News and Reviews: January 24, 2017

Monday 23 January 2017....6.15pm to 11.15pm...
OMEARA - showcase - 6 O'Meara Street,off Southwark Street,London SE1.
This new music venue opened in Oct 2016 and the launch party featured a live set from The Pretenders.
Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons is opening a pulsating, multi-disciplinary cultural hub that will play host to live music, comedy shows, and indie club nights in a live room for 320 people, as well as exhibitions in the additional gallery space. It’s called Omeara, and, funnily enough, can be found on O’Meara Street, nestled between London Bridge and Borough as part of the new pedestrianised ‘Low Line’ development.
With peeling paint and vintage lighting, the whole look of the place is a bit like if a derelict Victorian music hall had popped up in the Aztec Zone of the Crystal Maze. But don’t be fooled – this disguises state-of-the-art sound systems and, as you make your way through the warren of interconnected railway arches, you’ll come to the contrastingly bright & minimalist food hall, where the focus is on the flurry of pizzas getting shovelled into ovens and the hissing of hot woks. At the end of each archway, you’ll also catch glimpses of the Flat Iron Square food market outside, where vendors like Where The Pancakes Are and Cantina Carnitas have set up shop.
And your tastebuds will be similarly tickled by the offerings at the bar, where you’ll find flights of tequila shots and cocktails on the menu as well as intimate booths and a buzzy mezzanine level where you can sit with your street food, and enjoy a smoking terrace with a view.
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The venue is 5 mins from London Bridge tube and is hidden down a side street.
First of all we were given a quick tour of the main venue next door which was closed tonight.
It is a stunning space for 320 folks and a welcome new addition to the live music scene.
It is mainly used for up and coming talent but a few big names have played here.
We got here early so found a nice table in the corner for the entire evening.
The bar & restaurant is open during the day as well as the evening.
Around 150 folks here including dj Rusty Egan who in the 1980s played with Glen Matlock in The Rich Kids
He was one of the pioneers of playing Kraftwerk and electronica in the UK.
Downstairs we have a choice of SEVEN different tequila based cocktails from TEQUILA OCHO.
Upstairs we have a full range of spirits including JD n cokes plus lagers and Guinness.
Also we had lots of nice Mexican food in cartons and canapés.
A really enjoyable evening here as five hours flew past.
www.omearalondon.comVisit the OMERA website here for more info






Monday 23 January 2017.
Another sad death to report.
Gorden Kaye, the actor best known for his role in BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, has died aged 75.
The Bafta-nominated star's former agent told BBC News he passed away at a care home on Monday morning.
Kaye is best known for playing cafe owner René Artois in the popular 80s show which is set in a small-town café in German-occupied France during World War Two and follows the fictional escapades of resistance fighters.
He appeared in all 84 episodes of the sitcom and 1,200 performances of the stage version.





Monday 23 January 2017.
Another sad death to report.
Overend Watts - one of the founding members of the band Mott the Hoople - has died at the age of 69.
Fellow member Ian Hunter confirmed the news on the band's their Twitter page.
Mott The Hoople were in Dec 1973 the first of over 2000 shows i saw at Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo.
I saw all of their five reunion shows at Hammersmith Apollo a few years ago.
The band i saw supporting them in 1973 were...Queen.





Sunday 22 January 2017.
Look at this incredible list of acts i was going to see 40 years ago this week.
I was aged just a few months short of my 18th birthday.
222 James Brown Hammersmith Odeon, London 14.01.1977
223 Rod Stewart Kensington Olympia, London 15.01.1977
224 Damned,Boys Roxy Club. London 17.01.1977 9.5 first gig I went to at this punk club
225 Rory Gallagher Hammersmith Odeon, London 19.01.1977
226 Hammersmith Gorillaz Nashville Pub, London 20.01.1977
227 Chicago Hammersmith Odeon, London 26.01.1977
228 John Miles ( BBC TV Special at Golders Green ) Hippodrome , London 27.01.1977
229 Motorhead Marquee Club, London 28.01.1977
230 Lynyrd Skynyrd,Clover Rainbow Theatre, London 29.01.1977






Saturday 21 January 2017.
FLAMING LIPS + GEORGIA live at Brixton Academy,London.
I first saw The Flaming Lips in 1999.
'Oczy Mlody' is the fourteenth studio album by experimental art rock band The Flaming Lips,
released on January 13, 2017, on Warner Bros in the US and Bella Union in the UK.
Flaming Lips are acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman
Wayne Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience.
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GEORGIA are the support act tonight and i catch 20 mins of their planned 40 mins set.
They are an interesting sounding female duo who went down well with the crowd.
Stand up drums and vocals along with some electro keyboard beats.
Before the band come on stage Wayne is winding the crowd up front and side of stage.
FLAMING LIPS arrive on stage at 9.10pm and play for around 1 hour 40 mins.
Their incredible opening entrance is one of the best i have ever seen.
Straight into two of their biggest tracks 'Race For The Prize' and 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots ,Pt 1'.
Inflatable giant mushrooms either side of the stage in front of the pa,100 giant balloons,confetti cannons,
glitter thrown around wildly and a stunning big screen showing colourful psychedelic images.
All this against a curtain of fibre-optic lights.
Visually it was totally mega and the type of stunt a band may end their show with,not start with it.
Things then calmed down a bit as new album tracks were pretty average.
The visuals were still there as we had silliness,giant puppets and streamers were fired into the crowd.
For a neat cover of 'Space Oddity' Wayne sung it from inside his man-sized plastic bubble.
At the end of the main set we had a huge glitter ball and a pair of inflatable dancing eyes.
For one song Wayne entered astride a unicorn.
Also an inflatable rainbow was used which was inflated as the band played.
Wayne as usual rambled a bit between songs but the crowd love him.
A great encore of 'Do You Realize?.
A visually stunning and very entertaining show.
Full Flaming Lips setlist played tonight...
Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
There Should Be Unicorns
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
What Is the Light?
The Observer
Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
How??
Are You a Hypnotist??
The Castle
The W.A.N.D.
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Encore:
Do You Realize?






