Archive: January 2018

January 22, 2018

Sunday 21 January 2018.
Back in London ok and it's cold and rainy.
My press trip review to Taiwan is now finished.

Saturday 20 January 2018.
Happy Birthday to Paul Stanley of KISS who is 66 today.
Paul is the singer & rhythm guitarist and of American rock legends KISS.
He is currently on a solo tour of Japan.

Monday 08 January 2018.
Press trip to TAIWAN for me departing on Mon 08 Jan for around 12 days/ 11 nights.
CHINA AIRLINES will start the first direct flight from London to Taiwan from 01 Dec 2017.
They have kindly given me a Premium Economy return ticket worth around £1000 plus airport taxes
but i pay the £175 airport taxes.
The Taipei-London route CI069/CI070 will depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It will be flown by the latest A350-900 XWB aircraft equipped with 32 Premium Business Class, 31 Premium Economy Class and 243 Economy Class seats. London flights leave from Gatwick.
TAIWAN TOURISM BUREAU have kindly arranged included the following complimentary schedule for me...
Return Premium Economy Flights with China Airlines.
A night each at three different hotels---One five star in Hualien and two four star hotels in Tainan.
Two excursions in Taipei.
Two lunch / dinner vouchers in Hualien.
...and i pay for everything else...
Arrived ok after a 12 hour flight to Taipei.
The new Airbus plane was fantastic and so quiet.
My mate Malcolm is here with me for a couple of days before he heads off to Bangkok
to see Imagine Dragons and Liam Gallagher play gigs there.
Imagine Dragons are playing here { Taipei} on Monday but i will probably be down south of Taiwan by then.
Very handy for him to have British Airways staff standby fares to go as you please at short notice.
Foodies would love it here as there are restaurants, small cafes and street food stands everywhere selling very tasty food.
Street venders selling a good portion of fried chicken with garlic and rice for only a quid etc.
Not really a drinking culture here so not many bars.
Very safe late at night here for men and for women.
It is very densely populated in Taipei.
Scooters are EVERYWHERE out here....but not many motorbikes.
So easy to get around on a scooter and no parking charges.
I would say one out of twenty people are wearing a mask due to the scooters pollution or flu germs etc.
A great metro and bus system here.
Everyone stands in marked tramlines to enter each coach...nobody pushes in or tries to dodge the fare...
The fare is only 50p to 70p a journey which is much cheaper than London.
Everyone is so nice and friendly out here and keen to practise their English.
There are plenty of English signs everywhere but not any other languages.
Tues 09 Jan / Wed 10 Jan...visited night markets,temples and other mooching about stuff.
Plenty of big name designer brands here including Cartier, Dior, Bulgari,Louis Vuitton,Apple Store etc.
Always interesting to see which UK names are out here.
I spotted a Jo Malone store and a Body Shop store.
POSHPACKER HOTEL was a handy three star modern hotel for my stay near Taipei Main Station.
I was here for the first four nights...cost around £22 a night in advance from AGODA.
Thurs 11 the afternoon i had a couple of hours up Taipei 101.
When built it was the tallest building in the it is eighth tallest.
88th to 91st floors are the stunning views over all of Taipei.
Fri 12 Jan...Taiwan Tourism arranged a three hour sightseeing tour
of Taipai for me.
They picked me up from the hotel by mini bus and dropped me off there.
Our route was , a visit to a popular temple, changing of the guard at CKS Memorial Hall,tea tasting and ceremony at a showroom, visit to National Memorial Palace,visit to National Palace Museum and then back.
in the evening i went to one of the big electronics malls.
Six floors of stuff but not as cheap as i expected.
Then to a big night market at Roahe Street for some nice food and dessert.
I will be on the move soon..
Sat 13 Jan...train from Tainan to Haulien on the mid East Coast...
i took the Express train that took 2 hours 10 mins.
Taiwan Tourism gave me a voucher for Doing Good! restaurant in Haulien.
It is a Spanish restaurant in the posh part of town where nice hotels are.
I had a three course meal with Beef Risotto & Mushroom Risotto as the mains with a drink..very nice..
I then found a nice three star hotel named SYnCO for 900 T Dollars (23 quid)...
Only saw a couple of other western faces here in Haulien...
Like Taipei it livened up in the evening when all the lights got switched
on and folks came out to eat and shop and eat again.
Sun 14 Jan...Sunday morning i went to the local Sunday market in Haulien.
Mainly fruit n veg and fish and a few selling new and secondhand stuff.
At lunchtime i went back to Doing Good! restaurant for the same lunch.
At 3pm i am picked up by the hotel shuttle bus at the train station.
We have a 30 mins drive through the countryside with some nice scenery.
Taiwan Tourism have arranged a one night stay at the five star PROMISED LAND Resort and Lagoon...
" The Venice of Taiwan" they call it.
It has a 2.2 kilometres lagoon with seven bridges that winds through the
complex with statues and gardens are around it.
I went on the 12 mins ride in the afternoon after I checked in and the following morning which was excellent.
It really is Disneyland meets Venice.
It looks amazing but sadly only one night here.
