Archive: May 2011

May 07, 2011

06 May 2011.AC/DC World Premiere of their new dvd/blu-ray "Live At River Plate" at Hammersmith Apollo,London.At around 7.30pm four of the five band members inc Brian Johnson and Angus Young arrive in cars for the red carpet that is between their famous cannons and giant bell.The band sign stuff and pose for photos.Just after 8pm we have a mumbling video intro from Ozzy Osbourne and dj Nicky Horne introduces the four band members who say a few words before taking their seats.The screen is huge as its takes up all the stage space and there are extra speakers all around the venue.Each song is given a big cheer.Its like a proper gig really as there is even band merch on sale.The crowd scenes are incredible as South American crowds really are the best.Its a fantastic must buy item.Shot in December of 2009, AC/DC Live At River Plate marks AC/DC’s triumphant return to Buenos Aires where nearly 200,000 fans, and 3 sold-out shows, welcomed the band back after a 13 year absence from Argentina. This stunning live footage of AC/DC underscores what Argentina’s Pagina 12 newspaper reported by saying “no one is on the same level when it comes to pure and clear Rock ‘n Roll.” Directed by David Mallet and produced by Rocky Oldham, AC/DC Live At River Plate was shot with 32 cameras entirely in HD. AC/DC Live At River Plate features 19 songs (110 minutes) as well as ‘behind the scenes’ footage of this massive production coming together among the excitement of anxious fans.AC/DC Live At River Plate captures the intensity and power of the band’s critically acclaimed world tour in support of their most recent album Black Ice, which debuted at #1 in 31 countries. The Black Ice World tour took AC/DC on a 20 month trek around the globe playing to over 5 million fans in 108 cities in over 28 countries. The Black Ice World Tour earned AC/DC a Pollstar Award for Major Tour of the Year in 2010. See aftershow page for this event................ 05 May 2011.Went to two good events tonight. First was 6.15pm to 8.45pm for Barts Cuban Garden Launch at Chelsea Cloisters,Sloane Avenue,London SW3.Hidden away at the rear of this upmarket apartment block sits this speakeasy type bar where you have to press a buzzer and a tiny slit in the door opens and you are given the nod to come in.All very secret squirrel but a nice touch.Some nice freebie drinks flowing inc Mojitos and some tasty canapes too.The bar staff and the owners are very friendly.The Cuban Garden at the back in the open air has a duo playing some Buena Vista type sounds.A lovely gem of a place really. See www.barts-london.com......then 9.30pm to midnight i was at the launch party for The Renaissance St Pancras Hotel,Kings Cross,London.A massive crowd of around 1000 people here inc Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet. Freebie drinks flowing all night for everyone. The £100 million pound plus refurbishment of perhaps the grandest of Londons cathedral type railway stations is just totally stunning. Within the station will sit this brand new hotel. A real five star Grand 1 listed building brought back to life.Jamie Cullum played a 30 mins set but maybe 100 people watched him and the other 900 just chatted away as his set felt more like background music than a proper gig.A nice party. ......... 04 May 2011.Went to two events tonight. First was Barry Manilow gig then the FHM party. Barry Manilow with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra + Straight No Chaser live at The 02 Arena,London.First of four nights here for Barry before he returns back to Las Vegas for another long stint.Up first we have American nine piece acappella group Straight No Chaser.A decent enough 25 mins of covers inc "Wonderwall","Come Together","Fix You","Billie Jean" and even a Lady Gaga medley.They went down well with this easily pleased middle aged crowd.Barry M on stage for 1 hour 45 mins with a full 50 plus piece orchestra.Age 67 now his British fans are totally loyal to him even though critics and general music fans dislike him.Lots of chat that the crowd lap up.A lot of the songs are simple and cheesy as usual as i have seen him before. A good version of "Cant Smile Without You" was followed by a couple of tracks from his upcoming album "15 Minutes".The highlight was a trio of great songs near the end "Mandy","Copacabana" and "I Write The Songs" which had all the crowd singing along.......then 11.30pm to 1am i was at The FHM 100 Sexiest Women Party at One Marylebone,London.This started at 6.30pm but was still rocking when i got there.A full free bar was still going and loads of drunken folks on the dancefloor.Lots of pretty girls here.The 100 list is made up of models,popstars and actresses. Did not spot any of the singers that made the list.Some male faces here inc Shane Ward,Joe Calzaghe and Alex Reid.Got some nice goodie bags stuffed with PS3 games,dvds and lots of grooming products from sponsors VO5.Number one in the list was model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.To see the more of FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World visit www.fhm.com/100sexiest or buy the magazine which is in the shops now.A great party.......... 03 May 2011.6.30pm to 9pm.Launch party for Mint Polo In The Park 2011 at Gaucho,Broadgate,London. This years event is to be held on June 03,04,05 at the very nice Hurlingham Club in Fulham.There are general tickets for sale as well as hospitality packages.I went to it last year. A smart city crowd here including a couple of polo players in their playing gear.Freebie mojitos,champers,wines and canapes for all. See www.mintpolointhepark.com for more info...... 30 April 2011.Went to football in the afternoon then on to a gig in the evening.First 3pm Watford 0 QPR 2.Rangers needed a point for promotion and three points to go up as Champions. Two goals in the second half.Without doubt an "I WAS THERE" game for any QPR fan.Players and fans celebrating at the end.Next season its the big boys like Man Utd,Chelsea,Arsenal etc......and then 8pm N-Dubz and Professor Green live at The 02 Arena,London.Not the sort of gig i would go out of my way for but i know N-Dubz manager and he invited me along.He has a wide stable of acts that include opera acts like Russell Watson and Katherine Jenkins as well as N-Dubz.Up first we have Professor Green whose 40 mins set was ideal for this crowd.It included a couple of his hits. N-Dubz have sold out this huge venue so respect is due there.Its a nice big production as they arrive on stage on three motorbikes and its lasers,fire,pyros,lots of lights,big screens, staircases,dancers and costume changes over the 90 mins set.The music is not really my cup of tea.Hits played inc "Playing With Fire","Girls" and "Best Behaviour".The crowd was chav heavy but they loved it.The band are now on Def Jam in America and they have their own tv series on Channel 4.As the band said themselves "A couple of years ago we were three nothings from Camden Town and now we can sell out The 02 Arena"....... 27 April 2011.Paul Rodgers + Down n Outz + Jasmine Rodgers live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Up first we have Jasmine Rodgers who plays a decent 20 mins acoustic set.Jasmine is the daughter of Paul Rodgers...then we have Down n Outz who are fronted by Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot and is backed by his mates from The Quireboys.Joe is a massive Mott The Hoople fan and the bands entire set is related tracks from British Lions/Mott The Hoople/Mott/Ian Hunter. Its a good 45 mins set with the set including "Rock n Roll Queen","Overnight Angels","One Of The Boys","Who Do You Love" and "England Rocks".. ....then we have Paul Rodgers who is without doubt one of the worlds greatest rock singers. Multi millions of albums sold over the last 40 years.He looks in great condition for age 61 and the voice is still fantastic.The excellent band feature Jason Bonham on drums.The 1 hour 40 mins set had a few solo tracks and a dream setlist of loads of Free and Bad Company classics.Set included "Walk In My Shadow","Wishing Well","Feel Like Makin' Love"and then soul singer Mica Paris joined him for "Be My Friend".Also really good were "My Brother Jake","Shooting Star","Rock n Roll Fantasy" and a stunning version of "Cant Get Enough" where he was joined by his good chum Mick Ralphs.For the three song encore i sneaked down to the front of the stage for "Ride On A Pony" and all the crowd sang along to "All Right Now" and the band finished with "The Hunter".A really great show from a UK rock legend ........ 