Archive: December 2017

December 18, 2017

Monday 18 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to Rolling Stones guitar legend Keith Richards who is 74 today.
No doubt Keef will outlive all the other rockers.





Sunday 17 December 2017...6.30pm to 11pm...
THE GLITTER BAND featuring John Rossall live at The Islington Academy, London N1.
with support from Hello feat Bob Bradbury + The Arrows feat Alan Merrill + Too Rex +
Bootleg Counterfeit Sweet + Scott Fitzgerald.
The Glitter Band had six Top 10 hits in the 1970s on their own...as well as backing Gary Glitter.
Hello had two Top 10 hits in the 1970s.
KISS guitar legend said Hello's hit 'New York Groove' was one of his fave records of the 1970s
so recorded a version of it that's on his debut solo album.
'New York Groove' is a song written by English singer/songwriter Russ Ballard, which was a hit for
two different artists: the band Hello in 1975, and Ace Frehley in 1978.
Hello had major success in countries like Germany and Japan
The Arrows had a Top 10 hit and a Top 40 hit in the 1970s.
Also one of their b-sides from 1975 would become a worldwide rock classic.
In 1982, Joan Jett released a cover of the Arrows song, "I Love Rock 'N Roll"
(composed by The Arrows members Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker).
It went to number one in the US Billboard charts for 7 weeks.
Alan Merrill lives in New York so this a rare London gig for him.
Scott Fitzgerald began his career on the GTO label, releasing the singles "Judy Played The Jukebox" in 1974 and the title track to glam rock movie "Never Too Young To Rock" in 1975, where he featured alongside glam rock acts Mud, The Glitter Band and The Rubettes.
Fitzgerald's greatest success was with "If I Had Words", which reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1978,and later went on to be a hit in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
In 1988, he was the first ever artist chosen by telephone vote to sing the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Go". Fitzgerald came second in the contest, by one point, to Switzerland's entry performed by Celine Dion. "Go" reached number 52 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1988.
The evening was dedicated to the memory of Harvey Ellison (sax player in The Glitter Band ) who sadly
passed away earlier this year.
www.macmillan.org.ukAll proceeds tonight went to Macmillan Cancer Charity.
--------------------------------
Over to a very wet Islington for a full evening of classic Glam Rock tunes from the 1970s.
Nice to see many folks here that i know who have braved the dismal weather.
All the support acts played for around 40 mins and The Glitter Band played for 60 mins.
Changeovers were only 10 mins each so loads of great songs played during the evening.
BOOTLEG COUNTERFEIT SWEET were first on at an early start of 6.30pm.
A nice surprise as Bob Bradbury from Hello is on vocal duties for them tonight.
Always great to hear those classic Sweet songs including 'Blockbuster' , 'Wig Wam Bam',
'Co-Co', 'Little Willy' , 'Fox On The Run' and 'Ballroom Blitz'.
TOO REX arrive on stage at 7.20pm for their 40 mins set.
Top tribute act Trextasy i have seen many times but this the first time I am seeing Too Rex.
They are much better than expected as the Marc Bolan looks and sounds like Marc and
they have a bongo player like Mickey Finn.
A perfect set of Bolan gems with 'Jeepster','Telegram Sam','I Love To Boogie','Ride A White Swan',
'Get It On', 'Hot Love' and '20th Century Boy'.
THE ARROWS feat original member Alan Merrill arrived on stage at 8.10pm.
Although i saw Sweet at the a Rainbow in Dec 1973 , my next visit to the Rainbow was in 1977 so
i missed The Arrows and Hello when they both played there in 1975 and have never seen them.
Alan Merrill has a nice New York twang as he chats between songs.
They finished their set with three biggies , 'A Touch Too Much' (number 8 hit in 1974 ) ,
'My Last Night With You' ( number 25 hit in 1975) and of course a rowdy ' I Love Rock N Roll'.
HELLO feat original member Bob Bradbury arrive on stage at 9pm for their 40 mins set.
Vocalist Bob Bradbury looks ridiculously young for his age.
I can still see his face from when i was glued to Top Of The Pops every week in the mid 1970s.
The start of the set features three great tracks that were hits in Germany 'Games Up', 'Love Stealer'
'Star Studded Sham' and then it's mega versions of their two UK hits , 'Tell Him' ( number 6 in 1974 ) and
'New York Groove' ( number 9 hit in 1975) which had all the crowd singing along loudly.
They have a great four cd box set out that you can get from Cherry Red for £17.99.
THE GLITTER BAND feat original member John Rossall arrive on stage at 9.55pm and play for 60 mins.
All the band are wearing glitter jackets and they have their iconic two drummer set-up.
They also have the silver star shaped guitar that was used by them on TOTP in the 1970s.
They play an excellent set mixing Glitter Band and Gary Glitter classic hits.
Gary Glitter is blacklisted by tv and radio these days but it's great to hear those songs again.
1.Rock n Roll Part 1
2.Lets Get Together Again
3.Rock On
4.I Didn't Know I Loved You ( till I saw you rock n roll )
5.Just For You
6.Hello! Hello! I'm Back Again
7.Angel Face
8.Oh Yes! You're Beautiful
9.Another Rock N Roll Christmas
10.Rock N Roll Part 2
Encore :
11.I Love You Love Me Love
12.I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)
13.Never Too Young To Rock - sung by Scott Fitzgerald with The Glitter Band and members of support bands.
Title track from the 1975 glam rock film.
They said first time ever performed live by Scott Fitzgerald and The Glitter Band together.
------------------------
A great night of classic glam rock tunes from the mid 1970s.







Sunday 17 December 2017.
Legendary AC/DC singer BON SCOTT played his last ever London show 38 years ago today
at Hammersmith Odeon on 17 Dec 1979...I was there...
It was the 19th time...yes 19th time I had seen the band since 1976 when they first came to London.
Sadly just two months later Bon Scott would be found dead.





