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Archive: August 2012
August 08, 2012
Thurs 02 Aug to Thurs 09 Aug 2012 i am up in Blackpool for a few days.
The sight of over 5000 punk rockers young and old up here for The Rebellion Punk Festival mixed in with the stag and hen paries in fancy dress makes Blackpool a very colourful place to say the least this weekend.
Love it or hate it Blackpool does have a fantastic value for money reputation as the hundreds of hotels,pubs and bars are as soooooooo cheap.
Bearing in mind at The Olympics Rowing Event i went to last week they wanted a fiver for a pint of lager.In Blackpool you can easily get two pints and some change out of a fiver.
Sat 04 Aug 2012 was Day 3 of The Rebellion Punk Festival,Winter Gardens,Blackpool.
Around 50 bands per day with multi stages, record fair,bars,eating places etc all under one roof.
Being a punk festival there are also loads of crap bands playing so you just try and pick three or four good ones to watch.
A fantastic atmosphere and always good to meet up with old friends here.
On the Saturday i saw four bands.First were The Slackers who are a newish ska band on the main stage but they were pretty average.
Then Ruts DC who reformed a few years back.Their original singer died of a drugs overdose back in the day.Their brand of punky reggae was a bit sluggish at first but ended well with "Babylons Burning" and "In A Rut".
Then i plonked myself front row left of stage for the main two bands i wanted to see this weekend.Manchester punk legends Slaughter And The Dogs played a great 60 mins set.A fast loud set with gems played like "Who Are The Mystery Girls","Boston Babies","You're A Bore","The Bitch","I'm Mad","Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone" and a brilliant encore of "Cranked Up Really High".
It is a late curfew here so Public Image Limited come on stage at midnight and play a full two hour 5 mins set that ends at 2.05am.I never thought John Lydon would "lower himself" to play here but yep the "king of punk" is here in da house.
Its a stunning set as PIL are just head and shoulders above any of the other bands playing this weekend.
My fave section of this current tour is when they play "Warrior" and "Disappointed" one after the other which are just mega.
Superb encores of "One Drop","Rise" and "Open Up".
John is on top form and is keen to slag off all copycat punk bands like Green Day.
He dedicated the show to "Pussy Riot" the Russian punk band facing criminal charges after making an anti-Putin video.
then the following day i was at.....
Sun 05 Aug 2012.Sex Pistols Experience live at The Rose And Crown-Tache Bar,Blackpool.
A fringe gig outside of The Rebellion Festival in a packed bar near the festival.
SPE are the UKs number Pistols tribute band and yet again blow me away with a perfect 80 mins of all those Sex Pistols classics like "EMI","Bodies","Problems","GSTQ","Pretty Vacant" and "Anarchy" etc.
They always look and sound totally amazing.
Encores were "No Fun" and we get a treat of the PIL track "Public Image" which was great as PIL have stopped playing that track in their current tour.A brilliant little gig.
01 Aug 2012.9.30am to 2pm i was at The London 2012 Olympics Rowing event at Eton Dorney,Near Windsor,Bucks.
Team GB won their first gold medal of this Olympics here today in the rowing.
Even for rowing the security is very strict.
Airport style scanners for body and bags with loads of army folks and police with guns here on standby.
While the BBC TV coverage of The Olympics is excellent there is nothing like being there watching it live.
Eton Dorney is a massive venue as the course is 2000 metres long.
Around 20,000 folks here every day.
The last 1000 metres is where the crowd are.
First it is the unreserved standing then the last 500 metres are where the seated grandstands are.I have a great seat near the finishing line where the friends and family are mixed with international rowing federations and the press and tv cameras.
This is opposite the stands you see on the tv coverage.
A fantastic atmosphere.First were 13 races of semi finals then the last three races were finals for medals.
First GB won gold in the Womens Pairs with the crowd going mental then GB came last in the Womens Fours then GB got a Bronze in The Mens Eights.
The medal ceremony was done right in front of my area and the three medal winners in each race gave a parade in the water and some of the crews jumped in the water.
It was really good to have been here.
Then later on it was...
Paul Weller live at The 100 Club,London.
Invite only gig for mainly competition winners via Converse who are the sponsors of The 100 Club.
Its really hot,humid and sweaty inside as it is proper packed to the rafters.
Liam Gallagher was here to watch it left of stage as was dj Gary Crowley.
Paul looking tanned as usual gives a mention to Bradley Wiggins early on.
I picked up a PW setlist dated for this gig but half the songs were in the wrong order.
Lots of gems played in the 75 mins set including "From The Floorboards Up","Wake Up The Nation","Fast Car/Slow Traffic","Kling I Klang","Dragonfly" and superb versions of Jam classics "Start" and "In The City".
Last song of the main set was "Broken Stones" which was great.
Encores included "The Changingman".
A great little club gig.
30 July 2012.Eddie Vedder live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
First of two totally rammed sold out shows here for the Pearl Jam frontman.
Pearl Jam played big shows in Manchester and The Isle Of Wight last month but not London this time around on their European Tour.
These shows at Hammersmith were Eddie Vedders first ever solo acoustic shows in London.
Downstairs is all seated tonight and I have a fantastic seat just three rows from stage on the left which is my fave area as that is where i spent twelve years on security at this venue from 1980-1992.
