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News and Reviews: February 28, 2017
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www.hmv.comVisit the HMV website here.
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For previous months REVIEWS please click on the earlier reviews link above left.
For my latest REVIEWS please scroll down this page.
Visit my upcoming news page for my interview on Roundhouse punk gigs of the 1970s.
Visit my upcoming news page for my Top 20 gigs of 2016...No 1 was Bruce Springsteen.
Feb is a good time to see musicals and plays as special offer tickets are on at some theatres...
Check out Kinky Boots,Motown The Musical,Sunny Afternoon,Beautiful,Jersey Boys and others.
Mid Dec 2016---Dreamgirls opened to some very good reviews.
Wed 01 March---Apocalyptica play The Royal Festival Hall.
Wed 01 March and Thurs 02 March---Al Murray plays The Beck Theatre,Hayes.
Wed 01 March---Kaiser Chiefs + Spring King play The 02 Arena.
Cooler pop indie bands have come and gone over the past decade but Kaiser Chiefs are on
album number six and are still playing arenas.
The group's debut album ' Employment ' was released in March 2005 and sold over 3 million copies worldwide.
I have seen them play loads of great shows since they were a support act.
Wed 01 March---Sophie Ellis-Bextor plays Koko.
Thurs 02 March---Sum 41 play Brixton Academy.
Thurs 02 March---The Handsome Family play The Union Chapel,Islington.
The Handsome Family are playing a UK & European tour to promote new album 'Unseen'.
With support from Courtney Marie Andrews who topped the UK Americana chart.
Sat 04 March and Sun 05 March---The London Bass Guitar Show is held at Olympia.
Sex Pistol Glen Matlock will be playing acoustic shows and Q n A both days.
Sat 04 March---Dandy Warhols play The Roundhouse.
Check out the great video on YouTube for their 1997 track 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth'.
Sat 04 March---X Japan play Wembley Arena...one off UK show...
X Japan is the most successful rock group in Japanese history. The band has sold more than 30 million albums, singles, and videos combined, sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times, and played to tens of thousands of fans outside of Japan. In the band’s early days, their look and sound sparked a global interest in the Japanese cultural rock phenomenon, “Visual-Kei,” a movement X Japan pioneered that spread worldwide.
Mon 06 March---Elbow play the last of three shows at Hammersmith Apollo.
Wed 08 March---The XX play the first of SEVEN sold out shows at Brixton Academy.
They will have a different support act and dj each night.
Fri 10 March---The Priscilla's play Nambucca,596 Holloway Road,London N7...tix only £5...
"They're The Cramps,The Shangri-Las, and the New York Dolls all rolled into one" say Kerrang.
Fri 10 March---Comedian Russell Howard plays the last of TEN shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Sun 12 March---Lita Ford plays The Islington Academy.
Ex guitarist from 70s all-girl American band The Runaways plays a rare London show.
I saw The Runaways in the 1970s when they came over to London.
I saw her as a solo act when supporting Twisted Sister in 1984 and Bon Jovi in 1988.
Her recent album 'Time Capsule' was released in April 2016 on Steamhammer/SPV, to coincide with the
publication of her soul baring autobiography, 'Living Like A Runaway: Lita Ford, A Memoir'.
Lita is now aged 58 and this is a hometown show as she was actually born in London
before her family moved to America.
Tues 14 March---Bush play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Bush launch their new album 'Black and White Rainbows'.
Frontman Gavin Rossdale, who is currently a judge on the new season of The Voice in the UK,
recently spoke about how he hoped his presence on television would help elevate both the band’s and his own career.
It certainly helped Kaiser Chiefs after Ricky Wilson had a stint as a judge on the show.
Tues 14 March---David Bowie is to be honoured with a set of 10 Royal Mail tribute stamps..out today...
Six of the stamps will feature images of Bowie album covers: ‘Hunky Dory’, ‘Aladdin Sane’, “Heroes”,
'Let’s Dance’, ‘Earthling’ and ‘Blackstar’.
The remaining four stamps will feature images of Bowie performing live on different tours: 1972’s The Ziggy Stardust Tour, 1978’s The Stage Tour, 1983’s The Serious Moonlight Tour and 2004’s A Reality Tour.
The Beatles in 2010 and Pink Floyd in 2015 are the only previous music acts to be honoured with an entire “stamp issue” of this kind. Bowie is the first solo music artist to be honoured by Royal Mail in this way.
