Archive: May 2015

May 13, 2015

Wednesday 13 May 2013.
Rick Buckler ex drummer of The Jam has a book out.
'That's Entertainment : My Life In The Jam'.
Paul Weller split The Jam up in 1982 at the height of their success.
Paul Weller has not spoken to Rick since 1983.
I saw The Jam six times during their heyday including gigs at The Rainbow Theatre,Hammersmith Odeon
and Wembley Arena.





Wednesday 13 May 2015.
watch the video hereJohn Lydon full interview and Q n A from The 100 Club from 26 April 2015. ▶ 45:33
As a 17 year old I attended The Sex Pistols legendary show at The 100 Club in Sept 1976.
A picture of me in the crowd from that show is hanging at the back of The 100 Club.





Tuesday 12 May 2015.
Ian McLagan would have celebrated his 70th birthday today.
He sadly died 03 Dec 2014 before he could be part of any possible future Faces reunion.
As a keyboard player he was best known as a member of Small Faces and Faces.
He also collaborated with the Rolling Stones and led his own band from the late 1970s.






Monday 11 May 2015...6.30pm to 9.45pm...
PJs 25th Anniversary and the start of the 2015 Polo Season at
PJs Bar & Grill,52 Fulham Road,London SW3.
I have been to this always buzzing event for the last 10 years on the trot.
Around 300 upmarket polo loving and Chelsea folks here over the two floors of this nice venue.
Drummer Kenney Jones (ex The Who and many other bands) is sometimes here as he owns Hurtwood Park
Polo Club out in the country but he is not here tonight.
However a nice surprise is that Bill Wyman is here.
Also here is a a rare social sighting of Stelios from Easyjet and all the other Easy brands.
At 8.15pm we get a speech from host Brian Stein which was followed by a showgirl in feathers n stuff
dancing along to drummers behind her.
Complimentary Tattinger champers,different cocktails,wines,beers and canapés.
Polo is a nice day out if you can get to one.
Polo In The Park at Hurlingham-Fulham is held in early June then it's outside London for others
including Cowdray Park,Guards at Windsor,Hurtwood Park,Beaufort,Cirencester etc.
www.pjsbarandgrill.co.ukVisit the PJs Bar & Grill website here.






Sunday 10 May 2015.
FM + Romeo's Daughter + No Hot Ashes live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.
A nice three band British rock package who all started their careers in the 1980s.
Most of the crowd have arrived early to see all three bands.
First band on --- No Hot Ashes --- have well known band booking agent Steve Strange on drums.
Steve must be well pleased he is playing the same stage where he has booked so many bands.
I will have to have a word with him about putting on my early 1980s band Gun Control.
I also was the drummer...check the band search on the site for where we played gigs.
No Hot Ashes were a much loved 80's Belfast rock band that had great potential but not much success.
They played a decent enough 30 mins set.
then
The main support act tonight are Romeo's Daughter.
Back in the late 80s the manager of the band was Olga Lange, then the wife of Robert John "Mutt" Lange. Mutt Lange was impressed by their song-writing abilities and agreed to produce (part of) their debut album. Hence, Romeo's Daughter was often seen as protégés of Mutt Lange.
In 2012, lead singer, Leigh Matty, was voted Number 5 Lady Rock Singer of all time in Classic Rock Magazine.
They play for 35 mins and played good tracks including 'I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night' and 'Wild Child'.
They went down well with the crowd.
then
This is the last show on the FM 30th anniversary UK tour.
They are promoting their 9th studio album 'Heroes and Villains'.
They still feature three original members including singer Steve Overland.
It was 1989 when I saw both the main bands tonight play on the same bill at Hammersmith Odeon.
Before that I had seen FM five times as a support act to Reo Speedwagon,Gary Moore and Bon Jovi.
The Bon Jovi shows were in support of their 'Slippery When Wet' album.
All the shows were at Hammersmith Odeon in 1985 and 1986.
Tonight FM play a really good 90 mins set and the sound on stage is perfect.
Loads of great catchy melodic rock tunes played in their set.
Steve Overland really has got a fantastic strong rock voice.
The guitarist is playing loads of great guitar riffs.
They are a very professional band who work the crowd well.
The new album tracks mixed in well with the older gems.
A very enjoyable show and proof British rock is still rockin'.
Folks in the crowd included British porn star Ben Dover(Bend Over) and journo Dave Ling who is a big fan
of the band so expect a glowing review in Classic Rock mag and on their website.
Full FM setlist played tonight...
Digging Up the Dirt
I Belong to the Night
Wildside
Closer to Heaven
Let Love Be the Leader
Shape I'm In
Tough Love
Blood and Gasoline
Frozen Heart
Life Is a Highway
Crosstown Train
Tough It Out
That Girl
Burning My Heart Down
Bad Luck
Encore:
Story of My Life
Other Side of Midnight
www.fmofficial.comVisit the FM website for more info and dates on their summer shows in UK and Europe.






Saturday 09 May 2015...7.30pm to 11pm...
Launch of Maze Grill,79 Royal Hospital Road,Chelsea,London SW3.
Located in the quieter part of Chelsea and inspired by the grill rooms of Manhattan, Maze Grill Royal Hospital Road delivers signature rare breed steaks, fish and poultry alongside a selection of sushi and sashimi.
Gordon Ramsay Group open a 55-cover third Maze Grill in originally the site of Ramsay’s Foxtrot Oscar.
They will offer casual, informal all-day dining.
Maze Grill Chelsea will be the 14th UK restaurant opening for the Gordon Ramsay Group.
Not to be confused with his fine dining restaurant up the road at number 68.
At Maze Grill we have a nice booth type table in the downstairs area.
Very nice contemporary decor and it all still smells new.
They wanted feedback on the various dishes so we shared each plate we had.
Classic Ceaser Salad
Tomato and Onion Salad
English Asparagus
California Roll Sushi
Scallops Yuzu with caviar
Salmon Nashi Sushi
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Chateaubriand Steak 16oz(rare breed dry aged for 28 days)
Onion Rings
Mac n Cheese
Fries
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Two Desserts
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With the meal we had glasses of red wine and sparkling water.
The food really was superb and the steak was the nicest I have had for ages.
Our Russian waitress Renata??? was so friendly and nice and really did the best she could.
Only downside with this place is that is a good 15 mins plus walk or bus ride from the nearest tube stations.
The local folks in the very posh streets that surround the restaurant will love it.
www.gordonramsay.comVisit restaurants in the Gordon Ramsay portfolio here.






Friday 08 May 2015.
Mike & The Mechanics + James Walsh live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Up first we have James Walsh who fronts Starsailor who had a few hits around a decade ago.
He now mixes solo acoustic shows with Starsailor shows.
He is allowed a measly 30 mins with seven songs played which were songs from his new album
'Turning Point' along with a cover of 'I Don't Want To Talk About It' and a couple of Starsailor gems
'Tell Me It's Not Over' and 'Silence Is Easy'.
A short but sweet set.
Mike Rutherford from Genesis side project features the current twin vocals of soul singer Andrew Roachford
and Canadian rocker Tim ‘The Power’ Howar.
They had 7 Top 40 singles in the UK in the late 80s and 1990s since forming 30 years ago.
I saw them play a sold out show at Hammersmith Apollo on their last UK tour.
They are on a UK and European Tour.
They were on stage for a full two hours with a pretty much greatest hits set along with a couple of new songs,
a couple of Genesis gems and a great version of 'Cuddly Toy' which Roachford himself had a hit with.
They have had more hits than you can remember and the crowd are standing for the second part of the show.
That Genesis connection was rammed home with Rutherford playing on a stage littered with packing/flight cases emblazoned with the name of his former band (one even carrying the name of his former drummer - a certain Phil Collins).
A nice stage production with spotlights raised on gritty scaffold stacks. The music and banter is tightly arranged and is rehearsed within an inch of its life – with even spontaneous moments looking a bit scripted.
Lots of catchy singalong songs played and 'The Living Years' was superb.
I really enjoyed it.
Full setlist played tonight...
Silent Running
A Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Another Cup of Coffee
Get Up
Try to Save Me
Let Me Fly (New song)
Seeing Is Believing
Not Out of Love (New song)
Turn It On Again (Genesis cover)
The Road
Everybody Gets a Second Chance
Nobody's Perfect
Cuddly Toy (Roachford cover)
I Can't Dance (Genesis cover)
The Living Years
All I Need Is a Miracle
Encore:
Over My Shoulder
Word of Mouth (with full band intros and solos in the middle)
watch the video hereMike & The Mechanics - The Living Years - official video from 1989...>5:24





