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!

Tuesday 09 January 2024.

Tuesday 09 January 2024.
Happy Birthday to JIMMY PAGE who is 80 today.
Happy Birthday to DAVID JOHANSEN who is 74 today.
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Monday 08 January 2024.
Teenage Cancer Trust is back! The Royal Albert Hall has been hosting concerts in aid of the charity since 2000, with the biggest names in music and comedy coming together each year to raise money to help young people face the chaos of cancer.
I have been to at least one show , every year since the start.
Mon 18 March - THE WHO with orchestra + Squeeze
Tues 19 March - comedy evening with half a dozen acts
Wed 20 March - THE WHO with orchestra + Squeeze
Thurs 21 March - NOEL GALLAGHER and THFB + Blossoms
Fri 22 March - YOUNG FATHERS
Sat 23 March - THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS
Sun 24 March - ROGER DALTREY and friends
Tickets go on sale soon.
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Saturday 06:January 2024.
THE BOYS live at The 100 Club.
With support from THE DIRTY STRANGERS + THE VULZ.
I have seen The Boys over a dozen times since 1977 when they supported The Damned at The Roxy Club Jan 1977 , and then summer 1977 with The Jam + The Saints + The Boys at Hammersmith Odeon, then a headline gig at The Marquee Club.
I have seen The Dirty Strangers three times. Singer Alan Clayton got Keef and Ronnie to play on some of their tracks , and in July 2013 I saw them play The Borderline Club when Stones sax player Bobby Keys played eight songs with them.
I have seen The Vulz a couple of times before.
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This was my first gig of 2024.
This was the third show of The Resolution Punk Festival at this venue. Nice to see so many friends here.
THE VULZ arrived on stage at 8.10pm for their 35 mins set.
They played some good catchy tunes from their albums.
The Vulz lend out their gleaming drum kit to the other two bands and other stage bits like guitars and amps.
THE DIRTY STRANGERS arrived on stage at 8.55pm for their 40 mins set. They have a nice sound with hints of The Stones / The Faces. Their set included gems like 'Pirates Don't Get Pensions ' and 'Gold Cortina' but no time tonight to play ' 'Shepherds Bush City Limits'.
THE BOYS arrived on stage at 9.50pm for their 65 mins set.
The Boys still feature two original members.
Lots of short and catchy tracks played in their great set.
Most of them date back to their 1970s punk heyday.
Setlist played tonight...
T.C.P.
See Ya Later
Terminal Love
Punk Rock Menopause
Weekend
U.S.I.
I'm a Believer
Cop Cars
You Can't Hurt a Memory
No Money
Soda Pressing
Tumble With Me (Hollywood Brats cover)
Do the Contract Hustle
Global Warming
I Don't Care
First Time
Brickfield Nights
Living in the City
Sick on You

Friday 05 January 2024.

Wednesday 03 January 2024.
BBC1 10.45pm - RAYE live at The Royal Albert Hall 2023.
I was at this really good sold out show , where Raye was backed by a full orchestra.
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Tuesday 02 January 2024.
PETER PAN is at The London Palladium.
The country's biggest and best panto returns to this venue.
I have been to it a few times in the past.
The London Palladium pantomime is set to return for an eighth year, with a brand new production of Peter Pan starring Jennifer Saunders and Julian Clary.
Saunders, who will be making her Palladium panto debut in Peter Pan playing Captain Hook, said: “I could not be more delighted to be doing my first panto ever at the Palladium. I am a huge fan of panto and The Palladium always delivers. I wouldn’t want to be in Peter Pan’s tiny soft shoes let me tell you, because I am going to give Hook my all!”
Returning Palladium panto favourites Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot, and Rob Madge will also join Saunders and Clary in the cast. The production will once again be directed by Michael Harrison, who has produced and directed all eight London Palladium pantomimes.
Peter Pan will run from Saturday 9 the December 2023 to Sunday 14 January 2024.
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This iconic venue looks very full tonight.
I have a superb seat just three rows from the stage.
The show was on for two hours over 70 mins and 50 mins.
Last Christmas it was Dawn French who brought celebrity star power to the Palladium panto Jack and The Beanstalk. This year it is French's comedy partner Jennifer Saunders playing villainous Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Apart from that this is business as usual for the ensemble – in other words a riotous mix of camp, slapstick, smut and occasional acting. And, as always, glorious fun.
I'm not sure JM Barrie envisaged Julian Clary dressed as a giant prawn, or Peter Pan's crotch catching fire after some limbo dancing. This is a version that just about pays lip service to the origin story. No wonder a song in the second half, sung by scene-stealing imp Rob Madge as fairy Tink, asks "whatever happened to the plot?"
Instead the cast concentrates on enjoying themselves and entertaining the audience. Saunders is superb as Hook and cannot resist breaking into crowdpleasing Abfab impressions. Louis Gaunt is a more muscular Pan than you might expect. The boy who never grew up, but clearly spent a lot of hours in the gym. Clary as Seaman Smee brings Act One to a close on a literal high as he glides into the rafters.
Elsewhere familiar set-pieces are given a new spin. Gary Wilmot's Dame delivers a trademark rapid-fire wordplay number. Professional duffer Nigel Havers and slick ventriloquist Paul Zerdin join Clary and Wilmot for a singalong which involves Havers being repeatedly whacked.
Julian Clary had a dozen incredible costumes , and had the majority of the smutty jokes.
Nigel Havers was the butt of many jokey routines related to his age.
The ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and his puppet were excellent, and in the second half he got three young children on stage , which was very entertaining audience participation.
There is satire with swipes at Farage Sunak and Starmer.
So much laughter in this top notch spectacle which was a great start to 2024.

Monday 01 January 2024.

Monday 01 January 2024.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.
Here are my Top 20 gigs of the year which was full of great shows.
I went to 189 gigs in 2023 , which brings my gig total to 7561 since Sept 1973.
The first three that I gave a 10, and the rest were all pretty close, date order.
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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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FLAMING LIPS at Hammersmith Apollo - 28 April
DURAN DURAN at The 02 Arena - 01 May
STEEL PANTHER + WINGER live at The Forum - 20 May
Tribute to JEFF BECK at The Royal Albert Hall - 22 May and 23 May
Feat ERIC CLAPTON + ROD STEWART + RONNIE WOOD + BILLY GIBBONS+ JOSS STONE + JOHNNY DEPP plus others.
SPARKS at The Royal Albert Hall - 29 May and 30 May
BEYONCE at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground - 04 June
THE HIVES at The Garage -13 June
BLUR +SELF ESTEEM + SLEAFORD MODS at Wembley Stadium - 08 July
HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES at The 02 Arena - 09 July
THE WHO at The 02 Arena - 12 July
PULP live at Hammersmith Apollo - 29 July
REBELLION PUNK FESTIVAL at Blackpool + 03 Aug to 06 Aug - over 30 bands seen.
MARC BOLAN ANNIVERSARY CONCERT at Shepherds Bush Empire - 15 Sept
Feat TREXTASY + MARC ALMOND + HOLLY JOHNSON plus others.
kYLIE MINOGUE at Shepherds Bush Empire - 27 Sept
DIANA ROSS at The Royal Albert Hall -15 Oct
SUZI QUATRO live at The Palladium - 15 Nov
EXTREME + LIVING COLOUR at The Forum - 04 Dec and 19 Dec
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Sunday 31 December 2023.
New Year Fireworks - The London Eye.
100, 000 have paid £20 each and many more have found places to see it free from a distance.
We had a few drinks in the area, very busy with lots of tourists.
We are in Red Zone 5 ticketed area for the main event 10pm to 12.30pm.
A DJ played tunes before and after the fireworks display.
The top notch fireworks display was on for around 10 mins.
Lots of those disco party boats on the river looked a good place to watch the fireworks display from.
Thankfully it was rain free night , and good fun.

Friday 29 December 2023

Friday 29 December 2023.
FREE ENTRY gig at The Cavern , Raynes Park , London SW20.
HEAVY METAL KIDS (who still feature two original members on drums and guitar) .
I saw Heavy Metal Kids in the 1970s when Gary Holton (RIP) was on vocals.
They were playing 1972–1985 (until when Gary Holton died) and reformed 2002–present.
Uriah Heep + Heavy Metal Kids Hammersmith Odeon, London 22.06.1974 ...this tour was to promote new album " Wonderworld" . support group had the great Gary Holton as lead singer who later starred on TV in Auf Weidersen Pet but who sadly died .
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 11.09.1975... fantastic rock package This is more like it . Great rock songs with a great stage show .
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 12.09.1975..."Welcome To My Nightmare " is the current album He played all his 4 Top 10 hit singles and it was just brilliant .
Heavy Metal Kids,Stray,Dirty Tricks Roundhouse, London 11.07.1976.
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Oddly this was the first time I have been to this old school rock music pub.
Well worth keeping an eye on their gig list, as 75 % of their shows are free entry.
It has music memorabilia adorning all the walls.
My friend MARK TAYLOR from Record Collector is here , and he warned me it was a late start late finish venue, which is ok for the locals, but not ideal for those like me who have made a proper trek.
THE EDLINERS arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for around 50 mins.
Blues rock trio started off with a couple of their own tracks , then it was all cover versions , including The Rolling Stones, BTO, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin.
The guitarist played some stunning riff's and solos on his Gibson Les Paul.
THE HEAVY METAL KIDS arrived on stage at 10.10pm and played for around 75 mins.
This meant they came off stage at the mental time of 11.25pm.
Really great to be up close to the stage.
The guitarist is one of those that does not use any effects pedals.
Their current singer is younger and has a nice tall , slim, front man vibe.
Early songs in the set included ' Chelsea Kids', 'Blow It All Away ', ' Hit The Right Button' , and the best tunes were in the second half of the set ,so we had 'Squallidy Inn' , ' Houseparty' , 'She's No Angel ' and 'Delirious '.
Really good to see The Heavy Metal kids are still playing.
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Thursday 28 December 2023.
2023 was the best year for vinyl album sales in the UK since 1990.
Top 10 best-selling vinyl albums 2023, with Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones taking the top two positions.
Taylor Swift - 1989 (Taylor's Version)
The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds
Lana Del Rey - Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
Taylor Swift - Speak Now (Taylor's Version)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Blur - The Ballad of Darren
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
Taylor Swift - Midnights
Olivia Rodrigo - Guts
Lewis Capaldi - Broken by Desire to be Heaven Sent
The BPI said cassette sales were also picking up again after dying out in early 1990s, while the decline in CD sales had begun to slowdown, "plateauing" at most 11 million units in 2023.
Take That's This Life is the year's top selling CD, while Olivia Rodrigo's Guts was the best performing cassette.
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Wednesday 27 December 2023.
Happy Birthday to JANET STREET PORTER who is 77 today.
Janet was the presenter of the LWT TV show in 1976 that featured The Sex Pistols at The Notre Dame Hall in Leicester Square.
You can see me in the TV footage jumping around front of stage.
Stills of the footage with me in them were used in The Sex Pistols 'Pretty Vacant ' poster ' Dance to The Sex Pistols' and the picture cover for Sex Pistols ' Pretty Vacant' in New Zealand.

Sunday 24 December 2023.

MERRY CHRISTMAS GREETINGS to all visitors to this website.
Saturday 23 December 2023.
The West End is buzzing with locals and tourists.
6pm.... Getting out at Tottenham Court Road station is enjoyable these days , as you can browse the stunning Now Building.
The Now Building, which is home to what is said to be 'the world's largest LED canvas' by pixel density, has attracted 6.25 million visitors in its first year. Outernet London has become the capital city's most-visited attraction. Helps that it is free to watch.
Their live music venue which replaced The Astoria and the small club which replaced The Borderline at this building don't seem to be attracting many big names.
6.30pm....Good to see FOPP RECORDS Covent Garden was nice and busy...I still have not been to the re-opening of the HMV store in Oxford Street.
then
7.30pm....CRAZY FOR YOU at The Gillian Lynne Theatre, Drury Lane , London WC2.
This musical closes on 31 Dec 2023.
I went to the opening press/VIP party on 04 July 2023 for it , but have not actually seen the show itself until now.
The venue is pretty much 90% full.
I end up with a great view in the stalls, five rows from the stage.
The show was on for around 2 hours 25 mins over two sets.
The show got lots of great five star reviews.
‘CRAZY FOR YOU BRINGS THE AUDIENCE TO ITS FEET. THE WHOLE EVENING IS FULL OF JOY. PURE, IRRESISTIBLE FUN!’
The biggest and most joyful musical comedy is lighting up the West End, ‘banishing the cares of the world with sublime songs and dynamic tap routines’ (Evening Standard).
This large-scale production boasts 16 orchestra members and an incredible 34 strong cast, led by the ‘electrifying’ Charlie Stemp (The Times), alongside the ‘magnetic’ Carly Anderson (Broadway World) and ‘outrageously comic’ Tom Edden (Evening Standard). This show overflows with glorious Gershwin melodies, including Someone to Watch Over Me, I Got Rhythm and They Can’t Take That Away from Me.
A celebration of musical theatre at its finest, ‘Susan Stroman’s choreography blows the roof off and wins standing ovations’ (Daily Mail), which ‘sends you out on a high from the joy of music and dance’ (Financial Times).
With a riotously entertaining book by Ken Ludwig, this spectacular production has transferred from a sell-out season at the Chichester Festival Theatre and is now in its final week at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre.
This show was totally excellent.
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Friday 22 December 2023.
Amazing news.
THE ROLLING STONES claim 2023’s Official Christmas Number 1 album in the UK with ' Hackney Diamonds' .
Helped by the re-issue with some live tracks.
With guitarist Keith Richards having turned 80 years old this week, he and bandmates Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood see their latest album return to the summit once again. ' Hackney Diamonds' topped the Official Albums Chart upon its release in October.
WHAM ' Last Christmas ' is the number one single for Christmas, for the first time at Christmas since it was released 39 years ago in 1984.
The Band Aid single kept it off the top spot in 1984.
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BBC4 TV 9.10pm - GEORGE MICHAEL live at Earls Court Arena.
George Michaels last ever shows were three nights at this venue in Oct 2012....This recording features the last two shows........I saw this show at The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Opera House, earlier on in the tour...It was fantastic.
George Michael is no longer with us, and Earls Court Arena has been bulldozed.
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JOE STRUMMER sadly died 21 years ago today....22 Dec 2002.
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Thursday 21 December 2023.
21 Dec 1973.
It was 50 years ago that i saw my first ever gig at The Rainbow.
It was glam rock legends THE SWEET in their heyday.
The legendary Finsbury Park venue is now a Brazilian church.

