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Archive: July 2012
July 02, 2012
30 June 2012 Ronnie Wood And Friends live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
This was a show to celebrate The Chess Records label.
Accompanied by an all-star band, which included Bill Wyman on bass,Mick Taylor on guitar and Simon Kirke on drums, Ronnie was joined on stage by Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri plus other female singers not so well known for a couple of songs each as they celebrated the songs made famous by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, Etta James and Muddy Waters.
Also helping out on a few songs was James McCartney(Paul McCartneys son).
Being a current member of The Stones and the uniqueness of tonight's show with his band featuring two ex Rolling Stones members means Ronnie can sell tickets at Rolling Stones prices.First three rows were £150 plus booking fee and most of the other stalls seating is £75 plus booking fee but they all got sold.
Ronnie And Friends on stage for 1 hour 50 mins.
It started with Ronnie solo for "Little Red Rooster" and "Mona".He seemed a bit nervous at the start as he was mumbling his words a bit then we get a few singers come and go.It is all a bit loose as expected.
Overall Ronnie Wood is on top form tonight.
Ronnie still looks and acts proper rocker cool.
Bill Wyman sings "You Never Can Tell".Mick Taylor is in the background pretty much doing nothing exciting.
For the last 30 mins we all rush to the front.
Sharleen Spiteri sings a great version of "I'd Rather Go Blind" then shy and awkward looking James McCartney comes on to sing "Johnny B Goode" and does a good job.
Like it said on the tin it was mainly a night of the blues which is not a fave genre of mine.Encores had all the guest singers on stage for a couple of songs with last song being The Stones classic "Its Only Rock And Roll(But I Like It) which was a good finish.
An enjoyable show.
Check aftershow page for this gig.
29 June 2012.Dressed To Kill live at Sub 89,Reading.
The UK's number one KISS tribute act play a club show just a few days before the real KISS hit London.
They have been together for over 20 years now.I have seen them a few times with the first time being in 1994 at The Marquee Club(when it moved around the corner).
So i know i will get a quality performance.
They always put on a brilliant show as we have a full costumes,full face paint and flames and fireworks
production.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins they play a great mix of KISS classics and always include a couple of songs that KISS never play in their set.Lots of entertaining chat between songs and the audience really got into it by singing and cheering loudly.
The band really sound and look amazing.
Full setlist was Shout It Out Loud...Detroit Rock City...Deuce...Crazy Crazy Nights...Firehouse(with Gene firebreathing)...Rip It Out...Strutter...Shock Me(smoke comes out of Ace guitar)...Cold Gin...Reason To Live...
Gene bass solo with blood spitting...100,000 Years...
drum solo...Say Yeah...I Was Made For Loving You...Lick It Up...Love Gun...and encores of Black Diamond...God Gave Rock And Roll To You...Rock And Roll All Nite...
A fantastic gig.
See www.dressedtokill.org.uk for future DTK gigs.
28 June 2012.7.45pm to 11.45pm i was at The
Slazenger Summer Party at Aqua,Argyle Street,London W1.
One of the main sponsors for Wimbledon Tennis Championships hold their annual summer party.
We are across the road from The Palladium in this very nice huge bar.The weather is hot today so the roof terrace works a treat.We are five or six floors up.
They have decked the venue out with a tennis theme so there is lots of fake grass,staff in tennis wear,giant tennis rackets and giant tennis balls everywhere
Freebie Lanson champers,cocktails,Pimms,beers,wines and lots of bowl food and canapes here for all tonight.
A dj in the background.There are a few faces here.
The main one is tennis legend John McEnroe who turns up late at 11pm after his tv work.I have met him before and is always wary of folks.He has a personal security/pr guy watching everyone.I always ask him "what gigs he plans to see in London?".He said "hopefully Ronnie Wood if he can get away from work on time".He then started talking about how much he enjoyed Kings Of Leon in Hyde Park last summer.He then chatted to Newcastle United F.C. owner and JJB Sports owner Mike Ashley for ages.From then on any requests for photos,autographs or a chat were all brushed aside by his minder.Also here was Pat Cash,Jeremy Edwards,cricketers Michael Vaughn and Paul Collingwood and Saturdays singer Rochelle Wiseman.
I got some goodie bags that all had a tin of Slazenger Tennis Balls in them.
A really good party.
27 June 2012.Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Second of two sold out shows at this venue for Frankie Valli who is now aged 78 and still looking good.
Another one of those American acts that does not visit the UK that often.Last time they were over here was around 18 years ago.I saw them way back in 1980 when they became popular again after Frankie Valli sang the title track on the "Grease " film soundtrack.
The "Jersey Boys" musical based on his songs is very popular in the UK so you can see why the shows are all sold out.
A true American pop idol really as Frankie Valli was making records in the 1950s before his massive success in the 1960s and 1970s with loads of million selling hits including loads of number ones.
The show was 1 hour 50 mins of two sets of 50 mins and 60 mins.A full band with mini orchestra.
