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: May 28, 2015
Buy your books,cds,dvds etc from HMV and Amazon.
www.hmv.comVisit the HMV website here.
www.amazon.co.ukVisit the Amazon website here.
For previous months reviews please click on the earlier reviews link above left.
For my latest reviews please scroll down this page.
Some gig and other highlights coming up in the next month or so...
Thurs 28 May---Fleetwood Mac play the second of six nights at The 02 Arena.
Fleetwood Mac on a massive UK and European arena tour.
I saw them on their last UK tour in 2013 and they were great.
I saw Christine McVie guest with them on the last tour but this time she playing all the shows.
Thurs 28 May---Happy Birthday to Kylie Minogue who is 47 today.
Thurs 28 May---10cc play The Royal Albert Hall.
They had 11 Top 10 hit singles in the UK in the 1970s.
I first saw them in 1975 at Hammersmith Odeon when they were massive in the UK.
I will have to dig out my double live album of theirs recorded at Hammy Odeon in 1977.
I saw them a couple of years ago at the RAH...they now have just the one original member.
Tony Award winner, two-time Grammy Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Jim Dale will bring his critically acclaimed show, Just Jim Dale, to the Vaudeville Theatre this May, following his huge Off-Broadway success in New York.
Jim Dale is one of the world's great stage entertainers: singer, dancer, comedian, Shakespearean actor, raconteur. In Just Jim Dale, Jim takes audiences on a journey through an unequalled career in the theatre with a myriad of irresistible showbiz tales, songs and performances - a career extending from performing as the youngest professional comedian on the British Music Hall stage, to joining the National Theatre at the request of Sir Laurence Olivier, starring in 11 Carry On films, his Broadway triumphs in Scapino, Barnum and Me and My Girl, and then his uproarious experiences narrating all seven Harry Potter audiobooks for the US market.
Jim Dale appeared at the same Vaudeville Theatre 50 years ago.
Fri 29 May---BBC2 Later with Jools Holland features Muse + Melody Gardot.
Fri 29 May---Showaddywaddy play The Jazz Cafe.
Fri 29 May---Hats Off To Led Zeppelin play The Brooklyn Bowl at The 02 Arena complex.
Fri 29 May---John Coghlan's Quo play The Borderline.
Sat 30 May---The Camden Rocks Festival features a solo acoustic set from Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.
Glen will be on at Proud Gallery around 5pmish.
One wristband gets you access to 20 venues and over 100 acts.
Sat 30 May and Sun 31 May---The Beach Boys play The Royal Albert Hall.
Mon 01 June---Bryan Ferry plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Bryan Ferry is playing a UK and European Tour.
Mon 01 June---Melody Gardot releases her 4th album 'Currency of Men' on Decca/Universal.
Her 2nd and 3rd albums both made the Top 20 in the UK.
See my review dated 20 April 2015 of the album playback,interview and Q n A with Melody.
watch the great video hereMelody Gardot 'Preacherman' ▶ 7:05
‘Preacherman’ is a poetic tribute to Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black teenager in 1950’s America, whose racially motivated murder marked a landmark moment in the Civil Rights movement.
Tues 02 June---The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band play Dingwalls.
Yours 04 June---Take That play the first of ten shows at The 02 Arena.
Despite now having only three original members Take That are still massive in the UK.
The 02 Arena show on June 19 is being beamed live to cinemas around the country.
Fri 05 June/Sat 06 June/Sun 07 June---Polo In The Park is held at Hurlingham Park,Fulham.
www.polointheparklondon.comVisit their website for more details.
Tues 09 June---Twice As Nice Comedy at The Brook Green Hotel,170 Shepherds Bush Road,London W6
Featuring Phil Nichol & Shazia Mirza with Sam Deards (MC)...tix are £5 adv or £6 on the door.
The Isle Of Wight Festival has loads of great acts over multi stages playing.
Thurs 11 June---Billy Idol plus many more.
Fri 12 June---Prodigy + Black Crows + Counting Crows plus many more.
Sat 13 June---Blur + Pharrell Williams + James plus many more.
Sun 14 June---Fleetwood Mac + Paulo Nutini + First Aid Kit plus many more.
For full info and to buy tickets visit The Isle Of Wight Festival link on the right.
watch the video here> 19:57
Legendary booking agent and Isle Of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings gives a great interview
on this years festival and past IOW festivals.
The Download Festival has loads of great acts over multi stages playing.
Fri 12 June---Slipknot + Judas Priest + Five Finger Death Punch plus many more
Sat 13 June---Muse + Faith No More + Marilyn Manson plus many more.
Ex KISS guitarist Ace Frehley plays on the second stage on Saturday but will not(no surprise really)
be hanging around to hang out with his former band mates as he has his own show in France on Sunday.
Sun 14 June---KISS + Motley Crüe + Slash + Billy Idol plus many more.
For full info and to buy tickets visit the Live Nation link on the right.
Fri 19 June and Sat 20 June---Foo Fighters + Iggy Pop + Royal Blood play Wembley Stadium.
Thurs 09 July---Lionel Richie plays The Henley Festival.