Wednesday 20 December 2023.

Wednesday 20 December 2023....I went to two events tonight....
6.15pm to 8.30pm.
Guess Who's Sleighing It For Christmas - private view -
Flannels, 161- 167 Oxford Street ,London W1.
Ground floor level is a nice clothing store , and below they hold digital art exhibitions every two or three months.
Similar to what you see at Outernet , up the road.
Maybe 150 guests here and a lot of folks that I know.
A DJ is playing tracks in the background.
Complimentary prosecco , spirits, wines and beers for guests so I had a few JD n cokes.
then
8.40pm to 11pm.
Work Christmas Party at Montagu Pyke , Charing Cross Road London WC2.
This huge and always busy Wetherspoon's pub used to be The Marquee Club when it moved from Wardour Street.
Around 15 of us here with complementary drinks , different pizza slices and chicken bits.
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Tuesday 19 December 2023.
EXTREME + LIVING COLOUR live at The Forum
A nice pair of funk rock bands arrive back in London.
We are spoilt in London , as some bands play two or three or more London shows on their tour.
See my review from their great 04 Dec 2023 Forum show.
This is the last night on their ' Thicker Than Blood' world tour.
Reminder ...this is a great pairing of classic rock bands...
SCORPIONS + EXTREME play Wembley Arena on 08 June 2024.
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The venue is totally rammed again , like last time.
The first show , i was rear stalls standing , but tonight is 3rd row
from the front of the balcony centre.
Legendary live music booking agent ROD MacSWEEN is here.
Legendary rock photographer ROSS HALFIN is here.
LIVING COLOUR arrived on stage at 7.50pm for their 40 mins.
Living COLOUR arrive on stage , as if they are the headliners.
Pretty much the same setlist as last time.
They played a great funk rock set, that was loud , funky , heavy and featured amazing guitar playing from Vernon Reid.
EXTREME arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for two hours.
It is pretty much the same set as a fortnight ago.
Super slim singer Gary Cherone is a non-stop bundle of energy , and Nuno Bettencourt is stunning on his various guitars.
The overall sound is excellent , and they had loads of lights.
'Get The Funk Out' is a highlight for me...see my Facebook page for the video i took tonight.
At the end of the show all the band go in the pit to shake hands with fans, and give out dozens of guitar plectrums.
Not many bands are as good as they were in their heyday , but Extreme have managed it....a fantastic show.
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11.30pm to 12.15am.
A fair amount of folks on the guest list , but not many have after-show passes, that's because it was held backstage ,rather than the usual balcony bar.
We wait a bit for the tour manager to say it is ok to go into one of the bands dressing rooms.Maybe 20 or 25 folks here max,
including all the band members and a couple of young kids.
Had a chat with three of the band , who offered me wine and beers from the fridge, but I had a full drink anyway.
I got a photo with Nuno which is up on my Facebook page.,
and he gave me a couple of guitar plectrums.
My parting words were " see you back at Hammersmith one day".

Monday 18 December 2023.

Monday 18 December 2023.
GEDDY LEE - MY EFFIN' LIFE - IN CONVERSATION at
The Barbican , London.
This is part a five-date UK tour where Geddy Lee the singer/bassist of legendary prog-rockers Rush is being interviewed by a different guest each night, ostensibly plugging his new autobiography My Effin’ Life. Previous UK shows have had Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers, Melissa Auf Der Maur of Hole/Smashing Pumpkins and comedian Phil Jupitus , and the show before London at Portsmouth Guildhall had a surprise appearance by Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson.
Surely Alex will turn up in London?
I have seen Rush around a dozen times including their first four UK tours in 1977, 1978, 1979,1980 at Hammersmith Odeon and then i would see them at the bigger arenas on later tours.
Rush,Stray Hammersmith Odeon, London 04.06.1977
Rush,Tyla Gang Hammersmith Odeon, London 19.02.1978
Rush,Tyla Gang Hammersmith Odeon, London 20.02.1978
Rush,Max Webster Hammersmith Odeon, London 05.05.1979
Rush,Max Webster Hammersmith Odeon, London 06.05.1979
Rush Hammersmith Odeon, London 05.06.1980
second of five sold out shows by Rush here on this tour.
Hammersmith Odeon, London 06.06.1980
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The Geddy Lee merch stand is doing plenty of business.
As we enter the hall ,we all get an exclusive complimentary 20 page colour tour programme which features unpublished stories, photographs and more!
The venue is 90 % full which is pretty good considering the high price tickets for just a bit of talking...£100, £80 , £60 plus booking fees ..although that does include a hardcopy of the book.
As expected it is mainly an older male audience tonight.
Before the talk , we have images on the big screen from the book, including the poster from their 1977 Hammersmith Odeon gig.
The talk is on for 2 hours 10 mins , over two sets of 60 mins and 70 mins.
GEDDY arrives on stage to a full standing ovation.
The first 30 mins or so is Jewish comedian David Baddiel and his brother talking to Geddy about him and his parents Jewish history....before going to on to Rush early beginnings and Geddy
reads from his book for 10 mins.
For the second half we do get Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson joining Geddy, and he also gets a full standing ovation.
They had over 500 emails for this Q n A session and maybe answered around a dozen or so.
Fave band to have fun with on the road = UFO.
Fave bands growing up = Yes and Cream.
Fave current bands = QOTS Age and Tool.
Recording their ' A Farewell To Kings ' album at Rockfield Studios in the UK straight after their 1977 UK tour.
Geddy getting kicked out of the band, in the early days .
A very enjoyable evening.
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Monday 18 December 2023
Happy Birthday to rock legend KEITH RICHARDS who reaches the grand old age of 80 today.
If you watch some of The Stones interviews from the 1970s, you would say no way would Keef reach 80, but he somehow has.
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Happy Birthday to BRAD PITT who is 60 today.
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Sunday 17 December 2023.
17 December 1979 - 44 years ago today BON SCOTT played his last London show with AC/DC before his tragic death, a couple of months after.
I was there at Hammersmith Odeon.
It was the 19th time I saw him with them.
I remember reading an article in Sounds magazine at the start of 1976 , about bands to look out for , including an Australian band with a guitarist who played in his school uniform and would get carried through the crowd on the singers shoulders during a guitar solo. That was enough to get me interested , so I saw early pub gigs and Marquee Club gigs in 1976, and the rave reviews meant that a mere 6 months after they played their first pub gigs, they were headlining Hammersmith Odeon.
Search AC/DC for the full list of gigs on www.raysgigs.com
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Saturday 16 December 2023.
These two programmes on SKY ARTS are a must watch.
11:00 PM
The Rolling Stones: Grrr Live!
A 2012 concert by the band at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey, featuring guest appearances by Lady Gaga, John Mayer, the Black Keys , Mick Taylor and Bruce Springsteen.
2:00 AM
Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
A 2016 concert by the veteran rock singer and his band, which featured Joshua Homme and Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys.
I was at this excellent show.
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Friday 15 December 2023.
WARGASM live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
This duo feature Sex Pistol GLEN MATLOCKS son.
What NME said in a four star review of their debut album ' Venom' , which came out in October.
This debut album has been nearly five years in the making, but it cements Wargasm’s position as one of UK heavy music’s leading forces. The London-based duo – singer-instrumentalists Milkie Way and Sam Matlock – turned heads as soon as they debuted in 2018 with their ear-catching blend of electronic and industrial sounds. Having supported Limp Bizkit, Corey Taylor and Neck Deep in the past 18 months, ‘Venom’ arrives on a significant wave of hype.
At the same time, it’s been a long and winding journey to this point. Before they came together, Matlock – the son of original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock – was working in bars after the promise of his former band Dead! faded away, while Way was juggling modelling and sporadic session work after moving to London from Northern Ireland.
It turns out they needed each other as much as heavy music needed them. From their monstrous 2020 breakout single ‘Spit’ to this year’s rap-metal masterclass ‘Do It So Good’ – a highlight on this album – they’ve proved why, arguably, they’re this generation’s answer to The Prodigy. Following an impactful appearance at 2021’s Download Pilot, Wargasm have garnered a vocal and passionate fanbase, who revere the band for both their charisma and genre-splicing approach to their music.
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Level 2 and 3 are closed but the floor is rammed solid as this crowd are up for some serious moshing and crowd surfing.
Around 1200 folks here , which is pretty impressive.
Glen Matlock ex wife is here , as her son is on stage.
Glen is not here , as he has his own gig outside of London.
HARPY arrived on stage at 7.25pm for their 25 mins set.
They have a female singer who is dressed in a foxy tight black catsuit , and they had some good crunching nu-metal sounds.
Oddly they had a male and female stood stationary on each side of the stage in a black head to toe satin catsuit.
DROPOUT KINGS arrived on stage at 8.20pm for their 35 mins.
These rap nu-nu metal band from Phoenix ,USA were great.
A very lively pair of rappers at the front, and a great band.
They were promoting their second album ' Riot Music'.
Lots of moshing and crowd surfing.
WARGASM arrived on stage at 9.20pm for their 65 mins set.
The words " ANGRY SONGS FOR SAD PEOPLE " are on the curtain underneath their band logo.
Male and female at the front sharing vocals , with both playing guitar, and the band at the back playing crunching nu-metal tunes...the female is a proper Courtney Love type rock chick.
A great atmosphere with moshing and crowd surfing non stop.
Lots of lights and strobes used in the very lively show.
For the last encore we had some pyros on the stage.
A very enjoyable evening of three nu-metal bands.
Full WARGASM setlist played tonight...
Venom
Rage All Over
Minigun
Fukstar
S.A.D.
Pyro Pyro
Modern Love
Sonic Dog Tag
Bang Ya Head
Feral
Outrage
Do It So Good
Encore:
D.R.I.L.D.O
Spit.

Thursday 14 December 2023.

Thursday 14 December 2023....3pm to 6pm....
IMMEDIATE MEDIA AWARDS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Around 500 guests here seated in the stalls and Level 1.
Staff are here from all their offices around the country.
Immediate is the special interest content and platform company. The fast-growing, multi-platform media business is home to over 1,000 people across eight divisions.
IMMEDIATE MEDIA own and operate some of the best-loved brands in the UK. And only focus on special interest markets, engaging over 75 million global passionate consumers each month, offering them world-class content and innovative new products and services.
They publish some big selling titles , including The Radio Times , Match of The Day, Good Food, Countryfile ,Pokémon and Gardeners World.
At 3pm we have complimentary drinks at the bar for an hour.
The dozen strong staff choir sing three songs including ' 12 Days of Christmas' as everyone joined in with it
At 4pm the host comedian SOPHIE DUKER takes the stage.
She does a 15 mins routine.
She won Taskmaster in 2022.
Then there were 25 awards quickly given out.
An enjoyable afternoon.
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Wednesday 13 December 2023.
GREGORY PORTER live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Following his trio of sold out shows this June, Gregory will return to the Hall for one more show in December.
Over the past decade, Porter has taken the world by storm by bringing contemporary jazz to the masses. Not only has the singer collected Grammy Awards for albums Liquid Spirit and Take Me To The Alley, he also made chart history with all five albums breaking into the Top 10 of the mainstream charts – three of those within the Top 5.
Gregory has just released a Christmas album titled
'Christmas Wish' which features three brand new original tracks.
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The venue is totally rammed sold out tonight.
Lots of hospitality in the boxes , as it is Christmas time.
The two RAH Christmas trees are as usual up by the organ.
GREGORY PORTER arrived on stage at 7.35pm and played for 2 hours 5 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 60 mins.
A nice mix of his own material and Christmas related songs.
Gregory arrived on stage wearing his trademark headwear.
He was joined on stage by around 50 musicians , when you add his great band, three backing vocalists and full orchestra.
For the last song of the first set he was joined by a 14 strong boy choir.
Gregory has such a smooth and amazing effortless voice.
A really good show.
FIRST SET
Little Drummer Boy
Liquid Spirit (lyrics changed to Christmas Spirit)
Christmas Waltz
Everything’s Not Lost
If Love Is Overrated
Hey Laura
A Cradle in Bethlehem
Silent Night (Joseph Mohr & Franz Gruber cover)
Make Believe (with Billie Fraser and children’s choir)
SECOND SET
Revival Song
Modern Day Apprentice
Do You Hear What I Hear?
No Love Dying
Take Me to the Alley
Holding On ( Disclosure cover)
Christmas Wish
Heart for Christmas ( with band introductions)
Encore:
The Christmas Song (Mel Tormé cover)
Note: For this show Gregory Porter was backed by
The Kingdom Orchestra conducted by Troy Miller.

Wednesday 13 December 2023.

Wednesday 13 December 2023.
Another sad death to report.
JEFFREY FOSKETT has died of thyroid cancer , age 67 .
He was a big part of The Brian Wilson Band and The Beach Boys over recent years, as he helped with the high notes etc.
Saw many great shows at The Royal Festival Hall when Brian Wilson resumed touring, and Jeffrey was part of that great band....also when he was with The Beach Boys at The Royal Albert Hall.
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Monday 11 December 2023.
Shock news that JOHN ' RAMBO' STEVENS has passed away.
Looks like he has a heart attack.
He was John Lydons manager , personal security and closest friend.
He had unwavering loyalty to John, that was above and beyond.
You would see him side of stage at Sex Pistols and PiL gigs ,
keeping an eye on things , or indeed anywhere that John went.
John Lydon will be gutted , as he recently lost his wife Nora.
See my Facebook page for a photo I took of the three of them at The BMI Awards around a decade ago , when John Lydon got the Icon Award.

