Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!
Archive: April 2015
April 09, 2015
Thursday 09 April 2015.
Barry Manilow 'weds male manager'.
Barry Manilow has married his long-time manager Garry Kief in a secret ceremony. The Copacabana singer, who has never publicly addressed his sexuality, wed Mr Kief at his Californian home last year. A source said the couple are "committed to one another and have been for a very long time".
Wednesday 08 April 2015.
38 years ago today in 1977 the classic debut album from The Clash was released.
UK Chart Position: 12
The UK version of this album should not be confused with the US version of this album with
a different tracklisting and the clash logo on the album cover.
Needless to say I got both versions of it when it came out.
Before it's release I had a Clash live vinyl album bootleg that featured the songs.
I was at their legendary London show at The Rainbow on 09 May 1977 to promote the album
when all the seats down the front got broken and smashed up.
Support bands that night were The Jam and The Buzzcocks.
Janie Jones (2:08)
Remote Control (3:03)
I'm So Bored With the U.S.A. (2:25)
White Riot (1:57)
Hate & War (2:07)
What's My Name (1:41)
London's Burning (2:13)
Career Opportunities (1:54)
Protex Blue (1:47)
Police & Thieves (6:04)
48 Hours (1:36)
Tuesday 07 April 2015.
Don McLean 'American Pie'.
One of the greatest lyrics to any song ever...it was a major hit in 1972...
It went to number one in America and number two in the UK.
It was one of the earliest records I remember from listening to the radio.
The original manuscript of Don McLean's 'American Pie' has sold today for $1.2m (£806,000) at a New York auction.
The 16-page draft had been expected to fetch as much as $1.5m (£1m) at the Christie's sale.
McLean had hinted in February the manuscript would reveal the song's lyrical meaning - which had always been kept a mystery.
"The writing and the lyrics will divulge everything there is to divulge," he said.
Don McLean is in the UK next month and plays The Royal Albert Hall on 19 May 2015.
Monday 06 April 2015.
Video of the day featuring the best all girl band ever...The Runaways.
I saw them headline four shows in 1976,1977,1978.
watch the video hereThe Runaways - Cherry Bomb - Japanese TV from 1977.
Saturday 04 April 2015.
U.D.O. + Sister Sin live at The Islington Academy,London.
German rock legend U.D.O. (ex Accept singer) plays a long overdue London show.
I heard someone mention that it was 1999 for his last visit.
Accept were one of the pioneers of 'speed metal'.
The advert for this tour says... 'Final UK Shows'.
Only three UK shows in Sheffield,Nuneaton and London as part of a massive two month
European and Russian tour.
U.D.O.'s 15th studio album 'Decadent' was released earlier in the year and the album title track
'Decadent' was released as its first single.
watch the video for Decadent hereU.D.O...'Decadent'...▶ 5:04
I saw Accept five times in the early 80s both as a support act and headline act.
I saw U.D.O. support Ozzy Osbourne twice in 1989 at Hammersmith Odeon.
I catch the main support band tonight who were Sister Sin from Sweden.
They played a 40 mins set of old school metal tracks from their four albums.
Fronted by a great female singer who certainly looked the part.
They were much better than I expected.
Udo and his band arrive on stage to huge cheers and play for 1 hour 55 mins.
I have a fantastic view tonight as I have a photo pass for the first three songs and then
watch the rest of the show on the right of stage front row on the barrier.
There is a nice stage production as we have a huge backdrop along with camouflage netting
covering all the stage.
Udo is dressed in his trademark camouflage attire.
Udo still has his razor-sharp rasp of a voice.
The sound on stage is fantastic and the band are fully rehearsed to perfection.
His younger band are really enjoying themselves and the twin guitars are totally metal rifftastic.
As expected it was solo material in the main set then a few Accept golden oldies at the end.
Chants of "Udo,Udo,Udo' rang out from the crowd throughout the show.
A great gig.
Full setlist played tonight...
Blitz of Lightning
King of Mean
Never Cross My Way
The Bullet and the Bomb
Under Your Skin
Tears of a Clown
Secrets in Paradise
Let Me Out
Break the Rules
Metal Heart (Accept cover)
I'm a Rebel (Accept cover)
Fast as a Shark (Accept cover)
Balls to the Wall (Accept cover)
Thursday 02 April 2015.
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has been in Nashville recording a country album.
Thursday 02 April 2015.
ITV at 8.15am...Good Morning Britain breakfast show...
Ringo Starr chatted to Ross King about the Beatles and life after the band broke up,
and his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a couple of weeks.
Starr, 74, released "Postcards From Paradise" this week, his 18th solo studio album featuring 11 original songs by the veteran musician in collaboration with friends such as Peter Frampton and Joe Walsh.
Ringo mentioned to Ross King about not signing autographs anymore and not even shaking hands with
folks anymore but dropped his guard at the end and shook hands with Ross at the end.
Ringo still looking good at 74.
It was recorded on Monday before the death of Cynthia Lennon.
Wednesday 01 April 2015.
Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of The Beatles' John Lennon, has died.
Lennon passed away today (April 1) at her home in Mallorca, Spain following what is described as
"a short but brave battle with cancer". She was 75.
Her son Julian Lennon was said to be at her bedside throughout.
Cynthia Lennon married John Lennon on 1962 after meeting him at college in Liverpool. The couple had their first, and only, child Julian in 1963. They divorced in 1968 after John met Yoko Ono.
After divorcing Lennon, Cynthia remarried three times, and in 1978 published her autobiography, A Twist Of Lennon. She later published John, a new biography of her former husband, in September 2005.
Wednesday 01 April 2015...31 years ago today...
Motown legend Marvin Gaye was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay, Sr. on April 1, 1984 at their house.
Gaye was shot twice following an altercation with his father.
I saw him play his last ever London show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1981.
Tuesday 31 March 2015.
Van Halen appeared on American tv to launch their new live album and North American Tour.
They played a short set to a big crowd.
David Lee Roth is wearing a plaster on his nose after an accident with a microphone.
Runnin' With The DevilWatch the video here. ▶ 3:54
Van Halen performs "Runnin' with the Devil" on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
I saw Van Halen blow Black Sabbath off the stage in 1978 when they supported them in early 1978
at Hammersmith Odeon when they came over to promote their classic debut album.
I also saw them headline The Rainbow in 1978,1979 and 1980 and other times after.
I saw their last UK show in 1984 with David Lee Roth at the helm which was supporting AC/DC
at Monsters of Rock.
For some reason they have not been back to Europe for years even though they played
North America and Japan.
Would be good to see them again even though it would never be as good as back then.
Monday 30 March---Happy Birthday to BBC Radio 2 dj Johnnie Walker who is 70 today.
His Sunday afternoon 'Sounds of the 70s' show from 3pm to 5pm is one I like to catch.
Monday 30 March---Happy Birthday to Eric Clapton who is 70 today.
Eric plays seven nights at The Royal Albert Hall in May.
Sunday 29 March 2015.
uDiscover is a brand new way to find out more about music from Universal; with the latest news, full length features written by a crack team of writers, curated playlists, hard-to-find videos, in depth artist pages and regular big prize competitions, it'll enable you to explore albums and songs from their roster of legendary artists.
www.udiscovermusic.comVisit the website here.
Saturday 28 March 2015.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Noel on a massive world tour to promote his second solo album 'Chasing Yesterday'.
On Sunday 08 March 2015 the album went straight to number one in the charts.
Gallagher himself is no stranger to headlining Teenage Cancer Trust nights at the Hall, having appeared here with Oasis in 2002, and then solo in 2007, 2010 and most recently in 2013, when he was the season’s guest curator.
I was at all four of those shows and at the 2013 show Noel was joined by Damon Albarn for a song together.
8.55pm---Roger Daltrey appears on stage like he did on Thursday night to introduce a short film on the charity
and to bring 20 of the teenage patients on stage to huge applause and to thank the crowd for buying tickets.
9pm--- Noel and his band take to the stage and play for 1 hour 45 mins.
They were joined by a three man brass section and a 22 piece choir for a few songs.
The solo album material ticks along nicely but it's the Oasis mega tracks that get the crowd in full voice.
'Champagne Supanova' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger' were fantastic with the choir in full voice
and the crowd singing even louder.
