Ray's Gigs

Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!

Welcome to the Ray's Gigs website!

Here's the latest - updated 25th May 2024

Buy your CDs,DVDs and much more from Amazon.
www.amazon.co.uk - Visit their website here.
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SCROLL DOWN this page a bit for recent reviews...just past the upcoming highlights....
Every week there will be four or five reviews.
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For PREVIOUS MONTH REVIEWS please click on the earlier posts link above left.
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ABOVE LEFT - click on the three horizontal menu lines for my improved search.
My fave links and contact details will now appear at the bottom of the front page.
The old search area only covered bands, venues, dates but now it includes everything,
so type in anything by name, restaurants, bars, galleries, bands , venues etc...
including many special events at various venues like Fortnum & Mason, Annabels, and
Chiltern Firehouse, V & A Museum, Q Awards.....and even a few Harvey Weinstein BAFTA parties.
There is now over 250,000 words on the site ( that's around two books worth of words).
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24 March 2024....this was gig number 7600 for me since 1973.
Roger Daltrey + Robert Plant with Saving Grace + Eddie Vedder + Kelly Jones + Paul Weller at The Royal Albert Hall.
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I went to 189 gigs in 2023 , which brings my gig total to 7561 since Sept 1973.
These three that I gave a 10, and their were plenty of other great shows.
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ELTON JOHN at The 02 Arena - 17 April
DOG DAY AFTERNOON at Crystal Palace Park - 01July
IGGY POP + BLONDIE + GENERATION SEX + STIFF LITTLE FINGERS + BUZZCOCKS + LAMBRINI GIRLS.
KISS at The 02 Arena - 05 July
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My most recent new restaurant openings reviewed..
SHANGHAI NOIR - Indo-Chinese
Old Westminster Fire Station , 4 Greycoat Place , Victoria, London SE1.
Scroll down to 04 April to see my four star review.
www.shanghainoir.com - Visit their website here.
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UBA at The Hart Hotel - Pan-Asian
61-67 Great Eastern Street , Shoreditch, London EC2.
Scroll down to 04 May to see my five star review.
www.ubarestaurant.com - Visit their website here.
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RIVERSIDE EAST - 5 Thornton Street ,Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford , London E20.
This huge venue is right in front of The London Stadium , and The Orbit slide , so will be very popular when the stadium is used for football and concert events.
It has a 300 capacity, both outdoors and indoors.
There is a restaurant , cafe, food trucks and bar .
Scroll down to 16 May to see my five star review.
www.riverside-east.co.uk - Visit their website here.
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Mon 27 May and Wed 29 May -
JANE'S ADDICTION play The Roundhouse.
Both shows sold out over a month before.
JANE'S ADDICTION Announce Their First UK And European Headline Tour In Eight Years.
Formed back in 1985, JANE'S ADDICTION are a world renowned, much loved, hugely ahead of their time classic American rock band from Los Angeles, consisting of vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery. Founded by Farrell and Avery, following the disintegration of Farrell's previous band PSi Com, Jane's Addiction's first release was the stunning, self-titled live album 'Janes Addiction' (1987).
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Mon 27 May - BARRY MANILOW plays show number four of his fourteen shows at The Palladium.
I have seen Barry a few times before.
The Telegraph gave it a good four star review.....
Barry Manilow: A pure showbiz ‘farewell’ from the Springsteen of easy listening
Kicking off his ‘last’ UK residency at the Palladium, the 80-year-old delivered everything his audience could have hoped for.
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Tues 28 May - JIMMY WEBB plays The Cadogan Hall .
Legendary songwriter is now aged 77.
Webb has written numerous platinum-selling songs, including "Up, Up and Away", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "MacArthur Park", "Wichita Lineman", "Worst That Could Happen", "Galveston" and "All I Know".
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Thurs 30 May and Fri 31 May.
AIR play The Royal Albert Hall.
The iconic French duo, AIR will play their widely celebrated album ' Moon Safari' in its entirety for the first time across a European Tour.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary last year, the release of 'Moon Safari' catapulted Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel to the uppermost rung of electronic music’s ladder and left an indelible imprint on pop culture at the end of the 20th Century. The album birthed hit singles in ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’, ‘All I Need’ and ‘Sexy Boy’, sold millions of copies around the world, and pushed Air into headline status at major festivals. 25 years on, it’s not hard to reason why Moon Safari has stood the test of time.
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Fri 31 May – Sun 2nd June – Wychwood Festival – Cheltenham Racecourse – Texas, Ocean Colour Scene, Sister Sledge, The Coral, Lightning Seeds, Corinne Bailey Rae, Peter Hook & The Light, Dexy's , Big Country, The Feeling, The Hoosiers.
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Mon 03 June - VAN MORRISON plays The Royal Albert Hall.
As well as all the old hits and those timeless classics, expect Morrison to perform some newer songs from his latest albums, Accentuate The Positive and Moving On Skiffle, both of which entered the UK Top 40 charts last year.
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Tues 04 June - YES play The Royal Albert Hall.
THE CLASSIC TALES OF YES - UK TOUR 2024
Hot on the heels of their hugely successful ‘Classic Tales Of Yes’ American Tour, Progressive Rock legends, YES, are poised to hit the road in the UK once more on a 9-date trek across the country starting on 23rd May at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and ending in London on 4th June at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, a fitting end for such a majestic band.
‘The Classic Tales Of Yes Tour’ will see YES mining their rich catalogue to deliver a career spanning set of classics, rarely played vintage cuts and new songs from 1970’s ‘Time and a Word’ right up to ‘Mirror To The Sky’, their 23rd album released last year, together with a special section celebrating the 50th anniversary of their momentous ‘Tales From The Topographic Oceans’ opus.
Every show will feature a Roger Dean gallery in the venue’s foyer area. Dean’s masterful artwork of striking other-worldly landscapes has graced classic album covers and posters. He has sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide. His artwork appears on the cover of the current
YES album Mirror To The Sky. Roger is planning to be at each show on the tour, to meet with fans.
Steve Howe, whose association with Yes began in 1970, along with Geoff Downes, a member of the 1980 ‘Drama’ era line-up are joined by Jon Davison, lead vocalist in Yes for well over a decade
now; Billy Sherwood on bass, hand-picked by original bassist Chris Squire and Jay Schellen, who worked closely with Alan White, on drums completing the line-up.
Thursday 23 May Manchester Bridgewater Hall*
Friday 24 May Glasgow Royal Concert Hall*
Sunday 26 May Liverpool Philharmonic Hall*
Tuesday 28 May York Barbican*
Wednesday 29 May Southend Cliffs Pavilion*
Friday 31May Bristol Beacon
Saturday 1 June Birmingham Symphony Hall*
Sunday 2 June Gateshead The Glasshouse (formerly The Sage*)
Tuesday 4 June London Royal Albert Hall
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Due to phenomenal demand, the final two shows have been added to the Long Goodbye Tour. THE EAGLES – Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, with Vince Gill, and Deacon Frey, announce a UK residency at the new Co-op Live ..arena in Manchester as part of their acclaimed 'Long Goodbye' tour. Performing at the largest indoor Arena in the UK, The Eagles' long-time contemporaries and fellow Hall of Famers, STEELY DAN, will join these historic shows and commemorate their own 50+ year career.
This new venue in Manchester opens in April 2024.
Boasting a potential capacity of 23,500, the new £365 million venue next to the Etihad Stadium will become the UK's biggest indoor arena.
THE LONG GOODBYE TOUR
Friday 31 May, Manchester, UK, Co-Op Live
Saturday 1 June, Manchester, UK, Co-Op Live
Tuesday 4 June, Manchester, UK, Co-Op Live
Friday 7 June, Manchester, UK, Co-Op Live
Saturday 8 June, Manchester, UK, Co-Op Live
No London shows confirmed as yet.
Maybe no London shows this time as they played a big Hyde Park , London show in 2022.
Incredibly The Eagles have the Top and 3rd best selling albums in American chart sales history .
5. The Beatles – The Beatles (24 million)
5. Led Zeppelin IV (24 million)
4. Back in Black – AC/DC (25 million)
3. Hotel California – Eagles (26 million)
2. Thriller – Michael Jackson (34 million)
1. Their Greatest Hits – Eagles (38 million)
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Thurs 06 June - THE WILDHEARTS play Shepherds Bush Empire.
The Wildhearts have started the next phase of their career with a new line-up and a ‘world exclusive’ concert this summer.
Joining frontman Ginger Wildheart in the new incarnation of The Wildhearts is former bassist Jon Poole together with new members, drummer Pontus Snibb and guitarist Ben Marsden.
The band will play a one-off show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Thursday 6th June 2024 where they will be accompanied by special guests Ladyhawke and ASOMVEL.
Ginger Wildheart says: “Join me, Jon Poole, Ben Marsden and Pontus Snibb for a world exclusive show, for which I promise you the biggest production the Wildhearts have ever put on".
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Friday 07 June 2025.
THE ZOMBIES live at The Barbican.
The Zombies have a very special gig happening on June 7th at London's Barbican to celebrate 60 years since they made their first tape recordings. Fans of the band such as Paul Weller, Irwin Sparkes (Hoosiers) and Sarah Brown (Simple Minds) will be joining Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent on stage to perform their favourite Zombies songs.
The Zombies are currently touring the Uk with tour support from The Wandering Hearts and will be on the main stage at Latitude Festival this Summer (Sunday 28th July) .
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Fri 07 June + ALEXANDER O' NEAL plays The Royal Albert Hall.
After nearly five decades in the business, it is with great excitement that legendary soul singer Alexander O’Neal heads to the Hall as a part of his Time to Say Goodbye: Farewell World Tour.
Time to Say Goodbye takes the audience on a wonderful journey through his incredible career with never-before-seen-photos, testimonies and tributes, all set to the tune of some of Alex’s most beloved songs from his legendary catalogue including Criticize, Fake and If You Were Here Tonight. Accompanied by his exemplary 9-piece live band, there won’t be a dry eye in the house as audiences come together to celebrate the legacy of Alexander O’Neal.
I saw him several times at Hammersmith Odeon in his heyday period of the 1980s /1990s
Fri 07 June - WINGER play Islington Assembly Hall.
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Sat 08 June - SCORPIONS + EXTREME play Wembley Arena.
A great pairing of Classic Rock bands.
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Sunday 09 June 2024.
SOCCER AID FOR UNICEF, STAMFORD BRIDGE STADIUM, CHELSEA , WEST LONDON.
Lacing up their boots again this year are team favourites Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah Roman Kemp, Martin Compston and Steven Bartlett joining footballing legends Jermain Defoe, Jill Scott, David James, Gary Cahill, Joe Cole and Karen Carney. New signings for this summer include cricketer Stuart Broad, King of the Jungle Sam Thompson, Strictly Come Dancing star Bobby Brazier and footballing legend – and former Chelsea icon – Eden Hazard.
Frank Lampard joins Harry Redknapp and Robbie Williams as England manager. Facing them down will be Mauricio Pochettino, returning as manager for Soccer Aid World XI.
The live show will be hosted by UNICEF UK Ambassador Dermot O’Leary, who will be joined once again by UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter, Alex Scott.
Gates open at 17.30 for a 19.30 kick-off.
Get your tickets asap as bound to sell out , as it has been held in Manchester the past few years.
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Sun 09 June - GARY NUMAN plays the last of his three shows at The Roundhouse.
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Tues 11 June and Wed 12 June - NOFX plays Brixton Academy.
A farewell tour to celebrate their 40 year career.
The dates will see the band play three different albums each night. On Tuesday (June 11), they’ll perform ‘Punk In Drublic’, ‘Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing’ and ‘Pump Up’, and on Wednesday (June 12), they’ll play ‘So Long & Thanks’, ‘White Trash’ and ‘The Decline'.
They will have different supports bands for both days.
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Thursday 13 June 3024.
CROWDED HOUSE play Shepherds Bush Empire.
This show sold out very quickly.
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Saturday 15 June 2024.
Fleetwood Bac (Fleetwood Mac) + Desperado (Eagles) live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
A nice double bill of tribute bands.
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Saturday 15 June 2024.
JAMES live at The 02 Arena.
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Thurs 20 June and Sat 22 June - FOO FIGHTERS play London Stadium, East London.
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THE BOODLES TENNIS is confirmed at Stoke Park for 2024. 25th - 29th June 2024
Many big names will be playing , as it is a prime warm up event for Wimbledon.
General tickets and hospitality tickets are available.
If you need to get there by public transport , just get to Slough on The Elizabeth line and then a bus shuttle.
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Wed 26 June - CYNDI LAUPER plays The Royal Albert Hall.
Cyndi Lauper has announced her first UK solo headline show in eight years.
Lauper will play London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall on June 26, 2024, her first concert there since 1995.
Fans will get to hear timeless classics including ‘Time After Time’, ‘True Colors’, and ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’.
The same month, Cyndi will play the Pyramid Stage at the world-famous Glastonbury festival.
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Wed 26 June and Thurs 27 June - GIRLS ALOUD play The 02 Arena....a UK arena tour in memory of band member Sarah Harding .R.I.P.
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Friday 28th June – The Fizz live at Indigo at The 02.
(Cheryl, Jay & Mike from Bucks Fizz) .
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Sat 29 June - NICK MASONS SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS play The Royal Albert Hall.
Pink Floyd drumming legend Nick Mason and his band will be playing early Pink Floyd material.
This is the last night on their UK tour.
Sat 29 June - PEARL JAM + RICHARD ASHCROFT play Tottenham Football Ground.
Sat 29 June - GREEN DAY play Wembley Stadium.
Sat 29 June - JOHN LYDON Q & A in Islington.
Last day of his massive UK tour.
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Fri 28 June and Sat 29 June and Sun 30 June .
Another underwhelming line-up for The Glastonbury Festival.
I went three times in the 1990s , but never again .
Save yourself £360 and watch the highlights on BBC TV.
Dua Lipa makes her Pyramid Stage debut as Friday night headliner, on a Friday bill also featuring Glastonbury veterans LCD Soundsystem and PJ Harvey.
Coldplay will make their first Pyramid Stage appearance since 2016 on the Saturday night, with the only European festival appearance of their record-breaking current world tour, in the process beating their previous joint headliner record (with The Cure) and becoming the first act to headline Glastonbury five times. Little Simz comes back to Glastonbury to play her biggest slot yet immediately before Coldplay.
Sunday night headliner is SZA, the multiple Grammy and Brits winner – and quite possibly the hottest hip hop / R&B act on the planet – who will make her Glastonbury debut following Sunday sets from Afrobeats megastar Burna Boy and Janelle Monáe.
This year’s Sunday teatime legend will be Shania Twain, who makes her first trip to Worthy Farm.
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TAYLOR SWIFT has added two extra London shows to her record-breaking Eras tour, after the first six nights sold out.
The new dates, on 19 and 20 August, mean she will now play a total of EIGHT nights at Wembley Stadium in 2024.
That equals a record set by Take That (when they reformed with Robbie Williams)who played the venue for eight dates on their 2011 Progress tour.
London now surpasses Los Angeles and Singapore as the city hosting the most shows on Swift's Eras tour.
US rock band PARAMORE, ,will support Swift at all eight of her Wembley Stadium shows.
Taylor Swift brings the first billion dollar in ticket sales tour to Wembley.
The Eras Tour is coming to Wembley Stadium on 21, 22 & 23 June and 15, 16, 17, 19 & 20 August 2024.
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Sunday 30 June 2024.
BODY COUNT feat ICE T play The Forum.
Rapper brings his metal band back to the UK.
I have seen them before.
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HEART + SQUEEZE play a six date UK arena tour.
It will be Hearts first visit to the UK for 8 years...including.
Mon 01 July - The 02 Arena , London.
Wed 03 July - Utilita Arena, Birmingham.
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AC/DC play their first European tour for around eight years, including...
Wed 03 July - Wembley Stadium
Sun 07 July - Wembley Stadium
I have seen AC/DC many times with Bon Scott and Brian Johnson on vocals , and just the once with Axl Rose.
Angus Young is still there on guitar.
The 69-year-old, who is based in Sydney, is well known for his schtick of dressing up as a schoolboy on stage.
He still dons the green velvet cap and uniform that are his trademark.
AC/DC played the UK for the first time in 1976, and I saw them TEN times that year.
Opening proceedings for AC/DC at all 24 European dates this summer are New York City rockers The Pretty Reckless.
The Answer supported AC/DC on their last tour several years ago , but seem to have stayed at a low level.
AC/DC will have a pop-up merch and bar for a week.
July 2 - July 8: The Vanguard, First Floor Horse Hospital Unit 641 & 642 Stables Market, Camden,
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Thursday 04 July and Friday 05 July.
ARCADE FIRE live at Brixton Academy.
These are their only shows in England on their short
European Tour....both shows sold out very quickly .
I have seen them a few times before.
I saw them play Paris in 2018.
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BST Hyde Park shows confirmed for 2024.....so far.
Sat 29 June - SZA - The alt R&B star will be joined by special guests Sampha and Snoh Aalegra.
Sun 30 June -KINGS OF LEON with special guests Paulo Nutini and The Vaccines.
Thurs 04 July - MORGAN WALLEN ( massive country music artist who is a huge name back in America)
Fri 05 July - ANDREA BOCELLI
Sat 06 July - ROBBIE WILLIAMS
Sun 07 July - SHANIA TWAIN ,+ THE CORRS
Sat 13 July - KYLIE MINOGUE
Sun 14 July - STRAY KIDS ( K Pop act)
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Sun 14 July - GRETA VON FLEET play The Royal Albert Hall.
Greta Van Fleet have announced a huge one-off show for this summer in London, which they are billing as “A Special Evening with Greta Van Fleet”.
They released their third album ‘Starcatcher’ last July, including the singles ‘Meeting The Master’, ‘Sacred The Thread’ and ‘Farewell for Now’.
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From 04 July...
THE KILLERS play the first of six nights at The 02 Arena.
In December 2023 they had their eighth number one album in the UK.
The news comes ahead of the announcement that ‘Mr Brightside’ is Spotify UK’s most streamed song in the history of the platform. According to the Swedish streaming platform, ‘Mr Brightside’ (released September 29, 2003) has over 1.8 billion streams globally as of October 9, 2023.
The ultimate indie-pop crowd-pleaser. The climax to any night out and wedding party. Ed Sheeran even heralds it the UK’s ‘national anthem.’
20 years ago , The Killers’ Mr Brightside came out of its cage, and it’s officially been doing just fine ever since. Official Charts have confirmed Mr Brightside to be the UK’s official biggest single of all time yet to reach Number 1.
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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND.
Wembley Stadium, London, UK, 25th July
Wembley Stadium, London, UK, 27th July
Bruce plays the last shows on his three month European Tour of stadiums.
I have seen Bruce many times since 1975, when as a 16 year old, I saw both his debut UK shows at Hammersmith Odeon.
One of the greatest live performer's the rock era has ever witnessed, Springsteen will turn 75 this year, and is coming back from a health scare that forced him to postpone this second leg of his world tour.
Expect a nice long set as usual.
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Sunday 28 July - MADNESS play Blackheath.
with The Zutons, Lightning Seeds, David Rodigan
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THE REBELLION FESTIVAL is held in Blackpool.
The biggest and best punk related event in the UK.
Over 200 bands over the multi-stages.
Thursday 01 Aug - Sham 69 + Tom Robinson Band + UK Subs + The Godfathers and many more.
Friday 02 Aug - Stranglers + Gogol Bordello + Toyah + The Men Who Couldn't Hand and many more.
Sat 03 Aug - Cocksparrer + Dead Boys + Death of Guitar Pop + Ruts DC and many more.
Sun 04 Aug - Stiff Little Fingers + Cockney Rejects + The Sweet + The Alarm and many more.
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Sat 14 Sept - DEATH OF GUITAR POP play Shepherds Bush Empire.
This show sold out in May.
2 Tone revivalists Death of Guitar Pop are back for their biggest headline show yet.
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09 10 11 12 14 15 October
DAVID GILMOUR plays six nights at The Royal Albert Hall to promote his new album ' Luck and Strange'.
Due to his dispute with Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters , dont expect any RW Pink Floyd songs in the set.
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ALICE COOPER with support act GLEN MATLOCK.
Sunday 20 Oct and Monday 21 Oct - Hammersmith Apollo.
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BIFFY CLYRO play Shepherds Bush Empire.
They will play a different album each night.
Sun 20 Oct (Blackened Sky)
Mon 21 Oct (Vertigo Of Bliss)
Tues 22 Oct (Infinity Land)0
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MOULIN ROUGE - THE MUSICAL is at The Piccadilly Theare, London W1.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a jukebox musical with a book by John Logan. The musical is based on the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! directed by Baz Luhrmann and written by Luhrmann anod Craig the studio as a possible singer for the tour, but nothing came of it.
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ABBA VOYAGE show at The Abba Arena, Stratford, East London.
Due to huge demand ,it is extended to 05 Jan 2025.
First there was the comeback album, and now are the live shows...sort of.
The show will feature four avatars of the band along with a live 10-piece band.
The ‘immersive theatre’ is the purpose-built 3,000-capacity ABBA Arena where audiences will be able to watch a special concert that mixes a live ten-piece band with an ultra-high-tech pre-recorded motion-capture performance from the four members of ABBA: that’s Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid.
The show is the first music offering from George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic special effects company.
Floor standing or reserved seating available.
On Mon 17 April 2023, they sold their millionth ticket....it has been a huge success.
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From 06 March - MJ THE MUSICAL at The Prince Edward Theatre.
Get ready to moonwalk your way to the Prince Edward Theatre for MJ the Musical! MJ the Musical tickets are available on London Theatre now.
This smash hit musical based on the thrilling story of legendary pop star Michael Jackson comes straight from Broadway, featuring Myles Frost in his West End debut. Frost made his Broadway debut and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for transforming into the late King of Pop, making him the youngest solo recipien