Thursday 07 May 2015...7.15pm to 11.15pm...
Friends & Family restaurant launch event for Jose Pizarro,Broadgate Circle,London EC2.
This area near Liverpool Street station is totally buzzing as more and more restaurants and bars open.
This newly developed space has been a total success with all the city workers.
Around 60 seats here at Jose Pizarro third restaurant with maybe 30 covers inside and 30 covers outside.
We shared four plates for starters with my fave being Prawn buñuelos with saffron aioli & Pizarro’s pimentón.
We shared the main dish--- 35 day aged Irish sirloin a la brasa (1kg), roast shallots & piquillo pepper sauce
with sides of Green salad, honey & Muscatel vinegar dressing and Roasted chicory, walnut dressing.
We shared the three Desserts
Chocolate with olive oil & salt, on toast
Almond cake, pistachio ice cream
Apricots in cava
The food was really great and the mainly Spanish staff were very attentive.
Drinks we had with the meal were Cava,Red Wine and sparkling water.
Jose himself was very warm and friendly as he chatted to all the guests.
A very enjoyable evening here.
For their first few days on May 08,09,11,12 they will have 50% off all food dishes
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José Pizarro Broadgate is offering an all-day menu of Spanish classics with contemporary and seasonal twists, including traditional Spanish breakfast - Jamón ibérico with Fried Eggs and Patatas Fritas, as well as tortilla, large sharing plates, whole fish dishes and José’s famous croquetas.
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José Pizarro has lived in the UK for 15 years and in that time has worked at some of London’s most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Brindisa and Gaudi. In May 2011 he opened his first solo venture – José – his proudest moment yet. Later that year he opened Pizarro, a few yards away from José.
José was planning to become a dental technician in Spain but realised his love of food was bigger than his love of dentistry and completed one year of catering school in Cáceres before working in a restaurant local to his home town. In 1997 Pizarro moved to Madrid to the award-winning Meson de Doña Filo where he cooked nueva cocina and began his love affair with fresh, brightly flavoured dishes.
José has appeared on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen many times with more appearances planned for this year. In 2014 he also took part in Ch4’s What’s Cooking?, Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose and he also filmed a Spanish special for the newly launched Food Network series, The Big Eat. José has also previously been part of UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and Rick Stein’s Christmas on BBC1.
His first book Seasonal Spanish Food was published in 2009 by Kyle Books, to great critical acclaim. The book has been translated and printed for other markets too, such as the US and Holland. It has even been translated into Spanish for the people of Spain to enjoy. José’s last book, Spanish Flavours, came out in 2012.
One of his highlights of 2014 was being asked to be a keynote speaker at the first Gastronomy Congress, hosted by Estrella Damm at the Hurlingham Club. José took part alongside host Ferran Adrià and 2 Michelin — starred chef, Tom Kerridge.
In May 2014 José was also voted one of ‘100 españoles’ — a hugely prestigious award which showcases the top 100 Spaniards around the world, based on how they have brought their talents to the masses and how they have shown their Spanish pride and love of the country through their work.
www.josepizarro.comVisit the Jose Pizarro website here.






Wednesday 06 May 2015....5.30pm to 8pm...
Meet Oxfordshire Showcase at One Moorgate Place,London EC2.
Around 200 folks visiting here who book events and promote venues etc.
All the 30 or so stands are promoting venues in the Oxfordshire area.
Lots of the top hotels,restaurants,conference rooms and other places of interest.
First Great Western Trains and Chiltern Railways are here.
The New Theatre,Oxford are here which hosts some good live acts.
Oxford Tube double decker buses are here.
Some of their their journeys are only £1 each way London - Oxford when
booked via www.megabus.com
Oxford itself is always a great visit to visit every now and then.
You can get there by train from Paddington and Ealing in around an hour.
We had a string quartet here called Stringfever who played two 15 mins sets.
Complimentary prosecco,wines,beers and various bowl food for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag of which 10 had golden tickets which had a short stay at
one of the hotels or a three course dinner for four guests at one of the venues.






Wednesday 06 May 2015...yet another sad death in the music world...
Errol Brown, the singer who as the ultra-smooth frontman of Hot Chocolate became one of Britain’s most successful musicians, has died from liver cancer. He was 71.
The Jamaica-born pop star, who lived in Britain from the age of 11 and owed his big break to John Lennon before going on to score hits for three decades, died at home with his family in the Bahamas.
As the shaven-headed lead singer of Hot Chocolate, Brown and his colleagues had hits in more than 50 countries worldwide. Hot Chocolate was one of just three acts that scored a hit in the UK charts in every year of the 1970s.
The singer and his fellow performers were discovered in the late 1960s when they produced a reggae version of Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance.
A producer, concerned that the song had modified the Beatle’s lyrics, sent a copy to the Fab Four’s Apple records asking for permission for the new track. Lennon heard it by accident and approved to the extent that he decided to release the record himself.
When Apple folded shortly afterwards, Hot Chocolate began a long association with the producer Mickie Most, who helped deliver the group to a succession of hits, including It Started With a Kiss and Everyone’s a Winner.
For Brown, who was made an MBE by the Queen in 2003 and received an Ivor Novello a year later, the transition to becoming one of Britain’s wealthiest black entertainers owed much to his mother.
Brown left Hot Chocolate in 1986.
I saw him live with Hot Chocolate at Hammersmith Odeon in 1974 and 1979.






Tuesday 05 May 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 9pm
Tatler 2015 Restaurant Awards at The Savoy Hotel,The Strand,London.
A large crowd of around 500 folks here from some of Londons top restaurants
in the ballroom of this luxury five star hotel.
Complimentary Laurent-Perrier champers and lots of yummy food for all guests.
The winners were announced at 7.15pm and lasted around 25 mins...
1) Best Rising Star
Winner - Lee Westcott at the Typing Room
2) Best Buzz
Winner - Kitty Fisher's
Runners up
Berners Tavern
Chiltern Firehouse
Quaglino's
Sushisamba
3) Best Dish
Winner - Game Pie at Corrigan's Mayfair
4) Best Front Of House
Winner - Marcus
Runners up
Bar Boulud
The Delaunay
L'Anima Café
Rivea
5) Best "Best Of Britain"
Winner - Sam & Georgie Pearman
6) Best Kitchen
Winner - Gymkhana
Runners up
The Araki
Assunta Madre
The Manor
Wormwood
7) Most Consistently Excellent
Winner - Momo (20 years)
Runners up
Daphne's (51 years)
The Ledbury (10 years)
Roast (10 years)
Tamarind (20 years)
8) Lifetime Achievement (Laurent-Perrier)
Winner - Fergus Henderson
9) Best New Restaurant (Taste)
Winner - FERA - Simon Rogan
Runners up
Barrafina Covent Garden
The Colony Grill Room
Sea Containers at The Mondrian
Spring
10) Tatler Restaurant of the Year
Winner - The Palomar
A very nice event.
then
9.45pm to 11.30pm
Afterparty for "The Audience" play at One Whitehall Place,London.
The press night was held earlier at The Apollo,Shaftesbury Avenue.
The reviews were a decent mix of four stars and three stars.
Another big crowd of around 500 folks.
Star of the play Kristin Scott Thomas is here.
She was joined by Mark Strong, Liza Marshall, Lizzie Cundy and Edward Fox - who played Winston Churchill in the play's original run. Producer Matthew Byam Shaw and writer Peter Morgan were also in attendance, with director Stephen Daldry.
Complimentary wines,beers,fresh orange juice and canapes for all guests.