The first set was bit average as hits like "Grease","Beggin'" and "My Eyes Adored You" were mixed in with far too many 1960s crowd pleasing cover versions.
None of the backing vocalists The Four Seasons are originals but they can reach the high notes and do the dance moves as they are a lot younger than Frankie.
The second set was totally better as it was big hit after big hit with the crowd singing and dancing to
"Who Loves You","December 1963(Oh What A Night)","Sherry","Walk Like a Man","Big Girls Don't Dry","Bye Bye Baby(Baby Goodbye)" and encores of "Rag Doll" and "Lets Hang On".
An enjoyable show.
26 June 2012.8pm to 12pm i was at The Serpentine Gallery Summer Party,Hyde Park,London.
Its that time of year when the summer social events are in full swing with Ascot,Wimbledon,Henley and lots of others holding outdoor garden parties.This is one of the best ones.By The Serpentine Gallery with its new lower level underground pavillion and cork chairs and The Yoko Ono exhibition in the gallery itself.
Around 800 folks here.All the girls look great as most are glammed up in their best designer dresses.
Lots of freebie Laurent Perrier champers,cocktails, wines,beers and lots of tasty hot and cold food.
Lots of photographers inside and outside the event.
Always a decent number of faces here including Bianca Jagger,Mischa Barton,Erin Oconnor,Holly Valance,Alan Carr,Tracey Emin,Sir Peter Blake,Jade Jagger,Nicky Haslam,Dylan Jones,Amber Le Bon,Kelly Hoppen,Nancy Dell'Olio,Leah Weller,Natt Weller,Jo Wood,Tania Bryer,Sharleen Spiteri,Donna Air,Jamie Winstone,Henry Holland and no doubt a few more.
A dj spinning the tunes all night and up and coming female singer Azelia Banks played a few songs in a 20 mins set wearing a yellow butterfly wings outfit.
An excellent party.
The Sex Pistols classic single "Pretty Vacant" is
re-released on 02 July 2012 to celebrate its 35th anniversary.Like the previous Universal re-releases of "Anarchy In The UK" and "God Save The Queen" it will be limited to 3500 numbered picture disc copies.
21 June 2012.8pm to 11.30pm.Launch party for The Goji Tinchy Stryder On Cloud 9 Collection Headphones at Paramount,31st Floor,Centre Point,London WC1.
"You Have To Be In It To Win It" they say.
I am a sucker for comps on the internet that just involve sending an email off and hoping.
Anyway for this event i won the main prize in Fabulous Mag which is read all over the UK.
The prize was two tickets to this event and £400 cash spending money towards any expenses like travel and accom.Yes 400 smackers.Not some dodgy vouchers but a cash transfer direct to my bank account.
Their photographer took a couple of photos of me so they should be up on their website soon.
The party was up on the 31st floor with stunning views of London on every side.
Around 300 folks here with lots of freebie cocktails,wines,beers and lots of hot and cold food.
We had a 30 mins set by Tinchy Stryder.
His setlist included his big 2009 hit "Number 1".
A dj kept the vibe going nicely after.
A really enjoyable event....plus £400 too.Result.
MOBO award winner Tinchy Stryder has joined forces with technology brand Goji to launch a brand new collection of headphones and accessories for listening to music on the go, Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9, exclusively stocked at Currys & PC World.
The Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 collection will be available at Currys & PC World stores nationwide from mid-July.
Visit www.gojicollective.co.uk for more information.
Happy 5th Birthday to The 02 Arena.
Only been around five years but feels longer and now the worlds number one concert venue.
20 June 2012.Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
The second of Toms two sold out nights at this venue.Like Monday it is really rammed full inside.
Monday was fantastic but i think tonight was even better as my seat was nearer the stage,Steve Winwood came on to sing a couple of his own songs on top of Mondays setlist and the show lasted 2 hours 15 mins which was 15 mins more than Monday nights show.
Another electric atmosphere tonight.Tom could have easy played three or four nights here.
Now aged 61 Tom has a bit of a stoop and moves slowly around the stage.So many brilliant songs with the oldies going down the best and some top notch sound.
Like all American rock acts from the 1970s they were big fans of the 1960s British bands like The Beatles and Cream etc so that is why Steve Winwood was a guest on stage tonight.Superb stuff.
Listen to Her Heart...You Wreck Me...I Won't Back Down.
..Here Comes My Girl...Handle with Care (Traveling Wilburys cover)...Good Enough...Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)...Something Big...Don't Come Around Here No More
...Can't Find My Way Home (Blind Faith cover) (with Steve Winwood on vocals)...Gimme Some Lovin' (Traffic cover) (with Steve Winwood on vocals)...Free Fallin'...
It's Good To Be King...Something Good Coming... Learning to Fly...Yer So Bad...I Should Have Known It..
.Refugee...Runnin' Down a Dream.
Encores: Mary Jane's Last Dance...American Girl
18 June 2012.Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers + Jonathan Wilson live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
I was really looking forward to seeing this gig.
