News and Reviews: June 06, 2017

Monday 05 June 2017.
PHIL COLLINS live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Back again to see Phil Collins for the second time.
As expected it is exactly the same show as the night before.
This is the smallest venue on his European Tour as all the others are arenas and outdoor stadiums.
The big production in a smaller venue really works fantastic to create a proper vibe.
Much better to see him here compared with 50,000 outdoors in Hyde Park.
Phil said that ex Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett was in the audience.
Another great show with loads of his greatest hits.
The second half again was party party time as folks danced away.
Phil again sits seated for the entire show apart from the first encore where he leans on the piano.
Phil is frail but it is another reminder that rock stars are not immortal and suffer
health problems like anyone else.
Mick Jagger is a few years older than Phil Collins but way more fitter and healthier.
Phil has said in recent interviews that his back problems were due to his drumming.
You have to see these legends while they are alive as when they are gone it will be just
be tribute bands and holograms.






Sunday 04 June 2017.
PHIL COLLINS live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Phil Collins plays the first of five sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Phil Collns plays his first UK shows for several years...As part of his 'Not Dead Yet Live' tour.
All five shows sold out very quickly so an extra show was added for Hyde Park on Fri 30 June.
The opening show in Liverpool was pretty much a greatest hits set along with a couple of Genesis classics.
I have seen him many times as a solo artist and with Genesis.
He has sold over 100 million albums.
As a solo artist Phil Collins has had 27 Top 40 hits in the UK including three number ones.
Phil Collins as a solo act and Genesis were two of the biggest acts in the world in the 1980s.
In July 1987 Genesis headlined four massive shows at Wembley Stadium.
Phil now aged 66 was the only performer to appear on both sides of the Atlantic during the historic Live Aid
concerts in 1985 at Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia.
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I saw ex Man Utd goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel going in before the show started.
PHIL COLLINS was on for around 2 hours 15 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 70 mins.
A very nice stage production with a big screen showing live footage and a wraparound screen behind all
the equipment that had pre-recorded computer images.
Sorry about the puns but after all his health problems and 'Against All Odds' Phil Collins is playing
live concerts again and there is a lot of love for him 'In The Air Tonight'.
Phil has had surgery on his back and legs and is looking a bit frail as he walks slowly on to the stage
with a walking stick and sits on a comfy stool for all the show except one song during the encore where
he leans on the piano.
Great to see that Phil still has his very dry sense of humour.
For some songs there are 15 people on stage as there are four backing singers and a four piece horn section.
The show is nicely paced with mainly ballads in the first half then livelier gems in the second half.
His band included his 16 year old son Nic on drums...yes only 16 but he was a revelation.
Sitting behind a massive kit he got big cheers during the band introductions and when
he played piano as his dad sat next to him singing 'You Know What I Mean' it was very emotional.
A stunning 'In The Air Tonight' with uplighting on Phil was a big highlight.
Folks got up and danced in the second half when the uptempo songs kicked in.
Some ticker-tape over the crowd for 'Sussudio' at the end of the main set.
Lesser men would have hidden away and avoided performing in his condition when he doesn't need
the money but it was really great to see Phil playing live again.
Full setlist played tonight...
Pre-show P.C. photos slideshow
Intro song - Souareba (Salif Keita song)
FIRST SET
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)
Another Day in Paradise
One More Night
Wake Up Call
Follow You Follow Me (Genesis song)
Can't Turn Back the Years
I Missed Again
Hang in Long Enough
Separate Lives (Stephen Bishop cover)
Only You Know and I Know
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During interval Phil Collins parody of tv ads from the 1960s and 1970s on the big screen.
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SECOND SET
Drum Duet (Genesis song) (Nic Collins & Louis Conte)
I Don't Care Anymore
Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
You Know What I Mean (Nic Collins on piano)
In the Air Tonight
You Can't Hurry Love (The Supremes cover)
Dance Into the Light
Invisible Touch (Genesis song)
Easy Lover (Philip Bailey cover)
Sussudio
Encore:
If You Love (Really Love Me) (Vera Lynn cover) (English version of Edith Piafs' "Hyme à L'Amour")
Take Me Home






Sunday 04 June 2017.
Ronnie Lane sadly passed away 20 years ago today.
Ronnie Lane was best known as the bass guitarist and founding member of two prominent English rock and roll bands: The Small Faces where he was nicknamed "Plonk" (1965–69), and, after losing the band's frontman, The Faces.





