News and Reviews: November 27, 2015

Buy your CDs,DVDs and much more from HMV and Amazon.
www.hmv.comVisit the HMV website here. the Amazon website here.
F & F Clothing at Tesco has it's new range in the stores now.
Menswear and Womenswear are inspired by 1970s styling.
F & F collections are available in over 850 stores in the UK and online.
They have a 50% off sale price on some items.
www.f-f.comVisit the F & F 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...
Fri 27 Nov---One Night Of Queen play The Beck Theatre,Hayes,Middx...Queen tribute...
In 2000, Gary Mullen won ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes Live Grand Final, with the largest number of votes ever received in the shows history. The record of 864,838 votes was more than twice that of the runner-up. Gary began touring on his own and in 2002 formed a band The Works, to pay tribute to rock legends Queen.
Since May 2002, Gary Mullen and The Works have performed throughout the UK, USA, Europe, South Africa and New Zealand to sell-out audiences. The outfit have also twice rocked the prestigious BBC Proms in the Park, in front of a very enthusiastic crowd of 40,000. One Night of Queen is a spectacular live concert, recreating the look, sound, pomp and showmanship of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
Back in 1973 i saw Queen as a support act to Mott The Hoople at The Hammersmith Odeon.
I saw Queen many times with Freddie Mercury including their legendary set at Live Aid in 1985.
40 years ago this week in 1975 Queen played four nights at Hammersmith Odeon and i was at all four.
40 years ago this week 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was at number one as part of its nine weeks at the top.
Fri 27 Nov and Sat 28 Nov---Jools Holland And His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra play The Royal Albert Hall.
Jools and his boogie woogie band play their annual Christmas shows at this venue.
Mon 30 Nov---Slayer + Anthrax play Brixton Academy.
Two of the four 'Big Four' thrash metal bands on tour together.
I first saw Slayer back in 1987 at The Hammersmith Odeon.
Another time was in 1996 when they were the main support to The Sex Pistols in Milan,Italy.
Tues 01 Dec---The Bad Sex in Fiction Award is held in London.
Morrissey's debut novel List Of The Lost has been nominated for the infamous Bad Sex Award.
The book was released earlier this year and was met with harsh critcism at the time, particularly for its passages on sex.
Tues 01 Dec---Judas Priest play Brixton Academy.
Classic rock legends play the London show on their UK tour.
I have seen Judas Priest around 25 times since 1977.
I saw them supporting KISS in Chicago in 1979.
Tues 01 Dec and Wed 02 Dec---Madonna plays The 02 Arena.
Silly prices as usual from Madge with best seats costing £175 plus booking fees.
Madonna has teamed up with fashion designers including Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Alexander Wang, Fausto Puglisi, Jeremy Scott for Moschino, Nicolas Jebran, Miu Miu, Prada and Swarovski for her costumes on her Rebel Heart world tour. Costume designer Arianne Phillips will be overseeing the wardrobe for the tour, and will also contribute designs.
14 Dec---Manchester
16 Dec---Birmingham
If you have tickets to the Madonna ‘Rebel Heart’ tour, be warned … study up on the new album. The tour setlist revolves mainly around the new album with a smattering of greatest hits spread out throughout the show.
Madonna fans should know she never sticks to a greatest hits format and always leaves out some big songs.
Thurs 03 Dec---Deep Purple + Rival Sons play The 02 Arena.
Deep Purple play their only UK show on the last date of their European Tour.
I have seen Deep Purple around 20 times since a 1974 gig at Hammersmith Odeon.
The classic line up of that 1974 gig included Richie Blackmore and David Coverdale.
Thurs 03 Dec---The Homosexuals + The Vulz play The Dublin Castle,London.
The Homosexuals formed out of the ashes of The Rejects in London in the late 1970s. The Homosexuals gave birth almost single-handedly to the D.I.Y./post-punk/art-punk squat aesthetic movement in London. The Homosexuals are still active, in the form of their creator and main thinker Bruno Wizard.
Support comes from great garage punk rockers The Vulz...tix £6...
I saw The Rejects a couple of times back in the day.
Jan 1977---supporting The Damned at The Roxy Club.
July 1978---supporting The Adverts at The Marquee Club.
Thurs 03 Dec---Coldplay play a small gig for The BBC in London.
Fri 04 Dec---Christmas Without A Prayer,' the new single from Sparks.
Released December 4, 2015 on Lil' Beethoven Records.
Pre-order from iTunes
Pre-order from Google Play
Their classic early albums are all out on heavyweight vinyl on Fri 27 Nov.
Fri 04 Dec + Sat 05 Dec---Prodigy + Public Enemy play Wembley Arena.
Prodigy play the last shows on their UK and European Tour.
Fri 04 Dec + Sat 05 Dec---Paul Weller plays Hammersmith Apollo.
Paul has been swopping the setlist about a bit as usual.
At Belfast and Dublin he played three Jam tracks and at Brighton he played five Jam tracks.
Maybe there was more at Brighton as that was the venue for the last ever Jam gig on 11 Dec 1982.
Sat 05 Dec---Glen Matlock from The Sex Pistols will be in Whitstable,Kent.
Bassist and songwriter Glen Matlock will tell the story of how the band exploded onto the music scene
in the late 1970s, and disintegrated almost as quickly, at a gig in Whitstable.
He'll be telling his words and music story I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable.
Sun 06 Dec---The Waterboys play Hammersmith Apollo.
Sun 06 Dec and Mon 07 Dec---U2 play Paris for the last two dates on their world tour.
Mon 07 Dec---Accept play The Forum....German rockers back in the UK...
Tues 08 Dec---Alpha Health Awareness Gala Evening at The Montcalm Hotel,London W1.
If you are a man or have a man in your life, we need you to help fight prostate cancer.
1 in 8 men in the UK will get prostate cancer. It kills 10,000 men every year and over 40,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year. On top of this over a quarter of a million men in the UK are living with prostate cancer, many having to deal with side effects of treatment such as incontinence and impotence. their website for more info and to buy tickets.
Thurs 10 Dec---Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds play The Royal Albert Hall.
Fri 11 Dec---Kylie Minogue plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Fri 11 Dec---The Dead Daisies play The Garage.
Fri 11 Dec---Black Star Riders play The Shepherds Bush Empire.
BSR play their own headline show between dates as the opening act on the Def Leppard/Whitesnake tour.
Sat 12 Dec---Chas n Dave's Christmas Party + Darts at Hammersmith Apollo.
Sun 13 Dec---Status Quo + Wilko Johnson Band play The 02 Arena.
Status Quo are on their annual Christmas tour of the UK.
I have seen Status Quo around 50 times since 1974.
Sun 13 Dec---Gilby Clarke plays The Underworld.
Wed 16 Dec---Matt Grocett & The Shrives play Proud Gallery,Camden.
- Punk-rock upstarts from the UK taking influences from the likes of The Clash & Jamie T.
- Flown to California by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day to produce their debut album after being tipped off by his son Joey.
- Recorded by Grammy-Award winning engineer Chris Duggan (U2, Iggy Pop, Green Day)
- Billie Joe plays bass & Joey plays drums on the whole album.
- Entitled 'Back In The Morrow', it's due out early-mid next year.
- Single out now with a video on YouTube titled 'Turn Me On'.
- The band were featured as one of Kerrang's 'World's Hottest Bands' for this year.