This was the first of two sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall with tickets for both shows all gone in 24 hours.It was Tom Petty's first UK show since 1999 when i saw them at Shepherds Bush Empire.
One of those American artists that does not come to the UK that often.I have seen him a few times including an early show as a support act way back in 1977.
The venue is a totally rammed full house.
Up first we have a fellow American Jonathan Wilson and his band.He is promoting his album "Gentle Spirit".
He was born in 1974 but he no doubt wishes he was making music then as he is very in the late 1960s/early 1970s American laid back country folk rock mode.
The crowd gave him polite applause but it was pretty average stuff for me.He was on for around 45 mins.
Tom and his band play a two hour show.
The crowd all know tonight is a big deal as Tom has been away for such a long time and tells the crowd "its been a long time dream of ours to play this venue" as they are playing it for the first time.
Music fashions come and go but Tom and his great band are still very stuck in the late 1970s era as most of their stage equipment looks from that period.
Its mainly a greatest hits set with a couple of songs from the recent "Mojo" album.
Lots of the trademark guitar sound and keyboards.
So many really great songs tonight and the crowd soon forget he has been away from the UK for so long.
Not a dream setlist for me as some gems NOT played were
"Even The Losers","Into The Great Wide Open","The Waiting" and "You Got Lucky" but that is me just being greedy.It really was a great night.
I would imagine the setlist for the second show will change by a couple of songs.
Full setlist played
Listen to Her Heart...You Wreck Me...I Won't Back Down...Here Comes My Girl...Handle with Care (Traveling Wilburys cover)...Good Enough...Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)...Something Big...Don't Come Around Here No More...Free Fallin'...It's Good To Be King...Something Good Coming...Learning to Fly...Yer So Bad...I Should Have Known It...Refugee...Runnin' Down a Dream.
Mary Jane's Last Dance...American Girl
14 June 2012.Liza Minnelli live at Hampton Court Palace,Surrey.
One off UK show for this legendary entertainer who is one of the few to have won oscar,emmy,grammy,tony and bafta awards.
It was the opening night of The Hampton Court Palace Festival where ten acts play over the next fortnight.
You cannot get a much better venue than this as the staging is outdoors within this stunning building with its beautiful gardens.
It is a sold out 2700 capacity show with the upmarket crowd paying a hefty £105,£75 and £50 to be here.
The weird thing here is the expensive £105 tickets are in the rear half of the venue as thats tiered and covered.
The weather forecast was rain for the evening so everyone has come prepared and it does rain.
I sit in the covered area a couple of rows behind Sir David Frost and a couple of other faces off the tv.
Backed by a seven piece band Liza gets a standing ovation without even singing a note.
Like other times i have seen her the show is a bit short at only 85 mins.
Lots of showbiz chat between songs that the crowd love.
The voice and sound is great even though Liza gets out of breath quite easy.
Tracks played included "Alexanders Ragtime Band","Liza With A Z","What Makes A Man",
"Maybe This Time" and then great versions of her 1972 hit "Cabaret" and "Theme From New York New York".
Encores were "Every Time We Say Goodbye" and "I'll Be Seeing You".
An enjoyable evening.
13 June 2012.8pm to 10.30pm i was the launch party for V.I.P. at Boujis,South Kensington,London SW7.
Event promoters Apartment 10 launch their Wednesday club night V.I.P. to press and friends.
Freebie cocktails and sushi at this multi award winning boutique night club which attracts the Chelsea Sloane types.Its basement dancefloor area only holds 150.
It is pretty tricky to get in unless you are a member.
Tuesday and the weekends are very popular so they want to make Wednesdays just as much talked about.
The dj is playing some decent tunes and it gets livelier later on when the paying punters start coming in.
12 June 2012.I went to two events tonight.
First was 6.30pm to 7.30pm.Art Antiques London launch party in Kensington Gardens,London W8.
Superb location next to The Albert Memorial and just across the road from The Royal Albert Hall.
Around 800 upmarket guests in this purpose built pavillion where there are lots of top quality art and antiques for sale.Cocktails and canapes here.Tonight was a fundraiser for The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Scissor Sisters members Jake Shears and Babydaddy are here as they are down to play a 20 to 30 mins acoustic set after the dinner and auction.
The fair is on until Wed 15 June 2012.Tickets £15.
Tonight they raised over £460,000.
See www.jdrf.org.uk for Scissor Sisters pictures from this show.
then 8pm to 12pm.
The London Club And Bar Awards at The Intercontinental Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.
As usual a very lively glammed up clubbing crowd here.
Around 500 guests here i reckon.
Freebie Moet champers and cocktails for an hour.
We simply had to try the Ron De Jeremy Rum Cocktails.Yes the legendary porn actor now has his own Rum.
Then we have a nice three course dinner during the awards.This crowd are so noisy during dinner its unreal.
Some are virtually dancing while eating.
Each table has a bunch of hand held fireworks and hand held confetti cannons which are being let off non stop.
