Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Mutya Buena at the Jazz Cafe 25.7.07
The jazz café was sold out and fairly packed. After purchasing a £3.40 boretti beer on draught, I get a good position in front of the stage left. Mutya’s album features collaborations with George Micheal and Amy Winehouse although there were no special guests involved tonight. The set was from her album, although the song B-Boy Baby had the same tune as Be My Baby the 60s song and surprising she sang the Sugababes hit Ugly towards the end of her set. The concert price was around £10.00 which is a bit of bargain for any London gig these days, not less one who has been in the top ten most of the summer so far!
Set – Not Your Baby – It’s Not Easy – Just A Little Bit – Naïve – Suffer For Love – B-Boy Baby – Strung Out – Song 4 Mutya (Out Of Control) – Ugly – Real Girl
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Catch Up last two weeks
Been to the Water Rats a couple of times. The first time was to see a band called The Mummers, who are lead by a lady called Raissa, who was around in the mid to late nineties with a rather good single called ‘Believer’ and an alrightish self titled album. They were good, airy and melodic with a good string section and breathy vocals. Everyone is on myspace these days so worth checking them out. Hopefully they will go on for an actual physical release as all this virtual music may be out there, it is not a good as actually holding a CD in your hand and looking at the booklet / artwork that comes with it. The Mummers were supporting a band called Passenger who were really really awful. Who wants to sound like James Blunt playing a dreary Travis song? The first band I saw for before the Mummers was called Six Nation State. These were really good. Three guitarists, bass and drums they knocked out catchy tunes reminiscent of The Specials and The Libertines, with one pop tune ‘I Hate The Summer’. I was so impressed I returned the following week when they were playing the Water Rats again. Apparently there is a lot of free music from them here in the virtual world, as well as their myspace page, however, they do have an album due in September which I shall be looking out for. Their bass player is also capable of downing a pint of Guinness in one as I saw at the bar after their second show.
I’ve finished reading the Alex James autobiography recently. The bass player from Blur certainly got around a bit. Interestingly like myself, he always made sure he went one day a week without alcohol, though unlike me he is now tea total. It’s a very good read which doesn’t dwell too much on Blur (hardly at all in fact) but concentrates on more his lifestyle of drink, women and well, drink and women. Two best bits, when meeting Helena Christianson, his first line was ‘Do You Like Cheese?’ and the part when he urinates from the 4th floor window on the head of the girl he eventually marries. Annoyingly he has also slept with the Darling Buds lead singer. Git!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The film was very enjoyable with the pluses outweighing any negative points.
Things I liked were: You saw the superheroes enjoy using their power socially without fighting super villains (Reed’s Bachelor party is great). The scene where the heroes do battle in London is awesome. Jessica Alba as the invisible woman is incredibly gorgeous and looks great all the time.
The minus points were that we don’t get to see Galactus and the power swapping between the four heroes doesn’t really work for me. Dr Doom’s return is a bit pointless however and merely extends the film to a reasonable length of ninety minutes. Still very good entertainment and I didn’t leave slightly disappointed as I did with Spidey or the Pirates earlier this year.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Pub Crawl 2007
The idea was to pick twenty or so people who have a blue plaque commemorating them, find the plaque and then a nearby pub. Unfortunately the weather was pants and the travelling was a little too much so some people were axed. Still we managed to get fifteen venues done and see 17 planned and more unplanned blue plaques and hopefully learned something about the various historic individuals.
After meeting at Victoria we shortly came across the first plaque of the day, James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Alas the pub right near him was closed. Not sure why but some pubs in Belgravia don’t open at weekends. We cracked on however and saw Vivienne Leighs’s plaque and saw our first pub of the day. However as we were heading towards it, a lady heard that we were on a crawl and quickly dissed the pub stating that the one round the corner was much nicer. As Barry White used to say ‘anything for a lady’ we abruptly turned round and went to Duke Of Wellington. A small horseshoe shaped pub that was run by Shepherd Neame brewery hence a few pints (as we had seen two plaques – half for each) of Oranjeboom and Spitfire were the orders. I liked this pub, which had two attractive foreign barmaids and a suited bloke at the bar smoking like it was his last day he could do so in the pub. (Indeed it was). Onto Aubrey Beardsley after and this sparked some debate as to whether he was famous enough for the crawl with half the crew not having heard of him. He is famous enough to be mentioned in a Rod Stewart song though! The Clarendon was the pub, very gastro and airy. Another barmaid was in here but the drinks were the bog standard lagers although ale was served in the form of IPA.
The Chelsea Potter was next on the Kings Road. This was Bran Stokers local. No barmaids and nothing to shout about. However, Sky Sports News were reporting that Fulham had signed the Baggies striker, Kamera. After a bit of a walk to find Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde (Oscar and Bram shared a girlfriend apparently – unsurprising in that they lived quite local – this was obviously before Big Butch Oscar went to being a whoopsie) we find a nice Youngs pub called the Coopers Arms. Some attractive women at the bar and one niceish barmaid. Isambard Kingdom Brunels place was next, with his plaque well hidden with us having to jump to look over a fence to see it. The Worlds End pub was then visited and it was rubbish. Not many people in there and two blokes serving.
A bus ride took us to Gandhis place next where his local was the Famous Three Kings. This is a great sports pub, numerous tellys and a couple of pool tables. Bombardier was the ale and there were two barmaids one of which kept giving me numerous smiles which were returned with glee.
A tube then took us to High St Kensington where we walked towards Notting Hill for Agatha Christie and James Joyce. Ye Olde Swan was picked for food which was spot on. Fairly average pub though pleasant enough but no barmaids.
Tubing to Marble Arch we get to Edward Lear (Owl & The Pussycat fame). The Bricklayers Arms was quite a locals pub with a group of blokes next to us asking whether Kate Beckinsale was fit or not. No brainer that one. After PG Wodehouse we find the Marlborough Head. A ‘spooky’ pub this was quite lively although the barmaid was tattooed and scary and not scary in the way the pub would like. After Jimi Hendirx we go to the Running Horse. I can’t remember too much about this pub so can have been great. It was teaming down now as we walked to Robert Peel to meet a certain latecomer. The Aubrey was the pub – ‘a touch of Mayfair class bit a bit dull’. Florence Nightingale was next and a walk to The Rose And Crown opposite the Hard Rock Café. I quite liked this although it was a bit small. With time cracking on we tubed it to Great Portland Street and a walk down found us at James Boswells. The Horse And Groom was next door, a typical Samuel Smiths pub but under £2 a pint. Some people made use of the dartboard here but I am unable to comment on the standard of play. Our group disintegrated at this stage as it was approaching 10.30 and obviously not all people fancied a late one. However the few remained went onto George Bernard Shaw and as a bonus also Virginis Woolf!. We went to the Grafton Arms after an attempt to get into another place was greeted with ‘we’re closed’. The Grafton was quiet but very nice with Amstel and a good range of real ale I recall. That concluded the crawl although the survivors then managed to go to Kings and found that Collide-a-scope was closing. However the club that remained showed a welcome return to good music with many a Britpop tune being played intersperced with some modern indie. All in all a good night.
Im running out of ideas for next years crawl, hopefully one where there’s not too much travelling between pubs. Any suggestions please make them to me.