Friday 20 January 2017.
DEBORAH BONHAM & HER BAND + JO BURT live at The 100 Club,London.
Deborah Bonham is a rock and blues vocalist and the younger sister of John Bonham,
the late drummer for rock legends Led Zeppelin.
Her band feature musicians who have played with Paul Rodgers, Black Sabbath, Rory Gallagher.
A rare London show by her as part of London Blues Week at the legendary 100 Club.
With enhanced versions of all of her albums being released later in 2017 through Cadiz Music, ‘The Old Hyde’ feat. Jason Bonham & Mick Fleetwood, ‘Duchess’ feat. Paul Rodgers & Jerry Shirley, ‘Spirit’, feat. Robert Plant, Deborah will be performing many of these songs live plus several originally recorded in 1985 for her debut album ‘For You And The Moon’. A new album ‘Looking Back At The Moon’, a collection of the 1985-1991 sessions including the best of ‘For You And The Moon’ and some unreleased tracks is now available.
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Always great to be at this legendary club which is pretty full tonight.
Up first we have JO BURT who played a good support set.
Jo Burt is an English rock bassist, guitar player, songwriter and vocalist. He is possibly best known for being the bassist for Black Sabbath during their 1987 tour in support of the album The Eternal Idol. He left the band after the tour ended.
Jo Burt was also a founding member of Sector 27 with Tom Robinson - and a member of Virginia Wolf with Jason Bonham. Burt also appears on Freddie Mercury's solo album, Mr. Bad Guy playing fretless bass.
He has written, toured, and performed with many other artists, including The Troggs, Brian Setzer, Bob Geldof, Roger Taylor, James Reyne, Sweet and many more.
Jo was backed by two foxy looking female backing vocalists for his set.
Highlights included 'Under The Radar','Take Me To Heaven' and a pukka cover of 'Paranoid' by
Black Sabbath which was done in a Southern/Americana style.
DEBORAH BONHAM & HER BAND are on stage for around 1 hour 45 mins.
Deborah is standing barefoot on a rug from the start and performs like that for the entire show.
It's probably their first gig of the year but her band still sound well rehearsed with some great guitar playing.
Each song showcases Deborah’s soulful singing and her effortless, sensitive approach to a gamut of styles
from blues and soul to country and rock.
Highlight of the evening was a stunning version of 'No Angel' with Deborah sinking to her knees
and giving the track a mesmerising 100% full throttle performance.
For a few songs Deborah was joined by Doug Boyle who played in Robert Plants band from 1987 to 1992
and for the encore Rock Goddess lead singer Jody Turner joined her for a rousing version of the Led Zeppelin
classic 'Rock n Roll'.
A great show.
Setlist included...
Shit Happens
I Need Love
Feels So Alive
Take Me Down
Jack Past 8
Pretty Thing
No Angel
Ten Steps Back
Devils in New Orleans
Encore :
Rock n Roll (Led Zeppelin cover ) with Jody Turner from Rock Goddess
www.deborahbonham.comVisit the Deborah Bonham website here for more info.






Friday 20 January 2017.
DONALD TRUMP is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
Live on BBC1,ITV1 and SKY ....4pm to 6pm...UK time...





Thursday 19 January 2017...6.30pm to 8.30pm...
SANTIAGO MONTOYA - SURFIN' USA - private view - Halcyon Gallery,
144-146 New Bond Street,London W1.
Around 200 smartly dressed folks here at one of my fave galleries.
Contemporary Colombian artist, Santiago Montoya presents Surfin’ USA, his forthcoming exhibition at Halcyon Gallery.
Using international bank notes as his aesthetic arena, the body of work is an exploration into the culture,
currency and political issues of the USA.
Viewing paper currency as ready-made works of art, Montoya cuts, alters and stretches the bills to explore the meaning beyond their surface - Montoya creates a unique visual language by reinterpreting paper currency as both a canvas and raw material. By using cliché titles and familiar imagery, Montoya explores socio-political issues and complex subject matters with an element of humour and in doing so, encourages conversation and debate.
Combining the pop vocabulary of Warhol and the aesthetics of popular culture, Montoya uses icons such as Mickey Mouse and The Velvet Underground to draw attention to the social and financial crises that have afflicted 2016. The exhibition arose from Montoya’s large triptych also named Surfin’ USA, which depicts Mickey Mouse in a surfing sequence. The artwork was inspired by Walt Disney’s “Wild Waves” cartoon where Mickey dives into the waves to save his beloved Minnie Mouse from drowning. The cartoon aired in 1929 – the year of the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States and the Great Depression.
On the ground floor is the Surfin' USA exhibition and downstairs are some of the works from previous exhibitions
held at this gallery including Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol.
Complimentary Taittinger champers for all guests.
www.halcyongallery.comVisit their website for more info and photos from the exhibition.






