30th anniversary concert – Original Blues Brothers live in Cannes

26 09 2010

Jonny leads the Blues Brothers

25 September 2010, Cannes – A small group of punk outfitted 40 somethings were lined up outside the Palais des Festival, Cannes waiting to see the legendary – Nina Hagen – 1980’s Queen of Punk and Rock. They were in for a surprise. They probably hadn’t heard that she has moved her music into cabaret style with undertones of gospel/blues and central focus on religion and environmental issues!

We tore ourselves from our champagne to see the 30th anniversary Blues Brothers concert, but first a quick review of the opening act, Nina.

First impressions – certainly Queen Punk attire was intact. Vinyl leggings, fou fou black short skirt, black and yellow style t-shirt, black goth hair with spotty red/white ribbon on top!

Nina Hagen started off with an acoustic set including her version of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” – where she searched for the divine meaning of the song and then a Doors cover “Riders in the storm”.   Next up “God’s Radar,” one could hear how she used her strong voice to blend with Cajun rhythm.   The set followed a  traditionally bluesy  number,”Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and the power of her wide vocal range could also be appreciated.  In this context, a musical highlight was the Hagen-infused version of the famous Gospels “Mean Old World”.  Scratch guitars and sluggish drums marked this number and, with the unique voice of Nina Hagen, took this well-known gospel to new music heights. Nina Hagen proved she loves honest blues, with one more in this acoustic selection –  “Sometimes I Rung Up Heaven”.

Interjecting comments about love Jesus, down with the Atom bomb/no more nukes – it felt as if she had just climbed out of time capsule from the 1970-80’s.

Launching into some cabaret style “Lilly of the Valley” set left the punk crowd wondering what had happened to their beloved punk queen. However, she hadn’t totally abandoned her roots and did not disappoint the leather clad, orange/red spiky haired crowd with some up beat punk style numbers a la Sid Vicious version “I did it my way” and electronic upbeat numbers such as Seal’s “Killer”. The 30 strong punk crowd rejoiced in pogo dance styles by the stage and gesturing to this most professional Diva.

Whilst entertaining, she perhaps was not the right selection to warm up the crowd for the 30th anniversary original blues Brothers party. One wonders if the Palais booking agent checked off “blues music” on her current resume, and thought “great match!!”.

If you are fan what do you think of her new style of music/God/Environmental concern?

Moving on to our Mission for the evening – to party with the original Blues Brothers Band as they celebrated their 30th anniversary – only 50% of the original band performed (sadly Dan Aykroyd could not join this time) but those that did were still enjoying the music after all these years.

Still using hand written set list!

The Blues Brothers are an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. Belushi and Aykroyd, respectively in character as lead vocalist “Joliet” Jake Blues and harmonica player/vocalist Elwood Blues, fronted the band, which was composed of well-known and respected musicians. The band made its debut as the musical guest on the April 22, 1978, episode of Saturday Night Live. The band began to take on a life beyond the confines of the television screen, releasing an album, Briefcase Full of Blues, in 1978, and then having a Hollywood film, The Blues Brothers, created around its characters in 1980.

When Jake and Elwood Blues, the protagonists in John Landis’ cult classic “The Blues Brothers,” claimed they were on a mission from God, the Catholic Church apparently took them at their word. Summer 2010 – On the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, “L’Osservatore Romano,” the Vatican’s official newspaper, called the film a “Catholic classic” and said it should be recommended viewing for Catholics everywhere.

With that endorsement, the French venue, of Cannes Film Festival fame, had attracted a diverse range of people from 8 to 80 – those who were the original party maker fans, those who were not born and a fringe of old rockers!

As tradition dictates, the Band opened with “Green Onion”, moving onto a second instrumental Peter Gunn and rattling off Soul Finger before introducing the “Jake and Elwood Blues “ by way of Jonny “Rock N Roll Doctor” Rosch on vocals + harmonica who kicks off with “Going back to Miami”. He was joined by Bobby “Sweet Soul” Harden during “Almost”. The crowd responded and by the 4th number most of the audience were out of their seats, crowded around the stage and ready to dance and party the night away.

The Blues Brothers rendition of “Gimme some Lovin” brought down the house as Jonny ran on and off the stage to party with the audience.

Musically the band were tight as one would expect from such a professional group of musicians. A number of marked solo performances were made by  Eric “the red” Udel on bass, Legendary Saxophonist Lou “Blue Lou” Marini, more from the horn section – Larry “Trombonius Maximus” Farrell, and finally tribute to Leon “The Lion” Pendarvis for great keyboard playing.    Guitarist Steve “The Colonel” Cropper was solid at front but lacking real star leadership that one may have expected from one of the originals.  Nevertheless he did spit out a number of awesome solos.

The singers did an excellent job to connect with the audience – especially Jonny (also a mean harmonica player!) – who regularly shook hands with the audience members and rushed on and off stage to dance and sing with the band’s fans. Meanwhile, Bobby’s soul voice gave that extra edge to these great blue songs.