Pearl Jam have got some of the most loyal fans around as they sell the front rows to their fan club and there are many overseas folks here tonight.
Pearl Jam were the last band i saw in Paris at The Bercy a few years ago so i am well overdue a visit back there.
Eddie Vedder is on stage for around two hours with a perfect mix of solo songs,Pearl Jam songs and a few cover songs.
His second solo album "Ukelele Songs" was released last year.
Mainly it is just him with a guitar or ukelele
although tonight's support act Glen Hansard joined him for a few songs.
Lots of easygoing fun stage banter.
Although Pearl Jam have played Shepherds Bush Empire they have never played this legendary venue and Eddie knows the history of it as he mentions his heroes The Who "Quadrophenia" album sleeve which features them standing outside this venue.He even mentions Hammersmith Odeon by name later on in the show.His two young children help out with some of the guitar changes.
Always one to change the setlist around so expect some different songs at Tuesdays show.
Eddie Vedder really was a great quality show.
Full setlist tonight was....
Walking the Cow (Daniel Johnston cover)
Trouble (Cat Stevens cover)
Can't Keep (Pearl Jam song)
Sleeping By Myself
More Than You Know (Vincent Youmans cover)
I Am Mine (Pearl Jam song)
Brain Damage (Pink Floyd cover)
Dead Man (Pearl Jam song)
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (Pearl Jam song)
Long Nights (with Glen Hansard)
Good Woman (Cat Power cover)
Better Man (Pearl Jam song)
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (The Beatles cover)
Lukin (Pearl Jam song)
Porch (Pearl Jam song)
Unthought Known (Pearl Jam song)
Society (Jerry Hannan cover) (with Glen Hansard)
Sleepless Nights (The Everly Brothers cover) (with Glen Hansard)
Falling Slowly (The Swell Season cover) (with Glen Hansard)
Open All Night (Bruce Springsteen cover)
The End (Pearl Jam song)
Arc (Pearl Jam song)
Hard Sun (Indio cover) (with Glen Hansard)
28 July 2012.Public Image Limited + Wedding Present + Theatre Royal + Kids Unique live at Rochester Castle Gardens,Kent.
Stunning venue that dates back to the 11th century with the bands playing in front of the castle with The River Medway alongside.
A 4500 capacity which is just perfect.
Lots of lovely sunshine during the concert.
Up first we have a couple of bands called Kids Unique and Theatre Royal who warm the crowds up nicely with 30 mins sets each.
In the madness of the summer European Festival
PIL have flown in from a gig the night before in Poland but they are topped by The Wedding Present who said they had a lunchtime gig THE SAME DAY in Spain and were on stage here at 7pmish so that was pretty incredible.
Like PIL they were very respected by the critics and the likes of NME loved them.
Their heyday was late 1980s/early 1990s.
Their 45 mins set had plenty of gems including
"My Favourite Dress","Corduroy","Drive", "Kennedy","Dalliance","Deer Caught In The Headlights" and "You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends".A really good set.
This is the opening show of PIL UK summer tour
to promote their recent album "This Is PIL" that came out a couple of months ago.
The legend that is John Lydon comes on stage to huge cheers from the fans and the venue looks beautiful as the sun goes down.From the start John and the band are in top form as its one great track after another including
"This Is Not A Love Song","Deeper Water","Albatross","Death Disco","Warrior",some mega heavy bass rumblings on "Religion" then "One Drop","Bags" and brilliant versions of "Rise" and "Open Up".They are using the same PIL logo and red netting from the last tour.
A keen fan tried to get on stage but Rambo took care of him in a not too gentle manner.
It was was all so good but slightly spoilt that the band never came back for an encore.They were down for their usual two hour set so two or three songs were not played and the crowd did have the hump a bit but PIL still played for 1 hour 40 mins.
A great band in a great venue.Brilliant.
Also keep an eye on what's on at this venue in future as it really is a stunning location.
27 July 2012.BT London Live Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert live in Hyde Park,London.
Four Corners Of The UK represented by Snow Patrol(Northern Ireland) + Stereophonics(Wales) + Duran Duran(England) + Paulo Nutini(Scotland).
I have seen some big names play at Hyde Park over the past couple of weeks but none can compare to tonight's huge buzz outside the venue as The Olympics finally starts.
There are tv camera crews everywhere.
A massive crowd of 50,000 plus here to witness the four bands play mainly greatest hits sets lasting from 45 mins to 60 mins each.
Up first we have Paulo Nutini who plays a good set of the best tracks from his two hit albums.
Then Duran Duran play for 60 mins with loads of gems in their set including "Planet Earth","A View To A Kill","The Reflex" then at 20.12 we had a Red Arrows flypast with red,white and blue smoke which was great,then "Save A Prayer","Ordinary World","Wild Boys" and "Rio".
Lots of lights and great use of the big screens.
Between the acts at 9pm we had over an hour of the Olympic Ceremony on the big screens.The crowd here cheered along and the music soundtrack went down a treat.It was mega that classic tracks from The Sex Pistols and The Clash were part of it.
After that we had The Stereophonics.This was their first London show without drummer Javier who has parted with the band after eight years.Lots of goodies played in their set including "The Bartender And The Thief","A Thousand Trees","Maybe Tomorrow",
"Mr Writer","Pick A Part That's New","Just Looking","Local Boy in The Photograph","Have a Nice Day","Handbags And Gladrags" and "Dakota".
