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Archive: February 2011
February 27, 2011
25 Feb 2011.7pm to 10pm.Launch party for John Lydons book "Mr Rottens Scrapbook" at The Hospital Club,Covent Garden,London.Some 200 press and friends of Sex Pistols punk icon John Lydon are here for this full launch even though the book actually came out before Christmas.John arrives with his manager John Rambo Stevens but his wife Nora who was at the NME Awards is not here.Nice to see some friends of Johns inc Scott Murphy who runs www.johnlydon.com,Paul Burgess who did The Sex Pistols "Satelite" book a few years ago and the legend that is George X.Also here was Reggie who is a close friend of Johns and was at Johns table at The NME Awards.Freebie beers,wines and bowl food flowing for all here.The book itself is a total work of art and each copy is signed by John and limited to 750 copies.It won the NME best book award a couple of days ago.However it does cost £400 odd quid to buy.There were a couple you could look at here.John arrived and i got some good photos.John then took a Q n A session.He really is fantastic at speaking to the press and answers everything.John said Jah Wobble wanted too much money so that was why he was not in the current PIL line up.He was looking forward to going to Wembley on Sunday to see Arsenal v Birmingham and again he got a bit emotional when the subject of the death of his stepdaughter Ari-Up from The Slits came up.As the Pistols are my number one fave act this was a great event to be at for me 23 Feb 2011.7.30pm to 12.30am.NME Awards feat Foo Fighters + My Chemical Romance + PJ Harvey + Crystal Castles + Hurts live at Brixton Academy,London.This is always a great event.Had a couple of free drinks at the reception but avoided the nasty burgers and hotdogs they always have here.This year i pulled off a major blag as i got in the media room in the backstage bar that looks out on to the stage.Most of the winners come through here after they have been given their award.Free drinks and pizza here.Maybe 70 odd proper media here inc tv stations,radio stations,the main newspapers etc...and www.raysgigs.com.It was such good fun i missed bits and pieces of the awards itself as i focused on who was turning up here as i listened in on their interviews and took some photos.In the space of five mins three people said "Hi Ray" that knew me.They were John Lydon,Mick Jones and Noel Fielding.John Lydon spent a good 15 or 20 mins talking to all the media.He can talk for England.The press love him as he always gives great quotes.He won "Best Book" but it was a smaller award so not presented onstage but backstage on the night.He presented "Skins" with Best TV prog on stage.Between the acts we had five live bands.My Chemical Romance played a couple then Hurts did one.Then Crystal Castles did one then PJ Harvey did a couple.Dave Grohl got The Godlike Genius Award from Roger Daltrey who was sitting at The Foos table and The Foo Fighters played a far longer set than anyone expected.A full 1 hour 45 mins that started with Roger Daltrey on with them for "Young Man Blues" then lots of new album tracks and finished with a load of their big tunes inc "All My Life"," Times Like These","My Hero","The Pretender","Learn To Fly","Monkey Wrench" and "Everlong".They came offstage at a very late 12.10am.They were excellent as always.Others here inc Muse(Best British Group),Biffy Clyro(Best Live Band),Bobby Gillespie,Juliette Lewis,Mark Ronson,Professor Green,Jarvis Cocker,Jo Whiley,Nick Grimshaw,Laura Marling,Don Letts,Kaiser Chiefs,Vaccines,Warpaint,The Drums,Mona,Carl Barat and no doubt a few more.Went down the front for The Foos set.Full lightshow and their logo.People standing on tables and chairs so lots of broken furniture at the end of the night and loads of empty booze bottles.Very messy but hey thats rocK n roll.For full winners list see www.nme.com and highlights on Saturday on T4 at 11.25am and Channel 4 at 11.20pm........ 22 Feb 2011.Day 5 of the 6 days of London Fashion Week.Every night there is a dozen drinks parties on related to fashion in this period.I went to a couple tonight.First was 7.30pm to 9pm for the re-launch of www.my-wardrobe.com at Sketch,Conduit Street,London W1.Popular fashion website holds a party in this classy venue for 300 people.Its about 75% females here.Lots of freebie Moet champers,apple mojitos and tasty canapes inc caviar and lobster.DJ spinning the tunes in the background.Got a couple of nice goodie bags that had £100 gift vouchers in with no minimum spend catches attached to it...... then 9.30pm to 11pm was The Shoe Salon Launch at Harrods,London.About 500 upmarket folks here inc Channel 4 tv presenter George Lamb and Jo Wood is here.She is always out and about these days.You never saw her when she was married to Ronnie Wood.All the bespoke and designer womens shoes in one area on the first floor.Lots of the girls here are wearing stunning heels.There is an indie dance band called Florrie And The Voguettes who play a 30 mins set.Freebie cocktails and canapes here for all.Again i got a couple of goodie bags that inc Nina Ricci perfume in each.Like the other party there was quite a few people here i knew so a nice evening overall .. 21 Feb 2011.I went to two events tonight.First was 6.30pm to 8.45pm The 4th Annual Cool Venues Awards at Penthouse,1 Leicester Square, London.Some 24 awards given out to best indoor venue,best outdoor venue,best hotel,best bar etc. Around 500 people here with lots of free champers and vodka cocktails.For full list of winners see www.prestigeeventsguide.com.A nice event.....then walking to the next event a bit of a surreal moment occured as i turned left out of Carnaby Street and bumped into David and Victoria Beckham who were in the middle of a scrum of security blokes and photographers as they were heading for their car after leaving a fashion party at Liberty.......then 9.15pm to 11.30pm was London Fashion Week Designers Party at Mahiki,Piccadilly,London.Trendy club frequented by royal folks and posh youngsters.A very lively crowd here.Lots of freebie champers and cocktails flowing for all.Lots of food too inc burgers,fish and chips etc.Lots of guests still on the dancefloor when i left.A good party .... 20 Feb 2011.Day three of the six days of London Fashion Week.I went to two LFW events tonight. The big fashion houses spend more money on parties than most bands do these days.First was 8pm to 9pm for The Fashion Insider Magazine Party at Montcalm Hotel,Marble Arch,London W1.Freebie champers and canapes flowing here for the 100 folks in this nice cosy bar.Quarterly magazine that is available in all major European cities......then 10pm to 1am.Mulberry Party at Claridges Hotel,London W1.Mulberry is always one of the LFW party highlights.As with most of the best catwalks and parties they send out too many invites which results in oversubscribed queues to create a buzz outside and its a bit messy getting in but well worth it.Around 500 in this stunning hotel with a few faces inc Kirsten Dunst,Gemma Arterton,Nicola Roberts,Jo Wood,Mr Hudson,Professor Green,Janice Dickinson,fashion guru Peter York but the gold star goes to actress/singer Juliette Lewis who stayed to the end and had a good boogie on the dancefloor.Freebie cocktails,beers and steak and kidney pies for all.The waiters were all in red horseriding outfits.There was a fun photo booth and a mini ten pin bowling where you won a Mulberry gift if you got a "strike".I tried three times and failed each time.There was an 80s themed dj disco.We also had ex Bloc Party singer Kele and band play a six song 30 mins set of indie dance tunes that went down well.Two singles i knew were played "Everything You Wanted" and "Tendoroni" along with "Walk Tall","On The Lam","Goodbye Horses" and "This Modern Love".An excellent bash.................. 19 Feb 2011.Europe live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Swedish rockers from the late 80s back at the same venue on the same weekend i saw them a year ago.The SBE is totally sold out and its a great atmosphere.Tonight is being