Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!
News and Reviews: April 24, 2014
Buy your books,cds,dvds etc from HMV on the High Street or online.
www.hmv.comVisit the HMV website here.
For MARCH reviews and previous months reviews please click on the link top left of the site.
Some good gigs coming up worth checking...
Fri 25 April---Chas & Dave play The Royal Albert Hall.
Chas & Dave on a UK tour to celebrate 50 years since they first met.
This a massive gig compared to where they usually play so easily could be half empty.
Chas & Dave are creators and performers of a musical style labelled "rockney", which mixes "pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and rock n roll".
Their hits were mainly from the late 70s/early 80s.
I first saw them in 1976 and 1978 when they were a support act at Hammersmith Odeon.
They were one of the support acts when Led Zeppelin played Knebworth in 1979.
They return to Knebworth on Sat 05 July 2014 as one of the support acts to Iron Maiden.
Sat 26 April---Toy play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Toy play their biggest headline London show to date.
Their second album 'Join The Dots' was released six months ago.
Sat 26 April---THE VINYL REVOLUTION RETURNS TO LONDON
LONDON OLYMPIA RECORD FAIR
OLYMPIA CENTRAL, HAMMERSMITH ROAD, LONDON W14.
Following the huge success of VIP's fair in January, they return to this
superb, established, venue in the centre of the capital with THE BIGGEST
AND BUSIEST RECORD FAIR IN THE UK!!!
VIP attracts dealers and collectors from all over the UK, Europe, America,
Japan and Australia - it's the greatest buying and selling opportunity in London.
At the fair you will be able to buy and sell Vinyl, CDs, DVDs, autographs,
memorabilia, books, posters, T-shirts, promos - anything to do with music.
The fair takes place at the most famous of venues - Olympia. They have on
offer a modern, bright hall with all the facilities expected of a prestige
event including refreshments, wi-fi etc.
Access via Hammersmith Road.
Olympia Underground station on site - via Earl's Court.
Doors open to the public from 10am to 4.30pm.
Early entry at 8.30am.
£5 after 10am and £10 before 10am.
www.vip-24.comCheck here for more info or tel 0116 275 2815
Thanks to Vip Events i have two pairs of tickets to give away.
Just send your name,address and mobile tel number to email@example.com
before 2pm on 23 April 2014 and I will pick two winners at random...Good luck...
Competition now closed....the winners have been notified....
Wednesday 23 April 2014...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Emma Sayle: 'Behind the Mask' - book launch party at The Playboy Club, 14 Old Park Lane, London, W1.
Over 200 very smart and glammed up folks here.
Emma Sayle launched Killing Kittens in London in 2005.
Killing Kittens host upmarket sex parties.
Emma Sayle is a former schoolmate and rowing chum of Kate Middleton.
Populist myth has it that every time a woman 'sins' by pleasuring herself God, in retribution, kills a kitten. Overtime, 'Killing Kittens' has become a colloquialism for female masturbation.
Killing Kittens today is about providing a safe, sexual environment for people worldwide to explore their fantasies and sexual desires!
The parties have soared. The club now boasts more than 40,000 members in the UK and doesn’t show any sign of slowing. From Brighton up to Manchester and over to LA with plans for parties as far-flung as Australia, the Kittens are spreading...and fast.
As Emma said in her speech tonight 'Enter a world where woman make - and break - the rules'.
Her book is like a naughtier version of 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'.
The book tells how Emma set up the company and gives an insight into what goes on at the infamously private Killing Kitttens events.
Of the folks here you do end up thinking who attends the parties and who are just general guests.
A perfect venue for this type of launch as we have the famous Playboy Bunnies serving the drinks here.
We had a singer crooning out some Rat Pack era songs.
Complimentary presecco,cocktails,wines,beers and nice hot canapés for all guests.
All guests got a complimentary copy of the book.
The book retails for £7.99 but Amazon are selling it for £6.39.
www.killingkittens.comClick here for more info on the Killing Kittens sex parties.
8.45pm to 10.15pm.
Werewolf - club launch party at Werewolf, 215-217 Piccadilly, London, W1.
This venue in Piccadilly has variously been the Pigalle club, a dinner and dancing club and an adult cinema.
The Beatles,Frank Sinatra,Sammy Davis Jr and Shirley Bassey played there in its 1960s heyday.
Now it is opening under the name Werewolf in a “fusion of performance art and clubbing” created by the Tower Hamlets-born brothers Richard, Anthony and Reg Traviss(Reg was the former boyfriend of Amy Winehouse).
The 400-capacity venue also uses 3D technology to create projections similar to holograms that will feature on stage alongside performers.
A fantastic location right by Piccadilly Circus.
It has a unique layout with a mezzanine floor, high ceilings and lots of original art deco architecture, from mirrors to seating.
We had a dj playing some tunes and three acts with a girl sticking nails in her body,another one fire breathing and
another one escaping from a strait jacket.
Complimentary Moët champers and cocktails for all guests.
Check back soon for full reviews.
Tues 22 April 2014.
Gary Barlow + Eliza Doolittle live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
All monies tonight were donated to Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity.
Gary Barlow back in London after two shows at The 02 Arena in early April.
The last but one date on his UK tour which has been all arenas apart from this show and Bournemouth.
Totally sold out here with choir seating behind the stage also sold.
His album from last year 'Since I Saw You Last' was the 9th best selling album of 2013 in the UK.
Gary is the lead vocalist and songwriter of Take That, and is one of the UK's most successful songwriters, having written 13 number 1 singles in the UK to date including 'Back for Good' which went to number 1 in 31 countries across the world.
