Archive: February 2012

February 10, 2012

08 Feb 2012.We had a lovely press dinner at The Guinea Grill,30 Bruton Place,Mayfair,London W1.
This Youngs pub has been around for centuries.
They claim to serve the finest steak,fish and seafood in Mayfair.
Its location is at the rear of Stella McCartneys
shop which is in the busier Bruton Street.
We had a fantastic three course meal with drinks.It is a cosy traditional pub with a nice dining area at the back.I chose the sirlion steak with wild mushrooms and red wine sauce.I had a nice chat with Shaun who is their meeter and greeter.He said they get a lot of American tourists as well as local workers.He said Jamiroquai was in there last week.It really is one of those hidden away gems.
The Guinea Grill was established in 1952 but there has been an Inn here since 1423, when it was known as The Pound. The name changed in 1663 to celebrate the arrival of the new unit of currency - The Guinea.The Guinea pub at the front serves well kept Young's ales, Monday to Friday from 11.30am to 11pm and on Saturday from 6pm to 11pm. No reservations are taken in the bar, on a sunny day expect to see a large crowd outside the pub enjoying a pint of ale away from the hustle and bustle of New Bond Street and Berkeley Square.
The Grill is open Monday to Friday 12.30pm to 3pm for lunch, Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner.
See www.theguinea.co.uk


06 Feb 2012.Monday sees the release of two albums.Paul McCartneys "Kisses On The Bottom".What a crap name for an album.
Also Van Halens comeback album with David Lee Roth "A Different Kind Of Truth".It comes with a tv advert saying the bold statement "featuring the worlds greatest guitarist and the worlds greatest front man".
Due to the success of his radio show Ronnie Wood has been given his own music tv show with Sky Arts.Each show will feature guest acts.
Sad to hear original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward may not be taking part in the bands summer reunion as a proper contract has not been offered to him.Sounds like another case of lead singers and guitarists pulling stunts along with Sharon Osbourne pulling their strings.


02 Feb 2012.Trextasy live at The Beck Theatre, Hayes, Middlesex.
Without doubt one of the best tribute acts out there. I have seen Trextasy around 20 times since 1992 when they first started gigging including gigs supporting Gary Glitter at Wembley Arena in 1993 and i trekked out to Cambridge in 1997 when they played a special show with Trex bongo legend Mickey Finn.I was a bit too young to see Trex in their heyday but i did see Marc Bolans last ever show at The Rainbow in 1977 a few months before his fatal car crash.
Usually i see the band at a stand up rock club like The Standard in Walthamstow but tonight it is a cosy all seated theatre show.
Having said that lots of folks were up and dancing.Most of their shows are now in theatres.
On stage for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets this show was fantastic from start to finish.
Danielz the Marc lookalike is amazing.From his glam rock stage wear and corkscrew hair to the nailed on perfect renditions of the songs.
Opening with a couple of acoustic songs "Spaceball Ricoshet" and "Mystic Lady" from "The Slider" album and then it was a dream setlist of all the hits and lesser known gems from albums and b-sides.
Other tracks played included "Dreamy Lady","New York City","The Groover","Solid Gold Easy Action","Ride A White Swan" and "Get It On".Second set included
"Telegram Sam","Children Of The Revolution",
"Baby Strange","One Inch Rock","Thunderwing",
"Deborah","Metal Guru","Jeepster","20th Century Boy","I Love To Bogie" and the encore was a brilliant "Hot Love" with all the crowd dancing and singing along.
Marc Bolan is sadly missed but as Damielz said at the end "Always Keep A Bit Of Marc In Your Heart".A really great show.
The band play loads of gigs around the UK so check out their website www.trextasy.com


