Archive: January 2012

January 15, 2012

Saturday was a full day out in South West London.
14 Jan 2012.2pm to 5pm.Dick Whittington Panto live at New Wimbledon Theatre,London.This theatre has got some big names for its annual panto recently.In 2009 i saw Pamela Anderson here then the following year was David Hasselhoff and this year it is aussie legend Dame Edna.
Two sets of 75 mins and 70 mins.Dame Edna arrives and departs on a chair on wires suspended over the crowd.Lots of nice costumes and colour.Plenty of topical gags,local gags,corny gags and of course audience partipation.Dame Edna was on great form with various over the top outfits.We had a 5 mins interlude to watch some 3D film too.
Very entertaining.Really good fun.
then
Chickenfoot live at Brixton Academy,London.
My first gig in three weeks as this time of the year is so quiet for quality bands playing.
Great to see two ex members of Van Halen on stage.Original VH bassist Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar who replaced David Lee Roth in VH.
Also here is ace guitarist Joe Satriani.
I saw them a couple of years ago at Shepherds Bush Empire when the first album came out.They are over here again to promote their confusingly titled second album "Chickenfoot III".
On stage for around 1 hour 45 mins.The setlist is pretty much the best tracks of the two albums.Sammy Hagar was enjoying himself and looking and sounding like Robert Plant in the old days.Like other recent supergroups Them Crooked Vultures and Black Country Communion they play a really good live rock show but there are no real standout classic tracks.
Tracks played included "Three And A Half Letters","Future In The Past" and encores "Different Devil","Oh Yeah" and the only cover of the night "Foxy Lady"(Jimi Hendrix).


34 years ago.Sex Pistols played their last show with Sid Vicious on 14 Jan 1978 in San Francisco.

12 Jan 2012.I went to two events tonight.First
5.15pm to 7.15pm was The BRIT Awards Nominations Launch Party at The Savoy Hotel,London WC1.
Around 400 media here in this very nice ballroom.
Freebie wines and beers for all.Quite a few people here i know.Radio 1 dj Greg James announces the nominations and this years host of the main awards on 21 Feb James Cordon says a few words.Jessie J handed Emile Sande the Critics Choice Award and Emile then sang a song.
Then Ed Sheeran sang a song.His album has sold over 900,000 and he leads the way with four nominations this year.Also here was Sir Peter Blake who has designed the awards this year.Also Chase And Status,Professor Green and Rizzle Kicks.
The live acts for this year are confirmed as Coldplay,Noel Gallagher,Rihanna,Adele.Ed Sheeran,Bruno Mars and Florence And The Machine who all play a song each and Blur who will play a short set at the end as they win The Outstanding Contribution To Music Award.
then
8pm to 9pm i was at a showcase for new club DSTRKT,9 Rupert Street,London W1.
This multi million pound club opened its doors a month ago.It is located around the corner from Cafe De Paris.Discreet entrance with stairs leading down to a very impressive huge space which is split into a dining area and a club area with lots of vip tables and dj booth.Looks like they are aiming for the older upmarket crowd.We had a couple of free cocktails for an hour.Looking forward to going there again.

11 Jan 2012.I went to two events tonight.First 6.30pm to 8pm.Launch party for MADD,53 Rupert Street,London W1.Great location in the heart of Soho just a few yards from Madame Jojos for MADD which is the UKs first dessert bar dedicated to mango.The decor is full of nice bright orange and yellow tones.We have freebie mango based cocktails,mango based smoothies and a yummy array of mango based desserts.They also do coffees and teas.Dessert bars are popular in countries like Thailand.
See www.wearemadd.com
then 8.30pm to 11pm i was at 10 Trinity Square,Tower Hill,London EC3 for The Wallpaper Design Awards 2012.
Great views over the Tower Of London here.
Over 500 very cool folks here in this historic building for this magazine awards which are seen as "the oscars of the design world".We have freebie Veuve Clicquot champers,cocktails, beers,bowl food and canapes.Dj here as well.
Awards are based around design/interiors/fashion/art/lifestyle.
London won the best city award.
Everyone got a free copy of Feb 2012 Wallpaper mag that has full pictures and interviews with the winners.It is in the shops for £4.95.
Also check www.wallpaper.com.
A great party.