Take That are the biggest live act in the UK.When they reformed with Robbie Williams they set a new record
of playing eight nights at Wembley Stadium on their UK stadium tour.
Support act Eliza Doolittle was on for 35 mins.
Her debut album sold over 500,000 copies in 2010 and she played the hit singles from it tonight
'Skinny Genes' and 'Pack Up'.
Her second album released in 2013 did not do as well but my fave track from her set tonight was
'Let It Rain' from that album which did not dent the Top 40 when released.
Another single from that album 'Big When I Was Little' also went down well.A decent set.
Gary Barlow was on stage for two hours with a mix of solo material and Take That hits.
A nice stage production with big screens showing recorded images and lasers too.
With his stint as an X Factor judge Gary Barlow is as popular as you can get.
Pretty amazing that before the Take That reunion he did not sing a note for seven years.
Gary is another singer who is super polite to his mainly female crowd and he worked the crowd well
as he got a fan on stage to sing 'A Million Love Songs Later' and he risked his life as he walked around
the floor of the venue shaking hands during 'Could It Be Magic'.
The crowd were up and singing all night but the acoustic and swing section in the middle was a bit dreary.
The massive Take That hits went down the best as expected.
Like Lionel Richie he is a master of writing high quality pop with big chorus lines to sing along to.
Sure he is very middle of the road but he knows how to put on a really good show.
Full Gary Barlow setlist played...
Since I Saw You Last
Greatest Day (Take That song)
Candy (Robbie Williams cover)(written by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow)
Pray (Take That song)
A Million Love Songs (Take That song)
Shine (Take That song) (with Eliza Doolittle sharing vocals)
Lie to Me
How Deep Is Your Love (Take That covered this Bee Gees song)
So Help Me Girl
Sure (Take That song)
Everything Changes (Take That song)
Could It Be Magic (Take That covered this song by Barry Manilow)
Nobody Else (Take That song)
Love Ain't Here Anymore (Take That song)
Said It All (Take That song)
The Garden (Take That song)
Sing (with a local school choir)
The Flood (Take That song)
Face To Face (with Elton John on the big screen)
Back for Good (Take That song)
Relight My Fire (Take That covered this song by Dan Hartman)
Let Me Go
Rule the World (Take That song)
Never Forget (Take That song)(confetti dropped from ceiling)
Tues 22 April 2014.
Kaiser Chiefs are to play their biggest London headline show to date at The 02 Arena on 13 Feb 2015.
Tickets go on sale at the end of this week.
Mon 21 April 2014.
Strong rumours that The Libertines are to play a huge headline Hyde Park show on 05 July 2014.
Mon 21 April 2014.
Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini has scored the fastest-selling artist album of the year so far.
'Caustic Love', his third record, topped the charts with 109,000 sales after seven days on the shelves.
He easily beat previous record-holder Sam Bailey, who sold 73,000 copies of The Power Of Love in one week in March, said the Official Charts Company.
Nutini has enjoyed glowing reviews for his soul-inspired CD, including current single 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)'.
Paulo Nutini's first two albums both sold more than one million copies.
Mon 21 April---Happy Birthday to Iggy Pop who is 67 today.
Mon 21 April---Happy Birthday to The Queen who is 88 today.
Mon 21 April---Happy Birthday to Robert Smith---The Cure who is 55 today.
Sat 19 April 2014.
Adam Ant live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Adam Ant has had 22 Top 40 UK hits.
I first saw Adam Ant in 1979 when he was a support act.
Adam Ant was one of the biggest acts in the UK in the early 1980s and I saw him on the bill
at Live Aid in 1985 but then he kept a pretty low profile for 10 years then I saw him at a comeback
show at Shepherds Bush Empire in 1995 then he went quiet again with some health issues until 2010
when he started playing loads of gigs every year.
It was a busy day for Adam Ant as in the afternoon he played two free short sets for Record Store Day
at Rough Trade West and Berwick Street,Soho.
This show has attracted his loyal fans from all over the UK as it is a one off playing his debut album in full.
Also we have two original members of Adam And The Ants in the band.
Dave Barbarossa(drums) and Leigh Gorman(bass) were in the very last line-up to perform the ‘Dirk Wears White Sox' album live, at The Electric Ballroom, on 31st December 1979, prior to Malcolm Mclaren recruiting Barbarossa and Gorman for Bow
Wow Wow and prior to Adam, forming Adam and the Ants 2, to go on and enjoy global commercial success.
Adam Ant and his band took to the stage at 9pm for a nice long set lasting 2 hours 5 mins.
Adam played his 1979 debut album 'Dirk Wears White Sox' in track order for the first 50 mins
in full then it was selection of hits and a couple of T.Rex cover versions.
We have the trademark two drummers.
The overall sound could have been a bit better to to honest.
Morrissey's guitar player Boz Boorer joined the band on stage for the remaining songs after the album.
Adam Ant hardcore fans seem to prefer the first album to his later more commercial material.
The album lyrics are full of disturbing tales of alienation, sex, and brutality.
Adam changed into a dandy highwayman type outfit for the tracks after the album.
Adam was on top form as he played lots of hits in the latter half of the show.
A really good show.
Full Adam a Ant setlist played...
Dirk Wears White Sox album in full track order
Cartrouble (parts 1&2)
Nine Plan Failed
Day I Met God
Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)
Animals & Men
Family of Noise
Whip in My Valise
Stand and Deliver
Vive Le Rock(this single was the sole track he played at Live Aid in 1985)
Beat My Guest
Dog Eat Dog
Goody Two Shoes
Kings of the Wild Frontier
Get It On (T. Rex cover)
20th Century Boy (T. Rex cover)
Physical (You're So)
Friday 18 April 2014.
