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!

Sunday 11 February 2024.

Sunday 11 February 2024.
COMEDY WAREHOUSE presents Love & Comedy Valentine's Show live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Several black comedians and a white guy perform at this annual event.
I have been to this really good entertaining show a couple of times before.
The stalls is seated tonight , and the venue looks full, so maybe around 1200 folks here.
Pretty much a 75% black crowd.
The show was on for two hours 40 mins over two sets.
First set was 8pm to 9.25pm....85 mins.
KANE BROWN was the host , and introduced all the acts...he is so funny as he interacts with the crowd so well.
Black male comedian ???
Black male comedian ???
WHITE YARDIE is a white guy with a full on Jamaican accent , who went down really well.
Second set was 9.40pm to 10.55pm...75 mins.
RICHARD BLACKWOOD arrived stage on at 10.25pm for his 30 mins headline set.
A very enjoysble evening with lots of laughter from all the acts.
Saturday 10 February 2024.
Popped into Westfield , Shepherds Bush just before the gig nearby.
Westfield seems to be always busy, despite the cost of living crisis.
5pm to 5.15pm.
I watched the Chinese New Year Dragon Dance on the ground floor.
5.15pm to 6pm.
KARL LAGERFELD store launch at Westfield.
It is only a small store, so just a small soft launch opening.
Great to see some of the items here , many have his image on.
BBB iPlayer currently has that great documentary on him , that feature footage of his Paris Fashion Shows
that looked incredible.
There is a DJ playing tunes , and there is complimentary juices with vitamins in his branded bottles.
OLIVER ANTHONY live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Virginia native Oliver Anthony is a country-folk poet of the people, who became an overnight sensation with the meteoric rise of his debut single, “Rich Men North of Richmond”.
His passionate voice features a unique and emotional rasp shaped by his personal battles.
In August 2023, he released the single "Rich Men North of Richmond" independently, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Anthony the first artist to debut atop the chart without any prior charting history in any form.
This show sold out a month in advance.
This show is part of an eight date UK & European Tour.
It is a rowdy Saturday night drinking crowd.
Not many Americans here for this sold out show.
We have two support acts , who play 20 mins each.
Later on I see that they are both the other members in the Oliver Anthony band.
They second one did a neat cover version of. ' Valerie'.
OLIVER ANTHONY arrived on stage at 9.05pm for his 95 mins set.
He is backed by two musicians and there is no drum kit.
The crowd participation for this show was a bit strange for a London gig , as every two or three songs the band would get the crowd to loudly sing " Joe Bidens a Peado" to the Seven Nation Army riff.
Oliver lives off-grid in Virginia, has scant experience of playing live, and after reading a Bible verse from his phone mid-set, declares that “all the songs you hear on Spotify were recorded on this”. His songs are rootsy and muscular, with the live addition of double bass and acoustic guitar warming up the twang of his resonator guitar. Vocally he’s the real deal, his clear tone lending conviction to ' Cobwebs and Cocaine ' , ' Ain't Gotta Dollar' and drinking song 'I've Got to Get Sober' .
Too much tuning up between songs was a pain, and Oliver had the lyrics to each song in front of him on a paper, and at the end of the song he would give it to the double bass player , who would make a paper aeroplane out of it , and direct it into the crowd.
A couple of good covers were played....' Rocket Man' and ' Freebird'.
We had two superb versions of his mega hit ' Rich Men , North of Richmond' , with the crowd singing loudly.
For the final song , the guitarist was on his own playing as Oliver Anthony went to the front of stalls pit ,
to pose for selfies and to sign stuff.
Overall a good show...but very weird hearing those Joe Biden chants.

Friday 09 February 2024.

Friday 09 February 2024...6.45pm to 8.45pm...
UNIT GALLERY - private view - 3 Hanover Square , Mayfair , London W1.
This gallery always invites lots of guests so must be easily over 100 folks here.
A woman here who had the most cutest little dog I have seen in years.
Complimentary Vodka Tropical Cocktails for all guests.
Both exhibitions on until 10 March 2024
Lower Ground - ZIPING WANG 'Small Talk'.
Ziping Wang’s second exhibition with Unit demonstrates a significant shift towards abstraction, while continuing to explore everyday themes and day-to-day social situations, reflecting the exhibition’s title, 'Small Talk'.
Ground Floor - ZACHARY LIEBERMAN ' Circles, Blobs, Ripples' .
Zachary Lieberman's first solo exhibition with Unit explores the unexpected effects of geometries crafted with code, revealing how a systematic approach to image-making can transform shapes into mesmerising visual experiences.
Thursday 08 February 2024....6pm to 9pm...
FALCON APARTMENTS - showcase - 3rd Floor, Cairo Studios , 4 Nile Street, Shoreditch , London N1.
North Property Group are showcasing their new apartment block at Red Bank , Victoria North, Manchester .
189 apartments that are due for completion in 2027.
One bed flats start at £268,500.
Six storey clubhouse of residents amenities
A ground breaking development of one, two and three bedroom homes in the heart of the Victoria North Regeneration.
Falcon is the first ground breaking development in the highly anticipated Red Bank neighbourhood one of seven new neighbourhoods in the Victoria North regeneration, the largest regeneration of its kind in the North's history.
The development will offer a selection of contemporary one, two and three bedroom apartments benefiting from floor to ceiling windows that will allow for natural light and open aspects. The spacious open plan layouts will feature high quality appliances and modern finishes in a neutral palette so residents are free to make their spaces their own.
As well as 24 hour concierge services residents will also benefit from The Club House, a six storey residents only amenities building which will cater for every wellness, working and social need including a fitness suite, bar & restaurant, private dining spaces and co working lounge along with more amenities yet to be released.
Falcon is perfectly placed for those seeking for a blend of open space and city living, set in prime position where the thriving city meets the calming waterfront of the River Irk and awaited 113 acre City River Park. Adjacent to Falcon the City River Park will be Manchester's most extensive natural asset, set over 46 hectares.
Around 50 or 60 folks here in their space away from all the office furniture.
There is a model of the building , and we have a chat with the sales rep.
They have got a female DJ, a bar and a chef.
Complimentary choice of three different cocktails , spirits n mixers , prosecco , wines , bottles of beers , cans of Guinness and canapes.

Wednesday 07 February 2024.

Tuesday 06 February 2024.
2.15pm to 7pm.
ICE GAMING at Excel, London E16.
The place the world of gaming goes to do business will welcome the entire industry on 6-8 February at ExCeL London, where 45,000+ trailblazers will gather to network with leading international decision makers, regulators, operators and innovators across all gaming sectors and verticals, over three days of expansive business opportunities.
ICE is the biggest global showcase of the very latest and innovative technologies and opportunity providers, home to 600+ global brands providing FIRST access to products and services designed to enhance your growth potential in 2024.
After many years in London, it moves to Barcelona from next year
Over 10,000 visitors each day , and as usual it is a 90 % male crowd.
Portuguese football legend LUIS FIGO is here as Ambassador for DIGITAIN.
UFC champion ALEX PEREIRA is posing with his belts on the AVIATOR stand.
This is the event where a few years ago i met DEE SNIDER from Twisted Sister on one of the stands.
Lots of colourful digital screens and neon everywhere.
Plenty of nice looking promo girls at different stands.
You can have a go on all the various slot machines, casino related etc.
Many of the stands are giving out complimentary coffees , cocktails, spirits n mixers, wines ,
prosecco , champers, beers and snacks.
7.30pm to 12pm.
ICE GAMING OPENING PARTY at Magazine , London SE10.
Around 3000 guests at this massive venue.
There are dancers in carnival type costumes, acrobats, burlesque and djs.
Lovely surprise to see punk rock band THE DUEL here..
On at 9.10pm for just 15 mins, but they went down well with the crowd.
GREG BANNIS had many years as singer with Hot Chocolate...replacing Errol Brown (R.I.P.)
He was on at 10pm for his 20 mins of singing Hot Chocolate hits to a backing tape.
SOUL II SOUL arrived on stage at 11.05pm for their 45 mins set
A massive band as must be 15 members on stage including three female brass , two female violinists and three female backing singers.
They played their great hits from 1989 ' Keep On Moving' and 'Back to Life'.
Our wristbands were valid for complimentary drinks and food all night,
that included champers in the VIP lounge area and elsewhere was spirits n mixers, wines, beers , prosecco and
the food trucks in the VIP lounge area.

Monday 05 February 2024.

Monday 05 February 2024.
Looks like AC/DC are to announce their first world tour for 8 years.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground has been booked concerts for July 8, 9, 10.
The act has not been confirmed yet...is that AC/DC ?
Sunday 04 February 2024.
Happy Birthday to ALICE COOPER who is 76 today.
I have seen Alice Cooper around a dozen times since 1975 , when I saw both his shows at Wembley Arena.
Alice always puts on a top notch live show.
Saturday 03 February 2024.
JAZZU live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
I have seen acts from Poland, Russia, Italy, Columbia and others playing to their own communities in London, and this time it is the turn of Lithuania.
Around 1200 mainly Lithuanian folks here , which is pretty good going.
Around 75 % of the crowd are female....so many great looking women at this gig.
JAZZU is a big name in Lithuania , and is an X Factor judge over there.
JAZZU arrived on stage at 8.15pm and played for 1 hour 45 mins.
Nine musicians on stage , including four backing vocals ...2m/2f.
All are dressed in cool all black attire.
The songs are pretty much dreamy electro pop , although it did get livelier in the second half.
Lyrics were all in English , apart from a couple of tracks in English, and a couple of snippets from hit covers.
Hints of Goldfrapp in some of the tracks played, and it was a good show.

Friday 02 February 2024.

Friday 02 February 2024.
PEYTON PARRISH live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Popular TikTok star from America.
Peyton Parrish laid the foundations for his career in 2020 with a cover of “My Mother Told Me”, made famous by the series, ‘Vikings’.
He’s since released his debut album with original songs and covers, to versions of Disney classics, and his latest release, ‘Skalds Of Metal’, includes a collaboration with German medieval rock giants,
The sign outside the venue says the show is sold out.
DOMINUM arrived on stage at 8pm for their 40 mins set.
German Heavy Metal band played a decent set of tracks from their album.
They have a bald headed singer , and the other three musicians are wearing gruesome masks.
They did a good cover of Dead Or Alive ' You Spin Me Round' .
They signed stuff at the merch stand after their set
PEYTON PARRISH arrived on stage at 9.15pm for his 85 mins set.
You wouldn't think a heavy metal band would have a singer named Peyton.
Plenty of crunching heavy metal tracks played , with lots of lighting.
A superb cover of Cranberries ' Zombie' was a highlight.
The big track ' My Mother Told Me' was performed near the end.
A good show, that the crowd loved.
Thursday 01 February 2024.
SHEN YUN live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Historical Chinese theatre and music show returns to this venue...I saw it at this venue in 2023.
Extensive daily advertising on TV all through January must have cost them a fortune, so maybe that's why the tickets are so expensive at £75 to £160.
It is on at this venue from 26 Jan to 04 Feb.
This stint in London is part of a UK tour.
They have eight productions touring the world.
The stalls seats look sold out , even with the high priced tickets.
As expected, it is an older respectable crowd.
The two hour show was over two sets of 60 mins.
The stage presentation is lovely.
A huge digital screen showing colourful images.
Around 30 performers in total on stage.
A full live orchestra of 30 musicians in black tie, that sounded fantastic.
Each piece had an introduction from a m/f couple.
Only two pieces had singing , with a piano backing.
The rest was classical Chinese dance routines with stunning costumes.
An enjoyable show.

Wednesday 31 January 2024.