The encore brought back the band, with original Sax player, Lou “Blue Lou” Marini paying tribute to all band members before launching into “Soul Man”, “Who’s makin love” and “Gimme some Lovin”. Vocalist Jonny rushed around to bring all the kids on stage who had stayed up late with their parents to commemorate this special event. After the kids, anyone able to get past the bouncers could also join the party on stage. In fact, many of the bouncers – no-doubt fans – also took to the stage to dance and thus abandoning their post in favour of homage and celebrating with one of the hardest working bands in the business!

The mission continues…

For those who are interested: Blues Brother Set list 25 September 2010 Cannes:

Green Onions

Petter Gunn

Soul Finger

(intro Jonny) – Goin back to Miami

Messin with the kid

(Intro Bobby) Almost

Box car Blues

Groove me

Hey bartender

Shot gun blues

Knock on Wood

Minnie the Moocher

Flip, flop, fly

Sweet home Chicago

Everybody needs somebody


Soul Man


Who’s makin love

Gimme some lovin

The Blues Brothers were:

Steve “The Colonel” Cropper – Guitar
Lou “Blue Lou” Marini – Saxophone
Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin – Trumpet
John Tropea “Smokin”– Guitar
Leon “The Lion” Pendarvis – keyboard
Eric “The Red” Udel – Bass
Lee “Funkytime” Finkelstein- Drums
Bobby “Sweet Soul” Harden -Vocal
Larry “Trombonius Maximus” Farrell – Trombone
Jonny “Rock N Roll Doctor” Rosch-Vocals + Harmonica

BT Digital Music Awards

21 09 2010

With just two days left for voting, now is the time to check out BT’s digital music awards site. It’s certainly worthwhile to spend two minutes to vote and stand the chance to win one of the many prizes on offer. The site is definitely keen to beef up social media participation. Voters can win additional points (giving you a higher chance to win a prize) every time they vote, tweet, share on FaceBook or every time one of your friend’s tweet etc.

The BT Digital Music Awards returns to London’s Roundhouse for its third time – the scene of many music milestones including legendary performances by Jimi Hendrix and The Clash.

The line up for this year’s event is shaping up to be a memorable evening:

* Live performances by major established acts and up and coming talent
* A top celebrity line-up, with industry exclusive tickets
* Awards voted for by the industry and the public
* The entire event broadcast on TV

In the last BT Digital Music Awards, around 300,000 music fans voted to see their favourite bands get up on stage to accept the awards they deserved.

The short list reflects the up and coming new stars – if you over 30 you may never have heard of them! Meanwhile, you’ll still find one or two familiar names: Robbie Williams and so on.

If you’re a fan of U2 you might enjoy reviewing content on their dedicated site. There you’ll find lots of news, updates, video and exclusive content about U2. If you like what you find, you might like to vote for them in the BT Digital Music Awards – so it’s up to you to choose. Technology makes its easy than ever – no more expensive phone voting, SMS or back in the dark ages, voting by snail mail…

Mobile Operator’s Opportunity: A slice of the cloud service revenue

20 09 2010

What is the market opportunity for operators wanting a piece of cloud services? We all know Cloud is growing and growing fast. All parties are in agreement, revenue is going one way – up!

Research companies are having a field day with Cloud market figures – we have market estimates from Gartner, IDC, Analysys Mason and others as well as leading cloud vendors. Figures can mislead as there can be huge differences as research is not always measuring apples to apples. Nevertheless, Analysys Mason, quoted in August 2010 that the global cloud computing market is set to grow to USD35.6 billion by 2015. So whether you’re a service provider/mobile operator, IT vendor or partner, enterprise cloud services are an opportunity not to miss.

Informa’s recent report add that the “mobile cloud” is set to increase from 42.8 million consumers in 2008 to almost a billion by 2014, jumping from 1.1%to 19% of all mobile phone subscribers. This scale of growth of what is being called, the “mobile cloud”, will force competitors to not only open dialogue but also work together. For those who fail to move quickly or identify how to monetise key services will face declining revenue and stagnant growth whilst other reap the profit.

This challenge has huge ramifications for the entire mobile ecosystem, changing the way that developers build apps and how OEMs, ISPs and Operators define app selection and distribution.

It was these topics and more that brought together operators from Turkey, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, France, Germany, UK and beyond as well as industry vendors (from Japan, USA etc) and one or two enterprise businesses to attend Informa’s kick off new event, Cloud Mobility Amsterdam 2010.

Initial attendance figures looked disappointing – was the topic so new and hot that few had heard about it, or was the term so vague as to miss the key audience it was targeting? Nonetheless, an interesting range of conference speakers had been attracted to present on topics ranging from enterprise SaaS, Mobility applications, to infrastructure services and case studies.

Event sponsor, HP, started the conference with an interesting keynote featuring Enterprise Mobility with Cloud services from both an operator and enterprise viewpoint. The presentation was billed as a “Mobile Operator Primer“, explaining the opportunity for Operators to aggregate enterprise mobility services to provide a single contact point for customers.

A cloud case study based on an implementation at SFR described the target market and structure of the Cloud services recently launched by this French operator. Proof that cloud implementations are taking off.

