News and Reviews: December 12, 2017

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Visit my upcoming news page for my interview on Roundhouse punk gigs of the 1970s.
Visit my upcoming news page for my Top 20 gigs of 2016...No 1 was Bruce Springsteen.
It is a good time to see musicals and plays as special offer tickets are on at some theatres...
An American In Paris,School of Rock ,Dream Girls, 42nd Street and others.
Also Young Frankenstein and Big Fish -The Musical starring Kelsey Grammer.
Queen + Adam Lambert are playing a full UK arena tour including three London shows.
Queen are still very popular even though Freddie passed away in 1991.
Incredibly I saw Freddie Mercury singing with Queen 15 times with the first time in Dec 1973 when they
were a support band and also at the legendary Live Aid event at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
For their 2017 tour, the band will unveil a brand new show including a specially designed state-of-the-art production. The choice of performance material will no doubt acknowledge this year’s 40th anniversary of Queen’s biggest-selling studio album to date,' News of the World' from 1977, which yielded the immortal anthems "We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”.
Tues 12 Dec---02 Arena
Wed 13 Dec---02 Arena
Fri 15 Dec---Wembley Arena
27 Oct 2017 to 07 Jan 2018 - My Name Is Prince: The Official Exhibition at The 02 Arena Complex.
It is based around the 21 shows Prince played at The 02 Arena in 2007.
I was at six of those shows and two of his after party gigs next door at Indigo.
Prince run of 21 shows in 2007 is still the record for nights played by one act on the same tour at The 02.
Admission will be £25 for adults.
Go to google and type in My Name Is Prince Exhibition YouTube and a 25 mins video is worth watching.
Thurs 14 Dec---Let's Rock Christmas - The Retro Show - Wembley Arena.
Tony Hadley, Kim Wilde, Nik Kershaw, Go West, Nick Heyward, T'Pau, Jona Lewie and others.
Tony Hadley headlines with half a dozen acts playing short hits based sets.
Fri 15 Dec---The Sweet feat Andy Scott play Nells Jazz & Blues, West Kensington.
The Sweet at The Rainbow in Dec 1973 was one of my first ever gigs.
I saw them play a great support set to Richie Blackmore at The 02 Arena in the summer.
Sat 16 Dec---Royal Blood play House of Vans, London SE1.
Sat 16 Dec---The Cribs play the last of three shows at U.L.U.
Fact of the 2007 I went to all five amazing shows by The Sex Pistols at Brixton Academy.
The Cribs were the support band on four of those shows.
Sat 16 Dec---Roy Woods Rock n Roll Band play The Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
I went up there one year to see Roy Wood as he never seems to play London on his Christmas Tour.
Sun 17 Dec---The Glitter Band featuring John Rossall play The Islington Academy.
with support from The Arrows feat Alan Merrill + Hello + Too Rex.
The Glitter Band had six Top 10 hits in the 70s on their own.
Mon 18 Dec---Peter Hook & The Light play The Roundhouse.
Legendary bass player with Joy Division and New Order is on another UK tour.
I saw Joy Division five times in 1979/1980...and have seen New Order several times.
Tues 19 Dec---Dio Returns play The Academy , Islington.
The Ronnie James Dio hologram with a live band play their only UK show on their European Tour.
When all the rock legends have passed away, all the next generations will have is hologram tours
and tribute bands galore so make you go and see the originals when they are still living if you can.
The Ronnie James Dio hologram will perform throughout the show, treating fans to an alternating setlist that will feature songs such as "Rainbow In The Dark", "We Rock", "Neon Nights", "King Of Rock And Roll", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Heaven And Hell", "Holy Diver" and more.
Wed 20 Dec---Extreme play Brixton Academy...with support from Dan Reed Network.
A nice double bill of ' funk rock bands'.
I saw Extreme live many times on the back of the success of their mega album ' Extreme II: Pornograffitti '
album which was released in 1990....I also saw them headline Ramblin' Man Festival this summer.
Thurs 21 Dec---Adam Ant plays The Roundhouse.
I have seen Adam Ant over a dozen times since 1979 when he was a support act.
Thurs 21 Dec---Five Finger Death Punch + In Flames + Of Mice & Men play Wembley Arena.
FFDP play the last night of their European Tour to promote their greatest his album out 01 Dec.
'A Decade Of Destruction' contains a collection of the band’s biggest hits to date including “Coming Down”, “Lift Me Up”, “Wash It All Away”, “Battle Born”, and their biggest song to date “Wrong Side Of Heaven” (182m YouTube views).
Thurs 21 Dec---Slade play Oxford London show on their annual Christmas tour...
Thurs 21 Dec to Sat 23 Dec---Prodigy play Brixton Academy...all shows sold out pronto...
Fri 22 Dec---Morgellons + Holy Faction play The George & Dragon, 183 High Street, Acton---FREE ENTRY.
Acton punk rockers Morgellons play a Christmas Party gig.
Fri 22 Dec---The Dirty Strangers play The Troubador Club, Earls Court.
Fri 22 Dec---Andre Rieu plays Wembley Arena...extra date added for Sat 23 Dec...
André Rieu is a Dutch violinist and conductor best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra. Together they have turned classical and waltz music into a worldwide concert touring act, as successful as some of the biggest global pop and rock music acts.Expect very colourful stage costumes.
Sat 23 Dec---Ruts DC play The 100 Club.
This year an enchanting new production of Dick Whittington heads to the London Pallladium. With an all-star cast, featuring the legendary Julian Clary and Elaine Paige, this is Christmas spectacular not to be missed.
Released 17 Nov 2017---a nice item for Christmas.
The Sweet release a nine cd box set including - Live at The Rainbow 1973 - (I was there as a 14 year old)
Released 01 December 2017---a nice item for Christmas.
Universal has announced that the out-of-print deluxe edition of the ' Never Mind The Bollocks' album,
which was originally released in 2012, will now be rereleased on 01 Dec 2017.
The deluxe NMTB will include 3 CDs, a live DVD and a 48 page book
Sun 31 Dec---Chic featuring Nile Rodgers play Central Hall, Westminster.
A special NYE show that will be shown live on BBC1 tv.
Nile will play a set either side of the midnight fireworks display from The River Thames.
Nile Rodgers beat cancer a few years ago but in early December he said it has returned.
Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers has revealed he has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his kidney.
The 65-year-old singer, writing on his blog, says his prognosis is "100% recovery" but that the diagnosis
has delayed some of his plans for 2018.
Tues 02 Jan---Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Thurs 04 Jan---Hammersmith Apollo
Black Country Communion will play only two shows in Europe to promote their fourth album BCCIV.
The lineup of vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, keyboardist Derek Sherinian
and guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa will reunite after time spent playing in their respective solo careers.
Sat 06 Jan---The Boys play The 100 Club
The Final Take: Bowie In The Studio
BBC World Service, Tuesday 9th January 2017 1130am TBC
This special episode of ‘In The Studio’ presents an imagined account of David Bowie as he works on his last album, Blackstar, to give a moving and revealing portrait of the star as he reflects on music, love, drugs, fame and death.
Impressionist Jon Culshaw, in a rare serious role, plays David Bowie.
Mid Jan---Looks like I will going on a press trip to TAIWAN for a week or two.
Hotly tipped bands to look out for in 2018.
Starcrawler debut album is out January 19th 2018 on Rough Trade Records worldwide.
Steel Panther play two London shows as part of their UK tour.
Mon 22 Jan---Steel Panther play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Fri 26 Jan---Steel Panther play Hammersmith Apollo.
Morrissey is more popular than ever as he has added a FOURTH London show to his UK tour.
Thurs 01 March---Brixton Academy (extra show )
Wed 07 March---Royal Albert Hall
Fri 09 March---Alexandra Palace
Sat 10 March---Palladium
Morrissey says....“Well … I don’t perform. I’m occasionally on a stage, but I don’t ever perform.”

