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!

Wednesday 09 February 2022.

Tuesday 08 February 2022.
VIP / press night...
Dirty Dancing is back! Exploding with heart-pounding music, breathtaking emotion and sensationally sexy dancing. Featuring 35 hit songs, including Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and the iconic (I've Had) The Time of My Life.
Seen by millions across the globe this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.
The show is on for around 2 hours 10 mins, which includes a short interval.
It is on from 02 Feb 2022 to 16 April 2022.
www.nederlander.co.uk - Visit the Nederlander website
here to book tickets for Dirty Dancing at The Dominion and their other theatre productions.
This huge theatre is packed to the rafters tonight.
Dirty Dancing is back for a third West End run, using the original 1987 script.
The original film of course starred Patrick Swayze.
Johnny is played by Michael O ' Reilly who is quite the perfect male specimen.
He looks just like Christopher Reeve in Superman and each time he takes his shirt off and even shows
his naked bum on one occasion , the many females in the audience swoon audibly.
The males in the audience can feast their eyes on blonde stunner Carlie Milner who plays Penny.
Her top level gyrating dance moves leave the Strictly Come Dancing tv professionals in the dust.
The many dance routines throughout the show are all pretty dazzling.
Kira Malou as Baby falls in love with dance instructor Johnny while on holiday , while attending a
holiday resort with her conservative parents.
The venue erupts near the end as we get the iconic line "nobody puts baby in a corner" ,
and that iconic "air dance lift".
A very enjoyable show, with a perfect mix of great dancing, great songs, comedy and romance.
10pm to 12pm...afterparty in The Dominion circle bar....
Around 200 guests here ,and all the cast turn up.
Lots of young glammed up woman having their photo taken but didn't recognise them.
Only celeb i saw was Anthea Turner.
Complimentary Lanson champers, prosecco, wines, Peroni beers, canapés and tubs of ice cream.

Monday 07 February 2022.

Monday 07 February 2022.
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN live at The Roundhouse.
Support dj set comes from legendary Creation Records (Oasis etc) boss ALAN McGEE.
Ian McCulloch wants a DJ to play his fave songs from when he went to Eric's club
in Liverpool in the 1970s.
First of two London shows by this band that had some great tracks in the 1980s.
This show is sold out , so an extra show confirmed for Shepherds Bush Empire on 22 Feb.
They had 15 x Top 40 hits in the UK, including 3 x Top 10.
I have seen them live over a dozen times since 1979 when they supported The Teardrop Explodes
at The Nashville Pub.
DJ ALAN McGEE is playing some cool tunes including Siouxsie, Bowie, Velvet Underground,
Mott The Hoople and some obscure tracks. He has kept his long puffa coat on and wearing a baseball cap,
and he does not say anything to the crowd, as he fiddles most of the time with his phone.
He departs the stage quietly, and nobody seems that bothered , as no applause.
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN arrived on stage at 9.10pm for their 90 mins set.
They were due to play a bit longer as "Ocean Rain" was a third encore on the setlist ,but did not play it.
As the band take the stage , they are followed by several guests from their dressing room area
who are swigging drinks left of stage, including NOEL GALLAGHER and both Ian's daughters.
IAN McCULLOCH is wearing his trademark long coat and shades, and is effortlessly cool.
It is a pretty average stage production.
Ian talks to the crowd in his usual mumbling scouse accent, as if talking to himself.
Several great hits played tonight , including "All That Jazz" early on in the set with its stunning
machine gun like drumming, and "The Cutter" was a superb ending to the main set.
A great show.
Full setlist played tonight....
Going Up
Show of Strength
All That Jazz
Rescue / Broke My Neck
Bring On the Dancing Horses
Over the Wall
All My Colours (Zimbo)
Seven Seas
Bedbugs and Ballyhoo
Villiers Terrace / Roadhouse Blues / The Jean Genie
Nothing Lasts Forever / Walk on the Wild Side
Never Stop
The Cutter
Lips Like Sugar
Encore 2:
The Killing Moon
Saturday 05 February 2022.
FA CUP 4th Round Football.
Lots of games shown live on BBC and ITV over the weekend.
Friday's live game had an amazing climax as Middlesboro beat Man Utd 8-7 on penalties.
Friday 04 February 2022.
Happy Birthday to ALICE COOPER who is 74 today.
I have seen Alice Cooper live around 20 times since Sept 1975 when i saw both his Wembley Arena shows.
Hopefully, i will see him play in May 2022, during his planned UK arena tour.

Thursday 03 February 2022.

Wednesday 02 February 2022...I went to two events today...
1pm to 3.30pm....Restaurant press day launch
MARUGAME - St Christopher's Place, London W1.
Popular Japanese noodles & tempera restaurant opens another branch in the ex Jigsaw store.
St Christopher's Place is opposite Bond Street tube, and a foodie lover destination.
You pick up a tray and go along and order what you want from each section.
Mains - Beef Nikutama Udon.
Sides - Tempura chicken and tempura prawn.
Dessert - Mango Mochi Cheesecake.
Drinks - wines , ice tea and soft drinks.
The food was lovely, and the staff were great.
On Saturday they will have live Chinese drummers to celebrate the opening.
www.marugame.co.uk - Visit their website here.
6pm to 9.15pm.
BOB MARLEY "ONE LOVE EXPERIENCE " world premiere - The Saatchi Gallery , Kings Road, Chelsea.
Around 300 guests here including ex footballers Ian Wright, Garth Crooks and Andy Cole.
Others here included Bob Marleys children, Don Letts, Pam Hogg, Levi Roots, Jazzie B,
Philip Sallon, Benjamin Zephaniah,Marc Almond, Pete Waterman , Anthea Turner.
The DJ was Trevor Nelson who played some cool reggae tunes from back in the day.
Complimentary champers for an hour then prosecco, wines, Red Stripe lagers and canapés.
Another huge music exhibition to compete with recent biggies by The Rolling Stones, David Bowie
and Pink Floyd (I went to the opening launch party for all three).
It is over several rooms but maybe not as top notch as the others.
There are photos, gold discs, band equipment, set lists, rare concert footage, a forest room with
fake cannabis leaves hanging from the ceiling, a silent disco room, a room dedicated to Bobs love
of football, huge murals by French street artist Mr Brainwash...and the obligatory merch room at the end....very enjoyable and well worth seeing.
It is on here until 18 April 2022...Buy tickets via The Saatchi Gallery website.
A few photos from the event are up on my Facebook page.
The Bob Marley One Love Experience makes its global debut at London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery for a limited ten-week exhibition this February. This unique experience will showcase unseen Marley photographs and memorabilia whilst immersing audiences on a journey through his lifestyle, passions, influences, and enduring legacy. Fans will venture through the exhibition, greeted by different elements of Bob Marley’s multi-faceted life. The One Love Music Room will commemorate Bob Marley’s achievements through accolades and giant art installations. A multi-sensory experience can be discovered in the One Love Forest, and at the heart of the exhibition fans will be able to honor and rejoice in Marley’s musical catalogue at the Soul Shakedown Studio – a live listening experience. The Beautiful Life area will allow fans to delve deeper into Marley’s other personal joys, from football to family, whilst the Concrete Jungle and Fan Art Exhibition will be anchored by world famous artworks by Mr. Brainwash. Audiences will then be able to discover The Next Gen Room celebrating Bob’s family and legacy through the next generation.
I was lucky to see Bob Marley & The Wailers live at Hammersmith Odeon in June 1976.
Tuesday 01 February 2022.
Sad news that AEROSMITH UK & European Summer Tour is not happening due to covid concerns.
It was postponed from summer 2020 and summer 2021, and now yet again.
Aerosmith are one of the rare 1970s bands with all five original band members still there.
Will other big name American acts start postponing or cancelling their summer European Tours?
LIONEL RICHIE has also decided not to come over for his summer 2022 UK & European Tour.
Monday 31 January 2022.
Happy Birthday to punk icon JOHN LYDON who is 66 today.
I have seen him on stage many times with THE SEX PISTOLS since 1976 and PIL since 1978.
Public Image Limited are playing a UK tour in June 2022.

Saturday 29 January 2022.

