Archive: June 2012

June 10, 2012

09 June 2012.The Sex Pistols Experience Diamond Jubilee Boat Party Gig on The River Thames to celebrate the 35th anniversary of when the real Sex Pistols did it in 1977 and they are using the same boat.The boat was also used in last weeks boat pageant for The Queen.
I found out about the original boat party in 1977 by bumping into Sid Vicious at a gig at the Roundhouse but went down on the night and it was guest list only.
I did not get on but had a good back up of seeing Queen at Earls Court Arena which was great.
I have done a few of the SPE boat gigs before so i know to expect an excellent evening.
We departed a bit late as the band got stuck in traffic from Bradford where they played the night before which then meant getting stuck at high tide on the wrong side of Hammersmith Bridge and then waiting for tide to drop so the boat could fit under the bridge.
A lovely sunny evening compared to the previous night of rain and winds.
Cruise out from Westminster to Tower Bridge and then out west to Chiswick and back.
Some harmless jeering to tourists on the bridges above and to folks on other boats.
The dj playing lots of great punk classics.
A full boat of 130 hardcore Pistols fans who have come from Bristol,Leeds,Liverpool and all
over the UK to celebrate one of punk rocks most legendary events.
The boat becomes a sweaty little club gig when the band hit the stage as most are dancing and jumping around and singing loudly to every song.
The band play an 80 mins set full of Pistols gems one after the other.The band are on top form as they really do sound and look like the real thing.
Tracks played included 'Holidays In The Sun","God Save The Queen","EMI","Belsen Was A Gas",
"Problems","Anarchy In The UK","Bodies","Pretty Vacant" and encores of a repeat of "God Save
The Queen" and finally "No Fun".
We arrived back to the pier at 11.30pm.
An excellent event and well done to the band for putting it on
as there is quite a financial risk as the boat costs £500 an hour to hire.
www.sexpistolsexperience.co.uk



08 June 2012.Blink 182 + All American Rejects live at The 02 Arena,London.
First of two shows here at this venue for these catchy pop punk bands from America.Blink 182 are on a massive UK and European Tour for all of June and July.
Blink 182 have sold over 28 million albums.
Up first are All American Rejects who themselves have sold over 10 million albums and are an ideal support.Their 40 mins set included tracks "Swing Swing","It Ends Tonight" and "Gives You Hell".
Blink 182 have a full arena production for their 90 mins set.Lots of big screens and loads of lights.For the first 20 mins or so it was white lighting only that worked well.
The floor standing is very lively with lots of dancing and all the crowd singing along.
Travis Barker is a great drummer but the front two guys stage banter was juvenile chat that grated.I mean the guys are now all in their late 30s and talking like they are silly teenagers.
Lots of goodies played like "Whats My Age Again?","I Miss You","All The Small Things","Carosel" and "Dammit".Overall a good show
Full Blink 182 setlist.
Feeling This...Up All Night...The Rock Show...What's My Age Again?..Down...I Miss You...Wishing Well...Dumpweed...Always...Violence...After Midnight...
First Date...Heart's All Gone...Man Overboard...Country Song / Blow Job...Ghost On The Dance Floor...All The Small Things...Josie
Encores...Travis Barker Drum Solo...Carousel...Dammit


Download Festival takes place this weekend June 8,9,10 with headliners
Fri 8 June = Prodigy + Chase And Status + Machine Head + Slash.
Sat 9 June = Metallica + Biffy Clyro + Steel Panther + Black Veil Brides + Saxon.
Sun 10 June = Black Sabbath + Soundgarden + Megadeth + Reckless Love.
As i get older i cannot be bothered by big music festivals where you trek to some distant bit of land then stand up all day with a dodgy view as there is 50,000 plus folks also there watching the bands and get ripped off for tickets,food and drink and having to sleeping rough in a tent/car.Then there is the dodgy British weather and don't even mention the toilets.No thanks.........Rock n roll is best indoors.
Prodigy + Metallica + Black Sabbath are all great headliners but i have seen them all loads of times.
I first saw Black Sabbath way back in 1974 and 1975.



