Ray's Gigs

Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!

Welcome to the Ray's Gigs website!

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23 September 2019 was gig number 7000 for me since 1973.
MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY - press review - Building 6 at The 02 Arena complex, London.
See my review dated 23 September 2019.
The evening features over 30 Abba songs and show, a four course Greek dinner , drinks and Abba disco.
Check out my upcoming news page for my stand out Top 20 gigs of 2019.
I went to an incredible 172 live music events & gigs in 2019.
This makes the grand total of 7054 gigs seen by me since 1973.
Works out to around 3 gigs a week seen by me for the last 45 years.
Loads of great gigs not on this list but here are my stand out Top 20 gigs of 2019...
There are are various reasons why a show can be great , it's just my personal choice.
Gun Control - The Rocket Pub, Acton - Gun Control with me on drums played two great gigs in 2019.
People dancing and enjoying our original songs is always pretty special...see YouTube...
Gold Medal...
Best live band of the year 2019 - KISS - Birmingham Arena 09 July and 02 Arena 11 July.
My interview with TIME OUT magazine in April 2018 is now online.
It features me talking about being the UKs number one gig goer...now over 7000 gigs seen...
Includes a mention of the 2000 plus shows i have been to at Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo since 1973,
along with a photo of me outside the venue
Mentions some Sex Pistols stories and other bits and pieces.
Search for it on google under Ray Morrissey Time Out.
Also interviews Ray Morrissey BBC and Ray Morrissey Roundhouse
Visit the coolest menswear store outside of Central London.
Heroes of Richmond - an independent menswear store - 9 Golden Court,Richmond , Surrey.
Footwear, jackets and accessories from top brands unavailable outside Central London.
www.heroesofrichmond.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
BEWARE - some venues are still selling tickets for shows that will certainly be postponed or cancelled.
Concerts starting up again is still going to be a long way off.
Going out to gigs?, going to the pub?, going out shopping?...will it ever be the same again?
Fans says they will return to live music in sanitised venues - but will the communal gig experience survive
the new rules, including social distancing?
Looks like all socially distanced seated shows with restricted numbers will be the first step.
Live music needs a vaccine for COVID-19 and governments to allow public gatherings again.
STARTnet at Saatchi Gallery is a global gathering of artists taking place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 October 2020. More than 100 artists and 34 galleries from 14 countries are participating in the seventh edition of the fair.
Fri 30 Oct---The Coronas play Shepherds Bush Empire.
The band with the unfortunate name are massive back home in Ireland.
They are touring to promote their sixth album.
Sat 31 Oct and Sun 01 Nov - British Street Food Awards are held in Reading.
The BIGGEST street food competition in the world is rolling into Market Place for one last time - for our 2020 grand finale. Thousands entered, hundreds competed, and now our finalists will cook to be crowned Britain's BEST.
Each of the traders will put forward two dishes and the public will vote for their favourites, before the results are revealed at the end of each day. And live on social media.
There will be a huge range of food on offer: the finest fried chicken you'll ever have tasted from Birmingham; Malaysian laksa from the Welsh valleys; Japanese soul food and Breton galettes from Manchester; freshly-grilled corn bread from London....the UK's TOP 14 traders across the weekend. Out to impress you.
Tickets are £5 in advance for a two hour session from Eventbrite then you buy as you eat.
Easy to get there by train from Paddington, Ealing Broadway , Slough and stations on that route.
Sat 07 Nov and Sun 08 Nov --- Van Morrison plays The Powerhaus (ex Dingwalls).
This year legendary live music promoter Vince Power bought Dingwalls and renamed it to one of his
venues that I used to go to in the 1990s when it was in Islington.
Tickets will be around the £150 mark due to reduced capacity for socially distancing.
Mon 16 Nov - Debbie Harry and Chris Stein Q & A along with classic film clips at The Palladium.
News that came in August 2020....
Blondie‘s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have sold their future royalties to a fast-growing investment fund.
Purchased by the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, this means the company will now earn income from 197 Blondie songs, including ‘Heart Of Glass’ and ‘Rapture’ for an undisclosed sum that probably goes into a few million dollars.
Nov 17, 18, 20, 21.
Van Morrison plays the final four of his sold out shows at The Palladium.
Van has said these will be socially distanced shows, with a 1200 capacity each night.
Fri 04 Dec---The Alarm play The Electric Ballroom.
Mike Peters - Welsh music legend still fronting his great live band.
I have seen The Alarm over 20 times since 1985.
Check out their great YouTube series of "The Big Night In" that was recorded weekly during the lockdown.
Both his wife Jules, and Mike himself , have had struggles with cancer in the past.
Mike Peters was awarded a MBE in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to cancer care.
How in their 39th year, The Alarm have sold over 6 million albums.
Sat 05 Dec---Due to the coronavirus, bands that normally headline theatres, can now headline The 02 Arena.
Live music is returning to the O2 Arena after eight months of closure, when Squeeze play a socially distanced concert on 5 December.
The gig will have capacity for 4,700 people in a one metre-plus distanced seating format, down from the venue’s original 20,000 capacity. Tickets will be sold in groups of twos, threes and fours only.
All ticketing will use AXS Mobile ID via The O2 venue app, which also enables pre-ordering of food and drink as well as merchandise to reduce queuing with fast collection lanes.
Visitors will only be allowed to bring a single clear bag into the arena and the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory, except when eating and drinking within the seats. The show will end by 10pm to allow fans to leave the site safely at a distance.
Les Miserables will return to the stage for a special Christmas run, after closing nearly seven months ago amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Theatre owner and producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh announced the news during the Britain’s Got Talent final on ITV.
The show will run at the Sondheim Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue for six weeks from December 5, with both Michael Ball and Matt Lucas starring.
Pantoland at The Palladium - From 12 December
Playing to a socially distanced audience for three weeks only. If you love pantomime, Pantoland at The Palladium is the place to be this Christmas!...includes daily matinee shows...
Starring Ashley Banjo & Diversity, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot Charlie Stemp, Julian Clary and Special Guest Beverley Knight
Tues 15 Dec---Michael Schenker Fest + Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons play Shepherds Bush Empire
Fri 18 Dec---The final farewell show from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band is at Shepherd's Bush Empire.
Monday 19 October 2020.
Happy Birthday to Madness drummer WOODY who is 60 today.
There must be over 50 bands I have seen live over 20 times, Madness are one of them.
Check out this YouTube clip to see how bands and audience can safely go to see lively gigs in the future.
The Flaming Lips "Race For The Prize" - Late Show #PlayAtHome
What about toilet breaks or going to the bar?