The new album does not seem to have as many good tracks as his first solo album.
We have a big screen that is showing mainly recorded images and just three or four songs
have grainy black and white live footage of tonight.
Noel is pretty static on stage but the crowd really do worship him.
A really good show.
Faces spotted in the crowd included Alan McGee who signed Oasis to his Creation Records,
Sadie Frost and Natt Weller.
Full setlist played tonight...
Do the Damage
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
Everybody's on the Run
Fade Away (Oasis cover)
In the Heat of the Moment
Lock All the Doors
The Death of You and Me
You Know We Can't Go Back
Champagne Supernova (Oasis cover)
Ballad of the Mighty I
The Dying of the Light
AKA... Broken Arrow
Digsy's Dinner (Oasis cover)
If I Had a Gun...
Don't Look Back in Anger (Oasis cover)
AKA... What a Life!
The Masterplan (Oasis cover)
Thursday 26 March 2015.
The Who + Wilko Johnson live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
A good thing about these Teenage Cancer Trust shows at this venue is that all the support bands
each night are name bands that you have heard of.
Tonight we have Wilko Johnson who plays a brisk 30 mins set of tunes including some Dr Feelgood gems.
Seven or eight tunes played including...
All Through the City (Dr. Feelgood song)
Roxette (Dr. Feelgood song)
Back in the Night (Dr. Feelgood song)
She Does It Right (Dr Feelgood song)
I saw Wilko a few times with Dr Feelgood in the 1970s.
He released an album with Roger Daltrey a year ago.
Wilko is a national treasure after surviving his terminal cancer.
The big screen is showing live footage of Wilko.
He still looks great on stage coupling jerky movements on stage (his so-called "duck walk") with a
choppy guitar playing style by not using a pick but instead relying on fingerstyle.
Roger Daltrey deserves a knighthood for his work for The Teenage Cancer Trust over the past 15 years.
The Who have played many Teenage Cancer Trust shows and their last show with John Entwistle
before his sad death was here at this venue in 2002...I was at that show.
The Who are on stage for a fantastic 2 hours which was 5 mins/1 song less than Sundays show at The 02 Arena.
It is a full house and even the choir area behind the stage is sold.
The big screen is showing the recorded images that they used at The 02 Arena on Sunday but they only
show live footage of tonight's show on one or two songs.
Lots of great stage banter from Pete and Roger as they niggle each other a couple of times.
Loads of brilliant songs and Pete and his guitar are on top form and he performs a few windmills.
The last 30 mins was totally excellent.
Another really great show from The Who.
Faces in the crowd tonight included Gem Archer and Pam Hogg.
Full setlist played by The Who tonight...
I Can't Explain
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
Pictures of Lily
Behind Blue Eyes
You Better You Bet
Love, Reign O'er Me
A Quick One (While He's Away)
See Me, Feel Me
Listening to You
Won't Get Fooled Again
Wednesday 25 March 2015...6.30pm to 11.45pm...
5cc bar launch ,the basement of The Singer Tavern,1 City Road,London EC1.
Yet another basement bar opens.
This one is located between Moorgate and Old Street roundabout.
This is their 5th bar in the London area with the others being in Farringdon,Bethnal Green,
Hoxton and Exmouth Market.
It is lively and buzzing here with a dj playing great tunes from the 1960s,1970s,1980s.
Complimentary presecco,a choice of five different cocktails and canapés for all guests.
Great staff making sure the drinks kept flowing.
We were here over FIVE hours as it was still rockin after 11pm.
An enjoyable place to visit.
The name of London’s 5cc bars may be inspired by a measure used in medical science – equivalent to 5ml – but, with new menus and new venues, they are trying to inject more fun into the drinks. “While we are about being as precise as a medicinal measure, we are not trying to be too serious or experimental,” explains 5cc’s group bar manager.
Tuesday 24 March 2015.
Placebo live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Placebo play the first of two shows at this venue at the end of their UK tour.
It is a full house and we have a lively downstairs standing crowd full of hardcore fans down the front.
Lots of folks from mainland Europe countries are here.
Placebo have had six Top 10 albums and 15 Top 40 singles in the UK.
I have seen Placebo around a dozen times since 1997 when they supported The Prodigy.
Placebo had a major lineup change in Feb 2015 with drummer Steve Forrest departing the band.
Steve Forrest, who joined Placebo in 2008 and has toured with them over the last two album campaigns
'Battle For The Sun' and 'Loud Like Love',has decided to leave the band.
I saw Placebo play The Roundhouse recently in Sept 2014.
Placebo take the stage at 9.05pm and are on stage for 1 hour 45 mins.
They are basically a trio but there are six musicians on stage tonight.
There are big screens showing recorded images but not any live footage.
Placebo are as popular as ever even though they have stopped playing some of their early hits.
Singles that are gems from the 1990s including 'Teenage Angst','Nancy Boy','Pure Morning' and
'Bruise Pristine' are sadly not part of their set anymore.
There are still plenty of really good tunes including 'Every You Every Me', 'Special K','The Bitter End',
'Infra-Red' and their usual Kate Bush cover.
Their gender-twisted brand of dirty glam rock/indie/grunge has always appealed to me.
A really good show but I did miss some of those early tracks.
Full Placebo setlist played tonight...
For What It's Worth
Loud Like Love
Every You Every Me
Scene of the Crime
A Million Little Pieces
Rob the Bank
Too Many Friends
Song to Say Goodbye
The Bitter End
Begin the End
Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) (Kate Bush cover)
Tuesday 24 March 2015
Beach Boys star Brian Wilson is to play The 02 Arena for the first time on 20 Sept 2015.
Already receiving praise for his upcoming No Pier Pressure album out on April 6, Brian will be bringing the sound of California to British shores for eight arena shows and will be bringing classic rockers America and
Scottish indie innovator Edwyn Collins with him.
Monday 23 March 2015.
Stereophonics + Gaz Coombes live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was the first of the seven nights for The Teenage Cancer Trust shows at this venue for this year.
Celebrating 15 years,I have seen at least two or three shows every year it has been on.
This show and a warm up in Bristol are Stereophonics first shows anywhere for over a year.
I have seen Stereophonics around a dozen times since 1999.
Producer Jim Lowe who has produced a few of their albums also produced Glen Matlock.
Gaz Coombes is on stage for around 40 mins.
Gaz was the singer in Supergrass before they split and has just released his second solo album.
In interviews he said he was not interested in playing any Supergrass songs in his solo shows.
Shame as a couple of their hits would have livened up a pretty average set.
Stereophonics are on stage for around 2 hours.
Lots of Oasis/Kasabian loving type blokes here drinking the bar dry and getting a bit rowdy.
It was pretty much a Stereophonics greatest hits set along with a couple of brand new songs.
They do plod a bit as most songs are at that same pace but folks are singing along loudly.
They used a string section.
As usual for these shows bands try to get a couple of special guests on stage.
Tonight we had Tom Jones on for 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' and their mate Ronnie Wood
came on for the encore to mess about on guitar for a couple of songs including 'Ooh La La'.
I must have seen Ronnie Wood join Stereophonics a few times now over the years.
They played their only number one single from 2005 'Dakota' at the end which was great.
A good steady reliable set from Stereophonics.
Full setlist played....
Local Boy in the Photograph
Graffiti on the Train
C'est La Vie (We Don't Belong Anywhere)
A Thousand Trees
Pick a Part That's New
I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio
Vegas Two Times
Mama Told Me Not to Come (with Tom Jones)
Don't Knock (Tom Jones cover)(with Tom Jones)
Song For The Summer
Have a Nice Day
I Wanna Get Lost With You
Violins and Tambourines
Been Caught Cheating
The Bartender and the Thief
Handbags and Gladrags (Chris Farlowe cover) (with Ronnie Wood)
Ooh La La (Faces cover) (with Ronnie Wood)
Sunday 22 March 2015...I went to two events today...
4pm to 6pm.
QPR 1 Everton 2
I met up with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock at this game.
QPR really needed a draw or win from this game but yet again it did not happen.
We played pretty good and hit the crossbar near the end but just not good enough.
We look set to be relegated unless we get a couple of wins soon.
The Who live at The 02 Arena,London.
Tonight was the first of two shows here at this venue on 'The Who Hits 50' World Tour.
