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Archive: March 2016
March 17, 2016
Thursday 17 March 2016.
Paul Daniels has died at the age of 77, his publicist has confirmed.
The magician and TV personality had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in February. According to The Mirror, Daniels had been undergoing treatment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital but decided to return to his home in Henley-on-Thames on Sunday (March 13) to spend his final days with family.
He was one of those who was always on the telly when I was growing up.
He achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show,
which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994.
Current popular magician Dynamo said he was a major inspiration.
BBC presenter Cliff Michelmore dies.
The broadcaster, whose career spanned four decades, has died in hospital at the age of 96. Described as one of TV's best loved presenters, Michelmore interviewed The Prince of Wales, Harold Wilson, and a 17 year old David Bowie during his time, as well as fronting Twenty-Four Hours and Holiday. He's survived by his children Guy and Jenny.
Thursday 17 March 2016.
Malcolm McLaren's son to burn punk collection.
Joe Corré, the son of Vivienne Westwood and the late Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren is planning to burn his collection of punk memorabilia, estimated to be worth £5m, in protest at the way 'punk's legacy has been co-opted by the mainstream'. The founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur says the ceremonial burning will take place in Camden, London, November 26, to coincide with the anniversary of the Sex Pistols single Anarchy in the UK.
Wednesday 16 March 2016...I went to two events tonight....
6.30pm to 9pm
ZIMA launch party at ZIMA ,45 Frith Street,Soho,London W1.
ZIMA is the Russian word for Winter.
ZIMA is a Russian Street Food & Bar in the basement of Jean-Jacques Brasserie with a great location
as it is right next to the legendary Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.
ZIMA is a totally new concept that combines Russian street food and drink in a kitsch speakeasy atmosphere,
and it will open to the public on the 31st of March.
Street and gourmet food combine in an array of tapas-style creations featuring classic ingredients
from all corners of this vast country : sturgeon, herring, scallops, crab, venison and, of course, caviar.
Also there are several Vodka infusion drinks along with prosecco,wines and Russian beers.
They are aiming for a more casual way of having caviar as ZIMA.
Looking like a Soviet-era speakeasy vodka bar, the restaurant is adorned with
propaganda slogans and symbols embossed on porcelain.
The staff did a great job of explaining the ingredients and areas that all the food came from.
The company that owns ZIMA also runs a few English pubs in Moscow.
We enjoyed a great selection of plates of food and drinks here tonight.
Well worth a visit when you are in Soho or pop in before Ronnie Scott's.
www.zimabar.comCheck out the Zima website here for more info or tel 0207 494 9111.
www.theupcoming.co.ukCheck out their website under the Food & Drinks section which features great
pictures of the event showing the food and guests and if you look closely you will see me in a couple of them.
PURSON live at The 100 Club,London.
Purson are a psychedelic rock band from London, England. Founded by Rosalie Cunningham. Purson formed after Cunningham disbanded her previous project Ipso Facto.They are signed with Spinefarm / Universal.
Rosalie Cunningham describes the sound as "vaudeville carny psych".
I saw them a year ago supporting Alan Parsons Live Project at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The band are on a UK tour to promote their second album 'Desires Magic Theatre'...out April 2016...
Purson arrived on stage at 9.30pm and played a 70 mins set.
It is pretty full in here as the band are gradually making a name for themselves.
They certainly looked the part as all of them are dressed in early 1970s attire.
They played a decent set that ticked along nicely and the highlight for me was their new single
'Electric Landlady' with its Hendrix vibe that has also got a great official video up on YouTube.
Sadly i was on the guest list for this but I could not get along as the same time as the ZIMA event.
Michael Gaffney: The Champ: My Year with Muhammad Ali - launch party
Proud Gallery Camden, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1.
The beautiful photographs show Ali, the first boxer ever to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World three times, during the later years of his career, around 1977 - 78.
They will be on show until 15 May 2016.
Tuesday 15 March 2016.
The Stranglers + The Alarm live at The Hexagon,Reading.
The Stranglers are playing their annual month long March UK tour.
I have seen The Stranglers over 20 times since 1976 when they were a support band.
I have seen The Alarm around 20 times since 1985.
James Stevenson will be on guitar for The Alarm.
The Stranglers always have a great support act on their March tour.
No booze for me tonight as i had a tooth out and three fillings at the dentist in the afternoon.
Arrived at the venue early to make sure I saw both bands on this great double bill.
I end up watching both bands from second row on the right of stage with a perfect view.
A nice sized venue with 1000 floor standing and around 650 seated upstairs.
The Alarm arrived on stage at 7.40pm and played a 50 mins set.
The Alarm play a fantastic set of older gems and newer material.
Singer Mike Peters is a bonafide Welsh music icon with his uplifting songs and passion.
Recently Mike Peters revealed he’s fighting cancer for the third time.
Mike beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1995 and leukaemia 10 years later, but has now been told the illness has returned.
Despite his illness he is still playing loads of gigs and his vocals are nice and clear.
James Stevenson played some nifty guitar and the drummer was great.
The Alarm setlist played tonight...
Kill Kill Kill
The Drunk and the Disorderly
One Guitar(Willie Nile cover)
Spirit of '76
The Stranglers arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour 45 mins.