Friday 27 November 2015.
In his show today, Steve Lamacq announced that Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures has been named the winner of BBC Radio 6 Music’s favourite band t-shirt of all-time. It was voted for by the station’s listeners as part of its annual ‘Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day’. The t-shirt will now be displayed at the Design Museum, complete with a description from Steve.
The imagery was designed by Peter Saville for the band’s debut album. It features a striking arrangement of lines charting the signal from a pulsar – an image which was taken from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astrology. Saville is an art director and graphic designer who gained renown for the numerous record sleeves he designed for Factory Records, of which he was a director, and to which Joy Division were signed.

Thursday 26 November 2015.
Simple Minds + Stranglers live at The 02 Arena,London.
Simple Minds are playing five arena shows in the UK as part of their European Tour.
Simple Minds have spent the year touring their album from last year titled 'Big Music'.
I have seen Simple Minds over 20 times since 1980 including a headline show at
Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986 at the height of their success in the 1980s.
I have seen The Stranglers over 20 times since 1976 when i saw them as support act at gigs by
Patti Smith and The Flaming Groovies.
Really looking forward to seeing this great double bill of bands.
Simple Minds played a full month of UK shows earlier in the year to 2000 and 3000 capacity venues
so not that surprising that Level 4 here is closed off as unsold in this huge arena.
The Stranglers arrived on stage at 7.40pm and played for 50 mins.
Despite being the support act they are allowed to use the two big screens.
They are still a very popular live act with a loyal following so have many of their own fans here.
They can still fill venues like The Forum and The Roundhouse in their own right.
They still have two original members on stage including the rumbling bass of Jean-Jaques Burnel.
Their set was crammed with loads of the 23 Top 40 hit singles they have had in the UK
Gems played included 'Get A Grip On Yourself','Nice n Sleazy','Golden Brown','Always The Sun',
'Peaches',their hit cover of 'Walk On By','Duchess' and 'No More Heroes'.
The crowd loved it and gave them a standing ovation at the end.
Simple Minds arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour 55 mins.
A very impressive entrance gets the crowd on their feet and they stay that way the whole show.
It is a great stage production including big screens and Simple Minds play big loud anthemic songs.
Jim Kerr is a great front man and works the crowd perfect.
Original guitarist Charlie Burchill provides big guitar riffs and long time drummer Mel Gaynor is still here.
There were three or four tracks from the recent album but it was pretty much a brilliant greatest hits set.
You sometimes forget how many great singalong classics they have as they had 24 Top 40 hits.
A great evening.
Setlist tonight included...
Up On The Catwalk
The American
Promised You A Miracle
Glittering Prize
New Gold Dream
Don't You Forget About Me
Someone Somewhere in Summertime
All The Things She Said
Let There Be Love
Alive and Kicking
Sanctify Yourself