filmed for a live dvd to come out later in the year.On stage for a 95 mins set.The sound is nice and rocky and singer Joey Tempest still looks like a proper rock star.Set inc "Rock The Night","Scream Of Anger","No Stone Unturned","Carrie" and guitar instrumental "The Loner" was dedicated to Gary Moore.Others that rocked long nicely were "Seventh Sign","More Than Meets The Eye","Start From The Dark" and "Superstitious".Encores were new track "Doghouse" and the venue erupted for their big hit "The Final Countdown".A good gig......... 18 Feb 2011.Usher + Tinchy Stryder live at The 02 Arena,London.Fourth show of five at this venue for this r n b superstar who is on a massive world tour of arenas to promote recent album "Raymond v Raymond".He has sold over 40m albums inc 20m for his "Confessions" album alone. Up first we have Tinchy Stryder who does a short set inc hits "Let It Rain" and "Number 1" and goes down well as he is an ideal support tonight. Usher is on for a full two hours for a show that is visually fantastic but the songs were decent enough but only a couple stood out for ne.The screaming women here all loved it of course. A massive production with dancers,big screens, flames,pyros,costume changes etc.A great entrance as he came from the rear of the arena over the heads of the floor seating area.He is a brillant dancer with lots of Michael Jackson type bodypopping and moonwalking and uses a head mic to free his hands up.Some of the vocals looked like it was backing tapes used.Tracks played inc "Yeah" and for "Trading Places" he spent a full five mins looking at the front rows to pick a pick a female out to join him on a loveseat.Little did they know the girl "chosen" was a plant who was sitting in the row in front of me in the guest block right of stage and was brought down the front ten mins beforehand.No doubt he cannot risk getting real fans on stage after one nearly took his eye out with her heel earlier in the tour.You can see it on Youtube.He hovered over the crowd again for "Burn" which was really good and the last two songs "DJ Got Me Falling In Love" and encore "OMG" were great but too many dodgy ballads earlier were not my cup of tea ................... 17 Feb 2011.Anathema live at The Scala,London. Not the kind of gig i would normally aim for but a friend who loves the band had a spare guest list ticket going for me.I was thinking we were only there to pad out the venue but its totally rammed solid for this band who have been quietly going for 20 years starting off as a "doom metal" band then members have come and gone and now they are more "atmospheric prog rock". On stage for two hours.The first half of the show was recent album "We're Here Because We're Here" and the the second half was tracks from their previous albums that all the crowd seemed to know and sing along to.I love it when bands who you rarely see in the press or hear on the radio or see on tv can still attract a loyal hardcore following like tonight.The band are great musicians.Tracks played inc "Deep", "Forgotten Hopes","One Last Goodbye" a neat cover of Pink Floyds "Wish You Were Here" and "A Natural Disaster".Their sound reminded me of their current label mates Porcupine Tree.A decent gig.Tonight was the last night of their UK tour before they play a tour of France.They come back to play The High Voltage Festival in the summer ................... 16 Feb 2011.Went to two events tonight.First was 7.30pm to 8.30pm for the launch of "Club Monaco" at Browns,24 South Molton Street,London W1. Influential London designer indie Browns will have sole European rights to sell the womenswear and menswear ranges from February 14 until September. Club Monaco’s spring 11 womenswear will take up the whole ground floor of Browns’ Shop 24 store on South Molton Street until April, while the menswear offer will occupy the basement of Browns Men for three weeks from February 14. Both ranges will also be sold online at Brownsfashion.com.Only a small shop so 50 people inside and another 50 people outside. Nice buzzy crowd.Freebie vodka cocktails and a goodie bag with a black pashmina in.....then over to see Edwyn Collins live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.Its pretty amazing that after suffering a near fatal stroke in 2005 that Edwyn Collins has been recording again let alone playing gigs.He shuffles slowly on to the stage with a walking stick as the stroke is still there to see on his right side and he sits on his amp.The warmth towards Edwyn from the crowd really is a joy to see.Of course we have a Paul Cook on drums who is looking fit and lean and getting younger looking too.Nice to see Paul keeping busy outside of Sex Pistols with this band,Man-Raze and reforming Chiefs Of Relief last year for that one off special.In 2009 Edwyn accepted the "Legend" Award at The Q Awards and also got an Ivor Norvello Award for Songwriting.His album "Losing Sleep" from last year came out to great reviews across the board. The 75 mins set included "Losing Sleep","Make Me Feel Again" then he was joined by Romeo Stodat from The Magic Numbers for "It Dawns On Me".Also good were "The Wheels Of Love" and "Home Again".Then Ryan Jarman from The Cribs came on for "What Is My Role?" and then a superb version of his classic from his Orange Juice days "Rip It Up".Also good was "Do It Again" and a brilliant version of his big hit "A Girl Like You".Overall a really enjoyable show.See afterparty page for this gig . 15 Feb 2011.The BRIT Awards at The 02 Arena, London.After a few years at Earls Court it was only a matter of time before it moved to this venue.I was still whacked from getting home late from the Elle Style Awards last night.Got to venue at 7.15pm.The 3000 that had a three course dinner at Earls Court have here been split into 1500 on the tables on the 02 Arena floor and 1500 in an overflow supertent within the complex near the BME.I get a good seat right of stage for the 8pm prompt start.A couple of changes.There is a walkway down the middle which works well and the "Outstanding Contribution" award has been dropped.They have made "Best British Album" the last award as they would "Best Film" at The Oscars.Mumford And Sons won that.No surprise that most of the eight performers won at least one award.They were Take That,Adele,Rihanna,Mumford And Sons,Plan B, Arcade Fire,Tinie Tempah and Cee Lo Green. Most played one song but a couple of acts played two.Most had big production numbers with loads of dancers etc.Arcade Fire and Tinie Tempah both won two awards.Presenters and others here inc Boris Becker,Dizzee Rascal,Justin Bieber,Fearne Cotton,Mark Ronson,Ellie Goulding,Lewis Hamilton, Boy George,Alan Carr,Jessie J,Simon Le Bon and John Taylor from Duran Duran,Will Young,Avril Lavigne,Laura Marling,Cheryl Cole,Roger Daltrey,Michael McIntrye,Mick Talbot and Frank Warren.Overall an enjoyable couple of hours here at the 02.See aftershow page for this event .... 14 Feb 2011.Went to two events tonight.First was 6.30pm to 8pm for the opening launch of the Luisa Cerano boutique at 56 Wells Street,London W1.Freebie champers and sushi here for this upmarket German fashion designer.As the pr says A global label that is synonymous with quality and style. The Luisa Cerano label brings together all the key elements of fashion - trends, textures, details and images. For attention to detail and overall style content there is no better label than Luisa Cerano.Got a goodie bag with a Luisa Cerano clutch bag.See www.luisacerano.com...............then 10.30pm to 12.30am was the afterparty for The Elle Style Awards at The Connaught Rooms,Great Queen Street,London WC2.Annual party that is always great and full of glammed up females and some big names.Hordes of photographers and security outside the venue.Over 500 folks here as there was the awards and dinner earlier.Faces here inc Helena Christensen,Samantha Cameron,Cheryl Cole,Alexa Chung,Vivienne Westwood,Minnie Driver,Courtney Love,Emma Watson,Geri Halliwell,Donna Air,Jo Wood,Fearne Cotton,Corinne Bailey Rae,Sophie Ellis Bextor,Lisa Snowdon,Lizzie Cundy,George Lamb, Henry Holland,Eliza Doolittle,Nick Grimshaw,Matthew Williamson,Pixie Geldof,Jo Whiley and Boy George was the dj tonight.A lively party atmosphere and loads of freebie Moet champers and cocktails for all.A nice big bulky goodie bag as well.Excellent bash.......... 13 Feb 2011.QPR 1 - Notts Forest 1.The top two battle it out.I went along with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.A capacity crowd and a great atmosphere. Only my third game at Loftus Road this season. Glen has been to a few more than me.Really does look like Chelsea and Man Utd etc will be at Loftus Road next season as promotion looks certain .. 