Last on were Snow Patrol who took to the stage at 11.30pm as the concert had been given permission to have a late finish.Lots of big tunes in their set including "Take Back The City","Open Your Eyes" and brilliant versions
of "Run" and "Chasing Cars" got the whole crowd singing along loudly.
The whole evening was really good.
See www.btlondonlive.com for future events.
26 July 2012.Day 69 of The Olympic Torch Relay.
Part of its route today was Shepherds Bush so had to check it out.Big crowds again.Another day of lovely sunshine.
3pm to 4pm it came past Shepherds Bush Green and Shepherds Bush Empire then along Wood Lane to the old Olympic Stadium site in White City then past QPR football ground.Lots of QPR fans with QPR flags and wearing QPR footie tops then back down to Uxbridge Road past Bush Hall.
6pm Tube to London Bridge and walk back along The River Thames towards The Tate Gallery.
Lots of tourists about and The Olympics vibe is now fully in the air.
The River Thames is great this time of year.
So many iconic buildings on both sides.
8.30pm to 1am i was at The Warner Music Group
Olympics Party at The South Tank Gallery At Tate Modern,London.
This was a massive party for around 800 guests in this new space.At last a record company holding a proper party and splashing the cash as its freebie Moet champers,a choice of five different cocktails,beers,wines and some canapes.Some faces here including Jimmy Page with his grey hair in a pony tail looking the double of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld
who was in London earlier this week.Also here was Mark Ronson,fashion designer Ozwald Boateng,former champion hurdler Colin Jackson,actor Nick Moran,Katherine Jenkins,Nicola Roberts,Eliza Doolittle and no doubt a few others.
A dj playing some lively tunes.Then Paulo Nutini plays a 30 mins set of his best stuff.
Then Mark Ronson is the dj for 60 mins and the whole venue is dancing and in party mode.Then
Flo Rida did a 20 mins set complete with dancers and his energetic hip hop pop went down a treat as he kept jumping into the crowd which really won the audience over.
A totally excellent party.
25 July 2012.7.15pm to 10.15pm.
I went to the debut album launch party for "Kamaliya" at Supperclub,Ladbroke Grove,London W10.
This venue has had many different names.
I saw some punk gigs here in the late 1970s when it was Acklam Hall then loads of gigs in the 1990s when it was called Subterania including Killing Joke,Alanis Morissette, Aha,Ice-T,Snoop Dogg and many others.
Kamaliya (born May 18, 1977) is a Ukrainian musical performer, actress and model.
Kamaliya was the support act on the recent Steps reunion UK tour of arenas.
Freebie prosecco,wines and beers along with canapes,burgers and fish and chips here.
Kamaliya put a lot of work into this show.
Seven songs played with SEVEN costume changes over THREE sets.The songs were a bit too euro disco pop for my liking but the crowd liked it.
She played the singles "Crazy In My Heart" and "Rising Up".
She had six backing dancers 3M/3F who also did the many costume changes.
A couple of faces here including Kerry Katona and dj Mike Read.Also Lizzie Cundy and The OK Magazine team are here as Kamaliya's album is given free with OK Mag dated 07 August which i think is the first time OK Mag has ever done that.Everyone got a free copy of the album as they left the venue.
24 July 2012.The Sex Pistols are to release a 35th anniversary box set of their legendary 1977 album "Never Mind The Bollocks" on 24 Sept 2012.
CD1 - Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols: 2012 Re-mastered, from the thought lost original master tapes with process overseen by original producer Chris Thomas
CD2 - 1977 Studio Rarities & B-Sides: Previously unreleased 1977 recordings including the legendary Belsen Was A Gas with John on vocals plus the original single b-sides, again all remastered from the original master tapes
CD3 - 1977 Live: High quality live recordings from 1977, most of which are previously unreleased
DVD - 1977: Live 1977 DVD produced by Julien Temple and featuring many previously unseen performances plus DVD extras of promo videos and radio interviews
1977 Diary: Hardback 100 page 12" by 12" diary with quotes, rare and previously unseen photos, memorabilia and exclusive images
7" Single: Replica of the withdrawn God Save The Queen A&M single
Poster: 3FT by 4.5FT Never Mind The Bollocks replica promo poster
Stickers: Reproductions of the original Never Mind The Bollocks promo stickers
Lyrics: A copy of the original handwritten lyrics to God Save The Queen.
Only snag is the price as it looks like it will retail for just under 100 quid.
22 July 2012.Bradley Wiggins, 'The Kilburn Flyer', 32, became the first ever British cyclist to win the Tour de France and helped his Team Sky colleague and World Champion Mark Cavendish win the final stage on the Champs-Elysees for the fourth year in a row yesterday. The pair's teammate Chris Froome, also British, came second overall in the 109 year old race.
With his cool sideburns Bradley Wiggins is a huge fan of mod culture.
Fri 20/Sat 21 July 2012.
Truck Festival at Hill Farm, Steventon,Near Didcot,Oxfordshire.
Winner of "The Grassroots Festival Award" at the UK Festival Awards, 2011.
Winner of "Best Toilets" at the UK Festival Awards, 2011.
My first ever visit to this sold out 5000 capacity festival that's known as "The Mini Glastonbury" that has got a well respected word of mouth reputation from fans and bands alike.