Lionel Richie returns to the UK after his six week European Tour in Feb/March.
Lionel has sold over 100 million records and has got loads of great solo tunes and Commodores hits.
Lionel is on a massive UK and mainland Europe arena tour.
I saw him in 1978 with The Commodores and he then left them in 1982 to become a massive solo star.
Thurs 06 Aug to Sun 09 Aug is the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool.
The Boomtown Rats,The Damned,The Buzzcocks,Sham 69,The Boys and The Gang Of Four
are headliners among the 100 plus bands playing the UKs biggest punk related festival.
The Boys are also playing on the acoustic stage as is Peter Perrett,TV Smith and Honest John Plain.
999 are the only band to have played every one of the 19 years it has occurred.
See the link on the right for more info and to buy tickets.
Fri 28 Aug to Sun 30 Aug is The Reading Festival.
Another massive line-up with over 100 bands on multi-stages.
Headliners on the main stage are...
Fri 28 Aug---Mumford & Sons + Alt-J + Bastille
Sat 29 Aug---Metallica + Bring Me The Horizon + Royal Blood
Sun 30 Aug---The Libertines + Kendrick Lamar + Jamie T
www.readingfestival.comFor full info of bands playing and to buy tickets.
Memphis --- The Musical has got loads of great five star and four star reviews.
Sunny Afternoon --- The musical based on the story of The Kinks is on on The Harold Pinter Theatre
Filled with classic hits including Waterloo Sunset, You Really Got Me, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and Lola.
Opening at the end of Feb at The Aldwych Theatre---Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is a jukebox musical with a book by Douglas McGrath that tells the story of the early life and career of Carole King, using songs that she wrote, often together with Gerry Goffin, and other contemporary songs by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Phil Spector and others.
The press night reviews got four stars from The Standard,Daily Mail and Independent and
three stars from The Telegraph and The Guardian.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at The Victoria & Albert Museum,London...is now open until 02 Aug 2015.
The life and works of the iconic British fashion designer are explored in exhibition which has previously taken place at New York's Metropolitan Museum. Featuring over 100 pieces, from his postgraduate collection to his final catwalk show.
Savage Beauty has already sold 70,000 tickets two days before it opens to the public, beating the previous advance sales record of 67,000 set by the David Bowie Is blockbuster.
Guests at the vip gala dinner for it on Thursday 12 March included Kate Moss,Naomi Campbell and
David and Victoria Beckham.
Some of the main winners at The Olivier Awards on 12 April 2015 included...
Ray Davies --- Olivier award for outstanding achievement in music.
Best actor in a musical --- John Dagleish for Sunny Afternoon(Kinks) at Hampstead theatre/Harold Pinter theatre
Best actress in a musical --- Katie Brayben for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Aldwych theatre
Best new musical --- Sunny Afternoon(Kinks) at Hampstead theatre/Harold Pinter theatre
Special award --- Kevin Spacey --- For his 11 year stint at The Old Vic.
Wednesday 27 May 2015....I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8.15pm
City Lights exhibition at Lights of Soho,35 Brewer Street,Soho,London W1.
This exhibition features Neon in this new art gallery and members lounge that has its
own bar on both levels.
A very cool arty crowd here and there are old and new Neon lights and signs galore.
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers,Hoxton Gin cocktails and beers for all guests.
The exhibition is on until 05 July 2015.
8.30pm to 12pm
Veuve Clicquot RICH launch party at The Pompadour Room,Cafe Royal,Regent Street,London W1.
Around 300 guests here in this very plush venue.
Some faces here included Solange Knowles,Julian Macdonald,Kelly Hoppen and Lizzie Cundy.
Also Melissa Odabash,Zara Martin and Grace from Clean Bandit.
RICH is basically a summer champers drink where you add coconut and other flavours along with ice.
Lots of complimentary Veuve Clicquot RICH champers and the normal Veuve Clicquot champers are
flowing for all guests along with canapés.
A dj was playing dance tunes and it was an excellent buzzing party.
At 11pm they closed the main room and we continued in the smaller room on the ground floor for an hour.
Wed 27 May---Sex Pistols 'God Save The Queen'.
One of the greatest singles of all time was released today in 1977 on my 18th birthday.
Wed 27 May---Happy Birthday to Siouxsie Sioux who is 58 today.
Wed 27 May---Happy Birthday to me.
Tuesday 26 May 2015.
Toto live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Nearly 40 years have passed since a group of exceptionally talented studio musicians decided to start their own band and make original music. That band is Toto, and the group’s 1978 debut marked the beginning of a legendary career that will continue in 2015 with a new tour and the release of the new studio album, Toto XIV.
Mike Porcaro, the longtime bass player for Grammy-winning rock band Toto, died March 2015 aged 59
following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
I saw Toto three times in their 80s heyday with the first time being at Hammersmith Odeon in 1982.
I did not go to Toto last London gig which was at this venue in June 2011 as it clashed with Rod Stewart
and Stevie Nicks in Hyde Park.
The Guardian gave Toto a one star slagging---'tedious,banal and mind-numbingly conservative'...ouch
It is not sold out tonight but the venue is pretty full.