Wednesday 31 January 2024....6.45pm to 9pm....
BARBARA KRUGER....private view...
Serpentine Gallery , Kensington Gardens, London.
The site-specific exhibition will feature Kruger’s iconic pieces reconfigured in recent years as video works, including Untitled (I shop therefore I am) (1987/2019) and Untitled (Your body is a battleground) (1989/2019)
Serpentine is honoured to present a solo exhibition of recent works by American artist Barbara Kruger (b. 1945, Newark, New Jersey, USA). The exhibition will be presented at Serpentine South from 1st February to 17th March 2024 and in the public realm with Outernet Arts.
Titled Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. the exhibition will feature a unique selection of installations, moving image works, and multiple soundscapes installed across the Serpentine building, bookshop, and outside banners, as well as on large-scale, immersive wraparound screens at Outernet Arts.
It will be the artist’s first solo institutional show in London in over 20 years and a return to Serpentine. Kruger previously exhibited at Serpentine in 1994 as part of the group exhibition Wall to Wall.
Around 150 cool art folks here, including BBC arts editor WILL GOMPERTZ.
Complimentary Ruinart champers for all guests
Wednesday 31 January 2024.
Happy Birthday to JOHN LYDON who is 68 today.
See my Facebook page for a photo of the two of us together.
Tuesday 30 January 2024.
EVERGLOW live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Six girl K-Pop act are promoting their fourth album 'All My Girls'.
Six major European cities on this tour....
Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Warsaw , Berlin.
Two days ago i was at this venue for all boy K -Pop and today it is the same promoter's ,
but tonight it is the turn of the girls....more a 50/50 male / female crowd split.
The tickets are an eye watering £100 in the stalls and £90 and £80 for the upstairs seats.
No wonder the stalls standing is half empty , but seats look pretty full.
Maybe 1000 out of the 2000 tickets have been sold.
It is the same format as Sunday , where the band come on early and finish early , so they can do a meet and greet for 200 fans after.
The glow sticks are out in force again tonight.
EVERGLOW arrived on stage at 7.30pm and perform for 1 hour 55 mins.
Every track has an incredible dance routine , as they dance to backing tracks.
They perform their track ' Slay MV' which has had over 25 million views on YouTube.
They also perform a couple of covers in the middle of the set.
Plenty of chat between songs , the girls cannot speak full English so they have an interpreter side of stage.
The girls give out mini hand waves, heart signs and thumbs up etc to the fans.
From my point of view , it is great to watch six fit girls dancing.
Surprisingly they stick to the same black stage outfits for the entire show.
K-Pop really seems to have a cult like hypnotic attraction to their fans.
Visually really good to watch , even though the music was basic dance pop.

Monday 29 January 2024.

Monday 29 January 2024.
I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY : THE SAW MUSICAL - London Opening Night - live at
The New Wimbledon Theatre, London SW19.
I Should Be So Lucky is a brand new jukebox musical featuring the music from songwriting trio Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Walkman. The trio had huge success in the 80s and 90s, writing 13 UK number-one hit singles for artists like Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Bananarama. Their music was devised into the show by Debbie Isitt, the brains behind the Navity! movies.
SAW is considered one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships of all time, scoring more than 100 UK top-40 hits, selling over 150 million records.
The show is playing weekly stints all over the UK.
The show is on for two hours over two sets of 60 mins.
The show centres on Ella (Lucie-Mae Summer), a bride left at the alter, whose friends and family decide to accompany her on her honeymoon to a Turkish resort, then the groom who jilted her goes to Turkey to win her back.
It's a heartwarming comedy , along with the SAW tracks woven into the script.
Kylie and Bananarama have the most songs in the production, and there's some Jason Donovan ,
Rick Astley ,Sinitta , Mel and Kim , Dead or Alive etc.
Lots of good dance routines, and Kylie appears on the big digital screen several times.
There was complimentary prosecco, wines, beers, ciders for guests and press.
Pre show and during the interval was held in the upper circle bar, then the bigger dress circle bar , for when the cast turned up , along with PETE WATERMAN and NATHAN MOORE from Brother Beyond.
Not sure if the other two from SAW were here, as forgot what they looked like.
We were there 10pm to 11.15pm, and it was still lively when we departed.
Sunday 28 January 2024.
XIKERS play Shepherds Bush Empire.
Xikers is a South Korean boy band formed by KQ Entertainment. The group consists of ten male members: Minjae, Junmin, Sumin, Jinsik, Hyunwoo, Junghoon, Seeun, Yujun, Hunter and Yechan.
Their world tour is called 'Tricky House - First Encounter'.
The crowd is pretty much 90 % very excitable females under the age of 30.
Not sure how they can afford the steep ticket prices of £90 , £80 and £70.
Plus there are over 200 that have paid for a meet and greet after the show, hence the early start early finish.
There is some serious money floating about in K.Pop.
Some space up in Level 3 and rear stalls so maybe 1300 folks here.
XiTERS arrived on stage on 7.35pm and played for 1 hour 40 mins.
Oddly they are nine members on stage , rather than ten mentioned on wikipedia.
Lots of fantastic dance routines, and after each track they would take a breather by chatting some basic English or by playing a video on the big screen.
As usual with K-Pop acts there is no live band , and it's all backing tapes.
Lots of lights and strobes are used throughout the shows.
It is all very visual ,but the music is basic dance pop.
Lots of screaming girls and many are holding various glow sticks.
I think there were three costume changes.
Overall a visually good show , but the music was a bit tame.

Saturday 27 January 2024.

Saturday 27 January 2024
Happy Birthday to NICK MASON who is 80 today.
See my Facebook page for a photo of us together.
Friday 26 January 2024...I went to three events today...
See some photos from the events on my Facebook page.
2pm to 6pm
KENSINGTON MARKET REUNION , The Design Museum Kensington High Street ,London W8.
2pm to 2.45pm - i had at a peek around REBEL : NEWGEN exhibition which features 30 years of London fashion designers.
I went to the launch party for it in Sept 2023..
2.45pm to 3.30pm. - I had a peek around SKATEBOARD - celebrating 70 years of the skateboard.
Featuring 100 plus skateboards and related items from 1953 onwards.
3.30pm to 4pm - I had a peek around The Design Museum exhibition itself.
4pm to 6pm - Complimentary wines, beers and snacks upstairs for the 60 or so guests.
Stall holders, friends and customers are gathered in the upstairs bar here.
Good to see a few people i know here.
Kensington Market was a very popular place to go for cool clothes through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s.
It was located pretty much opposite The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington High Street.
In the 1960s and 1970s, it catered to hippie and bohemian culture. From the 1980s to the end of the 1990s, it catered to punks, new romantics, metal heads, ravers, and goths, as well as other sub-cultures of contemporary music, fashion, hair stylists, body arts, and crafts and accessories.
In 1969, before the band Queen had formed, Roger Taylor ran a stall at the market, also enlisting Freddie Mercury to work on it.In a 2006 interview, Lemmy, the founder of Motörhead, stated he sold dope at the market during the 1960's.
American and UK bands used to get stage wear there.
Probably the most popular store was Johnson's, whose owner and staff are here tonight.
I went to Johnson's New Year's Eve party on 31 Dec 1980 that featured The Stray Cats live.
6.30pm to 7.30pm
Sprovieri Gallery - private view - 23 Heddon Street , London W1.
The contemporary art on display was not my cup of tea.
Complimentary sparkling wines for all the guests
This building has a famous history.
It's over 50 years since David Bowie donned a loud turquoise Freddi Burretti jumpsuit, and posed — guitar slung over shoulder — in the lamplit doorway of 23 Heddon Street, for the photoshoot of his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
BLACK SABBITCH live at The Camden Assembly.
Top notch all female Sabbath tribute band arrive in the UK from Los Angeles.
For over a decade, Black Sabbitch has been selling out shows and wowing even the most difficult to please Sabbath worshipers, gaining a rabid fan base and the respect of critics, fans and musicians alike. They have become festival favorites, consistently performing with some of the world’s biggest acts, in a world seldom played by your typical “tribute” band. Black Sabbitch were hand-picked by Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne to open the inaugural Ozzfiesta and by Dave Grohl to play Cal Jam with Foo Fighters and Iggy Pop, after which the Foo Fighters shared photos of Black Sabbitch saying "we were spellbound.”
Tickets are £20 including booking fee.
Also Sunday 28 Jan at Sub 89 in Reading.
I have seen the real Black Sabbath many times since the 1970s.
The 200 capacity upstairs room at this venue is packed solid.
The band are selling their wares themselves at their merch stand.
The band for around 1 hour 45 mins over two sets.
Ever since I saw The Runaways debut London shows at the nearby Roundhouse in 1976, I have had a soft spot for all girl rock bands.
Great to hear all those Sabbath classics played, in a really good set.
Nice to see the drummer doing most of the stage chat between songs.
Setlist included...
Into The Void
Fairies Wear Boots
Black Sabbath
War Pigs
Wicked World
Children Of The Grave
Thursday 25 January 2024.
ROD STEWART tribute show at The Theatre Royal , Windsor.
Top notch Rod tribute show ' Some Guys Have All The Luck '.
I have seen this show three times before.
I have seen the real Rod Stewart live around 25 times with the first times at those legendary shows at The Olympia, Kensington in the late 1970s.....1976 x 2 , 1977 x 1 , 1978 x 3.
A mainly older crowd tonight in this cosy all seated theatre.
A good turnout for a tribute act as around 500 tix sold out of the 633 capacity.
The show was on for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 65 mins.
Rod tonight is backed by a four piece band.
Lots of folks here my age, and nice to see some folks who are clearly in their 70s. Each song had some spoken Rod history to it , and there were Rod images on the big screen. The singer looks like Rod and has that great raspy voice that the real Rod has and friendly typical Rod like stage banter. A few costume changes by him too, mainly just a different jacket. Lots of dancing by the punters in the second half, and you cannot go wrong with so many Rod gems......a really good show...
20 songs played tonight, including....
You Wear It Well
Stay With Me
Cindy Incidentally
First Cut is The Deepest
This Old Heart Of Mine
I Don't Wanna Talk About It
Do You Think I'm Sexy
Some Guys Have All The Luck
You're in My Heart
Baby Jane
Encore :
Maggie May

Thursday 25 January 2024.

Wednesday 24 January 2024....5.15pm to 8pm...
The MARK KNOPFLER Guitar Collection , Christie's , King Street , St James's , London SW1.
Christie’s is honoured to bring to auction guitars from the collection of music legend Mark Knopfler, the celebrated singer-songwriter, guitar hero and frontman of the iconic British rock band, Dire Straits.
Comprising more than 120 guitars and amps, the collection spans the 50-year career of one of the world’s most influential musicians and chronicles the diverse array of guitars Knopfler has used to write, record and perform an extensive catalogue of compositions for Dire Straits, as well as numerous successful solo albums and film soundtracks. Renowned for his distinct and virtuoso finger-picking style, Mark chose each instrument for its individual sound and tone, assembling a wide-ranging archive that includes iconic and world-famous names such as Gibson, Fender and Martin alongside custom-built models by Rudy Pensa and John Suhr, and bespoke examples crafted by luthiers from across the globe.
Twenty-five percent of the total hammer price will be divided equally and donated to The British Red Cross, Tusk and Brave Hearts of the North East.
The live auction will be on the Christie's website 31 Jan at 1pm.
There Is a 26 mins video of Mark Knopfler being interviewed about the guitars on YouTube.
A big crowd of over 300 folks here.
The stunning range of guitars are hanging on the walls, with several on the main stage.
It is a public view guest list , rather than a private view guest list so it is a pay bar , rather than the usual complimentary bar.
There are videos of Dire Straits on the big screens, and the sound is perfect as it is via Dolby Atmos.
6pm -Paul Crockford Mark Knopfler' s current manager , gives a talk about the crafting of the Local Heroes Gin , a collaboration with Mark Knopfler....which is on sale at the bar tonight..
7pm - John Illsley , founding member and bass guitarist of Dire Straits was in conversation with Paul Sexton about the band's rise from London pubs to global stardom.
Mark Knopfler has sold sold over 100 million albums with Dire Straits and solo.
I have seen Dire Straits 14 times and Mark Knopfler solo 4 times.
The first time I saw Dire Straits was when they were support at this new wave /punk show.
Talking Heads + Slaughter and The Dogs + Dire Straits - Roundhouse 29 Jan 1978 .
Also two shows at Hammersmith Odeon in 1983 that were sponsored by Phillips who were launching their new electronic device - The CD player.....also Live Aid in 1985.
See my Facebook page for a video and some photos

Sunday 21 January 2024.