Click on the Iconic Pix link on the right to view some nice pictures of some of the gigs I have
been to over the past month including Foreigner,Europe,Manic Street Preachers,
Dave Davies,Status Quo,Wilko Johnson with Roger Daltrey.
Thursday 17 April 2014...Christy Moore live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.
Following sell-out performances in 2009, 2010 and 2012, the legendary Irish folk singer-songwriter
Christy Moore returns to The Royal Festival Hall.
Moore is best known for his political and social commentary which reflects a left-wing, Irish republican perspective.
Christy is now aged 68 and I first came across him when he played Hammersmith Odeon in 1986
when I was working there on front stage security and did not know anything about him.
I was really impressed and i have seen many of his London shows since.
He was on stage for around 2 hours 10 mins.
He was accompanied by his long-term producer, collaborator and friend Declan Sinnott and a
third musician Jimmy Higgins to give it a semi acoustic feel.
You can hear a pin drop between some songs then big applause at the end of each one.
Other songs had all the crowd singing and clapping along.
A lot of the songs have Irish themes so the crowd is mainly Irish.
Anyone like me who has Irish parents would have some relatives with witty chat like Christy.
Lots of Christy classics played tonight in a really enjoyable show.
Songs played included...
They Never Came Home
Smoke and Strong Whisky
Don't Forget You're Shovel
Joxer Goes To Stuttgart(this song is about when Ireland beat England in football in 1988)
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face
City Of Chicago
Wednesday 16 April 2014...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 7.45pm...Motion Photography Prize - private view at
Saatchi Gallery, King's Road, Chelsea,London, SW3.
A big crowd of around 500 folks at this massive gallery.
Actress Gaia Weiss was among the guests who enjoyed a private view of the Motion Photography Prize exhibition, which invites photographers from around the world to celebrate motion photography. Christina Rinaldi, whose entry in the Urban category won the overall prize chosen by a panel of judges.
Faces here included Steven Berkoff, Suzanne Wyman, Koo Stark, Clara Fisher, Patti Boyd, Helen George, Cherie Lunghi, Alice Lower and Thomasina Miers who were on hand to appreciate the art and congratulate the winner.
Bill Wyman was down to attend with his wife but did not show.
View all photos at rexfeatures.com
Lots of complimentary Pommery champers and beers for all guests and half a dozen food stations where you
could have a plate of various cheeses,hams,breads and nibbles that was replenished all through the evening.
Elbow live at The 02 Arena,London.
Elbow play the last date on their UK arena tour to promote their recent album
'The Take Off and Landing of Everything' which debuted at number one in the UK album charts.
I have seen Elbow play a few times before including a gig at Abbey Road Studios with the BBC
Concert Orchestra in Jan 2009.
Elbow played arenas on their last UK tour a couple of years and everyone has come back again
as tonight is a full house with floor standing to create an intimate atmosphere.
Elbow are on stage for two hours and play an excellent show.
They have the big screens and a seven piece brass and string section that really added to the sound.
They have a stage walkway that singer Guy Garvey uses pretty much every song.
He is far too polite for his own good but his warm and friendly stage banter really connects with
his fans as he is more your mate down the pub rather than the typical rock star.
The Elbow sound on stage is superb although they never break sweat as such.
Loads of well crafted great songs in the set but highlights would have to be mega versions of
'Grounds For Divorce' and an 8 minute version of their anthem 'One Day Like This' with all
the crowd singing as 20 huge balloons fell from the rafters.
Elbow just seem to be getting better and better.
All the gig reviewers from the main newspapers were here including The Times,The Standard,The Observer
and others as well as actor Bill Nighy.
A great show.
Full Elbow setlist played...
The Bones of You
Fly Blue Boy / Lunette
Real Life (Angel)
The Night Will Always Win
New York Morning
The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver
Great Expectations (played on B stage -- semi acoustic)
The Blanket Of Night (played on B stage -- semi acoustic)
Grounds for Divorce
My Sad Captains
One Day Like This (20 large balloons dropped from the ceiling during this song)
Tues 15 April 2014...7pm to 10.15pm...
Rhug Estate - party at The Magazine Restaurant, Serpentine Galleries,
Kensington Gardens, London, W2.
This was a showcase for clients and press.
Rhug Estate is one of the largest high quality organic meat farms in the UK.
Their clients include over 20 five star hotels and top notch restaurants.
The Rhug Estate in Denbighshire,North Wales is just one of the three Estates that is owned by
Lord Newborough, the other two Estates are Peplow in Shropshire and Glynllifon in Gwynedd.
We had a speech by Lord Newborough.
We had complimentary presecco, Bloody Mary cocktails,wines and beers and as you would imagine
the bowl food and canapés here were very nice with pork,lamb,pork,chicken dishes.
Desserts were ice cream with crumble.
A good event.
The Rhug Estate covers 12,500 acres extending from Gwyddelwern in the north, Carrog to the east, Cynwyd to the south and Maerdy to the west. The 2,500 acre inhand organic farm is the geographical core of the estate along with Rhug Mansion the main residence. The remainder of the estate has about 170 tenancies including: let farms, in hand and let forestry, let cottages, commercial premises and storage, traditional sporting including shooting and fishing, modern sports such as rally car driving, gorge walking, mountain biking, canoeing and public events.
www.rhug.co.ukVisit The Rhug Estate website here.
Tues 15 April 2014.
Victoria's Secret are bringing their iconic fashion show to the UK for the first time ever later this year.
Supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima and the gang have confirmed they will be strutting their stuff on a runway in London for the first time ever at an announcement at Victoria's Secret flagship London store.
The 2014 show will take place on 2 December at Earls Court - the first time that the annual lingerie extravaganza has been held outside the US apart from a smaller event back in 2000 at The Cannes Film Festival.
The 'fashion,fantasy and entertainment' spectacle will be directed by Hamish Hamilton who oversaw the
televising of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.
The event will be broadcast to over 100 countries.
Sun 13 April 2014.
Foreigner + Europe + FM live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
A nice three band radio friendly rock package which resulted in the show being sold out.
Europe can sell out Shepherds Bush Empire on their own.
I first saw Foreigner in 1978 at The Rainbow and The Reading Festival when they toured Europe
for the first time on the back of their second album.
Foreigner have sold over 50 million albums worldwide.
Reminder that original vocalist Lou Gramm is not in the band anymore
although Mick Jones is still there on guitar.
I saw Europe in their 1980s heyday a few times and even saw FM play their biggest London
show ever when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon in 1989.
I got to the venue a bit late so missed FM.
Both the headline bands said it was "great to be back at Hammersmith Odeon".
Europe were on stage for around 55 mins.
Joey Tempest on vocals always looks,sounds and acts like a proper rock star.
They had plenty of their own fans here and needless to say the encore of
'Final Countdown' was mega.
A really good set.
Full Europe setlist played...
Riches to Rags
Let the Good Times Rock
No Stone Unturned
Scream of Anger
Sign of the Times
Rock the Night
The Final Countdown
Foreigner were on stage for around 1 hour 40 mins which was mainly greatest hits.
They have so many really good simple catchy singalong well known tracks.
The current singer Kelly Hansen does a great job of working the crowd.
A bit odd that Mick Jones did not join the show until the 5th song but that could be
due to his recent ill health.
They actually played a year of shows without him when he was ill.
Seven members on stage when Mick joins the other six and they fill the stage nicely
with the keyboards and drums on a raised platform at the back.
A great show.
Full Foreigner setlist played...
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
Feels Like the First Time (Mick Jones joins the band from this song onwards)
That Was Yesterday
Dirty White Boy
Starrider (Mick Jones vocals)
Keyboard solo / Drum solo
Juke Box Hero
Long, Long Way from Home
I Want to Know What Love Is (with a choir from Portsmouth)
Sat 12 April 2014.
Manic Street Preachers live at Brixton Academy,London.
Second of two nights at Brixton for The Manics and the last date on their UK tour.
The Manics on a UK tour to promote last years 'Rewind The Film' ---their 11th studio album.
Another great band who i have seen loads of times live.
The first time being in 1991 before their debut album was released.
The Manics are as popular as ever due to their loyal fans.
Lots of Nicky Wire lookalikes in the crowd.
The Manics were on stage tonight for around 1 hour 45 mins.
The set spanned their entire career and even included songs from
their next album 'Futurology'.
The sound is loud and huge and they have a big screen showing images
and the light show has plenty of strobes.
James Dean Bradfield is a great guitarist and Nicky Wire always looks the part.
The three acoustic songs slowed things down in the middle but the band have got loads
of great songs that the crowd sing and jump around to.
An excellent gig.
Full Manic setlist played tonight...
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
No Surface All Feeling
(It's Not War) Just the End of Love
Europa Geht Durch Mich
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
Rewind the Film
Die in the Summertime
Everything Must Go
This Is Yesterday (James Dean Bradfield solo acoustic)
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) (James Dean Bradfield acoustic)
This Sullen Welsh Heart (James Dean Bradfield acoustic)
Archives of Pain
The Masses Against the Classes
You Love Us
Show Me the Wonder
Let's Go to War
A Design for Life
Check aftershow page for this show.
Friday 11 April 2014.
Dave Davies + Laura & Pixi live at The Barbican,London.
The Kinks guitar legend plays his first UK show for 13 years.
Celebrating 50 years since The Kinks topped the charts with 'You Really Got Me'.
Up first we have a couple of middle aged buskers that Dave Davies discovered in Devizes,Wiltshire.
They played for 35 mins with a mix of their own songs and covers of 'Ride On'(Christy Moore) and
'If I Were A Carpenter'(written by Tim Harden and recorded by loads of acts).
Dave Davies has had major arguments with brother Ray over the years but there is still strong
rumours they could get back together at the end of the year.
Dave always felt Ray gave him little credit for his input and creativity for The Kinks.
I saw them both in The Kinks together in 1978,1993 and 1994 and I think The Kinks split in 1996.
Dave and his band on stage for around 1 hour 40 mins.
A nice mix of solo material and Kinks classics.
Dave playing some nifty guitar even though his vocals seemed a bit nervous as he needed
lyric sheet prompters in front of him.
His band were really good and there was a lot of love in the house for Dave.
Some nice relaxed stage banter from Dave who got a bit emotional in places.
The crowd were up and dancing for the last three songs.
Last song was the legendary 'You Really Got Me' that is widely known as having
the first ever classic heavy rock guitar riff.
A really good show.
Full Dave Davies setlist played...
I'm Not Like Everybody Else (The Kinks song)
I Need You (The Kinks song)
She's Got Everything (The Kinks song)
Little Green Amp
Tired of Waiting for You (The Kinks song)
Susannah's Still Alive
See My Friends (The Kinks song)
Strangers (The Kinks song)
Flowers in the Rain
Young and Innocent Days (The Kinks song)
Death of a Clown
The Healing Boy
Dead End Street (The Kinks song)
Living on a Thin Line (The Kinks song)
Remember the Future
Where Have All the Good Times Gone (The Kinks song)
All Day and All of the Night (The Kinks song)
I'm Not Like Everybody Else (The Kinks song)(reprise)
You Really Got Me (The Kinks song)
Check aftershow page for this gig.