Dating back to 1860 and running between 14th to 17th March this year, the Cheltenham Festival is a National Hunt meeting with prize money second only to the Grand National at a total of £4.1 million.
It has an average attendance of 62,000 people per day.
Thurs 16 March---Paul Young + Toyah play Indigo @ The 02 Arena complex.
Fri 17 March---Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun play Shepherds Bush Empire.
BSR / Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham is 66 today.
BSR on a UK tour to promote the 'Heavy Fire' album which is their third full length release.
Sat 18 March and Sun 19 March---ARW play Hammersmith Apollo.
Three members of Yes play together for the first time since 1990.
Jon Anderson,Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman.
Mon 20 March and Tues 21 March---Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds play Hammersmith Apollo.
Wed 22 March---Marc Almond plays The Roundhouse.
Thurs 23 March---Blossoms + Cabbage play The Roundhouse.
Fri 24 March---Stranglers + Ruts DC play Brixton Acadmey.
Sat 25 March---Paul Carrack plays The Palladium.
Oddly enough Paul Carrack plays London in the same weekend as his previous band
Mike + The Mechanics also play London who he wrote a few hits with.
Sat 25 March---An evening of acts from the 1960s play The Hexagon,Reading.
Original classics performed by some of the most influential artistes of the 60s.
Starring. Chris Farlowe, Hermans Hermits, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Fortunes, The Ivy League and
The New Amen Corner. Hosted by Alan Mosca from Freddie and The Dreamers.
Sun 26 March---Mike + The Mechanics play The Royal Albert Hall.
Sun 26 March---Ghost play The Forum.
Mon 27 March---Goldfrapp play The Roundhouse.
Tues 28 March---Thunder play Hammersmith Apollo.
Thunder are on a UK tour to promote their new album 'Rip It Up'.
Thurs 30 March---Paul Weller will be warming up for his Royal Albert Hall Teenage Cancer Trust show
with a very special intimate show at 229 Great Portland Street (620 capacity).
Fri 31 March---Jamiroquai play The Roundhouse...sold out pronto...
Fri 31 March---Comedian Russell Kane plays Hammersmith Apollo.
Fri 31 March---John Lydon celebrating 40 years of songwriting & Q n A at Oslo,Hackney.
Fri 31 March---Soul blues singer-songwriter sensation Shawn James plays The Constitution ,Camden.
He is one of the hardest working, DIY modern bluesmen in the USA - he has already played over 1000 shows
across 15 US tours! Absolutely incredible for an unsigned artist!
He is finally now getting recognition after Sony playsation used one of his tracks in an advert and it went viral at the end of last year - 3 million plays on Spotify and counting - .
He will be promoting his recent album 'On The Shoulders Of Giants'.
Since 2000, over 225 bands and artists have played for TCT at the Royal Albert Hall, raising over £24 million
for young people with cancer.
I have been to at least a couple of the shows each year it has been held.
Teenage Cancer Trust Shows 2017 at The Royal Albert Hall.
Mon 27 March---Olly Murs
Tues 28 March---An evening of comedy hosted by Romesh Ranganathan - with special guests Jo Brand and
Kevin Bridges, plus more names to be announced.
Wed 29 March---Ed Sheeran (Sold Out)
Thurs 30 March---The Who perform Tommy (Sold Out)...opening night of their UK tour...
Fri 31 April---Paul Weller (Sold Out)
Sat 01 April---The Who perform Tommy (Sold Out)
Sun 02 April---Pet Shop Boys with special guest Johnny Marr, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Wed 05 April---Jesus & Mary Chain play Shepherds Bush Empire.
I first saw them over 20 years ago when they headlined Brixton Academy.
Sat 08 April---Melanie C plays Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sun 09 and Mon 10 April---Sting plays Hammersmith Apollo.
Only three British shows on his European Tour including these two at Hammersmith.
No real surprise that these shows sold out well in advance.
Sting will be joined by a 3-piece band including his longtime guitarist, Dominic Miller, plus Josh Freese (drums) and Rufus Miller (guitar). Support from singer/songwriter Joe Sumner as well as San Antonio-based Tex Mex band, The Last Bandoleros.
I saw The Police in 1979 and at Twickenham Stadium on their big reunion tour.
I have seen Sting around 20 times since 1985.
Mon 10 April---The Pretenders play The Royal Albert Hall.
A one off UK show after their American tour and they return for a full UK tour in October.
Sunday 26 February 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 11pm
The 5th British Kebab Awards at The Park Plaza Hotel,Westminster Bridge,London SE1.