Tuesday 20 October 2020
The real crooks are the record companies when it comes to streaming.
"The way the economic model works is that Apple, Amazon and Spotify keep 30% of the money for themselves and they pay 70% to the rights holders. As it currently stands, 58.5p out of that remaining 70p is going to the record company. The artist is getting, at best, one sixth of that [meaning] 11.5p is going to the song.
"We think it's time that the record companies stepped up and recognised that there's a real imbalance between what's being paid for recorded music versus what's being paid for the song."
Friday 23 October 2020.
JOHN PRINE 7 cd album box-set out today.
Crooked Piece of Time: The Atlantic & Asylum Albums (1971-1980)
£30.30 & FREE Delivery via the Amazon link above.

As you can see RAYSGIGS will be updated with a new design over this weekend.
SKY ARTS 10pm - Suzi Quatro documentary film "Suzi Q" ( it was released in 2020).

The film finishes with  "Rock n Roll Suzie" from a great show that I attended.

Cherie Currie (The Runaways) played a rare London show at The Camden Underworld in 

Nov 2015 , and Suzi Quatro joined her on stage.

BBC1 10.45pm - Graham Norton Show features Bruce Springsteen (probably from his home).
Channel 4 11.30pm - James Brown documentary film "Get On Up" (released in 2014). James Brown was played by Chadwick Boseman who sadly passed away recently.

Sunday 18 October 2020

Channel 5 tv at 9pm - QUEEN documentary
Channel 5 tv at 11pm - QUEEN live at Hammersmith Odeon 24 Dec 1975.

Queen played five shows at this venue for their winter UK tour, I went to the four shows before this one but on 24 Dec 1975 I went to see The Sensational Alex Harvey Bank at The New Victoria Theatre, London.

Saturday 17 October 2020

THE STRUTS released their third album "Strange Days " yesterday.
Derby glam-rock revivalists The Struts seem to be suffering from the kind of love them / hate them that The Darkness suffered around 20 years ago.
Dave Grohl says "they were the best live band ever to have supported The Foo Fighters" to the mainstream press saying "do we really need a glam-metal album in 2020?".
Their singer Luke certainly is full of Freddie Mercury type charisma.
The album includes a cover of the KISS classic "Do You Love Me".
Looking forward to seeing them live next year.

Friday 16 October 2020

THE SEX PISTOLS are on SKY ARTS just after midnight tonight.
THE SEX PISTOLS "They'll Always Be An England".
Their great live DVD from their five shows at Brixton Academy in 2007....I was at all five shows.

