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Archive: May 2014
May 22, 2014
Tuesday 20 May 2014.
Jeff Beck live at The Symphony Hall,Birmingham.
Rock guitar legend Jeff Beck is on a massive world tour.
He played The Royal Albert Hall last week but i was at The Kaiser Chiefs gig at The Hard Rock Cafe.
I would not normally travel out of London to see just him but handy he is playing Birmingham the day
after Prince so seemed a good idea to stay up in Birmingham another day.
One of the most influential lead guitarists in rock, Jeff Beck helped shape blues rock, psychedelia, and heavy metal. Beck's groups have been short-lived, and he has probably been handicapped by the fact that he doesn't sing, but his aggressive style — encompassing screaming, bent, sustained notes, distortion, feedback, and fast, crisply articulated passages — has been more far important than his material.
Jeff and his excellent band were on stage for around 1 hour 40 mins.
Bass player Rhonda Smith played with Prince on his 'Musicology' tour.
Jeff is now aged 69 but still keeps that jet black rock n roll hairstyle going.
Loads of great guitar based instrumentals as usual and like the other times I have seen him only three
or four songs had vocals and they were sung by the band members.
He covered Billy Cobham 'Stratus' that Prince also played the night before.
Also an odd choice of cover version was 'Danny Boy'.
Also a cover of The Beatles 'A Day In The Life'.
Jeff did not say much but thanked the crowd for coming.
A good show by a guitar legend still out there rockin'.
Monday 19 May 2014.
Prince with 3RDEYEGIRL + Laura Mvula live at The LG Arena,Birmingham.
A bit of a surprise that there is a support act.
Laura has the biggest smile in Birmingham as she is a Brummie girl supporting her hero.
Her 30 mins set included her Top 40 hit 'Green Garden'.
Prince is back in the UK for six arena shows on his 'Hit And Run Tour'.
No London shows this time as he played a few small venues back in Feb.
I saw him at The Shepherds Bush Empire on that leg.
It is 16,000 capacity sold out show here with floor standing.
A pretty amazing show again from Prince as he really does tick all the boxes that makes a superb live act.
He arrived on stage at 8.55pm and played a full 2 hour set with encores then the houselights came up.
Some of the crowd left and the Prince hardcore fans know they can get Prince to came back.
A full five mins with the houselights on with nothing happening then he came back on at 11pm to play
another 25 mins.
The venue was only three quarters full for the last bit.
Lots of hits in the set and it was loud and funky.
The first 30 mins was amazing as he tore into half a dozen of his biggest tunes.
Three big screens showing a mix of live footage and pre-recorded images.
His performance was dazzling, all sharp hair and clothes and guitar licks, teasing and tormenting the audience .
There is still something ridiculously effortless about Prince’s virtuosity – whether playing guitar, singing or dancing.
He re-worked some of the songs into 2 mins medley form or a piano balled or slowed down or speeded up.
Another mega show by Prince.
I even bought a nice bootleg t-shirt after the gig for a fiver.
Purple in colour with his gold symbol on the front and the tour dates on the back.
Full Prince setlist played...
Let's Go Crazy
Take Me With U
U Got the Look
Cool (The Time cover)
Sometimes It Snows in April
The Love We Make
When Doves Cry
Sign “☮” the Times
Little Red Corvette
Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince wrote this and it was a big hit for Sinead O'Connor)
She's Always in My Hair
Forever in My Life
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
A Love Bizarre (Sheila E. cover)
I Would Die 4 U
Stratus (Billy Cobham cover)
What's My Name?
Saturday 17 May 2014.
Arsenal 3 Hull 2.
FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium...Live on ITV at 5pm...
Arsenal win their first trophy for nine years.
An entertaining game but you gotta feel sorry for Hull who were leading 2-0.
Friday 16 May 2014.
When you are down in the dumps and you need something to cheer you up.....Steel Panther.....
Steel Panther live at Download Festival 2012Watch the video here.
A selection of songs from Steel Panther's Download 2012 Set, Filmed Live at Donington Park ...
27 mins featuring 'Community Property','Just Like Tiger Woods','17 Girls In A Row',
'Death To All But Metal' and others.....some naughty banter....and some boobies.....
Thursday 15 May 2014...I went to two events tonight...
7pm to 10pm.
Cocobananas - restaurant launch party at Cocobananas, 101 Howie Street, Battersea,London, SW11.
This restaurant is located next door to its sister venue 'Bunga Bunga' which has an Italian theme.
Based just over Chelsea Bridge, in Battersea, and set over two floors, Cocobananas is a celebration of all things Brazilian. An informal, beach shack style venue opening just in time to celebrate the World Cup in Brazil.
Cocobananas serves up all kinds of innovative cocktails, with Brazilian tastes and flavours never far from the limelight. They're served by scantily clad bar staff (well it is a beach party after all); with the guys wearing surf shorts and girls in sarongs and bikinis.
The venue's live DJ sets blend a mixture of Brazilian electronica, Latin house, pure pop and beach-themed tunes.
