Ray's Gigs

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Saturday 27 April 2024

Saturday 27 April 2024. THE MEN THEY COULDN'T HANG live at Shepherds Bush Empire. TMTCH play a special 40th anniversary show n tour. Founded in 1984, TMTCH gained a passionate national following with their uproarious and engaging style, coupled with keenly contemporary songs. Their 40-year career has been filled with much-loved music, a dedicated fan community and high-octane performances. Their first ever show was supporting The Pogues. I have seen them twice before , which were both at The Mean Fiddler , Harlesden in 1995 and 1998. ------------- Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight ...so maybe 1200 here....but the stalls standing and Level 1 are packed. Over 100 are on the guest list tonight. An evening for folks who like The Pogues/The Levellers , so a lively Saturday night drinking crowd of middle aged folks. SKINNY LISTER on stage at 7.45pm for 45 mins. An ideal support act , as many know the lyrics to their songs, as they have their own fans down the front. They have shared male and female vocals. By the time Skinny Lister crash into 'Trouble on Oxford Street' there is complete delirium. The perfect mix of punk and folk, huge singalong chorus and accordion-driven joy. They headline The Scala, Kings Cross in Dec 2024. TMTCH arrived on stage at 9pm for their 90 mins. If you know the band , then you will almost certainly be aware that Stefan Cush, heartbeat of The Men They Couldn’t Hang, was sadly taken from us in January 2021, plunging the band and their family of fans into mourning, but the band have opted to carry on in his memory , and are playing weekend gigs , all through 2024. Their upbeat folk rock shanty sound soon got folks dancing lots down the front of the stalls. Good to see TOM SPENCER on stage with them. He replaced Steve Jones in The Professionals , which also featured Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook. They announced they had called it a day a couple of weeks ago, without giving any reason. Maybe one of the reasons is that Tom will be very busy playing shows with TMTCH all this year. Highlights included 'Salutations' , 'Islands In The Rain', ' Ghosts Of Cable Street ' and 'The Colours'. For the final encore track , they were joined by the support band and other friends. Outro tape song over the pa was The Pogues ' Dirty Old Town'.... A very enjoyable show. ------------------------------- ------------------------------- Friday 26 April 2024. JON PARDI live at Shepherds Bush Empire. American country music singer Jon Pardi is heading out on his ‘Mr. Saturday Night Tour’, sharing his album of the same name, the follow up to 2019’s Heartache Medication. ------------------ Pretty amazing how popular country music is these days in the UK, as tonight is another sell-out. The cowboy hats and attire are everywhere tonight. DILLON CARMICHAEL on stage at 8pm for 25 mins. American country music singer-songwriter played some decent tracks from his two albums. JON PARDI on stage at 9.05pm for 1 hour 45 mins. Seven musicians on stage , including electric fiddle and pedal steel guitar, and all of them except the drummer are wearing cowboy hats . He has his own personal security in the pit. It is proper wholesome all ages country music. Highlights included ' Mr Saturday Night', ' Dirt On My Boots ', ' Heartache Medication' , ' Heartache On The Dance Floor', ' Night Shift' and a couple of cover versions , ' Hot Legs' and ' You've Lost That Loving Feeling'...An enjoyable show.