Yes you read it correct...I am at The Kebab Awards...along with a massive crowd of over 800 guests at tables.
The British kebab industry is constantly growing and contributes more than £2 billion to Britain's economy every year. The British Kebab Awards aim to celebrate the best of the industry and improve the public image of the kebab. The awards are sponsored by the UK's largest takeaway website JUST EAT.
There are over 20,000 kebab outlets in the UK selling over a million kebabs a day.
We had a couple of singers do a song each.
BBC Radio 1 hosts Scott Mills and Chris Stark were the presenters.
The awards are given out by region.
We had a prosecco reception then wines and Cobra beers with our three course kebab balls dinner.
All guests got a goodie bag with full size kebab sauces and bottles of Bira beer.
www.britishkebabawards.co.ukVisit their website here for a full list of winners.
11.30pm to 5.30am
The 89th Academy Awards (The Oscars) ceremony - live screening - Ham Yard Hotel,London W1.
Luxury watchmakers ROLEX are hosting a lavish party for around 300 guests at this luxury hotel.
The red carpet arrivals and interviews were until 1.30am and then the awards started.
We are part of the 200 watching it in the main cinema and there is another 100 watching it on smaller screens
just outside the cinema including over the bar area.
We missed the champers reception but there is lots of complimentary food and drink through the night.
Espresso Martinis,Bloody Mary's,bowl food ,canapés and later bacon butties and scrambled eggs at 3am.
Justin Timberlake performed a great musical dance routine introduction number.
Host Jimmy Kimmel did a good job and Matt Damon was his main target for ribbing.
The Trump word did not get mentioned as much as expected.
The main talking point was at the very end.
Just when we thought it was all over... Warren Beatty had to apologise after he and Faye Dunaway
managed to read out the wrong winner of the Best Picture Oscar.
Everyone thought ‘La La Land’ had won, but it turned out it hadn’t, it was actually ‘Moonlight’.
Yes, that really happened - after 200 minutes plus of Oscar action...you gotta laugh...
They were given the wrong envelope...DOH!....
As expected La La Land bagged the most awards with six...
The main winners were...
Best Picture: Moonlight
Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Animated Feature: Zootopia
Cinematography: La La Land
Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Direction: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
www.rolex.comVisit the ROLEX website for more info.
Sunday 26 February 2017.
Happy Birthday to Rock n Roll Legend Fats Domino who is 89 today.
Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records,
and he has had 35 hit records in the U.S. Top 40.
Fats has had 16 hit records in the UK Top 40.
I saw him headline two shows at Hammersmith Odeon in 1981.
Saturday 25 February 2017.
The Beatles guitarist and singer George Harrison would have been 74 today.
Friday 24 February 2017...6.15pm to 9.15pm...
DIRTY HARRY'S SOHO - launch party - 203 Wardour Street,Soho,London W1.
This building was formerly Peter Stringfellows 'Angels' lap dancing club.
It was never as popular as the original Stringfellows which is still open.
It is now split in two with Dirty Harrys on the ground floor and the club Paper will be downstairs.
In 1977/1978 this site was a punk club called THE VORTEX where i saw a few gigs.
Punk gigs were Mondays and Tuesdays and i would also go there at the weekend when it was a cool
soul club called Crackers.
Dirty Harry’s, an American-style cocktail lounge and diner, will open in Wardour Street in Soho on Saturday.
The female bartenders will get on the bar and crank up the music before dancing —
sometimes spraying guests with beer for good measure.
The bar will have live bands and dance shows throughout the night and host a team of street food chefs operating on a pop-up basis. From February to April, Cajun chicken specialists Otherside Fried and Burger and Beyond, a gourmet burger outfit, will be providing the food. The team behind the bar described it as a “rock ‘n’ roll blue collar bar”.
We got there on time to grab a table and some 200 guests eventually came in.
It does have the feel of a saloon and the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry film catchphrase of
"Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk? adorns each of the walls.
The sound system was blasting out some decent tunes.
Blues rockers THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT played a good 45 mins set with a hint of Black Crowes/Quireboys.
They are a great band i have seen before and they played tracks from both their albums and a cover of
David Bowies 'Ziggy Stardust'.
For a few songs at the end of their set they were joined by half a dozen female bartenders who danced sexily
on the bar in their Coyote Ugly style clothing/dancing.
All guests enjoyed complimentary prosecco and mini cocktails in shot glasses.
Also burgers and some very yummy Cajun chicken.
www.dirtyharryssoho.comVisit the Dirty Harry website here for more info.