The 'Bum Bum' cocktail is served in a coloured bum shaped glass.
Tonight they had a bongo player-percussionist playing along to the dj and it sounded great and it was not long
before folks were having a boogie on the dance floor.
All guests had some nice complimentary cocktails,Brazilian Brahma beers and Brazilian street food.
A great buzzing vibe here and well worth a visit.
www.cocobananas-London.comVisit their website here for more info.
11pm to 2am.
Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball at The Grosvenor Hotel, 90 Park Lane, London, W1.
Kylie Minogue was the main live act.
Covers band Next Of Kin played a decent set after Kylie had played.
A busy day for Kylie as she played a lunchtime show earlier for BBC Radio 2 which I am watching on the BBC
Red Button channel 301 as I write this review.
Looks like it was the same set as here apart from one song change.
Host tonight was Peter Andre.
Caudwell help sick and disabled children in the UK.
A very upmarket black tie event for around 800 guests.(yes I did have a black tie on).
Loads of glammed up women here in stunning gowns.
Tickets for this charity event cost £2000,£1500,£1000 and £600.
This gets guests a three course dinner and free booze all night.
We arrive after the dinner and the auction is still in full flow.
Adding ticket sales and the auction sales together the money raised tonight was an impressive £2.5m.
Billionaire organiser John Caudwell is here.The Phones4u founder gives £10m to charity each year.
Lots of faces here including Simon Cowell,Chrissie Hynde,Alfie Boe,Sarah Ferguson,Sam Bailey, Ferne McCann, Sinitta, Christian Horner, model Petra Nemcova,Michelle Heaton, Rachel Stevens, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Mone, Gregg Wallace, Vanessa Feltz, Dave Myers, Nicky Clarke, Melinda Messenger, Amy Childs, Lizzie Cundy, Tamara Ecclestone and newly married sister Petra Stunt.
Kylie Minogue played a 65 mins set with a full band and full stage production.
Kylie took to the stage at 11.50pm and was as fantastic as ever.
I have a perfect view five rows from stage middle on the floor.
It is a proper production as we have big screens and half a dozen dancers with multi costume changes.
Even Kylie has three different sexy outfits tonight.
Kylie looks fantastic at aged 45 and is sexier than other female singers half her age.
She has the nicest smile in pop and is a great little mover who flirts with the crowd who lap it up.
She played some tracks from her recent album 'Kiss Me Once' and some of her hits.
An excellent show and her arena shows at the end of the year are a must see.
Full Kylie Minogue setlist played...
I Was Gonna Cancel
On a Night Like This
Kiss Me Once
Into the Blue
2 Hearts (Kish Mauve cover)
Can't Get You Out of My Head
The Loco-Motion (Little Eva cover)
Love at First Sight
All the Lovers
Wednesday 14 May 2014...7pm to 10.30pm...
Kaiser Chiefs live at The Hard Rock Cafe, 150 Park Lane, London, W1.
This was an invite only gig for 150 comp winners and press/guests of Hard Rock Cafe.
The host was Absolute Radio Sessions.
Lots of complimentary Hard Rock Cafe food before and after the band for all guests.
Competition winners wristbands had complimentary beers and wines all night but
our wristbands were also valid for spirits as well.
A dj playing some perfect tunes before and after the band to get everyone in the mood.
Things looked gloomy when Nick Hodgson the band's former drummer and main songwriter left the band
in December 2012 to focus on other projects but singer Ricky Wilson played a trump card by getting
a high profile stint as a coach on The Voice BBC tv programme and this helped the bands recent album
go to number one in the charts.
Kaiser Chiefs took to the stage at 8.30pm for a fantastic 11 song 60 mins set.
The venue is rammed when the band come on but I get a great view three rows from stage front left.
Singer Ricky Wilson is so confident on stage these days and he is turning into a brilliant frontman.
As usual he is full of antics as he climbs on the drum kit and the amps, he sings a couple of songs while
sitting on the inner porch of the venue entrance and for the last song walks through the crowd and stands
on the bar at the back of the venue and sings to the crowd.
In the middle he asks the bar staff to make him a "Coming Home" cocktail which they deliver to him.
The new drummer is great and all the band are on top form.
Like The Scala show earlier this year I saw this was a totally excellent little gig.
Full Kaiser Chiefs setlist played..
Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Ruffians on Parade
Never Miss a Beat
The Factory Gates
I Predict a Riot
Meanwhile Up in Heaven
The Angry Mob
Oh My God
Highlights of the show can be heard on Absolute Radio and they will show clips on their website.
Tuesday 13 May 2014...6.30pm to 9.30pm...
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards at Fortnum & Mason, 4th floor,181 Piccadilly, London, W1.
Around 300 folks at this famous store.
One of those events where there are a lot of people here I know.
Hosted by tv presenter Claudia Winkleman who announced the 12 award winners.
Guests here included Mary Berry, Michael Roux Jr,Jay Rayner and The Hairy Bikers who won the
TV Personality Award.
Also Tom Parker Bowles and Ronni Ancona (actress, impressionist and author) presented an award
and did a couple of her funny impressions including Nigella Lawson.