01 Feb 2012.6.40pm to 9.30pm i was at The Conde Nast Traveller Spa Awards at The Corinthia Hotel,Whitehall Place,London SW1.
This luxury 5 star hotel opened last year after a multl million pound makeover.I was at the launch party for it.It is a really superb venue.
A supremely elegant facade, 294 sumptuous rooms and suites, stylish bars and speciality restaurants, together with the city’s largest spa and wellness facility.
The 300 guests here had freebie Laurent Perrier champers along with some tasty food including oysters and duck.
The 11 awards were given out quite quickly.Some amazing spas from the UK and overseas.
The full list of winners and nominees along with pictures and interviews are in the latest copy of the magazine which is out now.
Got a couple of decent goodie bags here with ESPA items and other stuff.
Always nice to bump into music folks at any event.I had a nice chat with a guy from a band called The Juice who have played gigs here and overseas.Check them out on
www.myspace.com/iwantjuice


30 Jan 2012.6.30pm to 11.30pm.The Retail Trust London Ball at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.Around 1000 folks here for this charity that supports the 3 million retail workers in the UK.A nice champers reception until 8pm then a three course dinner.Some faces here including Sir Phillip Green from The Arcadia Group(Topshop etc) who donated over £200k towards the £1 million raised tonight.Also here was Ultimo boss Michelle Mone,tv presenter George Lamb,Louise Redknapp and Emma Forbes.
Brian Conley was the host and was very funny. After the auction was a dodgy covers band called The Bogus Brothers.Got a nice goodie bag with a GHD Gold Classic Hairstyler that retails at around £100.

30 Jan 2012.Mon sees the debut album by Lana Del Rey "Born To Die" finally come out.She is the most hyped up new act of the year.
Three guitar bands who have been getting a lot of hype are Tribes,Howler and Spector so will be interesting how these four acts get on over the next 12 months.


28 Jan 2012.Football and wrestling today.
QPR 0 Chelsea 1......West London Megaclash.
One of those games that was a letdown compared to the prematch build up.Chelsea got a dodgy penalty but QPR never really got going.
then
TNA Impact Wrestling live at Wembley Arena,
London.
Last date of TNAs short UK arena tour.TNA are one of the main promoters of wrestling in the USA.
A very noisy crowd here chanting and holding up banners etc made it a great atmosphere.
Tonight was shown live to some countries and will be shown on Challenge TV in the UK.Around a dozen bouts with no real interval.Just three minute gaps between the action.Two of the bouts were between female wrestlers.
The headline act is the legendary Hulk Hogan with his first showing over here for 18 years.
The crowd went mental when he was in the ring.
Hogan enjoyed mainstream popularity in the mid 1980s through the early 1990s as the all-American character Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF—now WWE).
The other main guy was a wrestler named Sting who wore full KISS type make up.
Its all well rehearsed of course but there was still plenty of jumping off the top of the ropes that looked good.Its all very American razzle dazzle but visually entertaining good fun.
On Monday 30th Jan 2012 tickets go on sale for their January 2013 UK arena tour.

February 18, 2012

17 Feb 2012.7pm to 11pm.Sex And London City And Fashion Forward Pr Opening Party For London Fashion Week at The Roof Gardens,Kensington High Street,London W8.
Its London Fashion Week again where there are half a dozen parties each night related to the catwalk shows.At this one they had freebie champers for general guests for an hour but i managed to get a vip wristband for that area for free drinks all night.A couple of faces here inc Lizzie Cundy and The OK Magazine team.Also performance artist Pandimonium in her full length yellow rubber Lady Gaga outfit.We had a catwalk fashion show from a couple of up and coming new designers.
We had two live acts playng five songs each.
They were Early Morning Rebel from Los Angeles and Gabriella Ellis who was in The Made In Chelsea tv show.
The best bit was at 10.45pm.Outside on the roof gardens for a firework display,light show and full shooting flames with background music.
It only lasted five minutes but was superb.