Saturday 09 December 2023.

Saturday 09 December
THE WONDER STUFF live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The band scored one UK number 1 single, their release of "Dizzy" with comedian Vic Reeves, four x Top 10 single hits, and three top-10 albums in the UK.
I have seen them live a couple of times live, including at this same venue in Dec 2019.
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The show is not sold out but all levels look pretty full.
A middle aged crowd here of folks in their 40s and 50s.
NIGEL CLARK ( singer with Dodgy) is tonight's support act from
7.45pm to 8.30pm....just him and his guitar.
Dodgy are an English rock band formed in Hounslow in 1990. The band rose to prominence during the Britpop era of the 1990s. They are best known for their hits "Staying Out for the Summer", "If You're Thinking of Me", and "Good Enough".Good Enough was their biggest hit, reaching No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart in 1996.
His set included good versions of the three hits above.
WONDER STUFF arrived on stage at 7.50pm for their 1 hour 50 mins show over two sets of 60 mins and 50 mins.
Wonder Stuff have a nice big sound that feature twin guitars and a female violin player.
The Wonder Stuff have been around for a while. Apart from a little break between 1994 and 2000, they’ve been a mainstay of the British music scene for almost forty years. They’ve had to endure two deaths and frequent line-up changes, with seventeen musicians at one point or another being able to claim to have played for the Stourbridge outfit. Miles Hunt is the only person who has been a continuous presence in the band over the years.
Fans of their album ' Construction for the Modern Idiot ' are in for a treat as The Wonder Stuff hit the road to gig across the country in 2023 to transport fans back to 1993 as they play the album in its entirety. Then they played a second set of hits, classics and rarities from their extensive 37-year catalogue.
The second half was louder and livelier , with a great atmosphere amongst this Saturday night drinking crowd.
Their number one hit cover ' Dizzy' was played during the encore of this really good show.
SECOND SET - THE HITS
Ooh She Said
No, for the 13th Time
Mission Drive
Caught in My Shadow
The Size of a Cow
Golden Green
Don't Let Me Down, Gently
Here Comes Everyone
A Wish Away
Give, Give, Give Me More, More, More
Encore :
Dizzy (cover )
Unbearable
Ten Trenches Deep
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Friday 08 December 2023.
ALiCE PHOEBE LOU live at The Forum.
Berlin-based, South African singer-songwriter, Alice Phoebe Lou, brings her ethereal indie-folk to UK shores. Expect tracks from her five studio records, two live records and two EPs.
Tonight is the last night of her European Tour before she heads to South Africa.
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The circle is half empty , but must be 1500 out of 2000 tix sold.
Three quarters of the crowd are females.
LOVING arrived on stage at 8.05pm for their 40 mins set.
Five geeky looking chaps played some mellow tunes.
All or some of them , also double up as the headliners backing band
ALICE PHOEBE LOU arrived on stage at 9.10pm for her 1 hour 50 mins set.
A long show as Alice had plenty of stage chat between songs
A laid back mellow and dreamy indie - folk sound.
Halfway through Alice sings a few songs on her own.
This is when her fans want to give her notes and letters etc.
One girl gets on stage ...she talks to Alice then asks her girlfriend to marry her...her partner refused to come up on stage ..so we don't know if it was a yes or no.
Alice said that was the second marriage proposal on this tour.
Alice kicked of her shoes for the last few songs and danced more as the songs were louder and livelier.
The two song encore got folks dancing in the circle.
A good show.

Thursday 07 December 2033.

Thursday 07 December 2023.
AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD live at Hammersmith Apollo.
I have seen this top notch Pink Floyd tribute several times.
First time was back in 1993 at Subterania, West London.
This big London show is part of their annual UK tour.
They have already announced their Winter 2024 UK tour.
Pretty amazing that it's only a tribute show , but it is sold out in advance , as Floyd fans know how good a show they put on.
I must admit , i like a good tribute band , but selling 3500 tickets for this Hammersmith show is staggering.
No wonder many call them " the best tribute act in the world".
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The venue is rammed solid sold out, stalls seats and circle seats all sold , and rear stalls and circle standing all sold.
An older crowd as expected with 75 per cent males.
There is full merch just like the other bands that play here.
The band arrived on stage at 8.10pm and played for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 80 mins.
From the start it is a pure visual and aural treat.
Stunning lasers , lots of lights and strobes.
A huge circular screen showing images just like the real Pink Floyd, along with Pink Floyd perfect sound quality.
They even had three female backing singers and a sax player for some songs.
It maybe " just a tribute show" but the entire audience and myself were just transfixed at how good it was.
SET ONE
Speak to Me (Pink Floyd cover)
Breathe (In the Air) (Pink Floyd cover)
On the Run ( Pink Floyd cover)
Time (Pink Floyd cover)
Breathe (Reprise) ( Pink Floyd cover)
The Great Gig in the Sky ( Pink Floyd cover)
Money ( Pink Floyd cover)
Us and Them (Pink Floyd cover)
Any Colour You Like (Pink Floyd cover)
Brain Damage ( Pink Floyd cover)
Eclipse (Pink Floyd cover)
On the Turning Away (Pink Floyd cover)
The Happiest Days of Our Lives (Pink Floyd cover)
Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 (Pink Floyd cover)
SET TWO
In the Flesh? (Pink Floyd cover)
See Emily Play (Pink Floyd cover)
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (Pink Floyd cover)
Welcome to the Machine ( Pink Floyd cover)
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
High Hopes (Pink Floyd cover)
Pigs (Three Different Ones) (Pink Floyd cover)
One of These Days (Pink Floyd cover)
Run Like Hell (Pink Floyd cover)
Encore:
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)
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Wednesday 06 December 2023.
ILIZA SHLESINGER live at Hammersmith Apollo.
This was the first of her two nights at this venue.
Award-winning U.S. comedian, actor, writer, producer, and author Iliza Shlesinger returns to London following her sold-out, critically acclaimed world tour with a brand-new stand-up show at Hammersmith Apollo for two nights.
This is her fifth visit to London and she has headlined Hammersmith Apollo in the past.
She is another American comedian who has picked up many UK fans due to her specials on Netflix.
In America she has held female only shows.
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Not sold out tonight, as circle is maybe three quarters full .
It is pretty much 75 % females in the audience.
CHLOE PETTS arrived on stage at 8pm for her 20 mins.
She did a good set, that went down well with the crowd.
ILIZA SHLESINGER arrived on stage at 8.50pm for her 75 mins set.
ILIZA is now aged 40, and showing off her baby bump...her second, so we had a few funny routines about babies and being a mum and relationships and sex.
There was a lot of feminism and girl power and general jokes where men were the butt of them.
ILIZA is Jewish , so she had hints of a younger Joan Rivers , but wisely stayed away from any political jokes.
The last routine was a great rant on woke millennials.
Plenty of funny routines overall, in an enjoyable show.

Tuesday 05 December 2023.

Tuesday 05 December 2023.
SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Sophie brings her Kitchen Disco on tour.
It became very popular online during the COVID lockdown.
Expect a nice mix of solo hits, cover versions and Christmas classics.
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It does not say sold out on the front, but the venue looks full.
It is stalls seating , so everyone can dance by their seats.
A very Christmassy vibe as folks are wearing festive outfits.
HOLIDAY SIDEWINDER arrived on stage at 7.30pm for her 30 mins.
Holiday Sidewinder Carmen-Sparks is an Australian-born indie pop singer-songwriter, musician and record producer.
The 32 year old played decent tracks from her two albums.
A blonde stunner who looked great in a short mermaid type outfit.
SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR arrived on stage at 8.30pm for her 1 hour 40 mins set.
The curtain comes down to reveal Sophie on top of a white wooden horse, which was an excellent stunt.
All her band are wearing festive outfits.
Hard to believe that Sophie is a mum of FIVE , as she still has a model like figure , with long legs and wears two skimpy glittery outfits tonight as she dances non-stop throughout the show.
Lots of songs that the crowd can sing along to.
Her big hit ' Murder on the Dancefloor' was at the end of the main set.
For the encores we had some kids on stage and the guy from The Feeling helped her with The Pogues cover.
A nice touch was the final song of the night which had Sophie at the front of the circle , singing with just acoustic guitar backing.
A very enjoyable show.
Full SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR setlist played tonight.
Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson & His Pops Orchestra cover)
Music Gets the Best of Me
Wild Forever
Catch You (Wheel spin song)
Hypnotized
A Thousand Orchids
Lost in the Sunshine
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree ( Brenda Lee cover)
Last Christmas (Wham! cover)
All Night Long (Lionel Richie cover)
Get Over You
Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin’ Stevens cover)
Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) (Spiller cover)
Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses cover)
Crying at the Discoteque (Alcazar cover)
Like a Prayer (Madonna cover)
Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer) ( Freemasons cover)
Murder on the Dancefloor
Encore:
Fairytale of New York ( The Pogues/Kirsty MaColl cover - with Dan Gillespie-Sells from The Feeling)
All I Want for Christmas Is You ( Mariah Carey cover)
Have yourself a merry little Christmas (Sophie sung this song from the front of the circle)
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Monday 04 December 2023.
EXTREME + LIVING COLOUR live at The Forum.
A nice pairing of funk rock bands are playing a UK tour.
This show sold out quickly , so extra Forum show added for 19 Dec.
I have seen Extreme around 10 times , including all five of their Hammersmith Odeon shows on front stage security in the early 1990s , when their classic second album ' Extreme ll - Pornograffiti' sold millions , and they had hit singles from it.
Extreme II sold very well, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, and was certified double platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA. It is the band's best selling album. Two singles from Pornograffiti, "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted", reached No. 1 and 4 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other tracks, "Decadence Dance" and "Get the Funk Out", became popular on MTV's Headbangers Ball
It reached number 12 in the UK album charts.
I have seen Living Colour before as well
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Needless to say i was really forward to seeing this show.
Legendary live music booking agent ROD MacSWEEN is here .
He has just come back from the two KISS shows in New York.
He said it was ok to mention that SCORPIONS and EXTREME play Wembley Arena on Sat 08 June 2024.
LIVING COLOUR arrived on stage at 7.50 pm and played for 40 mins that was loud and heavy and funky.
Most folks are in early to catch them.
The singer now has dreads down to his bum.
They finished with 'Cult of Personality'.
Full LIVING COLOUR setlist played tonight
Rock and Roll ( Led Zeppelin cover)
Ignorance is Bliss
Type
Open Letter (To a Landlord)
White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) / Apache / The Message
Love Rears Its Ugly Head
Time's Up
Cult of Personality
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EXTREME arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for two hours.
Lots of lights in their stage production , and the overall sound is great , and singer Gary Cherone still has plenty of energy and Nuno on guitar is a proper guitar wizard, and sounds very like Eddie Van Halen , and you can see why he has been playing with big names when Extreme have been resting.
The pace slowed down a bit in the middle with a guitar solo and three acoustic tracks , but otherwise a totally rockin' show with all their big hits played and the main set ended with a mega version of ' Get The Funk Out'.
A great show
Full EXTREME setlist played tonight...
Tape intro - Sacrifice - Hail to the King ( John Barry song)
It ('s a Monster)
Decadence Dance
#REBEL
Rest in Peace
Hip Today
Teacher's Pet / Flesh 'n' Blood / Wind Me Up / Kid Ego
Play With Me (with Queen's "We Will Rock You" intro)
OTHER SIDE OF THE RAINBOW
Hole Hearted
Cupid's Dead (with Sam Cooke's "Cupid" intro)
Am I Ever Gonna Change / Guitar Solo
THICKER THAN BLOOD
Midnight Express
HURRICANE
More Than Words
BANSHEE (with Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" intro)
Take Us Alive / That's All Right
Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee
Get the Funk Out
Encore:
SMALL TOWN BEAUTIFUL / Song for Love
RISE

Saturday 02 December 2023.