Saturday 16 December 2017.
Believe it or not, twice in the late 70s the RAMONES were the opening act for BLACK SABBATH in America.
Before securing their status as headliners, the band were likely to accept any pairing, no matter how ill conceived the booking. One of the shows was even billed as PUNK VS HEAVY METAL, and the RAMONES had to halt their performance and flee the stage amidst a shower of debris before completing their opening set.
Astonishingly, audio has turned up of the other performance. Although less unruly, the audience is noticably hostile, especially at the end of PINHEAD and after the completion of the SEARCHERS' ballad NEEDLES & PINS (perhaps they might have skipped this one??) A disgusted JOEY refers to the crowd as 'turkeys' before launching into SURFIN' BIRD.
The rough audio is up on YouTube for part of this show - 04 Dec 1978 - Long Beach Arena, California.





Thursday 14 December 2017.
LETS ROCK CHRISTMAS - The 80's Retro Show - live at Wembley Arena,London.
Tony Hadley, Kim Wilde, Nik Kershaw, Go West, Nick Heyward, T'Pau, Jona Lewie and others.
Tony Hadley headlines with half a dozen acts playing short hits based sets.
Half the bands headlined Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s when I worked front stage security.
------------------------------
I presume the promoters knew that it would not be anywhere near a full house.
The venue is only half full so around 5000 tickets sold.
My view tonight is on the floor a few rows in front of the mixing desk dead centre.
A nice long show of 3 hours 10 mins over two sets of 1 hour 35 mins.
Easily over 30 hit singles played from the 80's throughout the evening.
The first set had all the singers playing with a house band so quick changeovers.
The two headliners - Tony Hadley and Kim Wilde - played in the second set with their own bands.
Surprisingly we have an excellent full monty light show that really helped the presentation.
All the crowd are in Christmas Party mode and are up and dancing and singing loudly from the start.
The host is 80's dj Pat Sharp who introduces some of the acts and plays a few tunes.
FIRST SET
Nathan Moore (Brother Beyond) - two songs played including their hit 'The Harder I Try'.
Carol Decker (T'Pau) - three songs played including 'Heart and Soul' and their big number one hit
from 1987 'China In Your Hand'.
Nick Heyward (Haircut 100 ) - played three of his Top 10 singles from 1981/1982.
Nick is looking more youthful than ever and his catchy pop songs still sound great.
'Love Plus One', 'Favourite Shirts ( Boy Meets Girl) and 'Fantastic Day'.
Nick Kershaw played four Top 10 hits - three of his own and one he wrote for Chesney Hawkes.
'The Riddle' ,'Wouldn't It Be Good' , 'I am The One and Only ' and ' I Won't Let The Sun go Down On Me'.
Nick Kershaw was then joined by Go West for a cover of 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World'.
Go West played their hits including 'Call Me' , 'We Close Our Eyes' and 'King of Wishful Thinking'.
Janet Graham joined them to sing her 1986 hit 'Set Me Free'.
SECOND SET
Kim Wilde arrived on stage at 9.15pm and played a really good set as Kim and her band gave it full throttle.
Kim was out of breath as she spoke between songs as she overdid it a bit.
Hits played including 'Chequered Love', 'You Came','You Keep Me Hanging On', 'Rockin' Around The
Christmas Tree' and 'Kids In America'.
Katrina played her big hit 'Walking On Sunshine ' with Tony Hadley's band as backing.
Jona Lewie played his two hits from 1980 which were good to see as he does not play live that often.
'You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchens At Parties' and 'Stop The Cavalry'.
Tony Hadley took to the stage at 10.15pm and was on for 45 mins.
His set included Spandau Ballet hits 'Through The Barricades' , 'True ' and 'Gold'.
Tony Hadley with Rick Parfitt Jnr dedicated a song to Rick Parfitt that Rick wrote.
"It's Christmas Time" is a Christmas song recorded by Status Quo in 2008.
Tony Hadley with Tony Mortimer (East 17) sung 'Stay Another Day'.
Tony Hadley, Kim Wilde and Nick Kershaw sung 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day'
Finale was all the acts on stage for 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'.
A very enjoyable show.





Wednesday 13 December 2017...6.30pm to 9pm...
THE STORY OF THE FACE - book launch party - 81 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW3.
The Face was a British music, fashion and culture monthly magazine published from 1980 to 2004 and launched in May 1980 in London by Nick Logan, the British journalist who had previously been editor of New Musical Express and Smash Hits.
The Face was the world’s first magazine to investigate youth culture beyond music. Featuring 400-plus covers and features over 352 pages from the 1980s and 1990s with an introduction by Dylan Jones, Paul Gorman’s The Story Of The Face is the definitive overview of one of the most influential magazines of the age.
The revered oracle of music and style returns with a complete visual history. The Story of the Face captures its statement graphic design, pioneering photography and resilient journalism. An icon of print encapsulated, from the leaders of youth culture to life after libel. A vibrant piece of pop culture history.
It has made the Rough Trade Top 20 books of the year list.
Around 200 folks in this massive store that sells contemporary furnishings and various vintage items.
They also sell selected vinyl albums and those cool looking retro vinyl record players...at a big price!.
They have tables here where you can browse all the old issues of The Face mag which was fun.
Kevin Shepherd was here...he has now seem The Damned live 541 times...yes 541...amazing.
I have seen The Damned around 50 times including 10 times in 1977 alone.
He has his second fanzine on the band coming out in the New Year.
Check his Facebook page for pictures of the event...including one with me.
Paul Gorman and Nick Logan are here signing copies of the book.
Paul said "The Story Of The Face took him nearly six years to complete".
I got a signed complimentary press copy signed by them both which was nice.
The book retails for £35 but you can get in on the Amazon link at the top of this website for just £23.76.
Also everyone got a tote bag that was printed on the night with the big names on it that graced The Face
including Damon, Noel, Robbie, Jarvis, Bryan , Courtney, Leonardo, Liam, Kylie etc.
Pippa Brooks was the dj playing reminiscent tracks from the 1980s and 1990s.
Complimentary Gin cocktails and beers along with mini hot dogs and french fries for all guests.
A fun evening.




