News and Reviews: 27th December 2019Sunday 22 December 2019.
JOE STRUMMER (The Clash) sadly died this day in 2002 at the age of just 50.
Strummer died suddenly on 22 December 2002 in his home at Broomfield in Somerset, the victim of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
Saturday 21 December 2019.
BEN ELTON comedy night at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Comedy writer Ben Elton hosts and headlines an evening of laughs to raise money for disability charity Scope. Comedians Jo Coffey, Kae Kurd, Chris McCausland, Shazia Mirza and Tim Renkow are also on the programme.
Ben Elton (now aged 60) is a British comedian, author, playwright, actor and director. He was a part of London's alternative comedy movement of the 1980s and became a writer on series such as The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as continuing as a stand-up comedian on stage and television. His style in the 1980s was left-wing political satire. Since then he has published 15 novels and written the musicals We Will Rock You (2002) and Love Never Dies (2010), the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. His novels cover the dystopian, comedy, and crime genres.
His latest book is called "Identity Crisis".
It is stalls seated tonight and Level 3 unsold so maybe 600 or 700 here.
The first set was the five support acts performing for 10/12 mins each.
Ben Elton introduced each act.
Shazia Mirza was the only name i know but they all did decent routines with funny bits.
Three of the four other acts have disabilities.
There are a couple of females all evening at the side of stage "signing" for any deaf people in the audience.
For the second set BEN ELTON arrived on stage at 9.15pm and performed for around 70 mins.
Ben has a raspy voice as he is at the end of a massive UK tour of 70 or 80 shows.
Ben has always been a life-long Labour supporter.
In the 1980s Ben was a Tory bashing comedian so there is no doubt the current political situation
has encouraged him to go on tour again as Boris Johnson gets a fair amount of stick tonight.
Ben is talking away very fast as usual on subjects close to his heart including...
His hatred of the internet & mobile phones
His relationships with his wife & children including musical tastes
Channel 4 in the 1980s and Channel 4 now
Loads of funny routines and a very enjoyable evening.
MARTIN PETERS has died aged 76.
Sad news that one of my fave football players from the late 1960s has passed away.
Martin Peters scored in England's 1966 World Cup final victory over West Germany and also played for West Ham, Tottenham, Norwich and Sheffield United.
With his transfer from West Ham United to Tottenham Hotspur in 1970, he became Britain's first £200,000 footballer.
Friday 20 December 2019.
THE DARKNESS + REWS live at The Roundhouse, London.
I have seen The Darkness a few times since their million selling debut album came out in 2003.
During their heyday period over a decade ago , the band had five x Top 10 hit singles in the UK.
The Darkness are touring the UK to promote their recent album " Easter Is Cancelled ".
On drums will be Rufus Taylor (son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor).
Tonight is the last night of The Darkness 18 date UK tour.
REWS arrive on stage at 7.45pm and play for 30 mins.
REWS is an alt-rock/pop band lead by N. Irish musician and songwriter, Shauna Tohill.
They played some decent tracks from their debut album.
THE DARKNESS were on stage for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 45 mins and 65 mins.
The first set was the new album and the second set was greatest hits.
The band were all dressed in white for the first set and wore rock n roll stage wear for the second set.
Justin is wearing a trademark catsuit with all his chest exposed.
They had a big screen showing pre-recorded images.
There was plenty of pyros and the ticker-tape cannons were used three times.
The Darkness have had their fair amount of stick from critics over the years but surely they have been one
of the most entertaining rock bands from the past 15 years.
Melodic songwriting, with hard riffing rock and Justin Hawkins falsetto vocals are a great combination.
Justin says "the bands new 10 track album is conceptual, and should be played in full".
The new album rocks along nicely, but Justin knows the fans are here for the big hits of yesterday.
Justin is very comfortable with talking to the fans and joking around with them.
At one point he gets fed up with 100 smartphones taking photos and asks for them to all put their
phones away for one song and he picks one designated photographer
who was on a friends shoulders to video it and put it up on his instagram account.
Their big hits are some of the best rock tunes to hit the charts in the past 15 years.
For their Christmas song encore the white (snow like) ticker-tape fell on the crowd.
A great show.
Full setlist played by The Darkness tonight...
FIRST SET - Easter Is Cancelled album played in full
Rock and Roll Deserves to Die (with extended Outro)
How Can I Lose Your Love
Live 'Til I Die
Deck Chair (Dan on bass, Frankie on acoustic, Rufus on keyboard)
Easter Is Cancelled
Heavy Metal Lover
In Another Life
Choke on It
We Are the Guitar Men (Justin solo acoustic)
SECOND SET - greatest hits
One Way Ticket
Growing on Me
Japanese Prisoner of Love
Love Is Only a Feeling
Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead cover) (With "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" snippet by The Beatles)
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)
More news on Steve Jones heart attack....