Saturday 02 December 2023.
ROACHFORD live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Roachford presents ' A Soul Christmas Evening'.
I have seen Roachford several times on stage, both as a solo artist and with Mike & The Mechanics.
He has been singing with them the past decade or so.
His hit single from the late 1980s ' Cuddly Toy' is totally mega.
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A very cold Winters day in London tonight.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed and there is space on the floor and Level 1 so maybe only 500 or 600 here, which is a shame.
Support act is ACANTHA LANG who arrived on stage at 8pm for her really good 30 mins set.
She is backed by a guitarist and keyboard player.
She is Louisiana born , but is now based in London.
Acantha’s debut ‘Beautiful Dreams’ effortlessly blends Stax-inspired funk with Southern blues, as she tells highly personal tales atop spirited, shimmering grooves. Her storytelling style harkens to age-old blues traditions while grounding itself in contemporary themes. Armed with passion, a unique perspective, and a voice that stops people in their tracks, Acantha Lang’s full-length debut ‘Beautiful Dream’ is destined to propel her from an undiscovered gem into the pantheon of modern soul greats.
ROACHFORD and band arrived on stage at 9pm.
They played a great 1 hour 40 mins.
ROACHFORD arrives on stage wearing a glittery jacket.
ROACHFORD takes up his usual position, behind his keyboard.
Clearly happy in his own skin, Roachford relishes performing on stage, aiming humorous banter towards his musicians, his audience and himself, which all adds to the homely aura he exudes.
His set was a balanced mix of cuts and hits from his past,
along with a couple of Christmas songs and cover versions.
The last 30 mins included his 1988 hit ' Family Man' then
a nice surprise saw MIKE RUTHERFORD come on stage for two
classics from Mike And The Mechanics. ' Another Cup of Coffee' and ' Over My Shoulder' .
While his 1989 smash 'Cuddly Toy' came with a hugely uplifting
extended version...and final track was ' Only To Be With You'.
ROACHFORD pop soul voice was top notch , a great show.
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Friday 01 December 2023.
PARADISE LOST live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
They are on a European Tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their fourth studio album 'Icon' released in 1993. It marked a departure from the death-doom sound of their early work.
They have re-recorded the album , and released it on vinyl.
I saw Paradise Lost supporting Metallica in 1999.
Support comes from MY DYING BRIDE.
Both bands are from Yorkshire.
Anathema ,Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride were a forerunner of the death doom metal and gothic metal genres during the early 1990s. These bands comprise "The Peaceville Three" as all were signed to Peaceville Records at the time.
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The venue is totally rammed sold out
Lots of folks from mainland Europe here , especially Polish.
Most of the crowd are in early for the support act, as they have also been around for over 30 years , with many albums out.
MY DYING BRIDE arrived on stage at 8pm for their 55 mins.
Both bands have huge curtains behind them with their logos on.
The band played revered tracks like 'She Is The Dark' and 'The Cry Of Mankind' in a good set.
PARADISE LOST arrived on stage at 9.30pm for their 85 mins.
Crunching heavy guitar riff's and deep goth metal vocals in a nice setlist that mixed well known ICON tracks , rarely played tracks and newer tracks.
An enjoyable pairing of bands.
Full PARADISE LOST setlist played tonight...
INTRO Tape - Deus Misereatur
Embers Fire
Remembrance (First time live since 2017)
Forging Sympathy ( First time live since 1994)
Joys of the Emptiness ( First time live since 2014)
Dying Freedom (First time live since 1998)
Widow
Colossal Rains (First time live since 2008)
Weeping Words (Live debut)
Poison (Live debut)
True Belief
Shallow Seasons (First time live since 1994)
Christendom ( Live debut)
Encore:
Sweetness ( First time live since 2011)
Pity the Sadness
No Hope in Sight
Ghosts

Thursday 30 November 2023.

Thursday 30 November 2023....I went to two events today..
1pm to 4.30pm.
35th WILLIAM HILL Sports Book of The Year, BAFTA,
195 Piccadilly , London W1.
Maybe 100 guests max at this afternoon event.
At 1.30pm we go into the seated theatre for the presentation.
Retired US distance runner’s autobiography Good for a Girl wins the main prize
LAUREN FLESHMAN'S book Good for a Girl: My Life Running in a Man’s World has earned great reviews this year and it was named William Hill sports book of the year.
The prestigious award comes with a £30,000 prize and it is the first book about women in sport, authored by a woman, to win in the 35-year history of the award.
It is also the first outright book about athletics or running to win the accolade. In 2002 the prize went to In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens whereas in 2020 the winner was The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Russia’s Secret Doping Empire, but Fleshman’s book is the first book that is 100% about the No.1 Olympic sport to take the prize.
Fleshman, 42, finished seventh in the 2011 world 5000m final, won two national titles at 5000m and has a best of 14:58.58. The book is part memoir, part manifesto and is reviewed among a selection of other books in the December issue of AW magazine, which is out next week.
The judges for the William Hill award praised Good for a Girl for its “heartfelt narrative” and “compelling writing”, as well as its crucial advocacy for reform in sports for young women.
Lauren Fleshman (Getty)
Fleshman said: “Having a woman being elevated for telling her own story is rare, and we need a lot more of that. That’s why awards like this are so important. I came here optimistic, but then convinced myself I had no chance when I looked at the shortlist.
“I am delighted to be the winner of this prestigious award. I hope it makes sport better for the future of women and girls.”
“Good for a Girl is not only a must-read book on the challenges that women face in sport but a moving and informative memoir that will grip those who are not athletics fans. Lauren Fleshman exposes and shatters myths with disarming honesty and exceptional writing – it is a wonderful read and thoroughly deserving of the title William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2023.”
Fleshman’s rivals in the contest included books on tennis, snooker and rugby.
The five authors on the shortlist, alongside Lauren Fleshman, receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book. They are:
Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson by Sally H. Jacobs
Concussed: Sport’s Uncomfortable Truth by Sam Peters
Kick The Latch by Kathryn Scanlan
Unbreakable by Ronnie O’Sullivan
Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport by Sharron Davies with Craig Lord
Complimentary prosecco , wines , beers, canapes and mini-doughnuts for all the guests.
then..
MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
68 year old German guitar legend is celebrating his 50th anniversary in music.
Expect several classic rock UFO tracks from when he was in the band in the 1970s in the setlist.
I have seen him on stage around a dozen times over the years.
Needless to say , I was really looking forward to this show.
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Level 3 is closed tonight , but other the levels look full.
Glam rock legend DON POWELL from Slade is here.
NIGHT DEMON arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their 45 mins set.
The Californian power metal trio played some decent tracks from their albums.
MSG arrived on stage at 8.50pm and played 1 hour 40 mins.
Michael Schenker is still playing some nifty guitar with his trademark Flying V guitars.
Several UFO classics got the crowd singing loudly along.
A great show.
Full MSG setlist played tonight....
Into the Arena
Cry for the Nations
Doctor Doctor (UFO cover)
Looking for Love
Lights Out ( UFO cover)
Red Sky
Shoot Shoot ( UFO cover)
Emergency
On and On
Let It Roll ( UFO cover)
Attack of the Mad Axeman
Natural Thing (UFO cover)
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Armed and Ready
Desert Song
Rock Bottom ( UFO cover) ( including MS extended guitar solo)
Too Hot to Handle ( UFO cover)
Only You Can Rock Me ( UFO cover)
After the show a few of us went to next door to The Dorsett Hotel for a chat with DON POWELL.
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Wednesday 29 November 2023.
SAM TOMPKINS live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Fast rising British singer- songwriter , who has had a Top 10 EP.
So far 2023 has seen Sam Tompkins release the first two singles from his upcoming album ‘Lose It All’ and recent release ‘See Me’, with both releases receiving an outpouring of support from fans, accumulating over 20M views, and growing his social following to surpass 2M.
From busking in Brighton, to be spotted by Justin Bieber on the internet , and Justin covering one of his songs , which has helped Sam get some success in North America.
This European Tour starts tonight after five shows by Sam in North America.
Sam sold out The Forum Kentish Town on his last UK tour.
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It is stalls standing tonight, and an impressive 3500 tickets sold out of the 5000 capacity sold.
There is over 100 on the guest list , and Sam must be a big Arsenal footie fan as the tour laminate pass has the Arsenal logo on the back of it.
ARTHUR HILL arrived on stage at 8pm for his 30 mins set.
He was backed by two musicians , for some decent songs but a cover of 'Jolene' seemed an odd choice.
SAM TOMPKINS arrived on stage at 9.05pm for his 65 mins set.
Sam is backed by three musicians behind him on a platform.
He has a nice voice , and a couple of tracks were uptempo but most were gentle mellow easy going, a bit like Ed Sheeran.
Sam got very emotional about his dad who took his own life just a fortnight ago.
He said "To my lovely dad. i am so sorry i couldn’t have been your friend growing up. i’m sorry we couldn’t go for a walk or a pint and i couldn’t turn to you and really ask you if everything is okay. let you know it’s alright to chat to me. Tell you all the brilliant things that you are and will become. and just how much you meant to the people who knew you".
The final track of the night was his big hit ' Lose It All' with all the crowd standing up and singing loudly along.
Overall the show ticked along nicely.

Tuesday 28 November 2023.

See my Facebook page for some old photos
Four of me in Oct 1977 age 18 in my Sex Pistols punk attire.
Three photos i took at a special gig at The Electric Ballroom where Sid Vicious and Glen Matlock played together.
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Tuesday 28 November 2023.
VAN MORRISON live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Van plays the second of two shows at this venue.
Again not sold out , as there is space in the stalls and level 3 .
RUSTY EGAN was here tonight.
Again VAN and band arrived on stage at 7.55pm for 95 mins.
The show and setlist was pretty much the same , although track order was changed a bit and I think ' Blueberry Hill' was replaced by another track on the second night.
Again all the band members sounded fantastic.
Every now and then Van would wave his hand to speed up or slow down the band.
The outro song was good again for the encore as each member played a solo....Van left the stage after the vocals halfway through and no doubt was out of the venue and halfway home.
Again no solo hits but it was still a great show.
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Monday 27 November 2023.
VAN MORRISON live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sir Van has announced two exclusive album launch shows in London. The Northern Irish blues legend will celebrate his 45th studio album, 'Accentuate The Positive', which was released 03 Nov 2023....which is a covers album.
This is his second album release this year.
Van is still rockin' at the age of 78, and after 60 years of singing with that amazing voice.
I have seen Van over 15 times since 1979 when he headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
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Surprisingly tonight is not sold out although it looks pretty full.
A mainly older crowd here as expected.
The merch stand is selling Van signed vinyl albums for £40 , along with special t-shirts with the two London dates on them.
Van is down for his usual early start early finish , with no support band. He was down for 8pm and 90 mins but actually came on a bit early at 7.55pm and played for 95 mins.
Van comes on wearing his Fedora hat and sunglasses.
Van plays some sax , harmonica and acoustic guitar during the show...and the roadie gives him lyric sheets for each song.
Van did say in advance that these shows would focus on his recent covers album if tracks he used to sing in Belfast bars in the 1960s , and that's pretty much how it was.
We had loads of covers songs from the last album and a few from his album of skiffle covers that was the one before.
Sadly he did not sing any of his classic hits tonight.
Interaction with the audience was lacking and wouldn’t everyone have loved to hear 'Brown Eyed Girl' or similar but it was 100% Van the Man and I can’t complain at that. The work ethic was fantastic, Vans voice was great and his versions of the covers were great , not a pause and a band second to none including a fantastic backing singer (Elle) made it a great night out.
Full VAN MORRISON setlist played tonight...
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (Johnny Mercer cover)
I Want a Roof Over My Head (Steve Gibson & The Red Caps cover)
Problems (The Everly Brothers cover)
You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis cover)
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams cover)
When Will I Be Loved (The Everly Brothers cover)
Red Sails in the Sunset (Jimmy Kennedy cover)
A Shot of Rhythm and Blues (Arthur Alexander cover)
Bonaparte's Retreat ([traditional] cover)
Sea of Heartbreak (Don Gibson cover)
Shakin' All Over ( Johnny Kidd and the Pirates cover)
Lonesome Train (On a Lonesome Track) (Johnny Burnette & The Rock ’n’ Roll Trio cover)
Two Hound Dogs (Bill Haley and His Comets cover)
Lucille ( Little Richard cover)
Bye Bye Johnny (Chuck Berry cover)
Blueberry Hill (Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra cover)
The Shape I'm In (Kenny Lee Martin cover)
Shake, Rattle and Roll ( Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings cover)
Cold, Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover)
Green Rocky Road ([traditional] cover) (plus excerpt from Northern Muse (Solid Ground))
Encore:
Flip Flop and Fly (Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings cover) (extended outro with band instrumentals on their own )

Sunday 26 November 2023.

Sunday 26 November 2023
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX live at Hammersmith Apollo.
This is the last of their THREE sold out shows at this venue.
I saw them play a good show at Shepherds Bush Empire on their previous UK tour in Nov 2019.
Pretty amazing how popular they are as a live act, as their two albums only scraped into the UK Top 40 chart.
Both the albums scraped into the USA Billboard Top 200.
The music of Cigarettes After Sex invokes not only the powerful feelings of euphoria inherent in the band’s name itself, but somehow manages to recreate emotions found only in the most romantic of movies; immersive, achingly nostalgic, thoroughly transporting, and intensely visual. It’s these powerful and unique qualities which have enabled the love songs of Cigarettes After Sex to reverberate across countless countries and excite the most devoted kind of following.
The band's catalog has sold over 2.5 million records to date, amassing 3 billion Spotify streams, over 17 million monthly listeners, and 800 million+ YouTube streams. The band’s list of on-the-record fans include everyone from Taylor Swift, Kylie Jenner, David Lynch, Lana Del Rey, Françoise Hardy, Lily Allen, Busy Philipps, and more. They’ve been featured in Vice Noisey, V Magazine, Interview, NPR’s Tiny Desk, and their music has appeared in The Handmaid’s Tale, Killing Eve, and Ralph Lauren ads.
The official video for their track ' Apocalypse ' has had more than 194 million views on Youtube.
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A gloomy rainy evening in London town tonight.
On their last tour , the band had a film as support ,but tonight there is nothing. No film, no support band, no DJ. Just some chilled out tracks being playing over the pa.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX arrived on stage at 8.45pm for their 80 mins set.
Lots of screams and cheers at the start and end of every song , from the many females here under the age of 30.
Like last time the band are dressed all in black, with only white lighting bring used for the entire show.
The images on the big screen are also only black n white.
We had a distinct display of dreamy guitar led minimalism.
The music was kind of hypnotic , but it seemed very samey.
Their big track ' Apocalypse' was played at the end of the main set.
A good show that ticked along ok.
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Saturday 25 November 2023,
THE CLONE ROSES + OASISH + THE SMITHS LTD
live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Three top notch ' Madchester ' tribute bands.
I have seen this nice three band package at this venue before.
Lots of great classic tracks performed by all three bands.
I saw the real OASIS at this same venue in 2001, when I reviewed the show for The Shepherds Bush Gazette.
Needless to say that was a very hot ticket indeed
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Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight , but the stalls standing and Level 1 are rammed full , so must be 1200 folks here
A proper loud rowdy Saturday night drinking crowd , created a fantastic gig atmosphere.
I have never seen so many of those two pint drinks at a show.
All the bands play a greatest hits set of classics.
So many big songs that the crowd sing along to.
You could argue that an Oasis tribute should headline , as folks sing the loudest for their anthems.
It may have been just tribute bands tonight, but it was great
THE SMITHS LTD arrived on stage at 7pm for their 50 mins set
OASISH arrived in stage at 8.10pm for their 60 mins set.
CLONE ROSES arrived on stage at 9.35pm for their 85 mins set.