Saturday 29 January 2022.
SAXON + URIAH HEEP + GIRLSCHOOL + DIAMOND HEAD live at Hammersmith Apollo.
A nice quartet of British rock bands who i all first saw back in the 1970s / 1980s.
Amazingly , i have seen all four bands headline Hammersmith Odeon during their heyday.
Amazingly, i have also seen all four bands as support acts at Hammersmith Odeon as well.
I have seen Saxon over 25 times , with the first time in1979.
I have seen Uriah Heep over 15 times , with the first time in 1974.
I have seen Girlschool several times , with the first time in 1979.
I saw Girlschool support Motorhead, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult at Hammersmith Odeon,
and in 1982 i saw them headline Hammersmith Odeon.
I saw Diamond Head headline Hammersmith Odeon in 1982 and 1983.
This show is another that has been postponed two or three times since 2020.
Needlessly to say that I am really looking forward to this great classic rock evening.
Tonight is sold out, as the older classic rock fans are out in force, with many wearing
those 80s style denim jackets covered with the patches of their fave bands.
The merch stands did a roaring trade,as these rock fans love buying the t-shirts.
Only musician I spotted was DAVE COLWELL from Kenney Jones Gang/Bad Company etc.
The three support bands are given a tiny space , in front of the Saxon stage curtain and production.
DIAMOND HEAD arrived on stage at 6pm for their good 30 mins set.
GIRLSCHOOL arrived on stage at 6.45pm for their good 30 mins set.
Both the above bands were nice and loud, but overall sound quality could have been better.
Diamond Head and Girlschool have their own fans , and when the stage times were confirmed
a couple of days before, they were moaning at the short time they were allowed on social media ,
and that Saxon long set should be cut a bit. The bottom line is they have not got the quality of Saxon.
URIAH HEEP arrived on stage at 7.35pm for their 50 mins set.
Original guitarist Mick Box is still there on guitar. My first ever guitar plectrum that I got from an
artist was from Mick Box when I saw them play Hammersmith Odeon in 1974.
Uriah Heeps singer still referred the venue by its legendary "Hammersmith Odeon" name.
A good set that included "Look at Yourself" and "Easy Livin' ".
SAXON arrived on stage at 9pm for their 1 hour 55 mins set.
Tonight Saxon ,showed why they are head and shoulders above the other three bands.
They have many superb catchy rock songs with top notch melody and rocktastic guitar riffs.
Old images of the band in their heyday and ticket stubs are projected on to the stage curtain.
The curtain falls and there is a massive stage production , including a big screen showing digital
images including their logo and album covers, and their huge eagle that is hovering over the band,
which looks great as it is lowered and tilted later on in the set, with lots of lights too.
Some staircases too, along with a raised walkway behind the drums...the stage looked fantastic.
An excellent show.
Full Saxon setlist played tonight....
Motorcycle Man
Battering Ram
Wheels of Steel
They Played Rock and Roll
Strong Arm of the Law
Denim and Leather
The Eagle Has Landed
Dogs of War / Solid Ball of Rock
Never Surrender
To Hell and Back Again
Backs to the Wall
Dallas 1 PM
And the Bands Played On
Power and the Glory
Heavy Metal Thunder
747 (Strangers in the Night)
Princess of the Night
Saxon are playing a full UK tour at the end of the year and it will include a London show at
The Roundhouse on Saturday 26 November.
Friday 28 January 2022.
ARIES + OLIVER MALCOLM live at The Forum.
Stage name Aries, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and YouTuber. He is best known for his songs that gained popularity off YouTube and Spotify with multi-millions of views and plays.
I wouldn't even make a note of this gig at any other time of the year , but as its a very quiet January
due to several covid postponements, i will be going along to check it out.
Who the fuck is Aries you may ask? Me too, but tonight is a near sell-out as he has plenty of fans.
Most of the crowd seem to be under the age of 30.
OLIVER MALCOLM arrived on stage at 8.15pm for his 20 mins set.
A white rapper with some nice shouty lyrics.
He was chunky in build, so his manic stage dancing left him out of breathe.
ARIES arrived on stage at 9.15pm and played for 65 mins.
During the interval the crowd are shouting "Aries, Aries, Aries" loudly.
On an Instagram post he asked fans to throw flowers on stage and many duly obliged.
A great stage production as we have a large screen showing his videos and digital images,
along with lots of lights and dry ice plumes.
The crowd are singing along to every song, and plenty of dancing stage front.
Aries certainly knows how to work the crowd.
A great cover of Linkin Parkin "In The End".
For one song Aries got his manager to come on stage for some dodgy dad dancing.
The show was enjoyable, and i was pleasantly surprised overall.
After the sad death MEAF LOAF last week, his albums are selling crazy on the back of it.
Number 3 in the charts - Bat Out Of Hell
Number 5 in the charts - Hits Out Of Hell

Thursday 27 January 2022.

Thursday 27 January 2022.
Sex Pistols legend GLEN MATLOCK has signed a worldwide solo deal with Universal Music to
release his new solo album later this year ,and to re-issue his previous solo albums.
Universal Music also look after The Sex Pistols back catalogue.
Very sad news that comedy legend BARRY CRYER has died aged 86.
Happy Birthday to legendary Pink Floyd drummer NICK MASON who is 78 today.
Wednesday 26 January 2022.
Stand Up For JEREMY HARDY at Hammersmith Apollo.
A night of comedy to commemorate the genius of Jeremy Hardy as performed by his comedy friends.
Join the likes of Mark Steel, Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard, Rich Hall, Miles Jupp, Angela Barnes, Imran Yusuf , Seann Walsh and Shappi Khorsandi plus others as they celebrate one of the most hilarious comedians of the past three decades.
Plus a section from the team of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
Another show that has been postponed a couple of times since 2020.
It is a full house tonight to celebrate the life of JEREMY HARDY who sadly died of cancer on 1 February 2019, at the age of 57.Julia McKenzie, the head of Radio team at BBC Studios, said of Hardy "I will remember him as someone who could convulse an audience with laughter at a comic image whilst at the same time making a point of substance that reverberated on a much deeper level and spoke to his principles and unflinching concern for the less fortunate.Miles Jupp, then-host of The News Quiz and a longtime friend, wrote his obituary in The Guardian.
The show was on for 2 hours 45 mins over two sets of 80 mins and 85 mins.
All the acts performed for between 10 mins to 20 mins.
Jeremy Hardy was a left wing comedian so no surprise Boris Johnson was the butt of many jokes tonight.
All the acts had enjoyable funny moments in their set.
Tv highlights of Jeremy Hardy were shown on the big screen.
Mark Steel (had his own set and introduced the other acts as host for the first set)
Miles Jupp
Imran Yusef
Shappi Khorsandi
Eddie Izzard
Jack Dee (had his own set and introduced the other acts as host for the second set)
Angela Barnes
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue sketch including Tony Hawks
Seann Walsh
Rich Hall

Wednesday 26 January 2022.

Tuesday 25 January 2022.
Tues 18 Jan to Sat 29 Jan - including evenings and matinees.
BAT OUT OF HELL - THE MUSICAL is at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London SW19.
Bringing to life the legendary anthems of Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf, this critically-acclaimed production uniquely combines the magic and excitement of a musical with the immense energy of rock ‘n’ roll. Join Strat, the forever young leader of rebellious gang ‘The Lost’ as he falls in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.
This award-winning wild child musical thunders through powerhouse hits including I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), Paradise By The Dashboard Light, Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, Dead Ringer For Love and Bat Out of Hell, in an exciting over the top theatrical spectacle unlike any other.
I saw this excellent production twice when it was in the West End at The Coliseum and
The Dominion Theatre including the opening night party.
MEAT LOAF died aged 74, during the run of these Wimbledon shows.
JIM STEINMAN died last year , aged 73.
It is the same show of two sets - 65 mins and 75 mins.
The production tonight is a bit smaller than the West End venues as the stage is not as big.
The show is 50/50 narrative and music.
Around 20 actors/dancers on stage off and on throughout the show.
Mainly Meat Loaf mega tunes but also some from Jim Steinman albums.
Some pretty incredible power ballads of the highest order.
An excellent show.
Act I
"Love and Death and an American Guitar"
"All Revved Up with No Place to Go / The Opening of the Box / Everything Louder Than Everything Else / If It Ain't Broke, Break It"
"Who Needs the Young?"
"Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)"
"Two Out of Three Ain't Bad"
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light"
"Making Love Out of Nothing at All"
"Bat Out of Hell"
Act II
"In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher Is King"
"Heaven Can Wait"
"Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are"
"Teenager In Love"
"For Crying Out Loud"
"You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)"
"Not Allowed to Love"
"What Part of My Body Hurts the Most"
"Dead Ringer for Love"
"Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through"
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now"
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"
Finale (Bat Out of Hell (reprise))

Tuesday 25 July 2022.

Tuesday 25 July 2022.
Hard to believe that punk poet JOHN COOPER CLARKE is 73 today.
He is actually older than Phil Collins.
I have seen JCC around 10 times since 1978, as he supported many acts back then.
I saw him play a big headline show at The Palladium in 2013.
There seems to be a another music genre gaining momentum...
After Sleaford Mods and Idles....The debut album from YARD ACT has got great reviews.
It looks certain to fly into the Top 10 this Friday , when the new charts are announced.
Here’s just a small selection of the reviews:
"lives up to its hype with flying colours" DIY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“A debut album bursting with character" Uncut 9/10
“An exhilarating record” Mojo Album of the Month ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"A stellar debut" Rolling Stone ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Times ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Observer ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gigwise 8/10
Rough Trade’s Album of the Month
Mojo’s Album of the Month [ 4⭐]
The Guardian’s Album of the Week
The Sunday Times’ Album of the Week
The Independent’s Album of the Week
Monday 24 July 2022.
Happy Birthday to NEIL DIAMOND who is 81 today.
I have seen him three times in concert...
1999 - Wembley Arena
2005 - Earls Court Arena
2008 - 02 Arena
In 2018 Neil Diamond was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
"The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale touring basis," Neil Diamond said in a statement.