Wednesday 22 February 2017...6.30pm to 10.15pm...
THE HOP EXCHANGE - showcase - 24 Southwark Street,London SE1.
Tonight started so well...then got very very very messy...so read on.
This stunning building near London Bridge station has got a lot of history.
The Hop Exchange is a Grade II listed building at No. 24 Southwark Street, London, in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark. Opened in 1867 and designed by R.H. Moore it served as the centre for
hop trading for the brewing industry.
Hops, introduced to England from the Netherlands, are still used in the brewing industry. They are harvested from farms (known as "hop gardens") in Kent, and in the 19th century they were brought by railway to London Bridge Station, or by boat up the River Thames. They were then stored in the many warehouses in the Borough area.
Over 200 folks in their main entertaining room which looks very grand i must say with its high ceiling.
We got there on time so bagged some cosy armchairs and sofas.
We had a jazz quartet playing some tunes.
Complimentary prosecco,different cocktails including a yummy whiskey & amaretto,
wines,beers,canapés and a dessert station.
www.hopexchange.co.ukVisit the Hop Exchange website for more info.
Just a few mins walk and then it got a bit messy....no make that very very messy.
SONY MUSIC BRITS after-party at Aqua at The Shard,London SE1.
Sony again have chosen the best venue out of the three main record company parties.
31 floors up at this iconic building is Aqua.
Around 500 guests here over the two levels.
The rest is what others have told me as I REMEMBER NOTHING.
I had been behaving 'loudly' during the walk to The Shard.
We arrived at the same time as Craig David and went in the lift with him.
I am now singing out loudly "I'm in the lift with Craig David on repeat".
I get in the party and folks are telling me to wake up as my eyes are closing.
After 30 mins someone brings me to the bathroom...I am sick everywhere..
I go out of the building for some fresh air...I am sick again in a nearby alley...
Feel dreadful and in no condition for a party so i had to go home.
Not sure what caused it...maybe a reaction to tablets I am taking.
I drank normally at the previous event...all a bit worrying but there you go.
I spent most of the following day in bed recovering...messy...
Wednesday 22 February 2017.
The mobile operator O2 has struck a deal thought to be worth about £125m to keep the naming rights to the
London venue the O2 until at least 2027.
The 10-year deal, announced the day after the venue played host to the 2017 Brit awards, means the Telefonica-owned mobile operator’s relationship with what was once the ill-fated Millennium Dome will stretch to at least 20 years.
Under the agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) – the US company that purchased the site five years after it was shut after the millennium celebrations – O2 is thought to be paying between £10m and £15m a year in a wide-ranging partnership deal.
A key component of the deal is a doubling of the number of priority tickets that will be made available to O2 customers, giving them access to tickets to events 48 hours before they go on sale to the public. The number of tickets to be made available each year has not been disclosed.
Tuesday 21 February 2017...5.45pm to 9.15pm...
DARBAAR - showcase - 1 Snowden Street,Broadgate West,London EC2.
Darbaar by Abdul is a temple to modern Indian cuisine reinstating the sharing experience which once use to be the charm of the Royal houses of India. The shared dining experience is inspired by the rich history and traditions of the banquets of the Indian Royal Court – Palace of India. Authenticity is everything and no dish or detail is without a link to the great Royal Houses. Techniques and ingredients are as true to the spirit and traditions of Indian gastronomy as it is possible to be – only the finest spices are imported from the markets of India, marinades and preserves are exclusively made in-house from first principles and each dish has a story to tell. Being at once steeped in history and strikingly modern, it’s no accident that Darbaar is poised on the edge of both the City of London and vibrant Shoreditch.
Set over a sweeping and majestic 5,500 feet, Darbaar plays host to a 220-cover restaurant and bar, including an interactive grill seating area, 20-cover private dining room and a bespoke chef’s table for entertaining up to 12 people.
The skyline is changing in this area as new high rise office developments are everywhere.
Top notch restaurants & bars like this one are competing for the spare cash of high earning city folks.
It is hidden away a bit as the street of old is more a path that is easy to miss like i did.
Around 100 folks here in their ground floor bar area.
We have a choice of three different cocktails,wines and Cobra beers.
Also some tasty canapés and bowl food including Tandoori Salmon with green spices and lemon rice.
Also Chicken Biryani with tempered yoghurt raita.
Indian music is playing in the background.
The head chef makes a speech and chats to all guests.
Very nice here.
www.darbaarrestaurants.comVisit the DARBAAR website here for more info.
