 80 years.No walls knocked down but just a stunning new decor.
Lots of freebie Laurent Perrier champers and yummy bowl food with the chefs preparing it in front of you.
then 8pm to 10pm was the party to celebrate the opening of the new "Playful Promises" store in Soho at 34 Marshall Street,London W1.The party itself was held at the super hip The Box in Soho.The mainly female crowd sipped free cocktails and most guests were seated so it felt like a really nice cabaret evening.
We had a catwalk show by six models showcasing "Playful Promises" sexy and stunning quality lingerie.Also we had entertaining burlesque acts Polly Rae,Roxy Velvet and Mamzelle Maz.Maria Fowler from tv show The Only Way Is Essex wore three different outfits during the evening.
Everyone got a nice goodie bag that included Playful Promises silky items.
Playful Promises Website
October 04, 2011
03 Oct 2011.6.30pm to 7.45pm i was at the preview evening for the "Arts Of The Islamic World" collection at Sothebys,New Bond Street,London W1.Lots of yummy freebie cocktails,champers and canapes here for this upmarket arts crowd.Folks always get dressed up nice for events at Sothebys.The auction takes place on Tues 04 Oct and Wed 05 Oct....then
Tony Bennett live at The London Palladium.Legendary singer celebrates his 85th birthday with a one off UK show to tie in with his slot on the Jools Holland tv show.He looks fantastic for 85 and he still does the odd shimmy and the voice and big warm smile are all still intact.His 85th birthday was a couple of months ago.He is promoting his recent album "Duets II" which went to number one in America.We had a couple of special guests join him tonight in the shape of Dame Cleo Laine and Leona Lewis who both went down well.
I have to say thanks to my chums at Live Nation press office for my great review ticket as its eight rows from stage dead centre with a face value of £75.The 80 mins set inc "Just In Time","The Good Life","For Once In My Life","I Left My Heart In San Francisco",
and encores of "Smile""When Youre Smiling" and "Fly Me To The Moon".A very enjoyable show.
See aftershow page for this gig.
October 09, 2011
08 Oct 2011.I went to two events tonight.First was
7pm to 8pm for The Pink Ribbon Ball at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.Just an hour here in the press area with freebie champers flowing.A few faces here inc Jeffrey Archer,Linda Nolan,Les Dennis and ex Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri.Actually all of them give a lot of time to charity events like this so respect to them is due.Then
Stephen Dale Petit + David Sinclair Trio live at The 100 Club,London.A nice double bill of quality blues rock.Up first we have the David Sinclair Trio who play a great set.Each song has fantastic lyrics and the overall sound is superb.Their set included tracks from their three albums with the focus on the new release "Take Me There".Tracks like "Eight Rounds Later" and "Perfect In Every Way" got big cheers and surely it cannot be long before they headline their own show here.
Then it gets very loud for the headliner Stephen Dale Petit who occupies a middle ground between the fire of Freddie King, the instinct of Jimmy Page and the soul of Eric Clapton.He is part of the New Blues Revolution along with the likes of Joe Bonamassa.
Stephen Dale Petit's amazing blues guitar odyssey started at a very young age indeed. His almost obsessive passion (and, arguably, God-given talent) has been with him through drug addiction, alcoholism and, ultimately, salvation and recovery. His journey has seen him homeless, busking for food on street corners and pennies on London Underground. It has taken him, in a matter of months, from much-admired tube platform performer to star of UK Festival stages.
Previous shows at the 100 Club have seen him being joined on stage by the likes of Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor.
The 90 mins set has lots of great full tilt guitar playing from his lovely selection of guitars.
07 Oct 2011.Snoop Dogg + Chipmunk live at The 02 Arena,London.A big show for West Coast Hip Hopper Snoop Dogg.Upstairs in Level 4 is only half sold but this dance crowd are really up for it as they cheer the support act,dig the tunes the dj plays in the interval and the whole venue is up and dancing for the "Doggfather".Up first we have Chipmunk who does a decent 30 mins set.
Most of Snoop Doggs albums have sold over a million
copies in his 15 plus years of making music.He has had plenty of run ins with the law over the years.
He was even banned from the UK for a while.In typical hip hop time he comes on late at 10pm.Onstage for a quickfire 65 mins set.Short for an arena headline but hip hop acts never play long sets.Backed by two co-rappers and three sexy female dancers and a full band with big screens.Snoop is cool personified.Tracks played included "Wet","The Next Episode","Drop It Like Its Hot" and "Who Am I?(Whats My Name?).A good show.
06 Oct 2011.8pm to 11.30pm.I was at the launch party for mobile phone company HTC for their Sensation XL phone link up with Dr Dre "Beats Audio" headset at The Roundhouse,London.
A massive event here with 500 comp winners downstairs and i am upstairs with 500 guests and press.Lots of freebie beers,ciders,wines all night along with lots of different bowl food.
There are phones everywhere to play with.HTC are saying this is the best sound you will get via headphones attached to your phone.