Wednesday 25 November 2015...I went to two events tonight...
4pm to 5pm.
Tesco F + F Spring/Summer 2016 press showcase,Newman Street,London W1.
F + F is the name that Tesco gives to its clothing arm.
Over the two floors we have male,female and children's clothing collections along
with accessories which focused on spring/summer wear.
We have half a dozen male and female models parading the clothes around the store.
Lots of suede featured in the female items and a definite Soho Boho theme.
Lots of great value as always with F + F Clothing.
Complimentary presecco, wines, soft drinks and canapés for all guests.
Check their website link on this page for more info.
6.15pm to 10.30pm.
The Lanesborough - re-opening party ,The Lanesborough Hotel, Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1.
This five star luxury hotel re-opens after a multi million pound refurbishment over the summer.
Around 300 very smartly dressed folks here at this very lavish event.
Model Laura Bailey took to the red carpet at the Lanesborough's relaunch party, joining Roxie Nafousi, Doina Ciobanu and Lilah Parsons (locking arms for photographers). Sarah-Jane Crawford, Angela Scanlon, Coco Hamilton and Amber Atherton were also among the VIPs toasting the iconic hotel's re-opening before being shown around the venue’s stunning multi-million pound transformation, featuring new designs by interior designer Alberto Pinto.
The party was held over the entire ground floor with half a dozen rooms offering different food and drinks
along with a female jazz quartet in one room then a male quartet in a another room playing cover versions
including 'Mr Brightside' and 'Price Tag' and there was a dj in the Library Bar.
Lots of great staff fussing over all the guests.
We had a speech from the main guy from Oetker Collection hotels who own this hotel.
We had complimentary Taittinger champers,different cocktails,wines and lots of fantastic food from
their restaurant including Fois Gras Candy Floss,Black Truffle,Smoked Chicken and much more.
I got a couple of decent goodie bags on the way out.
An excellent event.
Although i was on the guest list for this i did not go as it clashed with the above event.
Wed 25 Nov---Book launch party of Resonators by Scarlet Page at Proud Gallery,Camden...6pm to 8.30pm...
Scarlet Page, the daughter of Led Zeppelin legend, Jimmy Page, is acclaimed internationally for her fresh, documentary styled work. This photographic exhibition provides an intimate look into the iconic names and faces who have transformed the world of rock guitar, whilst revealing sides of guitar legends rarely seen. Launching in conjunction with Page’s highly anticipated limited-edition book of the same name, this exhibition will showcase a remarkable collection of portraits taken over the past two years, during Page’s personal quest to travel the world and capture some of the most influential living guitarists.
I attended the launch of the photos at The Royal Albert Hall earlier in the year when her dad turned up.
The photos include a great one of Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols in a stars n stripes leather bomber jacket.
The free admission photo exhibition is on until 06 December 2015.
Wed evening was also the Stella McCartney Store Christmas Lights Switch On in Conduit Street,London W1.
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley did the honours and Ronnie Wood was one of the guests.

Tuesday 24 November 2015...6.30pm to 9.30pm...
Drake & Morgan ,6 Pancras Square,Kings Cross,London N1.
Back to this huge bar & restaurant as i have £100 of vouchers to be used from
my press visit here a month ago.
Think of your local Wetherspoons pub to get the size of this place but it's much more nicer.
We each have a 8oz cheeseburger,fries and roman fries.
Drinks included old fashioned cocktails,espresso Martinis,mojitos and Peroni beers.
The staff are great here and the atmosphere was buzzing with a mix of drinkers and diners.
The venue is just three minutes behind Kings Cross station and well worth a visit. The Drake & Morgan website here.
Drake and Morgan - who also run the Folly, The Anthologist and the Fable - which are also huge bar & restaurants.
As for the place itself, it should have that familiar but different approach to their other venues. It'll be a bar and restaurant on two floors (with an outside terrace too) and they'll have one of their gourmet delis too. It'll also have "a fully-connected lounge for remote working" which may be useful for commuters plus a private dining room and what they're calling a series of bookable kitchen ‘pods’. Plus plenty of outside terrace seating (with blankets which may be handy when it opens).