The very loyal Stranglers fans are out in force as usual.
This is the 'Black and White' tour which is named after the bands third album which was released in 1978.
They play the album in full tonight.
All the stage and bands stage wear is made up of only black and white.
The Stranglers still feature two original members on bass and keyboards.
Jean Jaques is playing brilliant rumbling bass lines as he does his little dance shuffle and cocks his leg.
Their singer does a great job on the Hugh Cornwell songs and the more recent songs.
He has some fun banter with the crowd including slagging off the local footie team.
They have been swapping the encores around each show so tonight we get
'Go Buddy Go' instead of 'Peaches'.
A great set and a brilliant evening of excellent live bands.
Setlist highlights included
Nice n Sleazy
Get A Grip On Yourself
Walk On By(cover)
Always The Sun
I Feel Like A Wog
Something Better Change
Go Buddy Go
No More Heroes
Monday 14 March 2016...I went to two events tonight...
5.30pm to 6.25pm
Very.co.uk - VIP unveiling - at Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, London, W1.
A smaller event than expected as only around 30 folks here in this small gallery space.
Paul Wellers daughter Leah was the dj here.
Spanish social media sensation Cindy Kimberly was unveiled as the new face of the online fashion retailer's spring collection. Starring in her first ever fashion campaign, Kimberly rocketed to fame last year when Justin Bieber shared her photograph asking his millions of followers, 'OMG who is this?'.
Very (also known as Very.co.uk) is a online retailer .The brand was launched in the UK in July 2009 as part of Shop Direct Group. Very had formerly been known as Littlewoods Direct.
They are showcasing some of their spring collection here.
Choice of three different complimentary cocktails and canapés here.
www.very.co.ukVisit the Very website here for more info.
then just around the corner to...
6.30pm to 9.30pm
CODE Hospitality - showcase - at Ham Yard Hotel,Soho,London W1.
Around 200 guests here in their basement where the two private bowling lanes are.
The two lanes of bowling were used all through the night by guests.
CODE Hospitality are showcasing their App which features special offers at restaurants.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food here including Cava Rose,wines,beers,
pulled pork burgers,chicken strips and canapés.
www.codehospitality.co.ukVisit the Code Hospitality website here.
Saturday 12 March 2016...I went to two events today.
2.30pm to 5pm...matinee show.
LET IT BE at The New Wimbledon Theatre,Wimbledon,London SW19.
I saw this Beatles musical a couple of times when it was in The West End.
It is now playing weekly stints at theatres all over the UK until July 2016.
Nice to see it in the same week that The Beatles producer George Harrison passed away.
The band dedicated the show to him.
The show is on for two hours over two sets of 60 mins each.
Over 30 Beatles classic tracks played one after the other.
There are half a dozen costume changes and the band sound and act like The Beatles.
The bass player is left handed like the real Macca.
There are two huge tv screens showing real Beatles footage and tv adverts from the 1960s.
Lots of singing and clapping along and most are up and dancing for the last 30 mins.
Relive The Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces, with live performances of early tracks including Twist and Shout, She Loves You and Drive My Car, as well as global mega-hits Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together and, of course, Let It Be. Travel back to the magical Sixties when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends!
A very enjoyable show.
www.letitbelive.comVisit their website for more info and to buy tickets.
6.45pm to 9.30pm
PORKYS BBQ - press review - 343 Fulham Road,London SW10.
There's a new barbeque restaurant in Chelsea as PORKYS open their fifth restaurant.
It is located five mins from The Kings Road and Chelsea Football Ground.
If you've been to one of their other restaurants, you'll have an idea of what to expect - lots of "ribs and tips",
18 hour smoked pulled pork, burgers and they'll be serving hot-dogs for the first time too.
Porkys are known for their Memphis style cooking.
There are pictures of Memphis music legends on the wall and Memphis sounds are on in the background.
The manager gave us a nice full description of PORKYS and their style of cooking.
We had BBQ Ribs and Wings,Pulled Pork Croquettes,Beef Chilli,Calamari,Garlic Toast to share
then a Pulled Pork Burger with bacon and cheese with fries each,then a cheesecake dessert.
This was washed down with a bottle of water and a Whiskey Sour cocktail.
It's a smallish size compared to other restaurants so was full up when we were there.
The staff were kept busy as one of the waitress staff went sick at short notice.
If you love BBQ food PORKYS is well worth a visit.
www.porkys.co.ukVisit the PORKYS website for more info.
Friday 11 March 2016...another sad death to report...
Prog rock legend Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer has died at the age of 71.
The band confirmed on its Facebook page this evening that keyboardist Emerson passed away last night (10 March).
The band's statement reads: "We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family's privacy and grief be respected."
Emerson, Carl Palmer and Greg Lake formed prog rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer in London in 1970. The band released seven albums, all of which went gold in the US, before splitting in 1979. They released a further two albums during a '90s reunion and also reformed for a North American tour in 2010.
They sold millions of albums in the 1970s.
ELP were not my cup of tea in the 1970s but i did see them a couple of times when they reformed.
Their final gig together came at London's High Voltage Festival in July 2010...I was there...
The death of Keith Emerson is being investigated as a suicide.