Friday 11April 2014.
Jean Paul Gaultier is in London all this week for his exhibition at The Barbican.
The display features over 100 of his couture and ready-to-wear pieces including items such as the iconic conical bra worn by Madonna, and stage costumes for Kylie Minogue....'From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk'.
It is on until 25 August 2014....tickets are £14.50 for adults...
Thursday 10 April 2014...6.30pm to 9.45pm...
Red Dog South - restaurant launch party at
Red Dog Saloon, 27-31 Bedford Road, Clapham North ,London, SW4.
London's BBQ trend is showing no signs of slowing down as American restaurant Red Dog Saloon head south with a new restaurant in Clapham called, appropriately, Red Dog South.
The current Hoxton restaurant specialises in American BBQ so expect pulled pork, ribs, smoked blackened salmon, burnt ends, southern fried chicken and a whole heap of burgers. Those include the Devastator - 18oz chuck steak, 200g pulled pork, 6 rashers apple-wood smoked bacon & 6 slices American cheese.
It is located just 100 yards from Clapham North tube station.
It has seating inside as well as terrace seating outside which will be great in the summer.
A buzzing atmosphere with some nice tunes being played in the background.
We had three plates of food along with margaritas,tequila shots and beers.
First plate was a combo of mozzarella sticks,buffalo wings,jalapeño poppers and fried catfish.
Second plate was a half a dozen ribs.
Third plate was a huge cheeseburger with huge onion rings.
The food was really nice and the staff were very friendly and attentive.
A very enjoyable time here.
Brixton Academy is only a few mins up the road so you could easily pop in before a gig there.
Reg Dog SaloonCheck their website here.
10.15pm to 11.30pm.
Handbagged - press night & afterparty
The play was held earlier at
Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2
and we attended the afterparty for the play at
One Whitehall Place, 2 Whitehall Court, London, SW1.
Around 500 guests at the afterparty in this lovely old building.
EastEnders star Ben Hardy joined Kathy Lette, Nancy Dell'Olio and Gemma Jones as cast Marion Bailey, Stella Gonet, Lucy Robinson, Jeff Rawle, Fenella Woolgar and Neet Mohan took to the stage to perform in Moira Buffini's play Handbagged, about Queen Elizabeth and former PM Maggie Thatcher.Other guests here included Mary Beard, Bonnie Greer, Christine Hamilton ,Gavin Esler, Victoria Wood, Nica Burns, Mike Leigh and Jay Rayner.
Complimentary wines and canapés for all guests.
I was down to attend this but ran out of time as got held up at Red Dog South.
E4 Udderbelly Festival - launch party at Southbank, London SE1.
The space they use is located between The Royal Festival Hall and The London Eye.
Lots of top quality comedy,cabaret and circus acts play daily until 13 July 2014.
Check out The Udderbelly website here
Thurs 10 April 2014---KISS are finally inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in America.
KISS did not play due to arguments about original members being inducted but not current members.
See the speeches from the night on the KISS link on the right side of this website.
KISS singer Paul Stanley releases his autobiography in America in April.UK release is 08 May 2014.
Wed 09 April 2014...video clip of the day...
Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band cover 'Jump' by Van Halen recently in Dallas.
Watch Bruce cover 'Jump' here
Tuesday 8 April 2014...7pm to 9.30pm...
Nadine Dorries: 'The Four Streets' - book launch party at
InterContinental Westminster, 28 Broadway, London, SW1.
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries launches the first of her three books as part of a six figure
deal with publishers Head Of Zeus.
Nadine Dorries grew up in a working class family in Liverpool, and is now an MP.
She appeared on 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' in 2012.
Very nice to be at this luxury five star hotel five minutes walk from The Houses Of Parliament.
Speeches during the evening from Nadine Dorries and MP and UK Minister Of Culture Ed Vaisey.
Also here are a few other Conservative politicians including David Davis.
Also here was Lord Michael Ashcroft and tv and radio presenter Richard Bacon.
Also here was political journalist and Sky tv political pundit Andrew Pierce.
Also here was Sky tv news presenter Dermot Murnaghan.
Other guests here included Matthew Wright(Channel 5 tv presenter and big Hawkwind fan) and
Linda Robson(Birds Of A Feather actress).
Complimentary wines,beers and a food station serving plates of very tasty smoked pork and side dishes.
About the book...
A heartbreaking family saga set in 1950s Liverpool.
In the tight-knit Irish Catholic community of the Four Streets, two girls are growing up.
One is motherless - and hated by the cold woman who is determined to take her dead mother's place. Will her adored father wake up to what is happening before it is too late?
The other is hiding a dreadful secret which she dare not let slip to anyone, lest it rips the heart out of the community. And yet, how long can she possibly live with it?
In the Four Streets there is almost nothing that a cup of tea and a good chat won't sort out. Laughing, grieving, hoping for better things - all this the people of the Four Streets can do together. But what can they do when a betrayal at the very heart of their world comes to light?
Amazon are selling the book for £9.
Monday 07 April 2014...Elkie Brooks live at Richmond Theatre.