Also Stephen Webster (Designer Of Fine and Silver Jewellery).
Complimentary Fortnum & Mason champers,wines and lots of nice canapés for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag with Fortnum & Mason food items in.
Click here for full list of winners
Monday 12 May 2014... 6.15pm to 10.15pm...
PJ's Polo Party at PJ's Bar & Grill, 52 Fulham Road, London, SW3.
This event was to launch the Polo season for this year.
I have been to this event the last 6 or 7 years as it is always a nice buzzing social event.
This venue is over two floors and nicely laid out.
Around 300 upmarket folks here with many polo clubs represented including Windsor Guards
Polo Club and Cowdray Park Polo Club.
There was a speech and folks raised a glass to Carlos Gracida who was a well known polo player
who was killed in a polo accident in Florida in February.
Let's hope for no more bad accidents and plenty of nice sunshine for the polo in the coming months.
Lots of nice complimentary Taittinger champers,cocktails,wines,beers and great food for all guests.
A really good event.
Reminder that Polo In The Park at Hurlingham in Fulham is held on June 06/07/08.
Visit the PJs Bar And Grill Website HerePJs is in Fulham Road with South Kensington as the nearest tube station.
Visit the Taittinger Website HereTaittinger is one of the top Champagne brands.
Visit The Polo Times WebsiteGet info here on upcoming polo events.
Mon 12 May 2014.
Championship semi-final play off game 2nd leg.
QPR 2 Wigan 1.
QPR go through to the final at Wembley Stadium on Sat 24 May 2014....yippee...
Sun 11 May 2014.
Courtney Love live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
Tonight was the first of two shows at this venue at the start of her UK tour.
Courtney said it was the bands first show since sometime last year.
Courtney Love began her career as an actress in her early twenties, landing roles in Alex Cox's cult films Sid and Nancy (1986) and Straight to Hell (1987),and later rose to international prominence as frontwoman of alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989. Her uninhibited stage presence and confrontational lyrics, combined with publicity surrounding her 1992 marriage to Kurt Cobain, made her a noticeable and controversial figure in the alternative music scene of the 1990s.
I first saw Hole play back in 1993.
Her long running off and on feud with Dave Grohl over Nirvana related stuff seems to have cooled a bit
after they all met up last month when Nirvana were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Courtney said to the crowd tonight "be prepared for some mistakes " but Courtney and her band sounded
really fantastic with a heavy rockin' grunge sound and a great drummer who looked and played like Dave Grohl.
Courtney Love is now aged 49 and is still a bit wacky and a bit damaged but her loyal female fans love it.
Lots of "I love you Courtney" shouts through the set and lots of excited dancing down the front of stage.
The set was mainly the best of Hole along with some entertaining mouthy chat from Courtney between songs.
For the encore Courtney changed into a wedding dress/nightie and handed out flowers to the crowd.
Only downside was she was down for 90 mins but was actually on stage for only 75 mins.
The gig was all over at a not very rock n roll time of 10pm.
I half expected a bit of a Pete Doherty car crash type gig but it was total quality.
Perhaps we just caught her on a great night as Courtney said at the end of the show
"You're lucky because tomorrow I'm going to be cranky and hoarse ".
Full Courtney Love setlist played...
Miss World (Hole song)
Plump (Hole song)
Malibu (Hole song)
Reasons To Be Beautiful (Hole song)
Honey (Hole song)
Skinny Little Bitch (Hole song)
20 Years in the Dakota (Hole song)
For Once In Your Life (Hole song)
Olympia (Hole song)
Asking For It (Hole song)
You Know My Name
Violet (Hole song)
Celebrity Skin (Hole song)
Northern Star (Hole song)
Doll Parts (Hole song)
Check aftershow page for this gig.
watch a good old interview clip of Courtney Love
Forty years ago Elvis Presley meets three members of Led Zeppelin.
On May 11, 1974, Led Zeppelin attended (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Bonham) Elvis Presley's evening concert at the Los Angeles Forum. During the concert, Elvis stopped a song and jokingly said: 'Wait a minute... If we can start together fellas, because we've got Led Zeppelin out there... let's try to look like we know what we're doing, whether we do or not'.
Their mutual promoter at the time, Jerry Weintraub, took Jimmy Page and Robert Plant up to Presley's Las Vegas hotel suite. For the first few minutes, Elvis ignored them.
Jimmy Page—who had first picked up a guitar after hearing 'Baby Let's Play House' on overseas radio—began to fidget. What was going on? Did he really want to meet them? Should they say something? Elvis finally turned to them. 'Is it true', he said, 'these stories about you boys on the road?' Plant answered, 'Of course not. We're family men. I get the most pleasure out of walking the hotel corridors, singing your songs'. Plant offered his best Elvis impersonation. 'Treat me like a fool, treat me mean and cruuuuel, but looooove me...'. For a moment Elvis Presley eyed them both very carefully. Then he burst out laughing. Then his bodyguards burst out laughing. For two hours he entertained them in his suite. He had never heard their records, he said, except for when his stepbrother played him 'Stairway to Heaven'. 'I liked it', said Presley.