Monday 23 November 2015...I went to two events tonight...
7pm to 9pm.
Princess Michael of Kent - book launch party at Brown's Hotel, 22 Albemarle Street, London, W1.
Around 100 very posh guests in this very posh five star hotel.
Guests here included Rocco Forte(owns this hotel),Bianca Jagger and ex footballer Sol Campbell.
Sol Campbell clubs included Spurs and Arsenal and he played many times for England.
Sol Campbell who is out socially quite often now he has retired and has a few million in the bank.
He has big homes in London and the countryside and put his name forward to be a Conservative
candidate for London Mayor 2016 but did not make the final four chosen.
Princess Michael of Kent is a member of the British Royal Family of German and Hungarian descent.
She is married to Prince Michael of Kent, a grandson of King George V.
Princess Michael was an interior designer before becoming an author; she has written several books on European royalty (mostly her cousins). She also undertakes lecture tours as well as supporting her husband in his public duties. The Kents do not have an official programme of royal duties, although from time to time they represent Queen Elizabeth II overseas.
Princess Michael gave a great speech that lasted around 10 minutes that told us what the book was about.
Complimentary Ruinart champers,wines,canapés and oysters.
10.15pm to 11.45pm.
RNIB Gala Dinner at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.
RNIB---Supporting people with sight loss.
Around 400 guests here at this famous five star hotel.
There are 40 tables and each is named after a Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music song.
They also did this theme with Rod Stewart last year.
I was told pop opera act Blake performed a couple of songs before the three course dinner.
I arrived during the auction after the dinner.
The complimentary bar is still going so I have a couple of JD n cokes.
Guests here included Dame Shirley Bassey, Rory Bremner and Omid Djalili.
Also here were Martine McCutcheon and Heather Mills(Paul McCartney's ex wife).
Last year i saw Rod Stewart play a 55 mins 11 song set at this event and this year
Bryan Ferry arrives on stage with a full band at 10.50pm and plays a 45 mins 12 song set.
Bryan Ferry is now aged 70 and still looking suave and cool.
Apart from a couple of thank you's there is not much chat from Bryan.
For the first couple of songs the crowd stay seated at the tables then when 'Slave To Love'
starts folks get on the dance floor and i get a great front row view.
A great mix of solo gems and Roxy classics.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Driving Me Wild
Slave to Love
Bête Noire
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes(Jerome Kern cover)
One Night Stand
More Than This(Roxy Music song)
Avalon(Roxy Music song)
Love Is the Drug(Roxy Music song)
Let's Stick Together(Wilbert Harrison cover)
Jealous Guy(John Lennon cover)
Virginia Plain(Roxy Music song)

Sunday 22 November 2015.
The Vaccines + Palma Violets live at Brixton Academy,London.
The Vaccines play the first of three shows at this venue as part of their UK tour.
I get to the venue early as Palma Violets are a perfect choice of support to The Vaccines.
The Palma Violets have had two albums out on Rough Trade Records.
They arrive on stage at 8.15pm and play for 45 mins.
I saw them a couple of years ago supporting Paul Weller when their debut album came out.
They were a bit messy and all over the place then but are now a really good live act.
Loads of great songs played properly and the crowd down the front are jumping around.
During the interval the colours of The French flag of red,white and blue lit the stage in tribute to Paris.
The Vaccines arrive on stage at 9.30pm and play for 80 mins.
They have a nice stage production with a fantastic light show.
Their royalty cheques must have just come in as for some songs there is all gleaming white
equipment with three guitars,bass and drum kit all in white.
All three Vaccines albums have been a big success in the UK.
First album got to number four,second album got to number one,third album got to number two.
They played loads of great uptempo short sharp tunes including the hits that got folks dancing down the front.
A great gig.
The show was filmed so could be out on DVD at some stage.
Full setlist played tonight...
Teenage Icon
Ghost Town
Dream Lover
Minimal Affection
Tiger Blood
Wolf Pack
Bad Mood
Post Break-Up Sex
Melody Calling
(All Afternoon) In Love
Give Me a Sign
Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
I Always Knew
If You Wanna
All in White
No Hope
We're Happening
Nørgaard (with ticker tape canons)

Sunday 22 November 2015.
This week 39 years ago...yes 39 years ago...
"Anarchy in the U.K." was released by the Sex Pistols. It was released as the band's debut single on 26 Nov 1976 and was later featured on their album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. "Anarchy in the U.K." is number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
For me it has to be in the Top 10 greatest tracks of all time.
A few days later on 01 Dec 1976 they would do the infamous Bill Grundy tv interview.

Friday 20 November 2015.
The winner of the 2015 Mercury Prize in association with BBC Music is Benjamin Clementine for his album
'At Least For Now'. Congratulations to all of this year's shortlisted artists!
I would have gone for Slaves or Wolf Alice.

Friday 20 November 2015.
Some shows announced for next year...
Jeff Lynne’s ELO now play four shows at The O2 Arena on 20,22, 23 and 26 April 2016.
Their comeback album 'Alone In The Universe' went in the charts at number 4 last week.
Coldplay play Wembley Stadium on 16 June and 18 June 2016.
Bryan Ferry plays The London Palladium on 20 April and 22 April 2016.