Saturday 25 May 2024.

Saturday 25 May 2024.
UK SUBS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Punk legends play their biggest ever London show for many years , to celebrate frontman Charlie Harper's 80th birthday....yes 80!.
I have seen UK Subs around a dozen times since 1978.
With support from Anti Nowhere League and The Ramonas....I have seen both a couple of times before.
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Level 2 and 3 are closed , but still over 1000 here.
A very nice three band punk rock package.
Nice to see several punk rockin' chums here.
THE RAMONAS were on at 7.30pm for 30 mins.
All girl Ramones tribute whizzed through their set.
I think it was six Ramones gems including ' Sheena Is A Punk Rocker' and ' Rockaway Beach' and three of their own....really good to those Ramones classics .
ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE on at 8.20pm for 45 mins
They have toured with UK Subs a few times over the years and play a good set of their best material.
ANL full setlist played tonight....
Pig Iron
At the End of the Day
Let's Break the Law
Streets of London ( Ralph McTell cover)
I Hate... People
So What
Woman
Uncle Charlie (Tribute to Punk Icon, Charlie Harper, who momentarily joined ANWL to acknowledge the Legend, himself)
God Bless Alcohol
We Are the League
Lots of pogoing / moshing for them and The Subs.
UK SUBS arrived on stage at 9.35pm for 70 mins.
Big cheers for Charlie as he arrives on stage.
Looking great for someone who tours so much.
Maybe his nice Japanese wife keeps him in check.
They whizzed through their set , including highlights ''Warhead' , ' Stranglehold', 'C.I.D' and ' I Live In A Car '....a really good set.
PUNK ROCK WILL NEVER DIE.
Full UK SUBS setlist played tonight....
Rockers
Kicks
Police State
Emotional Blackmail
Telephone Numbers
Fragile
Time and Matter
Down on the Farm
Kill Me
Scum of the Earth
Limo Life
Barbie's Dead
Tomorrow's Girls
Warhead
Riot
Stranglehold
Disease
Encore:
C.I.D.
I Live in a Car
I Couldn't Be You
Party in Paris
Encore 2:
Cake and balloons arrived on stage for Charlie.
Rockaway Beach
New York State Police
Keep on Running (Til You Burn)
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Friday 24 May 2024.
BRUCE DICKINSON live at The Forum.
Bruce is promoting his new solo album....sold out...
Iron Maiden legend is playing a six date UK solo tour ,
which are his first UK solo dates for 25 years.
I have seen Iron Maiden over 30 times since 1980, when they supported Judas Priest at Hammersmith Odeon. They would play multi-nights there on all their tours during the 1980s.
I saw Bruce solo at The Marquee Club in 1994.
Looks like no Iron Maiden songs are in the setlist..
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The venue is totally rammed sold out.
Iron Maiden t-shirts are everywhere.
BLACK SMOKE TRIGGER on at 8pm for their 30 mins.
Black Smoke Trigger is a hard rock/alternative rock band from Napier, New Zealand, founded in 2018.
They played a good solid set of rock tunes.
BRUCE DICKINSON on at 9.05pm for 1 hour 50 mins.
Bruce is clearly loved by all the Maiden fans here .
Bruce is joined by five other musicians on stage.
A big screen that shows a nice mix of live footage and pre-recorded images...Lots of lights and strobes.
Bruce Dickinson, as is well known, is a qualified pilot – and there is something of the captain preparing for take-off in his interactions with the crowd. “In a moment,” he instructs , “we will commence furious jumping.” Then, as the riff to 'Dark Side of Aquarius' kicks in: “Furious jumping commence!”
His ability to hype a room has been honed over decades of what he calls the “day job” – being frontman with Iron Maiden. Next year will be the band’s 50th anniversary, and no doubt there will be much hoopla, so this solo tour is Dickinson’s chance for some me-time. He even mentioned hopefully playing Brixton Academy on his next solo tour.
That means no Maiden songs, which is understandable, even admirable, but the downside is a lack of Iron Maiden level bangers.
Not that keen on the drum solo and keytar solos, but Bruce charisma and energy made it a really good show....despite no Iron Maiden tunes .
Maiden members watching but none came on stage.
Full BRUCE DICKINSON setlist played tonight...
Accident of Birth
Abduction
Laughing in the Hiding Bush
Afterglow of Ragnarok
Chemical Wedding
Many Doors to Hell
Jerusalem
Resurrection Men
Rain on the Graves
Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group cover)
The Alchemist
Tears of the Dragon
Darkside of Aquarius
Encore:
Navigate the Seas of the Sun
Book of Thel
The Tower
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11pm to 12pm...
Iron Maiden always make an effort for aftershow parties , and tonight there is a good one for Bruce.
Around 50 or 60 guests in the balcony bar and adjacent room where they is a free bar and full buffet laid out ..Guests here included STEVE HARRIS, ADRIAN SMIITH, ROD SMALLWOOD, FRANK SKINNER ,MARK FULLER and NICKI CHAPMAN.

Thursday 23 May 2024.

Thursday 23 May 2024.
I went to three events tonight.
6pm to 7pm.
CONCOURS ON SAVILE ROW, Mayfair , London W1.
This was Day 2 of this two day annual event.
Launched in 2022, the Concours on Savile Row is now established as a key date in both the automotive and bespoke-tailoring calendar.
Savile Row is closed to traffic over the two-day event, thanks to the cooperation of Westminster City Council. Visitors are able to browse the spectacular cars and the fascinating tailors’ displays, as well as enjoy the talks and live jazz music on the stage.
Around 40 stunning cars and 10 classic motorbikes are on display on a full red carpet.
One of the cars is an exact replica of John Lennon's Psychedelic Rolls Royce , which is suitably parked outside 3 Savile Row , which was where The Beatles played on the roof of Apple HQ on 30 Jan 1969.
We pop into a couple of the stores giving our complimentary drinks...Dege & Skinner then Cad & The Dandy.
then
7.15pm to 9.45pm.
DEAR DARLING - launch party - 91 Jermyn Street , St
James's, London SW1.
This venue has had many different names since the 1960s when it was a hangout in the same area where other top clubs Tramp and Scotch of St James were.
Around a decade ago it was called Abracadabra .
Abracadabra was owned by Dave West, who made his millions in cash-and-carry booze at Calais. Big bloke. Pink suit. A few years ago his son stabbed him to death, and was sentenced to 13 years in jail.
Dear Darling now calls itself a nightclub , cocktail bar and private members club.
There are are a few showgirls lounging around.
At 8.15pm in the basement , is a 15 mins burlesque show from a showgirl in a cage.
A DJ is playing club tunes.
Lots of complimentary food and drinks including Moet champers, prosecco, spirits n mixers, wines, beers , cheeseburgers , canapes and desserts.
then
10.15pm to 12.15pm.
ROMEO & JULIET - press night opening party -
Soho House , 180 Strand , London WC2.
My first time at this newish venue.
The main event was at Duke of Yorks Theatre.
Set in a Brutalist building near Somerset House, the club has an outdoor terrace, a rooftop pool and two bars featuring 1970s-inspired interiors. There is stunning views of the city from the 8th and 9th floors .
TOM HOLLAND is the star of the show , and i managed to get a photo of him with my friend, after negotiations with his two burly personal security.
A dj is playing loud club tunes , and folks are dancing.
Lots of lovely complimentary food and drinks here .
Roast chicken n chips , cheeseburgers , bacon rolls , fish n chips, pizza slices canapes and desserts along with prosecco , wines and beers.
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Wednesday 22 May 2024.
GEORGE GROVES BOXING CLUB live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Boxer GGBC brings his podcast to the live stage.
George Groves and Carl Froch reunite in London to relive their iconic rivalry, ten years after their fight at Wembley Stadium which promises to be a night to remember for boxing fans.
Carl Froch vs. George Groves II, billed as Unfinished Business and The Rematch, was a professional boxing match contested on 31 May 2014 at Wembley Stadium in London. It was a rematch of the first fight between Carl Froch and George Groves in 2013, with Froch's unified WBA (Regular) and IBF super-middleweight titles at stake as before.
Froch won the fight by knockout in the eighth round, which was named the Knockout of the Year by The Ring magazine.The event drew a then-record attendance figure of 80,000, and grossed over £22 million,and was named the Event of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
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It is stalls seated tonight, but only 400 tix out of 1000 sold, as Levels 2 and 3 are closed and Level 1 is half empty.
The show is on for two hours over two sets of 55 mins and 65 mins.
There are cosy sofas and chairs on the stage.
An electronic punch bag is side of stage for use later, for an audience competition.
The two boxers are joined by interviewer Declan Taylor and Adam Smith from Sky Sports.
The first few mins they talk about that mega fight in Saudi Arabia at the weekend just gone.
There is a big screen that shows great clips of that big night a decade ago at Wembley Stadium , as George Groves entered the stadium on a Red London Bus, and Carl Froch entered via a dazzling laser display.
They really hated each other back then ,but now tolerate each other as they do TV work together.
Carl Froch has very entertaining banter.
The end of the first set had a tug of war with Carl Froch's team winning.
During the interval , an acoustic duo played some cover versions, and the crowd were told the merch included a signed boxing glove by both boxers £125.
In the second half, several boxers in the crowd are name-checked including DAVID HAYE.
The final section had a Q and A session from the crowd, regards both the boxers careers.
At the end , the boxers posed for selfies at the front of the stage with fans......a very enjoyable event.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Tuesday 21 May 2024.
ERIC CLAPTON + ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW live at The Royal Albert hall.
I am back to see the second of E.C. four shows here.
Again it is totally rammed sold out.
AFW and band played exactly the same set.
AFW and band had a blast from the past in their line-up, as 72 year old NICK PENTELOW was on sax.
He was in the band that was my first ever gig .
WIZZARD at Hammersmith Palais in Sept 1973.
Again ,one of ERIC CLAPTON'S Fender guitars is adorned in the colours of the Palestinian flag.
Again , he avoided some of his biggest hits Ike
' Wonderful Tonight', 'Layla' 'I Shot The Sheriff '.
or 'Sunshine Of Your Love:' and plays what he likes.
I have seen him play those songs many times here .
Some of those songs are being played outside of London where he doesn't play as often.
Again, an extended version of ' Cocaine' was a fantastic muso workout from all the great band .
A 90 mins set tonight, so 5 mins shorter than the opening night, as a couple of songs changed and one song less played.
Eric's guitar playing was totally sublime as always.
Full ERIC CLAPTON setlist played tonight....
ELECTRIC SET
Blue Dust
Key to the Highway ( Charles Segar cover)
I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man ( Willie Dixon cover)
Badge ( Cream song)
Prayer of a Child
ACOUSTIC DET
Back Home
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
(Jimmy Cox cover)
Golden Ring
Tears in Heaven
ELECTRIC SET
Got to Get Better in a Little While (Derek and the Dominos song)
You Were There
Cross Road Blues ( Robert Johnson cover)
Little Queen of Spades ( Robert Johnson cover)
Cocaine ( J.J. Cale cover)
Encore:
Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley cover) (with Andy Fairweather‐Low)
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Monday 20 May 2024.
ERIC CLAPTON plays the first of four sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall....Eric is now aged 79.
Guitar legend Eric has performed on the RAH stage over 200 times during his career,including a 24 night stint in 1991.
Once a member of such seminal bands as the Yardbirds(he joined them in 1963) , Blind Faith and Cream.
Eric Clapton will be joined by special guest ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW and the Low Riders.
I have seen Eric Clapton over 30 times since July 1976 at The Crystal Palace Bowl (earlier that same month i saw The Ramones and The Sex Pistols for the first time) along with all four Cream shows when they
reformed in 2005 at The Royal Albert Hall.
EC is playing a full UK tour , as part of his world tour.
This same time last year I was this venue for two tribute shows to JEFF BECK R.I.P.
The show featured Eric Clapton , Rod Stewart and many more.
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Being a proper A-list rock legend , Eric Clapton always sells out quickly here, even though seats are £100 to £200, and hospitality tickets are £459....even gallery standing up in the gods is £70 ....plus booking fees.
The venue is rammed solid.
ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW and THE LOW RIDERS on stage at 7.30pm for their 40 mins set.
Andrew Fairweather Low (now aged 75) , is a Welsh guitarist and singer. He was a founding member and lead singer of 1960s pop band Amen Corner, and in recent years has toured extensively with Roger Waters, Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
His good set started with The Amen Corner hit from 1969 'If Paradise is Half As Nice' and ended with his solo hit from 1975' Wide Eyed and Legless'.
Not sure why there was a long 50 mins gap until Eric.
ERIC CLAPTON on stage at 9pm for his 95 mins set.
Eric is backed by seven others on stage, including two female backing singers. His band are fantastic , as they all have solo bits , including the two superb keyboard players .
Eric has his huge rug as usual , to stand on.
The tone on Eric's guitar is superb as usual .
A nice mix of solo material, his previous bands and
blues covers.
Sadly 'Wonderful Tonight' and 'Layla' are not being played on this tour , but Eric has been changing the setlist, by a couple of songs each night.
Eric has 60 years worth of material so could easily play a two hour set, but it is the standard 95 mins.
Overall though , a great show.
Full ERIC CLAPTON setlist played tonight....
ELECTRIC SET
Blue Dust
Key to the Highway ( Charles Segar cover)
I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man ( Willie Dixon cover)
Badge ( Cream song)
Prayer of a Child
ACOUSTIC SET
Happy Birthday to You (Mildred J. Hill & Patty Hill cover) (Dedicated to Eric's Auntie Sylvia in the audience, on her 91st birthday.)
Driftin' Blues ( Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover)
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
(Jimmy Cox cover)
Back Home
Tears in Heaven
ELECTRIC SET
Got to Get Better in a Little While ( Derek and the Dominos song)
Presence of the Lord (Blind Faith song)
Cross Road Blues ( Robert Johnson cover)
Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson cover)
Cocaine (J.J. Cale cover)
Encore:
Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley cover)