His Doctor, who joined Jonesy on his show , goes onto say that Steve suffered from a very severe heart attack that easily could have killed him and he is lucky to be alive, however, Steve has suffered long term damage to his heart muscles. “In your case, they averted a larger heart attack by getting to your heart and opening you up”. “I think I had a heart attack a week beforehand and didn’t know it” Jonesy casually says. “I went walking once and my heart and chest started hurting.”
Thursday 19 December 2019.
RONNIE SPECTOR & THE RONETTES live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
The iconic singer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ronnie Spector, will return to the UK this Christmas with her band, The Ronettes, for the ultimate holiday extravaganza! Their acclaimed, multi-media show will deliver a raucous, rocking and intoxicating blend of Ronnie’s Christmas classics, as well as cult gems from her back catalogue.
Ronnie & The Ronettes had a few hit singles in the mid 1960s.
When The Ronettes first toured in England in 1964, The Rolling Stones were their support act.
The group broke up in early 1967, following a European concert tour.
They did not reunite until their 2007 induction (by Keith Richards) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ronnie Spector was famously married to the record producer Phil Spector, who was responsible for The Ronettes' greatest hits, including Be My Baby and Walking in the Rain. But after their wedding in 1968, Ronnie said Phil deprived her of the limelight and virtually imprisoned her in his Los Angeles mansion.
Ronnie Spector got divorced from legendary record producer Phil Spector in 1974.
Ronnie Spector is now aged 76.
I did not see her last show at The Roundhouse , but i did see her perform at The Barbican in 2015.
I also saw her at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2014.
A mainly older crowd here so the stalls is all seated tonight.
A few of the women in the crowd are wearing Santa outfits.
RONNIE SPECTOR was on stage for 80 mins over two sets of 30 mins and 50 mins.
11 musicians on stage including a three man brass section and two younger Ronettes on backing vocals.
There is a big screen showing vintage Ronettes video clips from the 1960s.
Ronnie still has the big hair she had back in the 1960s.
Ronnie told a few stories from the 1960s between songs.
As expected there were lots of Christmas songs in the set.
The crowd all got up and rushed down the front at the end of the main set when she played "Be My Baby".
For the encore Ronnie came on stage wearing a Santa outfit.
Great to see this legend is still rockin'.
Full Ronnie Spector setlist played tonight...
Tape Intro (Spanish Harle)
Frosty the Snow Man (Gene Autry cover)
Because (The Dave Clark Five cover)
Do I Love You (The Ronettes song)
It's Christmas Once Again (Frankie Lymon cover)
Baby, I Love You (The Ronettes song)
Under the Mistletoe
What'd I Say (Ray Charles cover)
Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson cover)
I'm So Young (The Students cover)
Best Christmas Ever
Walking In the Rain (The Ronettes song)
(The Best Part of) Breakin' Up (The Ronettes song)
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? (Bee Gees cover)
Back to Black (Amy Winehouse cover)
Be My Baby (Ellie Greenwich cover)
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Jimmy Boyd cover)
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band cover)
I Can Hear Music (The Ronettes song)
Shock news that the reason SEX PISTOLS guitar hero STEVE JONES suddenly stopped
presenting his radio show was that he has had a heart attack.
SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones has returned to radio , three months after undergoing a heart operation.
Jones broke the news of his ailment during his show, "Jonesy's Jukebox", on the 95.5 KLOS station in Los Angeles.
The Sex Pistols guitarist awoke in the middle of the night with a pain in his chest. He drove himself to a Los Angeles area hospital, where he underwent emergency heart surgery. “So, I had a heart attack,” Jones admitted, “and I kept hearing 90% blockage.”
Despite now being strong enough to return to his radio gig, Jones said his recovery has been “a bit of a nightmare. I'm on eight [or] nine medications,” he noted. “And I'm getting real weird reactions, dizzy and just out of my mind."
Wishing you a full recovery JONESY.
Wednesday 18 December 2019.
Happy Birthday to guitar legend KEITH RICHARDS who is 76 today.
Despite their rock n roll lifestyles back in the day ,it may look like Keith and Iggy Pop will outlive everyone.
Sad news that entertainer Kenny Lynch has died aged 81.
He hit the Top 10 with 'Up on the Roof' and toured with The Beatles.
Lenny was a trailblazer for black entertainers.
The singer and actor passed away in the early hours of this morning, after making his mark in variety shows in the 60s.
Lenny was on the front cover of The Wings 1973 album cover for "Band on the Run".