They were the shows postponed from Dec 2014 due to Roger Daltrey's throat infection.
I have seen The Who around 30 times since 1975 when Keith Moon was in the band.
Keith Moon died 07 September 1978.
Faces spotted around the venue tonight before the band came on included
Paul Cook---Sex Pistols
John Inverdale---BBC tv sports presenter
Damon Hill---ex F1 racing car driver
The Who are on stage for 2 hours 5 mins and play a fantastic show.
I have a great seat on the arena floor 20 rows from the stage dead centre.
The venue is totally sold out with seats sold even in the restricted view areas.
We have three big screens with the middle screen showing images old and new.
Roger Daltrey is now aged 71 and Pete Townshend is now aged 69.
The band included Zak Starkey on drums.
The band were on top form and there were so many classic Who tracks played tonight.
There was lots of great stage banter from mainly Pete on stage tonight with Roger joining in a bit too.
These days they take their bows and do not play encores.
An excellent show from these rock legends.
Full setlist played tonight...
I Can't Explain
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
Pictures of Lily
So Sad About Us
Behind Blue Eyes
Love, Reign O'er Me
A Quick One (While He's Away)
See Me, Feel Me
Listening to You
Won't Get Fooled Again
The Who headline Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park on Friday 26 June with
special guests Paul Weller, Kaiser Chiefs and Johnny Marr.
Will this show be their last ever UK show?
Saturday 21 March 2015...50 years ago today...
21 March 1965. The Who are playing at the Trade Union Hall, Watford tonight but before that Pete, John, Keith and Roger all go to the Hammersmith Odeon where the 1965 Tamla Motown Revue is playing. On the bill are the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Little Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, and Martha and the Vandellas.
Saturday 21 March 2015.
Six Nations Rugby Megaclash---England play France at 5pm to 7pm..Live on BBC1.
Due to other results England needed to beat France by 26 points to win The Championship.
England 55 France 35.
What an amazing day of high scoring rugby.
England came up just short of the 26-point margin needed to win the Six Nations in an astonishing
victory over France at Twickenham.
The hosts led 27-15 with Ben Youngs crossing twice in a first half full of running and adventure.
However, tries from Maxime Mermoz, Vincent Debaty and Benjamin Kayser - along with James Haskell's
yellow card - checked England's momentum.
Jack Nowell's late try sparked hope but England fell six points short.
England finish second, behind Ireland on points difference.
It was a tense fantastic game to watch.
Friday 20 March 2015.
Gary Numan + Digits live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.
Tonights show was part of the week long Convergence Festival where live shows will take place at leading venues across London, including Royal Festival Hall, Village Underground and St John-at-Hackney Church.
I have seen Gary Numan around 25 times since 1980.
When i worked front stage security at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s Gary Numan would
pretty much play there every year on his UK tour.
The support act tonight Digits is Alt Altman, an electronic pop artist from Toronto who has
another synth player with him on stage tonight for a decent 40 mins set.
The Guardian calling his album a "near-classic of mournful electronica, a synth-pop album to stand alongside the Human League's Dare."
During the interval we get chants of "Numan,Numan,Numan" from Gary's very loyal fans.
Gary and his band take to the stage dead on 9pm for a 90 mins set.
It is fascinating how Numan’s music has changed – having influenced Nine Inch Nails, which then in return influenced him in the late 1990s when he returned to another artistic peak with his heavy industrial/dance style. From being an advocate of ‘machine rock’ in the 1980s which he declared as the future of music, writing aloof, cryptical lyrics over lifeless synth-sounds and drum machines.
On stage Numan headbanged, smiled widely between songs – in contrast to his poker- and pale-faced, strict-looking ‘man-machine’ alter ego in the 1980s – while continuing the tradition of lascivious dancing he had started then, just much more frenetically now.
The usual barrage of flashing lights and strobes were relentless as usual.
The set still includes a few oldies that have been updated to match his new heavy industrial sound.
Gary waits until the encore to say a few words to the crowd who have been standing from the very start.
I still prefer the older stuff including 'Down in the Park','Cars',the ever perfect number one hit from 1979
'Are Friends Electric?' and 'I Die: You Die'.
Some of the recent songs were so similar in terms of key, mood and pace that they failed to grab my full attention.
An enjoyable show overall.
Full setlist played tonight...
Everything Comes Down to This
Remind Me to Smile (First performance since 2009)
My Jesus (First performance since 2009)
Here in the Black
Bombers (First performance since 2012)
The Machman (First performance since 2008)
Dark (First performance since 2006)
Down in the Park
Prophecy (First performance since 2004)
I Am Dust
We're the Unforgiven
Love Hurt Bleed
My Shadow in Vain (First performance since 2011)
Are 'Friends' Electric?
Jo the Waiter
A Prayer for the Unborn
I Die: You Die
Thursday 19 March 2015...6.45pm to 2am...
The Boisdale Boogie Woogie Dinner with Jools Holland and guests at
Boisdale,Canary Wharf,London E14.
This event was to raise funds for The Joe Strummer Foundation.
Around 300 folks here at this Jazz-Blues-Soul venue.
The ticket prices were pretty hefty.
£500 each for those near the stage with a three course meal and complimentary drinks all night.
£250 each for those further back from the stage with a three course meal and complimentary drinks all night.
Until 8pm there is a complimentary drinks reception with champers,different cocktails and canapés.
The Hippodrome Casino had a fun casino here that was popular.
I have a nice chat with Glen Matlock(Sex Pistols) and Mick Jones(The Clash).
We are all meeting up again at Q.P.R on Sunday.
There is rock n roll memorabilia here signed by the artists here for the auction and silent auction later.
Other folks here included Bobby Gillespie,Chrissie Hynde,Jools Holland,Suggs,Martin Chambers,
Nancy Dell'Olio,Chris Musto,Gem Archer and Pam Hogg.
8pm to 10pm --- While folks have their three course dinner we stay at the bar for complimentary cocktails.
First act on stage is Mike d'Abo who sings his song 'Handbags & Gladrags'.
Then Jools Holland plays three or four boogie woogie tunes with a small band.
Then at 11.20pm we have the all star band play 9 songs over 45 mins with special guest vocalists.
The house band was
Jools Holland --- keyboards
Glen Matlock --- bass --- Sex Pistols and other bands
Martin Chambers --- drums --- The Pretenders
Gem Archer --- guitar --- Oasis and Beady Eye
James Walbourne --- guitar --- The Pretenders
Glen and the band did a great job considering just a couple of rehearsals were done.
We get a great view five yards from the stage and everyone is up and dancing and singing along.
1.Up and coming singer Lyza Jane sung a track
2.X Factor singer Zoe Devlin sung a track
3.Suggs from Madness singing 'London Calling' --- The Clash track
4.Suggs singing 'Madness' --- Madness track
5.Chrissie Hynde singing 'Janie Jones' --- The Clash track
6.Chrissie Hynde singing 'I'm So Bored With The USA' --- The Clash track
7.Actor Patrick Baladi from The Office tv series singing 'Rock The Casbah --- The Clash track
8.Mick Jones singing 'Train in Vain' --- The Clash track
9.Mick Jones singing 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' --- The Clash track
A dj was playing tunes after the band and the complimentary drinks were still flowing to the end.
A totally excellent evening.
The Hippodrome Casino were one of the sponsors and provided the goodie bag that included
£100 of gambling chips and cocktail vouchers for use at the casino.
www.joestrummerfoundation.orgVisit the Joe Strummer Foundation website here
Wednesday 18 March 2015.
Alan Parsons Live Project + Purson live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
Alan Parsons Live Project play a one off UK show as part of their European Tour.
Alan,now aged 66 is actually more popular in other parts of the world including North America,South America
and mainland Europe and this was his first London show for a decade since The Astoria in 2004.
Alan Parsons acted as assistant engineer on the Beatles' Abbey Road and Let It Be, and engineered Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and produced several acts for EMI Records with a string of successes, including Pilot, Steve Harley, Cockney Rebel, John Miles, Al Stewart, Ambrosia and The Hollies.Parsons commented at the time that he felt frustrated in having to accommodate the views of some of the musicians, which he felt interfered with his production.