Sunday 21 January 2024.
Big family lunch party to celebrate my mum's 90th birthday.
Saturday 20 January 2024.
RYAN LONG live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
New York comedian with multi - millions of views on YouTube plays the last night of his UK tour , and his third London show on his tour.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight and maybe 500 seated folks here in the stalls and Level 1.
We have three support acts tonight.
ERIC FETTY on at 8pm for 12 mins.
DANNY POLISHCHUK on at 8.12pm for 20 mins.
FRANCIS ???? On at 8.50pm for 10 mins.
RYAN LONG arrived on stage at 9pm for his 65 mins set.
Plenty of anti-woke and non-pc routines were good to hear.
Subjects included lots of dick and pussy rants, along with religion , LGBT , fat people, politics , racism ,etc.
At the end of his set, Ryan said he would be meeting fans at the back of the stalls for a free chat and photo.
All the acts had some very funny routines, and some average routines.
Thursday 18 January 2024....5.15pm to 10.15pm...
Launch Party - 26 Leake Street, Waterloo, London SE1.
Events management company Camm & Hooper has acquired the venue 26 Leake Street, which resides in three renovated railway arches in London's Waterloo.
It comes after Camm & Hooper revealed it is amid a period of "ongoing growth", having secured Platform, a 35,000 sq ft space in Glasgow, last November.
26 Leake Street is an 11,000 sq ft space that has previously held drinks receptions, music events, corporate functions and fashion shows for brands such as Smirnoff, Amazon, Fendi and Adidas.
The venue can host up to 1,200 standing guests or 450 seated banquet diners.
The event company has a portfolio of seven sites, which includes Tanner Warehouse in London's Bermondsey, Jeru Mayfair and Platform Glasgow, and has committed to acquiring additional venues in Scotland, Manchester and Leeds.
A big crowd of around 400 or 500 guests here tonight.
Lots of things going on including an acoustic guitarist playing a few tunes, magician , djs, street performers,
a fun photo booth and a graffiti wall with markers and spray cans and stencils.
I sprayed a tote bag with the words Sex Pistols on it..
See my Facebook page for a photo of it.
At 7pm we had a welcome speech by the CEO of Camm & Hooper.
An army of staff coming around with food and drinks all night along with the many bars and dessert stations.
Complimentary drinks and food included a dozen different cocktails , prosecco , wines , beers , bowl foods, canapes, up desserts and a sweets and pick n mix counter.
An excellent event.
Wednesday 17 January 2024...I went to two events tonight...
6.15pm to 6.45pm.
OMOROVICZA - showcase - 60 South Audley Street, Mayfair ,London W1.
They opened this London Flagship in Nov 2023.
Having opened in Budapest three years ago, the founders now bring their cult luxury products and skin therapy treatments to London’s Mayfair, with a newly opened store on South Audley Street. The space has been designed by Tina Vaia, and Ed Milton of EJM Studio, and features two treatment rooms, a cocooning relaxation area, a courtyard, and a boutique.
Complimentary Waitrose champers and white wines for all the guests
6.50pm to 9.15pm.
ANDY WARHOL - BEYOND THE BRAND - private view -Halcyon Gallery , Mayfair , London W1.
Can it be possible that there’s a Warhol we haven’t seen? Yes, apparently, quite a few, and ten of them will be on view to the public on the UK for the first time from this week.
Andy Warhol’s rarely seen original Ads paintings were created in 1985, as a set of ten painted canvases and a portfolio of prints. Each depicts Warhol’s hand-made, vividly coloured take on a different famous advertisement, from Apple Computers to Chanel No.5, Volkswagen cars to Lifesavers (a sweet a bit like fruit polos, since you ask).
Other Andy Warhol's on show here included ..
1972 Marilyn
1972 Mao
1986 Cowboys and Indians
A female DJ was playing tunes in the background.
Complimentary Taittinger champers and canapes for the 100 plus guests.
See my Facebook page for a few photos from the event.

Tuesday 16 January 2024.

Tuesday 16 January 2024.
Family celebrations today as my dear mum is 90 today.
Her dementia is getting worse , but she is hanging in there.
See my Facebook page for some photos.
Sunday 14 January 2024.
999 live at The 100 Club.
with support from THE SATELLITES .
I have seen punk legends 999 around 25 times since 1977.
Here are the times I saw them in 1977, 1978, 1979 which
Includes shows at the legendary Nashville Pub.
999,Swords Nashville Pub, London 18.07.1977
Vibrators,999 Roundhouse. London 16.10.1977
Runaways,999 Hammersmith Odeon, London 13.11.1977
999 Hope And Anchor Pub, London 29.11.1977
999 ,Red Cow Pub, London 23.12.1977
999,Black Slate Roundhouse, London 19.03.1978
999 ,Camden Music Machine, London 30.05.1978
999 ,Nashville Pub, London 28.07.1978
999,Donkeys Marquee Club, London 05.10.1979
999 Nashville Pub, London 15.12.1979
Between 1978 and 2007, 999 released fourteen singles and twelve studio albums. Five of the singles released by 999 between 1978 and 1981 charted within the Top 75 in the UK Singles Chart, with one further single released by 999 in 1978, "Homicide", charting within the Top 40. In addition, as a result of extensive touring in the United States in the early 1980s, the band's third and fourth studio albums, The Biggest Prize in Sport and Concrete, each charted on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Despite having formed in 1976, 999 have only experienced two permanent changes to their original line-up.
Nice to see so many of my punk rock chums here.
THE SATELLITES arrived on stage at 8.15pm for their 40 mins set.
I saw these original punk rockers from Acton three times back in the day.
Adam And The Ants, Satellites,Ruts Acton White Hart, London W.3 30.08.1978
Satellites,Scabbies Flatterlites The Kensington Pub,London W14 23.09.1980 lotsa nudity and chaos
Lurkers,Satellites Moonlight Club , London NW 02.07.1982
I have seen them more recently too.
Del is still on vocals, and the band are sounding good.
999 arrived on stage at 9.10pm and played for 75 mins.
Nick Cash is still doing a great job on vocals as usual , and its not long before he starts his usual rant " they said punk rock would last only 6 months , but here we are still here 48 years later".
Lots of short catchy gems played, with highlights including 'Emergency ', ' Nasty Nasty ' , ' Homicide" and final encore " I'm Alive" .....a great show by 999 as usual.
Full 999 setlist played tonight....
Biggest Prize in Sport
My Street Stinks
Hit Me
Feeling Alright With The Crew
Boys in the Gang
Titanic (My Over) Reaction
Don’t Wanna Know
Black Flowers for the Bride
I Really Really Really Really Like You
Inside Out
My Dad Trashed My Submarine
Last Breath
Lie Lie Lie
Don't You Know I Need You
No Pity
Nasty Nasty
Little Red Riding Hood
Let's Face It
I'm Alive
Saturday 13 January 2024.
THE SMYTHS + BILLY BLAGG live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
A nice pair of tribute acts to The Smiths and Billy Bragg.
I have seen Morrissey a dozen times, but never saw The Smiths as they never played Hammersmith Odeon in their short career, when I worked front stage security.
I have seen the real Billy Bragg around a dozen times , with the first times being three shows supporting David Gilmour at Hammersmith Odeon in 1984, and I have seen The Smyth's at Sub 89 in Reading a couple of years ago.
Level 3 is closed , and Level 2 is half empty but must be 1300 folks here, which pretty good for " just a tribute band" .
Mainly a crowd in their 50s, but lots of younger folks here who were not even born when the The Smiths split up in 1987.
BILLY BLAGG arrived on stage at 8pm for his 35 mins.
Never did I ever think that someone would bother to do a Billy Bragg tribute act, but the guy looks and talks like him , and even got a bit political, just like Billy Bragg.
Lots of Billy Bragg classics played , including...
To Have and To Have Not
The Milkman of Human Kindness
The Battle of Barking
There is Power in a Union
Between The Wars
A New England
THE SMYTHS arrived on stage at 8.45pm and played for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 65 mins.
They were introduced by BBC presenter Jeremy Vine.
The crowd are all singing and dancing along to those great lyrics, with highlights including...
William It Was Really Nothing
The Last of the International Playboy's
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (dedicated to Andy Rourke)
Shoplifters of The World Tonight
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Girlfriend In A Coma
Stop Me
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
What Difference Does It Make
This Charming Man
Bigmouth Strikes Again
How Soon Is Now

Saturday 13 January 2024.

Friday 12 January 2024.
Veteran BBC Radio 1 presenter Annie Nightingale has died, aged 83.
The radio star, who was the station’s first-ever female presenter, died on Thursday (11 January) following a short illness, according to her family, who said in a statement: “Annie was a pioneer, trailblazer and an inspiration to many. Her impulse to share that enthusiasm with audiences remained undimmed after six decades of broadcasting on BBC TV and radio globally.”
Annie joined the BBC in 1970, and was still there over 50 years later.She also presented The O.G.W.T. in the 1970s when Bob Harris departed.
Thursday 11 January 2024....I went to FOUR events tonight...
5pm to 6.30pm....private view ..
The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair , London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London W1.
Around 40 exhibitors are showcasing.
Lovely period furniture, jewellery , watches , paintings etc.
Complimentary sparkling wines , along with red & white wines.
It is on all this weekend...Fri, Sat and Sun.
6.35pm to 7.35pm....private view....
Phillips Gallery , 30 Berkeley Square , Mayfair ,London W1.
Phillips: Editions - 17 & 18 January, London
Bid Now! Only 6 days left to register in our editions auction. Browse works by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, among others.
Complimentary Lallier champers, Margherita cocktails and white wines.
7.45pm to 9.15pm...launch party...
W1 CURATES present "Alienated" by CEM HASIMI.
Basement of Flannels, 161- 167 Oxford Street , London W1.
This digital Art space is more night club rather than your typical gallery. Very nice images on all the walls.
A bit like what you would see at the Outernet display.
Free admission over the next couple of weeks.
Complimentary spirits Inc JD n cokes along with prosecco, wines and beers.
THE RAMONAS live at The 100 Club.
I have seen this all girl Ramones tribute act twice before.
Then they mixed Ramones songs with their own songs.
The band started off just playing Ramones songs , but recently have released albums with their own material.
Tonight was billed as an ' originals set' .
They arrived in stage at 9.40pm for their 60 mins set.
It was all their own material tonight , with no Ramones songs.
Their own material was Ramones sounding and pretty good.
Would have been nice to hear a few Ramones classics though.

Thursday 11 January 2024.

