Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!
Archive: December 2011
December 01, 2011
30 Nov 2011.Deep Purple With Orchestra + Cheap Trick live at The 02 Arena,London.
Really looking forward to this gig as i have lots of history with both these classic rock bands.I have seen Deep Purple loads of times inc half a dozen with Richie Blackmore in the 1970s.I first saw Cheap Trick in 1979.
Deep Purple played to a three quarters full Wembley Arena on their last arena tour and tonight the upstairs Level 4 is closed off as empty.8,000 tickets sold which is pretty much only half the capacity here.No doubt it will look good on the cover for the "Live At The 02 Arena" dvd.
Up first are Cheap Trick who play a brilliant full 65 mins set.A few covers and their own gems inc "I Want You To Want Me","If You Want My Love","The Flame" and mega versions of "Surrender" and "Dream Police".As usual loads of different guitars used and dozens of guitar plectrums thrown out to the crowd.An excellent support set.
Deep Purple have a 30 plus member orchestra with them on this UK tour and every band sounds better when they add an orchestra including Deep Purple.At times pure magic.
They are on stage for 1 hour 55 mins.The first section is really good with "Highway Star","Strange Kind Of Woman" and "Woman From Tokyo".Nice use of the big screens and lights.
Its well known that each member of the band has a solo spot but tonights show in the middle part of the set seems like the Don Airey show as he appears to have a full keyboard solo every other song.Total muso pomposity.
Thankfully the show gets better again with superb versions of "Perfect Strangers","Space Truckin" and of course the mighty anthem "Smoke On The Water".Encores were covers of "Green Onions" and "Hush" and then their own "Black Night".Overall a great show by both bands.
29 Nov 2011.I went to three good events tonight.
First was 6.30pm to 7pm for the launch party of The Halcyon Gallery at 144 New Bond Street,London W1.
Popped in here for a freebie glass of champers.The gallery has moved into these nice new premises.Sir Bob Geldof is here.Older smart crowd as expected.Had to move on the next event that was a mere 100 yards around the corner.
7pm to 9pm was The Christmas Lights Switch On at The Stella McCartney Store,30 Bruton Strret,London W1.Lots of photographers and folks inside and outside the venue.
A cool fashion crowd and lots of freebie Laurent Perrier champers,cocktails,mulled wine and mince pies.
Jennifer Saunders said a few words in her Ab Fab voice.
Also here was Stella herself and great to see daddy Sir Paul McCartney and his new wife,Emma Bunton,Richard E Grant,Pam Hogg,Alexa Chung,Nick Grimshaw and Miss Dynamite.
For a store party it was excellent.
9.30pm to 11.45pm was the OK Magazine Christmas Party at Floridita,Wardour Street,London W1.A big crowd here for this popular glossy celebrity weekly mag.Lots of girls all glammed up.A couple of the TOWIE girls are here.Chef Aldo Zilli is here.I miss the two songs by Escala and three songs by Bucks Fizz as they must have come on quite early.
Oceans of free booze running here all night.
OK Christmas Parties always have Baileys with ice which is yummy.Loads of other cocktails etc going.This means its easy for the dj to get folks on the dancefloor to let their hair down.There was a fun photo booth too.I got a couple of nice bulky goodie bags on my way out.A great party.
28 Nov 2011.I went along to a couple of good events today.
12.45pm to 4.15pm.William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award at Waterstones,Piccadilly,London W1.
Folks from BBC,ITV and SKY are here doing interviews.
Freebie beers,wines,mulled wine and canapes for all.
Host was BBC Sports presenter John Inverdale.
All the seven shortlisted authors are here.
Rugby player and last years winner Brian Moore handed out the prize to the winner.A bit spooky this being the day after the suicide of footballer Gary Speed as the winner was a book about a German national footballer(goalie) who stepped in front of a train in 2009.
Winner = A Life Too Short:The Tragedy Of Robert Enke.
Among The Fans(author spent a year following fans of different sports and their different behaviour etc).
Into The Arena(The World Of The Spanish Bullfight).