Monday 11 December 2017.
ELLIE GOULDING & FRIENDS live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
All ticket proceeds to Streets of London Homelessness charity.
Ellie has had 10 Top 10 hit singles including two number ones.
All her three albums have been Top 10 and two of them have hit number one.
We get to the venue and they are already well prepared for the big film premiere the following night of
Star Wars and inside a few boxes on Level One have been converted for the film projectors
and the Royal Boxes are roped off in readiness for William & Harry on Tuesday night.
A nice bunch of support acts playing a couple of songs each.
Quick changeovers as acts are solo or semi acoustic.
Tom Odell
Ray Blk
George Ezra - played two songs including his big hit 'Budapest'.
Craig David
Craig David & Bastille
Jessie Ware
James Blunt
ELLIE GOULDING arrives on stage at 9.50pm and plays for 60 mins.
Ellie has her full band and full stage production.
Check back soon for full review.

Monday 11 December 2017.
Sad news that tv presenter KEITH CHEGWIN has passed away at the age of just 60.
The news of the 60-year-old TV presenter’s death was announced today by his family .
In a statement they said he had died after a “long-term battle with a progressive lung condition.”
The TV presenter and comic, from Bootle , became a household name presenting programmes such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Cheggers Plays Pop and, in the 1980s, Saturday Superstore.
And he was well known for his jokes and all-round Scouse wit.

Monday 11 December 2017.
BILLY IDOL has confirmed three shows as part of his 2018 European Tour.