They seem overpriced to me and i will stick with my trusty Skullcandy and Bose.
We had some djs inc Dirty South playing an hour set
each with full lights and big screen production.
Dr Dre and Cheryl Cole were both here.
At 10.30pm an odd thing happened.Left of stage was a vip area and a load of flashes went off.I walked over thinking who are this lot getting excited about?.To my surprise it was the biggest popstar on the planet.Yep Lady Gaga was in the house.She was fully made up and i think had come straight from recording the Jonathan Ross TV show.She posed for photos and shook some hands for half an hour before running off with all her security.
Headline dj was Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas
who played a good set of tunes.
05 Oct 2011.7pm to 11pm.Tonight was the relaunch of The Met Bar,Old Park Lane,London W1.
In the Cool Britannia Brit Pop days of the mid 1990s this venue was Londons number one hangout for the likes of Oasis,Blur,Spice Girls,Boy George,Kate Moss etc.Also at the time tennis legend Boris Becker had a liason with a female in the cloakroom here which ended up him fathering a child.
After a million pound refurbishment it has decided to drop its members only policy and become a normal trendy walk in bar for the general public.
Lots of freebie Louis Roederer champers,lovely cocktails and nice canapes were flowing all night.
We also had a 35 mins set by Jamie Cullum who has quietly sold over 5 million albums worldwide.
He battered the piano lid for extra percussion and dropped some vocal beatbox too.Set inc a neat cover of Elton Johns "Tiny Dancer" and for one song he was joined by the excellent UK soul singer Alice Russell.
Apart from a couple of BBC news presenters there was sadly no showing from from any major names from their past.A dj kept it lively after Jamie played.A nice party.
I saw Man-Raze play here a couple of years ago.They feature Sex Pistol Paul Cook and Def Leppards Phil Collen.
October 05, 2011
04 Oct 2011.7pm to 11.30pm.BMI Awards at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.
Queen honoured at the BMI Awards
Queen, David Arnold, Yoko Ono, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant and La Roux have been awarded BMI medals.
About 300 seated for a three course dinner and we are part of the 20 odd press folks standing at the back.Free booze all night before during and after the awards from champers and cocktails to any drink you wanted so i overdid it a bit.
At London's Dorchester Hotel, the performing right body honoured a host of songwriters, composers and music publishers of the songs most performed in the US over the past year.
Brian May and Roger Taylor were there in person to collect the Icon Award.Yoko Ono was here to collect on behalf of five Beatles tracks and the John Lennon track "Woman".She got a standing ovation.
Brian May,Roger Taylor,Ben Elton and Yoko Ono all sitting together on the main table.
Brian May said "It means a lot I think especially because it is an american award and although we were married to America for a long time, we never really did much in terms of awards. We're not bursting with Grammys, so it's nice to have that tribute from our peers."
He also revealed that there are two Queen films in the pipeline: "One is about Freddie and one is the movie version of We Will Rock You".
Adding: "Both films are really in the early stages but we have good scripts in each case, it's just a case of putting everything else together."
Brian May discussing another Queen tour
The band might be auditioning youthful Queen impersonators for a tribute tour but that looks to be the only tour on the cards at the moment.
"It's impossible to say whether we'd go out on the road again," May explained. "We talk about it all the time but we have a bit of a singer problem, to put it mildly.
"We did our stuff with Paul Rodgers which I think was fabulous at its best and we are still very good friends with Paul, but I don't think any of us really feel like we want to go down that route again at this point in time. You can never say never but at this point our heads are in different directions."
The BMI gave two TV Music Awards to The Who's Pete Townshend for his work with CSI and CSI New York, while Behind Blue Eyes and Who Are You hit 3 million plays in the US.Pete was not here.
Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp was there to take home a Multi Million Airplay trophy as "True" hits the 4 million mark, while Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" has topped 10 million.
Other tracks that hit the 4m plays mark inc "Sad Songs","Lay Down Sally","Black Is Black","Tears In Heaven" and "Dont Go Breaking My Heart".
Those that hit the 6m plays mark inc "You Really Got Me" and "Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me".
Those that hit the 7m plays mark inc "Daniel" and "Layla".
Sounds like a nice pension pot for all those involved.
Other winners on the night included bond theme composer David Arnold, who picked up a Film Music award for his soundtrack to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Many of the prizes for TV and Radio airplay went to those behind big pop songs from the likes of Usher, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna
which surprise surprise included Ben from Curiousity Killed The Cat who was here to collect.
However, more than two years after its release in 2009, La Roux's Bulletproof from her debut album was one of the past year's most performed works on US radio and television.
They showed 15 mins of great Queen live gig footage and interviews inc the famous Live Aid one.I saw Queen a dozen times live inc Live Aid.
I had a chat with Adam Ant who i met the night before at Tony Bennett.Its fantastic to see him out and about again after his health problems a few years ago.