Boy George is the host.We get a few faces presenting awards including Leslie Ash(now needs a walking stick to get about),80s singer Paul Young,Rich Kids drummer and dj
Rusty Egan,radio presenter Gary Crowley and original 80s Blitz Kid Philip Sallon.
There must a couple of thousand clubs and bars in London these days but here are some of the main ones mentioned tonight.Maddox,Boujis,Platinum Lace,Whisky Mist,Kensington Roof Gardens(still owned by Richard Branson for the last 31 years.He bought it two weeks after being turned away at the door.The guy that turned him away is still the manager there),Rose,Raffles,The Box,Shaka Zulu,Jalouse,Mahiki,Hoxton Pony,
Wylde,Chinawhite,Cirque De Soir,McQueen,Aura,Juju,
Stringfellows and loads more.
More freebie drinks for the final hour.
This is always a really good event.
11 June 2012.7pm to 11.30pm.Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards at Indigo,London including short live sets by ANTHRAX, BIOHAZARD, GHOST(dressed all in goulish outfits),SABATON and WATAIN(full monty fire show).
Metal Hammer Magazine also known as The Heavy Metal Bible
is now celebrating 25 years of supporting Heavy Metal.
Thanks to Jägermeister for giving out the free booze.
All winners attended unless mentioned otherwise.
2012 Golden Gods winners:
Best New Band: THE DEFILED
Best Underground Band: WATAIN
Best U.K. Band: SAXON
Best International Band: LAMB OF GOD
Best Event: IRON MAIDEN’s U.K. tour
(accepted by their manager Rod Smallwood)
Best Live Band: RAMMSTEIN
(accepted by a young lady in a very nice outfit)
Dimebag Darrell Shredder: Devin Townsend
Metal As F*ck: ANTHRAX
Spirit Of Hammer: Bill Bailey
Best Album: MASTODON – “The Hunter”
Best Drummer: Vinnie Paul Abbott (HELLYEAH, PANTERA)
Inspiration: Roadrunner Records
Icon: FEAR FACTORY
Riff Lord: Robb Flynn, Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD)
Golden God: Joey DeMaio (MANOWAR)
Other guests included Luke and Danny from Thunder.
The main live act were thrash legends Anthrax who played three songs at the very end including a stunning version of Black Sabbath-Ronnie James Dio era "Neon Nights".
For pictures of the night and interviews visit
July 16, 2012
15 July 2012.Day 3 of Hard Rock Calling.Paul Simon + Alison Krauss live at Hyde Park,London.
A massive crowd of over 50,000 here for this special show to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking classic album "Graceland".
Weather was decent enough and no rain.
After two days of five hours of standing i went into Live Nation VIP seating right of stage for tonight.They also have their own toilets.
Alison Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer, songwriter and fiddler who made the award winning "Raising Sand" album with Led Zep legend Robert Plant.On stage for 50 mins.Some nice vocals and harmonies and great musicians but just felt too laid back on a big stage like this.
Paul Simon had loads of people on stage for his 2 hours 45 mins set that included the tracks from his 1986 masterpiece, alongside other solo hits, and Simon And Garfunkel classics.
Simon was joined for the anniversary show by South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo for tracks including 'Homeless' and 'Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes'. The choir rose to global prominence after featuring on 'Graceland'. However, at the time, Simon attracted criticism for breaking a cultural boycott of apartheid-era South Africa.
Earlier in the show, Jimmy Cliff joined Simon onstage, where he performed his classics 'The Harder They Come', 'Many Rivers To Cross' and 'Vietnam' before a reggae-infused version of 'Mother And Child Reunion'.
Later on in the show, Simon was joined by legendary South African musician Hugh Masakela. As the show rose to a climax with celebratory renditions of the title track from 'Graceland' and 'You Can Call Me Al', Simon returned to the stage alone to round off the show with a series of Simon And Garfunkel classics. The show eventually ended with a sentimental 'Still Crazy After All These Years'.
Paul Simon really pulled it off tonight.
Full setlist played.
'Gone At Last'
'50 Ways To Leave Your Lover'
'The Harder They Come'
'Many Rivers To Cross'
'Mother And Child Reunion'
'That Was Your Mother'
'Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard'
'Slip Slidin' Away'
'The Obvious Child'
'Hello My Baby'
'Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes'
'I Know What I Know'
'Crazy Love Vol II'
'Under African Skies'
'You Can Call Me Al'
'The Sound Of Silence'
'Late In The Evening'
'Still Crazy After All These Years'
See aftershow page for this gig.
14 July 2012.Day 2 of Hard Rock Calling.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band + John Fogerty live at Hyde Park,London.
A sold out crowd of 65,000 here and it is pretty rammed for space.
Weather was nice and sunny then like last night it rained a bit at 9pm.
An amazing night really as expected.John Fogerty played for 60 mins and is one of Bruce Springsteens heroes so Bruce introduced him then watched his set from side of stage then joined him for last song "Rockin All Over The World".
Lots of Creedence Clearwater Revival gems.