Friday 17 May 2024

Friday 17 May 2024.
ZAYN MALIK live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Zayn Malik has announced his first ever solo gig.
Malik, who left One Direction in 2015 and will release his fourth solo album ‘Room Under The Stairs’ on May 17 – has unveiled plans for a special “global exclusive live event” to celebrate his upcoming LP.
On the same night as the album drops, Zayn will take to the stage at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.
This show sold out pronto , although most know he said he would be singing just a six song 30 mins set after a short film based on his comeback.
At £60 a ticket....that's £10 for each song...yikes!
Zayn must be a bit envious of the success that Harry Styles has got, since leaving One Direction.
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One Direction members are as popular ever, as my security chums told me hundreds of mainly females were in the queue for this show by mid afternoon.
A lot is riding on the Zayn comeback , as the record company and promoter are hoping he can get some of the success that Harry Styles has got since leaving One Direction, and there are lots of press here
First there is a female DJ playing some dance tunes.
Then there are big screams as someone takes their Level 1 VIP seat....turns out that it's Zayns mum.
At 9.10pm we have his 10 mins docu ' Road Back To The Mic'. It shows Zayn in rehearsals for this gig , as he talks about this comeback gig, as he chain smokes and shows off his tattoos.
ZAYN MALIK was on stage at 9.20pm for 30 mins.
There is a nice big curtain behind him, showing countryside images, and he is backed by a seven piece band, including two female backing singers .
Some songs have the lyrics on the big screen.
There are film cameras all over the venue recording .
Zayn plays the six songs 30 mins set as promised that the crowd love....but the songs are all pretty much laid back average stuff.
After the six songs are played , Zayn leaves the stage and two more of his songs are played over the pa
This is actually a decoy to keep the crowd in the venue as Zayn departs the venue pronto with his own personal security , and even avoids his own aftershow party.
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Thursday 16 May 2024....I went to two events tonight.
6pm to 7pm.
MAKE-A-WISH BALL - drinks reception - at The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London WC2.
This black tie event raises funds for taking children with serious health problems away for special treats .
Around 250 folks here , mainly company tables as it's £1000 and £800 a ticket.
The main reason we are here is that Steven Tyler has attended and performed at a couple of their events in USA , and he is in town , so would he be here?
Sadly not , as the only one we see is actress MAUREEN LIPMAN .
Complimentary Nyetimber English Sparking Wines and canapes....we leave before the sit down dinner .
then
8pm to 11.30pm.
RIVERSIDE EAST - launch party - 5 Thornton Street , Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,Stratford , London E20.
This huge venue is right in front of The London Stadium , and The Orbit slide , so will be very popular when the stadium is used for football and concert events.
It has a 300 capacity, both outdoors and indoors.
There is a DJ playing classic disco tunes in the background.
At 10pm they brought out a huge four tier cream cake, with sparklers to celebrate the opening
Lots of complimentary drinks and food here.
Piaff champers, different cocktails any spirit n mixer, wines and beers along with food trucks inc Truffle Burgers and Truffle Fries, New York Hotdogs , Pizza and various bowl foods....a really good event.
Amazingly it was on to 12pm , but we left at 11.30pm.
What the venue website says....
What’s on the menu? Grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee from by Allpress Espresso, specialty coffee roasters, alongside delicious grab-and-go options. Breakfast pots, toasties and artisan pastries from The Snapery Bakery are available in daily.
Enjoy sandwiches, salads and flatbreads lovingly prepared by our team for lunch. And for dinner? We’ll be serving up hearty flavour-packed dishes, alongside charcuterie & cheese boards, pizza cooked in our Gozney ovens and street food our indendent traders in the our yard. Those looking for a sweet treat can enjoy Happy Endings ice cream sandwiches and Hackney Gelato.
The bar will be serving up local craft beers, wine & cocktails.

Wednesday 15 May 2024.

Wednesday 15 May 2024.
BLACK CROWES live at Hammersmith Apollo.
I have seen them over a dozen times before, with the first two times at Hammersmith Odeon ( this same venue) in 1991.
Also various club shows including The Mean Fiddler ,
The Garage , The Scala and at the famous Pantages Theatre , Los Angeles in 1995.
Also supporting The Rolling Stones at Wembley Stadium in 1995...and supporting Aerosmith at Wembley Stadium in 1999.
American blues rockers Black Crowes are touring the UK as part of their world tour to promote the first new album in 15 years titled 'Happiness Bastard's'.
The support act is JIM JONES ALL STARS.
Amazingly, Jim Jones was in Thee Hypnotics who I saw supporting Black Crowes at this venue in 1991.
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Not sold out tonight , but maybe 4000 out of 5000.
Quireboys singer SPIKE was near me upstairs .
JIMMY PAGE was watching from side of stage.
JIM JONES ALL STARS on stage at 8pm for 30 mins.
Nine of them on stage , including a three man brass/horn section playing a really good set of uptempo rock n roll.
BLACK CROWES on stage at 9pm for 1 hour 40 mins.
Eight musicians on stage , including drums , keyboards and two female backing singers/dancers , on raised platforms behind all their vintage amps.
While the Robinson brothers have demonstrated they still have what it takes to produce great records, tonight they leave us in no doubt that they also remember how to put on a great show. The 57-year-old singer Chris Robinson sashays about the stage, cavorting and preening like a man half his age, Jagger, Stewart and Johansen rolled into one. The set looks magnificent, a Moulin Rouge type rock ‘n’ roll circus complete with a giant dressing room mirror, stacks of vintage amps, velvet curtains , carnival lights and a large cut-out of Chuck Berry, lest we forget where the Crowes came from. Chris is the great showman at the centre of it all, resplendent in a bright red suit.
They look and sound like the proper rock stars they always were.
The final encore of the night was a massive surprise.
Chris Robinson dedicates Aerosmith song ' Mama Kin' to Steven Tyler, and 30 seconds into the song , Steven Tyler surprised everyone by coming on stage to help.
A great show.
Full BLACK CROWES setlist played tonight...
Intro tape - t's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) (AC/DC song)
Bedside Manners
Rats and Clowns
Twice as Hard
Go Faster
My Morning Song
Cross Your Fingers
Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye
White Light/White Heat ( The Velvet Underground cover)
Thorn in My Pride
Wanting and Waiting
Hard to Handle ( Otis Redding cover)
She Talks to Angels
Flesh Wound
I Ain't Hiding
Jealous Again
Remedy
Encore:
Carol ( Chuck Berry cover)
Mama Kin ( Aerosmith cover) (with Steven Tyler)
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Tuesday 14 May 2024.
BRYAN ADAMS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
BRYAN ADAMS returns to the Hall, performing one of his classic albums in full each night, followed by a set of his greatest hits.
Mon 13th - 18 'Til I Die - - released 1996.
Tues 14th - Reckless - released 1984.
Wed 15th - So Happy It Hurts - released 2022.
I have seen Bryan Adams over 20 times since 1985, which includes two Wembley Stadium headline shows on different tours.
His last UK tour in May 2022 also included three shows at RAH....I went to one of them.
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Totally rammed sold out tonight.
A great atmosphere as it is floor standing , and they have sold choir seats AND orchestra seats behind the stage, as the show is being filmed.
BRYAN ADAMS and band were on stage for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 80 mins.
There is a mini stage extension at the front.
Three microphones are spread across the stage.
Bryan and the band are all dressed in black.
The first set was the multi-million selling Reckless album, but not in track order , so we have all the singles from it , ending with a superb 'Summer Of 69'.
So many great hit singalong hits in the set although there were a few that felt like average album fillers.
The ten strong London Community Gospel Choir arrived on stage , dressed all in white, for two songs.
For 'So Happy It Hurts' there was an inflatable car, coming down from the ceiling to hover over the crowd.
For the first encore of Straight From The Heart' was dedicated to his 96 year old mum.
Needless to say a really great show.
FIRST SET - Reckless album .
One Night Love Affair
Somebody
Reckless
Run to You
Heaven ("upbeat" arrangement)
Kids Wanna Rock
Let Me Down Easy (Roger Daltrey cover) (Acoustic; first performance since 2015)
She's Only Happy When She's Dancin'
It's Only Love
Long Gone (first performance since 2019)
Ain't Gonna Cry (first performance since 2015)
Summer of '69
SECOND SET
Kick Ass
Can't Stop This Thing We Started
On the Road
Please Forgive Me
Shine a Light
Go Down Rockin'
You Belong to Me
I've Been Looking for You
Never Gonna Rain (with London Community Gospel Choir)
You Lift Me Up ( with London Community Gospel Choir) (first full band performance)
When You're Gone ( Acoustic)
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
Always Have, Always Will
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
So Happy It Hurts
Cuts Like a Knife
Encore:
Straight From the Heart (Acoustic)
These Are the Moments That Make Up My Life
(Acoustic)

Monday 13 May 2024.

Monday 13 May 2024.
TEDDY SWIMS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Teddy plays the first of his three sold out shows at this venue , on his UK leg of his world tour.
American singer -songwriter started off doing cover versions on YouTube but in 2023 brought out an album of his own material.
His single ' Lose Control' has been a worldwide hit in 2024 and went Top 10 in many countries around the world , and got to number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the USA.
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The venue is rammed solid sold out tonight.
PAUL RUSSELL arrived on stage at 8pm for 30 mins.
No band , just backing tapes.
Paul Russell (aged 26 ) is an American rapper, singer, and business consultant based in Los Angeles.He is best known for his 2023 single "Lil Boo Thang", which peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the song gained viraly on TikTok, he signed to Arista Records to release it as a single. He sung his hit single and a couple of crowd-pleasing covers 'My Girl' and 'Sweet Caroline' .
TEDDY SWIMS on stage at 9pm for his 95 mins set.
His has a five piece band backing him with three of them on platforms behind him
A massive light show and stage production that was more suited to Hammersmith Apollo or Brixton Academy ( no doubt he will be playing one of these venues on his next UK tour).
Teddy has a lovely white boy soulful voice , and a stage presence that goes down well with the crowd.
He played some good tracks from his album and s Shania Twain classic cover 'You're Still The One'.
As the concert came to a close, Teddy left the stage to thunderous applause.Chanting his name, they demanded an encore, and Teddy happily obliged, returning for three songs and the two final songs were his mega hit singles ' Lose Control' and ' The Door' .
It was a very good show, and he will certainly be playing bigger venues on his next UK visit.
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Sunday 12 May 2024.
Thank You For The Music - The Ultimate Tribute To ABBA at The Theatre Royal, Windsor.
This international smash-hit tribute show brings all ABBA’s number one hits to the stage in a production like no other. The hugely popular show, now in its 21st year, with a brand-new show for 2024, combines the unmistakable harmonies, colourful costumes, and dazzling performances by our all-star cast.
Celebrating 50 years since Abba won Eurovision.
Not many can say they saw the real ABBA , but I saw them at The Royal Albert Hall in Feb 1977.
I have seen ABBA tribute Bjorn Again a few times.
Hard to believe Abba split up over 40 years ago, as they are still very popular, and there are two stage shows to Abba running in London now.
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A glorious sunny day so spent the afternoon and evening in Windsor, walking over the bridge to wander around Eton and a few drinks down by the river.
This cosy all seated venue holds 633, and the venue is pretty much two thirds full. I have seen several shows here before including Chas n Dave, Bucks Fizz, The Manfreds and others.
The show was on for 1 hour 55 mins, over two sets of 55 mins and 60 mins.
A nice stage production with lots of lights and a digital screen showing pre-recorded images.
They have a drummer , but the bass is all on tape.
You get what it says on the tin, and as tributes go this is a persuasive one. Steve Nelson (also musical director) switches between piano plonking, keyboard guitar, accordion, and flinging his platform boot across the stage, almost braining poor Frida. He drives the comedy and has clearly studied Benny’s stage presence. Kellie Vallance is our dark-haired beauty, Frida. She’s by far the strongest vocalist, belting, twirling, and flirting/bickering with her ex-husband Benny. Emma Parker is the blonde powerhouse, Agnetha. She astounds in her solos such as ‘Thank You for the Music’ and ‘The Winner Takes It All’, nailing the range and mannerisms of the star. The closest to her character, this makes up for some slight hesitance with the demanding choreography. Dave Miles is Bjorn, a gifted guitar player bumbling along with the classic dad jokes and improvisation that all the cast fling themselves into. Are they the best Swedish accents? No, but they are certainly not the worst.
The girls had four costume changes
Over 20 perfect pop classics played – ‘Honey Honey’, ‘I Do I Do’, ‘Chiquitita’, ‘Super Trouper’, and finally (and jubilantly) the encores of 'Waterloo' and ‘Dancing Queen’. Torches are lit up on phones for ‘Fernando’, and tears are shed by pensioners. Many almost pop their hip out in a rather ill-advised line dancing lesson, and we bellow ourselves hoarse on the ‘ahas’ of ‘Voulez-Vous’. It’s good old-fashioned fun.
Just a tribute show, but it was great.

Saturday 11 May 2024.

Saturday 11 May 2024.
THE USELESS HOTLINE live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
TikTok stars Max and George Clarke take their Spotify chart-topping podcast, The Useless Hotline out on the road.
In their new career at a hotline service, they help callers by providing advice for their ridiculous queries. No topics are off limits and together, no matter how bizarre the situation, the boys will try to point you in the right-ish direction (or not in some cases).
The Useless Hotline is a place to send your queries and dilemmas no matter how big, small, weird, or embarrassing. They can't guarantee good advice or that you will leave a changed person, but they can guarantee that this is a useless hotline.
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Stalls seating tonight, and Level 3 is half empty so maybe a crowd of 700 or 800 here, and it's a 90 % excitable female crowd .
Pretty good when you think their podcast only started 18 months ago, and they are on a nine date UK tour which includes a second show at this venue 18 May.
A 90 mins show , over two sets of 45 mins each.
The male duo - one straight and one very camp.
The production is an office set-up with two desks with phones and computers, and a wall of filing cabinets.
The first half included a bingo game and a shots drinking game with questions on their previous episodes.
The second set had full audience participation .
Two females faced ten questions based on the podcast, and then a few folks came on with their relationship issues.
We had a couple of tracks of singing at the end.
Mildly entertaining overall.
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Friday 10 May 2024.
DANIEL O'REILLY live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Daniel O’Reilly is still boasting one of the largest, strongest, most loyal and fastest growing social media followings in the UK that his fans has grown up with him through the years.
From losing it all, battling addiction and becoming a father he’s been on some rollercoaster, he has had many characters, but for this live show he's going ‘Out Of Character’ to stand up as he brings the laughs and looks back on the mischief, the mistakes and the madness of his career so far.
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It is stalls seating and 1000 folks sold out tonight.
Pretty amazing for someone never on mainstream TV.
Pretty much a rowdy , football fan type crowd who are drinking lots...75% male and 25% female.
You have to be pretty open-minded to be here.
Though he only resumed live shows relatively recently after his controversy in 2014 and subsequent substance addiction, he has since re-built his enormous social media following and is back with more energy than ever.
His manager Kevin does a 15 mins routine then Daniel does two sets of 40 mins and 60 mins.
O’Reilly’s manager Kevin is first to step on stage – he explains in humorous anecdotes the nightmare it is to manage Dan, with the latter’s tendency to tilt towards the edgier sides of comedy – a habit he still retains to this day. He appeals to front row audience members frequently with comments and asides, joshing with them and producing some big laughs which sweep across the venues’s different levels.Kevin cue’s Dan’s entrance.
O’Reilly carries himself with confidence and warmth as he tells us he’s ecstatic to be back on the comedy circuit again. We can’t help but absorb his infectious enthusiasm. His act begins with a sense of self-awareness and a knowingness of his history of controversy. To the side of the stage behind decks stands Carlos, Dan’s music man, whom he says will fill the silence of distaste should he tell a joke that, God forbid, goes too far. He uses his cancellation in 2014 to his advantage – the elephant in the room is entirely addressed in many moments of self-deprecation. While admitting his own instances of idiocy, he also pokes fun at ITV for replacing his ‘sexist and objectifying’ series with Naked Attraction.
Dan’s personal life has been far from a smooth ride. He leans heavily into stories from his drug addicted self, arousing massive torrents of laughter from everyone, but also being careful not to advertise the lifestyle.
At this sequence, we begin to see O’Reilly’s fantastic use of body and movement, helped by his boxing training, which, in tandem with his myriad impressions of his wife, produce funny tales of less than sober ‘interactions’ he has had with her.
It's his domestic life that provides most of the content for his show, his kids and again, his famously ‘northern wife’, with the odd tangent into cocaine charged come downs and subsequent rehabilitation. A phrase he hates but now lives by - he is ‘high on life.’ (No, he is not now an ice bath fanatic, nor a dreaded cyclist).
O’Reilly never lost the attention of the audience throughout his set. Answering almost every time to excitable front row fans, he even invited people sitting up in the upper levels to fill seats nearer to the stage.
He is brilliantly quick off the cuff when confronted with the often bizarre comments offered by some audience members. Unafraid to ‘work off script’ at these moments, Dan tells his manager off stage to close his ears. Later, he makes it clear in his own words that he doesn’t subscribe to ‘snowflake’ comedy – an act of censorship that he says supresses the best of standup.
Dan ends his set with a heartfelt thank you, not only to his audience, but for his luck. He’s eighteen months sober, just had his third child, and back on stage.
The venue gives him a full standing ovation.
Someone said he is a bit like a Roy 'Chubby' Brown for a younger generation, which is in the right vein.
A very enjoyable show.