12 Feb 2011.My Chemical Romance + The Blackout live at Wembley Arena,London.Welsh support did a good 45 mins set.Lots of nice lighthearted stage banter and great song titles inc "Spread Legs,Not Lies" and "I'm A Riot?,You're A Fucking Riot".They headline KOKO in April.......this was the opening night of MCR UK arena tour to support their recent fourth album "Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys".A security mate told me over 100 MCR fans camped out overnight to be front of stage tonight.Make no mistake MCR have some of the most loyal fans out there.On stage for 1 hour 40 mins for a great show.Loads of sharp short pop punk gems. They are more Green Day than the EMO goth band that some of their reviews state and the atmosphere here tonight is proper electric as the audience hang off every word Gerard Way sings.New songs played early were "Planetary(Go), and "Sing".Also good was "I'm Not Ok(I Promise)", "Destroya" and the venue went ballistic for the anthemic "Welcome To The Black Parade".Other goodies inc "Teenagers","The Kids From Yesterday" and "Helena".Lots of lights and a single big screen above the stage.MCR were really good and much better than the last time i saw them 10 Feb 2011.Went to three events tonight ending up at the Glen Matlock And The Philistines gig. First was 6.30pm to 8.15pm The Zenna Bar Launch at 77 Dean Street,Soho,London W1. Luxurious Indian cocktail bar located under The Red Fort Restaurant in the midst of buzzing Soho. Decorated with Italian tiles, soft leather and Oriental rugs, Zenna has a stylish and relaxed feel with a stunning bar entirely covered in shimmering metallic discs as the centrepiece. Low, warm lighting and discreet alcoves with exposed brickwork make it the perfect location for an intimate drink or any kind of event, being able to accommodate up to 120 people. The menu also features a unique Spiced Cocktail List, ranging from refreshing (the Mint, Lime, Apple and Elderflower Garden Martini) and lightly spiced (the Cointreau, Vodka and Chocolate Liqueur Spiced Chocolate Orange Martini) right through to incredibly spicy drinks. Only the very brave, however, need try the Illiana. Named after the mythological Indian golden dragon, it holds the title of the ‘world’s hottest cocktail’ and is a potent blend of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, Orange Curacao, Almond syrup, Lime and Orange juice with just one drop of the secret chilli potion. This cocktail is so spicy that guests must sign a waiver on ordering and it comes with its very own Fire Extinguisher accompaniment, a soda siphon containing ice cold Bombay Sapphire Gin, Lemon and Soda water to help guests fan the flames after drinking.Complimentary cocktails flowing tonight along with lots of tasty hot food.A very nice place to visit for an entire evening or to pop in before or after the theatre or a gig......then to 8.30pm to 9.30pm Valentines Party at Platinum Lace,Piccadilly, London.Lapdancing club holds a little bash where the dancers give some of their earnings to Everyman charity.Freebie champers,cocktails and canapes here and lots of dancers of course....... then 10pm Glen Matlock And The Philstines live at The Bowery,36 New Oxford Street,london WC1.New name and owners for this venue i last visited a couple of years ago.Its a nice packed out and sweaty club gig.A great 75 mins set with ten of the first twelve songs played tonight from Glens excellent recent album "Born Running".The band are all really enjoying it.Set was "Born Running","Somewhere Somehow","Timebomb","Hard Work","Trouble","Get What We Get","Idiot",new song "Hey Mister","Nowheresville","Yeah Right", "Way To Go","Rock Chick","On Something" and a superb "Rattle Your Cage".Encores were "Burning Sounds" and "Steppin Stone".A great gig.......... 09 Feb 2011.Went to two events tonight.First 7pm to 9pm was the launch of the Sky Lounge at The Mint Hotel,Pepys Street,London EC3.Sponsored by Hirst Diamonds and Square Mile Magazine.Up on the 12th floor with stunning views over The Tower Of London and Tower Bridge.Freebie champers,wines,beers and canapes for all.Some nice diamonds on display and they had a raffle prize where first prize was diamond earrings.I met a very nice chap called Gary who when i mentioned living in Shepherds Bush it worked out that i was a patient of his dads dentist practice in the Goldhawk Road in the 1970s and 1980s.....then 9.45pm to 11.30pm was the afterparty for the play The Childrens Hour at The Penthouse Club,Leicester Square,London.Up to the 7th floor to this event to celebrate Keira Knightleys opening night at The Comedy Theatre,Panton Street.Over 500 people here with freebie Moet champers and lots of tasty hot food.Most of Londons top showbiz photographers are here snapping away when Keira turns up.A nice surprise was we had a goodie bag which is a bit unusual for theatre first nights.A nice 50ml bottle of Chanel Coco perfume 07 Feb 2011.Went to a drinks reception then the Roxy Music gig tonight.First 6.30pm to 7.30pm was The TPI(Total Production Industry) Awards at The Novotel,Hammersmith,London W6.This is the main awards for the services related to putting on live gigs/shows that includes sound, security,cargo,catering,stage design,lighting, rehearsal facility etc.Freebie champers for an hour.I bumped into friends from security companies Headline and Showsec who are both nominated.There are always a few faces here. Tonight there is Huey Morgan from Fun Loving Criminals who also presents on BBC Radio and is tonights host.There is legendary ex NME journo Paul Morley and no doubt a couple more hidden in the 1000 strong crowd.See www.tpiawards.com......then over to see Roxy Music live at The 02 Arena,London.Its a near sellout despite the high ticket prices of £75 and £50.There are a dozen in the band inc three backing singers and two more dancers that pop on and off during the show.A big screen showing a mix of live footage and images.On stage for 1 hour 50 mins.Bryan Ferry looks totally super suave in a suit and tie.Gems at the start inc "Street Life" and "Pyjamarama" and "In Every Dream Home A Heartache".Also a cover of "Like A Hurricane".It went a bit average in the middle as the songs were not suitable for a big arena and the moody lighting did not help.Then it got better again "Same Old Scene","Avalon","Jealous Guy" and mega versions of "Virginia Plain","Love Is The Drug" and "Do The Strand" were all great. In the same block as me right of stage were Jonathan Ross with David Walliams.Also top showbiz photographer Richard Young was here watching instead of taking photos................ 