Law enforcement sources tell that the EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER keyboardist had a single gunshot
wound to the head when his girlfriend found him in their home in Santa Monica, California.
Friday 11 March 2016.
MACHINE HEAD live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Machine Head are on a month long UK and European Tour.
I have seen them a couple of times before including a headline show at Wembley Arena.
Machine Head are an American Metal/Thrash band.
Singer Robb Flynn says "we are fed up playing 45 or 50 mins sets at Download and other festivals
so tonight we are going to play the best tracks of our 20 years plus career and we are going to be
on stage for 2 hours 45 mins "....and thats exactly how it was.
The sound was excellent and it complimented the great lights and strobes show.
The floor standing is a heaving mess of sweating moshing bodies that had some of the
biggest circle pits i have seen at this venue.
From the circle it was amazing to look down on the fanatical crowd below me.
They play loud and fast and certainly blast any cobwebs out of your ears.
Between songs the crowd continually chant "Machine Fucking Head".
Robb Flynn calls the venue Hammersmith Odeon seven or eight times in tribute to all
the rock bands that he saw on video from live gigs here including Motörhead,Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC.
"Thank God this Rock & Roll church is still standing" Robb says.
Robb has got some great stage banter.
The ended with their big track 'Halo' complete with confetti over the crowd.
A really good show.
Friday 11 March 2016.
Check out some fantastic punk gig atmosphere on YouTube.com
Type in google....Sham 69 Jimmy Pursey 60th birthday gig at The 100 Club.
Raw footage done on an iPhone with crap sound but great to watch the chaos.
I am there at 2.55 mins in standing right of the pillar just behind the mosh pit.
Thursday 10 March 2016...I went to two events tonight...
5.30pm to 7.30pm
Wheelers Oyster Bar & Grill Room - First birthday party - at 5 Threadneedle Street,Bank,London EC2.
Around 150 folks here at this nicely designed space.
We have complimentary prosecco,wines,beers and food including yummy lamb burgers,
canapés and of course oysters from West Mersea.
We had a jazz trio called Behind The Lines playing in the background.
What they say...
This stunning Marco Pierre White Wheeler's Oyster Bar & Grill Room, Bank restaurant opened in March 2015 on Threadneedle Street, Bank, next to the Threadneedles Hotel.
The Oyster Bar & Grill Room is a new concept by Marco that looks to build on the history of Wheeler’s, which is famed for being the oldest fish brand in the world, counting Lucien Freud and Walt Disney amongst some of its famous diners.
However, it is not just for fish lovers, there is plenty of meat on the menu too. Marco has created a menu that gives a nod to the history but has evolved it to what today’s diner wants.
On the menu there are some of Marco’s favourite dishes including Grilled Dover Sole a la Salamander, Whitstable Rock Oysters and Rillet of Duck.
Other items include Classic Wheeler’s Fish Pie, Mr Lamb Shepherd’s Pie and a range of steaks from Rib of Beef and Sirloin to Fillet and Entrecote of Veal with Oysters.
With a separate bar area, Wheeler’s Oyster Bar & Grill Room, is not just for dining. It’s the perfect setting for a business meeting, after work drink or bar snack. There is something on offer for every occasion.
www.mpwrestaurants.co.ukVisit the website here.
THE FAMILY SILVER live at Under The Bridge at Chelsea F.C,London.
This is their debut London show.
The Family Silver are a new band featuring Steve White ( The Style Council, Jon Lord, La Roux ), Matt Deighton ( Mother Earth, Oasis, Bill Fay, Paul Weller ) & Damon Minchella ( Ocean Colour Scene, Richard Ashcroft, The Who ).
The Family Silver’s debut album, 'Electric Blend', features 12 superbly crafted original songs delivered with the entire musical prowess you’d expect from three musicians who have made a significant contribution to British popular music over the past 30 years. The album has been compared to the very best of what these musicians have achieved with the refreshing return of classic British songwriting.
Singer Matt Deighton temporarily replaced Noel Gallagher in Oasis when he quit in the middle of touring in 2000.
Steve White has worked extensively with Paul Weller and The Style Council amongst others.
The loyal Weller fans hold Steve in high regard and tonight the 550 capacity is sold out.
The band take to the stage just after 9pm and play an 80 mins set.
There are five musicians on stage with the main trio backed by a keyboard player and a female vocalist.
The band create a great groove mixing rock,soul,jazz and folk.
There are hints of The Style Council and Paul Weller in some of the songs.
They played all the album and a couple of brand new tracks.
In the middle of the set Steve White came to the front of the stage and thanked the fans for supporting the
band by buying the album via PledgeMusic.
Between songs Matt had some fun stage banter for the crowd.
The venue has a high tech big screen which was used well with various images.
The last song of the night featured some stunning drum fills from Steve White.
The band are in their early stages but you can see that the only way is up.
A good show.
www.thefamilysilver.co.ukCheck their website for more info on the band and to buy the album.
Wednesday 09 March 2016...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8.30pm
Grange Park Opera - launch event at Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1.
Around 200 smartly dressed posh folks at this famous posh store.
We have a couple of well known names here including Joanna Lumley and Bamber Gasgoine.
Bamber Gasgoine actually hosted a University Challenge here between two teams which was good fun.
Opera singer Simon Keenlyside sung four arias backed by a piano player.