Monday 20 February 2017...6.45pm to 10.45pm...
FRANCO MANCA - launch party - Nova Victoria,London SW1.
Nova Victoria is the new bar & restaurant complex opposite Victoria Station.
Nova Victoria is on the site where a great gig venue called The Venue Victoria was located in the
late 70s/early 80s which was a late night hang out for musicians as some gigs were midnight starts.
I went there around 20 times from 1978 to 1983 and watched some great acts including
Alex Harvey Band,Adam & The Ants,David Johansen,Ramones,Iggy Pop,Hanoi Rocks and others.
See the full list on the venues search on my website.
The venue is smaller than expected compared to other restaurants nearby as only seats around 30.
Lots of young enthusiastic young staff fussing over all the guests.
We each had a nice three course meal including my mains - large pizza with chorizo.
Lots of Italian drinks here including Aperol Spritz Cocktails,Amaretto over ice,wines,beers,coffees.
Nice and relaxed here as no rush to leave after you finished your meal so the drinks flowed.
Well worth a visit.
Franco Manca was founded in 2008 in Brixton market by Giuseppe Mascoli and since then his sourdough pizza has been taking London by storm. With its seriously good value, it’s easy to see why Franco Manca has earned a cult following. Their minimum 20 hour slow-risen sourdough bases are topped with high-quality ingredients like homemade mozzarella, organic tomato and cured organic chorizo, resulting in genuine, Neapolitan-style pizzas. Watch out for daily changing specials.
This latest branch at Nova will offer organic wine and an open kitchen from 22nd February.
www.francomanca.comVisit the FRANCO MANCA website here for more info.
Sunday 19 Februay 2017.
Bon Scott sadly died 37 years ago today.
The legendary AC/DC frontman had been out drinking with friends in London — but the casual evening
took a terrible turn as Scott passed out in his car, and ultimately choked to death on his own vomit.
He was only 33 years old.
I was lucky to have seen him sing with AC/DC many times.
Saturday 18 February 2017.
BRIT FLOYD live at The Cadogan Hall,Chelsea,London.
Top notch Pink Floyd tribute act play the opening night of yet another UK tour.
I have seen them before at The Royal Albert Hall and Hammersmith Apollo so this is a smallish gig
by their recent standards as this venue only holds 900 folks.
Most here have paid a whopping £47.50 for their ticket which is very steep for just a tribute act.
They played a long show of 2 hours 30 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 90 mins.
They have Floyd type film projections on the back wall along with some nice lights and lasers.
A full band with lots of equipment along with three female backing singers.
Always great to hear those Floyd classics and each tour they drop and add certain songs.
I think their visuals work better on a big screen at a big venue rather than on the wall here.
The crowd were all up dancing and singing along for the last two songs.
Setlist tonight included...
Coming Back To Life
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2
Us and Them
Syd Barrett era songs
The Great Gig In The Sky
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Run Like Hell
After the show most of the band were sat at a table signing their CDS and DVDs.
Oddly enough the lead member of the band thought he was above doing it.
Friday 17 February 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6pm to 7.30pm
Coys of Kensington - auction private view - Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction
at Olympia, Kensington,London W14.
Around 100 stunning classic cars here to look at and admire.
Porsche,Bucatti,Rolls Royce, Ford Mustangs,Cameros,Bentley,Ferrari , etc.
Pretty amazing the top condition these cars are in even though some built in the 1960s and 1970s and earlier.
The auction is being held the following day at noon (Saturday).
Complimentary Lanson champers for all guests.
www.coys.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
8.15pm to 11.15pm
Fashion Film in Partnership with River Island x Serpentine Future Contemporaries Party
at The Serpentine Sackler Gallery,Kensington Gardens,London W2.
A massive London Fashion Week party as over 500 folks are on the guest list.
Faces here included Daisy Lowe,Lady Victoria Hervey,Erin O'Connor,Amber le Bon,
Dougie Poynter,Laura Jackson,Millie Mackintosh and others.
River Island showed their three minute film on the big screen in one of the rooms.
At 9.45pm PIXIE GELDOF and her band took the stage for a 20 mins set.
Pixie released a solo album titled 'I'm Yours' in 2016.
A dj kept things lively after Pixie left the stage.
Complimentary drinks included a very nice Cherry & Black Pepper Tom Collins Gin Cocktail,
Other Gordon's Gin cocktails,beers and fresh slices of pizza all night.
A great party.
www.riverisland.comVisit the River Island website here.
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
Clothing at Tesco
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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