Elkie Brooks was a vocalist with Robert Palmer in Vinegar Joe in the early 1970s and later a solo artist. She gained her biggest success in the late 1970s and 1980s and has been nominated twice for Brit Awards. She is known for her powerful husky voice and Top 20 hit singles such as "Pearl's a Singer", "Lilac Wine", "Don't Cry Out Loud", "Fool (If You Think It's Over)", and "No More the Fool", and top-selling album 'Pearls'.
I saw her headline Hammersmith Odeon way back in 1982.
She is generally referred to as the "British Queen of Blues".
In April 2012, Brooks had released more albums that had reached the top 75 of the UK album chart
than any other British female artist.
Elkie was on stage for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets.
A good band that included keyboards and sax.
She looks incredible for her age of 69 as her slender frame dances around the stage.
Her voice is still as fantastic as ever and she has a warm and friendly stage manner.
The set was a nice mix of older hits,cover versions and a few tracks from her recent album 'Powerless'.
Songs played in the show included...
No More The Fool
Don't Cry Out Loud
Fool (If You Think It's Over)
Sunshine After The Rain
We Almost Had It All
Nights In White Satin
Pearls A Singer
I Can't Make You Love Me
We've Got Tonight
A full standing ovation at the end for this enjoyable show
Monday 07 April 2014...Yet another sad death...
Peaches Geldof, 25, the daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, has died.
In a heartbreaking statement, her father, Bob, confirmed her death, saying: “Peaches has died. We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us".
I saw Peaches at quite a few fashion related parties over the past few years including just FOUR days ago
on 03 April 2014 at The F & F event at Somerset House.
Sunday 06 April 2014----Susan Boyle live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Susan Boyle's initial appearance on the Britains Got Talent show fired public imagination when her modest stage introduction and thick speaking Scottish accent left audience, viewers and judges alike unprepared for the power and expression of her mezzo-soprano voice. Before she had finished the song's opening phrase a standing ovation for Boyle had erupted.
The song was "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables and the date was April 2009.
Since then she has amassed worldwide sales of around 20 million from her five albums but this is her
first ever full UK tour.
Susan Boyle was on stage for around 1 hour 50 mins over two sets.
As 53 year old Susan entered the stage she got the first of many standing ovations from the full house.
She was backed by a full band with piano,mini string section and two female backing singers.
As expected it was mainly cover versions of ballads and showtunes but there were tracks by
The Rolling Stones,Bob Dylan and Ike & Tina Turner.
The voice sounded good even though she struggled with putting the microphone back on the stand
a couple of times but that could be part of her reported stage nerves.
There were a few sparkly dress changes.
Her quirky fun stage banter included an impersonation of Simon Cowell.
They was a lot of love in the house as shouts of "we love Susan" ringed out every other song
for one of the most unlikely pop stars EVER.
In an industry where it is harder than ever to get signed if you are over the age of 30, Susan Boyle has shown
folks to never give up on your dreams no matter what your age.
As Susan said herself tonight "not bad for a wee lassie from Scotland".
Full Susan Boyle setlist played...
Out Here on My Own (Michael Gore cover)
Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland cover)
The Winner Takes It All (ABBA cover)
I Know Him So Well (Elaine Paige cover) (Duet)
Wild Horses (The Rolling Stones cover)
That Ole Devil Called Love (Billie Holiday cover)
Cry Me a River (Arthur Hamilton cover)
The Way We Were (Barbra Streisand cover)
Answer Me (Frankie Laine cover)
As Long as He Needs Me (Lionel Bart cover)
You Raise Me Up (Secret Garden cover) with choir
The Perfect Year (Andrew Lloyd Webber cover)
Take That Look Off Your Face (Andrew Lloyd Webber cover)
All I Ask of You (Andrew Lloyd Webber cover) (Duet)
Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover)
Run Like the Wind (Barbara Dickson cover)
Ae Fond Kiss (Robert Burns cover)
Unchained Melody (Les Baxter cover)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (Harry Noble cover)
This Is the Moment (Leslie Bricusse cover) (Duet)
River Deep, Mountain High (Ike & Tina Turner cover)
You'll Never Walk Alone (Rodgers and Hammerstein cover) with choir
Who I Was Born to Be with choir
I Dreamed a Dream (Rose Laurens cover) with choir
www.susanboylemusic.comCheck her website for future dates on the tour.
Also check out THAT amazing Britain's Got Talent audition clip from 2009 on youtube.com
06 April 2014...Congratulations go out to The Kaiser Chiefs...
Kaiser Chiefs have gone straight in at the top of the Official UK Albums Chart with their fifth album 'Education, Education, Education & War'.
The Leeds band knocked off X Factor's Sam Bailey to score their second Number 1 album, their first since 2007 second album 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' went to the top of the chart.
Singer Ricky Wilson, now well known as a judge on talent contest The Voice, the live final of which was shown on BBC One on Saturday (April 5). His decision to join the show divided opinion with some praising him for taking a move to put the band in the limelight, and other criticising him for 'selling out' for agreeing to appear alongside will.i.am, Kylie and Tom Jones on the show. The No 1 is perhaps proof he was right to sign up for the series.
Speaking when news of him joining The Voice was announced earlier this year, Wilson said: "I love my band and I want our new record to get noticed. I know that everyone is going, 'He thinks he's going to sell more records and more tickets.' And that is why I'm doing it. I'm not a fucking idiot."
Steel Panther 'All You Can Eat' album went in at number 12'.
Fri 04 April 2014---The Sunflower Jam tribute show to Jon Lord live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Featuring Deep Purple,Glenn Hughes,Bruce Dickinson,Rick Wakeman,Bernie Marsden,Micky Moody,
Paul Weller and a few more.Also the 80 plus member Orion orchestra were here backing all the acts.