26 April 2011.Paul Carrack with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra live at The Britten Theatre,Royal College Of Music,London SW7.First of three nights here for this veteran singer songwriter who celebrated his 60th birthday last week.My first time at this stunning venue that was opened by The Queen over 20 years ago and hosts classical music events.400 plush seats with balconies on top of eachother so its looks like a mini Royal Opera House/Royal Albert Hall. There are 70 in the orchestra inc around 15 violinists and a brilliant sax player and the acoustics are perfect.Paul Carrack has been involved with loads of acts over the last 40 years and has got a neat pop-rock-soul voice style.He normally plays a 90 mins plus set but tonight its only 65 mins on stage which no doubt due to the orchestra.Tracks from his recent album "A Different Hat" were featured.He also played "Eyes Of Blue" and stunning versions of his big hit from 1975 "How Long" and his hit with Mike And The Mechanics "The Living Years". An older polite crowd here.A good show but it was over far too quickly .... 25 April 2011.QPR 1 Hull 1.Everything was set for QPR to be promoted today.A lovely sunny Bank Holiday Monday.I am sitting with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.Hull had to delay the party a bit as they scored in the last 10 mins.QPR are 99.9% promoted but will have to wait until the next game away to Watford to make if official......... 23 April 2011.Saxon + Wolfsbane live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Up first it is nice to see Wolfsbane again.Their singer Blaze Bayley replaced Bruce Dickenson for five years in Iron Maiden from 1994 to 1999 until Bruce rejoined the band.A decent 35 mins set inc "Limo" and "I Like It Hot"....Saxon are a classic rock band i have a lot of history with as i have seen them over twenty times since 1979.Saxon take to the stage to a huge roar and the crowd stay with them the whole of the two hour show.Its the last night of their UK tour before they head into mainland Europe for an extensive tour to promote their "Call To Arms" album that comes out 23 May 2011.There is a buzzing atmosphere tonight and the sound is loud and rocktastic and there are loads of lights crammed into the stage space. New album tracks including "Hammer Of The Gods","Back In 79" and title track "Call To Arms" fit it well with the older classics.Singer Biff Byford is on great form as he proclaims "British Metal On St Georges Day". Other gems played included "Heavy Metal Thunder","Never Surrender","Motorcycle Man","And The Bands Played On","Denim And Leather" and the stunning riffs of "Princess Of The Night".Brilliant encores of "Crusader","747(Strangers In The Night)","Strong Arm Of The Law" and "Wheels Of Steel".The band take their bows knowing they have given 100%.A great show. See www.saxon747.com ......... 22 April 2011.R Kelly live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.A fantastic sold out atmosphere here for R Kellys first UK show in over 10 years. This American r n b singer,songwriter, performer,arranger,producer has sold over 30 million albums over his 20 year career.His heyday period was the 1990s as the last decade he has been dogged by child pornography court cases.The crowd were up on their feet from the start.The females are screaming for him.The voice is loud and powerful as is his band.He played hits like "Ignition" and "Bump n Grind".Some tracks were in medley form of 60 seconds or so each.R Kelly is sweating buckets on this very humid night.The highlight was a stunning "I Believe I Can Fly" with all the crowd singing along.He then spoilt it all by not coming back for an encore despite having played only 75 mins.The crowd are left confused and feeling shortchanged from an artist with so many albums worth of material ..... 21 April 2011.7pm to 10.30pm.Launch party for Udderbelly Festival nr The Southbank Centre,London SE1.You cannot miss the venue as its an upside down purple cow tent structure that lies in the space next to The Royal Festival Hall.Loads of mainly comedy acts appear here until 17 July 2011 inc Rory Bremner,Gina Yashmere and veterans like Paul Daniels and Roy Walker.All for max ticket price of £20.About 500 folks here outdoors down by the river inc comedian Arthur Smith.We had a couple of tunes by string quartet "Graffiti Classics" and a "Free Running" display.Lots of freebie Pimms,wines and nonstop bbq food all night.Dj spinning the tunes and a nice relaxed atmosphere here.See www.udderbelly.co.uk 20 April 2011.Brit Floyd live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.Not to be confused with the better known Floyd tribute Australian Pink Floyd. I say that because there is a bit of bad blood running between the two.Aussie Pink Floyd were with promoters CMP for many years then they jumped ship to Live Nation so CMP have formed this rival group which includes an ex member of Aussie Pink Floyd and one of their lighting guys.Such is the demand that this year both acts have played huge UK theatre tours.Its a full 2 hours 30 mins on stage over two sets.A nice stage production with the trademark circular screen showing neat images,some great lights and lasers and four female backing singers.Lots of Floyd gems inc "Shine On You Crazy Diamond","Welcome To The Machine","Pigs","The Great Gig In The Sky","Us And Them",then a superb version of "Another Brick In The Wall" where they were joined by fifty school kids.Then mega versions of "Comfortably Numb" and encore "Run Like Hell".Slightly not as good as Aussie Pink Floyd but still really good to watch and all Floyd fans should get along to see it.A nice touch was everyone got a free full live dvd of their Liverpool show from earlier in the year.To win a copy of the dvd see my main news section.See www.britfloyd.com 19 April 2011.7pm to 10pm.Launch party for new members club OneForOne at 141 Park Lane,London W1.Fantastic location at the Marble Arch end of Park Lane.Inside it has a lively modern feel with some unique features including the "handbag draw" where each table has a private draw with a key to keep handbags and valuables safe while you are on the dance floor.There is a dj booth area and a raised platform to put on live acts.Tonight we had three showgirls putting on a fun show.Lots of freebie Moet champers,cocktails and any drink you want along with some nice food. Dj tonight did a great job of being in the background for the first two hours then as the crowd had been well oiled by the free drinks it became a full on dance party for the final hour.A really nice venue.See their website for more info www.141parklane.com................ 18 April 2011.QPR 0 Derby 0.Rangers flying high at the top and Derby are way down in 19th.This game was on Sky TV but its another full house here as everyone wants to get involved with Rangers certain promotion run in.The game itself was pretty average overall.Love him or hate him i thought Derbys Robbie Savage did a great job on our star player Taarabt.The kind of game, in short, that Robbie Savage adores. His duel with Adel Taarabt was a delight to watch: the flaxen-locked warlock against the impish little rascal. From the off, Savage took to his man-marking role with gusto, never letting Taarabt out of his sight. Savage did a better job than most in subduing the Morrocan, and it was a tribute to his potency that Neil Warnock withdrew his