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News and Reviews: May 25, 2012
24 May 2012.Another lovely sunny day in London.
3pm to 4pm was the launch of the limited
edition Union Jack pack of M&M's with Little Mix at
M & M's World,Leicester Square,London.
Around 100 photographers,media and comp winners to this invite only event on the ground floor of this very impressive huge store.X factor 2011 winners Little Mix play a three song set.They had a meet and greet with comp winners after playing.
The limited edition Union Jack pack of red,white and blue peanut M & M's is now available in supermarkets and cinemas etc.
4.30pm to 6.30pm was a lovely walk down Pall Mall to Buckingham Palace where the work is in full swing to build stages and seating for the upcoming Jubilee Celebrations then on to Hyde Park and Knightsbridge.
7pm to 9pm was the Godiva Chocolate Cafe launch at Harrods,Knightsbridge,London.Around 150 people at this new addition to Harrods many restaurants.
Freebie champers,canapes and yummy chocs for all.
Nice to see actress Mischa Barton here looking stunning i must say.
I got a couple of goodie bags with a huge box of Godiva choccies in each.A nice event but stayed a bit too long there and missed some of Elvis Costello.
A chocaholic's fantasy come true, Cafe Godiva features decadant truffles, melting fondues and rich chocolate drinks, for a guaranteed taste of heaven. This eaterie also offers sandwiches and savouries for a pre or post chocolate fix. Situated on the Second Floor, this is a sweet oasis for recharging your batteries and indulging your every chocolate desire.
Harrods is just ten mins walk from RAH.
Elvis Costello live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Second of his two shows at this venue as part of his European Tour.
The set was around 2 hours 45 mins long but i missed the first hour as i was at The Harrods event.
Elvis has brought back his "Spectacular Spinning Songbook" which is 40 songs that change in order from gig to gig.Tonight a few punters get given a hammer on stage to hit the spinning wheel and his great band play the song it stops on.
Its good fun and we have two burlesque dancers in a cage side of stage for some of the songs.
I have seen him over 15 times since 1979.He is a very respected songwriter.Lots of chat between songs.He lives in America now.
Gems played included an extended "Watching The Detectives","Shipbuilding","Tramp The Dirt Down",
"Olivers Army",a cover of "Purple Rain",a pukka "Pump It Up" and for the last two songs he was joined by his old Stiff Records mate Nick Lowe for "Heart Of The City" and "Whats So Funny About Peace,Love and Understanding" as keyboard player Steve Nieve played the legendary Royal Albert Hall organ above the stage.Shame to miss the start but i saw most of the of the set and the best songs.A good gig.
Jo Brand and Mark Lamarr were in the crowd
23 May 2012.7.30pm to 11pm.I was at the launch party for The British Designers Secret Garden at Harvey Nichols,5th Floor Terrace Bar,Knightsbridge,London SW1.
Around 150 trendy younger design and fashion folks here but thankfully a few older ones too.
Lots of freebie drinks flowing here.Lots of champers and a choice of six different cocktails including one that came in a mini garden watering can which was a nice touch.Lots of nice canapes too.
A dj playing some good tunes including Bee Gees.
Some faces here but they all missed each other as they all stayed for around 30 mins then moved on.
First was Harold Tillman who is head of The British Fashion Council and always looks very dapper for an older man.Then Joan Collins turned up here fully glammed up as she had just met The Queen at another bash for The Arts at The Royal Academy tonight.
Today was Joans 79th birthday.Yes 79.
Sir Paul McCartney,Jimmy Page and Bono were there.
Then an hour after Joan Collins left Bianca Jagger turned up in a long summer dress.
Overall a really good event.
Discover the Secret Garden at Harvey Nichols on the Knightsbridge Fifth Floor Terrace from now until the 27 May. Dine on herbaceous salads accompanied by the finest Beefeater Gin cocktails as you admire magical surroundings created by Britain’s brightest fashion stars.Six fashion designers, each of which has let their imaginations run wild to create bespoke decorations and artworks for the space, as well as a delicious cocktail which captures the essence of their work.
22 May 2012.Jay-Z And Kanye West live at The 02 Arena,London.
This was the last of their five nights at The 02 Arena which is at the start of their European Tour.
Their "Watch The Throne" show sees them play solo segments and both on stage together segments.
A long show lasting an impressive 2 hours 30 mins.
Tonight is a totally rammed sold out show.In fact the crowd atmosphere is one of the best i have seen in the 100 plus shows i have seen at The 02 Arena in the past five years as even up in the gods at the back of level four the whole place is dancing and singing.
A great racial mix too as black,white,brown,yellow are all here in equal numbers.
The poor old backing band are hidden at the back.