Saturday 03 June 2017.
ELTON JOHN & HIS BAND live at The Stoop Stadium,Twickenham.
The first ever concert to be held at this rugby ground is situated just across the road from the larger
Twickenham Stadium,where U2 are playing in July.
For rugby the capacity is 14,800 but extra seating on the pitch mean its 20,000 capacity for Elton.
Tonight's show is sold out.
This will be Elton's first show after an illness that put him out of action for all of May.
In mid April Elton John is thought to have contracted the illness whilst on tour in South America.
He became “violently ill” on a flight from Santiago, Chile and spent two nights in intensive care at a hospital in the UK.
Now aged 70 Sir Elton has had a staggering 31 Top 10 hit singles in the UK in his incredible 50 year career.
He has also had 30 Top 10 albums when you include greatest hits albums etc.
He is one of the biggest selling artists in music with over 200 million records sold.
Ticket prices for tonight are £80 + £60 + £40 plus booking fees.
I have seen Elton John live over 30 times since 1974 when i saw four of his legendary Christmas shows at
Hammersmith Odeon when i was a fifteen year old.
For his most recent album Elton caused a big upset by changing his long time publicity company.
Gary Farrow departed the Elton team after 35 years and Murray Chalmers came on board.
Mr Farrow quit after Sir Elton John's manager - and husband David Furnish - brought in another top publicist Murray Chalmers, to help promote the singer's new album Wonderful Crazy Night.
Both sides denied that the change was due to Elton being upset that Rod Stewarts last couple of records
have sold many more copies than Elton's last couple of albums.
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A bit messy going in with long queues due to bag checks etc but it is a full house so should be interesting
if they start having shows here every summer...the only other one here this year is Little Mix on Sun 25 June...
I have a good seat on the pitch in front of the mixing desk.
It is one of those early start early finish shows.
ELTON JOHN & HIS BAND arrive on stage at 7pm and play for 2 hours 10 mins.
There are three big screens with the two side ones showing live footage and the middle one
showing some excellent colourful pre-recorded images.
His band still feature two original members from the 1970s on drums and guitar.
Elton is wearing a very bling sparkling white jacket with red shirt and red shoes.
He looks well even though he said "It was a bit touch and go whether he would survive his illness".
He stands up after each song to milk the applause and sometimes he walks across the stage
the stage but these days it is more of a wooden waddle.
Loads of fantastic hit songs are played in the set along with a few from the recent album.
After around 40 mins his two kids come on stage to cuddle Daddy.
He dedicated a song to the victims and families of the Manchester attack.
It had been a nice sunny day then after 90 mins we got a quick rain shower for five mins which was
ironically during 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' which was dedicated to George Michael.
A great show by this music legend.
Full setlist played tonight...
The Bitch Is Back
Bennie and the Jets
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
Take Me to the Pilot
Daniel
Looking Up
A Good Heart
Philadelphia Freedom
Tiny Dancer
Levon
Rocket Man
I Want Love
Have Mercy on the Criminal
Your Song
Burn Down the Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
I'm Still Standing
Crocodile Rock
Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n Roll)
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Encore:
Candle in the Wind






Friday 02 June 2017.
Over to East London today to review two new restaurants.
1pm to 3pm.
THE BIRDS - 692 High Road, Leytonstone ,London E11.
This area is where Alfred Hitchcock was born so there are a few places celebrating it including this pub
and the local council who have commissioned 17 mosaics to adorn the subway walls to mark the centenary of
Alfred Hitchcock’s birth which is worth a look at.
The food menu is mainly based around chicken and burgers.
Inside the pub there are items on the wall relating to the film and there are even bird sounds in the bathrooms.
We had a chicken dish each with different flavour (honey bourbon and coconut ) which were very nice.
For dessert was Waffle with cherries and ice cream.
The staff were nice and friendly.
A good mix of couples,families and folks on their own here.
On some evenings they have live music or a dj playing tunes.
They have a beer garden out the back which looks ideal on a sunny day.
An enjoyable couple of hours here.
www.thebirds.pubVisit THE BIRDS website here for more info.
then a mooch around the area visiting places like Wanstead.
then
7.30pm to 10.30pm
McK GRILL, 423 High Road, Woodford Green,Essex.
This venue owned by Megan McKenna (and her dad) who has been on tv shows including
The Only Way Is Essex, Celebrity Big Brother and Ex on the Beach.
McK GRILL is a British restaurant and bar serving high end, modern, seasonal cuisine in cool, calm, modern surroundings.
Approaching the venue it looks more like a nightclub as you cannot see inside the venue as the curtains are
pulled and there is a security guy on the door.
It is already very popular so make sure you have a reservation as it was full tonight.
There is a smart dress code. No trainers, no flip flops, no sportswear, no baseball caps.
Indeed there were loads of glammed up young females here all dressed up as if they were TOWIE.
Megan's dad Dave was here and he introduced himself to everyone and had a welcoming chat with them.
He knows his food as well as he works closely with Gavin the chef to serve top quality.
There is a huge mirror so guests with backs to the entrance can see what's going on behind them.
There are dj sounds in the background and it is nice and buzzy as everyone chats away.
The venue cover capacity i would say is around 80 which includes 20 in the bar area.
For starters we had shared Pan Seared Scallop and Salt & Pepper Calamari...the latter was our fave.
We both had a Fillet Steak - medium cooked - that was done to five star perfection....with sides.
For desserts my Eton Mess went down a treat.
We were here three hours and the time whizzed by.
If you live East End way there is no need to go to The West End when you something as good as this place.
www.mckgrill.co.ukVisit the McK website here for more info.






Friday 02 June 2017.
The 50th anniversary release of The Beatles 'Sgt Pepper' album has gone straight to the
top of the charts half a century after it first came out.
It has now sold over 5 million copies in the UK alone since 1967.