Saturday 22 January 2022.

Friday 21 January 2022.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL "LUZIA" at The Royal Albert Hall.
CDC is back at The Royal Albert Hall in 2022 after being cancelled in early 2021 due to covid.
Cirque du Soleil is back with their jaw-dropping, record-breaking LUZIA - A Waking Dream of Mexico.
2022 will also mark 25 years since Cirque du Soleil first brought its captivating magic to the RAH stage with now over 3.5 million spectators witnessing its awe-inspiring acrobatics.
It is on from 12 Jan through to 27 Feb so no live music shows there at The Royal Albert Hall until March.
Various start times , including some lunchtime and afternoon performances at the weekend.
Starts: 11:30am, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm
Ends (approximately): 1.50pm, 5:20pm, 5:50pm, 9:50pm, 10:20pm
www.royalalberthall.com - Buy tickets here.
Cirque Du Soleil have had productions closed down worldwide during the covid period , but
they are fully back to normal at their iconic Royal Albert Hall home for their usual two month stint.
The venue is full tonight and the crowd are eager to experience some top quality entertainment.
All the usual CDC high end slick production values are here as we have a visually mind-boggling
display of great costumes that are full of colour, along with clever use of scenery changes,
and a pulsating live Mariachi band that keep the rhythm driving along all throughout the evening.
A stunning waterfall is used to stunning effect for many of the acts , including the accident prone traveller funny man between acts as wherever he stood the waterfall was behind him, so a great opportunity for the children in the audience to get into panto mode by shouting out "it's behind you".
Around a dozen different acts perform with many heart-skipping moments including....
A team of males diving through hoops that got higher and higher, as one by one were added.
Athletic men throwing a woman up in the air and catching her as she twists away mid flight.
Two graceful women doing cartwheels inside giant hola hoops.
Acrobats using ariel straps.
A giant swing that rotated a full 360 degrees , high above the floor.
We even had a couple performing an impressive display of keepy-uppy football tricks.
Hand-stand balancing upside down on stilts.
A trapeze act where the acrobats launch themselves twisting and twirling through the air.
A male high wire act, who interacted with the waterfall to great effect.
Some juggling with illuminated sticks, who got close up as he went into the aisles of the stalls seats.
A male contortionist was pretty amazing, and drew many gasps from the audience.
The usual finale ,with the full parade of all tonight's performers to a rousing crowd reception.
A very enjoyable evening, and just the tonic for an escape from the gloomy January weather.

Friday 21 January 2022.

Friday 21 January 2022.
Very sad news that MEAT LOAF has passed away....he was such an entertaining performer.
I saw him on stage over 15 times including his debut London show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1978,
when he was promoting his classic album "Bat Out Of Hell"
The "Bat Out Of Hell " album is one of the best-selling of all time.
The news was confirmed on the star's Facebook page by his family.
"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side," a message read.
The Bat Out of Hell star sold 100 million albums worldwide and appeared in movies like Fight Club, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne's World.
Thursday 20 January 2022.
Happy Birthday to KISS singer PAUL STANLEY who is 70 today.
I have seen them over 30 times since their first London shows in May 1976.
Looking forward to seeing them a couple of times on their 2022 summer European Tour.
They have always been my fave American group.
Wednesday 19 January 2022.
Happy Birthday to DOLLY PARTON who is 76 today.
I saw Dolly live at Wembley Arena (2007) and The 02 Arena (2008) In 2019 I went to the opening night press night and party for Dollys musical " 9 to 5" at The Savoy Hotel Ballroom. A very lavish event, and Dolly was there for an hour or so.

Monday 17 January 2022.

Monday 17 January 2022.
Happy Birthday to ex Rolling Stone guitarist MICK TAYLOR who is 73 today.
Saturday 15 January 2022.
Happy Birthday to SAXON singer BIFF BYFORD who is 71 today.
I have seen Saxon around 25 times since 1979 when they supported Motorhead at Hammersmith Odeon.
Friday 14 January 2022.
BBC4 tv 9pm - RONNIE SPECTOR at The BBC tribute programme.
BBC4 tv 9.30pm to 1.30am - THE ROLLING STONES - three programmes.
One of the three is " Totally Stripped" which is a docu on their European theatres tour of 1995,
Amsterdam/Paris/London....i saw them then at their mega show at Brixton Academy.
Thursday 13 January 2022.
Happy Birthday to SUGGS from MADNESS who is 61 today.
I have seen Madness over 20 times since 1979 when i saw them supporting The Specials
at The Electric Ballroom, Camden at the start of the UK ska revival.
Wednesday 12 January 2022.
Very sad news that RONNIE SPECTOR , famed for hits such as "Be My Baby" died today ,
aged 78 after a brief battle with cancer.
The rock'n'roll siren was the leader of the girl group The Ronettes, who also celebrated hits such as “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.”
I saw her three times in concert
2014 - Queen Elizabeth Hall
2015 - Barbican
2019 - Shepherds Bush Empire

Monday 10 January 2022

Monday 10 Jan - Happy Birthday to ROD STEWART who is 77 today.
Sunday 09 Jan - Happy Birthday to JIMMY PAGE is 78 today.
Sunday 09 Jan - Happy Birthday to DAVID JOHANSEN who is 72 today.
Saturday 08 Jan - DAVID BOWIE would have been 75 today
Saturday 08 January 2022.
A big spike in the omicron covid variant has resulted in several UK tours for Jan and Feb being postponed.
This will certainly mean that most overseas bands will postpone their UK shows in that period.
Includes CHEAP TRICK which has been moved from Feb 2022 to October 2022.
This week the UK passed the terrible milestone of over 150,000 covid related deaths.
Gigs were pretty much back to normal in Nov and Dec 2021, but January will be very messy again.
January is normally a very quiet month for gigs, and January 2022 will be even quieter.

Thursday 06 January 2022.

Wednesday 05 January 2022....I was out all day today at three events...
1pm to 1.30pm.
THE MARBLE ARCH MOUND, Marble Arch, London W1.
This fiasco was dubbed "London's worst tourist attraction".
How on earth did Westminster City Council end up spending £6 million on this disaster?
Basically , it is some scaffolding covered with fake green grass.
The £6.50 admission charge was soon scrapped, and it is now free to get in.
You walk up the stairs slowly (didn't see a lift) to a height of 82 feet....around six floors.
Views of The Shard ,The London Eye, Battersea Power Station chimneys in the distance along
with a few others....as you leave there is a dark room full of digital images.
Not much else, to be honest.
It has had nearly 250,000 visitors since it opened in July 2021, which is pretty good.
It is free to visit, many folks like me are turning up to see if it is bad as they are saying it is.
The last day it is open is Sunday 09 January 2022.
If you are coming for the final weekend it may be worth booking free advance tickets.
The Westminster official responsible for this has recently resigned in shame.
2.30pm matinee show.....PANTOLAND is at The Palladium, Argyll Street, London W1.
1970s pop star DONNY OSMOND and ultimate pantomime star JULIAN CLARY star in Pantoland.
The home of pantomime will welcome back Palladium panto favourites Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot as well as the return of some past stars of the Palladium’s festive treat including West End sensations Jac Yarrow and Sophie Isaacs, and the world-famous Tiller Girls.
I have seen The Osmonds a few times, including The Royal Albert Hall in 1979 and The 02 Arena
in 2008 when Donny rejoined them for a tour...also a couple of times without Donny at Wembley Arena
as part of those 1970s packages.
The last day of Donnys stint here is Sunday 09 Jan 2022.
The Palladium panto is always the biggest production, with the biggest celebrities and best costumes.
The show was on for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 50 mins.
Julian Clary has a dozen visually mega over the top huge costumes during the show.
Julian is the one with his famous naughty innuendo one-liners.
Pretty amazing to see the ever youthful DONNY OSMOND in a London panto.
His first UK appearence was at this venue in 1972, for a Royal Variety Show appearance.
Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and his puppet Sam are superb, including a great audience participation.
Gary Wilmot sung a song naming every London and Crossrail train station.
A dozen Tiller Girls in full showgirl attire performed a couple of routines.
Nigel Havers is the butt of many old age jokes.
A couple performed a couple of routines with sparks flying everywhere.
Donny sung a few songs which sounded great with the band and orchestra including
"Puppy Love" , "Crazy Horses" , "Love Me For A Reason " and "Let Me In".
Donny and Julian duetted for the Joseph song "Any Dream Will Do".
A full standing ovation at the end, and the older woman here still swooning over Donny.
An excellent show that was full of great songs and entertaining laugh out loud hilarity.
7.30pm show....THE BOOK OF MORMON is at The Prince Of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London W1.
Beginning on Broadway in 2011, The Book of Mormon, has consistently entertained and shocked audiences across theatres for 10 years now- and the hype surrounding it has yet to decline. Written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone, the production follows two missionaries to Uganda, where they are sent to try and convert a small village to the Mormon religion. This mission, as expected, does not go as smoothly as they would like. The pair know nothing about the environment to which they are introduced, which leads to an abundance of controversial surprises and misunderstandings.
The two missionaries perfectly depict the common dynamic of the serious and the not-so-serious being paired together, creating a comically incompatible duo. Both actors accurately convey their character’s stereotypes: One as the obnoxious and overly confident western man coming to ‘save the day’, and the other as the endearing, bumbling sidekick.
The show was on for 2 hours 10 mins over two sets of 70 mins and 60 mins.
Another theatre event that had loads of great songs in it.
Like iconic tv series Father Ted that sends up the Catholic Church this theatre production
certainly pokes fun at The Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
Brace yourself for a shock: ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Broadway-munching musical
has some very below the belt swearing and taboo sayings... Sure, there are ‘fucks’ and ‘cunts’ and gags about baby rape – but most of it is deployed ironically; beneath it all, this is a big-hearted affair that pays note-perfect homage to the sounds and spirit of Broadway’s golden age.
The strapping young Latter Day Saints missionaries in ‘The Book of Mormon’ are as cartoonish as any ‘South Park’ character, with the endearing alpha-male woodenness of the ‘Team America’ puppets. In other words, they are loveable, well-intentioned idiots, traversing the globe like groups of pious meerkats, convinced they can convert the heathen through sheer politeness. And if they have doubts, then as Stephen Ashfield’s scene-stealingly repressed Elder McKinley declares in glorious faux-Gershwin number ‘Turn it Off’, ‘Don’t feel those feelings – hold them in instead!’
His advice is ignored by the show’s heroes, narcissistic, highly strung Elder Price (Gavin Creel) and dumpy, lying Elder Cunningham (Jared Gertner). The pair are sent to Uganda in an effort to convert a village to Mormonism, a religion that essentially tells the penniless villagers how great distant America is. The locals are not keen: Price cracks and unwisely clashes with a crazed local warlord; Cunningham makes up his own version of Mormonism which involves fucking frogs to cure oneself of Aids.
An excellent show that also had a great entertaining mix of songs and comedy.

