Thursday, 26 November 2015

China Crisis play OAD!

I have to confess I don’t really know China Crisis well.  Okay okay. Not at all.  But as a darkling and regular to the Only After Dark I was going along as it was the last club night of the year.

Unusually for OAD, the night started earlier than expected as China Crisis were due on at 9.30pm.  I bumped into Gary before he started the show and he asked about the club.  ‘Do people dress up?’ he asked me.  I just stood there with my hand on my hip and said ‘whatdya think?’  ‘Yes I did notice’ he said.  What a nice down to earth guy I thought.  And actually that sums up Eddie and Gary pretty nicely.  They are both decent guys who spent the whole night interacting with the crowd, offering a meet and greet with photos and chatting and signing with each person.

Musically they are very talented.  Their songs are like eating a cupcake with icing on it.  A real pleasure.  They played a range of their well-known songs including Black Man Ray, African and White, Working with fire and steel, Christian, Wishful Thinking and King in a Catholic Style.  They also a few tracks from their new album including Fool and Autumn in the neighbourhood.  They also did a fantastic cover of the Carol King song, It’s too late.  And as it was founder of the Only After Dark Club’s birthday, they did a special request for David with Arizona Sky.  

What made this gig special is Gary and Eddie’s engaging personalities.  They are funny and love to interact with the audience.  In such a small venue it feels personal as if they are talking straight at you.  Gary made a comment about how he moved his mike a few inches to the left as he could see his reflection and it looked like his dad singing back at him.  In his head he is still young and cool.  Well Gary you do look good and I really enjoyed his unique dancing style. I do love unique.  The rest of the night was full of great music and the dance floor was full all night.  Only After Dark is a unique club where the weird and wonderful meet.  And I am proud to say I am one of them. If unique is what you look for – you may want to come and join us Darklings.

If you want to know more about Only After Dark, please join the Facebook group.
More Photos can be found here:

Photo of me and China Crisis published with kind permission from Stage Dive Photography.





Tuesday, 17 November 2015

New Order Live at O2 Brixton Academy 16 November 2015

New Order has been steeped in controversy for years.  They have an unusual and unprecedented following of a unique fan base comprising of fans of Joy Division who love the guitar riffs as well as core New Order fans who loved Hacienda and dance music. It is hard to explain the genre that New Order cover but most would say it’s electronic.  It is the division of fans that often still raises the argument questioning if is it really New Order without Hooky?  Peter Hook left the band years ago but some say it is not New Order without him.  Others argue that Gillian left for years and they still played and recorded as New Order.  Whatever your viewpoint on this – it is now irrelevant.  New Order have just released a new album, Music Complete, to stunning reviews and are now following it up with a tour to promote it.

The Brixton Academy is not my favourite choice of venue as the security is so tight – however after the horrors of Paris last week I was grateful for the security.  Bags were checked and people were patted down.  It gave some reassurance.  As this venue is an O2 venue, if you are an O2 customer, not only do you get first priority in the queue for you and another three people with you (and at Brixton they do let that queue go in first – unlike Shepherds Bush who let everyone in at the same time), but you also get a free bag if you buy a certain amount of merchandise and you can put your coat in the cloakroom for free.  It is worth being an O2 customer and I took full advantage of all of this.
The support came in the form of a DJ and a band. DJ Tin Tin started getting the crowd going with his electronic beats as soon as the doors opened.  This was followed up by The Horrors.  The Horrors are a band that sound like a cross between Bauhaus and Placebo.  Their music was really good but unfortunately the audience could not watch the show as the lighting was absolutely dreadful or should I say horrific?  If blinding your audience and having no lights on the performers is what The Horrors were trying to achieve they did a fantastic job but for me and many in the audience I was like a rabbit in the headlights.  New Order attract a more mature audience so The Horrors do need to tailor their performance to whom they are playing to if they ever want to make it out of the ‘support act’ category.  But in no time it was time for the main event.

New Order came on to the background of a French Flag and Barney’s first words were ‘Viva La France’.  This was reciprocated with a huge cheer from the audience.  They opened with Singularity, a track from their new album and an instant hit with the crowd.  To follow this with Ceremony – a New Order/Joy Division classic set the scene for one of the most enjoyable gigs they have ever performed.  Ceremony is always a crowd pleaser and so the mosh pit begins.  The set was heavily electronic and included 586, Age of Consent and Your Silent Face.  As the tour was to promote the new album it also featured several tracks from Music Complete.  There is not a bad track on Music Complete so it didn’t really matter which songs they chose but the choices were excellent, including Tutti Fruitti and People on the High Line featuring Elly Jackson from La Roux.  Elle has the perfect voice to compliment Barney’s vocals on this dance number and the crowd were surging like a wave on the sea.
Waiting For The Sirens Call was a special mix that New Order has never played in the UK before.  This version of sirens is most definitely dedicated to the electronic dance fans.

If a set list could get any better, they then played True Faith and Temptation.  Neither had been expected but was hugely welcomed and the crowd couldn’t be more pleased and showed it the only way a gig crowd can – dancing and singing along.
It was already 10.45 so when Barney said they had time for no more – I believed him as it is normally the time of night most bands do finish for the night.  But New Order was not finished – they came back with an encore to end all encores.  Barney said ‘We would like to dedicate this part of our set, actually our whole set to the victims of the appalling and senseless violence in France last week.’ and with that launched into Joy Division’s Atmosphere and Love will tear us apart.  With moving imagery including photos of Ian Curtis and ‘Forever Joy Division’ written on the screens – this gave the biggest cheer of the night.