Sunday 10 December 2017.
THE DARKNESS + BLACKFOOT GYPSIES live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.
I have seen The Darkness several times since they supported Def Leppard in 2003.
They soon took off big time with hit singles from their million selling debut album 'Permission to Land'.
In 2003 i saw them supporting The Rolling Stones at Wembley Arena and a couple of years later
i saw them headline great shows at Wembley Arena and Alexandra Palace.
As with Nickelback the critics really hated The Darkness , called them 'a joke rock band'.
Support comes from Blackfoot Gypsies who are an American four-piece rock band from Nashville.
Their music is influenced by blues, punk rock, southern rock, soul, Americana and country.
They have released two albums.
Lots of snow in West London today but we come out for some rock n roll to keep us warm.
BLACKFOOT GYPSIES arrive on stage at 8pm and play for around 30 mins.
Some good uptempo garage-inspired blues with a 70s style old-school sound makes for a great start to the evening.
Many of their songs have hints of The Stones, The Faces, Black Crowes etc.
THE DARKNESS arrive on stage at 9pm and play for around 1 hour 45 mins.
The band reformed a few years ago after going into hibernation for a few years.
Three original members at the front and a new drummer - Rufus Tiger Taylor.
Rufus Tiger Taylor is the son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor.
Oddly enough the band were very influenced by Queen when they first started.
It's a traditional rock band stage set with four Marshall Amps either side of the drum kit and singer Justin
and his brother both using Gibson Les Paul guitars.
It is floor standing to create a proper atmosphere.
Justin Hawkins, leapt on to the stage wearing a gloriously eccentric emerald green sparkly bodysuit and
gold boots as he threw himself straight in to the bands first song of the night ‘Open Fire ' with pyros and flames.
Justin's often ridiculed falsetto singing still sounds really good to me.
The band play a few tracks from recent album 'Pinewood Smile' and all their classic oldies.
Justin is a great front man who totally entertains the crowd whatever he does.
Whether its hand stands in front of the drum kit or aiming a dozen guitar plectrums at the giant mirror ball.
Plenty of silly chat from him between songs including saying "we may be a cock rock band but that
does not mean you can behave inappropriately with anyone down the front".
For the encores Justin changed into a gold jump suit and we had extra fairy lights on for their Christmas song.
They finished the show with their mega anthem 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'.
The Darkness really are a great live rock band.
Full setlist played tonight...
Tape intro - Arrival (ABBA song)
Open Fire
Love Is Only a Feeling
Southern Trains
Black Shuck
One Way Ticket
Givin' Up
All the Pretty Girls
Buccaneers of Hispaniola
Friday Night
Makin' Out
Every Inch of You
Solid Gold (gold ticker-tape over the crowd)
Stuck in a Rut
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Growing on Me
Japanese Prisoner of Love
Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) (fake snow falling over the crowd)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Sunday 10 December 2017.
Ten years ago today LED ZEPPELIN played a one-off show at The 02 Arena.
Hard to believe it is ten years since I attended that mega hot ticket gig.
It stayed a one-off as Robert Plant refused to play any more shows.
According to Guinness World Records 2009, the concert holds the world record for the
"Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert" as 20 million requests for the reunion show
were rendered online.

Saturday 09 December 2017.
BANANARAMA live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.
Bananarama play the last of three sold out shows at Hammersmith Apollo.
This is the last date of their month long UK tour.
Original three girl lineup playing their first ever tour together.
The original lineup of Bananarama, Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward, never toured together during their biggest hitmaking years from 1981 to 1988. There were plenty of television shows but never a live tour before Fahey left the group and was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan.
I saw them a couple of times as a trio with the new girl at Hammersmith Odeon in 1989.
Bananarama had ten Top 10 hits in the 1980s.
Fact of the day---In 1981, Bananarama's members were living above the rehearsal room that was used by former Sex Pistols members Steve Jones and Paul Cook. With their help, Bananarama recorded their first demo.
The band recorded a version of the Sex Pistols' song "No Feelings" in late 1982 for the soundtrack of the
British film, 'Party Party'.
I arrive at the venue and in the foyer i see both members of The Pet Shop Boys,Brix Smith-Start
and Lizzie Cundy.
The venue is totally rammed and there is a big turnout from the Gay Community which maybe explains
why so many extra dates have been added to the tour due to demand.
BANANARAMA arrive on stage at 8.45pm and are on for around 90 mins.
The trio make a suitably epic entrance to the rush of 'Nathan Jones', materialising in front of a gigantic, eye-searing screen dressed in sparkling sci-fi outfits with angular shoulder pads and trailing punk type straps.
The girls are all looking great for women in their fifties.
They have a fantastic stage production that looks great , with a staircase along the back and a massive
screen that mixes excellent pre-recorded neon graphics and the Bananarama videos from the 1980s.
The crowd are up and dancing from the start to create a full blown disco pop party atmosphere.
Part of their appeal for me is they were never the best singers or the best dancers but just three
girls together having a bit of fun...who got lucky.
A few of their hits were hi-energy re-workings of other peoples hits.
Also in the set were a couple of hits they had with Fun Boy Three and they sung 'Stay' which
was a number one hit for Shakespears Sister who included Siobhan Fahey when she left Bananarama.
The dance routines are simple so many of the crowd are joining in with them.
They still don't take themselves too seriously which is another thing I like about them.
It was one of those shows that was much better then expected....really good.
Full Bananarama setlist played tonight...
Nathan Jones (The Supremes cover)
Robert De Niro's Waiting
Rough Justice
Aie a Mwana (Black Blood cover)
Cruel Summer
Trick of the Night
Shy Boy/Boy Trouble
Really Saying Something (The Velvelettes cover)
Cheers Then
Stay (Shakespears Sister cover)
Preacher Man
I Heard a Rumour
More Than Physical
I Can't Help It
I Want You Back
Venus (Shocking Blue cover)
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Steam cover)
It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) (Ella Fitzgerald cover)
Love in the First Degree

