Thursday 06 July 2023.
Thursday 06 July 2023....2pm to 10.45pm...
SOHO HOUSE FESTVAL, Gunnersbury Park, London W3.
IF ONLY ALL FESTIVALS WERE LIKE THIS ONE.
Soho House members club host their annual party.
Around 7000 guests (members have paid £275 each to be here and guests of members have paid £325).
Around 20 corporate names entertaining guests here including ITV, Sky, Talk Talk,Warner Bros,Youtube etc.
Like Glastonbury Festival, it always sells out pronto before the bands have even been confirmed.
Ticket includes all your food and drinks throughout the day.
Complimentary Thienot champers, five different cocktails, spirits, wines, beers, soft drinks and
food trucks including Dirty Burger, Hot Dogs, Pizza , Hog Roast, Lobster Salad, Meat Balls, Oysters,
Roast Chicken ,Crosstown Doughnuts ,ice-creams, desserts, churros, coffees etc.
We got stuck into the food & drinks for the first three hours.
There are plenty of long tables here for guests to sit down in the shade while eating.
There is a full funfair here but we don't have time to get on the dodgem cars.
There are ten acts over the two stages, so just five mins gap between acts.
They have had some big names over the years, but this year is more DJ and dance based.
A few well known faces are floating around, some just watching and some introducing the acts.
Including Lee Mack, Jo Whiley , Nick Grimshaw, Georgia Toffolo, Laura Whitmore and a few others.
We hear all the acts in the background, but only watch three up close.
GABRIELS arrive on stage at 5.10pm for their 30 mins set.
Singer Jacob Lusk has a stunning voice and recently joined Elton John on stage at Glastonbury.
Gospel soul act Gabriels played some good tracks from their debut album.
Jacob Lusk’s power as a vocalist, and his larger than life colourful charisma, is immense.
THE DARKNESS arrive on stage at 5.50pm for their 45 mins set.
Singer Justin Hawkins is soon taking his shirt off.
Highlights included 'Growing on Me', 'Friday Night', 'Get Your Hands Off My Woman'
and ending with classic hit 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love'.
We then went for another wander around the drinks and food outlets for a couple of hours.
PETE TONG & ORCHESTRA PERFORM IBIZA CLASSICS arrive on stage at 9.15pm for their 70 mins.
They have headlined The 02 Arena before, and are tonight's headline act.
The orchestra must have 30 or 40 members, and their are male and female vocalists.
Lots of dance classics played including the likes of Faithless 'Insomnia'.
He had the advantage of playing in the darkness, so had the full lightshow.
A great day out.
Wednesday 05 July 2023...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 7.45pm
FLORIS - The Lily Collection launch party - 89 Jermyn Street, St James's, London SW1.
This historic and iconic British fragrance house has been in this building since 1730.
Over 100 of their fragrances are on display around the store.
It has a lovely small museum room at the rear showcasing their fragrances etc over the years.
Some of their past clients who wore Floris fragrances include David Bowie, Florence Nightingale,
Eva Peron, Winston Churchill, Alec Guinness, Ian Fleming and many more.
The Lily Collection is a balanced floral fragrance, inspired by the Lily of the Valley flower and preserving its natural state. The dewy freshness of the blooms is enhanced with a flourish of Egyptian Jasmine and Bulgarian Rose. The sparkling white tea notes give a clean effect.
Around 60 or 70 guests here tonight.
Complimentary prosecco, wines, canapes and desserts.
All guests got a goodie bag on departure.
KISS live at The 02 Arena.
KISS play five UK shows on their farewell European Tour tour in June/July.
This will be their last ever London show.
Celebrating their 50 years - 1973 to 2023.
I have seen KISS around 30 times since their first two London shows at Hammersmith Odeon in May 1976.
For the second show i was front row centre.
That same month i saw four of the six Rolling Stones shows at Earls Court Arena.
Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have confirmed they will be joined by special guests, Welsh ragga-metallers SKINDRED at all UK shows. London rockers THE WILD THINGS will open proceedings on the five UK dates on the tour.
KISS have sold around 100 records worldwide (albums and singles combined).
KISS played two UK shows in June, and return for three more in July.
Nice to see several friends here including Rod MacSween and Steve Zapp from KISS booking agents ITB,
and Mark Taylor from Record Collector.
Legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin was in the pit along with KISS manager Doc McGee.
Rock legend JIMMY PAGE was photographed with Paul Stanley tonight but I didn't see Jimmy.
Level 4 has black curtains up as only 50% sold up there.
We have great views in the Block 112 guest block.
Robbing bastards here at the bar are changing £8.50 for a pint of Stella.
KISS arrive on stage late at 9.05pm , instead of the planned 8.50pm.
This is not good as this venue has an 11pm curfew.
This meant a couple of songs were partial and ' I Was Made For Loving You'
is moved from the main set to the encore and 'Do You Love Me' was dropped from the setlist.
The KISS show is one everyone should see at least once, as it really is a visual treat.
The costumes, the make-up, the pyros , lights, lasers, big screens, all the bells and whistles.
Paul said "this is the 20th time we have played Hammersmith Odeon".
I have seen 18 of them...the two i missed were non-make up shows.
It was certainly a bit emotional for me, as probably the last time I will ever see KISS live.
For me def one of the best gigs of the year ,alongside Elton John and The Dog Day Afternoon event.
A totally excellent show from KISS as usual.
Full KISS setlist played tonight...
Intro song - Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin song)
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Heaven's on Fire
I Love It Loud (Gene breathes fire)
Guitar Solo (Tommy Thayer with his rocket firing guitar)
Lick It Up
Calling Dr. Love
Psycho Circus (partial)
100,000 Years (partial)
Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies)
God of Thunder
Love Gun (Paul flies to stage B)
Black Diamond (Paul flies back to stage A)
Beth (Eric on piano)
I Was Made for Lovin' You (100 KISS balloons are dropped from the ceiling)
Rock and Roll All Nite
Outro song - God Gave Rock and Roll to You (Argent song)
Updated 6th July 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 04 July 2023.
Tuesday 04 July 2023.
THE EAGLES OF DEATH METAL live at The Forum.
They were the band that were playing The Bataclan in Paris in 2015 during a terrorist attack.
Singer Jess Hughes, said the gig should have been the best of their tour and he had been “really excited” to play in Paris.
He said he recognised the sound of gunfire instantly when three gunmen with suicide vests burst in mid-show and opened fire. “Being from a desert community in California, I know the sound of gunshots,” he said.
While other band members hesitated and wondered what was going on, Hughes said he “knew death was upon us”. He said the band “ran for their lives” while “nearly 90 of my friends [the fans] were murdered in front of us”.
The band escaped through a side door after Hughes had found his girlfriend in the concert hall.
Despite their name, the band's music is a revved-up blend of garage rock, boogie rock and hard rock, with elements of glam rock, blues rock and swamp rock added.
The balcony area is half empty tonight, but still maybe 1500 folks here.
Support band THE STANDSTILLS arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins set.
They are a rock trio from Canada ,with a great female drummer.
They played some really good tracks from their two albums.
A nice heavy rock sound like Queens of the Stone Age, that went down well with this crowd.
I wanted them to play a bit longer...top notch.
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for 1 hour 40 mins.
Singer Jesse arrives on stage wearing a red cape and tells the crowd " look at how much I love you motherfuckers, it's Independence Day and i am wearing a Union Jack waistcoat".
Jesse is very entertaining on stage , as he rants and jokes around and paces around the stage.
The band includes two females on bass and drums, with the foxy blonde bass player all in red.
Plenty of moshing during their rockin' tunes.
We had a very nice surprise for the first encore as Stray Cat SLIM JIM PHANTOM came on stage
to play The Stray Cats gem 'Rock This Town' which was mega...I learned later that Jim is married to
that foxy bass player in EADM.
It was a great show from both bands.
Full EADM setlist played tonight....
Got a Woman
I Only Want You
Don't Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!)
Anything 'Cept the Truth
Complexity (Boots Electric cover)
Flames Go Higher
Now I'm a Fool
I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)
Whorehoppin' (Shit, Goddamn)
I Love You All the Time
Moonage Daydream (David Bowie cover)
Rock This Town (with Slim Jim Phantom on drums) (Stray Cats cover)
I Like to Move in the Night
Medley - Speaking in Tongues (with Jesse playing a guitar solo on the stalls staircase) / Ace of Spades
(just the two girls on bass and drums rockin' it out)
Monday 03 July 2023....I went to two events tonight.....
6.45pm to 8.45pm.
COLNAGHI GALLERY SUMMER PARTY, Bury Street, St James's, London SW1.
This gallery was recently taken over by some French folks.
All the art on display and for sale is by French artists.
Around 150 guests here, with several people here i know.
Complimentary Bouvet champers, wines, beers and canapes for all the guests.
10.15pm to 12pm.
CRAZY FOR YOU - press/VIP night afterparty - Gillian Lynne Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London WC2.
The party was held in the same venue as where the show is being performed.
A big crowd, as must be at least 300 guests here.
Well known faces here include LINDA ROBSON, LESLIE JOSEPH, SU POLLARD and
Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers and canapes for the guests.
Updated 4th July 2023 Permalink
Sunday 02 July 2023.
Sunday 02 July 2023.
BILLY F. GIBBONS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Billy is the 73 year old rock legend who is the guitarist and singer in ZZ Top.
Billy is playing a full UK & European Tour.
Billy’s band is John Douglas, touring drummer for Aerosmith on drums/percussion and Austin Hanks on guitar. Drummer Matt Sorum makes temporary leave attending to important family matters at home.
I have seen ZZ Top several times since 1980.
Expect a setlist mixing solo material, ZZ Top classics and a couple of cover versions.
Not sold out as Level 3 is pretty empty tonight, so there is maybe 1500 folks here.
TOBY LEE and his two musicians arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins.
Toby Lee (now aged 18 ) is an English guitarist from Oxfordshire, England. Lee appeared on the television shows Little Big Shots and Ellen Show, and he starred in the musical School of Rock. At eight years old he taught himself how to play.He became a global sensation after playing guitar at B.B. King's Blues Club in 2015, when he was ten years old....Toby played some nifty guitar solos, in his blues tinged set.
BILLY J GIBBONS arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 85 mins.
Legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin has the photo pit all to himself , as it looks like he has got
Billy's pr to put all the other photographers in the corner of Level 1.
Like when he is with ZZ Top , Billy does not ever seem to play for over 90 mins.
Billy has a big screen, but it's pretty basic , just a couple of his images and some sparkly images.
Three members on stage , and the front two are dressed identical, including cowboy hats.
They both have sparkly guitar straps and wrist bracelets that glitter when the lights are shon on them.
Billy gets a really lovely distorted sound out of his guitar, and he keeps the same guitar all night,
never tuning it and he has no foot effects pedals...pretty amazing.
He plays a cover of 'Foxy Lady' and says how in his pre-ZZ Top band he supported Jimi Hendrix.
Plenty of ZZ Top classics to keep the crowd happy.
The crowd were a bit annoyed when the house lights went up , and there was no encore,
but that's how Billy rolls...a great show.
Full BILLY F GIBBONS setlist played tonight...
Got Me Under Pressure (ZZ Top cover)
More‐More‐More (Billy Gibbons song)
Rollin' and Tumblin' (Hambone Willie Newbern cover)
Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers (ZZ Top cover)
The Devil Is Red
Gimme All Your Lovin' (ZZ Top cover)
Treat Her Right (Roy Head cover)
I Got Love If You Want It (Slim Harpo cover)
Blue Jean Blues ( ZZ Top cover)
Missin' Yo' Kissin' (Billy Gibbons song)
Foxy Lady (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
West Coast Junkie (Billy Gibbons song)
Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top cover)
Thunderbird (ZZ Top cover)
Brown Sugar (ZZ Top cover)
Tube Snake Boogie (ZZ Top cover)
La Grange (ZZ Top cover)
Saturday 01 July 2023.
What a mega line-up for this special one-off show at Crystal Palace Park.
DOG DAY AFTERNOON featuring IGGY POP + BLONDIE + GENERATION SEX +
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS + BUZZCOCKS + THE LAMBRINI GIRLS.
Debbie Harry says: “Blondie and Iggy Pop… We are excited to reunite with our friend, the one and only Prince of Punk, Iggy, for this special show in Crystal Palace Park next summer. Once more, with feeling!”
Generation Sex featuring Billy Idol and Tony James of Generation X and Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols will make their first ever UK appearance (actually their second as they play Glastonbury Festival a few days before this gig) at Crystal Palace Park playing a set of punk classics from both bands’ extensive catalogues.
IGGY POP will be 76 when this show happens.
This is the first Iggy Pop London show since that incredible Royal Albert Hall show i saw in 2016.
On this exact day , DEBBIE HARRY celebrates her 78th birthday.
On this exact day , SEX PISTOLS ' Pretty Vacant ' was released 46 years ago on 01 July 1977.
BLONDIE will include Glen Matlock, so three Sex Pistols members are playing on today's bill.
Another annoying big clash, as same day is DEF LEPPARD and MOTLEY CRUE at Wembley Stadium.
Also on the same day, PULP + WET LEG play Finsbury Park....but will be Iggy Pop and co for me.
I have been to a few gigs in this area over the years...
1976 - Eric Clapton - Crystal Palace Bowl
1981 - Ultravox + Madness + Ten Pole Tudor - Crystal Palace Bowl
2002 - Sex Pistols + Libertines + others - Crystal Palace Sports Arena
2003 - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Crystal Palace Sports Arena
A bit of a trek to get here, but well worth it of course.
Our guest wristbands are valid for the VIP Nation area where tickets are £110 each.
Must be over 1000 folks here, and you cannot see the stage from here.
I would be surprised if any of the main three headline artists would leave the artist area to come in here.
I think the capacity for this venue is 30,000 , and the venue ends up looking very full.
Thankfully the weather was decent enough, and great to see so many folks that i know.
We end up seeing all six bands on the bill.
All six bands had use of the big screens showing live footage.
RUSTY EGAN was playing the classic punk tunes over the pa and introducing the bands.
LAMBRINI GIRLS arrived on stage at 1.30pm for their 30 mins set.
Punk rockin females played a good set , with a healthy lively in yer face attitude.
The mouthy singer performed in her black knickers and bra.
BUZZCOCKS arrived on stage at 2.25pm for their really good 45 mins set.
Pete Shelley sadly died a few years ago, but Steve Diggle does a good job on vocals as
75% of the set is classic oldies including 'What Do I Get?', 'Fast Cars', ' Promises' , 'I Don't Mind',
'Orgasm Addict' , 'Ever Fallen Love' and 'Harmony in My Head'.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS arrived on stage at 3.45pm for their really good 45 mins set.
Like The Buzzcocks, SLF play a great 75% classic oldies set including , 'Tin Soldiers', 'Nobody's Hero',
'Barbed Wire Love', 'Gotta Getaway' and lethal versions of 'Suspect Device' and 'Alternative Ulster'
GENERATION SEX arrived on stage at 5pm for their excellent 55 mins set.
I have seen four of the five main bands many times before , so really looking forward to
seeing Generation Sex for the first time, as they feature four original punk legends.
Their backdrop screen showed classic images of the band members from the 1970s punk heyday.
It was an excellent show , with classic after classic played.
Sooo good to see Steve Jones and Paul Cook on stage together again.
Full setlist played...
Pretty Vacant (Sex Pistols cover)
Ready Steady Go (Generation X cover)
Wild Youth (Generation X cover)
Bodies (Sex Pistols cover)
Black Leather (Sex Pistols cover) (included a Steve Jones guitar solo)
Kiss Me Deadly (Generation X cover)
Dancing With Myself (Gen X cover)
Silly Thing (Sex Pistols cover)
King Rocker (Generation X cover)
God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols cover)
Your Generation (Generation X cover)
My Way (Claude François cover) (Sid Vicious version)
BLONDIE arrived on stage at 6.25pm and played for 75 mins.
Debbie Harry still has plenty of New York attitude, and recieved birthday wishes.
Great again, to see Sex Pistol GLEN MATLOCK on bass duties.
Drummer CLEM BURKE is always great to watch,
Sooo many great classic hit songs in their excellent set.
Full BLONDIE setlist played tonight...
One Way or Another
Hanging on the Telephone (The Nerves cover)
Will Anything Happen?
The Tide Is High (The Paragons cover)
Heart of Glass ( with Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen riffing outro)
IGGY POP arrived on stage at 8.25pm for his 90 mins set.
Punk rocks original real wild child arrives on stage to big cheers, and you cannot take his eyes off him.
During the first song he becomes bare-chested and the big screens show up his scarred and
weather beaten wrinkly tanned body.
Iggy remains lithe and spry and he hop, skips and jumps around the stage throughout the show.
Solo classics are mixed in with Stooges classics and a couple of tracks from his recent album.
His band are shit-hot , and include a pair of top notch sax and trombone players.
An excellent show by Iggy.
Full IGGY POP setlist played tonight...
Rune (Noveller cover)
Five Foot One
T.V. Eye (The Stooges song)
Modern Day Rip Off
Raw Power (Iggy and The Stooges song)
Gimme Danger (Iggy and The Stooges song)
Lust for Life
The Endless Sea
Death Trip (Iggy and The Stooges song)
I'm Sick of You (Iggy and The Stooges song)
I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges song)
Search and Destroy (Iggy and The Stooges song)
Down on the Street (The Stooges song)
Loose (The Stooges song)
I was kind of glad for the 10pm curfew here...as i was totally whacked.
Gave everyone a bit of extra time to get back home ok.
A totally excellent day...and bound to be my number one gig seen by me in 2023.
Friday 30 June 2023,
UK FOO FIGHTERS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Support comes from ROYAL MONSTER ( Royal Blood tribute ).
This gig clashed with other bands/gigs tonight who I had all seen many times before...
Guns N Roses, Pretenders and Darkness at Hyde Park.
Motley Crue at The Underworld ( a not so secret gig)
Buzzcocks live at The 100 Club.
Love them or hate them, i really like a good tribute band.
Level 3 is closed tonight, and Level 2 is half empty , so maybe a decent 800/900 here tonight.
No real surprise as the real Foo Fighters play stadiums in the UK.
ROYAL MONSTER arrived on stage at 7pm for their 45 mins set.
The real Royal Blood are more popular than you think, as all their three albums have made number one.
