July So Soon!

Here we are at the end of July, a new Prime Minister and the world in a state of flux and turmoil.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive when there is so much Sh*t going on in the world.

3rd July: Carole King.
Well, what can I say apart from this is probably the best show I have ever seen, and am ever likely to see.
What a truly emotional experience. 65,000 people in Hyde Park, crying and singing. The love was tangible.
If only that feeling could be bottled and used in case of emergency – the world would be a much better place.
Miss Dean Junior, Co-pilot and I went to the show with our friends Greg & John, and I have to admit there was almost a “Diva Hissy Fit” moment
When we arrived and were confronted by the masses. The thought of nowhere to sit for 4 hours filled me with dread.
Thankfully Co-pilot and John found a small patch of damp grass, big enough to put a couple of coats on the ground so we could sit, thus diverting
A potential meltdown by yours truly. You would assume that “Premium View” tickets would actually provide more than a coat size patch of grass and
A view of the screen?!?


I soon got over myself and enjoyed Don Henley and his band. And then after a great on screen introduction by Tom Hanks Elton John and co, there she was, a tiny sparkling
figure (Premium View?) in the distance.
Did I care? By this time no.
Did I cry? Hell yes! Watching one of my idols, on screen clutching her chest and saying “Oh My God” at the reaction of the crowd, before she sat down at her piano and
played one of the best albums of all time, in its entirety, in original album sequence was simply wonderful.
She started on Side 1 and sang her way through. My little girl knowing every word, singing happily with an audience of mixed, but most definitely of “a certain age” I love that Stevie loves this album!
She went into Side 2, with cute footage of the LP being turned over on the big screens, starting with an enormously emotional “You’ve Got a Friend” I have never heard an audience sing
like that before. Spine tingling and beautiful. 65,000 fans sharing the love.

Did she finish there? Hell no, she carried on with some of the other great Goffin/King hits , including a song called “Chains” covered by The Fab Four.
“Ooh The Beatles Mama!” shouted Stevie, to the absolute astonishment of a man stood to our side. That’s my girl!
No John, Kylie did NOT do the original version of “The Locomotion” even Stevie knows this, even Stevie knows it was “Little Eva”, but on 3rd July it was Carole King herself, with a voice so hoarse it was barely there, performed the definitive version, and we sang and danced The Locomotion with her.
The cast of “Beautiful” The Carole King Musical joined her for another rousing burst of “I Feel The Earth” move. Stevie was lifted up by a guy next to us who had been fascinated by her singing along – “I’m a dad with three grown up daughters of my own. Can I lift her up, she needs to see this?” he said as he hoisted her for a proper premium view of the legend herself (not just on the big screen!)
We all left the park singing after a final “You’ve Got a Friend”. The crowd was still singing as we arrived at Green Park tube station.

I have been doing lots of PR for the REWIND Festivals over the past few weeks.
Some were great fun.
I particularly enjoyed meeting and chatting with Sara Cox for “Sounds of The 80’s”.
Some were very, very dull. Honestly, I do not understand the lack of creativity in the questions, and am quite frankly sick of hearing “So Hazell, tell me about Stock Aitken and Waterman?”
Surely there are more interesting questions than the same one over and over again. I’m sick of answering it and damn sure you guys are all sick of hearing the reply?
Interesting questions on a postcard please!!!!

Went to See Stevie in the year 6 School leavers show, and I know I am totally biased, but she was great!
I was really impressed. She hadn’t given anything away at home, and in fact had played it down, but the whole production was great.
It’s so lovely to see kids you have known since birth growing and blossoming into confident young people.
Mine seems to be quite skilled with a puppet. I think she had been studying Buddy closely as her puppet dog had remarkably similar naughty characteristics

13th July: Jess Glynne as Sandown Park. She was fantastic.
I love that Stevie likes such a talented singer/songwriter. She had a great band too!

Back in May 2016, All the year 6 kids had to sit their SATS, 2 tests in english, maths and science – based on the new National Curriculum – sat by pupils for the first time
15th July : SATS results arrived and despite the poor little buggers having to work 2 years ahead of their actual ages, and nearly 50% of the kids tested nationally “failing” (how disgraceful telling children they have failed!!) Miss Dean Junior did great. Damn good work for a kid who has only recently been found to be severely dyslexic.
Being dyslexic has never held me back, and its not holding her back either.