Saturday 09 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to big screen legend Kirk Douglas who reaches the incredible age of 101 today.

Friday 08 December 2017.
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
This show sold out pronto on the day the tickets went on sale.
Robert is on a UK tour to promote his recent album 'Carry Fire' that was released Fri 13 Oct 2017.
I have seen Robert Plant as a solo act around 20 times since 1983 including just a couple of months ago
in Oct 2017 when he played an intimate show for 200 for BBC 6 Music at Maida Vale studios.
Also three shows by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant in the 1990s.
In the week of this show Robert Plant has been talking about winter fuel payments.
Multi-millionaire rock star Robert Plant says "Why do i get a winter fuel payout?"
Robert Plant, the former Led Zepplin frontman, has questioned the government over his £200 winter fuel payment. The 69 year old singer accosted Labour peer Baroness Bakewell in the street to ask why he received the annual allowance, which is meant to help poverty stricken pensioners stay warm in winter, saying he was 'baffled' after receiving the benefit.
Basically it is not means tested to how much money you have so everyone over 65 gets it.
Support act Seth Lakeman is an English folk singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who has released
around a dozen albums over the past 20 years.
Support act SETH LAKEMAN is on stage for around 30 mins.
His sound is something that no doubt influenced Mumford & Sons a bit.
The crowd like him as Robert Plant talks highly of him and for this tour Seth plays
several songs as part of Roberts band later on after his own set.
By the time Robert Plant takes the stage the entire venue is rammed solid sold out.
ROBERT PLANT and his band are on stage for around 1 hour 50 mins.
Robert is still looking like a proper rock star with his mane of curly hair in a pony tail.
His band really are all top notch musicians.
After 20 mins we get live footage projected on to a big curtain rather than a big screen.
You have to admire Robert Plant for shunning millions of pounds for a Led Zeppelin reunion
to follow his heart with his solo career.
The newer songs mix in well with a few classic reworking of Led Zeppelin classics.
Amazingly CHRISSIE HYNDE joins Robert for two songs during the encore just 24 hours after
i saw her here at The RAH singing two songs at another live music event.
The first was 'Bluebirds over the Mountain' which is the recent single that Chrissie featured on and then
The Pretenders Christmas track '2000 Miles' as Chrissie took over the main vocals and Robert joined in a bit.
For the final song there’s a bit of instrumental teasing before the inevitable ' Whole Lotta Love', whose middle section remains a gift for experimentation and improvisation. This time, of course, it becomes a platform for Seth Lakeman to fiddle up a furious storm. The standing ovation is never in doubt.
A great show.
Full Robert Plant setlist played tonight...
New World...
Turn It Up
The May Queen
That's the Way (Led Zeppelin song)
All the King's Horses
House of Cards (Richard & Linda Thompson cover)
Gallows Pole ([traditional] cover)
Carry Fire
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (Joan Baez cover)
Little Maggie ([traditional] cover)
Funny in My Mind (I Believe I'm Fixin' to Die)
Misty Mountain Hop (Led Zeppelin song)
What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin song)
Bluebirds over the Mountain (Ersel Hickey cover) (with Chrissie Hynde)
2,000 Miles (The Pretenders cover) (with Chrissie Hynde)
Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin song)