A duo playing a nice racket that rocked along nicely....featuring scuzzy bass and drums.
A couple of songs were familiar and overall a really good set.
Nice interval of classic rock tunes over the pa inc 'Detroit Rock City' and 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love'.
UK FOO FIGHTERS arrived on stage at 8.15pm and played for 2 hours 30 mins.
Just like the real Foos they are playing a nice long show.
Like the real Foos, they have six members who all look and have the stage mannerisms of the real Foos.
The Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins guys are top notch.
Lots of Foos anthems for the fans to jump around to in this great set including....
Under Pressure (Queen cover ) ( Taylor on vocals and Dave on drums)
Times Like These
All My life
Best of You
Updated 1st July 2023 Permalink
Thursday 29 June 2023.
Thursday 29 June 2023....I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 7.15pm.
BARBICORE by Emma Gibbons - private view - ME Hotel , Aldwych, London WC2.
Around 150 guests in the foyer of this plush hotel.
Philip Sallon and Mason Smilie were here.
Showcasing unique art pieces featuring pink, glitter, jellies and pills.
Many of the girls here are dressed up in cute full Barbie Pink.
Also a couple of guys in drag in full Barbie Pink.
A DJ was keeping the vibe lively.
Complimentary cava , wines and beers for all the guests.
It is on until 31 August 2023.
7.20pm to 9.30pm.
LOS CABOS , MEXICO - showcase - The Rosewood Hotel , Holborn, London WC1.
Always nice to be at this five star hotel , where i attended all the five Harvey Weinstein BAFTA parties.
We arrive during the presentation...around 150 guests here.
Los Cabos is a very popular resort for Americans to visit.
This is the area where rock legend SAMMY HAGAR has a house and his own bar with a stage.
They have a Hard Rock Hotel too.
At 8.30pm there was a business card raffle that had a very nice prize.
Return flights for two , London to Los Cabos and two nights accom at The Rosewood Hotel there.
Complimentary wines, beers (no tequila) and nice hot and cold canapes and desserts.
Wednesday 28 June 2023....6.30pm to 9.30pm...
ST JAMES'S CONSERVATION TRUST - Summer Garden Party - St James's Square, London SW1.
Around 500 guests at this outdoor event, and again we have decent weather.
Lots of the top notch hotels, restaurants, bars, stores are showcasing here.
Chutney Mary, Masala Zone, The Dilly, Cafe Murano, Milos, The Stafford, Wilton's,
The Ritz, 67 Pall Mall, Dukes, Royal Automobile Club and others.
Floris are giving out samples of their nice fragrances.
A funk and soul band called Crowd Company played two sets of 30 mins.
They said they have played The 100 Club a couple of times.
The celebrity host for the raffle this year was CHARLIE HIGSON who was on The Fast Show,
and has book sales of over 5 million.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including all night Charles Heidsieck champers,
gin cocktails, wines along with trays of steak pieces & sauce, smoked salmon plates, salmon & crab cornets, oysters, canapes, chicken tikka masala, ice-creams, desserts and more.
Tuesday 27 June 2023...I went to two events tonight...
5.45pm to 7pm
BRYAN ADAMS IN COLOUR - private view - Atlas Gallery , 49 Dorset Street, London W1.
Canadian rocker is showcasing his photos which include Robbie Williams, Amy Winehouse,
Kate Moss, Bryan Ferry, Queen Elizabeth, Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell and others.
BRYAN ADAMS turns up and he is friendly and chatty to all.
I get a photo with him and we had a little chat.
I have seen him live around 20 times since 1985 (Hammersmith Odeon and Live Aid).
I mentioned the charity gig at The Royal Opera House in 2002 , where he was supported by
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros , which was Joe Strummer's second last ever London show.
Nice to see my gig-going chums Mark Taylor and Andy Rawl here.
Half the crowd ended up outside on the pavement, as it was a nice summers evening.
Complimentary prosecco for all the guests.
7.30pm to 10.30pm
SERPENTINE GALLERY PAVILLION SUMMER PARTY, Kensington Gardens, London W2.
Several hundred guests are here tonight, outside with some decent weather.
The usual mix from fashion, art, music, film, design, architecture , business , media etc...including
DAME ANNA WINTOUR
GEORGIA MAY JAGGER
MERCK MERCURIADIS (owner of song rights purchaser Hipgnosis )
JACKIE ST CLAIR & husband Carl
SIR PAUL SMITH
DAVID LINLEY / EARL OF SNOWDON
Sadly no live band , so just a DJ playing chill-out tracks in the background.
Complimentary Ruinart champers, three different tequila cocktails, gin & tonics and wines.
Along with bowl food, cheeseburgers, canapes and desserts.
11pm to 1.30am
SERPENTINE GALLERY - afterparty - Maison Estelle, 6 Grafton Street, Mayfair, London W1.
My first time at this very plush private members club , that opened in 2021.
The venue is a Georgian Grade1 listed townhouse that has many floors and rooms.
They have recently opened Estelle Manor hotel & members club in Oxfordshire.
The party is in the basement area, as paying members are using the other levels.
Around 200 folks are here from the party earlier.
JACKIE ST CLAIR and DAVID LINLEY were here for a bit.
A DJ was playing some dance tunes.
Lots of female staff are bringing trays of drinks to the guests, wearing pyjamas style uniforms.
Many leave at midnight , so we grab a nice comfy sofa.
Complimentary Margeritas and Tequila cocktails for all guests.
Monday 26 June 2023...I went to two events tonight...
5.15pm to 8.15pm.
THE TREASURE HOUSE FAIR - closing party - The Royal Hn ospital, Chelsea, London SW3.
Sixty of the world's leading art , jewellery and antique dealers have been showcasing here
the past week, at this fair that replaced The Masterpiece Fair at the same venue.
Lots of stunning works to look at here.
The gallery is open as normal, but 200 guests have wristbands for their lovely outdoor space.
Lots of comfy sofas were nice to sit on with some sunshine coming through.
Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers, wines, different bowl food including
peppered smoked salmon & cream cheese, sea bass & mushrooms, steak & mash
along with oysters and bowls of tiramisu.
9.15pm to 10.45pm.
Press/VIP night party for ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST at The Haymarket Hotel, London SW1.
The excellent 'Only Fools and Horses ' has ended its long run at The Royal Theatre, Haymarket.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Italian: Morte accidentale di un anarchico) is a play by Italian playwright Dario Fo that premiered in 1970. It has been performed across the world in more than forty countries. The play is based on the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing.
Around 300 guests are by the nice swimming pool in this upmarket hotel.
SHEILA HANCOCK was the only well known face here.
A few years since i last was here, which was for the opening night of 'Only Fools and Horses'.
I stuck to cokes and orange juice as i certainly overdid it at the previous event in Chelsea.
Here they had complimentary wines, beers, canapes, cartons of fish & fries.
It was still in full flow when we left.
Updated 27th June 2023 Permalink
Sunday 25 June 2023.
Sunday 25th June 2023.
ELTON JOHN @ GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL on BBC tv....should be an emotional watch...
Elton John plays his last UK show on his mammoth 330 plus date world tour.
Elton has said this special show will be different to his recent arena shows in Europe.
He has said there will be three or four surprise guests on stage with him.
Elton has hinted he will play odd shows in the future, just not full tours.
I have seen Elton John over 40 times since 1973.
Elton loved playing multi-date shows at Hammersmith Odeon in the 1970s and 1980s.
My first shows seeing him were two times there in 1973 and four times there in 1974.
My most recent time seeing him, was at one of his ten 02 Arena shows earlier this year.
So sad that many of our music legends we grew up with are retiring...or dying.
I have been to Glastonbury Festival three times...1994 and 1997 and 2000.
1994 highlights included Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Bjork, Peter Gabriel, Nick Cave, Johnny Cash.
1997 highlights included Sting, Beck, Echo & The Bunnymen, Nick Lowe, Van Morrison.
2000 highlights included David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Willie Nelson.
BBC1 showed all of the excellent two hour set....soooo many great songs.
Paul McCartney was watching it from side of stage.
It will be up on BBC iPlayer for 30 days to view after the show.
Many other shows will be also up on BBC iPlayer including 40 mins of GENERATION SEX.
Saturday 24 June 2023.o
THE HIGH KINGS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The High Kings is an Irish folk group formed in Dublin in 2008. The band consists of Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Darren Holden, and Paul O'Brien.
A few of their albums have gone Top 10, back home in Ireland.
This is the last night of their UK tour, that is celebrating their 15th anniversary as a band.
They are gradually playing bigger London venues on each tour.
First it was Bush Hall, then Union Chapel, now Shepherds Bush Empire.
All levels are open tonight, and it is stalls seated....maybe 800 or 900 folks here...
No surprise it is a mainly Irish crowd ranging from ages 25 to 70.
THE HIGH KINGS are on stage for 2 hours 5 mins over two sets of 55 mins and 70 mins.
The four members are lined up across the front of the stage.
There is no drums but one member has a neat foot pedal , that when he stamps his heel,
it creates the bass drum sound.
Lots of well known Irish songs in the setlist, that the crowd sing along to.
Some songs are laid back , and some songs are lively , with the crowd up and dancing.
All four members take it in turn for lead vocals, and lots of nice harmonies.
Amazingly they said that their single 'The Streets of Kinsale ' from the current album ,
features non other than original Journey vocalist STEVE PERRY.
My parents were both from the Galway area, so I knew many of the songs.
An enjoyable show.
Full setlist played tonight by THE HIGH KINGS....
The Irish Rover (Joseph M. Crofts cover)
The Moonshiner (The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem cover)
The Lonesome Boatman (The Fureys cover)
Star of the County Down
Rocky Road to Dublin (D.K. Gavan cover)
The Streets of Kinsale
Go Lassie Go
The Town I Loved So Well
The Streets of London (Ralph McTell cover)
Whiskey in the Jar ([traditional] cover)
The Black Velvet Band ([traditional] cover)
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle cover)
Dirty Old Town ( The Pogues cover )
Ride On (Jimmy MacCarthy cover)
The Parting Glass ([traditional] cover)
Saturday 24 June 2023.
Happy Birthday to MICK FLEETWOOD who is 76 today.
See my Facebook page for a nice photo of us together.
Friday 23 June 2023.
For all the reviews the past week, i have put videos and photos on my Facebook page,
along with the review you see here.
Tonight was my first night indoors in for the first time in 25 days...yes 25 days...since May 27 and May 28.
Watched a bit of Glasto on BBC tv.
Some good bands...but can someone please get rid of all the presenters, and their totally dumb
cringe interviews, and just focus on the loads of acts playing on the many stages.
Thursday 22 June 2023...6.45pm to 9.45pm....
TOZI - 10th anniversary party - 8 Gillingham Street, Victoria, London SW1.
TOZI is a vibrant Italian restaurant and bar specializing in Venetian cicchetti (small plates) and classic Italian cocktails. Inspired by the casual dining ethos of the Veneto region, TOZI puts the emphasis on quality, seasonal ingredients, sourced where possible from the best Italian producers. It has an all-day menu.
TOZI is Venetian slang for ' a group of friends'.
The restaurant & bar is near The Victoria Apollo , where i saw some great bands play in the 1970s when it was called The New Victoria.
Leo Sayer New Victoria Theatre, London 11.10.1975
Baker Gurvitz Army New Victoria Theatre, London 02.11.1975
John Cale,Nasty Pop New Victoria Theatre, London 20.11.1975
Alex Harvey Band,Blast Furnace New Victoria Theatre, London 24.12.1975
Thin Lizzy,Graham Parker New Victoria Theatre, London 04.04.1976
Nils Lofgren,Unicorn New Victoria Theatre, London 09.05.1976
Nils Lofgren,Unicorn New Victoria Theatre, London 10.05.1976
Electric Light Orchestra,Steve Gibbons Band New Victoria Theatre, London 20.06.1976
Todd Rundgren New Victoria Theatre, London 01.02.1077
Lou Reed New Victoria Theatre, London 27.04.1977
Judas Priest,Magnum New Victoria Theatre, London 22.05.1977
I know the area well , as in the 1980s Victoria, Vauxhall and Pimlico was where my daytime job was.
Around 150 guests here, and it is mainly a lively Italian crowd.
A couple of friends turned up , straight from Ascot Royal Enclosure , still in full attire.
We had a band playing two sets of 30 mins...mixing cover songs and Italian classics.
The female singer had a great voice, and had a great 1960s Italian singer look.
Complimentary Prosecco, Negronis, Aperol Spritz, wines, beers, small plates and canapes.
At 9pm we had the speech and the huge anniversary cake was cut...so had a couple of yummy slices.
www.tozirestaurant.co.uk - Visit their website here.
Wednesday 21 June 2023...7.30pm to 10.15pm...
VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM SUMMER PARTY , South Kensington , London SW7.
The V & A hosts its annual summer outside garden party for around 700/800 guests.
This year it coincides with the opening of its DIVA exhibition.
Guests here included...
DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY
DAME JOAN COLLINS
LADY VICTORIA HERVEY
LADY AMELIA WINDSOR
DAME ZANDRA RHODES
JACKIE ST CLAIR and Husband Carl ( last month they hired out Eric Clapton & band to play
an hour's set at The River Cafe in Hammersmith for Carl's 70th birthday)
Lots of models and other women in stunning outfits.
We had a quick look at the exhibition for around 15 mins.
A DJ was playing tunes by the water , before the main act.
They usually have a cool up and coming new act play a few songs but tonight's act
is the girl trio SUGABABES who arrive on stage at 8.50pm for a five song hits set , to backing tapes.
They perform in front of 50 disco mirror balls.
Freak Like Me (see video on my Facebook page)
Hole In The Head
Complimentary Justerini & Brooks champers, three different cocktails, wines, bowl food , canapes, desserts.
Updated 22nd June 2023 Permalink
Wednesday 21 June 2023.
Tuesday 20 June 2023....7.15pm to 10.45pm....
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY - re-opening party - St Martin's Place, London WC2.
National Portrait Gallery, one of London’s most high-profile museums, will reopen to the public on 22 June following a three-year closure. The Inspiring People redevelopment, the most extensive in the gallery’s 166-year history, is costing around £40m.
The NPG recently accepted a £10m gift towards the revamp from the foundation set up by the British-American businessman Leonard Blavatnik. To recognise the donation, the Trafalgar Square institution's will rename its first floor the “Blavatnik Wing”.
PRINCESS KATE MIDDLETON , PAUL McCARTNEY and TRACEY EMIN came here
to have a private peek during the day, and to avoid being pestered by the public.
A massive event in the evening as there must be around 1000 folks on the guest list.
The entire building and all its many floors and rooms are open tonight.
Portraits of famous folks dating back hundreds of years.
Also a classic Sex Pistols image, along with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Michael Eavis.
Several well known faces are here tonight including...
NICOLA ROBERTS (Girls Aloud)
PANDEMONIA (performance artist dressed in latex) (see photo on my Facebook page)
DAVID ARMSTRONG-JONES( 2nd Earl of Snowdon )
We had three djs playing an hour each on the ground floor.
They included PRINCESS JULIA and a nice surprise to see COURTNEY LOVE end the evening, who was vaping away non-stop in her pale blue designer dress.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including Fortnum & Mason champers, two different
Patron Tequila cocktails, Gin & Tonics, wines along with bowl food and canapes from Fortnum & Mason
including Scottish Smoked Salmon and King Tiger Prawns,
Updated 21st June 2023 Permalink
Monday 19 June 2023.
Monday 19 June 2023...3.15pm to 8.15pm...
GOFF'S LONDON SALE, Perks Field, Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8.
Goffs has been Irelands number one horse sales auction house for the last 150 years.
Around 500 guests from the horse racing community are here outside in the lovely sunshine.
From 5pm to 6.15pm - around 25 horses are paraded for the auction...a couple went went for over a million... Several of them are running at Ascot this week. A few well known faces here including...
JACKIE ST CLAIR (ex Page 3 girl from the 1980s) Still looking fantastic at age 63 , always friendly and chatty...she told me how in the 1980s as a model she went on 188 overseas modelling assignments, to many glamourous locations.
BARRY FRY (ex football manager, now involved with horse racing).
JOHN GOSDEN ( legendary British racehorse trainer with over 3000 winners worldwide).
JAMIE OSBORNE ( English racehorse trainer and former jockey).
WILLIE MULLINS (is an Irish racehorse trainer and former jockey. He is a 17 time Irish National Hunt Champion trainer, and the most successful trainer in the history of The Cheltenham Festival).
DAVID ARMSTRONG-JONES (2nd Earl of Snowdon , styled as Viscount Linley until 2017 and known professionally as David Linley, is a member of the British royal family).
MARK-FRANCIS VANDELLI (from Made In Chelsea).
A jazz trio and a covers band both played sets of around 30 mins.
Complimentary Rose wines, Pimms, Gin & Tonics, Hofmeister lagers, finger sandwiches, different canapés, scones, ice-creams and desserts.
A lovely event as usual.
Sunday 18 June 2023.
THE WINERY DOGS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The idea of the band started out as a project featuring drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Billy Sheehan, who were aiming to form a power trio rock band supergroup with a lead singer/guitarist as the frontman. After an aborted project, tentatively titled "Bad Apple", with guitarist/vocalist John Sykes, talk show host Eddie Trunk heard about it and suggested Richie Kotzen, who had previously played with Sheehan in the band Mr. Big from 1997 to 2002.
Prior to the Winery Dogs, all three members have had successful careers with other bands. Richie Kotzen is known as a former member of bands Poison and Mr. Big, as well as having a consistent solo career with many albums released. Billy Sheehan is known for playing with Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Talas, and Mr. Big. Mike Portnoy is known for being the original drummer of bands Dream Theater, Flying Colors, Transatlantic, Neal Morse Band, Sons of Apollo and Adrenaline Mob.
They are touring the world to promote their new studio album.
Support comes from JARED JAMES NICHOLS.
Jared James Nichols (aged 34) is an American blues-rock guitarist and singer from East Troy, Wisconsin,best known for his high-energy "pick-less" electric guitar playing technique. He is rarely seen playing without his signature single-pickup Epiphone Les Paul Custom P90 nick-named Old Glory 5 for his vintage original 1953 Gibson Les Paul nick-named Ole Red. He fronts a power trio under his name, rooted in the early 1970s hard-rock vein of Cream and Mountain. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Level 3 is closed tonight, but there must be around 1500 folks here.