So he formed Alan Parsons Project and made ten albums between 1976 and 1987 which included 8 Top 40
hit singles in America and then he released a few solo albums.
PURSON arrived on stage at 8.15pm for a 30 mins set.
Purson are a psychedelic rock band from London.Founded by Rosalie Cunningham.
Purson formed after Cunningham disbanded her previous project Ipso Facto.
Purson supported Kiss on their 2014 edition of the KISS Kruise.Purson have also performed alongside label mates Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Electric Wizard, Blood Ceremony, Comus, Pentagram as well as Neo-psychedelia bands such as Toy and Temples.
Purson's debut album titled The Circle And The Blue Door was released on 29 April 2013.
They looked the part and a played half a dozen decent tunes.
ALAN PARSONS LIVE PROJECT arrived on stage at 9.15pm for 1 hour 45 mins on stage.
Level 3 is unsold and there is space on the floor so the gig is maybe three quarters full.
Alan was born in London but lives in America which is where all his band hail from.
The stage is nicely filled out as eight top notch musicians are on stage.
There is one main vocalist but four other members sing one of two songs and some songs have fantastic
harmonies where all eight members are singing.
It was pretty much a 'best of' set as most tracks were from his Alan Parsons Project era.
A bit proggy in the middle but there were loads of great songs played including 'Damned If I Do',
'Dont Answer Me','Time','Prime Time' and the main set finished with mega versions of
'Sirius' and 'Eye in the Sky'.
Both the encores got the crowd clapping and singing along loudly.
A great show and hopefully it is not another 10 years before he returns to London.
Full setlist played...
Damned If I Do
Don't Answer Me
Breakdown / The Raven
I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You
Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)
The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part One)
The Ace of Swords
Nothing Left to Lose
The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part Two)
Do You Live at All
In the Real World
Old and Wise
Eye in the Sky
(The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether
Games People Play
Tuesday 17 March 2015.
Top selling albums in the UK over the past 15 years since week 1 of Jan 2000.
01. 21 – Adele
02. Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
03. Back to Bedlam – James Blunt
04. Spirit – Leona Lewis
05. No Angel – Dido
06. 1 – Beatles
07. Crazy Love – Michael Buble
08. White Ladder – David Gray
09. The Fame – Lady Gaga
10. A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
Tuesday 17 March 2015.
Spandau Ballet live at The 02 Arena,London.
This was the first of two shows here at The 02 on their UK arena tour
Spandau Ballet still have all five original members in their line-up.
They had 17 Top 40 hits in the UK during their 1980s heyday.
Spandau Ballet are on their Soul Boys Of The Western World---World Tour.
I saw Spandau Ballet play Heaven way back in 1980 when their debut single came out.
Their average age was 20. A year after their unveiling at the Blitz club, this was only the band’s tenth
public date, and only their second concert since signing to Chrysalis.
I also saw them play at the legendary Live Aid Festival in 1985.
I saw two Spandau shows at this venue on their 2009 re-union tour.
I miss the dj support from Rusty Egan as the pr folks have a pre-gig drinks reception in a bar within
The 02 so we have a couple of complimentary drinks there.
Rusty Egan is a good friend of Spandau and played drums with Glen Matlock in The Rich Kids then
he played drums with Steve Strange in Visage over 30 years ago.
Some faces a few rows in front of us in the guest list block including Sir Bob Geldof,Mark Owen (Take That),
Sophie Ellis Bextor,Kelly Hoppen and Rusty Egan took his seat after his dj support set.
Spandau take to the stage at 8.40pm for a nice long two hour show.
Lots of adoring females in the crowd.
Like their mates from the 1980s Duran Duran, the bass player gets the most screams.
Like Duran back in the day they were young,good looking and played their own instruments.
Drummer John Keeble is a big rock fan and he has a massive drum kit that would suit any metal band.
Some nice sax and percussion from Steve Norman.
The three at the front all doing a good job.
Three big screens with some nice use of footage from their 1980s heyday.
Like most shows the second half of the show with all the big hits was livelier than the first half.
There were a couple of brand new songs in the set.
We had a couple of acoustic songs on the b stage in the middle of the venue.
When they played their debut single an emotional tribute for ‘new romantic’ icon Steve Strange
came up on the big screen.
Their return to The 02 was full of old favourites, infectious energy and a bouncing party atmosphere and as the group hugged and soaked up their final applause their unity is a much more satisfying sight than bitter courtroom battles.
A very enjoyable show.
Full Spandau Ballet setlist played...
Only When You Leave
How Many Lies
Round and Round
This Is the Love
Chant No 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)
Blitz Medley: Age Of Blows Intro / Reformation / Mandolin / Confused / The Freeze
To Cut a Long Story Short
Glow (Instrumental) played by band
Empty Spaces (Acoustic on b stage)
Gold (Acoustic on b stage) Sing-a-long with audience
I'll Fly for You
Through the Barricades
Tuesday 17 March 2015.
Andy Fraser, the bass player of classic rock band Free, has died at the age of 62.
Fraser had been battling both cancer and AIDS.
The London-born musician died yesterday (March 16) at home in California.
Sunday 15 March---Happy Birthday to Jo Wood who is 60 today.
Sunday 15 March---Madonna was kept off the number one album position by Sam Smith.
Sunday 15 March---Mike Porcaro, Toto's long-time bass player, has died. He was 59.
As reported by Rolling Stone, Pocaro passed away earlier today (March 15) following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The news was confirmed by the band's keyboardist and Porcaro's brother, Steve, via Facebook.
Porcaro joined his brothers Steve and Jeff (who died in 1992) as a member of Toto in 1984, going on to play on the hits 'Rosanna' and 'Africa'. He stopped touring in the mid-2000s due to declining health, but was inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame alongside the band in 2009.
Saturday 14 March 2015.
watch Slade hereCum On Feel the Noize - Slade - ▶ 3:22
Their number one song in the UK, and Ireland in 1973 from 42 years ago this week...yes 42 years ago.
I saw Slade play Hammersmith Odeon three times in May 1974 during their glam rock heyday.
Friday 13 March 2015.
Belinda Carlisle live at The Hippodrome Casino,London.
The show is in The Matcham cabaret room at this very popular massive casino.
An intimate setting as it only holds 200 and very cosy with a fantastic view for all here.
Soap actress Michelle Collins is in the crowd.
I saw Suzi Quatro play here a couple of years ago.
Lots of hardcore fans here and despite the silly high ticket prices there is a full house.
Downstairs are plush seats at tables at £100 each.
Upstairs are two rows of seats at £75 each.
Belinda sold loads of records from 1986 to 1996 with hit albums and over a dozen Top 40 singles.
Belinda is backed by a full six piece band.
Belinda is now aged 56 and still looking good.
They take to the stage at 8.10pm and play for 80 mins.
Lots of catchy singalong hits played.
An enjoyable show.
Full Belinda Carlisle setlist played tonight...
I Get Weak
In Too Deep (Jenny Morris cover)
Circle in the Sand
Too Much Water
Vision of You
Our Lips Are Sealed (The Go-Go's cover)
Leave a Light On
Heaven Is a Place on Earth
Mad About You
Live Your Life Be Free
April 27, 2015
Sunday 26 April 2015.
Status Quo live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Status Quo on yet another UK tour.
They have had a busy past few years with three types of Quo playing live shows.
We have had The Frantic Four re-union shows,the current Quo line-up electric shows and now
we have the current Quo playing acoustic shows.
They really are one of the UKs hardest working bands.
I have seen Status Quo around 50 times since 1974.
They loved playing multi nights at Hammersmith Odeon in their 1970s/1980s heyday.
Even now they are still very popular as they headline The 02 Arena every December.
Quo have recorded 66 Top 75 British hit singles - more than any other band - 22 of which have hit the Top Ten.
Quo have made 106 appearances on BBC TV's 'Top of the Pops' - more than any other group
Quo have reinforced their position among the all-time great British album acts by chalking up their
500th week on the Official Albums Chart.
The band reached the magic landmark with their latest album Aquostic (Stripped Bare), in its 11th week
in the Official Albums Chart.
The achievement puts Quo among a select group of only 50 acts with 500 weeks or more
on the Official Albums Chart.
Outside the venue it is a very quiet atmosphere compared to The Frantic Four shows.