prize calf with 20 minutes remaining, the frustrated Taarabt storming straight down the tunnel.QPRs next game is a megaclash away to Cardiff on Saturday that is live on BBC1."We Are Premier League We Are Premier League" 16 April 2011.Sex Pistols Experience + TV Smith + L.A.M.F live at The 100 Club,London.A pukka three act package of punk related artists.Up first we have L.A.M.F. who play a good 40 mins set of Johnny Thunders related gems.The main guy is also the guitarist in SPE.Really great to hear some JT gems again inc "Pipeline","Born To Lose","Dead Or Alive","One Track Mind","Chinese Rocks" and "Too Much Junkie Business".SPE were due to come on at 11pm as it was a 1am curfew but i had a word with the band telling them that was far too late and they came on early at 9.45pm and TV Smith came on after them.SPE play all the Pistols classics and more.They look great,they sound great,they are great."Pretty Vacant","Holidays In The Sun","EMI","Bodies", "God Save The Queen","Anarchy In The UK" etc. All the punk anthems from the greatest band ever. Lots of jumping around at the front of stage.See www.sexpistolsexperience.co.uk for future gigs. An old mate of Johnny Thunders Steve Dior joined them for a couple of Thunders tracks "Born To Lose" and "Chines Rocks" as it was 20 years since JTs sad death.Then TV Smith played a 45 mins set.Always good with a mix of old and new.Now aged 55 and still going strong.His partner Gaye Advert was in the crowd.Older gems played inc "No Time To Be 21","Gary Gilmores Eyes","Bored Teenagers" and "One Chord Wonders". A great evening i must say ... 15 April 2011.Jamiroquai live at The 02 Arena,London.A totally rammed sold out show for Jamiroquai on their world tour to promote recent album "Rock Dust Light Star".The album has not sold as well as others.Jamiroquai have sold over 25 million albums around the world.The place is buzzing with a Friday night crowd out to have a good dance.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins they opened with the new album title track.A nice cosmic stage production with planets and stars and big screens.Jay Kay still does his nifty little dance moves and the different flamboyant hats were there.The best thing about them is there are a thousand indie rock bands out there that all sound the same but not many bands are playing Jamiroquai type funk pop.A nice big nine piece band and three female backing vocals.Set inc "Cosmic Girl","Little L","Deeper Underground","Space Cowboy","You Are My Love","Alright" and encore "White Knuckle Ride".The Stevie Wonder influence is sill there. Overall a great white boy funky dance sound .... 14 April 2011.Went to two good events tonight.First from 7.15pm to 10.15pm was The Shawish Jewellery Party at Il Bottaccio, Grosvenor Place,London SW1.You can see into the garden of Buckingham Palace from the venues first floor rooms.Around 350 folks here for this bash held by Swiss luxury jewellers Shawish.The stunning display is worth multi millions which would explain the heavy security.Around a dozen display cases and each had its own secutity guy.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails and canapes flowing for all.We had a ballet display and a dj was here too.A good lively bash for a smart crowd.The goodie bag was a branded paperweight.It was still rockin when i left.See their website www.shawish-jewellery.com.....then 10.45pm to midnight it was The FIFI Fragrance Awards at Banquetting House,Whitehall,London SW1.Went to the afterparty for this.Missed the awards and the short set by Sophie Ellis Bextor.Freebie wines flowing here.Spotted Channel 4 presenter George Lamb and Duncan James from Blue.Managed to get three goodie bags that each had Hugo Boss Sunset 50ml ADT and a posh candle ... 12 April 2011.Kylie Minogue live at The 02 Arena,London.Tonight is the last night of Kylies UK and European Tour and my third time to see this amazing spectacle.On stage tonight at 8.50pm.A few faces in front of us include David Walliams,Lulu and fashion designer Patrick Cox. As with the other nights there are loads of gay men in the crowd.The two big screens are used brilliantly and there are loads of cameras inc one above the main stage and one above the second stage for stunning aerial pictures.No doubt a dvd of the show will be out before the end of the year.Kylie puts "I Should Be So Lucky" back in the set and drops "The Locomotion".The encore again is incredible.Check out kylie.com and youtube.com for clips to get a feel of what the show looked like.The effort that has gone into this show regards rehearsals and the making of the costumes must have been taken weeks.I will see 150 plus shows this year but not many will be as visually impressive as this one.Total quality ....... 11 April 2011.Kylie Minogue live at The 02 Arena,London.This was show number four of five here for Kylie and the second time i had seen it. On Friday one of the main music critics from The London Standard Newspaper said about Kylie's encore in his review "the most spectacular finale i have ever seen at an Arena show" which is pretty much what it was.Kylie arrives on stage at 9pm which was 10 minutes later than Thursday.Boy George was sitting a few rows in front of me.From the start to the finish it really is a visual treat as something different is going on for each song and the different costumes for Kylie and all her dancers are amazing.The Greek Goddess/Mythology theme gives so many options for the visuals.A surprise was that the set was changed a bit.For the request section she dropped "I Should Be So Lucky" and she added "The Locomotion".This gig had a lot of showstopping moments but the encore really raises the bar on the wow factor."On A Night Like This" and "All The Lovers" were sung as huge dancing water fountains erupted all over the stage and walkways and Kylie was elevated to the top of a rotating fountain with her dancers splashing around in the pool below and acrobats above her.Another totally excellent show......... 09 April 2011.Katy Perry + DJ Skeet Skeet + Yelle live at Wembley Arena,London.Last night of the first leg of the UK and European Tour for Katy Perry who is on a massive world tour that comes back to the UK at the end of the year.Last month she sold out three shows at Hammersmith Apollo.Up first we have to endure 40 mins of crap from a French act called Yelle.Then its DJ Skeet Skeet who does a good job of pumping the crowd up.Katy Perry has become very popular.She said on stage it was only three years ago she was playing to 200 people at The Water Rats,Kings Cross.Its a fantastic stage production.Five big screens,lasers,over a dozen costume changes,a stage made of huge muffins,lollipops,cupcakes,candyfloss etc and full of colour.Six dancers on swings and later dressed as gingerbread men.A whole vibe of Alice In Wonderland meets The Wizard of Oz.On stage for 1 hour 55 mins.The crowd and show is very girly.The first section was good the middle section dipped as too many average album filler tracks and a pointless acoustic covers section then the final bit was good.Katy looks fab on stage like some kind of 50s screen goddess with bundles of energy.Set inc "Teenage Dream","Waking Up In Vegas" and "I Kissed A Girl" in the first section and later on a great version of "Hot n Cold" and worldwide hit "Firework" that was excellent along with of course some fireworks and the whole venue jumping.Encore of "California Gurls" along with beachballs and confetti was a nice finish. So visually great but she needs to get rid of that middle section of songs.Actor David Hasselhoff was watching from the mixing desk .... 