You can get nice and close to all the stages.
Lots of cool bands in a stunning countryside location.This is a working farm so all the cows and farm equipment is all nearby.
Truck is a showcase for all that is fresh and exciting in global music.
No rip off prices for food and drink and the security are friendly and efficient.
An on site record store that sold releases from all the acts playing at the festival.
The weather was perfect for an outdoor music festival.
Friday 20th July
Federation of the Disco Pimp from Scotland were a nice surprise.Uptempo instrumental disco funk with lashings of great sax and trombone........
Clock Opera were keyboard led indie chaps in matching shirts who played a good set.........
Villagers have had a Mercury Album nomination.A great voice with some great lyrics.Set included "Becoming A Jackal" ........
Little Comets from Newcastle are building up a strong fanbase thanks to brilliant songs like
"One Night In October" and "Dancing Song".They have a full UK tour lined up in the autumn when their second album comes out...................
Tim Minchin may seem an odd choice for a festival but he was excellent.With a full band and some very amusing and clever lyrics.Songs like "Prejudice"(only a ginger can call a ginger..ginger) and "Dark Side" were fab......
Mystery Jets were the headline act tonight and played for around 60 mins.The set included good tracks like "Greatest Hits" from their recent album "Radlands".They headline The Royal Festival Hall on 29 Nov 2012...................
Saturday 21st July
Emmy The Great i saw earlier in the year and i again enjoyed her set ......
King Charles has the type of visual image i love with his big hair and dandy style.He played some good tracks from his "Loveblood" album.He headlines Koko on 27 Sept 2012.......
British Sea Power had have a few albums out but are always much better live than on record and tonight they play a superb set.................
Headline act for tonight are Aussie indie rockers The Temper Trap who are getting bigger and bigger.
Their two albums have done well and their set included the mega track "Sweet Disposition".
They headline Hammersmith Apollo on 04 Oct 2012.
So that was Truck and i must admit it was a really nice music festival to be at.
19 July 2012.The European Premiere of Ice-Ts documentary film "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap" (15) at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
First 7pm the film then 9pm a Q n A session then 9.30pm a live show then 10.45pm was the aftershow party.
The film is a full 111 mins long and features Ice-T interviewing 30 to 40 rappers about rap and hip hop.Lots of freestyle rhyming and classic beats and plenty of funny moments.
Filmed by a British crew in New York,Detroit and Los Angeles.Some stunning aerial views throughout the film from a helicopter.
Tonights event was shown live to over 70 cinemas in the UK and over 50 in mainland Europe.I really enjoyed the film.
Then the Q n A session for 20 mins with Ice-T, Melle Mel,Chuck D(Public Enemy) and Raekwon(Wu Tang Clan).Chuck D mentioned the legendary Public Enemy shows at this venue in Nov 1987.
I worked all three of those on front stage security.Very noisy they were i remember.
Then we had a 65 mins show by these four acts doing short 10 to 20 mins sets.First Melle Mel with "The Message" and "White Lines" then Chuck Ds set included "Fight The Power" then Raekwon sang a couple then Ice-T sung a few including
"OG Original Gangster" and "New Jack Hustler".
A really enjoyable event.
See afterparty page for this event.
18 July 2012.6.30pm to 9.30pm i was at the launch of The Alcatel One Touch 903 Mobile Phone at The Box,Soho,London.
Nice to be at this very cool club again where i
have seen Kasabian and Lenny Kravitz play secret gigs in the last year.
Freebie cocktails,beers,wines and canapes for all the 150 folks here tonight.
We have a live band too who are Stooshe a female r n b trio from London.
They have quickly made a name for themselves.
Their 30 mins set included their two top ten singles "Love Me" and "Black Heart".A lively decent set.
It's hard to argue with an Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone for £40.
The One Touch 903 is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread. That's not the latest version but it's still a great operating system that's powerful and flexible. It also gives you access to tonnes of apps via the Google Play shop, as well as the ability to customise your phone using home screen widgets.
This smart phone will cost just £40 if you buy it on pay as you go when it comes out in the autumn, available at Carphone Warehouse. That's staggeringly cheap for an Android phone.
A nice goodie bag here as the phone itself was one of the items included.A good event.
17 July 2012.Madonna live at Hyde Park,London.
Back again to this venue for my fourth gig here in five days.A nice sunny day although we did get a bit of rain around 9pm.
Not a sold out show but 55,000 are here.
A massive world tour from June to Dec that will play to over 2 million people.
Madonna always puts on a fantastic live show.
Big screens,lots of dancers and costume changes
along with a stage extension to get near fans.
There is a gold circle tonight so get in there but its massive so a few thousand here so hardly feels exclusive.Inner gold circle front of stage would have been better.
The opening songs have Madonna holding and shooting a gun.Perhaps that was a warning sign to the promoters if they cut her off like they did with Bruce Springsteen the other night.
Madonna plays the game and comes on at 8.35pm for a 1 hour 55 mins set that finishes dead on the 10.30pm curfew time.Again with all the shows here it could have been a couple of notches louder but this is a Royal Park and they have some unique rules here.
At age 53 she still looks and dances great.
Her use of autotune on the recent "MDNA" album tracks was a bit annoying.Never an artist to play a greatest hits set i thought seven or eight mainly average tracks off the new album was too many as that meant lots of hits were not played.