Thursday 19 November 2015...I went to four events tonight...
6.15pm to 7.30pm.
Mount Street Christmas Lights - switch-on - Mount Street,Mayfair,London W1.
Whether you like it or not Christmas is just five weeks away and at this time of the year
shopping centres and high streets across the UK switch on their Christmas Lights.
Many have a known face to do the honours.
Kylie Minogue recently switched on the Oxford Street lights.
Around 1000 folks are spread out along the street with a nice atmosphere.
Singer Rachel Stevens did the honours here at 6.45pm.
Mount Street is a street with 300 years of history and is now full of luxury stores.
Half the stores are having drinks parties and food stands outside.
We have complimentary mulled wine,hot chocolate,crepes,roasted chestnuts,mince pies etc.
7.30pm to 8.15pm.
Roksanda - Christmas party - Roksanda, 9 Mount Street, Mayfair,London W1.
We are still in Mount Street but a couple of stores have guest list only admission.
Serbian-born Central Saint Martins alumnus Roksanda Ilincic launched her eponymous label in 2002. The London-based designer creates modern show-stopping party pieces, from vibrant cocktail dresses to floor-sweeping silk-satin gowns. Her signature use of bold, contrasting colours and drapery is unmistakable.
Complimentary Perrier Jouet champers and pastries for all guests.
8.20pm to 9.15pm.
MaxMara - Christmas party - MaxMara, 19-21 Old Bond Street,London W1.
This store over three levels has a prime location next to Prada.
Laura Lusuardi, Italian fashion powerhouse Max Mara – founded in 1951 – continues to create dynamic and sophisticated clothes. The label’s classic colour palette of camel and ivory means its cashmere knits, refined separates and signature sleek outerwear make timeless investments.
We have a five piece jazz band playing covers.
Complimentary Pol Roger champers and mince pies.
10pm to 11.15pm.
The World According to Nancy Dell'Olio - after party - Hippodrome Casino,London WC2.
Nancy Dell'Olio now aged 54 is an Italian-British lawyer who first came to public notice as the girlfriend of
Sven-Göran Eriksson, then manager of the England national football team.
She is well known on Londons social scene and i have seen her at loads of events over the years.
Even at the age of 54 she's oozes Italian glamour and is always fully dressed up.
This party was to celebrate her show earlier where she talks about her life.
It was held in the theatre here that holds 200 people.
The party was held in the lounge bar for 60 or 70 people.
Nancy is here in a shiny floor length gown which is split to the waist.
Surprisingly there are none of her showbiz mates here.
Nancy thanks everyone for coming and says there will be more shows next year.
We then have an female opera singer who performs a very funny aria about Nancy.
Then we have a boy band perform a couple of covers that they also sing in the main show.
Complimentary wines,beers and hot food for all guests.

Thursday 19 November 2015.
Punk rock legends Stiff Little Fingers play Paris just four days after the terrorist attacks.
In Paris on the evening of Tuesday, November 18, a legendary band from the Emerald Isle stood on stage in a rock club. In the face of fear, in the face of terror, in a city that is the epicenter of the world’s anxiety, this group sang rousing anthems about war and peace, about bridging ancient hostilities caused by ignorance, about loving your fellow man even if their religion is one you were raised to hate. This foursome used the power of simple rhythms and soaring vocals to bravely raise the flag of hope and brotherhood.
No it was not was Stiff Little Fingers...
Singer Jake Burns said the following...
Of course, it began to sink in when we heard the extent of the tragedy and of the French government's ban on public gatherings. Our attitude from the start was one of wait and see. If we could play, we would. My teenage years in Belfast were spent dealing with civil unrest on a daily basis and that meant that bands I desperately wanted to see wouldn't come and play there. That deprived me and many others of a normal part of growing up. That word "normal" became key to my thinking regarding our situation and whether or not we played Paris. Ironically, the show after Dublin for us was Belfast. It suddenly seemed very safe compared with other cities.
In the end, I needn't have worried. As soon as we went on stage it felt like a "normal" show, apart from the calls from the audience thanking us for being there. We tried to play the same as every other night, although there may have been a bit more emotion in my voice singing the line: ‘Killing isn't my idea of fun’ [Wasted Life]. I only made mention of the tragedy once, at the end of the night, and even then just to let those in attendance know that the world was with them. I certainly felt we were.
After the show, our merchandise guy handed me a note from a young Lebanese woman who had been in the audience. In it, she thanked us for "our courage and for being there." We didn't feel particularly courageous and I certainly felt the same about the audience. It was a night none of us will ever forget.