Wednesday 10 January 2024.
Happy Birthday to ROD STEWART who is 79 today.
Raysgigs was the first place that mentioned Rod reuniting with The Faces...although it took several years to actually happen.
I did around 20 media interviews relating to it.
This is what NME.COM said in Nov 2008.
Frontman Rod Stewart told Raysgigs.com that all the original members aside from late bassist Ronnie Lane, who died in 1997, were set to reconvene on Monday (November 17) to run through their old hits.
The singer, who spoke at the Claridges Bar 10th Anniversary Party said the band, which includes current Rolling Stones‘ guitarist Ronnie Wood, will use Stewart‘s touring bassist to fill in for Lane.
The actual tour with The Faces did not actually happen , and Ronnie got fed up waiting for Rod to commit , so a couple of years later, i saw Mick Hucknall take over vocal duties for The Faces reunion , which also included Glen Matlock on bass.
The Faces with Rod and Ronnie would eventually only do the one show in 2015 at Hurtwood Park , Surrey ...i was there.
Tuesday 09 January 2024.
ALADDIN panto at Theatre Royal , Windsor.
Catch the 'sensational' Aladdin panto before it flies out of Windsor!
Returning for his 10th Windsor Pantomime, everyone’s favourite fox Basil Brush is back alongside Windsor favourites Steven Blakeley, Kevin Cruise And Anita Harris. Plus, joining them this year is star of The Real Marigold Hotel Patti Boulaye, and TV trickster Paul Zenon!
Featuring Theatre Royal Windsor’s traditional pantomime comedy capers, dazzling dancers, colourful costumes, and a sprinkling of magic, you won’t want to miss this ‘Genie’-ous show.
This is the 85th season of panto at this venue.
It is on until 14 January.
This cosy 633 capacity theatre looks half empty tonight.
The show is on for around 1 hour 50 mins over two sets.
It is more a family panto compared to the excellent
Palladium adult panto last week.
Although there were a few Carry On type innuendos like
" Let me rub this lamp , and see what happens".
Some familiar faces from the 1970s /1980s on stage inc
Anita Harris who is now aged 81.
Patti Boulaye who is now aged 69.
Basil Brush was around when it was black & white TV.
Lots of silliness and lots of cover songs performed.
A few topical jokes about politicians and nearby areas.
There was a full on Barbie tribute with outfits and that very catchy song , and they threw out a dozen beach balls.
Aladdin flew over the front stalls on his flying carpet.
A full on slapstick version of 12 Days of Christmas was very entertaining , as was the four little girls on stage for some cure audience participation ...ages 5, 9, 3, 3 .
An enjoyable show.

Tuesday 09 January 2024.

Tuesday 09 January 2024.
Happy Birthday to JIMMY PAGE who is 80 today.
Happy Birthday to DAVID JOHANSEN who is 74 today.
Monday 08 January 2024.
Teenage Cancer Trust is back! The Royal Albert Hall has been hosting concerts in aid of the charity since 2000, with the biggest names in music and comedy coming together each year to raise money to help young people face the chaos of cancer.
I have been to at least one show , every year since the start.
Mon 18 March - THE WHO with orchestra + Squeeze
Tues 19 March - comedy evening with half a dozen acts
Wed 20 March - THE WHO with orchestra + Squeeze
Thurs 21 March - NOEL GALLAGHER and THFB + Blossoms
Fri 22 March - YOUNG FATHERS
Sun 24 March - ROGER DALTREY and friends
Tickets go on sale soon.
Saturday 06:January 2024.
THE BOYS live at The 100 Club.
I have seen The Boys over a dozen times since 1977 when they supported The Damned at The Roxy Club Jan 1977 , and then summer 1977 with The Jam + The Saints + The Boys at Hammersmith Odeon, then a headline gig at The Marquee Club.
I have seen The Dirty Strangers three times. Singer Alan Clayton got Keef and Ronnie to play on some of their tracks , and in July 2013 I saw them play The Borderline Club when Stones sax player Bobby Keys played eight songs with them.
I have seen The Vulz a couple of times before.
This was my first gig of 2024.
This was the third show of The Resolution Punk Festival at this venue. Nice to see so many friends here.
THE VULZ arrived on stage at 8.10pm for their 35 mins set.
They played some good catchy tunes from their albums.
The Vulz lend out their gleaming drum kit to the other two bands and other stage bits like guitars and amps.
THE DIRTY STRANGERS arrived on stage at 8.55pm for their 40 mins set. They have a nice sound with hints of The Stones / The Faces. Their set included gems like 'Pirates Don't Get Pensions ' and 'Gold Cortina' but no time tonight to play ' 'Shepherds Bush City Limits'.
THE BOYS arrived on stage at 9.50pm for their 65 mins set.
The Boys still feature two original members.
Lots of short and catchy tracks played in their great set.
Most of them date back to their 1970s punk heyday.
Setlist played tonight...
See Ya Later
Terminal Love
Punk Rock Menopause
I'm a Believer
Cop Cars
You Can't Hurt a Memory
No Money
Soda Pressing
Tumble With Me (Hollywood Brats cover)
Do the Contract Hustle
Global Warming
I Don't Care
First Time
Brickfield Nights
Living in the City
Sick on You

Friday 05 January 2024.

Wednesday 03 January 2024.
BBC1 10.45pm - RAYE live at The Royal Albert Hall 2023.
I was at this really good sold out show , where Raye was backed by a full orchestra.
Tuesday 02 January 2024.
PETER PAN is at The London Palladium.
The country's biggest and best panto returns to this venue.
I have been to it a few times in the past.
The London Palladium pantomime is set to return for an eighth year, with a brand new production of Peter Pan starring Jennifer Saunders and Julian Clary.
Saunders, who will be making her Palladium panto debut in Peter Pan playing Captain Hook, said: “I could not be more delighted to be doing my first panto ever at the Palladium. I am a huge fan of panto and The Palladium always delivers. I wouldn’t want to be in Peter Pan’s tiny soft shoes let me tell you, because I am going to give Hook my all!”
Returning Palladium panto favourites Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot, and Rob Madge will also join Saunders and Clary in the cast. The production will once again be directed by Michael Harrison, who has produced and directed all eight London Palladium pantomimes.
Peter Pan will run from Saturday 9 the December 2023 to Sunday 14 January 2024.
This iconic venue looks very full tonight.
I have a superb seat just three rows from the stage.
The show was on for two hours over 70 mins and 50 mins.
Last Christmas it was Dawn French who brought celebrity star power to the Palladium panto Jack and The Beanstalk. This year it is French's comedy partner Jennifer Saunders playing villainous Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Apart from that this is business as usual for the ensemble – in other words a riotous mix of camp, slapstick, smut and occasional acting. And, as always, glorious fun.
I'm not sure JM Barrie envisaged Julian Clary dressed as a giant prawn, or Peter Pan's crotch catching fire after some limbo dancing. This is a version that just about pays lip service to the origin story. No wonder a song in the second half, sung by scene-stealing imp Rob Madge as fairy Tink, asks "whatever happened to the plot?"
Instead the cast concentrates on enjoying themselves and entertaining the audience. Saunders is superb as Hook and cannot resist breaking into crowdpleasing Abfab impressions. Louis Gaunt is a more muscular Pan than you might expect. The boy who never grew up, but clearly spent a lot of hours in the gym. Clary as Seaman Smee brings Act One to a close on a literal high as he glides into the rafters.
Elsewhere familiar set-pieces are given a new spin. Gary Wilmot's Dame delivers a trademark rapid-fire wordplay number. Professional duffer Nigel Havers and slick ventriloquist Paul Zerdin join Clary and Wilmot for a singalong which involves Havers being repeatedly whacked.
Julian Clary had a dozen incredible costumes , and had the majority of the smutty jokes.
Nigel Havers was the butt of many jokey routines related to his age.
The ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and his puppet were excellent, and in the second half he got three young children on stage , which was very entertaining audience participation.
There is satire with swipes at Farage Sunak and Starmer.
So much laughter in this top notch spectacle which was a great start to 2024.

Monday 01 January 2024.

Monday 01 January 2024.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.
Here are my Top 20 gigs of the year which was full of great shows.
I went to 189 gigs in 2023 , which brings my gig total to 7561 since Sept 1973.
The first three that I gave a 10, and the rest were all pretty close, date order.
ELTON JOHN at The 02 Arena - 17 April
DOG DAY AFTERNOON at Crystal Palace Park - 01July
KISS at The 02 Arena - 05 July
FLAMING LIPS at Hammersmith Apollo - 28 April
DURAN DURAN at The 02 Arena - 01 May
STEEL PANTHER + WINGER live at The Forum - 20 May
Tribute to JEFF BECK at The Royal Albert Hall - 22 May and 23 May
SPARKS at The Royal Albert Hall - 29 May and 30 May
BEYONCE at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground - 04 June
THE HIVES at The Garage -13 June
BLUR +SELF ESTEEM + SLEAFORD MODS at Wembley Stadium - 08 July
HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES at The 02 Arena - 09 July
THE WHO at The 02 Arena - 12 July
PULP live at Hammersmith Apollo - 29 July
REBELLION PUNK FESTIVAL at Blackpool + 03 Aug to 06 Aug - over 30 bands seen.
MARC BOLAN ANNIVERSARY CONCERT at Shepherds Bush Empire - 15 Sept
kYLIE MINOGUE at Shepherds Bush Empire - 27 Sept
DIANA ROSS at The Royal Albert Hall -15 Oct
SUZI QUATRO live at The Palladium - 15 Nov
EXTREME + LIVING COLOUR at The Forum - 04 Dec and 19 Dec
Sunday 31 December 2023.
New Year Fireworks - The London Eye.
100, 000 have paid £20 each and many more have found places to see it free from a distance.
We had a few drinks in the area, very busy with lots of tourists.
We are in Red Zone 5 ticketed area for the main event 10pm to 12.30pm.
A DJ played tunes before and after the fireworks display.
The top notch fireworks display was on for around 10 mins.
Lots of those disco party boats on the river looked a good place to watch the fireworks display from.
Thankfully it was rain free night , and good fun.

Friday 29 December 2023

Friday 29 December 2023.
FREE ENTRY gig at The Cavern , Raynes Park , London SW20.
HEAVY METAL KIDS (who still feature two original members on drums and guitar) .
I saw Heavy Metal Kids in the 1970s when Gary Holton (RIP) was on vocals.
They were playing 1972–1985 (until when Gary Holton died) and reformed 2002–present.
Uriah Heep + Heavy Metal Kids Hammersmith Odeon, London 22.06.1974 ...this tour was to promote new album " Wonderworld" . support group had the great Gary Holton as lead singer who later starred on TV in Auf Weidersen Pet but who sadly died .
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 11.09.1975... fantastic rock package This is more like it . 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 .
Heavy Metal Kids,Stray,Dirty Tricks Roundhouse, London 11.07.1976.
Oddly this was the first time I have been to this old school rock music pub.
Well worth keeping an eye on their gig list, as 75 % of their shows are free entry.
It has music memorabilia adorning all the walls.
My friend MARK TAYLOR from Record Collector is here , and he warned me it was a late start late finish venue, which is ok for the locals, but not ideal for those like me who have made a proper trek.
THE EDLINERS arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for around 50 mins.
Blues rock trio started off with a couple of their own tracks , then it was all cover versions , including The Rolling Stones, BTO, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin.
The guitarist played some stunning riff's and solos on his Gibson Les Paul.
THE HEAVY METAL KIDS arrived on stage at 10.10pm and played for around 75 mins.
This meant they came off stage at the mental time of 11.25pm.
Really great to be up close to the stage.
The guitarist is one of those that does not use any effects pedals.
Their current singer is younger and has a nice tall , slim, front man vibe.
Early songs in the set included ' Chelsea Kids', 'Blow It All Away ', ' Hit The Right Button' , and the best tunes were in the second half of the set ,so we had 'Squallidy Inn' , ' Houseparty' , 'She's No Angel ' and 'Delirious '.
Really good to see The Heavy Metal kids are still playing.
Thursday 28 December 2023.
2023 was the best year for vinyl album sales in the UK since 1990.
Top 10 best-selling vinyl albums 2023, with Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones taking the top two positions.
Taylor Swift - 1989 (Taylor's Version)
The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds
Lana Del Rey - Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
Taylor Swift - Speak Now (Taylor's Version)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Blur - The Ballad of Darren
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
Taylor Swift - Midnights
Olivia Rodrigo - Guts
Lewis Capaldi - Broken by Desire to be Heaven Sent
The BPI said cassette sales were also picking up again after dying out in early 1990s, while the decline in CD sales had begun to slowdown, "plateauing" at most 11 million units in 2023.
Take That's This Life is the year's top selling CD, while Olivia Rodrigo's Guts was the best performing cassette.
Wednesday 27 December 2023.
Happy Birthday to JANET STREET PORTER who is 77 today.
Janet was the presenter of the LWT TV show in 1976 that featured The Sex Pistols at The Notre Dame Hall in Leicester Square.
You can see me in the TV footage jumping around front of stage.
Stills of the footage with me in them were used in The Sex Pistols 'Pretty Vacant ' poster ' Dance to The Sex Pistols' and the picture cover for Sex Pistols ' Pretty Vacant' in New Zealand.