Lots of complimentary food and drinks here tonight including Fortnum & Masons champers,
wines,bowl food including scrambled egg,salmon and bacon,canapés and desserts.
All guests got a goodie bag with Fortnum & Masons items.
A very nice event.
What they say about the venue...
Grange Park Opera is a professional opera company whose base is The Grange in Northington, Hampshire, England. The company was founded in 1998 by Wasfi Kani, OBE and Michael Moody. It stages an annual opera festival in the months of June and July in an award-winning theatre seating 550 people, contained within a Greek revival temple.
‘If you have not been to Grange Park yet, then you should simply rush there: the semi-ruined mansion is a wonder, and the theatre a little gem. Not only will you experience some innovative productions and fine singing, but you’ll find the surroundings as blissfully bucolic as you could hope for... The staff are all brimming with enthusiasm for the place, the atmosphere is totally unstuffy, and you just won’t be able to stop yourself muttering things like Et in Arcadia ego.’
www.grangeparkopera.co.ukVisit their website for more info and to buy tickets.
www.fortnumandmason.comVisit the Fortnum & Mason website here.
9pm to 10.15pm
Mast Brothers Chocolate x Mr Foggs party at The Conrad Hotel,22 - 28 The Broadway,London SW1.
Very nice to be at this plush hotel opposite St James Park tube station.
This event started at 6pm so we missed the bowl food but the Mumm champers and gin cocktails are still going.
Also there are half a dozen different desserts still going.
All guests got a goodie bag.
About MAST Brothers Chocolate...
Whether you’ve seen their beautifully wrapped bars for sale at Shake Shack or Rag & Bone, featured in the pages of the New York Times or Vogue, or decorating one of their New York, London, or soon, LA shops, Mast Brothers chocolate bars have become the world’s most prominent brand of artisanal chocolate.
www.mastbrothers.co.ukVisit the Mast Brothers website for more info.
About MR FOGGS TAVERN ,St Martins Lane,London WC2...
Greeted by a raucous welcome, guests can revel in real ales, ‘mother’s ruin’ gin cocktails and grog in traditional tankards and pewter cups. Weary travellers will be able to tuck into honest fare including ‘London’s finest pie’ and roast of the day sandwiches all day and night.
www.mr-foggs.comVisit the Mr Foggs Tavern website for more info.
Wednesday 09 March 2016.
Sad news that legendary Beatles producer George Martin has passed away at the age of 90.
Adam Sharp, who represented both George and his son Giles, said in a statement: “We can confirm that Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday 8 March. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.
“In a career that spanned seven decades he was recognised globally as one of music’s most creative talents and a gentleman to the end. The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”
George received a knighthood in 1996 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999.
Tuesday 08 March 2016...6.30pm to 9pm...
Aqua London Summer Menu Showcase at Aqua London,5th Floor,30 Argyll Street,London W1.
A big crowd of around 300 folks here at this venue opposite The London Palladium.
You would never know the size of this venue from the small entrance at the front.
This is just one of the three areas they have up here and if you add them all together they can
host 800 people standing.
Around three quarters here are female PAs and secretaries who book events for their companies.
We had a dj playing and the last hour some of the girls were dancing on the floor.
A fun photo booth was very popular.
You can see why the venue has been used for film and theatre after-parties.
Lots of complimentary booze and food for all including a choice of three cocktails,wines,beers,
bowl food,canapés and desserts.
A lively buzzing event.
www.aqua-London.comVisit the Aqua London website here
Tuesday 08 March 2016.
Hopefully ex Rolling Stone Bill Wyman will get through this ok.
Bill has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He is undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery as it was caught in the early stages.
Monday 07 March 2016.
Lulu live at The Swan Theatre,High Wycombe.
Lulu on a month long UK tour but no London show confirmed.
On 13 April 2015 Lulu released her first new studio album in a decade, Making Life Rhyme, featuring 11 new tracks. The album was released on the Decca label, the first new material for the label Lulu had recorded since moving to Columbia records in 1966.
Lulu has been a singer and tv entertainer for 50 years.
Lulu has had 19 Top 40 UK hits including a No 3 hit in 1974 with the David Bowie track 'The Man Who Sold The World'.
In the late 1960s/early 1970s she had her own tv show where Jimi Hendrix made a famous appearance.
In Jan 1969 an episode of her tv show is remembered for Jimi Hendrix's unruly live appearance during which, after playing about two minutes of "Hey Joe", Hendrix stopped and announced "We'd like to stop playing this rubbish and dedicate a song to Cream, regardless of what kind of group they may be in, dedicate to Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce." He then broke into "Sunshine of Your Love" ...Cream had just broken up.
With the studio director signalling for Hendrix to stop he continued. Unrepentant.
On the show in 1973 she sang with Marc Bolan on his track 'Life's A Gas'...the clip is up on youtube...
I have been to this venue a couple of times over the years to see gigs plus in 1980 i was at
High Wycombe Town Hall to see Joy Division/Killing Joke/A Certain Ratio.
It may be cold outside but it's warm and cosy inside this all seater venue that holds just over 1,000.
As expected it is an older crowd here.
Lulu and her five piece band are on for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 65 mins.
Lulu looks amazing and many years younger than her age of 67.