Its a full on show with lots of flames and lasers.The first 10 mins they are at opposite ends of the arena on giant podiums like gladiators ready to do battle.
I am not the biggest fan of hip hop/rap but this crowd really loved this show big time.For me it worked best when both of them were on stage together.
Best tunes were "Diamonds In Sierra Leone","Hard Knock Life","Empire State Of Mind","Stronger" and towards the end "Gold Digger" and "99 Problems".
Finale was 25 mins of "Niggas In Paris" as they played it four or five times winding the crowd up more each time and even getting the floor standing to do some circle pit moshing.
I have been to some shoddy shows by rap/hip hop acts but this was a proper production for sure.
21 May 2012.6.15pm to 10pm i was at the launch party to celebrate the start of the 2012 Polo Season at
PJs Bar And Grill,52 Fulham Road,London SW3.
Always a good event as over 300 posh folks here for the freebie Perrier Jouet champagne,cocktails and full free bar.Loads of yummy different food here too.
The Polo crowd are a lively bunch and seem to take as much interest in the social side as they do of the polo itself.Usually polo folks like drummer Kenney Jones and Jodie Kidd turn up here but all we get tonight is a couple of blokes from the Made In Chelsea tv series.A very good party though.
Some good polo events coming up at these venues.
Hurlingham Park, Fulham.
Cowdray Park, West Sussex.
Guards Club at Windsor Great Park.
Hurtwood Park, Surrey.This is the polo club owed by drummer Kenney Jones.
Check on their websites for more info.
20 May 2012.Duane Eddy + Nell Bryden live at The Queen Elizabeth Hall,London.
The support act New Yorker Nell Bryden did a decent 30 mins acoustic set.Nell has just supported Chris Rea on his UK tour.She played tracks from her new album "Shake That Tree".Nell has a headline show at The Borderline on 12 June 2012.
Duane Eddy now aged 74 is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he had a string of hit records, produced by Lee Hazlewood, which were noted for their characteristically "twangy" sound. He was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Duane is on a UK tour to promote his recent album "Road Trip" that he recorded in Sheffield with Richard Hawley and his band.This band are backing him tonight.
The 90 mins set is mainly his older gems with a few from the new album.It is all instrumentals apart from three songs as that is his trademark.
Lots of that amazing guitar sound and nice gentle chat between songs.Set included "Moovin' n Groovin'",
"Yep","The Lonely One","Shazam","Ramrod" and for his great 1975 hit "Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar" he was joined by two females to do the vocals for that one and "Dance With The Guitar Man".Other tracks played included "Forty Miles Of Bad Road","Because They're Young".Then Richard Hawley joined him for a few songs.The finale was brilliant versions of his biggest hits "Rebel Rouser" and "Peter Gunn".
A good gig from this guitar legend.
In the crowd tonight were Sir Peter Blake,BBC Radio dj Johnnie Walker and legendary guitar maker Fred Gretsch.
Sad news that Bee Gee Robin Gibb has lost his long battle with cancer.I saw The Bee Gees in 1979 at Madison Square Garden,New York when they were one of the biggest acts in the world.
I have been playing their albums the past couple of days.
18 May 2012.On Friday i had a really lovely stay at a four star hotel.
The Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel,Marlow Bridge,Marlow,Bucks.
The hotel is around an hour by train from Paddington and the perfect place to go to get away from the grime and rushing about of London.
Checked in to the hotel a bit late at 6.30pm as Marlow is a pretty village well worth an afternoon walkabout.It has won "Best Kept Village" in Bucks many times.
Our hotel room was huge with very nice furniture.
We were welcomed with a bottle of prosecco in ice along with some choccies in the room.A nice touch.
Our room had a balcony with superb views of the river and the boats and the lovely houses that sit on the river.The hotel is set in nice grounds too.
We went down for a three course dinner in their Bowaters restaurant which also looked out on to the river.
Serving British food we had a yummy lamb mains served by very attentive and friendly staff.
The huge breakfast in the morning set us up for the day and we sadly checked out.It really is a fantastic hotel and perfect for a two or three day break.
Also click on to "Links I Like" on the right.
Stylish, luxurious, romantic; the award winning Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel is a magical riverside retreat. Within easy reach of Heathrow airport, but quietly nestled on the banks of the River Thames, it's the perfect spot for taking to the water. The hotel is an inspired choice to host your next meeting or event, and perfect for fairy tale weddings, too. If food is your passion, then you'll be spoilt for choice as the Macdonald Compleat Angler has not one but two award winning restaurants, both offering gourmet fine dining in stunning surroundings. After a long day exploring the delights of the local area, relax in the luxurious four star en-suite accommodation, next to the cascading waters of Marlow Weir.They can arrange boat hire too.