07 June 2012.I went to two good events tonight.
The second event was my 5800th gig.
First 6.30pm to 8pm.Royal Mail Party To Celebrate Great British Fashion at The Commonwealth Club,London WC2.
Never thought I’d ever be writing a post about stamps, but the Royal Mail has just released a range of fashionable stamps celebrating Great British Fashion and I kind of like it. The 10 stamps feature designs by iconic British designers from past and present: outfits by Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Ossie Clark, Tommy Nutter, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Granny Takes a Trip, Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies all feature in photographs shot by renowned fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø.
The full set costs £6 and are available from all Post Office branches today!
Snail mail will never be this fashionable again.
Freebie beers,wines and canapes here.Zandra Rhodes was here and a few other fashion types.The 10 stamps are blown up to picture size in frames and some vintage dresses are on display.The goodie bag had a couple of packs of the stamps in.
Then 9pm to midnight.
Gabrielle's Angel Foundation Gala at Battersea Power Station,London.
A very upmarket crowd here for this charity fundraiser at this iconic building.
Around 500 dressed up folks here.300 have paid £1000 to be in seated areas and 200 have paid £500 to stand.
Some known faces here include Patsy Kensit,Caprice and Tamara Ecclestone.
Everyone gets all night freebie Veuve Clicquot champers, different Absolut Vodka cocktails and lots of bowl food and canapes including burgers from Gordon Ramseys Bread Street Kitchen and Daisys ice cream van was here.
Noisettes played a 30 mins set then we had a burlesque show and then a short auction that raised thousands.
The main live act was Bill Wymans Rhythm Kings who played a 12 song 55 mins set that included tunes like "Route 66" and "Hit The Road Jack" but best were the last two "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Dancing In The Street" that got everyone up on the floor dancing.A good set.
DJ Cassidy played some dance tunes for the last hour.
I got some nice goodie bags at the end.
An excellent event for my 5800th gig.



06 June 2012.Slash live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
This show has been sold out for two months.Slash plays in London a couple of days before his Download Festival gig on Friday.
The shows are to promote his second solo album "Apocalyptic Love" and the set features songs from that and all his previous bands.
Only a few days after his old band Guns And Roses hit town with their juggernaut live production.
There is a great atmosphere here tonight.Slash wearing his trademark hat and tattoos everywhere.
Quite a long set of 1 hour 50 mins.
The sound i thought could have been better and the show is not in the same league as the Guns And Roses production of last week.
Half the set is average rock songs and it is still the
G n R gems that go down the best.Early on he plays "Nightrain" and "Rocket Queen" and near the end we get stunning versions of "Sweet Child O Mine" and "Paradise City" that really get the crowd rocking.
Slash knows the rock history of this venue and seems really happy his band can sell out here.
Overall a good rock show that had its great bits and that had its average bits.
Full setlist
One Last Thrill...Been There Lately(Slash's Snakepit song)...Nightrain (Guns N' Roses song)...Back From Cali..
Ghost...Standing in the Sun...Rocket Queen (Guns N' Roses song)...Doctor Alibi...Speed Parade (Slash's Snakepit song)...Halo...Watch This...Starlight...Anastasia... Just Like Anything (Slash's Snakepit song)...Apocalyptic Love
...You're a Lie...Sweet Child O' Mine (Guns N' Roses song)...Slither(Velvet Revolver song).
Encores:
Communication Breakdown (Led Zeppelin cover).
Paradise City (Guns N' Roses song).


