Thursday, 21 November 2013

My Birthday Delights

It was my birthday on Saturday.
Thanks for all of the cards...
Di produced a few surprises.
On Friday night a quiet game of squash became a proposed surprise boozy night with invited mates at the bar. Unfortunately my game finished an hour later than scheduled so by the time I showed nearly everyone had buggered off, leaving me with a few sulky amigos desperate to depart to better offers.
On Saturday Di and I watched England getting thumped by the All Blacks before making our way to Islington for a great meal (curry and thrice cooked chips) and a gig; Michael Kiwanuka was playing at The Island Queen in the upstairs room for about 60 lucky folk. We got lost en route so missed the support Josh Record. Michael was great though; we sat front row, at his feet. It's not often that you get to see such quality up close and he didn't disappoint; just him on acoustic guitar, ably assisted by a bass player. We chatted afterwards about the possibility of him playing at my music venue 'The Hat Club' in the new year; it may well happen. Home for a brandy or two and bed.

The next day we hit a Christmassy Covent Garden mid afternoon for a wander and a meal; then on the the Drury Lane Theatre to see KT Tunstall in concert. Great seats and a fine night of music. Some of you might recall that we had Tuscon vagabond Brian Lopez staying with us during the summer whilst he supported KT. Well, after the recent US tour Lopez has been replaced by a pale imitation. Billy Lockett was ok/fine if you are a James Blunt fan; he was a little pallid for my tastebuds. KT played a great set although the sound was a bit harsh; more 'theatre' than 'gig'.
So, all in all a grand weekend; Di did me proud, thanks my darlin'.
I got some grand presents; besides the usual cheques (thank Mums & Dads) see if you can spot the various delights. Of particular delight was a bottle of Welsh whiskey. My mate Macwood Fleet is always banging on about the virtues of 'Penderyn' and here, coincidentally, was a bottle on my sideboard, gifted as 'something a little bit different' from mates Chris and Carol. I have to go gently as, Di has oft noted, whisky makes me sour, but this pale amber nectar is indeed as tasty as Mr Macwood promised.
Meanwhile, I'll post some related videos below: you have Michael Kiwanuka singing 'Home Again' followed by KT Tunstall's brand spanking promo for 'Made of Glass', one of the highlights from her excellent recent 'Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon' album. Finally a peek at Josh Record whose 'Bones' EP is doing the rounds. It's a bit Lion King meets Take That for my liking but word is that he's going to be a big star.
What do you think?


  1. Now that's what I CALL a birthday to remember. Michael is on my hitlist for future gigs. Loved his first album. Did he play any new stuff? If so, what was it like? Told you the old Penderyn was nice. Don't know what bottle you received but make sure you try the Madeira :) - KT I can take or leave depending on the mood. Quite like the harmonies in Bones. Could be one to keep an eye on. Trouble is though, how are you going to top that next year?????

  2. He did play some unfamiliar stuff Nick, plus an unfamiliar cover or two...
    I actually prefer him in the raw; much as I love the debut the production places him in a familiar template. Nice guy too.
    It was the 'Madeira' btw. Is that the top shelf?
    And next birthday? Maybe next year I'll be playing bass for Michael...

  3. A truly excellent birthday! Hope you get to celebrate many more. I have yet to try a Welsh malt but it's now on my wish list.
    Tel Aviv


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  6. Hi Trevor,

    With my wife, I saw Michael's gig too at the island queen on saturday the 16th, I was sitting at first row. I think you were just closed to me. We loved so much that gig and to see Michael in such a place was amazing.. My wife took some pictures and videos of the concert but while she was transferring it on her laptop last week, her iPhone bugged and she lost everything, we were so sad ... I was looking desperatly for some records of this event on internet and I just came upon your blog ... I remember your friend Di took several vids of the concert ... I wonder if it would´nt mind you to share with us your photos and vids of this concert ? Using drop box or other stuff ... My e-mail is
    My wife and I would be so happy if you can do us this favor, We loved Michael music, we saw him last year in Los Angeles, but this concert in the Island queen was so special ...
    And Happy birthday with a little delay, it seems you had a wonderfull one ! Very nice blog
    François & Estrella

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