16 Feb 2012.8pm to 11.45pm.Launch party for the latest Bjorn Borg underwear collection at Battersea Power Station,London.
You keep hearing the words recession,cutbacks and austerity measures but noboby has told the Bjorn Borg gang.This event must have cost lots.
A massive pre London Fashion Week party for around 1000 folks.The venue has been decked out as a "Scandinavian Wonderland" so there are fake christmas trees,jacuzzis and no doubt some of the furniture was from Ikea.
Freebie drinks all night for all and bowl food and canapes with a swedish theme and oysters too.The bar staff worked their nuts off here.
We had a fashion show with around 20 male and female models showcasing the "glow in the dark" shorts collection that sell for around £20 in shops like Selfridges.
Some faces here too including Pixie Geldof helping out on dj duties and Jodie Harsh later on the decks.Boxer David Haye was here as was tv presenter George Lamb.
We also had a film show and a live band who were I Blame Coco who feature Stings daughter.
They played half a dozen songs in 30 mins.
Decent enough but nothing special.They have been playing gigs for a couple of years now.
Staff were handing out the new range out at the end.I manage to get nine pairs.Four male and five female so will find them a good home.
An excellent event.
See www.bjornborg.com


15 Feb 2012.6pm to 9pm i was at The Minster Exchange,Mincing Lane,London EC3.
Stylish bar and restaurant in the heart of the city off Fenchurch Street and a few minutes walk from Liverpool Street showcases the opening of its downstairs area.
An extensive drinks list here with a staggering 62 different wines on offer.
Lots of freebie champers,different cocktails and canapes flowing for all here tonight.
On normal nights they have a 5pm to 7pm happy hour where the £8 cocktails are £4.50 each.The female bar staff were really great.
Minster Exchange has recently undergone a renovation on the conference facilities and now offers the ultimate multi-functional event space for any hospitality occasion. Offering the ideal venue for a private board meeting, conference, fine dining experience in the beautiful restaurant, or simply an informal gathering with colleagues in the spacious bar. With facilities such as a separate bar, dance floor, kitchen, cloak rooms, full audio-visual equipment and projector screens, the self-contained meeting areas can be adapted to suit the changing demands required for different events. Catering for up to 400 people.
Suitable for: Business lunches • Christmas parties • Client entertaining • Champagne and canapé receptions • Day delegate • Formal dining • Meetings • Networking events • Private hire • Product launches •Quiz nights • Sporting lunches and dinners • Summer parties • Themed events • Wedding receptions.
I really liked this venue.
See www.ballsbrothers.co.uk


13 Feb 2012.The TPI Awards at The Novotel,Hammersmith,London W6.
The TPI Awards is the main awards event for the live production industry.
Around 1000 folks here.Very male dominated as maybe 50 women here max.
Freebie drinks reception for an hour then a three course meal.
The hosts tonight are BBC 6 Music’s Stuart Maconie & BBC 5 Live’s Danny Baker.
The awards were for fave production(winner was The Gorillaz tour),fave security(winner was Showsec),fave catering(winner was Eat To The Beat),fave tour manager,fave venue(winner was Brixton Academy),fave rehearsal room,fave staging,fave equipment leasing,fave trucking company etc.I did write down all of the winners down but i lost my notes.Quite a few people here i know.Quite lively too.A good one.
See www.tpiawards.com


12 Feb 2012.Big Country + Gun live at The Hexagon Theatre,Reading,Berkshire.
Both bands tonight hail from Scotland.
Up first are Gun who had a couple of hits around 20 years ago with "Better Days" and a rocked up version of Cameos "Word Up".A decent set.
I saw Big Country when they reformed last year.They still have three original members and The Alarms Mike Peters is on vocals to cover Stuart Adamson who sadly hanged himself in 2001.
I saw them loads of times at Hammersmith Odeon in their 1980s heyday.Always a great live band.
This tour is based on "The Crossing" album that sold over a million copies after its release in 1983.Lots of jumping around stage front as their guitar sound does sound a bit like bagpipes.
To me Mike Peters is a bonafide Welsh legend.
Tracks played in the 1 hour 55 mins set included "In A Big Country",Mike Peters sung "Chance" from the mixing desk,"1000 Stars",
"Harvest Home","Lost Patrol" and "Fields Of Fire".Encores were a cover of "Tracks Of My Tears" then "Look Away" and "Wonderland".
Lots of singing from the crowd.A good gig.