Wednesday 18 November 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8.45pm.
Burberry and Claridge's Christmas Tree - launch party at Claridge's, Brook Street, London, W1.
Over 200 glammed up guests here with many of the females wearing Burberry at this five star luxury hotel.
Actresses Lily James and Alice Eve soaked up the festive cheer at the launch of Claridge’s Christmas tree, designed by Burberry Chief Designer Christopher Bailey. Joining the celebrations, David Gandy, Millie Mackintosh, Tracey Emin, Jack Guinness, Billie JD Porter, Marissa Montgomery, Ellie Bamber and Roxie Nafousi smiled for photographers as they posed next to the glittering Christmas tree, made up of gold and silver umbrellas. Newlyweds Storm and Ronan Keating cosied up in the iconic hotel's lobby, admiring the illuminations said to represent rain drops. Burberry face Neelam Gill also attended along with fellow models Erin O'Connor, Alicia Roundtree, Charlotte Wiggins, Donna Air, Jessica Clark, Matilda Lowther and Sam Rollinson.
Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers,wines and canapés.
I got a couple of nice goodie bags on the way out.
Cherie Currie live at The Underworld,Camden,London.
Cherie Currie: The Voice of THE RUNAWAYS - First album and European tour in over 35 years!
Cherie Currie is rocking again with 'Reverie', her first solo album in 35 years.' Reverie' features four songs co-produced by the Runaways' controversial late Svengali Kim Fowley and covers of two Runaways songs – "Is It Day or Night" and "American Nights" – featuring vocals by former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford.
Three ladies made Rock 'N Roll History, way back in 1975, as members of the greatest all-female rock act
of all time “The Runaways”, which featured Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie.
I was lucky enough to have seen The Runaways four times between 1976 to 1978 before they split up. The Underworld website to buy tickets and their list of upcoming gigs including Gilby Clarke on 13 Dec.
Needless to say i was really looking forward to this gig.
Every year we get two or three bands who have not played for 30 years and tonight is one of those.
Cherie Cherie on stage in London and around the UK for the first time in over 35 years.
The Runaways certainly had an effect on me in the punk rock years of 1976 onwards.
They were all teenage girls the same as age as me and they looked and played great.
Cherie Cherie would sing wearing a corset with stockings and suspenders on
Cherie Currie was on stage from 9.20pm for a 60 mins 14 songs set.
Cherie will be 56 next week and still looks great with long blonde hair and tight black clothing.
Her band are all long haired rockers plus there are a couple of females on backing vocals.
Lots of Runaways gems played which were mixed in with a few cover versions.
For the third song 'Rock n Roll Rosie' Cherie introduced the song saying what an Icon
1970s glam rock legend Suzi Quatro was to her in the 1970s and then out of nowhere
Suzi Quatro appeared on stage to huge cheers.
The Runaways track 'Queens Of Noise' has the teasing lyrics
'Cause we're the queens of noise,Come and get it boys'.
A great cover of the KISS classic 'Do You Love Me?' was played.
Cherie is getting emotional about finally getting to play London again but will be pleased to get on a plane
the following day back to the sunshine of California.
Her anthem 'Cherry Bomb' was beyond mega.
Some lyrics from 'Cherry Bomb'
Hey street boy, what's your style
Your dead end dreams don't make you smile
I'll give ya something to live for
Have ya, grab ya til you're sore
Hello Daddy, hello Mom
I'm your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb
Hello world, I'm your wild girl
I'm your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb
At the end of the show Cherie said she would be coming out to sign stuff for an hour
and half the crowd stayed behind to get an autograph and photo.
The show was filmed so hopefully that comes out at sometime in the future.
A great club show and hopefully she will come back to the UK soon.
Full setlist played tonight...
American Nights(The Runaways song)
Rock & Roll(The Velvet Underground cover)
Rock 'n' Roll Rosie(with Suzi Quatro)
Dear Mum(Shameless cover)
Is It Day or Night?(The Runaways song)
Roxy Roller(Nick Gilder cover)
Heartbeat(The Runaways song)
Queens of Noise(The Runaways song)
California Paradise(The Runaways song)
Rebel Rebel(David Bowie cover)
Do You Love Me?(KISS cover) (with Stevie James on lead vocals)
Midnight Music(The Runaways song)
Believe(with Francesca Lee of support act Alexa De Strange)
Cherry Bomb(The Runaways song)

Wednesday 18 November 2015.
40 years ago today i saw the first ever UK show by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
I would also attend the second show (also at Hammersmith Odeon) a few days later on 24 Nov 1975.
Legendary shows where Bruce was touted as "the future of rock n roll".

Tuesday 17 November 2015...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 7.45pm.
One & Only Resorts x Marie France Van Damme launch party at The Arts Club,40 Dover Street,London W1.
When it's rainy and windy outside The Arts Club is a very welcoming cosy venue.
This party was to launch the 'City To Resort' collection in the One & Only Resorts around the world.
At one end of the room is a woman telling us about all the stunning locations were Only & Only Resorts
are based and at the other end three female models are wearing the nice clothes and are managing to
change outfits every 30 mins.
Complimentary Ruinart champers,wines and some very nice food for all guests.
All guests got a goodie bag.
Marie France Van Damme is a high end resort wear line, already distributed in prestigious stores like Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus online, The Room at The Bay and several Hotel’s Boutiques around the world such as the Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai and the Aman Resorts.
Inspired by the lifestyle of icons in the 1950’s French Riviera, Marie France Van Damme Collection is a master class in the art of dressing with a “wear anywhere” appeal.
From luxurious metallic tone swimsuits to glamorous dark jersey dresses, as well as vaporous caftans and precious cover ups, Marie France Van Damme Collection is dedicated to savvy and sophisticated women with a sense of style.
Melody Gardot live at The Royal Festival Hall,London.
This show sold out very quickly without any real advertising.
Melody is on a European Tour to promote her recently released fourth album 'Currency Of Man' on Decca/Universal.
Melody Gardot aged 30 is a Grammy-nominated American singer and writer.She has been influenced by such blues and jazz artists as Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Caetano Veloso. Her music has been compared to that of Nina Simone.
She is very popular in countries like France and Germany and three of her four albums have made the UK Top 40. the Melody Gardot website here for more info.
Arriving at the venue and despite what happened in Paris there are still no bag checks or body searches
here which is a bit worrying when other venues have increased their security.
Melody Gardot and her great band arrived on stage at 8.35pm for their 1 hour 55 mins set.
Since a stunning appearance on Later With Jools Holland tv show in 2012 Melody Gardot has
quietly built up a loyal following in the UK.
Melody arrives on stage with her slim frame dressed all in black and wearing shades.
A respectful crowd here who were very quiet during songs as Melody worked her magic.
Melody opened up with great tracks 'Same To You' and 'She Don't Know'.
Melody Gardot is a serious musician who cares about the quality of her music.
The sound is a sultry combination of jazz,blues,funk and soul.
The three man brass section showed their prowess on many tracks.
'March For Mingus' had a fantastic extended bass solo.
Indeed quite a few songs were extended a bit so the band could flex their talents.
Melody had plenty of fun and flirty stage banter between songs.
During the show she mentioned she was in Paris on the night of the terrorist attacks.
Near the end of the show we get superb versions of 'Love Is Easy' and recent single 'Preacherman'.
The encore of 'It Gonna Come' was another extended gem that went down well.
At the end there was a well deserved standing ovation.
A really good show.
Extra show added---Melody Gardot plays The London Palladium on 19 March 2016.