07 April 2011.Kylie Minogue + Ultra Girls live at The 02 Arena,London.Kylie's first show of five at this venue which comes at the end of her UK and European Tour that started on 19 Feb.Up first we have four girls singing to backing tapes in front of the stage curtain.Their pr says they will be the new Spice Girls.Ultra Girls? more like 20 mins of Ultra Crap.Everyone loves our headliner these days.The most played female on UK radio in the last 20 years and over 30 Top 10 hits in the UK.I have seen Kylie loads of times and she always puts on an incredible visual show which may be why most of the crowd have paid a whacking £85 and £65 for tickets.A few rows in front of me in the guest block were Will Young,Duncan James from Blue and opera singer Katherine Jenkins.On stage for 2 hours 10 mins this really was a show and a half.With a staging team borrowed from Disneyland and production costs of an estimated £15m.From the moment Minogue rises from the stage reclining in a golden couch and later on taken around the catwalk in a gold chariot it's evident that understatement is not on the menu tonight.Themed loosely around Greek mythology, opens up new frontiers in high camp. The stage is a constant riot of gyrating, scantily clad gladiators and centurions.The set is a huge Greek temple with columns and staircases along with walkways that enclose the gold circle area.Eight male and eight female dancers and two female backing singers.So many mega costume changes, courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana, may be relatively tame in a pop couture world dominated by Lady Gaga, but jaws still drop as the diminutive Aussie dons a chainmail dress apparently modelled on Jane Fonda in Barbarella. Yet her coup de grace is the Bacofoil ball gown, in which she coos Confide in Me and Can't Get You Out Of My Head.The disco pop of recent album "Aphrodite" has not sold that well but there are still plenty of big hits tonight.The encore was a pure jaw dropping 10 as dancing water fountains spurted from the stage and walkways and Kylie and dancers were elevated above a pool of water on the second stage.A mega show that i will def go and see again before her run ends.Tracks played inc "I Believe In You","Spinning Around","What Do I Have To Do?","Slow","Confide In Me",a superb "Cant Get You Out Of My Head","Love At First Sight",a brilliant "Better The Devil You Know" and 60 seconds of "I Should Be So Lucky" and encores "On A Night Like This" and "All The Lovers" ......... 06 April 2011.6.15pm to 9.45pm.I was at the launch party for the new fragrence "212 VIP" by Carolina Herrera at 29 Portland Place,London W1. Over 200 upmarket mainly female fashion folks here in this beautiful period building with big rooms,high ceilings,huge chandeliers and flowers everywhere as the fragrence is floral.Some faces here inc Daisy Lowe,Nicky Haslam,Pam Hogg and designer Oswald Boateng.Lots of photographers here too.Freebie champers,fresh cocktails and quality canapes for all here tonight.Dj playing in the background.A really good event.I got a nice press goodie bag of "212 VIP" EDP 80ml that retails for £59.....The new Carolina Herrera fragrance 212 VIP will be hosting a series of underground, New York-style club nights in London, commencing on Friday 8th April 2011. The first event will take place at the Adam Street member's club, chosen for its New York-style, urban chic vibe and these exclusive pop-up club nights will be bringing a taste of NYC nightlife to London, with legendary DJ Joey Negro confirmed to headline at the launch event.In keeping with the campaign for the 212 VIP fragrance, which captures the essence and excitement of the New York party scene, the events will be by invitation only, with invited guests who are On the List able to invite their own private guest list along to the launch night. A limited number of tickets will also be made available to the public, with details to be announced via a print and social media campaign.For further information please contact fran@frontrowcom.co.uk.....sadly as it was on at the same time i could not get along to the preview evening at The Proud Gallery in Camden for the "Bob Marley And The Golden Age Of Reggae " photos exhibition launch................ 04 April 2011.Peter Kay live at The 02 Arena,London.It was in 1993 that the first comedy act headlined Wembley Arena and the term "comedy is the new rock n roll" was used.It certainly has gone from strength to strength as average and barely known comedians can play Hammersmith Apollo and the big names can play multi nights at each UK arena with ease.Michael McIntyre,Lee Evans and The Mighty Boosh were all recent huge sellers but i think Peter Kay is even bigger as his 2010/2011 tour includes something like 15 shows at The 02 Arena and 20 shows at Manchester Arena.The show seems short as its 90 mins over two sets of 40 mins and 50 mins with no support acts to pad out the evening.Its pretty simple humour really with a Northern accent.He seems obsessed about nostalgia and a lot of jokes have that theme.He has dusted off his misheard lyrics routine that i saw on his last tour.The encore was musical as he put on a spade and pretended it was an air guitar he used as a child and we then had flames and pyros for his charity number one hit singles "Is This The Way To Amarillo" and "500 Miles" and a couple of others including a crowd pleasing "We Are The Champions".With no band to pay and overheads at a minimium the profits must be huge at this level.A decent enough show but nothing special .............. 03 April 2011.Japan Disaster Benefit feat Beady Eye + Richard Ashcroft + Primal Scream + Kelly Jones + Paul Weller live at Brixton Academy, London.A great bunch of "lad rock" acts on the same bill for this event that sold out pronto.An early start so missed the first couple of acts but got there for Paul Wellers 45 mins set.This crowd really love him of course and a great set inc "Peacock Suit","Start","Changing Man","The Eton Rifles","Wake Up The Nation","From The Floorboards Up" and "Come On Lets Go" and Kelly Jones joined him for a cover of The Beatles "Come Together"...then Kelly Jones did three Stereophonics gems on acoustic "Local Boy In The Photograph","Maybe Tomorrow" and "Dakota". Quick changeovers for all acts too.Primal Scream were excellent for their 40 mins set.They had Glen Matlock on bass as Mani could not make it.Singer Bobby Gillespie was on top form with gems played inc "Moving On Up","Loaded","Country Girl" and "Rocks".Then more singalongs as Richard Ashcroft three song set inc "Sonnet" and "Lucky Man".Headliners Beady Eye played a 50 mins set of tracks from their debut album inc "Millionaire","Standing On The Edge Of The Noise" and "Bring The Light".Liam G still full of swagger and attitude in his parka coat.They still sound a bit second rate Oasis to me and Paul Weller and Primal Scream had better songs tonight but overall a great event................ 02 April 2011.Big Audio Dynamite live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.First of two shows here as part of a UK reunion tour.Punk rock legend Mick Jones plays with his post Clash band for their first shows with original lineup for over 15 years.I must admit i was really looking forward to this one.The place is rammed and buzzing as Mick seems to have invited half of Ladbroke Grove into the Level One guest area.Combining rock,reggae,hiphop,beatbox and samples they were ahead of their time in many ways.Mick Jones in a smart trademark suit as usual for the 90 mins set.Lots of gems in the set inc "Medicine Show","V13","B.A.D","C,mon Every Beatbox" and great encores of "The Bottom Line","E=MC2" and "Rush".Lots of West London based lyrics.Mick Jones is a total icon and always great to see him play.See afterparty page for this gig ................. 01 April 2011.Killing Joke + Swimming live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.Back to see Killing Joke only a few months after seeing them at Hammersmith Apollo in Oct 2010.Up first we have a band called Swimming from The Midlands who play a decent 35 mins set.They have their own big screen visuals.Sadly the venue was only 25% full as Killing Joke hardcore fans were at the outside bar by the river having a beer and a fag.This event was part of The Ether Festival. Killing Joke have their original 1980s line up. Killing Joke fans up and rushing the stage front from the start of their 90 mins set.Singer Jaz Coleman still as manic as ever in his combat gear.Great use of the big screen images with the usual visuals of war,demonstrations and odd looking folks.Some big tunes at the start of the set inc "Love Like Blood","Change" and "Wardance".Others played inc "Madness" and great versions of "Requiem" and "Asteriod". Encores were "Eighties" and "Pandemonium".Hard and intense Killing Joke are always good live ..... 