Rooms start from 200 quid a night but you can get special offers on hotel websites.
We are met at the hotel by baggage porters and for a 20 mins Spanish singing and dancing show.
I have a stunning massive room with a balcony at ground level that looks out to the lagoon.
It could sleep four the info says...
Later that night was a 40 mins dancing and singing stage show in the marquee.
I was the only "western face" in the 150 strong audience.
Needless to say when they wanted four guys to come up on stage , i would be picked.
We all had to put on a Hawaii type skirt and pom poms on out wrists and do a little dance.i didn't win.
Mon 15 Jan at 11am the hotel shuttle bus dropped me at the train station for my noon train.
Again you need reserved seats, if a train is sold out of seats you are allowed to stand.
Train from Hualien in the mid East to Tainan in the South which took six hours as it has to go
around the mountains in Central Taiwan.
Older buildings including train stations and temples have the older squat style toilets.
Tue 16 Jan -- Taiwan Tourism have arranged a night for me at the four star
Tainan has got plenty of big brand new fancy hotels between the older buildings.
I am on the 10th floor of this 12 floor hotel.
Despite having over 100 rooms , it feels quiet but I was happy with that.
A very nice room with a massive bed, huge tv, shower, japanese toilets and the other stuff,including weighing scales.
They have a couple of handy Apple Mac computers for me to use in the lobby for emails and updating this site.
Lots of temples and scooters like in other parts of the country.
Another amazing story about how friendly the locals are here.i got a bit lost {again } on my walkabouts.
I asked at a scooter repair shop and the guy said "its at least 20 mins walk away " he said " stay there".
He went to the back of the shop and got a spare crash helmet and off i went on the back of his scooter, just incredible.
Tuesday evening i went to local night market around 15 mins away.
Night markets are very popular here in Taiwan, mainly because it is a good meeting place for old and young.
It is a bit warmer down South than in Taipei.
Wed morning was a full buffet breakfast with over 20 items , both Asian and Western.
Wed 17 Jan --- Taiwan Tourism have arranged a night for me at the four star WEI YAT GRAND HOTEL in Tainan.
This hotel is around 30 mins walk from the previous hotel and overlooks a canal.
i am on the 5th floor of six floors that has many rooms on each floor.
it is further away from the Tainan train station area.
My suite here is enormous and includes a main room with tv and two settees , a bedroom with tv along
with two seperate toilets / bathrooms.
You could sleep a four piece band and store all their eqiupment in here.
It is a nice older style hotel building and there are some nice quirky buildings around here.
Also a couple of bars.
Another day where I walked for several miles including temples and just mooching about.
A big buffet breakfast of over 20 items including Asian and Western dishes.
Thurs 18 Jan - the hotel arranged a complimentary taxi back to Tainan train station.
The original idea was to get the high speed train from here but I came across a cheap luxury coach company
called U Bus who only charged £10 for the 4 hours 15 mins journey back to Taipei which was great.
For Thursday and Friday night I was back at POSHPACKER HOTEL in Taipei.
The receptionist recommended a visit to TAMSUI which was 18 stops at the end of the blue line.
It's a waterfront area where people come to watch the sunset go down and there is more of a
holiday vibe here and there are buskers and a bit like Covent Garden in feel.
Another nice temple here...all temples have toilets which is good to know.
On the way back I went to Taipei most famous night market SHILIN.
Lots of food, clothes and loads of arcade type stalls.
Taiwan folks love those grabbing toy machines.
Fri 19 Jan ... today was the last full day in Taiwan.
I went 90 mins each way on two trains (only £2 each way) to JINGAN which is a very popular tourist
attraction where the train runs through this old town on a single track with houses and stores either side.
This is where tourists paint wishes on 4ft lanterns for just £5 and let them off.
You look in the sky and there are dozens of mini hot air balloons up in the sky.
Check out youtube as many people put videos up of it.
After I walked 15 mins to the waterfall and suspension bridges at JINGAN WATERFALL PARK.
I did a whole circlular tour of Taiwan.
Sat 20 Jan i depart Taiwan and arrive back at Gatwick.
The journey coming back takes an extra hour so 13 hours non stop.
Watched some films and some middle of the road music on the in house headphones.
So much non stop on the food and drink on the plane was great.
Arrive back in London and it's cold and rainy.
The weather in Taiwan was sunny during the day then 6pm it went dark.
General summary of Taiwan.
It is not really a place to go if you want a booze filled holiday as they are not into that.
Food is everywhere which is great if you are a foodie.
Most Westerners seem to stop in Taipei for a few days and don't head elsewhere in Taiwan.
Taiwan reputation as being one of the most friendly and helpful was certainly true.
It was very safe at midnight for male and female.
I never saw any road rage or arguments or anything like that.
A very enjoyable trip.