Brian May and Roger Taylor really enjoyed themselves tonight.By contrast Yoko Ono was the last to turn up so she could avoid most of the photographers and everyone was seated for starters so she has a clear path to her seat.Her personal security and record company escort were making sure nobody got too close.
A really enjoyable evening.
October 12, 2011
11 Oct 2011.Josh Groban live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.I only knew i was going to this show on the day of the gig.I got a press review ticket with a perfect six rows from stage seat for this sold out show.
Josh Groban is hardly the coolest of artists but has had an amazing last ten years where he has sold over 24 million albums and his world tour to promote his recent Rick Rubin produced fifth album "Illuminations" takes in a big headline show at the famous Madison Square Garden next month.
On stage for two hours with a fantastic thirteen piece band inc brass,strings,percussion and piano who sounded great.Josh himself is in the pop classical area with a strong voice and a flirty and fun on stage manner that all the females here clearly love.
Set included "February Song","Bells Of New York City" and an instrumental cover of "Live And Let Die" at full tilt that was really good.He got half a dozen fans on stage,sat them down and gave them a glass of wine and sung a couple of songs to them inc "Broken Vow".
Encores included his big hit "You Raise Me Up" which Westlife also had a hit with and a cover of Charlie Chaplins classic "Smile".
I doubt i would ever buy his music but i must say a much better than expected live performer.
10 Oct 2011.I went to two good events tonight.
First was 6.15pm to 9pm for The C.E.W.(Cosmetic Executive Women) Awards at The Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel,Cadogan Place,Knightsbridge,London SW1.
Around 500 mainly women here in this nice hotel.Freebie champers and canapes for an hour then its sitting down for the awards.Some nice speeches.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Joan Collins who despite her advancing years still looks very glam
in a green dress with her usual fully made up face.
One token male won an award.George Hammer who has been around for many years including recent ventures Urban
Retreats and was responible for turning One Marylebone and One Mayfair into events spaces.Everyone got a great female based goodie bag with a dozen items inc
Calvin Klein 50ml "Euphoria" fragrance.Then
10pm to midnight i was at The 10th Anniversary Party for Funky Buddha,15 Berkeley Street,London W1.
A club that has always had a fair share of celebs and footballers through its doors.A full body search here was quite good as most places only give a half hearted search.Full free open bar here along with some canapes.
Lots of pretty young girls all dressed up here dancing to the dj who is keeping it lively.
09 Oct 2011.
On Sunday we stayed at the superb Halkin Hotel,Halkin Street,Belgravia,London SW1.
The Halkin is a sanctuary of discretion in central London.Quiet glamour, poised service and chic interiors in this five star hotel over its five floors.
The Halkin opened in September 1991 as London’s first boutique design hotel. It was considered one of the progenitors of a trend that was to redefine the luxury hotel industry.
Hidden in a quiet street with just a five minute walk to Knightsbridge,Mayfair,Victoria,Buckingham Palace and of course all the embassies in nearby Belgrave Square.
We got upgraded to a fantastic room on the top floor with its wonderful curved ceiling and all the latest tekkie gadgets going.
A huge beautiful part marble bathroom.
The acclaimed Thai cuisine in the hotel was amazing.
The huge bed and the top quality bedlinen really made it difficult to leave in the morning.
Staying here really made me "feel like a rockstar" as the attentive staff looked after you so nicely.
October 17, 2011
16 Oct 2011.Head Cat + Ginger live at The Garage, London.
A rammed sold out show for the first ever UK gig by Head Cat.
Head Cat is a rockabilly supergroup formed by rock legend Lemmy (of Motörhead), drummer Slim Jim Phantom (of The Stray Cats) and guitarist Danny B. Harvey (of Lonesome Spurs and The Rockats).
Up first we have Ginger from The Wildhearts who played a bunch of songs that went down well with this crowd.
Head Cat was formed after recording the Elvis Presley tribute album Swing Cats, A Special Tribute to Elvis in 2000 to which the future band-mates all contributed. After recordings were finished they stayed at the studio and Lemmy picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing some of his old favorite songs by Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran.The rest of the guys knew them all and joined in. The name of the band was created by combining the names Motörhead, The Stray Cats and 13 Cats, which resulted in The Head Cat, similar to what Lemmy did in 1980 with Headgirl, a collaboration between Motörhead and Girlschool.
Slim Jim Phantom has also played with loads of people over the years including Dead Men Walking that also had Glen Matlock and Mike Peters in its fold.
In 2006 Head Cat released their first studio album, Fool's Paradise, which was a re-release of an earlier album titled Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B. It included cover songs from artists such as Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. On the recordings Lemmy played acoustic guitar but on live performances Lemmy uses his signature Rickenbacker bass saying "I'm just not that good on guitar". A year later a DVD of a live performance filmed at the Phantom's Cat Club on Los Angeles Sunset Strip which included 13 songs performed live and interviews with the band.
The band's second studio album, Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk, was released by the Niji Entertainment Group in June 2011. This is the first new material by the band in eleven years, following up from the Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B album in 2000 which was re-released as Fool's Paradise in 2006 when the group finalised their official name.