The cover depicts McCartney, Linda and Laine plus six other well-known people dressed as convicts caught in the spotlight of a prison searchlight. They are Michael Parkinson, Kenny Lynch, James Coburn, Clement Freud, Christopher Lee and John Conteh.
IGGY POP is doing another tv advert to keep the dollars coming in.
This time it is for popular holiday company www.onthebeach.co.uk
The pr agency says...
"One killer shot, with Iggy’s beautiful gravel voice over the top, will stand out a mile in the clutter of Christmas. This campaign is all about creating the space to tell some properly naughty stories. Sometimes, words just win. You can do in a spoken story what you could never do in picture.”
Tuesday 17 December 2019.
MADNESS + dj live at The Roundhouse, London.
I am back to see Madness again after their great show on Sunday.
The show was pretty much the same with the same setlist and the same stage banter.
One extra thing Suggs said when talking about going to The Roundhouse in the 1970s.
He mentioned a famous long haired skinny gig-goer called Jesus who i saw a lot back then as he would be
front side of stage with his tambourine or maracas.
Soooo many great hits played by Madness tonight and even their recent material sounds really good.
See my Sunday review for their full setlist played.
Another really great show.
Around 15 years ago i won a competition on Virgin Radio.
It was a three course dinner with drinks in Soho for four people with Suggs.
We had a great evening as Suggs was good company and posed for photos etc.
I brought along an old Chelsea football programme for him as he supports them.
Tuesday 17 December 2019.
40 years ago today , original AC/DC singer BON SCOTT played his last ever London show.
It was Hammersmith Odeon on 17 Dec 1979 and i was there.
It was the 19th time...yes 19th time i had seen him with them since 1976.
Just a couple of months later he was found dead.
A box at The Royal Albert Hall is for sale at the same price as a castle.
Harrods Estates seek £3 million ($4 million, €3.5 million) for Grand Tier Box 25 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Agents Urban Base seek the same sum for The Castle.
Alternatively and without spending a penny more or a penny less, a buyer could snag themselves the Grade II* listed ‘The Castle’ at Castle Eden, near Durham. The mansion, built circa 1700, stands in 14 acres and includes 11 bedrooms, an orangery and a cupola dome.
Monday 16 December 2019.
SINEAD O'CONNOR live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Following an intimate Irish tour and a few shows in mainland Europe, Sinead O’Connor returns to the UK stage for the first time in four years, for a very special one-off London show.
I have seen Sinead around a dozen times since 1987 when she supported INXS at Hammersmith Odeon.
This is her first London show since her recent conversion to Islam, AKA Shuhada Sadaqat.
SINEAD O'CONNOR & her band arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played for around 85 mins.
Sinead O’Connor’s comeback gigs follows hot on the heels of an appearance on The Late Late Show in September this year, where the Irish icon propelled herself back into the limelight with a beautiful and memorable performance of Nothing Compares 2 U.
O’Connor walked onto the stage barefoot, all in black Muslim attire, a small figure supported by her band – an electric guitar and bass, acoustic guitar, drums, and keys. She began with three powerful songs, all marked by the humour and rage that characterise much of her output. Her voice is still pretty incredible, and you cannot take your eyes of Sinead.
"I sold your granny’s rosary for 50p" is a particularly memorable line in "Reason With Me".
Superb versions of "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "Nothing Compare 2 U".
For the encore , into the powerful "Three Babies", before she began her last, "Milestones’ (her newest, a teaser for her next album, No Mud No Lotus), without the microphone, then ended with just the keyboard for accompaniment. A haunting end to a brilliant show.
Guests in the crowd included live music venue owning legend Vince (Mean Fiddler) Power who
currently owns Nells in West Kensington and Subterania in Ladbroke Grove.
Also here was Jenny Drag from cool all-girl band The Priscilla's.
Full Sinead O'Connor setlist played tonight...
Queen of Denmark (John Grant cover)
Take Me to Church
4th and Vine
Reason with Me
The Wolf Is Getting Married
I Am Stretched on Your Grave
In This Heart
Black Boys on Mopeds
’Til I Whisper U Something
Thank You for Hearing Me
The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
The Emperor's New Clothes
Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince cover)
Hold Back the Night
Happy Birthday to ZZ Tops Billy Gibbons who is 70 today.
Sunday 15 December 2019.
MADNESS + dj live at The Roundhouse, London.
Madness play the first of three Christmas party shows at The Roundhouse.
These are smaller venue shows for them as they usually play The 02 Arena every December.
These sold out shows are to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
I have seen Madness around 25 times since 1979 when the ska revival kicked off in the UK.
They have had a staggering 17 x Top 10 UK hit singles including a number one with "House of Fun".
Quite a few fans are wearing Madness related clothing, fez, shades, two tone clothes etc.