Wednesday 17 January 2018.
Hard to believe that Cranberries singer Delores O'Riordan has been found dead at age just 46.
Her body was found at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane , London.
I saw them a couple of times including in 2002 at Hammersmith Apollo when we met her at the party afterwards.
The Rolling Stones booking agent at the time John Giddings told me once about when
The Cranberries supported The Stones in Milan.
John said to Delores 'whatever you do ,DO NOT walk down The Stones catwalk" what did Delores do?
Yep , she walked down it.
On a more positive note i am here in 75 f sunshine in Tainan , Southern Taiwan and CNN is showing the
opening of the new American Embassy in London where it is pouring with rain LOL

Sunday 14 January 2018.
You lose touch of whats going on in music when you are far away in Taiwan.
Pretty much no western music over here as they have their own stars.
They have a very popular boy band called Mayday.
They are playing a massive London show at The 02 Arena on 04 March.
Sad news that Fast Eddie Clark the original guitarist with Motorhead
has passed away aged 67.He was the last surviving member of the classic lineup.
I saw the original three man lineup several times before Eddie left in 1982.
Happy Birthday to Jimmy Page who was 74 on 09 Jan.
Happy Birthday to Rod Stewart who was 73 on 10 Jan.

Saturday 06 January 2018.
THE BOYS + HEAVY DRAPES + THE VULZ live at The 100 Club, London.
The Resolution Punk Festival returns to The 100 Club for its annual stint in January.
The Boys are an English punk rock/power pop band formed in London in 1976.
Members of the band had previously played in other groups, including London SS and Hollywood Brats. After recording four studio albums and eight singles, as well as recording Christmas themed music under the name The Yobs, they disbanded in the summer of 1982. The band reformed in 1999, and released a new album 'Punk Rock Menopause' in 2014.
I saw them several times in their heyday as well as recent shows including The 100 Club in Jan 2017.
What better way to dust off those January blues than by heading down to the legendary 100 Club
for a night with three punk rock/power pop bands.
We have a full house tonight and there are lots of punk rock chums here i know.
Gaye Advert and Jordan were also in the crowd tonight.
Dj Jeff Monday played loads of classic punk tunes throughout the evening.
THE VULZ arrived on stage at 8pm and played for around 40 mins.
Some fine rock n roll from this West London band who played tracks off their two albums.
HEAVY DRAPES arrived on stage at 8.55pm and played for around 35 mins.
They hail from Scotland and are one of most highly rated new punk bands playing the circuit.
The four band members have all adopted appropriate punk rock names; hence we have De Liberate on vocals, Rikki Stiv on guitar, Jerry Dangerous handling bass duties and Billy Chaos on the traps. Fortunately, Heavy Drapes can back up their image with seriously good catchy uptempo tunes with great guitar riffs and
proper harmonies from the guitarist and drummer to ram home the chorus of each track.
They have a four track EP out.
THE BOYS are on stage for around 60 mins.
They still feature three original members from the 1970s but guitarist Honest John Plain had to sit out
a few songs near the end tonight as he is still recovering from a serious fall down some stairs.
They had an extra guitarist tonight to help him out throughout.
Most of The Boys songs are less than 3 mins long so loads of older gems played tonight along
with a few tracks from their most recent album.
Great to see so many younger fans here singing along to their catchy lyrics.
A great club gig.
Full setlist played by The Boys tonight...
See Ya Later
Terminal Love
I'm a believer
Cop Cars
You Can't Hurt a Memory
Punk Rock Girl
Soda Pressing
Tumble With Me (Hollywood Brats cover)
Do the Contract Hustle
Global Warming
I Don't Care
Brickfield Nights
First Time
(They pretended to leave the stage) Encore:
Living in the City
Sick On You
The Resolution Punk Festival continues with these gigs....
Sun 7th ANTI-PASTI + The Varukers + Knock Off
Tue 9th THE MEMBERS + Chron Gen + Ambition Demolition
Wed 10th SUBHUMANS + Criminal Mind + Desperate Measures
Thur 11th VICE SQUAD + Menace + Nick Cash (999 solo set)
Fri 12th GBH + Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life
Sat 13th DISCHARGE + Loaded 44
Sun 14th UK SUBS + The Ramonas “Original� + Red Light Rebels
+ DJ Jeffrey Munday will be on the decks Fri 12th, Sat 13th and Sun 14th.
The club will be open till midnight on those dates. their website here for more info and to buy tickets.

Friday 05 January 2018.
Channel 4 tv 9pm to 11pm are showing The Beatles film 'Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years'.
Ron Howard's documentary from 2016 with recent contributions from Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr.
The film focuses on The Beatles' career during their touring years from 1962 to 1966, from their
performances at the Cavern Club in Liverpool to their final ticketed concert in San Francisco in 1966.
Always great to see footage of The Beatles from the 1960s.
Pretty amazing the amount of non-stop touring ,writing and recording that they squeezed in.
Lots of remastered film & sound to give it a nice clear quality.
Beatlemania got the better of them as exhaustion, security concerns and inadequate
sound quality at gigs took its toll.
Following Candlestick Park in 1966, the band released ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band� in 1967,
and went on to release a further five albums including ‘Abbey Road� and ‘Let It Be�.
The film ends with footage of their impromptu rooftop gig at Apple HQ in Saville Row in 1969.

