Archive: September 2012

September 15, 2012

13 Sept 2012.I went to two events tonight.
First 6pm to 8.30pm was a showcase at DSTRKT,9 Rupert Street,London W1.
Another club venue promoting itself for the pre Christmas party hiring season.
Just a small entrance and then downstairs to a very impressive huge space that can hold up to 500 with a bar/restaurant/dance area along with state of the art light and sound systems.
There is a duo playing on the club stage.
Lots of freebie champagne cocktails and tons of lovely full size dishes from their restaurant.
This venue cost multi millions and is top notch.
See www.dstrkt.co.uk
then a bit later...
10.30pm to 12.30am was the afterparty for The Prima High Street Fashion Awards at Battersea Evolution Marquee,London SW11.
As expected its is a 90% female crowd out of the 700 or 800 here as they represent all the main high street fashion shops.The awards are still going on when we get there which were hosted by designer Jeff Banks and there was a catwalk show.
Then the dj kicked in and i had a couple of drinks.
Some faces here included some of the TOWIE cast including Amy Childs and some of the Made In Chelsea cast.Also Alexandra Burke,Matt Cardle,Antony Costa and errr Chico.
Everyone got a huge goodie bag with around 20 mainly girly items in.A good one.




12 Sept 2012.I went to two events tonight.
First 6pm to 8.30pm was Bunga Bunga 1st Birthday Party, 37 Battersea Bridge Road,London SW11.
Lively Italian themed bar and food venue with Italian memorabilia on the walls and ceiling celebrates one year of business.
Bunga Bunga is a phrase of uncertain meaning that dates from 1910 if not earlier. By 2010 the phrase had gained popularity in Italy and the international press as well, when it was used by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to refer to his alleged sex parties, which caused a major political scandal in Italy.
We had freebie cocktails,wines,Peroni beers and some lovely hot Italian canapes.A band played Italian and English tunes in the corner.
Guest of honour was Italian girl about town Nancy Dell'Olio who got a full trumpet blowing reception when she arrived.A fun party here.
then 8.45pm to 10.15pm was the Kraftwerk 45 x 45rpm singles covers preview at The Vinyl Factory Gallery,Walton Street,London SW3.
A small gallery that loves anything vinyl.
Some faces here including Rusty Egan(Rich Kids,Visage and now a top club dj) playing Kraftwerk and other electro classics on the decks.
Also Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and Paul King who fronted the band King in the 1980s and then went on to MTV.
Freebie beers and wines for all here tonight.
The exhibition will be at The Vinyl Factory Chelsea gallery on September 13 until October 5, featuring 45 covers, from various European countries, drawn from artist and Punk historian Toby Mott's pop culture collection.
A publication, limited to 300 copies worldwide, will accompany the show, again featuring all 45 covers. This will also feature a 7-inch disc of a 2009 Kraftwerk interview. Each book will be hand signed by Mott and numbered.



11 Sept 2012.The Killers live at The Roundhouse,London.
The Killers are in London for a week doing three small(for them) gigs for competition winners along with press,tv and radio to promote their fourth album "Battle Born" that comes out next week and seems certain to go straight in at number one in the charts.
Mon 10th was at The Forum for BBC Radio 1.
Tues 11th was at The Roundhouse for ITunes.
Wed 12th was at Koko for Channel 4 TV.
The Killers played for 75 mins with a nice stage set with some big screens,lots of lights and lasers used for songs in the second half.
Not much chat as they really got stuck in.
They played all the hits from their first three albums and a couple of new album tracks.
Highlights were "Human" and "Mr Brightside" with the lasers in full flow and the crowd dancing wildly.For "All These Things That Ive Done" they brought out the confetti canons.
A really good gig.
The Killers return to the UK for a full arena tour in November.
Full setlist played
Runaways.....Somebody Told Me.....Smile Like You Mean It.....Spaceman.....Flesh And Bone.....For Reasons Unknown..... Jenny Was a Friend of Mine....
Miss Atomic Bomb.....Human.....Read My Mind.....
Mr. Brightside.....All These Things That I've Done
.....When You Were Young.....
Encore:....A Dustland Fairytale



10 Sept 2012.At last Andy Murray has finally won a tennis grand slam final after losing four finals.
He won The US Tennis Open over five sets in a near five hour thriller than finished past 2am UK time.
He won the two first sets then lost the next two sets then won the fifth and final set.Mega.
It was a totally fantastic game to watch.
Sir Alex Ferguson was there to watch it.
$1.9 million prize too for him.
After years of being called " a nearly man" Andy Murray has won one of the big four slams.
The first British tennis player to win a mens singles grand slam since Fred Perry in 1936.
Well done Andy and it is the topping on an amazing summer for British sport.