There is a fully dressed up Pearly King & Queen collecting charity donations in the foyer.
The dj plays a nice warm-up set of classic ska, reggae, soul etc.
MADNESS play for around 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 30 mins and 80 mins.
Madness are actually supporting themselves tonight.
For the first set they are at the front part of the stage as they recreate The Dublin Castle
in 1979 for their first ever gig and play a few songs that they played at that gig.
They even wore the same type of clothes they were wearing then.
For the second set , they were all in smart suits for the full production with big screen live footage/ images.
It is pretty compulsive to dance away to their bouncy songs and great lyrics.
Singer Suggs commands the ship as usual , with his wry humour.
So many of their superb hits played in a great show.
Full Madness setlist played tonight....
FIRST SET - Dublin Castle 1979 production
Stepping Into Line
Swan Lake (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky cover)
Land of Hope and Glory
The Young and the Old
Bed and Breakfast Man
SECOND SET - full show production
One Step Beyond (Prince Buster cover)
Drip Fed Fred
Before We Was We
(Waiting For) The Ghost Train
Wings of a Dove
In My Street
House of Fun
It Must Be Love (Labi Siffre cover)
Madness (Prince Buster cover)
Night Boat to Cairo (a female fan was brought on stage for a dance)
Tape outro song - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python song)
Happy Birthday to bass player for the Clash, Paul Simonon who is 64 today.
Saturday 14 December 2019.
FLYING COLORS + DILEMMA live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Flying Colors is an American supergroup composed of Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue, Casey McPherson, Neal Morse and Steve Morse. The band's mission, chartered by executive producer Bill Evans, is to combine complex music with accessible songwriting.
They are playing a one-off sold out UK show on their four date European Tour.
They come to London in support of their third album, Third Degree.
Steve Morse is the current guitarist in Deep Purple.
Mike Portnoy is the incredible drummer who co- founded Dream Theater.
Support comes from Prog rock band Dilemma.
It is stalls seats tonight so sold out at 1200 rather than the usual 2000 punters.
DILEMMA arrived on stage at 7.45pm and played for 45 mins.
They are a Dutch Prog band who played some decent songs with a vocalist with a high range.
They are given a small space at the front as Flying Colors drums and keyboards take up huge spaces.
They said "it has always been a dream of ours to play this famous venue".
Mike Portnoy's drums are uncovered a couple of minutes before he takes the stage.
A massive gleaming kit that has around a dozen cymbals.
FLYING COLORS arrived on stage and played for two hours.
They have a big screen showing pre-recorded images.
Thankfully not as proggy as expected , as they played nice melodic rock.
Steve Morse guitar playing was superb all night.
For some reason he plays guitar with a fingerless glove.
Mike Portnoy is one of those drummers that i love to watch.
All the band are top notch musicians and the band vocal harmonies were good.
A couple of songs were a bit Muse like.
For the first song of the encore the singer walked through the stalls seated area and for
the final two songs the crowd got up as the songs got very lively.
A very enjoyable show.
Full Flying Colors setlist played tonight...
A Place in Your World
The Loss Inside
You Are Not Alone
Forever in a Daze
Note: Filmed and recorded for a forthcoming live release
The Who's first album in 13 years is expected to go in the charts near the top this weekend.
Update - It went in at number three...Rod Stewart hits with orchestra album is number one.
14 December 1973.
It was 46 years ago that i saw my first of over 2000 shows at Hammersmith Odeon (now The Apollo)
Mott The Hoople + Queen
I was 14 and seen Mott The Hoople on Top Of The Pops a few times.
It was the second of two shows they played on the same night...8.30pm start...tickets were £1.
I always wondered whatever happened to the support act!
Released in the UK in 14 December 1979, London Calling album by The Clash is forty years old today.
Friday 13 December 2019.
THE WONDER STUFF + JIM BOB live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
They had 13 x Top 40 hits in the UK including 4 x Top 10s during their heyday period from1988 to 1994.
This year not only sees The Wonder Stuff release their ninth album, Better Being Lucky, but it also marks 30 years since the release of the band’s classic second album, HUP. To celebrate the new record and the landmark anniversary, The Wonder Stuff will be touring the UK playing HUP in its entirety and showcasing tracks from the upcoming album Better Being Lucky. That’s not it, though, as the band will also be throwing in a full performance of their seminal debut album, The Eight Legged Groove Machine!
Support comes from Jim Bob - ex Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.
Tonight is not sold out , but pretty full with all levels open.
JIM BOB arrived on stage at 7.30pm and performed a 45 mins acoustic set.
Jim Bob comes from the same era as The Wonder Stuff so the crowd know his songs.
Great to hear "The Only Living Boy in New Cross " and "Sheriff Fatman".
A good set.
