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Archive: January 2015
January 13, 2015
Monday 12 January 2015...I went to three events for London Collections : Men...
6pm to 7.30pm.
LCM a/w 2015 : The Woolmark Company x The English Gentleman at Apsley House, Number One London.
Bespoke tailors of Savile Row, The Woolmark Company, and the select Shirt makers, Shoe makers and Hatters associated with ‘The English Gentleman’ present their autumn/winter collection.
Addresses don’t come much grander than 'Number One London', the popular name for Apsley House, one of the most interesting visitor attractions in London. Home to the Duke of Wellington after his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, the interior of the house has changed very little since the days of the Iron Duke. It boasts one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens as well as a wonderful collection of silver and porcelain. Pride of place goes to a massive nude statue of Napoleon.
Around 300 folks here spread over the many rooms here.
Around 20 or 30 male models wearing very smart outfits including morning suits and military.
This stunning building really has the wow factor with its high ceilings and amazing paintings and statues.
All guests enjoyed complimentary Perrier Jouet champers,Chivas Deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky Cocktails
A really nice event.
8pm to 10pm.
LCM a/w 2015: Sir Tom Baker - showcase at The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London, W1.
Over 200 folks at this legendary club with mainly rows of seating and a few standing.
Sir Tom Baker has designed for many rock stars.
Tonight in the tonight is Sex Pistol Glen Matlock,Ed Tudor Pole and milliner Stephen Jones.
The catwalk show starts at 8.15pm and last for around 20 minutes.
The outfits are very rock n roll based including some trademark shiny jackets and shiny boots.
A couple of the models looked very like a young Scott Gorham (Thin LIzzy) with his long straight hair.
The music played during the show is great as the opening song is Sex Pistols 'Pretty Vacant' at full blast
followed by the likes of Motörhead,AC/DC,Roxy Music,Ramones,Jimi Hendrix etc.
Afterwards we had a dj playing some tunes as most of the seats were cleared away.
At 9.15pm we had a live band called Pink Cigar who played a decent 45 mins of high energy rock.
www.tombakerlondon.comVisit the Sir Tom Baker website here.
10.30pm to 2.30am.
LCM a/w 2015: Tom Ford - 'Noir-Extreme' fragrance launch party at The Chiltern Firehouse,
Yet again The Chiltern Firehouse hosts a mega party.
Over 200 folks from the fashion and entertainment world are here.
Tom Ford's mens fragrance launch party was the hottest ticket in town on the final night of LCM, as the designer celebrated with his London pals at the Chiltern Firehouse. Ford spent the night flanked by the likes of Alexa Chung, Leigh Lezark, Lily Allen and Paloma Faith, while Fran Cutler and Samantha Morton took selfies in the background. Fresh from a whole weekend of LCM festivities, David Gandy was this time joined by girlfriend Mollie King, with fellow fashion faces Robert Konjic, Patrick Grant and Paul Sculfor also in attendance alongside Dermot O'Leary, Graham Norton and Otis Ferry.
A full complimentary bar so any drink you want including Ruinart champers.
Lots of their yummy food too.
In the room with the dj the folks are dancing.
All guests got a nice goodie bag.
An excellent event.
www.tomford.comVisit the Tom Ford website here.
Sunday 11 January 2015.
Another busy day as I went to FOUR events that started with panto in the afternoon then three events for
London Collections Men.
1.30pm to 4pm.
Cinderella live at The New Wimbledon Theatre,London.
Today was the last two shows for this panto which has been here the past month.
The New Wimbledon Theatre’s pantomime is always a starry number. Recent headliners have included
David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson who i both saw doing a good job.
This year star of Dallas Linda Gray will be swapping Texas for Wimbledon this Christmas after producers
announced that she will be making her panto debut at the New Wimbledon theatre in Cinderella.
Gray is best known for playing Sue Ellen Ewing in the TV classic Dallas but is no stranger to the London stage having played Mrs Robinson in the West End production of The Graduate.
She looks amazing for her age of 74 and looks the same as she did in her Dallas days.
Gray joins Tim Vine, Matthew Kelly, Matthew Rixon and Wayne Sleep, Amy Lennox and Liam Doyle in the cast of Cinderella.
Gray is thrilled to be making her first panto appearance at the theatre. “I am so delighted to be making my pantomime début in Cinderella at the beautiful New Wimbledon Theatre. I have heard such great things about British pantomime and I am very excited to get started! I am especially looking forward to working with such a brilliant and talented cast; the script is hilarious, my costume is sensational and I am looking forward to spending Christmas in the wonderful city of London”.
Linda Gray made a big entrance in a big Fairy Godmother dress.
The show was on for around two hours over two sets.
There were a few references to Dallas including JR,oil and Linda Gray sipped a booze flask like Sue Ellen.
Lots of funny one liners courtesy of comedian Tim Vine.
Again a few current hits were played by the live band including 'Happy' ,'Let It Go' and 'Stay With Me'.
Also played was 'Sweet Home Alabama' as a tribute to Linda Gray and her Dallas past.
The two ugly sisters were chav characters and had plenty of funny lines.