So, after the arrival of the dreaded SATS results, we started our journey up North to Newcastle.
It been quite a while since I performed at Newcastle Pride so was intrigued to see how much it had evolved.

16th July Northern Pride – What a glorious day! I arrived too late to see Jordan Gray do her set, but did meet up with her almost immediately on our arrival.
Stevie loves her, and we did vote for her every week in the last series of The Voice.

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Last day of school on 22nd July. The end of an era and I made the very long journey by car up to Scotland ready to I take to the stage for the first of my UK REWIND Shows on Saturday 23rd July at Scone Palace.
Would you believe me if I told you I have never, ever sung “Who’s Leavin Who” and “Searchin’” with a live band before?
Well its true! So to say I was a little nervous would be an understatement. I am so used to the performing a track show, co-pilot described
It as “flying on a trapeze without a safety net” but the band were fantastic, and I loved it! I love being on a big stage singing to a big audience.
I think these photos sum up exactly how I felt coming off stage that night


The REWIND crew have everything so well organised, and backstage is so calm and pristine, it is a really enjoyable experience.
My little girl loved the table football that was backstage and had the band, Pat Sharp and even lovely Mrs Rick Astley playing with her.
Co-pilot had a surreal conversation about strawberry allergies and the merits of a Victoria Sponge versus a flapjack with Rusty Egan over a cup of tea.
It has to be said, REWIND backstage is more tea & cake than sex, drugs and rock n roll, which suits me just fine.


It was nice to see Tony Hadley, Marc Almond and to catch up with Holly Johnson, who I last saw when we went to see the movie “Philadelphia”
Miss Dean Junior is now the proud owner of a signed “Frankie Says Relax” T-shirt, which I believe is quite rare.

Obviously the opportunity to snuggle Rick is always nice, and even Stevie got in on the act. The poor guy couldn’t walk past her without being grabbed for a cuddle.
Thankfully he is a cuddly kinda chap, so didn’t mind in the slightest. The cheeky little monkey even gave him a lecture about swearing.
Good job he has a daughter of his own.



We made the most of our time in Scotland, spending a day in Dundee visiting Captains Scots ship “Discovery” and learning all about Antarctic exploration before driving over to Edinburgh for a couple of days.

We went to Edinburgh Zoo, and we did get lucky and see Yang Guan the male panda.
It’s quite unbelievable that we are happy to be allocated time slots queue to see a panda, and if they don’t want to come out, well that’s just tough.
These pandas are real superstars! When we went into the inner sanctum of panda-ness we were told that he wasn’t out today. Co-pilots disappointment was palpable.
As we rounded the corner a flash of black & white of the tubby panda was seen, co-pilot was delighted. We stood and watched Yang Guan as he ambled around, before he plonked himself down in his water pool, face turned away from his adoring audience, glancing round at the bank of paparazzi like panda fans occasionally so photos could be taken.
This panda knows how to work a crowd.
We saw Koala’s too. The lion and tigers relegated to the very back of the zoo, so not to detract from the monochrome celebrities in panda-land.
One of the keepers did tell Stevie that she has considered painting Bertus the Indian Rhino, black & white so he got a few more visitors.


We then headed over the spend the afternoon on the Royal yacht “Britannia”, which I loved, being a proud royalist.
I can really understand why The Queen was so emotional when she said goodbye to this little gem of complete privacy enjoyed by her family over the years.


The next day we took a train into Edinburgh city centre with the intention of going to the castle, but the queues were just horrendous, so we decided to just wander around and enjoy the sights. We ended up in “Dynamic Earth” taking a trip back to the beginning of time in a time machine (that looked remarkably like a lift) but it was great fun, and if you have kids I would highly recommend it.


Then it was the big drive back home, before I had to fly back to Scotland for my final show of July at Mambo’s in Peterhead.

Its been a busy month, and August is just as busy,

Next on the agenda:
· 6th August REWIND North – Capesthorn Hall
· 13th August Plymouth Pride
· 20th August REWIND South – Henley on Thames
· 27th August Cornwall Pride Truro

I started this blog by saying it is sometimes hard to stay positive when there is so much sh*t going on in the world, but the only way we are going to survive is if we turn our backs on hate and Turn It Into Love…..

Keep sharing the love.

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