Full Jim Bob setlist played tonight...
Is Wrestling Fixed? (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
Billy's Smart Circus (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
Mrs Fucking MacMurphy
Anytime Anyplace Anywhere (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
A Perfect Day to Drop the Bomb (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song) (Vocal only)
Midnight on the Murder Mile (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
Shoppers' Paradise (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
The Only Living Boy in New Cross (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
Lean on Me I Won't Fall Over (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
Sheriff Fatman (Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song)
THE WONDER STUFF were on stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 25 mins and 90 mins.
The short set at the start was five songs from their most recent album.
The second set was much more livelier with older material that the crowd knew.
They had a female violinist / backing vocals who was really good.
The crowd are jumping around down the front to their many uptempo tracks.
A very enjoyable show.
Full setlist played tonight by The Wonder Stuff...
BETTER BEING LUCKY album tracks.
Feet to the Flames
Lay Down Your Cards
No Thieves Among Us
Don't Anyone Dare Give a Damn
When All of This Is Over
(followed by 15 min break)
30 Years in the Bathroom
Radio Ass Kiss
Them, Big Oak Trees
Piece of Sky
Let's Be Other People
Don't Let Me Down, Gently
Can't Shape Up
THE EIGHT LEGGED GROOVE MACHINE album
Red Berry Joy Town
No, for the 13th Time
It's Yer Money I'm After, Baby
Rue the Day
Give, Give, Give Me More, More, More
Like a Merry Go Round
The Animals and Me
A Wish Away
Mother and I
Some Sad Someone
Good Night Though
The summer of 2020 is looking even better for rock legends playing UK shows.
GUNS N ROSES play their only English show on their European Tour.
Friday, 29th May, 2020 London, UK Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Thursday 12 December 2019.
DEVIN TOWNSEND + HAKEN live at The Roundhouse, London.
Check out his epic track on YouTube - DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - Kingdom (OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO)
This video was recorded at a Royal Albert Hall show of his i attended a few years ago.
Devin & band are on a full UK & Euro Tour in Nov/Dec to promote his album " Empath".
METAL HAMMER made "Empath" their 4th Best Album of 2019, describing it as "brutal, beautiful and bonkers".
Support comes from English Prog metal band Haken who have released five studio albums.
HAKEN arrived on stage at 7.45pm and played for 45 mins.
A good set featuring tracks from their five albums that went down well with the crowd.
I preferred their Metal sounds compared to their Prog sounds.
DEVIN TOWNSEND & band arrived on stage at 9pm and played for two hours.
There is a big screen showing pre-recorded images.
Devin & the band & female backing singers arrive on stage in colourful Hawaii shirts beach wear and tell us
"we are going to take you on two hour vacation away from all the political bullshit that's going on right now".
Devin is great frontman who is full of great stage banter & charisma.
His vocal range – from lung-ripping aggression through demure melody to enormous operatic outstretches – is astounding.
Some elements were a bit too Prog metal for me but tracks like "Deadhead" were great.
The encore was superb as we had a version of the disco classic "Disco Inferno" and then he saves the
best to last as he plays his mega track "Kingdom" which was metal of the highest quality.
A really good show.
Full Devin Townsend setlist played tonight...
Ain't Never Gonna Win
Spirits Will Collide (Acoustic)
Disco Inferno (The Trammps cover)
Note: Filmed for a live DVD with several cameras around the venue
Wednesday 11 December 2019.
DAN REED NETWORK + FM + GUN live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
A nice three band rock package plays London as part of their ten date UK tour.
Three bands, three albums and 30 years of music, this is the ultimate night for rock fans ready to revisit a golden era of music. Dan Reed Network, GUN and FM come together for an incredible tour, which will see them perform their seminal albums, Taking On The World, Tough It Out and Slam in their entirety.
I saw all three bands during their late 1980s/ early1990s heyday...
Dan Reed Network supported Bon Jovi at Wembley Arena in 1990.
Gun supported Def Leppard at Earls Court Arena in 1992.
I saw FM support Reo Speedwagon, Gary Moore and Bon Jovi at Hammersmith Odeon.
I also saw them headline Hammersmith Odeon in 1989.
A bit odd that Levels 2 and 3 are unsold so maybe 1000 here out of the 2000 capacity.
It is a full three band co-headline show as all three bands play 65 mins each and i was
told they are rotating who comes on last each night.
Each band play their featured album along with their best known tracks.
GUN arrived on stage at 7pm.
They played a good set that included a couple of nice cover versions.
Full Gun setlist played tonight...