Tonight - BBC4 tv are having an evening of programmes dedicated to Cliff Richard for his 80th birthday.
It starts with his film "Summer Holiday"....Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols said this was one of his fave films.

It is the USA presidential campaign at the moment across the pond.
A great time to play this 1970s classic by Alice Cooper on YouTube.
There is also a new lyric video out for it this month.

Thursday 15 October 2020

Happy Birthday to TITO JACKSON who is 67 today.
Check my Facebook page to see a photo of us together.

Wednesday 14 October 2020.

Check this very nice (and very rare) interview with EDDIE VAN HALEN on YouTube - 55 mins.
Interview with Eddie Van Halen: Is Rock 'n' Roll All About Reinvention?
It has been viewed over 6 million times.

Tuesday 13th October 2020

Some of England’s best-known grassroots music venues, including the 100 Club (cap, 350), Bush Hall (425)
in London and Liverpool’s The Cavern Club (250), together with an array of independent festivals,
will benefit from a share of the £257 million Cultural Recovery Fund announced on Monday.
Happy Birthday to American singer-songwriter rocker SAMMY HAGAR who is 73 today.
Wednesday 14 October 2020.
Happy Birthday to CLIFF RICHARD who is 80 today.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

7pm to 10pm...
THE WHITE HORSE - launch event.
The White Horse, 4 Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 0HP
Fullers have opened a new pub and the location is pretty incredible for live music and sports fans.
It is next to the steps that lead up to Wembley Stadium and DIRECTLY OPPOSITE WEMBLEY ARENA.
My first of hundreds of shows at Wembley Arena was Alice Copper + Heavy Metal Kids in 1975.
My first of many visits to Wembley Stadium was The Who,Stranglers,AC/DC,Nils Lofgren in 1979.
I can remember the old days of Wembley when all it had was a Sunday market and a couple of dodgy pubs.
Now it has a proper shopping centre , and is a full on food & drinks destination with everything catered for.
Influenced by Wembley Park’s legendary past, the name The White Horse derives from the first-ever FA Cup Final match to be played in the stadium in 1923 when vast crowds surged onto the pitch. Mounted policemen were brought in to clear the crowds and allow the final to take place, including one on a light-coloured horse, which became the defining image of the day.
Situated in the heart of Wembley Park, The White Horse is both contemporary and homely in its design, with elegant interior, comfortable lounge furniture, plenty of plants and two central square-shaped bars on two levels. The new space caters to all tastes, from the traditional pub-goer to the millennial remote worker, making it an attractive destination for local residents, as well as nearby workers and visitors from further afield.
We had a lovely three course meal with drinks which included Guinness.
My starters was a very nice Crispy King Prawns & Squid and the mains was a yummy 8oz Rib-Eye Steak
with Triple-Cooked Chips & Mushrooms.
Our Waitress Tyler was great.
No doubt they will be very busy on event days in Wembley.
The entrance is just 50 yards from the front doors of Wembley Arena , so perfect for a meal and drinks before a gig.
Meanwhile while we wait for events to come back on, the locals should take full advantage.
www.whitehorsewembley.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
Tel: 020 8237 8037 to reserve your table.

12th October 2020

Happy Birthday to THE DAMNED singer Dave Vanian who is 64 today.
A bit mad to think that all the original young UK punk rockers are now in their 60s.

October 11th

I watched the great TEDDY PENDERGRASS documentary on BBCiPlayer this morning.
He certainly seems to have been under appreciated over the years.
I saw him three times at Hammersmith Odeon in Feb 1982, just a month before his serious car crash.
His comeback appearance was in a wheelchair for Live Aid Philadelphia in 1985.
Amazingly when he left Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes his solo career was managed by
Alice Coopers long term manager Shep Gordon.
Teddy Pendergrass (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) was an American singer. Born in Philadelphia, PA at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. Pendergrass was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He initially rose to musical fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. After leaving the group over monetary disputes in 1976, Pendergrass launched a successful solo career under the Philadelphia International label, releasing five consecutive platinum albums, a record at the time for an African-American R&B artist. Pendergrass's career was suspended after a March 1982 car crash that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Pendergrass continued his successful solo career until announcing his retirement in 2007. Pendergrass died from respiratory failure in January 2010.
After the sad death of Eddie Van Halen, i have been playing Van Halen's stunning debut album again.
Back then in 1978 , nobody played guitar like Eddie Van Halen and looked like David Lee Roth.
No wonder they totally upstaged the mighty Black Sabbath on that UK tour.
The full album is up on YouTube, so give it a listen.
This website will be having a bit of an overhaul in the coming week.
Mainly to make it easier to read on mobile devices etc.
SKY ARTS 10.45pm tonight - Queen Rock Monteal 1981.