Thursday 09 May 2024.

Thursday 09 May 2024...I went to two events tonight..
6pm to 7pm..
TOUILS - private view - Maddox Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street , Mayfair , London W1.
Around 100 smart art folks at this cool gallery.
Touils: I arrived in France from Morocco aged 11 or 12. It was a hard time for me, and I was searching for ways to escape my reality. This is when I first began painting, and it grew from there. When I paint, I think about my family and my culture, which I miss very much. When I was young, I received so much love, and that was taken away from me very suddenly. Today, I paint what I seek: love, positive energy and light. I want the audience to be transported when they look at my paintings, the same way I am when I am creating them.
Complimentary Nyetimber English sparking wines.
then...
7.15pm to 9pm
THE BEACH BOYS book and photo exhibition launch party at Iconic Images Gallery, 16 Waterloo Place, St James's, London SW1.
The Beach Boys have a book out via Genesis Publishing called ' The Beach Boys by The Beach Boys'....and images from the book are on the walls .
Includes three images of ten limited edition from 1965 and 1966 that are signed by the four main members( Mike Love , Al Jardine, Brian Wilson ,Bruce Johnson) ....£9600 each to buy.
Beach Boys members MIKE LOVE and BRUCE JOHNSON are here , and interviewed by DYLAN JONES.
A nice surprise to see BILL WYMAN here , who at age 87 looks a bit frail with a walking stick.He joined in by talking about when The Stones toured with The Beach Boys etc....
It is free entry , so well worth popping in here.
Complimentary wines and beers for guests.
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Wednesday 09 May 2024
Launch party - 6.45pm to 9.15pm...
WI CURATES at Flannels, 161-167 Oxford Street , London W1.
This venue holds events every month.
Their next artist is residency is none other than Vollut
W1 Curates Presents: ' Safe Distance' by Vollut .
’Safe Distance’ is all about capturing the world’s beauty when travelling.
Around 150 guests for this buzzy event.
The colourful digital images on the three main walls look totally stunning.
It feels more like a nightclub than a gallery space, as the DJ plays loud beats in the darkened room.
As usual, the complimentary drinks were spirits n mixers , so i had a few JD n cokes, along with wines and beers.

Tuesday 07 May 2024.

Tuesday 07 May 2024.
BLACK KEYS live at Brixton Academy.
Black Keys play the first of three shows at Brixton, on their European Tour to promote their 12th album.
' Ohio Players ' is the twelfth studio album by American rock duo the Black Keys. It was released on April 5, 2024, by Easy Eye Sound and Nonesuch Records.It was preceded by lead single "Beautiful People (Stay High)" on January 12, 2024, and the second single "I Forgot to Be Your Lover", a cover of William Bell's 1968 song of the same title.
I have seen Black Keys just the once before in 2012, when they headlined The 02 Arena.
They also played The 02 Arena in June 2023.
Support comes from Liverpudlian indie-rockers CIRCA WAVES, whose five albums have all gone Top 20 in the UK.
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This was my first proper gig back at Brixton ,after it's reopening with the restricted capacity tribute bands test show , a couple of weeks ago, that i attended.
Much more livelier and hotter as it looks sold out.
CIRCA WAVES came on at 7.45pm for 40 mins.
They play a solid set of their indie-rock tunes.
Pretty much an ideal support act for Black Keys.
BLACK KEYS came on at 8.55pm for 1 hour 40 mins.
The main duo have some musicians helping them out.
They have a stunning arena sized production.
Loads of lights and they have a backdrop of a dozen big screens , that mix between live footage and pre-recorded images. The big screens go between showing twelve different live images and one big one.
Their best songs are the ones with dirty blues guitar riffs, mixed in with heavy drums.
There was a classic cover song performed.
Nice to see NOEL GALLAGHER come on stage for the first two songs of the encore, before the final song which was their biggie ' Lonely Boy'.
A really good show.
Full BLACK KEYS setlist played tonight...
I Got Mine
Gold on the Ceiling
Your Touch
Tighten Up
Have Love Will Travel (Richard Berry & The Pharaohs cover)
Everlasting Light
Next Girl
Lo/Hi
This Is Nowhere
Heavy Soul
Weight of Love
Howlin' for You
Beautiful People (Stay High)
Fever
Wild Child
I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Gladys Knight & the Pips cover)
She's Long Gone
Little Black Submarines
Encore:
Only Love Matters (with Noel Gallagher)
On the Game ( with Noel Gallagher)
Lonely Boy
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Monday 06 May 2024.
BETTYE LAVETTE + CONNOR SELBY live at The Cadogan Hall , Chelsea , London SW1.
Bettye LaVette is playing a short European Tour .
Bettye LaVette (now aged 78) , is an American soul singer who made her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, when her album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise was released to widespread critical acclaim, and was named on many critics' "Best of 2005" lists. Her next album, The Scene of the Crime, debuted at number one on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart and was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 2008 Grammy Awards. She received the Legacy of Americana Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Americana Music Honors & Awards.
Bettye is a cult hero in soul circles.
Bettye has been signed to many record labels over the past 60 odd years , including Atlantic and Motown.
She seems to prefer recording other people's tracks, and has released a whole album of Bob Dylan songs.
Bettye is one of the acts that The Rolling Stones have chosen for their current American Tour ,where she supports them in Chicago on 27 June.
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This cosy all seated 953 capacity is only half full.
A nice older crowd as expected.
Maybe the tickets at £60 and £45 were a bit too expensive compared to the usual shows here.
CONNOR SELBY was on at 7.35pm for his 30 mins.
Just him and his electric guitar playing nifty blues.
One of the brightest talents on the UK blues scene. He has been voted “Young Artist of the Year” at the UK Blues Awards for the last three consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022) and he already has an impressive venue checklist, including Wembley Stadium, where he opened for The Who in July 2019 ( i was there)..
BETTYE LAVETTE on at 8.30pm for her 90 mins .
Bettye was backed by a four piece band. Oddly the drummer played the first three songs with three drumsticks , two in his right hand.
Bettye arrived on stage in her designer heels.
She had a lectern with the lyric sheets on.
She said she would never wear glasses on stage ,but that changed when she was diagnosed with CRS---
Can't Remember Shit.
Bettye still has a great voice as she sung cover versions and originals from her 60 year career.
She performed a few tracks from her new album 'Lavette'.
At the end of the main set, she kicked off her shoes to perform a great little dance shuffle, and for the encore she went for a wander into the stalls seats.
A very enjoyable show.

Sunday 05 May 2024.

Sunday 05 May 2024.
PINK MARTINI live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Pink Martini is an American band founded in 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale in Portland, Oregon. Group members call it a little orchestra that crosses several styles, such as classical, latin, traditional pop, and jazz.
They have released over a dozen albums since 1997.
Pink Martini has sold over 3 million albums worldwide on their own independent label Heinz Records.
Music fashions come and go, but Pink Martini tick along nicely just doing their own thing.
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The venue is an impressive 95% sold tonight.
As expected , it was a smartly dressed older crowd.
They perform a long show of 2 hours 15 mins, over two sets of 60 mins and 75 mins.
Around a dozen musicians on stage tonight.
The Pink Martini show was truly all about Pink Martini, with founder and versatile and charismatic bandleader and pianist Thomas Lauderdale, the band’s first lead singer China Forbes and longtime guest vocalists Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, Edna Vasquez and Jimmie Herrod sensually sashaying and romping through some of their best known and most colorful tunes, sung infectiously and emotionally in an exotic kaleidoscope of multiple languages.
Their repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you're in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you're in a French music hall of the 1930s or in a Palazzo in Napoli. It's a bit like an urban musical travelogue.
The crowd got up to dance for a few songs,that included a full on conga , for the last song.
At the start of the second set , a couple of male fans were invited on stage for some hilarious audience participation .
Their big track from 2007 ' Hey Eugene!' was performed near the end of this enjoyable show.
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Saturday 04 May 2024....7pm to 10.30pm...
UBA at The Hart Hotel - press visit -
61-67 Great Eastern Street , London EC2.
The team behind Soho’s Sucre and the recently opened CLAP London, is bringing a new Pan-Asian dining concept to Shoreditch.
The 275 sqm space is located on Great Eastern Street and forms part of the Hart Shoreditch Hotel. It features a 105-cover restaurant plus a private dining room seating 12. Interiors by architecture and interior studio, Verhaal, take inspiration from the culture and mythology of Asia with a palette featuring the traditionally auspicious colours of red and gold. A statement marble bar, offering counter dining for up to 14, takes centre stage. Furniture includes red velvet banquettes and lava stone tabletops with antique mirrors, decorative lighting, illustrative artwork and Asian ceramics completing the vibrant picture.
At UBA, they embark on a sensory journey through the vibrant streets of Asia, seamlessly blending East London’s dynamic spirit with the exotic allure of Pan-Asian flavours.
Immerse yourself in an experience where plush interiors, innovative cocktails, and Pan-Asian street food creates a playground for the senses. Inspired by the rich heritage of Shoreditch, UBA is a celebration of authentic culture, where every dish and design detail tells a captivating story of craft.
With their playful yet sophisticated ambiance and a commitment to inclusive luxury, UBA invites you to belong— to indulge, to connect, and to discover the art of contemporary Asian dining.
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The DJ is spinning tracks in the foyer of this cool hotel.....we are given a perfect window table.
We are shown around their private dining spaces.
STARTERS
The starters were six small sharing plates , including
Korean Crispy Fried Chicken
Rock Shrimp Style Tempura
Angus Beef Cyoza
MAINS were also shared...
Yakinuku Beef Ribeye
Imperial Miso Black Cod
Ramen - Sea Bass
Taco - Artichoke and Avocado
DESSERT
Matcha Tiramisu
DRINKS
We had a bottle of sparking water and three cocktails each ....
Toki Whisky and Ginger Ale
Mango Infused Haku Vodka
Tarry Lapsang Souchong Infused Tequila
The service and presentation was top notch.
An excellent five star evening.
www.ubarrstaurant.com - Visit their website here.
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Friday 03 May 2024.

Friday 03 May 2024.
THE MEMBERS live at The 100 Club.
The Members play a special show to launch their new studio album ( their 8th) ' Greetings From Nowhere'....which features legendary bass player Guy Pratt on a couple of tracks......I have seen The Members around 20 times since 1978, when they supported Devo twice at Hammersmith Odeon.
Special guests are LOS SANTOS.
Los Santos feature members of the Ruts DC, The Saints, Members, Dangerous Measures..cadiz music Houseband, Richard England, Michael Bayliss, Lee Hegarty, James Sherry.
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Nice to see so many punk rockin' chums here.
Spizz Energi is here ...reminder that a couple of days later on Sunday 05 May ,he headlines The Punk Pile-Up Festival at The Purple Turtle in Reading which is FREE ENTRY.
LOS SANTOS on stage at 8.30pm for their 30 mins.
They played some good tracks, including 'On The Strip '(Vegas Baby) ' from their cd , and a great version of The Saints Top 40 hit from 1977 ' This Perfect Day ',
that they dedicated to Chris Bailey R.I.P.
THE MEMBERS on stage at 9.30pm for their 70 mins.
The Members played a nice mix of tracks from their 45 plus years career. They still have that reggae slant on a few songs which was great to hear.
We get the first ever live performance of their current single ' The Boy From Nowhere' early in the set , and later on we get plenty of older gems including ' Offshore Banking Business', ' Solitary Confinement,,'
' Working Girl',' their anthem ' Sound of The Suburbs',
' Muzak Machine', a nifty cover of John Holts ' Police In Helicopter' , ' Chelsea Nightclub' and encore of ' One Law'...a great show as always from The Members.
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Thursday 02 May 2024....5pm to 10.15pm ....
THE PELLIGON - launch party-
43 Bank Street , Canary Wharf, London E14.
Excellent evening to launch this new event space.
Over 300 guests here tonight.
The venue’s crowning feature is its twenty-seven-metre-high glass vaulted Main Hall. With a capacity of up to 750 guests, the uninterrupted space can be adapted to suit a number of occasions and configurations, including gigs , parties, weddings etc.
The Mezzanine level can host an extra 250 guests.
There was a stage , where we had a DJ , percussionist , sax player , electric violinist who all did short solo sets...then from 8.30pm for 60 mins , they csme together and were joined by male and female vocals for non-stop party hits that got folks dancing.
We made use of the fun photo booth .
Lots of complimentary drinks and food, including five different cocktails, wines, beers , bowl food , canapes and desserts.
Upstairs were two chefs tables of ten ,where they cook in front of you, so we had a 6.30pm 30 mins session for a delicious Vadouvan turbot , curry leaf potatoes and saffron...with a paired red wine.
See my Facebook page for photos and videos .
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Thursday 02 May 2024.
Sad news that guitar legend DUANE EDDY has died aged 86....i saw him supporting The Everly Brothers at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1980s, and headlining The Royal Festival Hall in 2010 and The Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2012.

Wednesday 01 May 2024.

Wednesday 01 May 2024.
I went to two events tonight.
6.15pm to 7pm.
JD MALAT GALLERY - private view - 30 Davies Street ,
Mayfair, London W1.
Around 100 folks at this cool gallery space.
'Above the Surface' is an exhibition by Australia based painter Michael Muir....on until 01 June.
Complimentary wines and beers for the guests .
then
7.30pm to 10pm.
LUCKY VOICE - launch party - The Sidings, Waterloo Station, London SE1.
Lucky Voice open another of their karaoke bars.
I went to the launch party for the Liverpool Street one last year....a 75 % female crowd here.
From nights out with friends to work dos, Lucky Voice is the perfect place to visit if you’re after something a little bit different. With several pods , each private karaoke room fits between 6-20 singers and provides touch screen technology, access to the ever growing catalogue of an impressive 10,000 plus songs (which include several different languages).
I had a go at two of my fave to sing along to which were ' Livin' On A Prayer' and ' Mr Brightside'.
Complimentary vodka cocktails, wines , beers and canapes for all the guests .
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Wednesday 01 May 2024.
ITV 1pm Loose Women
Punk rock icon JOHN LYDON is today's guest as he promotes his spoken word UK tour which starts today.
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Tuesday 30 April 2024.
TRAIN live at The Royal Albert Hall.
San Francisco pop-rock band are massive back home in America.
They have sold over 10 million albums worldwide.
Their 11 studio albums include one entirely based on Led Zeppelin covers.
Their big tracks include 'Hey ,Soul Sister', ' Drive By' and 'Drops of Jupiter'.
They are on a 30th anniversary world tour.
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The venue is fully sold out tonight.
Lots of middle aged folks.
Ilsey was on at 7.45pm for 30 mins , but missed her , as we opted to stay in the bar.
TRAIN arrived on stage at 8.45pm for their 1 hour 40 mins set. The floor seats were up from the start.
A nice light show , as it was being filmed,and the vocals and band sounded clear and fantastic .
The singer knows how to work the crowd perfectly.
He three several t-shirts into the crowd, and took photos of himself for fans at the front , and threw several beach balls out.
He said how he had walked past this venue over 200 times, and now finally they are playing here .
Catchy pop rock tunes had everybody singing along.
The big hits were played near the end , and one of the cover versions was a stunning note perfect version of 'Hotel California' with all the guitars soloing away.
A really good show...much better than expected
Full TRAIN setlist played tonight...
AM Gold
Calling All Angels
Get to Me
Save Me, San Francisco
Meet Virginia / The Joker ( Steve Miller Band snippet )
If It's Love
Bruises (with Ilsey)
Marry Me
When I Look to the Sky
Lose Control ( Teddy Swims cover)
Angel in Blue Jeans
Parachute
Play That Song
Long Yellow Dress
50 Ways to Say Goodbye
Hey, Soul Sister / Come and Get Your Love
Drive By / Hey Jude ( The Beatles snippet)
We Were Made for This
Hotel California ( Eagles cover)
Drops of Jupiter
Note: This show was recorded for a DVD
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Monday 29 April 2024...6.15pm to 9.30pm...
In The Spotlight: Conversation with MJ the Musical Star MYLES FROST at Kingsley Napley , 20 Bonhill Street , London EC2.
Social 4M and law firm Kingsley Napley are hosting.
Around 60 folks are here , and we are seated for the interview .
At 7.30pm the interview and Q & A with Myles Frost started and lasted for around an hour.
The 24 year old American was a good talker.
A full run through his life story , from as a young child doing Michael Jackson routines , along with other good and bad experiences in music and theatre.
There were video clips of him performing MJ routines, and he sung a few MJ snippets .
His mother was a big part of his life and career.
Myles is the winner of the 2022 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in MJ. He made history, becoming the youngest solo actor to ever win the award. He is a nominee for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album as principal vocalist for MJ’s cast album.
After the interview , he chatted to guests and posed for selfies
I was lucky to have seen Michael Jackson perform four times, and will soon get along to this musical.
MJ The Musical is on now at The Prince Edward Theatre.
Complimentary wines, beers , canapes and desserts.
P.S....Nothing was said about MJ private life.
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Sunday 28 April 2024.
This month the UK’s largest indoor arena will eventually open in Manchester. Called the Co-op Live, it apparently cost a whopping £365 million and has space for 23,500 gig-goers – vastly dwarfing London’s O2 Arena, which has a max capacity of 20,000
If you’re a Londoner looking enviously over at the swish new venue , well, we may have some exciting news. American entrepreneur Tim Leiweke – the guy behind the Co-op Live and owner of Oak View Group – has revealed that he wants to build ‘the greatest arena in the world’ in London....and the location he has is eye is.....Hammersmith..
Should be interesting to see how that progresses.