09 May 2014.
For those of you who have not seen this amazing clip.
A 13 year old Jimmy Page on BBC tv from way back in 1957.
click to see Jimmy Page from 1957
Fri 09 May 2014...Wigan 0 QPR 0...Championship play-off game semi final 1st leg.
Live on SKY tv at 7.45pm.
A pretty boring first half and the second half was not much better.
Looked like QPR manager Harry was quite happy to play for a scoreless draw.
Sets things up nicely for the home game on Monday where the R's must be the faves to win.
Summary of the QPR season...
QPR, who began the season with a squad that looked stronger on paper than half a dozen teams in the Premier League, and with a manager who narrowly missed out on the England job, having taken Tottenham to fourth, fifth then fourth in his last three seasons there. They should, in theory, have got one of the two automatic promotion places.
As it is, they finished in fourth which I think is a major disappointment considering all the multi millions spent on loads of new players over the past couple of seasons.
We started the season great but since Christmas it has all been very average.
Most of the new players did not pull their weight at all but quite happily took home mega wages.
Let's hope we can get that last promotion place.
Thursday 8 May 2014...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 7pm.
Maleficent - Charity Reception For Great Ormond Street,Kensington Palace,London W8.
I was here for the 'blue carpet' arrivals where around 200 photographers,camera crews and media are here
from the UK and all over Europe along with around 200 competition winners in a holding area.
A lot less chaotic compared to the Leicester Square film premiere events.
It is not the actual premiere of the film but the costumes and props from the film are on display in Kensington Palace.
I only came here as it was just 10 mins walk from the Yes gig later.
Stars of the film Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning are both here looking very glam in nice dresses.
A nice surprise was that Brad Pitt turned up here and I got a few great up close photos of him.
He is not in the film as he is here just to support Angelina so he avoided most of the camera crews and
went along the whole line of competition winners signing stuff and posing for selfies.
He even got hold of some of their cameras and took the photos himself.
Even jaded old me got excited as this proper A lister gradually came closer and closer and closer.
He was a couple of feet away from me at one stage.
Brad was so nice and friendly to all the folks here.
He is in two of my fave films ever which are 'Oceans Eleven' and 'Inglourious Basterds'.
Other guests here included Jonathan Ross,Stella McCartney and Jimmy Carr.
This Disney dark remake of Sleeping Beauty is in the cinemas from Wed 28 May.
Yes live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Prog rockers who were massive in the 1970s play London on their UK and European Tour.
I saw Yes way back in 1975 when they played Q.P.R.s Loftus Road stadium.
There are lots of clips of this 1975 show up on youtube.
Yes supported Cream here at this venue in Nov 1968 at their farewell concert.
In the 70s i loved glam rock and punk rock and I hated prog rock bands like Yes and ELP.
As I have got older I have mellowed out a bit.
The band are on for 2 hours 30 mins over two sets of 90 mins and 60 mins.
The sold out crowd welcome them with a standing ovation before a note is played.
They play three of their albums track by track.
1972 album 'Close To The Edge'.
1977 album 'Going For The One'.
1971 album 'The Yes Album' followed by an encore of 'Roundabout'.
Their current singer is Jon Davidson who does sound a bit like original vocalist Jon Anderson
but lacks his stage personality.
There are still three original members in the band.
No surprise there is a massive drum kit, a bank of keyboards and the bass player Chris Squire
brings out a triple necked bass guitar for one song.
The big screen is fantastic as it mixes stunning pre-recorded images with a bit of live footage.
The name of each song is also introduced on the big screen.
My fave tunes were 'Wonderous Stories' and the encore of 'Roundabout'.
There was plenty of muso noodling in the longer songs.
A couple of songs were over 15 minzzzz long.
A decent show overall for me but the crowd totally loved it a lot more than I did.
Full Yes setlist played...
Close to the Edge track by track
Close to the Edge
And You and I
Going For The One track by track
Going for the One
Turn of the Century
The Yes Album track by track
Yours Is No Disgrace
I've Seen All Good People
Wednesday 7 May 2014...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8pm.
Breitling - VIP party at Breitling, 130 New Bond Street, London, W1.
Breitling designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes chronometer watches. Breitling is a privately owned company founded in 1884 in Grenchen, Switzerland.
Breitling is known for precision-made chronometers useful to aviators.
Most higher priced models feature highly complex movements, gold cases and bracelets, and diamonds on the bezel.
Around 100 folks here over the two floors.
Two Michelin starred chef Marcus Wareing was here to mark the 30th anniversary of its Chronomat watch.
David Beckham was here last year when they opened but is not here tonight.
Lots of very nice complimentary Bollinger champers,cocktails and canapés here for all guests.
There is a fun photo booth downstairs that was popular.
We have a few pilots here in their uniforms from The Breitling Jet Team.
The Breitling Jet Team is the largest civilian aerobatic display team in Europe.