Tuesday 04 January 2022.

Tuesday 04 January 2022.
Exclusive news from www.raysgigs.com
The supergroup GENERATION SEX have signed up with UK booking agent John Giddings at Solo.
John was The Sex Pistols booking agent for their European Tour reunions.
The band feature Steve Jones and Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols and
Billy Idol and Tony James from Generation X.
So far, they have just played two private shows in Los Angeles and New York in 2018.
Hopefully Steve Jones will be in the line-up but he has not visited the UK for over a decade.
Billy Idol mentioned shows were being planned for 2023, but maybe this year too?

Sunday 02 January 2022.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody.
These are my Top 20 gigs of 2021.
Covid messed up the first six months of the year, but the second part of the year was much better.
I ended up still seeing 95 live music gigs....which brings my gig total to 7184 since 1973.
Top 3 gigs of the year...all gigs are in date order.
Patti Smith Band - Royal Albert Hall - 04 and 05 Oct 2021
Rick Astley and The Blossoms play The Smiths - Forum - 09 Oct 2021
Coldplay - Shepherds Bush Empire - 12 Oct 2021
Other highlights....all gigs in date order.
The Vaccines - Forum - 26 July 2021
The Boomtown Rats + Neville Staple + John Coghlans Quo - Becontree Free Festival - 15 Aug 2021
Elbow - Hammersmith Apollo - 21 Sept 2021
Scritti Politti - Shepherds Bush Empre - 02 Oct 2021
Roger Taylor - Shepherds Bush Empire - 22 Oct 2021
The Waterboys - Roundhouse - 23 Oct 2021
The Professionals - Garage - 24 Oct 2021
Michael Schenker Band Fest - Shepherds Bush Empire - 31 Oct 2021
Richard Ashcroft - Royal Albert Hall - 01 Nov 2021
Biffy Clyro - Forum - 02 Nov 2021
Heaven 17 - Shepherds Bush Empire - 05 Nov 2021
OMD - Hammersmith Apollo - 13 Nov 2021
Soft Cell - Hammersmith Apollo - 15 Nov and 16 Nov 2021
The Stereophonics - Shepherds Bush Empire - 06 Dec 2021
Dave Gahan - Shepherds Bush Empire - 07 Dec 2021
The Darkness - Shepherds Bush Empire - 16 and 17 Dec 2021
The Libertines - Forum - 18 and 19 Dec 2021
My band Gun Control (me on drums) also played one gig at The George & Dragon, Acton on 27 Nov 2021

Friday 31 December 2021.

Friday 31 December 2021.
HOSPITALITY takes over The Drumsheds, North London for a New Year’s Eve Spectacular.
One of the UK’s most sought-after party crews bring you an unparalleled New Year’s Eve spectacular at The Drumsheds, with a special headliner just announced: Andy C, who will be playing alongside Tonn Piper .
There will be over a dozen djs at this massive 10,000 capacity standing venue that is spread out over
four colossal interlinked warehouses, that were previously abandoned gasworks.
The masterminds behind the seminal label Hospital Records, the infamous Hospitality crew will take over the indoor warehouse spaces with their well-known selection of bass virtuosos, feel-good sounds and non-stop party atmosphere.
The event runs from 7pm to 4am....with tickets at a very reasonable £25.
Getting to DRUMSHEDS is a bit tricky as it is in the middle of nowhere...
Tube & Train
7 minutes walk from Meridian Water Station (on a Greater Anglia route)
40 minutes walk from Tottenham Hale Station (underground and overground Zone 3 )
Free shuttle bus to Tottenham Hale Station after the event.
By Taxi
If you are arriving by taxi, use the designated drop-off and pick-up point located in Ikea.
By Bus
The 192 (Tottenham Hale ⇔ Enfield Town) and the 341 (Waterloo ⇔ Upper Edmonton) drop you a few minutes walk from the venue.
DRUMSHEDS is the sister venue to PRINTWORKS in South East London...I went there 3 months ago...
A bit of a mad trek from West London...we were there 10pm to 4am.
Most of the massive crowd of over 8000 are already in the venue.
Sniffer dogs at the ticket entrance, and no doubt a few drugs were about tonight.
Lots of frazzled looking people inside...most seem to be under the age of 30.
It is like a mini festival...mud, puddles, hardcore on the floor, portable toilets, loads of security etc.
A huge outdoor space between the ticket entrance and the inside dance areas.
Two main dance areas used, with the djs playing 60 mins set each.
I am not the biggest fan of drum n bass but there was a great party atmosphere.
Most of the djs had massive lightshows to help with their performance.
The front looked very packed at times, so hopefully this event does not be a covid super-spreader.
Lots of fireworks going off in the nearby area 11pm to 1am, which was good to peek at.
Got back indoors at silly o'clock but we had great fun up there in deepest North London.

Monday 27 December 2021.

42 years ago this week i went to all four Charity Concerts for Kampuchea at Hammersmith Odeon.
Check out the stunning line-up of who played...
Queen Hammersmith Odeon, London 26.12.1979
Ian Dury And The Blockheads,The Clash,Mutumbi Hammersmith Odeon, London. 27.12.1979
The Who,Specials,Pretenders Hammersmith Odeon, London 28.12.1979
Wings,Elvis Costello,Rockpile Hammersmith Odeon, London 29.12.1979

Sunday 26 December 2021.

Sunday 26 December 2021.
Very sad and shock news that JANICE LONG has passed away.
BBC DJ and broadcaster Janice Long dies at 66
Janice Long, best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and Top of the Pops, has died aged 66 after a short illness at home on Christmas Day with her family, her agent has confirmed.
Since 2017, Long hosted the evening show on BBC Radio Wales.
Her career spanned five decades and she was the first woman to have her own daily show on Radio 1.
BBC director general Tim Davie described her a "stellar presenter" who was loved across the industry.
Friday 24 December 2021.
Merry Christmas to all the visitors to my website.
Despite covid messing up the first half of the year, i still got to over 80 live music events.
Check back in a few days for my Top 10 gigs list of 2021.
Happy Birthday to 1970s QPR football legend STAN BOWLES who is 73 today.
QPR are to rename the Ellerslie Road Stand as The Stanley Bowles Stand.

Thursday 23 December 2021.

Wednesday 22 December 2021.
The Stranglers have been voted The Best Album of 2021 in Vive Le Rock Magaine.
There were many classic albums released 50 years ago in 1971.
That was also the year that The Finsbury Park Astoria became The Rainbow.
In November 1971, and rebranded as the Rainbow Theatre, it was to become legendary as a rock music venue, attracting some of the biggest names in contemporary and popular music.
The Who opened the venue with three shows and Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Rory Gallagher, Queen, Liza Minnelli, The Jacksons and Bob Marley all performed at the Rainbow. Notable acts from the decade’s burgeoning reggae, punk and new wave scenes also appeared on the theatre’s famous stage. Elvis Costello headlined the final concert at the Rainbow in December 1981.
I was lucky enough to have seen around 50 shows there, with the first being Sweet in Dec 1973.
In spite of being designated Grade II-listed status for its architectural importance, the building’s future remained undecided for many years. During the mid-1990s it was taken over by the Brazilian based United Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), which set about restoring the auditorium and foyer. The former cinema is now the main centre for the UCKG in Britain.
Pretty unbelievable , how The Rainbow and The Roundhouse were both left abandoned during the 1980s.