05 Feb 2011.Sex Pistols Experience + Rebel Truce live at Kingsmeadow,Kingston,Surrey.First time at this venue which is in the social club bar of this football stadium that is shared between AFC Wimbledon and Kingstonian F.C.A nice big room with tables and chairs around the outside to see the top Sex Pistols and Clash tribute acts in the UK.Up first are Rebel Truce who play a great 65 mins set of Clash gems inc "Tommy Gun","Complete Control" and "White Riot".Then SPE who play a stunning 85 mins of Pistols classics.I have seen them loads of times and they are just soooooo good.The look,the sound,the swagger is all there.Set inc "Pretty Vacant","Holidays In The Sun","EMI","Bodies", "God Save The Queen","Anarchy In The UK" and rarer tracks like "Silly Thing","Lonely Boy" and even a mega encore of "Public Image".Not the real thing of course but they really are the next best thing. They return to The 100 Club on Sat 16 April 2011 with TV Smith as support.For more info see www.sexpistolsexperience.co.uk.................. 04 Feb 2011.Waterboys live at The Barbican, London.Second of two shows at this venue on a short UK tour for "An Appointment With Mr Yeats" where Mike Scotts passion for the poems and writings of Yeats are put to music.Waterboys were formed in 1983 and had a couple of hits then but have kept a low profile ever since. Mike Scott is now aged 52 but still has the longish hair and a maverick way.They come on prompt at 8pm for a 2 hours 10 mins set that was really good.Ten people on stage with the band sounding fantastic inc brass section,violin, fiddle,piano,organ,flute etc.The main set was The Yeats section.Like me most of the crowd had never heard any of the songs before as the album does not come out until the end of this year i think.Each song had a nice introduction by Mike Scott and were given the full Waterboys treatment.They all sounded good.The encores were Waterboys tracks "The Stolen Child","Dont Bang The Drum" and their total classic "The Whole Of The Moon" that must be one of the best tunes of the 1980s.A full standing ovation at the end.A quality show ................. 03 Feb 2011.Went to three events tonight.First off 6.45pm to 8.15pm was the launch of "Mens Lab" at Harrods,Knightsbridge,London.Always nice to visit this famous store thats full of quality from the chocolate counter and the food halls to all the other stuff.This new area on the ground floor has all the top denim designer brands in one area.Freebie champers and canapes for all.A nice goodie bag for the press that inc some Diesel "Only The Brave" fragrence and other mens bits.See www.harrods.com/menswear/mens-lab.....then 8.30pm to 9.45pm was the official launch and auction for The 80th Birthday Concert For Mikhael Gorbachev at The Royal Albert Hall on 30 March 2011.Lots of upmarket folks here inc a few wealthy Russians.The show will feature a host of names inc Bryan Ferry and The Scorpions among those confirmed and some more to be added.Should be a great night.Freebie wines and canapes flowing here.See www.royalalberthall.com for info and tix.....then 10pm to 11.30pm was the afterparty for the new one man show "My Trip Down The Pink Carpet" at The Cafe De Paris,London.The show stars gay American comic Lesley Jordan and its on at The Apollo Theatre,Shaftesbury Avenue,London.A big crowd of a few hundred here inc faces Paul O'Grady,Abi Titmuss,Amanda Barrie from Coronation Street and a couple of the girls from The Loose Women ITV show.Free wines,beers and canapes and a covers band .... 02 Feb 2011.7.15pm to 10.15pm.Manic Street Preachers live at The Hard Rock Cafe,London W1. Invite only gig for just 200 comp winners and a few press folks for Absolute Radio.Free booze and food for all too from the great staff from The Hard Rock Cafe who make sure all the booze and food gets to everyone including those Manics hardcore at the front who will not budge for anything.Its the last show on the tour and promo for the recent "Postcards From A Young Man" album.They have brought a lot of the stage props from the Brixton show i saw a couple of weeks ago.I am a few feet from the stage with a mega view.The Manics on stage at 8.35pm for a fantastic 17 song 75 mins set.So many great songs in this small venue.They dedicated a couple of songs to Richie Edwards who they said has now been missing for 16 years.I have seen the Manics around 20 times inc four shows with Richie.Opening with a superb "Motorcycle Emptiness" then "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough","Slash And Burn",recent single "Its Not War Just The End Of Love",their cover of "Suicide Is Painless","My Little Empire","Faster","You Stole The Sun From My Heart","Postcards From A Young Man","If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next",a mental "You Love Us","Some Kind Of Nothingness",then brilliant versions of "Motown Junk" and "A Design For Life".Then "Roses In The Hospital","Enola/Alone" and "The Masses Against The Classes".Needless to say a brilliant gig. They said they would be back to play some festivals in the summer ...... 01 Feb 2011.6pm to 8pm.Quintessentially Party at The House Of St Barnabas,1 Greek Street,Soho, London W1.Private members club holds its monthly drinks party for members and guests at their London base.Freebie champers,wine and canapes for the youngish upmarket crowd who can afford its £1000 a year membership.Its a lovely Grade One Listed Georgian building with comfy sofas and bars everywhere and outside garden area...... 31 Jan 2011.7pm to midnight.Retail Trust London Ball at The Grosvenor House Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.A huge crowd of around 1100 folks here mainly from retail outlets big and small.A few faces here.Sir Philip Green who is head of Arcadia Group that includes Topshop.Louise Redknapp.ex cricketer and Question Of Sport tv chappie Phil Tufnell,Simon Webbe from Blue and GQ editor Dylan Jones.We had a champers reception for an hour then a lovely three course duck breast dinner.There was a "Search For A Star" comp between four of the big stores.I voted for the winner who was Alice from Chichester who sung a great version of REMs "Everybody Hurts".A dj spun the tunes after the dinner and we got an average goodie bag...... 29 Jan 2011.TNA(Total Nonstop Action) American Wrestling live at Wembley Arena,London.In the 1970s i used to love watching UK wresting with my dad on ITV on a Saturday afternoon.These days the UK scene is dead but American wrestling is very popular.Tonight is a near sellout.Lots of loud rock music and lights along with an over the top MC hyping the crowd up.American wresting sits on a thin fence between fun family entertainment or a load of old bollocks.Tonight we had seven bouts over two halfs of 90 mins and 80 mins.Legend Ric Flair is here.Also Mr Anderson,Rob Van Dam and Beer Money.The tag team bouts are good fun as they provide more slapstick comedy than actual wrestling.We also had a female tag team bout and a token UK wrestler was here.There are goodies and baddies as usual.Boos and cheers.Someone got smashed over the head by an acoustic guitar.The referees are acting up as much as the wrestlers.There was a great atmosphere here and good fun was had by all ...... 28 Jan 2011.Elton John with Ray Cooper live at The Royal Opera House,London.A benefit show for The Royal Academy Of Music.Most of the tickets cost £250 for this show but there are £1000 tickets that get you a dinner with Elton John after the show.All 2250 seats are sold.As far as i know its the first Elton John show since he became "a father".Whatever you think of that you cannot arque with Eltons amazing record of doing so many gigs for charity and benefit causes over the years.I have seen Elton over 40 times since 1973.I have seen him with percussionist Ray Cooper before and i have also seen him at this stunning venue in 2002.Elton is on stage for 2 hours 15 mins.He plays a few songs from his recent album with Leon Russell.Lots of classics too inc brilliant versions of "Rocket Man","Philadelphia Freedom" and "Your Song".Then after 50 mins Ray Cooper joined him.No drumkit but enough percussive equipment to take up three drumkit spaces.Ray is entertaining to watch too.Other goodies inc "Better Off Dead","Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word","Take Me To The Pilot" and a mega "Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me".Also "Bennie And The Jets" and "Crazy Water". Encore was a stunning "Candle In The World".So many great songs played even though there were loads of gems not played as he has such an amazing forty years worth of songs.Elton is always great live in concert . 