Based in Dijon, France, it flies seven Aero L-39 Albatros jets.
The team flies a display lasting 18–20 minutes that includes close formation flying, opposition passes, solo routines, and synchronized maneuvers. The team performs across Europe and the Middle East, with multiple engagements per year, including major international airshows and Breitling corporate events.
The event was due to finish at 9pm but I sadly had to leave The Bollinger behind at 8pm and move on.
8.15pm to 11pm.
Sony Xperia Access Live at One Embankment, 8 Victoria Embankment, London, WC2.
Sony are putting on a showcase of their Xperia related products.
There is a gaming area where there are a dozen consoles folks can play with.
There is a pool of plastic balls were folks are jumping into which was a nice touch and proved popular.
A massive crowd of over 500 folks at this event and there is loads of complimentary booze and food all night.
A choice of four different cocktails,wines,beers and sooooo much grub with bowl food,full size hot dogs,
pork and stuffing rolls,paninies and more.
We had Katy B play six tracks from her two albums including some hits in her 30 mins set with her band.
More of a semi acoustic slower feel tonight rather than the full band dance sound.
2.Right Before My Eyes
4.Crying For No Reason(reached number 5 in the charts in 2014)
5.Katy On A Mission(reached number 5 in the charts in 2010)
6.Lights On(reached number 4 in the charts in 2011)
Katy kept her cool even though there were 20 camera phones in her face for most of the show.
There was another song on the setlist(Still) but I don't think that was played.
Katy B has headlined Shepherds Bush Empire,The Roundhouse and Koko.
A couple of djs played some tunes before and after her set.
It was really buzzing here until the very end.
Sony must have spent a small fortune on this event.
Tuesday 6 May 2014...6.45pm to 8.45pm...
Tatler Restaurant Awards at The Ballroom,The Savoy Hotel,Strand, London, WC2.
Tatler magazine was first published more than 300 years ago in 1709.
Tatler comes under the Conde Nast publishing empire who always use quality hotel venues.
They seem to prefer hosting events that are really good in a luxury hotel venue that last for two hours
as opposed to an average event in an average venue for three or four hours.
Over 300 folks here with complimentary Laurent-Perrier champers,wines and canapés.
The restaurant scene in London these days are second to none as quality venues open every week.
The only restaurant outside London to win an award was The Boathouse in Henley-on-Thames.
We had 12 awards given out and no surprise that the main award of Restaurant Of The Year went to
The Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone where I attended last week for that excellent Prada afterparty.
All guests got a goodie bag which included a copy of Tatler magazine which includes their Best
Restaurants guide and a pair of complimentary tickets for the Taste Of London food festival in June.
www.tatler.comClick here for a full list of the winners and runners up.
About the sponsors...
Laurent-Perrier...Originally founded in 1812 Laurent-Perrier is today recognised as one of the
foremost brands in Champagne.
Taste Festival...Taste Festivals will be hosting 21 food festivals around the world in 2014.
For the flagship Taste Of London running from 18-22 June in Regents Park over 50,000 visitors are
expected as over 40 restaurants and over 200 boutique food and drink stalls will be there.
Tatler Magazine...The June 2014 issue is in stores now,priced at £4.30.
Sat 03 May 2014.
I Can't Sing! musical live at The London Palladium.
Earlier this week it was announced that this musical based on The X Factor is to close after just two months.
Co-written by Harry Hill, I Can't Sing! pokes fun at the talent show and its creator Simon Cowell.
The show, which opened to glowing reviews at the London Palladium in March, will close on 10 May.
"I Can't Sing! has had audiences on their feet night after night, four and five star reviews from the critics and an amazing company and creative team, but it seems that isn't always enough." said co-promoters Stage Entertainment UK.
The show was on for around 2 hours 15 mins over two sets and really enjoyable.
Loads of funny gags in it and lots of good songs.
Simon Cowell must have a sense of humour as the whole show takes the mickey out of him,the other judges,
the contestants,the songs,the presenter and the X Factor format in general.
Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh turned up at the premiere in March but Cheryl Cole and Dermot O'Leary
did not as maybe they have not got a sense of humour.
Simon Cowell and his Syco company have lost a few million quid on this production as co-producers
but don't shed a tear just yet as Simon Cowell will get it back with his involvement with One Direction.
One Direction signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010.
Just four years later the current world stadium tour by One Direction is set to make the Top 10
grossing concert tours list of 2014.
So a reminder it closes on Sat 10 May 2014 and I Can't Sing! is well worth checking out.
Thursday 1 May 2014...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8.30pm
John Lewis 150th anniversary party at John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1.
Pretty amazing this department store has been on the same site for 150 years.
Preview party of John Lewis's 'Stories of a Shopkeeper' exhibition.
The exhibition, which charts the department store's 150 year history, opens at John Lewis Oxford Street
on Saturday 3rd May and runs for seven weeks until 20 June.This was on the third floor.
It was also the launch of their roof gardens area which is where the main party was held.
The rain was coming down but thankfully there were some covered areas.
There were lots of staff dressed in period costumes from the past 150 years.