Thursday 07 December 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 7.15pm
NEW & LINGWOOD - Christmas Drinks Party - 51 Jermyn Street, St James's, London SW1.
New & Lingwood continues to be the outfitters of savvy gentlemen worldwide.
Upholding long standing traditions and renowned quality standards.
They sell top quality classic Clothing ,Shirts, Shoes,Jackets, Dressing Gowns etc.
All the leather shoes i looked at were £300 plus.
Lots of very smartly dressed gents here covering all ages.
Complimentary Remy Martin cocktails, Gin & Tonics, prosecco and canapés for all guests.
www.newandlingwood.comVisit their website here for more info.
Sky One and Sky Arts present IT'S CHRISTMAS LIVE at The Royal Albert Hall,London.
Hosted by comedian and actor Jason Manford, the show will see an array of artists performing contemporary Christmas classics including Chrissie Hynde, Alexander Armstrong, Fleur East, Holly Johnson, Jona Lewie, Marc Almond, Melanie C, Nadine Coyle, Ricky Wilson, Shakin’ Stevens, Tom Chaplin and The Vamps plus more acts to be announced.
It will be filmed by SKY to be shown over the Christmas period on Dec 23.
It is a full house here tonight despite floor arena and stalls seats costing £80 each.
The stage production is all Chrismassy with fake trees and baubles and stars etc.
A nice Christmassy party atmosphere as everyone has a free Christmas Hat on their seat to wear.
Singer-songwriter and piano player Ed Harcourt is the musical director of the house band who include
a band, mini orchestra and three female backing singers.
The show was on for around 2 hours 30 mins over two sets of 75 mins each.
Comedian Jason Manford did a good job of hosting the event and keeping everyone amused between acts.
All acts sung one song each apart from Chrissie Hynde who sung two songs.
Most sung Christmas covers but a few sung their own Christmas hits.
Chrissie Hynde was an obvious highlight but great to see Shakin Stevens, Jona Lewie and Holly Johnson
performing their Christmas hits from the 1980s.
A very enjoyable evening.
1.The Vamps - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
2. Fleur East - All I Want For Christmas Is You
3. Alexander Armstrong - Walking In A Winter Wonderland
4. Vade (Sky One Acappela comp winners) - Silent Night
5. Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone (a number one hit for Shaky in Dec 1985)
6. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Sleigh Ride
7. Marc Almond - Do You Hear What I Hear?
8. Jason Manford & all the crowd singing a fun version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas
9. Chrissie Hynde - 2000 Miles (a hit for The Pretenders in Dec 1983) (with snow falling over the crowd)
10. Tom Chaplin - Walking In The Air
11. Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry ( a number 3 hit for Jona in Dec 1980)
12. Nadine Coyle - White Christmas
13. Melanie C - Santa Baby
14. Ed Harcourt - Driving Home For Christmas
15. Jason Manford - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
16. Alexandra Burke - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
17. Holly Johnson - The Power Of Love ( a number one hit for FGTH in Dec 1984)
18. Chrissie Hynde - Last Christmas
19. Ricky Wilson - Merry Xmas Everybody (balloons and streamers falling on the crowd)

Thursday 07 December 2017.
ED SHEERAN has had an amazing 2017, selling millions of copies of his album Divide and headlining Glastonbury. And the year is ending with a cherry on top. The 26-year-old today accepted an MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. In pictures from the investiture ceremony at the palace, the Shape Of You singer was honoured by the Prince of Wales for his services to music.

Wednesday 06 December 2017...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 8pm
DE GRISOGONO CHRISTMAS PARTY - 15a New Bind Street , Mayfair, London W1.
De Grisogono is a Swiss luxury jeweller. It was founded in 1993 by black diamond specialist Fawaz Gruosi.
Fawaz Gruosi was here tonight saying hello to everyone.
A very upmarket crowd with many women dressed in top notch designer clothing and jewellery.
There was a great film of the company's summer party during The Cannes Film Festival.
Complimentary Ruinart champers and canapés for all guests.
www.degrisogono.comVisit their website here for more info.
8.10pm to 10pm
30 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London W1.
I have been to this event a few tunes before and it's always a big event with
all Londons top showbiz photographers inside and outside the building.
Paul McCartney is on tour in Australia so is not here tonight.
Ronnie Wood has been here the last four years but is not here tonight.
Stella and Mary McCartney are both here.
Michael McCartney was here(Paul's younger brother).
Tv presenter Leigh Francis/ Keith Lemon switched the lights on.
The lights look great as they cover the entire frontage of the store.
He gave a typically rude speech about having piles at Christmas.
Also here were Bianca Jagger, Stormzy, Professor Green,Pixie Lott, Angus Deayton,
Winnie Harlow, Raymond Blanc, Neelam Gill and no doubt a couple that i missed.
Peter Blake and Edith Bowman were here.
Two of Paul Wellers kids were here - Leah Weller and Dylan Weller.
Female rapper Little Simz was here - fresh from supporting Gorillaz the two previous nights.
There was a fun photo set-up at the rear of the store.
Complimentary Nicolas Feuillatte champers, Mojitos , Mulled Wine, Hot Chocolate,
canapés, mince pies and a sweets counter.
All guests got a goodie bag with half a dozen Christmas crackers embossed with Stella McCartney.
www.stellamccartney.comVisit the Stella McCartney website for more info.