As expected the 70 mins on stage is made up of their 1950s and 1960s cover versions which were all sung by Lemmy apart from the brilliant Stray Cats gem "Rock This Town" which was sung by Slim Jim.I have always loved his stand up drums front of stage style.
Other tracks played inc "Good Rockin' Tonight",the recent single "American Beat","Something Else","Not Fade Away","Fools Paradise","Shakin' All Over","Bad Boy","Crossroads" and encores included "Blue Suede Shoes".A really enjoyable club gig and next time they play London it seems certain to be in a much bigger venue.
Reminder that Lemmy and Motohead tour the UK in November.
See www.livenation.co.uk for info and tickets.
12 Oct 2011.Stiff Little Fingers + Ed Tudor Pole live at Sub 89,Reading.
My first visit to this 500 capacity club.I have seen punk legends SLF over 20 times since 1978 when they were a support band.Type the bands name into the band search to see the early gigs i saw them at.
Their debut album "Inflammable Material" is a proper punk classic.This was the opening night of their tour.
Up first we have Ed Tudor Pole.He is always fun to watch and another with punk history as he was in The Sex Pistols film "The Great Rock n Roll Swindle" back in the late 1970s.He finished his set with good versions of "Who Killed Bambi?" and "Swords Of A Thousand Men"
SLF played an 85 mins set that had the front stage area jumping around from start to finish.Lethal catchy guitar riffs and powerhouse drumming from Steve Grantley.So many cracking tracks played including "Wasted Life","Nobodys Hero","Fly The Flag",
"Barbed Wire Love","Strummerville" and "Tin Soldiers".
Encores were a surprise version of Alice Coopers "Schools Out" and explosive versions of "Suspect Device" and "Alternative Ulster".A great gig in a great venue.
See www.slf.com for future gig info
See aftershow page for this gig.
October 19, 2011
18 Oct 2011.I went to two good events tonight.
7pm to 9pm for the Celebrity Fastcard UK launch at
5 Cavendish Square,London W1.Nice to be back here at this elegant period building.Celebrity Fastcard has been a huge success in America with nearly 500,000 vouchers sold in the last year.
Once you purchase the voucher you log on and enter the voucher code then choose the celebrity and choice of video greeting and then send it to a phone or email.Its very simple.
Available in the UK from Mon 24 Oct 2011 from Clintons stores or online at a cost of £3.99 each.Over 25 celebs have signed up so far in the UK from the world of Music,Sports,Film and TV.
Their ambassador tv star David Hasselhoof is guest of honour tonight as he turned up in his Kitt car from Knight Rider.It caused quite a commotion as photographers started fighting and one got arrested and put in a police van and taken away.David turned up with his blonde Welsh girlfriend.
Both were nice and friendly to everyone and posed for photos and chatted.
Free drinks and canapes for everyone here tonight.
Absolute Radio dj Scott Mills was the dj for an hour.
Everyone got a nice goodie bag on the way out.
See David arrive in his Kitt car at
www.bespokebanter.com/celebrity-fastcard/ and view
www.clintonscards.co.uk/cfc to buy the vouchers.
then a short walk to the press night for Angie Le Mar "In My Shoes" at The Soho Theatre,Dean Street,London W1.
A nice cosy theatre that holds around 200 people.
A one woman show from this edgy black female comedienne.This 60 mins show featured six different characters with costume changes etc.Lots of funny bits.
It runs here until 05 November 2011.
17 Oct 2011.Three events today all in Covent Garden including two book launch events.
First was a signing by Black Sabbath guitar legend Tony Iommi for his autobiography "Iron Man" at FOPP,Covent Garden,London.
One of the greatest rock guitar riff masters of all time.I have seen Black Sabbath over 30 times since 1974.I would take Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath over Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin any day of the week.
Tony was there roughly 5.30pm to 6.45pm.I paid my £12 for the book at the till.RRP is £19.99.A fairly big queue and the store and security were treating it as a pretty big deal as.
1.You could not go up to the signing area on first floor unless you bought a copy of the book first.
2.There are six security persons and store folks.
Three are by Tonys signing table as no photos with Tony and only the book will be signed.No vinyl etc.
3.Ten yards from Tony there is a guy with post it notes and he writes down your name that you want it signed to and later Tony reads and signs from this.
4.Five yards from Tony security open the book and tell you this is the only page that Tony will be signing on.
I get to shake Tonys hand and say a few mumbled words.
The book will be a good read as there is loads of stuff on rock n roll happenings,bad management deals,excess and his ups and downs with Ozzy Osbourne.A must buy for any rock fan.
Also in FOPP i bought Nick Kents book "Apathy For The Devil" for a bargain £3.Nick was one of NMEs main writers in their 1970s heyday and the book is full of his adventures with bands from that period.
Then 7pm to 9pm was the book launch for Emma Forbes "Life And Soul" at The Ivy Club,Covent Garden,London.Always nice to be in this lovely room.