08 Sept/09 Sept 2012.Leonard Cohen live at Wembley Arena,London.
Leonard Cohen now aged 77 is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician and poet who released his first album way back in 1967.
I went to BOTH these shows at this venue which are part of his European and North America tour that includes a show at Madison Square Garden in December to promote his recent album "Old Ideas".
In 1994, Cohen retreated to the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, beginning what became five years of seclusion. In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk.
He has played lots of gigs over the past five years after a long period of being away and i saw him at The 02 Arena and The Royal Albert Hall.
On 21 March 2009, Cohen released Live in London, recorded on 17 July 2008 at London's O2 Arena and released on DVD and as a two-CD set. The album contains 25 songs and is over two-and-a-half hours long. It was the first official DVD in Cohen's recording career. The quotation on the album referred to one hundred five-star reviews the tour gained in the international press in 2008.
The main reason for all the shows since 2008 was put down to when Leonard took his former manager to court in 2005 saying millions of dollars were stolen off him.
Perhaps that is why his gigs are so expensive.
Tonight was 95,85 and 65 plus booking fees.
Lots of older folks here as they remember his 1970s heyday when Leonard was up there with the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.
Boths shows he came on stage a bit late (7.55pm on Saturday and 8pm Sunday) which was due to promoters putting lots of last minute adverts in the papers to shift last remaining tickets as Saturday was 90% sold and Sunday was 80% sold so there were massive on the night queues at the box office to pick up their tickets.
Both shows finished at the crazy time of 11.30pm after two sets that lasted in total for a staggering 3 hours 10 mins on the Saturday and 3 hours 5 mins on the Sunday.The Sunday show had one less as a song was dropped from the encores section.
No pyros or gimmicks here just a couple of big screens,some stage carpets and a backing curtain.
Saturday show i was sitting in front of the mixing desk on the floor area and Sunday i was right of stage.You see different things that way.
The sound quality here was just perfection.
Cohen's troop of performers included three female backing singers. These were his occasional musical collaborator Sharon Robinson and the Webb sisters, who sang beautiful harmonies and played several instruments (not to mention surprising the audience with occasional acrobatics). The six musicians were very talented, playing piano, the Hammond organ, bass, Spanish guitar, acoustic guitar, and mouth organ, among other instruments.
At the end of the first set he introduced the band in a really nice way.As he said their name he looked at them took off his Fedora and put it to his chest and bowed to them.He also did this quite a lot when band members did a solo.
Leonard Cohens amazing rich deep voice just leaves you transfixed really.He kneels to sing some songs.
He skipped on and off the stage which was fun.
As usual Leonard was just total quality.
A 77 year old playing 3 hour sets.Just amazing.
Full setlist for Saturday show was...
'Dance Me To The End Of Love'.....'The Future'.....
'Bird On The Wire'.....'Everybody Knows'.....'Who by Fire'.....'Darkness'.....'Sisters of Mercy'.....
'Amen'.....'Come Healing'.....'In My Secret Life'.....'I Can't Forget'.....'Going Home'.....
'Waiting For The Miracle To Come'.....'Anthem'.....
'Tower of Song'.....'Suzanne'.....'Night Comes On'
'Heart With No Companion'.....'The Gypsy's Wife'.....'The Partisan'..... 'Democracy'.....'Coming Back to You'.....
'Alexandra Leaving'.....'I'm Your Man'.....
'Hallelujah'.....'Take This Waltz'
Encores
'So Long, Marianne'.....'First We Take Manhattan'..
...'Famous Blue Raincoat'.....
'Save The Last Dance For Me'(Drifters cover)......
Sunday setlist was the same as above minus 'Famous Blue Raincoat'.