Thursday 04 January 2018.
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.
(Also Wolverhampton a couple of days before on 02 Jan 2018).
Black Country Communion will play only two shows in Europe to promote their fourth album BCCIV.
The lineup of vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, keyboardist Derek Sherinian
and guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa will reunite after time spent playing in their respective solo careers.
Classic Rock magazine & website made their new album No 2 Best Album Of The Year after QOTSA.
I have seen BCC before as headliner and support act.
I have seen Glenn Hughes solo a couple of times as well as with Deep Purple back in 1974 with
the classic line-up that also included David Coverdale and Richie Blackmore.
I saw Jason Bonham when he took over his dad's role in the mega Led Zeppelin re-union gig of 2007.
It is not a sell out as there is space downstairs and unsold blocks of seats upstairs.
Not really surprising when ticket prices were a hefty �75 plus booking fees for stalls standing and
�90 plus booking fees for circle seats but 3500/4000 sold out of 5000 capacity is still pretty good.
BCC arrived on stage at 8pm and played a nice long set of 2 hours 10 mins.
All four members are well known in the rock world but the show is clearly dominated by
Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa.
Glenn Hughes is now aged 66 but still has his amazing voice and still looks like a proper rock star.
Joe Bonamassa is playing some very nifty guitar.
Later in the show Joe would say "nice to be back at Hammersmith Odeon" even though he was too
young to play the venue when it was called that...the venue became The Apollo in 1992.
He clearly knows the rock history of the venue from the 1970s and 1980s.
Loads of good solid rock BCC tunes played and a Deep Purple cover at the end.
An enjoyable show.
The show was filmed by some mini cameras so that could come out in the future.
Full setlist played tonight...
One Last Soul
Save Me
Song of Yesterday
The Outsider
This Is Your Time
The Battle for Hadrian's Wall
The Crow
Over My Head
The Last Song for My Resting Place (with Gerry O'Connor from The Dubliners)
Drum solo
Man In the Middle
Black Country
Mistreated (Deep Purple cover)
After-party in the balcony bar of the venue.
I was there from 10.15pm to 11.30pm but the event was due to finish at midnight.
Around 100 guests are here with a nice buzzy's a pay bar...
All the band turned up,with Joe Bonamassa the first to arrive and Glenn Hughes the last to arrive.
Joe was a lot more chattier and friendlier than i expected.
Glenn was the one that posed for the most photos here.
Also here was Gerry O'Connor from The Dubliners who had joined them on stage earlier.
Had a chat with me old mucker Gary from top KISS tribute band Dressed to Kill.
I saw them play many great shows...he has just left the hand after 27 years...
Also here were Dante from Spinefarm Records and BCC pr Peter Noble.
Also the usual suspects from Classic Rock and Metal Talk.
All four band members were still here when i departed.
When i left the venue there was still 20 fans outside waiting for autographs etc.
A good party.

Thursday 04 January 2018.
Kensington Roof Gardens, one of London's best-known party venues, is to close after its owner of more than 35 years, Virgin, said 'an ever-changing London market' meant it was 'a challenge to remain profitable'. A total of 85 staff will lose their jobs as a result of the closure, but Virgin insisted it was working closely with staff to find alternate employment opportunities within the group and hospitality industry.
Richard Branson took over the venue lease in 1981 after he was turned away at the door
by the previous owners of the venue (Regine's) for being 'too scruffy'.
When i worked at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s i attended several big after-show parties held
there at the venue by the bands after they had come offstage at Hammersmith.
The best would have to be The Cult in March 1987 to celebrate their three sold out shows.

Wednesday 03 January 2018.
I stumbled across a random rare sighting on tv last night of TONY JAMES.
Christmas Celebrity University Challenge 2017 featured Brunel against Reading.
On the Brunel University team was TONY JAMES who studied there in the 1970s.
Tony James (now aged 64 ) was born in Shepherds Bush, London is an English musician and producer,
who was the bassist for the 1970's-1980's bands Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
After that he was in Carbon / Silicon with his old mate Mick Jones (ex The Clash).
His hair is a bit longer these days....Brunel lost...Carl Barat from The Libertines also studied there...
The Sex Pistols played their last London area (it's just outside West London) gig at Brunel in Dec 1977.
It was a secret gig that I found out about but did not go as it was my work Christmas Party...true..
It was one of those..."I would go and see them next time they play London"...
Little did i know that a couple of months later they would split up and didn't play again until 1996.
Here are the shows I saw at Brunel....they don't have bands play there anymore...
Motorhead Brunel University , Uxbridge 13.01.1978
Lurkers Brunel University, Uxbridge 01.11.1978
Penetration Brunel University, Uxbridge 10.11.1978
Magazine,Prag Vec Brunel University, Uxbridge 02.03.1979
Penetration Brunel University, Uxbridge 04.05.1979
Pretenders,UB40 Brunel University , Uxbridge 27.02.1980 pretenders debut LP charted at No 1
Cuddly Toys,Mad Shadows Brunel University , Uxbridge 13.11.1981

Tuesday 02 January 2018.
Plenty of great gigs confirmed for 2018 already...with loads more to be announced.
There are a few big names who are due some UK dates.
The Rolling Stones...played shows in Europe in 2017 and have promised UK shows for 2018.
Paul McCartney...played shows in other parts of the world in 2017 but not the UK.
KISS have announced shows in Spain in July...maybe a UK show even though they played the UK in 2017.
Jimmy Page....has been talking about putting a live band together since the Led Zeppelin reunion gig in 2007.
Bruce Springsteen....has never been back at Hammersmith Odeon since I saw him there in 1975.
He brings his recent New York acoustic show back there for a multi night stint...(just me dreaming).
I was at both Bruce Springsteen solo shows at The Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

Monday 01 January 2018.
It looks like ED SHEERAN will easily be the biggest live music act in UK & Ireland this year as he is
playing 27 stadium shows including four sold out shows at Wembley Stadium.
Ed returns to Wembley Stadium in June , three years after his last appearance under the arch.
The singer-songwriter has announced FOUR nights on Thursday 14, Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June 2018.
Ed has already enjoyed a phenomenal 2017 with his third studio album � reigning as 2017’s biggest-selling album of the year.
These gigs will be his first return to Wembley since his record-breaking stint in 2015, when he became the first-ever artist to play the stadium solo [with just his loop pedal and guitar] over three consecutive, sold out nights.
As part of his world tour Sheeran will play to over 950,000 people in Australia and New Zealand in March and April 2018, making it the biggest concert tour in Australasian music history, overtaking the previous record set by Dire Straits in 1986.

