Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coldplay In St Louis

I know they're not everyone's cup of tea, but Coldplay put on a great show at the Verizon amphitheatre on a hot sweaty evening last Friday. They worked really hard to build a rapport with the audience, twice performing on tiny platforms amongst the crowd of 20 000 and continuing to chat with them between songs. I also loved seeing all the big yellow balloons they projected into the crowd during their performance of Yellow.

Coldplay are on a big US tour and strangely I felt quite proud to see a very British band 'conquering' America. They even gave away free CDs to everyone on the way out which was a really nice gesture.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kim Massie in St Louis

They love their music in St Louis and there's a thriving jazz and blues scene.Last night I saw an amazing singer called Kim Massie perform at an Blues bar called Beale on Broadway. Was a privilege to be there. We sat in the open air until 1am on a hot and steamy evening drinking Bud listening to great music that made you feel glad to be alive. How lucky am I.

Off to see Coldplay tonight in a huge amphitheatre - will be quite a contrast. Work's over, so will be a great way to end the trip.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 1 in St Louis

Am staying in one of my favourite hotel chains, the Westin, in downtown St Louis, right across the road from the St Louis Cardinals baseball stadium. Managed to get a decent night's sleep in my 'Heavenly Bed' and spent the morning visiting supermarkets to get products for our workshop tomorrow.

We've hired a big car so have been driving around the mean streets of the city with the help of my Garmin. St Louis is not what I expected. It's big and fairly industrialised and like most cities its quite divided. There's a lot of posh houses and nice parks, but equally there's quite a few poor neighbourhoods.

The city has a great reputation for jazz and blues, so may well go and seek some out this evening in a local bar. Its also home to Anheuser-Busch, so there should be some good beers on offer. Coldplay are playing in St Louis this Friday. Not sure whether I'll go or not.

Have already tripled my daily caloric intake after a huge breakfast. One of the best things about being in the States. However, am sure I'll have a steak this evening. I also really like all that 'have a good day' cheefulness. Puts you in a good mood.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Off to St Louis

Tomorrow I'm going to St Louis for the first time. I'm not even sure where it is, although I know I need to change at Chigaco. Will be there for the rest of week. As ever, feeling slightly anxious - what should I pack, have I sorted all my work out, will the workshop go ok, will all the flights connections work. Haven't got a clue what to expect. We'll see....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lily Allen At Somerset House

Lily Allen is proving to be a really accomplished performer. She's got more material to play with from her excellent second album and she looks great too - slimmer and more glam. Here she is singing 'Smile'. Make your own mind up.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Wrestler
On a long haul flight I recently saw 'The Wrestler'. This is a fantastic film and Mickey Rouke is incredible in the title role. Even if you don't like wrestling or indeed sport in general you can't help getting drawn into it. This is no rags to riches Rocky-style movie and the wrestling acts as a backdrop to the plot. It's about an ageing man struggling to hold his life together and rebuild a relationship with his estranged daughter. Sean Penn was brilliant in 'Milk', but I reckon Mickey Rourke deserved to win the Oscar for this performance. Definitely worth seeing. Put it to the top of your Lovefilm list.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Glastovid 4 - Michael Jackson Tribute

At Glastonbury on Thursday, news broke about Michael Jackson's death. On Friday, acts were paying their respects. On Saturday, the dance tents were playing his songs as were the performers. By Sunday, the comedians were trotting out the old Michael Jackson jokes.

Here's a video of Dizzee Rascal conducting a Michael Jackson singalong.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Glasto Vid 3 - Blur

Here's Blur singing a bit of 'Parklife' with that bloke from East Enders. (Phil Daniels)