Friday 02 June 2017.
THE WHO release the DVD of their Isle of Wight Festival show from 2004.
What were the band's first live dates in the UK since the death of original bass player John Entwistle in 2002. That performance is scheduled for release via Eagle Rock Entertainment on Friday 2nd June on DVD, Blu-ray
and a 2 disc CD version.




Thursday 01 June 2017...6.45pm to 9.15pm...
Book launch - Sotheby's ,New Bond Street,London W1.
Koh-I-Noor: The History of the World's Most Famous Diamond –
by William Dalrymple (Author), Anita Anand (Author)
Around 300 folks here at this well known auction house & gallery.
A surprise guest here was JEREMY PAXMAN.
Paxman is known for his forthright and abrasive interviewing of usually politicians.
There was a speech and talk about the diamond which was interesting.
Complimentary Sotheby's champers,tequila cocktails and canapés for all guests.
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About the diamond...
The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world. On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the centre of the great Fort in Lahore. There, in a public ceremony, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company in a formal Act of Submission to Queen Victoria not only swathes of the richest land in India, but also arguably the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i Noor diamond. The Mountain of Light. The history of the Koh-i-Noor that was then commissioned by the British may have been one woven together from gossip of Delhi Bazaars, but it was to be become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology which has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation through an impressive slice of south and central Asian history. It ends with the jewel in its current controversial setting: in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Masterly, powerful and erudite, this is history at its most compelling and invigorating.






Wednesday 31 May 2017.
4pm to 6.15pm---KISS pre-show acoustic show and meet and greet.
8pm to 11pm---KISS---the main event.
KISS + THE DIVES live at The 02 Arena,London.
KISS finally get to play The 02 Arena on the last night of their European KISSWORLD 2017 Tour.
KISS - My fave American band end their European tour in May with UK shows.
Needless to say it will be a visually mega live show with loads of KISS classic anthems.
KISS - Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer - will rock arenas across Europe.
The support act for UK shows will be New York catchy power pop rockers The Dives.
The Dives feature Evan Stanley on vocals who is the son of KISS singer Paul Stanley.
Tues May 30, 2017 Manchester Arena, Manchester - CANCELLED
A shame as i had booked travel to go up to Manchester as the KISS Birmingham show
clashed with Paul Rodgers at The Royal Albert Hall.
I have seen KISS over 30 times since their debut London shows in May 1976...41 years ago...
at Hammersmith Odeon...15 May 1976 eighth row from stage on the left...16 May 1976 front row centre...
I have seen KISS in Chicago,France,Belgium,Italy and Spain.
For the Madrid show I was kindly given a meet and greet with the band by their UK booking agent
Rod MacSween...see the photo on my picture library link at the bottom of this page....
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At 4pm we are taken through to an area backstage which is where the bands load in their equipment.
It is a bit of a surreal setting to KISS play i must say.
Around 100 folks are here including a few children from 'The School of Rock' musical.
One of the photographers from The Standard sad he was there to take a photo of the kids with the
band in full make up after the meet and greet session.
A bit of waiting around for it to happen then KISS legendary manager Doc McGhee arrives
and I have a few words with him then all the band turn up at 4.50pm without their make up.
KISS are using many of the team that they always use on all their tours.
KISS played a 30 mins acoustic show from 4.55pm to 5.25pm for The Teenage Cancer Trust.
There is no stage so they are playing ground level but thankfully Paul and Gene stay standing.
Tommy sits on his stool throughout the show.
No barriers or pit so everyone has got great close up in your face views.
I am front row right of stage to the right of Tommy Thayer.
Paul tries out his cockney accent and says "amazing to be finally playing this venue".
Gene was messing about at the start of the show but it was great to see them play rare tracks
they do not play in the main set.
Hard Luck Woman
Every Time I Look at You (stopped after 60 secs as Gene messing about)
Every Time I Look at You
Plaster Caster
Got to Choose
Hide Your Heart
Beth (Eric Singer on vocals)
After the show was the meet and greet from 5.30pm to 6.15pm.
Everyone is put in a line with paying ticket wristbands first then guest wristbands after them.
The band sign stuff,pose for photos and chat as their personal security guys keep them moving along.
I am near the end of the queue..I get my KISS Alive II signed by Gene and Paul and i get tonight's
ticket signed by Tommy and Eric....I also get a couple of photos...Gene is the last to leave.
Many thanks to KISS UK booking agent Rod MacSween for kindly adding me to the guest list for today.
Everyone had to leave the area and the venue at around 6.15pm so i headed for Pizza Express
for a Margherita Pizza, Tiramisu dessert and a cappuccino to kill an hour.
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Whenever KISS play I am transported back to teenage excitement at seeing gigs.
KISS fans now cover all ages with lots of males,females and children in KISS make up.
Like Iron Maiden shows the KISS t-shirts and merch are doing roaring business tonight.
I had a floor standing ticket but end up watching all the show from guest list block right of stage.
THE DIVES arrived on stage at 8pm and play for around 30 mins.
The band play a confident set of catchy melodic power pop tunes.
Tracks played included a cover of The Beatles 'Don't Let Me Down' and tracks from their debut EP.
KISS have let them use the big screens too.
KISS arrive on stage at 9.15pm and play for around 1 hour 45 mins.
As expected it is a full on visual treat as there are three big screens,around 20 smaller screens,
pyros pretty much every song along with flames and lasers on some songs.
When KISS say "more bang for your buck"...they mean it.
Paul says "it is great to be finally playing this venue'" and mentions their first ever London shows
at Hammersmith Odeon in 1976 ( I attended both of them).
A hydraulic platform at the front of stage is used a few times and two cherry picker cranes bring
Gene and Tommy over the floor standing area near the end as Paul smashes his guitar.
Ticker-tape and streamers fall from the ceiling for their anthem 'Rock and Roll All Nite'.
A stunning show that has to be my best gig of the year so far.
Full setlist played tonight...
Intro song - Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin song)
Deuce
Shout It Out Loud (Moment of 30 seconds silence for Manchester victims)
Lick It Up
I Love It Loud
Firehouse (Gene breathes fire)
Shock Me (Tommy on lead Vocals)
Guitar Solo
Flaming Youth
Bass Solo (Gene spits blood, flies into the air)
God of Thunder (Gene sings from the ceiling of the venue)
Crazy Crazy Nights
War Machine
Say Yeah
Psycho Circus (Paul flies over the crowd to b stage in the middle)
Black Diamond (Paul returns to main stage)
Rock and Roll All Nite
Encore:
I Was Made for Lovin' You
Detroit Rock City
Outro music - God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II