We have a Dixie show band playing some tunes.
They previewed the new tv advert in a screening area.
Faces here included Jeremy Vine,George Lamb,Janet Street Porter,Alice Temperley,
Jasmine Guinness,Mary Portas,Nicky Haslam and Christine Hamilton.
We have some complimentary Moët champers,cocktails and some very nice John Lewis food.
All guests got a complimentary book on 150 years of John Lewis that they retail for £20.
8.45pm to 10pm.
Belstaff - 90th anniversary party at Belstaff, 135-137 New Bond Street, London, W1.
Belstaff have changed a lot since I had their jackets in the late 70s when I had a GT750 Suzuki.
Now they are a super cool fashion brand where some of their biker jackets can cost over £1000.
David Beckham opened this store a few months ago but is not here tonight.
Charley Boorman is here who was in that great tv series with Ewan McGregor where they
toured around the world on their motorbikes.
Complimentary presecco,gin cocktails,wines,beers and canapés for all guests.
Wed 30 April 2014...I went to three events tonight ending up at an excellent Prada event....
6pm to 7pm.
Lynn Chadwick 'Retrospectives' private view at Blain Southern Gallery,4 Hanover Square, London W1.
Lynn Chadwick died on 25 April 2003, aged 88. With Eduardo Paolozzi and Kenneth Armitage, Lynn Chadwick played a major role in establishing British post-war sculpture on the world stage. Chadwick himself first achieved major renown at the relatively young age of 41, by winning the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1956.
Complimentary beers and some lovely Espresso Martini cocktails from the friendly folks from Cru Kafe.
www.crukafe.comVisit Cru Kafe here.
then 7.30pm to 8.45pm.
My Secret Dressing Room fashion party at Buddha Bar,145 Knightsbridge,London SW1.
Lots of glammed up females here at this female fashion showcase.
Folks here included Philip Salon who was a member of The Bromley Contingent who were the first group
of fans that followed The Sex Pistols before the band took off in the mid 1970s.
Also here was Sally Farmiloe.
Complimentary presecco and canapés for all guests.
then 9pm to 11pm
'Pradasphere' unveiling party at Harrods,4th floor,Knightsbridge,London SW1.
Italian brand Prada unveils a major takeover of the London department store.
Open to the public from Friday 02 May,the Harrods 'Pradasphere' includes an exhibition, a pop-up Prada café and more than 40 window displays dedicated to Miuccia’s Prada’s brand.
In the exhibition space, which will be free to enter during its month-long run on the store’s fourth floor, the brand brings together a selection of its most sought after and memorable catwalk collections, as well as more than a hundred handbag and shoe styles dating back over a hundred years to the label’s early days making leather goods.
A very glammed up crowd with lots of Italian folks and others including Bip Ling, Bonnie Wright, Daisy Lowe, Jay Jopling, Jeremy Irvine, Jessie Ware, Samantha Barks, Tuppence Middleton and Laura Bailey.
Complimentary Ferrari presecco,cocktails and canapés for over 300 guests.
An army of male models serving all those here.
then 11.30pm to 4am.
'Pradasphere' afterparty at The Chiltern Firehouse,1 Chiltern Street,Marylebone,London W1.
After the preview, everyone jumped into cars and headed over to venue of the moment Chiltern Firehouse.
Noel Gallagher,Bryan Ferry,Sadie Frost,Fran Cutler,Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, Lily Allen, Jack Whitehall, Gemma Chan, Ruby Wax, Jasmine Guinness joined the party even though they had not been to Harrods.
It was very nice to be in a courtesy car from Harrods to The Chiltern Firehouse.
The three of us and three Italians in a people carrier.
Around 20 photographers gathered around our car as it pulled up in case we were celebs.
Since it opened earlier this year The Chiltern Firehouse has become the hottest restaurant to be seen at.
It is fully booked for the next couple of months even though it is quite a big venue.
We each had around a dozen complimentary small plates and bowls of superb food seated at a table
along with a full free bar of champers and any cocktail or drink you wanted.
Noel Gallagher was in full party mode dancing with the dj in the bar area and was still here at 3am.
The staff were great and you can see why this place has got such great reviews.
We were one of the last to leave at 4am but there were still a dozen folks drinking.
Prada must have spent a fortune tonight.
An excellent 10/10 event.
Wed 30 April...some sad news...
The actor Bob Hoskins has died aged 71. His agent said that he passed away on Tuesday, surrounded by his family, suffering from pneumonia. He retired in 2012 following a diagnosis with Parkinson's disease in the autumn of 2011.
One of Britain's best-loved actors, Hoskins was known for his gruff bonhomie, and career that spanned more than 30 years. He first found fame on the small screen in Dennis Potter's Pennies from Heaven, and then in cinemas as a London gangster-turned-businessman in The Long Good Friday (1980).
I saw The Long Good Friday when it was released.A great film.
It came out the year after other great British films Scum and Quadrophenia
Tues 29 April 2014...I went to FOUR events tonight...
6pm to 6.45pm.