Full setlist played...Hey Tonight...Lookin' Out My Back Door..Lodi...Born on the Bayou...Hot Rod Heart...Who'll Stop the Rain...Down on the Corner...Have You Ever Seen the Rain?...Keep On Chooglin'...The Old Man Down the Road...Bad Moon Rising...Fortunate Son...Proud Mary
Encore:..Rockin' All Over The World...
I saw both Bruce Springstee's legendary 1975 shows at Hammersmith Odeon and somehow he looks better now than he did back then.
Only outdoor UK shows for Bruce on this tour.
This was the first London show since the death of his sax player Clarence Clemons.
Bruce was 25 mins late on stage but still did a mammoth 3 hours 20 mins on stage.
Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine came on for five songs,John Fogerty came on for a song then at the end Paul McCartney came on for a couple.Wow Bruce is always a 10/10 show.
Bruce really is one of the best live acts.
Lots of chat with the crowd and shaking of hands with the hardcore fans at the front.
A teenage boy came up for one song on stage and a girl came up for a dance with Bruce later on.
The tracks from new album "Wrecking Ball" are great and the entire set was just amazing with the encore section just pure perfection.
Full setlist played
Thunder Road (Bruce & Roy Bittan on piano)...
Badlands...We Take Care of Our Own...Wrecking Ball...Death to My Hometown(with Tom Morello)...My City of Ruins...Spirit in the Night...The Promised Land(with John Fogerty)...
Take 'Em As They Come...(Premiere: Tour debut - Fan Sign Request)...Jack of All Trades(with Tom Morello)...Empty Sky...Because the Night...
Johnny 99...Darlington County...Working on the Highway...Shackled and Drawn...Waitin' on a Sunny Day...Raise Your Hand...The River...The Ghost of Tom Joad(with Tom Morello)...The Rising (with Tom Morello)...Land of Hope and Dreams... Encore:...We Are Alive...Born in the U.S.A....Born to Run...Glory Days...Dancing in the Dark... I Saw Her Standing There (with Paul McCartney)...Twist and Shout (With Paul McCartney...
I got into the Hard Rock Cafe marquee hospitality right of the main stage for an hour after the show.HRC really know how look after their guests.It is a replica Hard Rock Cafe with guitars and gold discs etc on the wall,a stage for acoustic sets,a dj and a full range of HRC food and drinks.
Also there is a mini swimming pool.
Even some computers to type some of this review.
The free food is during the day but the freebie desserts are still going when i am there and i get a couple of freebie cocktails too.
Lots of seating indoors and outdoors here.
13 July 2012.Day 1 of Hard Rock Calling. Soundgarden + Iggy Pop And The Stooges + Cold Chisel live in Hyde Park,London.
Around 30,000 here which is pretty good but Hyde Park holds 65,000 so nice to have space.
It stayed dry for Cold Chisel and Iggy Pop and it started to rain 30 mins into Soundgarden's set but could have been a lot worse.The extra wood ships put down by the promoters over the last few days worked a treat.
Soundgarden first London show for over 15 years.I saw them in their heyday when they were the first band to play Shepherds Bush Empire for an invite only gig in March 1994 when the venue was sold by the BBC to current owners.
First band i saw tonight were Cold Chisel who are legends back in their Aussie homeland as they were around in the 1970s with AC/DC playing pub rock venues over there.
These dates are their first in the UK for around 30 years.Some good tunes in their 50 mins set including "You Got Nothing I Want" and "Khe Sahn" and their singer Jimmy Barnes has a fantastic throaty rasping rock n roll voice.
Safe to say i am more interested in seeing punk legend Iggy Pop than Soundgarden so get a great view 10 yards from stage for his 50 mins set.
Shirtless from the start showing off his tanned skinny body he really is compulsive viewing as always.Going into the pit lots of times.
Some proper gems in the set including "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "No Fun" which were both mega.
A fantastic set.Led Zep legend Jimmy Page watched all of Iggys and Soundgardens set from the side of stage.
Full setlist...Raw Power...Search and Destroy...Gimme Danger...1970...Fun House ...Night Theme...Beyond the Law...I Wanna Be Your Dog...I Got a Right...No Fun...Johanna...
Kill City...Open Up and Bleed.
Headliners Soundgarden played a two hour set.
They were one of the main grunge rock acts in the 1990s.
Must admit i am not really a big fan.A few good songs played including "Spoonman","Black Hole Sun","Blow Up The Outside World" and "Superunknown" but the set sounded very samey and there were no real big standout songs for a
big outdoor event headlining band.
Tonight Iggy was the main man for me.
12 July 2012.7.30pm to 11.30pm i was at the launch of The Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London.
Lots of freebie champers,cocktails,beers,wines and canapes all night at this big event.
A massive party for around 800 guests to launch the biggest casino in the UK in this iconic building that was built back in 1900.
A few faces here including bad boy actors Danny Dyer and Tamar Hassan.Also here were Jodie Kidd and Daisy Lowe.