Tuesday 12 December 2017.
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT live at The 02 Arena, London.
This was the first of their three London shows on their UK Arena tour.
Queen are still very popular even though Freddie passed away in 1991.
Incredibly I saw Freddie Mercury singing with Queen 15 times with the first time in Dec 1973 when they
were a support band and also at the legendary Live Aid event at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
For their 2017 tour, the band will unveil a brand new show including a specially designed state-of-the-art production. The choice of performance material will no doubt acknowledge this year’s 40th anniversary of Queen’s biggest-selling studio album to date,' News of the World' from 1977, which yielded the immortal anthems "We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”.
Adam Lambeth has been singing with them for six years and i have seen them in this time a few times.
-------------------------
We have a great view from the guest block right of stage .
Sitting near us are Mike Rutherford (Genesis / Mike and the Mechanics) and Pattie Boyd, the former wife of
George Harrison and Eric Clapton who inspired the songs 'Leyla ' and 'Wonderful Tonight'.
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT play a fantastic show of around 2 hours 10 mins on stage.
The reviews and YouTube clips of the stage production were very good but live in front of you,
this really is one of those totally dazzling mega stage productions that could easily be used outdoors at stadiums.
It really has got that 'wow factor' with the stage designed like Brian Mays guitar with the 20 metre stage
extension along the floor standing ( the neck of the guitar) and two shorter stage extensions.
Loads of big screens along with lights and lasers.
Singer Adam Lambert is a perfect replacement for Freddie Mercury as he is full of camp youthful swagger
and top level showmanship.
Adam wore half a dozen very colourful & glittery outfits.
Adam sat astride a giant robots head (News Of The World album cover) and later on for 'Bicycle Race'
he rode around the stage on an oversized pink tricycle.
The middle section from 'Love of My Life' to ' Under Pressure ' was played on the end of the stage extension
so everyone got a nice close up view.
Great to see rock legends Brian May & Roger Taylor still performing to massive crowds.
Guitarist Brian May still plays superb with his long grey locks flowing and trademark white footwear.
A couple of times Brian May looked very emotional at the reception from this 20,000 audience.
His guitar solo was performed high in the air atop a giant robots hand.
A few clips of Freddie Mercury on the big screen went down well.
So many great songs all the way through the show along with the mega anthems in the final 30 mins.
Queen prove they are still rock royalty....an excellent show...
Full setlist played tonight...
We Will Rock You (short version teaser)
Hammer to Fall
Stone Cold Crazy
Tie Your Mother Down
Another One Bites the Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
Killer Queen
Don't Stop Me Now
Bicycle Race
I'm in Love With My Car
Get Down, Make Love
I Want It All
Love of My Life
Somebody to Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Drum Battle
Under Pressure
A Kind of Magic
I Want to Break Free
You Take My Breath Away
Who Wants to Live Forever
Last Horizon (Brian May cover)
Guitar Solo
Radio Ga Ga
Bohemian Rhapsody
Encore:
Day-Oh (sung by Freddie Mercury on the big screen)
We Will Rock You (full version)
We Are the Champions
Tape Outro - God Save the Queen (Thomas Augustine Arne cover)





Monday 11 December 2017.
ELLIE GOULDING & FRIENDS live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
All ticket proceeds to Streets of London Homelessness charity.
Ellie has had 10 Top 10 hit singles including two number ones.
All her three albums have been Top 10 and two of them have hit number one.
---------------------------
We get to the venue and they are already well prepared for the big film premiere the following night of
Star Wars and inside a few boxes on Level One have been converted for the film projectors
and The Royal Box is roped off in readiness for William & Harry on Tuesday night.
A nice bunch of support acts playing a couple of songs each in the 85 mins first set.
Quick changeovers as acts are solo or semi acoustic.
Tom Odell - played two songs including his hit 'Another Love'.
Ray Blk - played two tracks including 'My Hood'.
George Ezra - played two songs including his big hit 'Budapest'.
Raye - played two songs including her current hit 'Decline'.
Bastille - played two songs including their hit 'Pompeii'.
Craig David - played two songs including his hit 'Fill Me In'
Craig David & Bastille - played their really good current hit 'I Know You'.
Jessie Ware - played two songs.
James Blunt - played two songs including his hit 'Goodbye My Lover'.
INTERVAL
ELLIE GOULDING arrives on stage at 9.50pm and plays for 60 mins.
Ellie has her full band and full stage production.
Ellie skipped around the stage and played all her big hits in the set.
An enjoyable show.
Full Ellie Goulding setlist played tonight...
On My Mind
Something in the Way You Move
Outside (Calvin Harris cover)
Tethered (Rationale cover)
Explosions
Army
My Blood
Anything Could Happen
Burn
Love Me Like You Do
Encore:
O Holy Night (with ticker-tape falling over the crowd)
Last Christmas (Wham! cover) (with James Blunt and other support acts on stage , but not Craig David)





Monday 11 December 2017.
Sad news that tv presenter KEITH CHEGWIN has passed away at the age of just 60.
The news of the 60-year-old TV presenter’s death was announced today by his family .
In a statement they said he had died after a “long-term battle with a progressive lung condition.”
The TV presenter and comic, from Bootle , became a household name presenting programmes such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Cheggers Plays Pop and, in the 1980s, Saturday Superstore.
And he was well known for his jokes and all-round Scouse wit.