Wednesday 18 January 2017...7pm to 10pm...
MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL - launch party - Chiswick House and Gardens,London W4.
In 2017 the Magical Lantern returns to where it all began,with a celebration of lanterns and
Chinese culture at Chiswick House and Gardens from 19th Jan to 26th Feb.
Around 200 folks here so we have the whole place to ourselves.
I used to ride my push bike in this park in the 1970s as I lived nearby in Shepherds Bush.
It is a great visually as there are around 50 huge main lantern structures all lit up very brightly.
The illuminations were pretty dazzling.
A few reality stars getting their photo taken including Lady C.
In a press/vip tent we have two different cocktails from Blue Bottle Gin along with beers,
mini burgers and canapés.
Also some nice cherry brandy shots for our 30 mins stint in the ice-bar here.
All guests got a goodie bag with creams from Chinese skincare brand A.T
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The Magical Lantern Festival London is back for a second year with all new, bigger, brighter and more spectacular lanterns! The Festival is a spectacular fusion of art, heritage and culture. Illuminating outdoor installations of beautifully sculpted lanterns taking various forms.
The festival celebrates Chinese New Year of the Rooster 2017 and the cultural significance surrounding this extraordinary event. The theme for this year’s festival is: ‘Explore The Silk Road’. Visitors will discover magnificent life-sized and oversized lantern scenes, which represent and highlight this significant route of trade and culture from Europe to Ancient China. The Silk Road Festival journey begins with a 15-metre wide lantern of London’s Houses of Parliament. Visitors continue their tour by exploring lanterns related to the Silk Road representing Europe, Central Asia, Arabia, Egypt, Persia, India and Ancient China.
The entertainment area adds another dimension to the experience with an international range of food and beverage vendors, festival merchandise, a 30-metre synthetic ice-rink, 3D lantern photo opportunities, virtual reality gaming experience, Chinese bamboo lantern riddles and a mini funfair and games.
www.magicallantern.ukVisit their website for more info and to buy tickets.






Wednesday 18 January 2017.
ROYAL ALBERT HALL labelled 'national disgrace' over ticket resales.
Royal Albert Hall members have exchanged advice on how to sell their seats on ticket touting sites, prompting a former RAH president to brand the charity's stewardship a 'national disgrace'. The members, about 330 individuals who own 1276 permanent seats in the 5272 capacity venue, were distributed a pamphlet detailing how to use 'controversial secondary' ticketing sites such as Viagogo and Stubhub to make more money.






Tuesday 17 January 2017.
Sex Pistols guitarist STEVE JONES autobiography is out in America this month.
It has come out around two months after it was released in the UK.
Steve has been talking on tv and radio stations in America to promote 'Lonely Boy'.
www.sex-pistols.netClick on the website here for the many interview links.





Monday 16 January 2017.
Another sad death to report as Bill Price the engineer on the classic Sex Pistols album from 1977
'Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols' has passed away.
Eminent engineer/producer Bill Price, who worked with The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Guns N' Roses, The Libertines, Babyshambles, Tom Jones, Sparks, Paul McCartney, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Waterboys, Blondie, Elton John, Rod Stewart, INXS, Roxy Music, The Pretenders, Pete Townshend and many more, sadly passed away on December 22nd 2016 at the age of 72.
The funeral will take place at 1.45pm on January 26th in Bath. Family have requested that in lieu of sending flowers, any donations should be made to The Dorothy House Hospice - www.dorothyhouse.org.uk.






Monday 16 January 2017.
Did you hear the one about BBC radio djs being replaced by repeats?...it's not a joke.
Reinstate Janice Long & Alex Lester to overnight Radio 2 programmes!
Using repeats in place of real human DJ’s after midnight on Radio 2 is shortsighted. Both Janice Long & Alex Lester provide a beautiful service to the people of our country that can’t be measured in finances.
Night workers, insomniacs, students, lorry drivers, music lovers & the lonely NEED that human touch.
There is a night time world & a night time economy that should not be forgotten about, many of us take great solace & enjoyment from Janice & Alex’s shows. Replacing them with a loop of repeated shows is culturally myopic and not what the BBC should be about and shows a lack of imagination from a creative body and disrespect to the idea’s brought to the airwaves by the two broadcasters and their producers.
www.louderthanwar.comVisit their Louder Than War music website for more info and to sign the petition.






Sunday 15 January 2017.
Stores including HMV and Fopp have their January sales on.
CDs with reduced price include The Rolling Stones current album for £7 and current albums by
The Blossoms and The 1975 for only £4 each.
In Fopp I got a nice AC/DC item called 'Treasures of AC/DC' which is a hard cover book the size
of a vinyl album that tells the story of the band and has many inserts of posters and gig tickets etc.
Original price was £25 and now it is only £7.
There is a section on AC/DC past band members (there are more than you would think).
They mention Stevie Young who recently joined the band for a second stint.
It mentions he played with a band called The Starfighters who toured with AC/DC in 1980.
I saw The Starfighters three times at Wembley Arena supporting AC/DC on that tour.






Saturday 14 January 2017.
Happy Birthday to Dave Grohl who is 48 today.
New York punk JERRY NOLAN from The New York Dolls sadly died 25 years ago today.
Like The Ramones,The New York Dolls have sadly lost many members.
Johnny Thunders July 15th 1952 – April 23rd 1991
Billy Murcia October 9th 1951 – November 6th 1972
Jerry Nolan May 7th 1946 – January 14th 1992
Arthur Kane February 3rd 1949 – July 13th 2004
I saw Johnny Thunders live 18 times since 1977 including Max's Kansas City Club in New York in 1979.
He was messed up due to drugs at many shows but could always turn it on when on stage.
In 1987 I saw him headline The Forum and the gap between the support act and Johnny arriving
on stage was TWO HOURS as folks could not wake him in the dressing room from his heroin binge.
There are plenty of Johnny Thunders live footage and interviews on YouTube.
In the early 1980s my band Gun Control would always open our set with the instrumental track 'Pipeline'
because Johnny Thunders played it in his set.






Saturday 14 January 2017.
39 years ago this weekend.
“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” asked a weary Johnny Rotten at the conclusion of the Sex Pistols‘ first U.S. tour.
The show took place at the one-time hippie haven of the Winterland in San Francisco on Jan. 14, 1978, and would be the band’s final performance — at least until their 1996 reunion. By then, however, Sid Vicious was long dead.