Tuesday 30 May 2017...6.30pm to 10.30pm...
LONDON EVENING STANDARD FOOD MONTH - launch party - Banking Hall,Bank,London EC3.
This foodie bonanza will see hundreds of events take place throughout June across the capital — from breakfast to late-night supper clubs. They will reflect the scores of exotic gastronomic traditions from around the world now represented on the streets of London.
Around 500 guests here tonight...a nice buzzy atmosphere...
Chefs and Instagram food stars Gizzi Erskine, Laura Jackson and Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley joined London Food Month’s creative directors Grace Dent and Tom Parker-Bowles, as they celebrated the start of The Evening Standard's inaugural month-long food festival. The newspaper's new editor George Osborne was on hand to welcome guests including Jack Whitehall, Alistair Guy and Patrick Grant at Banking Hall. Camilla Kerslake, Bip Ling, Henry Conway and Emma McQuiston were also spotted at the launch, sipping on Tanqueray gin and tonics and Ketel One Vodka cocktails.
Also here were leading chefs Fergus Henderson and Angela Hartnett.
Also here was Princess Anne's son Peter Philips.
BBC Radio 1 dj Nick Grimshaw spun the discs from 9pm to 10pm.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food for all the guests.
Pommery champers,a choice of six different cocktails,wines,Cobra beers.
Also bowl food,jerk chicken,canapés and Jaffa Cake dessert in jars.
All guests got a goodie bag with drinks and food and prosecco vouchers to be used at the festival.
A very nice event.
www.londonfoodmonth.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.






Tuesday 30 May 2017.
Sad news that guitarist MICK RALPHS is in a care home after a stroke.
Mick Ralphs was part of Mott the Hoople from 1969 to 1973, going on to co-found Bad Company in 1974 with Paul Rodgers. He also toured with David Gilmour in the mid-80’s.
Among Ralphs’ songwriting credits are Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Feel Like Makin’ Love, Movin’ On and Oh, Atlanta.
Mott The Hoople with support from Queen was my first ever show at Hammersmith Odeon back in 1973.
We wish him well for recovery.





Tuesday 30 May 2017.
KASABIAN played a great set at the BBC Radio 1 weekend in Hull.
Check out their 32 mins performance on BBC iPlayer.
Includes their superb new single ‘Bless This Acid House’ from their number one album.





Monday 29 May 2017.
Happy Birthday to NOEL GALLAGHER who is 50 today.
He had a big party to celebrate it.
Guests included Bono,Madonna and Damon Albarn.
Bono jetted in between U2 gigs on their current North American tour.





Sunday 28 May 2017...sad news of another death...
Blue Peter legend John Noakes – best known for his daring stunts and his pet dog Shep – has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
The 83 –year old was a household name in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and remains Blue Peter's longest serving presenter, fronting the children's show with a variety of co-hosts including Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves from 1965 until 1978.