10 Jan 2012.6.15pm to 9pm.Tourism South East Media Party at The Waterloo Bar And Grill,London SE1.
Around 100 press folks here to attend this event that promotes great places to visit and stay at in the region which covers the Oxford/Chilterns
area and all the way around to Sussex and Kent.
Complimentary wines,burgers and canapes for all.
A good networking event with friendly chat.
A nice goodie bag here for all attendees.
A wide range of interesting places to visit including theme parks,hotels,museums and much much more.
My luck has changed as i won a great raffle prize here.Two nights for two at a posh hotel in Windsor,Berkshire with all food included.Nice.
For the full list of places to visit see www.visitsoutheastengland.com
Also a couple of nice hotels worth a visit.
Priory Hotel Isle Of Wight.
Ideal for IOW Festival and Bestival.
www.priorybay.co.uk

Compleat Angler Hotel,Marlow,Bucks.
A lovely four star hotel.
www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/compleatangler

The Rebellion Festival to be held in Blackpool August 2012 has confirmed some headliners.
Check the website link on the right of this page for info on early bird tix etc.
Over 100 bands will play over the weekend.
RANCID
THE ONLY ONES
BOW WOW WOW
SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS
THE BOYS
SNUFF
THE SLACKERS
THE BUSINESS
PENETRATION
UK SUBS


Another venue with a change of name.
I have been there a couple of times.The Birmingham Academy is now called The Birmingham Ballroom as it is back in the hands of independent owners(it used to be The Hummingbird before The Academy) – now three venues – there will be two stages plus an acoustic stage.


Sunday 08 Jan sees the 65th birthday of David Bowie.This music legend has kept a low profile in New York since a health scare a few years ago.
An influence on so many acts old and new there is no doubt he would clean up if he toured again but that seems very unlikely.I was lucky to have seen him loads of times over the last 35 years.
Happy birthday David.


06 Jan 2012.The Boat Show at Excel,London.
12.30pm to 7pm.I was here for the opening press day.It was opened by Tamara Ecclestone and famous sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnson is walking around all afternoon.Lots of stunning luxury yachts and boats here that you can go on and peek around.They really do have the wow factor.
The big ones from the likes of Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline are all in the million pound plus range.Lots of speed boats,jet skis and other related items here.You can practise water sports in the full size "action pool".
As it is press day many of the companies here are having receptions for the press so plenty of free booze,nibbles and goodie bags floating about.I must mention www.universalstoneuk.com who gave me a full bag of their German designed eco friendly all purpose top quality cleaning products.
Enjoyable day.The Boat Show is here until
15 Jan 2012.See www.londonboatshow.com


05 Jan 2012.Cirque Du Soleil "Totem" live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Tonight was the press/vip opening night for this "posh folks circus" that has played six week stints at The Royal Albert Hall for many years at this time of year.
I have a great grand tier seat in a press box.
In the box next to me is music promoter Harvey Goldsmith and The Who manager Bill Curbishley and in the box on the other side is Paloma Faith.
A big sprinkling of faces here including Sir Bob Geldof,Nick Mason,Sophie Ellis Bextor,Eva Hertzigova,Tim Minchin,Jimmy Carr,Ben Elton,Natasha Kaplinsky,Tamer Hassan,Esther Rantzen,Diversity,Nicholas Parsons,Arlene Phillips and errr Timmy Mallett.
Had some free booze and canapes during the interval in the press hospitality area.
The show is visually great with lots of eye-popping skill and strength on display.Lots of colour with great cosumes,great projected images and a live band too.We have acrobats,clowns,a balancing act,juggling and much more.Two sets of 70 mins each.Very enjoyable even if the ticket prices are a bit steep.They start from £20 and rise to a whopping £80 Tues to Thur and £90 Fri to Sun for best seats.


January 26, 2012

25 Jan 2012.National Television Awards at The 02 Arena,London.
This was the UKs main TV awards of the year.
A nice stage big production and live on ITV.
The host was Dermot O'Leary.We had a song each from Sir Bruce Forsyth and then Ant And Dec before the awards and later on Little Mix and Military Wives did one song each.
The awards are voted by the public.
Winners and nominees here included Jonathan Ross,Michael McIntyre,Alan Carr,members of most of the big tv soaps,Dr Who,Downton Abbey,Miranda Hart,Martin Clunes,Gary Barlow,Loose Women,This Morning,Benidorm,Keith Lemon,Graham Norton,Russell Kane,Outnumbered and too many others to mention here.
Guest presenters included David Walliams,Tulisa,
Thierry Henry,Chris Moyles,Elle Macpherson,Richard Wilson,Paul O'Grady and Will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas.
A nice atmosphere and some quick set changes during when they showed adverts on tv at home.
A very mainstream event but decent enough.