04 June 2012.7.00pm to 10.50pm.The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert At Buckingham Palace,London featuring Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Madness, Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones,Robbie Williams,Gary Barlow,Ed Sheeran,JLS,Shirley Bassey,Grace Jones,Cliff Richard,Annie Lennox,Jessie J,Rolf Harris, Will.i.am,Jools Holland,Alfie Boe and others.
6pm.Arrive at the venue.Loads of folks already here.
There really is a fantastic atmosphere everywhere.
Around 10,000 ticket ballot winners in reserved seats and standing front of stage and some 250,000 in The Mall to watch it on giant video screens.
Security is tight with id checks to match names on tickets and metal detectors too.I am standing near the back of the ticketed area dead centre.It is pretty packed here.
Behind me is The National Beacon and 250,000 in The Mall.
A spectacular stage built around the Queen Victoria Memorial right in front of Buckingham Palace.
Some 600 production staff with 35 different types of passes and wristbands in use today.
7pm the show starts at the venue some 30 minutes before tv coverage as The Overtones(who buys their crap albums?) play a few songs and comedians warm up the crowd.
Weather was perfect as no rain at all this evening.
7.30pm.The show proper starts with Robbie Williams singing a great version of "Let Me Entertain You".
Lots of the usual big names here along with some of the new kids on the block.Most get one of two songs.
Cliff Richard sung a medley of his hits including "Congratulations".All the acts are fully dressed to impress.Grace Jones sung "Slave To The Rhythm" wearing a stunning outfit displaying her long legs while twirling a hula hoop.
The last five acts had slightly longer on stage and had the benefit of more stage lighting as darkness fell.Kylie Minogue had a posse of dancers for her 8 mins medley of hits.Elton John also had 8 mins of hits with the crowd really singing along to his tunes.Great to see Stevie Wonder who played around 10 mins of hits.Madness played two songs "Our House" and "It Must Be Love" on the roof of Buck Palace and used stunning projected images on to it.
Finally Macca had five songs in a 20 mins set that was
"Magical Mystery Tour","All My Loving","Let It Be" and of course the usual full pyros for "Live And Let Die" and finally "Ob-La-Da Ob-La-Di" with all the other guests joining him on stage.Then Prince Charles gave a touching tribute to The Queen and then a huge fireworks display.
An amazing evening really.
For the Silver Jubilee in 1977 i was a punk rocker and not interested in The Queen at all but as you grow up you really understand what an amazing job she has done.Sixty years 1952-2012 as The Queen.Incredible.
I rather like Prince Charles these days as well.



03 June 2012.Lynyrd Skynryd live at Hammersmith Apollo,
London.
Southern rock legends from Florida back in London for a sold out show.Another band i have a lot of history with as i saw them five times between 1975-1977 with the original line up before the fatal plane crash in 1977.
At the peak of their success, three members died in an airplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the band's most popular incarnation.
Surviving members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny as frontman. They continue to tour and record, with only Gary Rossington of its original members remaining as of 2012. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.
With seven members they fill the big Apollo stage nicely.
The sound is nice and much louder than expected.They keep to pretty much a best of set from their 1970s heyday.
Lots of great songs like "Simple Man" and "Sweet Home Alabama".They were on for 95 mins but just 13 songs played although one of them was an epic 13 minute encore of their classic "Free Bird" with all guitars at full tilt.
They are always great live.
Full setlist played
Workin' For MCA...I Ain't The One...Skynyrd Nation
...What's Your Name...Down South Jukin'...That Smell... I Know A Little...Saturday Night Special...Simple Man...
Gimme Three Steps... Call Me The Breeze...Sweet Home Alabama... Encore:..Free Bird.