Monday 16 November 2015.
New Order live at Brixton Academy,London.
New Order play the first of two shows at Brixton Academy.
In September 2015, the band released its tenth studio album, 'Music Complete'.
This is their first album since the split and bitter feud with original bass player Peter Hook.
It reached number two in the album charts.
The band are on a UK and European Tour to promote it.
Brandon Flowers has sung vocals on one of the tracks on it.
He has his own show on Monday but may join them on stage on Tuesday.
I saw one of their first ever London shows in 1981 at The Kentish Town and Country Club
which is now known as The Forum.
New Order have had more hits than you would image...27 Top 40 singles...
I saw their previous band Joy Division a few times.
Before the band come on we have a dj playing some great dance tunes with full use of the bands
light show which created a buzzing atmosphere like we could be at The Hacienda.
New Order were due on stage at 8.45pm but eventually arrived at 9.10pm for a two hour set.
The French flag came up on the big screen and Bernard said 'Vive La France' before they started playing.
He also dedicated their poignant Joy Division classic 'Atmosphere' to the Paris victims.
The show is a visual treat as there are loads of big screens and loads of lights.
The lights spend half their time on the audience and half on the band.
The video screens are showing brilliant images.
A pulsating synth dance sound from start to finish which is fantastic.
The setlist is a great mix of tracks from their long career and a couple of Joy Division classics.
Elly Jackson(La Roux) joined them on stage for a couple of songs on backing vocals.
Big cheers when Ian Curtis images appeared on the big screens during the Joy Division songs.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Age of Consent
5 8 6
Lonesome Tonight
Your Silent Face
Tutti Frutti(with Elly Jackson)
People on the High Line(with Elly Jackson)
Bizarre Love Triangle
Waiting for the Sirens' Call
The Perfect Kiss
True Faith
Atmosphere(Joy Division cover)
Love Will Tear Us Apart(Joy Division cover)
Blue Monday

Sunday 15 November 2015.
TBH Events have put together an award winning line-up of some of the most innovative Soul artists.
Patti Labelle (the Godmother of Soul)---now age 71---expect to hear Lady Marmalade in her set.
In a career that has spanned fifty years, she has sold more than fifty million records worldwide. LaBelle has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. In 2005, the World Music Awards recognized her years in the music business by awarding her the Legend Award. Possessing the voice of a soprano,LaBelle was included in Rolling Stone on their list of 100 Greatest Singers.
The Whispers (recently inducted in the Soul Hall of Fame)
SOS Band (One of the greatest R&B Collectives from the 80s)
Here I am back at Wembley Arena.
Yesterday it was a mini Rock Festival and today it is a mini Soul Festival as we have seven acts on.
Six support acts playing 15 to 30 mins each before headliner Patti LaBelle.
I saw the last three acts tonight.
It is a decent 75% tickets sold tonight even though tickets were priced £50 up to £100 each.
Great to see a mixed crowd of 50% black and 50% white folks here together.
A great atmosphere that reminded me of the fantastic soul and funk acts i saw play
Hammersmith Odeon when i worked security there all through the 1980s.
Indeed i saw all three acts playing tonight at Hammersmith Odeon in the mid 1980s.
Folks are all up and dancing for all the acts and the dj is playing classic 80s tunes by the likes
of Maze and The Fatback Band between the acts.
All the acts had a big video screen showing old videos and images but not live footage.
Up first for me are The SOS Band who play four songs including two Top 10 hits in a 20 mins set.
Alexander O'Neal did a duet with Cherelle in the 1980s and it was great to see Alexander on stage with
SOS Band to sing the Top 10 hit 'Saturday Love' and after that the band played another hit 'Just Be Good To Me'.
Next up were The Whispers who still have three original members from their 1964 formation.
They were much more popular back home in America than the UK.
They played great versions of their two Top 10 UK hits 'And The Beat Goes On' and 'Its A Love Thing'.
Patti LaBelle is on for 65 mins from 10.18pm to 11.23pm for a 65 mins set.
A way too late a finish for a Sunday to be honest as folks gotta get home.
Like The Whispers she has been performing for over 50 years.
Patti arrived on stage wearing a sparkly gold cape.
Patti dedicated the first song to the people of Paris.
A mix of solo tracks,LaBelle tracks and a few good cover versions where her still very impressive
soprano voice soared.
She killed the atmosphere a bit as all the other acts were dance based and she was more serious
with ballads etc or perhaps folks were just too tired after a couple of hours of standing and dancing.
She got four male fans on stage for 'Lady Marmalade'
An enjoyable evening....but promoters should have made sure the event finished before 11pm.
Her twelve song setlist included...
If Only You Knew
On My Own(Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald cover) (with male backing vocalist duet)
You Are My Friend
Are You Lonely (LaBelle song)
If You Don't Know Me By Now(Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes cover)
Stay With Me(Sam Smith cover)
Lady Marmalade(LaBelle song)
Over the Rainbow(Harold Arlen cover)