Sunday 03 May 2015.
Nick Cave live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Nick Cave on a UK and European Tour.
This show like the one the night before at Hammersmith Apollo sold out pronto ages ago.
Nick Cave always gets lots of cool looking folks at his shows.
Whilst this is billed as a Nick Cave solo tour, it is essentially Nick Cave and some of the Bad Seeds. This evening he is joined by Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey, Thomas Wydler and "the new guy" Larry who, for no explained reason, is filling in for an absent (or departed?) Barry Adamson.
They arrive on stage at 8pm and play for around 2 hours 15 mins.
The stage is covered by hanging light bulbs all over the place.
Nick Cave is playing piano for three quarters of the show with and without the band and the songs played
were pretty much all Bad Seeds songs.
There is no photo pit which is replaced by a platform a bit shorter than the stage itself so Nick Cave prowls
the front and is right up in the faces of the front rows and he wanders in the crowd a couple of times too.
Two girls front row left of stage are getting very carried away by how close Nick gets to them.
Lots of great stage banter from Nick between songs and he is a quality performer with real presence.
I prefer his noisy tunes like 'Red Right Hand' to the quieter songs.
Warren Ellis is playing some fantastic guitar sounds as usual.
A full standing ovation from the crowd at the end.
A great gig.
Full setlist played tonight...
Water's Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
The Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street
Encore:
Avalanche (Leonard Cohen cover)
And No More Shall We Part
Breathless
Jack the Ripper
Stranger Than Kindness
Up Jumped the Devil
The Lyre of Orpheus
Encore 2:
Push the Sky Away
This show was one of those that you could buy an official live double cd of the night a few mins
after the end of the show.





Wow......Can it really be 40 years ago since I attended both these fantastic shows.
03 May 1975 and 04 May 1975.
Bachman Turner Overdrive with support from Thin Lizzy played Hammersmith Odeon.
Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham had joined Thin Lizzy the year before and you knew they would be huge .
The following year in 1976 they took off with their classic hit '"The Boys Are Back In Town".
BTO were massive in the UK at this time with the brilliant " Not Fragile " album and the big hit single
"You Aint Seen Nothing Yet".






Saturday 02 May 2015.
Already Legends live at Absolutely Ten Pin Bowling,Bath Road,Slough,Berkshire.
A family celebration where we played Ten Pin Bowling and pool before the band came on.
Already Legends are a top notch covers band from London.
They play for a full two hours over two sets of 60 mins and are very tight and well rehearsed.
For tonight they have a male singer and a female singer.
The songs have a dance rock feel to them thanks to some funky bass and the sound is great.
Also we have an entertaining crowd of folks on the floor in front of the stage that are bringing a wry smile
to all the band members and a worried look from the security.
One bloke seems pumped up with steroids or a multitude of drugs as he is hyper the whole show by dancing
wildly down the front and continually trying to get on the stage and sing with the band.
At the end of the show he gets all the band members to sign his arm.
We also have another guy who does head stands every few mins.
Then there's the pair who are doing full Bangra dancing.
Lots of classic gems played over the two sets including...
I Want To Break Free
Play That Funky Music
Don't Stop Believin'
We Will Rock You
I Love Rock N Roll
I'm Still Standing
Tainted Love
Seven Nation Army
Eye Of The Tiger
Call Me
Kiss
Radio Ga Ga
Highway To Hell
Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Blue Monday
Just Can't Get Enough
Don't You Want Me
Sweet Child O Mine
Johnny B Goode
Don't Stop Me Know
Hey Jude
It may have been just a covers band playing a Ten Pin Bowling gig but the band were great.
They are well worth investigating if you need a band for a party of any kind.
www.alreadylegends.comVisit the bands website here.






Saturday 02 May 2015.
Glastonbury Festival final headliner...
The Sun has today reported that it will be The Who that close this year's festival and that they will be joined on the line-up by either Noel Gallagher or Paul Weller performing in the slot directly before them.
A "festival insider" is reported to have told the newspaper that: "The Who booking has been kept quiet because the band are also playing a Hyde Park gig for the British Summer Time festival so the announcement will be made in a few weeks".





Friday 01 May 2015...I went to two events in the Liverpool Street area...
2pm to 6pm.
The London Coffee Festival at The Old Truman Brewery,Brick Lane,London E1.
Very popular event comes back to its annual home at The Truman Brewery.
I have a handy wristband access to the vip/press lounge which has lots of seating and plush toilets.
In here you can get different complimentary espresso cocktails.
There is a lot to see here with over 250 different coffee and related stalls over three levels.
There were some very hi tech coffee making machines you play with and make your own coffee.
We had solo acts and bands and djs playing in the background.
Lots of stands are giving away mini cups of coffee with others giving away choc nibbles,pastries,cakes etc.
Moma Bircher Muesli Breakfast Pots were very nice.
There could have been a bit more general seating for the amount of people.
Everyone got a goodie bag that included a Starbucks coffee voucher for general use and samples.
It was an enjoyable afternoon here.
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You could combine a visit here with a trip to Rough Trade East which is just a few yards away.
The London Coffee Festival celebrates London’s bustling and vibrant coffee scene.
With over 22,000 visitors expected, The London Coffee Festival promises to be an unmissable
event for discerning coffee lovers and those working in the coffee scene.
The festival will feature over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations from world-class baristas, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs, art exhibitions and much more.
Visitors will also gain access to Milk & Sugar, the new festival feature showcasing some of the most inspirational brands spanning from fashion to design and food.
It continues over the weekend on Sat 02 May and Sun 03 May.
www.londoncoffeefestival.comClick here to buy tickets and for more information.
then
6.15pm to 8pm.
Press view of Voodoo Rays at Boxpark,Shoreditch,London E1.
Trendy pizza place opens another branch in a prime spot at the front of Boxpark.
Yesterday was the launch party but today I have a press visit arranged.
Shoreditch coolness means that a couple of the staff are wearing jean jackets.
The staff are very upbeat and chatty to all customers.
We had two huge slices of complimentary pizza each with some frozen margaritas.
I had a Buffalo Margherita and a The Meat Is On...top quality stone baked pizza.
www.voodoorays.comVisit Voodoo Rays website here.




Friday 01 May 2015...another sad death to report...
R&B and soul singer Ben E King, best known for the classic song Stand By Me, has died at the age of 76.
King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.
After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961.
It returned to the charts in the 1980s, including a three-week spell at number one in the UK following its use in the film of the same name and a TV advert.
I saw him play live a few times with first time being back in 1977.





Thursday 30 April 2015...6.45pm to 9.15pm...
Chestertons Polo In The Park launch party at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel,Knightsbridge,London.
Around 150 smartly dressed folks in the ballroom of this luxury five star hotel.
There are eight polo players here in their teams colours.
There are a couple of speeches and the players pick out the balls to see who plays who in the first games.
Complimentary Lanson Rose champers,gin cocktails,wines,Little Miracles health drinks and
very nice canapés for all guests at this plush venue.
---------------------------------------------
Chestertons Polo In The Park at The Hurlingham Club,Fulham takes place on the weekend of 05,06,07 June 2015.
Chestertons Polo in the Park kicks off with ‘Chukka Friday’, with four afternoon polo matches, including the first England International match played at Hurlingham in 75 years. Bars with direct views of the polo field will be open, along with fresh food outlets and the Luxury Shopping Village.
Corporate guests can dine in style at the exclusive Hurlingham Club before heading across for an afternoon of high-octane polo action followed by afternoon tea. A big crowd is expected each day.
www.polointheparklondon.comVisit their website for more info and to buy tickets.