07 Sept 2012.Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds + Kooks + Graham Coxon live at Wembley Arena, London.
Noel back in the UK for his third batch of dates over here as part of his world tour in support of his debut solo album that came in October 2011.
Since Oasis split Noel has done much better than brother Liam's Beady Eye in all areas.
Up first we have a couple of name supports.
There is a funny sight greeting us.Some headline bands have big productions where the support band are given a tiny space the size of a postage stamp in front of the stage curtain.Tonight BOTH bands are in the space.
This means Graham Coxon plays on the left of stage then The Kooks play on the right.
It did look a bit odd i must say.
Graham Coxon played a 35 mins set of tracks from his solo albums.An ok set.
The Kooks have been off the radar a bit.
Their jangly indie pop went down well enough. They played some hits including "She Moves In Her Own Way","Shine On" and "Ooh La" in their 40 mins set.
NGHFB were on stage for 95 mins with a 20 member plus choir behind them.Lots of boozed up blokes as expected in the crowd tonight.
Big screens and lots of equipment on stage.
The set focused on the album at the start and he threw in a few Oasis gems as well later.
Even Noel admits he is not an ideal front man.
Not much to say and not much moving on stage.
Rock star casual being the order of the day.
Just let the songs do the talking i suppose.
The crowd know all the songs to the solo album now so lots of singing all night.Some tracks getting more cheers than others as half the album is really good and half is average.
Of course The Oasis gems go down the best.
Overall a really good show.
NGHFB full setlist...
(It's Good) To Be Free (Oasis track)
Everybody's on the Run
Dream On
If I Had a Gun...
The Good Rebel
The Death of You and Me
Freaky Teeth
Supersonic (Oasis track)
D'Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman? (Oasis track)
(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
AKA... What a Life!
Talk Tonight (Oasis track)
Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
AKA... Broken Arrow
Half the World Away (Oasis track)
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
Encore:
Let the Lord Shine a Light on Me
Whatever (Oasis track)
Little By Little (Oasis track)
Don't Look Back in Anger(Oasis track)
A live DVD of NGHFB 02 Arena show from Feb 2012 is in the shops from 15 Oct 2012.



05 Sept 2012.6.30pm to 9pm i was at Devonshire Terrace,9 Devonshire Square,London EC2.
Tonight was a showcase to city workers that the venue can be hired for Christmas parties.
It is just two minutes from Liverpool Street.
Mainly suits here with complementary Grey Goose Vodka cocktails,champers and canapes flowing for all tonight.
Devonshire Terrace provides an informal yet stylish New York style ambience within the heart of the city. Here you can enjoy a delicious meal from the menu of modern European cuisine, or relax with a drink on the terrace.
See www.devonshireterrace.co.uk



04 Sept 2012.Grandaddy live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
American indie rockers Grandaddy brought our four albums between 1997 and 2006 and were loved by the critics but never sold massive amounts of records.
They split up in 2006 but have reformed for some selected dates in America and Europe.
Tonight is the last night of the tour and its sold out.
I saw them at this venue in 1998 when they supported Super Furry Animals.
There was a big screen that showed live footage and some funny pre-recorded clips.The band played for 1 hour 45 mins.Lots of great songs.Hints of Neil Young and Flaming Lips.
Highlights for me were "Now Its On","A.M.180",
"Summer Here Kids" and the last song of the night was a mega "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot".
The laid back fuzzy guitar sound was great as were the neat keyboard bits.A good show.
Full setlist played.
El Caminos in the West...Now It's On..."Yeah" Is What We Had...Fare Thee Not Well Mutineer...
The Crystal Lake...Underneath the Weeping Willow...A.M. 180...Lost on Yer Merry Way...
The Go In The Go For It...Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)...Laughing Stock...
Here (Pavement cover)...My Small Love...
Levitz...Chartsengrafs...So You'll Aim Toward the Sky...Stray Dog And The Chocolate Shake...
Hewlett's Daughter...Summer Here Kids.
Encore:
Oh Well, Okay (Elliott Smith cover)...
He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot...



02 Sept 2012.Sunday night i had an overnight press stay at The Tune Hotel,41 Praed Street, Paddington,London W2.
This hotel has only been open a couple of months.137 rooms over 6 floors.
400 yards from Paddington Station.
70 Double rooms with windows.
22 Double rooms without windows.
36 Twin rooms with windows.
2 Twin rooms without windows.
5 Accessible rooms with windows.
2 Accessible twin rooms with windows.
They have given me one of their cheaper rooms in the basement with no windows.
The bathroom and room area is small but brand new in feel which of course it virtually is. Very clean and bright and very modern.
Air con was working very well too.
They class themselves as a budget hotel with prices from 20 to 80.
Only downside was in the basement you can hear the tube trains in the Paddington tunnels which are not far away.Not loudly of course but still a bit annoying in the background.
See www.tunehotels.com
The following day was lovely and sunny so i had a nice walk through Hyde Park to an event at Olympia for a couple of hours then along to my old manor of Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush to visit some friends and check out some old haunts.
Very sad news that legendary venue Hammersmith Palais which has been laying empty for years while planners discuss what do to with it has now been completely demolished.