The Ghost Runner(John Tarrant a 1956 Marathon runner).
Engage(Matt Hampson rugby player now in a wheelchair after a scrum collapsed on him).
Racing Through The Dark(David Millar Tour De France cyclist who was caught cheating as a doper).
32 Programmes(an English football fan moves to America and his wife tells him he can only bring 32 of his 1134 football programmes.He tells why these 32 made the cut).
We all got a nice goodie bag where you could pick any three of the seven shortlisted titles.
7pm to 11.30pm was the launch of The Nokia Lumia Phone.
Nokia bringing together world renowned producer and DJ deadmau5, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and the worlds leading 4D projection artists for a unique collaboration that will use Londons iconic Millbank Tower as the canvas for a spectacular audio visual show featuring world exclusives of new tracks from deadmau5.
The one-off event will see deadmau5 perform in front of Londons iconic Millbank Tower to a backdrop of spectacular 4D projections on the full length of the 120 metre building, making for an event that pushes the boundaries of live audio visual performance.
Using the latest state of the art visuals and echoing the head turning design of the first Nokia with Windows Phone device, the amazing show will use the 800 windows that make up the skyscraper as the canvas for a stunning spectacle. This is the first time a projection of this scale has been seen in the capital, and the first time it has been matched with a live music performance.
7pm we got on the boat at Embankment Pier.Around 400 on it with a mix of Nokia staff and guests and media.Some faces here inc Jodie Harsh,Nat Weller and Jade Jagger.
Lots of freebie Jacquart champers,beers,wines,bowl food and canapes.Just before 8pm we move slowly to Tower Bridge
and back and see The River Thames by night.Looks so nice.
Just before 9pm we pull up in front of The Millbank Tower where around 1000 members of the public are stood.
We watch the visually stunning show from the boat in the middle of the river.Deadmau5 has set up a full stage on the first floor balcony and plays for around 40 mins with his image blown up above him on the building and the rest of the light show covering the top part of the tower.
Then at 10pm we leave the boat for the afterparty at Alitude 360 at the top of The Millbank Tower.Freebie champers,cocktails,beers,wines and canapes here.Deadmau5 is doing a full dj set and the crowd by the stage are really getting into it.I departed at 11.30pm even though it was on until 1am.
Nokias slogan for this campaign is "Everything
Different" which this excellent and unique event was.
Altitude 360 London is situated in the heart of Westminster in London's famous SW1, right next to the London Eye, The Houses of Parliament and The River Thames. The venue commands stunning views over all of London and her prominent landmarks.
27 Nov 2011.Bill Bailey live at The Hexagon,Reading, Berkshire.
Another comedian out on a huge UK tour.A nice modern all seated venue here with good views from all angles.Bill was on stage for 2 hours 15 mins over two sets.
Lots of musical interludes as Bill plays guitar,keyboards and other instruments as he does wacky cover versions of well known songs.
Lots of funny bits and rants on various topics.Very good.
He plays Shepherds Bush Empire on 11 Dec 2011.
December 10, 2011
08 Dec 2011.Bryan Adams live at The 02 Arena, London.
Another act i have a lot of history with as i have seen Bryan Adams over 20 times since 1985.
Last night of his UK arena tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his album "Waking Up the Neighbours" co-produced by Adams and Mutt Lange, peaked at number six on the American Billboard 200.Reaching number 1 in the UK and Germany. The album was released in September 1991 and featured "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", his second 1 hit single in Billboard Hot 100. This song was featured on the album and a movie "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman".The single was 16 weeks at number one in the UK....Yes 16 weeks.
The critics have never really taken to Bryan Adams but i really like his catchy pop rock tunes with simple singalong lyrics.His 16 albums have sold over 65 million albums worldwide.As usual Bryan and his band are looking very casual in simple jeans and dark shirts.
The light show is pretty basic apart from the use of lasers a couple of times.The big screens are great.The middle one is a monster that takes over the entire area behind the stage.