Monday 01 January 2018.
HAPPY NEW YEAR greetings to all visitors to this website.

Sunday. 31 December 2017.
Work has begun on the world’s largest guitar shaped building. Hard Rock is building the guitar shaped tower in Florida.
The building is on the current Hard Rock Hotel and Casino site in Seminole, Florida. The design has been created to be an exact replica of a guitar complete with the curving of the guitar body and guitar neck. The tower will resemble strings with the floors across each room looking like frets.
The 137-metre guitar shaped hotel will feature 638 rooms.
The new extension for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will open during 2019.

Saturday 30 December 2017.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS live at The Dominion Theatre , London W1.
I went to the press / vip opening night & party for this show on 21 March 2017
and decided to go back and see it again as it closes at the end of this week.
It got loads of great five and four star reviews when it first opened.
Pretty amazing that Queens musical played this massive theatre for a staggering 12 years.
On 11 March 2014 it was announced that 'We Will Rock You' would close on 31 May 2014,
shortly after its 12th Anniversary, and after 4600 performances at the Dominion Theatre.
'We Will Rock You' is the 10th longest running stage production in West End history.
The show tonight is on for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 70 mins.
The show is directed and choreographed by British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and is inspired by the 1951 film starring Gene Kelly. It features the songs of George and Ira Gershwin such as "I Got Rhythm", "‘S Wonderful" , "I'll Build a Stairway To Paradise" and " They Can't Take That Away From Me".
The musical follows an American GI in Paris as he discovers the city and falls in love with a young dancer. The current cast includes Ashley Day as Jerry Mulligan, Leanne Cope as Lise Dassin and Haydn Oakley as Henri Baurel.
Loads of great songs and dance routines are the main highlights of the show which again was very enjoyable.
Jane Asher plays the role of Madame Baurel in this production.
Jane Asher still looks and dances great for age 71.
Jane Asher was engaged to Paul McCartney in the 1960s.
Jane Asher has been married to illustrator Gerald Scarfe for over 30 years.
In 2010, Scarfe's book The Making of Pink Floyd: The Wall was published, detailing the artist's work with
Pink Floyd and Roger Waters from 1974-2010.
must end 06 Jan 2018Visit The Dominion Theatre website here for more info and to buy tickets.

Saturday 30 December 2017.
Arsène Wenger, OBE, passes Sir Alex Ferguson for games in charge.
Arsène Wenger has been at Arsenal for an incredible 21 years.
Frenchman Arsène Wenger equalled Sir Alex Ferguson's record of having taken charge of 810 Premier League games in Arsenal's 3-2 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday.
He will go on to break the record when the Gunners visit West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Eve.
Arsène Wenger has won 3 Premier League titles but Sir Alex won 13 Premier League titles.

Saturday 30 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to Jeff Lynne who is 70 today.
Happy Birthday to Patti Smith who is 71 today.

Saturday 30 December 2017.
Others joining Sir Ringo Starr in the New Year Honours List include...
Bee Gee Barry Gibb is now a Sir for services to music & charity.
Singer Marc Almond gets can OBE.
Tv presenter Eamonn Holmes gets an OBE for 38 years service to broadcasting.

Friday 29 December 2017.
Vive Le Rock Magazine - Best Albums of 2017.
Two acts who have released great comeback albums have topped their Best Albums Of The Year List.
1. The Professionals 'What In The World'.
2. Peter Perrett 'How The West Was Won'.

Thursday 28 December 2017.
Here are Pollstar’s 20 highest-grossing tours of 2017, with earnings in millions:
U2 and Guns N Roses sold a similar amount of tickets but U2 tickets were more expensive.
Guns N Roses played more shows than U2 but U2 crowds were bigger.
1. U2 � $316m
2. Guns N� Roses � $292.5m
3. Coldplay � $238m
4. Bruno Mars � $200.1m
5. Metallica � $152.8m
6. Depeche Mode � $141.1m
7. Paul McCartney � $132m
8. Ed Sheeran � $124.1m
9. The Rolling Stones � $120m
10. Garth Brooks � $101.4m
11. Celine Dion � $101.2m
12. Justin Bieber � $93.7m
13. Roger Waters � $92.1m
14. Bruce Springsteen � $87.8m
15. Lady Gaga � $85.7m
16. Billy Joel � $82.3m
17. The Weeknd � $80m
18. Tim McGraw/Faith Hill � $79.3m
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers � $73.5m
20. Ariana Grande � $66.5m
Bruce Springsteen played in the smallest venue but had the most expensive tickets.
Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show is raking it in, with $87. 8 million grossed, an impressive figure when you factor in that the show stages in Walter Kerr Theatre, with a 945-capacity, much smaller than the arenas and stadiums he normally fills. Bruce appears at the No. 14 position on this year’s chart, which is still impressive, though it might seem like a downgrade from the No. 1 position he occupied last year after his massive tour with The E Street Band.
Expensive tickets helped him get into the Top 20.