Sunday 24 December 2023.

MERRY CHRISTMAS GREETINGS to all visitors to this website.
Saturday 23 December 2023.
The West End is buzzing with locals and tourists.
6pm.... Getting out at Tottenham Court Road station is enjoyable these days , as you can browse the stunning Now Building.
The Now Building, which is home to what is said to be 'the world's largest LED canvas' by pixel density, has attracted 6.25 million visitors in its first year. Outernet London has become the capital city's most-visited attraction. Helps that it is free to watch.
Their live music venue which replaced The Astoria and the small club which replaced The Borderline at this building don't seem to be attracting many big names.
6.30pm....Good to see FOPP RECORDS Covent Garden was nice and busy...I still have not been to the re-opening of the HMV store in Oxford Street.
7.30pm....CRAZY FOR YOU at The Gillian Lynne Theatre, Drury Lane , London WC2.
This musical closes on 31 Dec 2023.
I went to the opening press/VIP party on 04 July 2023 for it , but have not actually seen the show itself until now.
The venue is pretty much 90% full.
I end up with a great view in the stalls, five rows from the stage.
The show was on for around 2 hours 25 mins over two sets.
The show got lots of great five star reviews.
The biggest and most joyful musical comedy is lighting up the West End, ‘banishing the cares of the world with sublime songs and dynamic tap routines’ (Evening Standard).
This large-scale production boasts 16 orchestra members and an incredible 34 strong cast, led by the ‘electrifying’ Charlie Stemp (The Times), alongside the ‘magnetic’ Carly Anderson (Broadway World) and ‘outrageously comic’ Tom Edden (Evening Standard). This show overflows with glorious Gershwin melodies, including Someone to Watch Over Me, I Got Rhythm and They Can’t Take That Away from Me.
A celebration of musical theatre at its finest, ‘Susan Stroman’s choreography blows the roof off and wins standing ovations’ (Daily Mail), which ‘sends you out on a high from the joy of music and dance’ (Financial Times).
With a riotously entertaining book by Ken Ludwig, this spectacular production has transferred from a sell-out season at the Chichester Festival Theatre and is now in its final week at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre.
This show was totally excellent.
Friday 22 December 2023.
Amazing news.
THE ROLLING STONES claim 2023’s Official Christmas Number 1 album in the UK with ' Hackney Diamonds' .
Helped by the re-issue with some live tracks.
With guitarist Keith Richards having turned 80 years old this week, he and bandmates Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood see their latest album return to the summit once again. ' Hackney Diamonds' topped the Official Albums Chart upon its release in October.
WHAM ' Last Christmas ' is the number one single for Christmas, for the first time at Christmas since it was released 39 years ago in 1984.
The Band Aid single kept it off the top spot in 1984.
BBC4 TV 9.10pm - GEORGE MICHAEL live at Earls Court Arena.
George Michaels last ever shows were three nights at this venue in Oct 2012....This recording features the last two shows........I saw this show at The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Opera House, earlier on in the tour...It was fantastic.
George Michael is no longer with us, and Earls Court Arena has been bulldozed.
JOE STRUMMER sadly died 21 years ago today....22 Dec 2002.
Thursday 21 December 2023.
21 Dec 1973.
It was 50 years ago that i saw my first ever gig at The Rainbow.
It was glam rock legends THE SWEET in their heyday.
The legendary Finsbury Park venue is now a Brazilian church.

Wednesday 20 December 2023.

Wednesday 20 December 2023....I went to two events tonight....
6.15pm to 8.30pm.
Guess Who's Sleighing It For Christmas - private view -
Flannels, 161- 167 Oxford Street ,London W1.
Ground floor level is a nice clothing store , and below they hold digital art exhibitions every two or three months.
Similar to what you see at Outernet , up the road.
Maybe 150 guests here and a lot of folks that I know.
A DJ is playing tracks in the background.
Complimentary prosecco , spirits, wines and beers for guests so I had a few JD n cokes.
8.40pm to 11pm.
Work Christmas Party at Montagu Pyke , Charing Cross Road London WC2.
This huge and always busy Wetherspoon's pub used to be The Marquee Club when it moved from Wardour Street.
Around 15 of us here with complementary drinks , different pizza slices and chicken bits.
Tuesday 19 December 2023.
A nice pair of funk rock bands arrive back in London.
We are spoilt in London , as some bands play two or three or more London shows on their tour.
See my review from their great 04 Dec 2023 Forum show.
This is the last night on their ' Thicker Than Blood' world tour.
Reminder ...this is a great pairing of classic rock bands...
SCORPIONS + EXTREME play Wembley Arena on 08 June 2024.
The venue is totally rammed again , like last time.
The first show , i was rear stalls standing , but tonight is 3rd row
from the front of the balcony centre.
Legendary live music booking agent ROD MacSWEEN is here.
Legendary rock photographer ROSS HALFIN is here.
LIVING COLOUR arrived on stage at 7.50pm for their 40 mins.
Living COLOUR arrive on stage , as if they are the headliners.
Pretty much the same setlist as last time.
They played a great funk rock set, that was loud , funky , heavy and featured amazing guitar playing from Vernon Reid.
EXTREME arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for two hours.
It is pretty much the same set as a fortnight ago.
Super slim singer Gary Cherone is a non-stop bundle of energy , and Nuno Bettencourt is stunning on his various guitars.
The overall sound is excellent , and they had loads of lights.
'Get The Funk Out' is a highlight for me...see my Facebook page for the video i took tonight.
At the end of the show all the band go in the pit to shake hands with fans, and give out dozens of guitar plectrums.
Not many bands are as good as they were in their heyday , but Extreme have managed it....a fantastic show.
11.30pm to 12.15am.
A fair amount of folks on the guest list , but not many have after-show passes, that's because it was held backstage ,rather than the usual balcony bar.
We wait a bit for the tour manager to say it is ok to go into one of the bands dressing rooms.Maybe 20 or 25 folks here max,
including all the band members and a couple of young kids.
Had a chat with three of the band , who offered me wine and beers from the fridge, but I had a full drink anyway.
I got a photo with Nuno which is up on my Facebook page.,
and he gave me a couple of guitar plectrums.
My parting words were " see you back at Hammersmith one day".

Monday 18 December 2023.

Monday 18 December 2023.
The Barbican , London.
This is part a five-date UK tour where Geddy Lee the singer/bassist of legendary prog-rockers Rush is being interviewed by a different guest each night, ostensibly plugging his new autobiography My Effin’ Life. Previous UK shows have had Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers, Melissa Auf Der Maur of Hole/Smashing Pumpkins and comedian Phil Jupitus , and the show before London at Portsmouth Guildhall had a surprise appearance by Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson.
Surely Alex will turn up in London?
I have seen Rush around a dozen times including their first four UK tours in 1977, 1978, 1979,1980 at Hammersmith Odeon and then i would see them at the bigger arenas on later tours.
Rush,Stray Hammersmith Odeon, London 04.06.1977
Rush,Tyla Gang Hammersmith Odeon, London 19.02.1978
Rush,Tyla Gang Hammersmith Odeon, London 20.02.1978
Rush,Max Webster Hammersmith Odeon, London 05.05.1979
Rush,Max Webster Hammersmith Odeon, London 06.05.1979
Rush Hammersmith Odeon, London 05.06.1980
second of five sold out shows by Rush here on this tour.
Hammersmith Odeon, London 06.06.1980
The Geddy Lee merch stand is doing plenty of business.
As we enter the hall ,we all get an exclusive complimentary 20 page colour tour programme which features unpublished stories, photographs and more!
The venue is 90 % full which is pretty good considering the high price tickets for just a bit of talking...£100, £80 , £60 plus booking fees ..although that does include a hardcopy of the book.
As expected it is mainly an older male audience tonight.
Before the talk , we have images on the big screen from the book, including the poster from their 1977 Hammersmith Odeon gig.
The talk is on for 2 hours 10 mins , over two sets of 60 mins and 70 mins.
GEDDY arrives on stage to a full standing ovation.
The first 30 mins or so is Jewish comedian David Baddiel and his brother talking to Geddy about him and his parents Jewish history....before going to on to Rush early beginnings and Geddy
reads from his book for 10 mins.
For the second half we do get Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson joining Geddy, and he also gets a full standing ovation.
They had over 500 emails for this Q n A session and maybe answered around a dozen or so.
Fave band to have fun with on the road = UFO.
Fave bands growing up = Yes and Cream.
Fave current bands = QOTS Age and Tool.
Recording their ' A Farewell To Kings ' album at Rockfield Studios in the UK straight after their 1977 UK tour.
Geddy getting kicked out of the band, in the early days .
A very enjoyable evening.
Monday 18 December 2023
Happy Birthday to rock legend KEITH RICHARDS who reaches the grand old age of 80 today.
If you watch some of The Stones interviews from the 1970s, you would say no way would Keef reach 80, but he somehow has.
Happy Birthday to BRAD PITT who is 60 today.
Sunday 17 December 2023.
17 December 1979 - 44 years ago today BON SCOTT played his last London show with AC/DC before his tragic death, a couple of months after.
I was there at Hammersmith Odeon.
It was the 19th time I saw him with them.
I remember reading an article in Sounds magazine at the start of 1976 , about bands to look out for , including an Australian band with a guitarist who played in his school uniform and would get carried through the crowd on the singers shoulders during a guitar solo. That was enough to get me interested , so I saw early pub gigs and Marquee Club gigs in 1976, and the rave reviews meant that a mere 6 months after they played their first pub gigs, they were headlining Hammersmith Odeon.
Search AC/DC for the full list of gigs on www.raysgigs.com
Saturday 16 December 2023.
These two programmes on SKY ARTS are a must watch.
11:00 PM
The Rolling Stones: Grrr Live!
A 2012 concert by the band at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey, featuring guest appearances by Lady Gaga, John Mayer, the Black Keys , Mick Taylor and Bruce Springsteen.
2:00 AM
Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
A 2016 concert by the veteran rock singer and his band, which featured Joshua Homme and Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys.
I was at this excellent show.
Friday 15 December 2023.
WARGASM live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
This duo feature Sex Pistol GLEN MATLOCKS son.
What NME said in a four star review of their debut album ' Venom' , which came out in October.
This debut album has been nearly five years in the making, but it cements Wargasm’s position as one of UK heavy music’s leading forces. The London-based duo – singer-instrumentalists Milkie Way and Sam Matlock – turned heads as soon as they debuted in 2018 with their ear-catching blend of electronic and industrial sounds. Having supported Limp Bizkit, Corey Taylor and Neck Deep in the past 18 months, ‘Venom’ arrives on a significant wave of hype.
At the same time, it’s been a long and winding journey to this point. Before they came together, Matlock – the son of original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock – was working in bars after the promise of his former band Dead! faded away, while Way was juggling modelling and sporadic session work after moving to London from Northern Ireland.
It turns out they needed each other as much as heavy music needed them. From their monstrous 2020 breakout single ‘Spit’ to this year’s rap-metal masterclass ‘Do It So Good’ – a highlight on this album – they’ve proved why, arguably, they’re this generation’s answer to The Prodigy. Following an impactful appearance at 2021’s Download Pilot, Wargasm have garnered a vocal and passionate fanbase, who revere the band for both their charisma and genre-splicing approach to their music.
Level 2 and 3 are closed but the floor is rammed solid as this crowd are up for some serious moshing and crowd surfing.
Around 1200 folks here , which is pretty impressive.
Glen Matlock ex wife is here , as her son is on stage.
Glen is not here , as he has his own gig outside of London.
HARPY arrived on stage at 7.25pm for their 25 mins set.
They have a female singer who is dressed in a foxy tight black catsuit , and they had some good crunching nu-metal sounds.
Oddly they had a male and female stood stationary on each side of the stage in a black head to toe satin catsuit.
DROPOUT KINGS arrived on stage at 8.20pm for their 35 mins.
These rap nu-nu metal band from Phoenix ,USA were great.
A very lively pair of rappers at the front, and a great band.
They were promoting their second album ' Riot Music'.
Lots of moshing and crowd surfing.
WARGASM arrived on stage at 9.20pm for their 65 mins set.
The words " ANGRY SONGS FOR SAD PEOPLE " are on the curtain underneath their band logo.
Male and female at the front sharing vocals , with both playing guitar, and the band at the back playing crunching nu-metal tunes...the female is a proper Courtney Love type rock chick.
A great atmosphere with moshing and crowd surfing non stop.
Lots of lights and strobes used in the very lively show.
For the last encore we had some pyros on the stage.
A very enjoyable evening of three nu-metal bands.
Full WARGASM setlist played tonight...
Rage All Over
Pyro Pyro
Modern Love
Sonic Dog Tag
Bang Ya Head
Do It So Good

Thursday 14 December 2023.

