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!

Tuesday 02 April 2024.

Tuesday 02 April 2024. PAUL WELLER live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Paul Weller plays a special warm up show , that sold out pronto, prior to his UK tour. I was lucky to see Paul fronting The Jam a few times, and have seen him with The Style Council and solo. I was at the Hammersmith Apollo gig and party after at the venue to celebrate his 50th birthday. Expect a two hour set , with a few Jam classics. Hard to believe that Paul split up The Jam over 40 years ago , in 1982. The Modfather has confirmed the release of a new album to celebrate his 66th year around the sun. Paul Weller has announced the details of his new album 66, which will be released on 24th May 2024. As its title suggests, the album will mark the legendary musician's 66th birthday on 25th May- dropping the day before. An incredibly prolific songwriter , PW has released over 25 studio albums since the Jam debut. --------------- The venue is totally rammed solid sold out , with most of the crowd in their 50s and 60s. Over 100 folks were on the guest list. THE GOLDBORNS arrived on stage at 7.45pm for their 25 mins set of indie / punk/ reggae tunes. Their new single 'Going Out' features Paul Weller on guitar....I saw them twice in 2020 , but they don't seem to have progressed much in the four years. PAUL WELLER arrived on stage at 8.45pm for his two hours set....six musicians with Paul including Steve Craddick on guitar and the drums and drums/percussion each had a 6 on the front of the bass drum ...to make 66. The disco glitterball was used a lot . PW played a nice mix of material from his near 50 years of material ,including some new album tracks. The second hour was livelier, and included two classics from The Jam, and many of his best tracks. Always great to see this legend on stage. Full PAUL WELLER setlist played night.... Rip the Pages Up Nova Cosmic Fringes Soul Wandering That Pleasure All the Pictures on the Wall Above the Clouds Stanley Road Glad Times Village Fat Pop More Hung Up Shout to the Top! (The Style Council song) Jumble Queen Nothing Dance With Me (With Leon Bailey) That's Entertainment ( The Jam song) Wild Wood Friday Street Start! (The Jam song) Peacock Suit Encore: Headstart for Happiness (The Style Council song) Old Father Tyme Broken Stones Mayfly Rockets Encore 2: The Changingman Porcelain Gods ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Monday 01 April 2024. ZUCCHERO live at The Royal Albert Hall. Zucchero plays the last of three shows at this venue. 68 year old Italian singer has sold over 60 million records. His stage name is the Italian word for "sugar", as his elementary teacher used to call him.His music is largely inspired by gospel, soul, blues and rock music, and alternates between Italian ballads and more rhythmic R&B-boogie-like pieces.He is credited as the "father of Italian blues", introducing blues to the big stage in Italy.He is one of the few European blues artists who still enjoys great international success. He has currently got an Italian vocals album out with Jack Savoretti.Jack will be joining him on stage at The Royal Albert Hall. Zucchero has headlined the massive 80,000 San Siro stadium back home in Italy and headlines there again on 04 July 2024 , as part of this current world tour. I saw Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at San Siro stadium in 2008. ----------- Easter Sunday i was indoors after i had a run of 10 gigs in 10 days before this gig. Tonight's show was 75% unsold up in the circle, but the rest of the venue looks full. Maybe he should have stuck to two nights here like he did in 2022 on his last London visit. Mainly Italians here as expected BILLY LOCKETT arrived on stage at 7.30pm for his 30 mins of keyboards based tracks , from his album , that he said was out on white vinyl. ZUCCHERO arrived on stage at 8.30pm and played a nice long set of two hours 30 mins. A nice big stage production that created a nice big sound as lots of lights and lots of musicians on stage , as Zucchero was backed by 11 of them including two drummers , two guitarists , three brass, two keyboards , bass and a superb female backing singer from the Cameroon, and after 90 mins we had a 10 piece choir join them for 30 mins. As expected most of the tracks were in Italian , but a few were in English. A little bit of chat in Italian and English. Two big screens showing pre-recorded images. One of the show’s standouts was “Miserere (Have Mercy),” a rendition of his celebrated recorded duet with his friend, the late opera giant Luciano Pavarotti. Augmenting this emotional rendering, visuals of Pavarotti and Zucchero singing together are displayed on a giant screen. There was a mix of ballads and more uptempo songs , as his adoring crowd loved every minute of it. He was a kinda Italian Joe Cocker. He gave thanks to Eric Clapton for giving him a support slot on a European Tour at the start of his career, and to Paul Young for his help on that big breakthrough hit single. Other highlights included a Korgis cover of' Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime' and the big hit ' Senza Una Donna (Without A Woman) with Jack Savoretti and for two cover songs ,the excellent female backing singer took over vocals for ' Nutbush City Limits' and ' Honky Tonk Train Blues' . It was a very enjoyable show. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Saturday 30 March 2024. THE ROSE are a K-pop band from Seoul, South Korea. They released their debut album 'Red' in 2019, after winning Most Promising Artist at the International K-Music Awards the year before, followed by 'Heal' in 2022 and 'Dual' in 2023. The Rose will bring their Dawn To Dusk Tour across the UK and Europe in March 2024. This Wembley show is their only UK one. In Feb 2023 they sold out The Forum on their last London visit. I have seen several different K-pop acts , as they always put on a great visual show, but all of them sing to backing tapes, and tonight we have a real live K-pop band . --------- The K-pop phenomenon is taking over the UK and elsewhere. The show is not sold out , but looks around 7000 tix sold. Very impressive when you think it is 90 per cent excitable females under the age of 30 who have paid £85 , £75 , £65 plus booking fees. THE ROSE are on stage at 8pm for their 1 hour 40 mins. It is floor standing for this show. The house lights go down and there is an amazing sight of several hundred of those K-pop light-stick globes all around the venue , that can change colour....at a cost of £40 each...yikes! The four members of The Rose are in a line across the stage. They use two big side screens for live footage , and the screen in the middle is used for pre-recorded images. All the lyrics and stage chat is in English tonight. The females sing all the lyrics loudly back at the band. Many of the females here have made some signs for the band. This one caught my eye " Finger Me Like Your Guitar"...hmmm. Simple catchy pop lyrics,with many ballads . They all play an instrument. The show is slick and well rehearsed , along with confetti , dry ice plumes , some fireworks and streamers at the end. Tracks like ' Time', 'Sorry' ' She's In The Rain ' and ' Wonder' ticked along nicely, and the visual show was really good. The band gave out roses to the crowd at the very end.