Plenty of chat between songs and she clearly still loves performing.
We had a good mix of hits,covers and tracks from her recent album.
We had a nice surprise as 24 members of The Military Wives Choir joined her for a song.
Lulu was married to Maurice Gibb for a few years and dedicated a trio of Bee Gees songs to him,
Folks are all up and dancing for the last three songs.
A very enjoyable show.
Full setlist played...
Relight My Fire(Dan Hartman cover)
Faith In You
The Man Who Sold the World(David Bowie cover)
Where the Poor Boys Dance
I Don't Wanna Fight(written by Lulu and her brother and a big hit for Tina Turner)
Unchain My Heart(Ray Charles cover)
Every Single Day
Cry (with 24 members of The Military Wives Choir)
Run to Me(Bee Gees cover)
To Love Somebody(Bee Gees cover)
I've Gotta Get a Message to You(Bee Gees cover)
The Answer Is Love
To Sir, With Love(Lulu sung the theme tune to this 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier)
Hound Dog(Big Mama Thornton cover)
Try a Little Tenderness(Ray Noble and His Orchestra cover)
Shout(The Isley Brothers cover)
I Can't Turn You Loose(Otis Redding cover)
25 Miles(Edwin Starr cover)
Monday 07 March 2016.
AC/DC have announced that they have rescheduled a handful of US live dates after singer Brian Johnson was advised by doctors to "stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss".
The hard rock band have issued a statement on their official website confirming that the remaining dates of their US tour will be "made up later in the year, likely with a guest vocalist".
The group had also been set to perform stadium gigs in Manchester and London during June, although it is not currently known whether these shows will continue to go ahead with or without Johnson.
AC/DC without Brian Johnson and with a different singer?...they are already pretty much a tribute act.
Monday 07 March 2016
GREGORY PORTER new album---Released on Decca Records on 6th May
The hotly anticipated follow up to the Grammy-winning, million-selling album Liquid Spirit
Featuring 'Holding On', the original soul piano ballad that became Disclosure's run away dance hit of last year
This generation’s most successful jazz and soul singer-songwriter, the man in the hat, Mr Gregory Porter, is back, with new album 'Take Me To The Alley'.
Released on Decca Records on 6th May, this is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Porter's sensational modern classic, the Platinum-selling 'Liquid Spirit', which took the UK by storm last year as it broke into the Top 10 and became the most streamed jazz album of all time. The record quickly grew into a global phenomenon, selling a million albums worldwide, and positioning Porter as the voice of the moment. ‘Liquid Spirit’ took Porter from being the biggest name on the jazz scene to being one of the most sought-after singers around today, performing sell-out shows at such venues as London's Royal Albert Hall, the Roundhouse and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and being invited to perform on high profile TV programmes including Graham Norton, Strictly Come Dancing and the BBC Music Awards.
Sunday 06 March 2016.
Happy Birthday to David Gilmour who is 70 today.
Saturday 05 March 2016.
'The Long Road' album on Red Cross Records...release date 04 March 2016.
You have to admire Robert Plant for shunning the multi-millions of a Led Zeppelin re-union
and focusing on his solo work and lending his help to projects like this.
Some of the country’s most cutting-edge talent have signed up to make a concept album –
based on the real-life stories of refugees and asylum seekers.
Robert Plant,Scroobius Pip, Kindness and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are among the
artists to team up with the British Red Cross to make the groundbreaking record.
Brit Award winner Ethan Johns, who has worked with the Kings of Leon, Laura Marling and The Vaccines, is set to produce.
To create The Long Road album, artists have each paired up with someone forced to flee their home and seek safety in the UK.
Robert Plant who recorded a version of the Elbow track 'The Blanket Of Night' which tells the tale of refugees
attempting a treacherous journey to attain asylum in the UK says ''Its paramount we all do our best one way
or another to help in this worldwide catastrophe'.
A 41 second tease of the Robert Plant track is up on YouTube.
A narrative through the album spotlights real-life experiences of refugees and asylum seekers.
1. Tinariwen - Kek Algahalam Mas Tasossam (Why Is The World Silent) - Tinariwen
2. Scroobius Pip Ft. Didier Kisala - Who Are You? - Scroobius Pip
3. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars - World Peace - Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
4. Robert Plant - The Blanket of Night - Robert Plant
5. Kindness - A Retelling of The Hardest Story I'd Ever Heard - Kindness
www.redcross.org.ukClick here for more info and to buy via The Red Cross.
Amazon are selling it for £7.99.
All proceeds go to The Red Cross.
Saturday 05 March 2016.
Jerry Hall got married to Rupert Murdoch this weekend.
Murdoch, 84, the owner of News UK, has been married three times. Hall, 59, was the partner of
Rolling Stones lead singer Sir Mick Jagger for more than 20 years.
The venue in the heart of Fleet Street proclaims itself "the Journalists' Church", offering
"a spiritual home to all who work in the media".
Around 100 guests attended the service, including the couple's 10 children from previous marriages.
Sir Bob Geldof and former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman attended.
Among the prestigious guest list was composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and Sir Michael Caine.
Paul Dacre, Rebekah Brooks and Alan Yentob also attended, as did British artist Tracey Emin.