31 March 2011.7.45pm to 10.30pm i went to the launch of Vestal Vodka at Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Bar,Knightsbridge,London.Its pretty amazing where you can see big bands in London these days as Razorlight are here to play their first gig in the UK with the new line up for just 150 invited guests.Johnny Borrells new moustache looks a bit dodgy but its a good 6 song 30 mins set inc "Golden Touch","Fall To Pieces","Vertical Woman" and ending with a cover of White Stripes "Hotel Yorba".Razorlight were introduced by Noel Fielding from tvs "Mighty Boosh" and "Never Mind The Buzzcocks".Lots of nice freebie Vestal Vodka cocktails and canapes. See www.vestalvodka.com for more info............ then 11pm to midnight was the afterparty for it at W Hotel,Leicester Square,London.First time i have been to this hotel that opened six weeks ago and has soon become the coolest hotel in London.Around 50 people here in one of the first floor bar areas inc Razorlight and Noel Feilding.I had a couple of freebie Vestal Vodka cocktails then left the youngsters to it.A fun night 30 March 2011.Went to two good events today. First was 3.45pm to 5.45pm for the press launch of The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer at 24,24 Kingly Street,London W1.Fun sized and lightweight along with stunning picture and sound quality.The idea i presume is to get some of the IPad marketshare. Lots of special features.Its a lovely item. It will be in the shops from 6 April 2011 and retailing for £379 or £429 for the pad and keyboard dock.Complimentary drinks and snacks for all here.See www.youtube.com/asus and www.asus.co.uk.....then across the road 6pm to 10pm for the launch of Boux Avenue at Sketch,Conduit Street,London W1.This was much bigger and better than expected.Sketch is closed to the public as all four rooms upstairs and downstairs are used for the 500 folks here that inc pr guru Max Clifford and tv presenter Nick Knowles.This new lingerie brand is owned by multi millionaire Dragons Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis who has spent a fortune on the party. He gave a speech during the evening.Freebie champers,cocktails and bowl food and pastries for a full six hours.I left after four.Boux Avenue is positioned as mid market and will go up against M&S, department stores and La Senza, which Paphitis used to own. Price points will range from £14 to £34 for a bra, and Paphitis has described it as “affordable luxury”. It will also offer a range of larger sizes up to G.Each room had something going on.A full lingerie catwalk show and later on a dj in the main room,a string quartet in lingerie,an aerial and trapeze act where both wore lingerie and a room with magicians and tarot card readers.Managed to get five goodie bags.Each bag had an item of underwear and a £50 dinner and drinks voucher for Sketch so overall an excellent party with all boxes ticked.See their range and photos from the party on www.bouxavenue.com.................. 29 March 2011.Elbow + Villagers live at The 02 Arena,London.Second of two shows here for Elbow at the end of their UK arena tour.Up first we have Villagers whose album "Becoming A Jackal" made The Mercury Album shortlist last year.Some great lyrics and unique vocals.Their 40 mins set went down well.They headline Shepherds Bush Empire on May 21 as part of their UK tour.Elbow are promoting new album "Build A Rocket Boys" on the back of the huge success of previous album "The Seldom Seen Kid".Its a full two hour show with five big screens for each member of the band and a four strong string section.The opening song "The Birds" plods a bit but then its a trio of good ones "The Bones Of You","Lippy Kids" and "Mirrorball".Singer Guy Garvey is more your mate down the pub rather than an arena rock star and lots of warm chat from him between each song went down well.Other goodies inc "Grounds For Divorce","The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver","Weather To Fly" and a big version of "Open Arms" was fantastic.Encores were "Starlings","Station Approach" and of course their big song "One Day Like This" with the string section in full flow.A bonafide arms in the air classic.A great show ..... 28 March 2011.Trans-Siberian Orchestra live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.This was a one off UK show at the end of TSO first European Tour.The venue is three quarters full for this act that are huge in America and other parts of Europe and have sold over 7m albums.A big stage show production was promised and wow this was the full monty.Some 24 people on stage.6 band members inc a drummer with one of the biggest and best drumkits i have ever seen,5 different lead singers,4 female backing singers and an 8 piece string section and a narrator between songs.A full stage with three huge arches showing images and a dazzling display of lasers,flames,lots of lights and dry ice.The sound quality was perfect.Their sound is a mix of prog rock,classical music,metal music and rock opera.Its big voices and big anthemic tunes.Lots of hair being shaken and other cliche rock poses.Its good stuff and kind of reminds me of those big Meat Loat anthems mixed with a West End musical like Phantom Of The Opera.The show lasted for around 2 hours 30 mins.The main part was the album "Beethovens Last Night" then creator Paul O'Neill came on to say a few words. I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style," O'Neill says. "Basically I was building on the work of everybody I worshipped: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd...I always wanted to do a full rock opera with a full progressive band with lots of lead singers. Then we had a few more songs inc a cover of Beatles "Help" sung at full throttle by a blonde female singer and also a couple of songs by a band called Savatage who Paul O'Niell used to be in.At the end the band said they would be in the foyer 20 mins after the show for autographs and a chat which was a nice touch.The merch stand was doing a roaring trade.This was visually a mega show and the songs were big and anthemic in a guilty pleasures sort of 1980s way............. 27 March 2011.John Grant + Sea Of Bees live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Up first we have some quirky indie folk from Sea Of Bees who is actually just one boyish looking female.She seems shy and nervous but the crowd warm to her for the 40 mins set.She plays tracks inc "Marmalade" and "Ghomes" from her Heavenly Records album "Songs For The Ravens"... Then John Grant.His album "Queen Of Denmark" on Bella Union Records got loads of great four and five star reviews in 2010 and is one of those word of mouth albums that is a real gem.On stage for 1 hour 40 mins.Mainly just piano but also bits of guitar,synth and on some songs a four piece string section.Some fantastic lyrics and you can really hear every word sung clearly.Anger,regret and humour are all covered.Tracks played inc "Sigourney Weaver","Marz","Chicken Bones", "Silver Platter Club","Jesus Hates Faggots", "Its Easier"."TC And Huggybear" and "Queen Of Denmark".A really good gig .. 