27 Jan 2011.I went to three events tonight ending up at the Adam Ant gig.First was 6.15pm to 8.15pm.The re-launch of Napket at 61 Piccadilly,London W1.Napket are launching their new sit down menus.It also does takeaway and office deliveries.Lots of freebie champers and a wide selection of lovely tasty food flowing here.Set in a great location with a stunning decor of influences from modern to baroque.Lots of great staff and very enjoyable.See www.napket.com........then 8.30pm to 9.15pm was The La Senza "Pool Party" at The Haymarket Hotel. Like it says this venue has a bar by its pool so its a perfect place for La Senza to show off their Swimwear Collection 2011.I missed the models in bikinis fashion show.About 100 bikinis are up on display.On the way out you write down the one you want and the size and with a bit of luck i will get it in the post.Will be a nice pressie.Had a couple of free beers here.Should have come here a bit earlier maybe....then to Adam Ant live at The 100 Club,London W1.The second of his two shows at The 100 Club.Adam Ant has been playing lots of club gigs mainly in London over the past few months.I went to a couple last year at The Scala which were great.He last played The 100 Club in 1978 his website says.His band like last time look a bit plain but Adam Ant now aged 56 looks fantastic in a cool Johnny Depp way.He was on stage for 90 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 30 mins.Still playing a lot of early material.Set inc "Plastic Surgery","Xerox","Car Trouble" and later tracks "Vive Le Rock" and "Dog Eat Dog" which were all great.A short interval for a costume change then it went a bit dodgy as his second set feat seven cover versions and then one of his own.Hardcore Ants fans who have paid £50 tonight are simply not interested in so many cover songs.They want Adam stuff.Tracks inc "Get It On","Wild Thing","I Know Its Only Rock n Roll","Shakin All Over","No Fun","Honky Tonk Woman" and then his own "Physical".So overall a good show but the shows at The Scala were better.Eastenders actor Shane Richie was in the crowd tonight............ 25 Jan 2011.It may be a Tuesday in January but i went to FIVE events in the space of ten hours. Started off at 1.45pm for the ICE Totally Gaming event at Earls Court Arena.Spent 90 mins here. Lots of neon here and you can play for fun on all the amusement machines.There are hundreds here along with poker tables,roulette wheels etc. The biggest stand Novomatic was very popular as they were giving out free beers and hotdogs to all....then to The South Bank SKY TV Arts Awards at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1 for the afterparty for this event from 3.45pm to 5.15pm.A few faces are still here inc Ronnie Wood,Noisettes,Vic Reeves,Miranda Hart,Jane Asher,Peter Blake,Ken Russell,Jo Brand,Rob Brydon,Julien Lloyd Webber and host Melvyn Bragg. Nigel Kennedy was on top form.He turned up in his Aston Villa shirt along with Villa stripes on his face.He played the violin outside the venue for the photographers and autograph hunters and was helping himself to bottles of wine behind the bar rather than get in the queue.Got a couple of decent goodie bags with Penhaligons Opus 1870 fragrence and a Penhaligans candle in each.Freebie cocktails here....then i saw Iron Maidens drummer Nico McBrain in Regent Street.....then 7pm to 8pm was the launch of the new Tory Burch store at 149 New Bond Street,London W1.A very upmarket fashion crowd here with nice freebie champers and canapes.Luxury bags,belts etc at silly prices.See www.toryburch.com.Got a couple of goodie bags with TB designed cloth bags and more bloody candles.....then 8.30pm to 9.30pm to the launch of The Grand Imperial Restaurant at The Grosvenor Hotel,Victoria,London.Lots of freebie cocktails,champers and tasty Cantonese food flowing here in this lovely big room....then to the Moneybookers.com party at The Roof Gardens,Kensington High Street,London.This was one of the parties that are held by various gaming companies who were at The Earls Court event.Popped in for a couple of free JD and cokes.A nice and lively atmosphere but i was too whacked to stay any later .... 23 Jan 2011.Thin Lizzy + The Union + Supersuckers live at Indigo,London.This month marks the 25th anniversary of the sad death of Phil Lynott.I saw Phil Lynott with Thin Lizzy a staggering 23 times from 1975 onwards.Up first tonight we have cowboy rockers Supersuckers who play a decent 30 mins of uptemo rock.Then its The Union who feature the guitarist and bass player from Thunder.Decent enough but nothing special in their 30 mins set...the line up for this Lizzy tour features new members Ricky Warwick (ex Almighty) and Vivian Campbell(on loan from Def Leppard) alongside originals Scott Gorham and Brian Downey.Also Marco Mendoza and Darren Wharton.On stage for 1 hour 45 mins with a set featuring virtually all Lizzys classic gems from the 1970s that still sound great.The stage looks good with screens either side of the Lizzy logo showing old images and live footage from tonight.The sound is rocktastic with the guitars just sounding perfect.Its impossible to replace Phil Lynott but Ricky Warwick does a good job.Set inc "Are You Ready","Waiting For An Alibi","Jailbreak","Dont Believe A Word","Dancing In The Moonlight" and brilliant versions of "Whiskey In The Jar","Emerald","Cowboy Song" and "The Boys Are Back In Town".Encores were "Rosalie","Bad Reputation","The Rocker" and "Black Rose".A very good show 22 Jan 2011.Manic Street Preachers live at Brixton Academy,London.Second of two shows here for The Manics which were the postponed ones from Oct 28 and 29 due to illness.On stage for 1 hour 40 mins for a great set.The band have sold over 8 million albums and their recent one "Postcards From A Young Man" was their tenth studio album.As expected its a few tunes from the new album and loads of great gems from their 20 year career.James Dean Bradfield plays some nifty guitar and Nicky Wire looks supecool as usual.Set inc "Slash And Burn","Your Love Is Not Enough",a mega "Motorcycle Emptiness","You Love Us",a very lively "Motown Junk","If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next","You Stole The Sun From My Heart","Tsunami" and a blockbusting "A Design For Life".The Manics are still full of pure quality after all these years ... 21 Jan 2011.The Cult live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.The Cult back in London as part of their biggest UK tour for a few years.Things start very nicely as i was in the circle bar before the band came on and i get a tap on the shoulder "Hello Ray,I Thought You Would Be Here". It was Kelly Jones from The Stereophonics.We then join his group that inc Stereophonics bass player Richard Jones.Kelly remembers me from the Ronnie Wood gigs and we chat about all the times i have seen AC/DC and Thin Lizzy in the old days. Without doubt Kelly Jones is one of the nicest rockers out there.The Cult are on for 1 hour 40 mins.Ian Astbury is rambling a bit but Billy Duffys guitar riffs really are top notch.They have a big screen showing images.Lots of good tunes played inc "Rain","Sweet Soul Sister", "Dirty Little Rockstar",then the band went offstage for 3 mins as Ian Astbury showed some home video that seemed pointless.Other gems were "Wild Flower" and mega versions of "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Love Removal Machine". Encores inc "Spiritwalker" and a cover of The Doors "Break On Through To The Other Side".A good rock show and the band said they are coming back in June to play The Download Festival and The Isle Of Wight Festival.See aftershow party for this gig ................. 20 Jan 2011.A bit of a crazy day as i went to three non music events that involved far too much food and booze.First was 11.45am to 4pm.The National Fish And Chip Awards at The Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel,Albert Embankment,London SE1. About 500 mainly northern folks here.Champers reception for an hour then a nice three course quality fish based lunch.Then the awards which were hosted by curly haired tv presenter and food critic Jay Rayner.You would know the face.About a dozen awards given out.For more info check out www.seafish.org.................. then 6pm to 8.30pm was the Peyton Events party at The British Library,Euston Road,London NW1. Upmarket catering company hold a party to celebrate their contract at this venue that has a very nice outdoor cocktail bar at the rear. The new library is a must see stunning building. Lots of freebie champers,cocktails and yummy quality bowl food here for around 300 folks. See www.peytonevents.co.uk......then 9pm to 11.30pm it was The Luxury Briefing Conference Dinner at The Dorchester Hotel,Park Lane,London W1.About 350 mainly fashion folks here in this stunning hotel.We had a lovely three course dinner.Not sure how i had so much food today. We were entertained by a magician who was very in the mode of Derren Brown in act,looks,speech and manner.Got a couple of goodie bags with Swarovski rings as the main item.We had some more freebie Laurent Perrier champers before leaving as the covers band started up.Quite a day ...... 