Tag Archives: Kylie Minogue

Sterling Work

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. After a few weeks taking it easy. Mine were nice and busy, once again. Just how I like it. My good friend. The lovely and very talented Mike Sterling is currently on tour in Evita. Due to my hectic schedule. The only time I could get to see the show was the other week. When it was in Great Malvern.

I decided to make a night of it, so I booked a hotel there. It was the first time I had visited the place. I got the train there and arrived just before five o’clock in the afternoon. It is practically built on a big hill. Therefore wherever you go. You are either going uphill or downhill.
My hotel was about a ten minute walk both downhill and uphill from the station.

I checked in and went up to my room. I do not mean to sound at all snobbish. But it was a Wetherspoons owned hotel. I had no idea that they even owned them. Therefore I will be totally honest. I was not really expecting much. However it was very nice. The rooms were brilliant. And the view of the countryside through the window was amazing. The staff were also great. I was well looked after there.

Great Malvern
Great Malvern

Once I had recovered from the shock of it all being much nicer than I expected. I thought I would watch a bit of television before going for dinner. I stumbled across an episode of The A Team on some random channel. I had not seen it for years. But instantly I was drawn in to it. It was like I was ten years old again. I sat there transfixed until it had finished. I absolutely loved it.

It did mean I headed off out for food a little later than I intended. So I just went downstairs. And had a nice Steak and Chips with a glass of Red Wine in the bar. It was then time to make my way to the Great Malvern Theatre. To see the show. It was only five minutes down the road. I arrived there with enough time to sample a glass of their Red Wine. And to order one for the interval. Before it was time to take my seat for the show.

Great Malvern Theatre
Great Malvern Theatre

I was excited and proud to see my mate in action. He is playing Juan Peron. The President of Argentina, no less. He is no stranger to the stage or musicals, of course. Having played the leading roles in both the Phantom of The Opera and Les Miserables in the West End. He also very kindly performed at my fortieth birthday party, a few years ago. Recently me and him spent a cracking day out at Royal Ascot.

The show was sensational. Mike was sublime in it. The whole cast and the production is faultless. It is in many ways such a powerful story. Which does kind of hold a mirror up to society and the way the world is run. Plus of course it has some cracking songs in it. It is on at the Wycombe Swan in Buckinghamshire running from 23rd to 27th of October. I would urge you to see it, if you can. It has been getting lots of four and five star reviews. And I can totally see why.  Go and see it for yourself.

Evita
Evita

Then after the show I met Mike at the Stage Door. As we had earlier agreed. We were off out for a few drinks with some of the rest of the cast. It was their opening night in Great Malvern. So drinks after that is a bit of a theatre tradition, I understand. Any excuse I say. It turned out the drinks were actually taking place in the bar of the hotel that I was staying at. Which was a bit of a result for me. It transpires some of the other performers were also staying there.

I had a fantastic time catching up with Mike and chatting to the cast. After show drinks are always the best. He is having a ball. It is quite full on though. They do eight shows every week spread over six days. They get a day off and one travel day every week. And they really are heading all over the United Kingdom. I do like being around actors, singers and dancers.  There is always a good vibe about, I find. It was a brilliant night seeing an amazing show and then catching up with a Pal.

Mike Sterling & Neil Quigley
Mike Sterling & Neil Quigley

I recently spent a lovely relaxing afternoon with two very good friends. We sat and talked for ages. Had a Barbecue. Then to round things off. Me and one of them went down the pub for a few drinks.

In this crazy world where we all currently seem to be running on a treadmill. And getting nowhere fast. A whole afternoon away from it all. Just catching up with best mates. Is something to be enjoyed and even celebrated, I think.

Blues Brothers
Blues Brothers

I managed to get along to Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. Their festival in a day last Sunday. I have done Glastonbury in the past which is great, but means sleeping in a tent. The good thing about this event is that it has the feel of a festival. But I could sleep in my own bed at the end of it all.

The line up was fantastic. But I must admit it was the lady who was headlining. Who I was looking forward to seeing the most. I arrived there at midday and managed to get in straight away. It was already starting to fill up nicely. It gave me time to have a good walk around. See what was about and on offer. And also get my bearings for when it got really busy later on.

Radio 2 Hyde Park
Radio 2 Hyde Park

I have to say it was all very well organised. And of course there were queues for things. Due to the sheer number of people. But it was all managed the best it possibly could be. I thought it would be rude not to at least sample a bit of what the bars had to offer. So I had a pint of the Pilsner they had on draft. Which was six pounds a pint. Now that might sound expensive. But that is not far off normal London prices to be honest.