Friday 24 November 2023.

Friday 24 November 2023.
ASAF AVIDAN live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Five years since his last solo performance, Asaf Avidan (now aged 43) will be returning to the stage alone for the ‘Ichnology Solo’ Tour.Fans can look forward to an unforgettable evening where he will once again prove that he is truly a unique artist of his time. Navigating seamlessly between his intimate serenades, his charismatic storytelling, and his energetic multi-instrumental wizardry, Avidan alone on the stage is a force to behold.
ASAF is from Israel so could be an interesting atmosphere considering how the Israel / Hamas conflict is right now.
Support act is SHELLY ARCHER who was also born in Israel.
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The venue is ready for any unwelcome visitors , as there are more barriers outside the venue, along with more security wanding outside the venue, rather than at the door.
Thankfully no trouble whatsoever during the show.
Shelly Archer was on stage at 7.45pm for her 25 mins.
She is a singer-songwriter with keyboard based tracks.
ASAF AVIDON arrived on stage at 8.45pm for his 2 hours.
It is stalls seated tonight , as a pretty laid back show.
Level 3 is pretty empty , so maybe 800 tickets sold.
The stage is nice and cosy, with a couple of lampshades, a comfy chair, a couple of carpets and a table of drinks.
Asaf has a pretty unique high pitched voice.
Asaf sings and chats in English , throughout the evening.
Asaf is solo and switches between piano and acoustic guitar.
He has a floor full of pedals like Ed Sheeran for looping sounds.
Also a bit of harmonica too, and some drum pads.
Lots of chat between tracks...a bit too much sometimes.
The highlight of the show came near the end of the main set , when he sung his big track ' Reckoning Song' that had a DJ remix version that went to number 30 in the UK, and was number one in a a few European countries.
The crowd gave him a full standing ovation at the end.
An interesting show , that ticked along nicely.
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Thursday 23 November 2023...I went to two events tonight.
6.45pm to 8.45pm.
CLARIDGES Christmas Tree Unveiling Party.
Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1.
I have been to this event several times before, as always good.
Around 150 glammed up guests at this famous five star luxury hotel, including Dame Joan Collins and husband Percy , Daisy Lowe , Lady Victoria Hervey, Nick Grimshaw , Tanya Burr , Emma Weymouth , Ben Cobb , Erin O'Connor , David Downton and Mary Charteris.
A six piece string section are playing nice cover versions, including The Verve ' Bittersweet Symphony'
LOUIS VUITTON designed the Christmas Tree in the hotel foyer.
Complimentary Ruinart champers, rum cocktails, canapes and desserts. A very nice event.
then
9pm to 10.45pm.
Corporate Traveller Showcase - Edwardian Hampshire Hotel, Leicester Square , London WC2.
We head up to the Penthouse Suite on the 8th floor with nice views of The London Eye etc.
A band were playing some lively well known cover versions.
There was a fun photo booth.
At 10pm there were three prizes in the lucky draw.
The main prize was return flights to USA....sadly no win for me.
Complimentary prosecco, wines beers , canapes and desserts .
All guests got a goodie bag on departure.

Wednesday 22 November 2023.

Wednesday 22 November 2023.
HOT MILK live at The Forum.
Hotly tipped for success Manchester band are touring their debut album, ' A Call to the Void' which went to number 40 in the UK charts.
The album was released via Music For Nations/Sony.
A few months ago , one of the agents from their booking agency told me that I would really like this band.
They got nice reviews from their Download Festival 2023 set.
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The upstairs looks less than half full, so maybe 1200 tix sold.
I chatted to legendary live music booking agent ROD
MACSWEEN who told me he will be going to New York to see KISS final shows on 01 Dec and 02 Dec , but will be back for EXTREME at The Forum on 04 Dec.
Rod represents both these great live bands.
Rod also told me some great news about THE SCORPIONS.
MODERN ERROR on stage at 7.30pm for their 25 mins set.
A four piece all dressed in black who played some really good crunchin' rock tracks from their debut album.
Nifty guitar riffs mixed with some electronica.
WITCH FEVER on stage at 8.20pm for their 40 mins set.
They have a edgy female singer who went into the stalls crowd and a female bass player who went into the photo pit.
A good set of tracks from their debut album.
HOT MILK on stage at 9.35pm for their 75 mins set.
They have a nice stage production , with some lighting poles and strobe lights.
There are a few film cameras capturing the show.
Pretty amazing how well they have gone from small venues to be here putting on a full on proper rock show.
The female singer is giving it 100% and the guitarist helps out on some vocals. They have three platforms at the front that they use non stop.
Lots of lively moshing and crowd surfing throughout the show.
After 45 mins a male fan was invited on stage to sing a song.
In a touching moment the guitarist dedicated ' Forget Me Not' to his Grandad who recently died of dementia, and who had bought him a Trivium cd for a Christmas past.
Encore of ' Glass Spiders ' was really good.
A nice evening of three good new UK rock acts , and HOT MILK will surely be playing bigger venues in the future.
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Tuesday 21 November 2023.
SKY ARTS 12pm - Angel Headed Hipster - documentary film -
The songs of Marc Bolan & T.Rex.
Very sad news that Psychedelic Furs sax player MARS WILLIAMS has died of cancer aged 68.
The Damned will play a UK tour in Dec 2024 with original drummer RAT SCABIES.
THE ROLLING STONES play a North American tour in 2024.
Looks like AC/DC will be touring Europe in the summer of 2024 as a date in Germany has already been leaked.
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Monday 20 November 2023.
BBC1 10.45pm.
Louis Theroux meets PETE DOHERTY
Nice interview with Pete on many parts of his life and career.
Drugs , booze, England, France, Carl Barat, arrests , the death at his party , his health....and more.
Pete says on his current health situation...
" The heroin and the crack… I surrendered to that, and then it was cocaine and the smoking and the alcohol, and now it’s cheese and the saucisson, and the sugar in the tea.”
“It’s all gotta go. They told me a little while ago if you don’t change your diet then you’re gonna have diabetes and cholesterol problems,” he continued. “Death’s lurking, you know what I mean? That’s why I carry that stick.”
It is available to view afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Sunday 19 November 2023.

Sunday 19 November 2023.
ED SHEERAN live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Probably the biggest live solo male act in the world right now.
Worldwide stadium act Ed Sheeran plays the second of two intimate RAH shows to launch his new album 'Autumn Variations'.
Ed has said these two times are the only times he will play the album in full.
Ed will be backed by a live band and string section and a few backing singers.
I have seen Ed a few times live before.
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The venue is totally rammed solid sold out tonight, even though best seats are £200 each.
All the boxes are full of hospitality.
WAYNE ROONEY and wife COLEEN were sitting near us.
We end up missing the support act, as stayed in the bar.
ED SHEERAN is on stage for 2 hours 10 mins.
First 65 mins was new album in full with his band,
string section and a few backing singers.
Next 65 mins was a hits set with just Ed and and guitar and loop machine.
The stage floor and behind him is full of artwork slogans related to the album.
Ed has nice friendly stage banter between all the songs.
Eds vocals are nice and clear , as is the overall sound.
The crowd sat down for all the new album tracks , but stood up for all the hits in the latter half.
The new album tracks were all a bit average , but the hits section was really good.
Full ED SHEERAN setlist played (Full band with string section and backing vocalists)
Magical
England
Amazing
Plastic Bag
Blue
American Town
That's On Me
Page
Midnight
Spring
Punchline
When Will I Be Alright
The Day I Was Born
Head > Heels
HITS SET (Ed solo)
Castle on the Hill (Acoustic/Slow)
Shivers
Don't / In Da Club / No Diggity / Smoke Weed Everyday
Give Me Love
Thinking Out Loud
Photograph
Bloodstream
Perfect
Shape of You
Bad Habits
Encore:
The Parting Glass ([traditional] cover) (Unplugged)
Afterglow (Unplugged Ed and voice with no microphone )
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Saturday 18 November 2023.
A nice three band psychedelic - prog - space rock package.
GONG and OZRIC TENTACLES co-headline with support from THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN.
I saw GONG headline Hammersmith Odeon in 1976.
The current GONG do not feature any original members from their heyday period in the 1970s.
OZRIC TENTACLES have released around 30 albums over the past 35 years and have sold over a million albums without any major record company help.
I saw them play Shepherds Bush Empire in 2021.
I saw THE CRAZY WORLD OF CRAZY BROWN play a really good show supporting HAWKWIND earlier this year at The Royal Albert Hall.
He is best known for his big hit 'Fire' which was released 1968.
The single became a transatlantic hit, reaching number one in the UK and Canada and number two in the United States, while hitting the top 10 in markets across Europe.
The track was produced by Pete Townshend.
Arthur Brown is now aged 81.
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Not sold out tonight as spare space downstairs and upstairs.
75 per cent of the crowd is guys over the age of 50.
All three acts used Psychedelic images on the big screen.
THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN arrived on
stage at 6.45pm and played for 60 mins.
Arthur and his band are all wearing fancy headwear.
There are half a dozen shop dummies on stage.
Arthur is a total showman , and like The Royal Albert Hall we get several stunning costume changes.
Again ' Fire' was played early on, and other gems included 'Walk With Angels' and 'Time Captives' .
For me he was the highlight of the three acts tonight.
OZRIC TENTACLES arrived of stage at 8pm and played for 85 mins.
Their setlist was all instrumentals.
Loads of nifty guitar and keyboards working up a noise.
The crowd knew many of their tracks.
A female flutist joins them for a few tracks.
Lots of strobes used in their enjoyable set.
GONG arrived in stage at 9.45pm and played for 75 mins.
Gong look like a proper cool band rather than crusty old hippies.
They have a sax player on several songs.
A female dancer joins them after 45 mins.
The singer rightly said " it is amazing that in 2023, we still have three great acts playing The Astoria " .He quickly changed it to The Forum.
An enjoyable evening but for me Arthur Brown stole the show.

Friday 17 November 2023.

Friday 17 November 2023.
ELIZA live at The Forum.
A new name and direction for Eliza Doolittle.
She took a few years off after her second album , and is currently touring to promote her fourth studio album.
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Not sold tonight, but maybe1500 tix sold out of 2000 capacity.
One of those gigs with over 100 on the guest list , including TV presenter MIQUITA OLIVER.
LAURA GROVES arrives on stage at 8pm for her 30 mins set.
Just her and keyboards singing some dreamy tunes.
ELIZA arrives on stage at 9pm for her 80 mins set.
Eight on stage including two female backing singers.
Eliza is showing off her baby bump tummy in a hippy type 70s
crop top and trousers.
Eliza has a nice sultry r n b voice, and she gets involved with the dance routines with the two backing singers.
An enjoyable show
During the last song Eliza told the crowd she would be signing her CDs and vinyls after the show at the merch stall.
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Thursday 16 November 2023...West End events...
5.15pm to 5.45pm.
Christmas Tree Lights Switch On - Mount Street , Mayfair, London W1.
Upmarket street that is full of designer stores , with some handing out complimentary mulled wines hot chocolates and festive bites including mince pies etc.
Weather was a bit drizzly , so not the best night to be outside.
then
5.45pm to 7.45pm.
MATCHES FASHION - 5 Carlos Place, Mayfair , London W1.
5 Carlos Place is their London townhouse situated in the heart of Mayfair. Each month, discover new installations that celebrate the worlds of art and fashion.
Lots of folks here I know as they have a big crowd over all the different floors.....Comedienne KATHERINE RYAN was here.
Complimentary drinks were two different whiskey cocktails.
All guests got a large designer RAEY bauble in the goodie bag.
then
8pm to 9.45pm.
DRAKES - 9 Savile Row, Mayfair , London W1.
Drake's is a purveyor of classic British elegance. A maker and haberdasher, Drake's handcrafts some of the world's finest shirts, ties and accessories...with expensive prices.
A cool younger fashion crowd here.
There is a DJ playing great funk and soul from his vinyl albums.
Complimentary whiskey cocktails, gin cocktails , wines, beers.

Wednesday 15 November 2023.