Most are in early to see the support act, who has a great live reputation.
JJN arrives on stage at 8pm for his 40 mins set.
His mane of curly hair , and a stage personality that mixed Ted Nugent with Sammy Hagar.
He plays his Les Paul guitar with his fingers, in front of his stack of Blackstar amps.
A really good set that ended with a cover of Black Sabbath 'War Pigs'.
WINERY DOGS arrived on stage at 9.10pm for their 1 hour 40 mins set.
They are using four dry ice plumes in each corner of the stage.
The three musicians really are top notch, and their rock with blues hints goes down well.
Billy Sheehans bass playing showmanship is great, and he also gets to do a bass solo.
A funny thing was happening for drummer Mike Portnoy throughout the show.
It was hard not to notice Portnoy’s tech, constantly at the ready to swing the boss’s microphone into action when needed. The drummer moves around so much, even standing to play at times, that having a mic permanently parked overhead, much less to the side or anywhere else within striking distance, just isn’t possible. As discreet as he tried to remain, you couldn’t help but admire how much on point Portnoy’s guy was.
They finished off the main set with 'Oblivion ' which was great.
A really good show.
Updated 19th June 2023 Permalink
Saturday 17 June 2023.
Saturday 17 June 2023.
DEPECHE MODE live at Twickenham Stadium.
Depeche Mode play their only UK show on their European stadium tour.
The venue website says it is sold out...55,000 tickets sold.
Depeche Mode have announced a new album which they feel has been given an “extra level of meaning” following the death of their keyboardist Andy Fletcher.
Fletcher, nicknamed “Fletch”, who founded the group in Basildon, Essex in 1980, died in May at the age of 60.
The remaining band members of Martin Gore and Dave Gahan said they decided to complete the new album, titled 'Memento Mori' ,as they feel it is what Fletcher would have wanted.
The group also announced they will be embarking on a world tour of the album in 2023, which will be their first in five years.
I have seen Depeche Mode over fifteen times since 1981, when their debut records came out.
My fave songs of theirs are those first three or four singles.
Hard to believe when you watch their early videos, how that fresh-faced electro pop act from Basildon
have become this Goliath that can play arenas and stadiums worldwide, some 40 years later.
I have seen some big names play summer shows here at Twickenham Stadium over the years...
2003 - Rolling Stones + Primal Scream
2005 - U2
2006 - Eagles
2006 - Rolling Stones + Charlatans
2007 - Rod Stewart + Pretenders
2007 - Genesis
2007 - The Police
2008 - Bon Jovi + Biffy Clyro
2009 - Iron Maiden + Avenged Sevenfold
2010 - Robbie Williams with Gary Barlow
2017 - U2 + Noel Gallagher & The High Flying Birds
2018 - Metallica - Ghost
Every country in Europe and further seems to have fan representation here tonight.
I have a perfect view in the gold circle , near the end of the stage extension.
Support comes from YOUNG FATHERS who arrived on stage at 7.10pm and played for 30 mins.
Some Depeche Mode fans were a bit bemused from the choice of support act.
Young Fathers are a Scottish group formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2008. Their second EP, Tape Two (2013), won the Scottish Album of the Year Award. In 2014, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album Dead. A second album, White Men Are Black Men Too, followed in 2015. TD circle heir third album, Cocoa Sugar (2018), peaked at number 28 on the UK Albums Chart earned the band their second Scottish Album of the Year Award. Their fourth album, Heavy Heavy, was released in 2023...it reached number seven in the UK chart.
Seven musicians on stage and the three main guys are joined by two females , so for some songs there
are five people rapping over each other...pretty good stuff.
DEPECHE MODE arrive on stage at 8.15pm and play for 2 hours 10 mins.
A nice stage presentation , including big screens, but nothing compared to the recent
Beyonce production extraganza i saw a couple of weeks ago.
The band arrive on stage one by one, with singer rock god Dave Gahan coming on to massive applause.
Here, Gahan cast a Dracula-like figure with a mischievous streak; a debonair tall slim demeanour that could pause and have the whole crowd’s attention at will, before dancing and spinning and shimmering around the stage, revealing the blue opal back of his waistcoat.
Lots of older classics mixed in with more recent tracks.
‘Everything Counts’ was one of the first real singalongs, the crowd revelling in repeating back to Gahan “everything counts in large amounts” – needless to say, he knows this better than most, and was leading by example.
Both Dave Gahan and Martin Gore used the stage extension well.
There is a video tribute of Fletch on the big screen, as fans lit up their phones around the stadium.
A great show.
Full DEPECHE MODE setlist played tonight...
My Cosmos is Mine
Walking in My Shoes
It's No Good
Sister of Night
In Your Room (Zephyr Mix)
My Favourite Stranger
A Question of Lust
Soul With Me (Acoustic)
I Feel You
A Pain That I'm Used To (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
World in My Eyes (Dedicated to Andrew Fletcher)
John the Revelator
Enjoy the Silence
Waiting for the Night (Peter and Christian on keyboards)
Just Can't Get Enough
Never Let Me Down Again
Friday 16 June 2023.
THE ARISTOCRATS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The Aristocrats are a rock supergroup formed in 2011. The Instrumental power trio consists of Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller, and Marco Minnemann. The band have released a few albums , and the three band members
have released solo albums and played with many other artists.
They are playing a world tour to support their new album 'You Know What?'
Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight as unsold, so maybe 700 or 800 folks here.
ARISTOCRATS arrived on stage at 8pm and played for two hours.
This prog rock crowd were a mix of old and young nodding heads.
The band only played around a dozen songs, as each was around 10 mins long.
Some light-hearted stage banter between songs, but all the tunes were proggy instrumentals.
Their UK born guitarist Guthrie Govan played some incredible guitar solos.
One of the highlights was definitely the drum solo. It is impossible to explain to someone who has not seen him in person just what he is capable of doing. These guys have figured out how to make crazy prog-jazz-fusion fun and engaging, no small feat.
The band celebrated playing this venue, by getting their roadie to give them three two pint full lager cups.
Non-stop music instrumentals felt a bit much at times, but overall a good show.
Updated 17th June 2023 Permalink
Thursday 15 June 2023.
Thursday 15 June 2023...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 9.30pm.
SUMMER GARDEN PARTY , Mount Street Gardens, Mayfair, London W1.
Around 500 Mayfair residents and their guests are in this lovely open space.
It is hidden behind all the houses and shops, with many benches to sit on.
I have been a few times before as many of the top notch five star hotels, restaurants and bars
in Mayfair have stands giving out complimentary drinks and food.
There is a stage that hosts a children's choir, then a male singer , then a jazzy covers band.
We have an auction and raffle between their sets...and there is fun roulette.
Lots of folks here that i know.
Complimentary champers, Pimms, different cocktails, wines, beers, different foods including
cheeseburgers, Indian , oysters, scotch eggs , ice-creams, desserts and much more.
Always an excellent event.
10.15pm to 12pm.
The Crucible, beginning previews at the Gielgud Theatre on 7 June, with an opening night on 15 June, and performances to 2 September.
Set during the 17th-century Salem witch trials, The Crucible follows a small-town community as constant accusations of witchcraft and deceitful behaviour change the town's dynamics. As hysteria builds, a climate of fear spreads.....Brian Gleeson will play John Proctor.
Afterparty for this was at The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel, Leicester Square, London WC2.
Around 150 guests are here.
BRIAN GLEESON is here and tonight is joined by his dad BRENDAN GLEESON, who is that great Irish actor
who was in that recent excellent film 'The Banshees of Inisherin'.
Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers, bowl food and canapes for all the guests.
Wednesday 14 June 2023.
6pm to 9pm.
BARDO - showcase - 4 Suffolk Place, St James's, London SW1.
This venue used to be the Indian restaurant Mint Leaf.
It was popular for theatre after- parties due to its 300 capacity.
It closed during Covid and never re-opened, and now Bardo has replaced it.
While London is filled with pizza and pasta offerings, Bardo feels experiential. Indeed, with evocative language and a rich, red colour palette, the venue transports diners back to Italy’s famed Dolce Vita era, a time known for glamour and sensuality. In person, this concept comes to life with fabulous service, dramatic interiors and live music.
They have knocked out a couple of walls, so the main floor is more open plan to see the stage.
We have a swing/jazz band perform two sets of 20 mins. The venue has a nice supper club vibe.
Must be over 200 guests here, with many faces i know, we are on time so get a good table near the stage.
Nice to see the 71 year old PHILIP SALLON dancing around the stage when the band performed.
Philip was part of The Bromley Contingent group of punk fans in 1975/1976 and was part of
The Blitz Kids New Romantic Movement in the late 70s/early 80s.
Complimentary vodka cocktails, gin cocktails, prosecco, wines, Peroni beers, bowl food , canapes, desserts.
www.bardostjames.com - Visit their website here.
IDIOTS ASSEMBLE : SPITTING IMAGE THE MUSICAL at The Phoenix Theatre, London WC1.
PRESS NIGHT - Needless to say , these famous puppeteers have got plenty of material to work from.
10pm to 12pm
The afterparty for this was held at BUNGA BUNGA, 167 Drury Lane, London WC1.
A big crowd , as must be around 300 guests here.
AL MURRAY (The Pub Landlord) was here as he is one of the writers on the show.
They have made a real effort to make it an event, rather than just the usual drinks and food.
The name and choice of venue was perfect of course.
As you entered we went through the BUNGA BUNGA corridor where fake money is everywhere.
There is another section devoted to the immigrant boat crossings , with Dover signs and life jackets.
There are a male and female police officers giving out fun fixed penalty notices.
There is a guy in head to toe black rubber parading around , along with a couple of centurions.
The drinks menu is all named after those dodgy politicians during covid times.
There are vaccine drink shots in needles.
A DJ got folks on the dance floor.
Complimentary drinks and food included three different cocktails, wines, shots, and Moretti beers.
Never seen so much pizza as was here, as it was non-stop throughout the evening.
An excellent party.
Updated 15th June 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 13 June 2023
Tuesday 13 June 2023...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 8.15pm.
YUCATAN - showcase - The Mexican Embassy, 8 Halkin Street, Belgravia, London SW1.
Yucatán, the Mexican state, is known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and Mayan ruins. Famed Chichén Itzá encompasses a massive pyramid, ball court and stone temples. Other Mayan sites include Ek Balam.
There are staff greeting us in National Costume...around 100 guests here.
We have a 30 mins presentation from Yucatán tourism, AeroMexico and tonight's chef who is from Yucatán.
AeroMexico have daily flights from Heathrow to Mexico City.
At 8pm the female ambassador did the business card raffle for the two prizes.
Each was three days hotel stay in Yucatán...but flights not included.
The complimentary drinks and food is all Mexican themed...wines, beers and several different canapes.
THE HIVES live at The Garage, Islington, North London.
I have seen this great Swedish uptempo garage rock n roll band The Hives several times since 2001.
I can always remember when i first saw them bursting out on The Jools Holland tv show back then.
They are touring the UK as one of the supports on The Arctic Monkeys UK stadium shows.
The Garage is celebrating 30 years this year...1993 to 2023.
I used to go here often in the 1990s, and saw Buffalo Tom here in the opening year of 1993.
Seen some excellent gigs here including David Johansen supported by Glen Matlock in 2001.
I was also at two shows on the same day by Black Crowes in 1997.
No surprise that this show sold out pronto, and it is a proper sweat box by the time The Hives come on.
THE HIVES arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 65 mins.
The band are soon sweating buckets, and the audience are pretty much the same.
The band are all dressed in black jackets with white lightning bolts, white shirts and black ties.
The Hives still are an explosion of rock n roll energy.
Singer Pete still has that very entertaining stage banter between each song.
They play a few tracks from their new studio album ' The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons'.
Classic oldies 'Main Offender' and 'Hate To Say I Told You So' were top notch as usual.
‘Come On!’ and ‘Tick Tick Boom’ ended a wonderous sweat drenched set with Pete the singer
performing from the mixing desk .The magnetic personality of singer Pete Almqvist coupled with their signature blend of garage punk and '60s rock influences ensure The Hives are still as great as ever.
Full setlist played by THE HIVES tonight...
Walk Idiot Walk
Rigor Mortis Radio
Go Right Ahead
Hate to Say I Told You So
Countdown to Shutdown
Tick Tick Boom
Monday 12 June 2023...6.45pm to 10.45pm...
NATIONAL RESTAURANT AWARDS 2023 at The Hurlingham Club, Fulham, London SW6.
I have been to this awards event several times before, as it is always really good.
As before the headline sponsor is ESTRELLA DAMM Spanish lager.
The Hurlingham Club is an exclusive private social and athletic club located in the Fulham area of London, England. Founded in 1869, it has a Georgian-style clubhouse set in 42 acres (17 ha) of grounds.
The first rules of polo were announced here , way back in 1873.
The members of the club are oblivious to the cost of living crisis as they play croquet , tennis and nine hole golf in these impressive surroundings where you could easily think you are in the Sussex countryside.
Around 500 guests are here for the restaurant awards.
Thankfully the rain showers had stopped as all food and drinks were held in the outdoor space.
A jazz trio were playing cover tunes before and after the awards.
The awards were inside from 8.15pm to 9.15pm.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food throughout the evening.
Rathfinny English sparkling wines, Pimms, , different cocktails including espresso martinis and old fashioned.
Lots of Estrella Damm on draught.
Five food trucks...
Lush by Tom Kerridge (Pork Belly Buns, Chili Dogs etc)
Happy Go Souvlaki (Greek)
Born and Raised ( Sourdough Pizza)
Also gourmet ice-cream rolls made with Baileys etc in front of you.
All guests got a goodie bag with a few items inside...an excellent event.
Here are the Top 10 restaurants in order...
56 of the Top 100 restaurants are in London.
Ynyshir ( Piwys, Wales ) ( they were number one this year and last year)
Da Terra (Bethal Green , London )
The Ledbury ( Notting Hill , London)
Bouchon Racine ( EC1 , London)
The Ritz (Mayfair , London)
Core by Clare Smyth (Notting Hill, London)
Frog by Adam Handling (Covent Garden, London )
KOL (Marylebone, London )
Visit their website here for the full list....
Updated 13th June 2023 Permalink
Sunday 11 June 2023.
Sunday 11 June 2023
INDOCHINE live at The Roundhouse.
For over 40 years, French icons, Indochine , have led the crest of a musical wave with their unique style of genre and generation defying performances. Now, for the first time in a decade, France’s largest new-wave pioneers descend on UK shores for a rare one-off performance at London.
They are a massive band back home in France, where they play arenas and stadiums.
This show sold out in advance.
This show is a big deal for French folks, and my security chums told me the first arrivals for
this show , got in the queue THREE days before the day of the show.
Support band COACH PARTY arrived on stage on 7.40pm for their 30 mins set.
They are a female fronted indie-rock band from The Isle Of Wight, who did a good set.
I think they said they are playing summer shows in France with Indochine, along with Rock En Seine Fest.
They are playing a UK headline tour in Sept/Oct which includes The Scala, London on 12 Oct.
This coincides with the release of their debut album 'Killjoy'.
INDOCHINE arrived on stage at 8.45pm and played for 2 hours 10 mins.
They performed a nice long set, similiar length to their French shows.
The singer looks very 80s in his clothing and odd haircut.
All of their songs were in French i think , and the singer says a few words in English.
There were covers of 'Poker Face' by Lady Gaga, a snippet of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart ' by
Joy Division and final song of the night 'You Spin Me Round' by Dead or Alive.
Confetti cannons were used a few times during the show.
Their lively songs sounded much better , than the semi-acoustic ones.
Their French fans are clearly loving it, and the band radiate happiness to their fans.
An enjoyable show.
Saturday 10 June 2023.
DODGY + THE SUPERNATURALS live at The Forum.
Indie rockers from Hounslow who had several hits in the mid 1990s Brit Pop era.
I have seen them a few times before.
They will be playing their third album from 1996 'Free Peace Sweet' in full.
It reached number seven in the UK album charts.
Support comes from another 1990s Brit Pop era band The Supernaturals.
They hail from Glasgow and had five Top 40 hit singles.
This is the last night of their UK tour.
Lots of space upstairs and downstairs so maybe 1000 folks here max.
A mainly middle aged crowd who remember the bands from when they were younger.
THE SUPERNATURALS arrived on stage at 8.25pm for their 50 mins set.
They played a good set that included their Top 40 hits including 'Lazy Lover ',
'I Wasnt Built To Get Up', 'The Day Before Yesterday's Man' and 'Smile'.
DODGY arrived on stage at 9.40pm for their 80 mins set.
As mentioned in advance, they play their third album in its entirety.
That included the good hits 'In A Room' and 'Good Enough'.
Encores were 'Staying Out for the Summer' and 'Grassman'....an enjoyable show...
Before the encore started the band said "they would be at the merch stand for a meet n greet after the
show at the merch stand where we would not be charging you for, like some fucking greedy bands do".
At the merch stand , they were selling pre-printed setlists that they would sign in front of you for only £3
Updated 11th June 2023 Permalink
Friday 09 June 2023.
Thursday 08 June 2023...I went to two events tonight...
SISTER SLEDGE + THE REAL THING live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Sister Sledge will play hits like ‘Lost In Music’, ‘Thinking Of You, ‘We Are Family’ and many more. The Grammy-nominated group have accumulated over 15 million sales worldwide and earned multiple gold and platinum records, many of which were produced by Nile Rodgers, so you know you’re in for nothing but the best.
They'll be joined by seventies hitmakers The Real Thing, performing their No.1 hit ‘You To Me Are Everything’, alongside ‘Can’t Get By Without You’ and ‘Can You Feel The Force’.
I have seen Sister Sledge a few times since 1985 , when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
I have seen The Real Thing several times since 1975 when i saw all four shows when they supported
David Essex at Hammersmith Odeon.
The venue is over 90% sold for this very nice disco double-bill extraganza.
The venue lighting is kept low throughout and there is a giant disco glitter ball,
so it does feel like an actual disco, as folks are up and dancing and singing along to both acts.
THE REAL THING arrived on stage at 8.35pm for their 50 mins set.
A really good set including their classic hits 'Can't Get By Without You', 'You To Me Are Evergthing'
and 'Can You Feel The Force.