I managed to find a nice standing area to the right hand side of the stage. Which I could get to and from quite easily. So I decided this would be my go to area. To watch the acts from throughout the day. Jo Whiley was the main host for the event. However for each and every introduction. She was joined by pretty much all of the other Radio 2 Presenters at some point. It was an excellent line up.

Radio 2 Hyde Park
Radio 2 Hyde Park

First on was Lenny Kravitz. He was simply wonderful. His band and him sounded amazing. He did all his big hits including his current one Five More Days Till Summer. Not only did he sound great. But he is such a cool guy.

I mean who else could pull off flared jeans, leather jacket, big hat and snakeskin Cuban heeled boots. Plus you would never guess he is almost in his mid fifties. It was a brilliant start to the live music for the day.

Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz

Up next it was Rita Ora. Who also put on a fantastic show. She was sounding and looking great to. Nothing personal against her. But due to timing restrictions. While she was on I was checking out the Real Ale and Champagne Bar’s. Although with the quality top sound set up and the big screens. I could still see and hear her perfectly. Even from right at the back of the park.

The next act were a little bit left of centre. They were a folk group collaboration. Who have a new album coming out that features folk style re-workings of many disco classics. They are called The Band Of Love. Their set included their versions of Night Fever, Gimme The Night and We Are Family. They were really good. And are clearly a very talented bunch of musicians and singers. Who got the audience singing along.

Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz

Then it was time for a trip down memory lane with an appearance from the All Saints. They did all the big hits from their impressive back catalogue. They were sounding ace. And still had all the dance moves and routines.

They looked like they were having fun. And that they were all enjoying being back together on stage. They finished their set with the hit song from the film “The Beach”, Pure Shores. Which went down very well with the Hyde Park crowd.

All Saints
All Saints

Next it was the duo who stepped in to replace the unwell Carrie Underwood. I would have loved to seen her live. But I have been following the careers of The Shires for a while now. So it was quality to finally get to see them play live. I am a big fan of country music. so I really like their stuff.

These two are already Britain’s most successful band of that genre. They were brilliant. Lovely people and talented performers backed by a great band. They are only going to get bigger and better. Next time they are in Nashville. I would be very happy to head over there with them. Seeing them reminded me very of my time in America.

The Shires
The Shires

The first ever Party in the Park style music event I went to see was one of the early Capital FM ones in Gunnersbury Park. A new Irish band called Boyzone were their performing their first two hits. Over the years I have met both Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch. Who for the record are both top blokes. The group are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. Which let’s face it. Is making us all feel old.

They are going to go out on one more big World Tour. Then they are going to call it a day for good. They were excellent. I have seen them live a few times. And I did honestly think they were sounding better than ever. Plus you forget what a great back catalogue of songs they had. For example I forgot they did that cover of the Bee Gees Words. That sounded sensational in the evening sunshine.

Boyzone
Boyzone

In between the live performances. They were playing out videos of some of the live studio performances from Radio 2 shows from the last year or so. A few of these were spectacular themselves.

We did also have DJ sets from Craig Charles and Ooh Gary Davies. Which were fun. The sound quality of the event was perfect. But I would expect nothing less from my BBC colleagues.

Craig Charles
Craig Charles

The last time I had seen The Manic Street Preachers was at the Glastonbury Festival. They were great that time and they were equally as good or even better this time around. They sounded fantastic. They played all their huge hits. It was a very slick and entertaining set from a power house of a band. Plus their latest single is excellent.

The whole day flew by really quickly. Aided by the great live music. And a few more of the Portobello Pilsners beers. Fuelled by a burger, crisps and some doughnuts.  I was more than ready to dance and sing along with the headline act.

Radio 2 Hyde Park
Radio 2 Hyde Park

I mentioned earlier the Capital Fm Party in the Parks. Well I went to the first one they held in Hyde Park. Sadly it was raining so hard that day. I had to leave two songs in to a certain Australian female singers performance. I had now waited a long time for the chance to see her again. So I was more than ready for this. And very excited to see her perform live.

The current host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show Chris Evans came out to introduce her. As he had promised to do when she was last on his show. She came out looking stunning in a pink dress. And went straight in to one of her big hits. After the first song. She then sang a few lines acapella from some of her late eighties hits. The set list was a real celebration of her glorious and long career. In the year that she has celebrated her fiftieth birthday.

After a quick outfit change in to a nice little black number.  She was back out for more fun. I was having a great time singing and dancing away to hit after hit. Then she goes into the song that I would love to do as a duet with her Especially For You. Although I had to make do with singing the male part of the song. With the rest of the forty-eight thousand crowd. But it was still magical. Specially when Jason Donovan then joined her on stage halfway through to re-create the original dance moves. That was a brilliant moment!