Wednesday 22 December 2021.

Tuesday 21 December 2021.
Almost half of London's major theatres were forced to cancel performances this past weekend because of Covid infections, as Omicron plays havoc with live events.
Of the 46 full members of the Society of London Theatre that had shows running, 22 scrapped performances.
They included Hamilton, Matilda, Wicked, The Lion King, Cinderella, Cabaret and Come From Away.
Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh said it was "hugely disruptive" and the industry was in a "dreadful state".
He told BBC News: "It's literally day-to-day. We spend all morning trying to work out if we can do the show or not.
"The important thing is, when we do it, it is safe, and the public have been remarkable in that they are, in our experience, turning up mostly to the shows."
Some bands and promoters are starting to postpone shows again, including THE DAMNED re-union tour
that was first moved back to Feb 2022, and has now been moved back again to Oct 2022.
Covid booster jabs have been ramped up , but another lockdown could easily happen soon.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has shut down his Cinderella musical until February as the ‘wretched virus’ hits cast and audiences.‘Once again, this wretched virus has put paid to the joy of entertaining audiences, something that I hold so dear,’ he said.
I saw this excellent West End production when it first opened.

Monday 20 December 2021.

Saturday 18 Dec - THE LIBERTINES play the second of their five shows at The Forum.
Sunday 19 Dec - THE LIBERTINES play the third of their five nights at The Forum.
The Libertines play five London shows as part of a UK tour...three in Dec and two in Feb 2022.
I have seen Pete on stage a few times including The Libertines at Hyde Park July 2014 ,where they
headlined to a massive 65,000 crowd.
I will be going to both these shows.
A nice touch is that there are two different support bands each night.
Saturday 18 December 2021.
Tonight i watched the show from the seats in the front circle.
Both support acts tonight were female trios.
THE MOLOTOVS arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their 30 mins set.
The three girls are all dressed in black and white stage attire.
Some catchy indie-pop tracks and classic covers "Teenage Kicks" and "My Generation".
CRUEL HEARTS CLUB arrived on stage at 8.15pm for their 30 mins set.
They are comprised of sisters Gita and Edie Langley and drummer Gabi Woo.
A good set of pop-grunge tunes.
THE LIBERTINES arrived on stage at 9.15pm for their 1 hour 40 mins set.
As usual it is a very lively crowd to see The Libertines with lots of dancing in the stalls,
and pints of beer tossed into the air at regular intervals during the set.
Only The Libertines can be at the end of a month long tour and still sound a bit ramshackle.
Carl Barat looks cooler than Peter Doherty , who has put on some weight, and a nice beer belly.
Pete is going grey as well...his lifestyle over the past 20 years would make anyone grey.
They have lots of great songs , but four on the bounce during the encore were a mega highlight.
Fairytale of New York (The Pogues cover)
Don't Look Back Into the Sun
Time for Heroes
I Get Along
A great show.
Full LIBERTINES setlist played tonight...
What a Waster
The Ha Ha Wall
Up the Bracket
Gunga Din
What Katie Did
You're My Waterloo
Boys in the Band
Can't Stand Me Now
The Boy Looked at Johnny
Music When the Lights Go Out
Heart of the Matter
What Became of the Likely Lads
The Good Old Days
The Delaney
Fame and Fortune
Death on the Stairs
Fairytale of New York (The Pogues cover)
Don't Look Back Into the Sun
Time for Heroes
I Get Along
Sunday 19 December 2021.
Tonight i watched the show from the stalls standing area.
WILL & THE PEOPLE arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their 30 mins set.
I saw this band when they were the first act to headline Shepherds Bush Empire after lockdown
back in July.....it was a cheap admission test event.
They played tracks from their album that was recorded at The Libertines Albion Rooms Studio.
TRAMPOLENE arrived on stage at 8.15pm for their 30 mins set.
They played a good set of indie-rock tracks.
THE LIBERTINES arrived on stage at 9.15pm for their set of 1 hour 40 mins.
Great seeing Peter Doherty stumble towards Barat and they share a microphone for the chorus of many songs, it looks like everything you’ve come to expect, due to all of those accounts you’ve read which refer to some exhilarating-yet-troubled love affair between the two front-men.
We get one song less tonight as "I Get Along" is not played.
Their superb cover of The Pogues "Fairytale of New York" is moved back to the final song
of the evening, as all their road crew join them on stage in their Christmas jumpers.
At the end of the show the mic stand and guitar are thrown into the audience but the
venue security and The Libertines personal security are quick to get them back.
Another great show.

Friday 17 December 2021.

Friday 17 December 2921.
THE DARKNESS + KRIS BARRAS BAND live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
I went back to see the second of their two shows here.
Not sold out tonight, but much more busier than last night.
KRIS BARRAS BAND arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins set.
THE DARKNESS arrived on stage at 9pm for their 1 hour 40 mins set.
The show is five minutes longer tonight as they play an extra Christmas song during the encore.
The extra track played was Chris Rea "Driving Home For Christmas".
Another eye-watering display of guitar wizardry, catsuits, and falsetto screams. The Darkness proves once again what we all knew – the world needs more cowbell.
The Darkness show really does get everyone smiling away, due to Justin's antics on stage.
They really are a very entertaining, visually enjoyable band with some great tunes too.
The new album tracks are good.
Justin tells the audience how grateful the band are to get to the end of their long UK tour
without any covid cancellelations by them.
Like the previous night the security guy in the pit "Pete" gets his bald head rubbed by Justin,
and Pete gets introduced to the crowd and Pete gets big cheers ,as he has been giving out
glasses of water to those down the front.
Justin again gets the whole crowd bouncing to their biggest hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love".
The fake snow again came down from the ceiling during the encore...another great show.
Thursday 16 December 2021.
THE DARKNESS + KRIS BARRAS BAND live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
The Darkness are playing a full UK tour to promote their latest album " Motorheart".
Their great debut album "Permission to Land " went straight up to number two on the UK Albums Chart upon its release on 7 July 2003, before going to number one and staying there for four weeks, eventually going on to sell over 1.5 million copies in the UK alone, and over 3 million copies worldwide.
The album also featured great hit singles and put rock and fun back in the charts again.
In 2004 the band won three Brit Awards: Best British Group, Best British Rock Act, and Best British Album.
I have seen The Darkness several times including two headline shows at Alexandra Palace in 2006.
Also Wembley Arena, Brixton Academy, Hammersmith Apollo and most recent The Roundhouse (2019).
ROGER TAYLOR from Queen will hopefully be there as his son Rufus, plays drums with The Darkness.
Support comes from MASSIVE WAGONS who are great up and coming live rock band.
I saw them on a small stage at The Rambln' Man Festival in 2016.
I am really looking forward to seeing this great pair of rock bands.
First of all British Lion (feat Steve Harris from Iron Maiden) pulled out of the tour, then
Massive Wagons got added and played the majority of the tour , but for the London shows
it looks like Kris Barras Band are playing....as Massive Wagons band members are ill (covid?),
so Kris Barras Band are playing an acoustic duo set after getting a last minute call up.
The Darkness are playing shows in mainland Europe in Jan/Feb 2022 and then they are
playing a 34 date North American tour in March/April 2022.
Level 3 tonight is closed, so maybe only 700 or 800 are here.
The show tomorrow has sold more tickets as it is on a Friday.
KRIS BARRAS BAND arrive on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins set.
A decent enough acoustic set , but all through their set i was wishing that
Massive Wagons had not pulled a sickie at the last minute.
AL MURRAY - THE PUB LANDLORD was sitting in the Level 1 VIP seats.
THE DARKNESS arrive on stage at 9pm for their 95 mins set.
Lots of lights dotted around the stage.
The band all seem to be nicking moves from other artists.
Singer Justin is looking like Steven Tyler and is doing some nifty David Lee Roth high kicks etc.
Guitarist Dan is doing his best Malcolm Young AC/DC guitar stance as he riffs away.
Drummer Rufus is doing his best to look like Taylor Hawkins Foo Fighters.
Justin's amazing falsetto voice is still intact.
After 30 mins, Justin is keen to get his chest and tattoos out.
Near the end of the main set, Justin does a full handstand in front of the drum kit.
Justin is a great front man, and has plenty of flamboyant and entertaining stage banter.
The critics were a bit harsh on them during their success but there are elements of
the band that do verge on "panto" type rock but it's all good fun.
Needless to say their mega hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" was a highlight.
For the encore section they all donned Christmas outfits for a couple of Christmas
cover hits and their own excellent Christmas hit, which got to number two in Dec 2003.
A great show.
Full setlist played by THE DARKNESS tonight....
Welcome Tae Glasgae
One Way Ticket
Growing on Me
Open Fire
Sticky Situations
Givin' Up
It's Love, Jim
Black Shuck
Heart Explodes
Friday Night
Love Is Only a Feeling
Japanese Prisoner of Love
Solid Gold
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Last Christmas (Wham! cover)
Mistletoe & Wine (Cliff Richard cover) (snippet played by Justin solo)
Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) (fake snow falling over the stalls standing area)

Wednesday 15 December 2021.