Friday 13 January 2017.
I will be on the Georgey Spanswick BBC Radio show between 7.30pm to 8pm...TONIGHT...
A live chat for a few mins talking about gig-going.
BBC Local Radio across England and the Channel Islands every Friday 7-10pm across 40 BBC stations.
It will be available to listen to afterwards on BBC iPlayer.





Thursday 12 January 2017...I went to two events today...
2.30pm to 5.30pm Matinee show.
PANTOMIME
CINDERELLA at The London Palladium.
The most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale of them all graces the stage of the West End’s most famous theatre this Christmas as pantomime returns to the London Palladium for the first time in nearly 30 years.
A host of well known names are in this million pound production.
Fielding three brilliant old-school variety turns – Paul O'Grady, Julian Clary and Paul Zerdin – it demonstrates how a new era has emerged. O'Grady and Clary were forged in the crucible of London's once thriving drag act pub culture, and honour an ancient tradition of performers who tease, flirt, insult and outrage by turn.
Clary, with his expertly droll one-liners, dripping with sexual innuendo and Paul Zerdin is one of the country's
top ventriloquists.
Also starring Amanda Holden ,Lee Mead and Nigel Havers.
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This was a much bigger production compared to yesterday's Wimbledon panto.
The tickets were a lot more expensive as best seats were around £100 each.
Dazzling costumes for all the cast made it a visual treat.
Around 20 dancers on stage for some songs.
A couple of times a hydraulic crane covered with dry ice was used for a couple of good stunts.
A long show that lasted 2 hours 40 mins over two sets of 85 mins and 75 mins.
At the start of the second half Paul Zerdin got a couple on stage for his ventriloquist solo act that was hilarious.
As expected Paul O'Grady and Julian Clary camp it up big time.
A very enjoyable show.
It is on until 15 Jan 2017.
then
7pm to 12pm
BUNGATINI launch party at 167b Drury Lane,Covent Garden,London WC2.
A massive party as around 300 folks are on the guest list.
Bunga Bunga launch their second venue after the Battersea original.
I had been to this venue before when it was called The Drury Club.
The main bar is upstairs and there is a stage downstairs in the main area.
The staff are all dressed in Italian themed clothing.
We have a covers band playing first then Sheridan Smith took the stage.
At 9pm actress & singer SHERIDAN SMITH took centre stage.
Other guests here included Princess Eugenie, Lottie Moss, Joshua Kane, Natalie Pinkham, Donna Air, Sarah-Jane Mee, Chessie King and Grace Woodward. Smith, who's not performed since the death of her father, revealed her new 'Daddy's girl' tattoo while singing two songs from her West End show, Funny Girl, as guests celebrated the Italian chain's new Covent Garden restaurant.
After Sheridan Smith sung there was a dj then 10pm to 11pm we had a Frankie Valli &
the Four Seasons tribute act called The Ragdolls who played a full hour of their best known hits.
Complimentary presecco,a choice of three different Italian cocktails,wines,Peroni beers,
pizza and other Italian food bits for all guests.
It was still going strong when we left at midnight.
A great party.
www.bungatini.comVisit the Bungatini website here for more info.






Wednesday 11 January 2017.
11am to 1pm Matinee show.
PANTOMIME
DICK WHITTINGTON at The New Theatre ,Wimbledon,London.
Legendary dance coach Arlene Phillips CBE will make her pantomime debut in this year’s Dick Whittington alongside the return of the side-splittingly hilarious Tim Vine and the best dame in the business, Matthew Kelly.
Join Dick and his feline friend Tommy on his fun-filled quest for fame and fortune. Will the streets really be paved with gold? Will he win the hand of the lovely Alice – and will he defeat the dastardly King Rat? There’s only one way to find out…
With sumptuous sets, gorgeous fairytale costumes, big song and dance numbers and bags of audience participation, you have a guaranteed enchanting experience full to the brim with fun, festivity and laughter for the whole family.
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Panto is a 300 year old tradition held over the Christmas period that is unique to the UK.
Usually involves one of more men dressed up as a woman.
I have seen some big names in panto at this venue over the years including Pamela Anderson,
Edna Everage, Linda Gray, David Hasselhoff, Priscilla Presley, Jerry Springer and Ruby Wax.
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This panto was on for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 60 mins.
An early start here was to cater to many of the local school kids who are here en masse.
Tim Vine is the king of one-liner jokes so there were plenty of quick-fire gags.
Matthew Kelly had a full range of over the top female outfits.
An enjoyable show.
It is on here until 15 January 2017.






Tuesday 10 January 2017 to Thursday 12 January 2017.
HOTEL PRESS STAY
EASYHOTEL - 14 Lexham Gardens,Kensington,London W8.
This hotel is 5 mins walk from both Gloucester Road and Earls Court tube stations.
It is just 10 mins walk from The Museums and The Royal Albert Hall.
It is just 15 mins walk from Harrods and Knightsbridge.
Buses go to Central London.
I stayed here for three nights.
EasyHotel is a budget no frills hotel chain similar to how they run their airline.
Prices are half the price of nearby hotels but you pay for extras.
They have squeezed 34 rooms into the building.
Their pod like rooms are the size of a box room and there is not much spare space.
The two of us were bumping into each other a bit.
The room is nice and clean with a double bed,toilet,shower,wash basin and towels.
There is hand wash but no shampoo or shower gel.
There is no wardrobe or table or chairs or fridge or shelves so most things go on the floor.
The bed is against three walls and most rooms have no windows.
Shirts and coats can be hung on the wall on a few hooks.
There are no lifts so can be tiring getting up to third or fourth floors.
Each room has air-con....and you cannot hear neighbours next door...
You pay £5 a day for tv and there is a small charge to have your room cleaned,luggage storage,
extra towels,wi-fi.
No tea or coffee facilities in the room but hot drinks and snacks are available at reception for a small charge.
There are many supermarkets and eateries five mins away.
You check in after 3pm and check out before 10am.
Electronic room key that also gets you in the front door.
There is always someone at reception 24 hours a day.
It is how they describe it - A great price in a great location rather than luxury, space and pricey.
www.easyhotel.comVisit the EASYHOTEL website here for more info.