Monday 11 December 2017.
BILLY IDOL has confirmed three shows as part of his 2018 European Tour.
JUNE 20 (WED) MANCHESTER, UK O2 APOLLO
JUNE 21 (THU) BIRMINGHAM, UK O2 ACADEMY
JUNE 23 (SAT) LONDON, UK O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON




Sunday 10 December 2017.
THE DARKNESS + BLACKFOOT GYPSIES live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.
I have seen The Darkness several times since they supported Def Leppard in 2003.
They soon took off big time with hit singles from their million selling debut album 'Permission to Land'.
In 2003 i saw them supporting The Rolling Stones at Wembley Arena and a couple of years later
i saw them headline great shows at Wembley Arena and Alexandra Palace.
As with Nickelback the critics really hated The Darkness , called them 'a joke rock band'.
Support comes from Blackfoot Gypsies who are an American four-piece rock band from Nashville.
Their music is influenced by blues, punk rock, southern rock, soul, Americana and country.
They have released two albums.
------------------------
Lots of snow in West London today but we come out for some rock n roll to keep us warm.
BLACKFOOT GYPSIES arrive on stage at 8pm and play for around 30 mins.
Some good uptempo garage-inspired blues with a 70s style old-school sound makes for a great start to the evening.
Many of their songs have hints of The Stones, The Faces, Black Crowes etc.
THE DARKNESS arrive on stage at 9pm and play for around 1 hour 45 mins.
The band reformed a few years ago after going into hibernation for a few years.
Three original members at the front and a new drummer - Rufus Tiger Taylor.
Rufus Tiger Taylor is the son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor.
Oddly enough the band were very influenced by Queen when they first started.
It's a traditional rock band stage set with four Marshall Amps either side of the drum kit and singer Justin
and his brother both using Gibson Les Paul guitars.
It is floor standing to create a proper atmosphere.
Justin Hawkins, leapt on to the stage wearing a gloriously eccentric emerald green sparkly bodysuit and
gold boots as he threw himself straight in to the bands first song of the night ‘Open Fire ' with pyros and flames.
Justin's often ridiculed falsetto singing still sounds really good to me.
The band play a few tracks from recent album 'Pinewood Smile' and all their classic oldies.
Justin is a great front man who totally entertains the crowd whatever he does.
Whether its hand stands in front of the drum kit or aiming a dozen guitar plectrums at the giant mirror ball.
Plenty of silly chat from him between songs including saying "we may be a cock rock band but that
does not mean you can behave inappropriately with anyone down the front".
For the encores Justin changed into a gold jump suit and we had extra fairy lights on for their Christmas song.
They finished the show with their mega anthem 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'.
The Darkness really are a great live rock band.
Full setlist played tonight...
Tape intro - Arrival (ABBA song)
Open Fire
Love Is Only a Feeling
Southern Trains
Black Shuck
One Way Ticket
Givin' Up
All the Pretty Girls
Barbarian
Buccaneers of Hispaniola
Friday Night
Makin' Out
Every Inch of You
Solid Gold (gold ticker-tape over the crowd)
Stuck in a Rut
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Growing on Me
Encore:
Japanese Prisoner of Love
Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) (fake snow falling over the crowd)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love





Sunday 10 December 2017.
Ten years ago today LED ZEPPELIN played a one-off show at The 02 Arena.
Hard to believe it is ten years since I attended that mega hot ticket gig.
It stayed a one-off as Robert Plant refused to play any more shows.
According to Guinness World Records 2009, the concert holds the world record for the
"Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert" as 20 million requests for the reunion show
were rendered online.





Saturday 09 December 2017.
BANANARAMA live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.
Bananarama play the last of three sold out shows at Hammersmith Apollo.
This is the last date of their month long UK tour.
Original three girl lineup playing their first ever tour together.
The original lineup of Bananarama, Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward, never toured together during their biggest hitmaking years from 1981 to 1988. There were plenty of television shows but never a live tour before Fahey left the group and was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan.
I saw them a couple of times as a trio with the new girl at Hammersmith Odeon in 1989.
Bananarama had ten Top 10 hits in the 1980s.
Fact of the day---In 1981, Bananarama's members were living above the rehearsal room that was used by former Sex Pistols members Steve Jones and Paul Cook. With their help, Bananarama recorded their first demo.
The band recorded a version of the Sex Pistols' song "No Feelings" in late 1982 for the soundtrack of the
British film, 'Party Party'.
-----------------------------
I arrive at the venue and in the foyer i see both members of The Pet Shop Boys,Brix Smith-Start
and Lizzie Cundy.
The venue is totally rammed and there is a big turnout from the Gay Community which maybe explains
why so many extra dates have been added to the tour due to demand.
BANANARAMA arrive on stage at 8.45pm and are on for around 90 mins.
The trio make a suitably epic entrance to the rush of 'Nathan Jones', materialising in front of a gigantic, eye-searing screen dressed in sparkling sci-fi outfits with angular shoulder pads and trailing punk type straps.
The girls are all looking great for women in their fifties.
They have a fantastic stage production that looks great , with a staircase along the back and a massive
screen that mixes excellent pre-recorded neon graphics and the Bananarama videos from the 1980s.
The crowd are up and dancing from the start to create a full blown disco pop party atmosphere.
Part of their appeal for me is they were never the best singers or the best dancers but just three
girls together having a bit of fun...who got lucky.
A few of their hits were hi-energy re-workings of other peoples hits.
Also in the set were a couple of hits they had with Fun Boy Three and they sung 'Stay' which
was a number one hit for Shakespears Sister who included Siobhan Fahey when she left Bananarama.
The dance routines are simple so many of the crowd are joining in with them.
They still don't take themselves too seriously which is another thing I like about them.
It was one of those shows that was much better then expected....really good.
Full Bananarama setlist played tonight...
Nathan Jones (The Supremes cover)
Robert De Niro's Waiting
Rough Justice
Aie a Mwana (Black Blood cover)
Cruel Summer
Trick of the Night
Shy Boy/Boy Trouble
Really Saying Something (The Velvelettes cover)
Cheers Then
Stay (Shakespears Sister cover)
Preacher Man
I Heard a Rumour
More Than Physical
I Can't Help It
I Want You Back
Venus (Shocking Blue cover)
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Steam cover)
Encore:
It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) (Ella Fitzgerald cover)
Love in the First Degree





Saturday 09 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to big screen legend Kirk Douglas who reaches the incredible age of 101 today.