Catchmedia revealed an interesting new concept using cloud for their recently launched service Play AnywhereTM. Offering consumers the ability to access their content (music, games, films) on any device and vendor of their choice. While Vodafone described mobile app ecosystems.

An interesting dilemma thrown open during the event’s debate was the issues over new legal implications and considerations for the mobile cloud. Where does your data sleep at night? As content crosses boundaries around the world one needs to be mindful of data protection and other legal issues. An interesting viewpoint on these and other matters of law was presented by Stephen Ridgway from international lawyer group: DentonWildeSapte.

Some presenters lost credibility by making pure product pitches and thus losing a golden opportunity to show their leadership role in what is no doubt an up-coming “hot topic”.

The takeaway conclusion appeared to be that mobile operators have a great opportunity to grab – if they are quick and identify some killer app/services to grow revenue.

Cloud Vision’s Editor, Mike Knuckey chaired one panel debate on making the case for hybrid cloud: are we moving integration and management challenges off the network and into the cloud? This panel included viewpoint from Juniper research’s Dr Windsor Holden who added his cloud-based mobile apps prediction. Total market for cloud-based applications is expected to rise from must over $400 million – figure from 2009 – to nearly $9 Billion by 2014 – making an average annual increase of 88%!

For those who missed this conference, catch an extended version of the HP keynote, including Cloud mobility services examples. Watch Cloud Vision’s interview with Richard Arthur, Director Business Transformation Marketing, HP discussing their joint upcoming webinar on Enterprise Mobility through Services in the Cloud: A Mobile Operator’s Guide. This webinar will be moderated by Patrick Kelly, Research Director, Analysys Mason with HP Cloud Experts: Colin I’Anson and Richard Arthur.

Cloud Vision’s Webinar – Inside the cloud series – took place on 23 Sept 2010 – you can download the recording here LINK

TM Forum’s Management World says au revoir Nice in 2011

7 09 2010

TM Forum (with their 700 corporate members mainly from the Telecom OSS/BSS world) announced today that after eleven years in Nice, France, their Management World conference will move to Dublin’s new (opened its’ doors today 7 Sept 2010) , state-of-the-art Convention Center – the CCD – 23-26 May 2011.

Having built up its’ attendance to over 3000 from the Technology, Media and Communications market, facilities at the Acropolis, Nice were beginning to be stretched. Also the issue of hosting this event in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival and on the eve of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, ensured that hotel and local service prices were kept high for visitors. These and other factors, no doubt, pressed the organisation to seek a new home for its’ flagship event.

Dublin and the CCD will now provide the perfect business environment for Management World attendees—a leading capital city that is easy to get to, easy to do business in and with a reputation for hospitality that is second to none.

As a vibrant European hub for global technology companies, including major communications service providers, IT organizations and large online businesses such as Google, Facebook and eBay, Dublin is a natural fit for the increasing scope of the industry’s premier conference.

The Convention Center Dublin is the world’s first carbon-neutral conference facility.
As the world’s first carbon neutral convention centre, the centre is committed to long-term environmental sustainability in accordance with the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001 and will be seeking accreditation within 18 months of opening.

This includes recycling, a focus on reducing overall energy consumption by using a sustainable energy supplier and integrating sustainable systems at the venue, such as our Integrated Building Automated System (IBAS). They have also installed a thermal wheel heat recovery system and an Ice Storage Thermal Unit (ISTU), which chills water overnight to form large ice blocks that melt during the day to provide air conditioning for the entire building.

This purpose-built venue allows for an exciting range of new sponsorship opportunities available to TM Forum members, with significant support already shown by long-standing sponsors of the event.

TM Forum have a number of innovative features under development, including expansion of its Executive Program. Stay tuned to http://www.tmforum.org for more information on the 2011 conference.

So it’s a tearful goodbye to Nice and raising a glass (of Guinness?!) dia duit to Dublin.

Key Facts:

* Now In its 12th year, TM Forum’s Management World 2011 will offer a unique blend of thought-leadership, real-world case studies and interactive debate to help companies focus on growing revenue through new business models, increasing operational efficiency and cost reduction, whilst addressing the challenges of revenue assurance, customer experience and retention
* Management World is widely respected as the annual meeting place of the industry and provides a unique mix of networking, business and exclusive content to more than 3,000 senior executives from over 80 countries worldwide each year
* Complementing the conference will be brand new TM Forum Catalyst innovations, more than 10 TM Forum training courses to help companies adopt TM Forum’s highly successful Frameworx standard

About TM Forum:
With more than 700 corporate members in 195 countries, TM Forum is the world’s leading industry association focused on enabling best-in-class IT for service providers in the communications, media and cloud service markets. The Forum provides business-critical industry standards and expertise to enable the creation, delivery and monetization of digital services.

TM Forum brings together the world’s largest communications, technology and media companies, providing an innovative, industry-leading approach to collaborative R&D, along with wide range of support services including benchmarking, training and certification. The Forum produces the renowned international Management World conference series, as well as thought-leading industry research and publications.