On stage for 2 hours 15 mins with loads of great tunes.Its a full house here mainly as he still gets a lot of female fans.Tracks played inc
"Somebody","Cant Stop This Thing We Started",
"18 Til I Die","Summer Of 69","Everything I Do I Do It For You","Cuts Like A Knife","Its Only Love","Heaven","The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You","Run To You","There Will Never Be Another Tonight" and encores were just Bryan with acoustic guitar for "Straight From The Heart" and "All For You".A great show.
Bryan Adams does a lot of charity work.For one song a winner from a charity auction won the bid to sing a song with Bryan.The guy was very entertaining.Looking like Gok Wan and singing like Justin Hawkins in a sparkly jacket.
06 Dec 2011.Def Leppard + Motley Crue + Steel Panther live at The LG Arena,Birmingham.
Opening night of a six date UK arena tour.
Mouthwatering trio of rock bands meant i simply had to see this package before it came to London.
Up first we have Steel Panther who play a very entertaining 40 mins set.Very rude tonque in cheek lyrics but great fun.Set included "Asian Hooker","Community Property","17 Girls In A Row" and "Death To All But Metal".
Motley Crue play a full 90 mins set.I first saw them in 1984 on their first visit to the UK.
They have big screens,flames and pyros galore.
Lots of great catchy rock tunes inc "Wild Child",
"Live Wire","Shout At The Devil","Same Old Situation","Home Sweet Home","Looks That Kill","Dr Feelgood","Girls Girls Girls" and "Smoking In The Boys Room".However the highlight of their show is a drum solo by Tommy Lee.On previous tours he had his amazing drum kit that he played upside down.This time the same drum kit is here but he has a huge circular rollercoaster that the kit moves on.It really has the wow factor.Then he gets an audience member to go upside with him.Dont miss it.
Then it is Def Leppard.Another rock band i have seen over 20 times.I saw them as youngsters supporting AC/DC at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979.
They play a brilliant 90 mins set and have brought over their full American stage show.
Loads of big screens and a fantastic wall of sound.Phil Collen is shirtless from the start and plays lots of great guitar.Loads of great songs inc a cover of The Sweets "Action","Make Love Like A Man","When Love And Hate Collide" and the second half has the big hits as they play "Hysteria","Animal","Photograph","Pour Some Sugar On Me" and encores of "Lets Get Rocked" and "Wasted".An excellent show.In fact all three bands were great.They end the tour at Wembley Arena on Wed 14 Dec 2011.See you there.
05 Dec 2011.Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena,London.Macca seems to love playing more than ever these days.Last year i saw him at Hyde Park and those two magical gigs indoors at The Hammersmith Apollo and The 100 Club.
As expected he has a lot of family and friends here who are all a few rows in front of us.They include daughters Stella and Mary with their kids and Ronnie Wood who is sitting next to Pauls new wife and Kate Moss and her hubby from The Kills.Also here is David Gilmour,Sharleen Spiteri,Twiggy and short person Warwick Davis from the "Lifes Too Short" tv show.
It is another stunning Macca show lasting 2 hours 50 mins.The band sound great and the big screen visuals are perfect.Remember we are dealing with the man with the best back catalogue in pop and more than half his set is Beatles classics alongside Wings gems and solo stuff.So many great songs tonight one after the other.Paul looks great and really seems to be enjoying it.
Set included "Hello Goodbye","Juniors Farm","All My Loving","Jet","Paperback Writer","The Long And Winding Road","Maybe I'm Amazed","Blackbird",
"Dance Tonight","Eleanor Rigby","Something",
"Band On The Run","Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da","Back In The USSR","Let It Be",a totally stunning "Live And Let Die" with full monty flames and pyros,
"Hey Jude" and encores including "All You Need Is Love","Day Tripper",Ronnie Wood came on for "Get Back","Yesterday" and "Helter Skelter".
A totally brilliant show that will no doubt top my end of year best gigs poll of 2011.
03 Dec 2011.Machine Head + Bring Me The Horizon + Devildriver live at Wembley Arena,London.
A night of metal over in North London.