Saturday 27 April 2024

Saturday 27 April 2024.
THE MEN THEY COULDN'T HANG live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
TMTCH play a special 40th anniversary show n tour.
Founded in 1984, TMTCH gained a passionate national following with their uproarious and engaging style, coupled with keenly contemporary songs. Their 40-year career has been filled with much-loved music, a dedicated fan community and high-octane performances.
Their first ever show was supporting The Pogues.
I have seen them twice before , which were both at The Mean Fiddler , Harlesden in 1995 and 1998.
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Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight ...so maybe 1200 here....but the stalls standing and Level 1 are packed.
Over 100 are on the guest list tonight.
An evening for folks who like The Pogues/The Levellers , so a lively Saturday night drinking crowd of middle aged folks.
SKINNY LISTER on stage at 7.45pm for 45 mins.
An ideal support act , as many know the lyrics to their songs, as they have their own fans down the front.
They have shared male and female vocals.
By the time Skinny Lister crash into 'Trouble on Oxford Street' there is complete delirium. The perfect mix of punk and folk, huge singalong chorus and accordion-driven joy.
They headline The Scala, Kings Cross in Dec 2024.
TMTCH arrived on stage at 9pm for their 90 mins.
If you know the band , then you will almost certainly be aware that Stefan Cush, heartbeat of The Men They Couldn’t Hang, was sadly taken from us in January 2021, plunging the band and their family of fans into mourning, but the band have opted to carry on in his memory , and are playing weekend gigs , all through 2024.
Their upbeat folk rock shanty sound soon got folks dancing lots down the front of the stalls.
Good to see TOM SPENCER on stage with them.
He replaced Steve Jones in The Professionals , which also featured Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.
They announced they had called it a day a couple of weeks ago, without giving any reason.
Maybe one of the reasons is that Tom will be very busy playing shows with TMTCH all this year.
Highlights included 'Salutations' , 'Islands In The Rain', ' Ghosts Of Cable Street ' and 'The Colours'.
For the final encore track , they were joined by the support band and other friends.
Outro tape song over the pa was The Pogues ' Dirty Old Town'.... A very enjoyable show.
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Friday 26 April 2024.
JON PARDI live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
American country music singer Jon Pardi is heading out on his ‘Mr. Saturday Night Tour’, sharing his album of the same name, the follow up to 2019’s Heartache Medication.
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Pretty amazing how popular country music is these days in the UK, as tonight is another sell-out.
The cowboy hats and attire are everywhere tonight.
DILLON CARMICHAEL on stage at 8pm for 25 mins.
American country music singer-songwriter played some decent tracks from his two albums.
JON PARDI on stage at 9.05pm for 1 hour 45 mins.
Seven musicians on stage , including electric fiddle and pedal steel guitar, and all of them except the drummer are wearing cowboy hats .
He has his own personal security in the pit.
It is proper wholesome all ages country music.
Highlights included ' Mr Saturday Night', ' Dirt On My Boots ', ' Heartache Medication' , ' Heartache On The Dance Floor', ' Night Shift' and a couple of cover versions , ' Hot Legs' and ' You've Lost That Loving Feeling'...An enjoyable show.

Thursday 25 April 3024.

Thursday 25 April 2024
I went to two events tonight.
6pm to 7pm.
N.DASH - private view- Levy Gorvy Dayan Gallery,
35 Dover Street, Mayfair , London W1.
Lévy Gorvy Dayan has announced the relocation of their London space to 35 Dover Street in Mayfair, opening April 25th, 2024. The inaugural show will be a solo exhibition of new paintings by New York-based artist N. Dash, her first UK solo show.
Around 70 or 80 guests at this cool space on the first floor of this stunning building.
Complimentary wines and beers for all the guests.
then
7.05pm to 10.30pm.
DIGITAL ART WEEK - closing party - 1 Hotel Mayfair,
3 Berkeley Street, Mayfair , London W1.
My first time at this luxury hotel that opened last year,
where rooms cost £500 plus a night.
Around 100 guests in their nice bar area, which has comfy sofas and chairs.
A DJ is playing tracks in the background .
Complimentary food and drinks included four different cocktails (including old fashioned), wines , beers and canapes.
1 Hotel Mayfair, just steps from London’s iconic Green Park, was built and refurbished from two existing buildings and reimagined to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate sustainable practices throughout our operations. In addition to our live green walls, 1 Hotel Mayfair features 1,300 individual plants, shrubs and trees throughout its verdant grounds.
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Wednesday 24 April 2024.
GHOST FILES live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Experience the excitement of ghost hunting with the ghoul boys at this special screening of one of Ryan and Shane’s favourite episodes of Ghost Files, followed by a never-before-seen sneak peek of Season 3, and an exclusive Q & A session with the hosts themselves, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej.
Prepare to have your burning questions answered as the hosts take the stage to share behind-the-scenes stories, discuss their most memorable investigations, and maybe even talk to a ghost or two.
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Stalls seated tonight, and it is 1000 tix sold out.
Pretty much looks like a 75 % female crowd.
First set was 8pm for 45 mins.
They showed on the big screen, one of their fave previous YouTube /Podcast videos.
The show follows the standard ghost hunter show format, travelling to numerous haunted locations bringing along the standard recording equipment and spector finding gadgets, with more a means of light entertainment. This show has plenty of nerdy humour ,because of the hosts personalities.
Second set was 9.05pm for 1 hour 40 mins.
The two hosts and their producer have a chat about ghost hunting on stage.
We then have some ghost stories from the audience who had sent them in via the duos social media.
We then have a 30 mins Q & A with the audience.
The final 20 mins was a preview of Season 3.
An enjoyable enough evening.
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Wednesday 24 April 2024.
Happy Birthday to CAPTAIN SENSiBLE who is 70 today.Hard to believe this punk legend is now 70..
Do yourself a favour and play the videos of their two debut singles ' New Rose' and ' Neat Neat Neat'.
Happy Birthday to TONY VISCONTI who is 80 today.
Legendary music producer who has recorded David Bowie , Marc Bolan and many more.

Tuesday 23 April 2024.

Tuesday 23 April 2024.
LAINEY WILSON live at The Forum.
31 year old American female country music singer-songwriter plays the first of two sold out shows at this London venue on her UK tour.
Wilson has received seven Country Music Association Awards, including winning their top honour Entertainer of the Year in 2023. She has also received a Grammy Award and six Academy of Country Music Awards.
She will play tracks from her four studio albums.
Lainey played a staggering 162 shows in 2023.
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They say you’ve truly made it when your audience starts dressing like you. There was a sea of cowboy boots, stetsons, denim, fringe and, of course, flares as far as the eye could see. Hillbilly hippies were everywhere, such is the influence of Lainey Wilson, country music’s rising superstar.
What was also noticeable was the wide range of her audience: with a good gender balance, plus families with kids and younger couples alongside the usual diehard country music fans. The vibe felt celebratory and fun.
Sitting near me is Will Hodgkinson who is a journalist and author and the chief rock and pop critic for The Times newspaper and contributes to Mojo magazine.He has written for The Guardian,The Independent and Vogue.Hodgkinson presents the Sky Arts TV show Songbook, in which he interviews contemporary songwriters.
I missed the 30 mins support act - HARPER O'NEILL .
LAINEY WILSON and her all-male band arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour 40 mins.
A nice stage production with lots of lights.
She is a big name in America , so she can afford two personal security ...one in the pit and one side of stage.....to keep a close eye on her.
Lainey is a full on good ole wholesome long haired country girl, as she transports us to Southern America of rodeos, trucks and gasoline ,with her very distinctive country voice.
After 45 mins she sat by the edge of the stage and signed posters and album covers for the fans
Near the end of the main set Lainey did a neat cover of ' What's Up' by 4 Non Blondes , which went down well, and other highlights included ' Watermelon Sunshine', ' Wait In The Truck', ' Things A Man Oughta
Know ' and 'Heart Like A Truck '.
An enjoyable country music show.
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Monday 22 April 2024.
Blimey.....pure robbery.
£8.95 for a pint at the new venue in Manchester.
I hope there is a Wetherspoons nearby.
Punters awaiting the opening of Manchester's new £365million Co-op live arena this week have been left outraged and disgusted by a leaked bar menu that suggests the cost of a pint in the venue will be £8.95.
The arena, which was set to officially open with a Peter Kay gig, (both his shows there postponed by several days due to power issues), will have the largest maximum capacity of any UK venue indoors, capable of holding 23,500 people at a time.
That's slightly more than The 02 Arena in London.
This weekend at an official test event featuring Rick Astley, some fans were incensed after the venue cut 4000 tickets from the show at the last minute, leaving revelers stranded.
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Sunday 21 April 2024.
Top 10 Best Selling Albums in USA in 1981.
10) Back in Black – AC/DC (Atlantic)
9) Crimes of Passion – Pat Benatar (Chrysalis)
8) Moving Pictures – Rush (Mercury)
7) Escape – Journey (Columbia)
6) 4 – Foreigner (Atlantic)
5) The Jazz Singer (Orig. Soundtrack) – Neil Diamond (Capitol)
4) Double Fantasy – John Lennon / Yoko Ono (Geffen)
3) Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits (Liberty)
2) Paradise Theater – Styx (A&M)
1) Hi Infidelity – REO Speedwagon (Epic)

Saturday 20 April 2024.

Saturday 20 April 2024.
CYMANDE live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Cymande are a British funk group that was originally active in the early 1970s. The band name derives from a calypso word for "dove", which symbolises peace and love;"Dove" is also the title of one of their best-known songs. With a membership deriving from several Caribbean nations, Cymande were noted for an eclectic mix of funk, soul, reggae, rock, African music, calypso, and jazz that they called "nyah-rock". The band formed in 1971 and released three albums before disbanding in 1974. After gaining newfound popularity when their music was sampled by many notable rap artists, Cymande reformed in the 2010s.
They released their fifth album in 2015.
This show sold out a month in advance.
A five city tour of Europe...Berlin , Paris , Brussels ,
London and Amsterdam.
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A DJ playing jazz funk classics warmed the crowd up .
Nice to see him playing all vinyl.
The band are selling their albums here on vinyl.
The venue is rammed solid by the time the band arrived on stage.
CYMANDE arrived on stage at 9.10pm for 85 mins.
The nine piece band include keyboards, percussion and three man brass.
A mainly older middle aged white crowd here enjoying the smooth jazz funk with some head nodding and a bit of dancing.
The show grooved along nicely , and was enjoyable.
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WELCOME BACK BRIXTON ACADEMY.
Friday 19 April 2024.
Brixton Academy to host gigs again for the first time in over 16 months , since two were killed there in a crush in Dec 2022.
Nirvana UK on stage at 8pm for 70 mins .
The Smyths on stage at 9.40pm for 75 mins.
This is the first of two restricted capacity test events , with tribute bands...1700 here tonight.
Both bands played a good set of all the classics.
Both had a good light show , and plenty of moshing.
The venue looks stunning
They have spent £1.2 million on maintenance and improvements , including a new carpet on the stalls standing , brand new numbered reserved seats in the circle , plenty of painting etc.
Brixton Academy opened as a gig venue in 1983.
My first gig there was New Order in 1983.
I have seen over 200 great shows at this venue , including a five man Clash and U2 in 1984 , PiL in 1986, Wham in 1986, , Gary Glitter , Beastie Boys , Run DMC, ZZ Top, Black Crowes, Placebo , Soft Cell , Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, Manic Street Preachers, Libertines, Morrissey , Iggy Pop , Neil Young, Big Audio Dynamite , The Alarm, The Godfathers, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Pulp , The Cult ,
David Bowie and Tin Machine, INXS, Green Day, Rammstein, Stiff Little Fingers, The Ramones , The Damned, The Rolling Stones in 1995 , 3 x Iron Maiden in 2002 and all five SEX PISTOLS shows there in 2007.

Thursday 18 April 2024.

Thursday 18 April 2024....I went to two events today...
EXPERIENCE SALON PRIVÉ LONDON
www.salonprivelondon.com - Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets
Salon Privé London: the ultimate luxury car event at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
For three days only from 18th to 20th April 2024, immerse yourself in the world of luxury cars – both classic and modern – and enjoy an unforgettable experience surrounded by automotive excellence.
At the heart of the event is the ‘Concours de Vente’ – a carefully curated selection of 75 rare historic automobiles, which are all for sale. From Aston Martins to rare and coveted Jaguars, this year’s Concours de Vente is a treasure trove of motoring marques.
Thursday...
11.15am Porsche 911 Turbo Cavalcade
11.45am Supercar and Manufacturers Parade
12.15pm Racing Heroes, A Future in Motorsport with Jodie Kidd
15.00pm Concours de Vente Parade
17.45pm Porsche 911 Turbo Grand Depart
This year, each day of Salon Privé London presents its own unique celebration with a gathering of Porsche 911s to kickstart the event on the first day. Next, it's the turn of McLaren to add further glamour & style to Ladies' Day by Boodles, PLUS the World's largest gathering of Aston Martin Valkyries. On Saturday, we welcome one of the UK's leading private members' club, Drivers Union. With each one presenting a display of 30 cars, it's another reason not to miss this fabulous event.
The venue is just 10 mins walk from Sloane Square tube station.
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The sunshine is out for the opening day today.
It is pretty much the opening day of The London Outdoor Summer Season of events .
Over 4000 guests are here , at this stunning location.
SHARLENE SPITERI from TEXAS was here
The classic cars and supercars are gleaming.
The cars sounded fantastic when started up.
Luxury brands are showcasing their wares.
A really enjoyable day out.
See my Facebook page for some videos and photos.
Press folks had some complimentary Pommery champers , wines , Pimm's and beers.
then
ANGELS OF THE NORTH at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The Angels of the North on a UK tour? Oh, uh-huh. Join Geordie drag superstars Ginger Johnson, Michael Marouli and Tomara Thomas for a heavenly brand-new live show.
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I can remember when drag shows were in the back room of dodgy pubs for 30 people , but these days it is big business , as this trio are playing 11 theatre shows in the UK , then 5 theatre shows in Australia .
There are over 1500 excitable folks here tonight
The show was on for 1 hour 45 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 45 mins.
A nice touch was they had a chap signing in the corner, and they are selling loads of merch.
As well as being pure entertainment from start to finish, there was a clear structure to proceedings, with the premise being that our three heroines are Alan's Angels, with the trio tasked by Alan Carr on the big screen , to find out the culprits behind the disappearances of Cheryl, Denise Welch and Charlotte Crosby and things unfolding in camp and captivating fashion as both the group numbers and solo routines fired on all cylinders.
Everything from Michael Jackson to Celine Dion and Catherine Tate's Bernie the nurse to Barbara Cartland were used as inspiration , while the group numbers included a nun themed Sisters are Doin' It for Themselves, a powerful take on Chicago's Cell Block Tango, including a change of lyrics to mention Geordie institution Greggs and the highlight, the queens' high energy star turn in Drag Race girl group banger Don't Ick My Yum.
Angels of the North was a show that ticks all the boxes. It has unreal costumes, local references aplenty, brilliant songs, fantastic staging and most importantly, an incredible cast, who, as well as oozing star quality, charm and personality, were clearly blown away by the wealth of support for them.
The evening evening with some line dancing , and the trio beating up their two male dancers who were were wearing Ant and Dec masks, while Let's Get Ready To Rumble eas played in the background , as Ant and Dec handed over the crown of Best Known Geordies to the trio.
A very enjoyable show.
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Wednesday 17 April 2024...6pm to 9pm..
BRIXTON ACADEMY - venue showcase.
Nice to be back on the buzzy Brixton area again.
Around 100 press folks here for this preview.
Brixton Academy has been closed for 16 months after two people died at a concert there in Dec 2022.
They have spent over a million pounds on giving it an
upgrade while it has been closed.
We got a full tour of the entire venue by the venue stage manager and an AMG chap.
It became a gig venue in 1983.
I saw New Order there in 1983.
I have been to over 100 shows there since then.
The entire circle has nice new individual seats.
There is a new carpet in the stalls standing area.
There is lots of extra CCTV.
There will be a full welfare team and more medics than before, and twice as many security.
The front area entry will be all cordoned off with barriers, and ticket goers will be told to walk around the venue , to join the queue at the back of the venue.
Lots of painting has been done, but overall the venue structure looks the same , including the backstage areas.
We went backstage , where one of the dressing rooms is named after KEITH FLINT from The Prodigy (R.I.P.)
We walked on the stage , and walked through the load in /load out doors at the rear middle of the stage, that The Sex Pistols used for their own stage entrance , when I saw all of their five shows there in 2007.
We get complimentary bottles of water, but no complimentary booze , even though the 13 venue bars are fully stocked and ready to go.
Brixton Academy first proper show , with a couple of tribute bands , with restricted numbers entry , after it's enforced break will be this Friday 19 April.
I will be there .