Friday 08 December 2017.
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
This show sold out pronto on the day the tickets went on sale.
Robert is on a UK tour to promote his recent album 'Carry Fire' that was released Fri 13 Oct 2017.
I have seen Robert Plant as a solo act around 20 times since 1983 including just a couple of months ago
in Oct 2017 when he played an intimate show for 200 for BBC 6 Music at Maida Vale studios.
Also three shows by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant in the 1990s.
In the week of this show Robert Plant has been talking about winter fuel payments.
Multi-millionaire rock star Robert Plant says "Why do i get a winter fuel payout?"
Robert Plant, the former Led Zepplin frontman, has questioned the government over his £200 winter fuel payment. The 69 year old singer accosted Labour peer Baroness Bakewell in the street to ask why he received the annual allowance, which is meant to help poverty stricken pensioners stay warm in winter, saying he was 'baffled' after receiving the benefit.
Basically it is not means tested to how much money you have so everyone over 65 gets it.
Support act Seth Lakeman is an English folk singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who has released
around a dozen albums over the past 20 years.
-----------------------
Support act SETH LAKEMAN is on stage for around 30 mins.
His sound is something that no doubt influenced Mumford & Sons a bit.
The crowd like him as Robert Plant talks highly of him and for this tour Seth plays
several songs as part of Roberts band later on after his own set.
By the time Robert Plant takes the stage the entire venue is rammed solid sold out.
ROBERT PLANT and his band are on stage for around 1 hour 50 mins.
Robert is still looking like a proper rock star with his mane of curly hair in a pony tail.
His band really are all top notch musicians.
After 20 mins we get live footage projected on to a big curtain rather than a big screen.
You have to admire Robert Plant for shunning millions of pounds for a Led Zeppelin reunion
to follow his heart with his solo career.
The newer songs mix in well with a few classic reworking of Led Zeppelin classics.
Amazingly CHRISSIE HYNDE joins Robert for two songs during the encore just 24 hours after
i saw her here at The RAH singing two songs at another live music event.
The first was 'Bluebirds over the Mountain' which is the recent single that Chrissie featured on and then
The Pretenders Christmas track '2000 Miles' as Chrissie took over the main vocals and Robert joined in a bit.
For the final song there’s a bit of instrumental teasing before the inevitable ' Whole Lotta Love', whose middle section remains a gift for experimentation and improvisation. This time, of course, it becomes a platform for Seth Lakeman to fiddle up a furious storm. The standing ovation is never in doubt.
A great show.
Full Robert Plant setlist played tonight...
New World...
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
That's the Way (Led Zeppelin song)
All the King's Horses
House of Cards (Richard & Linda Thompson cover)
Gallows Pole ([traditional] cover)
Carry Fire
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (Joan Baez cover)
Little Maggie ([traditional] cover)
Funny in My Mind (I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die)
Misty Mountain Hop (Led Zeppelin song)
Encore:
What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin song)
Bluebirds over the Mountain (Ersel Hickey cover) (with Chrissie Hynde)
2,000 Miles (The Pretenders cover) (with Chrissie Hynde)
Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin song)






Thursday 07 December 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 7.15pm
NEW & LINGWOOD - Christmas Drinks Party - 51 Jermyn Street, St James's, London SW1.
New & Lingwood continues to be the outfitters of savvy gentlemen worldwide.
Upholding long standing traditions and renowned quality standards.
They sell top quality classic Clothing ,Shirts, Shoes,Jackets, Dressing Gowns etc.
All the leather shoes i looked at were £300 plus.
Lots of very smartly dressed gents here covering all ages.
Complimentary Remy Martin cocktails, Gin & Tonics, prosecco and canapés for all guests.
www.newandlingwood.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
Sky One and Sky Arts present IT'S CHRISTMAS LIVE at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Hosted by comedian and actor Jason Manford, the show will see an array of artists performing contemporary Christmas classics including Chrissie Hynde, Alexander Armstrong, Fleur East, Holly Johnson, Jona Lewie, Marc Almond, Melanie C, Nadine Coyle, Ricky Wilson, Shakin’ Stevens, Tom Chaplin and The Vamps plus more acts to be announced.
It will be filmed by SKY to be shown over the Christmas period on Dec 23.
------------------------------
It is a full house here tonight despite floor arena and stalls seats costing £80 each.
The stage production is all Chrismassy with fake trees and baubles and stars etc.
A nice Christmassy party atmosphere as everyone has a free Christmas Hat on their seat to wear.
Singer-songwriter and piano player Ed Harcourt is the musical director of the house band who include
a band, mini orchestra and three female backing singers.
The show was on for around 2 hours 30 mins over two sets of 75 mins each.
Comedian Jason Manford did a good job of hosting the event and keeping everyone amused between acts.
All acts sung one song each apart from Chrissie Hynde who sung two songs.
Most sung Christmas covers but a few sung their own Christmas hits.
Chrissie Hynde was an obvious highlight but great to see Shakin Stevens, Jona Lewie and Holly Johnson
performing their Christmas hits from the 1980s.
A very enjoyable evening.
FIRST SET
1.The Vamps - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
2. Fleur East - All I Want For Christmas Is You
3. Alexander Armstrong - Walking In A Winter Wonderland
4. Vade (Sky One Acappela comp winners) - Silent Night
5. Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone (a number one hit for Shaky in Dec 1985)
6. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Sleigh Ride
7. Marc Almond - Do You Hear What I Hear?
8. Jason Manford & all the crowd singing a fun version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas
9. Chrissie Hynde - 2000 Miles (a hit for The Pretenders in Dec 1983) (with snow falling over the crowd)
SECOND SET
10. Tom Chaplin - Walking In The Air
11. Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry ( a number 3 hit for Jona in Dec 1980)
12. Nadine Coyle - White Christmas
13. Melanie C - Santa Baby
14. Ed Harcourt - Driving Home For Christmas
15. Jason Manford - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
16. Alexandra Burke - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
17. Holly Johnson - The Power Of Love ( a number one hit for FGTH in Dec 1984)
18. Chrissie Hynde - Last Christmas
19. Ricky Wilson - Merry Xmas Everybody (balloons and streamers falling on the crowd)






