An amazing Year for a London Magician!

In the course of a week, a month or a year, I have so many gigs and experiences that they often pass by unrecorded and I forget how many I have forgotten in my life so far.

This will be a place for anyone who is interested in the highlights of what I do with my time in-between sitting at home watching movies and eating cheese.

As it is the start of a new year I shall review the last 12 months just to prove to my mum and dad that I’m not working in Macdonalds.

2012 was my second year in London since I moved here from Scotland in January 2011 and it’s been 12 months to remember!

The Calendar began with a particularly exciting gig at the home of celebrity hairdresser Charles Worthington, performing for his family and guests including amongst others Davina McCall, Ulrika Jonsson, and Helen Worth.

Charles, his family and all his guests couldn’t have been nicer and it felt not unlike being at a family party with my own parents and all their friends, except with a few extra Bentleys out the front.

I also performed for Jamie Oliver’s Christmas party – onboard incredible London Cruise boat The Silver Sturgeon.

I have gigged on the Sturgeon many times in recent years and it is always nice to see familiar faces!

I chatted with Jamie for 20 minutes in-between performing and was great to pick the brain of someone who has done as much as he has. He was very friendly and charismatic and it was a great pleasure for him to meet me. 😉

Next I enjoyed my first ever gig in Madame Tussauds on Baker Street alongside childhood hero Paul Zenon which was very exciting! Paul is a lovely guy and it’s great to meet someone you have looked up to and not be disappointed!

I have been fortunate enough to have performed in some of the UK’s most famous venues in the last 12 months – Madame Tussauds, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, BAFTA, Hampton Court Palace, Ascot, Old Royal Navy College (Where parts of movie Les Miserables were filmed), and it’s always great to have after hours access to these places and see behind the scenes!

Since that night I have been back to Madame Tussaud’s many times and I always enjoy it and the extremely lovely team there very much.

In May I was flown to Azerbaijan to perform at the birthday party of the daughter of the owner of Azerbaijan Airlines. He even owned the Sheraton Hotel that we stayed in! It was an incredibly lavish party with a whole wall turned into a sweet shop, and best of all I met a whole bunch of really nice and exceptionally talented people who had also flown over to perform.

This seemed like the best time to go on a weeks holiday with my girlfriend to Croatia which turned out to be the most beautiful place I have ever visited. I took the time also to read Paul Daniels autobiography whilst I was sunbathing!

In July I was invited to perform again on a boat on the Thames, this time for the Queens Jubilee Pageant. This was a great honour and was amazing to be so closely involved in something the whole world was watching. It wasn’t until I got home that night and saw all the television footage that I realised how huge it really was.

This Summer with the Olympics taking over the city, we were fortunate enough to attend the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony which to be honest I wasn’t all that excited about – that is until it began!

I hadn’t stopped to consider what the ceremony might be like and with no expectations my breath was completely robbed from me. I am notoriously hard to impress, but to be in the front row of the stadium watching that incredible show gave me a feeling that I will probably never replicate.

A month later it was a great honour to perform personally for the Paralympic committee at the end of the games just before Coldplay played their gig to end the whole event.

In September I visited Paul Daniels in his home to pick his brain about Magic and Business. Paul is 74 now and lives a laid back relaxed lifestyle. But during the 70’s and 80’s he was one of the UK’s biggest names and has made more money and longevity out of magic than anyone I can think of.

It was surreal to have read someones book and then find yourself driving in their car with them a few months later, but Paul and Debbie were both charming and engaging and it’s easy to see why they have created such a successful and happy life for themselves.

The same month I also attended James Brown’s (Not the singer for he is dead and unable to teach) workshop on theatrical Pickpocketing. I have been taking peoples watches off their wrists without them knowing for many years now but I always wanted to learn full blown pickpocketing.

James’s course was excellent and on the gig I had that same evening I found myself stealing watches, wallets, phones, cameras and other valuables.

Pickpocketing is of course a thrilling skill to use, and I always give most of it back after I’ve been asked 5 or 6 times and they have threatened to call the police.

I performed for everyone at the premiere of “Cabaret” at the Savoy in October and filmed a promo video at Madame Tussaud’s involving my guitar and a wax figure of Justin Bieber.

My request to set fire to him was refused, but I managed to find something else to do. You can watch the video here – London Magician and Mind Reader Neb – Madame Tussauds Video

In November I was invited to come and entertain everyone at the Music Industry Awards 2012 at Emirates Stadium. Having also worked as a singer and guitarist for most of my life it was great to meet the people running companies like Yamaha, Marshall, and Peavey, and all the music magazines like Guitarist and Sound on Sound! Al Murray was providing the after dinner entertainment and it would have been rude to leave.

I did leave, I was tired and I can always watch him on youtube.

Ever since I started working as a magician/musician December has always been a mad rush of which there are so many gigs that it becomes hard to separate them by memory! It is a great time of Christmas parties and wonderful venues and people. 🙂

I finished the year performing on both Xmas and New Year at the Corinthia Hotel just around the corner from Downing Street and Big Ben. The Corinthia is a beautiful 5 star Hotel which has a fascinating history being used heavily during both world wars to house government staff, and later by the Ministry of Defence.

Thanks to everyone who has hired me this year and to all friends, family and loved ones who I’ve shared it with!

Happy New Year!

Neb