Suzanne Periman : 'Painting London' private view at The Gallery In Cork Street ,London W1.
A comprehensive survey of the 91-year-old Budapest-born artist's paintings of her adopted home city including depictions of traffic-laden thoroughfares, Covent Garden, the Southbank and architectural vistas of the Houses Of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and St Paul's.
A lot of folks here from the Jewish community.
Complimentary wines and sushi for all.
It is on from now until 17 May 2014.
then 7pm to 8pm.
Piquadro - store launch party at Piquadro, 67 Regent Street, London, W1.
Hailing from Italy, Piqaudro is the brand to go to for professional and travel leather products. Be it a laptop case, a bag to take to work or even a backpack, Piquadro has a bag to suit everyone's needs. Look to this brand on Regent Street for quality, style and innovation - in bags.
The dj here was Amber Le Bon.
Complimentary prosecco,gin cocktails and canapés for all guests.
I got a couple of nice goodie bags here.
www.piquadro.comCheck the Piquadro website here.
then 8.15pm to 9.45pm.
Kettner's Laurent-Perrier Bar - champagne launch party at Kettner's, 29 Romilly Street, London, W1.
A really good buzzing atmosphere here with the bar that looks after two rooms.
One room has lots of very nice comfy sofas.
Kettners first opened in 1867 and they have seven elegant adaptable events rooms.
Lots of complimentary Laurent-Perrier champers here.
then 10pm to 11pm.
'Plastic' - UK film premiere afterparty.
The film had its premiere earlier in Leicester Square and around 300 folks went to the afterparty at
Libertine, 4 Winsley Street, London, W1.
Will Poulter, Sebastian De Souza, Emma Rigby and Ed Speleers who star in the film were here.
Complimentary cocktails and canapés here.
Monday 28 April 2014...7pm to 11.15pm...
The S Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2014 at
Guildhall, Gresham Street, London, EC2.
Always good to be back at this stunning historic venue for these very prestigious awards.
The current building was begun in 1411 and completed in 1440, and it is the only stone building not belonging to the Church to have survived through to the present. The complex contains several other historic interiors besides the hall, including the large medieval crypts, the old library, and the print room, all of which are now used as function rooms.
Over 500 folks here including chefs and owners from across the world representing their restaurants.
Lots of camera crews and photographers in the courtyard doing interviews and photos of those in the Top 50 list.
7pm---Drinks reception including complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers,cocktails,wines,beers,canapés.
8pm---Worlds Best 50 Restaurants countdown in the main hall with seating.
Hosted by Mark Durden-Smith.
Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Fergus Henderson.
9.30pm---Afterparty in the crypt with complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers,cocktails,wines,beers,
bowl food and canapés.A dj was playing some sounds in the background.
The top 10 were as follow...
1) Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2) El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
3) Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
4) Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
5) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge,London, UK
6) Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain
7) D.O.M, Sao Paulo, Brazil
8) Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9) Alinea, Chicago, USA
10) The Ledbury, Notting Hill,London,UK
All guests got a goodie bag.
A very nice event.
www.theworlds50best.comCheck here to see the full list and more info.
Sat 26 April 2014---THE VINYL REVOLUTION RETURNS TO LONDON
LONDON OLYMPIA RECORD FAIR
OLYMPIA CENTRAL, HAMMERSMITH ROAD, LONDON W14.
I arrived at 2.15pm and stayed for around 2 hours.
Always nice to meet up with friends here who are both selling and buying.
I got a few things but nothing too expensive.
Some rare items here go for big money.
One of my dealer friends sold this item for £350.
URIAH HEEP 'Salisbury' Rare original 1970 UK 6-track LP on the swirl Vertigo label and with the original poly-lined inner and matt gatefold picture sleeve. This album is one of the hardest to find as an original Vertigo swirl pressing.
Olympia attracts dealers and collectors from all over the UK, Europe, America,
Japan and Australia - it's the greatest buying and selling opportunity in London.
At the fair you will be able to buy and sell Vinyl, CDs, DVDs, autographs,
memorabilia, books, posters, T-shirts, promos - anything to do with music.
www.vip-24.comCheck here for more info on this fair and others they hold all over the UK.
-----then later on -----
Sat 26 April 2014...
TOY + dj set from Richard Fearless(Death In Vegas) live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
TOY are an indie rock/psychedelic rock band.
Their second album 'Join The Dots' was released six months ago.
NME gave both their albums impressive 8/10 reviews.
TOY play their biggest headline London show to date.
Level 2 and 3 upstairs are closed as unsold but it is still a decent sized crowd.
I was thinking it would be all super cool young hipsters but plenty of folks my age here.
The band kick off with instrumental 'Conducter' at 9.30pm for their 80 mins set.
The sound is much better than expected and the band are super tight with a brilliant drummer.
There are no stop starts or tuning problems that a lot of the younger bands have.
Lots of really good tracks including 'Kopter','Left Myself Behind','My Heart Skips A Beat',
'Motoring' and 'Join The Dots'.