And what did they finish on?  Well it was a Monday night so how about a bit of Blue Monday?
So was it the best ever New Order gig?  Gigs are very personal and each audience member has its own version of an ideal set list but this comes pretty close to pleasing most NO fans.  And did we miss Hooky?  Not a chance!

Set List
Age of Consent
Lonesome tonight
Your silent face
Tutti Fruitti
People on the highline
Bizarre Love Triangle
Waiting for the Siren’s call
Perfect Kiss
True Faith

Love will tear us apart
Blue Monday


This review also features on the Electronically Yours Website:

Thursday, 12 November 2015

A wonderful day in an unusual venue

What do you do to celebrate a birthday that is the year before a very big birthday?  Well this year I knew in advance what I wanted to do.

For years I have been in awe of the Post Office Tower. It is one of the tallest buildings in London at 189 metres and has a rich history.  Years ago it used to have a restaurant at the top and it revolved around the sights of London, but due to the IRA threats in the 1970’s it was closed down to the public.  It is now known as the BT Tower and still not open to the public but it still an historic icon and in 2003 it was granted grade II listed status.  My parents had eaten in the restaurant – but more than that – as a child I remember a film with Joe Brown and Sid James that featured the Post Office Tower before it opened officially.  I was fascinated with this film – Three hats for Lisa, and so my interest in the tower has remained throughout my years. ­
2015 is the tower’s 50th year and it decided to open the tower up for a good cause as a way for RedR charity to raise money.  They sold tickets for one day to have a 45 minute ‘flight’ to the top – along with some champagne and cake – it sounded like the perfect way to celebrate my birthday – especially as it was happening two days before my actual birthday at the same time as giving to a worthwhile cause.  So on an overcast Friday at the end of October, I had my ticket to go somewhere special.  Somewhere the public wasn’t allowed.  Somewhere that had been a big part of who I am without me even realising it.

We arrived at the door and security was tighter than meeting the Queen!  We had to have informed them in advance who we were and provide our passports.  We were scanned through an airport security screen with our bags also being screened but I was very glad of the security.  Once past security it was breath-taking.  There were beautiful photos on the walls and models of the tower alongside decorated telephone boxes.  There was lots of information and many very friendly volunteers of the charity to help us find our way around.
The lift to the tower is very fast and getting to the 34th floor took no time at all.  We were offered our glass of champagne and took a seat to enjoy the views.  It was not overcrowded but just enough people to give a buzz of excitement.  They rotated the floor so we didn’t have to move to see all of London.  It really did make the London eye look tiny.  I can only compare it to the Fernsehturm TV tower in Berlin.  There is surely nowhere else you can get a view like this in London.  It was a long time coming – but worth every moment and every penny.  The great thing was the day raised over £36,000 for the charity who does a lot of fantastic work.  On our departure I was given a certificate to say I have been up the tower. Now you don’t do that every day.

If that wasn’t enough for a Londoner like me – after our departure I decided to go and find where I was born.  I was born in Middlesex Hospital but had never visited it.  The nearest tube to this is Goodge Street and I always say ‘I know someone who was born here’ when I am on the Northern Line.  So today I actually got off at Goodge Street and headed towards Mortimer Street where the Middlesex Hospital resides.
Actually it doesn’t reside there anymore.  They pulled this historic building down around 2007 and build a load of brand new business offices /flats instead.  It took me an hour and a half to find exactly where it had stood because I had to research it online.  However eventually I found they had kept a facia on one side of the building – I was delighted.  I had never seen where I was born before and now I was standing on almost the exact spot I came into the world.  I felt complete.  A truly wonderful day.

If you want to know more about the work of RedR or donate, please go to for more details.

More photos at:



Sunday, 8 November 2015

Do more than just remember on Remembrance Sunday!

Today is Remembrance Sunday.  It is a day when we take stock of how lucky we are to live in a democratic society that is free because of the dedication and commitment of our armed forces.  Today we take time to remember those we have lost and those who fought for us – let us not forget their commitment and determination to make this country what it is today.

So with that thought in mind it is a different kind of blog I write today.  Two friends of mine, Jean and Ken Rush are very generous people who are looking to donate to a good cause.  So my blog will tell you how you can buy a perfect Christmas present and give to a good cause at the same time.

Please do mention ‘Jasmine Storm’ when you order so that they know where you saw the advert.  Many thanks to all of you who are going to buy a print and help such a worthy cause.

Here is a word from Jean and Ken:

'Some of you already know about Ken's meeting with Dame Vera Lynn in May, when he presented her with a signed print of his painting "We Meet Again" in celebration of the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  The painting is based on a photograph which Ken took five years ago when he was invited to the 70th anniversary Battle of Britain celebrations, and Dame Vera and the remaining Battle of Britain veterans lined up in front of a Spitfire on Horse Guards Parade.  Ken is an Associate of the Guild of Aviation Artists.

There is a limited edition of signed prints available for £100 each including postage and packing, of which £25 will go to Dame Vera Lynn's children's charity.  The offer is on the charity website:

This England magazine published an article about Ken in the autumn but we would like everyone to have the opportunity to buy a print, which would make a wonderful Christmas present in this anniversary year.  Three of the veterans in the painting were seen on TV during the anniversary week in May, still full of life.  We hope we can raise a lot of money for Dame Vera's charity as a further tribute to them.’

Anyone interested can contact Ken via his email