24 Jan 2012.Adam Ant And The Good,The Mad And The Lovely Posse live at Sub 89,Reading, Berkshire.
Last date of Adams latest UK tour.A sold out capacity crowd of at least 600 at this club venue.
Another act i have followed from the early days.
I must mention Adams punk credentials as in 1975 The Sex Pistols played their first ever show supporting Adam Ants band "Bazooka Joe" and i saw Adam in 1977 in the first proper punk film "Jubilee" and a couple years after i saw his live gigs as he went from the cult status of the "Dirk Wears White Sox" debut album to huge mainstream success in the early 1980s.
I saw him play a couple of club shows a year ago including the 100 Club which were based around early material but now its more of a hits show.
A nice long set of five mins short of two hours.
Adam is still a natty dresser and looks amazing and years younger for a 57 year old.
A solid band who are more rockier than the Ants ever were.He is one of those frontmen that you cannot take your eyes off.
The setlist was a dream really as it covered everything.Tracks played included "Plastic Surgery","Dog Eat Dog","Cartrouble","Deutcher Girls",a brilliant "Stand And Deliver","Puss n Boots","Catholic Day","Kings Of The Wild Frontier" had excellent tribal drums that got the crowd really dancing,a couple of new tracks were played that will be on a new album,then another oldie "Xerox".
"Antmusic" was another gem that really went down well,"Goody Two Shoes",then "Vive Le Rock" which is the track i saw him play at Live Aid in 1985,then "Christian D'Or","Lady" and "Fall In "
which were all great.Encores included another of his number one hits "Prince Charming" and a couple of covers from one of his heroes Marc Bolan so we got "Get It On" and "20th Century Boy" and finally "Physical(You're So") which sent his loyal fans home very happy.
Who would have thought a couple of years ago that Adam Ant would be back playing so many gigs but he really has regained the old magic.
More shows are planned for the spring/summer so make sure you get along to see him.


23 Jan 2012.The Classic Rock Show live at The Cadogan Hall,Chelsea,London.
This band feature members of The Brit Floyd Show tribute band so you know in advance this will be quality musicians and excellent sound.
As expected an older crowd with some 650 tickets sold out of a possible 850 which is great for just a covers band.
They were on stage for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets.A big band with multi vocalists and multi guitarists so all the songs sounded great.It was one or two tracks from classic rock acts of 1970s and 1980s including Fleetwood Mac,Elton John,
Eagles(Hotel California),Bruce Springsteen(a brilliant Born To Run complete with full sax solo), Dire Straits(Money For Nothing),Led Zep(Stairway To Heaven),AC/DC(You Shook Me All Night Long),Meat Loaf(Bat
Out Of Hell),Pink Floyd(Comfortably Numb),
Supertramp,Steely Dan,Boston(More Than A Feeling) then a mega version of "Freebird"
with full on guitar duel.Encores were "With A Little Help From My Friends" and The Whos "Wont Get Fooled Again".
It may not be the real thing but a good night out and this crowd loved it.
See www.theclassicrockshow.com as this is part of a full UK tour.


20 Jan 2012.Henry Rollins live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.A spoken word gig.
With his trademark mix of humour and indignation, pop culture, political commentary and personal anecdote, healthy scepticism and his own belligerent form of optimism, Henry Rollins returns to Royal Festival Hall for a night of spoken word following his sold-out 2010 date.There are few who can match the breadth of Henry Rollins' CV. As frontman for both Rollins Band and Black Flag, he became a punk icon; as an actor he's appeared in over 20 films including David Lynch's Lost Highway; and as a writer he's published travel books, music journalism, political commentary and more.
On stage for 2 hours 30 mins with just him and the microphone.His tales of on the road adventures with Black Flag and his astute take on current affairs alongside stories from his visits to South East Asia made it a very entertaining evening.This was part of a 150 plus date world tour.

For all you classic rock fans.Some band websites have great band history with gig lists etc.
Here is another one.A UK fan of Blue Oyster Cult has compiled a gig history of the band and the band have put it up on their own website.Check out the support act section which has some amazing names from classic rock and glam rock.
The 70s era gigs listing is the best bit.
Its on www.blueoystercult.com under the "On the road--tour dates of yore" section.

Paul Weller became a father again with twin boys a few days ago.Named Bowie and John Paul that now makes Paul a father of SEVEN to four different women.
He has a new album out called "Sonik Kicks" in March and will play five shows at The Roundhouse on March 18,19,20,21,22.

RELEASED: VIA ALEXBUTLERMUSIC.COM – 10th JANUARY, 2012
RELEASE: TURN EP/XX RECORDINGS - 26th FEBRUARY 2012
On 10 January 2012, Alex Butler will release ‘F**k it She Will Do’ exclusively to fans able to download the exclusive ‘dirty version’ through his website in exchange for signing up to his mailing list. “F**k It She Will do” will be followed by the release of his first EP, with the commercial lead track "Turn" heading the charge.