Wednesday 29 April 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 7.30pm
Ristorante Frescobaldi basement showcase,15 New Burlington Place,London W1.
Italian restaurant that is hidden away just a few yards from Regent Street.
They are showcasing their Art Deco inspired cocktail basement bar that holds around 40 people.
Complimentary Ayala champers and canapés for all guests.
then
Ronnie Wood launch evening to celebrate the upcoming release of his new book,
How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary, The Ambassadors Theatre, West Street,London WC2.
I have a great view five rows from the stage in the centre of the row.
Ronnie Wood is back at this venue where I saw him play solo shows in 2010.
The venue holds a cosy 444 and looks full up.
For those that paid it was £45 a ticket which seemed a bit steep for a Q n A.
On the plus side everyone got a nice Ronnie Wood cloth tote bag which included Ronnie Wood items.
A programme dated for tonight's show, a poster of tonight's show,a Ronnie Wood drawing pencil
and a Ronnie Wood guitar pic.
The event lasted from 8.05pm to 9.40pm and we have a big screen that was well used.
First we have an introduction from BBC Radio dj Annie Nightingale who talks about 1965 and shows
some photos including one of her standing behind Mick Jagger at a recording of the tv programme
Ready Steady Go from the mid 60s.
A short film of Ronnie in his studio painting and drawing was really good.
This intro lasts for around 15 mins then Ronnie comes out in a smart suit and sparkly shoes.
He is joined by former Old Grey Whistle Test host and BBC Radio dj Bob Harris who asks the questions.
They speak mainly about 1965 and have photos and pages from the diary up on the big screen.
The singer with his band from that time The Birds(Ali McKenzie) is in the same row as me helping out
with some of the answers to questions that Ronnie could not remember properly.
There seemed a lack of Rolling Stones members or any other known musicians in the crowd.
Ronnie Woods wife was here and Bill Wymans wife was here but that was about it.
Also here was Ronnie Woods dog that would bark every now and then.
Lots of amusing quotes from the book about playing The 100 Club and many other venues.
Chasing up dodgy promoters that would try and get out of paying them the agreed fee.
The singer said he used to be the one that handled that.
Ronnie talked fondly of the Blues guitar players from America and British guitarists of the time.
Near the end we had a film of Ronnie in the studio with an updated version of 'How Can It Be?'.
A few audience questions at the end included the obvious one about The Faces reforming.
Ronnie said 'Rods manager is all about money,money money but that it will eventually happen'
Ronnie said 'Hopefully I will get Steve Winwood on keyboards'.
Ronnie said 'In the morning I will leave to see my horse run in Ireland'.
Ronnie said 'I leave for Los Angeles on Tuesday for The Stones American Tour'.
The first edition of the book comes out 08 June and another version is out in Sept...beware it ain't cheap...
At the end of the show around 20 of us waited an hour for Ronnie to come out.
He eventually rushed out to his waiting car and did not sign one thing.
A very enjoyable evening.
-------------------------------------------------
The advance words on the event...
They will revisit memories of a life in music, and the audience will be invited to join them looking through the diary Wood kept aged just 17. Ten years before he joined the Rolling Stones, Wood’s musical apprenticeship with The Birds catapulted him onto the stage of London’s swinging music scene. Featuring a cast of characters including Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, Marianne Faithfull and many more, the story of his adventures was handwritten in Wood’s 1965 diary. Inspired by its discovery, Ronnie Wood now presents his journal for the first time, plus rare photos and new artworks of a time of “continuous adventure” when “overspilling energy was more than enough to take care of work every night. We had enough left over to chase girls, write songs... It was all go, all the time.”






Tuesday 28 April 2015...7.15pm to 10pm...
Tatler Magazine in association with Jaeger 'Best of British' party at The Ritz Hotel,Piccadilly,London.
Over 200 upmarket folks spread out over four rooms of this stunning famous five star hotel.
Guests included Nicholas Coleridge, Made In Chelsea star Mark Francis Vandelli, Amanda Wakeley, Jade Ewen, Alice Neylor Leyland, Lady Kitty Spencer and the magazine's editor Kate Reardon. Young socialite Lady Violet Manners was spotted chatting to Cara Delevingne's father Charles Delevingne, while designer Jasmine Guinness and Raine Spencer chatted.
All the rooms are covered in plush carpets with huge paintings on the walls etc.
One room had a huge table completely covered in different flowers.
As the title says it is all British theme tonight and all the food and drinks tonight are from British suppliers.
Lots of the staff are dressed up in British costumes from over the centuries.
We have some Morris Dancers performing some routines.
A piano player played a few tunes in the background.
We have complimentary Nyetimber Sparkling Wines,Gin Cocktails,Pimms,British Beers and food that
included fish n chips,smoked ox pasties,finger sandwiches,scones with clotted cream,strawberries etc.
There was a free tombola and I actually won a prize which was a bag of goodies from Betty's Yorkshire Tea Rooms.
All the guests got a nice goodie bag with some girly items and a Jaeger Gift Voucher.
Also we got a copy of the latest Tatler Magazine that is in the shops now which
includes a 'Best of British' supplement magazine.
A very nice event.





Monday 27 April 2015...I went to two events tonight.
7pm to 8.45pm.
La Brasserie 43rd Birthday Party,272 Brompton Road,London SW3.
La Brasserie, Chelsea, SW3 opened in 1972 and is best known as London's first all day French brasserie. Situated within minutes of South Kensington, Sloane Square and Knightsbridge Underground stations and open from 8am until 11.30pm, this iconic restaurant and bar serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
For one day only they are serving a 1972 menu at 1972 prices.
Starters
Prawn cocktail £1.70
Asparagus and mushroom vol eu vents, chive cream sauce £0.95
Main courses
Coq au vin, pomme puree £2.50
Roast salmon fillet piperade, herb oil £2.50
Desserts
Crepes Suzette £0.43
Black forest gateau £1.04
I had the Prawn cocktail then the Roast salmon and then both desserts.
Sadly the drinks were not at 1972 prices.
The decor was very French and all the staff are dressed in fancy dress outfits of different types.
The tables were quite near each other and it became lively around 8pm as the venue got packed.
The sounds in the background were all from the 1970s.
A nice couple of hours here.
then
9.30pm to 11.30pm.
Press night opening afterparty for American Buffalo at The National Portrait Gallery Cafe,London WC2.
A big crowd of around 400 here for the play that was held earlier at Wyndham's Theatre.
The three actors from the play are all here...Damian Lewis,John Goodman and Tom Sturridge.
Also Rowan Atkinson,Sienna Miller, Sheila Hancock and Rich Hall.
Rowan Atkinson has recently put his rare Ferrari up for sale at £8m.
Complimentary wines,beers and canapés for all guests.
------------------------------------------
Damian Lewis , John Goodman and Tom Sturridge star a major new revival of David Mamet’s gripping 1975 play American Buffalo directed by Daniel Evans at Wyndham’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.
Winning the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best play, American Buffalo examines the fickle nature of honour among thieves. As three small-time crooks, Donny Dubrow, Walter “Teach” Cole and Bobby plan one big-time heist, a tragedy of errors spins this razor-sharp and darkly funny play into a blistering account of divided loyalties, insatiable greed…and a coveted Buffalo nickel.







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
Paper Plane
Mystery Song / Little Lady
Rock 'n' Roll
Caroline
What You're Proposing
Softer Ride
Down Down
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Down the Dustpipe
All the Reasons
Reason for Living
Rollin' Home
Don't Drive My Car
Claudie
Rain
Marguerita Time
Nanana
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World (John Fogerty cover)
Encore:
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.





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May 28, 2015

Wednesday 27 May 2015....I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8.15pm
City Lights exhibition at Lights of Soho,35 Brewer Street,Soho,London W1.
This exhibition features Neon in this new art gallery and members lounge that has its
own bar on both levels.
A very cool arty crowd here and there are old and new Neon lights and signs galore.
Membership to Lights of Soho is just £150 for a year which is a fraction of other members clubs
such as Soho House which cost up to £1400 a year.
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers,Hoxton Gin cocktails and beers for all guests.
The exhibition is on until 05 July 2015.
www.lightsofsoho.comSee their website for more info.
then
8.30pm to 12pm
Veuve Clicquot RICH launch party at The Pompadour Room,Cafe Royal,Regent Street,London W1.
Around 300 guests here in this very plush venue.
Some faces here included Solange Knowles,Julian Macdonald,Kelly Hoppen and Lizzie Cundy.
Also Melissa Odabash,Zara Martin and Grace from Clean Bandit.
RICH is basically a summer champers drink where you add coconut and other flavours along with ice.
Lots of complimentary Veuve Clicquot RICH champers and the normal Veuve Clicquot champers are
flowing for all guests along with canapés.
A dj was playing dance tunes and it was an excellent buzzing party.
At 11pm they closed the main room and we continued in the smaller room on the ground floor for an hour.
www.veuveclicquot.comVisit their website here.