Sunday 28 May 2017.
PAUL RODGERS + DEBORAH BONHAM + JASMINE RODGERS live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Paul Rodgers plays the final date of his UK tour.
Legendary rock singer now aged 67 is best known for his success in the 1960s and 1970s as vocalist of Free and Bad Company. After stints in two less successful bands in the 1980s and early 1990s, The Firm and The Law, he became a solo artist. He has more recently toured and recorded with Queen. Rodgers has been dubbed "The Voice" by his fans.
I was too young to see him sing with Free but have seen him sing with all the others listed above.
The 14 shows over three weeks are promoted as 'Free Spirit Tour - Celebrating the music of Free'.
The set will be mainly his songs with Free and there will be none from Bad Company.
Possible on-stage guests tonight as Robert Plant and Brian Johnson joined Paul at his recent Oxford show.
Support comes from Deborah Bonham (John Bonham's sister) and
Jasmine Rodgers (Paul Rodgers's daughter).
I saw Deborah Bonham with her band at The 100 Club earlier this year.
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Due to the terrorist attack in Manchester there are lots of bag checks and extra security outside the venue.
I have a great view right of stage in the swivel seats just a few yards from the stage.
All of tonight's show was filmed by half a dozen cameras but it was not shown on the big screen so
it must be for a DVD release in the future.
I spotted rock legends JIMMY PAGE and BRIAN MAY here but there were no guests on stage tonight.
JASMINE RODGERS arrives on stage at 7.30pm and plays for 20 mins.
Jasmine sings and plays acoustic guitar and she is backed by an electric guitar and bass but no drums.
Some decent enough songs played.
DEBORAH BONHAM arrives on stage at 8pm and plays for 40 mins.
Deborah is backed by Doug Boyle on electric guitar.
Boyle's first major break was playing in Robert Plant's band (1987–92).
Since 1994, he has played with Nigel Kennedy,
while he joined Caravan in 1996. He remained with Caravan until 2007.
He co-wrote '29 Palms' with Robert Plant.
Deborah has a nice blues voice with hints of Janis Joplin and Robert Plant.
She played tracks from her various albums.
PAUL RODGERS arrives on stage at 9.15pm and plays a shortish set of 80 mins.
Paul Rodgers never plays more than 90 mins in his solo shows for some reason.
His great band were actually Deborah Bonhams full touring band.
Looking youthful for his years and sounding magnificent, he made his set look effortless.
Interestingly, this tour doesn’t play too heavily on the “heritage” aspect.
It’s only right at the end for the encores we get the “historic” back projection photos from late 60s/early 70s.
Sadly two members of Free have sadly passed away.
Big cheers when black & white photos of Paul Kossoff and Andy Fraser appear on the big screen.
The first half of the set majored on the ballads and the mid-tempo plus a couple of songs that Free never performed live (‘Travelling In Style’ and ‘Love You So’) But we also heard great renditions of ‘Be My Friend’ and 'My Brother Jake’.
From 'The Stealer' onwards the crowd rush the front of the stage and the all the crowd stays standing.
The highlight of the show would have to be the first encore songs with superb renditions of the Free classics
'All Right Now' and 'Wishing Well' with all the crowd singing along.
A great show...although 80 mins on stage was a bit measly...
Full setlist played tonight...
Little Bit of Love (Free song)
Ride on a Pony (Free song)
Woman (Free song)
Be My Friend (Free song)
My Brother Jake (Free song)
Love You So (Free song)
Travellin' in Style (Free song)
Magic Ship (Free song)
Mr. Big (Free song)
The Stealer (Free song)
Fire and Water (Free song)
The Hunter (Albert King cover)
Encore:
All Right Now (Free song)
Wishing Well (Free song)
Encore 2:
Walk in My Shadow (Free song)
Catch a Train (Free song)






Sunday 28 May 2017.
Fact of the day.
Back in the day bands would would release many albums and singles in the same year.
I can remember all the 1970s glam rock acts bringing out a single every three months.
Can any band top SIX albums released in just THREE years by Creedence Clearwater Revival?
The albums Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy & The Poor Boys, Cosmo's Factory and Pendulum. The six albums were recorded in the span of three years, from 1968 to 1970, marking one of the most impressive and prolific stretches for any band of the era.





Sunday 28 May 2017.
GUNS N' ROSES paid tribute to Chris Cornell last night by performing a cover version of SOUNDGARDEN's "Black Hole Sun" at the opening concert of GN'R's European tour at Slane Castle in Meath, Ireland. Fan-filmed video footage of the rendition can be seen on YouTube.
The sold out show attracted a massive 83,000 crowd.





Sunday 28 May 2017.
Greg Allman, Founder of The Allman Brothers Band, has died aged 69.
A pioneer of the Southern rock sound, Allman and his band catapulted to fame in the 1970s with songs
like "Ramblin' Man," "Whipping Post" and "Midnight Rider."
Allman, with his ideal blues voice and prowess on the keys and guitar, co-founded the group with older brother Duane Allman, also a guitarist, in the late 1960s. Their unique blend of soulful lyrics and gritty guitar riffs made them one of the most popular concert attractions of the rock ballroom era and earned them legions of adoring fans.
The band's 1971 set "At Fillmore East," recorded at Bill Graham's New York hall,
was a commercial breakthrough and sailed to No. 13 on the charts.
I saw his last UK show which was at The Ramblin' Man Festival in Maidstone in July 2015.
I saw The Allman Brothers at Hammersmith Odeon in 1991.