Deep Purple keyboard legend Jon Lord sadly died 12 July 2012.
I have seen Deep Purple loads of times since 1974 including their 1999 show at this venue
where they also used an orchestra and has since been released.
The orchestra was used for most songs as Jon Lord really liked the rock orchestra sound.
The orchestra created a pretty awesome sound that complemented whichever band were on stage.
Each act did one,two or three songs and Deep Purple played a longer set at the end.
Most songs seemed to last 8 to 10 mins due to extra orchestra arrangements.
Two big screens either side of the orchestra.
The show lasted three hours 10 mins over two sets of 75 mins and 115 mins.
We have an introduction from dj Bob Harris,Ian Paice and Vickie Lord.
The house band for the guests are introduced and include Paul 'Wix' Wiggins and Neil Murray.
1.Orchestra and band instrumental.
2.Orchestra and band instrumental.
3.Track featuring Micky Moody and Steve Balsamo.
4.Track featuring Miller Anderson singing 'Pictured Within'.
5.Track featuring Rick Wakeman on keyboards.
6.Track featuring Margo Buchanan on vocals.
7.Orchestra and band instrumental.
8.Actor Jeremy Irons reads out a poem for Jon Lord.
then after the interval...
Joe Brown said a nice few words about Jon Lord and his family.
Paul Weller comes on stage and says he going to sing two songs that Jon Lord sung with
The Artwoods who were Jon Lords band before Deep Purple.Amazing stuff.
'Things Get Better' and 'I Take What I Want'.
They took their name from Ronnie Woods older brother Art Wood.
Bernie Marsden,Ian Paice and Steve Balsamo played three songs including 'Soldier Of Fortune'.
Then we get three Deep Purple songs featuring some stunning vocals from Glenn Hughes with guests
Bruce Dickinson,Ian Paice and Don Airey.
'You Keep On Moving','Burn' and 'This Time Around'.
Then headliners Deep Purple take to the stage at 10pm for a 65 mins set.
This was Deep Purples only UK show on their 2014 world tour.
The massive orchestra sound fantastic in the back of the Deep Purple classics.
Steve Morse really is a top notch guitar player.
A great show even though they did not play 'Smoke On The Water'.
An excellent evening.
Full Deep Purple setlist...
Above and Beyond
Don Airey keyboard solo
When a Blind Man Cries
Hush (Billy Joe Royal cover) (with Bruce Dickinson and some of the other guests on stage)
www.thesunflowerjam.comCheck their website for more info and to donate.
Thursday 3 April 2014...6.30pm to 9pm...
F&F - catwalk show at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2.
Millie Mackintosh and husband Professor Green made a rare public appearance together as Tesco's clothing brand F&F hosted a catwalk show to showcase its Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. Sam Faiers, fresh from announcing her departure from The Only Way is Essex arrived with pregnant sister Billie.Other guests included Tinchy Stryder, George Lamb, Bip Ling,Sophie Ellis Bextor and Peaches Geldof.
A massive event for around 600 folks in a huge purpose built marquee in Somerset House.
Loads of photographers and film crews too.
It would not look out of place in London Fashion Week.
Complimentary Tesco Finest champers before the 20 mins catwalk show then after all guests
enjoyed more champers,wines and lots of food.
For the catwalk show we were in the second row behind Sophie Ellis-Bextor and presenter George Lamb.
Female and Male models used.
Their range does offer excellent value for money.
All guests got a goodie bag.
www.f-f.comCheck here for more info and pictures on F&F
Wed 02 April 2014....I went to two good events tonight...
6.45pm to 9.30pm...
The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 - private view at
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington,London, SW7.
A big crowd of over 500 guests here including Lily Allen, Bianca Jagger,Marie Helvin,Henry Holland,
Mollie King,Stephen Jones,Emilia Fox,Hilary Alexander and others attend the latest exhibition here
with loads of dresses,suits,videos,photographs etc related to Italian fashion glamour from the last 70 years.
It explores how the top Italian fashion houses impacted on Hollywood films of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Bulgari emerald necklace bought by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor is here.
Complimentary presecco,cocktails and canapés for all guests.
The exhibition is on until 27 July 2014 and tickets are now available.
10.30pm to 12.45am...
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - gala night afterparty at
The Savoy Hotel Ballroom, The Strand,London WC2.
A massive party with over 500 guests here including all the cast.
Guests here included Tom Jones, pregnant X Factor winner Sam Bailey, Natalie Dormer, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Graham Norton, Cilla Black, Cherie Blair, Brendan Coyle, Christopher Biggins, Amanda Redman and Des O'Connor for the West End show at The Savoy Theatre which is based on the classic 1980s film starring Steve Martin, about a pair of con-men who attempt to swindle an heiress out of a small fortune. Marcus Brigstocke, Darius Campbell, Gerard McCarthy, Vanessa Feltz, Arlene Phillips and Penny Smith were also among the faces who showed their support for the production and also joined cast members - including Rufus Hound, Samantha Bond and Robert Lindsay - at The Savoy for the afterparty, to raise a glass to the show.
Complimentary Perrier Jouet champers,gin cocktails,wines and canapés for all guests.
The show is now booking to 29 Nov 2014.
Tues 01 April 2014...Lily Allen + Brian May with Kerry Ellis + The Feeling +
Sophie Ellis-Bextor + Maverick Sabre live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Charity show for children's charity Coram that was established way back in 1739...275 years ago.
One of those shows with lots of hospitality as we had complimentary champers,wines and canapés
pre show and wines and canapés during the interval plus you could bring drinks in to your seat.