Thursday 14 December 2023....3pm to 6pm....
IMMEDIATE MEDIA AWARDS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Around 500 guests here seated in the stalls and Level 1.
Staff are here from all their offices around the country.
Immediate is the special interest content and platform company. The fast-growing, multi-platform media business is home to over 1,000 people across eight divisions.
IMMEDIATE MEDIA own and operate some of the best-loved brands in the UK. And only focus on special interest markets, engaging over 75 million global passionate consumers each month, offering them world-class content and innovative new products and services.
They publish some big selling titles , including The Radio Times , Match of The Day, Good Food, Countryfile ,Pokémon and Gardeners World.
At 3pm we have complimentary drinks at the bar for an hour.
The dozen strong staff choir sing three songs including ' 12 Days of Christmas' as everyone joined in with it
At 4pm the host comedian SOPHIE DUKER takes the stage.
She does a 15 mins routine.
She won Taskmaster in 2022.
Then there were 25 awards quickly given out.
An enjoyable afternoon.
Wednesday 13 December 2023.
GREGORY PORTER live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Following his trio of sold out shows this June, Gregory will return to the Hall for one more show in December.
Over the past decade, Porter has taken the world by storm by bringing contemporary jazz to the masses. Not only has the singer collected Grammy Awards for albums Liquid Spirit and Take Me To The Alley, he also made chart history with all five albums breaking into the Top 10 of the mainstream charts – three of those within the Top 5.
Gregory has just released a Christmas album titled
'Christmas Wish' which features three brand new original tracks.
The venue is totally rammed sold out tonight.
Lots of hospitality in the boxes , as it is Christmas time.
The two RAH Christmas trees are as usual up by the organ.
GREGORY PORTER arrived on stage at 7.35pm and played for 2 hours 5 mins over two sets of 65 mins and 60 mins.
A nice mix of his own material and Christmas related songs.
Gregory arrived on stage wearing his trademark headwear.
He was joined on stage by around 50 musicians , when you add his great band, three backing vocalists and full orchestra.
For the last song of the first set he was joined by a 14 strong boy choir.
Gregory has such a smooth and amazing effortless voice.
A really good show.
Little Drummer Boy
Liquid Spirit (lyrics changed to Christmas Spirit)
Christmas Waltz
Everything’s Not Lost
If Love Is Overrated
Hey Laura
A Cradle in Bethlehem
Silent Night (Joseph Mohr & Franz Gruber cover)
Make Believe (with Billie Fraser and children’s choir)
Revival Song
Modern Day Apprentice
Do You Hear What I Hear?
No Love Dying
Take Me to the Alley
Holding On ( Disclosure cover)
Christmas Wish
Heart for Christmas ( with band introductions)
The Christmas Song (Mel Tormé cover)
Note: For this show Gregory Porter was backed by
The Kingdom Orchestra conducted by Troy Miller.

Wednesday 13 December 2023.

Wednesday 13 December 2023.
Another sad death to report.
JEFFREY FOSKETT has died of thyroid cancer , age 67 .
He was a big part of The Brian Wilson Band and The Beach Boys over recent years, as he helped with the high notes etc.
Saw many great shows at The Royal Festival Hall when Brian Wilson resumed touring, and Jeffrey was part of that great band....also when he was with The Beach Boys at The Royal Albert Hall.
Monday 11 December 2023.
Shock news that JOHN ' RAMBO' STEVENS has passed away.
Looks like he has a heart attack.
He was John Lydons manager , personal security and closest friend.
He had unwavering loyalty to John, that was above and beyond.
You would see him side of stage at Sex Pistols and PiL gigs ,
keeping an eye on things , or indeed anywhere that John went.
John Lydon will be gutted , as he recently lost his wife Nora.
See my Facebook page for a photo I took of the three of them at The BMI Awards around a decade ago , when John Lydon got the Icon Award.

Saturday 09 December 2023.

Saturday 09 December
THE WONDER STUFF live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The band scored one UK number 1 single, their release of "Dizzy" with comedian Vic Reeves, four x Top 10 single hits, and three top-10 albums in the UK.
I have seen them live a couple of times live, including at this same venue in Dec 2019.
The show is not sold out but all levels look pretty full.
A middle aged crowd here of folks in their 40s and 50s.
NIGEL CLARK ( singer with Dodgy) is tonight's support act from
7.45pm to 8.30pm....just him and his guitar.
Dodgy are an English rock band formed in Hounslow in 1990. The band rose to prominence during the Britpop era of the 1990s. They are best known for their hits "Staying Out for the Summer", "If You're Thinking of Me", and "Good Enough".Good Enough was their biggest hit, reaching No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart in 1996.
His set included good versions of the three hits above.
WONDER STUFF arrived on stage at 7.50pm for their 1 hour 50 mins show over two sets of 60 mins and 50 mins.
Wonder Stuff have a nice big sound that feature twin guitars and a female violin player.
The Wonder Stuff have been around for a while. Apart from a little break between 1994 and 2000, they’ve been a mainstay of the British music scene for almost forty years. They’ve had to endure two deaths and frequent line-up changes, with seventeen musicians at one point or another being able to claim to have played for the Stourbridge outfit. Miles Hunt is the only person who has been a continuous presence in the band over the years.
Fans of their album ' Construction for the Modern Idiot ' are in for a treat as The Wonder Stuff hit the road to gig across the country in 2023 to transport fans back to 1993 as they play the album in its entirety. Then they played a second set of hits, classics and rarities from their extensive 37-year catalogue.
The second half was louder and livelier , with a great atmosphere amongst this Saturday night drinking crowd.
Their number one hit cover ' Dizzy' was played during the encore of this really good show.
Ooh She Said
No, for the 13th Time
Mission Drive
Caught in My Shadow
The Size of a Cow
Golden Green
Don't Let Me Down, Gently
Here Comes Everyone
A Wish Away
Give, Give, Give Me More, More, More
Encore :
Dizzy (cover )
Ten Trenches Deep
Friday 08 December 2023.
ALiCE PHOEBE LOU live at The Forum.
Berlin-based, South African singer-songwriter, Alice Phoebe Lou, brings her ethereal indie-folk to UK shores. Expect tracks from her five studio records, two live records and two EPs.
Tonight is the last night of her European Tour before she heads to South Africa.
The circle is half empty , but must be 1500 out of 2000 tix sold.
Three quarters of the crowd are females.
LOVING arrived on stage at 8.05pm for their 40 mins set.
Five geeky looking chaps played some mellow tunes.
All or some of them , also double up as the headliners backing band
ALICE PHOEBE LOU arrived on stage at 9.10pm for her 1 hour 50 mins set.
A long show as Alice had plenty of stage chat between songs
A laid back mellow and dreamy indie - folk sound.
Halfway through Alice sings a few songs on her own.
This is when her fans want to give her notes and letters etc.
One girl gets on stage ...she talks to Alice then asks her girlfriend to marry her...her partner refused to come up on stage ..so we don't know if it was a yes or no.
Alice said that was the second marriage proposal on this tour.
Alice kicked of her shoes for the last few songs and danced more as the songs were louder and livelier.
The two song encore got folks dancing in the circle.
A good show.

Thursday 07 December 2033.

Thursday 07 December 2023.
AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD live at Hammersmith Apollo.
I have seen this top notch Pink Floyd tribute several times.
First time was back in 1993 at Subterania, West London.
This big London show is part of their annual UK tour.
They have already announced their Winter 2024 UK tour.
Pretty amazing that it's only a tribute show , but it is sold out in advance , as Floyd fans know how good a show they put on.
I must admit , i like a good tribute band , but selling 3500 tickets for this Hammersmith show is staggering.
No wonder many call them " the best tribute act in the world".
The venue is rammed solid sold out, stalls seats and circle seats all sold , and rear stalls and circle standing all sold.
An older crowd as expected with 75 per cent males.
There is full merch just like the other bands that play here.
The band arrived on stage at 8.10pm and played for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 80 mins.
From the start it is a pure visual and aural treat.
Stunning lasers , lots of lights and strobes.
A huge circular screen showing images just like the real Pink Floyd, along with Pink Floyd perfect sound quality.
They even had three female backing singers and a sax player for some songs.
It maybe " just a tribute show" but the entire audience and myself were just transfixed at how good it was.
Speak to Me (Pink Floyd cover)
Breathe (In the Air) (Pink Floyd cover)
On the Run ( Pink Floyd cover)
Time (Pink Floyd cover)
Breathe (Reprise) ( Pink Floyd cover)
The Great Gig in the Sky ( Pink Floyd cover)
Money ( Pink Floyd cover)
Us and Them (Pink Floyd cover)
Any Colour You Like (Pink Floyd cover)
Brain Damage ( Pink Floyd cover)
Eclipse (Pink Floyd cover)
On the Turning Away (Pink Floyd cover)
The Happiest Days of Our Lives (Pink Floyd cover)
Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 (Pink Floyd cover)
In the Flesh? (Pink Floyd cover)
See Emily Play (Pink Floyd cover)
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (Pink Floyd cover)
Welcome to the Machine ( Pink Floyd cover)
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
High Hopes (Pink Floyd cover)
Pigs (Three Different Ones) (Pink Floyd cover)
One of These Days (Pink Floyd cover)
Run Like Hell (Pink Floyd cover)
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)
Wednesday 06 December 2023.
ILIZA SHLESINGER live at Hammersmith Apollo.
This was the first of her two nights at this venue.
Award-winning U.S. comedian, actor, writer, producer, and author Iliza Shlesinger returns to London following her sold-out, critically acclaimed world tour with a brand-new stand-up show at Hammersmith Apollo for two nights.
This is her fifth visit to London and she has headlined Hammersmith Apollo in the past.
She is another American comedian who has picked up many UK fans due to her specials on Netflix.
In America she has held female only shows.
Not sold out tonight, as circle is maybe three quarters full .
It is pretty much 75 % females in the audience.
CHLOE PETTS arrived on stage at 8pm for her 20 mins.
She did a good set, that went down well with the crowd.
ILIZA SHLESINGER arrived on stage at 8.50pm for her 75 mins set.
ILIZA is now aged 40, and showing off her baby bump...her second, so we had a few funny routines about babies and being a mum and relationships and sex.
There was a lot of feminism and girl power and general jokes where men were the butt of them.
ILIZA is Jewish , so she had hints of a younger Joan Rivers , but wisely stayed away from any political jokes.
The last routine was a great rant on woke millennials.
Plenty of funny routines overall, in an enjoyable show.