Saturday 27 May 2017.
FA Cup Final live from Wembley Stadium on BBC1 tv at 5.30pm.
With television rights sold to over 100 countries and the unusual kick-off time of 5.30pm catering to time zones around the globe, the Football Association’s showcase competition final will be watched by more people than ever before.
Over 500 million fans from China to the USA will be tuning in.
Can Arsene Wenger win The FA Cup for a record seventh time as manager?
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1.
Against all the odds Arsenal beat Chelsea in a great game.
As a QPR fan i did not like the idea of Chelsea winning the double plus you have to hand it to the legend that
is Arsene Wenger who has had soooo much criticism from everyone including many Arsenal supporters.





Saturday 27 May 2017.
Happy Birthday to me.
Today 40 years ago The Sex Pistols released their classic single 'God Save The Queen'.
Without doubt one of the greatest tracks of all time.
I bought it on my 18th birthday which was day of release...27 May 1977...
I will have to play that LOUD a couple of times today....still sounds totally mega.
On Saturday SKY tv had a feature on the single that was repeated many times.
It featured contributions from music critic David Sinclair and photographer Dennis Morris
and showed footage of the River Thames Sex Pistols Jubilee Boat Gig from June 1977.
Happy Birthday to Siouxsie Sioux who is 60 today.
I may have to give 'Hong Kong Garden' a spin today.
Happy Birthday to footballer Paul Gascoigne who is 50 today.





Friday 26 May 2017.
The Beatles epic six disc box set of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
50th anniversary edition is released today with a 144 page booklet.
Time to dig out your copy of this classic album and play it a couple of times.




Thursday 25 May 2017...6.30pm to 10.30pm...
A mate's retirement drinks in Clapham Common after 39 years with the one company.
Joined at 16 and left at 55...and getting his work pension early as part of the deal...result.
Great to see some old friends again and nice memories of days gone by.
The sad side was of hearing about those whose health is not so good.





Thursday 25 May 2017.
Happy Birthday to Paul Weller who is 59 today.
Happy Birthday to punk rocker Charlie Harper from the UK Subs who is 73 today...yes 73.





Wednesday 24 May 2017...I went to four events today...
2pm to 3.30pm
CAFFE CULTURE SHOW ,Olympia,London W14.
Olympia is a massive venue that can easily hold three or four big events at the same time.
I saw concerts here in the late 1970s and they still have some odd concerts here every now and then.
This was the second of the two days of this coffee exhibition.
The Caffè Culture Show is the nation’s leading gathering place for the café and coffee community, continuing to bring together all those who have a passion for pushing the industry forward.
Lots of companies showcasing coffees,juices,snacks etc.
I had a few coffees with my fave being MATTHEW ALGIE.
Tasty flapjacks from FLAPJACKERY in Devon.
BEE ME FROZEN YOGURT was really nice and they have great looking machines you can hire.
www.caffecultureshow.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
3.30pm to 5.30pm
THE LONDON WINE FAIR ,Olympia,London W14.
Back again for my second visit to The London Wine Show this week.
Lots of great wines to taste and a couple of champers too.
See full review a couple of days ago on Monday 22 May.
then a trek over to The City.
7pm to 9pm
JACKSON & RYE - showcase - 30 Old Jewry,Bank, London EC2.
This massive American restaurant and bar venue has recently had a full refurbishment.
The Ned (The hottest new venue in London) is 100 yards away around the corner.
Jackson & Rye has one of the biggest selection of whiskeys in London.
Around 100 folks in the upper floor private area of this venue.
Lots of great complimentary food and booze including full size cheeseburgers,
ribs,truffled mac & cheese,Waldorf salad,popcorn chicken and drinks were prosecco,
old fashioned whiskey cocktails,vodka with Cointreau cocktails and wines.
All guests got a goodie bag with bottles of their pre-made old fashioned cocktails.
www.jacksonrye.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
9.10pm to 11pm
COYA - launch party - Angel Court ,Throgmorton Street,Bank,London EC2.
Peruvian restaurant & bar Coya open a second London site which much bigger than their
first restaurant which is 50 yards from The Hard Rock Cafe in Mayfair.
Over 200 folks here and it is still nice and buzzy as it was a 7pm start.
The venue is dressed like a South American rain forest with plants everywhere and there
is relentless South American rhythms over the sound system.
Complimentary Ruinart champers,Pisco sour cocktails,wines and canapés for all guests.
www.coyarestaurant.comVisit their website here for more info.





Wednesday 24 May 2017.
Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan who is 76 today.




Tuesday 23 May 2017.
On this day in KISSTORY - May 23rd, 1979 - KISS released their DYNASTY album.The album featured KISS first international top 5 smash hit, "I Was Made For Lovin' You". This song was the first collaboration between Paul Stanley and Desmond Child for KISS.




Tuesday 23 May 2017.
Twitter update from @BlondieOfficial
Out of respect for the victims of the terrible attack at the Manchester Arena last night our
show tonight in London at The Round Chapel,Hackney has been called off.
The band hope to confirm a new date soon.






Tuesday 23 May 2017.
Very sad news that my fave James Bond has passed away.
SIR ROGER MOORE has died aged 89.
A statement was released today on the James Bond star's Twitter account by his family.
It read: "With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore,
passed away today. We are all devastated."
He died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer.
Before James Bond he starred in great tv series including The Saint in the 1960's
and The Persuaders(with Tony Curtis) in the early 1970's.