Birthdays and Charts: 10th October 2020

10 Oct 2005 - It was 15 years ago that I went to this intimate gig by rock legends DEEP PURPLE.
It was at The Hard Rock Cafe ,London for just 150 people.
Happy Birthday to DAVID LEE ROTH who is 66 today.
Happy Birthday to MIDGE URE who is 67 today.
Happy Birthday to MURRAY WALKER who hits the grand old age of 97 today.
Murray Walker, OBE is an English semi-retired motorsport commentator and journalist. He provided television commentary of live Formula 1 coverage for the BBC between 1976 and 1996, and for ITV between 1997 and 2001.
Some good artists in this weeks album charts.
5 2020 - BON JOVI

9th October

JOHN LENNON would have been 80 today.
Lots of special programmes on tv and radio in tribute to him this weekend.
Representatives of the late George Michael’s estate have loaned the piano John Lennon used to compose Imagine on to the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool, England.
George Michael bought the piano for £1.45 million in 2000.
Happy Birthday to SEAN LENNON who is 45 today,
Yes, his birthday is on the same day as his dad.

RIP Bunny "Striker" Lee

Sad news that a reggae legend has passed away.
Bunny “Striker” Lee, the influential reggae and dub producer, has died, Trojan Records confirms. The official cause of death has not been revealed, but Jamaican broadcaster Clinton Lindsay said that Lee was “battling kidney problems for the past few months.” Bunny Lee was 79 years old.
I met him a few years ago at the premiere of his documentary film.

News and Reviews: 7th October 2020

Very sad news that rock guitar legend EDDIE VAN HALEN has died aged 65.

Eddie Van Halen -- the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen -- has died after a long battle with throat cancer.

He died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday. His wife, Janie was by his side.

I saw Van Halen at least once on all of their UK tours including their debut in 1978 supporting

Black Sabbath at Hammersmith Odeon when their stunning debut album came out.

Black Sabbath,Van Halen Hammersmith Odeon, London 01.06.1978 van halen debut uk tour

Black Sabbath,Van Halen Hammersmith Odeon, London 10.06.1978 van halen again blow Sabbath away

Van Halen,Battleaxe Rainbow Theatre, London 22.10.1978

Van Halen,St Paradise Rainbow Theatre, London 29.06.1979

Van Halen,Lucifers Friend Rainbow Theatre , London 24.06.1980

AC/DC,Van Halen,Ozzy Osbourne,Gary Moore,Motley Crue Monsters Of Rock , Donnington 17.08.1984 What a great day .What a great line up .

Van Halen + Little Angels Wembley Arena , London 29.04.1993 great 2 hours 10 mins rock show .Sammy Hagar now on vocals .

Bon Jovi + Van Halen + Thunder + Ugly Kid Joe Wembley Stadium , London 23.06.1995 ugly kid joe did a fun filled 30 mins set thunder did a 50 mins set but should have stuck to a greatest hits set

Bon Jovi + Van Halen + Thunder + Ugly Kid Joe Wembley Stadium , London 25.06.1995 Van Halen did a great 75 mins set .Did some early material as well .Bon Jovi did a 2 hours 30 mins set to confirm they are one of the biggest and best live rock bands on the planet.


Sad news that JOHNNY NASH has passed away.

Johnny Nash, best known for his 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now," died Tuesday morning, his son, John Nash, told CNN. He was 80 years old. The American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter passed away from natural causes at his home in Houston, his son said.


Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen

We're launching an incredible archive of never-before-seen 20 to 30 min "mini gigs" exclusively curated by each artist from their Royal Albert Hall show for Teenage Cancer Trust.

"Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen" is to raise vital funds to help us support young people facing cancer across the UK.  This content will be free to enjoy, but we are urging fans to donate to fill the gap in fundraising that provides a lifeline for teenagers with cancer.

Driven by our Honorary Patron and The Who icon, Roger Daltrey, a who’s who of world-class musical talent have performed at our legendary fundraising gigs at the Royal Albert Hall over the last 20 years. All so young people with cancer get the support they deserve.

The complete lineup is:

Thurs 8th at 8pm - Ed Sheeran

Fri 9th at 8pm - Muse

Sat 10th at 8pm - The Who

Sun 11th at 8pm - Paul McCartney

Mon 12th at 8pm - Paul Weller

Tues 13th at 8pm - Stereophonics

Wed 14th at 8pm - Pulp

Thurs 15th at 8pm - Noel Gallagher

Fri 16th at 10pm - Them Crooked Vultures - Full Show

Sat 17th at 8pm - Rudimental

Sun 18th at 8pm - The Cure

Sat 31st at 8pm - The Cure – Full Show

(I was at most of the above shows including The Who and Paul McCartney).