In 1958, the original interior was demolished and the London Hippodrome was converted into the nightclub, "The Talk of the Town" by Bernard Delfont, featuring many of the popular artists of the time including appearances by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Shirley Bassey,The Temptations, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Sergio Franchi, Engelbert Humperdinck, Val Doonican, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Lulu, Matt Monro, Cliff Richard, Raphael, Stevie Wonder, Sacha Distel and Neil Sedaka.
After a £40 million pound makeover it really has the wow factor as they combine casino,cabaret,dining areas and five bars.
93,000 sq feet and a 2000 capacity.
The Matcham Room is a luxury 180 seater with tables cabaret room where live acts will play four nights a week stints.
Tonight we had a full live set by veteran crooner Tony Christie.I must admit it was great to be served with free drinks at your table by waiters as you watched the act up close.
Tony Christie and nine piece band played for 95 mins over two sets of 40 mins and 55 mins.Now aged 69 and looking very neat and trim.
Some good tunes played including "Avenues And Alleyways","Las Vegas","Dont Go Down To Reno",
"I Did What I Did For Maria" he sung a couple of tracks from the album "Made In Sheffield" he did with his Sheffield hometown chum Richard Hawley.He also sung the Jarvis Cocker penned "Walk Like A Panther".The finale was great as he did a stunning version of Human League's (another Sheffield act) "Louise" and last song was his biggie hit from the 1970s and a number one when re-released in 2005 "Is This The Way To Amarillo" with all the crowd singing and dancing.He was very impressive.
Overall an excellent event.
11 July 2012.Queen with Adam Lambert live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
The first of Queen's three shows at this venue after a couple of warm up shows in Russia and Poland.
How will new singer Adam Lambert get on?
Another band i have a lot of history with as they were the first band i ever saw at Hammersmith Odeon in Dec 1973 and i saw them a dozen times with Freddie Mercury including that famous Live Aid gig.
Queen are still very popular with the public what with the success of the musical "We Will Rock You" and "Queens Greatest Hits" is the best selling UK album ever with nearly 6 million copies sold just in the UK.
Coming in at number 10 on the list was "Queens Greatest Hits 2" that has sold nearly 4 million in the UK.
On stage for 2 hours 10 mins.A great atmosphere as downstairs is standing tonight and a very nice stage production with big screens,loads of lights,a short walkway from the middle of the stage and flames and fireworks for "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the end of the main set.
I must admit when their previous singer rock legend Paul Rodgers replacement was named as 2009 American Idol runner up Adam Lambert i was a bit shocked but Queen have a lot of younger fans who probably know the likes of him more than some old rocker.
The Queen songs actually suit a younger singer in many ways and Adam Lambert camps it up Freddie style a bit.
It is only Queen songs and thankfully nothing from either of Adam Lamberts two solo albums.
So many fantastic tunes one after the other.
Brian May guitar playing still sounds amazing.
Brian mentions those historic words "Nice To Be Rockin'
At Hammersmith Odeon".
When i have seen the "We Will Rock You" musical the male lead role always looks like Adam Lambert so it feels like watching the musical at times but overall Adam Lambert does a really job good and the crowd are loving it.
Really enjoyable show with so many Queen classic gems.
Full setlist played was
Flash (intro)...Seven Seas of Rhye...Keep Yourself Alive...We Will Rock You...Fat Bottomed Girls...Don't Stop Me Now...Under Pressure...I Want It All...Who Wants to Live Forever...A Kind of Magic...These Are the Days of Our Lives...The Show Must Go On...Love of My Life...'39...Dragon Attack...Drum Battle / Guitar Solo
...I Want to Break Free...Another One Bites the Dust...
Radio Ga Ga...Somebody to Love...Crazy Little Thing Called Love...Bohemian Rhapsody.
Encores:...Tie Your Mother Down...We Will Rock You...We Are the Champions.
Check aftershow page for this gig.
10 July 2012.Day 53 of The Olympic Torch Relay goes through Taplow and Burnham (noon to 1pm) then Slough and Windsor(1pm to 3pm).
Rain or shine folks have been turning out in their masses to see it.
I was up there noon to 1pm.A great atmosphere as crowds are lined six deep to greet the torch.Lots of stewards and police motorcycles doing a good job of getting the crowd in order.Chef Heston Blumenthal
was the torch bearer when it came past me.Lots of families and children and flag waving and a good way of getting local communities into The Olympic spirit.
It stayed dry thankfully but there was more heavy rain later on in the afternoon.
It comes to West London in a couple of weeks.
08 July 2012.Andy Murray at last gets to a Wimbledon Mens Tennis Final.
Live on BBC TV. Federer was just too good on the day and won 3-1 in sets.
The pressure on Andy Murray at Wimbledon is just massive.
Andy gave it 100%.Maybe one year he will actually win it.
06 July 2012.Another weekend of crap British weather will play havoc with outdoor festivals/events.
T In The Park,Wireless Festival Dance Events in Hyde Park and others will all probably get some rain at some stage.