As music and singing filled the church crowds of onlookers pressed up against the railings hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous couple.
Murdoch, whose News UK company publishes The Times and The Sun newspapers, gave reporters a thumbs up before entering the church, flanked by his sons James and Lachlan.
Barry Humphries, the Australian comedian better known as Dame Edna Everage, joked: "I'm not getting married" as reporters asked him how he was feeling.
Saturday 05 March 2016...sad news of a musician passing away that I saw back in the day...
Former Budgie guitarist John Thomas has died aged 63, it’s been reported.
His death was confirmed by the band’s longtime drummer Steve Williams who broke the news on Facebook.
Williams says: "My friend and fellow Budgie band member John Thomas sadly passed away last night. My thoughts are with the loved ones he left behind.”
Robin Trower expressed his sadness at the news on Twitter, calling Thomas a “rifftastic guitarist.”
No cause of death has been reported.
Thomas replaced Rob Kendrick in the band in 1979 and continued to play with Budgie until they split in 1988. He came back into the fold once the band reformed in 1995 and again when they returned to action in 1999. He departed for the final time in 2002.
Thomas played on three of Budgie’s albums – 1980’s Power Supply, 1981’s Nightflight and 1982’s Deliver Us From Evil.
I saw Budgie play seven times at Hammersmith Odeon between 1978 and 1983.
Two shows were as headline act and five times as the support act.
Thursday 03 March 2016...I went to three events tonight...
6.30pm to 7.15pm
Morv London - Showcase and Trunk Sale at 5 Hertford Street (Loulou's),Mayfair,London W1.
Morv is the brainchild of Morvarid Sahafi, a London-dwelling, Iranian-born, super glamorous designer and artist. A globetrotter from childhood, Sahafi grew up as a citizen of the world, with her ambassador father working in countries including Afghanistan, Russia, Czechoslovakia and Sweden.
A great choice of venue as we are at London's coolest new members club which has been touted as
"the new Annabelle's" which is buzzing with after work members in the main areas.
We are in a small room upstairs where 20 or 30 stunning Morv dresses are being shown.
They were for sale tonight at only £300 each compared to usual prices of £1000 plus.
Complimentary Ruinart champers for all guests.
www.morvlondon.comVisit the Morv London website for more info.
then a short walk around the corner.
7.20pm to 8pm
Tom Bower: 'Broken Vows - Tony Blair' - book launch party at The Legatum Institute, 11 Charles Street,
Around 150 mainly older folks here including leading showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit.
Complimentary wines and canapés for all guests.
About the book...
When Tony Blair became prime minister in May 1997, he was, at forty-three, the youngest person to hold that office since 1812. With a landslide majority, his approval rating was 93 per cent and he went on to become Labour's longest-serving premier. On his first election campaign, Blair had promised that 'New Labour' would modernize Britain, freeing it from sleaze, special interests and government secrecy. He vowed to give priority to social justice and equal opportunity for all.
So what went wrong? The invasion of Iraq was particularly controversial and unleashed public fury against a government accused of not being open and honest in its march to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alastair Campbell's 'dodgy' dossiers about WMDs sparked outrage, but did the contamination of New Labour's spin stretch beyond the wars?
What is the truth behind Blair's claims of rebuilding Britain's schools, hospitals and welfare services? Why did he covertly open the doors to mass immigration? And how is it that the same man who risked his government to destroy Slobodan MiloSevic and Saddam Hussein has, since leaving office, earned millions of pounds serving dictators?
8.15pm to 10.45pm
Sacla Pesto UK's 25th birthday party at The Vinyl Factory,18 Marshall Street,Soho,London W1.
A big crowd of around 250 folks here.
Guests included Nancy Dell'Olio, Tom Parker Bowles,Aldo Zilli, Ainsley Harriott and Craig Revel Horwood.
Also here were Anthony Worrall Thompson and Giorgio Locatelli.
They have done an amazing job with this space just off Carnaby Street as it has been turned
into a traditional Italian fishing village complete with cobbled streets and harbourside trattoria so
we can sample complimentary Italian food and drink and immerse ourselves in the sights,
sounds,scents and flavours of the home region of Pesto.
We have complimentary presecco,wines and beers from Italy along with bowls of pasta with different pesto,
cheeses,hams,canapés,Italian ice-cream and Italian coffees.
We have a dj playing sounds in the background.
There is an Italian scooter in Sacla logo and colours.
All guests got a goodie bag.
A nice party.
What Sacla say...
Sacla' have been making Pesto with care, flair & love for more than 75 years. We use fresh basil, crushed pine kernels & Grana Padano cheese in our signature recipe for a real taste of Italy. Made in Italy by our Italian family. The original Pesto Pioneers, Sacla' is now the UK's favourite Pesto. All our products are made in Italy using only the finest, freshest ingredients, sourced from local farmers & suppliers and prepared to favourite family recipes. It's a versatile ingredient perfect on pasta, and just as good with pizza, potato, fish, chicken and salads.
www.sacla.co.ukVisit the Sacla website for more info.
Thursday 03 March 2016.
Update from the auction private view i attended at Sotheby's on Monday.
Deborah Mitford - Duchess of Devonshire - a signed first-edition copy of Brideshead Revisted
given to her by author Evelyn Waugh fetched £52,500 at the auction on Wednesday which was
more than double it's estimate.