The Feeling Within
Something to Believe In
Can't Get Any Lower
Girls in Love
Word Up! (Cameo cover) (number 8 UK hit in 1994 for Gun)
Taking on the World
I Will Be Waiting
Money (Everybody Loves Her)
Steal Your Fire
Shame on You
(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) (Beastie Boys cover)
Note: Set comprised all tracks from "Taking On The World", plus extra songs 6, 11 & 13
FM arrived on stage at 8.25pm.
FM have lots of good radio friendly rock songs but oddly despite a lot of touring back in the day they never
had a Top 40 UK hit single.
A good set.
Full FM setlist played tonight...
Tough It Out
Someday (You'll Come Running)
Everytime I Think of You (Eric Martin cover)
Burning My Heart Down
The Dream That Died
Can You Hear Me Calling?
Does It Feel Like Love
Feels So Good
I Belong to the Night
Killed by Love
DAN REED NETWORK arrived on stage at 9.50pm
They played a good set of their funky rock.
A great version of their only UK Top 40 hit " Rainbow Child".
Full DRN setlist played tonight...
All My Lovin' (A cappella version of the penultimate track on the 'Slam' album)
Make it Easy
Tiger in a Dress
Doin' the Love Thing
Stronger Than Steel
Under My Skin
I'm Lonely, Please Stay
Come Back Baby
Seven Sisters Road
Five minutes after the show Dan Reed was in the foyer signing stuff at the merch stand.
Tuesday 10 December 2019.
SKILLET + DEVOUR THE DAY live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
A one off sold out UK show by Skillet on their Nov/Dec European Tour.
Skillet is an American Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1996. The band currently consists of husband John (lead vocals, bass) and wife Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) along with Jen Ledger (drums, vocals) and Seth Morrison (lead guitar).
They are on tour to promote their 10th studio album "Victorious".
This track of theirs has had over 280 million views on YouTube - Monster.
A few of their tracks have had over 100 million streams on Spotify.
In 1987 i saw Christian rock band Stryper play Hammersmith Odeon.
I still have a couple of their black & yellow striped bibles that they threw out to the crowd.
Support act Devour The Day are also from Tennessee.
The merch stands are doing a roaring trade all night.
Both the bands are much heavier than expected , as they both rocked out.
DEVOUR THE DAY arrived on stage at 7.50pm and played for around 40 mins.
A rock trio who played a good bunch of rockin' tunes from their three albums including a
great cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
SKILLET arrived on stage at 9pm and played for around 95 mins.
The band are full of energy from the start and the crowd are singly loudly along to every song.
Their crunching rock sound has elements of American rock bands like
Linkin Park, Shinedown , Nickelback and Evanescence.
They also dedicated a song to Linkin Parks singer Chester Bennington...R.I.P.
Not much preaching between songs and definitely no on stage swearing.
Their chatty singer John Cooper shared tonight that one of their biggest hits " Hero" was written as a tribute to the person who has given him the greatest hope throughout his life, Jesus Christ.
Smoke flumes were used a lot including one song where they were attached to his arms for good effect.
A really good show.
Full Skillet setlist played tonight...
Not Gonna Die
You Ain't Ready
Whispers in the Dark
Awake and Alive
Back From the Dead
Save Me (Preceded by Jen Ledger's drum solo)
Monday 09 December 2019.
December is a great month for quality gigs every night until just before Christmas.
I will be going to several between now and 21 December.
Make the most of the choice , as gigs will go very quiet for the first three weeks of January.
Sad news of a musicians death...
Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61, her manager has confirmed.
The Swedish star achieved global success in the 1990s with hits including The Look, Joyride and It Must Have Been Love.
A statement said the singer had died "following a 17-year long battle with cancer".
Sunday 08 December 2019.
TEMPLES live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
Psychedelic rockers Temples are a youngish band from Northamptonshire.
This show is the last night of their European Tour.
They are touring their third studio album, which has not equalled the success of their debut album.
Sun Structures (5 February 2014) reached UK No. 7
Volcano (3 March 2017) reached UK No. 23
Hot Motion (27 September 2019) reached UK No. 51
Temples - Shelter Song official video has had over 4 million views on YouTube.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, so maybe 1000 tickets sold out of the 2000 capacity.
UNEXPECTED GAINS arrived on stage at 7.45pm and played for 30 mins.
A loud rock trio who played a really good set of songs that included politically charged lyrics.
ANNI B SWEET & her band arrived on stage at 8.30pm for their 30 mins set.
Anni is from Spain and she played a good set with her band.
TEMPLES arrived on stage at 9.30pm and played for 90 mins.
The band all look super cool as they all have hair and clothes that could have been around
50 years ago at the height of psychedelic rock....a few in the crowd are wearing the vintage clothes too.
The main set ticked along nicely but the last two songs of the night were the highlights as the crowd
got livelier and the encore was great as the band got stuck into psychedelic noise overdrive.