There is stalls standing to give the evening a better atmosphere.
Toto arrive on stage at 8.30pm and are on stage for 2 hours 15 mins.
The stage is full as they have two keyboard players,a percussionist and two backing vocals.
The new bass player looks older and more static than Bill Wyman then you notice something.
His bass guitar is on a stand so that's why he is not moving...a bit odd looking I must say.
Steve Lukather is playing plenty of nifty guitar solos.
They have a main vocalist but other members take vocal duties on some songs.
Some of the lesser known songs seem a bit dated due to their 80s keyboard based rock sound.
Really great to see them play their three big tunes live 'Hold The Line','Rosanna' and 'Africa'.
Overall an enjoyable show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Running Out of Time
I'll Supply the Love
Stranger in Town
I Won't Hold You Back
Hold the Line
Takin' It Back
Bottom of Your Soul
Without Your Love
The Road Goes On
On the Run
Both The Standard and The Telegraph gave Paul McCartney at The 02 Arena glowing five star reviews.
The Telegraph said...
Rarely these days, given high ticket prices and soulless venues, does it feel like an unalloyed privilege to go to a rock show. Too often one feels short-changed about something. But watching Paul McCartney play for almost three hours at the O2 was one of those infrequent things: a complete honour.
The Standard said...
Rock aristocracy is all around us in 2015,but there is still only one Paul McCartney.
Monday 25 May 2015.
Mark Knopfler live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was the first of two sold out shows at this venue for Mark Knopfler.
Mark also played The 02 Arena on Fri 22 May as part of his massive European Tour.
Multiple Grammy award-winner Mark Knopfler ex Dire Straits returns to the Royal Albert Hall to promote
his recent eighth studio album 'Tracker' which is out on Virgin/EMI.
Mark led Dire Straits who were one of the biggest bands of the 1980s.
I saw them over a dozen times with the first time as a support band in 1978 to The Talking Heads.
I also saw them at Live Aid.
Mark and his band are on stage for around 2 hours 15 mins.
Songs from 'Tracker' were given a good airing, but there were plenty of oldies too from Knopfler’s past solo work and, of course, a fair smattering of Dire Straits numbers in there too for good measure.
'Tracker' is another collection of carefully observed songs of ordinary lives, essaying folk, blues, country and
early rock’n’roll forms, delivered with a low, mordant, deadpan voice.
Mark is backed by a seven piece top notch band who are playing many different instruments and for
a few tracks they had a sax player as an extra member.
For some songs four types of guitar are being played.
Also support act Ruth Moody came on stage for a couple of songs to help out on vocals.
Mark Knopfler looks like a school teacher these days but still plays some great guitar.
The first eight songs ticked along ok but were hardly exciting then the crowd woke up as he played
great versions of Dire Straits classics 'Romeo & Juliet' and 'Sultans of Swing'.
More solo tracks were pretty laid back affairs before some more Dire Straits gems.
The crowd rushed the front of the stage for the encore.
Like recent Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney shows there are lots of overseas folks in the crowd.
I spotted Ed Bicknell in the crowd who was Dire Straits legendary manager.
He managed Mark for a few years as a solo artist but now Paul Crockford does the job.
Enjoyable enough show but most folks just were waiting for the Dire Straits songs.
Full setlist played tonight...
Corned Beef City
Father and Son
Hill Farmer's Blues
Skydiver (with Ruth Moody on backing vocals)
Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes
I Used to Could (Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits song) (Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits song)
Postcards from Paraguay
Speedway at Nazareth
Telegraph Road (Dire Straits song)
So Far Away (Dire Straits song)
Wherever I Go (with Ruth Moody on vocals and Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Going Home: Theme from Local Hero (Nigel Hitchcock on sax)
Mon 25 May---Happy Birthday to Paul Weller who is 57 today.
Monday 25 May 2015.
On Bank Holiday Monday in central London, hundreds of biodegradable reproduction bank notes were released from a roof top in Carnaby Street, London, to the delight of the general public, who were seen grabbing the money from the sky.
Behind the scattered bank notes was the Grammy-nominated vocalist and songwriter, Melody Gardot, who is in town this week to perform live on Later With Jools Holland on BBC 2 tomorrow night. Melody (whose picture was featured on each bank note) confirmed the purpose of the event was to make a philosophical statement, questioning the definition of mankind’s value, which is the subject of her “groundbreaking”* new album: 'Currency Of Man'.
Melody Gardot states: "What is our worth, and how do we define it? Is it down to money? Is it down to legacy? The 'Currency Of Man' is about worth in this world and how everyone, no matter their status, or origins or colour of their skin, holds a purpose."
The album 'Currency Of Man' is released next Monday on 01 June 2015.
Melody Gardot plays The Royal Festival Hall on Tues 17 Nov 2015.
Sunday 24 May 2015.
Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena,London.
Macca plays the second of two shows at this venue.
Fleetwood Mac can play six nights at The 02 but a few days before Maccas shows there
are still newspaper adverts every day trying to sell tickets for Maccas Sunday show.
The advertising has worked well as we have another full house tonight.