Saturday 14 November 2015.
Megadeth + Lamb Of God live at Wembley Arena,London.
I first saw Megadeth in 1987 and 1988 when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
Dave Mustaine leads the band with a new line-up.
The new MEGADETH line-up is comprised of David "Junior" Ellefson on bass, new member Kiko Loureiro (formerly of Angra) on guitar, and drummer Chris Adler, who took time away from Lamb of God to record the new album ' Dystopia '.
Over the past 30 years plus Megadeth have sold over 50 million albums.
Pioneers of the American thrash metal scene, the band is credited as one of the genre's "big four"
with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer, responsible for thrash.
Lamb Of God have released eight albums over the past 20 years.
Going to the gig tonight i had thoughts about the fans who went to see a gig in Paris last night and never came back.
Let's hope any brainwashed terrorists do not do the same in London in the future.
Tonight Lamb Of God dedicated the track '512' to those that were at the gig in Paris last night.
They said they had played that venue.
Also Megadeth said "Vive La France" at the end of their set.
Security was noticeably doubled up tonight compared to previous shows here with full body searches on entry.
Tonight was a mini festival as four bands played but i was not bothered about seeing the first two.
It's not sold out tonight but a respectable 90% of tickets have been sold.
It's a co-headline show so Lamb Of God play a full 70 mins set with a full production.
Lamb Of God have two big screens showing great pre-recorded images.
Lamb Of God are better than expected with a great crunching heavy sound with the guitars creating some heavy riffs and some thunderous drums but were let down but a vocalist who although giving it 100% energy wise had one of those thrash screaming/singing from the stomach vocals that I don't really like.
Overall the band had a cleaner sound than Megadeth and had more circle mosh pits than Megadeth.
Lamb Of God full setlist...
Walk with Me in Hell
Now You've Got Something to Die For
Still Echoes
Ghost Walking
Set to Fail
Laid to Rest
Black Label
Megadeth play for 75 mins and they have three big screens showing pre-recorded images.
Their sound is a bit messy at the start but then Dave Mustaines vocals get a bit clearer.
Dave Mustaine is riffing away on his trademark Flying V guitar.
Megadeth played a decent set but did not really have the powerful clout that Lamb Of God had.
Surprisingly i would say Lamb Of God edged it for me tonight.
Full Megadeth setlist played tonight...
Hangar 18
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Sweating Bullets
Dawn Patrol
Poison Was the Cure
Tornado of Souls
Fatal Illusion
Skin o' My Teeth
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells
La Marseillaise(Claude-Joseph Rouget de l'Isle cover)
Holy Wars... The Punishment Due

Saturday 14 November 2015.
KISS are returning to play European shows in May/June 2016.
This will celebrate 40 years since their first European Tour in 1976.
I saw both their first London shows in May 1976 at Hammersmith Odeon.
Would be amazing if they played that venue again.
No UK shows have been confirmed at the moment.

Saturday 14 November 2015.
Ed Sheeran, one of the biggest artists in the world, has broken chart history. His 15 million-selling, second studio album ‘x’ has had the longest reign in the UK Top 10 Official Albums Chart for a British artist, ever, where it has now remained for 73 consecutive weeks.

Friday 13 November 2015....first news of this came in around 10pm tonight...
Nightmare situation in Paris as reports coming in that up to 100 hostages have been
taken at The Eagles Of Death Metal gig at Le Bataclan Theatre.
Early reports that people have been shot dead at the venue.
Our thoughts are with their family and friends.
As part of multiple terrorist attacks across Paris including at The Stade De France.
Saturday morning update---looks like at least 87 fans killed at Le Bataclan by terrorists.
Members of Eagles Of Death Metal appear to be ok.
Members of The Deftones were at the concert but are all safe.
They were due to play Le Bataclan on Sat,Sun and Mon.
U2 were were due to play Bercy Arena on Sat and Sun.
Motörhead were due to play Le Zenith on Sun.
Marilyn Manson was due to play Le Zenith on Mon.
Foo Fighters were due to play Bercy Arena on Mon.
These shows are now all postponed or cancelled.
Saturday evening update---British merch seller for Eagles Of Death Metal among the dead.
It has been confirmed that Nick Alexander, 36 from Essex, who previously toured with the likes of
Fall Out Boy and Sum 41, passed away in the attack.
Sunday morning update---Two Scottish fans had a very lucky escape.
Two Scottish women who were in Le Bataclan Theatre hid in a cellar for three hours to escape the massacre.
In an interview they said if they had chosen the exit door on their left this would led straight in to the street
but in the confusion they went right and the door led down to a cellar where they hid for three hours.
They could hear all the gunfire,explosions and screams of terror from where they were.