Can you light a fire…

Who: Steve Hackett

What: Classic Hackett and Genesis Revisited

Where: The Palladium, Argyll Street, London

When: 19th May 2017

In the last few years, Steve Hackett’s career has found a whole new momentum. Not for him the way of some older artists who peddle their glory years alone. Rather he has record a succession of varied and interesting albums which he brings to venues across the UK and pairs in live performance with a set emphasising that he was once lead guitarist with Genesis.

This way everybody wins…, the venue sells out… and the fans love it.

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The A1111 and Other Songs

What: My Last Will and Tasty Mint

Who: John Shuttleworth

When: 21st February 2017

Where: Leicester Square Theatre, London

What could be better than a John Shuttleworth concert? Well, perhaps a John Shuttleworth concert with lots of recently written songs and an invigorated artist.

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An ongoing Honaloochie boogie…

Who: Ian Hunter and the Rant Band

Who Else: Graham Parker and Brinsley Schwarz; Sitting Pretty

Where: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

When: 11th November 2016

Well, who thought we would still be here? The ongoing wonder of Ian Hunter’s career and the dedication of his fans enters a new era. After the rave reviews of his new album “Fingers Crossed” in the music press, Mr Hunter has a new impetus (not that he seems to have needed any) to reach fresh mountain peaks in his career.

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Ahead …by some distance

Who: Steps Ahead

What: Reunion tour 2016

When: July 4th, 2016

Where: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London

Hey, kill me, but I’m one of those irritating fools that likes to take a few photos at a concert but one of the downsides of Ronnie Scott’s is that they have an absolutely no snapshots rule. Now I wouldn’t want to be snapping away on a smart phone or with something that flashes in the artists’ eyes but a few memories enhances the experience for me.

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Like A River That Don’t Know Where It’s Flowing

Who: Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band

What: The River Tour 2016

Where: Wembley Stadium, London

When: 5th June 2016

My track record with the music of Bruce Springsteen has been a little chequered. I discovered his music early in his career and love the first four albums – “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.”, “The Wild, The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle”, “Born to Run” and “Darkness on the Edge of the Town”. “The River” was an interesting album. Bruce felt it needed to be a double record. Listening to it in Yorkshire in England, I always felt it would have been better as a single album. Loved “Point Blank” but couldn’t get excited about what Mr Springsteen refers to as his “bar-room songs” especially pieces of fluff like “Crush on You”. But there was some real meat in there and I remember listening to that album a lot.

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The pleasure of poetry with Paul Cookson

I first met Paul Cookson in the early 1980s at an Arts Festival called Greenbelt. Back then he was writing poems for adults and selling them in self-published booklets on the “fringe” area of the festival.

A couple of years later he had found his true vocation and graduated to writing poems for children. We started doing schools presentations of his work about 15 years ago and when I opened the theatre “Ravenscourt Arts@ Ravenscourt Baptist Church”, his performances became a¬†regular if¬†occasional part of our repertoire at the theatre as we have invited Paul to work with local schools groups.

This tradition continued in March 2016 as over 800 young people joined Paul over 6 events and laughed, worked with words, invented rhymes, and wrote their own poetry.

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