Thursday 07 December 2017.
ED SHEERAN has had an amazing 2017, selling millions of copies of his album Divide and headlining Glastonbury. And the year is ending with a cherry on top. The 26-year-old today accepted an MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. In pictures from the investiture ceremony at the palace, the Shape Of You singer was honoured by the Prince of Wales for his services to music.





Wednesday 06 December 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 8pm
DE GRISOGONO CHRISTMAS PARTY - 15a New Bind Street , Mayfair, London W1.
De Grisogono is a Swiss luxury jeweller. It was founded in 1993 by black diamond specialist Fawaz Gruosi.
Fawaz Gruosi was here tonight saying hello to everyone.
A very upmarket crowd with many women dressed in top notch designer clothing and jewellery.
There was a great film of the company's summer party during The Cannes Film Festival.
Complimentary Ruinart champers and canapés for all guests.
www.degrisogono.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
8.10pm to 10pm
STELLA MCCARTNEY STORE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON PARTY,
30 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London W1.
I have been to this event a few tunes before and it's always a big event with
all Londons top showbiz photographers inside and outside the building.
Paul McCartney is on tour in Australia so is not here tonight.
Ronnie Wood has been here the last four years but is not here tonight.
Stella and Mary McCartney are both here.
Michael McCartney was here(Paul's younger brother).
Tv presenter Leigh Francis/ Keith Lemon switched the lights on.
The lights look great as they cover the entire frontage of the store.
He gave a typically rude speech about having piles at Christmas.
Also here were Bianca Jagger, Stormzy, Professor Green,Pixie Lott, Angus Deayton,
Winnie Harlow, Raymond Blanc, Neelam Gill and no doubt a couple that i missed.
Peter Blake and Edith Bowman were here.
Two of Paul Wellers kids were here - Leah Weller and Dylan Weller.
Female rapper Little Simz was here - fresh from supporting Gorillaz the two previous nights.
There was a fun photo set-up at the rear of the store.
Complimentary Nicolas Feuillatte champers, Mojitos , Mulled Wine, Hot Chocolate,
canapés, mince pies and a sweets counter.
All guests got a goodie bag with half a dozen Christmas crackers embossed with Stella McCartney.
www.stellamccartney.comVisit the Stella McCartney website for more info.




Wednesday 06 December 2017.
Sad news that JOHNNY HALLADAY has passed away.
France’s biggest rock star, Johnny Hallyday, the leather-trousered “French Elvis” who sold more than 110m albums over a career spanning more than half a century, has died aged 74.
I saw him play a rare London show at The Royal Albert Hall in 2012.






Tuesday 05 December 2017.
6pm to 7.30pm
ALBERTS CHRISTMAS PARTY - 92b Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW7.
Always nice to be at this luxurious private members club (£500 a year membership).
Over 100 guests here with 75% per cent female.
Two brands are having a Christmas showcase in one corner of the club.
VESTIARE COLLECTIVE (they buy and sell pre-owned designer clothing on their website)
ASTLEY CLARKE (they sell fine jewellery on their website)
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers, two different whiskey cocktails and canapés for all guests.
www.albertsclub.comVisit the Alberts website here for more info.
then
8.15pm to 11.30pm
Annual Christmas Drinks Reunion in Wimbledon, South West London.
Around 20 of us here who worked together in the 1980s and 1990s.
Really great to meet up and remind ourselves what a good number we had.
I put the hours in back then with twelve hour days as we had unlimited overtime.
Get paid to 8pm and leave at 6.30pm....including two hour lunches...nice.
Ray Fielding was there (he is the dad of Noel Fielding).
This year Noel got a plum job on tv series 'Bake Off' which was a big success.
I used to see Noel 20 years ago playing comedy gigs to just 20 people.
When I went to Australia a decade ago I turned up to surprise Noel at The Melbourne Comedy Festival.
On a sad note there always seems to be one or two friends that have got ill health since we last met up.





Tuesday 05 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to LITTLE RICHARD who is 85 today.
An influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades, Little Richard's most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll.




Tuesday 05 December 2017.
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL headliners confirmed for June 2018.
Liam Gallagher has been announced as one of the headline acts at next year's Isle of Wight Festival, with Depeche Mode, The Killers and Kasabian also appearing at the 50th anniversary event in June. Gallagher said he was 'looking forward to playing the mighty Isle of Wight Festival', while Kasabian said they were 'hugely honoured'.
Buy tickets on their website link on the right of this page.