Wayne Sleep brought a lot of dance routines to the show.
In the second half we we given 3D glasses that worked well as spiders and ghosts flew towards you.
An enjoyable show.
4.45pm to 6pm.
LCM a/w 2015 : Duchamp - presentation at Rosewood Hotel,Holborn,London WC1.
Colour and fabric innovation are at the forefront of this collection playing on the subtleties of menswear
and the use of masculine colours.
We have around eight male models here on podiums.
There is a jazz trio playing in the corner.
Some very nice complimentary spicy Bloody Mary drinks and yummy canapés here for all guests.
www.duchamplondon.comVisit the Duchamp website here
6.30pm to 7.30pm.
LCM a/w 2015: Gieves & Hawkes - presentation at Christie's London, 8 King Street, London, SW1.
Saville Row bespoke tailors host a party for over 200 folks.
Very impressive presentation as there are 45...yes 45 male models on podiums wearing the clothes.
I was told over 400 models from various agencies auditioned for it.
Complimentary Nyetimber sparkling wines for all guests.
www.gievesandhawkes.comVisit the Gieves & Hawkes website here
7.45pm to 9.30pm.
LCM a/w 2015 : Dunhill - afterparty at Dunhill,Bourbon House,Davies Street,London W1.
This was the afterparty for the Dunhill catwalk show that was held earlier up the road.
On the first floor they are their Lorenzi collection --- The Cutler Of Milan.
They have some fantastic leather and suede jackets here...with prices to match.
Complimentary Laurent-Perrier champers and cocktails for all guests.
www.dunhill.comVisit the Dunhill website here
Saturday 10 January 2015.
A busy day as I went to FIVE events that started with a panto then three events for London Collections Men
and ending up at the Chris Spedding gig at The 100 Club.
Matinee show 2pm to 4.30pm.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs live at The Richmond Theatre.
Jerry Hall is in panto playing The Wicked Queen in leafy Richmond which is handy as she lives in Richmond.
Mick Jagger went to the press night opening on Thursday 11 Dec.
Jerry Hall has come in for some stick for miming on stage.
Angry patrons branded it ‘a complete joke’ and ‘beyond ridiculous’ that the model lip-synced to a track of her own voice. She couldn’t even do it well, they claimed, and often had her mouth closed when she should have been singing.
I went along to this show but things were not what they should have been.
You see Jerry Hall was NOT performing as she has had loads of days off sick with flu.
Somehow this escaped me and I was hoping to see her as I did not see any info in advance about her illness.
Her replacement/understudy did a great job I must say.
The show was on for around two hours over two sets with lots of the usual simple panto humour.
Lots of singing along to songs from the Disney classic and current pop hits during the show with a live band.
The seven dwarfs featured a 13 year old dwarf called Loopy who was simply adorable and stole the show.
Cheesy in parts of course but good fun overall.
6.30pm to 7.30pm.
LCM a/w 2015: Thomas Pink - presentation at Institute of Contemporary Arts, First Floor,
12 Carlton House Terrace,London SW1.
Around 15 male models are at one end of the room wearing the clothes of Thomas Pink.
One of them I chat to as he is a good friend of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.
Complimentary cognac cocktails and wines for all guests.
www.thomaspink.comVisit the Thomas Pink website here.
7.45pm to 8.30pm.
LCM s/s 2015: Lutwyche - presentation & party at The Ice Tank, 5-7 Grape Street, London, WC2.
Another quality menswear brand shows off a few of their suits and jackets on static displays.
A smaller event but David Gandy and Natt Weller are here.
All guests enjoyed a choice of three complimentary cocktails,Nyetimber sparkling wines and canapés.
www.lutwyche.co.ukVisit the Lutwyche website here.
8.45pm to 9.45pm
LCM a/w 2015: Christopher Raeburn and Men's Health - party at Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, London, W1.
A very lively buzzing party as around 300 fashion folks are here.
A dj is playing in the background.
Lots of complimentary Espresso Martinis and beers for all guests.
then a couple of minutes around the corner to...
Chris Spedding live at The 100 Club,London.
I saw Chris Spedding at The 100 Club in Sept 1976 as he headlined Day 2 of The Punk Rock Festival.
He also was the producer of the Sex Pistols first demos, which were recorded on 15 May 1976.The three tracks recorded were Problems, No Feelings, and Pretty Vacant. The following year, Spedding featured extensively on the concept album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
He also was a member of The Wombles in the 1970s and played guitar on tours by Roxy Music and
Bryan Ferry amongst many others.
Chris is playing as part of a trio which includes Malcolm (son of Jack) Bruce on bass.
Chris now aged 70 is wearing a white jacket and brothel creepers.
They are on stage for 80 mins and open up with 'Wild In The Street'.
The first half of the set was solo material with lots of great guitar playing from Chris.
This year Chris will release his 13th studio album 'Joyland'.
In the second half we had a couple of covers 'Summertime Blues' and 'Shakin' All Over'.
A pukka version of his 1975 hit 'Motor Bikin' was followed by 'Guitar Jamboree'.
The encore was a cover of 'Wild Thing'.