They dedicated a song to two members who have passed away.
SISTER SLEDGE arrived on stage at 9.50pm for their 70 mins set.
Lots of disco hits for this older crowd to get nostalgic for.
They finished their really good set with their anthem 'We Are Family'.
Full SISTER SLEDGE setlist played tonight...
Lost in Music
Everybody Dance (Chic cover)
All American Girls
Reach Your Peak
Got to Love Somebody
Gotta Get Back to Love
He's the Greatest Dancer
Summertime (George Gershwin cover)
Easier to Love
Thinking of You
Good Times / Rapper's Delight (Chic cover)
Le Freak / Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) / Rocksteady / Freedom / Shout!
We Are Family
11.30pm to 3.15am.
ANNABEL'S 60th ANNIVERSARY PARTY , 46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1.
Famous private members club are hosting a massive party for several hundred folks.
The entire venue is being used, so maybe a dozen rooms have a combination of male and female
dancers on podiums , djs and a couple of singers are performing.
Different djs including HONEY DIJON are playing tunes in different rooms.
This newish Annabels has got colourful digital screens and top notch lighting in most of the rooms.
The music sounds mixed Euro dance and more well known classics.
ROD STEWART and wife PENNY had already come and gone when i got there.
A nice surprise to see Latin pop star RICKY MARTIN here.
Other guests here included LIAM PAYNE, MARK-FRANCIS VANDELLI, JOSHUA KANE,
DAVID ARMSTRONG-JONES- the 2nd Earl of Snowdon,
Lots of great looking women in stunning dresses and gowns.
Young at heart Annabel's owner RICHARD CARING is now aged 75, but is still keen to party late.
Near the end at 3am he got behind the DJ decks downstairs as all his staff danced and clapped away.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food including Henriot champers, three different cocktails,
different bowl food and cheeseburgers.
An excellent event.
Updated 9th June 2023 Permalink
Wednesday 07 June 2023.
Wednesday 07 June 2023....I went to two events today.
6.45pm to 9.30pm
COUNTRY & TOWNHOUSE Magazine Party at The Rosewood Hotel , Holborn, London WC1.
Always nice to be at this luxury five star hotel.
A party to celebrate the 10th edition of Great British & Irish Hotels, edited by Fiona Duncan. It compiles over 200 incredible places to stay in the UK and Ireland, with thoughtful reviews of some of our best and brightest hotels and private homes.
You can buy the hard copy magazine for £12.99 or view the highlights on their website.
Around 150 guests here, and it is slightly more females than males.
Guests included Jackie St Clair, Ed Vaisey and Alistair Guy.
We had a speech at 7.30pm.
Complimentary Berry Bros champers, wines, beers and canapes for all the guests.
10pm to 1am
Caught the last 30 mins of this great musical, and then the party after.
PRESS NIGHT for WE WILL ROCK YOU at The Coliseum, London WC2.
21 years since it all began… the world’s favourite rock theatrical returns home!
The worldwide smash-hit We Will Rock You by Queen and Ben Elton returns to London this summer, for an unmissable 12-week season. Seen by 20 million people across 28 countries, this musical spectacular plays to its biggest audience yet. Taking to the same iconic stage at the London Coliseum that saw Freddie Mercury’s 1979 Royal Ballet performance, this event will go down in musical theatre history.
Seen by 20 million people across 28 countries, this musical spectacular plays to its biggest audience yet. Taking to the same iconic stage at the London Coliseum that saw Freddie Mercury’s 1979 Royal Ballet performance, this event will go down in musical theatre history.
Starring writer and director Ben Elton* as the Rebel Leader, for the first time, alongside West End legends Brenda Edwardsⴕ (Chicago, Sister Act, Hairspray) as Killer Queen and Lee Mead (Wicked, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) as Khashoggi with further casting to be announced.
Featuring 24 of Queen’s best-loved hits, including We Are The Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now and Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You is guaranteed to blow your mind.
It is on until 27 August 2023.
I saw this great musical a few times when it had its decade long stint at The Dominion.
BRIAN MAY came on for the finale to play some guitar on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' tonight.
ROD STEWART and wife PENNY left a good 15 mins before the end of the show.
At the end BEN ELTON said a few words with BRIAN MAY and ROGER TAYLOR alongside him.
From 10.30pm there were two different parties with around 150 guests in each.
Orange wristband for the main artistes in the cast and their guests, including comp Laurent Perrier champers.
White wristband for guests of the general cast members, including comp prosecco.
Orange wristbands had Brian May, Roger Taylor and Ben Elton popping their heads in quickly for a bit.
Neil Murray (ex Whitesnake bass player and others )was here as he is in the We Wiil Rock You band.
Also spotted were Linda Robson, Lorraine Chase , Dexter Fletcher , Mark Fuller , Nigel Planer,
Kate Thornton , Gareth Malone and Jonathan Shalit.
Those still there at 1am when it finished included Brenda Edwards, Jennifer Saunders, Ade Edmondson, Kathy Lette ,Philip Sallon and a nice surprise to see Craig Cash (who plays Dave in The Royle Family) as i think he is still living and based in Manchester.
Tuesday 06 June 2023...7pm to 10pm...
SUMMER EXHIBITION PREVIEW PARTY 2023 at The Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London W1.
Around 700 or 800 guests here , even though most have paid over £500 for their tickets.
Over 1000 works of art , in the many different rooms here.
Around 20 photographers taking pictures of any well known faces when they arrive in the courtyard.
Guests included... GRAYSON PERRY (artist , who was dressed up amazingly as usual) ,
JACKIE ST CLAIR and Hubby CARL (who last month hired Eric Clapton for Carl's 70th birthday party at The River Cafe in Hammersmith) (i will put some photos of the event up on my Facebook page soon ) ,
DJ FAT TONY , DJ JODIE HARSH, DAVID DOWNTON (fashion illustrator), RON DENNIS (From 1981 to 2009 he was team principal of McLaren Formula One team), CHARLI XCX (singer) , LUKE EVANS (actor)
CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN, STANLEY TUCCI, JONATHAN SHALIT (entertainment agent)
LENNON & GENE GALLAGHER (sons of Liam), LILA MOSS (daughter of Kate Moss) ,
STELLA JONES ( daughter of Mick Jones - The Clash).
Lots of females in very glam dresses.
Three female djs are playing an hour each set in the main party room.
At the end of the evening they always have a cool up and coming act perform in the courtyard.
GABRIELS played a four song set from 9.25pm....the singer has a fantastic voice.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food that was sponsored by Fortnum & Mason and Burburry.
Fortnums champers, a few different cocktails, a seafood buffet including king prawns, oysters and seabass,
and a cheese and hams buffet, chicken burgers, Chinese dumplings, canapes...and desserts including Eton Mess and Strawberry Tart.
It is a paid ticket for entry - on until 20 August 2023.
See my Face book page for some photos of the event.
An excellent event.
Updated 7th June 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 06 June 2023.
Had some important things to attend to the past few days, so was too busy to write the following
six gigs in six days reviews or look at the 600 plus emails that arrived...but will gradually get around to everything being back to normal...sorry for the delay.
Monday 05 June 2023.
SIMPLY RED live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Simply Red play an intimate one-off UK show at the start of their European Tour to promote
their new album 'Time'....needless to say the show sold out pronto.
I have seen Simply Red around 20 times since May 1985 , when i saw them supporting soul legend
James Brown at three Hammersmith Odeon shows, when their debut single came out.
Simply Red have sold over 50 million albums.
Singer Mick Hucknall replaced Rod Stewart for stint in The Faces , just over a decade ago.
I saw a few of those shows, which were great.
This show is three days before Mick Huncknalls 63rd birthday.
An older crowd here tonight, so pretty full for when the support act came on stage.
DANI SYLVIA and her keyboard player were on at 8pm for 30 mins...a good voice with some good songs.
Comedian KEITH LEMON was here , along with ex England football team manager STEVE McCLAREN.
The show sold out pronto , but there still must be 150 or so on the guest list.
There are half a dozen cameras dotted around , filming all of the show.
SIMPLY RED arrived on stage at 9pm and played for just 85 mins.
Mick Hucknall still looks the same , with his curly ginger locks and shades.
Mick still that superb effortless white smooth soul voice.
His band members are tightly rehearsed , and there is some nice sax.
A nice mix of new album tracks, some older classics and cover versions.
Final song was a tribute to Tina Turner.
A really good show, but the crowd and myself def thought he should have played 15 or 20 mins more.
Full SIMPLY RED setlist played tonight...
Better with you
She's Got It Bad
Night Nurse (Gregory Isaacs cover)
Shades 22 (Live debut, followed by band introductions)
You've Got It
Come to My Aid
Ain't That a Lot of Love (Homer Banks cover) (with Hold On I’m Coming outro)
Thinking of You
Money's Too Tight (To Mention) (The Valentine Brothers cover)
Something Got Me Started
Just Like You (Live debut)
For Your Babies
Nutbush City Limits (Ike & Tina Turner cover)
Sunday 04 June 2023.
BEYONCE plays the last of her FIVE massive shows at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground.
Beyonce is playing a UK & European Tour of stadiums.
Expect a two hour plus show , along with several costume changes and dancers.
A few years have passed since the singer last toured solo. During that time, she released yet another critically acclaimed seventh studio album, Renaissance.
The “Renaissance World Tour” opener in Sweden saw Beyoncé dressed in a custom wardrobe made from Alexander McQueen, Mugler, Courrèges Paris, David Koma, Loewe, Coperni and Balmain.
All five shows sold out...with 43,000 tickets for each all snapped up quickly....pretty amazing.
BEYONCE has been lucky with the weather, as all five days were nice and sunny.
The crowd is pretty much 75% female, with many wearing revealing outfits...lots of LGBTQ here too...
PAUL McCARTNEY and daughter STELLA were watching from the VIP viewing flatform.
It is a Sunday so Beyonce arrives on stage around 30 mins earlier to beat the 10pm curfew.
Too many reviews have said Beyonce was playing three hour shows...pretty much fake news that.
No proper support act, just a DJ playing modern r n b tracks that the crowd sang along to.
Beyonce arrived on stage at 7.25pm and the show was on for 2 hours 30 mins.
I have a perfect view on the pitch, between the inner gold circle and outer gold circle.
The big screen showed images during costume changes so Beyonce actually on stage more like two hours.
Rather than your standard showcase of her greatest hits, tonight’s set pulls heavily from 2022’s Renaissance, proving it truly is an album of “no skips”. Meanwhile, other tracks from across Beyoncé’s impressive back catalogue that speak to the same sense of liberation and fierce defiance are threaded throughout. There’s no space for ‘Halo’, ‘Drunk In Love’ or ‘Single Ladies’ but it’s impossible to argue with the tropical hammer of ‘Heated’ or the snarling disco stomp of ‘Pure/Honey’.
A stadium epic in every sense of the word, the concert is punctuated by fireworks, costume changes and a gigantic video screen. Despite all the polish though, the show also lets Beyoncé’s personality shine.
She looks and sings fantastic....and the mainly silver costumes were certainly dazzling and space like.
Queen Bey really was taking us to another planet with this visual extravaganza.
Beyonce performs on a truck, and inside an oyster , dressed like a mermaid.
Her male and female dancers were fantastic, and Beyonce joined in with dance routines.
Beyone and dancers used the stage extension to great effect.
Beyonce even got her daughter out on stage to dance during one track.
A cover of 'River Deep Mountain High' was dedicated to Tina Turner.
'Run The World (Girls) ' was a highlight and a nice surprise to see her cover 'Before I Let Go' (by Frankie Beverley feat Maze)...and 'Crazy In Love' sent the crowd wild.
Near the end Beyonce was sitting astride a giant glittery silver disco horse.
It was a pretty amazing show and visual spectacle.
Saturday 03 June 2023.
PERFUME live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Perfume is a Japanese pop (J-Pop) girl group trio from Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.
The group has been signed with Universal Music Group since 2012.
They will be promoting their seventh studio album 'Plasma' from 2022.
On their previous UK tour, their London show was at Hammersmith Apollo.
They actually played Shepherds Bush Empire back in 2013.
My chums on security said there 100 fans outside the venue at 1pm.
It is a big deal for them , as Perfume play arenas back home in Japan these days.
The show was being filmed and shown live back to cinemas in Japan at 4am in the morning.
PERFUME arrive on stage at 8.05pm and perform for 90 mins.
The crowd is pretty much 75% Japanese , but plenty of white folks too.
On stage we have proper high tech Japanese visual wizardry going on.
We have a massive big screen , showing live footage and pre-recorded images,
along with six eight ft high screens that move around as they are remote control drones....looked incredible.
Lots of lights and lasers as well....also costume changes.
The three girls arrive on stage...there is a dance routine to every song, which is on backing tape.
The vocals sounded a but squeaky at times, and they didn't look like live vocals to me.
The fans expected an encore at the end, but all they got was a reminder to visit the merch stand.
Visually it was top notch fun to watch.
Friday 02 June 2023.
ICE NINE KILLS live at The Forum.
This is the second of two shows at this venue for this fast rising 'metal horror' band on their UK tour.
They will be also playing at The Download Festival in June 2023.
They have released six studio albums...The fifth 'The Silver Scream' which peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard 200 and their latest, ' The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood ' which peaked at number 18 on the US Billboard 200. Their band name is derived from the fictional substance ice-nine from the novel Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
A mainly goth metal crowd who are dressed in their usual black attire.
LANSDOWNE arrived on stage at 7.45pm for their 25 mins set.
Up first are Lansdowne who hail from Boston, Mass, USA.
Their singer is showing off his biceps.
A good set ,with their final track 'One Shot' , a proper corker.
SKYND arrived on stage at 8.25pm for their 40 mins set.
Tall and slim female singer Skynd is joined by bass and a drummer, who were both hooded.
Skynd is known for her diverse vocal styles – ranging from high pitch to low pitch and often with an inhuman element. Notably, Jonathan Davis of Korn is also a fan of true crime and joined Skynd in her song, "Gary Heidnik". Davis appeared in the music video as well....a good set that went down well with the crowd.
Their intro song was quite ironic as it was 'Walking On Sunshine' with all the crowd singing it loudly.
ICE NINE KILLS arrived on stage at 9.40pm for their 65 mins set.
The six man band are playing uptempo horror metal from the start.
The crowd surfing bodies soon start coming over into the pit.
There are lots of lights , including strobes, and plenty of dry ice plumes.
It is pretty much shock rock, that Alice Cooper started 50 years ago , but maybe more macabre.
They have songs related to classic horror films including 'Psycho' , 'Candyman' and
'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'....so we have chainsaws and machetes and huge knives on stage.
A female actress acted around them for three songs, twirling around the stage.
The band produced a nice thunderous metal sound , and it was very enjoyable.
Thursday 01 June 2023.
LOUISE live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Louise is playing a very rare UK tour....featuring Eternal hits and solo hits.
It is to promote her 'Greatest Hits' album.
My only time to visit Catford Theatre, SE London was in 2002 to see Louise.
Louise was married to footballer Jamie Redknapp, but in 2017 decided to split up with him,
so she could get back to singing and acting and presenting after having their two children.
The show is not sold out, and it is stalls seated , so maybe 700 or 800 tickets sold.
The crowd is pretty much middle aged women and loads of gay men.
Actress LINDA ROBSON was here.
LOUISE was on stage for two hours over two sets of 70 mins and 50 mins.
Her lovely 'pretty girl next door looks' are still there at the age of 48.
A nice stage production with a huge L on stage , and raised platforms for the band.
Louise also had three female backing singers.
A nice mix of Eternal hits and solo hits, and every three or four songs Kate Thornton would ask questions.
In the second half , Louise was presented with an award for selling 15 million records during her career.
Louise was joined on stage by a couple of her female friends for a song each.
A very enjoyable show.
Full setlist played by LOUISE tonight....
Stay (Eternal song) (Reimagined mix)
So Good (Eternal song) (Reimagined mix)
Light of My Life
Naked (Reimagined mix)
In Walked Love (Reimagined mix)
One Kiss From Heaven
Sweetness (Michelle Gayle cover) (with Michelle Gayle)
New York Moon (Shortened - second verse cut)
The Best That You Bring (Shortened - second verse cut)
Undivided Love (Shortened - second verse cut)
Stuck in the Middle With You (Stealers Wheel cover)
Crazy (Eternal song) (with Kelle Bryan) (First time Louise has performed with Kéllé since 1995)
Just a Step From Heaven (Eternal song) (Reimagined mix)
Arms Around the World (Reimagined mix)
The Boss (Diana Ross cover)
Let's Go Round Again (Average White Band cover)
Note: An Evening with Louise - The Greatest Hits Live. Interspersed with interviews by Kate Thornton.
Wednesday 31 May 2023.
POLYTHIA live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
POLYTHIA play prog rock/metal instrumental songs.
Their first show at this venue, a fortnight before this one sold out...so they are back again.
Metal Talk gave the first show at SBE a glowing review.
Tim Henson and Scott LePage,the diabolical guitar duo and main drivers of the Dallas-based progressive band Polyphia.
Over the course of the group’s 12-year career, the two ax wizards have delighted in busting balls and messing with their fans’ heads (who can forget the band’s aptly titled 2017 EP, The Most Hated, on which the celebrated virtuosos purposely featured nary a lick of fretboard theatrics?), and in preparation for the release of their new album, Remember That You Will Die – their first studio offering since 2018’s New Levels New Devils.
Like their previous show here a fortnight ago , tonight is sold out.
POLYTHIA arrived on stage at 9.15pm and played for 70 mins.
Lots of Marshall amps on both sides of the stage, and lots of lights , including strobes.
There is lots of loud shouty stage banter between songs, but no actual vocals on the tracks played.
Plenty of twin guitar gymnastics from the pair of top notch guitar players.
It got lively down the front, with over 50 crowd surfers over the barriers into the pit.
A good show.
Updated 6th June 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 30 May 2023.
Tuesday 30 May 2023.
SPARKS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Sparks play the second of two sold out shows at this iconic venue.
I am nearer the stage tonight, a bit side on, but very close to the stage.
From this view I can see that the two guitars and bass player have just one amp each,
but the pa sound projected is just fantastic for the musicians and the vocals.
It was pretty identical to the show last night.
Same great setlist.
Same great stage banter.
Same great show.
Monday 29 May 2023.