Macca tickets were £125 and £80 on the floor and Level 1 and £80,£65 and £45 up in Level 4.
Again before Macca comes on stage they are playing Macca tunes with his images on the big screen.
Again lots of overseas folks are in the crowd.
As it's a Sunday he comes on stage earlier at 8.05pm and again plays a mammoth 2 hours 50 mins.
There were a couple of song changes in the setlist to yesterday.
I am sitting right of stage a few rows behind David Walliams in the guest block.
There was no special guest on stage tonight and no fan brought on stage during the encore tonight.
Again lots of great stage banter from Paul although most of it was the same as yesterday.
Again Macca mentioned praise to John and George on stage but not a word about Ringo.
Again Paul is using lots of nice different guitars.
Yesterday we had 40 songs played and tonight we have 41 songs played.
Extra songs added tonight were 'Can't Buy Me Love','Ram On' and 'I'm Looking Through You'
which replaced 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'I've Just Seen A Face'.
Another totally mega 10/10 show.
Saturday 23 May 2015.
Paul McCartney live at The 02 Arena,London.
Macca brings his 'Out There' world tour to the UK.
I saw Wings play three times in 1975,1976 and 1979.
I have seen Macca solo over a dozen times including the amazing 100 Club show in Dec 2010.
Tonight was the first of two shows here and it is totally sold out.
Fact of the day---These two shows will be Maccas 50th and 51st concerts in London
since he went solo after the split from The Beatles in 1970.
Macca is top notch live and is always someone to get really excited about.
I have a great view in the guest list block right of stage behind Maccas clan.
His wife Nancy is here along with his children Mary,Stella and James and various grandchildren.
Also here is actor Colin Salmon and tv presenters Ant and Dec.
Ant and Dec were pestered through the entire show with folks wanting photos but they obliged all of them.
And and Dec have over 4 million followers on Twitter.
Macca and his great band arrive on stage a bit late at 8.30pm but still play a mammoth set
lasting 2 hours 50 mins that finished at 11.20pm.
Macca is looking and dressing great for a 72 year old.
With the best back catalog in music Macca is always fantastic in concert.
Loads of Beatles classics played mixed in with Wings gems and solo material.
A great stage production with the main screen behind the stage showing nice pre-recorded images
and the big side screens showing live footage.
A fab light show with lasers used as well.
So many incredible highlights in the set that was full of classic singalong tunes.
For a couple of acoustic songs Macca sang on an elevated platform in front of the main stage.
As usual it was pyros and lasers and fire galore for 'Live and Let Die' with an all guns blazing visual treat.
Fans are bringing signs to the gig as Macca now picks out one to come on stage during the encore.
Tonight a guy that was chosen had the sign 'Please sign my wife of 32 years'.
Anyway they are both brought on stage and Macca signs her shoulder.
We had a mega surprise for the encore as Dave Grohl came on for one track.
Needless to say a 10/10 show that will be one of the best gigs of the year for sure.
Full setlist played...
Eight Days a Week (The Beatles song)
Can't Buy Me Love (The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
Temporary Secretary (Live debut)
Let Me Roll It (Wings song)
Paperback Writer (The Beatles song)
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles song)
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen a Face (The Beatles song)
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
Hope for the Future (UK Debut)
And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)(Paul solo acoustic on elevated platform in front of the stage)
Here Today (Paul solo acoustic on elevated platform in front of the stage)
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
All Together Now (The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita (The Beatles song)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)
Another Girl (The Beatles song) (UK Debut)
Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings song)
I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles song) (with Dave Grohl)
Yesterday (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)
Friday 22 May 2015.
An Evening with Al Pacino live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.
Al Pacino is now aged 75 and plays an ageing rockstar in his current film 'Danny Collins'.
One of cinema’s most riveting stars Al Pacino shares his passion for acting and directing up close and personal. In an on stage interview with clips (some never seen before) Al Pacino will give a rare glimpse into the creative process of one of our greatest actors. Sharing backstage tales from a lifetime in the world of theatre and film and revealing the inner workings of his most personal work (watch for surprise readings) this one night only event will end with a question and answer session.
Al Pacino has created some of the most indelible character portrayals in cinema history. Starring in over forty films that include The Godfather Trilogy, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Sea of Love, Dick Tracy, Heat, Scarface, Any Given Sunday, Angels in America and most recently You Don’t Know Jack for HBO. He is one of the rare winners of the triple crown of acting: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award and was a recent honoree of the 2012 National Medal of Arts.
A very rare performance from this big screen legend.
He sold out The Palladium a couple of years ago with this show and tonight is totally sold out even though
ticket prices started at £40 and went up to a startling £200 for the front block...like he needs the money.
The whole event lasted around 1 hour 50 mins and Al Pacino looks great for his age.
The first 10 mins is a montage of his iconic clips on the big screen.
Needless to say the clips from 'The Godfather films' and ''Scarface' got the biggest cheers.
Then Al Pacino walked on to a full standing ovation followed by the host for tonight who was
BBC tv film reviewer Mark Kermode.