A good show.
www.chrisspedding.comVisit the Chris Spedding website for more info on releases and live shows.
Friday 09 January 2015...I went to three events tonight for London Collections : Men...
6.30pm to 7.30pm.
LCM a/w 2015: Aquascutum - presentation at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1.
Aquascutum draws on its heritage combining quality and fine craftsmanship with innovation and exquisite
design to create its own quintessentially British style that offers luxury, attention to detail and authenticity.
X Factor host and BBC radio dj Dermot O'Leary is here.
Also Dannii Minogue is here.
There are a dozen male models standing on podiums wearing the clothes for the two hour event.
The music in the background is all Jake Bugg and half the models look like Jake Bugg.
You feel sorry for a couple of them as they are standing with jumpers and heavy coats on and big gloves.
All under heavy lighting too....A jobs a job I suppose...
Complimentary champers and canapés for all guests.
www.aquascutum.comVisit the Aquascutum website here.
8pm to 10pm.
LCM a/w 2015 - Marks & Spencer and Shortlist - party at Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1.
A very lively and buzzing party as there are some 300 fashion folks here.
Guests here included Pixie Lott,David Candy,Zoe Hardman and Oliver Cheshire.
Any party here at this hotel is a very good event whatever the occasion.
Complimentary Perrier Jouet champers,various cocktails,wines,beers and canapés.
www.marksandspencer.comVisit the Marks & Spencer website here.
10.30pm to 11.45pm.
LCM a/w 2015: Todd Lynn - afterparty at Le Peep Boutique, 141 Park Lane, London, W1.
Canadian fashion designer Todd Lynn hosts a party.
Todd graduated from the Central Saint Martins MA and has previously worked with Roland Mouret.
His style is very popular with musicians.
Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran is in the vip area with Todd Lynn.
The staff bring Todd Lynn a birthday cake with sparklers.
Bono and PJ Harvey were on the guest list but did not show up.
The dj is playing loud tunes with a nice mix of dance and rock anthems and some folks are dancing.
A choice of three different complimentary cocktails for all guests.
Thursday 08 January 2015...6.15pm to 9.15pm...
LCM a/w 2015: The Rake Magazine - Claridge's Hotel,Brook Street, London, W1.
Always nice to be at this famous luxury five star hotel.
Tonight's party is part of London Collections Men fashion weekend that is coming up.
The Rake Magazine focuses on 'classic elegant menswear'.
It is available in many big cities around the world.
A nice crowd of around 300 smartly dressed fashion folks here.
Guests here included David Gandy who is the UKs top male model.
Other top male models are here including Aidan Shaw,Richard Biedul and Oliver Cheshire.
Also GQ Editor Dylan Jones,Nick Foulkes,Tim Jeffries and the magazines founders and editors.
Lots of complimentary booze including Moët champers,various cocktails,wines along with food
including canapés and a quality hot dog station serving Pulled Beef Dog and Venison & Foie Gras Dog.
A really good event.
www.therakeonline.comVisit The Rake Magazine website here.
Wednesday 07 January 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 8.30pm.
Launch of Hush Ski Season 2 : Russian Winter at Hush,8 Lancashire Court,Mayfair,London W1.
Hush is hidden away just around the corner from Claridge's Hotel and the shops of Bond Street.
For two months, Hush's Mayfair courtyard will be decked out with a Russian Winter theme.
Hush has an indoor brasserie but tonight the event is all about their covered outside space.
Hot water bottles will be on hand, as will bespoke blankets and outdoor heaters if it gets too chilly.
They are showing films alfresco every Saturday as well.
The staff are all wearing traditional Russian clothing.
We have complimentary drinks and food that all have a Russian theme.
We have three different Russian Standard Vodka based cocktails that are all served hot.
One of them is served up in a tin flask.
Also burgers and canapés for all guests.
www.hush.co.ukVisit the Hush website here.
999 + Ed Tudor Pole live at The 100 Club,London.
Tonight was show number two of the five Resolution Festival gigs this week at this legendary venue.
Lots of older punk rockers here and great to see so people I know.
Up first we have Ed Tudor Pole playing an acoustic 45 mins set.
Tudor-Pole formed the band Tenpole Tudor in 1977, and eventually came to prominence after appearing in the film The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle as a possible replacement for Johnny Rotten in the Sex Pistols. He sang "Who Killed Bambi?", "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" and a cover version of "Rock Around the Clock" in the film and on the soundtrack.
As usual Ed Tudor Pole is a bundle of energy with lots of entertaining verbals between songs.
Highlights included 'You're Not A Punk','Friggin' In The Riggin','Who Killed Bambi?, and his biggest hit
'Swords Of A Thousand Men'.
999 play for around 55 mins.
999 are original punk rockers who I have seen play live around 20 times since 1977.
I saw them five times in 1977 alone including a support slot with all girl band The Runaways.
They still have three original members from their punk heyday and their bass player has been there over 20 years.
Although they were about in 1977 they never got the credibility or later respect that other punk bands got.
I have always had a soft spot for them.
Singer Nick Cash says how "The West End is changing all the time but The 100 Club remains unchanged"
which is pretty spot on as The 100 Club has barely changed since I saw The Sex Pistols there in 1976.