Wednesday 02 March 2016...6.30pm to 10pm...
The Tavern at The London Dungeon --- launch party --- County Hall,London SE1.
For those of you that do not know The London Dungeon moved a couple of years ago.
The London Dungeon made a £20 million move to a giant new site on the South Bank after
37 years terrifying visitors at London Bridge.
The attraction takes over part of the old County Hall next to the London Eye recently vacated by the Dali Universe exhibition.
It has undergone a major re-invention as it adds new comic-horror experiences including explosions, thrill rides and unspeakably large quantities of simulated cockroaches and excrement and live rats.
Pull up a barstool and play the part of a punter at The Tavern, The London Dungeon’s all new Victorian pub experience, throws open its doors to guests.
With a front row seat at the heart of this unique, storytelling experience you will be transported back to a vibrant, decadent and dodgy pub of 1896, where the gossip and scandal surrounding the local scoundrels, villains and working girls unravels around you.
Enjoy a tipple of bootleg beer, a Gin cocktail or traditional lemonade served up by our boastful East End Landlady and henpecked Landlord, as they compete to berate each other to anyone who’ll listen.
Round the corner there’s a game of ratting in full swing whilst at the bar speculation about the latest Ripper murders is rife. As piano belts out the latest music hall tunes and cards are dealt in the gambling den no two tables will get quite the same experience as further tales unfold about the Great Beer Flood amid rumours of a ghost.
This all new show, adds an exhilarating finale to The London Dungeon, where for the first time, you decide which story you see.
*One drink (beer, gin cocktail or non alcoholic alternative) included as part of the show, further drinks can be purchased from the bar".
Around 150 folks here who are split up into three or four groups for the tour.
There are complimentary Gin Fizz drinks and pork pies for an hour.
We then go on a full London Dungeon tour which takes 45 mins to 60 mins.
The costumed actors and actresses do a great job of entertaining guests in each themed room.
There are many scary bits as rooms go into darkness and as it's 75% females here they are screaming
as staff jump out in front of them or shower them with blood/urine(actually just water).
At the end we are all sent to the guillotine which is actually a 10metre hydraulic ride drop in darkness.
That was good and overall the tour was really enjoyable.
We finish off at The Tavern with complimentary Gin Fizz,beer in goblets and wines.
Remember there are no cocktails here or spirits apart from Gin.
Also loads of food with sausage n mash,fish pie,salmon and canapés.
There is a piano player and a violin player and staff are telling stories about Jack The Ripper etc.
The normal entry price at £24.95 seems a bit steep but you can find special offers for £19.95 on the internet.
Also there are combination tickets with other Merlin venues including Madame Tussauds.
Also there are discount offers for larger groups.
www.thedungeons.comVisit The London Dungeon website for more info and to buy tickets.
Wednesday 02 March 2016.
Happy Birthday to Jon Bon Jovi who is 54 today.
Tuesday 01 March 2016.
Below is a nice bit of fun from satire website THE DAILY MASH but it is sooooo true as
V Festival and Reading Festival this summer both have their worst line-ups in living memory.
CRIMINALS aged over 30 will be sentenced to attend this year’s V Festival, it has been confirmed.
In a move to reduce prison overcrowding, anyone in their thirties or older who is found guilty of a minor crime will be sentenced to attend the pop festival and watch every act on the main stage.
A government spokesman said: “They will be expected to watch all of Justin Bieber’s set, then stay in the same spot so as to be front row for Rihanna the following day. During Rita Ora’s set they must dance and be into it.
“Offenders will also be expected the sing every word to I Predict a Riot by Kaiser Chiefs before helping the children around them find the phones they lost in the mosh pit.
“Additionally, they must ‘talk down’ overwrought and upset teenagers who ‘just want to be at home watching Glee‘.”
Criminals attending the festival will also be granted one toilet break which will be during Faithless’s set.
34-year-old criminal Tom Logan said: “All I did was steal a few cars, isn’t there some sort of massive fine I could pay instead?”
Monday 29 February 2016...I went to two events today...
11am to 1.30pm
Olivier Awards Nominations - The Rosewood Hotel,Holborn,London WC2.
Around 200 theatre folks here at this lunchtime event.
The host was Michael Ball who announced the nominations for this prestigious theatre awards.
Other folks here included actress Imelda Staunton and others from current West End productions.
The awards are held on 03 April 2016.
Complimentary wines,beers,teas,coffees,canapés and cookies for all guests.
www.olivierawards.comVisit their website for more info and the full list of nominees.
6.45pm to 8.30pm
Duchess of Devonshire - reception & private view - Sotheby's, 34-35 New Bond Street, London, W1.
A big crowd of around 350 smartly dressed posh folks on the guest list.
A nice surprise to see DAVID GILMOUR and his wife Polly here.
I had a quick chat to him about the shows at The Royal Albert Hall and the future American Tour.
I asked him 'did he try to chose interesting venues to play in America like he did in Europe?".
He replied "America has not got many interesting venues apart from Red Rocks and that
did not fit our schedule".
Also here was ex footballer Sol Campbell.
Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers,vodka Martinis and canapés for all guests.