Like me most of the crowd have arrived early to see Devildriver who are promoting their fifth album "Beast".The crowd know all the tunes and the circle pit moshing is very lively.A very impressive 40 mins set from these Californians.
Next up are Bring Me The Horizon who play a decent 45 mins set based on their three albums but some of this crowd see them as "not metal enough" and even though the singer gives it 100% they have not got the metal power of Devildriver.
Machine Head have been doing their own thing now for some 20 years.This is their first UK arena tour which follows some mainland European shows.
On stage for 1 hour 50 mins.It is heavy,very heavy.
Twin flying v guitars riffing away.....fast
There are big screens that show images rather than live footage from the stage.Their "Blackening" album got them a Grammy Award nomination.They are promoting new album "Unto The Locust".The floor standing area is a pure mess of bodies but great to see so many fans jumping about.Tracks played included "I Am Hell","Imperium","The Blood,The Sweat,The Tears","This Is The End","Darkness Within" and "Who We Are".Encores of "Halo" and "Davidian" send everyone home happy.
01 Dec 2011.I went to four events tonight ending up at the launch party for the new Gorillaz album.It rained all evening so handy all events were near eachother.
6.30pm to 7.45pm was the flagship store launch of Scabal,
12 Saville Row,London W1.
Small shop but full of quaility menswear items as you would imagine from the street it is in.Freebie Piper Heidsieck champers and canapes here.Sadly i did not win one of the three good items in the prize draw.Though there was a nice goodie bag with gents stuff inside.
7.50pm to 8.50pm was the launch of The Lucky Pig,
5 Clipstone Street,London W1.
A cosy New York style basement cocktail bar just five minutes north of Oxford Street.Ideal place on a rainy night like tonight as there is a nice warm vibe here.
Lots of yummy different freebie cocktails here along with canapes.An average goodie bag here.
9pm to 10pm was the Paige Denim launch at 51 Great Marlborough Street,London W1.
American upmarket female designer.Mainly female jeans but they do sell male jeans.They are a very tight sexy fit as the models here showcased in the catwalk.Freebie cocktails,beers,mulled wine,bowl food and canapes here.An average goodie bag.
then 10.10pm to 11.45pm was the launch of The Gorillaz "The Singles Collection 2001-2011" at The 100 Club,London W1.
Invite only gig for Converse comp winners and media.
We have a live band Gorillaz Sound System who are pretty much an official Gorillaz tribute band.They play a good 45 mins set of Gorillaz related tunes.Their drummer was brilliant.In typical Gorillaz style they play behind a see through curtain although i watch it proper at the side where there is no curtain.There are Gorillaz cartoons projected on to the curtain.We had a special treat as Damon Albarn and De La Soul joined the band to sing one song.
A good one.
December 16, 2011
15 Dec 2011.Kasabian + Miles Kane live at The 02 Arena,London.
This was the last night of Kasabians UK arena tour proper and the second of two shows at this venue to promote their fourth studio album "Velociraptor" which topped the UK charts.
They come back here to play on 31 Dec 2011.
Up first we have Miles Kane for a neat 35 mins set of indie guitar pop.He has toured with Beady Eye and Arctic Monkeys and now with Kasabian.
Lots of short sharp tunes with some nifty guitar including "Rearrange","Kingcrawler","Come Closer"
(he was joined by Serge from Kasabian on that one) and then finally the excellent single "Inhaler".He headlines the Kentish Town Forum on 28 April 2012.
Kasabian are on stage for 1 hour 45 mins.Lots of Oasis type "lad rock" fans throwing lager in the air as they danced on the floor standing area.
A huge stage production with three big screens and loads of lights.A few songs plodded but there were loads of goodies inc "Days Are Forgotten","Shoot The Runner","Underdog",
"Where Did All The Love Go?","Club Foot",new single "Re-wired","Empire" and "L.S.F.(Lost Souls Forever)" and encores included "Vlad The Impaler"(comedian Noel Fielding who was in the video for this song was dancing side of stage but sadly did not come on stage) and a mental "Fire" with the whole crowd getting down.
A great show.