Wednesday 15 November 2023....Three events tonight for me.
5.30pm to 6.10pm.
TOM FAULKNER - drinks reception - 28 Pimlico Road, Pimlico, London SW1.
It's that time of year when the main shopping areas have street parties to celebrate their Christmas lights switch on.
Pimlico Road is well known for top notch interior design.
Celebrated British furniture designer, Tom Faulkner, designs and makes exquisite and distinctive furniture and accessories.
Tom’s show-stopping pieces are loved worldwide – by private clients and professional interior designers alike, and his furniture is equally at home in either modern or traditional settings...Tom also has a store in New York.
Complimentary English sparkling wines, mulled wine, nibbles and mince pies for around 100 guests
then
6.20pm to 7pm.
LONE DESIGN CLUB - drinks reception - 6 Motcomb Street, Belgravia London SE1.
The store features a curation of over 30 innovative and up-and-coming brands, “handpicked to align with the theme, target demographic, and values shared by Lone Design Club and Grosvenor”.
These include British designer brand Emily Carter, Australian brand Kina and Tam, and independent sustainable fashion brand How Pabissi.
Complimentary drinks included three different cocktails in tins, so i sneaked in a couple at The Palladium gig after...and mulled wine....a DJ was playing tunes...
then
SUZI QUATRO live at The Palladium.
Suzi is playing a five date UK tour.
Suzi celebrates 50 years of her debut worldwide hit from 1973 'Can The Can'.
Suzi will be showcasing her new album with KT Tunstall.
I have seen Suzi live several times before.
I saw Suzi play a great show at The Royal Albert Hall in April 2022.
Suzi has sold over 50 million records (albums and singles) worldwide. In the summer of 1973, Suzi was one of the first musicians I ever saw live in person at a promo day at Brands Hatch. Suzi was quite a sight on Top Of The Pops to this 14 year old when she had her first big hits in 1973. Suzi recently released an eight album box set.
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I have a great stalls seat, just nine rows from the stage .
BOY GEORGE is in the VIP box to my left.
SUZI QUATRO and band were on stage for a nice long 2 hours 10 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 70 mins.
Suzi is looking great for her 73 years and is holding her bass guitar which is nearly as tall as she is.
Nine musicians on stage , including a three man brass section and two female backing singers.
There is a big screen showing images of Suzi.
Suzi has plenty of nice stage banter , and tells us the last time she played this venue was in 1999 when Michael Aspel surprised her with the 'This Is Your Life' red book.
On how Mickie Most took her to London back in 1971.
Suzi said she had put out six books, and mentioned her acting career and that great Suzi Q documentary.
Great to see BOY GEORGE and GLEN MATLOCK join Suzi for a pukka version of 'Stumblin' In'
In the second half Suzi changed into her trademark leather jump jump siti, and wiggled her bum to the crowd.
The setlist was a perfect mix of her 1970s classic hits , more recent material and some great cover versions
An excellent gig.
See my Facebook page for photos and video.
FIRST SET
The Wild One
I May Be Too Young
Daytona Demon
Tear Me Apart
Shine a Light
Stumblin' In ( with Boy George and Glen Matlock)
48 Crash
No Soul/No Control
The Devil In Me
Slow Down ( Larry Williams cover)
Rockin' in the Free World ( Neil Young cover)
Can I Be Your Girl?
SECOND SET
Motor City Riders
I Sold My Soul Today
Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
She's in Love With You
Overload
Too Big
Glycerine Queen / Bass Solo / Bass Solo
Can the Can
Devil Gate Drive
Encore:
If You Can't Give Me Love
Sweet Little Rock & Roller ( Chuck Berry cover)
Encore 2:
Desperado Eagles cover)
10.30pm to 11.30pm was the after-party in the circle bar.
A small gathering of around 30 people.
SUZI QUATRO turned up , but no sign of BOY GEORGE or GLEN
MATLOCK who both came on stage for a song with Suzi earlier.
A complimentary bar including spirits n mixers prosecco, wines and beers.
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Tuesday 14 November 2023.
HEAVEN 17 live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Heaven 17 head out on a very special celebratory tour to perform their acclaimed 1983 album The Luxury Gap. Hailing from Sheffield, Heaven 17 are one of the most important British post-punk bands. Their second album, The Luxury Gap, became an pop masterpiece that reached Number 4 in the charts and cemented Heaven 17 as one of the most important bands around.
I have seen them live a few times before.
Special guest for the tour will be club legend RUSTY EGAN (The Rich Kids ,Visage and others , and was at the forefront of the New Romantic Blitz Kids scene in the early 80s).
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Level 3 is pretty empty but the other levels look full.
As expected most of the folks are in their 50s and 60s.
RUSTY EGAN played some cool tunes to warm the crowd up , including OMD, Human League , Soft Cell, Joy Division, The Cure,Spandau Ballet Visage, David Bowie and Gary Numan.
Rusty had a vinyl album on sale at the merch desk.
HEAVEN 17 arrived on stage at 8.30pm for their 1 hour 55 mins.
They had five on stage including two lots of synth keyboards and two female backing singers.
Singer Glen Gregory is an excellent frontman who is constantly moving and engaging with the crowd, he seemed to be having a great time and that energy and enthusiasm really bridged the gap between the stage and the crowd.
Glen gave a shout out to a loyal fan in the front row who has seen the band 229 times.
Lots of great electro pop tunes played , with highlights including
' We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang ', ' Temptation' and the covers went down well with 'Dont You Want Me', ' Party Fears Two' and ' Let's Dance'.
A really good show.
Full HEAVEN 17 setlist played tonight...
Introducing (The Human League cover)
Crushed by the Wheels of Industry
Key to the World
Who'll Stop the Rain
Come Live With Me
Lady Ice and Mr Hex
We Live So Fast
The Best Kept Secret
Let Me Go
(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
I'm Your Money
And That's No Lie
Play to Win
The Power of Love (Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover) (Glen solo acoustic)
Don't You Want Me ( The Human League cover) (Glen solo acoustic)
Penthouse and Pavement
Temptation
Encore:
Party Fears Two (The Associates cover)
Let's Dance ( David Bowie cover)
Being Boiled ( The Human League cover)

Sunday 12 November 2023.

Sunday 12 November 2023.
CLIFF RICHARD live at Hammersmith Apollo.
I am back to see Cliff for the second time.
Pretty much the same show as the night before.
An incredible 14 number one UK hits in the 21 songs played.
The chat on stage in both halves was a bit different.
Cliff is wearing a different sparkly outfit.
Despite being 83 , he does plenty of dancing around the stage.
Many fans have come to see Cliff multi-nights , even though front block tickets are £100 each
Again there was a very positive feel good vibe here tonight.
So many hit songs in another great show.
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Saturday 11 November 2023.
CLIFF RICHARD plays the fifth of six nights at Hammersmith Apollo.
Before The Beatles,there was Cliff Richard , who had the biggest selling single in the year 1959, with his fifth single release 'Living Doll'.
Cliff will be aged 83 when he plays these shows.
The shows will be filmed and shown in UK cinemas on Nov 25 and 26.
Across his illustrious and unrivalled 8-decade career spanning stage and screen, Sir Cliff Richard has become a British icon and cultural treasure, amassing many gold and platinum records, well over 250 million records sales worldwide, 14 number-one singles, a colossal 96 Top 20 hits, 7 number-one albums and a string of Brit and Ivor Novello awards to his name.
First night reviews say that he is playing all fourteen of his UK
number one hit singles.
I have seen Cliff on stage over 15 times since 1979 , when he headlined a charity show at The Royal Albert Hall, where he did three songs and KATE BUSH did three songs.
I also saw the reunion tour with The Shadows at The 02 Arena.
In 1958, 'Move It ' was Cliff Richard's debut single, and was widely credited as one of the first authentic rock 'n' roll singles made outside the United States. He went on to record countless commercial releases at Abbey Road studio, either with The Shadows, or as solo releases.
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It is stalls seated tonight, as lots of older folks here with
75% being loyal females who attend multi-nights.
Many are wearing tinsel and fairy lights
CLIFF RICHARD and band play for around two hours over two sets of 60 mins each.Pretty much a nice greatest hits set, with his 50s and 60s hits in the first half, and his 70s hits onwards in the second half.
Cliff is looking as youthful as ever , and despite being aged 83, he is wearing sparkly jacket, sparkly shirt, sparkly tie , sparkly shoes and the black trousers look leather.
A friend who went to the opening night said Cliff is 100% miming the entire show. On my inspection the vocals are too perfect for an 83 year old , so I would think there is some vocal production trickery going on. This crowd don't care though.
Most songs had an introduction on how they came about , and Cliff was interviewed on stage for around 10 mins in the middle of both sets.
The show certainly could have been a bit louder
The crowd rushed to the front for the last few songs.
It was a full on greatest hits show, with hit after hit.
So many gems from the last 65 years...a great show.
Full CLIFF RICHARD setlist played tonight ..
FIRST SET
The Young Ones (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Please Don't Tease ( Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Living Doll
Summer Holiday ( Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Bachelor Boy ( Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Chat - Cliff Richard with Iain Dale (10 mins)
I Love You ( Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Congratulations
Ocean Deep
Travellin' Light (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Move It!
The Millennium Prayer
SECOND SET
Saphire
The Minute You're Gone ( Sonny James cover)
Mistletoe & Wine
Saviour's Day
Miss You Nights
Chat - Cliff Richard with Iain Dale (10 mins)
Wired for Sound
The Next Time (Cliff Richard & The Shadows cover)
Devil Woman
We Don't Talk Anymore
Encore:
Band and crew introductions
My Kinda Life
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Friday 10 November 2023.
CREEPER live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
UK goth emo band are touring their third studio album.
This is the last night of their five night UK tour.
I have seen Creeper before in 2020 when they supported Baby Metal at Wembley Arena.
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Level 3 is half empty, but otherwise the venue is pretty full.
THE NIGHTMARES came on stage at 7.25pm for their 30 mins.
They are from Wales and play a good 30 mins set of tracks from their album.
SAVE FACE on stage at 8.15pm for their 30 mins set.
Save Face are a New Jersey native rock band.
Emerging in all red jumpsuits, the band had good tracks including ' Glitter' . With the set containing elements of a gothic vibe, it’s easy to see why the band have been compared to the likes of My Chemical Romance. The frantic and chaotic nature that lead singer Tyler brings to the table. Throughout the set there’s barely a moment where he stands still whether that is him jumping up and down on stage.
A really good set , with tracks from their two albums.
CREEPER on stage at 9.20pm for their 90 mins set.
The band have a nice stage production , with loads of lights and dry ice plumes and confetti in the encore.
Three raised platforms at the front of the stage.
Most of the songs are really good uptempo tracks , which result in loads of moshing , and 60 or 70 bodies crowd surf into the pit, to keep the security busy.
It was a full on proper gig atmosphere in the front stalls.
The band are super tight and singer Will Gould is a great front man, as the fans gang on his every word.
The band remind me of other great live bands at this level like Palaye Royale and The Struts . .a really good set.

Thursday 09 November 2023.

Thursday 09 November 2023.
THEE SACRED SOULS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
This show is the last date on their European Tour.
In May 2023 they were on Jools Holland BBC tv show.
Thee Sacred Souls have been building audiences all over the world with their self-titled 2022 debut, and a sound that mixes the easy-going grace of sweet 60s soul with the grit and groove of early 70s R&B. Their performances are utterly intoxicating. Hints of Chicano, Philly, Chicago, Memphis, and even Panama soul turn up.
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The show tonight is fully sold out.
A nice cool soul lovin' crowd as black and white folks mixed , and the 20 something's packed the stalls standing, and the
older folks stuck to the seats upstairs.
DJ DADDY BONES was the support act tonight.
He played obscure 70s soul vinyl singles to warm the crowd up.
THEE SACRED SOULS arrived at 9pm for their 80 mins set.
For half the songs in the set, there are 10 musicians on stage, including a three man brass section and two female backing vocals.
Singer Josh Lane has a great look, with his loose dreads.
Lots of the songs were based around love , and he went into the stalls crowd to sing a couple of songs, which went down well, and a couple of times he was in the pit area.
The best songs seemed to be nearer the end.
Thee Sacred Souls deliver ‘Weak For Your Love’, a crowd favourite and their biggest hit that has everyone singing along and hollering in appreciation as Josh hits the high notes with ease. They thank us and then leave the stage, prompting the crowd burst into a raucous ‘one more song!’ chant. There’s a deafening chorus of cheers, shrill whistles cut the air, and thundering feet stomp the ground like a drumroll.
For the start of their encore, Thee Sacred Souls play ‘Future Lover' then ‘It’s Our Love’ and their viral track ‘Can I Call You Rose?’. For the former, Josh walks deep into the crowd, his weightless soul vocals serenading the lucky people around him. During ‘Rose’, we see Josh bow his thanks to someone who hands him a fake red rose. He clutches it fervently as he sings, his eyes shut tight as he stretches out his arms.
An enjoyable show.
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Wednesday 08 November 2023.
LAIBACH live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Laibach play a one off UK show on their European Tour.
Laibach is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with the electro- industrial genre.
They formed in the mid 1980s.
I spent a fortnight in North East Slovenia a few years ago , near the Austrian border.
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Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, so maybe 700 or 800 tix sold.
LAIBACH were on stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 40 mins and 75 mins.
The stage production is top notch , as we have a massive digital screen showing images along with loads of lights and strobes , that compliment the music perfectly.
The band feature two keyboard/synth players.
LAIBACH belongs to the experimental bands that combine classical music and electro-industrial sounds with the unique deep voice of Milan Fras.
At the beginning, the band played a few bars alone until the enchanting singer Marina Martensson with her curly red hair and an acoustic guitar entered the stage and sang the song ‘Love Is Still Alive (Moon, Euphoria)’. While the music video for the song played on the big wall in the background, singer Milan Fras entered the stage in a glittering silver suit and Stetson Western hat. After this song, both left the stage again and until a break, the band played very ambient electronic sounding industrial music.
The first set was variations of one track ' Love is Still Alive'.
The whole show was very moody, with no smiling on stage.
The overall sound was perfect.
The crowd nodded along to the synth dominated sounds.
For the second encore LAIBACH played their neat cover version of the ROLLING STONES song ‘Sympathy For The Devil’.
A very enjoyable audio-visual show.

Tuesday 07 November 2023.