The surprises did not end there. A little later on she started singing her debut single, I should Be So Lucky. During this she references the fact that it does sound a little bit like Never Gonna Give You Up. She sings a little bit of that. Then on walks the man whose song it is Rick Astley. To do a brilliant version of it with Kylie. He then stays on stage to do a version of the hit she had with Robbie Williams, Kids.

It was a brilliant end to a great day of live music in London. She is fantastic live. A great singer and dancer. Who is very at ease talking to her audience. The complete, albeit tiny package. She really did not disappoint. You do not have a career that lasts that long unless you are the real deal. And she very much is. Would I marry her tomorrow if the chance arose? Of course I would. Who wouldn’t? You have to love Kylie!

Kylie
Kylie

I will be having a look around Buckingham Palace soon. I will let you know what that was like next time we speak.

I am also finally getting round to seeing the brilliant “new” musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” next week. And today I am off to Wembley to see the mighty Spurs play Liverpool.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil

New Year Same Old Me

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you had a really good festive period. Mine was great with plenty of fun things happening. I had a lovely family Christmas Day with my parents and my sister. We had a fabulous Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings including Christmas Pudding and cream. Followed by a fun afternoon. Which was spent firstly playing table tennis on the Wii.

I have to admit that all games in the Quigley household become very competitive and we do all really want to beat each other very badly. Which can often lead to a fair bit of banter, a few insults and big in your face celebratory actions, when any victory is achieved. That said it was a good laugh and we all really enjoyed it.

Family Meal
Family Meal

My parents have a Karaoke machine set up at home, so next we took it in turns to serenade the rest of the house and possibly accidentally the rest of the street with our favourite songs. Now when it comes to singing my strength definitely lies in the very low in the mix backing vocals or ideally just introducing the acts and shutting up.

It was a good giggle and I would like to apologise for any crimes I committed against music during this period. My final act on Christmas Day was to pretty much single handedly finish off a whole box of Mint Chocolate Match Makers. I only have them once a year and the speed in which I eat them is the main reason for that.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was once again very lucky on the present front and got some fantastic gifts for Christmas. I got a new Tottenham Hotspur Mug which has a picture of me signing for the club with the manager holding up my shirt. Which I think is almost too good to drink out of, although I have relented and I am now using it as my main tea vessel.

I have said before that I am a massive fan of autobiographies, so I was delighted to get the latest one from Chris Evans and the life story of the greatest jump jockey of all time AP McCoy. Both of which I cannot wait to read. This is how I will be spending my evenings in January.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I also received an I-phone Docking Alarm Clock, so I can charge it up over night and then use it to wake me up in the morning. I got the first live DVD from Chris Ramsey. Which I am looking forward to getting round to watching. I saw him perform in Aylesbury a few years ago and he was brilliant.

I was also given something I used to get religiously every year but have not had it for a few years now a Kylie Minogue calendar. I can confirm that they are as good as I remember still, if not even better. Something that very much does seem to improve with age. Finally owing to my age I did get a pack of socks. Once you reach a certain age it is a tradition to receive this every year for the rest of your life, if you are a man.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

I had a very nice last minute surprise on Boxing Day. When totally out of the blue a mate contacted me to tell me he had a spare ticket to go and see Tottenham Hotspur play Norwich at White Hart Lane, that was mine if I wanted it. All I had to do was get over to his place within half an hour and he was even going to us drive there.

So obviously I went along. I am great believer of living for the moment. I have to confess it had been a while since I had been to a game there. So it was great to have a look round the club shop and have a pint in the pub next door before the match.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Fair play to my friend he had some cracking seats, so we had a great view of the action. It was nice to be back around the Tottenham family and we played really well and managed a very convincing three nil win. Which certainly aided my enjoyment of the day. I thought we looked really good and strong and I thought all of them played their part.

Which looks a good sign for the rest of the season, I hope. It was a brilliant off the cuff day, seeing my football team playing and also catching up with some good mates. I do plan on trying to see at least a couple of more games there before the end of the season, with a bit of luck. Come on you Spurs!

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

As I had been hearing quite a few good things about it from various sources, on a free day off between Christmas and New Year I decided to check out the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. I understand it is busy at weekends but I went during the week and managed to get straight in without queuing and have a good walk around the place.