01 June 2012.Guns And Roses + Thin Lizzy live at The 02 Arena,London.
Last night of the UK leg of Guns And Roses European Tour.
The show yesterday was a full house but tonight Level 4 is closed off as unsold so venue is only two thirds full.
Wow what a night.The first night of Guns And Roses was great but the second night must go down as one of the best gigs of the year as they played a mammoth 3 hours 5 mins set from 10.50pm to 01.55am.
Up first we have a good name support act Thin Lizzy who play a full 75 mins set.They still feature two original members and others in the band include bassist Marco Mendoza who is always good to watch and vocalist Ricky Warwick who does a decent job as i have seen him with them a couple of times before.I saw Phil Lynott over 20 times with Thin Lizzy and nobody can really replace him.
They play a greatest hits set that goes down very well.
Full setlist...Are You Ready...Jailbreak...Waiting For An Alibi...Killer On The Loose... Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in It's Spotlight)... Whiskey in the Jar...Suicide...Angel of Death...Emerald...Don't Believe a Word (with Richard Fortus from Guns And Roses)...Rosalie...Roisin Dubh (Black Rose...Cowboy Song...The Boys Are Back In Town.
Guns And Roses come on even later than last night.
Axl Rose turned 50 earlier in the year but still does things his way.Coming on so late means that some folks do start leaving after an hour to catch last tube trains home.These are mainly the seated fans as the hardcore in front of the stage standing are not going anywhere.
This show is a visual treat with loads of great rock songs
performed in this monster stage production.
We get a couple of extra songs tonight with a cover of AC/DC "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Patience".Izzy Stradlin was on with them for three songs tonight including "14 Years".
We have fantastic seats in guest list block right of stage.
The band have a high amount of slender female model types on their guest list and most get put in the front photographers pit or side of stage.It kinda looks they have been bussed in from some posh West End club.
When Guns And Roses are in full flight it really does not get much better.The stunning songs from "Appetite For Destruction" along with the flames and pyros galore just blow the ceiling off the venue.
Like last night Axl keeps his cowboy hat on all through the show.He wears some shades too.
Sure there are some tedious guitar solos and a couple of lame songs sung by other members and a couple of pointless cover versions but take them out and you still have one of the best live rock bands you will ever see.
The final words from Axl on stage tonight were "Happy Jubilee--God Save The Queen" as Frank Sinatra's "My Way" is played over the pa.Superb stuff.
See aftershow page for this gig.


31 May 2012.I went to two good events tonight.
First 7.30pm to 9.30pm was The Playboy Club First Birthday Party,14 Old Park Lane,London W1.
Very handy Guns And Roses coming on late as that meant i could pop into this very nice event before the gig.
This iconic club reopened its doors last year.
On the first floor is the gaming and casino area.
On the ground they have a very cool huge bar.
Some of the bunny girls have union jack outfits on.
Around 300 people so very lively.We had freebie Moet champers,cocktails and canapes.I spotted a couple of faces
Paul Wellers son Natt and one of the blokes from The Bill
tv series.I caught the burlesque act but had to leave for the gig before Professor Green and Mica Paris did a few songs each.Great location just a few yards from The Hard Rock Cafe and Hilton Hotel.It set me up nicely for Guns And Roses gig.
10.10pm i arrived for Guns And Roses live at The 02 Arena.
As expected it is still interval time.
They eventually hit the stage from 10.40pm to 1.30am for a really good 2 hours 50 mins set.
Been playing their live cd "Live 87-93" all this week so looking forward to this gig a lot.
The stage production is massive with big screens and there are loads of flames and fireworks through the show.
I saw Guns and Roses at this venue a couple of years ago.
This show felt very similar to those from 2010.
I have seen them over a dozen times since 1987.
The first 45 mins is at full tilt then the pace slows off and on as there are guitar solos and instrumental jams where Axl nips to his oxygen tent side of stage.
His band are great and really work the crowd well.
Their album "Appetite For Destruction" is one of the greatest rock albums of all time and they played loads of classics from it.They were joined by former Gunner Izzy Stradlin for five numbers.
Setlist included "Welcome To The Jungle","Its So Easy",
"Mr Brownstone","Rocket Queen","14 Years"(first time it was played live since 1991 says a fan website),a mega
"Live And Let Die","You Could Be Mine","Sweet Child O Mine","November Rain","Dont Cry","Civil War",Nightrain" and stunning encore of "Paradise City" with confetti and pyros in full blast.
It was a great show even though the set could be trimmed by 30 mins but those bits give Axl rest between songs.
Still cannot work out how venues let him finish an hour after the last tube has gone so the queues for taxis and night buses were very messy indeed.
But the bottom line is Guns And Roses live are worth it.