A good show.
Full setlist played by Temples tonight...
A Question Isn't Answered
You're Either on Something
Colours to Life
The Golden Throne
Oh the Saviour
Keep in the Dark
Mesmerise (extended version with both support bands on stage dancing)
Saturday 07 December 2019.
NEW POWER GENERATION (NPG) - A Celebration of Prince live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
The reunion of former members of the New Power Generation (NPG) - including a number of those in the original configuration from 1990 - was born out of the official Prince Tribute concert in October, 2016.
I was lucky enough to have seen the real Prince perform around 25 times since 1986.
He was one of the greatest live concert performers for sure that i have seen.
On his last UK visit in 2014 i saw him play Shepherds Bush Empire and The Roundhouse.
The Roundhouse was amazing as he played two shows on the same night...I was at both.
Prince was a total genius who is very sadly missed.
Will be great to hear Prince classics like "Purple Rain" , "1999 " , "Cream" , "Let's Go Crazy" etc.
6pm to 7pm was the soundcheck and meet & greet with the band.
Around 30 people are here in the front stalls for this.
The band play a funky instrumental jam then play two great versions of "Nothing Compares 2 U"
and one of my fave Prince tracks " Gold"...neither were played in the main set later.
The band then came into the stalls for the meet & greet and chatted and did photos and autographs.
Level 3 is closed as unsold but must be 1500 out of 2000 tickets sold.
The dj support played some nice funky tunes.
NEW POWER GENERATION arrived on stage at 8.40pm and played for 2 hours 5 mins.
The band have two vocalists sharing the singing duties. One is a Prince/Lenny Kravitz lookalike
and the other is Martin Kember who had a stint in 1990s RnB act Color Me Badd.
The setlist was a nice mix of lesser known tracks and Prince classics.
Most of the big tunes were played in the second half of the show.
Prince has so many great tracks so a few gems were not played including "Little Red Corvette",
"Raspberry Berry", "Take Me With U" "I Would Die 4 U" and "Kiss".
I would have preferred to hear a more greatest hits set but it was very enjoyable overall.
Full NPG setlist played tonight...
Live 4 Love (Prince cover)
17 Days (Prince cover)
Girls & Boys (Prince cover)
Pop Life (Prince cover)
Deuce & a Quarter
Call the Law
7 (Prince cover)
Call My Name (Prince cover)
Sexy M.F. (Prince cover)
Lady Cab Driver (Prince cover)
Black Sweat (Prince cover)
U Got The Look (Prince cover)
Cream (Prince cover)
When Doves Cry (Prince cover)
Days of Wild (Prince cover)
The Beautiful Ones (Prince cover)
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (Prince cover)
Alphabet St. (Prince cover)
Gett Off (Prince cover)
1999 (Prince cover)
Let's Go Crazy (Prince cover)
D.M.S.R. (Prince cover) (with a dozen female fans on stage for a dance)
Controversy (Prince cover)
Purple Rain (Prince cover)
Friday 06 December 2019.
EMMA BUNTON'S CHRISTMAS PARTY live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Emma Bunton performs festive favourites, solo songs and some Spice Girls classics in this one-off show.
Guests joining her will include Will Young , Matt Goss and her real life partner Jade Jones.
I attended two of the three Spice Girls shows at Wembley Stadium this summer in July 2019.
Just under 700,000 tickets were sold to see their thirteen UK stadium shows in the summer.
Emma had 7 x Top 10 hit singles in the UK including a number 1 in 2001 with "What Took You So Long".
A pretty full house tonight, although circle blocks in the corners are unsold.
Like The Spice Girls shows, there were loads of gay men here.
Emma said there were lots of friends & family & celebrity friends here.
I spotted Spice Girl Geri waving to the crowd below from her box set.
Also seen here were Myleene Klass, Vanessa Feltz, Tallia Storm , Christine Lampard,
Kelly Brook, Tasmin Outhwaite, and Holly Willoughby.
The show was on for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 45 mins and 65 mins.
Emma has eight male dancers with her and three female backing vocalists.
Emma wore a sparkling outfit for each set.
There were a couple of large Christmas trees with lights dotted around at the back but i think
they are being used for all the shows at this venue in December.
The first part of the show was full of Christmas classics and solo material and in the second half
Emma played a few Spice Girls gems, which of course went down a treat with the crowd.
Emma is now aged 43 but quite happy to keep the girlie Baby Spice image.
Emma is not the greatest singer but she has a nice friendly persona on stage.
A very enjoyable show.
Full Emma Bunton setlist played tonight...