Inside it is stalls seating and I have a great seat a dozen rows from the stage dead centre.
Quo arrive on stage at 8.40pm and play for 1 hour 40 mins.
It is billed as an acoustic show but it's more semi-acoustic really as 16 folks on stage
including drums,bass,percussion,a six member string section and two backing vocalists.
The sound is perfect and folks are up and dancing after the first few songs.
Francis Rossi is chatting away between songs in his usual manner.
Loads of their classic big hits in the set but they did play a few lesser known tunes.
The strings on their early hit from 1967 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' were superb.
It was a very enjoyable show.
Full setlist played tonight...
And It's Better Now
Break the Rules
Again and Again
Mystery Song / Little Lady
Rock 'n' Roll
What You're Proposing
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Down the Dustpipe
All the Reasons
Reason for Living
Don't Drive My Car
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World (John Fogerty cover)
Rock 'til You Drop
Burning Bridges (On and Off and on Again)
watch Status Quo live acoustic here'Pictures Of Matchstick Men'- recorded Aquostic at The Roundhouse 2014.
Friday 24 April 2015.
Some more Lynyrd Skynyrd for your viewing pleasure from what is now The Shepherds Bush Empire.
Includes introduction from OGWT host Bob Harris and a few shots of the audience.
watch the full show hereThis is the full BBC tv show I went to way back in 1975.
The venue was all seated back then.▶ 42:25
Thursday 23 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 8pm
Jungwoong Lee exhibition private view at OTTO,66 Grosvenor Street,London W1.
Hanmi Gallery, in collaboration with OTTO are very pleased to present an exhibition by Korean-born artist Jungwoong Lee.
The exhibition is held at OTTO, a luxury menswear boutique in Mayfair.
Jungwoong Lee is best known for the creation of his painting series, entitled ‘Brush.’ Using Korean rice paper (Hanji paper) and western oil paint, Lee’s hyper-realistic, reflexive works both celebrate and question the influences of traditional Korean and Chinese painting in contemporary Asian art.
Their surprising reality deploys a quizzical strategy in which the viewer initially believes the brush to be real, when it is in fact painted.
This exhibition showcase's a selection of works from his Brush series from 2008 to present day.
Around 100 smartly dressed folks here enjoying complimentary presecco,wines and canapés.
www.hanmigallery.co.ukVisit the Hanmi Gallery website for their list of exhibitions.
Lynyrd Skynyrd live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
I saw them 5 times with their classic line-up between 1975 and 1977 which was before the plane crash in
Oct 1977 that killed three members of the band including their singer.
One of those bands that I have seen live over 20 times.
A great atmosphere tonight as it is sold out and there is floor standing.
I have a great seat 4th row from the front of the circle and dead centre.
At 8.55pm their intro track 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC comes over the pa.
At 9pm the band take the stage and play for around 1 hour 40 mins.
They are coming to the UK every couple of years with pretty much the same show.
Seven band members on stage including three guitarists plus two female backing singers.
This current incarnation of Lynyrd Skynyrd, -- with only guitarist Gary Rossington left from the original lineup -- featured four songs from their classic 1973 debut album with 'Simple Man','Gimme Three Steps' and 'Tuesday's Gone' which were grouped together late in the show with 'Free Bird' of course.
Their brand of Southern rock is still as popular as ever and they still look very much a 70s band.
The usual dedication to the troops of America and UK for their help in keeping us safe and the singer
throws the mic stand across the stage to a roadie midway through 'Free Bird' when the guitar dual kicks in.
Needless to say the final two songs of the night were the main highlights.
For 'Sweet Home Alabama' they were joined by Mick Ralphs on guitar.
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company recently toured America together.
For the encore we had a mega 13 minute version of their classic anthem 'Free Bird'.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Workin' for MCA
I Ain't the One
Call Me the Breeze (J.J. Cale cover)
What's Your Name
Saturday Night Special
The Needle and the Spoon
I Need You
Gimme Three Steps
Sweet Home Alabama (with Mick Ralphs)
watch the video here'Free Bird' extended live version from The Old Grey Whistle Test BBC tv special in 1975.
I was at this show that was at The BBC Theatre which is now called The Shepherds Bush Empire.▶ 10:13
Thursday 23 April 2015.
www.youtube.com celebrates 10 years this week.
It really is a great place for music videos and other clips.
Wednesday 22 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
7.15pm to 9.30pm.
Prix Champagne De La Joie De Vivre UK at One Great George Street,Westminster,London SW1.
Celebrated British jeweller Stephen Webster was joined by friends and well-wishers including Jimmy Carr, Nancy Dell'Olio, Amanda Wakeley, Lisa Snowden, Yasmin Mills, Kelly Hoppen and Mark Hix at One Great George Street, as he was honoured with the annual prize for his longstanding contribution to the city's 'joie de vivre'. The champagne flowed as Webster took the top spot with Brix Smith-Start, Simon Mills, Hamish McAlpine and Stephen's wife Assia Webster also joining in the proceedings to celebrate his win.
2013 winner was showbiz/celebrity photographer Richard Young(Richard was here all the evening)
2014 winner was milliner Stephen Jones
Around 75 well dressed folks in this stunning room with paintings on the wall etc.
We had a couple of glasses from each of the four champagnes that came in order along with canapés.
Complimentary champers from Bruno Paillard,Pol Roger,Perrier-Jouet and Mailly Grand Cru.
Stephen Webster accepted the award with a nice speech and then introduced the band.
At 8pm we had a live band called Rotten Hill Gang who Stephen Webster used to manage.
They feature Hollie Cook on backing vocals who is the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.
Seven members on stage looked impressive.
They played a decent five song 25 mins set of rap with a pop slant.
A really good event.
then a few mins walk away...
9.35pm to 11pm.
Magnum Pink and Black launch party at The ICA,London SW1.
Popular ice-cream brand launches two new flavours for summer.
It's a mainly girlie crowd that included Jodie Kidd,Mollie King and Laura Whitmore.
There is a dj playing and there is complimentary presecco and espresso Martinis for all.
Also a full range of the new Magnums and the old Magnums are being given out.
All guests got a nice female related goodie bag.
Due to time clashes I could not get to the New Order photos private view at Proud Gallery,Camden.
Photographer Kevin Cummins displays his photos of New Order from their formation in 1980 to their split in 1993.
Pictures are from his book on the band.
Free admission until 07 June 2015.
Wednesday 22 April 2015...Happy Birthday to the following...
Singer Peter Frampton is 65.
Singer Glen Campbell is 79.
Actor Jack Nicholson is 78.
Director John Waters is 69.
Tuesday 21 April 2015...noon to 2pm...
F & F Autumn/Winter 2015 Women's And Men's Presentation at The Savoy Hotel,London WC2.
Always very nice to be at this famous five star luxury hotel.
For those of you that do not know F & F is the clothing arm of Tesco.
Around 200 folks here in the ballroom area which has been stunningly styled out by F & F.
I attended last years event at Somerset House where Peaches Geldof made her last public appearance
before her sad death a few days later.
The guests today included Sarah Harding,Mark Wright,Ashley James and Vanessa White.
I am wearing my F & F suit which I wear more often than my two more expensive suits.
They really are great quality and great prices.
We are all at tables with complimentary presecco,coffees,teas,various finger sandwiches and pastries.
We had a nice surprise as Paloma Faith sung two great tracks which were 'Can't Rely On You' and
'Only Love Can Feel Like This' and was backed by a superb piano player and backing vocalist.
We then got a 15 mins fashion show with 13 male and female models walking around the room
and stopping to pose on the podiums.
The theme is a nostalgic look back at late 1960s/early 1970s fashion styles.
Think high-necked, pleated dresses with pretty lace detail, wrap dresses layered over polo necks, floppy hats, colour-block shift dresses and entirely covetable, knee-high boots in the softest suede. Ah yes, the suede. Fashion's current texture-obsession has carried over into autumn, and it looks like F&F will be leading the high street with its amazing array.
Zip-front frocks, culottes, belted coats etc.
The F & F collections are available in over 850 stores in the UK and online.
All guests got a nice goodie bag with items that included a £50 F + F voucher.
www.f-f.comVisit the F & F website here.
Tues 21 April---Happy Birthday to Iggy Pop who is 68 today.