30 May 2012.The Observer Ethical Awards 2012 at The
Renaissance Hotel,Euston Road,St Pancras,London NW1.
7.45pm to 11pm.
Around 500 folks here in this stunning five star hotel that reopened a year ago after a £100m plus makeover.
Freebie champers,beers,wines and lots of canapes.
The outdoor space at the back is welcome on a hot night.
The host says the awards are for "Good Stuff Done By Good People".The award presenters included Livia Firth(actor Colin Firths wife),Ben Fogle and Festival Republic Music Promoter Melvin Benn.
One of the guests was very well known gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.
We had a live act too as KT Tunstall played.This kind of crowd are more interested in the free booze and chatting so as a performer you really have to grab their attention.What does KT Tunstall do??.She plays a four song 20 mins acoustic set that was soooo booooring.
Maybe 50 at most even bothered to listen.
Other than her forgettable set it was a good event.
I got a decent goodie bag on the way out.
See the Observer/Guardian websites for winners list.



29 May 2012.I went to two good events tonight.
6.30pm to 8pm was the launch party for the book "Sixty Punk Singles" at The Vinyl Factory Gallery,91 Walton Street,Knightsbridge,London SW3.
Well known punk memorabilia collector Toby Mott has brought out a book of his fave 60 punk sleeves.
They are all on the wall tonight ranging from the big names of Sex Pistols and The Clash to smaller bands.
I have most of them in my collection.Also a selection of rare punk posters including The Sex Pistols "Dance To The Sex Pistols" one that came out 1977 which i am in.
Free beers and wines for all here in this very upmarket location just behind Harrods.
A dj upstairs playing loads of great punk classics.
Some faces here including John "Boogie" Tiberi who was Sex Pistols tour manager in the 1970s,Rich Kids drummer and now dj Rusty Egan and Spizzenergi.
I enjoyed it here despite it being more posh than punk as Toby has invited mainly his Sloane crowd.
The book retails for a steep £40.
Entry to gallery is free and its on until 24 June 2012.
then
9pm to 11pm was the "Tunnel Of Love" charity event at Proud,Camden,London.
This was a fundraiser for The British Heart Foundation where most of the 500 upmarket folks here paid £100 a ticket to get in.
Proud,Camden is not my fave venue but they have half a dozen smaller rooms that are used for games etc.
We had an auction for fashion and art items.
Freebie champers and bowl food all night.Djs too.
Some faces here included Sir Peter Blake(out yet again),
Alexa Chung,Daisy Lowe,Peaches Geldof,Pixie Geldof,
Little Boots and Harold Tillman.
A good party and i got a couple of decent goodie bags.


29 May 2012.This weeks NME has two pages on the legendary Sex Pistols Silver Jubilee Thames Boat Gig from 1977.One of the photos shows me in the queue of hopefuls watching as the boat sailed off without us.
I was only 18 and did not know what a guest list was back then.Sid Vicious told me about the gig two days before at a gig at The Roundhouse.The photo was taken by Dennis Morris and a bigger version can be seen in his Sex Pistols photo book that has been out a few years now.
Sex Pistols Experience Thames Boat Gig on Sat 09 June.
Only 25 tickets left out of 140.
See www.sexpistolsexperience.co.uk for more info.


28 May 2012.Dionne Warwick And Friends live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
A sold out charity show for World Hunger Day Project where the stalls seats front ten rows were £125 a ticket.
A long three hour show over two 90 mins sets.
It was Dionne singing solo,her guests singing a couple of songs each and Dionne doing duets with her guests.
Now aged 71 Dionne ia a multi grammy award winner who had massive success in the 1960s and 1970s with Bacharach-David songs.Dionne has a lovely friendly stage manner.
Second song was "Walk On By",then Joe McElderry did a couple,then Katie Melua did a couple,then Tony Hadley did a couple including "Gold".His strong voice was great.
Boy George did a couple of goodies with his big hit "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and a cover of "Always On My Mind" with the massive choir and orchestra at full tilt.
Cliff Richard did two of my fave hits of his "Devil Woman"
and "We Dont Talk Anymore".Then Dionne solo for "The Look Of Love".
Second half had The London Community Gospel Choir sing a couple then Caro Emerald did a couple.Then Dionne with Boy George for "I Say A Little Prayer",then Dionne with Mica Paris for ""I'll Never Fall In Love Again" then Dionne with Rumer,then Alexandra Burke sang "Hallelujah" then Dionne with Alexandra for "Heartbreaker",then Dionne with Cliff Richard for "Anyone Who Had A Heart" then Dionne solo for last three songs with all the crowd singing along to "I'll Never Love This Way Again","What The World Needs Now Is Love" and all her guests joined her for "Thats What Friends Are For".Tonight was really well produced.
An excellent evenings entertainment.
Yet again Sir Peter Blake was out tonight for this.
Respect is due as he is 80 in June.