Lots of gems in their set including 'Inside Out','Feeling Alright With The Crew','Lie Lie Lie',
'Titanic (My Over) Re-Action' and it got very lively down the front as they played some of their best tunes
including 'Emergency','Nasty Nasty','Homicide' and their debut single from 1977 'I'm Alive'.
A great gig.
Tuesday 06 January 2015.
Cirque du Soleil: KOOZA - press / vip night at The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7.
The world famous Cirque du Soleil return to The Royal Albert Hall for their usual month of shows.
This upmarket circus troupe block books this venue so no bands can play here until mid Feb at the earliest.
A full scale red carpet arrivals area as around 50 photographers and tv crews are here.
Celebs here included Jo Wood,Brendan Cole,Craig Revel Horwood,Jackie Stewart,Donna Air,
Gail Porter,Amanda Byram,Mark Foster,Arlene Phillips,Esther Rantzen,Sir Paul Smith,Nick Candy,
Lisa Snowden,Derren Brown,Tamara Beckwith,Brix Start-Smith,Jamie Winstone,Heidi Range,
Nicholas Parsons,Jon Culshaw,Natt Weller,Sarah Harding,Sid Owen and no doubt a few others I missed.
KOOZA was here a couple of years ago and it is pretty much the same show.
A two hour show over two sets with around 60 performers in colourful costumes on stage during the show.
A full live band that included a brass section.
As usual it started off with the clowns in the crowd clowning about and throwing popcorn over the punters.
The clowns would appear half a dozen times during the show including a couple with audience participation.
A trio of Asian women who seem to find it as easy to bend backwards as forwards, with spines that appear to be made of supple rubber rather than bone, perform extraordinary feats of contortion. As their bodies intermingle the three become one in sensual sculptural forms that are at once eye-watering and a bit erotic.
There is also a stunning high-wire act, with the artists not just walking 30 feet above the stage, but also cycling across it too, and the grand finale, is an absolute blast, with the acrobats being catapulted almost as high as the lighting rig as they stand on one end of a see-saw and two burly chaps jump from a height onto the other end. The flyers somersault as they go, and some even perform the stunt on stilts before landing safely on a trampoline held by other members of the company.
The piece de resistance however is the Wheel of Death, consisting of two gigantic hamster wheels that revolve at either end of a steel axle. The performers stay upright by running frantically within the wire mesh cages, but the more daring of the pair also hitches lifts by hanging onto the outside of his wheel as it whirls him upwards, as well as performing skipping routines on top of it and taking terrifying leaps into the air before touching down again on the spinning machine.
You watch with your heart in your mouth because there isn’t a safety wire in sight and the act sets the whole house on a roar of delicious excitement and dread. At moments like this it is easy to forgive Cirque du Soleil its cheesier excesses.
An enjoyable evening.
KOOZA runs from 06 Jan 2015 to 19 Feb 2015.
www.royalalberthall.comVisit The Royal Albert Hall website for more info.
Monday 05 January 2015.
In November 2007 I saw all five of The Sex Pistols sold out Brixton Academy shows.
'There'll Always Be An England' --- Live at Brixton Academy November 2007.
It has been out on DVD for a few years now.
Here it is with plenty of great crowd footage...and the tunes ain't bad either...
watch the full DVD here
Sunday 04 January 2015.
More Ramones for your viewing pleasure.
The Ramones live at The Rainbow Theatre,London on 31 Dec 1977.
They recorded Ramones 'Alive' at this show.
This was the 4th time I had seen them of the 15 times in total.
The support acts were Generation X and The Rezillos.
Look at the crowd scenes.
The Rainbow was stalls seating but can you see any seats?
No wonder so many seats got smashed at The Clash show there I went to earlier in 1977.
watch the video here► 26:19► 26:19
Saturday 03 January 2015.
Seems hard to believe but The Ramones ' Baby I Love You' was released 35 years ago.
It was produced by Phil Spector.
It was their only Top 20 hit single in the UK.
Watch this Ramones performance on Top Of The Pops from January 1980.
watch the video here► 2:32► 2:32
Friday 02 January 2015.
In case you missed it here is the full Queen + Adam Lambert show I went to on New Years Eve.
watch the full show here► 61:52► 61:52
Thursday 01 January 2015.
The top 10 best-selling albums in the UK during 2014 were:
1. Ed Sheeran – 'x'
2. Sam Smith – 'In The Lonely Hour'
3. George Ezra – 'Wanted On Voyage'
4. Paolo Nutini – 'Caustic Love'
5. Coldplay – 'Ghost Stories'
6. Paloma Faith – 'A Perfect Contradiction'
7. One Direction – 'Four'
8. Olly Murs – 'Never Been Better'
9. Pink Floyd – 'The Endless River'
10. Take That – 'III'
The top 5 best-selling singles in the UK during 2014 were:
1. Pharrell – 'Happy'
2. Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne – 'Rather Be'
3. John Legend - 'All Of Me'
4. Mr Probz – 'Waves'
5. Ed Sheeran – 'Thinking Out Loud'
Pharrell -- 'Happy' was also the best-selling single in America in 2014.