Wednesday 15 December 2021.
AMY WADGE + ISAAC STUART live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Amy Wadge is an English singer and songwriter. She has co-written tracks with Ed Sheeran, including "Thinking Out Loud" for which she won the 2016 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
Amy has released several albums , and written many songs with well known musicians.
Support comes from 22 year old singer-songwriter ISAAC STUART from Banbury , Oxfordshire.
Not many here tonight, maybe 600 at the most.
ISAAC STUART arrived on stage at 8pm for his 30 mins set.
Just Isaac and his keyboard for half a dozen tracks.
AMY WADGE arrived on stage at 8.50pm for her 85 mins set.
A very sparse stage for Amy and her band.
Amy is aged 45 now, which would explain the older than expected crowd.
Amy is over the moon to be finally headlining this venue, and gets one of her teenage kids to
introduce her on stage, and dedicate the show to her parents who are also in the audience.
Amy plays tracks with her band , and solo tracks with her keyboards.
Lots of entertaining stage banter including where she told us she now mixes life between
England, Los Angeles and Nashville, such is her reputation as a songwriter.
A good show.
Tuesday 14 December 2021.
It was 48 years ago today.
MOTT THE HOOPLE + QUEEN live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14.12.1973 a fantastic double bill .
This was the first ever concert I saw at the famous Hammersmith Odeon .Freddie and Queen were great and I think this was their only proper tour as support band and it was before their first ever hit single . Mott The Hoople also did a really great set ." All The Young Dudes " and others.
I saw Queen a dozen times with Freddie Mercury, including the iconic Live Aid in July 1985.
I have also seen Queen with later line-up singers Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert.
I have seen Mott The Hoople many times including their reunion shows.
I have seen Ian Hunter as a solo artist many times.
I am still attending shows at that venue, which is now called Hammersmith Apollo.
I have been to over 2000 shows at this venue.

Sunday 12 December 2021.

Sunday 12 December 2021.
The final race of the F1 Grand Prix 2021 season will now be also shown live on Channel 4 today.
This is it! Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen go into the final race of an epic season locked together on 3‌69.5 points - only the s‌econd time this has happened since F1‌'s f‌irst season in 1950. Can Hamilton claim his e‌ighth world title or will Verstappen usher in the new era with his f‌irst ever title?
Lewis has the momentum as he has won the last three races , so would be an amazing comeback.
Summary of the race...
With 10 laps to go Red Bull Racing Christian Horner said "we need a miracle" and that's what he got.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has won his first Formula One world championship after beating rival Lewis Hamilton to victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen prevailed in his final-race shoot-out with Hamilton to claim the Formula One world championship after a dramatic final lap.
The Red Bull driver looked out of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at various points but, after a safety car came on to deal with a Nicholas Latifi crash, he was given a reprieve.
He changed his tyres during the delay and, after lapped cars were allowed to clear the safety car, he and leader Hamilton had a final-lap race in which the Dutchman prevailed.
Saturday 11 December 2021.
MYLES KENNEDY & COMPANY live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Myles has sung with Alter Bridge and Slash.
Myles is playing a UK tour to promote his second full-length solo LP, "The Ides Of March".
Alter Bridge front-man Myles Kennedy has an astounding vocal range.
Renowned for his sky-scraping timbre and earth-quaking bluesy wail, his musicianship encompasses eloquent songcraft, thoughtful cinematic arrangements, and, of course, dynamic guitar fireworks.
Will guitar legend Jimmy Page turn up?
After Led Zeppelin reformed in Dec 2007 for their one-off show at The 02 Arena ( I was there),
Robert Plant was not interested in playing a follow up tour so Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason
Bonham got Myles Kennedy in the studio as a possible singer for the tour, but nothing came of it.
Support band will be CARDINAL BLACK.
It is not sold out tonight,but all the levels are open and the venue is pretty full.
CARDINAL BLACK arrive on stage at 7.55pm and play for 30 mins.
Cardinal Black have been around a decade in various forms.
A triumphant live set at Sonisphere in 2010 followed a phone call from the manager of Guns N’ Roses, Alan Niven who, offering his services as manager, flew the band to Arizona to begin an attempt at breaking into the notorious Nashville scene. The lure of America proved irresistible for the young trio and they made the move to Arizona to begin work on a debut album under the guidance of one of rock music's most successful managers. As invariably seems to be the case, reality rarely mirrors expectation and the band struggled to adapt during their time in the U.S; a new country, a new industry, homesickness and the classic creative differences led to the deterioration of the band's momentum, culminating in singer Tom Hollister unexpectedly calling time on the band and coming back to the UK.
They played a good set with some stunning powerful rock/soul vocals which went down well with everyone.
MYLES KENNEDY & COMPANY arrive on stage at 9pm and play for 1 hour 45 mins.
Myles is the main man tonight so his amps are behind him in the middle where the drum kit should be,
and the poor old drummer is stuck in the corner.
Myles has that great rock voice and can play some nifty guitar.
Only three of them on stage but their sound is proper loud, loud, loud.
There are two film cameras filming the show.
The two Alter Bridge tracks got the biggest cheers of the night.
A really good show.
Full MYLES KENNEDY setlist played tonight....
Wake Me When It's Over
A Thousand Words
Devil on the Wall
Turning Stones
Haunted by Design
The Ides of March
All Ends Well (Alter Bridge song)
Year of the Tiger
Tell It Like It Is
Watch Over You (Alter Bridge song)
Get Along
Love Can Only Heal
World on Fire (Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators song)
In Stride
Worried Mind

Friday 10 December 2021.

Thursday 09 December 2021.
WE ARE SCIENTISTS live at The Forum.
Iconic New York band, We Are Scientists, make their long-awaited return to UK shores with their first album in over three years, "Huffy".
For all their angular New Yorkisms, We Are Scientists actually started off on the west coast where Keith Murray, Chris Cain and Michael Tapper met at college. The trio gravitated to New York and, after a slew of independent releases, signed to Virgin for their second album 2006’s With Love And Squalor. With a supreme knack for incessant hooks and a knowing sense of humour, the album caught on hugely in the UK and notched up three Top 40 singles: "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" ," It’s A Hit " and "The Great Escape".
They also had another pair of Top 40 hits in the UK.
With support from COACH PARTY and SECOND THOUGHTS.
The circle is closed off tonight, but maybe 900/1000 are in the stalls.
SECOND THOUGHTS arrived on stage at 7.45pm and play for 30 mins.
Indie rock band from Hitchin did an ok set.
COACH PARTY arrived on stage at 8.30pm and play for 30 mins.
Indie rock band from The Isle Of Wight , with female vocals did an ok set.
Their set included a nice Nirvana cover.
WE ARE SCIENTISTS arrived on stage at 9.30pm and play for 90 mins.
Just the three of them on stage.
Their walk on track is Aerosmith "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing".
Their set included all five of their Top 40 hits.
They are well known for their off-the-cuff American humour and they don’t disappoint during a career-spanning show at The Forum.Those familiar with their body of work will be well aware of their “banter” between songs as Keith Murray and Chris Cain interchange quips throughout.
The New York pair clearly enjoy bouncing off one another and interacting with their fans. It’s part of the reason they have endured for almost two decades – their chemistry is unmistakable and being in their company is like hanging out with a couple of old friends.
Their songs are decent enough, but i didn't find anything really exciting tonight.
Lots of dancing around front of stage from their fans, but for me it was a pretty average show.
Got a midnight text to tell me that The Libertines at The Forum on 10 Dec and 11 Dec
will not be going ahead....more info on that at lunchtime...if you are going ,best to contact the venue.
Amazing that at 1pm on Friday, this website is the only place that says the shows are not happening.
New dates for these shows are Fri 25 Feb and Sat 26 Feb.
Other dates on the tour have also been postponed so that everyone in the band and crew can
complete their legal post covid exposure quarantine.
The three remaining dates in London next weekend are due to take place as normal.
Another odd postponement and ironic replacement...
BRIAN WILSON has postponed his UK summer tour in June 2022 due to covid or health i presume.
He was due to play The Royal Albert Hall on 24 June....the act that has just booked in to replace him
for that date?....THE BEACH BOYS.

Wednesday 08 December 2021.