Close to Dorney Lake, venue for the Rowing and Kayak events in the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012.
Marlow is also just a few miles from Henley.
Marlow is also near Windsor And Eton.
Events listing for local and nearby.
Diamond Jubilee Weekend 2 – 5 June
Marlow Town Regatta and Festival 9 June
Royal Ascot 19 - 23 June
Marlow Regatta at Dorney Lake 16 - 17 June
Henley Regatta 27 June - 1 July
Henley Music Festival 4 - 8 July
2012 Formula 1 British Grand Prix 6 - 8 July
London 2012 Torch Relay 10 July
Thames Boat Rally 14 - 15 July
Henley Fringe Festival 16 - 22 July
Swan Upping (finishes at the hotel)18 July
London 2012 Olympics 27 July - 12 August
Henley 80s Rewind Festival 17 - 19 August
London 2012 Paralympics 29 August – 9 Sept
Also click on the "Links I Like" on the right.
Shame about the death of disco queen Donna Summer aged 63 from cancer.
She rarely came to the UK but there are some good clips on youtube from when she played at The Louis Vuitton London Summer Party 25 May 2010.
17 May 2012.A full day out at two very good events.
Noon to 5pm was The 57th Ivor Novello Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.
The UKs main awards event for songwriters.
Here are some of the 14 winners who all turned up.
The Ivors Jazz Award - Stan Tracey.
Outstanding Song Collection - Gary Kemp.
The Ivors Inspiration Award - Siouxsie Sioux.
PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music - Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen & Robbie Williams (Take That).
Robbie Williams and Jason Orange did NOT turn up.
Lifetime Achievement - Mark Knopfler.
Songwriter of the Year - Adele.
PRS for Music Special International Award - Jimmy Webb.
BASCA Fellowship - Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Adele was the main winner with two awards.
A big music biz crowd here with 1100 downstairs and 100 press folks upstairs.Drinks reception followed by a three course lunch.Always some good names here.
Some funny and some emotional speeches here.
Other folks here included host Paul Gambaccini,Boy George,Annie Lennox,Sir George Martin,Joan Armatrading,Lynsey De Paul,Chris Moyles,Michael Eavis,David Gray,Ed Sheeran,Don Black,Claudia Winkleman,Nitan Sawhney,Sir Tim Rice and no doubt a few more.
Drinks after for an hour.Got a couple of goodie bags with songbooks and cosmetics.
7.30pm to 11pm i was the launch of Burhara pop up
restaurant at Sheraton Park Tower Hotel,1st Floor,101 Knightsbridge,London SW1.
Complimentary champers and wine for an hour then a yummy complimentary five courses of two meats, veg, seafood and dessert dishes for the 80 press folks here.
They have flown in five of the top chefs from Delhi.
The food here was just great.
It is after all a top notch five star hotel.
Open for only two weeks, acclaimed Chef Manjit Gill will introduce guests, residents and the local community to signature dishes such as Sikandari Raan (Marinated Whole Leg of Spring Lamb), Murgh Malai Kebab (Creamy Chicken Kebab) and the not-to-be-missed Dal Bukhara (a combination of whole black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic slow-cooked over coals for 18 hours).
The Vegetarian Tasting menu is £59.00 and their Meat and Seafood Tasting Menu is £79.00.
16 May 2012.I went to two good events tonight.
First 7.15pm to 9.15pm was the launch of Brasserie Blanc,Opera Terrace,Covent Garden,London.
Top chef Raymond Blanc opens another one of his Blanc
Brasseries.Lovely views looking down on to the square.Lovely freebie champers,cocktails and canapes including oysters for all of the 200 guests.
Raymond Blanc gave a funny speech.
I had a nice chat with Britt Ekland.She spends most of her time in Los Angeles but will be coming to Europe a lot this year for James Bond 50th anniversary events.She usually does panto each Christmas in the UK.Britt was very friendly and chatty and still looks great at age 69.
Her personal life was a bit crazy back in the day.
From Peter Sellers to Rod Stewart and then younger rockers Phil Lewis(singer with Girl) and Slim Jim Phantom(drummer with The Stray Cats).
then 9.30pm to 11.45pm
was the afterparty for the play "What The Butler Saw" at The Waldorf Hotel,Aldwych,London.
The play was on earlier at The Vaudeville Theatre. Around 500 folks here in this posh ballrooom including the star of the show Omid Djalili.Others here included Lenny Henry,Jim Broadbent,Jenny Eclair,Alexie Sayle and David Baddiel.Lots of lovely different food here and beers and wines to wash it down.Another good one.
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, Berkshire
Shepherds Bush Empire
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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