They are at their best on their longer songs which speed up to a wall of sound crescendo that
merges Can with Hawkwind.
A really good show and two days after this show the band leave for an American tour before
returning to the UK for some festival shows.
Full TOY setlist played tonight...
Colours Running Out
Too Far Gone To Know
Dead & Gone
You Won't Be The Same
As We Turn
Left Myself Behind
It's Been So Long
Fall Out of Love
My Heart Skips a Beat
Join the Dots
Fri 25 April 2014...Chas & Dave live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Chas & Dave on a UK tour to celebrate 50 years since they first met and 40 years as Chas & Dave.
This a massive gig compared to where they usually play but it is a near sell out.
Chas & Dave are creators and performers of a musical style labelled "rockney", which mixes "pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and rock n roll".
They really are National Treasures these days.
Their hits were mainly from the late 70s/early 80s.
I first saw them in 1976 and 1978 when they were a support act at Hammersmith Odeon.
They were one of the support acts when Led Zeppelin played Knebworth in 1979.
They return to Knebworth on Sat 05 July 2014 as one of the support acts to Iron Maiden.
Pete Doherty is a big fan as he would play their songs at rehearsals and Chas & Dave supported
The Libertines in 2003 and 2004 and Pete has joined them on stage in the past.
Chas & Dave are on stage for 2 hours 5 mins over two sets of 40 mins and 85 mins.
A very white working class rowdy boozed up crowd here on the first Friday after St George's Day.
They play mainly as a trio as a drummer is here and some songs have a brass section joining them.
The first set was boogie woogie covers they used to play in pubs and clubs in the 1970s and the set ended
with their 1979 hit 'Gercha'.
The second half started with tracks from Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock's first studio album in 18 years 'That's What Happens' which is a collection of covers that harks back to their skiffle and blues roots. There are echoes of Leadbelly and country harmonies on the likes of Lonnie Donegan tracks 'Railroad Bill' and 'Midnight Special',and Hodges's voice has a kind of grit to it that only age and experience can provide and the old joanna doesn't even show up till the swinging, full-band single 'When Two Worlds Collide',and the jazzy 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' and 'Glory of Love',both featuring Martin Taylor on guitar tonight.
For the last hour there was plenty of dancing as we went into a full Cockney knees up party as they played their hits including
Margate(reached number 46 in the charts in 1982)
Poor Old Mr Woogie
What A Miserable Saturday Night
London Girls(reached number 63 in the charts in 1983)
Brother In Law
That Old Piano
One Fing n Anuvver
Snooker Loopy(reached number 6 in the charts in 1986)
Rabbit(reached number 8 in the charts in 1980)
Ain't No Pleasing You(reached number 2 in the charts in 1982)
The Sideboard Song(reached number 55 in the charts in 1979)
A very enjoyable show.
Chas & Dave have just announced a Christmas London show at Indigo on 12 Dec 2014.
25 April 2014.
The Libertines have confirmed the rumours they will be re-uniting for a one-off show in Hyde Park this summer on 5 July.
The concert, which will be a part of the Barclaycard British Summer Time concerts running throughout July, will be the band's biggest ever UK show and their first for four years.
They will be supported by The Pogues, Spiritualized, Maximo Park ,The Enemy and others.
Despite splitting up in 2004 following discord in the band, The Libertines- formed in 1997 by Pete Doherty and Carl Barât along with Gary Powell and John Hassall- temporarily reunited to play at Reading and Leeds festivals in 2010.
Tickets priced £55 plus booking fees go on general sale 02 May 2014 with a pre-sale from 30 April 2014.
24 April 2014...6pm to 8.30pm...
The Sindercombe Social launch party,Shepherds Bush Green,London W12.
The Sindercombe Social – is a brand new bar, pop-up diner and music venue over looking the green.
It is the closest bar/pub to The Shepherds Bush Empire.
Taking over the site of O'Neills on a prominent corner spot overlooking Shepherds Bush Green, The Sindercombe Social is a pub decked out like a US style bar with American style burgers from foodie pop-up masters Ruby Jean's, for the first three months at least. The menu of mac 'n' cheese, fried chicken soaked in milk overnight and marinaded in spice, veggie shroomalloumi, and burgers in a number of different guises is the perfect soakage for pub staples like London Pale Ale and Camden Hells, available on tap. Inside, decor wise, there are traditional bar stools and plenty of open space to stand, pint in hand and perhaps raise a glass to Miles Sindercombe. Who on earth is he? You may well ask. Mr Sindercombe, after whom the pub is named, was a renegade Leveller and associate of Edward Sexby who made three attempts to assassinate Oliver Cromwell, one from right here in the pub's basement.
The layout is pretty much the same as how it was before as O'Neills but the food option is better.
Well worth checking out when you go to a gig at Shepherds Bush Empire or visit the nearby Westfield centre.
All the guests had complimentary booze and some very nice American Diner type food from the new menu.
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.
Party or event?
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I know the best venues,the best catering and the best entertainment agencies to suit your budget whether its small drinks and canapes or something bigger. firstname.lastname@example.org