19 Jan 2011.Went to two drinks parties tonight. First was 6.45pm to 7.45pm for the launch of The Mackintosh Flagship Store,104 Mount Street,London W1.Heritage British outerwear brand stocks mens and womens collections.Freebie champers and canapes flowing here.A bit cramped as its a small shop.Lots of Japanese folks here. The prices are very expensive it has to be said. A small goodie bag for all here......then 8pm to 9pm was a fashion show by upmarket belt folks Beauchamps at British Luxury Club,70 New Bond Street,London W1.Never even knew this place was here.Its in a small doorway under one of the shops.A nice bar.We had a fashion show by four models wearing the handcrafted belts and not much else.Lots of freebie Beefeater 24 Gin Cocktails and sushi here.A nice hour here but looking at the drinks menu on the way out where it said cocktails are £15 and £20 each.Steep. See www.beauchamps-online.com 18 Jan 2011.Went to two events tonight.First was 7pm to 9pm for the preview evening of "Modern British Sculpture" at The Royal Academy Of Arts,Piccadilly,London W1.A big crowd of around 500 here inc Reading Football Club owner John Madejski who gives a lot of money to museums and the arts.His Bentley wirh reg JM1 was parked outside.Also here was Grayson Perry but this time not in drag.Also Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow.Freebie wines,beers and light snacks here for all and some interesting items to look at......then 9.15pm to 11.30pm was The Radio Times Covers Party at Claridges Ballroom,Brook Street,London W1.Always great to be in this stunning five star hotel.A very nice party for mainly BBC folks to celebrate who graced the front cover of their tv guide in 2010.Again a big crowd of 500 here inc host ex Dr Who David Tennant,Ian Hislop,the guys from Four Poofs And A Piano and Alex Jones from The One Show.Lots of freebie champers flowing along with steak and kidney pies,steak and mash.Also bacon rolls.Its nice to know the BBC are spending our tv license revenue so wisely.Got a couple of excellent goodie bags on the way out stuffed with dvds,cds,books,500ml champers,some Bose headphones,cosmetics items and of course a copy of next weeks Radio Times.A great party.......... ........ 17 Jan 2011.6pm.White Lies live at HMV 150 Oxford Street,London W1.I popped in here on my way back from a funeral in Wimbledon,SW London. A free gig to celebrate the release day of White Lies second album "Ritual".Their first album went to Number One in the UK.These music store gigs are short n sweet usually between four and eight songs and tonight we got five over 25 mins. Catchy synth and bass opening with new album tracks "Strangers","Holy Ghost" and "Peace And Quiet" and then a great version of first album oldie "Death" and then new single "Bigger Than Us".A good little set.The album will chart high. White Lies tour the UK next month inc two shows at Shepherds Bush Empire on Feb 10 and 11........ ......... I must have played this concert dvd half a dozen times in the last fortnight its so good.Alice Cooper "Theatre Of Death" live at Hammersmith Apollo-Dec 2009.I was at this superb show.Watch this show and see why Alice Cooper always gets near the top of my best of year gig lists........ ......... 13 Jan 2011.The Who + Debbie Harry + Jeff Beck + Bryan Adams + Roger Daltrey Band + Richard Ascroft live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.A mega line up for this "Killing Cancer" charity show. A full house for a show that had each act do a short set.The first half had three acts do acoustic sets and the second half had three acts play rockier full band sets.Up first we have four acoustic songs from Richard Ashcroft inc "Sonnet" and "Lucky Man" then Roger Daltrey Band play a couple of blues rock tracks "Freedom Ride" and "Gimme A Stone" then Bryan Adams plays four hits acoustic that are really good."Run To You","Cuts Like A Knife",for "When Youre Gone" he was joined by a female cancer patient on vocals then "Straight From The Heart" then after the interval Jeff Beck played three songs with The Whos band backing him.He gets such a great tone on his guitar.Then Debbie Harry came on for three songs with Jeff and The Who band backing her for "Heart Of Glass","Call Me" and "One Way Or Another".The crowd had remained seated until The Who came on.I went down to the front to get an amazing second row view in front of Roger Daltrey.Seeing The Who up close like this is fantastic as they played "Baba O'Riley","Who Are You","Wont Get Fooled Again" then Jeff Beck replaced Pete for "Im A Man" and then a mega finale of "Join Together" with The Who,Jeff Beck,Debbie Harry,Bryan Adams all on stage but not Richard Ashcroft.A really great show. See afterparty page for this gig................. 12 Jan 2011.8.30pm to 11pm.Wallpaper Design Awards 2011 at The Edison,223 Old Marylebone Road,London NW1.Around 400 very cool folks here for the annual awards from this respected magazine.Arty tranny Grayson Perry is here in a very suitable over the top outfit.The venue is amazing.Its over two huge spaces on the first floor(the exhibition) and the second floor(dj and dancefloor) of this block that has been created by Manhattan Loft Corporation.Lots of freebie champers,cocktails,beers and nice food flowing here.Those that won awards inc Best City(Rio) and loads more like Best Kitchen,Best Bathrom,Best Furniture,Best Clothing etc.The full list of winners is in the Feb issue of Wallpaper thats in the shops now at £4.75.Got a couple of nice goodie bags that each came with a pair of Havaianas-The Worlds Best Rubber Flip Flops that retail for around 20 quid.A great party .... 11 Jan 2011.6.45pm to 9.45pm.This was a media launch party for Tourism South East and Visit South East England at Imbibi Bar,173 Blackfriars Road,Southwark,London SE1.This event is to promote events and venues outside of London in the SE region that goes out to Oxford in the West and Isle Of Wight in the South.Freebie wines,beers and canapes flowing all night.All here got a raffle ticket for a goodie bag.Mine had some freebie family theme park tickets in it.Different stuff in each bag.Half a dozen had freebie overnight stays in hotels but of course you have to make your own way there and some are 50 plus miles from London.A nice event. See www.visitsoutheastengland.com................ 09 Jan 2011.Dionne Warwick And Friends live at The Apollo,Victoria,London.Tonight was a charity show for "The Hunger Project".It was a three hour show over two sets with Dionne Warwick on stage for two hours and around ten guests coming on for a couple of songs each or a short routine between her sets.Dionne Warwick has been around since the 1960s.Tracks sung tonight inc "Walk On By","Anyone Who Had A Heart","I'll Never Fall In Love Again","Message To Michael", "I Say A Little Prayer","Alfie","Do You Know The Way To San Jose","What The World Needs Now Is Love","Thats What Friends Are For" but sadly "Heartbreaker" is not played tonight. Mica Paris came on for a couple.Natalie Cole came on for a couple.The London Community Gospel Choir came on for a couple.We had a tapdance display and there were lesser known acts. Elaine Paige was very good with versions of "Dont Cry For Me Argentina" and "Memory" and then a duet with Dionne called "Thank You For Being A Friend".The evening had a middle of the road feel to it but it was enjoyable overall. See afterparty page for this gig................. 07 Jan 2011.1.30pm to 10pm.The London International Boat Show at Excel,Docklands, London.I pick up my press pass and the press pack includes the huge list of drinks receptions going on as its the opening day.Every 30 mins there is another one starting so plenty of free booze and nibbles all the time i was there. More than 1000 boats and yachts on display from 20ft sailboats to some stunning 100ft superyachts.There is a giant pool area where you can do canoeing,dinghy sailing,kayaking, windsurfing etc.In the morning the event was opened by Jodie Kidd.Newton Faulkner and X Factors Rebecca Ferguson both did short sets on yachts.At 7pm the paying punters left the venue and 500 people stayed for a nice drinks party until 10pm that was held by Sunseeker Yachts and Range Rover who launched their new Evoque range. Lots of freebie champers and nice food and acrobats and a jazz band.A really nice day out. Entry is £23 each from www.londonboatshow.com.... ......... 