Wednesday 27 December 2017.
Music legend RINGO STARR is set to be knighted in the New Year's Honours.
The Beatles drummer, 77, will be recognised for services to music and charity.
Liverpudlian Ringo is said to be 'made up' at the news having been told last week.
The star, real name Richard Starkey, got his first drum kit for Christmas aged 17.
Sir Paul McCartney received his knighthood 20 years ago in 1997.
Fact of the day...Bono was given a honorary knighthood a decade ago.
The rock star and campaigner, is not entitled to be called "Sir" because he is not a British citizen.

Sunday 24 December 2017.
Christmas the past couple of years was a bad time for music legends to go to that gig up in the sky.
Dec 24 2016 - Rick Parfitt (Status Quo) passed away last year.
Dec 25 2016 - George Michael passed away last year.
Dec 28 2015 - Lemmy (Motörhead) passed away two years ago.

Sunday 24 December 2017.
Another amazing year for me for going to gigs and other events.
Again over 150 gigs seen by me this year.

Saturday 23 December 2017.
RUTS DC + Department S + London Sewage Company live at The 100 Club, London.
The Ruts first gigs were in 1977 so they are celebrating 40 years although they split up for a long period.
The Ruts / Ruts DC are an English reggae-influenced punk rock band, notable for the 1979 UK Top 10 hit "Babylon's Burning", and an earlier single "In a Rut", which was not a hit but was highly regarded and regularly played by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel.
Original singer Malcolm Owen was found dead in the bathroom of his parents' house in Hayes, Middlesex
from a heroin overdose on 14 July 1980 at the age of 26.
I saw them three times in the late 1970s with Malcolm Owen and a couple of times since they have reformed.
Support from Department S whose original singer Vaughn Toulouse sadly died in 1991.
I saw them play The Fulham Greyhound in 1981 which was their main year for success.
They had a couple of hit singles.
Released 1981 "Is Vic There?" No. 22 Chart Hit on Demon Records B-side; "Solid Gold Easy Action"
Released 1981 "Going Left Right" No. 55 Chart Hit on Stiff Records B-side; "She's Expecting You"
I had to drag myself out of the house tonight as I am soooo tired.
Seven nights of gigs on the trot have taken their all seven gigs were standing up.
I can take it easy for a few days over the Christmas period when it goes quiet for gigs.
LONDON SEWAGE COMPANY were the first band on and i caught 20 mins of their set.
They had some good tunes including ' Thunderbirds (International Rescue) ' and '12 Bar Night'.
DEPARTMENT S arrived on stage at 8.35pm and played for around 45 mins..
They played a surprise version of The Dead Boys classic 'Sonic Reducer' which was really good.
Great to hear their hits again 'Going Left Right' and 'Is Vic There?''.
The singer said to the crowd "we are a band who are about moving forward so we play the two old hits
but the rest of the material is all from when we reformed in 2006".
RUTS DC arrived on stage at 9.45pm and played for around 75 mins.
They still feature two original members , bass player John "Segs" Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy.
Great to hear hear their reggae influenced punk tunes and the topics they sung about 40 years ago
are still pretty relevant today.
Mega versions of 'In a Rut' and 'Babylon's Burning' were highlights.
A very enjoyable show.
Setlist played included....
Mighty Soldier
Music Must Destroy
Staring At The Rude Boys
Jah War
In a Rut
Babylon's Burning
Encore :
Love In Vain
Something That I Said

Friday 22 December 2017.
MORGELLONS + Holy Faction live at The George & Dragon, 183 High Street, Acton, London W3.
ThIs was a FREE ENTRY for all pub gig.
Acton band Morgellons play a Christmas Party gig in their backyard.
Their first album ‘The Memory Of Echoes� on Flicknife Records received extremely positive reviews,
including a 9/10 rating in Vive Le Rock magazine.
Their second album has just been released.
Plus a dj on the night playing Punk,Glam,Rock through to Ska and Rockabilly.
Great to meet up here with so many old friends from the Acton and Shepherds Bush area.
Many who i have known for over 30 years.
Also here were Gaye Advert ( The Adverts ) and Del (The Satellites).
Billy my oldest friend was here - we met at Christopher Wren School in White City aged 11.
Sex Pistols members Steve Jones and Paul Cook went to the same school - three years older.
That's how we knew about the band early on and saw The Pistols in 1976.
Also here was Mario who was the guitarist in my band Gun Control in the early 1980s.
We played loads of gigs in the Acton area back then...type in band search for gig list...
He owns a very cool menswear store in Richmond called Heroes...check it out... Heroes website here for more info and images.
HOLY FACTION played a decent support set.
They are a West London post punk band with hints of Magazine.
They played their debut single 'Temperature Rise'.
MORGELLONS arrive on stage at 10.25pm and play for around 50 mins.
A good set that included tracks from both their albums.
They have a nice post punk sound with hints of Joy Division.
www.morgellonsband.comVisit their website here for more info.