The M Fest in Leeds was cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather.
Perhaps it is just as well that The Sonisphere Festival got cancelled as that
was planned for this weekend.
BBC3 TV is showing highlights from T In The Park.
Sat and Sun from 7pm to midnight.
05 July 2012.Psychedelic Furs live at The Garage,London.
For this sold out show i am front row right of stage.Perfect.
One of my fave bands from the 1980s return to the UK for a short tour.
They live in America now where they still do huge annual tours.
When i worked at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s The Furs
were regular visitors and for their 1987 tour they played three sold out shows there
on the back of the massive worldwide success of the "Pretty In Pink" single.
I first saw them in 1979 as a support act.
The Furs released some really great albums.
The two Butler brothers are still in the band Richard on vocals and Tim on bass.
Richard is a great frontman with his hand gestures and a look that seems to be
part David Bowie and part John Lydon.He is a visual treat to watch.
Their sax player played some neat solos to many of the songs.
The 90 mins set had loads of brilliant songs in it.
Their tunes really get under your skin and you cannot get them out of your head.
A great gig.
Full setlist was
Into You Like A Train...Mr Jones...Heartbeat...Pretty In Pink...Only You And I...Imitation Of Christ...It Goes On...Heaven...Like A Stranger...My Time...Highwire Days...Love My Way...
India...and encores...House...Forever Now...President Gas
04 July 2012.KISS live at The Forum,Kentish Town,London.
A sold out special show to just 2300 fans to compensate for The Sonisphere Festival which was cancelled.
The show was a fundraiser and all monies goes to Help For Heroes.
The music critis have always hated them but KISS really do have some of most loyal fans out there.Inside the venue there is a sweltering "Hotter Than Hell" atmosphere as the Forum is totally rammed from front to back and the crowd are all dripping sweat.
The band must have suffered on stage in this heat with their heavy costumes but duty calls.
Just two shows this time in Europe-Oslo and London-before their massive American tour starts in a couple of weeks.
It was pretty much the same 90 mins setlist from Oslo a few days ago but the order was changed a bit and the new single "Hell Or Hallelujah" being played for the first time meant "I Was Made For Loving You" was dropped from the set.
Visually we have most of the KISS arena production.
Tons of flames and fireworks used made the hot venue even hotter.
No big screens are needed and no blood spitting tonight or flying through the air by Gene but there is Gene fire breathing,Tommy has his rocket firing guitar,Eric has his hand held cannon to destroy the lighting rig above and his elevating drum kit is fun to watch.Paul mentioned they first came to London in 1976 and played Hammersmith Odeon(i was there for both shows) so that was nice.
The drum sound felt a bit clumpy at times but that is a small quibble against such a fantastic live show.
The three song encore was perfection really with the confetti cannons blasting away for "Rock And Roll All Nite" and the crowd all singing along loudly.
Like all mega gigs it was all over far too quickly.
Faces spotted here included Spandau Ballet members Martin Kemp and John Keeble and actress Gail Porter.
Look out for a full UK arena tour next year with a brand new stage production and a two hour show.
Full setlist was Detroit Rock City... Hell or Hallelujah (Live debut)...Deuce...Shout It Out Loud...
Makin' Love...I Love It Loud...Shock Me...Calling Dr. Love...100,000 Years...Love Gun...Black Diamond
Encores...Crazy Crazy Nights...Lick It Up...Rock and Roll All Nite...outro music God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You.
My fave American band who i saw at both their debut London shows at Hammersmith Odeon back in May 1976.
I still have the ticket stubs.First night was eight rows from stage on the left and the second night was front row centre.Have seen them at least once on every UK tour since and a few times overseas too.Their last tour in 2010 was mega as i caught seven UK arena shows and the club show at Islington Academy.On that tour i also went over to Madrid to see them where i met the band and had my photo taken with them.See the picture in the photo gallery on this website.
Check aftershow page for this gig.
04 July 2012.JBJ must be kidding me surely.
Jon Bon Jovi has been announced as the face of two new concert-inspired perfumes from Avon, designed to represent the spirit of live music. Floral oriental fragrance Unplugged for Her launches in October 2012, with the more woody scent Unplugged for Him set to follow a month later.
03 July 2012.A full day out for me today.
11.45am to 2.45pm i was at the KISS press conference at The Arts Club,Dover Street,London W1.
All four current KISS members were here.In civilian clothes rather than KISS costumes and face paint.
This was mainly to launch their "Monster" book which is the biggest and heaviest rock book of all time.
Frontman Gene Simmons labelled the publication as 'the Rolls-Royce of books'.
Gene also said "we will back back over here next year with a "Monster" live production that will show the little boys how the big boys do it".
Paul Stanley broke into a cockney accent too.
They talked about The Help For Heroes charity and the new single that is released this week.
This event was split into two different sections.
We were here three hours but the band were here for 30 mins for the main bit and 15 mins for the second bit.