14 Dec 2011.Def Leppard + Motley Crue + Steel Panther live at Wembley Arena,London.
A nice weeks gap since i saw this great trio of rock bands in Birmingham.Tonight was the last night of the six UK arena shows.
Birmingham had three or four unsold blocks at the back but tonight it is totally sold out.
As far as i could see all the bands played the same set as Birmingham.
Like Birmingham most of the crowd are in early to see Steel Panther who play 40 mins of pure entertainment.The songs from their two albums are great and the stage banter is totally rude but great fun.Every song they are asking girls to show their boobs and they are plenty here getting on shoulders to display them.
Steel Panther go down a real storm and return to the UK in 2012 for a short tour that includes Brixton Academy on 31 March.
Motley Crue are on fire tonight.Their 90 mins set is Hollywood sleaze rock at its best.
Pyros,explosions,flames and Tommy Lees amazing 360 Rollercoaster drum solo where his drum kit goes upside down within a giant wheel.You gotta check the clips out on youtube as its an amazing stunt.So many great songs too.
Some folks leave after Motley Crue as the pop rock of Def Leppard does not sit well with some Motley Crue fans who see Def Leppard as a bit soft.Def Leppard play their 90 mins set with great big distorted sound and a wall of video screens.The first half is good but the second half has big big tunes one after the other.
They finish well and its another great set.
This gig has to go down as the best indoor rock package of the year.Three fantastic bands.
12 Dec 2011.Duran Duran + Cocknbullkid live at The 02 Arena,London.
Up first is support Cocknbullkid which is a pretty crap name for a band.They played 30 mins of tracks from their album "Adulthood" but were very tame and average.
A full house here for Duran Durans London leg of their UK arena tour to promote the "All You Need Is Now " album that came out a few months ago.
Lots of females in the crowd here as usual.
A full two hour show.They use three big screens but its showing images more than live footage.
Another band i have a lot of history with.I was working on front stage security at Hammersmith Odeon when their debut album came out in 1981 and when their second album came out in 1982.This was Duranmania at its height as they needed a police escort from the building every night.
Some of those fans are here tonight i reckon.
Lots of goodies in the set inc "Planet Earth",
"A View To A Kill","The Reflex",for current single "Girl Panic" they were joined by Mark Ronson who produced the single and the new album.
Also good were "Careless Memories","Ordinary World","Notorious","Hungry Like The Wolf","Reach Out For The Sunrise" and encores of "The Wild Boys" and "Rio".Simons voice still not sounding 100% but he did a good job.
A great show even if they omitted "Girls On Film" from the setlist.
Check aftershow page for this gig.
09 Dec 2011.Coldplay + Emili Sande live at The 02 Arena,London.
Like them or loathe them Coldplay are one of the biggest bands in the world.
I first saw them in 2000 at this venue when it was the Dome supporting Reef.
Up first is Emili Sande for a 40 mins set.
Another great UK female singer.Some proper tunes inc "Daddy","Hope" and her excellent debut single "Heaven".She is hotly tipped by the critics for success in 2012 so you will hear more of her in Feb when her debut album comes out.
Coldplay are promoting their "Mylo Xyloto" album with a full world tour.Nice use of big circular video screens over the crowd.
They play for 95 mins which seems short for such a big band with five hit albums.Coming in everyone got a wristband.It lit up in different colours for the first three songs which looked great when everyone waved their arms.Then they were used off and on through the show.
They were controlled by Coldplays lighting team and not the punters.An impressive stunt.
Chris Martin is full of energy as he charges around the stage and up the second stage in middle of the crowd.They have got some massive tunes.Set inc "Yellow","Lost" had giant balloons,"In My Place" had confetti,also good was "The Scientist","Politik","Viva La Vida" and new single "Paradise".Encores were
really good with "Clocks","Fix You" and "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall".They always put on a great show.
December 30, 2011
21 Dec 2011.Rihanna + Calvin Harris live at The 02 Arena,London.
Show nine of ten at this venue as part of Rihannas massive UK and European Tour.Her ten shows here set a new record for a solo female act at the 02.Over 300,000 tickets sold in the UK.