Emma was a popular tv and radio broadcaster then she laid low to have kids etc.She now looks after her lifestyle website www.forbesstyle.com.Its basically a book for mums with recipes and how to host family parties and childrens parties.Free drinks and canapes here.The book retails for £20 but we all got a free copy here to take home.Holly Valance was here.
Then 10pm to 11.45pm i was the afterparty for "Crazy For You" at Jewel,Covent Garden,London.This Gershwin musical opening night was at The Novello Theatre earlier.A big crowd as always with these theatre first nights.A few faces here inc Jeffrey Archer,Maureen Lipman,Christopher Biggins,June Whitfield,Bradley Walsh,Esther Rantzen,Jamie Theakston and Su Pollard from Hi-Di-Hi.She is still as zany and lively as ever and always wears crazy outfits.
Free drinks and canapes here for all.
October 21, 2011
20 Oct 2011.I went to two events tonight.
7pm to 10pm.First was the launch of The Russian Standard Vodka Bar at Samarqand,18 Thayer Street,London W1.
A small entrance leads to a massive space downstairs
that is modern,clean and full of colour.
SamarQand Restaurant boasts five deluxe private rooms at the back of the venue, all have been designed to ensure maximum comfort and entertainment, whether guests are hosting a private dinner or special party.
Seating an average of 14 people per room, each space boasts a flat screen TV and DVD player, live Russian TV and games consoles, as well as an inbuilt sound system.
Samarqand’s rich culinary history has its roots in the cuisines of countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, but with a modern, light twist.The staff are friendly and very attentive.
Lots of delicious central Asian, Russian cuisine and cocktails flowing for all here tonight.The dj played his tunes just at the right level and there is a lively
party atmosphere in here tonight.A really nice venue.
Russian Standard Vodka Website
then 10.30pm to 11.30pm was the change of cast member afterparty for "Shrek The Musical" at The Drury Lane Theatre,London.Up in the Level One bar for around 100 people.Freebie beers and wines flowing and hot and cold canapes.Comedian Bill Bailey was here.Cast member Richard Blackwood is here.Amanda Holden has left to have her baby and Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh is taking over from her and she is here as well.
A reminder that quality lingerie brand Playful Promises
has now opened its new store at 34 Marshall Street,London W1 which is just behind Carnaby Street.
Playful Promises Website
19 Oct 2011.I went to three events tonight.
7pm to 8pm i was at the launch of the new Martina Cole book "The Faithless" at The Haymarket Hotel,London SW1.
Always nice at this boutique hotel where the party is held by the full size swimming pool.I was at a bash here a couple of years ago and someone fell in but no such luck tonight.Free wine and beers and hot food here for all.Her agent gave a very entertaining speech.
Martina Cole is a very popular British crime writer.She has released seventeen novels (the new book is the 18th)about crime some of which examine London's gangster underworld. Four of her novels, Dangerous Lady, The Jump, The Take and The Runaway have been adapted into high-rating television dramas. She has achieved sales of over ten million worldwide and her tenth novel, The Know, spent seven weeks on The Sunday Times's hardback bestsellers list.
The RRP of the book is £19.99 and is out now on Headline Publishing.Everyone here got a free copy.
The book is the story of "a wife and mother who tears her family apart to get what she wants".
then 8.15pm to 10.15pm i was at the launch of The Northall Restaurant at The Corinthia Hotel,Northumberland Place,London WC2.Around 300 upmarket folks inc Sir Terence Conran at this very nice recently opened five star luxury hotel.
Modern British cuisine and beautiful interiors here.
Free Laurent Perrier champers and loads of yummy food inc giant oysters,duck,beef etc for all here tonight.
Pure quality here....See www.thenorthall.co.uk
Managed to get a couple of goodie bags on my way out.
then 10.30pm to 11.30pm i was at The Firetrap party at 33 Portland Place,London W1.This was a 7pm start here so a few had left.We missed the dj set by the trendy "Sunday Girl".Lots of the younger fashion crowd here for this clothing brand.Had a couple of freebie cocktails here.
October 26, 2011
25 Oct 2011.Cliff Richard live at The 02 Arena,London.
First of two shows at this venue to promote his recent album "Soulicious".Level 4 is closed as unsold as no doubt to the hefty ticket prices of £70 and £60.
Sir Cliff Richard, OBE looks amazing for age 71. He has has sold over an estimated 250 million records worldwide over his 50 plus years of making music. His 1958 hit single "Move It" is often described as Britain's first authentic rock and roll song, and John Lennon once claimed that "before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.".
A nice big production with over 20 people on stage including dancers and backing singers.A long show of 2 hours 40 mins over two sets.There was loads of hit singles and he had some guests on to promote tracks from the recent album.They all did a duet with Cliff and then one of their own hits.They included Percy Sledge,Freda Payne,Lamont Dozier,Jaki Graham and James Ingram.