SPARKS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
It has taken them 50 years, but Sparks finally play this iconic venue for the first time.
Most other musicians, when they've been working for over half a century, are resting on their laurels, basking in the warm glow of their heritage, accepting the odd Lifetime Achievement Award, playing the odd Greatest Hits tour and concentrating on shifting their back catalogue. But Sparks are not most other musicians. They are utterly unique , as their career moved through many phases, including (but not limited to) art rock, glam, big band swing, electro-disco.
With the release of their 26th album, ' The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte', on May 26th Ron and Russell Mael continue on that unique and uncompromising path. And, in a move that is as unexpected as it is unsurprising, the new bold, genre defying, modern masterpiece will be released by Island Records, the label that released their astonishing breakthrough record 'Kimono My House' in 1974, which was recorded in London.
Their two biggest hits were from that album , 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' and
I have seen Sparks around a dozen times ,including in 1974 and 1975 when they headlined Hammersmith
Odeon on the back of their early hit singles. I also saw their most recent London show before these ones,
which were at The Roundhouse in 2022.
The venue is totally sold out , as announced well over a month ago.
Support act was called an eccentric guy called MR B : THE GENTLEMAN RHYMER.
He performed a 30 mins set from 7.30pm of solo and cover tracks which included even a Sparks
medley of 'Amateur Hour ' and 'Get In The Swing'.
SPARKS arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played for 1 hour 50 mins
Sparks are clearly over the moon to be playing this iconic venue.
They have their biggest and best stage production I have ever seen with them.
They are 24 blocks of vertical lighting poles that take up the entire back wall area of the stage,
and are used superbly.
There are five great musicians, all dressed in black, on the raised platform behind Ron & Russell.
The Mael brothers settle immediately into that old dynamic: Russell the flamboyant frontman, strutting around the stage in his tailored black and red suit, his face still boyish in its glee. His mustachioed, bespectacled brother Ron is his opposite, hilariously po-faced behind his keyboard – the Roland logo cheekily misspelled as Ronald.
Always moving forward , they are always keen to promote a new album, and not to rely on a greatest hits set.
They played several new album tracks ,which are really good and go down well with the crowd.
After 26 albums, they are still finding interesting subjects to write lyrics about.
Some superb dance pop synth hits in the second half of the set , but no space this tour for gems including
'Amateur Hour' , 'Beat The Clock' and 'Get In The Swing'.
The crowd were all up and dancing after an hour.
At the end of the show ,Ron & Russell introduce the band and milk the standing ovation at the end.
It was a great show.
Full SPARKS setlist played tonight.....
So May We Start
The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte
Eaten by the Monster of Love
Angst in My Pants
When I'm With You
Nothing Is as Good as They Say It Is
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
Shopping Mall of Love (Ron and Russell co-vocals)
The Toughest Girl in Town
We Go Dancing
Music That You Can Dance To
When Do I Get to Sing "My Way"
The Number One Song in Heaven (Ron doing his funny dance)
This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us
Gee, That Was Fun
A Love Story
My Baby's Taking Me Home
Updated 30th May 2023 Permalink
Friday 26 May 2023.
Friday 26 May 2023...I went to two events tonight...
ROSE - press/vip night - Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London WC2.
I arrive at the venue and pop up to the circle bar and it was great to see
music legends BOY GEORGE and PETE TOWNSHEND having a good chat.
Also here were JULIE WALTERS, LESLIE JOSEPH and CLAIRE SWEENEY.
DAME MAUREEN LIPMAN (now aged 77) is an English actress, writer and comedian. She trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and her stage work has included appearances with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She was made a dame in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to charity, entertainment and the arts.
The award-winning, critically acclaimed production of Martin Sherman’s Rose transfers to the Ambassador’s Theatre for 28 performances, from Tuesday 23rd of May after sell-out runs at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, and The Park Theatre, London once again starring Maureen Lipman.
Olivier Award winning Maureen Lipman has performed with The National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has starred in innumerable West End productions including Messiah, Wonderful Town, ReJoice, Glorious, Oklahoma, & Daytona. For the last five years she has been delighting television audiences as Evelyn Plummer on Coronation Street.
Written by award-winning Martin Sherman whose other plays include Bent, Messiah, A Mad House in Goa as well as When She Danced, the films Alive and Kicking and Mrs Henderson Presents as well as the Broadway Musical The Boy From Oz.
Rose, a woman whose tumultuous journey through anarchic times takes her from the devastation of Nazi- occupied Europe to the allure of the American dream. Through the life of one woman Rose tells the story of a century where everything changed except the violence of the strong against the weak.
The original production of Rose was produced at the National Theatre and on Broadway in 1999. It is perhaps even more relevant today, with the plight of refugees and allegations of antisemitism continuing to dominate the news. This powerful production is a moving reminder of the harrowing events that shaped the last century.
Please note, the production includes references to death, grief, sexual references, exorcism, genocide, and the Holocaust
Maureen is pretty amazing , as she holds the stage, solo perched on a bench – in a “sitting Shiva” mode, a Jewish ritual of mourning – for two and a half hours, only a short interval interrupting the flow. It’s a terrific feat of concentration, memory and skill.
10pm to 12pm.
There was no afterparty for the above theatre event, but a friend was nearby reviewing another theatre event
so i went along to that afterparty which was for EDDIE IZZARD press/VIP night.
Around 150 guests here over the different levels.
Following a sold-out New York run Eddie Izzard returns to the West End stage at The Garrick Theatre for six weeks only playing 19 characters in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, a classic tale of convicts, mystery, friendship, rivalry, unrequited love, revenge, and redemption.
Actor, comedian, and multi-marathon runner Eddie Izzard’s boundary-pushing career spans all of these with record-breaking comedy tours and critically acclaimed film, TV, and theatre performances. But few know that acting was her first love.
My friend said JULIAN CLARY and PRUE LEITH were both at the show, but not here at the party ,
which was held at St Martin's House , which is opposite Stringfellows.
Tv and radio presenter NICK FERRARI was here , and EDDIE IZZARD eventually turned up in his usual
female attire and black Prada high heels...which he dumped after a few mins after his speech.
Eddie won't allow anyone to take photos , but he actually takes hold of the persons smartphone ,
and takes the selfie himself to make sure he comes out how he likes it, rather than rely on anyone else.
Complimentary prosecco , wines, beers, full size cheeseburgers and canapes for all the guests.
We got a goodie bag on departure , that oddly included a full size pork pie from Fortnum & Mason.
See my Facebook page for a couple of photos.
Thursday 25 May 2023....I went to two events tonight...
4pm to 6pm.
ARGENTINA NATIONAL DAY RECEPTION at Their Ambassadors Residence,
49 Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London SW1.
Designed by Thomas Cubitt (1788-1855), this building – christened by its first owner, Sidney Herbert, as 'Belgrave Villa – was acquired by Argentina in 1936, with its sumptuous interiors intact. The residence isn't normally open to the public, but for the past decade has taken part in the Open House London event.
Over 200 guests here , with maybe 75% folks from Argentina.
Their very friendly ambassador greets everyone on entrance, to this stunning building.
At 5pm , the two national anthems are sung, and the ambassador gives a speech.
Later on I would be introduced to one of the judges in The Trial of the Argentinean Military Junta in 1985.
Complimentary prosecco, gin & tonics, Argentinian wines and Argentinian canapes.
See my Facebook page for a couple of photos from the event.
ASPECTS OF LOVE - vip/press night- Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1.
From the cobbled streets of Paris, through the French countryside to the splendours of Venice, Aspects of Love is a sweeping romantic story of passion, love, betrayal and heartbreak across three generations.
In ravaged post war France, beautiful actress Rose Vibert finds herself homeless and penniless after her hoped-for career break play closes early. Invited to a country villa by a love struck young American, Alex Dillingham, she impulsively accepts. When unexpectedly interrupted by Alex’s distinguished uncle George, everything changes.
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart, based on the novel by David Garnett, Aspects of Love is directed by Jonathan Kent.
An enjoyable show was followed by the afterparty...
10pm to 12pm
We had a 10 mins walk to Andrew Lloyd Webbers Theatre Royal , Drury Lane, London WC2.
ALW has recently spent multi-millions refurbishing this luxurious venue he actually owns.
A massive crowd, as there must be around 500 guests here.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, DON BLACK and MICHAEL BALL were all here.
Also other cast members and BRUNO TONIOLI, JACKIE ST CLAIR, SU POLLARD and a few more.
Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers , various bowl foods and tubs of ice-cream.
We left at midnight, but it was due to finish at 1am.
See my Facebook page for a couple of photos from the event.
Wednesday 24 May 2023...I went to two events tonight...
6.30pm to 7.30pm
HALCYON FLAGSHIP GALLERY - launch party - 148 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London W1.
Halcyon Gallery is proud to launch its new flagship gallery at 148 New Bond Street with the inaugural and ground-breaking exhibition Feeding Consciousness by the pioneering digital British artist Dominic Harris.
Harnessing the magical, fantastical and the sublime, Harris invites the viewer to explore his intricately created worlds, igniting imagination and offering a glimpse of the infinite. Harris’ visual inventions have been digitally painted by hand through a painstaking process that is comparable to traditional oil painting, though his use of technology as a means to produce movement and interaction, creates an immediacy with the viewer that no ordinary still life ever could.....Around 100 guests here...
Ex Page 3 girl JACKIE ST CLAIR is here....she told me , how after 20 years of trying she got
ERIC CLAPTON & BAND yes Eric Clapton , to play an hour long show for her husbands 70th birthday
at The River Cafe in Hammersmith a couple of weeks ago...Eric's fee went to his Crossroads charity.
Also here was ANDY COPPING who is one of the main guys from promoters Live Nation.
He was at his shows Steel Panther at The Forum and Def Leppard/Motley Crue on Monday in Sheffield.
Complimentary Taittinger champers and canapes for all guests.
7.40pm to 10pm.
LISA SNOWDON 'Just Getting Started ' book launch party - Upstairs at Langans,
Stratton Street, Mayfair, London W1.
Lisa Snowdon (now aged 51) is an English television and radio presenter and fashion model. She was the host of the Living TV reality television show Britain's Next Top Model from 2006 until 2009. She also co-presented Capital Breakfast on Capital London from August 2008 until 18 December 2015.
Lisa had an on/off relationship with actor George Clooney from 2000 to 2005.
Very nice to be back at this well known brasserie , where i attended the re-opening launch party.
Around 120 guests here including several well known faces from tv and radio and sports etc including...
DAME DENISE LEWIS who is a British sports presenter and former track and field athlete, who specialised in the heptathlon. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was twice Commonwealth Games champion...also JACKIE ST CLAIR, KELLY HOPPEN, LEIGH FRANCIS,
DAVE BERRY, VANESSA FELTZ, KATE THORNTON , ANNE PIGALLE, ANDREA McLEAN and
radio DJ NIHAL ARTHANAYAKE.
I had a nice chat with jeweller STEPHEN WEBSTER , who is a good friend of Mick Jones(The Clash).
He confirmed Mick Jones is a bit of a hermit these days....Stephen now co-owns a bar in Nashville.
I had a nice chat with an up and coming female singer called EKKAH.
We had a speech from Lisa at 8.15pm.
It was very lively here, and folks on the dance floor for the last hour dancing away as
MELANIE BLATT from All Saints was the celebrity DJ playing the tunes.
Complimentary Frerejean Freres Champers, two different cocktails, wines , NOAM lagers and canapes.
All guests got a goodie bag on departure, including a copy of the book.
An excellent event.
Wednesday 24 May 2023.
Very sad news that TINA TURNER has died aged 83.
I was lucky to have seen her live several times, with the first time in 1974 at Hammersmith Odeon as
part of Ike and Tina Turner...and also including a fantastic headline show at Wembley Stadium,
in 2000 where she was supported by Lionel Richie and John Fogerty,
I will be going to see Tina Turner - The Musical for the third time in August 2023.
Updated 24th May 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 23 May 2023.
Tuesday 23 May 2023.
A TRIBUTE TO JEFF BECK live at The Royal Albert Hall.
I am back again to see the second of these two special nights here.
Legendary live music booking agent Rod MacSween (KISS , Aerosmith , Guns n Roses etc) is here.
Lots of Americans in the crowd again tonight.
The show was pretty much the same as the first night, as the same 26 tracks were performed.
Imelda May and Joss Stone both wore the same glamourous outfits , and sung fantastic.
A barefoot Joss Stone singing 'I Put A Spell On You' was mesmerising.
Rod and Ronnie and Eric did the same four songs together.
Rod wearing some very sparkly designer shoes.
Tonight Rod sat in a side seat during one song with his arms around a man, and watched the guitar playing.
Ronnie looks a bit old and frail these days, compared to Rod and Eric.
So many great guitarists and highlights on the stage throughout the evening.
The crowd knew when the end of the main set came, so they rushed down the front for the encore.
Yesterday's video on my Facebook page was Rod Stewart singing 'Infatuation' and tonight's video on
Facebook is Rod Stewart , Gary Clark Jnr, Ronnie Wood and EC & Band play 'People Get Ready'.
Another excellent show.
Full setlist played tonight....
01. Blue Rainbow – Eric Clapton, EC Band
02. Shapes Of Things – Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall, EC Band
03. Heart Full Of Soul – Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall, EC Band
04. Wee Wee Baby- Eric Clapton, EC Band
05. Little Brown Bird – Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, EC Band
06. Done Somebody Wrong – Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, EC Band
07. The Sky Is Crying – Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, EC Band
08. Beck’s Bolero – Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall, Ronnie Wood, EC Band
09. Elegy For Dunkirk – Olivia Safe, Robert Randolph, Jeff Beck Band
10. Isolation – Johnny Depp (vocals), Kirk Hammett, Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck Band
11. Walkin’ In The Sand – Johnny Depp, Imelda May (vocals), Ronnie Wood, Jeff Beck Band
12. Goodbye Porkpie Hat – Derek Trucks, Chris Stainton, Jeff Beck Band
13. You Know You Know – John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck Band
14. Stratus – John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck Band
15. Rough Boy – Billy Gibbons (vocals), Jeff Beck Band
16. Rice Pudding – Billy Gibbons, Ronnie Wood, Chris Stainton, Jeff Beck Band
17. Train Kept A Rollin’ – Johnny Depp, Kirk Hammett, Ronnie Wood, Billy Gibbons, Imelda May (vocals)
Jeff Beck Band
– Intermission –
18. Freeway Jam – Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph, Doyle Bramhall, EC Band
19. I Put A Spell On You – Eric Clapton, Joss Stone (vocals), Robert Randolph, EC Band
20. ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers – Eric Clapton, Gary Clark, Jr., EC Band
21. Let Me Love You – Eric Clapton, Gary Clark, Jr., EC Band
22. Infatuation – Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart (vocals), Ronnie Wood, EC Band
23. Rock My Plimsoul (Rock Me Baby) – Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart (vocals),, Ronnie Wood, EC Band
24. I Ain’t Superstitious – Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart (vocals), Gary Clark, Jr., EC Band
25. People Get Ready – Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart (vocals),Gary Clark, Jr., EC Band
26. Going Down – Everyone
On the big screen - 'Moon River' cartoon video feat Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.
Eric Clapton Band – First and Third Set
Jeff Beck Band – Second Set
Surplus income from the two concerts on May 22 and 23 will be donated to the Folly Wildlife Rescue based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Thanks to the Eric Clapton fan website www.whereseric.com for the full setlist and who played on each track
for the two nights.
Monday 22 May 2023.
A TRIBUTE TO JEFF BECK live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Sandra Beck and Eric Clapton have announced two nights of concerts with rock legend colleagues and friends to honour the memory and artistry of the late Jeff Beck.
Both shows sold out pronto, even though seát tickets are £200, £175, £125 and gallery standing is £70
plus booking fees..Lots of expensive hospitality packages too...but all profits go to charity.
Guests on stage tonight are Doyle Bramhall, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Gary Clark Jr, Johnny Depp,
Billy Gibbons, Imelda May, John McLaughlin, Robert Randolph, Rod Stewart, Joss Stone,
Susan Tedeschi , Derek Trucks, Kirk Hammett.
It was just 12 months ago in May 2022 where i saw Jeff Beck play his last London show at this same venue,
and Johnny Depp came on stage with him for several numbers.
Joe Perry pulled out a week ago so was not here.
Jimmy Page was not billed to appear, but you wonder why he was not here tonight.
Jeff Beck collected eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice - once with the Yardbirds in 1992 and again as a solo artist in 2009.
The venue is totally rammed solid sold out tonight, with a mainly older crowd.
I spotted TERRY GILLIAM and that Rod Stewart lookalike who sold Pimlico Plumbers for millions.
A friend spotted SIR BOB GELDOF there.
It runs for exactly for the planned 3 hours 5 mins.
The first set was 7.30pm to 9.30pm....and the second set was 9.55pm to 11pm...
There is a nice big screen showing live footage , and a bit of pre-recorded stuff.
At 7.30pm Eric Clapton & his band played several tracks with some of the guests.
Then Jeff Becks band backed all the other musicians here for the rest of the first half.
A Jeff Beck show was full of guitar instrumentals, so there were plenty of them tonight.
Hard to keep a track of all the musicians coming and going, but it was pretty much
all Jeff Beck related tracks from The Yardbirds onwards.
Billy Gibbons sung a great 'Rough Boy' , which is a ZZ Top song.
ZZ Top and Jeff Beck did a couple of North American tours together.
During the interval they had Jeff Beck interviews and videos on the big screen.
Look out for a great clip of Jeff Beck laughing at a Spinal Tap character that was based on him.
Eric Claptons stage rug was brought back on stage, as his band provided the backing in the second half.
The second half of the show had the best vocal of the night from Joss Stone.
Imelda May also sung well in the first half....both had performed with Jeff Beck in the past.
Also Gary Clark Jnr in the second half was one of the main guitar highlights.
Things livened up and got more looser when Rod Stewart arrived on stage for the finale.
Rod and Ronnie and Eric on stage together for four songs was a real treat.
First track a Rod Stewart hit from 1984 'Infatuation' , which Jeff Beck played on.
Also a stunning 'People Get Ready' with some sweet guitar licks from Gary Clark Jnr.
All artists on stage for the encore of Jeff Beck Group track 'Going Down'.
Don't rush out after the end, as a very emotional video is shown on the big screen.