Up first we have dj/producer Calvin Harris who has had a couple of top 10 hits.Tonight he is in dj mode as he stands within a huge podium with lights and great visuals that could grace any superclub in Ibiza and probably has.His 60 mins set of current club dance anthems warmed the crowd up nicely for Rihanna.
Rihanna has had a pretty amazing last couple of years of success with lots of hit records.
I had a great view.Stage right where at times i was only a dozen yards from Rihanna.
Tonights show was visually great with lots of boxes ticked including loads of big screens,various stage gimmicks like sitting astride a giant pink gun,poledancing while handcuffed and a flying grand piano.Also skimpy costume changes,dancers,bursts of steam,confetti showers,pyros etc.
Some of the show i had seen when she played here last year.Ex Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is still in the band and manages to sneak in some nifty rock guitar.
On stage for 1 hour 50 mins.It started well with "Only Girl In The World","Man Down" and a rocky version of "Darling Nikki" by Prince.
The middle part of the show had too many average songs.The final third of the show had some good tunes inc "Hate That I Love You","Whats My Name?","Rude Boy","Dont Stop The Music" and encores of "Love The Way You Lie",a mega "Umbrella" and "We Found Love".
So like i said visually a great show and a few good tunes but not in the same league as Madonna or Kylie.
20 Dec 2011.Saxon + Hammerfall live at Koko,Camden,London.
Up first we have Hammerfall from Sweden who i have seen before.Most of the crowd seem to know a lot of their tunes and their 45 mins set goes down really well.
Saxon are another great rock band i have seen loads of times over the last 30 odd years.
It is a full house here.Saxon are on the last night of their "Call To Arms" world tour that started way back in April.
Tonight Saxon also celebrate the 30th anniversary of their classic album "Denim and Leather" which they play in two segments.
The crowd are totally up for it as young and old fans are moshing stage front from the start and are singing the songs loudly.
With twin guitar power Saxon have a fantastic wall of sound that blasts the front rows.
Singer Biff Byford in total command as usual.
Loads of great tunes played in the nice long 2 hours 10 mins show including "Heavy Metal Thunder","Motorcycle Man","Never Surrender","And The Bands Played On","Call To Arms" and totally rockin' versions of "Denim And Leather" and "Princess Of The Night".Encores were "Crusader","The Power And The Glory" and brilliant versions of "747(Stangers In The Night)","Strong Arm Of The Law" and "Wheels Of Steel" that sent the crowd home happy.It was a great show.Saxon just get better and better with age.
Check the bands website to see Biff Byford singing "Motorcycle Man" with Metallica in San Francisco recently for their 30th anniversary show.
19 Dec 2011.Stereophonics live at The Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
First of three shows at this venue for these Welsh boys who have had a good last 15 years.
I have seen them a dozen times in that period.
These are smallish shows for them as they are pretty much an arena band.A full two hour show as usual.Most of the crowd are up for a good singalong as the band have loads of hits.
On a downside some songs are so sluggish you need to put the band in a room with a load of Ramones records to get them to speed up a bit.
Goodies played inc "A Thousand Trees","I Wouldnt Believe Your Radio","Maybe Tomorrow","Handbags And Gladrags","Traffic","Mr Writer","Have A Nice Day","Pick A Part Thats New","Just Looking","Local Boy In The Photograph" and great encores of "The Bartender And The Thief","Vegas Two Times" and "Dakota".I think the two shows i saw them play last year at Hammersmith Apollo had the edge over this one.
Mon lunchtime 12.45pm to 3pm was Qatar National Day Party at Claridges Hotel,London W1.
I went to this last year at The Savoy Hotel and again it is a very nice posh event.
Members of Qatar Royal Family are here as are staff from the Qatar Embassy.
Around a dozen food stations with yummy food from Claridges kitchen which is top quality.
No booze here as it is banned in their country so just juices and coffees.
Sir David Frost was here.
18 Dec 2011.Slade live at Koko,Camden,London.
Glam rock legends who were massive in the 1970s.