Tuesday 23 May 2017.
Even Donald Trump is right for once.
As Donald Trump said this morning 'an evil loser terrorist has killed 22 people and injured many more'.
Explosions at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday evening in Manchester, leading to fatalities and injuries.
Grande was performing at the Manchester Arena with gig-goers reporting of “bangs” being heard at the venue
at the end of Grande’s performance around 10.30pm.
It is a lot easier to sneak into a concert at 10.30pm when there are no security checks.
Bearing in mind she is popular with young females , a lot of the fatalities will be teenage girls.
I have been to see a few shows at this venue including KISS,Sex Pistols and AC/DC.
On my radar was to go and see KISS up there next Tuesday.
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I was on Channel 5 tv this morning talking about how The Royal Albert Hall incredibly does not have
any bag checks whatsoever on some of the 'older respectable acts' that play there including recent shows
by Mike & The Mechanics,The Beach Boys and Roger Hodgson.
Very worrying for such a high profile target venue.





Monday 22 May 2017...I went to two events tonight...
4.45pm to 7pm
The 37th LONDON WINE FAIR at Olympia,London.
This was the first day of this three day event.
Over 500 wine businesses showcase with tastings over 10,000 wines from 40 countries.
A massive event as around 5000 visitors are here on each of the three days.
This is a must visit event for any wine lovers out there as there is so much here to taste.
Also some of the lesser known champagne brands including DE SAINT GALL who were
showcasing four of their vintages.
www.londonwinefair.comVisit their website here for more info.
then
ERIC CLAPTON live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Eric Clapton plays the first of three sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
Despite tickets being £150 and £100 on the floor and stalls all tickets were snapped up.
Gallery standing up in the gods is also all sold out at £60 a pop.
Eric will be accompanied by his band members Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, Chris Stainton,
and backing singers Sharon White and Michelle John.
Eric Clapton has played over 200 shows , yes over 200 shows at The Royal Albert Hall over his career.
In 1990 he played 18 shows here at this venue and in 1991 he played 24 shows at this venue.
In March 2017 at around the time of his 72nd birthday, photos appeared of a frail Clapton being wheeled
around Los Angeles International Airport by an attendant while holding hands with his teenage daughter
on his way to catch a flight.
I have seen Eric Clapton over 30 times since 1976 and i was at all four of the Cream re-union shows
at The Royal Albert Hall in May 2005 ( was that really 12 years ago?....time flies).
These are his only shows in Europe...will they be his last ever UK shows?
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The venue is totally rammed inside tonight.
ERIC CLAPTON arrives on stage and plays for a couple of mins short of 1 hour 40 mins.
Eric is dressed very casual as usual.
Pretty amazing how legends like Bob Dylan and Eric can sell out multi-nights with no fuss,no promo,
no pre-gig interviews and even banning photographers from the front of the stage.
His guitar playing is effortless class as always with that superb tone he gets on his guitar.
The show is nicely paced with a trio of slow blues songs then a few acoustic songs with Eric sitting on a chair
then for the second half of the show he was standing and it all became more rockier.
Lots of classics played including a stunning version of Cream's 'Badge'.
At the start of 'Cocaine' the crowd all stood up and rushed down the front.
Support act Doyle Bramhall II joined him on stage for the last three songs.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight...
Somebody's Knocking (J.J. Cale cover)
Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover)
I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon cover)
I Shot the Sheriff (The Wailers cover)
Driftin' Blues (Johnny Moore's Three Blazers cover)
Bell Bottom Blues (Derek and the Dominos song)
Layla (Derek and the Dominos song)
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Jimmy Cox cover)
Tears in Heaven
Badge (Cream song)
Wonderful Tonight
Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson cover)
Cocaine (J.J. Cale cover)
Encore:
High Time We Went (Joe Cocker cover)
Support act Doyle Bramhall II joined Eric for the last three songs.
--------------------------------
Eric Clapton was the sixth quality gig i have seen in six days.
17 May - Adam Ant + Glam Shanks - Royal Albert Hall
18 May - Beach Boys - Royal Albert Hall
19 May - Steve Hackett - Palladium
20 May - The Alarm + Dave Sharp - Electric Ballroom
21 May - Roger Hodgson (ex Supertramp singer) - Royal Albert Hall
22 May - Eric Clapton - Royal Albert Hall