Tuesday 16 April 2024.

Tuesday 16 April 2024.
HOLLOW COVES live at The Forum.
Aussie indie folk group built around the talents of singer and songwriters Ryan Henderson and Matt Carins, Hollow Coves employ a rich amalgam of reflective lyrics, dynamic harmonies and earthy melodies.
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The show is not sold out, but it is very full.
GARRET KATO arrived on stage at 8pm for his 35 mins set. Born in Vancouver , Canada but now living in Byron Bay , Australia .( I was there for a few days around 20 years ago).
Known for his reflective musings on love, life and vices, singer-songwriter and platinum-award winning producer Garrett Kato’s unique style of folk-pop is catching fire around the globe. A string of powerful releases, has seen him get over 100 million worldwide streams.
His humour helped him go down well with the crowd.
HOLLOW COVES arrived on stage at 9.05pm for their 85 mins set.
Their amps are hidden by the pa , rather than the rear.
Four of them on stage, with two sharing the vocals.
Lots of nice , dreamy head-nodding songs performed.
The electric guitar came out near the end.
Tracks like ' On The Way', 'Coastline' and 'Milk & Honey' were highlights in a good show.
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Monday 15 April 2024...7pm to 10.30pm...
THE AUCTION at Christies, King Street, St James's, London SW1.
Celebrating over 40 years of Terrence Higgins Trust (AIDS Charity) as they showcase world-class auction lots by various artists .You'll also have the opportunity to bid on some amazing holidays and celebrity experiences. Terrence Higgins was the first named person to die of AIDS in the UK in 1982.
Terrence Higgins Trust is a British charity that campaigns about and provides services relating to HIV and sexual health. In particular, the charity aims to end the transmission of HIV in the UK; to support and empower people living with HIV, to eradicate stigma and discrimination around HIV, and to promote good sexual health (including safe sex).
I have been to this very nice event several times over the past decade. Most of the 400 guests (90 % gay men) have paid £100 to be here. A couple of celebrity faces are here , including LEEE JOHN from 1980s band Imagination, MARK-FRANCIS VANDELLI (Made In Chelsea TV) who have both been here before .
I asked Leee John about his upcoming gigs and he feels UK promoters don't promote Black British Acts as much as Black American Acts...a fair point.
Celebrity snapper DAVE BENETT was also here , telling us stories of Cannes and Monaco.
A female violinist was playing covers before and after the auction.
Complimentary prosecco and canapes until 8.30pm then there was a Spanish buffet after the auction , which was 8.15pm to 9.15pm.
Used to be champers and cocktails before COVID so sadly not as good as before , but still good.

Sunday 14 April 2024.

Sunday 14 April 2024.
P1 with MATT AND TOMMY live at
Shepherds Bush Empire.
Matt and Tommy are two diehard F1 fans, here to bring you all the latest news, reaction, predictions and opinions from the best sport in the world. From every strategy blunder, to spicy off-track controversies, they'll be keeping you up to speed.
Wonder what they will say about Christian Horner ?
I have been to the British F1 Grand Prix a few times , and also went to Monaco F1 Grand Prix over a decade ago.
I always watch the highlights on TV these days.
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Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, and it is stalls seated , so maybe 400 or 500 folks here.
Pretty good ticket sales when you think it's just a Podcast by two unknowns talking about Formula 1.
The 90 mins show was two sets of 45 mins each.
Surprising the high amount of young females here.
The girls seemed to like their geeky humour.
Many of the crowd are wearing F1 team colours
There is a big screen that is used off and on.
Two comfy chairs for the hosts to sit on.
They talked about the races this season ,and how the drivers were performing .
Some audience participation on stage.
An 11 year old called Oscar stole the show with his great knowledge of F1 and the drivers etc.
The second part of the second half consisted of audience questions to the pair.
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Saturday 13 April 2024.
THE HIVES live at Hammersmith Apollo.
This show sold out over a month ago.
The Hives have announced a UK and Ireland tour in spring 2024, culminating with a date at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on April 13th. The band will also release their highly anticipated new album The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons August 11th 2023 via FUGA.
It is twenty-five years since The Hives exploded around the world, with they stunning singles 'Main Offender ' and 'Hate To Say I Told You So'.
I have seen them several times including a low key club show at The Garage , North London in 2023 to promote the new album.
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The venue is rammed solid , sold out tonight.
Over 100 folks on the guest list , as after-party in the circle bar at 10.30pm...i popped in for 20 mins but no faces there , and the band were yet to turn up.
I ended up missing the 30 mins set by the support act - Bad Nerves.
THE HIVES arrived on stage at 9.05pm for their 85 mins set.
Appropriately, they strode out to the menacing horns of Chopin’s ‘Funeral March 3rd Movement’ in matching black-and-white, lightning bolt suits. Two roadies stood on either side of the stage and ceremoniously handed the guitarists their instruments. Instead of facing their adoring fans, however, they turned their backs and looked to the drummer, who launched into Bogus Operandi as neon lights flashed: HIVES. This is the opening track from new album, and while the album is considerably more varied than many of their previous efforts, the song is classic Hives – simple and ferocious. The crowd chanted the infectious pre-chorus ‘Like I said, Like I said, Like I said!’ as their enigmatic frontman – Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist – grabbed the microphone and told ‘anyone who considers themselves a part of everyone’ to scream. They launched straight into their classic early single 'Main Offender,' without taking a breath. It is just the second song but singer Pete is already in the pit , close up to the fans.
He pretty much does this every other song, and his non-stop stage banter is very entertaining.
" We have brought the sunshine from Sweden to London - You're Welcome"....he says.
Lots of moshing down the front stalls and over a dozen crowd- surfers .
Another highlight was early single ' Hate To Say I Told You So'.
The band certainly put a smile on everyone's faces.
It was a great show.
The show was filmed, so look out for that.
Full set list played by THE HIVES tonight...
Bogus Operandi
Main Offender
Take Back the Toys
Two Kinds of Trouble
Rigor Mortis Radio
Walk Idiot Walk
Good Samaritan
Go Right Ahead
Stick Up
Hate to Say I Told You So
Trapdoor Solution
I'm Alive
Bigger Hole to Fill
Try It Again
Countdown to Shutdown
Encore:
Come On!
Smoke & Mirrors
Tick Tick Boom (with band introductions)
Taped outro song - Nobody Does It Better - (Carly Simon song)

Friday 12 April 2024.

Friday 12 April 2024....6.50pm to 11.20pm...
VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS at The Islington Academy.
Feat SHAM 69 + RUTS DC + THEATRE OF HATE + TOYAH WILLCOX + JIM JONES + SAFFRON from REPUBLICA + CHRIS SPEDDING + CASINO STEEL + host BEKI BONDAGE and many more.
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I always look forward to this great music awards event.
Nice to see so many gig-going chums here.
There was a lot going on , as the bands played between the awards , so here goes.
THE VIVE LE ROCKERS house band did a fantastic job , as they backed different singers throughout .
They start with ALAN CLAYTON guesting ,then a couple of Pogues tracks , in tribute to Shane.
CASINO STEEL joined them for a couple, ' Thank God This Bar Is Closing' and The Boys classic ' Brickfield Nights'.
CHARLIE HARPER joined them for The UK Subs classic ' C.I.D', and Charlie was presented with a cake for his 80th birthday , which is next month .
A few awards were then given out...
NEAL X to CHRIS SPEDDING for Guitar Legend.
EUGENE VLR to GRADE 2 for Best New Band.
SPIKE to THE DAMNED for Album Of The Year.
Monty accepted it , but Dave and Captain not here .
RUTS DC to KIRK BRANDON for Voice of a Generation.
SAFFRON to TOYAH WILLCOX for The Icon Award .
Again BEKI BONDAGE, did a grand job of hosting .
THE VIVE LE ROCKERS came back for a few more songs...and it was superb to see CHRIS SPEDDING
play 'Silver Bullet' and his classic 'Motorbikin'.
SAFFRON performed a nifty ' Ready To Go'.
TOYAH performed her classic ' I Want To Be Free'.
EUGENE VLR joined them for the AC/DC classic 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. With his sleeveless jean jacket and hairstyle and voice , Eugene was Bon Scott.
BEKI BONDAGE sang a great ' Nutbush City Limits'.
JIM JONES sang a very lively' Kick Out The Jams'.
At 9.05pm THEATRE OF HATE played a six song 30 mins set inc neat versions of 'Do You Believe In The West World' and 'The Hop'.
At 9.55pm RUTS DC were on stage for 30 mins.
First they received Best Live Band Award from BARRY CAIN....they then performed a great five song set,
including ' Kill The Pain' ,'Jah War' and a nice surprise to see them joined by current The Who drummer ZAK STARKEY on guitar for stunning versions of ' In A Rut' and 'Babylons Burning' .
I saw bass playing legend NORMAN WATT-ROY here.
At 10.50pm SHAM 69 whizzed through a superb nine song 30 mins set....Jimmy Pursey on top form...
So many great songs that had the crowd singing loudly along to.
What Have We Got?
Tear Gas Eyes
I Don't Wanna
Borstal Breakout
That's Life
Angels With Dirty Faces
If The Kids Are United
Hersham Boys
Hurry Up Harry
Overall , another fantastic Vive Le Rock Awards.
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Thursday 11 April 2024....6.15pm to 8.30pm.....
GILBERT and GEORGE CENTRE - private view -
5a Heneage Street , London E1.
Celebrating a year since opening, we are thrilled to announce the second exhibition to take place at The Gilbert & George Centre will be Gilbert & George’s ‘LONDON PICTURES’ – opening 12 April 2024.
“London is the most important part of our inspiration. It is all that surrounds us. And so we have been able to include all this remarkable surface of thoughts and feeling that we find in these posters…” – Gilbert & George
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This was my first time to this gallery which is off Brick Lane.The area is buzzing , and The Jack The Ripper tours for the tourists are all over the place.
Decent weather, means we can stay outside in the courtyard of the gallery.
Over 100 guests here including GILBERT and GEORGE.
Also TRACEY EMIN, celebrity chef ANGELA HARTNETT who lives around the corner, PHILIP SALLON and performance artist PANDEMONIA who is 6' 6" in head to toe in black latex and heels.
Complimentary Jean - Noel Haton champers, gin & tonics and beers for all the guests

Wednesday 10 April 2024.

Wednesday 10 April 2024.
I went to two events tonight.
6.15pm to 8pm .
THE HOUSE OF FINE ART - private view - 11 Bruton Street , Mayfair, London W1.
HOFA Gallery and Fellowship AI platform daily.xyz announce the launch of "New Beginnings", a pioneering London exhibition that documents the evolution of AI artistry, weaving together the realities of AI, art and the human experience. In partnership with AI art curation and research experts, Crysalis, the exhibition will run from 11 - 30 April 2024...free entry...
This ground-breaking showcase will present 14 globally renowned AI artists, including Niceaunties, Sougwen Chung, Emily Xie and Elman Mansimov, who explore the profound implications of AI on art and human interaction. As well as other artists Kevin Abosch, Ivona Tau, Agoria, Gordon Cheung, Roope Rainisto, Crosslucid, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Legio X, Sheldrick and Noper. Elio D’Anna, Co-founder of HOFA Gallery, elaborates, “With the emergence of new AI models and techniques, a profound technological evolution occurred in 2023.
"New Beginnings" captures the first major works conceived and produced in the post-transition period, juxtaposing them with early era AI creations of immense significance. It effectively narrates the evolution of AI-generated artistry while simultaneously redefining contemporary perceptions of art in the digital age.”
Over 100 guests here and a nice buzzy atmosphere.
Complimentary Charles de Fere champers for all.
then
JAMES BLUNT live at The Royal Albert Hall.
James plays the second of two sold out Royal Albert Hall shows on his UK tour.
He has released seven albums since 2004 and has sold over 20 million records worldwide.
A couple of years ago he bought a pub in Chelsea.
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The venue is totally rammed sold out.
A mixture , mainly of females and couples.
JAMES BLUNT and band arrived on stage at 9.10pm for their 95 mins set.
A nice stage production with big screens , mixing live footage and pre-recorded images, along with several huge lampshades.All the other shows on this tour are bigger arenas.
This was never meant to happen to James Blunt. The butt of music industry jokes following the release of his winsomely mushy and inescapable ballad You’re Beautiful in 2005, Blunt was destined to have – at best – a three-album career. But here he is, two decades and seven albums in, playing two long-sold out shows at London’s flagship Royal Albert Hall as part of the biggest-selling tour of his career, a tour that has taken in 15,000-capacity arenas across the UK and will visit similar-sized venues until it wraps in Australia in November.
James certainly knows how to work the crowd , as he thanks them after every song , and even ran through the crowd to the back of the venue and also got them to do a Mexico wave all through one of his songs.
The upbeat songs got the crowd dancing, and the ballads got them to sit down.
Plenty of radio friendly singalong tracks and hits.
A nice surprise to see him play a Slade cover .
A good show.
Full JAMES BLUNT setlist played tonight...
Beside You
Saving a Life
Wisemen
Carry You Home
All the Love That I Ever Needed
Dark Thought
Goodbye My Lover
The Girl That Never Was
High
Love Under Pressure
Postcards
I Won't Die With You
Coz I Luv You ( Slade cover)
You're Beautiful
Same Mistake
Stay the Night
OK (Robin Schulz cover)
Encore:
Monsters
Bonfire Heart
1973
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Tuesday 09 April 2024.
ENRICO BRIGNANO live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Enrico Brignano (now aged 57) is an Italian actor, playwright, comedian, presenter and writer.
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It is stalls seated tonight ,so 1200 capacity sold out.
It is all the Italian community here .
ENRICO BRIGNANO was on stage for an incredible 2 hours 45 mins set ...8.35pm to 11.20pm.
There is an 11pm curfew at this venue , but he must playing to the midnight curfew time in Italy.
There is a nice light production and piano , but the piano was only used a couple of times, as it was all comedy in Italian.
A couple of Italian girls i spoke to said " he was like a milder version of Ricky Gervais".
Enrico was talking and joking away non-stop.
The crowd loved it , but i was hoping for more musical numbers in the show.

Monday 08 April 2024.

Monday 08 April 2024....6.30pm to 9.30pm...
SHANGHAI NOIR - showcase - Old Westminster Fire Station, 4 Greycoat Place , Victoria, London SW1.
What happens when you inject a little piece of Chinatown into an old fire station in the rarely-visited territory between Westminster and Victoria? Shanghai Noir, that’s what.
A brand new opening, Shanghai Noir, with its deep teal walls and oriental iconography, transports you back to the achingly glamorous 1920s. An Indo-Chinese brasserie, your senses will spin around Asia as soon as you arrive. Not least because to get to Shanghai Noir on the lower floor, you first have to walk through Indian restaurant, Yaatra. Being led through a different restaurant into a subterranean secret makes Shanghai Noir feel tantalisingly 007.
We had a mix of soup , then shared plates , then mains with sides, then desserts and washed down by a bottle of red wine and a bottle of sparking water.
For anyone not familiar with Indo-Chinese dining – a food concept that is apparently taking the US by storm – it fuses Indian and Chinese (via Thailand, if our green papaya and mango salad was anything to go by), with a bent towards the traditional comfort food of Indian migrants. This translates as Chinese classics with an Indian twist: five-spiced beef with wild mushroom bao; paneer garlic cream with mushroom, and spatchcock chicken in a Glenmorangie fire sauce featuring the world’s hottest chilli, Bhot Jolakhiya.
Palettes readied, we savoured crackers with prawn pickle (it works!) before going in on black bean scallops, which were firm and juicy but in a sauce that was perhaps just five percent too sweet for yours truly. Luckily, the papaya salad, with its zingy lime freshness, was the perfect antidote. And the chilli paneer was dangerously addictive.
Next up, we were graced with short rib beef that disintegrated at the gentlest prod of a chopstick. My steamed sea bream was equally as tender and flavourful, thanks to a delicate filling of ginger and spring onion. Dots of crispy chilli oil created a wonderful texture contrast. A side dish of garlicky charred pak choi wedges made the perfect accompaniment.
We rounded off with lychee pannacotta, which rivalled the smoking dragon for dramatic presentation, and a surprisingly refreshing mango pudding, rich with sunshine and Asian sweetness. What a whistle stop tour of China to India, and everything in between.
Needless to say we had a fantastic three hours here.
Old Westminster Fire Station, 4 Greycoat Place, Westminster, London, SW1P 1SB
www.shanghainoir.com
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Saturday 06 April 2024.
COCK SPARRER live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Cock Sparrer are a band that have had their career in reverse, more popular now than at the height of punk.
They were part of the Oi Skinhead movement.
I have seen them a few times, including their last London show at The Roundhouse in Sept 2022.
Cock Sparrer have released several albums , and this is a special show for the release of their new album ' Hand On Heart'.
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Level 3 is closed , and Level 2 is half empty, but stalls and Level 1 are full. Maybe 1300 out of 2000 tix sold.
As expected the crowd is 90 per cent older males.
A very lively atmosphere as the bars are very busy.
COCK SPARRER are on stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 45 mins and 70 mins.
The band are all dressed head to toe in black.
The played a few tracks from the new album , and many of their classics which were in the second set
Lots of moshing and crowd surfing.
The footie type crowd are singing loudly along.
Great to see them play their anthem ' England Belongs To Me'.....a great show.
COCK SPARRER setlist highlights included....
Riot Squad
What's It Like To Be Old
Running Riot (debut single from 1977)
Because You're Young
Take 'em All
Where Are They Now?
England Belongs to Me
We're Coming Back

Friday 05 April 2024.