Mark Kermode mentioned he saw Dr Feelgood here as his first gig at this venue in 1975...I was there too.
The stage production is one nice big screen,two comfy chairs and a table with bottled water on it.
In the crowd i spotted Kelly Jones from The Stereophonics and tv presenter Colin Murray.
Clips of his films would be shown and he would say a few words about them and he was entertaining.
Pacino had interesting anecdotes. He’d enjoyed making Scarface (clearly the favourite film of many in the crowd), but found the Godfather trilogy “a long, awful, tiring story.” The studio was apparently poised to dump him from the first one, his first major film, in which he played Michael Corleone, because he seemed to be contributing little. Then director Francis Ford Coppola shuffled the shooting schedule, moving forward a scene in which Michael shoots rival mobsters in a restaurant. The studio suits saw the rushes and concluded Pacino was OK.
There were some decent revelations when he disclosed film roles he had turned down: Richard Gere’s in Pretty Woman (now that would have made it a different movie); Lenny (the role of Lenny Bruce went to Dustin Hoffman); Harrison Ford’s in Star Wars (“it was mine for the taking but I didn’t understand the script,” he quipped); and both Marlon Brando’s and Martin Sheen’s parts in Apocalypse Now.
He talked fondly of his fave actors including Robert De Niro,Marlon Brando,Johnny Depp and Anthony Hopkins.
Near the end we have 20 mins of questions from a very excited adoring crowd.
We have a few mins advance screening of his 'Danny Collins' film which is released next week.
He also recited an Oscar Wilde poem at the end.
A very enjoyable evening in the presence of this big screen legend who has been in so many great films.
Fri 22 May---Happy Birthday to Morrissey who is 56 today.
Friday 22 May 2015.
Some very interesting news regards Hammersmith Apollo.
Later this year, it will reveal a new high-tech flooring system, with bookings available from early 2016. The latest development will include a modular floor, which can be installed overnight to transform the sloping view for watching gigs into a split-level flat floor for seated dinner events for up to 720 people.
The Apollo's adjustable flooring, which can be moved in and out, will accommodate a diverse range of events, from awards ceremonies to product launches and fashion shows.
Friday 22 May 2015.
The brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has been spotted in London after flying in to attend an Eric Clapton gig.
Concert-goers described Kim Jong-Chul enthusiastically clapping and singing along to the hit Cocaine
at the end of the 70-year-old rock legend's set.
Mr Kim, wearing a blue T-shirt, black leather jacket and sunglasses was met by a Japanese media scrum
as he left the Royal Albert Hall.
According to Japanese broadcaster TBS, he ignored questions about his relationship with his brother
and North Korea's political stability.
Thursday 21 May 2015...6.30pm to 9.30pm...
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2015 at Fortnum & Mason,Piccadilly,London SW1.
Around 300 folks here in the 4th floor restaurant area of this historic store.
There are a few well known tv chefs here including Mary Berry,Paul Hollywood,
Jay Rayner(who played some nice piano later for guests) and Michael Roux Jnr.
At 7.15pm Claudia Winkleman hosts the awards ceremony and all the winners give speeches.
Comedian Jimmy Carr presented James Martin with the TV Personality Of The Year.
We have a couple of other faces here including presenter Lisa Snowden(George Clooney ex girlfriend)
and American actor Stanley Tucci(The Devil Wears Prada,The Hunger Games and many more).
Complimentary Fortnum & Mason champers,wines and some very nice canapés.
All guests got a nice Fortnum & Mason goodie bag with their loose tea,fudge,shortbread biscuits,
marmalade,chocolates,gin drinks and other bits.
A very nice event.
www.fortnumandmasonawards.comCheck the website for the full list of winners.
Wednesday 20 May 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 7.45pm
Sir Terence Conrad 'Conran on Colour' book launch at Conran,81 Fulham Road,London SW3.
Sir Terence Conran is an English designer, restaurateur, retailer and writer.
Now aged 83 he is looking a bit frail these days as he makes a speech sitting down behind a desk.
In Conran on Colour, Sir Terence Conran shares a lifetime of experience as one of the world’s leading designers, retailers and restaurateurs to explain how to make the most of this vibrant and dynamic ingredient.
Around 200 guests here in this large store with complimentary wines for all guests.
Eric Clapton live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was Eric's fifth show of his seven here and it was my fourth.
Going back to see the same act on the same tour reminds me of when I had my decade on
front stage security at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s when I would see multi nights
on a tour by the same band....and get paid.
Some multi night highlights off the top of my head include...
Elton John---four shows in 1974(me as a 15 year old before I did security) and nine shows in 1982
AC/DC---three shows in both 1979 and 1980 and four shows in 1982
Duran Duran---three shows in 1981 and six shows in 1982
Dio---three nights in each year of 1984,1986 and 1987
Bon Jovi---four shows---1986
Tonight's Eric show was one hour 55 mins and there is one song that is
added/dropped compared to the other shows i saw.
My thoughts that the show was being filmed for a DVD were confirmed tonight.
The earlier shows had just two cameras at the rear of the floor filming but tonight a dozen chairs at the
front of stage on each side have been removed for a camera each side front of stage.