Wed 27 May---Sex Pistols 'God Save The Queen'.
One of the greatest singles of all time was released today in 1977 on my 18th birthday.
Wed 27 May---Happy Birthday to Siouxsie Sioux who is 58 today.
Wed 27 May---Happy Birthday to me.





Tuesday 26 May 2015.
Toto live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Nearly 40 years have passed since a group of exceptionally talented studio musicians decided to start their own band and make original music. That band is Toto, and the group’s 1978 debut marked the beginning of a legendary career that will continue in 2015 with a new tour and the release of the new studio album, Toto XIV.
Mike Porcaro, the longtime bass player for Grammy-winning rock band Toto, died March 2015 aged 59
following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
I saw Toto three times in their 80s heyday with the first time being at Hammersmith Odeon in 1982.
I did not go to Toto last London gig which was at this venue in June 2011 as it clashed with Rod Stewart
and Stevie Nicks in Hyde Park.
The Guardian gave Toto a one star slagging---'tedious,banal and mind-numbingly conservative'...ouch
----------------------------------------------------------
It is not sold out tonight but the venue is pretty full.
There is stalls standing to give the evening a better atmosphere.
Toto arrive on stage at 8.30pm and are on stage for 2 hours 15 mins.
The stage is full as they have two keyboard players,a percussionist and two backing vocals.
The new bass player looks older and more static than Bill Wyman then you notice something.
His bass guitar is on a stand so that's why he is not moving...a bit odd looking I must say.
Steve Lukather is playing plenty of nifty guitar solos.
They have a main vocalist but other members take vocal duties on some songs.
Some of the lesser known songs seem a bit dated due to their 80s keyboard based rock sound.
Really great to see them play their three big tunes live 'Hold The Line','Rosanna' and 'Africa'.
Overall an enjoyable show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Running Out of Time
I'll Supply the Love
Burn
Stranger in Town
I Won't Hold You Back
Holy War
Hold the Line
Takin' It Back
Pamela
Bottom of Your Soul
Without Your Love
Orphan
The Road Goes On
Great Expectations
Rosanna
Encore:
On the Run
Child's Anthem
Encore 2:
The Muse
White Sister
Africa






Both The Standard and The Telegraph gave Paul McCartney at The 02 Arena glowing five star reviews.
The Telegraph said...
Rarely these days, given high ticket prices and soulless venues, does it feel like an unalloyed privilege to go to a rock show. Too often one feels short-changed about something. But watching Paul McCartney play for almost three hours at the O2 was one of those infrequent things: a complete honour.
The Standard said...
Rock aristocracy is all around us in 2015,but there is still only one Paul McCartney.





Monday 25 May 2015.
Mark Knopfler live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was the first of two sold out shows at this venue for Mark Knopfler.
Mark also played The 02 Arena on Fri 22 May as part of his massive European Tour.
Multiple Grammy award-winner Mark Knopfler ex Dire Straits returns to the Royal Albert Hall to promote
his recent eighth studio album 'Tracker' which is out on Virgin/EMI.
Mark led Dire Straits who were one of the biggest bands of the 1980s.
I saw them over a dozen times with the first time as a support band in 1978 to The Talking Heads.
I also saw them at Live Aid.
Mark and his band are on stage for around 2 hours 15 mins.
Songs from 'Tracker' were given a good airing, but there were plenty of oldies too from Knopfler’s past solo work and, of course, a fair smattering of Dire Straits numbers in there too for good measure.
'Tracker' is another collection of carefully observed songs of ordinary lives, essaying folk, blues, country and
early rock’n’roll forms, delivered with a low, mordant, deadpan voice.
Mark is backed by a seven piece top notch band who are playing many different instruments and for
a few tracks they had a sax player as an extra member.
For some songs four types of guitar are being played.
Also support act Ruth Moody came on stage for a couple of songs to help out on vocals.
Mark Knopfler looks like a school teacher these days but still plays some great guitar.
The first eight songs ticked along ok but were hardly exciting then the crowd woke up as he played
great versions of Dire Straits classics 'Romeo & Juliet' and 'Sultans of Swing'.
More solo tracks were pretty laid back affairs before some more Dire Straits gems.
The crowd rushed the front of the stage for the encore.
Like recent Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney shows there are lots of overseas folks in the crowd.
I spotted Ed Bicknell in the crowd who was Dire Straits legendary manager.
He managed Mark for a few years as a solo artist but now Paul Crockford does the job.
Enjoyable enough show but most folks just were waiting for the Dire Straits songs.
Full setlist played tonight...
Broken Bones
Corned Beef City
Privateering
Father and Son
Hill Farmer's Blues
Skydiver (with Ruth Moody on backing vocals)
Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes
I Used to Could (Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits song) (Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits song)
Mighty Man
Postcards from Paraguay
Marbletown
Speedway at Nazareth
Telegraph Road (Dire Straits song)
Encore:
So Far Away (Dire Straits song)
Wherever I Go (with Ruth Moody on vocals and Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Going Home: Theme from Local Hero (Nigel Hitchcock on sax)







Mon 25 May---Happy Birthday to Paul Weller who is 57 today.






Monday 25 May 2015.
On Bank Holiday Monday in central London, hundreds of biodegradable reproduction bank notes were released from a roof top in Carnaby Street, London, to the delight of the general public, who were seen grabbing the money from the sky.
Behind the scattered bank notes was the Grammy-nominated vocalist and songwriter, Melody Gardot, who is in town this week to perform live on Later With Jools Holland on BBC 2 tomorrow night. Melody (whose picture was featured on each bank note) confirmed the purpose of the event was to make a philosophical statement, questioning the definition of mankind’s value, which is the subject of her “groundbreaking”* new album: 'Currency Of Man'.
Melody Gardot states: "What is our worth, and how do we define it? Is it down to money? Is it down to legacy? The 'Currency Of Man' is about worth in this world and how everyone, no matter their status, or origins or colour of their skin, holds a purpose." ‎
The album 'Currency Of Man' is released next Monday on 01 June 2015.
Melody Gardot plays The Royal Festival Hall on Tues 17 Nov 2015.






Sunday 24 May 2015.
Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena,London.
Macca plays the second of two shows at this venue.
Fleetwood Mac can play six nights at The 02 but a few days before Maccas shows there
are still newspaper adverts every day trying to sell tickets for Maccas Sunday show.
The advertising has worked well as we have another full house tonight.
Macca tickets were £125 and £80 on the floor and Level 1 and £80,£65 and £45 up in Level 4.
Again before Macca comes on stage they are playing Macca tunes with his images on the big screen.
Again lots of overseas folks are in the crowd.
As it's a Sunday he comes on stage earlier at 8.05pm and again plays a mammoth 2 hours 50 mins.
There were a couple of song changes in the setlist to yesterday.
I am sitting right of stage a few rows behind David Walliams in the guest block.
There was no special guest on stage tonight and no fan brought on stage during the encore tonight.
Again lots of great stage banter from Paul although most of it was the same as yesterday.
Again Macca mentioned praise to John and George on stage but not a word about Ringo.
Again Paul is using lots of nice different guitars.
Yesterday we had 40 songs played and tonight we have 41 songs played.
Extra songs added tonight were 'Can't Buy Me Love','Ram On' and 'I'm Looking Through You'
which replaced 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'I've Just Seen A Face'.
Another totally mega 10/10 show.