Tuesday 10 January 2017.
DAVID BOWIE died one year ago today in New York after a battle with cancer.
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on my picture library to my David Bowie cd album 'Heathen'
which David Bowie signed 'To Raysgigs.com' at HMV Oxford Street in 2002.
I saw David Bowie play live over 20 times with the first time being at Wembley Arena in 1976.
I was at both his last ever London shows which were at Wembley Arena on 25/26 Nov 2003.
His last ever UK show was The Isle Of Wight Festival in June 2004.
Some great videos of that show are on YouTube including ' Heroes' and 'All The Young Dudes'.




Tuesday 10 January 2017.
Happy Birthday to SIR ROD STEWART who is 72 today.




Monday 09 January 2017...8pm to 9pm...
SIR TOM BAKER - LONDON FASHION WEEK MENS AW17 SHOW at The 100 Club,London.
Around 150 fashion folks sitting in five rows with the catwalk down the middle.
The fashion show lasts around 20 mins.
There are 11 cool looking male models parading in Toms latest collection which features his
trademark shiny jackets and three quarter length jackets/coats.
The clothes all look great with an edgy rock n roll vibe about them.
A great soundtrack playing as usual with tracks including Sex Pistols (Pretty Vacant),Rolling Stones,
Placebo,Stone Roses etc.
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Tom Baker specialises in both traditional and avant-garde bespoke tailoring. He trained for five years at Hardy Amies (Savile Row) until 1996 when he founded Sir Tom Baker in Soho, London. It was on Savile Row that he was taught to cut and fit in the most classical English way.
This traditional training combined with natural flair has put him at the forefront of bespoke tailoring today. His ability and willingness to work closely with each and every customer has earned him a loyal following, attracting television personalities, musicians, actors, artists, captains of the industry and politicians to the door. These include Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Rhys Ifans, John Cooper Clarke, Barry Manilow, Noel Fielding, The Prodigy, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Jonathan Ross and Roger Taylor (Queen) to name but a few.
www.tombakerlondon.comVisit the Tom Baker website here for more info.






Monday 09 January 2017.
U2 have confirmed European dates for their Joshua Tree 2017 stadium tour.
EUROPEAN TOUR DATES:
July 8 London, UK Twickenham
July 12 Berlin, DE Olympic Stadium
July 15 Rome, IT Olympic Stadium
July 18 Barcelona, ES Olympic Stadium
July 22 Dublin, IE Croke Park
July 25 Paris, FR Stade de France
July 29 Amsterdam, NE Amsterdam Arena
August 1 Brussels, BE Stade Roi Baudouin
Support for the tour is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
The album Joshua Tree was released 30 years ago as their fifth album and the band went
from arenas to stadiums on the back of its success worldwide.





Sunday 08 January 2016.
Sad news that singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt has died aged 75.
He is mainly known for one huge track.
"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" is a 1969 song by the British singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt. Its recording was produced by Ray Singer, engineered by John Mackswith at Lansdowne Recording Studios and released in 1969. It was a number-one 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in 1969,and was awarded the 1969 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
The single also peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 that May.
An article a few years ago said that he earned £60,000 a year in royalties from it as it was still played
on the radio around the world and used on compilations etc.





Sunday 08 January 2017.
Happy Birthday to SHIRLEY BASSEY who is 80 today.
Dame Shirley Bassey is a Welsh singer who found great fame in the UK in the late 1950s
and has been performing ever since.
She holds the record for most James Bond themes by a singer with three of them.
Although she appears on tv quite often she does not play live that often.
Her Glastonbury Festival show a few years ago went down a storm.
I saw her twice in 2000 when she played seven sold out shows at The Royal Festival Hall.






Friday 06 January 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.45pm to 8.15pm
FORTNUM & MASON x ESQUIRE MAGAZINE - party - Fortnum & Mason,181 Piccadilly,London W1.
Famous 300 year old store host a London Fashion Week Men's party on the 3rd floor mens department.
Around 150 folks here including some smartly dressed male models.
Also here was David Furnish (Elton Johns husband) ,Dermot O'Leary and Oliver Cheshire.
There was a dj playing sounds in the background.
I had a complimentary shoeshine here.
Complimentary Fortnum's champers,whisky cocktails,vodka Martinis and a cheese station and scotch eggs.
All guests got a nice goodie bag with Fortnum's items and a copy of Esquire magazine.
A good event.
www.esquire.co.ukVisit the Esquire website here.
then
THE BOYS + THE VULZ live at The 100 Club,London.
As part of The Resolution Punk Festival at this legendary venue.
The Boys will play a special 40th Anniversary show at London's 100 Club.
It will be their only UK appearance of 2017.
They play catchy power pop with dollop of punk.
I saw The Boys four times in 1977 including when they supported The Damned at the
legendary Roxy Club in Jan 1977 which must have been one of their earliest shows.
Members of The Boys had previously played in other groups, including London SS and Hollywood Brats.
After recording four studio albums and eight singles, as well as recording Christmas themed music
under the name The Yobs, they disbanded in the summer of 1982.
The band reformed in 1999, and released a new album in 2014.
The 2014 album was titled 'Punk Rock Menopause'.
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The venue is full tonight and there are lots of folks here I know.
THE VULZ are on stage for around 40 mins.
This punky London combo played a good set.
They dedicated a song to a former band mate of theirs and The Boys who was Nick Medlin
who died on Christmas Day.
Nina Spencer joined The Vulz on stage to perform Manufactured Romance’s 1982 song Time Of My Life.
THE BOYS are on stage for around 65 mins.
They do not play many gigs these days as some band members now live in mainland Europe.
They open up with a golden oldie 'T.C.P' that includes these great lyrics...
T.C.P. it cured my acne
T.C.P. it left me pimple free...hey!
Johnny, Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee
T.C.P. will leave you pimple free...hey!
T.C.P. it cured my acne
T.C.P. it left me pimple free...hey!
The set was a good mix of loads of oldies and a few from the recent album.
An enjoyable show.
Most of the setlist played tonight baring a few songs...
T.C.P.
See Ya Later
Terminal Life
1976
Weekend
U.S.I.
I'm A Believer
Cop Cars
Brickfield Nights
First Time
Encore :
Living In The City
Sick On You