A remarkable woman of our time, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire (1920-2014) led a life as extraordinary as that of her siblings, the legendary Mitford sisters. The Duchess was a woman of elegant taste and sensibility. The wonderful objects with which she lived illustrate so much of her story, from exquisite jewels gifted by her husband to a rare copy of Brideshead Revisited personally inscribed by her friend Evelyn Waugh; all tell of a life well-lived. Painted by Freud and photographed by Weber, Testino, Beaton and Parkinson, it is the contents of her final home, The Old Vicarage at Edensor on the Chatsworth estate, which perhaps paint the most vivid final portrait. This historic auction will offer fine and decorative art, jewels and the Duchess of Devonshire’s library.
Oddly enough she also had a huge collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia here that will also be in the auction.
The auction will take place on Wed 02 March 2016 at 10am.
www.sothebys.comVisit the Sotheby's website here for more info.
Sunday 28 February 2016...I went to two events today...
7pm to 8.30pm
Years & Years live at The Hospital Club,Covent Garden,London WC2.
This was a secret gig hosted by Samsung.
Held in the basement of this private members club for 100 comp winners plus some press folks
and guests of the band.
The show is going out live over the internet and will be up on YouTube and Facebook from 11 March
when the new Samsung S7 phone comes out.
Years & Years have had five Top 40 UK hit singles including a number one with 'King'.
They headlined Brixton Academy in Oct 2015.
They headline Wembley Arena on 08 April 2016.
The band are playing in the round with a spider like neon production above them.
Loads of cameras at every angle as the band are being filmed in 360.
The band play six of their catchy synth pop songs in a 30 mins set from 7.35pm to 8.05pm.
The set included 'Desire','Eyes Shut' and their number one hit 'King'.
The official video for 'King' has had over 130 million views on YouTube.
The audience have been given the flashing wristbands that Coldplay first used a few years ago
that flash in time to the music when the lighting guy flicks the switch.
Would be amazing to see a band i really like in this environment.
Complimentary wines and beers for all here.
10pm to 5.15am
Jimmy Choo Oscars Screening at Soho House,76 Dean Street,Soho,London W1.
Luxury shoe and accessories brand with over 100 stores worldwide host an invitation only party.
Soho House 76 Dean Street is a members club set over four floors of a Grade II-listed Georgian Townhouse, with a Courtyard, Club Bar, House Kitchen, Sitting Room, Top Floor, and a basement cinema and bar.
The Screening Room is a fully air-conditioned 45-seat cinema offering a varied programme of advance screenings and new releases.
A stunning venue with a private cinema that is total luxury as we have cosy armchairs along with tables
and foot chairs at each seat.
Along with waiters bringing you drinks to your table all night.
This event was 10pm to 5.15am but we stayed the course.
Complimentary drinks and food all night with a choice of four different cocktails,wines,beers along with
bowl food,burgers and a full buffet.
10pm to 11.30pm was the drinks and food reception.
11.30pm to 1.30am was the red carpet arrivals on the big screen.
1.30am to 5am was the awards on the big screen.
Great to see Leo DiCaprio win the Best Actor.
Spotlight won Best Picture.
Mad Max: Fury Road won six Oscars in the technical categories, including sound editing,
costume design and production design.
Funny thing is only a dozen folks were here at the end as quite a few left as it was Sunday night
and some had work in the morning or were just lightweights.
All guests got a nice goodie bag that included a Jimmy Choo candle.
When we departed they even gave us a breakfast box for the journey home.
A very nice event.
www.jimmychoo.comVisit the Jimmy Choo website here.
Saturday 27 February 2016.
The Cult live at Brixton Academy,London.
I have seen The Cult around 15 times and saw their previous incarnation Southern Death Cult in 1982.
The Cult are on a UK tour to promote their new album 'Hidden City'.
I also saw Ian Astbury three of four times when he fronted The Doors when The Cult were on a break.
In Sept 2003 i went to see The Sex Pistols on the last 5 shows of their 11 date American tour.
Billy Duffy of The Cult went to three of the shows i was at and stayed at the same hotel as us in Las Vegas
(The newly opened Hard Rock Hotel) and the day after the Las Vegas gig he was with us in the same
open air swimming pool with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock in the scorching heat.
The Cult were on stage for 1 hour 40 mins.
Ian Astbury still looking like and acting like a proper rock star.
Billy Duffy still knocking out those killer riffs with his great looking guitars.
The new album tracks were ok but everyone had come for the older gems with great versions of tracks
including 'Rain','Wild Flower','Sweet Soul Sister','Nirvana','Spiritwalker',Love Removal Machine' and
the epic 'She Sells Sanctuary'.
Ian Astbury is talking a lot of rambling gibberish between songs but there was one bit where they played a
David Bowie cover where Ian paid a tribute "as DB had come from Brixton and 'Life On Mars' was the
first single he had ever bought".
The Cult are always really good live.
Full setlist played...
Sweet Soul Sister
Honey From a Knife
Birds of Paradise
Deeply Ordered Chaos
She Sells Sanctuary
Moonage Daydream(David Bowie cover)
Love Removal Machine
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
Clothing at Tesco
Shepherds Bush Empire
Isle of Wight Festival
Classic Rock Bands
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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