Taylor Swift -- '1989' was the best-selling album in America in 2014.
Wednesday 31 December 2014.
Queen + Adam Lambert - New Year's Eve gig - live at Westminster Central Hall, Storey's Gate, London, SW1.
Queen play a special show for BBC 1 tv that is being shown live as it happens.
The adverts for the show said "their most intimate gig for 40 years---only 1800 tickets available".
The same adverts forgot to mention the frankly ridiculous ticket prices of £160 and £110...plus booking fees.
Very steep prices but the venue is full with a rammed floor standing area and seats upstairs.
I used to come to this venue in the 1980s for union meetings and in 2007 I saw Kanye West
play here at a private show for Vodafone and Sony Ericsson.
It is a great venue to see a band.
I have a lot of history with Queen as i saw Freddie Mercury sing with them eleven times including as a
support band way back in 1973 at Hammersmith Odeon and at their legendary Live Aid show.
Hard to believe that Freddie Mercury has been dead for over 20 years.
I have seen them with current singer Adam Lambert and their previous singer Paul Rodgers.
Adam Lambert was a runner-up on American Idol in 2009.
Queen are one of the best selling artists of all time as their record company EMI have said the band have
surpassed 300 million album sales which includes 'Greatest Hits' which with over six million copies sold
is the best ever selling album in UK music history and their 'Greatest Hits II' is the tenth best selling.
The acoustic support act tonight was boring and the warm up guy between acts was hopeless.
Queen arrive on stage at 11.15pm and leave the stage at 12.30pm and have a 15 mins break.
This means they are actually on stage for a measly hour.
The seated folks all stand up from the start and everyone is singing along to the greatest hits set.
There are loads of cameras and lights to make it look good on tv.
We have a big screen that is used for showing images that included Freddie Mercury.
The trademark Brian May guitar sound sounds mega as usual and Adam Lambert camps it up.
He has a strong voice and Freddie Mercury would approve of him I'm sure.
It was one classic well known tune after another so that was great.
No encore and a couple of shouts of "we have been robbed" from the crowd.
If I had paid for this gig I would have felt the same to to be honest.
Very enjoyable while it was on but way too short a show for the money they charged.
As it was live on the BBC it was a a great advert to promote their UK arena dates in Jan and Feb.
Don't Stop Me Now
I Want to Break Free
Somebody to Love
Another One Bites the Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
Radio Ga Ga
I Want It All
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
Band offstage for 15 mins for NYE countdown and The River Thames fireworks display shown on the big screen.
Bohemian Rhapsody part 1
Bohemian Rhapsody part 2
We Will Rock You (Bagpipe Intro)
We Are the Champions --- with ticker tape shower at the end.
Tuesday 30 December 2014.
This weeks NME has a glowing 9/10 review of the Public Image Limited show at Indigo that
i attended on Saturday 13 December.
Tuesday 30 December 2014.
One Direction proved it was the biggest band on the planet with its $282.2 million in gross ticket sales, dwarfing the competition, according to Pollstar’s exclusive Top 20 Worldwide Tours report for 2014.
They also topped the gross concert ticket sales chart for North America which was issued last week.
It is the first time in many years the biggest live act was not an 'older classic rock artist'.
3.The Rolling Stones---165.1m
Sunday 28 December 2014...BBC2 9pm to 10pm...
Racing Legends : Barry Sheene
Excellent documentary on the 1970s motorbike legend.
Like James Hunt in 1970s Formula 1 he was a British sporting icon with pop star looks and a model girlfriend.
Every teenage boy wanted to be like Barry Sheene.
He rode a Suzuki so I bought a Suzuki GT250 in 1976 and then a GT750 the following year.
In the 1976 season, he won five 500cc Grands Prix, bringing him the World Championship.
Barry took the Championship again in the 1977 season with six victories.
Sheene's battle with American Kenny Roberts at the 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been cited
as one of the greatest motorcycle Grand Prix races of the 1970s.
Sheene shattered his leg in a crash in 1982, which gave him chronic arthritis.
A couple of years later he retired and later moved to Australia to aid his arthritis.
In 2003, his 60-a-day smoking habit caught up with him, giving him cancer of the stomach and oesophagus.
Barry was dead at age just 52.
You can watch it on BBC iPlayer for the next 28 days.
Thursday 25 December 2014...9.45am to 10.45am...
BBC tv and radio legend Terry Wogan and his wife were at the same Christmas mass as me.
He lives around the corner from me.
Folks respect the fact he is at church and do not pester him.
They always leave just before the end.
Tuesday 23 December 2014.
Some great reviews reviews of The Sparks show I saw at The Barbican last week are up on the web.
The London Standard---5 stars
The Independent---5 stars
The Guardian---4 stars
Monday 22 December 2014.
The Cure + And Also The Trees live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Back again to see The Cure play the second of their three sold out shows at this venue.
I get there a bit earlier to see the same support act who I saw with The Cure at this venue in 1984.
They have had 13 albums out in their career but you would barely know they still exist.