Eric Clapton & band and a couple of others stay behind to stare up at the big screen.
It is a cartoon image of Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton as their version of 'Moon River' is played.
They walk down the neck of a guitar with their guitar cases in hand, and play down by the river.
An excellent evening.
Updated 23rd May 2023 Permalink
Sunday 21 May 2023.
Saturday 20 May 2023.
STEEL PANTHER + WINGER live at The Forum.
Steel Panther are playing a UK tour...this London show sold out two months in advance.
They will be promoting their sixth album 'On The Prowl' which still features their trademark
of mixing their take of piss-take on 80s hair metal bands and hilarious raunchy lyrics.
This album has track titles including ' Is My Dick Enough' and ' Magical Vagina'.
I have seen Steel Panther several times since 2009.
Support comes from American rockers WINGER.
Formed in New York City, Winger gained popularity in North America during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band's two platinum albums, Winger and In the Heart of the Young, along with charting singles "Seventeen", "Headed for a Heartbreak" and "Miles Away", put them on the top of the charts by the early 1990s. In 1990, the band was nominated for an American Music Award for "Best New Heavy Metal Band".
As the music scene changed in the early to mid-1990s due to the popularity of grunge, their success faded following their third release, Pull....they have reformed every now and then since.
Winger has released the official music video for its new single, "Proud Desperado". The track is taken from the band's upcoming seventh studio album, "Seven" which is due on May 2023 via Frontiers Music Srl. The 12-track album was produced by WINGER frontman Kip Winger and recorded in Nashville.
I have seen Winger twice before.
Needless to say that i was really looking forward to seeing this pair of classic rock bands.
Most of the crowd have the same idea, and the venue is full by 8pm.
Lots of females tonight dressed up in their best 'rock chick' attire.
WINGER arrived on stage at 7.55pm and play for 50 mins.
They have a nice big curtain behind them , with the bands named logo.
Some nice riffs, some nice harmonies and they look and sound great.
A couple of new album tracks were good.
Great to see them play their top notch rock ballads 'Miles Away' and 'Easy Come, Easy Go'.
Steel Panthers singer joined them on vocals for a song near the end of the set.
A really good set.
Full WINGER setlist played tonight...
Can't Get Enuff
Junkyard Dog (Tears on Stone)
Rainbow in the Rose
Pull Me Under
Headed for a Heartbreak
Easy Come Easy Go
STEEL PANTHER arrived on stage at 9.15pm and played for 95 mins.
In these days of too many woke folks complaining, Steel Panther still doing their usual show.
Sexist lyrics and sexist stage banter can be a bit crude for some, but it's all just good fun.
We have five songs where the girls are invited on stage, and plenty more didn't get on.
The band have a huge curtain behind them, with the band's named logo.
These glam rockers have some great songs and are very entertaining.
Their new bass player has not got the same charisma as the previous bass player though.
We have a couple of good new album tracks mixed in with their old classics that included
'Asian Hooker', ' Death to All but Metal', 'Girl from Oklahoma', 'Community Property' ,
'Party All Day (Fuck All Night) and the encore of 'Gloryhole'.....a really great entertaining rock show.
Full STEEL PANTHER setlist played tonight...
Eyes of a Panther
Let Me Cum In
Asian Hooker (Asian female fan on stage dancing and getting her boobs out)
All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
The Burden of Being Wonderful
Friends With Benefits
Death to All but Metal
Ain't Dead Yet
Impromptu Song for a Girl ( stunning long haired female fan was serenaded by the boys from Steel Panther)
Girl From Oklahoma (same girl as above stayed on stage to be serenaded the Steel Panther way)
Community Property (50 female fans on stage for a dance)
Party All Day (Fuck All Night) (50 female fans on stage for a dance)
Gloryhole (Preceded by Seven Nation Army snippet)
Friday 19 May 2023...I went to two events today...
3pm to 5pm..
This is the last week to see Celebrating Seven Decades of Quo, a free exhibition at Barbican Library dedicated to the masters of the three-chord rock song. Whatever You Want, it's all on display, including photos, tour posters, handwritten lyrics, and other memorabilia — some of which has never been on public display before......Free admission until Monday 22 May 2023.
Today was a Status Quo Fan Club gathering to celebrate the last week of the exhibition.
Their drummer from their heyday period JOHN COGHLAN is here , along with BOB YOUNG
who co-wrote over 100 Quo tracks, including many of their hits.
Also here were photographers DANNY CLIFFORD and ROBERT ELLIS who took photos of the band
back in the day.....Around 70 or 80 folks here and nice to to see a few friends.
See my Facebook photo for a Hammersmith Odeon ticket stub photo from 1982.
THE WEDDING PRESENT live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The Wedding Present are an English indie rock group formed in 1985 in Leeds, England.
The band has been led by vocalist and guitarist David Gedge, the band's only constant member.
They formed in Leeds in 1985, and have released several albums since 1987.
The Wedding Present were one of John Peels fave bands.
I have seen them live a few times before.
Steve Harleys classic single 'Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)' has been recorded many times
by other artists but Steve Harley says The Wedding Present version is his fave.
Another show here where Levels 2 and 3 are closed , so maybe 700 folks here.
We get two support acts tonight...
BREAKUP HAIRCUT arrived on stage at 7.15pm for their 30 mins.
The three at the front are all females, and they play some nice punky shouty uptempo tracks.
MIKI BERENYI TRIO arrived on stage at 8.15pn for their 30 mins.
Miki used to be in the indie-rock band Lush.
They are a trio as the drummer is a drum machine tape...some nice dreamy vocals.
They dedicated a song to Andy Rourke R.I.P
THE WEDDING PRESENT arrived on stage at 9.15pm for their 90 mins set.
The band now have Jon Stewart ex Sleeper on guitar.
The band play a few good songs from their new album '24 Songs'.
Lots of nifty guitar riffs though the evening.
The last half a dozen tracks upped the tempo , and got the crowd dancing madly down the front.
It included their great fast paced cover version of 'Make Me Smile( Come Up and See Me).
A really good show.
At the end of the show i got my setlist signed by singer Dave Gedge by the merch stand.
Full setlist played by The Wedding Present tonight...
Go, Go, Go!
A Million Miles
You Should Always Keep in Touch With Your Friends
We Interrupt Our Programme
We All Came From the Sea
I Am Not Going to Fall in Love With You
Give My Love to Kevin
My Favourite Dress
Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) (Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel cover)
Updated 20th May 2023 Permalink
Thursday 18 May 2023.
Thursday 18 May 2023.
MIKE + THE MECHANICS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
A prestigious London show on their massive UK Tour.
For this tour they will be joined by Nic Collins (son of Phil) on drums who will be aged just 22 when
he plays here, but has already performed with Phil Collins and Genesis on their tours.
Expect three or four Genesis songs in the setlist.
I have seen them live several times before.
Pretty full tonight , as must be at least 95% sold and its an older crowd as expected.
A couple of music legends are in the house tonight.
JOHN GIDDINGS who is booking agent for tonights band, Genesis, Iggy Pop, Blondie and many more.
TONY SMITH who is the long time manager of Genesis and the band members solo projects.
The show is on for 2 hours 5 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 75 mins.
For those that don't know , the band have two top notch male singers - one black and one white.
Tim Howar and Andrew Roachford ( had a hit single many years ago with his superb track 'Cuddly Toy') .
The sound is perfect and they have a nice stage with lots of lights and stripped lighting poles.
A perfect setlist as it was their greatest hits along with a few Genesis classics and a superb extended
version of the Roachford gem 'Cuddly Toy'.
Soooo many great songs , including the stunning 'The Living Years'.
The crowd got up for a dance a few songs from the end of this totally excellent show.
Full MIKE + THE MECHANICS setlist played tonight...
A Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Another Cup of Coffee
Are You Ready
Try to Save Me
Jesus He Knows Me (Genesis cover)
Let Me Fly
The Best Is Yet to Come
Invisible Touch (Genesis cover) (acoustic)
Don't Know What Came Over Me (acoustic)
Nobody's Perfect (acoustic)
Everybody Gets a Second Chance (acoustic)
Follow You Follow Me (Genesis cover) (acoustic)
I Can't Dance (Genesis cover)
Cuddly Toy (Roachford cover) (extended version)
The Living Years
All I Need Is a Miracle (crowd all up and dancing from this song onwards)
Over My Shoulder
Word of Mouth (including band introductions and Solos)
Thursday 18 May 2023.
KISS farewell UK tour is coming up soon , but maybe increasing ticket prices lots compared to
previous tours is starting to backfire....first there was 20% off all shows and then Birmingham now has
a buy one get one free from Ticketmaster...and now rumours that the opening show at
Plymouth Football Ground will be cancelled due to poor ticket sales.
Wednesday 17 May 2023.....I went to two events tonight....
6.15pm to 8.15pm
HANDEL HENDRIX HOUSE - reopening launch party - 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1.
Handel & Hendrix in London is a museum in Mayfair, London, dedicated to the lives and works of the German-born British baroque composer George Frideric Handel and the American rock singer-guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who lived at 25 and 23 Brook Street respectively.
The building has undergone a £3m refurbishment.
The ground floor is reproduced on Handels life there 300 years ago.
The top flat is where Jimi Hendrix stayed in the late 1960s.
The entire flat is full of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia.
We were told the mirror in the bedroom, was there when Jimi was there.
Everything else is faithfully reproduced from original photos.
We have the books and records Jimi liked at the time.
A full list of all the gigs he played.
A full list of his recording output.
A full list of all his tv appearances and radio interviews.
There are videos of Jimi on stage and being interviewed, and classic photo images.
We had a nice chat with Paul Endacott who runs www.musicheritage.london tours.
At 7.55pm a trio played a few Jimi Hendrix tracks live.
Complimentary Pommery champers, wines, beers and canapes for all the guests.
All guests got a goodie bag on departure.
8.30pm to 9.30pm.
MONTE CARLO - book launch party - Maison Assouline, 196a Piccadilly, London W1.
The 296-page coffee table book, written by writer and journalist Ségolene Cazenave Manara is now available for £100.
‘Monte-Carlo’ is the latest release in Assouline’s travel from home collection and pays tribute the ultra-luxurious principality of Monaco. Written by Monaco based writer and journalist Ségolene Cazenave Manara, ‘Monte-Carlo’ is a stunning 296-page collectible that you’ll repeatedly take pleasure flicking through. Its contents are an accurate representation of the treasure trove of glitz and glamour that extends across the two-mile coastline along the Mediterranean Sea.
Around 100 guests here who have been asked to dress 'Monte Carlo' for this event, so
we have several guys in black bow ties and many women are in glamourous dresses.
There were a couple of fun casino tables being used, which was a nice touch.
Complimentary Belvedere Vodka Martinis for all the guests here.
Updated 17th May 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 16 May 2023.
Tuesday 16 May 2023...6.45pm to 11pm...
20 BERKELEY - launch party - 20 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1.
What they are saying...
It's taking over a space on the corner of Berkeley Street and being billed as offering "a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that changes seasonally to showcase the freshest and most exceptional ingredients from all four corners of the British Isles" and "a celebration of British craft, produce and design".
What that means in practice is a seasonal British menu with a big focus on local sourcing. To that note, they've brought in Executive Chef Ben Orpwood (ex Gordon Ramsay Group, Caprice Holdings and recently back from Australia) who has built up relationships with local UK suppliers. Here's a taste of the menu:
Black pudding agnolotti, cauliflower, wild garlic velouté
Dressed Portland bill crab, apple & foraged sea herbs
Coronation chicken pie, kohlrabi remoulade, mango piccalilli
Overnight braised Herdwick lamb shoulder, pommes mousseline
Double baked Ogleshield soufflé
Baron Bigod cheese stuffed with last winters truffles, served with port jelly & crumpets
Seasonality will be tight too. For example, they'll be using Cornish Mylor prawns which will only be available for a few weeks. Other produce includes La Latteria burrata, Welsh sea buckthorn juice and venison from Ledbury chef Brett Graham's deer farm.
As for the restaurant itself, they're saying it will be like an English manor house and it will have a separate bar, The Nipperkin, which should be a good addition to Mayfair's bar scene.
Around 150 nicely dressed folks in this upmarket restaurant & bar.
A small discreet entrance leads to a few different rooms.
Plenty of seating , so we found a good table as our base.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food , including Billicart champers, rum cocktails, whiskey cocktails,
margaritas, vodka mouthfuls via the ice-sculpture tube and wines.
A cheeses and hams buffet , and canapes including king prawns in cocktail sauce, caviar, salmon, etc.
Guests got a goodie bag with a few items inside on departure.
An excellent evening.
This launch party was also on , but i got stuck at the above event.
STETSON - new store launch party.
The Stetson store in London is situated within Seven Dials on Covent Garden’s Neal Street. This new 1,165 sq. ft space showcases a wide range of the brand’s signature styles from outdoor lifestyle and authentic Western hats to timeless classics and streetwear styles, for both men and women.
The thoughtfully designed store pays homage to Stetson’s roots taking inspiration from ‘The Great Outdoors‘ with elevated details reflecting the brand’s heritage.
Monday 15 May 2023.
GLEN MATLOCK live at Rough Trade East, London E1.
Sex Pistols bass playing legend is doing record store appearances alongside
his gigs and media work to promote his new album 'Consequences Coming'.
Around 150 folks in this massive record store , with 50 or so seats.
Lots of folks here that i know.
From 8pm to 8.45pm Glen is being interviewed by his good mate Gary Crowley.
They both live near each other in Maida Vale, and Gary has his own DJ career.
Glen is looking healthy and tanned from his recent stint with Blondie across the pond.
Topics include Glens fave bands before he joined The Sex Pistols (Humble Pie and The Faces),
getting a job in the Kings Road store owned by Malcolm McLaren and Viv Westwood.
Early gigs with The Sex Pistols, and his stints The Rich Kids, Iggy Pop ,The Faces and Blondie.
Overall it was a very entertaining chat.
From 8.45pm to 9.10pm , we get a really good six song acoustic set by Glen Matlock.
Four songs from the new album, and two cover versions.
Magic Carpet Ride
Blank Generation (Richard Hell & The Voidoids cover)
Head On A Stick
If I Had A Hammer (Pete Seeger cover)
At 9.10pm - More than half the crowd, including me, who have bought the vinyl album or cd album
queue up to get it signed by Glen.
Updated 16th May 2023 Permalink
Sunday 14 May 2023.
Sunday 14 May 2023.
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Hothouse Flowers are an Irish rock band that combine traditional Irish music with influences from soul, gospel and rock. Formed in 1985 in Dublin, they started as street performers. Their first album, People (1988), was the most successful debut album in Irish history, reaching No. 1 in Ireland and No. 2 in the UK. After two more albums and extensive touring, the group separated in 1994. Since getting back together in 1998, the band members have been sporadically issuing new songs and touring, but also pursuing solo careers.
I have seen them a few times before , including a 30 mins best of set at Henley Rewind Festival 2022.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, as only 600 or 700 tickets sold tonight.
CLARE SANDS arrived on stage at 7.30pm for her 30 mins set.
Channeling the music of her ancestors, Clare Sands is a unique force in Irish music.
Weaving Traditional roots with Contemporary sounds and influences, Sands sings for the young and the old, brave and the bold....Clare was joined by a member of Hothouse Flowers playing the flute for 2 songs.
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played for a full 2 hours.
Hothouse Flowers are Celtic Soul. They personify it. Liam’s passionate vocals are the surface of this as he pounds the keyboards in his bare feet. The band look like they’re really enjoying it.
Several songs were extended jams, but that was good when it came to 'Don't Go' , which was great.
Some nice banter between Liam and the many Irish folks in the crowd.
Support act Clare Sands and her violin joined them for the second half of the show.
She certainly helped to turn the second half into a full on ceildh.
An enjoyable show.
Highlights of HOTHOUSE FLOWERS setlist tonight...
Let's Do This Thing
Giving It All Away
Love Don't Work This Way
The Older We Get
I Can See Clearly Now ( Johnny Nash cover )
You Can Love Me Now
Give It Up
This Is It (Your Soul)
After the set, the band signed and posed for photos by the merch table at the rear stalls.
Saturday 13 May 2023.
CHRIS McCAUSLAND live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Blind Liverpudlian comedian plays the final show on his massive 140 shows plus 'Speaky Blinder' UK tour.
It will be filmed for DVD release and a tv special.
Level 3 is closed , and Level 2 is pretty empty, so maybe 500 tickets sold.
There are five film cameras filming both acts.
Support act JOHN LONG arrived on stage at 8pm and did a really good and funny 20 mins set.
Before the support act , and during the interval , it was all grunge tracks over the house pa,
so we had Pearl Jam, Soundgarden , Nirvana etc.
Chris McCausland must be a fan as at the end of his show he said "thanks for coming to this show,
which is the biggest of my career , at this famous venue that Soundgarden (I was there) opened in 1994".
I saw two different blind folks with their white sticks, which was good to see.
CHRIS McCAUSLAND was on stage for 95 mins over two sets of 40 mins and 55 mins.
Engaging, blokey, old-school standup about domesticity, parenthood and the frustrations of modern life is mixed with material specific to the scouse joker’s life as a blind man.
Several jokes were about the many downs, and a couple of ups relating to his blindness.
He joked that as a single man, he could never walk a girl home.
He joked about his wife's boobs were great, even though he couldn't see them.
He joked about how messy it gets, when he changes his daughters nappies.
A long routine about his wife and daughter ended on a sad note as he said he does not know
what they look like....he can just imagine.
He joked about how he always presumed everyone was white.
He thought Louis Armstrong was an old white guy with long white hair and a long white beard.
He thought footballer Mario Balotelli would be white, with a name so Italian.
Being a Liverpool fan, he wishes he could watch footballer Mo Salah in action.
An enjoyable show, with lots of laughs.
Friday 12 May 2023.
HAIRCUT 100 live Shepherds Bush Empire.
Haircut 100 reform for a special one-off show to celebrate their 1982 debut album "Pelican West".
The album reached number 2 in the UK, and 31 in the USA.
An instant smash with four UK Top 10 45s, they're now back, forty years on with a remastered Super Deluxe Edition, available on CD or a four-LP set and digital.
1982 was their big year, as i worked them on front stage security for five headline nights at Hammersmith Odeon over three separate tours, in that year.
The band's FaceBook page says this Shepherds Bush show sold out pronto in Dec 2022.