Her son Rocco came on for a dance and i think her daughter Lourdes was one of the backing singers/dancers.We had some flying drummers and monks and lots of her old video clips.
She got down to her bra and knickers and flashed her buttocks.The usual mix of sex,violence,religion,kitsch and politics.
The older gems went down a treat including
"Papa Don't Preach","Hung Up","Express Yourself","Open Your Heart",a mega "Vogue",
"Human Nature",a reworked "Like A Virgin" and a fantastic "Like a Prayer".
It was a great visual show but a few of the new album tracks should have been replaced by older hits.
16 July 2012.I went to two events tonight.
First was 7pm to 7.40pm I was the launch party for the book "Reggae Going International 1967 to 1976 The Bunny Lee Story" at Sister Ray Records,34 Berwick Street,London W1.
Popped in for a couple of beers at this fantastic vinyl based record shop.
Edward O'Sullivan Lee, better known as Bunny "Striker" Lee was a prominent, prolific and successful reggae record producer best known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s.
Bunny Lee was here posing for photos and signing things.The book is out now.
There is also a Bunny Lee "22 Hits Best Of" vinyl album and cd to go with it.
then just around the corner
7.45pm to 11.15pm i was at the preview evening
of Burger And Lobster,36 Dean Street,London W1.
After huge success in Mayfair Burger And Lobster open their second branch in Soho.
No menus or specials boards.Choice of three mains at £20 each Lobster or Lobster Roll or 10oz Bacon Cheeseburger and choice of three desserts at £4 each and a very well stocked bar.
A big lobster, dripping with lemon butter and big juicy bacon cheeseburgers in bricoche buns, bursting with flavour.
The Lobster Roll and Bacon Cheeseburger were also just fantastic.All come with salad and fries.
The Raspberry Cheesecake had too much cream and not enough base but otherwise our eating experience here was just brilliant.
All washed down with some yummy cocktails.
Our waitress Kanice was excellent - very friendly, knowledgable and efficient.
The total bill for two came to around £150 but it was all complimentary tonight.
16 July 2012.Very sad news that rock legend Jon Lord, who founded Deep Purple, has died aged 71.
The keyboard player, who co-wrote many of the heavy rock band’s legendary songs including Smoke On The Water, had pancreatic cancer.
I saw him play live with Deep Purple a few times.The first being in 1974 at Hammersmith Odeon with the line up that included Richie Blackmore and David Coverdale.
16 July 2012.Olympic Closing Ceremony on 12 Aug 2012 will feature a two hour British music tribute with The Who performing last.
Russell Brand will perform a cover of 'I Am The Walrus' by the Beatles, along with a spoof version of Sex Pistols track 'Pretty Vacant' with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
That will be very interesting to see.
Funny how times change.In 1976/1977 The Sex Pistols were totally hated by the establishment and now the same establishment see them as icons of British culture.
August 29, 2012
28 Aug 2012.8pm to 10.30pm i was at the preview evening for Wahaca,19 Charlotte Street,London W1.
Tonight was invite only for friends,family and press.
Wahaca is very popular in London and hardly needs any advertising but this warm up is also used for staff training before the paying customers start coming in at the weekend.
Mexican street food chain Wahaca will open their Charlotte Street restaurant on September 1st. The new Fitzrovia site will feature the UK's first dedicated Mezcal bar, as well as a deli and a takeaway shop offering Wahaca's first breakfast menu. Locals will be able to swing by for takeaway burritos, tacos, salads and more.
It is quite a big place with maybe 80 seats on ground level and a nice bar on the first floor.
We had some nice food and some nice mojitos.
It was lively here with lots of staff running around.
27 Aug 2012.Monday was the main day of The Notting Hill Carnival,London.
Major Lazer Soundsystem took over the hallowed space under the Westway at the junction of Portobello Road/Acklam Road to host the annual Red Bull Music Academy Carnival party with djs and live acts including Sean Paul,Rita Ora and Skrillex.
Europe's biggest street party with over a million on the streets of West London.Too much to see really so you cannot get everywhere.Loads of floats and 27 soundsystems.I sadly could not get to two of my regular stops at Gaz's Rockin' Blues and Solution Soundsystem who have taken over from Jah Observer.
2pm to 8pm i was at The Red Bull Music Academy Party.Over 800 people here for this invite only event for comp winners and press folks.
The venue is perfect for this type of event with the flyover above us and graffiti everywhere.
Its open air so you can still get the carnival vibe and sounds.
Freebie jerk chicken,burgers and hot dogs for all as well as loads of free booze and of course Red Bull.
Its a bit packed in the main area as the place is rockin for sure so we head for the VIP area left of stage which is a bit quieter and yuu have more space along with some comfy sofas along with the all important no toilet queues.Here there is a freebie nail bar for the girls and t-shirt company www.thehitandrun.com are printing on the spot.You pick two of the eight designs for the front and back and it is all done in five minutes.
Around half a dozen acts on stage with lots of dancers and hula hoop girls.Skrillex did a 30 mins set then Jamaican dancehall star Sean Paul did a 30 mins set that sent this crowd totally wild.
Special guest Rita Ora was dancing in front of me left of stage for an hour before she came on.She did just two songs including her number one hit "Hot Right Now".