Tues 21 April---Happy Birthday to Robert Smith from The Cure who is 56 today.
Monday 20 April 2015...6.15pm to 8.45pm...
Melody Gardot new album playback,interview and Q n A with Melody Gardot at
The Black Dice, Momo, 25 Heddon Street, London W1.
This cosy Moroccan speakeasy channeling 60s London vibes is neatly tucked away underneath Moroccan restaurant Momo.
Melody is promoting her fourth album 'Currency of Man' which is out 01 June 2015 via Decca/Universal.
Her 2nd and 3rd albums both made the Top 20 in the UK.
Melody has sold over 3 million albums worldwide and is very popular in France and many other countries.
Melody is a Grammy-nominated American singer, writer and musician from Philadelphia, though she considers herself a "citizen of the world".She has been influenced by such blues and jazz artists as Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Caetano Veloso.Her music has been compared to that of Nina Simone.
Around 60 or 70 media folks are here.
BBC Radio dj Jo Whiley is here to host the interview with Melody.
Melody arrives on stage dressed sleekly all in black brandishing...a whip.
The main part of the evening lasted around an hour where four tracks were played between being interviewed.
When the four tracks were played you could hear a pin drop as everyone listened fully.
'Same To You' and 'Preacher Man' had videos on the big screen.
Melody Gardot and The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation have created a film to accompany 'Preacher Man',
inspired by the story of Emmett Till, a black teenager in 1950s America, whose racially motivated murder
marked a landmark moment in the Civil Rights movement.
‘Currency of Man’ finds Melody reunited with producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Madeleine Peyroux).
With its funky bass rhythms, Hammond organ retro-soul brass arrangements, euphoric gospel singers and esoteric orchestrations, the songs on ‘Currency of Man’ are the very antithesis of ‘smooth jazz’. In a departure that is sure to surprise her more conservative fans, they transport us back to the late Sixties and early Seventies. Grooving through the middle of this melange of steamy soul and funk is Melody Gardot, the Grammy-nominated international best-selling singer, songwriter and self-styled “citizen of the world.”
As Melody explained: "Every album is a journey and this disc in some ways is a leap into the unknown. After spending time in LA, the songs all became about the people I'd meet: people who were experiencing life on the fringe…"
In particular Venice Beach was a place where Melody found inspiration.
I asked "when would Melody be playing UK shows? and Melody replied "they will soon be announced for November".
Melody mentioned her love for France and Portugal and is looking forward to her shows there in the summer.
The album is destined to a big success for sure.
All guests enjoyed complimentary Pommery champers,cocktails and hot canapés.
watch the video here Melody Gardot 'Same To You'....▶ 2:08
watch the video hereMelody Gardot 'Preacher Man' live.
Sunday 19 April 2015.
AC/DC rumours to play Glastonbury 2015 are getting stronger and stronger.
Anyway, Brian Johnson was talking to Chris Evans on Radio 2 and Chris asked if AC/DC were the final headliner.
Brian didn't say yes (obviously) but more interestingly he didn't say no, and he gave a vague "I'm not sure what we're doing" response. However, he then implied they may play next year.
Seeing as their Wembley Stadium show has been sold out for ages any announcement cannot harm ticket sales.
AC/DC play Hampden Park on Sunday 28 June and they have days off on Fri 26 June and Sat 27 June
so it would fit into their schedule and the Glastonbury Festival weekend perfect...we shall see...
Saturday 18 April 2015.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held in America.
Paul McCartney will induct Ringo Starr into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The former Beatles musician has been confirmed as a presenter at this year’s ceremony, which takes place on April 18. He has been given the role of initiating his old bandmate Ringo into the prestigious museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Stevie Wonder is inducting Bill Withers, Patti Smith is inducting Lou Reed, Peter Wolf is inducting the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Fall Out Boy is inducting Green Day, John Mayer is inducting Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Cropper is inducting the “5” Royales, and Miley Cyrus will induct Joan Jett and the Blackhearts!
Friday 17 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
5.15pm to 10pm
The Bottlescrue at Davy's --- re-launch party --- 33 Foster Lane,St Paul's,London EC2.
Over 200 mainly suited folks here in this basement bar area.
It's an ideal place for the City workers to visit after a day at the office
We enjoyed complimentary cocktails with our faves being Espresso Martinis and French Martinis.
Also prosecco,wines,beers and canapés here.
Davy's have over 25 individual central London locations and 50 private rooms.
www.davy.co.ukVisit Davy's website here for info on all their wine bars.
10.15pm to 12.30pm
Joyeux Bordel --- press view --- 147 Curtain Road,Shoreditch,London EC2.
A walk up the road to Shoreditch which is totally buzzing with late night bars and clubs EVERYWHERE.
This cocktail bar is one of those with no name or sign above it.
Just a guy outside with his list as it looks like you have to get your name down in advance every night.
He then leads us down the stairs to the stunning bar area.
The sound system is built into the walls with the amps visible as the dj spins only vinyl tunes.
Complimentary cocktails here with our fave being The Jolly Mess.
A cool vibe here.
It is open until 2am Mon to Wed and to 3am Thursday to Saturday
Experimental Cocktail Group, the company behind London's Experimental Cocktail Club, and Compagnie des Vins Surnaturals, is to open Joyeux Bordel on Shoreditch's Curtain Road later this month.
Owned by childhood friends Romée de Goriainoff, Olivier Bon and Pierre-Charles Cros, along with Xavier Padovani who became a partner in 2010 with the addition of London’s Experimental Cocktail Club, the new bar promises a "vintage" sound system, with an emphasis on vinyl, with music until the early hours.
In charge of the music will be Daniel Willis of the Clove Club, and his brother Sam Willis of R&S Records.
Interiors of the bar, which has a capacity of 130 people, were designed by Dorothée Meilichzon (CHZON), with the aim of creating a dark and interesting space that references classic French design.
Walls are inky blue or deep green, and Meilichzon enlisted Alexandre Poulaillon to create a dark fresco on the walls inspired by the curved shapes in stones and curtains. Mismatched rugs were sourced from Kempton Park for the floor and the bar in oak and white marble is modelled after a 1920s French bathtub.
Romée de Goriainoff said: "Joyeux Bordel is a dream for us. East London is increasingly where we go out and the location is flanked by some of our favourite restaurants. The name is a French term used to mean a ‘happy mess’ and how we’ve always described our approach as a team – a bit crazy and spontaneous but driven by a will to produce the best experience. With Shoreditch we are extending our musical focus further than we have before, it felt right for the area and we never want to rest on our laurels. We’re incredibly lucky to have Daniel and Sam on board as collaborators in that respect."
www.joyeuxbordel.comVisit the Joyeux Bordel website here.
Thursday 16 April 2015... I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 7.45pm
Converse x Dazed --- Emerging Artists Award --- private view at The Royal Academy Of Arts,London W1.
After an onslaught of applications, the search for the most exciting art talent of 2015 has uncovered a clutch of future stars. With a £1,000 production grant to make brand new work, the finalists are making plans for an epic exhibition at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts from 18 April. Judges will reconvene to decide who will take home the £5,000 top prize.
The finalists were Tasmin Snow,Sarah Tynan,Rachel Pimms,Jonathan Trayte,Lawrence Lek and Patrick Cole.
The exhibition is on here until 17 May --- Free Entry.
A big crowd of over 300 folks here over the two floors.
The staff here were all wearing Converse footwear.
Guests enjoyed complimentary vodka cocktails,beers and canapés.
7.50pm to 9pm
Avaunt Magazine launch party at Wolsey Store,83 Brewer Street,Soho,London W1.
Port magazine founders Dan Crowe and Matt Willey have launched a new bi-annual publication with polar explorer Ben Saunders, described as "an adventure and innovation magazine for the international luxury market." We spoke to Crowe, Saunders and design director Alex Hunting about the title, and plans to expand it into a luxury lifestyle brand.
Co-edited by Crowe and Saunders with creative direction by Willey, Avaunt is aimed at affluent males aged 30 plus interested in science, geography, adventure, travel and fashion.
In a media pack promoting its launch, the magazine claims to cater to readers who enjoy taking part in endurance or sports events in their spare time, from marathons to long distance cycle races, enjoy buying expensive kit and are looking for a more style-conscious alternative to traditional adventure mags such as Wonderlust or National Geographic.