Saturday 23 May 2015.
Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena,London.
Macca brings his 'Out There' world tour to the UK.
I saw Wings play three times in 1975,1976 and 1979.
I have seen Macca solo over a dozen times including the amazing 100 Club show in Dec 2010.
Tonight was the first of two shows here and it is totally sold out.
Fact of the day---These two shows will be Maccas 50th and 51st concerts in London
since he went solo after the split from The Beatles in 1970.
Macca is top notch live and is always someone to get really excited about.
I have a great view in the guest list block right of stage behind Maccas clan.
His wife Nancy is here along with his children Mary,Stella and James and various grandchildren.
Also here is actor Colin Salmon and tv presenters Ant and Dec.
Ant and Dec were pestered through the entire show with folks wanting photos but they obliged all of them.
And and Dec have over 4 million followers on Twitter.
Macca and his great band arrive on stage a bit late at 8.30pm but still play a mammoth set
lasting 2 hours 50 mins that finished at 11.20pm.
Macca is looking and dressing great for a 72 year old.
With the best back catalog in music Macca is always fantastic in concert.
Loads of Beatles classics played mixed in with Wings gems and solo material.
A great stage production with the main screen behind the stage showing nice pre-recorded images
and the big side screens showing live footage.
A fab light show with lasers used as well.
So many incredible highlights in the set that was full of classic singalong tunes.
For a couple of acoustic songs Macca sang on an elevated platform in front of the main stage.
As usual it was pyros and lasers and fire galore for 'Live and Let Die' with an all guns blazing visual treat.
Fans are bringing signs to the gig as Macca now picks out one to come on stage during the encore.
Tonight a guy that was chosen had the sign 'Please sign my wife of 32 years'.
Anyway they are both brought on stage and Macca signs her shoulder.
We had a mega surprise for the encore as Dave Grohl came on for one track.
Needless to say a 10/10 show that will be one of the best gigs of the year for sure.
Full setlist played...
Eight Days a Week (The Beatles song)
Save Us
Can't Buy Me Love (The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
Temporary Secretary (Live debut)
Let Me Roll It (Wings song)
Paperback Writer (The Beatles song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles song)
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen a Face (The Beatles song)
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
Another Day
Hope for the Future (UK Debut)
And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)(Paul solo acoustic on elevated platform in front of the stage)
Here Today (Paul solo acoustic on elevated platform in front of the stage)
New
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
All Together Now (The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita (The Beatles song)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)
Encore:
Another Girl (The Beatles song) (UK Debut)
Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings song)
I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles song) (with Dave Grohl)
Encore 2:
Yesterday (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)






Friday 22 May 2015.
An Evening with Al Pacino live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Al Pacino is now aged 75 and plays an ageing rockstar in his current film 'Danny Collins'.
One of cinema’s most riveting stars Al Pacino shares his passion for acting and directing up close and personal. In an on stage interview with clips (some never seen before) Al Pacino will give a rare glimpse into the creative process of one of our greatest actors. Sharing backstage tales from a lifetime in the world of theatre and film and revealing the inner workings of his most personal work (watch for surprise readings) this one night only event will end with a question and answer session.
Al Pacino has created some of the most indelible character portrayals in cinema history. Starring in over forty films that include The Godfather Trilogy, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Sea of Love, Dick Tracy, Heat, Scarface, Any Given Sunday, Angels in America and most recently You Don’t Know Jack for HBO. He is one of the rare winners of the triple crown of acting: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award and was a recent honoree of the 2012 National Medal of Arts.
---------------------------------------------
A very rare performance from this big screen legend.
He sold out The Palladium a couple of years ago with this show and tonight is totally sold out even though
ticket prices started at £40 and went up to a startling £200 for the front block...like he needs the money.
The whole event lasted around 1 hour 50 mins and Al Pacino looks great for his age.
The first 10 mins is a montage of his iconic clips on the big screen.
Needless to say the clips from 'The Godfather films' and ''Scarface' got the biggest cheers.
Then Al Pacino walked on to a full standing ovation followed by the host for tonight who was
BBC tv film reviewer Mark Kermode.
Mark Kermode mentioned he saw Dr Feelgood here as his first gig at this venue in 1975...I was there too.
The stage production is one nice big screen,two comfy chairs and a table with bottled water on it.
In the crowd i spotted Kelly Jones from The Stereophonics and tv presenter Colin Murray.
Clips of his films would be shown and he would say a few words about them and he was entertaining.
Pacino had interesting anecdotes. He’d enjoyed making Scarface (clearly the favourite film of many in the crowd), but found the Godfather trilogy “a long, awful, tiring story.” The studio was apparently poised to dump him from the first one, his first major film, in which he played Michael Corleone, because he seemed to be contributing little. Then director Francis Ford Coppola shuffled the shooting schedule, moving forward a scene in which Michael shoots rival mobsters in a restaurant. The studio suits saw the rushes and concluded Pacino was OK.
There were some decent revelations when he disclosed film roles he had turned down: Richard Gere’s in Pretty Woman (now that would have made it a different movie); Lenny (the role of Lenny Bruce went to Dustin Hoffman); Harrison Ford’s in Star Wars (“it was mine for the taking but I didn’t understand the script,” he quipped); and both Marlon Brando’s and Martin Sheen’s parts in Apocalypse Now.
He talked fondly of his fave actors including Robert De Niro,Marlon Brando,Johnny Depp and Anthony Hopkins.
Near the end we have 20 mins of questions from a very excited adoring crowd.
We have a few mins advance screening of his 'Danny Collins' film which is released next week.
He also recited an Oscar Wilde poem at the end.
A very enjoyable evening in the presence of this big screen legend who has been in so many great films.





Fri 22 May---Happy Birthday to Morrissey who is 56 today.




Friday 22 May 2015.
Some very interesting news regards Hammersmith Apollo.
Later this year, it will reveal a new high-tech flooring system, with bookings available from early 2016. The latest development will include a modular floor, which can be installed overnight to transform the sloping view for watching gigs into a split-level flat floor for seated dinner events for up to 720 people.
The Apollo's adjustable flooring, which can be moved in and out, will accommodate a diverse range of events, from awards ceremonies to product launches and fashion shows.





Friday 22 May 2015.
The brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has been spotted in London after flying in to attend an Eric Clapton gig.
Concert-goers described Kim Jong-Chul enthusiastically clapping and singing along to the hit Cocaine
at the end of the 70-year-old rock legend's set.
Mr Kim, wearing a blue T-shirt, black leather jacket and sunglasses was met by a Japanese media scrum
as he left the Royal Albert Hall.
According to Japanese broadcaster TBS, he ignored questions about his relationship with his brother
and North Korea's political stability.





Thursday 21 May 2015...6.30pm to 9.30pm...
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2015 at Fortnum & Mason,Piccadilly,London SW1.
Around 300 folks here in the 4th floor restaurant area of this historic store.
There are a few well known tv chefs here including Mary Berry,Paul Hollywood,
Jay Rayner(who played some nice piano later for guests) and Michael Roux Jnr.
At 7.15pm Claudia Winkleman hosts the awards ceremony and all the winners give speeches.
Comedian Jimmy Carr presented James Martin with the TV Personality Of The Year.
We have a couple of other faces here including presenter Lisa Snowden(George Clooney ex girlfriend)
and American actor Stanley Tucci(The Devil Wears Prada,The Hunger Games and many more).
Complimentary Fortnum & Mason champers,wines and some very nice canapés.
All guests got a nice Fortnum & Mason goodie bag with their loose tea,fudge,shortbread biscuits,
marmalade,chocolates,gin drinks and other bits.
A very nice event.
www.fortnumandmasonawards.comCheck the website for the full list of winners.