06 Jan 2011.Big Country live at The Islington Academy,London.Big Country are another band i have a lot of history with.I have seen them over 15 times since 1983 inc when they supported David Bowie on his 1986 "Glass Spiders" Tour. Stuart Adamson sadly hanged himself in Dec 2001. The other three original members are here and the vocal duties are taken by Mike Peters from The Alarm who is a great choice.Tony Butler the bass player is a full time teacher now which is why the first leg of their UK tour is over the Christmas holidays and the secong leg in April is over the Easter holidays.The venue is totally sold out but we find a good space front right of stage.The dj before the band comes on plays a perfect set of gems from the 1970s and 1980s.Big Country are on for 1 hour 40 mins and are really good.Sticking to a greatest hits set with Bruce Watsons guitar still having that jigging bagpipe sound.Setlist inc "Harvest Home","Just A Shadow","Look Away","East of Eden","Steeltown","The Storm" and the crowd erupted for "Wonderland" and "Fields Of Fire".Encores were "Lost Patrol",a brilliant "Chance","Restless Natives" and a mega "In A Big Country".A nice first gig of 2011. ......... Seems like a well known musician is passing away every other day in 2011.Gerry Rafferty died aged 63.He had massive hits with "Stuck In The Middle With You" and "Baker Street".Also Mick Karn the bass player from Japan who i loved in the early 1980s died of cancer aged only 52.I saw Japan support Blue Oyster Cult at Hammersmith Odeon in 1978 and Japan headlined six nights at Hammersmith Odeon in 1982.I was at all of them... 31 Dec 2010.Sonic Youth + Shellac + The Pop Group live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Another event from supercool promoters ATP(All Tomorrows Parties)who prefer to get involved with bands who make an interesting artistic noise rather than those that sell loads of records.Up first i see The Pop Group who reformed a few months ago. They are on stage for 45 mins.They formed 30 years ago and were loved by NME and dj legend John Peel.Always an acquired taste.They were hardgoing as expected.They played "We Are All Prostitutes"....next were Shellac who were really good for 60 mins.Mainly because this trio put their superb drummer to the front middle of the stage where the lead singer should be.A basic kit with no drum riser but a brilliant minimalist sound.The set finished with a drum solo where the other two members took the drumkit away piece by piece until the drummer was left with just a snare drum.......then to Sonic Youth who appear at midnight to a countdown to the New Year and tickertape.They have been around for 30 years doing their own thing and have been very influential.I last saw them in 1996 at The Kentish Town Forum.Songs played inc "Anti-Orgasm" and "Antenna".They seem to have mellowed out a bit as they play a more normal rock show with less feedback etc than what i remember.Encores were really livley but could not make out the words so could not say what they were called.A decent 90 mins set ...... 30 Dec 2010.Black Country Communion live at Shepherds Bush Empire,London.First ever proper London show by this new rock supergroup and only their second show after last nights debut in Wolverhampton.The band feature Glenn Hughes(bass and vocals),Joe Bonamassa(guitar and vocals),Jason Bonham(drums) and Derek Sherinian(keyboards).Like other recent shows by supergroups like Chickenfoot and Them Crooked Vultures there is a very healthy buzz tonight and there must be at least 20 photographers in the photo pit.The ticket prices for this gig were a bit steep for a band with one album.£75 for level one seats and £50 elsewhere in the venue but its still pretty much a full house. The main interest really would be the combination of Glenn Hughes great rock vocals and Joe Bonamassa great rock guitar playing.They are prompt at 8.30pm for their 1 hour 40 mins on stage.As expected they play most of their album and a sprinkling of tracks from their past careers.The first half of the set is album tracks inc "Black Country","One Last Soul","The Revolution In Me","Down Again","Too Late For The Sun" that are good but dont really jump out as rock classics.In the second half Joe Bonamassa sneaked in his "Ballad Of John Henry" and Glenn Hughes sneaked in "Medusa" by Trapeze.The venue really erupted for a great version of Led Zeps "No Quarter" then a good version of "Sista Jane" and a great encore of Deep Purples "Burn". A good show overall and the band said they would be back for more gigs in the summer.............. 21 Dec 2010.I went to two events today.A lunchtime bash at The Savoy Hotel and later a Glen Matlock gig.First was 12.30pm to 3pm.Qatar National Day at The Savoy Hotel,The Strand,London.Around 400 people here for this stand up buffet lunch.When you arrive you queue up to meet The Qatar Ambassador and introduce yourself then one of his staff announces your name loudly to the room.Qatar is a dry state so no booze here but there is a feast of a dozen quality food stations serving great food from this stunning five star hotel.Juices, teas,coffees as well here.A really nice lunchtime event....then Glen Matlock And The Philistines live at The Monto Water Rats,Kings Cross,London.Glen and the boys back in town after a couple of weeks of gigs in Canada.Before they came on it was a nice surprise to see Annabella Lwin from Bow Wow Wow in the crowd who is still in London after playing The Matthew Ashman tribute show at The Scala a month ago.It may be arctic conditions outside the venue but inside some hot rock n roll is the order of the day.The brilliant 75 mins set featured 11 of the 12 songs from the recent "Born Running" album and a sprinkling of other gems from Glens career.Jim Lowe who produced the album is on bass tonight and the lashings of James Stevensons guitar riffs on the album really come alive tonight.Current drummer David Donley did a superb job and the two female backing singers Maggie Ronson and Elizabeth Westwood gave the band a nice fuller sound.Glen on vocals you can tell really believes in his recent batch of songs.The full setlist was "Rattle Your Cage","Timebomb","Trouble","Somewhere Somehow", "Hard Work","Get What We Get","Burning Sounds", "Yeah Right","Idiot","Nowheresville","Electricity", "Way To Go","Rock Chick","On Something","Born Running" and encores "Steppin Stone" and "Pretty Vacant".A really great gig ... 