News and Reviews: 6th October 2020

PEARL JAM will play two nights at American Express presents BST Hyde Park 2021, with the central London live concert series aiming to return to action next year following its cancellation in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Having been part of the original 2020 line-up, Pearl Jam have confirmed that they have been rebooked for BST Hyde Park 2021. The band will play on Friday July 9 and Saturday July 10, 2021 in what is being billed as a UK exclusive.

For a band who you rarely hear on the radio, or see on tv, that's two lots of 65,000 loyal fans each night.

I have seen them a few times including a show in Paris.


Folks are now starting to get the jitters for shows planned for NEXT YEAR.

Simple Minds UK tour was postponed to Feb 2021 and they have now postponed again to Aug 2021.

News and Reviews: 5th October 2020

Happy Birthday to BRIAN JOHNSON who is 73 today.

I have seen AC/DC with Bon Scott 19 times.

I have seen AC/DC with Brian Johnson over 20 times.

I have seen AC/DC with Axl Rose just the once.

AC/DC with Brian on vocals will have a new album out in a couple of months.


Happy Birthday to STEVE MILLER who is 77 today.

Steve does not play the UK that often but I saw all three shows at Hamersmith Odeon in 1982,

and his next London show which was 28 years later at The Royal Albert Hall in 2010.


BRIAN CONNOLLY - THE SWEET would have been 75 today....He sadly died in 1997.

My friend was their tour manager so he invited me to Brian's funeral, as well as the funeral for

Sweet drummer Mick Tucker.

The Sweet were the first band i ever saw at The Rainbow - December 1973


Happy Birthday to SIR BOB GELDOF who is 69 today.

I first saw The Boomtown Rats in 1977, and saw them nine times in total, including Live Aid.

News and Reviews: 3rd October 2020

Happy Birthday to Motley Crue drummer TOMMY LEE who is 58 today.


JOHN LENNON would have been 80 on 09 October.

Lots of special programmes this weekend on BBC tv and radio to celebrate his life & music.


Sunday 04 October 2020.

Megaclash in Paris between Enable and Stradivarius.

The Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a hugely important horse race that brings together the top

middle-distance performers from Europe and beyond.

It is run at Longchamp racecourse over a mile and a half and is open to colts and fillies aged three and over,

with this year's contest due off at 3.05pm (BST) on Sunday, October 4.


The London Marathon is held for Elite Runners only - behind closed doors but live on BBC tv.


Fact of the day.

Did you know Phil Spector was involved in producing John Lennon's "Imagine"?

Lennon and Ono co-produced the song with Phil Spector. Recording began at Lennon's home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England, in May 1971, with final overdubs taking place at the Record Plant, in New York City, during July.

News and Reviews: 2nd October 2020

BBC2 tv at 10pm - Later With Jools Holland features ROBERT PLANT for the entire programme.

Robert Plant is promoting his new album, which comes out today.

Robert Plant's new career-spanning solo compilation titled Digging Deep is released on October 2, which features three previously unreleased tracks.


TOM PETTY sadly died three years ago today.

I saw him in London on every UK tour he did since his support debut at Hammersmith Odeon in 1977.

Then his own headline show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980.

Also Wembley Arena, Shepherds Bush Empire, Royal Albert Hall and his final London show at Hyde Park.


This weeks UK albums charts....

IDLES new album goes straight in at number one.

SLADE new hits album goes straight in at number eight.


Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter DON McLEAN who is 75 today.

News and Reviews: 1st October 2020

Happy Birthday to guitarist EARL SLICK who is 68 today.


Go on the TONY VISCONTI wiki page to see the staggering list of albums he has produced

over the past 50 plus years, including T.Rex, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats and more.


Friday 02 October 2020.

BBC2 tv at 10pm - Later With Jools Holland features ROBERT PLANT for the entire programme.

Robert Plant is promoting his new album , which comes out today.

Robert Plant's new career-spanning solo compilation titled Digging Deep is released on October 2,

which features three previously unreleased tracks.


TOM PETTY sadly died three years ago today.

I saw him in London on every UK tour he did since his support debut at Hammersmith Odeon in 1977.

Then his own headline show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980.

Also Wembley Arena, Shepherds Bush Empire, Royal Albert Hall and his final London show at Hyde Park.


This weeks UK albums charts....

IDLES new album goes straight in at number one.