Monday 04 December 2017...kick off at 7.45pm.
‘The Rebels’ Slough Town are through to the second round of the prestigious FA Cup competition for
only the seventh time in their 127 year history
The Southern Premier League outfit welcome League One’s Rochdale to Arbour Park hoping to
spring a shock and have even ordered in special edition replica shirts for the occasion.
Can the minnows of Slough get through to the third round and get a big draw with a premier league club?
Err sadly no....SLOUGH TOWN 0 ROCHDALE 4.
I stayed in with a few beers to watch this live on BT Sport but it all sadly went tits up for Slough Town.
Great to see their tiny ground of around 2,000 capacity sold out but it was not to be.






Monday 04 December 2017.
Bat Out of Hell The Musical returns to London after the success of the shows in 2017.
I saw this very enjoyable show and went to the massive opening night launch party.
Winner of Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 and nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage awards in 2018, Jim Steinman’s smash-hit musical Bat Out of Hell, returns to London at the historic Dominion Theatre!
This exhilarating tale of star-crossed lovers “changed the way musicals are staged forever” (North West End) with its boundary pushing spectacle, thrilling performances and reimagining of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits.
With a multi award-winning creative team from the world of Theatre, Opera, Music and Film, this 'jaw-dropping spectacle' (Evening Standard) plays the Dominion Theatre from 2 April 2018. Book now!
TICKETS FROM £20.00






Sunday 03 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to rock legend Ozzy Osbourne who is 69 today.





Saturday 02 December 2017.
KASABIAN + SLAVES live at The 02 Arena, London.
Kasabian play the second of two shows at The 02 Arena.
I have seen Kasabian around a dozen times including earlier this year when they played at The Forum.
Kasabian are on a UK arena tour to promote their sixth album 'For Crying Out Loud,' which hit number one.
Their world tour has included summer headline performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Support act Slaves are a very lively band worth getting there early to see.
-----------------------------
It's a Kasabian gig so the bars inside and outside the venue are doing a roaring trade.
Support act SLAVES play for around 40 mins.
Slaves are an English punk duo from Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, which formed in 2012. It consists of Laurie Vincent (guitar, bass, vocals) and Isaac Holman (stand up drums, vocals). Their music has been described as "British punk with harsh bluesy garage riffs".
I have seen them a couple of times before so I know it's gonna be good.
For Slaves set i watched from the guest block right of stage...magician DYNAMO was sitting near me...
Slaves are given use of the two big screens.
They played a brutal energetic set of songs from their two albums which have both made the Top 10 charts.
The drummer is shirtless early on as usual as he bashes his kit relentlessly and prowls the stage.
They someone manage to get the pit security to hug each other...before asking the crowd to do the same.
The crowd down the front know their songs so there is healthy mosh pit dancing.
A really good set.
Full setlist played tonight...
Sockets
White Knuckle Ride
Fuck the Hi-Hat
Photo Opportunity
Cheer Up London
Sugar Coated Bitter Truth
Beauty Quest
The Hunter
----------------------------
For Kasabian I fancied being on the floor standing with the Kasabian hardcore fans.
I was a couple of rows from the stage on the far right when footie legend PETER CROUCH came out of
backstage area so I had to have a few words with him "You just signed a new year long contact with Stoke
but I was hoping you were coming back to help us out at QPR'"....he replied " One Day, Maybe".
Better still , instead of going to the cosy guest seats Peter stood on the floor standing with the fans.
For the last 20 or 30 mins he was actually jumping around in the mosh area right of stage.
When Sergio came in the crowd for a walkabout he spotted Peter and they had a jig.
I cannot remember ' a well known face' obviously enjoying themselves so much at a gig....amazing.
Peter was playing at Stoke in the afternoon so must have left the ground pronto to get here.
KASABIAN take to the stage at 9pm and play for 1 hour 45 mins.
From my excellent vantage point down the front Kasabian were totally on fire tonight.
All the band arrived on stage wearing matching customised white denim outfits.
The band use two screens at the sides and a massive light production.
Later in the show they would be joined by a three man brass section and choir.
Singer Tom and bass player Sergio really do seem the best of mates , like a latter day Rossi/Parfitt.
They do all the band interviews and they constantly hug each other and whisper words throughout.
Kasabian really are a bunch of mates touring the world in a big rock band and having the time of their lives.
New album tracks 'You're in Love With a Psycho' and 'Bless This Acid House' are top notch.
Loads of great terrace style sing-alongs as the crowd on the floor bounce madly to their brand of dance rock.
Excellent show.
Full Kasabian setlist played tonight...
Ill Ray (The King)
Bumblebeee
Eez-Eh
Twentyfourseven
Underdog
Shoot the Runner
You're in Love With a Psycho
Wasted
British Legion
Club Foot
Re-Wired
Treat
Empire
Bless This Acid House
Stevie
Put Your Life on It
L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) (ticker-tape cannons over the crowd)
Encore:
Comeback Kid
Vlad the Impaler
Fire