Thursday 05 January 2017...Doors at 10pm to 12.30pm...
ROTTEN HILL GANG live at Momo,23-25 Heddon Street,London W1.
Rotten Hill Gang play a low key gig to preview their new video 'Submission'
which is the classic Sex Pistols track mixed in with some of their own rapping lyrics.
Rotten Hill Gang are a hip hop/punk act from Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill.
They feature Hollie Cook as one of their three vocalists.
Hollie is the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.
Around 100 folks in the cosy basement club at this venue.
At 10.35pm the 'Submission' video is shown on the big screen.
The video also features Sex Pistols members Paul Cook and Glen Matlock.
The dj here plays some great tracks including James Brown and T.Rex.
It is one of those late start events as the band take to the stage just after 11pm.
The three vocalists are one male and two female.
Some lively hip hop - rock - funky sounds in the 60 mins set.
At The 100 Club the last time i saw them they played the 'Submission' track and were joined by
Paul Cook on drums but oddly they did not even play the track tonight.






Thursday 05 January 2017.
DEEP PURPLE 'betrayed by an insider'.
Heavy metal group Deep Purple are said to be 'devastated' by the alleged betrayal of one of their closest and longest-serving advisers, who has been accused of 'siphoning off' up to £4m in royalties. The lead singer, Ian Gillan, 71, the bassist, Roger Golver, 71, and Ian Paice, 68, the drummer, plus the estate of Jon Lord, the late keyboard player, have sued Dipak Shanker Rao, their accountant, over the handling of their financial affairs.




Thursday 05 January 2017.
More news about the big fire on New Years Eve at The White Hart Pub in Acton (The Aeronuat).
My band Gun Control played there a dozen times in the early 1980s.
Before the Who, there were the Detours and they used to play at The White Hart.
Roger Daltrey formed the group in 1959 and, over the next two years, brought in bassist John Johns,
later known as John Entwistle who, in turn, suggested guitarist Pete Townshend.
But back in February 1963 a Monday night residency at the White Hart was given to a local "jazz and jive" group called The Detours. They were paid the princely sum of £10 for their nightly appearances. The Detours were of course, singer and guitarist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Johns (Entwistle) and drummer Doug Sandom. The booking for the residency was made by local promoter Bob Druce of Commercial Entertainments Ltd. Pete's mum, Betty Townshend often drove the group and their equipment to the White Hart in her yellow Ford van which she used for her antiques business.





Wednesday 04 January 2017.
Footie megaclash in The Premier League tonight.
Tottenham v Chelsea live on Sky tv at 8pm
Chelsea have won 13 League games on the trot and if they win this one they equal
Arsenals run of 14 consecutive wins in the Premier League that was set in 2002.
------------------------
10pm update...
Tottenham spoil Chelsea's party and give them The Blues.
Tottenham ended Chelsea's attempt to make Premier League history with a 14th successive victory
as the title pacesetters were well beaten 2 - 0 at White Hart Lane.
Spurs moved up to third place as headers from Dele Alli either side of half-time made the difference to leave
Chelsea five points ahead of Liverpool in second place.





Wednesday 04 January 2017.
This is hard to believe but just proves that folks at home will buy any old shit that is heavily advertised on tv
in the pre-Christmas marketplace.
The best-selling British debut album of 2016 has been revealed, with the shock result of Bradley Walsh
outselling the likes of Blossoms, Zayn Malik and Jack Garratt.
The former footballer turned comedian, singer, actor, TV presenter and star of ‘The Chase’ and ‘Coronation Street’ released the only debut album to reach gold status and sell more than 100,000 copies in 2016.
Despite previous reports that Blossoms‘ was in fact the best-selling British debut, now it has come to light that
Walsh’s album of swing covers ‘Chasing Dreams’ shifted a massive 111,650 copies.





Wednesday 04 January 2017.
Happy Birthday to Michael Stipe who is 57 today.





Wednesday 04 January 2017.
Some sad news.
Credits roll at the last ABC Cinema.
The curtain 'finally' comes down on the ABC Cinema brand as its last high street film theatre closes . The ABC in Bournemouth was the 'last traditional cinema to defy the onslaught of large multiplexes'
that have sprung up in Britain over the past 30 years.
The ABC in King Street ,Hammersmith closed a few months ago.
I used to go to Saturday morning pictures there in the early 1970s.
In the 1960s bands like The Beatles played many shows at different ABC cinemas around the country
as there were not many proper concert halls back then.