Friday 05 April 2024.
STAYING RELEVANT live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sam Thompson and Pete Wicks take their chart-topping podcast Staying Relevant on tour. During the show, as well as learning first-hand about the perils and pitfalls of fame from two best friends in the industry, there will be plenty of interactive moments. Expect lots of laughs but mostly utter chaos as the boys look back at their careers and share their hopes and dreams.
The pair first met up a few years ago on Celebs Go Dating TV show .
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It is stalls seated tonight, and pretty full , so must be over 1000 folks here . Some 75 % of the crowd are excitable females under the age of 30 ,who are keeping the bar staff busy , and nipping into the mens loos as the female toilet queues are a bit lengthy.
The show is on for two sets of 50 mins.
There is a fully stocked bar on the side of Pete Wicks.
The first set is basically them showing video highlights of their careers on the big screen , and talking and joking about them , including when Sam Thompson won I'm A Celebrity and Pete Wicks flew out to Australia to meet him.
Good to see male and female signing for deaf at the front.SamThompson has the very upbeat personality , and Pete Wicks has the long haired rock star looks.
Second set had done audience participation as two pairs came on stage for ' The Seat of Shame'.
Then there was a Q & A session with the audience.
Finale of the night is special guest Barry( SHAUN WILLIAMSON ) from EastEnders , who comes on stage and the three of them and the crowd sing a rousing cover of ' Sweet Caroline'.
VICKY PATTTISON was seated in the stalls seats.
An enjoyable evening.
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Thursday 04 April 2024.
JOE BONAMASSA live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Joe plays the first of two shows at this venue.
Celebrated and award-winning blues rock guitarist and singer songwriter, Joe Bonamassa will be performing two UK exclusive concerts at the Hall.
Backed by a stellar band of legendary musicians, the setlist for this show will feature new songs alongside career-spanning favourite’s.
I have seen him a few times before at this venue.
Joe always seems to ask silly prices for tickets when he plays this venue....£70 for gallery standing up in the gods and £200 , £175 , £150 and £100 for seats plus booking fees...maybe there is struggle to sell tickets as there has been heavy advertising in all the papers in the run up to the shows .
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Several rows are unsold downstairs and only 75% sold up in the circle , half the boxes are unsold , but still pretty good considering the eye-watering high ticket prices.
We have a great view in those nice stalls swivel seats.
JOE BONAMASSA on stage at 7.30pm for two hours.
Taking to the stage to rapturous applause, Joe donned one of the guitars from his enormous collection and set the room alight straight away. His playing was slick, deadly accurate and exuded cool! This suit and shades wearing blues man owned every note of the sound, and every inch of the stage.
Pretty much every track had a stunning guitar solo.
His band and two female backing singers were also top notch .
It is 15 years since his first show at this iconic venue, and Joe said these two shows would be his 11th and 12th here.
The first encore was his classic ' Sloe Gin' which was dedicated to Bernie Marsden R.I.P. and the second encore was a superb version of ' Crossroads' .
A great show.

Tuesday 02 April 2024.

Tuesday 02 April 2024.
PAUL WELLER live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Paul Weller plays a special warm up show , that sold out pronto, prior to his UK tour.
I was lucky to see Paul fronting The Jam a few times, and have seen him with The Style Council and solo.
I was at the Hammersmith Apollo gig and party after at the venue to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Expect a two hour set , with a few Jam classics.
Hard to believe that Paul split up The Jam over 40 years ago , in 1982.
The Modfather has confirmed the release of a new album to celebrate his 66th year around the sun.
Paul Weller has announced the details of his new album 66, which will be released on 24th May 2024.
As its title suggests, the album will mark the legendary musician's 66th birthday on 25th May- dropping the day before.
An incredibly prolific songwriter , PW has released over 25 studio albums since the Jam debut.
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The venue is totally rammed solid sold out , with most of the crowd in their 50s and 60s.
Over 100 folks were on the guest list.
THE GOLDBORNS arrived on stage at 7.45pm for their 25 mins set of indie / punk/ reggae tunes.
Their new single 'Going Out' features Paul Weller on guitar....I saw them twice in 2020 , but they don't seem to have progressed much in the four years.
PAUL WELLER arrived on stage at 8.45pm for his two hours set....six musicians with Paul including Steve Craddick on guitar and the drums and drums/percussion each had a 6 on the front of the bass drum ...to make 66.
The disco glitterball was used a lot .
PW played a nice mix of material from his near 50 years of material ,including some new album tracks.
The second hour was livelier, and included two classics from The Jam, and many of his best tracks.
Always great to see this legend on stage.
Full PAUL WELLER setlist played night....
Rip the Pages Up
Nova
Cosmic Fringes
Soul Wandering
That Pleasure
All the Pictures on the Wall
Above the Clouds
Stanley Road
Glad Times
Village
Fat Pop
More
Hung Up
Shout to the Top! (The Style Council song)
Jumble Queen
Nothing
Dance With Me (With Leon Bailey)
That's Entertainment ( The Jam song)
Wild Wood
Friday Street
Start! (The Jam song)
Peacock Suit
Encore:
Headstart for Happiness (The Style Council song)
Old Father Tyme
Broken Stones
Mayfly
Rockets
Encore 2:
The Changingman
Porcelain Gods
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Monday 01 April 2024.
ZUCCHERO live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Zucchero plays the last of three shows at this venue.
68 year old Italian singer has sold over 60 million records.
His stage name is the Italian word for "sugar", as his elementary teacher used to call him.His music is largely inspired by gospel, soul, blues and rock music, and alternates between Italian ballads and more rhythmic R&B-boogie-like pieces.He is credited as the "father of Italian blues", introducing blues to the big stage in Italy.He is one of the few European blues artists who still enjoys great international success.
He has currently got an Italian vocals album out with Jack Savoretti.Jack will be joining him on stage at The Royal Albert Hall.
Zucchero has headlined the massive 80,000 San Siro stadium back home in Italy and headlines there again on 04 July 2024 , as part of this current world tour.
I saw Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at San Siro stadium in 2008.
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Easter Sunday i was indoors after i had a run of 10 gigs in 10 days before this gig.
Tonight's show was 75% unsold up in the circle, but the rest of the venue looks full.
Maybe he should have stuck to two nights here like he did in 2022 on his last London visit.
Mainly Italians here as expected
BILLY LOCKETT arrived on stage at 7.30pm for his 30 mins of keyboards based tracks , from his album , that he said was out on white vinyl.
ZUCCHERO arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played a nice long set of two hours 30 mins.
A nice big stage production that created a nice big sound as lots of lights and lots of musicians on stage , as Zucchero was backed by 11 of them including two drummers , two guitarists , three brass, two keyboards , bass and a superb female backing singer from the Cameroon, and after 90 mins we had a 10 piece choir join them for 30 mins.
As expected most of the tracks were in Italian , but a few were in English.
A little bit of chat in Italian and English.
Two big screens showing pre-recorded images.
One of the show’s standouts was “Miserere (Have Mercy),” a rendition of his celebrated recorded duet with his friend, the late opera giant Luciano Pavarotti. Augmenting this emotional rendering, visuals of Pavarotti and Zucchero singing together are displayed on a giant screen.
There was a mix of ballads and more uptempo songs , as his adoring crowd loved every minute of it.
He was a kinda Italian Joe Cocker.
He gave thanks to Eric Clapton for giving him a support slot on a European Tour at the start of his career, and to Paul Young for his help on that big breakthrough hit single.
Other highlights included a Korgis cover of' Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime' and the big hit
' Senza Una Donna (Without A Woman) with Jack Savoretti and for two cover songs ,the excellent female backing singer took over vocals for ' Nutbush City Limits' and ' Honky Tonk Train Blues' .
It was a very enjoyable show.
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Saturday 30 March 2024.
THE ROSE are a K-pop band from Seoul, South Korea.
They released their debut album 'Red' in 2019, after winning Most Promising Artist at the International K-Music Awards the year before, followed by 'Heal' in 2022 and 'Dual' in 2023.
The Rose will bring their Dawn To Dusk Tour across the UK and Europe in March 2024. This Wembley show is their only UK one.
In Feb 2023 they sold out The Forum on their last London visit.
I have seen several different K-pop acts , as they always put on a great visual show, but all of them sing to backing tapes, and
tonight we have a real live K-pop band .
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The K-pop phenomenon is taking over the UK and elsewhere.
The show is not sold out , but looks around 7000 tix sold.
Very impressive when you think it is 90 per cent excitable females under the age of 30 who have paid £85 , £75 , £65 plus booking fees.
THE ROSE are on stage at 8pm for their 1 hour 40 mins.
It is floor standing for this show.
The house lights go down and there is an amazing sight of several hundred of those K-pop light-stick globes all around the venue , that can change colour....at a cost of £40 each...yikes!
The four members of The Rose are in a line across the stage.
They use two big side screens for live footage , and the screen in the middle is used for pre-recorded images.
All the lyrics and stage chat is in English tonight.
The females sing all the lyrics loudly back at the band.
Many of the females here have made some signs for the band.
This one caught my eye " Finger Me Like Your Guitar"...hmmm.
Simple catchy pop lyrics,with many ballads .
They all play an instrument.
The show is slick and well rehearsed , along with confetti , dry ice plumes , some fireworks and streamers at the end.
Tracks like ' Time', 'Sorry' ' She's In The Rain ' and ' Wonder' ticked along nicely, and the visual show was really good.
The band gave out roses to the crowd at the very end.

Friday 29 March 2024.

Friday 29 March 2024.
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN live at The Roundhouse.
Scottish indie-rock legends play the first of two shows at this venue on their UK & European 40th anniversary tour .The Reid brothers will be promoting their 8th studio album ' Glasgow Eyes'. I saw them headline Brixton Academy in 1992, when the support band were......BLUR.
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The venue is only three quarters full tonight and my security chums said that the Saturday show is the same.
AIRCOOLED arrived on stage at 7.50pm for their 35 mins set
Some hypnotic rhythmic keyboard based tracks.
Five members in the band - 3 x f and 2 X m.
Aircooled released their second album, Eat The Gold on February 16th 2024 on the Music's Not Dead label.
JAMC on stage at 9pm for their 1 hour 45 mins set.
Hard to believe they are still going after 40 years considering all the arguments , fights , short sets and chaos that followed them back in their initial years.
Lots of backlighting and their usual fuzzy guitar sound.
Not much chat between songs apart from giving a shout out to an American fan who is in the front row every night on their European Tour and got attacked at their Edinburgh gig two days before , and got ejected along with the couple that started on him.
Highlights for me included ' Some Candy Talking' and ' Just Like Honey '. A good show.
Full JAMC setlist played tonight...
jamcod
April Skies
Head On
Far Gone and Out
All Things Pass
Chemical Animal
Girl 71 (with Riz Maslen)
Amputation
Cracking Up
Some Candy Talking
In a Hole
Sidewalking
Blues From a Gun
Nine Million Rainy Days
I Love Rock 'n' Roll
Sometimes Always ( with Jane Weaver)
Just Like Honey ( with Jane Weaver)
Encore:
Darklands
Taste of Cindy
I Hate Rock 'n' Roll
Reverence
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Thursday 28 March 2024.
GIPSY KINGS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Known for melding traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythm, Grammy award winning band Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes.
They first captured the world’s imagination in 1987 with a self-titled album that became a genuine phenomenon, certified gold and platinum around the globe.
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You kinda forget how popular The Gipsy Kings are , as this iconic venue is totally rammed sold out tonight, even though seats near the stage are £100 each.
SHUTTERDOG arrived on stage at 7.30pm for his 30 mins.
Sounds like a band name , but it's him and his acoustic guitar.
He played a nice cover of ' Jealous Guy'.
GIPSY KINGS arrived on stage at 8.30pm for 1 hour 40 mins.
The Gipsy Kings have succeeded with a radically new approach to flamenco. They incorporated additional rhythms, most notably rumba and samba. Eight musicians on stage.
When all five guitarists are strumming frantically infectious flamenco style, it produces a unique wall of sound that is particularly effective.
Nino Baliardo took four or five breathtakingly fast solos in a jazz-influenced flamenco style that were real highlights.
The crowd were clapping and up dancing for the two big tracks at the end of the main set , ' Bamboleo' and ' Volare' and the final encore was a solo version of ' My Way' .A good show.

Wednesday 27 March 2024.

Wednesday 27 March 2024.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY live at The Forum.
Long Island New York Rockers are promoting their 8th studio album, called '152' that was released in 2023.
Their first album was released back in 2002.
The recent album is their first full-length LP in seven years, following on from 2016’s ‘Tidal Wave’.
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The venue is totally rammed sold out.
No surprise really , as they sold out Brixton Academy in 2022.
HIMALAYAS arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins.
Welsh four piece rock band played a decent set, including a song co-written by AC/DCs BRIAN JOHNSON , titled 'V.O.V'.
The quartet’s latest banger, which goes by the name V.O.V, is described by the band as “a song of resistance and struggle against violence and suffering".
TAKING BACK SUNDAY arrived on stage at 9pm for their 85 mins set.
Have not seen TBS before and don't know much about them ,
apart from seeing their name on festival bills.
Lots of moshing and several crowd surfers tonight.
The dyed blonde haired singer , has a funny dance shuffle , but is rambling on too much between the songs , and the vocals seem a bit slurred , and drowned out by the band.
Early in their career they started off as a bit of an EMO rock band , but seem more straight rock these days.
The last two songs certainly were a highlight as the crowd erupted for ' Cute Without the 'E' (Cut From the Team)' and
' MakeDamnSure' ...overall a good show.
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Tuesday 26 March 2024.
THE STRANGLERS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
The Stranglers are playing another farewell tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
They were part of the punk movement of the late 70s but their musicianship and menace transcended the genre. They created their own unique sound and achieved over 25 Top 40 singles and 18 Top 40 albums, with their most recent release Dark Matters reaching number 4, their highest UK chart position since Feline in the early 80s and being acclaimed as their best in decades.
The Stranglers plan to make this milestone anniversary show extra special with two sets featuring songs from the band’s inception.
I have seen them around 20 times since when they supported Patti Smith at The Roundhouse on 17 May 1976 , which was the first major punk related gig in London.
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From playing pubs in 1974, then standing on the coat-tails of punk rock and new wave to playing a sold out show at The Royal Albert Hall in 2024......Pretty amazing really...
The older loyal Stranglers fans are out in force tonight.
Why have so many Stranglers fans got bald heads ?
The venue must be a bit wary of this crowd as the normal timid venue security are replaced by proper security - Show & Event.
It is standing on the RAH floor tonight.
THE STRANGLERS are on for a nice long 2 hours 15 mins over two sets of 55 mins and 80 mins .
Lots of backlighting and three huge chandeliers on stage.
Both sets are introduced by Japanese drummers performing .
Jean-Jacques Burnel (still looking good for age 72) , the only remaining original member, dedicated their third song of the night, The Raven, to Jet Black and Dave Greenfield, who stayed with the band until ill-health and death forced them out.
The Men in Black are hardly a punk band really , as their musicianship is top notch and the sound quality is perfect.
JJs rumbling bass is still pure quality.
Singer Baz asks " how is everyone in the boxes , with your Pimm's and cucumber sandwiches?" and the crowd cheers.
A nice mix of newer material and older classics.
I certainly prefer the older Hugh era classics.
Judging by the increased jumping around ,the fans also prefer the older tracks but still applaud all the newer songs.
A great gig.
Full setlist played by The Stranglers tonight...
FIRST SET
Just Like Nothing on Earth
Hallow to Our Men
The Raven ((Dedicated to Dave and Jet))
Baroque Bordello
North Winds
Genetix
Princess of the Streets
Breathe
Hanging Around
Down in the Sewer ( JJ wanders into the stalls side seats )
SECOND SET
Who Wants the World?
Duchess
Time to Die
Ships That Pass in the Night
Peaches
Threatened
Skin Deep
Always the Sun
Golden Brown
Relentless
5 Minutes
Lost Control
White Stallion
Something Better Change
Tank
Encore:
Go Buddy Go
No More Heroes

Monday 25 March 2024.