Tracks played inc "From A Distance","Carrie","Devil Woman",Percy Sledge sang "When A Man Loves A Woman",
then "Young Ones","Summer Holiday","On The Beach",
then second half had "Living Doll",then Freda Payne sang "Band Of Gold",then "Some People","Dreaming",
"We Dont Talk Anymore","Miss You Nights","Wired For Sound" and then all the guests on for "Peace In Our Time".Encore was Cliff on his own for a cover of "Always And Forever".
Of course it is all middle of the road stuff for an older crowd but Cliff has brought out loads of good tunes over the years and is always enjoyable live.
24 Oct 2011.Q Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.Noon to 5pm at the venue then to the pub and then to the afterparty.A full ten hours.
I have been lucky enough to have attended this mega event the past few years and yet again some really big names have made time to be here for this well respected monthly music magazine.
Free cocktails for an hour then 18 awards which are again presented by comedian Al Murray who is very funny.Those here presenting or getting awards inc
U2(Won Greatest Act Of The Last 25 Years),Coldplay(Won Best Act In The World Today),Noel Gallagher(Won Q Icon),Biffy Clyro(Won Best Live Act),Pam Hogg presented Siouxsie Sioux(Won The Inspiration Award),great to see QPR player and big music fan Joey Barton present Kaiser Chiefs(Won Innovation Award),Gary Barlow(Won Classic Songwriter Award),Kasabian,Snow Patrol,Jessie J,Bon Iver,Pierces,Tinie Tempah,Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen(Won The Hall Of Fame Award),Example,Ed Sheeran,djs Carl Cox and Fat Boy Slim,Chase And Status,Manic Street Preachers,WU LUF,Glasvegas,David Arnold,Russell Kane,Matt Cardle,Lana Del Ray and no doubt a few more i forgot.
After the awards is three course lunch for the 450 people seated.There are 50 press folks standing at the back.
After lunch i have a few words with Joey Barton,Noel Gallagher,Siouxsie and Bono.
I mentioned to Bono i saw U2 as a support band to Talking Heads some 30 years ago.He then spoke really warmly for ages about how great David Byrne and Talking Heads were and how lucky they were to get on that tour.Bono was on good form posing for photos with pretty much anyone that asked.
A guy who i know who was Sex Pistols personal security on their last world tour was here as personal security to Jessie J.I also know Noel Gallaghers personal security.Noel gets all his Manc mates on the payroll.
Each presenter or award winner got given a VIP goodie bag with some Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 trainers,a Merc shirt and Atomic Floyd headphones.The personal security guy that i know who looks after Noel Gallagher said to me "did i want them as they are too bulky for Noel to carry".So yep i
have Noels swag at home.Quite a few people here i knew.
4pm to 5pm was drinks in the awards room.
After the awards some folks go to two pubs behind the venue.The first i popped in to had Noel Gallagher with his gang,Serge from Kasabian,Biffy Clyro and the two pretty girls from The Pierces.
Then to the other pub five minutes away had The Kaiser Chiefs,Joey Barton,Siouxsie and Pam Hogg.
Then 6.15pm to 10pm i was at the official afterparty at Cafe De Paris,London.Lots of freebie cocktails and beers all night but the artists avoid coming here as its full of folks that were not as the awards.I saw Al Murray but that was it.A lively party atmosphere with djs.All in all quite an amazing day.
October 23, 2011
22 Oct 2011.Sex Pistols Experience + Rebel Truce + Broken Hearts + Threats + Setting Sons live at The 100 Club,London.A special event with punk tribute bands at The 100 Club to celebrate 35 years of The 100 Club Punk Rock Festival.I was at the original event in 1976 as a mere seventeen year old that has gone down in rock n roll history as one of those "i was there" gigs as it put punk rock on the map.
Up first we have Setting Sons who are a Jam tribute.
Always good to hear those Jam classics.
Then we had Threats who are a Scottish punk band who were around in the late 70s/early 80s.An ok set.
Then Broken Hearts who i was really looking forward to as they are a Johnny Thunders tribute act and they feature ex Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers bassist Billy Rath first time on a UK stage for many years.He looks like death warned up due to his heroin habit.Also in the band is Steve Dior who was mates with JT and Sid Vicious back in the day.
Loads of great tunes like "Born To Lose","Let Go",
"Chatterbox","Pirate Love","Chinese Rocks " and "Get Off The Phone" in their 60 mins set.
Gaye Advert from The Adverts was in the crowd.
Then Rebel Truce who are a Clash tribute.One Clash gem after the other.Have seen them before.Always good.
Headliners Sex Pistols Experience as always were fantastic.Soon the crowd are jumping around front of stage.Nathan the singer is so brilliant as a young John Lydon it is uncanny.Classic Pistols gems one after the other inc "Pretty Vacant","Holidays In The Sun","EMI","Belsen Was A Gas","Bodies","God Save The Queen" and "Anarchy In The UK".SPE really are a must see for any punk fan.They really are the bollocks.