Tuesday 07 November 2023.
CLOWN CORE live at The Forum.
American masked duo perform electro- jazz metal tunes from their four albums.
This was their only English show on their European Tour.
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I was hoping for some weirdness , and i certainly got it.
The show is not sold out as the balcony is half empty, but still impressive that they can sell 1200 tickets when nobody apart from their hardcore fans know their name.
Several fans are wearing face masks or face paint .
DJ DRIVER arrived on stage at 8.30pm for his 40 mins set.
Kicking off the show was a DJ set from Clown Core associate DJ Driver. Unlike a majority of DJ sets, DJ Driver mainly sat in his chair, and pushed play on the laptop on the other chair, and stared blankly at the crowd .The music played during the set wasn't dancey or filled with familiar tunes; ambient music flowed throughout the venue, as concert attendees tried to get Driver's attention by waving and throwing up the heart symbol like they were attending a rave. A fan even gave Driver a £10 note which he gladly accepted.
The crowd simply cheered every time Driver did something.
After 40 minutes, Driver abruptly unplugged his device and walked off the stage ending his peculiar set. While a few fans got a handshake on his way out.
CLOWN CORE arrived on stage at 9.30pm and played for a mere 50 mins.
They have a nice big screen behind them mixing digital images with live footage.
As the duo kicked off their set with "Three" inside a tent posing as a porta-potty, a bevy of phones were aimed at the stage in anticipation of the band's arrival. When the front of the tent came down, everyone erupted at the sight of the musical duo, who donned white outfits for the occasion.
One plays drums and the other plays keyboards and sax.
Seeing Clown Core live for many was like finally meeting that one internet friend you've connected with for years. The act went from a chaotic grindcore assault one minute to a jazzy section fit for a Kenny G record the next minute, and the crowd simply embraced the madness.
The all instrumental tracks were short in length.
Plenty of moshing in the front stalls standing.
At the end of the encore , these words came up on the screen.
PLEASE LEAVE - THANK YOU FOR YOUR MONEY.
It certainly was a bonkers evening.
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Monday 06 November 2023.
Mon 06 Nov and Tues 07 Nov and Wed 08 Nov - WORLD TRAVEL MARKET is held at Excel, East London.
World Travel Market is a one-stop-shop for all things tourism, hospitality and travel. Hosted at its traditional venue ExCeL London, WTM 2023 will gather renowned tourism professionals globally from 6th to 8th November 2023. The trade show is a perfect opportunity for tourism businesses and travel providers to showcase the full range of tourism attractions, the latest travel technology and airlines.
WTM 2023 attracts the biggest names in the industry and all related sectors. As the busiest trade fair in the travel area.
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I was there on the opening day -
Monday 06 Nov from 1pm to 10.45pm.
This is a truly massive event as 10,000 folks are due every day.
North Wing is UK and Europe.
South Wing is Rest of the World.
Many of the countries have staff in national dress, and some are performing traditional dance showcases.
Lots of big colourful digital screens all over all the venue.
Certainly makes you want to book a holiday.
Not just countries showcasing , but many hotels worldwide and UK excursions including Premier League stadium tours, Harry Potter, Disney and Mamma Mia! The Party at The 02 Complex.
Lots of walking around and checking out different stands.
Every hour many have complimentary drinks receptions.
2pm - Cuba - Cuban cocktails.
3pm - Chile - Chilean wines and Chilean food.
4pm - Taiwan - Taiwanese whiskey cocktails and sandwiches.
They had a business card draw for a dozen prizes . I didn't win.
They also gave out a goodie bag with a few items inside.
5pm - Guyana - rum cocktails and traditional bites.
6pm - Cendyn (hotel technologies) party at The Fox Pub - outside Excel...whiskey cocktails, prosecco, wines, beers and buffet including a huge plate of beer battered onion rings.
7.30pm - Hyatt Hotels next door for wines and beers.
This was on its last legs so we didn't stay long.
8.15pm to 10.45pm - KOREA TOURISM WTM PARTY at
HAWKSMOOR STEAKHOUSE, Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf.
My first time on this lovely floating pavillion restaurant and bar.
Complimentary Bekseju Korean cocktails, prosecco, wines, beers and at 10pm everyone was given a glass of champers to toast Korea....a DJ is playing tunes in the background.
Different bowl foods including their Rib-Eye Steak Strips with triple-cooked chips. All guests got a goodie bag with a box of 50 Korean Ginseng Tea Bags.

Saturday 04 November 2023.

Saturday 04 November 2023.
LEVEL 42 + THE CHRISTIANS live at Hammersmith Apollo.
This is the last show on their UK tour.
Both bands had hits in the 1980s and 1990s.
Just to give you an idea of how popular the jazz- funk of Level 42 was back in the day.
In 1990 they played 15 , yes 15 shows at this same venue...I worked front stage security for 12 of them.
They always played Hammersmith Odeon on their UK tours, so I have seen them over 25 times.
Level 42 last studio album release was in 2006.
I have seen The Christians a few times before.
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There is no sold out sign, but the venue looks full.
Lots of middle aged folks as expected.
THE CHRISTIANS arrived on stage at 7.45pm and played for 40 mins.
Warmly received first were The Christians who entertained in fine style with their wonderful vocals and harmonies being as smooth as ever on the likes of ' Ideal World' and 'Forgotten Town'.
With front man Gary Christian’s voice taking centre stage before their short set was brought to a close with ' Hooverville' and the hit song cover of The Isley Brothers 'Harvest For The World'.
LEVEL 42 arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour 40 mins.
All the band members are wearing colourful shirts.
The band were joined by a three man brass section
The band are all top notch musicians , and create a really nice jazz-funk sound.
Mark King still has his amazing thumb-slap bass guitar technique.
The massive drum kit looks incredible , and would put many a rock band to shame.
They play all their hits as usual.
A great show.
Full LEVEL 42 setlist played tonight...
Almost There
To Be With You Again
Running in the Family
Micro Kid
The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)
Children Say
Heathrow
Love Meeting Love
Kansas City Milkman
World Machine
Love Games
Starchild
Something About You
Lessons in Love
Encore:
Heaven in My Hands
The Chinese Way
Hot Water
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Friday 03 November 2023.
I went to three events today.
4.30pm to 7.30pm.
RM AUCTIONS - preview party - Marlborough House, Pall Mall , St James's, London SW1.
Over 50 stunning classic cars are on display in the huge marquee in advance of the auction the following day.
Around 20 of them are Ferraris.
Many have an estimate of a million quid plus.
A highlight for me was seeing a navy Bentley Continental Convertible which has been owned by Jay Kay ( Jamiroquai) for the past 23 years and has featured in a couple of the bands videos.
Around 300 guests are here.
There is a DJ playing tunes in the background.
Commentary Havana Rum cocktails, prosecco, wines, beers and canapes.
then
7.45pm to 9pm.
VISITBRASIL.COM - Trafalgar Square, London SW1.
The Brazilian Embassy are hosting a pre-party in advance of next week's World Travel Market.
They are showcasing six different regions.
We miss the dance display and the food but have complimentary Cachaca (Brazilian Rum) cocktails, wines and beers.
All guests got a nice goodie bag on departure.
then
9.15pm to 11pm...after-party in the upstairs bar at The Coliseum for the press/ VIP evening for
ENO’s production of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas will be at the London Coliseum from 3 – 11 November 2023.
A packed bar of maybe 150 guests here including several well known faces including American Actor WILLIAM DEFOE, MARIA ABRAMOVIC, NICK RHODES,
IMELDA MAY, DANIEL LISMORE, LORRAINE CHASE,
PHILIP SALLON, FIONA SHAW ( actress in Killing Eve etc) and no doubt a couple I missed.
Complimentary prosecco, wines and beers.

Thursday 02 November 2023.

Thursday 02 November 2023.
6.30pm to 11pm.
DOMUS SHOWROOM OPENING PARTY -
23 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell , London EC1.
A stunningly designed huge contemporary space of over 2300 sq ft, which is spread out over two levels and different areas.
Must be over 200 guests here tonight.
There is a four piece semi-acoustic band playing some cover versions and we have a DJ too.
The event was due to finish at 9pm but it's an Italian time vibe so it actually finished at 11pm.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including Negronis, Gin & Tonics , Prosecco, Lambrusco ( Italian Sparkling Red Wine), Wines, Beers, Italian bowl food including lasagne and pasta dishes and desserts.
A great party.
What they say about their showroom...
Blending inspiration and ideas via a carefully considered, curated approach, our new home in London’s creative heart has been designed to offer architects and designers a stimulating and unique Domus showroom experience. Incorporating new design concept features within a dynamic and collaborative environment, the space is intended to serve as a warm and welcoming creative and social hub, with dedicated zones for client meetings and hot-desking, a restful bar and lounge plus two serene outdoor areas.
Housing over 3,000 individual products, a material reference library takes centre stage within the new showroom design concept, providing clients with instantly accessible reference pieces from Domus’ extensive tile, wood and engineered flooring ranges. Inspired by the style of old dispensaries and containing over 250 ranges in all colour and finish options, the reference library has been designed to help make choosing and selecting surface materials an effortless, intuitive part of the specification process – acting as a convenient and comprehensive design source for interior designers, architects and specifiers.
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Wednesday 01 November 2023.
I went to three events tonight.
5.15pm to 6.30pm
THE ART OF MOTORING - private view - Iconic Images Gallery , 16 Waterloo Place, St James's, London SW1.
Around 100 guests here, most are older males.
Lots of great photos and paintings of racing cars.
They are on display all this week...free entry.
Complimentary Piper Heidsieck champers and canapes for all guests here.
then
7pm to 9.30pm
SOCIAL 4M - Kettners, Champagne Bar, 29 Romily Street , London W1.
First time back at Kettners for a few years.
Social 4M (Meet Merge Motivate Maximise) are hosting a talk to around 50 music biz folks regards streaming and publishing and percentages etc.
Very interesting.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including three different cocktails, wines, beers , different bowl foods, cheese and ham toasties and canapes.
then
10pm to 12pm
THE TIME TRAVELLERS WIFE - press night party -
Sophie's, 42 - 44 Great Windmill Street , London W1.
The show was held earlier at the nearby Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.
The reviews have not been great.
This is the two star review from The Standard.
It’s frankly astonishing that the combined talents of former Eurythmic Dave Stewart, soul artist Joss Stone, and America's "most produced living playwright" Lauren Gunderson should come up with a musical as bland as this.
The grand romance of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 bestseller, which asked smart questions about how you’d cope if your partner was repeatedly, involuntarily transported through time, is here played for gloopy sentiment and goofy laughs.
The party was a massive event with some 300 guests. Dave Stewart and Joss Stone are here.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including spirits with mixers, prosecco, wines, beers , different bowl foods , cheeseburgers and canapes.

Tuesday 31 October 2023.

Tuesday 31 October 2023.
I went to two events tonight.
6.45pm to 9pm.
BURMA TO MYNAMAR - private view - British Museum, London WC2.
Over 200 guests here in their stunning reception area.
A casually dressed GRAYSON PERRY is here.
From influential superpower to repressive regime, Myanmar – also known as Burma – has seen dramatic fluctuations in fortune over the past 1,500 years.
Experiencing decades of civil war and now ruled again by a military dictatorship, Myanmar is an isolated figure on the world stage today, and its story is relatively little known in the West. However, the extraordinary artistic output of its peoples, over more than a millennium of cultural and political change, attests to its pivotal role at the crossroads of Asia.
Complimentary wines and canapes for all guests.
At 7.20pm we had a speech and a poetry reading.
It is on until 11 Feb 2024...general tickets are £16.
then
9.15pm to 11.30pm.
KING LEAR - press night / VIP after-party - Browns, St Martin's Lane, London WC2.
Over 200 guests here at this venue, including SIR DEREK JACOBI and later on KENNETH BRANAGH.
Branagh sets his Lear in the pre modern era, the stage dominated by a rugged stone circle that nods to Stonehenge, the cast, swathed in furs and sackcloth and clutching sticks, dressed out like extras from Game of Thrones. A slowly moving planet bears down from above like some malign cosmic harbinger, yet this remains a firmly earthbound Lear, its energy muscular, rugged and decidedly testosterone-fuelled, the territorial blood-lusting at its core (there’s a lot of roaring and fighting with sticks) uncannily suited to the primordial factionalism of our age.
It is on until 09 Dec 2023 at The Wyndham's Theatre.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including Moet champers, prosecco, wines, beers and trays of cheeseburgers with fries, pork belly, smoked salmon and cream cheese and other canapes.
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Monday 30 October 2023.
JAMES live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
James play an intimate show for the 15th birthday of Absolute Radio.
I have seen James around a dozen times since 1994 , when they supported Peter Gabriel at Glastonbury.
They have played this venue a couple of times in the past.
James have sold over 25 million albums worldwide.
Just a few months ago in the summer they headlined to 20,000 in Crystal Palace Park.
Support comes from Scottish indie-rockers...SNUTS.
They have had two albums out and the first reached number one and the second got to number four.
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A totally sold out show tonight.
Around 150 guest list folks up on Level 1 and Level 2 including legendary live music booking agent
JOHN GIDDINGS who looks after James, isle of Wight Festival, Iggy Pop, Blondie , Generation Sex and more.
There are several cameras filming the event , including a boom camera swinging out from Level 1.
Most of the crowd are aged 40 to 65.
Lots of equipment and horizontal lights on stage.
THE SNUTS arrived on stage at 7.45pm for 30 mins.
They played a good set of indie-rock guitar tunes.
Absolute Radio love playing these type of bands.
JAMES arrived on stage at 8.50pm for their 95 mins.
James had nine band members on stage tonight,
Including three guitars, percussion, sax and violin .
Their joyous and enterprising 95 mins performance dips into almost every part of their long career, including little-known tracks early on as well as big hitters later, showing how the band like to stretch themselves, by changing the setlist around nightly.
Singer Tim Booth is doing his great stage dance movements and walks through the stalls crowd during a superb ' Come Home'.
Their biggest hit ' Sit Down ' is as great as ever.
Lots of other hits played....a top notch show.
Full JAMES setlist played ...,.
Sound
Ring the Bells
Curse Curse
Walk Like Yolu
Interrogation
Tomorrow (restarted as in wrong key)
Come Home
She's a Star (Acoustic)
Johnny Yen (audience request)
All Good Boys
Sit Down
Beautiful Beaches
Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)
Sometimes (Lester Piggott)
Laid

Monday 30 October 2023.