26 March 2011.Glen Matlock And The Philistines live at The Firestation,Windsor,Berkshire.A new venue for me that is getting more and more live events.A great space with the stage at the right level.Glen And The Philistines are joined by their three female backing singers that they have used at the recent London shows.Glens "Born Running" album has been out for six months now and the ten tracks he plays from it tonight are still as punchy as when they first started playing them.The band are tight and are totally rocking all through the 85 mins set.We also get The Rich Kids anthem "Burning Sounds" and the versions of Sex Pistols classics "God Save The Queen"(dedicated to that lot that live across the road in the castle) and "Pretty Vacant" can only be described as lethal.A few gems from earlier albums were also played including the main set closer "Rattle Your Cage" with more stella guitar riffs from James Stevenson.Windsor as a town is a bit sleepy but this band are anything but.They are are a great live rock n roll band playing a great little venue and you cant ask for much more than that.Full setlist was "Born Running","Somewhere Somehow","Timebomb","Hard Work","Trouble","Burning Sounds","God Save The Queen","Get What We Get","Idiot","Hey Mister", "Nowheresville","Steppin' Stone","Yeah Right!", "Way To Go","Rock Chick","On Something","Rattle Your Cage" and encore of "Pretty Vacant"......... 24 March 2011.Roger Daltrey + Jon Fratelli live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.This was number four of the seven Teenage Cancer Trust shows.The venue is totally sold out with seats behind the stage and up in the gallery all taken.Up first we have Jon Fratelli who had some success with The Fratellis.He played a bunch of decent enough tracks from his solo album "Psycho Jukebox" in his 40 mins set.Not sure why he needed two drummers onstage.I have a fantastic view on the floor a dozen rows from the stage.Roger Daltrey and band play a superb 1 hour 50 mins set that was basically 70 mins of "Tommy" tracks and 40 mins of Who gems.Rock legend Roger Daltrey is in great shape for his 67 years old and the bands sound is brilliant with Simon Townshend on guitar and backing vocals doing sterling work. Set inc "Its A Boy","Cousin Kevin",a nice surprise to see Pete Townshend come on to sing "The Acid Queen",also "Fiddle About" and incredible versions of "Pinball Wizard","I'm Free" and "See Me Feel Me/Listening To You". Students from Middlesex Universary did some great images on the big screen for "Tommy" bits before the screen showed live footage for the second half.Gems played inc "Days Of Light","Pictures Of Lily","My Generation","I Can See For Miles","Young Man Blues" and Pete Townshend back on for a magical "Baba O'Riley" and finally "Without Your Love".A fantastic show from a real rock legend ...... 23 March 2011.I went to a drinks party then on to the Biffy Clyro gig...First was 6.15pm to 8.30pm for the launch of The Arch Bar at The Intercontinental Hotel,Park Lane,London W1. Over 200 guests here with lots of freebie Moet champers,gin cocktails and canapes for all.I knew around a dozen people here so great fun. Refurbished in the currently fashionable mix of deco/1950s-inspired anodyne chic favoured by many venues aimed at ‘business class’, what was the InterContinental's Lobby Bar has been re-invented as The Arch – complete with the promise of ‘unobstructed views of gardens, parks & the iconic Wellington Arch’. By-pass the lounge in favour of a high stool at the attractive bar counter & contemplate the vistas over Piccadilly as you dip into a fine selection of over two-dozen gins & gin-based cocktails. Try ‘old time tipple’ (basil-infused Berkeley Square gin muddled with fresh tomato & cranberry) or cherry-sweet ‘mother’s ruin’......then up the road to see Biffy Clyro live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.This was show number three of the seven Teenage Cancer Trust shows at this venue. Biffy have had an amazing last year or two after the success of their "Only Revolutions" album as they have toured all around the world.I saw them play Wembley Arena last December with a stunning stage production of walkways and pyros but tonight its smaller with just non stop strobes.On stage for 90 mins and all of them shirtless from the start Biffy are a great live rockin band.Opening with "The Captain",also "Whos Got A Match?","Machines","Bubbles" and a mega "Many Of Horror" and encores that included "Mountains".Maybe not as mega as that Wembley Arena show but still good............... 22 March 2011.Squeeze with 28 piece orchestra live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.This was show number two of the seven nights for the week of charity shows for The Teenage Cancer Trust. Now in its 11th year i have been to two or three shows every year it has taken place.Squeeze are another band i have a lot of history with.I have seen them around 20 times since 1978 including that legendary 1979 show where they supported The Police at The Lewisham Odeon.On stage for 90 mins with loads of their catchy hits and a few more recent tracks.Loads of great lyrics.Nice to have the big orchestra added weight to the songs too.Set inc "Black Coffee In Bed","Annie Get Your Gun","If Thats Love","Up The Junction","Labelled With Love","Tempted","Hourglass","Pulling Mussels From The Shell","Slap And Tickle","Take Me Im Yours", and encores that included a superb "Cool For Cats" where they were joined by twenty teenage cancer boys and girls on backing vocals.Maybe not as good as that in your face 100 Club show i saw Squeeze at last Christmas but still another really good show............... 21 March 2011.7pm to 11pm.The Lighthouse Gala Auction at Christies,8 King Street,London SW1. Around 500 mainly gay men here to help raise funds for the UKs leading HIV charity The Terence Higgins Trust.Lots of money raised here.Some faces here inc Tracey Emin,Nancy Dell'Olio and actor Russell Tovey who all got on stage and got involved with the auction.One of the lots was "a black cab tour of London with Ken Livingston" that got a mixed reception of boos and cheers but still went for £1600.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails and tasty hot food for all here tonight.The goodie bag was a bit lousy compared to when i went two years ago. A very nice evening.See www.tht.org.uk........... 20 March 2011.Australian Pink Floyd live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Now the biggest Floyd tribute in the world i saw them way back in 1993 at Subterania and 1995 at Mean Fiddler when they just had a few images behind them.They have now sold over 3m gig tickets.Each tour has got bigger and bigger and now its pretty much like a full Pink Floyd show.We have great seats 12 rows from the stage dead centre as this kind of show you spend more time looking at the stunning visuals rather than the band.The songs are note perfect of course and the band have three female backing singers just like Floyd.For this tour they have quadrophonic sound and we are given 3D glasses for use in certain songs in the second half.A brilliant lightshow,some lasers and a circular screen showing images like the real Floyd do.On stage for 2 hours 30 mins over two sets.Tracks played inc "Shine On You Crazy Diamond","Welcome To The Machine","Dogs" and the second half had the really big tunes like "Breathe","Time","The Great Gig In The Sky","Money","Wish You Were Here","Another Brick In The Wall" and mega versions of "Comfortably Numb" and encore "Run Like Hell".They may only be a tribute but its just really done to the highest standard.A really good gig.See aftershow page for this gig ............ 17 March 2011.Accept live at The Garage,Highbury And Islington,London.I saw these German rockers five times at Hammersmith Odeon in their early 1980s heyday.They were never as popular as the likes of AC/DC,Scorpions,Judas Priest etc in the UK but still sold over 25m albums worldwide.They were seen as AC/DC clones and they still are in that mould even though they have a new singer. A great venue to see them up nice and close. The sound is loud and rocktastic with two Flying V guitars riffing away for the 1 hour 50 mins set.They still sound like Bon Scott era AC/DC but the sold out crowd are loving it as there is lots of jumping around stagefront from start to the finish.The set was manly oldies with a couple of tracks from recent album "Blood Of The Nations".Tracks played inc "Teutonic Terror","Restless And Wild","Son Of A Bitch","Metal Heart", an excellent "Princess Of The Dawn","Up To The Limit" and encores inc great versions of two of their biggest tunes "Fast As A Shark" and "Balls To The Wall". A really good show.This UK tour comes at the end of a huge European and Russian tour before they head off to North America for another big tour. ......... 