SLADE new hits album goes straight in at number eight.

News and Reviews: Wednesday 30th September 2020

News from one of the UK's top live music promoters saying normal gigs are still a long way off.
Kilimanjaro Live boss Stuart Galbraith has told Music Week of his hopes that full-capacity shows in the UK will get the go-ahead to resume NEXT SPRING.
Speaking in this week's magazine, the Concert Promoters Association vice-chair revealed he had earmarked April 8 as the target restart date.
"We've got some big asks still of government and we really need to focus upon those," he said. "Number one is a date, when can we get going? And I think that we should be pushing for a date that is April 8. The reason I say that is a) it's immediately after Easter and b) I think government will be able to find that acceptable - I think it will fit in with political and society agendas. It's midweek, so it's not going to be a date you're going to see people go crazy on, like a Saturday, and we could ease into it."
MARC BOLAN would have been 73 today.
I saw his last ever London show at The Rainbow in March 1977...six months before his death.
Tonight Marc Almond is playing a tribute show to Marc Bolan via his website, with many guests involved.
On 04 Sept BMG released a tribute album which features Marc's fab songs covered by many great names.
Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex

News and Reviews: 29th September 2020

Happy Birthday to ALAN McGEE are who is 60 today.
One of the books i read while on holiday was his great drug fuelled autobiography.
Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running a Label. Alan McGee's role in shaping British musical culture over the past thirty years is hard to overstate.
He co-founded the independent Creation Records label, running it from 1983 until its closure in 1999. He subsequently founded the Poptones label, running it from 1999 to 2007. He has managed or brought out records by acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Oasis, and The Libertines.

28th September 2020

I did a short interview for Greatest Hits Radio (South Wales version)
It will be broadcast this Wednesday from 7pm.
It is about Welsh live music history.
I will be talking about going to see...
KISS @ Deeside Leisure Centre in 1980.
U2 + The Pretenders + The Alarm @ Cardiff Arms Park Stadium in 1987.

27th September 2020

Happy Birthday to RANDY BACHMAN who is 77 today.
I was lucky to have seen two very rare UK shows by BTO.
Bachman Turner Overdrive + Thin Lizzy Hammersmith Odeon, London 03.05.1975
fantastic double bill. Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham had joined Thin Lizzy last year and with Lynott you knew they would be huge .
Bachman Turner Overdrive + Thin Lizzy Hammersmith Odeon, London 04.05.1975
BTO were massive in the UK at this time with the brilliant " Not Fragile " album and the big hit single " You Aint Seen Nothing Yet" .Fantastic evening .
Happy Birthday to MEAT LOAF who is 73 today.
I have seen him perform live around 15 times with the first time in 1978 at Hammersmith Odeon
on his debut UK tour for the "Bat Out Of Hell" album.

26th September 2020

26 Sept 2001 - I was at this great event 19 years ago today.
THE CLASH - photos by Bob Gruen - private view at Proud Gallery, Camden.
Joe Strummer and Mick Jones turned up as well as many others from The Clash family.
See my invite for the event on my Facebook page.

Happy Birthday to BRYAN FERRY who is 75 today.

The Pink Floyd legend Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets’ Live At The Roundhouse has entered the charts at number 5.
The 76-year-old’s live album is a recording of the band’s sold-out shows at the famous London venue back in May 2019.
I was at both those Roundhouse shows.


SALON PRIVE CONCOURS 2020 is held at the stunning Blenheim Palace....Sept 23,24,25,26....
Blenheim Palace sits at the edge of the picturesque town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
​It is a luxurious ticket with full hospitality event appealing to discerning guests, collectors, buyers, owners and enthusiasts who prefer a more intimate experience. It is a presentation of the very finest automotive and luxury brands as well as the rarest and most valuable of classic cars and motorcycles.​​
Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site with over 300 years of History and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough.
Now in its 15th year, ‘Salon Privé Week’ is a must-attend series of events for any car enthusiast or aficionado. A Partner Concours to the Peninsula Classics’ Best of the Best’ Award, Salon Privé is now recognised as one of the top events in the world alongside Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Held annually within the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Salon Privé is firmly established as the UK’s most exclusive Motor Show.
More than 70 years of Ferrari history will be showing at Blenheim Palace.
The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne will also be paying homage to the 70th anniversary of the first Grand Prix Championship race, held at Silverstone in 1950. Included in this year's line-up of cars are three of the line-up of the most innovative and beautiful Formula One cars ever raced, including Damon Hill's Williams FW15C, Sir Stirling Moss' Lotus 18 and the Ferrari 312/67 driven by the likes of Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell.
Salon Privé Week 2020
Wed 23rd September - Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance
Thurs 24th September - Salon Privé Ladies’ Day by Boodles
Fri 25th September - Salon Privé Masters by Pirelli and Lockton
Sat 26th September - Salon Privé Classic & Supercar featuring The Salon Privé Club Trophy
There is a 100% full prompt refund if the event is cancelled to to the coronavirus. It is a premium event as all food and drinks, including Pommery champagne are included for Wed, Thurs, Friday in the £295 ticket price.
Sat 26 Sept is the only day where general admission tickets only are for sale at £36. Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.