12 Feb 2012.For the first time in 20 years, all surviving founding members of the Beach Boys will play live, and it’ll be at the Grammys. According to the Grammy Awards site, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks will appear in a special performance with Grammy nominees Foster The People and Maroon 5.
Very sad to hear of Whitney Houstons death at the young age of 48.On the day before the awards too so bound to be subdued there.She suffered from drug and booze addiction over the last 10 years.Her last shows in the UK were April 2010.I saw two of them at The 02 Arena.It was painful to see as she mumbled and forgot lyrics and could not reach the high notes.Such a bad fall from grace from a singer who was so massive in the 1980s and 1990s.
GRAMMY UPDATE....They will have musical tributes to Whitney Houston,Amy Winehouse and Etta James who have all passed away over the last 12 months.


11 Feb 2012.Snow Patrol + Everything Everything live at The 02 Arena,London.
Second of three shows at this venue as part of Snow Patrols world tour to promote their sixth album "Fallen Empires" that came out Nov 2011.
Up first we have Everything Everything who are loved by the likes of NME and they had middling success with their Mercury Prize nominated 2010 debut album "Man Alive".They arrive on stage in one piece grey overalls.Their 40 mins set of arty pop songs with some falsetto vocals bemused this Snow Patrol crowd.I did not think much of them either.
Snow Patrol like Coldplay are one of those love them or loathe them bands.Their recent album did not sell as well as their others but singer Gary Lightbody specialises in arms aloft choruses and lyrics that their hordes of fans love.
On stage for 1 hour 50 mins.A nice stage production with big screen and a lighting rig that moved around more and more as the show progressed.
Tracks played included "Take Back The City",
"Hands Open","Run","Crack The Shutters","Set The Fire To The Third Bar","Shut Your Eyes","Chasing Cars" and for "Fallen Empires" they were joined on stage by support act Everything Everything.
Also played was "Youre All I Have" and encores "Lifening","Open Your Eyes" and "Just Say Yes".Safe and predictable they may be but lots of singalong tunes and very enjoyable.


10 Feb 2012.Dream Theater + Periphery live at Wembley Arena,London.
A night of prog metal over in North London.
Up first we have Periphery from Maryland,America.Their 40 mins set got polite applause from the Dream Theater hardcore.
Like Dream Theater their recent album has come out on Roadrunner Records.
The last time i saw Dream Theater was at Hammersmith Apollo.Perhaps thats where they should have played tonight as the venue is half empty.
The main reason i went to see Dream Theater was their amazing drummer Mike Portnoy who had the biggest drum kit you ever saw along with stage charisma to match.I was was totally shocked by his departure in 2010.By all accounts it was a bit messy.He wanted to take some time off.The rest of the band said no and they toured without him.Then they would not let him back even though he was an original member.
They have a great new drummer with an equally impressive kit but he says nothing on stage.
The band played for 2 hours 10 mins.
Great musicians of course but some of the 10 mins songs moved into muso self indulgence.
The big screen had a nice mix of graphics and live stage clips.
There was a fantastic guitar solo near the end before an excellent "The Spirit Carries On".
A decent enough show.

10 Feb 2012.The owners of London's O2 Arena have moved to distance the venue from Seatwave's new North Greenwich ticket resale shop.
Seatwave @ North Greenwich will allow customers to buy and sell tickets to O2 gigs just metres from the arena's doors.
However, the O2 is not officially involved - as a spokesperson for the AEG-run venue tells Music Week that it operates a "zero tolerance policy to ticket touting".
The rep said: Following a press release issued today by secondary ticketing agents Seatwave, we would like to clarify that The O2 is in no way connected to Seatwave and in no way supports or endorses the secondary ticketing market.
The only way for music fans and concert goers to safely purchase tickets for events at The O2 is via The O2’s onsite Box Office, the official website theO2.co.uk, or via one of The O2’s official ticketing partners.
The purchase of tickets through secondary ticketing agents brings with it inherent risk and we strongly advise our customers against using unregulated and unofficial outlets.
Since opening in 2007 The O2 has operated a zero tolerance policy to ticket touting. Any person attempting to buy or sell tickets in the venue or the surrounding area will be removed from the site and issued with a Prohibited Access Order, in effect banning them from The O2 and AEG managed property.