I catch their last three songs in the small space they are given in front of The Cure's production.
It's so small the five of them are in a straight line and but nice to see the drummer front middle.
Pretty average stuff but the crowd give them good support as they are mates of The Cure.
Again there are many folks here from mainland Europe as these are The Cure's only European shows.
Last night was around 3 hours and 8 mins on stage and tonight it's around 3 hours 5 mins.
Again it was a massive 40 song set with three songs added and three songs dropped.
Changes from Night 1 - added Push, Inbetween Days, Fascination St. Removed Before Three, High, Let's Go To Bed.
The floor standing is lively front of stage with bodies dancing all evening.
The hits go down the best like last night but all the show ticks along well.
Who would have thought that when they had a minor hit with the classic ' A Forest' way back in 1980 that
The Cure would be still such a massive band worldwide over 30 years later.
Another great show.
Full setlist played by The Cure tonight...
Shake Dog Shake
Piggy in the Mirror
A Night Like This
In Between Days
Just Like Heaven
A Man Inside My Mouth
Three Imaginary Boys
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
The Hungry Ghost
One Hundred Years
Give Me It
The Empty World
Play for Today
Pictures of You
Close to Me
Why Can't I Be You?
Boys Don't Cry
Monday 22 December 2014...Another music legend passes away...
Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends', has died aged 70.
The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including 'You Are So Beautiful'
and 'Up Where We Belong'.
His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was "simply unique".
Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who "brought so much to the world".
Paul also said "Joe totally turned a Beatles track into a soul anthem".
Joe Cocker played both the legendary Woodstock and The Isle Of Wight Festivals of 1969.
I saw him around 10 times live since 1982 at venues including Hammersmith Odeon,Wembley Arena
and Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sunday 21 December 2014.
The Cure live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
First of three sold out shows at Hammersmith Apollo for The Cure.
The support act is And Also The Trees who were the same support band when I saw The Cure
at this venue 30 years ago in 1984.I missed them this time.
I first saw The Cure back in 1979 when they supported Siouxsie and The Banshees at this same venue.
I saw The Cure play The Royal Albert Hall earlier this year in March.
Before the show Robert Smith had promised the crowd a set featuring songs drawn from their entire 37-year-old catalogue, including deep cuts, pop songs, fan favourites and surprises galore.
The Cure really know how to treat their fans as they are always throwing in rarely played tracks in the sets
without resorting to playing any cover versions.
As usual The Cure play a mammoth set lasting just over three hours.
They came offstage at 11.15pm after encores galore.
A staggering 40 songs played and Robert Smith said around 10 of those were not played at Royal Albert Hall
and a couple would be played for the first time since their 1984 tour.
A nice stage production as there are loads of lights compared to most bands that play this venue.
We have a big screen with one head on camera showing all the band but it is in the background
behind the lights and you can barely notice the images of the band members.
Robert Smith is the main man but the band sound really good.
A great show.
Full setlist played by The Cure...
Shake Dog Shake
Kyoto Song (First time since 2008)
A Night Like This
Wailing Wall (First time since 1984)
A Man Inside My Mouth (Live debut)
Close to Me
Just Like Heaven
Pictures of You
Like Cockatoos (First time since 2004)
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
The Hungry Ghost
One Hundred Years
Give Me It
The Empty World (First time since 1984)
Piggy in the Mirror (First time since 1997)
Three Imaginary Boys
Play for Today
Let's Go to Bed
Why Can't I Be You?
Boys Don't Cry
Hey You! (First time since 2004)
Check the aftershow page for this show.
Saturday 20 December 2014.
Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
This is the last show on their UK and European Tour to promote their new album 'Bridge The Gap'.
I first saw Michael Schenker playing guitar in 1976 at The Marquee Club when he was with UFO.
Before that he was in Scorpions for a bit at the very young age of just 17.
Michael Schenker is now aged 59.
His band has some rock n roll pedigree as the line up includes Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass, both former members of The Scorpions and Doogie White, formerly singer for Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen.
On guitar/keyboards was Wayne Findlay from The Michael Schenker Group.
Levels 2 and 3 upstairs are closed off as unsold but there is still a good atmosphere.
Michael and the band took to the stage at 9.10pm for a 95 mins set.
A few years back Michael Schenker was in a grim place. With erratic performances on stage and personal problems off it.
Tonight he looks lean and well as he hunches over his trademark Flying V guitar playing brilliant riffs.
The setlist was perfect as it was a mix of gems by UFO,Scorpions,Michael Schenker Group and recent material.
Singer Doogie White did a decent job on vocals and for 'Too Hot To Handle' the band were joined on stage by
Michael's son Tyson who was also playing a Flying V guitar.
A great show.
Full setlist played...
Doctor Doctor (UFO song)
Where the Wild Winds Blow
Armed and Ready (Michael Schenker Group song)
Natural Thing (UFO song)
Victim of Illusion (Michael Schenker Group song)
Lovedrive (Scorpions song)
Coast to Coast (Scorpions song)
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Lord of the Lost and Lonely
Let It Roll (UFO song)
Shoot Shoot (UFO song)
Into the Arena (Michael Schenker Group song)
Too Hot to Handle (UFO song) (Joined by son Tyson Schenker on stage)
Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions song)
Rock Bottom (UFO song)
Lights Out (UFO song)
Blackout (Scorpions song)
In the crowd tonight was bass player Neil Murray who has played with many bands including Whitesnake
and The Michael Schenker Group.