Wednesday 06 December 2017.
Sad news that JOHNNY HALLADAY has passed away.
France’s biggest rock star, Johnny Hallyday, the leather-trousered “French Elvis” who sold more than 110m albums over a career spanning more than half a century, has died aged 74.
I saw him play a rare London show at The Royal Albert Hall in 2012.

Tuesday 05 December 2017.
6pm to 7.30pm
ALBERTS CHRISTMAS PARTY - 92b Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW7.
Always nice to be at this luxurious private members club (£500 a year membership).
Over 100 guests here with 75% per cent female.
Two brands are having a Christmas showcase in one corner of the club.
VESTIARE COLLECTIVE (they buy and sell pre-owned designer clothing on their website)
ASTLEY CLARKE (they sell fine jewellery on their website)
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers, two different whiskey cocktails and canapés for all guests.
www.albertsclub.comVisit the Alberts website here for more info.
8.15pm to 11.30pm
Annual Christmas Drinks Reunion in Wimbledon, South West London.
Around 20 of us here who worked together in the 1980s and 1990s.
Really great to meet up and remind ourselves what a good number we had.
I put the hours in back then with twelve hour days as we had unlimited overtime.
Get paid to 8pm and leave at 6.30pm....including two hour lunches...nice.
Ray Fielding was there (he is the dad of Noel Fielding).
This year Noel got a plum job on tv series 'Bake Off' which was a big success.
I used to see Noel 20 years ago playing comedy gigs to just 20 people.
When I went to Australia a decade ago I turned up to surprise Noel at The Melbourne Comedy Festival.
On a sad note there always seems to be one or two friends that have got ill health since we last met up.

Tuesday 05 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to LITTLE RICHARD who is 85 today.
An influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades, Little Richard's most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll.

Tuesday 05 December 2017.
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL headliners confirmed for June 2018.
Liam Gallagher has been announced as one of the headline acts at next year's Isle of Wight Festival, with Depeche Mode, The Killers and Kasabian also appearing at the 50th anniversary event in June. Gallagher said he was 'looking forward to playing the mighty Isle of Wight Festival', while Kasabian said they were 'hugely honoured'.
Buy tickets on their website link on the right of this page.

Monday 04 December 2017...kick off at 7.45pm.
‘The Rebels’ Slough Town are through to the second round of the prestigious FA Cup competition for
only the seventh time in their 127 year history
The Southern Premier League outfit welcome League One’s Rochdale to Arbour Park hoping to
spring a shock and have even ordered in special edition replica shirts for the occasion.
Can the minnows of Slough get through to the third round and get a big draw with a premier league club?
Err sadly no....SLOUGH TOWN 0 ROCHDALE 4.
I stayed in with a few beers to watch this live on BT Sport but it all sadly went tits up for Slough Town.
Great to see their tiny ground of around 2,000 capacity sold out but it was not to be.

Monday 04 December 2017.
Bat Out of Hell The Musical returns to London after the success of the shows in 2017.
I saw this very enjoyable show and went to the massive opening night launch party.
Winner of Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 and nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage awards in 2018, Jim Steinman’s smash-hit musical Bat Out of Hell, returns to London at the historic Dominion Theatre!
This exhilarating tale of star-crossed lovers “changed the way musicals are staged forever” (North West End) with its boundary pushing spectacle, thrilling performances and reimagining of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits.
With a multi award-winning creative team from the world of Theatre, Opera, Music and Film, this 'jaw-dropping spectacle' (Evening Standard) plays the Dominion Theatre from 2 April 2018. Book now!

Sunday 03 December 2017.
Happy Birthday to rock legend Ozzy Osbourne who is 69 today.