Tuesday 05 December 2023.

Tuesday 05 December 2023.
SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Sophie brings her Kitchen Disco on tour.
It became very popular online during the COVID lockdown.
Expect a nice mix of solo hits, cover versions and Christmas classics.
It does not say sold out on the front, but the venue looks full.
It is stalls seating , so everyone can dance by their seats.
A very Christmassy vibe as folks are wearing festive outfits.
HOLIDAY SIDEWINDER arrived on stage at 7.30pm for her 30 mins.
Holiday Sidewinder Carmen-Sparks is an Australian-born indie pop singer-songwriter, musician and record producer.
The 32 year old played decent tracks from her two albums.
A blonde stunner who looked great in a short mermaid type outfit.
SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR arrived on stage at 8.30pm for her 1 hour 40 mins set.
The curtain comes down to reveal Sophie on top of a white wooden horse, which was an excellent stunt.
All her band are wearing festive outfits.
Hard to believe that Sophie is a mum of FIVE , as she still has a model like figure , with long legs and wears two skimpy glittery outfits tonight as she dances non-stop throughout the show.
Lots of songs that the crowd can sing along to.
Her big hit ' Murder on the Dancefloor' was at the end of the main set.
For the encores we had some kids on stage and the guy from The Feeling helped her with The Pogues cover.
A nice touch was the final song of the night which had Sophie at the front of the circle , singing with just acoustic guitar backing.
A very enjoyable show.
Full SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR setlist played tonight.
Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson & His Pops Orchestra cover)
Music Gets the Best of Me
Wild Forever
Catch You (Wheel spin song)
A Thousand Orchids
Lost in the Sunshine
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree ( Brenda Lee cover)
Last Christmas (Wham! cover)
All Night Long (Lionel Richie cover)
Get Over You
Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin’ Stevens cover)
Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) (Spiller cover)
Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses cover)
Crying at the Discoteque (Alcazar cover)
Like a Prayer (Madonna cover)
Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer) ( Freemasons cover)
Murder on the Dancefloor
Fairytale of New York ( The Pogues/Kirsty MaColl cover - with Dan Gillespie-Sells from The Feeling)
All I Want for Christmas Is You ( Mariah Carey cover)
Have yourself a merry little Christmas (Sophie sung this song from the front of the circle)
Monday 04 December 2023.
EXTREME + LIVING COLOUR live at The Forum.
A nice pairing of funk rock bands are playing a UK tour.
This show sold out quickly , so extra Forum show added for 19 Dec.
I have seen Extreme around 10 times , including all five of their Hammersmith Odeon shows on front stage security in the early 1990s , when their classic second album ' Extreme ll - Pornograffiti' sold millions , and they had hit singles from it.
Extreme II sold very well, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, and was certified double platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA. It is the band's best selling album. Two singles from Pornograffiti, "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted", reached No. 1 and 4 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other tracks, "Decadence Dance" and "Get the Funk Out", became popular on MTV's Headbangers Ball
It reached number 12 in the UK album charts.
I have seen Living Colour before as well
Needless to say i was really forward to seeing this show.
Legendary live music booking agent ROD MacSWEEN is here .
He has just come back from the two KISS shows in New York.
He said it was ok to mention that SCORPIONS and EXTREME play Wembley Arena on Sat 08 June 2024.
LIVING COLOUR arrived on stage at 7.50 pm and played for 40 mins that was loud and heavy and funky.
Most folks are in early to catch them.
The singer now has dreads down to his bum.
They finished with 'Cult of Personality'.
Full LIVING COLOUR setlist played tonight
Rock and Roll ( Led Zeppelin cover)
Ignorance is Bliss
Open Letter (To a Landlord)
White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) / Apache / The Message
Love Rears Its Ugly Head
Time's Up
Cult of Personality
EXTREME arrived on stage at 9.05pm and played for two hours.
Lots of lights in their stage production , and the overall sound is great , and singer Gary Cherone still has plenty of energy and Nuno on guitar is a proper guitar wizard, and sounds very like Eddie Van Halen , and you can see why he has been playing with big names when Extreme have been resting.
The pace slowed down a bit in the middle with a guitar solo and three acoustic tracks , but otherwise a totally rockin' show with all their big hits played and the main set ended with a mega version of ' Get The Funk Out'.
A great show
Full EXTREME setlist played tonight...
Tape intro - Sacrifice - Hail to the King ( John Barry song)
It ('s a Monster)
Decadence Dance
Rest in Peace
Hip Today
Teacher's Pet / Flesh 'n' Blood / Wind Me Up / Kid Ego
Play With Me (with Queen's "We Will Rock You" intro)
Hole Hearted
Cupid's Dead (with Sam Cooke's "Cupid" intro)
Am I Ever Gonna Change / Guitar Solo
Midnight Express
More Than Words
BANSHEE (with Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" intro)
Take Us Alive / That's All Right
Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee
Get the Funk Out

Saturday 02 December 2023.

Saturday 02 December 2023.
ROACHFORD live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Roachford presents ' A Soul Christmas Evening'.
I have seen Roachford several times on stage, both as a solo artist and with Mike & The Mechanics.
He has been singing with them the past decade or so.
His hit single from the late 1980s ' Cuddly Toy' is totally mega.
A very cold Winters day in London tonight.
Levels 2 and 3 are closed and there is space on the floor and Level 1 so maybe only 500 or 600 here, which is a shame.
Support act is ACANTHA LANG who arrived on stage at 8pm for her really good 30 mins set.
She is backed by a guitarist and keyboard player.
She is Louisiana born , but is now based in London.
Acantha’s debut ‘Beautiful Dreams’ effortlessly blends Stax-inspired funk with Southern blues, as she tells highly personal tales atop spirited, shimmering grooves. Her storytelling style harkens to age-old blues traditions while grounding itself in contemporary themes. Armed with passion, a unique perspective, and a voice that stops people in their tracks, Acantha Lang’s full-length debut ‘Beautiful Dream’ is destined to propel her from an undiscovered gem into the pantheon of modern soul greats.
ROACHFORD and band arrived on stage at 9pm.
They played a great 1 hour 40 mins.
ROACHFORD arrives on stage wearing a glittery jacket.
ROACHFORD takes up his usual position, behind his keyboard.
Clearly happy in his own skin, Roachford relishes performing on stage, aiming humorous banter towards his musicians, his audience and himself, which all adds to the homely aura he exudes.
His set was a balanced mix of cuts and hits from his past,
along with a couple of Christmas songs and cover versions.
The last 30 mins included his 1988 hit ' Family Man' then
a nice surprise saw MIKE RUTHERFORD come on stage for two
classics from Mike And The Mechanics. ' Another Cup of Coffee' and ' Over My Shoulder' .
While his 1989 smash 'Cuddly Toy' came with a hugely uplifting
extended version...and final track was ' Only To Be With You'.
ROACHFORD pop soul voice was top notch , a great show.
Friday 01 December 2023.
PARADISE LOST live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
They are on a European Tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their fourth studio album 'Icon' released in 1993. It marked a departure from the death-doom sound of their early work.
They have re-recorded the album , and released it on vinyl.
I saw Paradise Lost supporting Metallica in 1999.
Support comes from MY DYING BRIDE.
Both bands are from Yorkshire.
Anathema ,Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride were a forerunner of the death doom metal and gothic metal genres during the early 1990s. These bands comprise "The Peaceville Three" as all were signed to Peaceville Records at the time.
The venue is totally rammed sold out
Lots of folks from mainland Europe here , especially Polish.
Most of the crowd are in early for the support act, as they have also been around for over 30 years , with many albums out.
MY DYING BRIDE arrived on stage at 8pm for their 55 mins.
Both bands have huge curtains behind them with their logos on.
The band played revered tracks like 'She Is The Dark' and 'The Cry Of Mankind' in a good set.
PARADISE LOST arrived on stage at 9.30pm for their 85 mins.
Crunching heavy guitar riff's and deep goth metal vocals in a nice setlist that mixed well known ICON tracks , rarely played tracks and newer tracks.
An enjoyable pairing of bands.
Full PARADISE LOST setlist played tonight...
INTRO Tape - Deus Misereatur
Embers Fire
Remembrance (First time live since 2017)
Forging Sympathy ( First time live since 1994)
Joys of the Emptiness ( First time live since 2014)
Dying Freedom (First time live since 1998)
Colossal Rains (First time live since 2008)
Weeping Words (Live debut)
Poison (Live debut)
True Belief
Shallow Seasons (First time live since 1994)
Christendom ( Live debut)
Sweetness ( First time live since 2011)
Pity the Sadness
No Hope in Sight

Thursday 30 November 2023.

Thursday 30 November 2023....I went to two events today..
1pm to 4.30pm.
35th WILLIAM HILL Sports Book of The Year, BAFTA,
195 Piccadilly , London W1.
Maybe 100 guests max at this afternoon event.
At 1.30pm we go into the seated theatre for the presentation.
Retired US distance runner’s autobiography Good for a Girl wins the main prize
LAUREN FLESHMAN'S book Good for a Girl: My Life Running in a Man’s World has earned great reviews this year and it was named William Hill sports book of the year.
The prestigious award comes with a £30,000 prize and it is the first book about women in sport, authored by a woman, to win in the 35-year history of the award.
It is also the first outright book about athletics or running to win the accolade. In 2002 the prize went to In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens whereas in 2020 the winner was The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Russia’s Secret Doping Empire, but Fleshman’s book is the first book that is 100% about the No.1 Olympic sport to take the prize.
Fleshman, 42, finished seventh in the 2011 world 5000m final, won two national titles at 5000m and has a best of 14:58.58. The book is part memoir, part manifesto and is reviewed among a selection of other books in the December issue of AW magazine, which is out next week.
The judges for the William Hill award praised Good for a Girl for its “heartfelt narrative” and “compelling writing”, as well as its crucial advocacy for reform in sports for young women.
Lauren Fleshman (Getty)
Fleshman said: “Having a woman being elevated for telling her own story is rare, and we need a lot more of that. That’s why awards like this are so important. I came here optimistic, but then convinced myself I had no chance when I looked at the shortlist.
“I am delighted to be the winner of this prestigious award. I hope it makes sport better for the future of women and girls.”
“Good for a Girl is not only a must-read book on the challenges that women face in sport but a moving and informative memoir that will grip those who are not athletics fans. Lauren Fleshman exposes and shatters myths with disarming honesty and exceptional writing – it is a wonderful read and thoroughly deserving of the title William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2023.”
Fleshman’s rivals in the contest included books on tennis, snooker and rugby.
The five authors on the shortlist, alongside Lauren Fleshman, receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book. They are:
Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson by Sally H. Jacobs
Concussed: Sport’s Uncomfortable Truth by Sam Peters
Kick The Latch by Kathryn Scanlan
Unbreakable by Ronnie O’Sullivan
Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport by Sharron Davies with Craig Lord
Complimentary prosecco , wines , beers, canapes and mini-doughnuts for all the guests.
MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
68 year old German guitar legend is celebrating his 50th anniversary in music.
Expect several classic rock UFO tracks from when he was in the band in the 1970s in the setlist.
I have seen him on stage around a dozen times over the years.
Needless to say , I was really looking forward to this show.
Level 3 is closed tonight , but other the levels look full.
Glam rock legend DON POWELL from Slade is here.
NIGHT DEMON arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their 45 mins set.
The Californian power metal trio played some decent tracks from their albums.
MSG arrived on stage at 8.50pm and played 1 hour 40 mins.
Michael Schenker is still playing some nifty guitar with his trademark Flying V guitars.
Several UFO classics got the crowd singing loudly along.
A great show.
Full MSG setlist played tonight....
Into the Arena
Cry for the Nations
Doctor Doctor (UFO cover)
Looking for Love
Lights Out ( UFO cover)
Red Sky
Shoot Shoot ( UFO cover)
On and On
Let It Roll ( UFO cover)
Attack of the Mad Axeman
Natural Thing (UFO cover)
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Armed and Ready
Desert Song
Rock Bottom ( UFO cover) ( including MS extended guitar solo)
Too Hot to Handle ( UFO cover)
Only You Can Rock Me ( UFO cover)
After the show a few of us went to next door to The Dorsett Hotel for a chat with DON POWELL.
Wednesday 29 November 2023.
SAM TOMPKINS live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Fast rising British singer- songwriter , who has had a Top 10 EP.
So far 2023 has seen Sam Tompkins release the first two singles from his upcoming album ‘Lose It All’ and recent release ‘See Me’, with both releases receiving an outpouring of support from fans, accumulating over 20M views, and growing his social following to surpass 2M.
From busking in Brighton, to be spotted by Justin Bieber on the internet , and Justin covering one of his songs , which has helped Sam get some success in North America.
This European Tour starts tonight after five shows by Sam in North America.
Sam sold out The Forum Kentish Town on his last UK tour.
It is stalls standing tonight, and an impressive 3500 tickets sold out of the 5000 capacity sold.
There is over 100 on the guest list , and Sam must be a big Arsenal footie fan as the tour laminate pass has the Arsenal logo on the back of it.
ARTHUR HILL arrived on stage at 8pm for his 30 mins set.
He was backed by two musicians , for some decent songs but a cover of 'Jolene' seemed an odd choice.
SAM TOMPKINS arrived on stage at 9.05pm for his 65 mins set.
Sam is backed by three musicians behind him on a platform.
He has a nice voice , and a couple of tracks were uptempo but most were gentle mellow easy going, a bit like Ed Sheeran.
Sam got very emotional about his dad who took his own life just a fortnight ago.
He said "To my lovely dad. i am so sorry i couldn’t have been your friend growing up. i’m sorry we couldn’t go for a walk or a pint and i couldn’t turn to you and really ask you if everything is okay. let you know it’s alright to chat to me. Tell you all the brilliant things that you are and will become. and just how much you meant to the people who knew you".
The final track of the night was his big hit ' Lose It All' with all the crowd standing up and singing loudly along.
Overall the show ticked along nicely.