Friday 01 December 2017....I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8pm
BONHAMS CAR AUCTIONS x MONTBLANC , Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1.
Bonhams are showcasing around 20 stunning classic cars and a couple of old motorbikes that
are in their next auction at Olympia to be held on Wed 06 Dec 2017.
Ferrari, Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz , Aston Martin, Porsche etc are on display.
Montblanc is a German manufacturer of luxury writing instruments, watches, jewellery and leather goods,
often identified by their "Snow peak" logo....they are showcasing some of their quality items.
Around 150 guests here with complimentary Pol Roger champers and canapés for all.
www.bonhams.comVisit the Bonhams website here for more info.
www.montblanc.comVisit the Montblanc website here for more info.
then
MICHAEL MONROE live at The Dome, Tufnell Park, North London.
Michael Monroe now aged 55 ( ex Hanoi Rocks singer ) is a Finnish glam/sleaze/garage rocker.
Hanoi Rocks was a Finnish rock band formed in 1979. They were the first Finnish band to chart in the UK and they were also popular in Japan. The band broke up in June 1985 after the drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley had died in a car accident during their first US tour in December 1984.
I saw Hanoi Rocks play live in 1983.
Michael Monroe is on a UK tour to promote his career spanning 'Best Of' collection out on Spinefarm/Universal.
29-TRACK + 2-CD, RE-MASTERED SET FEATURES KEY COMPOSITIONS FROM MONROE’S
30-YEAR SOLO CAREER, PLUS BONUS CUTS + UNRELEASED SONGS.
--------------------------
Pretty amazing i am back at this 600 capacity venue for the first time in over 30 years.
I saw Zodiac Mindwarp here back in 1986.
I think it has been closed for long periods and does not get many big name bands.
The Irish pub below the venue offers a pint of Fosters for only £2.20.
During the interval it is all gems by The Clash over the pa including the magical 'Stay Free'
which features Mick Jones on vocals.
MICHAEL MONROE arrived on stage at 9pm and played an excellent 1 hour 45 mins set.
His band include Steve Conte and Sami Yaffa who I saw when they were members of The New York Dolls.
I have seen Michael Monroe a couple of times as a support act so great to see him play a full headline show.
Jawbone a-jutting, eyeballs a-bulging, high-kicking like a deranged go-go dancer, sporting an outfit that’s eye-wateringly tight and garish, Monroe is part ringmaster and part stick insect. At 55 years old he has no business looking this good and singing with such energy and enthusiasm.
Looking like a young David Lee Roth , Michael Monroe couldn't keep still as he climbed the speaker stacks
and worked his socks off as his sweat made his mascara and hair all messy.
Uptempo garage rock n roll at its finest...a great show.
Setlist highlights included....
'78
Not Faking It (Nazareth cover)
Ballad of the Lower East Side
Hammersmith Palais (Demolition 23. song)
Old Kings Road
Up Around the Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
Dead, Jail or Rock 'n' Roll
Encore:
I Wanna Be Loved (The Heartbreakers cover)





Friday 01 December 2017.
41 years ago today on 01 December 1976.
In December 1976, a sweary, televised incident made Britain gasp and THE SEX PISTOLS front page news...
It caused a massive stink in British TV history. It brought punk to the masses and some say killed it stone dead. And, indirectly, it was Freddie Mercury’s fault. Or, to be precise, one of his dodgy teeth was to blame.
Queen had been booked to appear on Bill Grundy’s Today show, but then Freddie developed toothache. It was so bad that Freddie, who notoriously wasn’t keen on dentists, decided he had to make his first visit to one in 15 years, and Queen’s appearance was cancelled. A desperate EMI offered up new group the Sex Pistols as a last-minute replacement to Today’s producers. What happened next changed everything.




Thursday 30 November 2017...I went to three events near each other tonight...
5.30pm to 7.15pm.
MOUNT STREET CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS SWITCH ON - Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1.
Over 500 folks here in this upmarket street despite the cold weather.
One of London’s most stylish destinations, Mayfair’s Mount Street is home to a plethora of
luxurious boutiques and restaurants with global acclaim.
There are carol singers and other vocalists and djs.
Many of the stores are handing complimentary drinks and food including champers, prosecco,
Nyetimber wines ,mulled wines, hot chocolate, canapés, mince pies, roasted chestnuts etc.
Best were PARMIGIANI, CONNAUGHT HOTEL, CHRISTOPHER KANE and NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD.
TRACEY EMIN switched the Christmas Tree lights on at 6.45pm.
then
7.20pm to 8.20pm.
FORTNUM & MASON CHRISTMAS PARTY , 181 Piccadilly, London W1.
Over 500 folks here spread out over all levels of this 300 year old store.
We head for the mens area on the third floor.
I spot Tom Parker Bowles and Richard E Grant walking about.
There is a jazz band playing and complimentary hair & beard trim along with shoeshine.
WOODFORD RESERVE are sponsoring the drinks with three nice whiskey drinks.
Old Fashioned, Rye Manhattan, Boulvardier.
www.fortnumandmason.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
8.25pm to 10pm
BAD SEX IN FICTION AWARD at The Navy & Military Club, 4 St James's Street, St James's, London SW1.
In Dec 2015 · Morrissey's debut novel, 'List of the Lost' won the least coveted honour in fiction.
Over 200 guests in this stunning huge room with high ceilings in this private members club building.
Guests included Griff Rhys Jones, Nicky Haslam, Rachel Johnson, Fenella Fielding and Lucy Beresford.
As always it is a very buzzy vibe here.
Christopher Bollen won the award.
American author Christopher Bollen has won the Bad Sex In Fiction Award 2017 for an excerpt in his novel
The Destroyers, which refers to the protagonist’s genitals as a “billiard rack”.
“She covers her breasts with her swimsuit,” writes Bollen. “The rest of her remains so delectably exposed. The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub. Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”
Bollen, who is also the editor-at-large of Interview magazine, fended off 'stiff ' competition from the likes of Wilbur Smith for War Cry, Laurent Binet for The Seventh Function Of Language and Venetia Welby for Mother Of Darkness to become the 25th winner of the Literary Review prize.
Complimentary champers, Negronis, wines, beers and canapés for all guests.
All guests got a small goodie bag on departure.





Thursday 30 November 2017.
Phil Collins tour rehearsals took place at LH2 Studios in Park Royal/Acton , West London.
This was the same venue that The Rolling Stones recently used.
I was at Hammersmith Odeon in 1982 for two of the four Phil Collins shows there on his first ever solo tour.



-----------------------------