Tuesday 03 January 2017...I went to two events tonight...
7.30pm to 10pm.
THE BODYGUARD - theatre production - Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1.
BEVERLEY KNIGHT stars as Rachael Marron in the musical version of film made famous by
Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.
Actor Ben Richards stars as the actual Bodyguard.
Book by playwright Alex Dinelarius, several Whitney Houston classics are included in the score.
Not sure why is has taken me so long to check this musical out.
This 2000 capacity venue always reminds me of a smaller version of Hammersmith Apollo.
The show is on for two hours over two sets of 60 mins each.
A nice stage production to look at with scene changes, flames and lots of lights.
A dozen dancers (6 male 6 female).
I am mainly here to see Beverley Knight who is one of the best female UK soul singers out there.
She has her own solo career and i saw her headline The Royal Albert Hall a few years ago.
Beverley Knight does a great job of singing those Whitney classics between the dialogue.
Remember the storyline is about her relationship with a bodyguard and not based on Whitney Houston's life.
For the main song "I Will Always Love You" near the end Beverley Knight goes to the front of stage and
is raised a dozen feet in the air on a hydraulic platform which was a nice stunt.
An enjoyable show.
Act I
"Queen of the Night" - Rachel Marron and Ensemble
"I'm Your Baby Tonight" - Rachel Marron, Fletcher Marron and Ensemble
"Oh Yes" - The Stalker and Rachel Marron
"Saving All My Love" - Nicki Marron
"Saving All My Love" (Reprise) - Nicki Marron
"So Emotional" - Rachel Marron, DJ and Ensemble
"Run To You" - Rachel Marron and Nicki Marron
"How Will I Know" - Karaoke Girls
"I Will Always Love You" - Frank Farmer
"I Have Nothing" - Rachel Marron and Nicki Marron
Act II
"All the Man That I Need" - Rachel Marron and Ensemble
"I'm Every Woman" - Rachel Marron and Ensemble
"All At Once" - Nicki Marron
"Jesus Loves Me" - Nicki Marron, Fletcher Marron and Rachel Marron
"Jesus Loves Me" (Reprise) - Rachel Marron and Ensemble
"One Moment In Time" - Rachel Marron
"I Will Always Love You" (Reprise) - Rachel Marron
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" - Company
The final day of their run here is THIS SATURDAY 07 Jan 2017.
www.thebodyguardmusical.comVisit the website here for more info and to buy tickets.
then
10.15pm to 11.45pm.
STRINGFELLOWS - New Year Party - 16-19 Upper St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden,London WC2.
Famous 'Gentlemen's' club hosts a New Year Party.
It is a bit quiet so the downstairs is closed.
Around 40 guests here including a few females and around 20 dancers.
Stringfellows legendary owner Peter Stringfellow is here....he is now aged 76.
Lemmy was a regular here when he lived in London.
Lots of visual treats as the girls are rotating non-stop on the podium dancing topless in their underwear.
Some guests are paying £20 for the naked private dance.
Complimentary bar including champers and whiskey n cokes for all guests.
www.stringfellows.co.ukVisit the website here for more info.







Tuesday 03 January 2017.
Shane MacGowan's mother killed in car crash.
The mother of Pogues lead singer Shane MacGowan died in a car crash on New Year's Day. Therese MacGowan, 87, was killed when her car struck a wall near the family home in Co Tipperary at around 3pm on Sunday.
Police said the crash is being treated as an accident.






Tuesday 03 January 2017.
Sales of vinyl records in 2016 soared to their highest level in 25 years, according to research.
More than 3.2 million LPs were purchased last year, a staggering rise of 53% on 2015
and the highest annual total since 1991.
David Bowie ’s shock death last January saw him top the list of the best selling vinyl artist of the year,
according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Bowie’s Blackstar album was named most popular of the year, followed by The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust,
Hunky Dory, Nothing Has Changed and Changesonebowie.
Last year marked the ninth consecutive year that vinyl sales have boomed,
with just 30 titles selling more than 10,000 copies.
While still niche products, LPs now account for nearly 5% of the albums market, according to the BPI





Monday 02 January 2017.
HEROES OF RICHMOND is one of the coolest menswear stores outside Central London.
It currently has a 50% off sale on selected items.
Check them out if you are in the area.
They are a new and exclusive independent menswear shop in the heart of Richmond town centre,
South-West London.
Their main focus is on footwear, jackets and accessories from a range of top brands largely unavailable
outside central London.
Their address is 9 Golden Court,Richmond,Surrey.
www.heroesofrichmond.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.





Monday 02 January 2017.
You may have seen this item on the tv news.
Hundreds of people were forced to flee after a ferocious blaze tore through a pub packed with
New Year’s Eve revellers in West London.
Dramatic images showed the Aeronaut pub in Acton engulfed by a raging inferno in the
early hours of Sunday morning.
Ten fire engines and 72 firefighters raced to the scene of the fire in the High Street at about 12.30am.
Some 340 customers and 12 workers fled the venue, which was hosting a “circus spectacular”,
and Acton police station, next door to the pub, was also evacuated as a precautionary measure.
----------------------------------
I saw punk gigs at this venue when it was a huge pub called The White Hart.
In 1978 I saw Adam And The Ants,UK Subs,The Ruts,The Satellites and others play here.
Over the years 1980/1981 my band GUN CONTROL played there 13 times.
They were some of our best gigs.
Go to search above right and click on venues to get the full list of gigs seen there by me.





Sunday 01 January 2017.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are the Top Grossing Act worldwide of 2016.
Coldplay, however, sold the most tickets, moving almost 2.7 million during the year, followed by
Springsteen at 2.4 million and Beyoncé at 2.2 million.
Celine Dion easily had the top average ticket price of $146.26, followed by McCartney at $127.43,
the Stones at $122.33, Beyoncé at $114.59 and Springsteen at $111.48.
In terms of average gross PER SHOW however, the Stones dwarfed the competition, taking in an staggering $9.1 million from just 14 performances in 10 cities. Beyoncé finished second with an average of nearly $5.6 million at 49 shows in 46 cities, then Coldplay at just under $5.5 million from 60 shows in 44 cities and Guns N’ Roses at almost $5.4 million from 44 shows in 35 cities.
1.Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
2.Beyonce
3.Coldplay
4.Guns N Roses
5.Adele
6.Justin Bieber
7.Paul McCartney
8.Garth Brooks
9.The Rolling Stones
10.Celine Dion





Saturday 31 December 2016.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL VISITORS TO THIS WEBSITE.




