Valli Scales the Heights

Who: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

What: Greatest Hits Tour 2017

Where: Bournemouth International Centre

When: 21st April 2017

A few years ago if you’d asked the average man on the street in the UK to name the legends of rock’n’roll, he would have begun with Elvis Presley and the Beatles but he might not have ever got to Frankie Valli or the Four Seasons. Since then a musical called “Jersey Boys” has become a phenomenon on Broadway and in the West End.

Now people’s awareness of how many great songs Valli and Seasons’ writer, Bob Gaudio are responsible for, has increased beyond recognition. And Valli and his current band, who were once reduced to playing medium-sized venues, are now back in the big leagues as a live draw.

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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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Music: The principal of pleasure (1978-1980)

A guy that I’ve met wrote a list on Facebook which has been running ’round my head for the last few hours. Quite a simple idea really – the albums he was listening to in his teenage years. It sparked something within me and took me back to another time and so I’m up in the night writing a list of my own but also exploring things that in some ways I’d rather not think about it – a very different time – and some things I guess I’d rather forget.

But in the midst of it there was always music.

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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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Already Gone – A Natural Progressions Update

Glenn Frey

When I was at High School he seemed like the coolest guy on the whole planet.

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Harping on…

Who: Serafina Steer and BAS JAN

Where: King’s Place, King’s Cross, London

When: Friday 11th December 2015

It’s not often I’m lost for words. It’s about 33 years since I had my first article published in a newspaper and since then there have been many thousands of words – in books, in magazines, in newspapers and, in recent years, on the internet.

I’m not often lost for vocabulary.

But then I don’t often go to see concerts by one of my favourite contemporary artists and find that she has committed the first half of the show to a harp recital.

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Steely Dan – The Most Unforgettable Night of Whatever

About a lifetime ago, my friend, Andrew, and I went to Leeds for the day and in the course of our shopping I brought home every Steely Dan album that had been released to that point, that I didn’t already own. By the time I had worked through albums like Pretzel Logic I was a fan for life. Indeed, Katy Lied joined Van Morrison and Bob Dylan in seeing me almost single-handed through some very tortured teenage years.

Flash forward to 2015 and my wonderful opportunity as I was invited to fly out to the U.S. and cover their residency at the Beacon in New York. I’d seen them a number of times but to see them on home territory playing with imagination and verve — well, this is the stuff that dreams are made of. So let’s take a look at their final night:

Who: Steely Dan

What: rockabye gollie angel tour 2015: “The Most Unforgettable Night of Whatever – Featuring Spectacular Musical Guests, Glorious Tunes and Riffage, and Whatever the Party Calls for! “

When: October 17th, 2015

Where: Beacon Theatre, New York, New York, USA

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