21 Oct 2011.Joe Bonamassa live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.First of two sold out shows at this venue for Joe who has got more and more popular in the UK over the last ten years.Not so much with any hit singles but just word of mouth from people who have seen him play live.These shows are to promote his recent blues rock album "Dust Bowl".
I had a great seat third row front circle middle.
Bonamassa has been influenced by other artists inc
Eric Clapton,Rory Gallagher,Paul Kossoff,Jeff Beck,
B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Danny Gatton, Eric Johnson, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy. Bonamassa's style of playing incorporates the wide range of genres these influences cover: rock, blues-rock, Delta blues, electric blues, jazz and country.
On stage for a full 2 hours 15 mins set i thought it was the best gig i had seen him play.His guitar playing was stunning and the band sounded great with a brilliant drummer.The set included "Sloe Gin" and
"The Ballad Of John Henry".
During one solo some wag shouted out "Stop Showing Off" which made me and a few others chuckle but most of this crowd wanted guitar solos with his various guitars.A really good show and Joe returns to the UK for Easter 2012 Arena shows.
October 28, 2011
Sad news that music broadcasting legend Sir Jimmy Saville has died aged 84.Often called "the UKs first pop dj" and he was the presenter on the first ever Top Of The Pops in 1964.His fashion sense of trademark tracksuit with chunky jewellery was often mocked but decades later all the hip hop crowd wore the same.A massive charity fundraiser too.
28 Oct 2011.Britney Spears + Joe Jonas live at The 02 Arena,London.This was the second of three London shows for Britney to promote her "Femme Fatale" album.Britney has sold around 100 million records.
Up first we have Joe Jonas who is one of The Jonas Brothers.I presume his set was a mix of his debut solo album "Fast Life" and a couple of Jonas Brothers songs.
He seems to be in the Justin Timberlake mould.
Like on all her previous tours i have seen Britneys 90 mins show visually is a fantastic with a big stage production but there is still a lot of miming going on.A dozen dancers,pyros,big screens,staircases, lasers,skimpy costume changes and nearly each song has something different to look at.Britney herself seemed a bit wooden as she tried to keep up with the dance routines.There was lapdancing in front of a fan on the bonnet of a pink car,she floated around the stage in an
Egyptian ship,she jumped through giant picture frames,fought off Ninjas,Britney and dancers danced on and around motorbikes and she was raised 20 foot in the air on a swing wearing angel wings.Songs played inc "Piece Of Me","Boys","Baby One More Time","Im A Slave 4 U"(had some fans inc Jedward on stage for a dance) and "Womanizer".Lively encores of "Toxic" and "Till The World Ends" as the fireworks and confetti cannons went into overdrive.If only the singing was as good as the show ifself.Having said that her fans were not that bothered whether she was singing or miming.
27 Oct 2011.I went to two events tonight.
First was 6.45pm to 8.15pm for a showcase for Greens Restaurant And Oyster Bar,36 Duke Street,St James,London SW1.Around 60 people in their downstairs private dining room.Lots of freebie Laurent Perrier champers and West Mersea Colchester oysters here.It is a lovely upmarket eating place.Sadly i did not win any of the three prizes in the raffle with a dinner voucher for £120 for every winner.
See www.greens.org.uk.....then off to see.....
Lenny Kravitz live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
A fully sold out show for Lenny as part of his European Tour to promote his recent album "Black And White America".Its an impressive arena type big stage production with lots of lights and a huge screen.
A full two show that was mainly greatest hits.Lenny is now aged 47 but is supercool as ever and the ladies still love him.A great band with Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and lashings of funk rock with a nice brass section.I saw Lenny play to 200 people a few weeks ago at a secret gig in London and this is just as good.Set inc "Come On Get It","Always On The Run","American Woman","It Aint Over Til Its Over","Mr Cab Driver",
"Black And White America","Stand By My Woman","Rock And Roll Is Dead" and mega versions of "Fly Away" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way?".Encores were "I Belong To You" then band introductions and then a long version of "Let Love Rule" with Lenny doing a full walkabout up in the circle.A really great show that rocked along from start to finish.
26 Oct 2011.I went to two good events tonight.
First was 6.45pm to 7.45pm for preview evening for the reissue of The Who's 'Quadrophenia - The Director's Cut' at Pretty Green,57 Carnaby Street,London W1.
To mark the collaboration Pretty Green will be showcasing Pete Townshend's archives of notes, desk diaries, photos and original lyrics from the making of Quadrophenia alongside album artwork and outakes in a never seen before exhibition which is in their basement area.
There is free booze flowing here and a dozen mods and their scooters are parked outside the shop to give it a nice atmosphere.Sadly none of the four musicians that may have shown their face are here.Liam Gallagher(it is his designer clothng store),Paul Weller(he has his own clothing range here) and Pete and Roger from The Who.Everyone got a nice goodie bag of stuff inc items from Pretty Green,Vespa and a 6 track promo cd and 12 page booklet from Quadrophenia.Even the Pretty Green carry bag is a nice item with its paisley lining.
then 8pm to 11pm was the launch party for "Cadburys Keep Team GB Pumped" at The Haymarket Hotel,London.