The inaugural issue, available to buy online, features an article on Oliver Steed's experience of living with the Kombai Tribe in Papua New Guinea while filming a new Discovery Channel series, an article by David Byrne on the science of sound, a behind-the-scenes look at BMW's innovation centre in Munich, and features on the solar system, bionics, literature, Amelia Earheart, freediving and space travel.
Around 200 folks in this quality British menswear store that dates back to 1755.
Guests included Ben Saunders,Olivia Cox,Sally Kettle and Dan Crowe.
A dj is playing tunes in the background.
Complimentary rum cocktails and beers for all guests.
All guests got a goodie on the way out.
www.avauntmagazine.comVisit the Avaunt Magazine website here.
Thursday 16 April 2015.
25 years ago this month the Madonna classic track 'Vogue' was number one in the UK.
Thursday 16 April 2015.
Bill Wyman will soon release his first album since 1982.
Unbelievably, it’s been that long since Bill Wyman, illustrious ex-Rolling Stone bass player, released his last UK solo CD. And Back To Basics is only his fourth UK solo album.
Not that the man’s been idle, far from it. Bill Wyman is a man of many parts.
Since quitting the Stones at their peak in 1993 having spent 31 years with them, he has been the author of seven learned books, a globally exhibited photographer, a metal detecting expert with his own brand of metal detector, a producer, a composer for film and TV and the founder of the very successful Rhythm Kings who release CDs and tour regularly .
It was only when archiving old demos last year he realised he had around 60 songs he’d never released. and the notion of Back To Basics came into play.
He chose three songs that needed reworking and did just that. He put them together with a bunch of brand new songs and went into his studio to record them.
‘Initially I thought I’m a bit old for this but then I thought all the old blues musicians played till they dropped so why don’t I give it a go.’ B.W.
On June 22nd, the result of that labour, Back To Basics, hits the streets. Released on Proper Records, the CD comprises 12 tracks, nine of which are brand new songs, while the digital version also features a bonus track, ‘Exciting’.
Wednesday 15 April 2015.
Back again to Broadgate Circle by Liverpool Street for two events.
5.15pm to 6.45pm
Beany Green launch party at Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
Around 200 folks here on the first floor overlooking the Broadgate Circle main space.
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers,presecco,espresso Martinis,Aperol,wines,beers,
lean beef sliders and canapés...also a full range of different coffees...
A nice vibe here.
All guests got a goodie bag.
Committed to bringing the City lunch to life - this independent Australian coffee shop serves brunch, bold healthy salads, wraps and award-winning banana bread.
The baristas are serving perfectly executed flat whites from their brand new bright yellow four-group La Marzocco FB70 named Dolly. For lunch you’ll find huge healthy salads, big balls of protein and bold spinach wraps, all made in-house and changing daily.
Also on offer is Beany’s award-winning banana bread (Great Taste 2014) and mountains of light fluffy Lamingtons, as well as pastries from The Little Bread Peddlar.
All available to go or eat in amongst the colourful street art installations, quirky bespoke deckchairs and friendly Aussie accents – experience a true taste of Bondi in the City.
6.45pm to 11.30pm
The Botanist launch party at Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
We move on this event which is just 50 yards from the previous event.
There is a massive crowd of around 500 folks here.
Some are outside where there are are fire eaters and stilt walkers.
Others are inside where there are lots of tables and more are downstairs in the more livelier
and louder club room where folks are dancing to the dj sounds.
Complimentary Joseph Perrier champers,different cocktails including espresso Martinis,wines,beers,
and lots of lovely food including lobster and oysters.
An excellent event that was buzzing from start to finish.
Set over two floors, The Botanist boasts a bar, restaurant and club, as well as a spacious outdoor terrace
providing al fresco dining.
The elegant restaurant offers a classic British and European menu, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and superb Sunday roasts. A wide selection of fine wines and beers sit alongside The Botanist’s refined selection of seasonal cocktails that are a speciality.
Steps from Liverpool Street station, it's sure to become a weekday favourite and a definitive destination for weekends, taking you through into the early hours in the downstairs club, Soda Room. Sister restaurant to The Botanist on Sloane Square, The Botanist Broadgate is sure to impress local workers and visitors alike.
Wednesday 15 April 2015.
Motörhead have been confirmed to play The Glastonbury Festival for the first time.
Tuesday 14 April 2015...6.30pm to 10.30pm...
Restaurant press preview at Aubaine, 38 Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
French restaurant open it's 9th branch next door to Liverpool Street train and tube station.
They always choose an upmarket area where there are folks with a few quid to spare.
Aubaine is a true blend of cosmopolitan style and French cuisine. Combining the elegance of a Parisian salon with the relaxed ambience of a Provençal bistro Aubaine serves both simplicity and style.
Superb food, urban yet rustic interiors and personable service give Aubaine an air of relaxed sophistication and an aura of chic. Evolving from the quest to find perfect French bread in London Aubaine still holds true to its philosophy of simple luxury: “simplicité c'est beauté”.
Aubaine serves exquisite French food all day, every day
Aubaine has perfected the all day dining experience in London. Using seasonal produce each dish is created à la main by their talented chefs. With an emphasis on simplicity and quality, from eggs royale to filet de boeuf, their food brings the best of France to London and serves it with impeccable style.
The decor is great here and there is plenty of space between tables and they have an outside area which
is good timing as the sunshine finally came out this week.
We had a really nice four course meal with drinks here.
We had the following...
Aubaine sharing board = £18.00
Beef Carpaccio = £14.50
Lobster Spaghetti = £26.00
Mille-feuille (puff pastry with vanilla and custard slice) = £5.50
A great ambience here and the staff are fussing over us,a bit too much sometimes.
The drinks were fab as we finished off with a cappuccino and espresso martini.
A four course meal with drinks costs around £150 for two but you can get a two course meal
from their set menu for only £13.50.
No doubt this place will be very popular with city folks.
www.aubaine.co.ukVisit the Aubaine website for more info.
Tuesday 14 April 2015...another sad death...
Percy Sledge, the American R&B and Soul singer who gave the world ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’
has died from liver cancer in Louisiana at the age of 73.
Sledge was 23 years old when he released his first song ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ on April 16, 1966.
The song was recorded just eight weeks earlier on February 17, 1966 at Norala Studios in Sheffield, Alabama.
I saw him live a couple of times in the 1990s and a couple of times after that.
Monday 13 April 2015.
The Devin Townsend Project live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
The Devin Townsend Project play a special show to celebrate the release of their album Z² .
Devin has been around some 25 years and brought out over 20 albums and has quietly built a loyal
bunch of fans who have filled The Royal Albert Hall on a Monday night.
This Canadian guitar ace and singer came to attention by appearing on the Steve Vai album 'Sex & Religion'.
Townsend's solo albums, a diverse mix of hard rock, progressive metal, ambient, and new-age, have featured
a varying lineup of supporting musicians.
Many bigger bands have played this venue but not many have had a better stage production than DTP.
There are 11 big screens showing a mix of live footage and wacky videos and some podiums filling the stage.
We have some odd looking costumed folks on stage for some songs.
His excellent band are backed by 8 female/male singers.
The show starts with around 25 mins of wacky sci-fi adventures videos along with more of the same during the interval.
The video story begins with Ziltoid arriving at Planet Earth and demanding their ultimate cup of coffee.When he is not pleased with the coffee he receives, Ziltoid decides to attack earth with his army and his secret weapon, the Planet Smasher
Captain Spectacular of the humans devises a plan to escape by exposing Ziltoid as a nerd etc.
The band are on stage for a lengthy 2 hours 40 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 95 mins.
It is floor standing so the hardcore fans are down the front and there are 20 or 30 hand puppets
being held up and half a dozen are in fancy dress outfits.
I am near the stage in those great swivel chairs in the side stalls.
Devin's great on stage personality shone throughout the whole gig, asking the crowd to do "a load of silly Metal things" like the countdown, the jumping up, the lighters in the air, and all the rest of it, but said he knew we would like it because "if you're here to see me you must know you're at least a little nerdy", and he does know his audience.
As well as being a great guitar player full of power riffs,Devin also has a strong opera like rock vocal.