Friday 22 December 2017.
JOE STRUMMER passed away 15 years ago today aged just 50.
Fifteen years ago, the angry young man of punk and legendary frontman of the Clash, Joe Strummer,
died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart defect.
Acton Town Hall, London W3.
Just a month before on 15 Nov 2002 i saw Joe Strummers last ever London gig.
Many of the 600 here were firemen and the rest were hardcore Strummer fans .Andy Gilchrist the firemens union leader made a rousing speech .Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros did a really great 75 mins set but the 3 song encore was unreal as Mick Jones came on stage to play with Joe on stage for the first time in over 15 years for Clash anthems Bankrobber +White Riot + Londons Burning.

Thursday 21 December 2017.
PRODIGY + dj support live at Brixton Academy, London.
Prodigy play the first of three sold out pronto shows at Brixton.
I have seen Prodigy around a dozen times since 1997...they are always a very lively show...
I last saw Prodigy at Wembley Arena in Dec 2015 when the support act was Public Enemy.
'The Godfathers of Rave" remain one of the most successful electronic rock acts of all time.
They have sold an estimated 30 million records worldwide,and won numerous music awards.
Many of their albums have hit the top spot in the UK charts.
All the pubs near the venue have extra security on them...yep that means Prodigy dans are in town.
Inside the venue the crowd are all dancing to the dj sounds which include Run DMC and Public Enemy.
PRODIGY arrive on stage at 9.20pm and play for around 90 mins.
As usual they have a full monty stage production that is more suited to The 02 Arena.
Probably the same production as they used for their headlining outdoor summer shows around Europe.
A barrage of lights and strobes that would visually pulverise us throughout their set.
“Where are my people?� said MC and dancer Maxim Reality, coming through the dry ice on stage in a fur coat. “Where are my Prodigy people?� (Later he would have all 5,000 of his Prodigy people crouch and jump at his command, or open and close circles in the crowd to make room for mosh-pits.)
Co-singer Keith Flint still has the famous hair � two dyed rows of spikes on either side of his skull.
Band leader Liam Howlett is barely visible while manning his command centre of laptops and black boxes.
Maxim and Keith prowl and dance around the stage with energy throughout the show.
The front stalls standing area is a heaving mess of sweaty bodies slamming against each other.
Loads of aggressive crunching electro rock dance anthems that keep the BPM at relentless high levels.
Highlights included their anthems 'Firestarter' , 'Breathe' , 'Smack My Bitch Up' and 'Their Law'.
A superb show.
Full Prodigy setlist played tonight...
Wild Frontier
Everybody in the Place
The Day Is My Enemy
The Day Is My Enemy (Bad Company UK Remix)
Voodoo People
Get Your Fight On
Need Some 1
Run With the Wolves
Invaders Must Die
Smack My Bitch Up
No Good (Start the Dance)
Their Law
Take Me to the Hospital

Wednesday 20 December 2017.
EXTREME + DAN REED NETWORK live at Brixton Academy, London.
A very nice double bill of ' funk rock bands' who were very popular in the early 1990s.
I saw Extreme live many times on the back of the success of their mega album ' Extreme II: Pornograffitti '
album which was released in 1990....I also saw them headline Ramblin' Man Festival this summer.
I saw Dan Reed Network supporting Bon Jovi at Wembley Arena in 1990.
I saw Dan Reed Network supporting The Rolling Stones at Wembley Stadium 25 Aug 1990.
This was the last show of their World Tour and the final show that Bill Wyman played with The Stones.
The band toured Europe and the UK in the winter of 1989/1990 to support Bon Jovi. The success of this tour led to the Rolling Stones selecting the band as their main support for their first tour in almost 10 years. The Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour of Europe and the UK.
DAN REED NETWORK arrived on stage at 7.45pm and played for 45 mins.
Most of the crowd arrived early to see these special guests.
A perfect funk rock blend on stage as the band feature black and white members.
Great to hear gems including 'Rainbow Child', 'Ritual' and 'Get to You'.
Really good to see them playing live again.
Full setlist played tonight...
Cruise Together
Under My Skin
Forgot to Make Her Mine
Baby Now I (With "Enter Sandman" snippet by Metallica)
Rainbow Child
Make it Easy
Get to You
EXTREME arrived on stage at 9pm and played a full two hour show.
Extreme have a very nice stage production featuring a staircase and four light towers.
Singer Gary Cherone was full of energy as he pulled some moves that Mick Jagger would be jealous of.
Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is aged 51 but looks exactly the same as back in 1990.
Loads of women half his age are drooling when he tightens up his belt.
Nuno’s solos were incredible as always, as he took centre stage on more than one occasion with his blistering fretwork.
Third track in is the mega 'Get the Funk Out' and other highlights included 'Hole Hearted' ,'Decadence Dance'
and the first encore 'More Than Words' with all the crowd singing along.
A cover of 'We Are The Champions' went down well as they finished off the set in style.
A great show.
Full Extreme setlist played tonight..
It ('s a Monster)
Li'l Jack Horny
Get the Funk Out
Rest in Peace
Hip Today
Kid Ego
Play with Me
Tragic Comic
Hole Hearted
Midnight Express
Cupid's Dead (Preceded by snippet of "Cupid" by Sam Cooke )
Am I Ever Gonna Change
Take Us Alive (With snippet of "That's All Right, Mama" by Elvis Presley)
Stop the World
Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee
He-Man Woman Hater
Decadence Dance
More Than Words (Preceded by snippet of "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin)
Peacemaker Die
We Are the Champions (Queen cover)
11pm to 11.45pm.
Aftershow party in the backstage bar.
A fairly tame event for around 50's a pay bar...
The band did not show up as they stayed in the dressing room area.