25th September 2020

Friday 25 September 2020...11.30am to 5.30pm...
We are on the outskirts of the lovely Oxfordshire countryside at this very famous Palace.
Before we enter there is temperature checks and track and tracing info is taken.
Indoor live music gigs and theatre have suffered during this strange time, but this was the third major
outdoor car event i have been to in as many months.
There are at least 100 stunning cars here from all the legendary super-car Marques including
Aston Martin
and many more....
From 2.15pm to 3.45pm there was the parade and competition as the two best cars from each decade
were chosen from the visions of beauty on display.
The host did a great job of telling the history behind each car and previous owners included
The Sultan of Brunei, Rowan Atkinson and Boney M founder Frank Farian.
The main trophy winners were presented by The Duke of Marlborough.
There were helicopters on display and several took off and landed during the afternoon.
Throughout the day there is complimentary Pommery champers, Gin & Tonics, Vodka Cocktails,
wines, beers, coffees, teas and lunchtime hampers of seafood, meat and veggie.
Also afternoon tea hampers of scones, jam, clotted cream and pastries.
Pencil in the dates for next year in your diary - Sept 1 to 4 2021.
A great day out.

Friday 25 September 2020.
Tonight on BBC4 tv.
9pm - Australian Acts on the BBC including INXS, AC/DC, Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave.
10pm - Mystify (Michael Hutchence documentary)
11.40pm - INXS live at Wembley Stadium 1991 ( I was at that show)

24th September 2020

A reminder that SKY ARTS is now free to view on daily tv from 01 September.
They are showing many great music documentaries and gigs.
This Saturday features an evening dedicated to Pink Floyd.
6.30pm - Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii 1972
7.45pm - Pink Floyd PULSE live at Earls Court Arena 1994 (I was at one of the Earls Court shows )
9pm - Roger Waters Us + Them live in Amsterdam on his 2017/2018 European Tour
11.30pm - Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here classic album documentary

23rd September 2020

Happy Birthday to music legend BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN who is 71 today.
I have seen Bruce live over 20 times including both his legendary debut London shows at
Hammersmith Odeon in Nov 1975.

6th September 2020

Thurs 10 Sept---Glen Matlock Band play The Electric Ballroom.
This will be a socially distanced event where all socially distanced Heath & Safety procedures will be in place according to Govt guidelines and where the audience will be seated at separate tables.
Glen’s band for this one off show will be Chris Musto on Drums, Jim Lowe on Bass and on guitar will be special guest for the evening, Neal X ( Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Adam Ant, Marc Almond ) Tickets are £30....with support from The Priscillas.
I would have gone to this show but I am in mainland Europe from Mon 07 Sept to Tues 22 Sept. September is usually a good month for gigs and events but not much on due to the coronavirus. Will be going to see an old friend and hopefully the plane both ways is half empty as it's not a beach resort. I will have use of the sauna , outdoor pool in the huge garden and an e-bike so should be good fun. Daily news on raysgigs will be taking a break for a fortnight.

This book is a must buy - released 10 April 2020.
Worlds End : Sex Pistols / McLaren / Westwood - A Chronology 1971 to 1978 by Mal-One and The Punk Collective.
Retails for £14.99 and is available from Rough Trade stores and online.
Visit their website here to buy it mail order.
It is also available via Ebay and Amazon.