I was lucky to have seen Slade with Noddy Holder over ten times in their 1970s heyday but Noddy sadly left the band many years ago.
Dave Hill and Don Powell are still in the group.
The singer had great Noddy Holder type vocals.
The advert said no support with early start early finish and true enough their 80 mins set is all over by 9pm.They were great fun and they played loads of hits including "Look Wot You Dun","Coz I Luv You","Gudbuy T'Jane","Mama Weer All Crazee Now","Get Down And Get With It" and encores were "My Oh My" and mega versions of "Cum On Feel The Noize" and then their Xmas anthem "Merry Christmas Everybody" which is again in the charts this Christmas.Everyone singalong to all the songs.A good show.I loved glam rock.It was recorded for a future live dvd.
17 Dec 2011.Manic Street Preachers live at The 02 Arena,London.
One off special show as the Manics play all 38 singles from their 21 year career in support of their "National Treasures" cd collection.
Another band i have a lot of history with ever since NME called them "The New Clash" so i ended up seeing one of their first London shows way back in 1991 at the start of their career.
I have seen them over 20 times since including last years amazing secret gig at The Hard Rock Cafe in London for just 200 people.
Fans have come from all over the UK for this mammoth show that lasted five mins short of three hours over two sets of 90 mins and 85 mins.
A nice stage production with big screens showing past footage of the band and tonights live footage,flowers,trees and fairy lights.
The Welsh trio teamed up with Gruff Rhys for the first time in their career for single 'Let Robeson Sing' with the SFA singer taking lead vocals on the track.
Introducing Rhys, Bradfield told the crowd that they wanted to collaborate with him during their tour of Cuba in 2001 but it fell through at the time.
Later, The Cardigans' frontwoman Nina Persson sang on their 2007 single 'Your Love Alone Is Not Enough'. She previously teamed up with the band in the UK during their Glastonbury performance that same year.
As Nicky Wire promised earlier in the week, the Manics chose not to run through all 38 hits from their singles compilation 'National Treasures' in album order.
Arriving onstage, 20 minutes later than their scheduled time of 7.30pm, Bradfield joked:"Howdy doody O2. Better late than never ever eh?", before launching into 'You Stole The Sun From My Heart'.
During their set they also took time out to recall lost member Richey Edwards with Wire describing the band's favourite single - 'Faster' as his "fucking masterpiece".
Both Bradfield and Wire were on jovial form throughout the show, the former bantering about the flamboyant bassist's many costume changes while the latter joked following the interval: "Fuck me look at him making a costume change [during the interval]. Who'd have thought it."
The band wrapped up the show with their debut single 'Motown Junk' before thanking their guest collaborators and making a final tribute to Edwards.
The show was their last for at least two years which Bradfield acknowledged when he signed off with 'A Design For Life', saying: "Thank you for coming out tonight, you're the lifeblood of old taffs likes us. Merry fucking Christmas. Well see you back in Britain in two years time hopefully."
True to form, Wire ended the show by smashing his bass onstage and pushing a prop over.
Some singles were better than others of course but overall a fantastic evening.
Manic Street Preachers played:
'You Stole The Sun From My Heart'
'Love's Sweet Exile'
'(Its Not War) Just The End Of Love'
'Everything Must Go'
'She Is Suffering'
'From Despair To Where'
'Let Robeson Sing'
'Life Becoming A Landslide'
'Little Baby Nothing'
'This Is The Day'
'If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next'
'La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh)'
'Found That Soul'
'There By The Grace Of God'
'Some Kind Of Nothingness'
'You Love Us'
'Theme From M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless)'
'The Love Of Richard Nixon'
'The Masses Against The Classes'
'Roses In The Hospital'
'So Why So Sad'
'Postcards From A Young Man'
'Your Love Alone Is Not Enough'
'Slash N Burn'
'A Design For Life'
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.
Party or event?
Let me plan it for you!
I know the best venues,the best catering and the best entertainment agencies to suit your budget whether its small drinks and canapes or something bigger. email@example.com