Again like the other nights support act Andy Fairweather Low came on for the encore.
Loads of great songs played again to a totally sold out crowd that loved it.
Scroll down a bit for the setlist played.
Tuesday 19 May 2015...I went to three events tonight...
6.30pm to 8.15pm
Pas De Deux---Inspired by The Royal Ballet book launch party at The Thames Room,
The Savoy Hotel,The Strand,London WC2.
Around 200 guests in this room that is very nicely adorned with pictures from the book and
fine jewellery displays from the sponsors Boodles.
We have short speeches from Boodles and The Royal Ballet spokespersons.
We have a piano player in the background and there is complimentary Louis Roederer champers,
two different cocktails and some nice canapés.
Half a dozen members of The Royal Ballet are posing for photos.
All guests got a goodie bag that included a copy of the book.
www.boodles.comVisit the Boodles website here.
8.15pm to 9.15pm
Raffles Hotels & Resorts showcase at The Savoy Hotel,The Strand,London WC2.
Around 100 folks here in another room at The Savoy just a few yards from the previous event.
Complimentary Louis Roederer champers and canapés for all guests.
We put business cards in the bowl for the raffle to win one of three short stays at their luxury hotels
around the world(flights not included) but we were not winners.
www.raffles.comVisit the Raffles website here.
9.30pm to 11pm
Press night opening afterparty for McQueen at The St James Theatre,London SW1.
This play is based on the sadly missed fashion designer Alexander McQueen who committed suicide.
Around 300 folks here with complimentary wines,beers,burgers and canapés.
British actor Stephen Wight is here who plays Alexander McQueen and he really does look like him.
Also here are actresses Samantha Bond and Anita Harris.
We had a dj and covers band playing in the background.
www.mcqueentheplay.comVisit the website for more info and to buy tickets.
Tuesday 19 May 2015.
John Lydon and Public Image Limited have announced a UK and European Tour.
They play Shepherds Bush Empire on Friday 02 October 2015.
See www.johnlydon.com for the full list of dates.
Tuesday 19 May 2015.
Happy Birthday to Pete Townshend who is 70 today.
Monday 18 May 2015.
Eric Clapton live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Eric Clapton plays the fourth of his seven sold out shows at this venue.
This was the third time I had seen the show and again Eric gets a great reception.
Eric's new album 'Forever Man' has gone straight in at number 8 in the charts on Sunday gone.
Again it was pretty much the same as the other two shows but I made it five mins less on stage
so will find out if a song was dropped which I think was one of the blues covers after the acoustic section.
Eric is wearing the same clothes again so I presume it could be for a DVD recording as there are
a couple of cameras around but no big screens.
You notice different things on different nights.
No photographers have been in the usual pit area front of stage on any night.
The setlist is well paced with most of the big songs in the second half.
Both the keyboard players play three or four great solos each within songs.
The great backing vocalists got the crowd clapping when needed.
Again the fans rushed the stage for the encore.
Another great show in this stunning venue.
We are so lucky in London where many big acts play multi shows when they tour.
Remember so many music legends have passed away over the past few years you gotta
see them live before it's too late.
Scroll down a bit for the list of songs played.
Sunday 17 May 2015.
Eric Clapton + Andy Fairweather Low live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
This was Eric's third show of his seven night stint here and my second.
It was very similar to the Friday show that I attended.
Again most of the crowd are in early to catch Andy Fairweather Low.
Again it is a totally rammed sold out show.
Again there are lots of Americans and other overseas folks here.
Both the acts played the same set as Friday.
Eric was even wearing the same top,trousers and shoes.
The classic rock acts/legendary heritage acts are coining it in this month as Eric Clapton,
Paul McCartney and Fleetwood Mac all selling best seats for a wallet sapping £125 each.
Eric is again playing all his biggest tracks mixed in with some of his fave blues covers.
Again the acoustic section in the middle where Eric takes a seat for four tracks.
Again the crowd rush to the front of the stage for the encore.This time there is a fan waving
a real electric guitar in the air for Eric to sign...Eric didn't even look at him.
Andy Fairweather Low again joined him on guitar for the encore.
Another great show even though it was pretty much the same show as Friday.
Scroll down a bit to get the full setlist played.
17 May 1975---40 years ago today I saw Led Zeppelin play Earls Court Arena.
Friday 15 May 2015.
Eric Clapton + Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Eric Clapton plays the second of seven sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
He reached his 70th birthday on 30 March 2015.
Eric played two birthday shows at Madison Square Garden a couple of weeks ago.
Music icon Eric Clapton returns to the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate his 70th birthday.
The shows will also mark 50 years since Clapton first played at the iconic London venue - his debut was on
7 December 1964 when he performed as part of the Yardbirds for BBC Two's Top Beat Show.
To date, the legendary guitarist has played the Hall on 198 occasions, including 171 headlining performances.
In 1990 he played 18 RAH shows and in the following year he played a staggering 24 RAH shows.
Eric will be accompanied by his band members Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton,
Sharon White and Michelle John.