This is a historical document set in Day by Day format with incredible attention to detail over its 344 pages.
There are a few punk-art collages by Mal-One but no band photos as we all know what they look like.
The Year Zero is the early 1970s at McLaren/Westwood store at 430 Kings Road ,Chelsea where music, film, art ,fashion, youth culture evolved from here to change the music scene forever.
As expected , most of the book centres on the two incredible years of 1976 and 1977. One thing you do notice throughout the book is the amount of gigs The Sex Pistols had cancelled. It got even worse after the Bill Grundy incident as they became the most talked about new band in the country,and everybody wanted to see them play live but nobody could see them as the GLC, other local councils, promoters and everybody else just pulled the plug on them.
Certainly not easy for Malcolm McLaren to manage them , with all the various problems. Hard to believe that before their re-union tour in 1996 the biggest crowd in the UK they had played to in 1976/1977 was around 1000 people, and they were all low key secret gigs.
It was criminal that they could have filled multi-nights at the bigger London venues but were just not allowed. I would compare it to something like 1994 when Oasis were the hottest new band in the UK. They had swagger and attitude and swore a bit but imagine nobody was allowed to see them play classic tracks from their debut album like "Rock 'n' Roll Star", "Live Forever" , "Supersonic" and "Cigarettes & Alcohol".
Nice to see that i get a mention in the book on page 225 which is related to the "Pretty Vacant " poster "Dance To The Sex Pistols" which i am in.
The stills were taken from Sex Pistols Notre Dame 1976 gig. A smaller version of the poster is on page 162.
The Sex Pistols are my fave band ever,so i know most of their history and was there for bits of it , but this book still surprises me with many never before known happenings in their career.
It really is a great five star read.

4th September 2020

The 2020 CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE will take place from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September at Hampton Court Palace. The Concours of Elegance began at Windsor Castle in 2012, before moving to St James’s Palace in 2013, Hampton Court Palace in 2014 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland) in 2015 before returning to Windsor Castle in 2016 and Hampton Court Palace in 2017.

The Concours of Elegance will once again bring together a selection of 100 of the rarest cars from around the world – many of which will never have been seen before in the UK. Many of the Concours cars will also take part in a 2 day driving tour in the days running up to the main Concours event. Uniquely, the Concours of Elegance winner isn’t selected by a panel of judges but by the Owners of the cars themselves. Each participant is asked to vote on the other models on display to decide which car is considered to be the ‘Best of Show’.

Concours of Elegance will gather a line-up of the McLaren F1 GTRs that finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of McLaren’s unique motorsport achievement. The cars will take centrestage in front of the Palace for the entirety of the event. There will also be a selection of vary rare and historic cars from Ferrari and Porsche. Also a unique Bugatti Type 57 with coachwork by Gangloff, and the only Jaguar XK150 by Bertone known to still exist.

15 stunning cars will be on view on Fri/Sat for the auction on the Saturday at 5pm.
The minimum estimate of any car is £300k and several are expected to sell for a couple of million.
Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.

We were there 2.30pm to 6pm on the Friday.
Great to back at this stunning historic palace.
The palace was bought by the English monarchy in 1528. This was when Thomas Wolsey gave it to Henry VIII. It stayed a royal palace for the next 220 years. In its lifetime, it saw twelve monarchs on the throne, until George III stopped living in it after the death of his wife. There was a fire at Hampton Court in 1986. It is currently owned by Historic Royal Palaces, which also owns places like the Tower of London. It is open to the public. It has many gardens, and also has a maze.
All the cars are nicely spaced out at the rear, and they all look superb.
They sound fantastic when many are started up for the parade.
As it was VIP/ press day we had complimentary poached salmon, thyme and sage chicken, finger sandwiches, pastries, wines and coffees in the hospitality tent.
Guests here included PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT and JODIE KIDD.
You can still buy tickets for Saturday and Sunday.

Happy Birthday to Pretenders drummer MARTIN CHAMBERS who is 69 today.
I have seen The Pretenders live around 15 times with the first being at the legendary Nashville Pub in 1979.

3rd September 2020

Happy Birthday to Sex Pistols "Guitar Hero" STEVE JONES who 65 today.
I have seen THE SEX PISTOLS live around 20 times since 1976.
It was 12 years ago in 2008 that The Sex Pistols played their last tour.
As it stands, I have been to the last three Sex Pistols shows played.
I saw Steve Jones play with his great all-star band - The Neurotic Outsiders in 1996.

2nd September 2020

Sept 1975 - it was 45 years ago this month i was going to these great shows as a 16 year old.
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 11.09.1975 fantastic rock package
Great rock songs with a great stage show .
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 12.09.1975 "Welcome To My Nightmare "
is the current album .He played all his 4 Top 10 hit singles and it was just brilliant .
Wings Hammersmith Odeon, London 17.09.1975
Kraftwerk,AJ Webber Hammersmith Odeon, London 20.09.1975
Sad news that IAN MITCHELL has passed away.
Ian Mitchell, a one-time member of Bay City Rollers, has died at age 62. Mitchell had an extremely short innings with Bay City Rollers (less than 12 months in 1976) . After original member Alan Longmuir left the band ,Mitchell was brought in. Ian, an Irishman, became the first non-Scottish member of Bay City Rollers.