Sunday 21 May 2017.
ROGER HODGSON live at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Roger Hodgson plays the second of two shows at this venue.
Roger was the voice of Supertramp who were massive in the mid-1970s.
He also composed most of their big hits.
They went on to sell more than 60 million albums worldwide
Their 1979 album 'Breakfast in America' sold more than 20 million albums.
I first saw them twice in 1975 at Hammersmith Odeon.
I have seen Roger Hodgson at this venue in 2013 and 2016.
He departed Supertramp in 1983 and moved his family away from the Los Angeles music scene to live a simpler lifestyle close to nature and be home with his children as they were growing up. Hodgson returned to touring in 2001.
------------------------------
ROGER HODGSON and his band were on stage for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 80 mins.
Like last year we have a stage set with half a dozen trees/large plants at the back of it.
Like last time around 50% of the tracks played are radio friendly Supertramp gems.
Roger still has that great distinctive voice.
Most songs are keyboard led as there are two and sometimes three keyboards used.
A couple of songs are acoustic guitar and the electric guitar was rarely used.
Roger is dressed in white jacket and trainers and Roger chats quite a lot between songs.
Sometimes he is a bit too polite as he name checks fans who sent in requests on his FaceBook
for birthdays and anniversaries etc between some songs.
He said "for those of you here last night there will be a couple of different songs played in the set".
He is clearly very happy to be playing back home in the UK.
The crowd stood up during the encore as it got a bit livelier.
Some of the solo material plodded a bit but great to hear some of those Supertramp oldies.
For the final song of 'It's Raining Again' the tradition of over 20 fans in the crowd opening their umbrellas.
An enjoyable show.
Full setlist played tonight...
FIRST SET
Take the Long Way Home (Supertramp song)
School (Supertramp song)
In Jeopardy
Lovers in the Wind
Breakfast in America (Supertramp song)
Hide in Your Shell (Supertramp song)
Along Came Mary
Puppet Song
The Logical Song (Supertramp song)
SECOND SET
Child of Vision (Supertramp song)
Lord Is It Mine (Supertramp song)
Death and a Zoo
If Everyone Was Listening (Supertramp song)
The Awakening
Only Because of You
Dreamer (Supertramp song)
Fool's Overture (Supertramp song)
Encore:
Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)
Give a Little Bit (Supertramp song)
It's Raining Again (Supertramp song)






Saturday 20 May.
THE ALARM + DAVE SHARP live at The Electric Ballroom,London.
I have seen The Alarm around 20 times since 1985 when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
They were very popular in the 1980s
At many early shows they supported U2 and were often called 'The Welsh U2'.
I also saw them supporting U2 on The Joshua Tree tour in 1987 at Cardiff Arms Park,Wales.
The Alarm are still fronted by Welsh music legend Mike Peters.
-----------------------
Come out of Camden tube and a dozen drug dealers are peddling their wares brazenly in the street.
I have not been to this great venue for at least a year or two.
Went to some legendary gigs here back in the punk heyday.
In the period 1978 to 1980 the bands i saw here included The Greedies (feat Thin Lizzy with Steve Jones
and Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols),Vicious White Cats (featuring Sid Vicious,Glen Matlock and friends
which was Sid's last performance in the UK),Specials,Madness,The Clash,Joy Division,B'52s,
The Ramones,The Only Ones,The Troggs and a few others before if closed for gigs for over a decade.
It was an early start early finish gig tonight as the venue becomes a club night after 10pm.
DAVE SHARP took to the stage at 7pm and played for 30 mins.
Dave was the co-founder of The Alarm with Mike Peters back in the day.
He has been a bit off the radar the past few years so good to see he is alive and kicking.
His 30 mins solo acoustic set finished with The Alarm song 'One Step Closer to Home'
I was expecting him to join The Alarm on stage later but he did not not appear even though
he was signing stuff at the merch stand after their show.
THE ALARM took to the stage at 7.45pm and played a stunning 2 hours 5 mins set.
I have seen them live loads of times so I know it is gonna be a great show.
The band tonight feature Mike on vocals and electric guitar, guitar slinger James Stevenson is on bass duties
tonight but still manages to slip in a couple of Peter Hook type bass guitar solos and for the
last song of the night he reverted to electric guitar for a mean guitar solo.
Smiley on drums did a great job with some incredible drumming on 'The Drunk and the Disorderly'.
Mike's wife Jules was on keyboards and backing vocals for many songs throughout the night.
I have seen many great shows this year but can anyone play with more passion and enthusiasm than
Mike Peters who plays every show like it was his last.
Mike had three microphones across the front of the stage and uses all of them as he pleases.
So many of The Alarm songs send a shiver and tingle down my spine and i am not alone as the loyal
community of The Alarm fans are in full voice as the front of stage gets very lively.
Mike and his wife are both going through cancer treatment but are determined to keep on rockin'.
There is a documentary on the BBC iPlayer from Monday about it so that is well worth a watch.
Mike said a full UK tour will be announced for October 2017 so don't miss that.
Before that they play a massive two month North American tour in July and August.
A superb show that had jaded ole me saying 'wow that was special'.
Full setlist played tonight...
Brighter Than the Sun
Absolute Reality
Coming Backwards
Howling Wind
Time
Rain in the Summertime
Love and Understanding
The Drunk and the Disorderly
There Must Be A Way
Strength
Tomorrow
Superchannel
Kill To Get What You Want (Die For What You Believe In)
Peace Now
68 Guns
My Town
Spirit of '76
Encore:
45 R.P.M.
Blaze of Glory
Marching On
Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke
Two Rivers






Saturday 20 May 2017.
Happy Birthday to Cher who is 71 today.





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