Major Lazer Soundsystem kept the crowd jumping.
Red Bull was noisy,chaotic and great fun.
Sunday is the birthday of the oldest punk rocker in town as Stranglers drummer Jet Black is 74 today.
Yes 74....Get well soon Jet.
25 Aug 2012.8pm to 11pm i was at the preview evening for Bubbledogs,70 Charlotte Street, London W1.
Another new eating place/bar with a funny name.
"Champagne"(Bubble) and "Hot Dogs(Dogs).
This one has the unlikely coupling of hot dogs and champagne as its theme.
A smallish place over two rooms.We had complimentary hot dogs and sides along with some nice cocktails and champers.
Bubbledogs will offer a menu of ten hot dogs served on traditional steamed buns, including the BLT dog, wrapped in bacon and served with truffle mayo and caramelized lettuce; the Jose dog with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos, and a regularly changing guest chef’s special. Prices will start at £6. A short menu of sides, including Tater Tots, will add a further taste of classic Americana.
Bubbledogs will offer a concise list exclusively of Grower Champagne and sparkling wines.A changing list of five cocktails will feature updated versions of classics, priced from £9, such as the Old-Fashioned made with bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup, and a gin and tonic mixed with homemade tonic. A selection of American and British draft beers will also be available by the bottle.
Bubbledogs’ design, created by Knappett and Chang, will incorporate an anaglypta ceiling; original reconditioned flooring; a copper-topped bar; reclaimed pine wall cladding; exposed brick, and Georgian wire windows.
Charlotte Street is a well-known street just north of Oxford Street.Nearest tube Goodge Street.
The southern half of the street has many restaurants and cafes including Roka and Gaucho, and a lively nightlife during the evening; while the northern part of the street is more mixed in character and includes the large office building of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and top live music booking agents ITB.
23 Aug 2012.Glen Matlock And The Philistines live at The Half Moon,Putney,London.
Considering this venue has been hosting gigs since 1963 i have only been here a few times.
Sadly no big gigs with The Sex Pistols or The Faces this year for Glen but he is not one for sitting around as over the past 12 months he has been playing in various bands including The Philistines that have included tours in Australia and America.
The Philistines have not played for a while but you would not know as they tear into "Born Running" at the start of their 75 mins set.
Its a superb selection of Philistines material mixed in with Sex Pistols and Rich Kids classics and a couple of covers.
James Stevenson shoots off brilliant guitar riffs on every song and David Donley(drums) and
Jim Lowe(bass) provide a nice meaty backing.
Glen is on top form working the crowd and getting them to sing along loudly all night.
It really was one fine song after the other.
Full setlist was
"Born Running","Somewhere Somehow","Get What We Get","Burning Sounds","Rock Chick","Idiot",
"Hey Mister","White Knuckle Ride","Ghosts Of Princes In Towers","Yeah Right","Steppin' Stone","On Something","Rattle Your Cage","Pretty Vacant" and encores of "Timebomb" and "All Or Nothing".A really great little gig.
Just a quick mention that the tree where Marc Bolan died is just five minutes from this venue and well worth a visit as his 35th anniversary is coming up.Go google this "Marc Bolans Rock Shrine" for the exact location and you will see a picture of none other than Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler by the tree.
Also coming up on Sat 15 Sept there is a Marc Bolan celebration evening at Shepherds Bush Empire that is headlined by Trextasy and Glen Matlock is down to sing a couple of Bolan songs.
21 Aug 2012 would have been the 60th birthday of punk legend Joe Strummer.He was a few years older than other members of The Clash and The Sex Pistols.
Hellcat Records are releasing re-mastered special editions of Strummer’s finest solo work on CD and Vinyl.
‘Global A Go-Go’ and ‘Streetcore’ were recorded between 2000 and Strummer’s untimely death in 2002, it was during this period that Strummer wrote, recorded and toured with the band he dubbed “The Mescaleros.” These records capture the one time Clash front man amidst an undeniable creative resurgence. In a review of Streetcore, The Guardian called the record Strummer’s “best work since the Clash's London Calling.”
Sat 18 Aug/Sun 19 Aug 2012.
The Rewind 80s Festival at Henley-on-Thames.
The UK's number one 80s festival returns for the fourth time to this stunning location by the river with two glorious days of sunshine.
24 different name acts over the two days.
Most headlined Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s when i worked there on front stage security.
20,000 sold out crowd on each day.
Lots of folks in 80s fancy dress outfits.
The best thing about this festival as i am in the press/hospitality area left of stage where you can see the stage without leaving the area which is what you have to do at most festivals.
Lots of space here with deckchairs and a covered area when it gets a bit too hot.One area is giving out free Pimms,beers,wines and snacks so that is very handy and the toilets are nice and clean too.Also half the acts who are playing turn up here to sign autographs and pose for photos.Perfect really.
I saw 11 of the 12 acts on each day.
The sets are from 15 mins to 60 mins each.
Some 30 or 40 hit tunes played each day.
The first four acts use their own bands then seven acts use the house band then the final band use their own band.It works great.
Sat = Day 1 of The Rewind 80's Festival. Kool And The Gang,Rick Astley,Jimmy Somerville,Five Star,Heather Small,Starship,Sinitta,Dr And The Medics,The Bangles,Soul To Soul,Right Said Fred.