In 2004 VH1 programme Bands Re-United got Haircut 100 back together again to play a one-off gig.
I was really looking forward to this one-off major venue re-union show.
They actually played a warm-up club show in Oxford a few days before this gig.
Support band BARBARA arrived on stage at 8.15pm for a decent 30 mins of pop tunes.
Djs for tonight were well known actors BEN MILES and TOBY JONES, playing 80s classic hits.
HAIRCUT 100 arrived on stage at 9.15pm and played for 95 mins.
Haircut 100 had initial big success with their debut album , then singer Nick Heyward left
before the second album , which totally bombed.
Hence they have not got a big choice of material , so we get a couple of odd cover versions
and one of their hit singles 'Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) was performed THREE times.
Singer Nick Heyward is still very youthful looking at the age of 61, and has friendly stage banter.
The band are joined by a three man brass section.
The main set featured 10 of the 12 tracks on their classic 'Pelican West' album.
Great to see Haircut 100 on stage again, for a really good show.
Full HAIRCUT 100 setlist played tonight...
Down Down (Status Quo cover)
Low Rider (War cover)
Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)
Calling Captain Autumn
Love's Got Me In Triangles
Love Plus One
Kingsize (You're My Little Steam Whistle)
As It Was (Harry Styles cover)
Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)
Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) (12” Version)
Nobody's Fool (with I’m Your Man intro)
Brookfield Girl (Live debut)
Fantastic Day (12” Version)
Updated 14th May 2023 Permalink
Thursday 11 May 2023.
Thursday 11 May 2023...7pm to 10.15pm...
FORTNUM & MASON FOOD AND DRINK AWARDS at Fortnum & Mason, The Royal Exchange, Bank, London EC3. This was the 11h anniversary of these awards, and i have been to most of them. Used to be held at their iconic Piccadilly home but now held here to help promote their new store that opened a couple of years ago. Fortnum & Mason celebrate discovering and championing the achievements of the UK’s writers, editors, publishers, photographers and broadcasters who encourage us to enjoy, explore, experiment and discover more about food and drink through their work. For over three centuries Fortnum & Mason has remained an essential destination in Piccadilly. Visit their website for a list of winners which were handed out from 7.40pm to 8.10pm.. The awards were hosted by ANGELA HARTNETT and ANDI OLIVER.
Over 300 guests here in and around their stunning oval marble bar in the centre of the room.
American actor STANLEY TUCCI was here, as he has brought out cookery books.
Around a dozen well known celebrity chefs/critics to food and drinks here including... MARY BERRY,
Both the THE HAIRY BIKERS, MATT TARBUTT ( BBC1 Saturday Morning Kitchen Presenter) , GRACE DENT (The Guardian food critic) ,JAY RAYNER, MARK HIX, JAMES MARTIN, RICK STEIN.
Lots of great staff fussing over the guests, by topping up drinks without us having to go to the bar etc.
Complimentary Fortnum & Mason champers, gin cocktails, wines, beers and yummy Fortnum & Mason canapés including their famous Scotch Eggs and Oysters. For desserts , it was a strawberry trifle.
All guests got a goodie bag with three nice Fortnums food items inside...Peruvian ground coffee,
brown sauce and breakfast marmalade.
An excellent event.
Wednesday 10 May 2023....7pm to 10pm...
I LOVE CAMPBELL - private view - 180 The Strand, London WC2.
A huge event as must be 500 guests in this massive space, that has many different areas.
In the studios basement , the black photographer Campbell Addy has cool images of black folks.
Upstairs is the party , and where the DJ is playing modern r n b tunes for this 50/50 black/white crowd.
We found an area with nice comfy sofas ,which was a handy base.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food, as five different cocktails, sparking wines, wines, beers,
a large buffet table of cheeses, hams, breads, veg and various desserts including custard doughnuts.
A really good lively event.
The photos are on display from 11 May to 04 June 2023.
Updated 11th May 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 09 May 2023.
Tuesday 09 May 2023.
I went to two events related to London Craft Week - 09 May to 14 May.
Every evening a few venues are showcasing.
6.15pm to 7.15pm.
Multi-artist - private view - 4 Cromwell Place, South Kensington, London SW7.
A huge crowd of over 500 folks on the guest list in this huge gallery space that is over many levels.
A few live demonstrations including clay sculpting and weaving were taking place.
Complimentary English sparkling wines, prosecco and wines for all the guests.
7.45pm to 9.30pm.
Multi-artist - private view - 49 Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London SW1.
This stunning building was acquired by Argentina in 1936, and has since been used as that country's Ambassador's official London residence. It has been opened to the public on one weekend a year since 2006, as part of Open House London, which notes the "sumptuous interiors still intact".
During the Second World War, the house became a meeting place and haven for Argentines.
Over 200 folks on the guest list, with a mix of Argentines and others.
The Argentine Ambassador is here, and is friendly and chatty to all.
There was a violin player performing in one of the rooms.
Complimentary Argentinian wines, Argentinian canapes....and trays of bananas.
Saturday 06 May 2023.
GLEN MATLOCK BAND live at The 100 Club.
Sex Pistols legend is playing a special show to launch his new album.
GLEN MATLOCK new album 'Consequences Coming' is released today.
Head On A Stick ( this track released as a single on 27 Jan 2023).
Magic Carpet Ride (this track released as a single on 03 March 2023).
This Ship ( this track released as a single on 31 March 2023).
'Consequences Coming' Full Album Track Listing :
Head On A Stick
Magic Carpet Ride
Speaking In Tongues
Shine Off Your Shoes
Constant Craving (KD Lang cover)
Step In The Right Direction
Something ‘Bout The Weekend
This Empty Heart
Face In A Crowd
Tried To Tell You
Can’t Be Myself With You
A couple of other Glen shows coming up after this one....
Mon 15 May - GLEN MATLOCK - solo acoustic show and album signing - Rough Trade East.
Thurs 18 May - GLEN MATLOCK BAND play Sub 89, Reading.
Nice to see several people here that i know including Rusty Egan, Richard England (Cadiz Music),
Anne Pigalle and legendary photographers Danny Clifford and Richard Young.
Support act BLACK KAT BOPPERS arrived onstage at 8pm for their good 40 mins set.
The four piece group play old school Rock n Roll ,with a Guitar, Double Bass & Stand Up Drums.
Black Kat Boppers hail from down on the South Coast Water Way in Southampton and are 4 fellas who love to play hard boppin’, jump up, rockin’ blues, dance music.
GLEN MATLOCK BAND arrived on stage at 9.10pm for their 75 mins set.
Glen Matlock is back in the UK, after playing shows with Blondie across the pond.
This is a special show to launch Glens new album , so several new album tracks were played,
and fan faves like 'Rattle Your Cage', 'Born Running' and 'Pretty Vacant' were dropped from the setlist.
The third song played was a treat for King Charles Coronation today as Glen played 'God Save The King'.
Introducing the reworked song, Matlock said it was for “one night only” before singing the opening line, “We’re gonna save the King/ It ain’t just old thing”.
Glens band sounded great as usual.
We get a pukka version of The Rich Kids 'Burning Sounds' which is dedicated to Rusty Egan.
The main set finished well with a great version of the lead track from his new album 'Head on a Stick'.
Encores were both cover versions , Bob Dylans 'Rainy Day Woman' and The Small Faces ' All or Nothing'
A great show.
Friday 05 May 2023.
ROY AYERS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Roy Ayers (age 82) is an American funk, soul, and jazz composer, vibraphone player, and music producer. Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk. He is a key figure in the acid jazz movement, and has been dubbed "The Godfather of Neo Soul". He is best known for his compositions "Everybody Loves the Sunshine", "Searchin", and "Running Away".
I have seen him live over a dozen times before...this is billed as his Farewell Tour.
Saw Roy Ayers headline Hammersmith Odeon a few times in the 1980s , and a few times at
The Jazz Cafe , Camden in the 1990s.
The show is not sold out, but pretty full with all the levels open.
A great mix of middle aged black and white folks showing up to pay respect to this music legend.
DJ 279 played a great set of dance / soul tunes that got the crowd in the mood, with the likes
of that proper classic 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now'.
ROY AYERS & his band arrive on stage at 9pm for their 70 mins set.
Most seem a bit shocked at how frail Roy Ayers looks these days , as he is helped on to the stage,
as he uses a walking stick, and sits on his stoll throughout the show behind his instrument.
It felt very like how Brian Wilson is on stage these days.
His singer does most of the singing and talking throughout the show.
The band featured lots of nice sax and keyboard playing.
Highlights included his big tracks ' Everybody Loves The Sunshine' and 'Running Away'.
Good to see this music legend again.
Wednesday 03 May 2023...7.30pm to 11pm...
SPEY BAR - launch party - Browns , 82-84 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2.
Discover Covent Garden’s hidden gem – Spey Bar at Browns. Head upstairs to experience an authentic Highland welcome, where you can browse the extensive whisky selection, sample real Scottish ales, signature cocktails, or dine from the Scottish bar menu.
Inspired by the Quaich Bar at the Craigellachie Hotel, Spey Bar Covent Garden delivers Highland hospitality in the heart of London’s West End. While we’re far removed from Scotland’s fastest flowing river, you’ll feel like you’re just moments away from the Spey – perfect if you need a dose of Scottish relaxation while in England’s capital city.
This used to be a pretty bland function room above the main area for this brasserie & bar.
It is now a full refurbished lovely looking cocktail bar, with lots of cosy seating.
Around 150 guests here tonight.
We had a bagpiper play before the welcome speech.
It is in the heart of theatreland , so handy to pop in before or after a show nearby.
They stock over 100 different whiskies.
From 9pm a DJ played soul & disco classics.
Lots of complimentary drinks and food as there was a choice of a dozen cocktails, wines , beers
plus Scottish themed canapes.
Updated 5th May 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 02 May 2023.
Monday 01 May 2023.
DURAN DURAN live at The 02 Arena.
Duran Duran play the first of two shows at The 02 Arena on their UK arena tour.
They will be promoting their 15th studio album 'Future Past'.
Support comes from ex Scissor Sisters front man JAKE SHEARS.
I have seen Duran Duran around 20 times since 1981.
3 times in 1981 at Hammersmith Odeon on the back of the success of their debut album.
6 times in 1982 at Hammersmith Odeon on the back of the success of their second album 'Rio'.
Even though i was working security , i managed to tape one of these 1982 shows, which i still have.
All these 9 shows i worked front stage security , and for the 1982 shows it was full scale
DuranMania as they needed a police escort each night when leaving the venue.
Duran Duran still have four out of their five original members.
According to Billboard, Duran Duran have sold over 100 million records.They achieved 30 top 40 singles in the UK Singles Chart (14 of them top 10) and 21 top 40 singles in the US Billboard Hot 100. The band have won numerous awards throughout their career: two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a Video Visionary Award from the MTV Europe Music Awards. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.
They are selling tour programmes outside the entrance, at a whopping £35 a pop.
When you add that to the front blocks ticket prices at £125 each...yikes!
Tonight is a near sell-out show , as just a couple of unsold blocks at the back of Level 4.
We end up missing Jake Shears as he came on early as it was a Sunday.
DURAN DURAN arrived on stage at 8.40pm and played for 1 hour 50 mins.
We have great seats on the floor, around 25 rows from the stage.
The production is fantastic with loads of big screens showing live footage and pre-recorded images.
Frontman Simon Le Bon looked great, echoing the ‘sailorboy’ look of his younger self back in the New Romantic days, with a sparkly silver jacket, white trousers and a blue and white stripy T-shirt, while Nick Rhodes, set back stage right in an elevated position, was proper dapper in a very sparkly jacket.
The setlist was pretty much a superb greatest hits set, plus three tracks from the new album.
They are joined by two female backing singers, and a sax player on a few tracks.
Sooo many great singalong songs played tonight, in an excellent show.
Full DURAN DURAN setlist played tonight...
The Wild Boys
Hungry Like the Wolf
Tape - The James Bond Theme (John Barry song)
A View to a Kill
GIVE IT ALL UP
Last Chance on the Stairway
Is There Something I Should Know?
Friends of Mine
Planet Earth (with band intros)
White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) (Grandmaster Melle Mel cover)
Girls on Film / Acceptable in the 80's
Save a Prayer
10.40pm to 12pm.
Around 100 guests at the afterparty.
All of Duran Duran turn up here, and are friendly and chatty to all, although Simon Le Bon
knocked back a couple of females who wanted selfies by politely say ' sorry not tonight,
as if i do one , then there will be too many , and i need to speak to a few friends here'.
Guests here included....
SIR TOM BAKER - Bespoke Soho Tailor who has dressed many bands ,including Duran Duran.
Tom told me he has done 21 outfits for Martin Gore (Depeche Mode) for their current world tour.
BRIAN COX - Brian is best known however as the unofficial 'face of science' in the UK. He has hosted dozens of BBC programs and TV specials on everything from the solar system to the science of time.
ROB HALLET - legendary live music promoter , who is promoting this tour with his company ROBOMAGIC.
Hallett was introduced to the live music industry as a teenager promoting gigs in a local pub in Brighton.
After meeting Malcolm McLaren, then manager of the Sex Pistols, in London, Hallett went on to arrange shows for the punk rock band.
In the 1980s, Hallett worked at Derek Block Agency whose clients included Duran Duran, Adam Ant, Talk Talk and Dexys Midnight Runners. Hallett arranged Duran Duran's first ever gig at The Marquee Club in London, when they were still an unsigned band, a moment he counts as his first big career break.He was lauded by The Times as the music mogul who discovered Duran Duran and in 1983, at the age of 22, he toured with them in Japan.
Complimentary Lanson champers, wines and beers for all the folks here.
Updated 2nd May 2023 Permalink
Sunday 30 April 2023.
Sunday 30 April 2023.
My friend London based French singer ANNE PIGALLE has brought out a short film 16 mins film
that is based around the history of Soho....The Soho Connection....check it out on YouTube.
Did you know that Soho had 186 sex shops in the 1970s/ 1980s.
The area was full of glamour, sleaze, gangsters, corruption etc....and now ????
Saturday 29 April 2023.
VERDENA live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Italian rock band who have released several albums via Universal Music play a London show.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed , so maybe 600 or 700 folks are here tonight.
No surprise that the crowd is well over 90% Italian.
HUSKY LOOPS arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins set.
Husky Loops are an Italian band, who are now based in London.
A couple of years ago they made NME Band Of The Week You Should Know.
A trio playing some decent tunes.
VERDENA arrived on stage at 9pm for their 75 mins set.
The Italian four piece band included a female on bass.
What appealed to me in advance is the band have been called "The Italian Nirvana".
Most of their songs did have that loose grunge feel to them , including some feedback etc.
They sounded interesting enough, but the vocals were far too muffled and not clear at all.
Incredibly , by the end of the the show, i still could not tell what percentage of songs
were in Italian or English. I asked a couple of girls , and they said "Lyrics were all in Italian".
Like i said earlier "interesting enough show".
Friday 28 April 2023.
FLAMING LIPS live at Hammersmith Apollo.
At this sold out show , they will be playing their classic album 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots'.
This is the tenth studio album by American rock band the Flaming Lips, released on July 16, 2002, by Warner Bros. Records. The album saw the band pursue a more electronic direction than previous efforts, incorporating acoustic guitars and rhythms influenced by hip hop and top 40 music. The album was well-received critically and commercially, helping the band break into popularity, and was adapted into a musical in 2012.In 2022, the band announced a 20th anniversary box set version of the album and that they would perform the album in full in 2023.
I have seen them several times before, with the first time in 1999 at The Forum ,London,
and the most recent time a visually stunning show at The Forum, London in 2022.
The venue is totally rammed sold out, by the time Flaming Lips come on stage.
Their live reputation means they can easily sell gig tickets, even without any recent chart success.
They play a superb show for 2 hours 10 mins , over two sets of 65 mins each.
Like The Forum show last year ,it is a total colourful visual treat from start to finish.
The massive screen behind the band, show pyschedelic images and song lyrics.
Singer Wayne Coyne holds court centre stage , like an eccentric musical conductor.
He sings the first three songs from inside a huge see-through balloon.
He is firing confetti cannons from between the thighs of four 20-foot high inflatable pink robots.
The multi-coloured lasers and strobe lighting kick in , and all this in the first 15 mins.
All the previous stage gimmicks are used off and on throughout the show.
The audience are staring at the stage thinking "What will happen next ?".
Near the end of the first set we have an inflatable rainbow blown up over the band's heads.
At the start of the second set, a dozen huge balloons are pushed out into the crowd.
Wayne Coyne dons a superhero costume.
All their best tracks were played and during the encore more balloons came out with the words
' FUCK YEAH LONDON' , which were later on thrown out into the crowd.
Flaming Lips really are a band that goes well above the usual live gig experience.
Certainly will be one of the best gigs of the year for sure....just excellent.
Full FLAMING LIPS setlist played tonight...
SET ONE - YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS album in full
One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2
In the Morning of the Magicians
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
Are You a Hypnotist??
Do You Realize??
All We Have Is Now
Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)
She Don't Use Jelly
Silver Trembling Hands
Will You Return / When You Come Down
Dinosaurs on the Mountain
Borderline (Madonna cover)
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
Sagittarius Silver Announcement
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Race for the Prize
Updated 29th April 2023 Permalink
Thursday 27 April 2023.
Thursday 27 April 2023....I went to two events tonight...
7.30pm to 8pm.
BRIAN ARIS - celebrating George Michael - book launch at Proud Galleries, London WC2.
Celebrity photographer Brian Aris, has released a fantastic looking new photo book called “Celebrating George”.
The hard back coffee table book (30cm x 30cm) contains 182 pages covering George Michael’s early days with Wham through to the last photo session with Brian in 2006. The edition of 350 books each signed by Brian comes in a black presentation box with an archival Giclee print included.
Not cheap , as it retails for £250.
Some great George Michael photos on the wall, include a stunning group photo of the musicians from the
Band Aid 'Do They Know It's Christmas' recording session.
Downstairs were photos other artists who have been photographed by Brian Aris including
Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart and many more.
This gallery is on the small side so hard to stay here too long.
Complimentary wines for all the guests.
The exhibition is free entry - on from 28 April to 27 May - nearest tube Embankment/Charing Cross.
8.45pm to 11.15pm.