Pretty amazing Eric made it to his 70th after all the heroin and booze he consumed in the 60s and 70s.
I have seen Eric play over 30 times including all four Cream shows at The Royal Albert Hall in 2005.
I first saw Eric Clapton in 1976 at The Crystal Palace Bowl.
Eric is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times —
as a solo artist, as a member of Cream and as a member of The Yardbirds.
Eric will promoting his recent release 'Forever Man' which is a 3cd collection 51 tracks best of.
Other acts will play The Royal Albert Hall on Eric Clapton rest days.
Up first tonight we have Eric's old friend Andy Fairweather Low and his band for 40 mins.
Andy was the singer in Amen Corner in the 1960s and has played with many bands as well as his solo career.
He said on stage he first played this venue in 1967 on a bill supporting Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd.
He played a mix of solo material and blues cover versions.
He was an ideal support act and the set included...
Wide Eyed and Legless(a solo hit that went to number 6 in the UK charts in 1975)
(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice (Amen Corner song)(a number one UK hit in 1969)
Eric Clapton arrives on stage at 8.30pm and is on stage for two hours.
The first thing he said was "this show is dedicated to B.B.".
The venue is totally rammed solid with all the choir area behind the stage totally sold out.
The corporate hospitality in the boxes is one of the busiest I have ever seen it.
Eric is still a great guitarist and still gets a fantastic tone out of his guitar.
His backing band are top notch and his backing vocalists soar when needed.
There was nothing contemporary or cutting edge about this show. What we got, though,
was two hours of serious, technically flawless and occasionally spine-tingling music.
Eric stays within the comfort zone of his expensive oriental rug as usual and if you think he will come forward
to shake hands with those down the front...forget it.
For some songs live images are put up behind him on the wall by the RAH organ.
As he came back for the encore the crowd rushed the front of stage and Eric said
"I will be playing one more song then I gotta get back to bring my two kids to school on a
Always a great show even though it felt like any of his other shows from over the past decade.
Full setlist played tonight...
Somebody's Knocking (J.J. Cale cover)
Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover)
Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon cover)
You Are So Beautiful (Billy Preston cover) (Vocals: Paul Carrack)
Can't Find My Way Home (Blind Faith song) (Vocals: Nathan East)
I Shot the Sheriff (The Wailers cover)
Driftin' Blues (Johnny Moore's Three Blazers cover) (Crowd sang 'Happy Birthday' to Eric Clapton before
the acoustic part began, Acoustic---Eric seated)
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Jimmy Cox cover) (Acoustic---Eric seated)
Tears in Heaven (Acoustic---Eric seated)
Layla (Derek and the Dominos song) (Acoustic---Eric seated))
Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley cover)
Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson cover)
Let It Rain
Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
Cocaine (J.J. Cale cover)
High Time We Went (Joe Cocker cover) (Lead Vocals: Paul Carrack; with Andy Fairweather Low)
15 May/16 May 1976---39 years ago i went to both KISS shows at Hammersmith Odeon on their debut UK tour.
That was the only time they have played that venue.
Fri 15 May---Lambert & Stamp---the docu on The Who's managers is on at selected cinemas the next month.
Thursday 14 May 2015...I went to two events tonight...
London weather playing tricks again as yesterday was lovely sunshine all day and today
it is raining all day and feels like Winter is back again.
7pm to 8.45pm.
Browns Hotel Summer Party at Browns Hotel,Albemarle Street,London W1.
This party in this five star hotel was hosted by its owner Sir Rocco Forte.
The hotel is split into four themed areas--Ascot,Wimbledon,Henley and Chelsea Flower Show.
There are staff dressed in outfits to match the four areas.
A huge party for over 500 folks with a great guest list of known faces including
Prince & Princess Michael Of Kent,Jeremy Paxman,Lord Jeffrey Archer,Sol Campbell,Sir Melvyn Bragg,
Michael Howard(Tory MP),Henry Wyndham(Chairman of Sothebys),Rachel Johnson(sister of Boris),
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson,Chelsea Davy(ex girlfriend of Prince Harry),Oliver Peyton,Caggie Dunlop,
Amber Atherton and no doubt a few others.
Loads and loads of complimentary booze and food as there is Ruinart champers,different cocktails,
Pimms,wines and various food stations including an oyster bar.
There was a fun photo booth at one end that was very popular.
This was a full on no expense spared mega bash.
then a few mins walk up the road...
The David Sinclair Four live at The Borderline Club,London.
The DS4 launch their new album 4 at the Borderline tonight.
They were on stage for around 65 mins and the sound from the stage was fantastic.
The band played the album in full in track order as the main set with a couple of other tracks for encores.
Tracks varied from the blues to reggae to good old rock n roll.
The lyrics are great and you can hear every single word as they tell the story.
Lots of nifty guitar playing and the band are super tight.
I have seen the band a few times before so I have heard most of the album tracks already.
The songs are really well crafted and they grow on you and stay in your head.
I would say it is their best album to date.
There are a few people here I know tonight and i even get a nice name check from the stage.
At the end of the main set David celebrated by punching the air with a big smile on his face.
A job well done.
Full setlist played tonight...