Right Said Fred played their hits including
"Im Too Sexy" and great to see Soul To Soul play "Keep On Moving" and "Back To Life".
Only UK show by The Bangles on their current European Tour.They were second headliners but came on early as they had their own band.Still looking and sounding good.Their 45 mins set included "Manic Monday","Eternal Flame" and "Walk Like An Egyptian".
Then a couple from Dr And The Medics including their monster 1986 hit "Spirit In The Sky" that sold 23 million worldwide and was number one in 18 countries.
Sinitta did a few then Starship did a few including "We Built This City" then Heather Small did a few then Five Star who are playing their first UK show for many years i think. Still lots of dancing by them on stage.Jimmy Somerville did 30 mins of hits and then Rick Astley did 30 mins of hits.
Headliners Kool And The Gang played lots of dance hits including the biggies "Ladies Night","Get Down On It" and "Celebration".
A full firework display after their set.
Sun = Day 2 of The Rewind 80's Festival. OMD,Tony Hadley,Marc Almond,Roland Gift,Midge Ure,TPau,John Parr,Wang Chung,Adam Ant,Lightning Seeds,The Straits.
Up first we have The Straits who feature a couple of Dire Straits members.They play the tunes but without their leader its not the same.
Lightning Seeds play a really good 30 mins of catchy pop gems.
Adam Any easily has the most fans here this weekend.Adam plays a 40 mins set with lots of goodies including "Stand And Deliver" and "Prince Charming".
Wang Chung are average then John Parr does three songs including "St Elmos Fire".
TPau play a few hits then Midge Ure plays a few hits.He sung the first song all the way through before finding out the crowd could not hear a thing as PA was playing up.
Roland Gift played six songs.Three good and three boring.
Marc Almond was good.His 30 mins finished with "Tainted Love".Next was Tony Hadley who this crowd really love.Great versions of "True" and "Gold" in his 30 mins.
Headliners OMD are the same age as me so i have a lot of history with them.I first saw them in 1979 at The Nashville supporting Joy Division.
In the 80s all their shows were at Hammy Odeon.
Lots of "dodgy dad dancing" by their singer as
usual but the crowd all love him for it.Lots of synth pop hits including "Enola Gay","Joan Of Arc" and "Electricity".A good 60 mins set.
A full firework display after their set
Both days at Rewind Festival were great.
So many hit songs from the 1980s.
16 Aug 2012.8pm to 11pm i was at the launch of Puma with Professor Green Joint Apparel Collection at One Marylebone.Marylebone Road, London.
UK white rapper Professor Green has had a very impressive past couple of years with some hit singles and crossed over to the mainstream.
A lively younger crowd here and i do feel the oldest person in da house.Lots of freebie cocktails, beers and full size burgers flowing along with a lively dj who really gets the crowd dancing crazy for the last hour.
Professor Green is here is introduce the fashion show and hangs around all night being chatty and posing with the punters under the eye of his personal security guy.
The collection will be out in October.
Everyone got a goodie bag with one of his t-shirts in it.
15 Aug 2012.7.30pm to 11.30pm.The UK film premiere of "The Rise and Fall of The Clash" at The Portobello Pop Up Cinema,junction of Portobello Road/Acklam Road,London W10.
90 mins long.Director Danny Garcia.
Perfect venue as it is in the Clash heartland under The Westway.Around 200 folks here.
The definitive biography of the group's fall from grace after Mick Jones left the band.
Three years in the making, The Rise and Fall of the Clash explores the evolution of the punk icons, from their early days gigging at small clubs in London in the Seventies, to their famed run at Bond's International Casino in Times Square in 1981, to their downward spiral after their legendary Shea Stadium(supporting The Who) concert in 1982. Mick Jones is the sole original Clash member to be interviewed in the film, while Vince White and Nick Sheppard (Mick Jones replacements) and replacement drummer Pete Howard all appear to offer their perspectives on the band's tumultuous latter years.
Also ex Clash drummer Terry Chimes.
The Clash line up of Mick Jones,Joe Strummer,Paul Simonon and Topper Headon were one of the greatest live bands ever.I was lucky enough to see that line up loads of times as well as the line up when Mick Jones left which of course was not the same.
The film is an honest "warts n all" inside story of brilliance,rivalry,and the internal band dynamics and managerial interference from Bernie Rhodes that ultimately led the band to self destruct.A must see film.
There was a reception for an hour before the film then 8.30pm was the film then a 10 mins Q n A with director Danny Garcia then after a reception nearby at The Sporting Club.
Some faces here including Sex Pistols members Paul Cook and Glen Matlock.Also Tony James(Gen X/BAD/Carbon Silicon),Norman Watt-Roy (Blockheads/Wilko Johnson Band), Kermit(Sham 69),Don Letts and quite a few of the main music paper journo's from the
period covered in the film.
Also lots of folks here i know like Steve and Bill from Gosport,Lewis,Frank and Faith,Darrell,Mark H and many more so overall a really great night.
14 Aug 2012.This should be interesting if you have a few quid spare to visit America.
Guns And Roses have have announced they are to play a 12 show stint in Las Vegas from 31 Oct 2012.
12 Aug 2012.BT London Live Hyde Park - Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert with
Blur + The Specials + New Order.
A massive sold out crowd of 65,000 plus here for this "Best Of British" event.