Wednesday 20 May 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 7.45pm
Sir Terence Conrad 'Conran on Colour' book launch at Conran,81 Fulham Road,London SW3.
Sir Terence Conran is an English designer, restaurateur, retailer and writer.
Now aged 83 he is looking a bit frail these days as he makes a speech sitting down behind a desk.
In Conran on Colour, Sir Terence Conran shares a lifetime of experience as one of the world’s leading designers, retailers and restaurateurs to explain how to make the most of this vibrant and dynamic ingredient.
Around 200 guests here in this large store with complimentary wines for all guests.
then
Eric Clapton live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was Eric's fifth show of his seven here and it was my fourth.
Going back to see the same act on the same tour reminds me of when I had my decade on
front stage security at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s when I would see multi nights
on a tour by the same band....and get paid.
Some multi night highlights off the top of my head include...
Elton John---four shows in 1974(me as a 15 year old before I did security) and nine shows in 1982
AC/DC---three shows in both 1979 and 1980 and four shows in 1982
Duran Duran---three shows in 1981 and six shows in 1982
Dio---three nights in each year of 1984,1986 and 1987
Bon Jovi---four shows---1986
Metallica---three shows---1988
Tonight's Eric show was one hour 55 mins and there is one song that is
added/dropped compared to the other shows i saw.
My thoughts that the show was being filmed for a DVD were confirmed tonight.
The earlier shows had just two cameras at the rear of the floor filming but tonight a dozen chairs at the
front of stage on each side have been removed for a camera each side front of stage.
Again like the other nights support act Andy Fairweather Low came on for the encore.
Loads of great songs played again to a totally sold out crowd that loved it.
Scroll down a bit for the setlist played.






Tuesday 19 May 2015...I went to three events tonight...
6.30pm to 8.15pm
Pas De Deux---Inspired by The Royal Ballet book launch party at The Thames Room,
The Savoy Hotel,The Strand,London WC2.
Around 200 guests in this room that is very nicely adorned with pictures from the book and
fine jewellery displays from the sponsors Boodles.
We have short speeches from Boodles and The Royal Ballet spokespersons.
We have a piano player in the background and there is complimentary Louis Roederer champers,
two different cocktails and some nice canapés.
Half a dozen members of The Royal Ballet are posing for photos.
All guests got a goodie bag that included a copy of the book.
www.boodles.comVisit the Boodles website here.
8.15pm to 9.15pm
Raffles Hotels & Resorts showcase at The Savoy Hotel,The Strand,London WC2.
Around 100 folks here in another room at The Savoy just a few yards from the previous event.
Complimentary Louis Roederer champers and canapés for all guests.
We put business cards in the bowl for the raffle to win one of three short stays at their luxury hotels
around the world(flights not included) but we were not winners.
www.raffles.comVisit the Raffles website here.
then
9.30pm to 11pm
Press night opening afterparty for McQueen at The St James Theatre,London SW1.
This play is based on the sadly missed fashion designer Alexander McQueen who committed suicide.
Around 300 folks here with complimentary wines,beers,burgers and canapés.
British actor Stephen Wight is here who plays Alexander McQueen and he really does look like him.
Also here are actresses Samantha Bond and Anita Harris.
We had a dj and covers band playing in the background.
www.mcqueentheplay.comVisit the website for more info and to buy tickets.






Tuesday 19 May 2015.
John Lydon and Public Image Limited have announced a UK and European Tour.
They play Shepherds Bush Empire on Friday 02 October 2015.
See www.johnlydon.com for the full list of dates.





Tuesday 19 May 2015.
Happy Birthday to Pete Townshend who is 70 today.





Monday 18 May 2015.
Eric Clapton live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Eric Clapton plays the fourth of his seven sold out shows at this venue.
This was the third time I had seen the show and again Eric gets a great reception.
Eric's new album 'Forever Man' has gone straight in at number 8 in the charts on Sunday gone.
Again it was pretty much the same as the other two shows but I made it five mins less on stage
so will find out if a song was dropped which I think was one of the blues covers after the acoustic section.
Eric is wearing the same clothes again so I presume it could be for a DVD recording as there are
a couple of cameras around but no big screens.
You notice different things on different nights.
No photographers have been in the usual pit area front of stage on any night.
The setlist is well paced with most of the big songs in the second half.
Both the keyboard players play three or four great solos each within songs.
The great backing vocalists got the crowd clapping when needed.
Again the fans rushed the stage for the encore.
Another great show in this stunning venue.
We are so lucky in London where many big acts play multi shows when they tour.
Remember so many music legends have passed away over the past few years you gotta
see them live before it's too late.
Scroll down a bit for the list of songs played.






Sunday 17 May 2015.
Eric Clapton + Andy Fairweather Low live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was Eric's third show of his seven night stint here and my second.
It was very similar to the Friday show that I attended.
Again most of the crowd are in early to catch Andy Fairweather Low.
Again it is a totally rammed sold out show.
Again there are lots of Americans and other overseas folks here.
Both the acts played the same set as Friday.
Eric was even wearing the same top,trousers and shoes.
The classic rock acts/legendary heritage acts are coining it in this month as Eric Clapton,
Paul McCartney and Fleetwood Mac all selling best seats for a wallet sapping £125 each.
Eric is again playing all his biggest tracks mixed in with some of his fave blues covers.
Again the acoustic section in the middle where Eric takes a seat for four tracks.
Again the crowd rush to the front of the stage for the encore.This time there is a fan waving
a real electric guitar in the air for Eric to sign...Eric didn't even look at him.
Andy Fairweather Low again joined him on guitar for the encore.
Another great show even though it was pretty much the same show as Friday.
Scroll down a bit to get the full setlist played.





17 May 1975---40 years ago today I saw Led Zeppelin play Earls Court Arena.





Friday 15 May 2015.
Eric Clapton + Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Eric Clapton plays the second of seven sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
He reached his 70th birthday on 30 March 2015.
Eric played two birthday shows at Madison Square Garden a couple of weeks ago.
Music icon Eric Clapton returns to the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate his 70th birthday.
The shows will also mark 50 years since Clapton first played at the iconic London venue - his debut was on
7 December 1964 when he performed as part of the Yardbirds for BBC Two's Top Beat Show.
To date, the legendary guitarist has played the Hall on 198 occasions, including 171 headlining performances.
In 1990 he played 18 RAH shows and in the following year he played a staggering 24 RAH shows.
Eric will be accompanied by his band members Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton,
Sharon White and Michelle John.
Pretty amazing Eric made it to his 70th after all the heroin and booze he consumed in the 60s and 70s.
I have seen Eric play over 30 times including all four Cream shows at The Royal Albert Hall in 2005.
I first saw Eric Clapton in 1976 at The Crystal Palace Bowl.
Eric is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times —
as a solo artist, as a member of Cream and as a member of The Yardbirds.
Eric will promoting his recent release 'Forever Man' which is a 3cd collection 51 tracks best of.
Other acts will play The Royal Albert Hall on Eric Clapton rest days.
------------------------------------------------------
Up first tonight we have Eric's old friend Andy Fairweather Low and his band for 40 mins.
Andy was the singer in Amen Corner in the 1960s and has played with many bands as well as his solo career.
He said on stage he first played this venue in 1967 on a bill supporting Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd.
He played a mix of solo material and blues cover versions.
He was an ideal support act and the set included...
Wide Eyed and Legless(a solo hit that went to number 6 in the UK charts in 1975)
(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice (Amen Corner song)(a number one UK hit in 1969)
Eric Clapton arrives on stage at 8.30pm and is on stage for two hours.
The first thing he said was "this show is dedicated to B.B.".
The venue is totally rammed solid with all the choir area behind the stage totally sold out.
The corporate hospitality in the boxes is one of the busiest I have ever seen it.
Eric is still a great guitarist and still gets a fantastic tone out of his guitar.
His backing band are top notch and his backing vocalists soar when needed.
There was nothing contemporary or cutting edge about this show. What we got, though,
was two hours of serious, technically flawless and occasionally spine-tingling music.
Eric stays within the comfort zone of his expensive oriental rug as usual and if you think he will come forward
to shake hands with those down the front...forget it.
For some songs live images are put up behind him on the wall by the RAH organ.
As he came back for the encore the crowd rushed the front of stage and Eric said
"I will be playing one more song then I gotta get back to bring my two kids to school on a
Saturday morning".
Always a great show even though it felt like any of his other shows from over the past decade.
Full setlist played tonight...
Somebody's Knocking (J.J. Cale cover)
Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover)
Pretending
Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon cover)
You Are So Beautiful (Billy Preston cover) (Vocals: Paul Carrack)
Can't Find My Way Home (Blind Faith song) (Vocals: Nathan East)
I Shot the Sheriff (The Wailers cover)
Driftin' Blues (Johnny Moore's Three Blazers cover) (Crowd sang 'Happy Birthday' to Eric Clapton before
the acoustic part began, Acoustic---Eric seated)
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Jimmy Cox cover) (Acoustic---Eric seated)
Tears in Heaven (Acoustic---Eric seated)
Layla (Derek and the Dominos song) (Acoustic---Eric seated))
Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley cover)
Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson cover)
Let It Rain
Wonderful Tonight
Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
Cocaine (J.J. Cale cover)
Encore:
High Time We Went (Joe Cocker cover) (Lead Vocals: Paul Carrack; with Andy Fairweather Low)





15 May/16 May 1976---39 years ago i went to both KISS shows at Hammersmith Odeon on their debut UK tour.
That was the only time they have played that venue.
Fri 15 May---Lambert & Stamp---the docu on The Who's managers is on at selected cinemas the next month.