Tuesday 28 November 2023.

See my Facebook page for some old photos
Four of me in Oct 1977 age 18 in my Sex Pistols punk attire.
Three photos i took at a special gig at The Electric Ballroom where Sid Vicious and Glen Matlock played together.
Tuesday 28 November 2023.
VAN MORRISON live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Van plays the second of two shows at this venue.
Again not sold out , as there is space in the stalls and level 3 .
RUSTY EGAN was here tonight.
Again VAN and band arrived on stage at 7.55pm for 95 mins.
The show and setlist was pretty much the same , although track order was changed a bit and I think ' Blueberry Hill' was replaced by another track on the second night.
Again all the band members sounded fantastic.
Every now and then Van would wave his hand to speed up or slow down the band.
The outro song was good again for the encore as each member played a solo....Van left the stage after the vocals halfway through and no doubt was out of the venue and halfway home.
Again no solo hits but it was still a great show.
Monday 27 November 2023.
VAN MORRISON live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Sir Van has announced two exclusive album launch shows in London. The Northern Irish blues legend will celebrate his 45th studio album, 'Accentuate The Positive', which was released 03 Nov 2023....which is a covers album.
This is his second album release this year.
Van is still rockin' at the age of 78, and after 60 years of singing with that amazing voice.
I have seen Van over 15 times since 1979 when he headlined Hammersmith Odeon.
Surprisingly tonight is not sold out although it looks pretty full.
A mainly older crowd here as expected.
The merch stand is selling Van signed vinyl albums for £40 , along with special t-shirts with the two London dates on them.
Van is down for his usual early start early finish , with no support band. He was down for 8pm and 90 mins but actually came on a bit early at 7.55pm and played for 95 mins.
Van comes on wearing his Fedora hat and sunglasses.
Van plays some sax , harmonica and acoustic guitar during the show...and the roadie gives him lyric sheets for each song.
Van did say in advance that these shows would focus on his recent covers album if tracks he used to sing in Belfast bars in the 1960s , and that's pretty much how it was.
We had loads of covers songs from the last album and a few from his album of skiffle covers that was the one before.
Sadly he did not sing any of his classic hits tonight.
Interaction with the audience was lacking and wouldn’t everyone have loved to hear 'Brown Eyed Girl' or similar but it was 100% Van the Man and I can’t complain at that. The work ethic was fantastic, Vans voice was great and his versions of the covers were great , not a pause and a band second to none including a fantastic backing singer (Elle) made it a great night out.
Full VAN MORRISON setlist played tonight...
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (Johnny Mercer cover)
I Want a Roof Over My Head (Steve Gibson & The Red Caps cover)
Problems (The Everly Brothers cover)
You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis cover)
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams cover)
When Will I Be Loved (The Everly Brothers cover)
Red Sails in the Sunset (Jimmy Kennedy cover)
A Shot of Rhythm and Blues (Arthur Alexander cover)
Bonaparte's Retreat ([traditional] cover)
Sea of Heartbreak (Don Gibson cover)
Shakin' All Over ( Johnny Kidd and the Pirates cover)
Lonesome Train (On a Lonesome Track) (Johnny Burnette & The Rock ’n’ Roll Trio cover)
Two Hound Dogs (Bill Haley and His Comets cover)
Lucille ( Little Richard cover)
Bye Bye Johnny (Chuck Berry cover)
Blueberry Hill (Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra cover)
The Shape I'm In (Kenny Lee Martin cover)
Shake, Rattle and Roll ( Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings cover)
Cold, Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover)
Green Rocky Road ([traditional] cover) (plus excerpt from Northern Muse (Solid Ground))
Flip Flop and Fly (Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings cover) (extended outro with band instrumentals on their own )

Sunday 26 November 2023.

Sunday 26 November 2023
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX live at Hammersmith Apollo.
This is the last of their THREE sold out shows at this venue.
I saw them play a good show at Shepherds Bush Empire on their previous UK tour in Nov 2019.
Pretty amazing how popular they are as a live act, as their two albums only scraped into the UK Top 40 chart.
Both the albums scraped into the USA Billboard Top 200.
The music of Cigarettes After Sex invokes not only the powerful feelings of euphoria inherent in the band’s name itself, but somehow manages to recreate emotions found only in the most romantic of movies; immersive, achingly nostalgic, thoroughly transporting, and intensely visual. It’s these powerful and unique qualities which have enabled the love songs of Cigarettes After Sex to reverberate across countless countries and excite the most devoted kind of following.
The band's catalog has sold over 2.5 million records to date, amassing 3 billion Spotify streams, over 17 million monthly listeners, and 800 million+ YouTube streams. The band’s list of on-the-record fans include everyone from Taylor Swift, Kylie Jenner, David Lynch, Lana Del Rey, Françoise Hardy, Lily Allen, Busy Philipps, and more. They’ve been featured in Vice Noisey, V Magazine, Interview, NPR’s Tiny Desk, and their music has appeared in The Handmaid’s Tale, Killing Eve, and Ralph Lauren ads.
The official video for their track ' Apocalypse ' has had more than 194 million views on Youtube.
A gloomy rainy evening in London town tonight.
On their last tour , the band had a film as support ,but tonight there is nothing. No film, no support band, no DJ. Just some chilled out tracks being playing over the pa.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX arrived on stage at 8.45pm for their 80 mins set.
Lots of screams and cheers at the start and end of every song , from the many females here under the age of 30.
Like last time the band are dressed all in black, with only white lighting bring used for the entire show.
The images on the big screen are also only black n white.
We had a distinct display of dreamy guitar led minimalism.
The music was kind of hypnotic , but it seemed very samey.
Their big track ' Apocalypse' was played at the end of the main set.
A good show that ticked along ok.
Saturday 25 November 2023,
live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Three top notch ' Madchester ' tribute bands.
I have seen this nice three band package at this venue before.
Lots of great classic tracks performed by all three bands.
I saw the real OASIS at this same venue in 2001, when I reviewed the show for The Shepherds Bush Gazette.
Needless to say that was a very hot ticket indeed
Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight , but the stalls standing and Level 1 are rammed full , so must be 1200 folks here
A proper loud rowdy Saturday night drinking crowd , created a fantastic gig atmosphere.
I have never seen so many of those two pint drinks at a show.
All the bands play a greatest hits set of classics.
So many big songs that the crowd sing along to.
You could argue that an Oasis tribute should headline , as folks sing the loudest for their anthems.
It may have been just tribute bands tonight, but it was great
THE SMITHS LTD arrived on stage at 7pm for their 50 mins set
OASISH arrived in stage at 8.10pm for their 60 mins set.
CLONE ROSES arrived on stage at 9.35pm for their 85 mins set.

Friday 24 November 2023.

Friday 24 November 2023.
ASAF AVIDAN live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Five years since his last solo performance, Asaf Avidan (now aged 43) will be returning to the stage alone for the ‘Ichnology Solo’ Tour.Fans can look forward to an unforgettable evening where he will once again prove that he is truly a unique artist of his time. Navigating seamlessly between his intimate serenades, his charismatic storytelling, and his energetic multi-instrumental wizardry, Avidan alone on the stage is a force to behold.
ASAF is from Israel so could be an interesting atmosphere considering how the Israel / Hamas conflict is right now.
Support act is SHELLY ARCHER who was also born in Israel.
The venue is ready for any unwelcome visitors , as there are more barriers outside the venue, along with more security wanding outside the venue, rather than at the door.
Thankfully no trouble whatsoever during the show.
Shelly Archer was on stage at 7.45pm for her 25 mins.
She is a singer-songwriter with keyboard based tracks.
ASAF AVIDON arrived on stage at 8.45pm for his 2 hours.
It is stalls seated tonight , as a pretty laid back show.
Level 3 is pretty empty , so maybe 800 tickets sold.
The stage is nice and cosy, with a couple of lampshades, a comfy chair, a couple of carpets and a table of drinks.
Asaf has a pretty unique high pitched voice.
Asaf sings and chats in English , throughout the evening.
Asaf is solo and switches between piano and acoustic guitar.
He has a floor full of pedals like Ed Sheeran for looping sounds.
Also a bit of harmonica too, and some drum pads.
Lots of chat between tracks...a bit too much sometimes.
The highlight of the show came near the end of the main set , when he sung his big track ' Reckoning Song' that had a DJ remix version that went to number 30 in the UK, and was number one in a a few European countries.
The crowd gave him a full standing ovation at the end.
An interesting show , that ticked along nicely.
Thursday 23 November 2023...I went to two events tonight.
6.45pm to 8.45pm.
CLARIDGES Christmas Tree Unveiling Party.
Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1.
I have been to this event several times before, as always good.
Around 150 glammed up guests at this famous five star luxury hotel, including Dame Joan Collins and husband Percy , Daisy Lowe , Lady Victoria Hervey, Nick Grimshaw , Tanya Burr , Emma Weymouth , Ben Cobb , Erin O'Connor , David Downton and Mary Charteris.
A six piece string section are playing nice cover versions, including The Verve ' Bittersweet Symphony'
LOUIS VUITTON designed the Christmas Tree in the hotel foyer.
Complimentary Ruinart champers, rum cocktails, canapes and desserts. A very nice event.
9pm to 10.45pm.
Corporate Traveller Showcase - Edwardian Hampshire Hotel, Leicester Square , London WC2.
We head up to the Penthouse Suite on the 8th floor with nice views of The London Eye etc.
A band were playing some lively well known cover versions.
There was a fun photo booth.
At 10pm there were three prizes in the lucky draw.
The main prize was return flights to USA....sadly no win for me.
Complimentary prosecco, wines beers , canapes and desserts .
All guests got a goodie bag on departure.