Sunday 29 October 2023.
REGENESIS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
ReGenesis are proud to present “The Last Supper”, a show featuring the very best of Early Genesis, with one or two genuine surprises thrown in for good measure. The unique set list will feature music from all the Genesis albums from Genesis to Revelation to A Trick of The Tail.
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Stalls is seated tonight , and Levels 2 and 3 are closed, so maybe 500 folks here. Mainly older men but there are some older females enjoying it.
Support act DB-INFUSION played a 30 mins set.
They were a jazz fusion trio playing instrumentals with some nifty finger pickin' guitar playing and we even got a nice drum solo.
REGENESIS arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played a long set of 2 hours 25 mins.
I was too young for early Genesis listening in the early 1970s as I was into glam rock and totp.
Five musicians on stage tonight.
The singer does not look like Peter Gabriel but the band faithfully reproduce the tricky prog rock tunes from the Peter Gabriel era . The singer did bring out out three types of headwear that Peter Gabriel also used to do.
The guitarist was really good, and moved around much more than Steve Hackett.
I know some song titles but not many.
Many of the songs seem to be 10 mins long.
Highlights included ' The Musical Box', ' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway', ' Suppers Ready' and encore of ' The Knife'.
Obviously it was a bit muso heavy in parts and you could see why punk rock had to come along in the mid 1970s to shake things up.
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Saturday 28 October 2023.
THE MISSION live at The Roundhouse.
Goth Rock legends are playing another UK tour.
I have seen them several times since 1993, including last year at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Special guests on the tour are THEATRE OF HATE.
I have seen them a few times since they supported Ian Dury at Hammersmith Odeon in 1981.
Kirk Brandon still fronts them, and I saw him fronting his band The Pack before Theatre Of Hate in 1979 and 1980.
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The loyal black clad goth rock fans have come out in force for this sold out show.
Up first at 7.15pm we have IST IST for a 30 mins set.
Never heard their name before, yet they have had three studio albums and eight live albums out.
IST IST are a post-punk band based in Greater Manchester.They had nifty guitar sounds and a Peter Hook type bass style which sounded really good.
THEATRE OF HATE on stage at 8pm for 45 mins.
The have a nice sound feat nice bass and sax.
Great to hear 'Westworld' again which was produced by Mick Jones of The Clash back in 1983.
THE MISSION on stage at 9.10pm for 1 hour 45 mins.
Singer Wayne Hussey has a mop of grey hair.
Lots of moshing down front and the usual goth tradition as several stand on others shoulders.
Amazingly Wayne said this was their first time playing here at this iconic venue.
Highlights included ' Severin ', 'Deliverance' , 'Wasteland' and final encore ' Tower of Strength'.
A realky good show.
Full MISSION setlist played tonight...
TAPE INTRO The Dam Busters Theme
Beyond the Pale
Serpent's Kiss
The Crystal Ocean
Butterfly on a Wheel
Met-Amor-Phosis
Garden of Delight
Stay With Me
Afterglow
Severin
Like a Child Again
Swan Song
Deliverance
Encore:
Wake (RSV) (Wayne solo)
Blood Brother
Wasteland
You'll Never Walk Alone (Rodgers & Hammerstein cover)
Encore 2:
Tower of Strength
I got a Mission setlist and drumstick from the show.
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Friday 27 October 2023.
MAC AYRES live at Shepherds Bush Empire
R&B artist Mac Ayres is hitting the road is support of his latest album release, 'Comfortable Enough' . The self-taught singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist is from Long Island, NY, USA.
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The venue is not sold out, but is very full.
A great equal mix of asian, black and white folks.
with maybe 75% females under the age of 30.
MAYA DELILAH arrived on stage at 8.15pm for her 30 mins set. She is a 23 year old English singer-songwriter and guitarist who played tracks from her two EPs.
Her style has been described as a "unique blend of jazz, soul, and pop"....a decent enough set.
MAC AYRES arrived on stage at 9.15pm for 85 mins.
His cool band included keyboards and sax.
The crowd are soon singing along loudly , and nodding and swaying along to the tracks played.
Mac Ayres’ raw emotions reflect on his lyrical tracks, which makes the music so beautiful and uniquely connected to all his fans. His breezy, soulful, and dynamic jazz fusion songs tick along nicely, although they do sound a bit samey in places.
Tracks ' Easy' and ' Get To You Again' were highlights, and he got a bit emotional with wiping away the tears at the great reception he got here tonight.
An enjoyable show.

Thursday 26 October 2023.

Thursday 26 October 2023.
I went to two events tonight...gallery then EUROPE gig
See my Facebook page for photos and videos.
6.30pm to 8.45pm.
MADDOX GALLERY - new gallery launch party -
12 Berkeley Street , Mayfair, London W1
Over 200 guests at their huge new space , that's over three levels and over 3000 square feet.
Guests include RONAN KEATING and his wife.
Also ex page 3 model JACKIE ST CLAIR and husband.
Also Ronnie Woods son TYRONE WOOD.
Huge photographs including one of BILL NIGHY who visited the gallery in the afternoon.
Also a great one of Man City striker ERLING HAALAND.
Complimentary Gusbourne English Sparkling Wines and some very yummy Whisky Sour cocktails.
In his ‘Storytelling’ exhibition, David Yarrow's photography transcends mere images. He intricately crafts narratives in London-themed works like London Town, Oliver, and By Order of the Peaky Blinders. From reimagining classics to capturing wildlife, Yarrow's storytelling mastery shines.
At 7.45pm David Yarrow gave a speech.
then
EUROPE live at The Palladium.
Europe play the second of two shows at this venue as part of their UK & European Tour.
I have seen them several times from when 'The Final Countdown' was a big hit for them.
The band, with millions of album sales under their belt and a No1 smash in 1986 across 25 countries with the legendary The Final Countdown received an award from YouTube in 2022 for the first Swedish band ever to receive a BILLION views for any one song.
The Time Capsule tour will take in 18 concerts across Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, The Netherlands and the UK, including two nights at the famous The London Palladium. These anniversary shows will consist of a career retrospective "evening with" performance featuring all the hits together with deep cuts and fan favourites from all of their 11 studio albums.
Joey Tempest "Thanks to you guys out there – we are honoured to still be here today, making records and touring the world. 40 years ago we had that dream and here we are 11 albums later. We look forward to seeing you all in September and October for this very special tour!"
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Europe played two sets tonight , but I missed the first set that included ' Rock The Night' and 'Carrie' as I was at the gallery event earlier.
The band played around 80 mins in the second set.
Singer Joey Tempest still has the women swooning.
Plenty of good songs played , and final track of the night was a mega ' Final Countdown:
SECOND SET by EUROPE played tonight..
Always the Pretenders
Ninja
Prisoners in Paradise
Sign of the Times
Space Oddity (David Bowie cover) (Acoustic)
Last Look at Eden
Open Your Heart
Memories John Leven (bass solo)
More Than Meets the Eye
Drum Solo;(William Tell Overature with Ian Haugland introduction)
Ready or Not
Superstitious ( With Here I Go Again Whitesnake cover in the middle)
Encore:
Cherokee
The Final Countdown
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Wednesday 25 October 2023.
I went to two events tonight.
6pm to 8pm.
MALEVO - press preview - Embassy of Argentina, 49 Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London SE1.
Over 100 guests are here including The Ambassador.
Pounding drums, puffed chests, thundering feet – this is scintillating Argentine dance as you’ve never seen it before
In a blistering and exhilarating take on the traditional Argentine Malambo, Malevo brings its blazing raw talent to the UK for the very first time.
This dynamic all-male troupe has created a performance that not only pushes the Malambo style beyond its limits but gives audiences an extraordinary visual and sensory experience unlike any other.
The South American sensation Malevo was created by director, choreographer, and dancer, Matías Jaime. The company has reimagined the Argentine dance of Malambo; taking what is a traditional Argentinian folkloric dance and elevating it to a fiery and modern heights. They infuse the dance with elements of flamenco and pulsating drumming live onstage.
The choreography combines the use of boleadoras – a leather and stone hunting tool used by Gauchos – with pounding movements, energetic stomping (zapateados) and lightning footwork (cepillados).
Malevo has worked with the likes of Latin pop star Ricky Martin, reached the semi-final on America’s Got Talent, and has performed all across the world, from New York to Osaka. Now these bad-ass men in their leathers are turning up the heat in London.
At 6.40pm we had a 10 mins preview of the show, with around 20 performers.
Pretty amazing to see it up nice and close.
Complimentary Argentine wines, canapes and pastries.
It is on at The Peacock Theatre next week from 31 Oct to 04 Nov.
Tickets are from £18 via www.sadlerswells.com
then
8.30pm to 11.15pm.
RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL - OPENING GALA PARTY Waldorf Hotel, Aldwych, London WC2.
Over 300 guests in the ballroom area of this very nice hotel.
Canadian film producer ELLIOT GROVE is the host.
Actor TIMOTHY SPALL presents the Icon Award to
Director DAVID YATES , who is best known for directing the last four films in the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise all the way from ‘Order of the Phoenix’ to ‘The Deathly Hallows Part 2’, is set receive the Raindance Icon Award for his work in the film franchise as well as his contributions to cinema
Since 1992 Raindance reaches out and supports the new generation of creative and innovative filmmakers both in the UK and around the world. The Raindance Film Festival runs in Central London allowing international filmmakers to enjoy a West-End premiere with a truly London experience.
The festival welcomes 16,000+ visitors each year including buyers, distributors, festival programmers, financiers, producers, press, and film lovers in general.
There is a 1920s swing band playing and a DJ too.
We have complimenary prosecco, wines, beers, canapes and desserts.
Some photos and a video of the event is now up on my Facebook page.

Tuesday 24 October 2023.

Tuesday 24 October 2023.
ROYAL BLOOD live at Hammersmith Apollo.
A sold out show to promote their fourth studio album.
All four of their albums have made number 1 in the UK charts.
Royal Blood are an English rock duo formed in Worthing in 2011. The current lineup consists of Mike Kerr (vocals, bass, piano) and Ben Thatcher (drums). Their signature sound is built around Kerr's bass playing style, which sees him using various effects pedals and amps to make his bass guitar sound like an electric guitar and bass guitar at the same time. The duo were signed by Warner Chappell Music in 2013 and have since released four studio albums: Royal Blood (2014), How Did We Get So Dark? (2017), Typhoons (2021), and Back to the Water Below (2023).
I have seen Royal Blood before and have even seen a Royal Blood (Royal Monster) tribute band who supported a Foo Fighters tribute band last year.
Royal Blood headlined The 02 Arena last year.
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A fully sold out show tonight.
Lots of parents here with their teenage children.
HOTWAX arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins.
They are an all-girl trio from Hastings.
A nice mix of rock, grunge, punk in their sound.
ROYAL BLOOD arrived on stage at 9pm for their 90 mins set.
A mesmerising stage production as must be over 100
lights and strobes hitting our eyes from behind them.
Lots of moshing all through the evening , and a few crowd surfers into the pit.
Must be a dozen photographers in the pit.
The band have a great crunching rock sound, with heavy riff's and great to see the drum kit front of stage.
Near the end, both members are in the pit , and the drummer goes into the stalls standing area.
A really good show.
Full ROYAL BLOOD setlist played tonight...
The Ecstasy of Gold
Mountains at Midnight
Come on Over
Boilermaker
Lights Out
Shiner in the Dark
Hook, Line & Sinker
Triggers
Trouble's Coming
Typhoons
Pull Me Through
Little Monster (Followed by Drum Solo)
How Did We Get So Dark?
Tell Me When It's Too Late
Loose Change
Out of the Black (Ben in the crowd)
Encore:
Waves
Ten Tonne Skeleton
Figure It Out
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Monday 23 October 2023...6.45pm to 10pm...
TRAVEL MEDIA AWARDS 2023 at The Savoy Hotel, Strand , London WC2.
Around 300 guests are standing in the lovely ballroom of this famous five star luxury hotel.
The headline sponsor was the Moroccan National Tourist Office; and consumer media partner was easyjet holidays.
I had a nice chat with Jane from www.visitsomerset.co.uk...so check out their website.
Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers, wines, beers,different bowl foods,canapes and desserts.
The awards were held from 7.15pm to 8.15pm
THE WINNERS IN FULL: 
National Broadsheet Newsprint Section 
The Sunday Times Travel 
National Tabloid Newsprint Section 
The Sun 
Consumer Publication of the Year – Print 
Condé Nast Traveller UK 
Consumer Publication of the Year – Online  
FT Globetrotter 
National Consumer Feature of the Year 
Adrian Phillips for ‘Into the Deep’ in National Geographic Traveller (UK) 
Consumer Magazine Section of the Year 
Good Housekeeping 
Trade Publication of the Year – Print  
The Business Travel Magazine 
Trade Publication of the Year – Online  
TTG 
Trade Writer of the Year 
Sophie Griffiths, TTG 
Sustainability Travel Feature of the Year  
Sam Haddad for ‘“It’s still as beautiful as ever”: the changing face of the French Alps’ in The Guardian 
Phoebe Smith for ‘Thailand cove made famous in The Beach reopens to visitors after four-year closure’ in The Guardian 
Sustainability Travel Writer of the Year  
Holly Tuppen 
Blogger/Vlogger of the Year 
Alex Hunter, Attaché 
Guide of the Year – Book, Online, App 
111 Places in County Durham That You Shouldn’t Miss, Elizabeth Atkin 
Breaking Travel News – Print, Broadcast and Online 
Ben Clatworthy, The Times 
Regional Publication Feature of the Year 
Ben Lerwill for ‘The joy of the search’ in Hidden Scotland Magazine 
Photography Award 
Mark Parren Taylor 
Customer Content  
Much Better Adventures Magazine 
Young Travel Writer of the Year 
Jacqui Agate 
Specialist Travel Writer of the Year 
Jamie Lafferty, South America
Broadcast Programme of the Year – TV, Radio, Online and Podcast 
BBC 100 Women – The Last of Albania’s ‘Sworn Virgins’, BBC World Service and BBC Reel 
Consumer Writer of the Year 
Ed Grenby 
Special Contribution Award 
Pippa Jacks 
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Monday 23 October 2023.
Sad to report two deaths over the weekend.
MR UDO has passed away at the age of 92.
Legendary music promoter in Japan with UDO Concerts who since 1967 who has brought over all the Western music legends , with over 10,000 concerts promoted.
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DAVE COURTNEY has passed away at the age of 64.
He was an East End celebrity gangster who i saw a few times at West End events.
He had connections with The Krays.
Reports say he shot himself.
"The physical pain of living the lifestyle he chose, especially due to the pain of both cancer and arthritis in his later years, became too much," his family added.