Thursday 14 May 2015...I went to two events tonight...
London weather playing tricks again as yesterday was lovely sunshine all day and today
it is raining all day and feels like Winter is back again.
7pm to 8.45pm.
Browns Hotel Summer Party at Browns Hotel,Albemarle Street,London W1.
This party in this five star hotel was hosted by its owner Sir Rocco Forte.
The hotel is split into four themed areas--Ascot,Wimbledon,Henley and Chelsea Flower Show.
There are staff dressed in outfits to match the four areas.
A huge party for over 500 folks with a great guest list of known faces including
Prince & Princess Michael Of Kent,Jeremy Paxman,Lord Jeffrey Archer,Sol Campbell,Sir Melvyn Bragg,
Michael Howard(Tory MP),Henry Wyndham(Chairman of Sothebys),Rachel Johnson(sister of Boris),
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson,Chelsea Davy(ex girlfriend of Prince Harry),Oliver Peyton,Caggie Dunlop,
Amber Atherton and no doubt a few others.
Loads and loads of complimentary booze and food as there is Ruinart champers,different cocktails,
Pimms,wines and various food stations including an oyster bar.
There was a fun photo booth at one end that was very popular.
This was a full on no expense spared mega bash.
-----------------------------------------
then a few mins walk up the road...
The David Sinclair Four live at The Borderline Club,London.
The DS4 launch their new album 4 at the Borderline tonight.
They were on stage for around 65 mins and the sound from the stage was fantastic.
The band played the album in full in track order as the main set with a couple of other tracks for encores.
Tracks varied from the blues to reggae to good old rock n roll.
The lyrics are great and you can hear every single word as they tell the story.
Lots of nifty guitar playing and the band are super tight.
I have seen the band a few times before so I have heard most of the album tracks already.
The songs are really well crafted and they grow on you and stay in your head.
I would say it is their best album to date.
There are a few people here I know tonight and i even get a nice name check from the stage.
At the end of the main set David celebrated by punching the air with a big smile on his face.
A job well done.
Full setlist played tonight...
1. Sick of Being Good
2. The Click-clack Man
3. Life Gone Cold
4. Crude Emotion
5. Down By the Canal (Feat. Maxi Priest on the cd and another reggae singer Nolan Frederick on stage tonight)
6. World Turns Around (Feat. Paul Jones on the cd and Laurence Garmen ex Yardbirds(Harmonica)on stage tonight)
7. The Illness and the Cure
8. Give Me a Rose
9. Coming Out of the Rain(Feat. Lorna Reid on the cd and on co vocals on stage tonight)
10. Coming Off the Rails (Feat. Paul Jones on the cd and Lorna Reid on co vocals and
Laurence Garmen(Harmonica) on stage tonight)
Encore
11.Little Rock & Roll
12.Let It Rock(Chuck Berry cover )
www.davidsinclairfour.comVisit the David Sinclair Four website here for more info.
---------------------------------------------
then
10.45pm to 12pm.
Back to the Browns Hotel Summer Party.
Back to the party i was at earlier as the complimentary booze and food is still flowing and a dj has
got some of the folks dancing in the corner.
All the celebs have left but it was a mega bash for sure.






Thursday 14 May 2015...another sad death to report...
Legendary Blues guitarist BB King has passed away.
The musician, who had been recording music and performing live since the late 1940s, died in his sleep
in Las Vegas, aged 89.
BB King suffered ill health in recent times and was receiving "home hospice care" following his recent hospitalisation. The guitarist and singer was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas in April, with the reason cited as "the result of dehydration from his Type II diabetes".
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
I saw him around a dozen times playing live with the first time being in 1978.





Thursday 14 May 2015.
U2 have started their world tour in Canada.
All the shows are indoor arenas so they are playing multi shows in big cities rather than a big stadium venue.





Thurs 14 May---Steven Tyler new single will receive its first radio play today in the UK on
Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
Steven Tyler announces his debut Country single ‘Love Is Your Name’ will be released in the UK on 29 June.
It is the first single from his highly-anticipated debut solo album, to be released in the Autumn.





Wednesday 13 May 2015...I went to two events today...
7pm to 8.30pm
Book launch --- 'The Luxury Collection Of Hotels & Resorts : Certified Indigenous' at
Maison Assouline,196A Piccadilly,London W1.
Following extensive refurbishment, Assouline has taken over 196A Piccadilly, London, a building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922, which used to be a pretty plain gallery space.
It now looks completely stunning with classic books on the shelves along with a permanent bar,tables and comfy chairs.
You can buy a drink while you browse the books at any time of day.
The staff are serving drinks in Budapest Hotel type uniforms.
Guests here included Mary Charteris,Laura Hayden,Amy Molyneaux,Daisy de Villeneauve and Robbie Furze.
Complimentary Krug champers,two different cocktails and canapés for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag with a copy of the book inside.
A very nice event.
www.assouline.comVisit the Assouline website here.
then a few mins walk up the road to...
Dana Fuchs Band live at The Borderline Club,London.
Dana Fuchs is on a UK tour to promote her recent album 'Songs From The Road'.
Dana played Janis Joplin in the off Broadway production of 'Love Janis' and had a
starring role in the Beatles based musical film 'Across The Universe'.
Dana now aged 39 has released a few albums over the past decade or so.
She looks fantastic,wearing tight jeans and a tight top with her mane of long curly hair.
Dana from New Jersey has a full throttle blues rock vocal style which is pretty amazing to watch.
Her set was a mix of her own material and a few cover versions and her band were top notch.
Every song she is putting 100% into it vocally as she tosses her hair and spends a lot of time
on her knees singing to her captivated fans.
Dana talked of the loss of her father and brother in the past year.
Despite looking totally drained at the end of the show Dana still found the energy to
leave the backstage area to sign CDs and DVDs by her merch stand a few mins after the gig.
A really good show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Almost Home
Bliss Avenue
Handful Too Many
Livin' On Sunday
God's Song (Randy Newman cover)
Nothin' On My Mind
Set It On Fire
So Hard To Move
Ain't Nobody's Fault but Mine (Otis Redding & Carla Thomas cover)
Hiding From Your Love
Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover)
Goin' Down
Encore:
Ring Of Fire (Merle Kilgore cover)(made famous by Johnny Cash)
Keep On Walkin'
----------------------
watch the video hereDana Fuchs doing a rockin' cover of The Beatles song 'Helter Skelter'...▶ 5:01
----------------------
www.danafuchs.comVisit the Dana Fuchs website here for more info and tour dates.






Wednesday 13 May 2013.
Rick Buckler ex drummer of The Jam has a book out.
'That's Entertainment : My Life In The Jam'.
Paul Weller split The Jam up in 1982 at the height of their success.
Paul Weller has not spoken to Rick since 1983.
I saw The Jam six times during their heyday including gigs at The Rainbow Theatre,Hammersmith Odeon
and Wembley Arena.





Wednesday 13 May 2015.
watch the video hereJohn Lydon full interview and Q n A from The 100 Club from 26 April 2015. ▶ 45:33
As a 17 year old I attended The Sex Pistols legendary show at The 100 Club in Sept 1976.
A picture of me in the crowd from that show is hanging at the back of The 100 Club.



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