Friday 19 December 2014.
Sparks with the 38 piece Heritage Orchestra live at The Barbican,London.
This was the first of two sold out pronto Sparks shows at this venue which were their only shows in Europe.
I loved Sparks in the 1970s and saw them play Hammersmith Odeon in 1974 and 1975.
To coincide with Sparks’ shows in London, Universal Music are to release a limited double vinyl
40th anniversary version of their landmark 1974 release, 'Kimono My House'.
'Kimono My House' was released in May 1974, peaking at Number 4 the following month and spawning the keynote hit singles ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’ and the equally superb ‘Amateur Hour.’
I saw them play the album in 2004 when they played it at The Royal Festival Hall for Morrissey's Meltdown Festival.
This time it is with full strings and orchestra.
Sparks are on stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 65 mins but the last five mins was
the brothers on stage getting a standing ovation and bowing with the conductor as the crowd clapped and cheered.
The brothers look great for their age with Russell on vocals and Ron on keyboards and piano.
The first set is 'Kimono My House' which was one of the first albums I ever bought.
Both members are wearing Kimonos and a couple of females in the crowd are also in full costume.
With the strings and orchestra the songs are brought to life and it sounds amazing.
Opening with their mega tunes 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' and 'Amateur Hour'.
The brilliant guitar riff for 'Thank God It's Not Christmas' is replaced by stunning strings.
The second set has a bunch of hits and they revert to their normal stage clothes.
Straight faced Ron gets up and does his funny dance during 'The Number One Song In Heaven'.
The crowd are cheering and clapping along to each song and a full standing ovation at the end.
An excellent show.
SET ONE---Kimono My House album in full.
Kimono My House Overture
This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us
Falling in Love With Myself Again
Here in Heaven
Thank God It's Not Christmas
Hasta Manana Monsieur
Talent Is an Asset
In My Family
SET TWO---Hits and other tracks.
The Rhythm Thief
Get in the Swing
Let the Monkey Drive
Looks, Looks, Looks
Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat
I am Ingmar Bergman (excerpt)
"Oh My God"
When Do I Get to Sing "My Way"
The Number One Song in Heaven
Thursday 18 December 2014.
Wicked - media night & afterparty at The Apollo Theatre, Victoria, London, SW1.
Around 300 media guests and celebs here mixed in with the paying punters.
Guests here included tv cook Mary Berry,actor David Harewood,girl about town Lizzie Cundy,
Eastenders actor Adam Woodyatt,actress Fay Ripley and X Factor acts Only The Young and
I went to this theatre in the mid 1970s when it was called The New Victoria Theatre.
I saw some great acts including Alex Harvey,Thin Lizzy,E.L.O.,Lou Reed and Judas Priest.
Search the venue box on www.raysgigs.com for the full list of bands.
I went to the opening press night and afterparty for Wicked eight years ago in 2006.
It is a good time for me to see it again.
This musical has been a mega success around the world.
It is very popular with young women as the two main lead roles are females.
This is a big theatre to fill as it holds around 2500 folks and tonight is totally full.
The show is on for around 2 hours 25 mins over two sets of 85 mins and 60 mins.
A fantastic stage production with loads of stunning scenery changes.
Great costumes and a good storyline and some great songs.
The finale of the first set is the big tune 'Defying Gravity'.
A very enjoyable show.
Composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz discovered writer Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West while on vacation and saw its potential for a dramatic adaptation.Maguire, however, had released the rights to Universal, who had planned to develop a live-action feature film. Schwartz met Maguire in Connecticut in 1998 and persuaded him to release them for a stage production while making what Schwartz called an "impassioned plea" to Universal producer Marc Platt to realize his potential adaptation. Persuaded too, Platt signed on as joint producer of the project with Universal and David Stone.
The novel, described as a political, social, and ethical commentary on the nature of good and evil, takes place in the Land of Oz, in the years leading to Dorothy's arrival. The story centers on Elphaba, the misunderstood, smart, and fiery girl of emerald-green skin who grows up to become the notorious Wicked Witch of the West and Galinda, the beautiful, blonde, popular girl who grows up to become Glinda the Good Witch of the North. The story is divided into five different sections based on the plot location and presents events, characters and situations from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and its 1939 film adaptation in new ways. It is designed to set the reader thinking about what it really is to be 'Wicked', and whether good intentions with bad results are the same as bad intentions with bad results. Schwartz considered how best to condense the novel's dense and complicated plot into a sensible script. To this end, he collaborated with Emmy Award–winning writer Winnie Holzman to develop the outline of the plot over the course of a year while meeting with producer Marc Platt to refine the structural outline of the show, spinning an original stage piece rather than creating a strict adaptation of Maguire's work.
then 200 yards up the road to the afterparty...10.30pm to 12pm...
Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1.
Around 300 media guests and celebs here at the afterparty.
All the cast are posing for photos for the photographers.
No sign of Mary Berry or David Harewood or some others who were at the show earlier but X Factor acts
Only The Young and Blonde Electra are here.
Complimentary wines,beers and canapés for all guests.
www.wickedthemusical.co.ukCheck the Wicked website here for more info.
Wednesday 17 December 2014...7pm to 11pm...
2014 Sony Music Christmas Party at Press,47 Whitcomb Street,London W1.
A massive party for over 300 folks at this just opened private members club near Leicester Square.
It is mainly Sony staff and related folks from those that do business with them but no artists are here.
Sony A&R chap Mike Pickering is here who was in M People.
M People were a dance music band which formed in 1990 and achieved success throughout most of the 1990s.The name M People is from the initials of Mike Pickering, who formed the group.
We have a warm up dj playing some loud dance tunes and getting the crowd in the mood.
Just after 9pm hip hop dj legend Grandmaster Flash gets in the dj booth for a 90 mins set.
Grandmaster Flash, is an American hip hop recording artist and DJ—one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, becoming the first hip hop/rap artists to be so honoured.
One of the first tracks he played tonight was his own 1982 classic ' The Message'.
Loads of dance anthems played and the dance floor was packed with a proper party atmosphere.
In the other room we had the live band Rockaoke playing where you become the singer as they play.
A choice of around 200 songs but I refrained from doing Sex Pistols 'Pretty Vacant' like I did before.
It's all good fun as folks tackled Guns n Roses,The Killers,The Rolling Stones etc.
There is a fun photo booth in the corner.
Christmas crackers on every table.
We had a raffle with some decent Sony prizes and overnight hotel stays.
Lots of complimentary booze and food with vodka cocktails,wines and beers.
Also lots of grub including bowl food,burgers,hot dogs and canapés.
We departed at 11pm even though it was on to midnight.
A great party.
Tuesday 16 December 2014...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Steven Meisel --- 'Role Play' private view at Phillips Gallery,30 Berkeley Square,London W1.
Steven Meisel (born 1954) is an American fashion photographer, who obtained popularity and critical acclaim with his work in US and Italian Vogue and his photographs of friend Madonna in her 1992 book Sex. He is now considered one of the most successful fashion photographers in the industry, shooting regularly for both US and Italian Vogue, and lately W (also published by Condé Nast).
This collection has just been shown in Paris and visits New York after London.
It is on display here until 11 Jan 2015.
Around 200 folks here at this large gallery.
Complimentary Ruinart champers,spicy cocktails and wines for all guests.
www.phillips.comCheck the Phillips Gallery website here.
9pm to 11.15pm
Belvedere Vodka - party at London Film Museum Covent Garden, 45 Wellington Street, London, WC2.
Belvedere Vodka announces partnership with the upcoming James Bond film 'Spectre'.
Over 200 guests here including model Lily Cole,Pixie Geldof and Amber Atherton.
Tinie Tempah was the dj for an hour here.
A good choice of venue as they currently host The Bond in Motion exhibition so we can see real
cars/vehicles from James Bond films alongside the film clips showing them as they were used in the films.
The bar staff are all dressed up as James Bond types and when you ask for your drinks you are asked
the classic line "do you want shaken or stirred?".
Complimentary Belvedere cocktails (three different Martinis) and canapés for all guests.
There was a fun photo booth in the corner.
www.belvederevodka.comVisit the Belvedere website here.
Monday 15 December 2014...6.15pm to 8.15pm...
Burrell at Bonhams : An Exhibition of Masterpieces from the Burrell Collection,Glasgow --- private view at
Bonhams,New Bond Street,London W1.
Masterpieces by Rembrandt, Cézanne and Degas are among a selection of more than 50 treasures from the world famous Burrell Collection going on show at Bonhams London.
When Sir William Burrell donated his astonishing collection of more than 9,000 paintings and objects to the people of Glasgow, he made it a condition that there should be no overseas loans. As a shipping magnate, he was all too aware of the risks of sea travel.
But in January 2014, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation varying the terms of the bequest and paving the way for the international tour.
The Burrell Collection was given to the City of Glasgow in 1944 by Sir William and Lady Constance Burrell. Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) was a wealthy Glasgow shipowner with a lifelong passion for art collecting. The family was of Northumbrian origin, and his grandfather George moved to Glasgow in the early 1830s. By 1856/7 George was established as a shipping and forwarding agent at Port Dundas, the Glasgow terminus of the Forth and Clyde Canal. In the following year he was joined by his son, Sir William's father, and henceforward the firm traded.
Lots of security here with a guard for every couple of paintings and most items are in thick glass cabinets.
Around 300 smartly dressed art folks here.
One of the guests was William Hague---Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Complimentary Pol Roger champers and canapés for all guests.
All guests got a nice tote bag with a book and DVD of the exhibition.
It runs until 9th January --- admission is free.
www.bonhams.comVisit the Bonhams website here for more info.
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
Clothing at Tesco
Shepherds Bush Empire
Isle of Wight Festival
Classic Rock Bands
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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