Sad news that Hal David, the lyricist who teamed up with Burt Bacharach on dozens of timeless songs for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, has died aged 91.
Bacharach and David were among the most successful music teams in the 1960s/1970s, with top 40 hits including Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, Walk On By and I Say a Little Prayer. Although most associated with Dionne Warwick, their music was recorded by many top acts, from Barbra Streisand to Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin. They won an Oscar for Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head.
The Carpenters had many hits with them and became a worldwide success.I saw The Carpenters at Hammersmith Odeon way back in 1974.
Bacharach And David were last on stage together in the UK in 2000 when i saw them at The Royal Albert Hall for a tribute show where many guests turned up to sing their songs.A DVD of that event is in the shops.


30 Aug 2012.7pm to 10.30pm i was at The 2nd National Reality TV Awards at Porchester Hall, Bayswater,London W2.
Always a good idea to keep an eye out for interesting events at this venue as Pink Floyds David Gilmour held his 50th birthday gig party here and in 2006 i was here for David Gilmours "On An Island" album launch/60th birthday party gig.
Some of Britain's best known reality stars here tonight including Made in Chelsea's Binky Felstead who was joined by co-star Millie Mackintosh, who picked up the award for Best Female Personality of the Year, while TV regulars Caprice Bourret, Kate Thornton, Nicola McLean, Paddy Doherty, Jessica-Jane Clement, Lizzie Cundy, Chelsee Healey, Zoe Salmon and Andrew Stone.
Also here were Spencer Matthews from Made In Chelsea, Alex Reid, Aldo Zilli, Chipmunk, Lempit Opik, Laura Hamilton,Pat Sharp,Dr Christian Jessen,David Gold and great to see the Lifetime Achievement Award go to tv legend Keith Chegwin.
The catering was a bit lame here though.
The hot canapes were barely warm and one person on a makeshift bar at the back could not cope for 350 people so a mad scramble for drinks for most of the night.
After the 18 awards were given out a band from Leicester called The Fores played a couple of really good and very catchy uptempo gems including their single "Let Go".Worth keeping an eye out for them.
I got some goodie bags with some girlie stuff in.
See www.nationalrealitytvawards.com



The Paralympic Games have started in London and there are some amazing things to see like the 100m mens backstroke race that was won by a chap with no arms.
Lets not forget a rock n roll amputee who beat the odds and deserves a gold medal.
On 31 December 1984, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on the A57 in the hills outside the band's home city Sheffield, when his Corvette swerved off the road on a sharp bend and went through a drystone wall. Despite the severity of the accident, Allen was committed to continuing his role as Def Leppard's drummer, and realized that he could use his legs to do some of the drumming work previously done with his arms.He then worked with Simmons to design a custom electronic drum kit.The other members of the band supported Allen's recovery and never sought a replacement. Rick was placed in a separate studio to practice his new drums. After a few months, Rick gathered the band together and performed the intro to the Led Zeppelin version of "When the Levee Breaks" to showcase his progress to the band. Joe Elliot reports this as being a "very emotional moment." During this period, Mutt Lange returned as producer. Def Leppard brought in Jeff Rich in August 1986 to play alongside Allen during Def Leppard's warm-up mini tour of Ireland, but after Rich accidentally missed a gig, he and the band realised Allen could drum alone. Allen's comeback was sealed at the 1986 Monsters of Rock festival in England, with an emotionally charged ovation after his introduction by Joe Elliott.
Over 25 years later Rick Allen is still the drummer in Def Leppard.



The Rolling Stones have been booked to play four shows later this year, including two nights at London's O2 Arena, according to US sources.
US music industry magazine Billboard quotes a source this morning (August 30) who claims that the band will play four dates in November, two at London's O2 Arena and two at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Could be true as other major bands like Bruce Springsteen,Coldplay and Green Day have played shows at The 02 that end up promoting their bigger stadium shows the following year.
It seems certain The Stones will tour in 2013.