It is free to get in but if you want to take part in any of the activities there like ice-skating, some of the rides or their ice-bar, you have to pay and book in advance. I was perfectly happy just having a wonder round to see what it was all about. As well as the rides, there were lots of stalls and places to eat or drink, most of which were themed.

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

I am a fan of German culture and entertainment and I have been to the Oktoberfest in Munich twice. So I found myself drawn towards the Bavarian Village. So after I had finished looking round I thought I would pop in there for a beer or two. Now basically it cost £5.50 for a pint of Bavarian Gold out of a plastic pint glass but if you paid £9.50 you could get a pint in a glass pint stein.

The extra £4 was a deposit on the glass, so as long as you when you had finished returned the glass and the token that they gave you. You would receive your £4 back. This was a complete no-brainer for me, I mean who wants to drink from a plastic glass. And it is basically still the same price.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There were several different bars and areas to the village including a massive beer hall that must have held at least a thousand and that had a live band playing. There was also a central bar area that had a revolving stage over it. Where a live singer was performing classic songs and playing disco music in between. Fair play he was a really brilliant singer but it did make for some surreal moments.

As one minute he was singing a Frank Sinatra classic and then a few minutes later people were dancing round the bar to Whigfield’s Saturday Night. If I am honest I did like the randomness of it all. I had a brilliant time there, it was great fun. And I would recommend going to have a look at it when it returns towards the end of the year in December.

Bavarian Village
Bavarian Village

Being a DJ I have worked a lot of New Year’s Eve’s over the last twenty years but this year I decided not to and to have it all to myself. What I had not considered much is what I should actually do. When I am working there is always a party that I turn up to and get paid to attend. This time I had to find my own entertainment.

On the plus side it was nice not to have the pressure of making sure everybody else there had a memorable night. In the end me and my mate Andy went to an Irish themed pub in High Wycombe, which thanks to its name I felt very at home in. It was the first time I had been out in a town on this particular night for quite a while.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The place did not really start getting busy till about ten o’clock. Normally this pub has a band on at the weekends and I would say it is a bit of a party style venue. But for New Years Eve it had a DJ on playing dance music all night. And very much unlike every gig I have ever done he did not even have a microphone. Which meant the countdown to the new year was courtesy of a pre-recorded special mix that had a countdown on it from 60 seconds, which is a long countdown.

When it ended it left me thinking right so is that actually mid-night? Is it the start of the new year? It just felt a bit odd to me or certainly different to what I am used to. That said I did have a brilliant evening having a few drinks to see out the old and see in the new. Plus I did not get to bed until gone three in the morning. Proving that I am still very rock and roll.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There was another Christmas present that I received that I did not mention earlier. My parent’s got me a tour of White Hart Lane, the home of course of the mighty Tottenham Hotspur. It was brilliant to look behind the scenes of the club I support. Our first stop was the Press Conference Room. The one place that I had actually been to before. When I was an extra in a scene with the main character Jason Bent in the pilot for “The Lee Nelson Well Good Show” for BBC Three. I played a club press officer and sat up on the stage, last time I didn’t get a picture but this time I made sure that I did.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

From there we went in to the Directors box and I tried out the Chairman Daniel Levy’s seat for size. I have to admit he has a pretty decent view of the action from where he is. We also looked in a few of the business lounges and some of the executive boxes. For the record I would love to have a box at the Lane for a season, they were pretty cool. Lastly we headed down to the players tunnel to see both dressing rooms and then the dug out area where the players walk out and the manager sits or to be honest in Mr Ponchettino’s case mostly stands.

I think I had a massive smile on my face all through this part of the experience. John our guide who showed us around was brilliant. It was a fun afternoon, which made me feel like a child again. I hope to catch a few more games there over the next eighteen months and I also look forward to seeing the new stadium.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

During the festive period I did take a two week break from my usual exercise routine. Just to give my body a little bit of time to recover from a year in which I worked out pretty much every week. Now the celebrations are well and truly over and I have returned to my programme with the intention of actually working a little bit harder and getting a little bit fitter during 2016. Well I have a big party at the end of the year which I really do want to look my best for.

Neil Quigley with Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Victoria Pendleton
Neil Quigley with Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Victoria Pendleton

I have also decided to have a month off the alcohol in January. Not for any real or particular reason. I just think it is a good opportunity to focus on what I want to achieve, get my fitness back and feel re-energised. I have not done it for a few years and always feel better for doing it. You do tend to sleep better, have more energy and not risk wasting weekends. But come February normal service will be resumed, as basically from time to time I do simply like a drink.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I wish you a happy and healthy 2016 and hope you achieve everything you want to and most importantly have a lot of fun and memorable moments along the way. Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.