First its a hats off to sponsors BT as BT London Live has been a huge success with a total of over a million sport and music fans attending the events in Hyde Park and Victoria Park over the past fortnight and visitors have enjoyed free performances in Hyde Park from name acts including The Temper Trap,Feeder, McFly,Levellers,Noisettes,Rebecca Ferguson, Alexandra Burke and others as well as appearances from Team GB Olympic medallists including: Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins and Nicola Adams.
New Order play a really good 60 mins set that included a couple of Joy Division classice.
Tracks played included "Ceremony","Isolation",
"True Faith" and superb versions of "Blue Monday" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
The Specials are on stage for some 65 mins.
So many great songs to dance to.They were a perfect support to the headliners Blur.
Full Specials setlist...
Do The Dog...(Dawning Of A) New Era...
Gangsters...It's Up to You...Monkey Man...
Blank Expression...Doesn't Make It Alright...
Rat Race...Stupid Marriage...Concrete Jungle...Friday Night, Saturday Morning...Do Nothing...Stereotype...Man At C&A...A Message To You Rudy...Nite Klub... Little Bitch...Too Much Too Young...
At 9pm the big screens show the first dozen minutes of the closing ceremony from The Olympic Stadium in Stratford then we have Blur.After half a dozen warm up shows over the past couple of weeks including a tiny gig at The 100 Club this is the big one.
On stage for a full two hours they play a perfect set of hits,rarities,b-sides and new tracks.More than once tonight Damon seems overwhelmed with the whole thing as he stares out into the gigantic crowd.Phil Daniels came on to sing a brilliant "Parklife" and comedian Harry Enfield came on dressed as a tea lady to give the band some cups of tea.
Damon even got the crowd to do the "Mobot" with him and praised The Olympic Games.
During "Tender" Damon gave Graham Coxon a kiss on the cheek.Many times Damon jumped into the pit area near the fans.A fantastic show.
Full Blur setlist...
Girls & Boys...London Loves...Tracy Jacks...
Jubilee...Beetlebum...Coffee & TV...Out of Time(with Khyam Allami)...Young & Lovely...
Trimm Trabb...Caramel...Sunday Sunday...
Country House...Parklife (with Phil Daniels....Colin Zeal (with Harry Enfield)...
Popscene...Advert...Song 2...No Distance Left to Run...Tender...This Is a Low...
Sing...Under The Westway...Intermission...End of a Century...For Tomorrow...The Universal
This month Blur released "Blur21" which is a massive box set collection that has 18 cds and 3 dvds in it.
11 Aug 2012.Noon to 8pm.Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Horse Racing and "Here And Now 80s Concert" at Ascot Racecourse,Berkshire.
A massive crowd here on a lovely sunny day.
While most music festivals ban you from bringing your own booze in these racecourse events let you bring in a much as you like so we had a nice picnic first before the racing with food,wine and beers.
We had six races.Jockeys here included Frankie Dettori and Kieran Fallon.
I was in the Premier area by the finish post.
A really nice atmosphere here.
Most racecourses have two or three live music events on these days to attract extra punters.
4.30pm to 8pm we had seven acts from the 1980s play short sets of 15 to 40 mins of their hits.A great format as that means over 30 hit songs are played tonight.We get a good view three rows from front stage left.
Katrina And The Waves play three songs including "Walking On Sunshine".Then Tpau play four songs including "Heart And Soul" and "China In Your Hand".Then Midge Ure plays four songs "Fade To Grey","If I Was","Vienna" and "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes".A good finish to the first half.Quick five minute stage changeovers.
Howard Jones played four songs including "Get To Know You Well","What Is Love" and "New Song".
Then Belinda Carlisle played five songs including "Circle In The Sand","Leave A Light On" and "Heaven Is A Place On Earth".
Rick Astley was one of the naffest acts of the 1980s but the females still love him it seems.
"Never Gonna Give You Up" was good but the rest was Westlife type tosh.
Headliners Bananarama were one of the biggest selling female acts of the 1980s and their 40 mins set had nine or ten hits on the bounce including "Cruel Summer","I Want You Back",
"Robert De Niro's Waiting" and Venus".
A really enjoyable day out.
10 Aug 2012.Lou Reed live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.
New York legend back in London as part of
his usual summer UK and European Tour.
Tonight was part of Antony Hegarty's Meltdown Festival at The Southbank.
This show was billed as "From VU to Lulu" as he played Velvet Underground songs along with solo album tracks and tracks from the "Lulu" album from last year he recorded with Metallica that got some pretty bad reviews.
Lou Reed is now aged 70 and shuffles on to the stage slowly with the help of a roadie.
On stage for one hour 45 mins with a great backing band.Most songs reworked a bit and even the "Lulu" album tracks sound much better live than on record.
Oldies like "Waiting For The Man","Walk On The Wild Side" and "Sad Song" went down a treat and the crowd rushed down the front for a really good encore of "White Light/White Heat".
Always good to see this legend play live.
Full setlist played....
Brandenburg Gate (From the Lulu album)
Heroin (Velvet Underground)
I'm Waiting for the Man (Velvet Underground)
The View (From the Lulu album)
Mistress Dread (From the Lulu album)
Think It Over
Walk on the Wild Side
Junior Dad (From the Lulu album)
White Light/White Heat (Velvet Underground)
Links I Like
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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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