1. Sick of Being Good
2. The Click-clack Man
3. Life Gone Cold
4. Crude Emotion
5. Down By the Canal (Feat. Maxi Priest on the cd and another reggae singer Nolan Frederick on stage tonight)
6. World Turns Around (Feat. Paul Jones on the cd and Laurence Garmen ex Yardbirds(Harmonica)on stage tonight)
7. The Illness and the Cure
8. Give Me a Rose
9. Coming Out of the Rain(Feat. Lorna Reid on the cd and on co vocals on stage tonight)
10. Coming Off the Rails (Feat. Paul Jones on the cd and Lorna Reid on co vocals and
Laurence Garmen(Harmonica) on stage tonight)
11.Little Rock & Roll
12.Let It Rock(Chuck Berry cover )
www.davidsinclairfour.comVisit the David Sinclair Four website here for more info.
10.45pm to 12pm.
Back to the Browns Hotel Summer Party.
Back to the party i was at earlier as the complimentary booze and food is still flowing and a dj has
got some of the folks dancing in the corner.
All the celebs have left but it was a mega bash for sure.
Thursday 14 May 2015...another sad death to report...
Legendary Blues guitarist BB King has passed away.
The musician, who had been recording music and performing live since the late 1940s, died in his sleep
in Las Vegas, aged 89.
BB King suffered ill health in recent times and was receiving "home hospice care" following his recent hospitalisation. The guitarist and singer was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas in April, with the reason cited as "the result of dehydration from his Type II diabetes".
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
I saw him around a dozen times playing live with the first time being in 1978.
Thursday 14 May 2015.
U2 have started their world tour in Canada.
All the shows are indoor arenas so they are playing multi shows in big cities rather than a big stadium venue.
Thurs 14 May---Steven Tyler new single will receive its first radio play today in the UK on
Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
Steven Tyler announces his debut Country single ‘Love Is Your Name’ will be released in the UK on 29 June.
It is the first single from his highly-anticipated debut solo album, to be released in the Autumn.
Wednesday 13 May 2015...I went to two events today...
7pm to 8.30pm
Book launch --- 'The Luxury Collection Of Hotels & Resorts : Certified Indigenous' at
Maison Assouline,196A Piccadilly,London W1.
Following extensive refurbishment, Assouline has taken over 196A Piccadilly, London, a building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922, which used to be a pretty plain gallery space.
It now looks completely stunning with classic books on the shelves along with a permanent bar,tables and comfy chairs.
You can buy a drink while you browse the books at any time of day.
The staff are serving drinks in Budapest Hotel type uniforms.
Guests here included Mary Charteris,Laura Hayden,Amy Molyneaux,Daisy de Villeneauve and Robbie Furze.
Complimentary Krug champers,two different cocktails and canapés for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag with a copy of the book inside.
A very nice event.
www.assouline.comVisit the Assouline website here.
then a few mins walk up the road to...
Dana Fuchs Band live at The Borderline Club,London.
Dana Fuchs is on a UK tour to promote her recent album 'Songs From The Road'.
Dana played Janis Joplin in the off Broadway production of 'Love Janis' and had a
starring role in the Beatles based musical film 'Across The Universe'.
Dana now aged 39 has released a few albums over the past decade or so.
She looks fantastic,wearing tight jeans and a tight top with her mane of long curly hair.
Dana from New Jersey has a full throttle blues rock vocal style which is pretty amazing to watch.
Her set was a mix of her own material and a few cover versions and her band were top notch.
Every song she is putting 100% into it vocally as she tosses her hair and spends a lot of time
on her knees singing to her captivated fans.
Dana talked of the loss of her father and brother in the past year.
Despite looking totally drained at the end of the show Dana still found the energy to
leave the backstage area to sign CDs and DVDs by her merch stand a few mins after the gig.
A really good show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Handful Too Many
Livin' On Sunday
God's Song (Randy Newman cover)
Nothin' On My Mind
Set It On Fire
So Hard To Move
Ain't Nobody's Fault but Mine (Otis Redding & Carla Thomas cover)
Hiding From Your Love
Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover)
Ring Of Fire (Merle Kilgore cover)(made famous by Johnny Cash)
Keep On Walkin'
watch the video hereDana Fuchs doing a rockin' cover of The Beatles song 'Helter Skelter'...▶ 5:01
www.danafuchs.comVisit the Dana Fuchs website here for more info and tour dates.
Wednesday 13 May 2013.
Rick Buckler ex drummer of The Jam has a book out.
'That's Entertainment : My Life In The Jam'.
Paul Weller split The Jam up in 1982 at the height of their success.
Paul Weller has not spoken to Rick since 1983.
I saw The Jam six times during their heyday including gigs at The Rainbow Theatre,Hammersmith Odeon
and Wembley Arena.
Wednesday 13 May 2015.
watch the video hereJohn Lydon full interview and Q n A from The 100 Club from 26 April 2015. ▶ 45:33
As a 17 year old I attended The Sex Pistols legendary show at The 100 Club in Sept 1976.
A picture of me in the crowd from that show is hanging at the back of The 100 Club.
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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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