Ray's Gigs

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Wednesday 27 March 2024.

Wednesday 27 March 2024. TAKING BACK SUNDAY live at The Forum. Long Island New York Rockers are promoting their 8th studio album, called '152' that was released in 2023. Their first album was released back in 2002. The recent album is their first full-length LP in seven years, following on from 2016’s ‘Tidal Wave’. ----------- The venue is totally rammed sold out. No surprise really , as they sold out Brixton Academy in 2022. HIMALAYAS arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins. Welsh four piece rock band played a decent set, including a song co-written by AC/DCs BRIAN JOHNSON , titled 'V.O.V'. The quartet’s latest banger, which goes by the name V.O.V, is described by the band as “a song of resistance and struggle against violence and suffering". TAKING BACK SUNDAY arrived on stage at 9pm for their 85 mins set. Have not seen TBS before and don't know much about them , apart from seeing their name on festival bills. Lots of moshing and several crowd surfers tonight. The dyed blonde haired singer , has a funny dance shuffle , but is rambling on too much between the songs , and the vocals seem a bit slurred , and drowned out by the band. Early in their career they started off as a bit of an EMO rock band , but seem more straight rock these days. The last two songs certainly were a highlight as the crowd erupted for ' Cute Without the 'E' (Cut From the Team)' and ' MakeDamnSure' ...overall a good show. -------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- Tuesday 26 March 2024. THE STRANGLERS live at The Royal Albert Hall. The Stranglers are playing another farewell tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary. They were part of the punk movement of the late 70s but their musicianship and menace transcended the genre. They created their own unique sound and achieved over 25 Top 40 singles and 18 Top 40 albums, with their most recent release Dark Matters reaching number 4, their highest UK chart position since Feline in the early 80s and being acclaimed as their best in decades. The Stranglers plan to make this milestone anniversary show extra special with two sets featuring songs from the band’s inception. I have seen them around 20 times since when they supported Patti Smith at The Roundhouse on 17 May 1976 , which was the first major punk related gig in London. ----------------------- From playing pubs in 1974, then standing on the coat-tails of punk rock and new wave to playing a sold out show at The Royal Albert Hall in 2024......Pretty amazing really... The older loyal Stranglers fans are out in force tonight. Why have so many Stranglers fans got bald heads ? The venue must be a bit wary of this crowd as the normal timid venue security are replaced by proper security - Show & Event. It is standing on the RAH floor tonight. THE STRANGLERS are on for a nice long 2 hours 15 mins over two sets of 55 mins and 80 mins . Lots of backlighting and three huge chandeliers on stage. Both sets are introduced by Japanese drummers performing . Jean-Jacques Burnel (still looking good for age 72) , the only remaining original member, dedicated their third song of the night, The Raven, to Jet Black and Dave Greenfield, who stayed with the band until ill-health and death forced them out. The Men in Black are hardly a punk band really , as their musicianship is top notch and the sound quality is perfect. JJs rumbling bass is still pure quality. Singer Baz asks " how is everyone in the boxes , with your Pimm's and cucumber sandwiches?" and the crowd cheers. A nice mix of newer material and older classics. I certainly prefer the older Hugh era classics. Judging by the increased jumping around ,the fans also prefer the older tracks but still applaud all the newer songs. A great gig. Full setlist played by The Stranglers tonight... FIRST SET Just Like Nothing on Earth Hallow to Our Men The Raven ((Dedicated to Dave and Jet)) Baroque Bordello North Winds Genetix Princess of the Streets Breathe Hanging Around Down in the Sewer ( JJ wanders into the stalls side seats ) SECOND SET Who Wants the World? Duchess Time to Die Ships That Pass in the Night Peaches Threatened Skin Deep Always the Sun Golden Brown Relentless 5 Minutes Lost Control White Stallion Something Better Change Tank Encore: Go Buddy Go No More Heroes