Saturday 02 December 2017.
KASABIAN + SLAVES live at The 02 Arena, London.
Kasabian play the second of two shows at The 02 Arena.
I have seen Kasabian around a dozen times including earlier this year when they played at The Forum.
Kasabian are on a UK arena tour to promote their sixth album 'For Crying Out Loud,' which hit number one.
Their world tour has included summer headline performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Support act Slaves are a very lively band worth getting there early to see.
It's a Kasabian gig so the bars inside and outside the venue are doing a roaring trade.
Support act SLAVES play for around 40 mins.
Slaves are an English punk duo from Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, which formed in 2012. It consists of Laurie Vincent (guitar, bass, vocals) and Isaac Holman (stand up drums, vocals). Their music has been described as "British punk with harsh bluesy garage riffs".
I have seen them a couple of times before so I know it's gonna be good.
For Slaves set i watched from the guest block right of stage...magician DYNAMO was sitting near me...
Slaves are given use of the two big screens.
They played a brutal energetic set of songs from their two albums which have both made the Top 10 charts.
The drummer is shirtless early on as usual as he bashes his kit relentlessly and prowls the stage.
They someone manage to get the pit security to hug each other...before asking the crowd to do the same.
The crowd down the front know their songs so there is healthy mosh pit dancing.
A really good set.
Full setlist played tonight...
White Knuckle Ride
Fuck the Hi-Hat
Photo Opportunity
Cheer Up London
Sugar Coated Bitter Truth
Beauty Quest
The Hunter
For Kasabian I fancied being on the floor standing with the Kasabian hardcore fans.
I was a couple of rows from the stage on the far right when footie legend PETER CROUCH came out of
backstage area so I had to have a few words with him "You just signed a new year long contact with Stoke
but I was hoping you were coming back to help us out at QPR'"....he replied " One Day, Maybe".
Better still , instead of going to the cosy guest seats Peter stood on the floor standing with the fans.
For the last 20 or 30 mins he was actually jumping around in the mosh area right of stage.
When Sergio came in the crowd for a walkabout he spotted Peter and they had a jig.
I cannot remember ' a well known face' obviously enjoying themselves so much at a gig....amazing.
Peter was playing at Stoke in the afternoon so must have left the ground pronto to get here.
KASABIAN take to the stage at 9pm and play for 1 hour 45 mins.
From my excellent vantage point down the front Kasabian were totally on fire tonight.
All the band arrived on stage wearing matching customised white denim outfits.
The band use two screens at the sides and a massive light production.
Later in the show they would be joined by a three man brass section and choir.
Singer Tom and bass player Sergio really do seem the best of mates , like a latter day Rossi/Parfitt.
They do all the band interviews and they constantly hug each other and whisper words throughout.
Kasabian really are a bunch of mates touring the world in a big rock band and having the time of their lives.
New album tracks 'You're in Love With a Psycho' and 'Bless This Acid House' are top notch.
Loads of great terrace style sing-alongs as the crowd on the floor bounce madly to their brand of dance rock.
Excellent show.
Full Kasabian setlist played tonight...
Ill Ray (The King)
Shoot the Runner
You're in Love With a Psycho
British Legion
Club Foot
Bless This Acid House
Put Your Life on It
L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) (ticker-tape cannons over the crowd)
Comeback Kid
Vlad the Impaler

Friday 01 December 2017....I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8pm
BONHAMS CAR AUCTIONS x MONTBLANC , Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1.
Bonhams are showcasing around 20 stunning classic cars and a couple of old motorbikes that
are in their next auction at Olympia to be held on Wed 06 Dec 2017.
Ferrari, Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz , Aston Martin, Porsche etc are on display.
Montblanc is a German manufacturer of luxury writing instruments, watches, jewellery and leather goods,
often identified by their "Snow peak" logo....they are showcasing some of their quality items.
Around 150 guests here with complimentary Pol Roger champers and canapés for all.
www.bonhams.comVisit the Bonhams website here for more info. the Montblanc website here for more info.
MICHAEL MONROE live at The Dome, Tufnell Park, North London.
Michael Monroe now aged 55 ( ex Hanoi Rocks singer ) is a Finnish glam/sleaze/garage rocker.
Hanoi Rocks was a Finnish rock band formed in 1979. They were the first Finnish band to chart in the UK and they were also popular in Japan. The band broke up in June 1985 after the drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley had died in a car accident during their first US tour in December 1984.
I saw Hanoi Rocks play live in 1983.
Michael Monroe is on a UK tour to promote his career spanning 'Best Of' collection out on Spinefarm/Universal.
Pretty amazing i am back at this 600 capacity venue for the first time in over 30 years.
I saw Zodiac Mindwarp here back in 1986.
I think it has been closed for long periods and does not get many big name bands.
The Irish pub below the venue offers a pint of Fosters for only £2.20.
During the interval it is all gems by The Clash over the pa including the magical 'Stay Free'
which features Mick Jones on vocals.
MICHAEL MONROE arrived on stage at 9pm and played an excellent 1 hour 45 mins set.
His band include Steve Conte and Sami Yaffa who I saw when they were members of The New York Dolls.
I have seen Michael Monroe a couple of times as a support act so great to see him play a full headline show.
Jawbone a-jutting, eyeballs a-bulging, high-kicking like a deranged go-go dancer, sporting an outfit that’s eye-wateringly tight and garish, Monroe is part ringmaster and part stick insect. At 55 years old he has no business looking this good and singing with such energy and enthusiasm.
Looking like a young David Lee Roth , Michael Monroe couldn't keep still as he climbed the speaker stacks
and worked his socks off as his sweat made his mascara and hair all messy.
Uptempo garage rock n roll at its finest...a great show.
Setlist highlights included....
Not Faking It (Nazareth cover)
Ballad of the Lower East Side
Hammersmith Palais (Demolition 23. song)
Old Kings Road
Up Around the Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
Dead, Jail or Rock 'n' Roll
I Wanna Be Loved (The Heartbreakers cover)

