Hotel/Resort Review: Hilton London Tower Bridge – London, England [REVISIT]

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This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in December 2013. This review is for the Hilton London Tower Bridge.  I have stayed at this property multiple times, so this is an updated review. [Read more...]

Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire | London, England | 12/21/2013 (Concert Review)

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“I wanted to know if you were up for a bit of dancing now – I know it’s a bit tight out there with bodies and antlers and everything, but hey, there’s no excuse…”  Words in-between songs by 80s New Wave pop icon Kim Wilde at “Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party” at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, England on Friday night.   Given that these four special shows (one in the Netherlands and three in England) were her first solo gigs in some time, I really had no idea what to expect.  And since she just came out with her Wilde Winter Songbook of Christmas songs, I thought perhaps the whole show would be dedicated to maybe an hour or so of holiday music.  I really couldn’t have been more wrong, as she ended up doing a mix of pop music (including covers) as well as Christmas music, with a sprawling setlist clocking in at two dozen songs, with a two hour performance.   At 53, she still looks stunning and sounds amazing, and it truly had a party-like atmosphere, and among other talented musicians, she was joined on stage by her niece, brother, and father, so it was a real intimate family affair.  All in all, a brilliant show, and I feel very fortunate to have had an opportunity to be there for it.

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“Crisis Presents…” with Jake Bugg, Bastille, Michael Kiwanuka, AlunaGeorge, and Foxes at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith | London, England | 12/20/2013 (Concert Review)

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This special benefit concert was organized by Crisis, with proceeds designated for their “Crisis at Christmas” as well as their Year-round services throughout the UK.  The stellar line-up featured Bastille, Foxes, AlunaGeorge, Michael Kiwanuka, and Jake Bugg, with presenter Clara Amfo from BBC Radio 1Xtra managing the event on stage.  It was a high energy show that drew a young and enthusiastic crowd, and was certainly in line with the festive spirit of this week leading into Christmas.  The night kicked off with a great performance from the charity organization’s own Crisis Starlight Band and that moment carried through the night.  A great evening for a great cause.

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Crisis Presents… with Jake Bugg, Bastille, Michael Kiwanuka, AlunaGeorge, Foxes, and Al Doyle (Hot Chip) at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on December 20th

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Crisis – the national charity for single homeless people across the UK – will be holding a special concert event at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London on Friday, December 20th.  “Crisis Presents…” will be hosting a special concert with UK artists featuring Jake Bugg, Bastille, Michael Kiwanuka, AlunaGeorge, Foxes, and Al Doyle from Hot Chip doing a DJ set.  Also planned is a special performance by singers and musicians from their London Skylight centre. [Read more...]

Special Charity Holiday Concert Event December 19th “Kids Company and Coldplay Present: Under 1 Roof” (Coldplay, Ricky Gervais as David Brent And Foregone Conclusion, Lily Allen, Dynamo and Rizzle Kicks)

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As is somewhat of a tradition, it was announced this month that Coldplay will be doing a special charity concert in London to benefit one of their favorite organizations, Kids Company, who provide practical, emotional, and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people in London and Bristol.    The special event, “Under 1 Roof: A Night For Kids Company”, will be held on December 19th at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London.  Joining Coldplay on stage will be Ricky Gervais, in character from The Office’s David Brent as David Brent and Foregone Conclusion, Lily Allen, magician Dynamo, and hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, all hosted by Fearne Cotton. [Read more...]

“Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party” Special Engagement To Play Four Dates in Netherlands and UK in December

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Award-winning English pop star Kim Wilde will be performing her first solo concert dates since 1986 next month.  With her Wilde Winter Songbook having been released this year, she will be kicking of her select dates of “Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party” on December 14th at Ankerhallen in Saasveld in the Netherlands, which will be followed three special O2 dates in the UK.  Supporting these special concert engagements will be Nik Kershaw. [Read more...]

The Zombies at Yoshi’s San Francisco | San Francisco, California | 9/5/2013 (Concert Review)

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“It sells more every year now than it ever did when it did first came out in 1968″…  Rod Argent, keyboardist and vocalist, talking about the second studio album put out by The Zombies, Odessey and Oracle, as he and vocalist Colin Blunstone took the time between stretches of songs to provide some history and context into their “musical journey” through the history of the British Invasion band.  After a stellar opening set from supporting band Et Tu Brucé, the two founding members of The Zombies along with rock veterans Tom Toomey on guitar, Jim Rodford (front Argent and The Kinks) on bass, and Jim’s son Steve Rodford on drums demonstrated with their performance why their legendary status continues to grow.  Yoshi’s San Francisco was as packed as I’ve ever seen it, and the audience seemed to be swept away with their brilliant and timeless music.

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Hotel/Resort Review: citizenM London Bankside – London, England

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This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013. This review is for citizenM London Bankside. [Read more...]

Hotel/Resort Review: Hilton London Tower Bridge – London, England [REVISIT]

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This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013.  This review is for the Hilton London Tower Bridge.  I stayed at and reviewed this property last year, so this is an updated review. [Read more...]

Hotel/Resort Review: Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill – London, England

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This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013. This review is for the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. [Read more...]

Hotel/Resort Review: Hotel Indigio London-Paddington – London, England

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This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013. This review is for the Hotel Indigo London-Paddington. [Read more...]

Muse at Royal Horse Guard’s Parade (World War Z Premiere) | London, England | 6/2/2013 (Concert Review)

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15,000 hardcore Muse fans showed up at the Royal Horse Guard’s Parade in London, England last night for a special one-off concert promoting the premiere of Paramount’s new film, World War Z.   As fans waited for the expected partial show (rumor was about half an hour of actual performance), we were shown the same movie trailer over and over and told that Brad Pitt would be appearing on stage before us.  Well, he never did appear (apart from some silent footage on the jumbo monitors from the red carpet), but I don’t think the Muse fans could care less, as the usual opener to their shows was modified with some footage from the film, and after those few moments, it was pure Muse (not “Muze”, as the marketing department for the film would like us to believe).  Being from the U.S., the awesome setting amidst historic London buildings and the awesome crowd certainly was not lost on me.  The energy was as palpable as the heat wave surging into the audience from the pyrotechnics above the stage.  But the real power came from the band, who have grown into being one of the best acts touring today, with real anthemic music that stirs the crowd into a fist-pumping frenzy.  They ended up playing maybe just under an hour, but I’m certain that they satisfied all who turned out for the special free show, most of whom turned out for the two shows at Emirates Stadium and seemingly universally declared them the best Muse concerts ever.

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