Tuesday 07 December 2021.
DAVE GAHAN & SOULSAVERS live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Extra London show added as the first concert at London Coliseum (Sun 05 Dec) sold out instantly.
Depeche Mode singer is promoting his new solo album, which is his fave cover versions.
This show is a test event for something new from the promoters called "dynamic pricing".
Some lame excuse for charging silly prices, so as to put off the touts making any money.
Stalls seat tickets in the first five rows will be £300 each plus booking fees...yes £300 quid plus...
Level 1 seat tickets in the first three rows are £200 each plus booking fees.
Rear stalls seat tickets are cheaper at £75 each plus booking fees.
In the week before the show , they have released REAR stalls STANDING by the bar for only £35.
I have seen Depeche Mode around 15 times since 1981 when they were a support act.
Pretty amazing how Depeche Mode started off as a simple synth pop act then they
became this goliath that can headline arenas and stadiums worldwide.
It is stalls seated tonight so maybe 1000 fans are here.
Half the crowd seem to be made up of folks with overeas accents.
As his solo album is pretty laid back , the stalls seating creates a strange atmosphere before the show
as no support act or DJ , just very forgettable background songs before Dave Gahan arrives on stage,
then the atmosphere totally changes as everyone is standing from the start and fans rush the aisles.
DAVE GAHAN and band and backing singers arrived on stage at 9pm for a 85 mins set.
Dave is in full rock star mode, and the middle aged women are swooning over him.
The hardcore Depeche Mode fans down the front are transfixed on Dave's slim lean frame.
Dave bends his knees, his bum stuck out like Marty Feldman impersonating Mick Jagger, he flapped his elbows like a funky chicken, and he shimmied about the stage.
The songs on the album are totally opposite to the Depeche Mode sound.
The songs Dave and Soulsavers have chosen are a diverse and intriguing bunch, and you can hear what they mean to Dave in his delivery of each of them. He is an underrated vocalist and has a far broader range than he is given credit for. He fully embraces each song on this album, giving each a distinct feel and offering a unique take on the song. This isn't an album of cover versions done just for the sake of doing them; there is a meaning and a purpose behind each song, which gives the album a warmth many other cover versions lack.There is a free programme handed out at the merch stating how Dave came to love each song.
The encore had dozens of hands reaching out to Dave, but he would not touch any of them.
A stunning version of "Personal Jesus" sent the crowd wild.
A great show.
DAVE GAHAN & SOULSAVERS full setlist played tonight...
The Dark End of the Street (Dan Penn cover)
Strange Religion (Mark Lanegan cover)
Lilac Wine (Eartha Kitt cover)
I Held My Baby Last Night (Elmore James cover)
A Man Needs a Maid (Neil Young cover)
Metal Heart (Cat Power cover)
Shut Me Down (Rowland S. Howard cover)
Where My Love Lies Asleep (Gene Clark cover)
Smile (Nat King Cole cover)
The Desperate Kingdom of Love (PJ Harvey cover)
Not Dark Yet (Bob Dylan cover)
Always on My Mind (Gwen McCrae cover)
Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode cover)
John the Revelator (Depeche Mode cover)
Take Me Back Home
I bumped into RUSTY EGAN here (The Rich Kids / Visage / DJ ) at the end.

Monday 06 December 2021.

Monday 06 December 2921.
Very sad news that JOHN MILES has died aged 72.
The UK has lost one of its most talented musicians as John Miles has sadly passed away at the age of 72.
I saw him live as a solo artist seven times in the late 1970s, and later with other acts.
John, who became famous for his worldwide hit from 1976 'Music' which i loved singing back then with those simple lyrics "Music Was My First Love And It Will Be My Last " died peacefully in his sleep with his family at his bedside, his manager has confirmed.
The singer died on Sunday after a short illness at the age of 72 in his hometown of Newcastle.
During his career, John played alongside a plethora of artists from Tina Turner, Jimmy Page, Joe Cocker to Andre Botticelli amongst many others.
John's manager of 50 years pair tribute to the late star, describing him as 'kind' and 'gentle'.
Monday 06 December 2021.
STEREOPHONICS + TOM SPEIGHT live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
This show sold out pronto.
Stereophonics are playing several intimate gigs to celebrate 20 years of their massive selling third album ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ - the band’s acclaimed 6 times platinum album and one of the best selling albums of the decade.
'Just Enough Education to Perform ' spawned three top-ten singles in the form of "Mr. Writer", "Have A Nice Day" and "Handbags and Gladrags".
I have seen The Stereophonics over a dozen times with the first time in 1999 when they supported Aerosmith
and Lenny Kravitz at Wembley Stadium....I also saw them in Paris in 2003 which was on a rest day
between The Rolling Stones shows i went over for.
The Stereophonics are playing a UK arena tour next year , including The 02 Arena on 01 April 2022.
The venue is rammed solid sold out tonight.
TOM SPEIGHT arrived on stage at 7.45pm for his 30 mins set.
Tom gets a tiny postage stamp space in front of the huge Stereophonics stage curtain.
He is joined by a female on backing vocals.
STEREOPHONICS arrived on stage at 8.45pm and play for 2 hours 5 mins.
A nice stage production with half a dozen huge drapes and fairy lights everywhere.
Superb trumpet playing on some tracks including a stunning "Handbags & Gladrags".
Lots of catchy singalong radio friendly hits were played along with a few that plodded a bit.
A huge glitterball for the excellent last four songs of the night.
Kelly Jones has four kids now, but the entire front row is full of swooning women.
Kelly has cool relaxed stage banter and talked about how lucky they were to support
The Rolling Stones, U2 and Oasis at the start of their career. Many of the bands from 20 years
ago have faded but STEREOPHONICS are still at arena level.
Overall a great show.
Full setlist played tonight - MAIN SET - Just Enough Education To Perform - album played.
Vegas Two Times
Lying in the Sun
Mr Writer
Step on My Old Size Nines
Have a Nice Day
Nice to Be Out
Handbags and Gladrags (Mike d’Abo cover)
Watch Them Fly Sundays
Everyday I Think of Money
Caravan Holiday
Hanging On Your Hinges
Do Ya Feel My Love
C'est la vie
Just Looking
Fly Like an Eagle
Mr and Mrs Smith
A Thousand Trees
Maybe Tomorrow
Another show where over 100 guests had reserved seats in Level 1.
Normally Stereophonics would certainly have an afterparty but like a lot of bands, they are not
bothering in case a band member catches covid and the tour gets postponed.
Sunday 05 December 2021.
STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
Steve Harley is a music legend from the 1970s who is playing a full UK tour.
I have seen Steve Harley on stage around a dozen times with the first times in 1975 and 1976
at Hammersmith Odeon headlining when Cockney Rebel were having hit singles.
Steve Harley is now aged 70.
As a youngster he contracted polio, which has left him with a limp.
His biggest hit (or pension song as he calls it) "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" was
number one hit in the UK in 1975 and has been covered by over 100 different artists.
It is stalls seated tonight as it is mainly an older crowd.
Level 3 is closed and Level 2 half empty so maybe only 600 here tonight.
It is cold outside and cold inside the venue, as never seen so many people keep their scarves
and long coats on while watching a show.
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel are on stage for a nice long 2 hours 20 mins show over
two sets of 65 mins and 75 mins.
Steve is using a walking stick these days, and he spends the whole show sitting on a bar stool.
Steve was a bit of of a folkie when he first started in the early 1970s and these days on stage ,
he and his guitarist are both using acoustic guitars for nearly all the show.
This meant it felt more of a semi-acoustic show, and there was not enough electric guitar for me.
Lots of amusing laid back stage banter from Steve.
In a way , the set could have been trimmed 30 mins to have more of an impact as the audience
didn't know many of the lesser known songs played...but overall still an enjoyable show.
The oldies went down the best of course with "Judy Teen" played in the first half and the second half
Absolute Beginners (David Bowie cover)
Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles cover)
The Best Years of Our Lives
Tumbling Down (with that great singalong chorus)
Encore :
Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) (with all the crowd dancing and singing along)

Saturday 04 December 2021.