Saturday 31 December 2016.
David Bowie has two albums in the Top 10 Best Selling Albums in the UK in 2016.
1. ’25’ – Adele....it was also the best selling album in the UK in 2015...
2. ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ – Coldplay
3. ‘Together’ – Michael Ball & Alfie Boe
4. ‘Purpose’ – Justin Bieber
5. ‘The Wonder Of You’ – Elvis Presley
6. ‘Blackstar’ – David Bowie
7. ‘Glory Days’ – Little Mix
8. ‘Views’ – Drake
9. ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ – Jess Glynne
10. ‘Best Of Bowie’ – David Bowie




Saturday 31 December 2016.
Sport & Entertainment names feature in the New Years Honours List.
Including...
Singer Ray Davies of The Kinks is now a Sir.
Entertainer Ken Dodd is now a Sir...Ken is still performing at age 89.
Singer Marty Wilde is now a Sir.
Tennis Player Andy Murray is now a Sir.
Olympic Games multi gold medal winner Mo Farah is now a Sir.
Victoria Beckham has an OBE for Services to Fashion.
Opera Singer Bryn Terfel is now a Sir.





Friday 30 December 2016.
The BBC are set to pay tribute to George Michael with a night of special programming in his memory.
The network’s BBC Four channel posted on Twitter saying the schedule for December 30 (TONIGHT)
would be changed in honour of the late pop star.
No doubt folks will rush out and buy his back catalog of albums.
Why do some people only buy albums of an artist when they die?...odd...






Friday 30 December 2016.
Happy Birthday to a true punk original - Patti Smith reaches the grand age of 70 today.
Her guitarist Lenny Kaye was also 70 just three days before on 27 Dec 2016.






Thursday 29 December 2016.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is on Channel 4 tonight at 10pm.
This exclusive Bruce Springsteen bio-documentary sets out to reveal the man behind the music. With home video from his youth, and footage from his early years performing solo in Greenwich Village, this 90-minute special provides a unique insight into the man as well as the musician.
Having sold 160 million albums around the world, Bruce Springsteen is now a number one best-selling author following the release of his autobiography, Born to Run, earlier this year.






Wednesday 28 December 2016.
The Feb 2017 issue of Mojo is in the stores now.
It features a Black Sabbath special with them on the front cover and 15 pages inside
to coinside with their tour.






Wednesday 28 December 2016.
Lemmy sadly died one year ago today.





Tuesday 27 December 2016.
I don't think anyone needs reminding that this year is easily the worst year ever for
big names from music and entertainment who have sadly died.
From musicians to film to tv to sport including David Bowie,Prince,Leonard Cohen,
George Michael,Rick Parfitt,Muhammad Ali,Sir Terry Wogan,Gene Wilder and many more.
The high number of stars to have died in 2016 already may simply be down to coincidence.
But even if it is, it is probably enhanced by the fact that many legendary musicians and actors
are now reaching their 60s and 70s and, therefore, more likely to see their health decline.
I have a hunch that 2017 will be just as bad as folks are simply just getting older.
It seems to be worse when they are younger and it comes out of the blue as a big shock.




Tuesday 27 December 2016.
Sad news that actress Carrie Fisher has passed away aged 60.
She was best know for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars.
She had been the UK just a couple of weeks ago doing promotion.
Carrie had struggled with drug problems in the past.
Fisher dated musician Paul Simon from 1977 until 1983. In 1980, she was briefly engaged to Canadian actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd, who proposed on the set of their film The Blues Brothers. She said: "We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon." Fisher was married to Simon from August 1983 to July 1984, and they dated again for a time after their divorce. During their marriage, she appeared in Simon's music video for the song "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War". Simon's song "Hearts and Bones" is about their relationship.
Fisher also had a close relationship with James Blunt. While working on his album Back to Bedlam in 2003, Blunt spent much of his time at Fisher's residence. When Vanity Fair's George Wayne asked Fisher if their relationship was sexual, she replied: "Absolutely not, but I did become his therapist. He was a soldier. This boy has seen awful stuff. Every time James hears fireworks or anything like that, his heart beats faster, and he gets 'fight or flight.' You know, he comes from a long line of soldiers dating back to the 10th century. He would tell me these horrible stories. He was a captain, a reconnaissance soldier. I became James' therapist. So it would have been unethical to sleep with my patient."





Tuesday 27 December 2016.
At 10pm for 60 minutes BBC1 are screening a George Michael concert.
George Michael ‎– Live At The Palais Garnier Opera House In Paris.
This is from his 'Symphonica' tour in 2012.






Monday 26 December 2016.
George Michael headlined Wembley Stadium both with Wham and as a solo artist.
25 Live (also known as the 25th Anniversary Tour) was a concert tour by George Michael.
The tour was the most commercially successful tour of 2006–2007 in Europe.
The tour grossed more than $200 million, with positive reviews from music critics.
The 106 tour shows were performed in 41 countries and seen by 2 million fans across the globe.
Near the end of the tour George would be the first artist to perform at the new Wembley Stadium.
I went to the second of his two shows there on 10 June 2007.
I had already seen the same superb show in 2006 at Earls Court Arena and Wembley Arena.
-------------------------------------
That was in the middle of a mad week of quality gigs i attended...
03 June 2007 - Beyonce at Wembley Arena
05 June 2007 - Velvet Revolver at Hammersmith Apollo
07 June 2007 - Paul McCartney at The Electric Ballroom
09 June 2007 - Sex Pistols Experience - River Thames Boat Trip gig
11 June 2007 - Motley Crue - Hammersmith Apollo
-------------------------------------
A couple of months later in August i would see 6 Prince shows at The 02 Arena
and 3 Rolling Stones shows at The 02 Arena in the same month.





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