Wednesday 20 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to ex KISS drummer Peter Criss who is 72 today.

Tuesday 19 December 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 7.30pm
EMMANUELLE GAUTHIER - private view - Gallery 54 , 54 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1.
My French friend Emmanuelle is showing several of her paintings.
It is a group showcase along with four other artists.
It is a pop-up that is on all this week until Friday.
Complimentary JELLEY'S vodka cocktails, prosecco and mince pies for all guests.
There is another private view on Thurs 21 Dec 6pm to 8pm.
Pop along for a drink, look at some art...maybe buy some guest list...just turn up.
www.emmanuellegauthier.comVisit her website here for images and more info.
DIO RETURNS live at The Islington Academy, London N1.
The Ronnie James Dio hologram with a live band play their only UK show on their European Tour.
The show is fully authorised by Ronnie James Dio widow Wendy.
The 'Dio Returns' tour will feature Dio's actual live vocals, with the Dio Band playing live, featuring Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums, Scott Warren on keyboards and Bjorn Englen on bass. Tim 'Ripper' Owens will also perform, with singer Oni Logan also joining on select dates.
The Ronnie James Dio hologram will be treating fans to an alternating setlist that will feature songs such as "The Mob Rules"," Rainbow In The Dark", "King Of Rock And Roll", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Heaven And Hell", "Holy Diver" ,"The Last In Line" , "Stargazer" and many more.
I have seen Ronnie James Dio over 20 times on stage including when he was in Elf when they supported
Deep Purple at Hammersmith Odeon in 1974, some ten shows by Dio in his 80s heyday when i worked
front stage security at Hammersmith Odeon and when he took over vocal duties with Black Sabbath for a bit.
I arrived inside the venue and it is packed...they will need a bigger venue in London next time.
Anticipation is high as fans do not really know exactly how it will be played out tonight on stage.
When Ronnie James Dio died in May 2010, the world of rock and metal lost a genius, a gentleman
and and one of its greatest voices.
Some Dio fans have dissed the idea of a Dio hologram show but you can listen to records and watch
videos any time you like and Dio hardcore fans want something a bit more.
DIO RETURNS arrive on stage at 8.30pm and are on stage for around 85 mins.
The Dio hologram is in the middle and either side is a screen showing Dio images and album covers.
The vocals are split between the Dio hologram and one or sometimes two live vocalists.
The sound quality from the stage is perfect.
Ronnie James Dio was always one of the clearest sounding rock singers and tonight the
hologram does his voice and image justice.
Big cheers each time the Dio hologram is used.
Chants of "Dio, Dio, Dio" ring out from the crowd throughout the evening.
The Dio hologram got most of the main songs with 'King of Rock and Roll', 'The Last In Line',
'Holy Diver' , 'Man on The Silver Mountain' and mega versions of 'Heaven and Hell' and
the encore of 'Rainbow in The Dark'.
The band took their bows at the end to a big roar of approval from the crowd.
A really good show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Tape intro - Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple song)
King of Rock and Roll (Dio cover) (with Ronnie James Dio hologram)
E5150 (Black Sabbath cover)
The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath cover) (with Tim “Ripper� Owens)
Straight Through the Heart (Dio cover) (with Tim “Ripper� Owens)
I (Black Sabbath cover) (with Oni Logan)
The Last in Line / Holy Diver (Dio cover) (with Ronnie James Dio hologram)
Egypt (The Chains Are On) (Dio cover) (with Oni Logan)
Tarot Woman (Rainbow cover) (with Tim “Ripper� Owens) (with Oni Logan)
Guitar Solo (Craig Goldy, with Bjorn Englen)
Catch the Rainbow (Rainbow cover) (with Oni Logan) (with Tim "Ripper" Owens)
Stargazer (Rainbow cover) (with Tim “Ripper� Owens) (with Oni Logan)
Keyboard Solo
Mystery (Dio cover) (with Tim “Ripper� Owens) (with Oni Logan)
Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath cover) (with Ronnie James Dio hologram)
Man on the Silver Mountain (Rainbow cover) (with Ronnie James Dio hologram)
Drum solo (with snippet of "1812 Overture" by Tchaikovsky)
Heaven and Hell (reprise) (Black Sabbath cover) (with Ronnie James Dio hologram)
Rainbow in the Dark (Dio cover) (with Ronnie James Dio hologram)
Tape outro - This Is Your Life (Dio song)

Monday 18 December 2017.....sold out...
PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT live at The Roundhouse, London.
Legendary bass player with Joy Division and New Order is on another UK tour.
I saw Joy Division five times in 1979/1980...and have seen New Order several times.
I have seen Peter Hook & The Light three times in the past.
Rusty Egan was the dj playing songs before the band and during the short breaks.
PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT play a lengthy show, just like last years show at The Forum.
Tonight they play for 2 hours 35 mins which is spread over THREE sets.
Incredibly THREE albums are played in full.
First it was New Order's 'Movement ' album then loads of Joy Division gems from
their classic two albums...then some classic singles not on those albums...
Joy Division were formed by Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook after the two attended a
Sex Pistols gig in 1976.
Peter Hook proudly takes to the stage wearing a SALFORD LAD t-shirt.