Over 200 folks here in one of the many spaces at this venue.Faces here included Harvey Goldsmith,
Ex page 3 model from the 70s Jilly Johnson who looks fantastic at age 60 and a top politician
whose name escapes me.
Compere for the evening was dj Mike Read.
We get five acts playing a few songs each.
Maverick Sabre is a 20 year old with a great soul voice who sings five songs in a 20 mins set.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor played a 30 mins set and played tracks from her recent album 'Wanderlust'
and her old hit 'Murder On The Dancefloor'.
then the interval
The Feeling played a 30 mins set which included lots of their catchy older hits like
'Fill My Little World','Never Be Lonely','Sewn' and 'Love It When You Call'.
Brian May with Kerry Ellis played three acoustic songs including a cover of 'Born Free' and then
finished with an electric version of 'Tie Your Mother Down' with The Feeling backing them.
This was the comeback show for Lily Allen which was the singer's first solo performance since her
2013 comeback with the singles 'Hard Out Here' and 'Somewhere Only We Know'.
The mother of two wore a revealing dress that showed a bit too much side boob.
Lily was on stage for 35 mins playing eight songs including hits 'Hard Out Here','Smile','Littlest Things',
'The Fear' and 'Not Fair'.
A good set and her third album is released in a months time.
A nice evening.
Mon 31 March 2014---Status Quo + Wilko Johnson Band live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Get to the venue and we see a funny sight outside as Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie
is in full jacket and jeans denim outfit.
Even funnier was seeing him front left stalls just behind me headbanging away.
More space tonight as Friday and Saturday were sold out but tonight is not.
We have a nice support act tonight as it is the 'still not dead' Wilko Johnson and his band.
This month Wilko released an album with Roger Daltrey called 'Going Back Home'.
The album got good reviews and entered the album charts at number three in the charts on Sunday 30 March.
I saw Wilko playing at this venue in 1975 and 1976 with Dr Feelgood before he left the band in 1977.
He plays for 40 mins on a small space in front of the Quo curtain.
No space to dart forward so he darts side to side and it still looks great.
Lots of Dr Feelgood tracks played and ends by playing two of their best tracks.
Full Wilko Johnson setlist played...
All Through The City
The More I Give (Dr. Feelgood cover)
Going Back Home (Dr. Feelgood cover)
Roxette (Dr. Feelgood cover)
Don't Let Your Daddy Know (Dr. Feelgood cover)
Back In The Night (Dr. Feelgood cover)
She Does It Right (Dr. Feelgood cover)
Quo with their original 'Frantic Four' line up playing another tour after the success of last year.
This is the last of their three shows at this venue on their 2014 tour.
I saw all three of their Frantic Four reunion shows in London in 2013.
Their shows last year were the first with the original members for around 30 years.
I have seen Status Quo around 40 times since 1974.
The anticipation and atmosphere is not as good as last year but that is always the case the second time.
A measly 90 mins set like last year and the only change to last years setlist is
that 'Caroline' replaces ''Don't Waste My Time' during the encore section.
Quo rocking away does make it compulsive to nod your head a bit and headbang a bit.
Was great to see Alan Lancaster playing with them again even though his body movement looked a bit unhealthy.
Was great to see Francis,Rick and Alan all singing a few songs each like in their 70s heyday.
A great show but really they should be playing longer than 90 mins although that could be down to Alan's health.
A reminder that a DVD and CD from the Wembley Arena show last year is available now.
Full Status Quo setlist played...
Junior's Wailing (Steamhammer cover)
Just Take Me
Is There a Better Way
In My Chair
Blue Eyed Lady
Most of the Time
(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays
Forty-Five Hundred Times / Gotta Go Home
Big Fat Mama
Roadhouse Blues (The Doors cover)
Bye Bye Johnny (Chuck Berry cover)
Sun 30 March 2014---Suede live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was the last show of The Teenage Cancer Trust week of gigs at this venue.
As with each show the Shane Meadows short film on the work of TCT was shown
and around 20 patients came on stage before the main act arrive on stage.
Suede came on stage to a full loud airing of The Sex Pistols classic track 'Bodies' over the pa.
Suede play a 20th anniversary gig of their second album 'Dog Man Star' in track by track order
followed by a selection of their other hits.
The album was made when singer Brett Anderson and guitarist Bernard Butler were not getting on
which eventually resulted in Bernard Butler leaving the band.
Suede were on stage for a nice long set of 2 hours 10 mins where the album was 60 mins and
the encore section was 70 mins.
Brett Anderson was in full rock star mode as he really gave an energetic display as he jumped into
the pit to get close to the fans a dozen times and went into the stalls seating half a dozen times.
He crawled on his hands and knees and really gave it 100%.
Before the last song Brett Anderson introduced a brass section onto the stage, jokingly declaring that "We’ve come to the very end of the set; I think you’ve got your money’s worth" before ending with a celebratory 'Stay Together'.
Loads of neat guitar riffs for most songs and overall a great show.
Full Suede setlist played....
Introducing the Band
We Are the Pigs
The Wild Ones (with strings)
The Power (with strings)
This Hollywood Life
The 2 of Us
Black or Blue (with strings)
The Asphalt World
Still Life (with strings)
Killing of a Flashboy
My Dark Star
Whipsnade (First time since 2011, only second time played)
It Starts and Ends With You
I Don't Know How To Reach You (New song, live premier)
The Living Dead
For the Strangers
Stay Together (full version, with strings and horns)
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
toptable: London Restaurants
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, Berkshire
Shepherds Bush Empire
Isle of Wight Festival
Classic Rock Bands
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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