20 Dec 2010.Shakira + Parade live at The 02 Arena,London.These days it seems harder and harder for bands to get signed up.So take tonights support band Parade.Somehow they have managed to blag a huge gig here even though their debut single is not out until Feb 2011. They are aiming to be the next girlband on the block.Thankfully their set was a short 15 mins. A huge wait of 65 mins between acts was taking the piss big time.Columbian superstar Shakira has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.This was show number 50 of a world tour to promote recent album "The Sun Comes Out".She enters from the back of the arena and walks through the crowd for the first song of her 1 hour 45 mins set.Three big screens inc one huge one that takes up the full length of the stage and a stage extension too.Some women can be described as "fit" and " a great little mover" but with Shakira she looks and moves like no other.With spray on trousers,perfect hair,skin,mouth,teeth and her trademark hip wiggling belly dancing which is on display for every song.You are so transfixed by her great body and dancing that you forget that half tonights songs are in Spanish.Highlights inc "Whenever Wherever",a stripped down cover of "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica,"Gypsy","Underneath Your Clothes","She Wolf" and great encores of "Hips Dont Lie" and "Waka Waka(This Time For Africa) the 2010 World Cup Song.So many Spanish language songs were a pain but her dancing more than made up for them . 19 Dec 2010.Simply Red + Macy Gray live at The 02 Arena,London.Last of their three shows here at the 02 on their UK tour and tonight is Simply Reds LAST EVER SHOW as they are calling it a day after 25 years of selling millions of records and selling out huge tours.Up first is Macy Gray who i saw play in a small theatre in the summer. Her raspy voice and scatty persona i really like. She played her neat cover of Radioheads "Creep". Also really good was "Why Didnt You Call Me",a stunning "I Try" and "Beauty In The World".Its a nice full house for Simply Red and tonights show is being shown live in cinemas around the world.I have seen them over 20 times in their career.I saw them when their debut single came out and they supported soul legend James Brown at three shows at Hammersmith Odeon in 1985(not one show as the tonights tour programme of their entire gig history suggests).Love him or hate him Mick Hucknall has got a fantastic voice.Its mainly a greatest hits show tonight as expected in the 1 hour 55 mins set.Gems played inc "The Right Thing","Its Only Love","A New Flame" and stunning cover versions of "If You Dont Know Me By Now" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New".Also good were "Thrill Me","Stars","Sunrise" and great versions of "Moneys Too Tight To Mention" and "Fairground".Mick Hucknall kept his shades on for the entire show.Excellent encores of "Somethings Got Me Started" and "Holding Back The Years" with his young daughter running on stage.A very enjoyable show.I saw him a couple of times in the summer where Mick did a great job as the new singer in The Faces so hopefully some more shows planned with them in 2011........ 18 Dec 2010.Paul McCartney live at Hammersmith Apollo,London.Six inches of snow in most places meant some people could not get to the gig.This meant lots of spare tickets sold by touts for face value or less on the night.Macca back at my fave venue was simply not to be missed.I was at both the last times he played here in 1975 and 1979 with Wings.I was a bit too young for when he played here with The Beatles.There is a great sold out atmosphere as its stalls standing.We have excellent seats 5th row of circle dead centre.Twiggy and Sharlene Spiteri are sitting in the row in front of us.Nearby are Paul Weller,Ali Campbell,comedians Steve Coogan,Rob Brydon and Frank Skinner.Also here were artist Sir Peter Blake and BBC dj Chris Moyles.Macca takes to the stage at 8.30pm for a stunning 2 hours 20 mins set.The band and sound are again just perfect.Three or four songs were dropped from the 100 Club setlist but around eight tracks were added inc "Got To Get You Into My Life","Something","Back In The USSR","Give Peace A Chance" and a totally incredible "Live And Let Die" with the usual full flames and pyros treatment that always goes down so well.Extra encores inc "Wonderful Christmas Time" with a childrens choir and "I Saw Her Standing There". Loads of other Beatles and Wings gems too from yesterdays set that again were just brilliant. Without doubt like The 100 Club gig this was one of the best gigs of the year.Fantastic.A couple of friends had invites for the afterparty with free booze and veggie food in the circle bar from 11pm to 1am ............. 17 Dec 2010.Wow today was a pretty amazing day. At lunchtime i was at the show by Paul McCartney at The 100 Club and later in the evening i went to a Ferrari drinks party then to Madness at Earls Court....Firsts its the Paul McCartney show at The 100 Club,London.Beatles legend plays to just 300 fans in this legendary club.Macca and his excellent band on stage from 1.05pm to 3pm for a 1 hour 55 mins set.Pretty amazing to hear so many Beatles and Wings classics played in this venue which is pretty much the same size as the Liverpool Cavern.Set inc "Magical Mystery Tour","Jet","Drive My Car","All My Loving","Let Me Roll It","The Long And Winding Road","Maybe I'm Amazed","Blackbird","And I Love Her",a dittie called "Petruska" with Paul introducing it and singing it with a Russian accent.Then great versions of "Dance Tonight","Eleanor Rigby" and "Band On The Run".Also mega were "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da","Let It Be" and "Hey Jude".Fab encores of "Yesterday","Get Back" and "Sgt Peppers" Lots of friendly fun stage banter from Paul but he did not reply to any of the shouts from the crowd of "Paul why dont you buy The 100 Club?". An amazing gig.I was at the Sex Pistols Punk Rock Festival 100 Club gig from Sept 1976 that has gone down as a legendary gig and no doubt Macca at The 100 Club will be become one of those I WAS THERE gigs....then later on 7.15pm to 8.15pm i was at the launch of "The Ferrari Opus Book" at The Ferrari Store,Regent Street,London.I have been to a couple of these "Opus" book launches before for Man Utd and Viv Westwood.Its a huge 850 pages on the history of Ferrari that has taken three years to put together and is a massive 18 inches square. Guest of honour here is motor sport legend John Surtees who has some great stories from the 1960s in the 15 mins Q and A session when he was the only person to win world championships on two wheels and four wheels(on a Ferrari).Freebie champers and canapes flowing.The "Opus" is very expensive so only for a hardcore fan really..... then over to see Madness at The Earls Court Arena,London.Over the last three years since the 02 Arena has been on the scene this big old shed of a venue has gradually lost more and more bookings.For 2011 the Brit Awards will be moving to The 02 and they still have no gigs booked in for 2011.Madness are on the last night of their UK tour.Its a massive all standing area on the floor tonight so everyone can have a few beers and a dance to the nuttiest band around.Madness play for 90 mins.They have big screens but the sound is a bit muffled and boomy.Thankfully they have loads of catchy ska pop gems in their set with brilliant lyrics.Set inc "One Step Beyond", "Embarressment","Driving In My Car","My Girl", "Bed And Breakfast Man" then a whole bunch of hits on the bounce with "House Of Fun","Madness", "Baggy Trousers","Our House" and "It Must Be Love".Encores of "Wings Of A Dove" and "Night Boat To Cairo" had pearly kings and queens and 100 of their family and friends on stage for a boogie.Madness are always great live.I have seen them loads of times over the last 30 years....... 16 Dec 2010.Lady Gaga live at The 02 Arena,London.First of two shows here at The 02 this week by Lady Gaga on what is her third batch of shows in the UK this year.I saw her play here in Feb and May.She has been touring nonstop this year and was third biggest earner in America after Bon Jovi and AC/DC.Its pretty much the same massive production that has four different themes for the two hour set.The stage extension is also used to great effect. Its visually fantastic as there are loads of costume changes and stuff going on in the very theatrical show.Her album has sold multi millions over the last couple of years.Some of the tracks are a bit average but the quality of the live show still keeps you interested.Lady Gaga gives it 100%.Full of energy and gets stuck into the routines
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The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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