The second set had my two fave tracks of his which were mega versions of 'Supercrush' and 'Kingdom'
that had the crowd moshing down the front.
Other great tracks were 'Deadhead' and final track 'Universal Flame' where he got 50 fans on stage as well
as all his family members including his young son for an emotional finish.
At the end of the show Devin spent a whole 5 mins shaking hands with the entire front row.
A very enjoyable and interesting show.
FIRST SET = Z2
From Sleep Awake
Ziltoidian Empire (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
War Princess (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
March of the Poozers (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
Ziltoid Goes Home
Through the Wormhole (with Dominique Lenore Persi on co vocals)
SECOND SET = By Request ---Chosen by the fans via Facebook
The Death of Music
watch the video hereDevin Townsend Project---Kingdom---Official Live Video......▶ 5:04
Monday 13 April 2015.
Vinyl sales to hit 'record' sales.
More than a million vinyl albums were sold last year for the first time in almost two decades, after seven years of growth. With sales expected to hit two million this year an official weekly vinyl chart has been brought back, with the inaugural top spot being claimed by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds for Chasing Yesterday, released last month.
Sunday 12 April 2015...1.30pm...
QPR 0 Chelsea 1.
Third from bottom against the top team in the country.
I went to this game with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.
It was an even game and we played well and had some chances but Chelsea
nicked a goal a few minutes from the end.
It was Chelsea's only proper shot on target in the game so a bit of a body blow.
We deserved a draw at least.
For those of you that do not know members of The Sex Pistols support...
Glen Matlock = QPR
Paul Cook = Chelsea
Steve Jones = Chelsea
John Lydon = Arsenal
Friday 10 April 2015.
System Of A Down live at Wembley Arena,London.
SOAD play Wembley as part of their ‘Wake Up The Souls’ World Tour.
Just eight selected shows around the world ending up with a free gig in Armenia for their first ever show there
marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
This Wembley Arena show will be their first indoor show in the UK since 2005.
The group's big break arrived when their second album 'Toxicity' debuted at No. 1 on the
American and Canadian charts in 2001 and has since sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
System Of A Down’s heavily politicised brand of rock has seen them sell in excess of 20 million albums worldwide.
There was plenty of controversy surrounding the album's hit single 'Chop Suey!'.The song was taken off the radio as it contained politically sensitive lyrics according to the 2001 Clear Channel memorandum at the time such as "(I don't think you) trust in my self-righteous suicide." Regardless, the video gained constant play on MTV as did the album's second single, 'Toxicity'.
I saw System Of A Down at The Reading Festival in 2001.
Tonight is totally rammed sold out with a great buzzing atmosphere.
I am floor standing around a third of the way back from the stage.
A warm evening outside the venue and hot and sticky inside the venue.
There is no support act so lots of folks arriving late at the show.
SOAD arrive on stage at 8.52pm even though were down to start at 8.30pm.
Maybe they were waiting for the latecomers to get in.
Striking a balance between delivering a good-time rock show and a socially conscious message requires a deft touch. And when the consciousness you're trying to raise is awareness of a genocide that happened a century ago, walking that line seems like it could be particularly tough.
Not for System, though, who handled the mix of message and moshing masterfully in a 2 hour show.
I know a few of their songs but I would not claim to be a big fan.
Plenty of crunching rock tunes even though a couple were a bit too thrashy for me.
The latter hour was better than the first as the best tunes created a very lively moshing frenzy on the floor.
The fans know all the words to songs like 'Chop Suey' and many others.
The drummer was amazing and he had one of those truly massive drum kits.
There is a great stage production with loads of lights including strobes.
The show is split into parts 1,2 and 3 and each has a cartoon video introduction for a couple of minutes
on the three big screens with the message about The Armenian Genocide and other acts of terror.
A bit odd that the screens are not used for any live footage which seemed a waste.
Perhaps it's an artistic choice like the fact they do not play encores.
I wouldn't fancy being in the rear half of Wembley Arena for a show without big screens.
Overall a great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Wake Up the Souls - Part 1
Soldier Side - Intro
Dreaming (Incomplete, middle breakdown only)
Wake Up the Souls - Part 2
Satarabad ([traditional] cover)
Psycho (The Rolling Stones' Start Me Up intro, first part in English, second in armenian)
Kill Rock 'n Roll
Lost in Hollywood
Wake Up the Souls - Part 3
Chic 'N' Stu
Arto (Daron + John jam while Serj held a speech and thanked the crowd for supporting)
Thursday 09 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 7.30pm.
Peter Perrett live at Rough Trade West,Talbot Road,off Portobello Road,London W11.
Happy Birthday to Peter who celebrated his 63rd birthday the day before this event.
Peter Perrett is an English singer-songwriter, best known as the frontman of the 70's band The Only Ones.
Perrett formed The Only Ones in 1976. After self releasing their debut single 'Lovers Of Today', the band signed to CBS Records and released three great albums 'The Only Ones',' Even Serpents Shine' and
'Baby's Got A Gun' before splitting up in 1982.
Peter was a drug buddy of Johnny Thunders in the 1980s.
Perrett finally re-emerged in 1994 with a new band called The One. The band released their debut EP Cultured Palate via their manager's record label Dwarf Records, before signing to Demon Records and releasing their debut album Woke up Sticky in 1996. The band split up that year, with Perrett disappearing again until April 2004 when he appeared on stage with The Libertines. He also appeared on stage with his sons Jamie and Peter Jr.'s band Love Minus Zero. Long hiatuses in his music career have been ascribed to his enduring struggles with heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
The Only Ones reformed in 2007 to play odd gigs now and then.
I saw them headline Shepherds Bush Empire in 2007.
I saw them live seven times between 1978 and 1980.
They were best known for their classic single 'Another Girl Another Planet'.
Peter Perrett plays a short set to promote the re-issue of his autobiography that has an extra chapter.
It's a free gig on a first come first served basis and not a wristband in sight.
A very rare show as Peter has not played live that often since The Only Ones reformed in 2007.
Around 50 people here in this small basement room but thankfully I am near the front.
Nice to see an entire room of vinyl on all four walls.
It's a pretty bizarre set up as Peter Perrett is playing behind the counter standing on two album crates.
Plus one is an inch or two lower than the other...they couldn't find two of the same???
Peter is playing an electric guitar and his joined by another guy at the side playing electric guitar.
Peter has his shades on but looks healthier than ever.
That great unique voice of Peter's still sounds fantastic.
Five songs played in the main set from 6.45pm to 7.10pm.
1.Is This How Much You Care
4.My Sweet Angel
5.C Voyeurger with snippets of Johnny Thunders 'You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory'.
I had hoped for two or three Only Ones gems but tonight none were played in the main set as it was post
Only Ones material.
Still it was great to see Peter play live again.
Then he signed the books for the 50 or so folks here.
6.At the end of the main set Peter said he would do one more song after the book signing
but I had to miss it as I had to get to restaurant event on time as the table was reserved for 8pm.
Peter Perrett will play a full London show at The Garage on 24 July 2015.
8pm to 10.30pm.
Press preview of Duck + Rice restaurant ,90 Berwick Street,Soho,London W1.
We had a very nice three course meal here.
Also drinks that started with a yummy Espresso Martini.
The staff were all great.
Much anticipated restaurant opening from Alan Yau, famous for spearheading Wagamama Hakkasan and Yauatcha. Duck + Rice is an Asian comfort food pub concept that cares to Soho’s heritage, with the addition of Asian food in the kitchen. There is Pilsner Urquell served brewery-fresh, Tribute regional cask ale, Fuller’s London Pride, Harviestoun, Bath ales gem, Samuel Adams lager, Guinness, High Wire pale ale and a West Country cider, Bee Sting, for drinking. The bottled beers are even vaster. If the beers play the part of the British pub – as the open fireplaces and comfy corner booths also do –then it’s the food’s work to bring the spice.
www.theduckandrice.comVisit The Duck + Rice website here.
Thursday 09 April 2015.
Video of the day.
Thanks to Paul from Bristol for bringing this video clip to my attention.
watch the video hereJesse Jo Stark performs 'Cherry Bomb' by The Runaways with Steve Jones and Duff...▶ 2:21
There are a few other videos up on youtube with this line up.
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?
Let me plan it for you!
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