27 May 2012.Happy Birthday to me.
Sunday is the 35th anniversary of The Sex Pistols classic "God Save The Queen".
It came out on my exact 18th birthday and i bought it on the day of release.Without doubt one of the greatest tracks of all time.
Universal are re-releasing it on picture disc.
In the shops from Monday 28 May 2012.
Also out Monday 28 May 2012 is Public Image Limited first album for 20 years titled "This Is PIL".
John Lydon has done loads of press the past month so PIL should have a hit album.


26 May 2012.Judas Priest live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Really looking forward to this show as it is Judas Priest last date of their year long world tour.
Singer Rob Halford said it was 119 shows in 37 countries.The venue is totally rammed sold out.
Lots of overseas folks from mainland Europe have made the trek judging by all the accents.
I have seen Judas Priest over 15 times since 1977.
I have a fantastic view.Circle seat front row centre is Judas Priest booking agent Rod MacSween and i am two rows behind him.
The stage production is massive and feels like an arena show inside a theatre.Loads of flames and lasers and lights.
The sound is loud and rocktastic with the two guitars in full distortion mode.
The big screen showed album cover images.
Singer Rob Halford looks a bit silly in outfits that ranged from long leather black coats to bacofoil jackets and the most clumpy goth boots ever.
However his vocals were great and he paces the set perfect.Rob tells the crowd "The Priest" are a classic metal band and not a classic rock band.
A long show lasting 2 hours 25 mins that flew by.
The motorbike came out for "Hell Bent For Leather".
Six cameras were here to film it for a dvd.
Tonight really was a fantastic show.
Full setlist.
Rapid Fire--Metal Gods--Heading Out to the Highway--
Judas Rising--Starbreaker--Victim of Changes--Never Satisfied--Diamonds & Rust(Joan Baez cover)--Prophecy--Night Crawler--Turbo Lover--Beyond the Realms of Death--The Sentinel--Blood Red Skies--The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)(Fleetwood Mac cover)--Breaking the Law--Drum Solo--Painkiller
Encores:--Electric Eye--Hell Bent for Leather--You've Got Another Thing Comin'--Living After Midnight.
See aftershow page for this gig.


25 May 2012.Glenn Hughes + Fish live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
This was a co-headline show where both acts were down to play 80 mins each.They both played 75 mins.
Level 2 and 3 closed off as tickets unsold.
Up first we have Fish who was the original singer of Marillion.Another band i have a lot of history with as i saw them over 25 times from 1983 onwards.
His set included solo stuff like "Credo","Long Cold Day" and "Innocent Party" and a couple of Marillion oldies "Assassing" and "Forgotten Sons".He has always been a good storyteller but some ranting on about easy targets like politicians and governments is plain boring.Elvis Costello did the same thing the night before and he does not even live in the UK anymore.
A good show but it did feel more like a support act.
Glenn Hughes however still looks and acts like a rock star.That great voice is still intact.
The band put on more of a show than Fish and his drummer and guitar player were excellent.
Set included a couple of Trapeze songs "Keepin Time" and "Medussa" and three Black Country Communion songs.The set finished with "Soul Mover" and "One Last Soul".A good show.


The Rebellion Festival in Blackpool Aug 2 to Aug 5 is the UKs top punk/alternative weekend away.
They have just confirmed The Buzzcocks for Aug 2 and the 100 plus other bands confirmed include
Social Distortion,The Boys,Bow Wow Wow,PIL,Slaughter And The Dogs,999,Only Ones,Rancid,UK Subs,Stiff Little Fingers and many more.
See www.rebellionfestivals.com or click on the link
on the right side of the website.