Saturday 04 December 2021.
RIVERDANCE live at Hammersmith Apollo.
Riverdance is playing seven shows at Hammersmith Apollo on their UK tour.
Friday 03 Dec - evening show
Saturday 04 Dec - matinee and evening show
Sunday 05 Dec - matinee and evening show
Monday 06 Dec - evening show
Tuesday 07 Dec - evening show
I have seen Riverdance a couple of times before, including their first UK tour.
This tour is to celebrate their 25th anniversary since their iconic appearance on
The Eurovision Song Contest...which was in 1994 but covid has delayed the tour by two years...
Riverdance is as popular as ever , as tonight is completely sold out.
A visually great production with digital images at the rear , that looked very 3D in many parts.
A full live band are playing at the back of the stage.
The show is on for 1 hour 50 mins over two sets of 50 mins and 60 mins.
The famous Riverdance theme song is used several times during the show.
Riverdance is influenced by styles from around the world. Flamenco, Russian and a thunderous dance off between the new Irish immigrants who arrived in New York and American jazz tappers.
The Irish had been taught to dance tall and straight – the jazzers are nonchalant, leaning and waving their arms. In a contest for flair and speed, it would be difficult to say who would win of the five on stage , but the short guy was best.
Don’t expect an evening of just Irish dancing. It’s there and it’s superb – fast, beautiful, cheeky, with immaculate precision as if they are all powered by electricity.
But also we have balletic lifts, athletic twirls and whirls with leaps and cartwheels and scissor kicks and the splits in the air.
A female dancer fended off male dancers by high-kicking Riverdance straight leg style to their heads,
in moves that Bruce Lee would have been proud of.
Of course there was a few times when the iconic line of male and female dancers kicked away in
perfect synchronized harmony, across the full length of the stage.
In 18 scenes including virtuoso instrumental pieces and lyrical and uplifting singing, this is the Irish story unfolding, sometimes wistful, sometimes powerful, always with great spirit.
A great show, that featured plenty of mesmerising dancing.
Friday 03 December 2021.
KENNEY JONES & THE JONES GANG live at 229 Great Portland Street, London W1.
Legendary drummer now aged 73, who has played with The Small Faces, The Faces and The Who.
Support comes from a great mod band called THE SHA LA'S.
The day of the gig is the exact 7th anniversary ( 03 Dec 2014) of the death of Kenney's Small Faces
and The Faces keyboard band mate Ian McLagan.
Tickets are £30 plus £3 booking fee.
Not sold out tonight, but it looks a very healthy 90 per cent sold at this 620 capacity venue.
THE SHA LA LA'S arrived on stage at 8pm and played for 30 mins.
The Sha La La's are a London based four piece steeped in Mod and Soul Roots. Signed to Detour Records their 60s R&B influences are apparent but make no mistake, their sound is definitely their own.
Their vocalist delivers with real purpose , and the swirling Hammond organ sounded fab.
They played the best tracks from their albums including the single "You Got Me (Wantin') ".
Their pukka original songs were an ideal support act tonight...a short but very sweet set.
For more info visit.....https://www.facebook.com ›theshalalas
KENNY JONES & THE JONES GANG arrived on at 9pm for their 90 mins set.
Six musicians on stage including a keyboard player and a chap on the bongos.
The band still feature two ex members of Bad Company from the 1990s.
Robert Hart on vocals, and Dave "Bucket" Colwell on guitar.
Robert Hart has an excellent rock voice that suits all the classic songs performed tonight.
Kenney Jones has performed live most of the songs in the setlist with various bands tonight.
A great show.
Whatcha Gonna Do About It (Small Faces cover)
Substitute (The Who cover)
All or Nothing (Small Faces cover )
Maggie May (Rod Stewart cover)
The Time of Your Life (from their album)
Wishing Well (Free cover)
Tin Soldier (Small Faces cover )
Pinball Wizard (The Who cover)
See Me, Feel Me (The Who cover)
Angel (from their album)
My Generation ( The Who cover)
Lazy Sunday (Small Faces cover)
Mr Brown (from their album)
Stay With Me (Faces cover)
Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who cover)
Can't Get Enough (Bad Company cover )
All Right Now (Free cover)

Friday 03 December 2021.

Thursday 02 December 2021...6pm to 9pm...
BAFTA , 195 Piccadilly, London W1.
Around 100 guests in the recently refurbished BAFTA HQ.
Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers, juices, canapés and desserts for all guests.
From 7.15pm to 8pm we are seated in the comfy seats of their theatre here.
147 sports books were nominated.
All the six shortlisted make a speech - a mix of in person and a video message.
Really great that Rob Burrow is here.
Michael Holding was the winner, and he accepted via video link.
The winner gets £30,000 and the other shortlisted books get £3,000 each.
William Hill Sports Book of the Year 201 Shortlist is below:
Sasha Abramsky - Little Wonder (the story of Lottie Dod, the world's first female sports superstar)
Rob Burrow – Too Many Reasons to Live (Rugby League legend , who suffers from MND)
Ed Caesar – The Moth and The Mountain ( Maurice Wilson would fly a plane to land on Everest)
Tris Dixon – Damage (boxing and the fighters with Brain damage)
Tom English & Peter Burns – This Is Your Everest (The Lions , The Springboks and the epic tour of 1997)
Michael Holding – Why We Kneel, How We Rise (Racism in sport) WINNER

Wednesday 01 December 2021.

Wednesday 01 December 2021.
TIM MINCHIN live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
This show was the last night of his month long UK tour.
It was the third time I had seen the show on this current tour.
My friend who put me on the guest list ,managed to get us sitting five rows from the front.
He also got me a complimentary Tim Minchin tour t-shirt. at the end.
Tim opens the show with a rant against people using their phones , but a very respectable
crowd do not use their mobile phones or take any videos at all throughout the evening.
Watching Tim up close, you can tell it is gonna be a better than the previous times I had seen him.
Tim really is supremely talented, both as a comedy story teller and a gifted musician.
As it was the last night of the tour, he performed an extra encore, and he played a Christmas song
for the first time on the tour.
Aftershow party in Level 1 bar until midnight for around 60 or 70 people...a free bar...
Guests here included STEPHEN FRY who was with KATHY LETTE.
Also was EWAN VENTNERS (ex CEO of Fortnum & Mason, now CEO of Hauser & Wirth).
Tuesday 30 November 2021.
TIM MINCHIN live at Shepherds Bush Empire.
This was the first of Tim's two shows at this venue.
They are both being filmed by Universal Pictures.
Award-winning comedian, actor and composer Tim Minchin is ‘BACK’, with a set list of material from all corners of Minchin’s eclectic – and often iconoclastic – repertoire. First performed in the UK in 2019, BACK was Tim’s first UK tour in 8 years and sold out over a year in advance. The long-awaited return to the stage received rave reviews.
These two extra London shows have been added due to public demand after three shows at
Hammersmith Apollo Nov 8 to Nov 11 sold out very quickly.
See my review of the Hammersmith Apollo show on 09 November, by scrolling back.
Much more intimate shows than his earlier shows at Hammersmith Apollo in early November.
Stalls seating tonight, and blocks of seats have been removed to make way for film cameras.
Maybe just 1000 folks in here tonight.
It is the same show of two sets of 80 mins and 55 mins.
No need for the big screen that was at Hammersmith Apollo.
Another enjoyable mix of comedy and music, even though i had seen the same show before.

Tuesday 30 November 2021.

Monday 29 November 2021.
THE FASHION AWARDS live at The Royal Albert Hall.
Lots of A-Listers from the fashion world will be attending.
I went to this major red carpet event in 2016.
Hosted by the British Fashion Council, The Fashion Awards 2021 presented by TikTok honour the best of British and international talent. With a focus on creativity and innovation, the event shines a spotlight on the people and businesses that have made major contributions to the fashion industry during the past 12 months.
Previously known as the British Fashion Awards, the name and format were changed in 2016, with London’s world-famous Royal Albert Hall selected as the venue.
The annual awards are voted on by the BFC’s judging panel, made up of over 800 key members of the global fashion industry. Among the highlights each year is the Outstanding Achievement Award. Previous winners have included Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Dame Anna Wintour OBE and Manolo Blahnik CBE.
The venue is cordoned off with many of the usual entrances closed as the searchlights above rotate.
A huge red carpet for the celebs attending as if it was a full scale film premiere with royalty attending.
Even the normal entrances have a red carpet and a huge Fashion Awards 2021 for selfies and photos.
All the crowd , upstairs and down, are glammed up in their finest attire.
Tonight is pretty much the London version of New Yorks "Met Ball".
The venue looks stunning as there is a great production with big screens as the celebs and
big spending guests have dinner and drinks on the floor tables and in the boxes.
For the first time at this event, sign language was used on the big screens.
The show itself was on from 8.30pm to 10.15pm.
A great mix of well known faces from fashion, film, music, sport etc.
IDRIS ELBA opened the show with a heartfelt tribute to Virgil Abloh , who passed away the day before,
of cancer, aged only 41....later on others would also pay tribute to him.
BILLIE PORTER did a good job of hosting the event.
The Outstanding Achievement Award, which in the past has gone to Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani, was given to TOMMY HILFIGER for his contribution to the global fashion industry and his continued commitment to creating an inclusive brand that champions people from all backgrounds and experiences.
Additionally, the event recognised 50 of the most innovative and inspiring young creative talent from around the world as part of New Wave: Creatives.
Below are some of the winners from the evening…
Designer of the Year: Kim Jones for Dior Men and Fendi
BFC Foundation Award: Nensi Dojaka
Independent British Brand: Simone Rocha for Simone Rocha
Special Recognition Award for Culture Commentary: Dylan Jones
All the winners above were here to collect and others presenting or here included NAOMI CAMPBELL,
KYLIE MINOGUE performed "Slow" with several dancers.
LILY ALLEN, JAMES McAVOY and no doubt several others.
From 10.30pm to 12pm over 500 folks with wristbands were in the floor area dancing to DJ Fat Tony.
Dancing between all the tables and the bars that are dotted around.
Bars on the floor area with complimentary Moët champers, different cocktails and canapés.
Shame it did not go on for another hour, as it was still in full party mode at the end.
An excellent evening.
See my Facebook page for a few photos of me from the night.