16 March 2011.6.45pm to 10.15pm.Book launch party for "Cougars" by Claire Irvin at 4th Floor, Rooftop Bar,Soho Sanctum Hotel,London W1.This very nice boutique hotel is part owned by Iron Maidens management and drummer Nico McBrain always stays here when over from his American home.As expected its a 75% female crowd as the books subject is not the big cats but "Cougars" which is the American term for older women who go out with younger men.Lots of freebie Moet champers and Russian Standard vodka cocktails flowing along with tasty hot food.A few faces here inc Tara Palmer Tomkinson who is posing away with the author.Also here were Lizzie Cundy,Nick Ede and dancer Louis Spence.Got a couple of goodie bags with lots of female products in and a copy of the book that retails for £6.99.A nice party with a good crowd.A quick browse through the book makes it more a light summer female read on the beach rather than anything very raunchy ........ 15 March 2011.7pm to 10pm.Party to celebrate the 100th issue of The Independents "I" paper at Century,Shaftesbury Avenue,London W1.Their slogan is "The New Concise Quality Newspaper-Only 20p" pretty much sums it up.Freebie champers,wines,beers and tasty hot food here for all.A few faces here inc Jerry Hall,Janet Street Porter,Dom Joly,Nancy Dell'Olio,Ian Hislop and David Arnold.I know Luke who looks after their Arts page.I used to do some articles for him when he was with The Londonpaper.A good party.... 12 March 2011.Beach Boys live at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.This was a black tie event for The Variety Club Childrens Charity. 600 guests here inc Christopher Biggins,Donal MacIntyre,Gloria Hunniford and no doubt a few more.The auction raised well into six figures.They have flown The Beach Boys in just for this one off show.It may be only a hotel but the stage production is fantastic.A huge space for the band,two big video screens and a neon backdrop.The sound is great,the harmonies are great even though the two original members leave the high notes to the younger members.A full 80 mins set.They are a perfect party band and everyone is dancing.Great to see them nice and close up.Set included "Surfin Safari","Dont Worry Baby","I Get Around","When I Grow Up(To Be A Man),and superb versions of "In My Room","God Only Knows","Good Vibrations" and "Sloop John B". More gems were "Wouldnt It Be Nice","California Girls","Help Me Rhonda","Barbara Ann","Surfin USA","Kokomo" and "Fun Fun Fun".A great show and got a goodie bag on the way out with Estee Lauder perfume amongst the stuff inside.......... 11 March 2011.Annie Lennox + Paloma Faith + VV Brown + Kate Nash live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.This was a show for EQUALS and International Womens Day.A well put together event where each act played between six and eight songs over 30 or 40 mins sets.Up first was Kate Nash with her quirky lyrics and delivery which was good.Set inc "Birds","I Hate Seagulls", "I Got A Secret" and her hit "Foundations".Then we had a 10 mins routine from a very funny Asian female comedian.Then VV Brown did her set wearing a stunning huge dress.I had seen her play frothy corporate gigs but tonight she was much better.Varied styles of real quality.Her set inc a cover of Coldplays "Viva La Vida" and her hit "Shark In The Water"......After the interval was headliner Annie Lennox who does so much tireless work for various charities and good causes.She was solo on the piano and played a bunch of great Eurythmics hits inc" "There Must Be An Angel","Here Comes The Rain Again","Love Is A Stranger" and mega versions of "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" and "Sweet Dreams"......then Paloma Faith who is also nice and quirky.Her set inc "Upside Down" and "New York".An enjoyable evening.............. 10 March 2011.I went to three good events today. First was 1pm to 2.30pm for a three course lunch at Sketch,9 Conduit Street,London W1.This was upstairs at their luxurious five star fine dining Lecture Room And Library.The food was great and the staff made you feel like royalty. Presentation was perfection.Three courses plus a drink and service charge came to £45 which was handy as i used two £50 Sketch goodie bag vouchers that covered both our meals.See www.sketch.uk.com...then 3pm to 5.30pm i was at The British Museum,London WC1 for a general browse and i got a press review ticket for the Afghanistan exhibition of treasures which normally costs £10.Spent an hour in here.It has had great reviews from all the main newspapers and BBC2 showed a programme on it this week.See www.britishmuseum.org.....then 7.15pm to 10.45pm i was at the Second Birthday Party of Aquum,68 Clapham High Street,London SW4.I have been to this cool trendy bar a couple of times before and always had a good time.Was recently voted "Best New Bar In London".They get a nice vibe going here.The dj keeps the music in the background for the first couple of hours then gradually turns it up and it gets lively.Totally open bar so a choice of four freebie cocktails tonight as well as anything else lubricated the crowd.Lots of tasty hot food too.Then talk about randon sightings.Me being a QPR fan.Who is here? None other than QPR footie legend Rodney Marsh and he is wearing a QPR scarf too.I have a nice chat to him and get a couple of photos with him.He lives a few mins up the road by car from the venue.This venue always puts on a good party and is well worth a visit.Check out their website www.aquum.co.uk ...... 09 March 2011.7pm to 10pm.Launch of "Electric Burlesque" photographic art exhibition by Greg Holloway at The Brick House,152c Brick Lane,London E1.Top Seattle photographer Greg Holloway displays his latest works of art at this trendy cabarat club,bar and restaurant. We also also have complimentary drinks and canapes for all here tonight.Also a full show from Sinner Saint Burlesque who have flown for a two week run here.A female comedian and five burlesque artists who all put on a good show as a troupe and solo.Its a stones throw from The Rough Trade East music store so pop in if you are in the area as its free admission.To watch the show in the evening its a bargain £10. see www.greghollowayphotography.com and www.thebrickhouse.co.uk for more info............ 08 March 2011.6.30pm to 9pm.Re-launch of The British Film Museum,County Hall,London SE1.The tourists like going here during the day and the venue is getting more and more private events in the evening.Lots of film related stuff in and around half a dozen rooms.Great location next to The London Eye Big Wheel with views all along the river and The Houses Of Parliament are opposite.Some freebie red and white wines are being given out along with nice bowl food and canapes.For more info see www.lfmevents.com then at 9pm went across to a huge packed pub to see the second half of Barcelona v Arsenal.Tonight(Wed) is another big game live on itv feat Spurs and AC Milan ................. 