Friday 01 December 2017.
41 years ago today on 01 December 1976.
In December 1976, a sweary, televised incident made Britain gasp and THE SEX PISTOLS front page news...
It caused a massive stink in British TV history. It brought punk to the masses and some say killed it stone dead. And, indirectly, it was Freddie Mercury’s fault. Or, to be precise, one of his dodgy teeth was to blame.
Queen had been booked to appear on Bill Grundy’s Today show, but then Freddie developed toothache. It was so bad that Freddie, who notoriously wasn’t keen on dentists, decided he had to make his first visit to one in 15 years, and Queen’s appearance was cancelled. A desperate EMI offered up new group the Sex Pistols as a last-minute replacement to Today’s producers. What happened next changed everything.

Thursday 30 November 2017...I went to three events near each other tonight...
5.30pm to 7.15pm.
Over 500 folks here in this upmarket street despite the cold weather.
One of London’s most stylish destinations, Mayfair’s Mount Street is home to a plethora of
luxurious boutiques and restaurants with global acclaim.
There are carol singers and other vocalists and djs.
Many of the stores are handing complimentary drinks and food including champers, prosecco,
Nyetimber wines ,mulled wines, hot chocolate, canapés, mince pies, roasted chestnuts etc.
TRACEY EMIN switched the Christmas Tree lights on at 6.45pm.
7.20pm to 8.20pm.
FORTNUM & MASON CHRISTMAS PARTY , 181 Piccadilly, London W1.
Over 500 folks here spread out over all levels of this 300 year old store.
We head for the mens area on the third floor.
I spot Tom Parker Bowles and Richard E Grant walking about.
There is a jazz band playing and complimentary hair & beard trim along with shoeshine.
WOODFORD RESERVE are sponsoring the drinks with three nice whiskey drinks.
Old Fashioned, Rye Manhattan, Boulvardier.
www.fortnumandmason.comVisit their website here for more info.
8.25pm to 10pm
BAD SEX IN FICTION AWARD at The Navy & Military Club, 4 St James's Street, St James's, London SW1.
In Dec 2015 · Morrissey's debut novel, 'List of the Lost' won the least coveted honour in fiction.
Over 200 guests in this stunning huge room with high ceilings in this private members club building.
Guests included Griff Rhys Jones, Nicky Haslam, Rachel Johnson, Fenella Fielding and Lucy Beresford.
As always it is a very buzzy vibe here.
Christopher Bollen won the award.
American author Christopher Bollen has won the Bad Sex In Fiction Award 2017 for an excerpt in his novel
The Destroyers, which refers to the protagonist’s genitals as a “billiard rack”.
“She covers her breasts with her swimsuit,” writes Bollen. “The rest of her remains so delectably exposed. The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub. Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”
Bollen, who is also the editor-at-large of Interview magazine, fended off 'stiff ' competition from the likes of Wilbur Smith for War Cry, Laurent Binet for The Seventh Function Of Language and Venetia Welby for Mother Of Darkness to become the 25th winner of the Literary Review prize.
Complimentary champers, Negronis, wines, beers and canapés for all guests.
All guests got a small goodie bag on departure.

Thursday 30 November 2017.
Phil Collins tour rehearsals took place at LH2 Studios in Park Royal/Acton , West London.
This was the same venue that The Rolling Stones recently used.
I was at Hammersmith Odeon in 1982 for two of the four Phil Collins shows there on his first ever solo tour.

Thursday 30 November 2017.
Happy Birthday to Billy Idol who is 62 today.

Wednesday 29 November 2017...6.15pm to 9pm...
BLUEBIRD CHRISTMAS PARTY - 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW3.
Just two minutes away at no 430 Kings Road was the clothes shop where
THE SEX PISTOLS formed in the mid 1970s.
Glen Matlock worked there and Steve Jones & Paul Cook would go in there and nick some clothes.
It is still there but under the new name - Worlds End...I think it is still owned by Vivienne Westwood.
Bluebird is a popular hangout for the Chelsea types.
The Bluebird Café offers a sanctuary from the bustle of the King’s Road.
Kickstart your day with a classic breakfast, eat lunch alfresco or wind down with our all day dining menu.
From weekday healthy breakfasts, working lunches, tiny tea with the little ones, pre-movie night dinner or letting your hair down with cocktails and bites at the weekend; the café boasts something for everyone. Just out from the café is the courtyard and undoubtedly Chelsea’s best terrace spot!
Around 150 guests outside in the courtyard but there are loads of heaters and we are undercover.
There was a dj playing tunes and a live sax player playing along.
Complimentary prosecco, vodka & amaretto cocktails, mulled wines along with lobster rolls, sausage rolls,
canapés , gingerbread men, mince pies and roasted chestnuts for all guests. the Bluebird website here for more info.