As part of its new £8m advertising campaign, chocolate conglomerate Cadbury’s has a variety of musically themed ads that are about to roll out to support the GB Olympic team for 2012.
With the tagline “Keep singing, keep Team GB pumped up” Cadbury’s are trying a new tack for their part as a tier-two sponsor of the London Olympic Games which start next year.
We all had loads of free booze all night which was champers and the three cocktails were in the colours of GB (Red Blue And White) and yummy hot food.
Tv presenter and actress Denise Van Outen was the host for tonight.Also here was Spandau Ballets manager Steve Dagger as one of their tracks "Gold" will be all over the Olympics.
The party is by the pool and there is a band set up on the water pontoon style.They are the Rockaoke Band.
You sing with a real full live band behind you with the lyrics coming up on the floor monitors.
They do a few covers on their own then come around with the list of over 100 songs to sing to.I notice Sex Pistols "Pretty Vacant" on it and put my name down.
Their second set starts with Denise Van Outen singing "I Will Survive" and later on i go up and sing the Pistols classic.Of course i have had a few drinks by then and so has everyone else so everybody sings along and its just greaaaat.A really good fun party.
Loads of cash and music prizes are up for grabs with Cadburys with codes inside of the promotional wrappers.
October 31, 2011
30 Oct 2011.Arctic Monkeys + Vaccines live at The 02 Arena,London.
Second of two big arena shows at this venue for Arctic Monkeys on their UK arena tour to promote their fourth album "Suck It And See".All their albums have had great reviews from the critics.
Up first we have the hottest new indie guitar band of the year.Have been meaning to catch Vaccines for a while now.
I cannot remember the last time the venue was so full to see a support act here.Their debut album and style is very like a UK version of The Strokes.Some great tunes played inc "Post Break-Up Sex" and "If You Wanna".
They were an ideal support band for The Arctics.
Arctic Monkeys are on for 90 mins.Singer Alex Turner now has a cool quiff and dresses like a 1950s rocker.
They have big screens and loads of lights inc strobes.
The first 30 mins was really good then the next 30 mins was a bit average then the last 30 mins it got really good again.Goodies played inc "Dont Sit Down Cause Ive Moved Your Chair","Teddy Picker","Crying Lightning",
"Brainstorm" and a brilliant "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor".Later on the front of stage fans danced wildly to great versions of "Fluorescent Adolescent" and "When The Sun Goes Down".Loads of really sharp lyrics in each song.A good show.
30 Oct 2011.New pictures added in my photo section.
THIS GIG WAS THE 5700th SHOW SEEN BY ME SINCE 1973.
29 Oct 2011.Alice Cooper + New York Dolls live at Alexandra Palace,London.Really looking forward to this mouthwatering pair of great live bands on the same bill.Lots of folks dressed up for this "Halloween-Night Of Fear" show in this all standing venue that holds around 7000.Thankfully i get to the venue early as New York Dolls come on at 7pm.But this is great as loads of the crowd are in early and New York Dolls get to play a full 75 mins set.They get full use of the two big screens too.They sound even better than some of their own recent headline shows which were very messy soundwise.
They still have Earl Slick on guitar.I have all three of their comeback albums and are really good.Loads of old classics played and a few newer ones.Set inc "Dance Like A Monkey","Cause I Sez So","Private World" then three great tracks from recent album "Dancing Backwards In High Heels" which were "Fool For You Baby","Talk To Me Baby",
"Kids Like You" then older gems "Mystery Girls","Pills",
"Trash","Jet Boy" and "Personality Crisis".A great set that went down really well with Alice fans.
During the interval we get an audience Halloween Best Outfit comp that was fun for a few mins.
Alice Cooper on stage for 1 hour 40 mins.It is fantastic rock theatre at its very best.The UK loves Alice Cooper.
All the band visually look great in full make up.
Full setlist was "The Black Widow","Brutal Planet","I'm Eighteen","Under My Wheels","Billion Dollar Babies",
"No More Mr. Nice Guy","Hey Stoopid","Is It My Body(with snake)","Halo of Flies (with drum solo)","I'll Bite Your Face Off","Muscle of Love","Only Women Bleed","Cold Ethyl","Feed My Frankenstein(with Eddy type monster roaming the stage)","Clones (We're All)", a stunning "Poison","Wicked Young Man", "Killer / I Love The Dead(with Alice losing his head in the guillotine)" and a superb "School's Out(with giant balloons)".
Encores were another gem "Elected" and "Fire(The Crazy World of Arthur Brown cover)" with Arthur Brown on vocals complete with his headwear on fire.Totally superb show.
Last year i saw both Alice Coopers Halloween shows at The Roundhouse that made my top ten gigs list of 2010 and this perfect evening will easily make my top ten gigs list of 2011.
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
Clothing at Tesco
Shepherds Bush Empire
Isle of Wight Festival
Classic Rock Bands
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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