LADBROKE HALL - launch party - 79 Barlby Road, Latimer Road/North Kensington, London W10.
Ladbroke Hall, Grade II Listed, was built in 1903 as the headquarters building for the Sunbeam Talbot Motor Company and as such was part of the first purpose-built car factory in Britain. The building contains two large spaces originally used as car showrooms as well as offices and panelled directors’ suite.
Avanti Architects were commissioned to carry out the restoration and conversion of the building to provide a community arts space, a children’s television studio, café and exhibition space, a primary health care centre and office accommodation.
This huge building has been stunningly restored, and looks really great inside.
There are hints to the past with some Sunbeam Talbot Motor signage dotted around.
Around 400 or 500 cool looking art crowd guests here tonight.
A band played a few songs , then for the final hour the party got really lively as folks danced on the
main floor to the tunes played by the female DJ up on the balcony.
Complimentary Moet champers, tequila cocktails, Peroni beers and different bowl food for the guests.
An excellent event.
Wednesday 26 April 2023...5.30pm to 11pm...
BROWN'S - 50th anniversary party - 82-84 St Martin's Lane, London WC2.
This brasserie & bar that is popular with the pre and post theatre crowd
celebrate 50 years since they opened its first venue in Brighton.
Around 150 guests here, and we got there early to get some cosy seats.
A female fronted band were playing covers at the rear of the venue.
Complimentary Moet champers, three different cocktails, wines , beers and canapes.
All guests also got a £25 gift voucher to be used there in the future.
Excellent event that went on longer than expected.
Updated 27th April 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 25 April 2023.
Tuesday 25 April 2023.
Punk icon SIOUXSIE SIOUX has a finally announced a London show on her summer European Tour.
Siouxsie plays The Troxy , East London on 07 Sept 2023.
Monday 24 April 2023.
Rumours that SEX PISTOLS classic single 'Anarchy In The U.K.' is being
re-released yet again to coincide with King Charles Coronation.
Sunday 23 April 2023.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Blues rock guitar virtuoso and his band are on “The Trouble Is… 25th Anniversary World Tour".
Kenny, now aged 45 , has released several albums since 1995 , and has supported many major acts
including The Rolling Stones and Van Halen on their North American tours.
I have seen him the one time before, at a festival on the second stage in 2017.
This will be a stalls seated show.
Level 3 is closed tonight, and maybe around 800 tickets have been sold.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND arrived on stage at 8pm for their 2 hour set.
He has a nice big stage backdrop of a giant guitar plectrum with the KWS initials on it.
The five musicians, including keyboards are spread out nicely around the stage and sound fantastic.
The main set of twelve songs is all of ' The Trouble Is...' album , but played in a different order,
and many were stretched out with plenty of stunning guitar solos.
Kenny says he’s not played the album in its entirety before the tour so it’s a first for him and the band. The album now 25yrs old, is still as relevant today as it was then. The track line-up is swapped around to make for a better playing experience but it has lost nothing in doing so. He mentions that some tracks are true to the original recording where as some are extended, to which the crowd cheer and Kenny smiles back.
Amazingly Kenny said he wrote most of the songs on the album, aged just 18.
He has good singer with a proper rock voice (Noah Hunt) taking over the vocal duties.
Kenny used various Fender guitars and array of foot pedals to create a superb guitar sound.
Lots of incredible guitar work, but never boring, a great show.
Full KWS setlist played tonight....
Somehow, Somewhere, Someway
Everything Is Broken (Bob Dylan cover)
Chase the Rainbow
I Found Love (When I Found You)
Nothing to Do With Love (Bonnie Tyler cover)
I Don't Live Today (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
Blue on Black
Woman Like You
I Want You
Diamonds & Gold
Heat of the Sun
You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now (B.B. King cover)
Saturday 22 April 2023.
HRVY live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
24 year old ex childrens tv presenter has been signed up by a major record company.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, so maybe 800 folks are here.
The crowd is around 90% excitable females under the age of 30.
Not much booze is being bought tonight by this crowd in the venue bars.
ROMEO BECKHAM is in the Level 1 vip seats and quite happy to pose for selfies when spotted.
Support act ANTIGONI arrived on stage at 8.05pm for her 25 mins set.
Antigoni is a 27 year old female singer-songwriter who was a contestant on tv show Love Island in 2022.
She looks the part, in platform boots, long curly hair and boobies bursting out from her top.
She is another artist who is over the moon to play this well known venue, as she said she has
been to see many great acts here...Some decent songs performed to a backing tape.
HRVY arrived on stage at 8.45pm for his 70 mins set.
Hrvy has a band and a good light show , and is joined by four dancers (2 m 2 f) for many of the songs.
Needless to say the female crowd are screaming and singing along loudly to every song.
Some good pop songs in the setlist, that included a cover of Harry Styles 'Falling'.
He changed into white shorts halfway through the show.
He is on a full UK tour , so the show is fully rehearsed and good visually , with the dancers.
During the encore the four dancers threw out four huge beach balls to the stalls standing.
A decent enough pop show.
Saturday 22 April 2023.
Very sad news that the great entertainer BARRY HUMPHRIES / DAME EDNA has died aged 89.
I have put a nice photo of me with him on my FaceBook page.
It was taken less than a year ago at a drinks party in Chelsea, in June 2022.
Updated 22nd April 2023 Permalink
Friday 21 April 2023.
Friday 21 April 2023.
DICK AND DOM live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
A throwback for 90s and early-00s kids, Dick & Dom (of Da Bungalow fame) are back with a live tour, resurrecting favourite parts of the much-loved children's TV show. Expect a night of absolute mayhem, including the return of the Creamy Muck Muck game.
Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood are the TV personalities best known for bringing anarchy and shrieks of “bogies!” to the BBC Saturday morning slot. With its blend of surreal, gross-out humour, their crowning glory, Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow, won them Baftas, better viewing figures than Ant and Dec and the hearts of students, parents and school kids alike. Since its final series in 2006, they have worked on a number of shows together including Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old? and Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom. To mark its 20th anniversary, they take Da Bungalow on an interactive tour this autumn.
Shepherds Bush Empire is just a few mins walk from where they recorded at Television Centre.
This was a stalls seated show, not sold out, with maybe 800 tickets sold.
The show was on for 90 mins, over two sets of 50 mins and 40 mins.
Basically they are recreating the tv show on the stage, with the old characters and skits.
They had a big screen showing some of their old tv clips, and a set with a sofa and a couple of bean bags.
There were half a dozen pre-picked members of the public on stage with them to join in the fun & games.
All the familiar favourites including Two-Word Tango, Musical Splatues, The Grunty Song, Fairly Hairy Fizzogs, Pants Dance, What a Sweaty Flap and of course BOGIES!
In fact their catchphrase BOGIES! was screamed out all night throughout the evening, including the
interval, by this crowd who were clearly enjoying all the juvenile antics on stage.
Their merch t-shirt just had BOGIES! in big letters on the front.
Who on stage could stick the most slices of bread and jam on their bodies , and Pump up your rump
were two more of the games played out on stage with the six pre-picked members of public.
The Creamy Muck Muck game ended the show, as it got very messy on stage with custard buckets
and foam filled plates covering their stage carpet.
An enjoyable enough show.
Thursday 20 April 2023...I went to two events today...
Noon to 5pm.
Thurs 20 April 2023 to Sat 22 April 2023 - SALON PRIVE LONDON returns to The Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
Salon Privé is one of the world's most prestigious automotive events, attracting an eclectic mix of the most exotic and desirable brands. With a spectacular collection of the greatest supercars, sports cars and luxury cars from the world's leading manufacturers, many models will be making their UK debut live at the event.
At the heart of the event is the 'Concours de Vente' - a carefully curated selection of 75 rare historic automobiles, which are all for sale. From stately Rolls-Royces from the 20's, to iconic racing Ferraris of the 50's & 60's this is a collection of the most collectable motoring marques in a unique display of power and passion.
RICHARD HAMMOND'S The Smallest Cog restoration business will show a unique Chapron-bodied Delahaye at this week's Salon Privé London Concours de Vente - and The Grand Tour presenter himself will be at the Royal Hospital Chelsea event to meet guests. The Smallest Cog has been commissioned to return the 1947 car to its original livery and Richard Hammond said: "We're delighted to have the chance to show off these colours in front of a discerning audience at the fast-becoming-legendary Salon Prive London".
Salon Privé set out to give London an automotive extravaganza befitting of its elite global capital status, and over 3 days in 2022 they did just that. Over 16,000 visitors enjoyed the very best the automotive industry has to offer on the lawns of one of London's most iconic venues, The Royal Hospital Chelsea. Twenty-seven automotive brands attended with twelve of them launching new models. For the classic aficionados, no fewer than fifty classic cars were displayed for sale, complemented by a collection of eighteen luxury brands providing the icing on the cake. With the Sloane's hospitality prepared by Absolute Taste, gourmet street food, cocktail bars and Pommery champagne to boot, it was the perfect way to welcome in the London Season.
Salon Privé London returns to The Royal Hospital Chelsea from 20 - 22 April 2023. In the meantime, we have our flagship event at Blenheim Palace in September. A very different experience and definitely one for your diary.
www.salonprivelondon.com - Buy tickets here.
What a great day out I had at Salon Privé London, the event took place at the historic the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, revered as one of the UK's architectural glories and also home to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Over 200 stunning cars graced the lawn from prestigious classic cars to supercars and all the high-end brands and manufacturers were represented.
Pretty amazing how good a condition the older cars are in, just immaculate. There was a 1966 Maserati Sebring bought by Peter Sellers. for his son! To a 1977 Ferrari 512 BB first owned by former Harrods owner Mohammed Al-Fayed.
There were several new model UK debuts from Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Wiesmann, Abarth, Polestar, Genesis, Theon Design, Hennessey and more . plus a Concours de Vente, featuring more than 70 classic cars entered by the world's finest collectors' cars and priced from £250,000 to well over £1 million - all of which were available to buy, and I hear, several sales made.
A wide array of luxury brands to explore in the Luxury Shopping Village, from boats, motorbikes and helicopters, to watches, Panama hats, garden sculptures to British Jewellery designer Boodles - there's something for everyone, especially the most discerning guest.
And of course, food concessions and eclectic bars in which to sit back, relax, and take in the automotive splendour whilst sipping a glass of champagne.
The day included two vehicle parades, from the supercars to classics. It was great to hear the cars roar in to life and listen to owner's chat about the history or emerging technology.
Apart from Richard Hammond, I spotted some other familiar faces. Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button launching his limited release Coachbuilt Whisky to fellow guests Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony, socialite Lady Victoria Hervey, former Strictly Come Dancer teacher AJ Pitchard to racing driver Max Chilton and lastly not forgetting the scarlet coated Chelsea Pensioners, the iconic faces of the UK's veteran community - all having a mooch around.
Complimentary Pommery champers in the Boodles enclosure.
Ferrari launched their new supercar with complimentary prosecco and oysters.
A really enjoyable event, so try and get there on Saturday, tickets available on the gate. If you can't make it - there's always Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace to look forward to later in the year.
AVA MAX live at The Shepherds Bush Empire.
Ava Max plays the second of two sold out shows at this venue.
Ava Max is on a UK & European Tour to promote her second album 'Diamonds & Dancefllors'.
Her 'Sweet but Psycho' 2018 single was a number one hit in many countries.
The official video for the track has had over 800 million views on YouTube.
Many critics compare here to Lady Gaga.
Lots of gay men in the audience tonight , who seem to like these larger than life female singers.
Support act EMLYN from Nashville, arrived on stage at 8.10pm and performed for just 20 mins.
She had some good tracks and has looked to leave her grunge-tinged pop mark on the crowd with the release of her first album, ' Loneliest b!tch in America'.
AVA MAX arrived on stage at 9.05pm for her 65 mins set.
A very nice stage production , with loads of lights and she has four female dancers in white,
and Ava joins in with many of the dance routines in this hi-energy dance pop show.
There were certainly hints of Lady Gaga in her songs and stage persona.
The encore of her massive hit 'Sweet but Psycho' sent the crowd bonkers.
Covid may have stunted her plans for world domination , but this pop princess put on
a really good show, and she will be surely playing bigger venues next time round.
Full AVA MAX setlist played tonight...
Diamonds & Dancefloors
My Head & My Heart
Who's Laughing Now
Hold Up (Wait a Minute)
Kings & Queens
Maybe You’re the Problem (fan onstage)
Cold As Ice
Belladonna (First Verse and Chorus Only)
Not Your Barbie Girl (First Verse and Chorus Only)
Salt (First Verse and Chorus Only)
One of Us (Acoustic)
Alone, Pt. II (Alan Walker & Ava Max cover)
Last Night on Earth
Million Dollar Baby
Sweet but Psycho
The Motto (Tiësto cover)
Updated 21st April 2023 Permalink
Thursday 20 April 2023.
Wednesday 19 April 2023....5.15pm to 10.30pm...
OXO2 - showcase - Level 2 , Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London SE1.
Event management company CAMM & HOOPER are showcasing at this iconic building.
OXO2 is a contemporary blank canvas event space on the second floor of the OXO Tower on London’s South Bank. A gorgeous panoramic view of London’s iconic skyline including St Pauls Cathedral and Somerset House can be seen from OXO2’s folding floor-length windows and balcony. It has 537 square metres of open gallery which has room for up to 400 standing guests and 200 seated guests.
Around 150 guests here , to enjoy lots of complimentary drinks and food.
We had half a dozen different cocktails including gin cocktails, vodka cocktails, whisky sour and
English sparking wines along with half a dozen food stations including oysters, tacos, cheese & bread selection, canapes, desserts.
There was a fun photo booth , and a hand magician was floating around showing off his skills.
A very enjoyable event.
Visit the CAMM & HOOPER website for information on the venues they deal with.
www.cammhooper.com - Visit their website here.
Updated 20th April 2023 Permalink
Tuesday 18 April 2023.
Tuesday 18 April 2023...4pm to 8.30pm...
Today was the opening day for THE LONDON BOOK FAIR at Olympia.
The London Book Fair is an annual book-publishing trade fair. It is a “global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels”.
From publishers and dealmakers to copyright professionals, commissioners and the global licensors, including those involved in rights negotiation, the event unites the book community for three days of business, networking and learning.
Since its launch in 1971, the fair has grown in size and importance. It is considered as second in importance to only the Frankfurt Book Fair as “a mecca for European publishers, booksellers, rights agents, and media trend-spotters”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Wednesday) is the keynote speaker at this year's London Book Fair, in conversation with Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. Elsewhere at the publishing industry event, which starts today, catch author Kate Mosse in conversation with Louise Minchin(Thursday) , the International Booker Prize shortlist announcement, and panel discussions around ChatGPT, sustainability, TikTok, and more. It is on for three days - 18-20 April.
The largest Spring gathering of the international publishing industry assembled at Olympia today, as The London Book Fair kicked off its first day. Thousands of exhibitors and visitors from the UK and around the world gathered to do business, share expertise, network and attend sessions covering topics ranging from Ukraine to sustainability, tips for writers, social media, and augmented reality in education.
VIP's here today included Olena Zelenska - First Lady of Ukraine, Pulitzer-Prize winning US novelist Colson Whitehead, and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
Judging by the big crowd here, folks are still very interested in buying and writing books.
Several of the stands have drinks receptions so we stop off at OXFORD PRESS, THE ITALIAN PAVILLION and ANDREW NUMBERG ASSOCIATES for a mix that included complimentary prosecco, wines, lagers, Guinness, canapes and nibbles.
Monday 17 April 2023.
ELTON JOHN live at The 02 Arena.
ELTON JOHN will tour the UK in 2023 as part of his Farewell World Tour.
The UK last date of his massive world tour will be headlining The Glastonbury Festival in June.
The final show is in Stockholm on 08 July 2023.
Elton said he has had enough of the travelling but is open to a two or three week stint at
Hammersmith Apollo like Kate Bush did.
I have seen Elton John around 40 tines since 1974 , when i saw four of his shows at Hammersmith Odeon.
His hit single at the time was 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'.
The UK shows include ten in London at The 02 Arena.
Elton is one of the worlds best selling recording artists of all time , as he has sold over 300 million records worldwide, which includes singles and albums combined.
"Candle in the Wind 1997" or "Goodbye England's Rose" was a new recording of "Candle in the Wind", with new lyrics, written and recorded as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. Released in September 1997, the song peaked at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, becoming John's fourth No. 1 single. It also peaked at No. 1 in several other countries. This version was produced by George Martin. Guinness World Records lists this version as the second-best selling single in the world, with 33 million copies sold and as the highest-selling single since charts began in the 1950s.
Even though he has been rightfully honored, awarded and commemorated in just about every way imaginable for a musical entertainer, Elton John is on track to claim yet another triumph as his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour is poised to become the highest-grossing tour of all time. All indications point to the long-running world tour — that began more than four years ago — reaching that milestone in 2023.
This was show number nine of ten sold out shows for Elton at this huge venue.
The combination of the success of the 'Rocketman' film and this being promoted as his
last tour, has meant he has filled this venue many more times than he would normally do.
The venue is totally rammed to see this music legend on his final tour.
One of those artists that has been around all my gig-going life.
We have a very nice massive screen mixing live footage and pre-recorded images.
His great band still include some members that were playing with him in the 1970s.
Given this aversion to things done by halves, it figures that John’s band features not one, but three percussionists: white-gloved drummer Nigel Olsson, plus multi-instrumentalists Ray Cooper and John Mahon on everything from maracas to vibraslap. All the rhythm tonight actually makes Elton’s tunes more ear-ringing, and more nuanced. In this long saunter through the hits, one deep cut – Have Mercy on the Criminal – features a lyrical Mahon xylophone part that vies with Davey Johnstone’s searing electric guit
Elton of course is a incredible showman, and says all the right things to the crowd.
Sooo many classic hits tonight were played, so pretty much a Greatest Hits setlist.
During the encore, it certainly got very emotional for everyone.
Pardon the pun, but tonight as usual, Elton John was Captain Fantastic...a superb show.
Full ELTON JOHN setlist played tonight....
Bennie and the Jets
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
Border Song (Dedicated to Aretha Franklin)
Have Mercy on the Criminal
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Take Me to the Pilot
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Candle in the Wind
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Burn Down the Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (Followed by Band Introduction)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
The Bitch Is Back
I'm Still Standing
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road