07 March 2011.Duran Duran live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.First proper show on their world tour to promote their new album "All You Need Is Now".They are still an arena band so this smallish by their standards gig sold out pronto. DD are another band i have a lot of history with. I saw them three times in 1981 when their debut album came out and i was at all six Hammy Odeon shows in 1982 when second album "Rio" came out and Duranmania was at its height.I remember on security we had to help the band get into their cars safely as they had a police escort each night away from the venue.So many pit photographers here they had to do two shifts.Twenty for songs 1 to 3 and another twenty for songs 4 to 6.Tonight they were joined by a female string quartet for some some songs inc the opening which was a medley tribute to John Barry.They then played their own James Bond hit theme "A View To A Kill".The band still look great and there are plenty of swooning females here to scream at Simon Le Bon and John Taylor.The 1 hour 40 mins set was nicely mixed with some new album tracks and loads of old hits.The sound was great but i felt the new guitarist could have done a better job.Tracks played inc "Being Followed","Is There Something I Should Know?","All You Need Is Now", "Notorious","The Reflex","Ordinary World","Friends Of Mine","Girl Panic","Careless Memories","Reach Up For The Sunrise" and a superb version of "Rio".Encores were "Come Undone","Runway Runaway" and a mega "Girls On Film".Duran Duran are always great live.See aftershow page for this gig .. 06 March 2011.The X Factor feat Matt Cardle + One Direction + 7 others live at Wembley Arena, London.A friend gave me his plus one guest list ticket for this show as no way would i pay for this.I have seen a couple of The X Factor tours before.Its pretty much the same format.A massive stage production with big screens,staircases, podiums,lots of lights,flames,pyros,a walkway,a second stage in the middle etc.Also lots of footage from the tv series inc the worst auditions which was great fun to watch. This is part of a huge six week tour of UK arenas but tonight is only three quarters full.Two sets of 60 mins and 65 mins.The headliners Matt Cardle and One Direction get to do five songs each and all the others do three or four each.Loads of screaming female teenagers here.Cher Lloyd,Paige Richardson,Aiden Grimshaw,Katie Waissal,Rebecca Ferguson were all average at best.Oldie Mary Byrne sung a great version of "Its A Mans World". Wagner has to be one of the worst acts i have ever seen.Even as a joke how could he get in the final? Who would vote for this twat? Like some reject from some dodgy 80s Eurovision song contest.One Direction had the most screams and banners tonight and look set to be this years big new boy band.Matt Cardle opened with a great cover of "Firework" complete with loads of fireworks and he played the Biffy Clyro cover that was the Christmas Number One.As a finale they all came back on to sing their charity cover version of "Heroes".Visually it was a good show to watch.Will be interesting to see who is still in demand in a years time.................. 05 March 2011.Peter Frampton live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Those of you old enough will remember what a big seller his "Frampton Comes Alive" album from 1976 was.It sold over 15 million.The good old days of Classic Rock when every month one of my fave bands would bring out a double live album gatefold sleeve on vinyl.I saw him as a support act to Uriah Heep in 1974 and as a headliner at Wembley Arena in 1976 when the album kicked off.The long hair has gone and he now is bald on top and grey at the sides as he has just turned 60.A near full house here of mainly men in their forties and fifties for a mammoth 2 hours 45 mins set.Bill Wyman and his family were here.The first 45 mins was good then the next 45 mins plodded a bit and then the final hour plus was really good.He is still a great guitarist and smiles a lot on stage.Of course the highlights were the three big oldies from the mid 70s "Show Me The Way" was early in the set and "Baby I Love Your Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do" were both at the end of the main set.Three or four guitar instrumentals from his Grammy Award winning album "Fingerprints" made the crowd a bit restless and tracks from recent album "Thank You Mr Churchill" ticked along nicely.Encores were "I Dont Need No Doctor" and a cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".A good show.Peter Frampton will return to the UK in November for a full tour............... 04 March 2011.NBA Basketball at The 02 Arena,London.History was being made tonight as this was the first regular season NBA game in Europe.Both teams are in the lower half of the Eastern Conference league as of the 15 teams The Jets are 12th and The Raptors are 13th.Rapper Jay-Z has financial interests in The Nets but is not here tonight.However we have got footballers Didier Drogba and William Gallas and ITV presenter Adrian Chiles.As expected its non stop American razzle dazzle for 2 hours 30 mins even though the match itself is 4 quarters of 12 mins each.The full house are entertained by cheerleaders,breakdancers,sexy classical string quartet Escala played a couple of tracks,trampoline stunts,on the floor competitions,etc.The slam dunks and three pointers got the most cheers.After losing six matches on the trot New Jersey Nets won this game 116-103.An enjoyable evening and it was a nice change as i cannot remember the last time i watched live basketball ...... 03 March 2011.Went to two events today.First was 3.15pm to 5.15pm at Confex 2011 at Earls Court Arena,London.Venues from all over London,The UK and Europe are showcasing their venues to be hired out.Ok for a couple of hours.Had a great chat with the guy on The Olympia stand who told me some of the amazing stuff that has been on there over the last 100 years.....then 7.15pm to 11.15pm i was at The Princes Trust Spring Ball feat ABC + VV Brown at The Hurlingham Club,Fulham,London W6.A nice upmarket event where most of the 400 guests have paid £350 to be here.Also tonight up the road at Battersea Power Station Duran Duran played also played at a drinks and dinner charity event.Some faces here inc Joe Calzaghe,Lizzie Cundy,Jodie Harsh and a nice surprise to see music biz legend John Giddings who is booking agent for U2,Madonna,Sex Pistols,PIL,Iggy Pop and a few more and is the Isle Of Wight Festival Promoter.He told me he had just come back from a week in Cape Town,South Africa with U2 who played some stadium shows out there.Perks of the job.Very nice.We had freebie cocktails for an hour.There was a fun photo booth,street magician Dynamo was going around the tables and Strictly Come Dancings Robin Windsor and female dance partner gave a display.Had a nice three course dinner.VV Brown still looks and sings good.About five songs inc "Shark In The Water".Other female acts have come after her and had more success.She seems to play a lot of these corporate events. At 10.35pm ABC took the stage for a five song 25 mins set.Singer Martin Fry looking super sharp in a nice suit.Set was "The Very First Time","Poison Arrow","The Night You Murdered Love" and great versions of "All Of My Heart" and "Tears Are Not Enough".I love ABC.I left before the disco kicked in.Got a couple of goodie bags with Charles Worthington hair products and St Tropez tanning products.A good event .... 02 March 2011.7pm to 10.30pm.Launch party for the charity single "Stronger Than Before" by Surianne at The Hotel Verta,Bridges Wharf, Battersea,London SW11.Another cold evening in London and its even colder at this venue that sits by the Thames with great views along the river.Its nice and cosy in their Level 1 bar where over 200 press folks and a few faces are enjoying the freebie Laurent Perrier champers and tasty canapes.I spotted Abi Titmuss and some of the cast from tv series "The Only Way Is Essex".We had some live music from acts who all did a few songs each.Guy Valarino was solo acoustic with a decent voice.Check his website www.guyvalarino.com...then David Jordan did a few.He looks and sounds great and reminds me of Terence Trent D'Arby.He had an album out in 2007 called "Set The Mood" that was produced by Trevor Horn.www.davidjordansmusic.net......then headliner Surianne who has a vibrant Latin/Spanish feel to her songs.The single will raise money for www.hestia.org and has already made the ITunes Top 100 Latino Songs Chart.See www.surianne.com.Overall a nice event............