Monday 25 March 2024.
10cc live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Their run of mid-70s hits were bona fide, pop-literate, soft-prog gold.
They are touring to promote a massive 145-track, 14-disc, all the albums, plus single edits, B-sides and alternatives box set.
Still featuring original member Graham Gouldman.
I have seen them several times , with the first time when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon in 1975.
I also saw them in Aug 1976 when they were the main support to The Rolling Stones at Knebworth......above Lynryd Skynyrd.
This show is part of a massive world tour which includes their first tour of North America for 30 years , and a second UK leg of dates at the end of the year.
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Looks like a sold out show , but there is no gallery standing.
We have nice views, stalls swivel seats right of stage.
PAUL CANNING arrived on stage at 7.30pm for his 30 mins set.
Just him and his guitar playing tracks from his five albums.
He has had 40 million streams on Spotify.
His humour between songs certainly got him a few new fans.
10cc arrived on stage at 8.30pm for their two hour set.
Graham Goodmans current 10cc line-up features musicians who have played with many big artists when not touring with 10cc.
All their many great hit singles played, with highlights being ' I'm Not in Love' and a stunning acapella version of 'Donna'.
Great to see original.member KEVIN GODLEY join them for three songs.
When they left 10cc , Godley and Creme made some of the biggest videos for other artists in the 1980s.
A great show.
Full setlist played by 10cc tonight...
Intro track and video Son of Man (GG/06 song)
The Second Sitting for the Last Supper
Art for Art's Sake
Life Is a Minestrone
Good Morning Judge
The Dean and I
Clockwork Creep
Feel the Benefit
The Wall Street Shuffle
Floating in Heaven ( Graham Gouldman song)
The Things We Do for Love
Say the Word ( Hornal cover)
Silly Love
Somewhere in Hollywood ( with Kevin Godley on video)
Old Wild Men (with Kevin Godley)
Cry (Godley & Creme cover) (with Kevin Godley)
I'm Mandy Fly Me
I'm Not in Love ( followed by band introductions)
Dreadlock Holiday
Encore:
Donna ( A Capella)
Rubber Bullets ( with Kevin Godley)
Outro track song - Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell song)
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Sunday 24 March 2024.
ROGER DALTREY & FRIENDS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
This was the last of the seven TCT shows at this venue.
This was the fourth TCT show I have been to this week.
‘Ovation’ - A Celebration of 24 Years of Gigs For Teenage Cancer Trust' with Roger Daltrey, Kelly Jones, Robert Plant with Saving Grace, Eddie Vedder, Paul Weller.
The Who's Roger Daltrey has announced he will step down as curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust gigs, after this year's set of concerts.
The shows have been running at the Royal Albert Hall since 2000, raising more than £32m from ticket sales.
The series will end with a celebration of the series of shows.
Titled Ovation, the concert will feature Daltrey himself, accompanied by artists who helped establish the gigs as a fixture of the music calendar.
From 2025, the concerts will be overseen by a series of guest curators. Daltrey will continue as a Teenage Cancer Trust Honorary Patron
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Needless to say the venue is totally rammed sold out.
All the acts were pretty much in semi-acoustic mode.
Everyone used the big screen except Robert Plant.
Roger Daltrey introduced all the acts.
FIRST SET
PAUL WELLER arrived on stage at 7.05pm for 35 mins.
He was joined by Roger Daltrey for a Who song , and finished with a superb version of ' That's Entertainment'.
Gravity
Mayfly
A Man of Great Promise (The Style Council song)
Amongst Butterflies
Rockets
Wild Wood
So Sad About Us ( The Who cover) (with Roger Daltrey)
That's Entertainment ( The Jam song)
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KELLY JONES arrived on stage at 7.55pm for 25 mins.
Kelly never seems to age , as he played Stereophonics tracks.
He was without band, but joined by a steel guitar player.
Local Boy in the Photograph (Stereophonics song)
Maybe Tomorrow ( Stereophonics song)
You're My Star ( Stereophonics song)
Dakota ( Stereophonics song)
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SECOND SET
EDDIE VEDDER arrived on stage at 9pm for 30 mins.
He was mainly solo , but was joined by Glen Hansard.and Simon Townshend on some tracks.
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town ( Pearl Jam song)
Far Behind
She Asked Me ( Simon Townshend cover) (with Simon Townshend)
Society (Jerry Hannan cover) (with Glen Hansard)
My Father's Daughter ( Olivia Vedder, Eddie Vedder & Glen Hansard cover) (with Olivia Vedder)
Falling Slowly (The Swell Season cover) (with Glen Hansard)
Porch (Pearl Jam song)
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ROBERT PLANT WITH SAVING GRACE on at 9.35pm for 35 mins. Robert and Suzi Dian were superb as they shared vocals.
The Americana sound of Saving Grace was top notch.
Gospel Plow ( [traditional] cover)
As I Roved Out ( [traditional] cover)
Too Far From You (Nashville Cast cover)
Everybody's Song (Low cover)
Angel Dance (Los Lobos cover)
Friends (Led Zeppelin cover)
And We Bid You Goodnight ([traditional] cover)
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ROGER DALTREY and band on at 10.35pm for 35 mins.
Tonight was all about this legendary 80 year old and all the work he has done for Teenage Cancer Trust.
An excellent finale with all the artists on stage (except Paul Weller) for a stunning ' Baba O'Riley' .
Let My Love Open the Doorn (Pete Townshend cover)
Squeeze Box ( The Who song)
Giving It All Away (Leo Sayer cover)
The Way It Is (Simon Townshend cover) (vocal Simon Townshend)
After the Fire
Freedom Ride ( Taj Mahal cover)
Without Your Love
Baba O'Riley (The Who song) (with Robert Plant, Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard and Kelly Jones)
A standing ovation for Roger Daltrey at the end ..a fantastic evening.

Saturday 23 March 2024.

Saturday 23 March 2024.
MR .BIG live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Mr.Big bring their ' The Big Finish' 2023/2024 World Tour to the UK....last year the band played 11 sold out nights at the famous Budokan Arena in Tokyo, as the band are huge over there.
Mr. Big is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1988. Still featuring three original members Though primarily a hard rock band, they are also known for softer songs. Their songs are often marked by strong vocals and vocal harmonies. Their hits include "To Be with You" (a number-one single in 15 countries in 1992) and "Just Take My Heart".
They will play their second album 'Lean Into It ' in full , which includes their mega selling hit single ' To Be With You'.
Another band who are saying this is their last UK tour.
I have seen them six times before ,with the last time being at this same venue in 2017.
Including two times when they supported Aerosmith at Wembley Arena in 1993, when Aerosmith had a comeback,
after the went very quiet in the early 1980s.
Aerosmith multi-platinum release, Permanent Vacation (1987), saw them regaining their previous level of popularity In the late 1980s and 1990s, the band won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989) and Get a Grip (1993).
Last minute update from Mr. Big....
Earlier today (Friday, March 22),Eric Martin took to his social media to write: "Hey fine folks, Eric here .. So after these last couple shows with my voice going in and out and struggling to keep it together (I'm not gonna get into it ..wear and tear, work overload, voodoo doll curses etc.) I had a crazy idea that could work. I'm bringing out my dear friend and singer Michele Luppi (WHITESNAKE) to join me on stage on these next two shows so I can get my strength back. We'll duet on most of the tunes including the album.
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Tonight's show is fully sold out.
Mr.Big are "Big in Japan" so plenty of Japanese here.
JARED JAMES NICHOLS on stage at 7.45pm for 30 mins.
Jared James Nichols (age 35 ) is an American blues-rock guitarist and singer from East Troy, Wisconsin, best known for his high-energy "pick-less" electric guitar playing technique. He is rarely seen playing without his signature single-pickup Epiphone Les Paul Custom P90 nick-named Old Glory or his vintage original 1953 Gibson Les Paul nick-named Ole Red. He fronts a power trio under his name, rooted in the early 1970s hard-rock vein of Cream and Mountain. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jared looks and style reminded me of Ted Nugent .
He cuts an imposing figure with upper arms the size of tree trunks and a body frame that wouldn't be out of place in the world's strongest man competition.
The trio played a good set of tracks.
I had seen them before in 2017 at Ramblin' Man Festival.
MR.BIG arrived on stage at 8.50pm and played for 1 hour 55 mins.
Despite his vocal struggles, Eric Martin is giving it 100% , and his vocal help is standing by the drum kit , hehind him.
The band are top notch musicians , with both Paul Gilbert (lead guitar ) and Billy Sheehan ( bass guitar), both having full solos.
It is obvious that Billy, Paul and new drummer Nick D'Virgilio are massively empathetic towards their singer's struggles, and they cover for him as much as possible. The choruses of most tracks are provided by their harmonious tones.
Their big hits 'Just Take My Heart' and 'To Be With You' were highlights and there were a few nice covers in the set.
A great show.
Full MR. BIG setlist played tonight....
Intro tape song - Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones song)
Addicted to That Rush
Take Cover
Price You Gotta Pay
LEAN INTO IT album ...
Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)
Alive and Kickin'
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
CDFF-Lucky This Time ( Jeff Paris cover)
Voodoo Kiss
Never Say Never
Just Take My Heart
My Kinda Woman
A Little Too Loose
Road to Ruin
To Be With You
Wild World ( Cat Stevens cover)
Guitar Solo (with snippets of 'Theme from Rocky', 'The Whole World´s Gonna Know' and 'Nothing But Love')
Colorado Bulldog
Bass Solo
Shy Boy ( Talas cover)
30 Days in the Hole (Humble Pie cover)
Good Lovin' (The Olympics cover) (Band swaps instruments, with Billy Sheehan on vocals)
Baba O'Riley ( The Who cover)
Note: Michele Luppi provided additional vocals throughout due to Eric Martin's illness
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Friday 22 March 2024.
LUKAS GRAHAM live at Shepherds Bush Empire .
Lukas Graham is a Danish pop band featuring lead vocalist Lukas Forchhammer.The band released Lukas Graham, their first album, with labels Copenhagen Records and Then We Take The World in 2012.The album peaked at number one on the Danish charts. Their second album was released in 2015.and earned international attention with singles like "Mama Said" and "7 Years", the latter of which topped the singles charts in many major music markets, including the UK .
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Lukas Graham recently unveiled his long-awaited full length album 4 (The Pink Album) via Warner.
This London show is the last date on their UK tour.
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The show is totally sold out.
Mainly English folks here, but there were some Danish
Quite a few families with young children.
ROZZI and her guitarist arrived on stage at 8pm for 35 mins.
ROZZI is American singer -songwriter with a great voice.
She played tracks from her two albums and an Abba cover of ' Dancing Queen'.
LUKAS GRAHAM arrived on stage at 8pm for their 80 mins set.
The name sounds like an American country music act, but they are a five piece band, including keyboards.
All the tracks are in English , catchy pop soul.
The band are as surprised as I am, that they have sold out this 2000 capacity venue.
The singer takes his shirt off for the last three songs.
The last song of the night is their big UK number one hit singles ' 7 Years'.
Overall the show ticked along nicely.

Friday 22 March 2024.

Thursday 21 March 2024.
An excellent triple bill of classic rock bands.
​JUDAS PRIEST live at Wembley Arena.
with special guests SAXON and URIAH HEEP.
This is the last date on their six date UK tour.
Judas Priest new album ' Invincible Shield ' is out for the tour.
The metal icons’ 19th album entered the UK charts at Number 2. It was only kept off the top spot by Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine.
Previously, Priest‘s best UK chart showing was with 1980’s British Steel, which reached No.4. The band’s last album, 2018’s Firepower, reached No.5.
I have seen all three bands many times since the 1970s.
I have seen Judas Priest around 20 times , with the first time in 1977 at The New Victoria Theatre , and including when they supported KISS in Chicago Sept 1979
I have seen Saxon around 25 times , with the first time in 1979 when they supported Motorhead at Hammersmith Odeon.
I have seen Uriah Heep around a dozen times , with the first time in 1974 when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
I got Mick Box guitar pick that night, which was the first ever guitar pick I got from a well known musician.
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It is not sold out tonight, but pretty much 90% full.
We have great seats , right of stage in Block N6.
The Who long time manager BILL CURBISHLEY is sitting in the row in front of us.
Now aged 82, he is a music biz legend.
Curbishley started his career in the music business in 1971 at Track Records, managing tours for The Who and other artists such as Thunderclap Newman, Golden Earring and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.Curbishley produced The Who's film Tommy, the prison movie McVicar and also the film Buddy's Song, all starring The Who's Roger Daltrey. As their manager he persuaded Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to team up together for their mid 1990s tour.
He also managed Judas Priest at one stage of their career.
URIAH HEEP arrived on stage at 6.40pm for their 35 mins set.
Original member Mick Box on guitar is still there at age 76.
A short set , which included their best songs at the end.
Full URIAH HEEP setlist played tonight...
Save Me Tonight
Grazed by Heaven
Rainbow Demon
Hurricane
Free 'n' Easy
Gypsy
Easy Livin'
SAXON arrived on stage at 7.40pm for their 65 mins set.
Saxon played a great set mixing a few new album tracks with the big anthems , although a shorter set than normal meant a few biggies not played. ' 747 (Strangers in tge Night)',
'Wheels of Steel' and ' Princess of the Night' were mega.
Oddly singer Biff said this was the first time they had played here, as in 1980 they were due to support Rainbow here but a moody Richie Blackmore told his team to turn them away.
That night Richie had a fight with his own band , which resulted in no encore and the crowd caused £10k worth of damage.
Full SAXON setlist played tonight...
Hell, Fire and Damnation
Motorcycle Man
Sacrifice
There's Something in Roswell
And the Bands Played On
Power and the Glory
Madame Guillotine
Heavy Metal Thunder
Dallas 1 PM (Crowd choice over Crusader and Strong Arm Of The Law)
747 (Strangers in the Night)
Denim & Leather
Wheels of Steel
Princess of the Night
JUDAS PRIEST arrived on stage at 9.20pm for their 95 mins.
All three bands have loads of lights, but only Judas Priest as the headliners have the full monty stage production with use of the big screen mixing live footage and pre-recorder footage.
Rob Halford is now aged 72, but can still hit those high note screams , as he parades around the stage looking like Grandad from Only Fools and Horses due to his long grey beard.
He wears a succession of long coats throughout the set.
A few new album tracks and lots of Priest classic anthems.
You can see the show is performed to perfection each night.
Great to see ex guitarist Glenn Tipton’s come on for the last two songs only after his Parkinson’s diagnosis and subsequent retirement.
The show was a visual and aural treat .
A great evening of three classic rock bands.
Full JUDAS PRIEST setlist played tonight...
Panic Attack
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Breaking the Law
Rapid Fire
Sword of Damocles
Love Bites
Saints in Hell
Crown of Horns
Turbo Lover
Invincible Shield
Sinner
The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)
(Fleetwood Mac cover)
Painkiller
Encore:
The Hellion
Electric Eye
Hell Bent for Leather (Rob arrives on his motorbike)
Metal Gods ( with Glenn Tipton)
Living After Midnight ( with Glenn Tipton)

Thursday 21 March 2024.

Wednesday 20 March 2024.
THE WHO with orchestra + SQUEEZE live at The Royal Albert Hall.
This was show number three of the seven TCT RAH shows .
I am back to see this great double bill for the second time.
I am again 9pm position stalls swivel seating.
Great to be at a gig again with mainly older folks like myself.
The big screen is still there for both bands tonight
SQUEEZE again on stage at 7.10pm for their 60 mins set.
They really do live up to the title of ' special guests' as they whizzed through their excellent same set of songs as Monday that have great lyrics....finishing with a mega 'Cool For Cats'.
THE WHO were on stage at 8.55pm for two hours.
Again ,split into three sets...
Band and orchestra
Band only
Band and orchestra
Watching Roger Daltrey giving it 100% at the age of 80 is pretty incredible to watch. We do have a slight change to setlist as opening song ' I Can't Explain' is dropped , and replaced by ' The Punk and the Godfather' with EDDIE VEDDER and Roger sharing the vocals.
Less jokey jibes from Pete Townshend tonight .
Another totally excellent show from these rock legends.
THE WHO full setlist tonight...
WITH BAND AND ORCHESTRA
Overture
1921
Amazing Journey
Sparks
The Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
We're Not Gonna Take It
Who Are You
BAND ONLY
The Kids Are Alright
Substitute
My Generation
Cry If You Want
You Better You Bet
Won't Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes (acoustic with strings)
WITH BAND AND ORCHESTRA
The Punk and the Godfather (with Eddie Vedder)
I'm One
5.15
The Rock
Love, Reign O'er Me ( followed by band introductions)
Baba O'Riley
At the end of the show I go for a wander upstairs to the Level 1 area and boxes and I hump into and say a quick hello to legendary live music booking agent Rod MacSween ( The Who , Pearl Jam and many more) , and with him is The Who long time manager Bill Curbishley.
EDDIE VEDDER comes out of their box with his personal security , and I blurt out " see you at Tottenham" , and his mind does a double check then remembers it is that huge stadium that Pearl Jam are playing on 29 June....and we fist pump each other.