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee cover)
Jingle Bell Rock (Bobby Helms cover)
Baby, It's Cold Outside (Frank Loesser cover) (with Jade Jones)
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles cover)
I Only Want to Be With You (Dusty Springfield cover) (with Will Young)
Winter Wonderland (Richard Himber & His Orchestra cover)
Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt cover)
Take My Breath Away
Don't Call Me Baby (Madison Avenue cover)
Baby Please Don't Stop
Too Many Teardrops
You're All I Need to Get By (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell cover) (with Jade Jones)
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (Carpenters cover)
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Vaughn Monroe cover)
Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls song) (Snippet) (with four Spice Girls mini-me's)
Say You'll Be There (Spice Girls song) (Cabaret Version)
Viva Forever (Spice Girls song)
Mama (Spice Girls song) (with Chicken Shed)
2 Become 1 (Spice Girls song)
What Took You So Long? (Cabaret Version)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland cover)
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams cover) (with Matt Goss)
Coming Home For Christmas ( Emma's Christmas Single)
Rockin' Robin (The Jackson 5 cover)
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Roy Wood & Wizzard cover)
One year ago today we heard the shock news that punk rock legend Pete Shelley had passed away.
Thursday 05 December 2019...I went to three events today...
12.45pm to 3.45pm
WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 - Royal Horseguards Hotel, London SW1.
Around 150 guests at this very nice five star hotel.
From 1.15pm to 2.15pm we are seated for the award in the adjacent room.
There were 151 entries and the 6 shortlisted authors are interviewed on stage by Mark Lawson.
Tom Watt is here , who played Lofty in Eastenders in the 1980s...he is a co-author for a book here.
1.The Rise of the Ultra Runners - (Adharanand Finn) - running in the desert of Oman
2. The Great Romantic : Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus (Duncan Hamilton) - cricket
3. How Boxing Brought Hope in the Troubles (Donald McRae) - boxing in Northern Ireland
4. Riding the World's Wildest Horse Race ( Lara Prior - Palmer) - Mongol Derby 1000km race on wild horses
5. Commander in Cheat : How Golf Explains Trump (Rick Kelly ) - Donald Trump golfing deceptions
6. Position of Trust : A Football Dream Portrayed (Andy Woodward with Tom Watt) - child sex abuse in football
THE WINNER - Duncan Hamilton’s The Great Romantic: Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus
“The judges were bowled over by the quality of the writing and the way in which Hamilton brings to life the characters that defined cricket between the two world wars. The author explains that Neville Cardus was unknowable but this book does a very fine job indeed of guiding us through his career and motivations.”
Complimentary Moët champers, wines, beers, hot & cold canapés and macaroons for all guests.
4.30pm to 5.30pm
THE CLASH : London Calling at The Museum of London,150 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2.
40th anniversary exhibition of the bands classic third album that was released in 1979.
I finally get along to see this exhibition.
A few friends had told me it was smaller than expected.
That would explain why it is free entry rather than a paid ticket.
The display features the London Calling album and their two American tours in 1979.
I saw The Clash live in Sept 1979 in Boston, USA on their "Take the 5th " tour.
I saw The Clash live 20 times from 1976 to 1984 - they were a superb live band.
Tour diaries, stage clothes, guitars including Paul's broken Fender bass from their 1979 New York show.
Lots of hand written notes and other bits n pieces.
The Clash songs are playing in the background.
I did notice an error though.
They said The Clash gig for Kampuchea in Dec 1979 was at Hammersmith Palais, it was Hammersmith Odeon.
The exhibition is well worth a visit.
15 November 2019 – 19 April 2020 - FREE ENTRY
Visit their website here for more info.
SNOW PATROL live at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
Snow Patrol play the second of two sold out shows at The Royal Albert Hall.
I have seen them play live a few times before.
Their major-label debut album, "Final Straw", eventually sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Their next studio album," Eyes Open " (2006), and its hit single, "Chasing Cars" – the most widely played song of the 21st century on UK radio – propelled the band to greater international fame. The album topped the UK Albums Chart and was the best-selling British album of the year, selling over 6 million copies worldwide. The band's third compilation album, "Reworked," was released in November 2019 and features reworked versions of old songs and three new tracks.
"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol has been named the most-played song on British radio this century.
The epic ballad was released in 2006 and only reached a high of No 6 in the UK charts, but went on to spend a total of 166 weeks in the Top 100.
Music licensing body PPL calculated that it received the most plays, ahead of I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, and Happy by Pharrell.
The venue is totally rammed sold out.
The band are on stage for two hours over two sets of 45 mins and 75 mins.
Around a dozen musicians on stage including strings, brass and percussion.
Some stripped lighting.
The first set was mainly down tempo and the second set was much more livelier.
They played all of their hits but I think I preferred the original versions to the reworked versions.
Great crowd singalong for big tracks like "Run" and "Chasing Cars".