First was around 150 press folks with lots of tv camera crews.I get a decent view after climbing over their stuff.Then tv cameras all kicked out and the band come back for a second session to say hello to all the team that made the book possible which was more relaxed.
The band were not in signing mode or chat one to one as such but Doc McGhee their legendary manager is always keen to chat.He tells me KISS to play 02 Arena for the first time as part of their UK and European tour for May/June 2013.He even tells me what hotel they are staying at.He says KISS fly out back to America on Friday.
Looks like Tommy Thayer had the most input from the band with putting it together with the publishers.
The book is handled by staff wearing white gloves.
I think it would take two people to carry it is that huge.Forty years worth of some fantastic pictures.
Each book is signed by the band.Only 1000 copies.
A lot of work goes into printing and binding each copy.
Not much mention of the high cost of the book.
It is around £3,000...Yes £3,000.
Freebie wines and canapes here too.
The book will be on display in The Groucho Club,Soho
Thursday 05 July from 10am to 4pm.
3.30pm to 6.30pm i was at The Imbibe Drinks Expo at Olympia,London.
The biggest and best UK drinks expo for brands old and new,thousands of drink samples for all,masterclasses, networking,latest drinks trends and ideas.
How to get more customers to your bar etc.
Some of my fave drinks here were Tia Maria Expresso Martini,Jack Daniels Honey,Jim Beam Honey,Aquariva Tequila,Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum and too many others.Just as well i was only here three hours rather than all day as so many yummy drinks here would have knocked me out for the evening.
At some events you see some stands promoting odd stuff.
Keeping you shirt tucked in and your socks pulled up
"The Shirt Companion" are "suspenders for men".
A male model was there wearing them.
A full set of four braces retail for £14.99 and they gave me some for a mention so that was nice of them.
See www.sharpanddapper.com for a peek at them.
Then around 7.30pm a random meeting as i bumped into AC/DC singing legend Brian Johnson near Cheyne Walk,Chelsea.We chatted for around 10 mins and i gotta say he is one of the nicest rockers out there.He is over to attend a couple of UK motor racing events which included Goodwood last week.He said AC/DC shows are are long way off so i reckon more like 2014 than 2013 as a new album has to be done first.
I met him at The Guinea Grill by Berkeley Square a few months ago and today he said "he cannot wait to go back there as The Steak And Kidney Pie gave him a hard on".
His wife was very patient and nice too.Diamond geezer.
8pm to 10.15pm was The Masterpiece Midsummer Party In Aid Of Clic Sargent at The Royal Hospital,Chelsea.
In the stunning grounds of the Royal Hospital this art and antiques fair is held every year.Loads of fantastic items here covering a really huge space.Some are worth millions.Maybe 1000 upmarket folks here including a few faces like Barry McGuigan,Tania Bryer,Theo Fennell,Chris Wright(founder of Chrysalis Records),Lord Freddie Windsor,Sophie Winkleman,Tamara Beckwith,Donna Air and no doubt a few more i missed.The auction raided a lot of money as there were some great lots.
For those like me slumming it on public transport there was a golf buggy shuttle to Sloane Square tube which was a nice touch.An excellent event.
Freebie Ruinart champers,cocktails,wines,canapes and oysters for all here tonight
02 July 2012.I went to two good events tonight.
7pm to 8.30pm i was the launch party for the Tim Gosling book "London Secrets" at The Halcyon Gallery,144 New Bond Street,London W1.
Around 200 upmarket folks at this huge gallery.
The book is full of nice sketches of London.
Freebie Lanson champers and canapes here for all.
A couple of faces here including singer and actress Elaine Paige and Coronation Street actress Helen Worth who has played Gail for some 35 years.
9pm to 11.30pm was The Old Vic Summer Party Fundraiser at The Old Vic Tunnels,Waterloo,London SE1.
This is the venue where New York Dolls played last year and holds events every now and then.It is disused train tunnels.There are two types of ticket £250 for vips and press that get freebie drinks including Veuve Clicquot champers all night and a reserved area front of stage
where i get a brilliant third row from stage view and £75 tickets that had freebie wines and beers all night and a view in the second half of the venue.
It is packed in here so must be 600 or 700 here.
It is all standing so this creates a nice buzz.
Tom Jones played Hammersmith Apollo the night before but got average reviews as he played too many songs off his last two blues/gospel albums but tonight he has judged it right as its a party crowd so there are maybe just three or four songs from recent album "Spirit In The Room" but there are loads of his big old hits.Now aged 72 his voice is still mighty and his band were great.
He really knows how to give this crowd what they want.
The 65 mins set included "Whats New Pussycat?", "Delilah","Green Green Grass Of Home","Mama Told Me Not To Come","You Can Leave Your Hat On","Its Not Unusual" and ending with an encore of "Kiss".
An excellent gig.
Guests in the crowd tonight included Rod Stewart with Penny Lancaster,Goldie and Sir Peter Blake.
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
Clothing at Tesco
Shepherds Bush Empire
Isle of Wight Festival
Classic Rock Bands
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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