Ray's Gigs

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Monday 13 May 2024.

Monday 13 May 2024. TEDDY SWIMS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Teddy plays the first of his three sold out shows at this venue , on his UK leg of his world tour. American singer -songwriter started off doing cover versions on YouTube but in 2023 brought out an album of his own material. His single ' Lose Control' has been a worldwide hit in 2024 and went Top 10 in many countries around the world , and got to number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the USA. --------- The venue is rammed solid sold out tonight. PAUL RUSSELL arrived on stage at 8pm for 30 mins. No band , just backing tapes. Paul Russell (aged 26 ) is an American rapper, singer, and business consultant based in Los Angeles.He is best known for his 2023 single "Lil Boo Thang", which peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the song gained viraly on TikTok, he signed to Arista Records to release it as a single. He sung his hit single and a couple of crowd-pleasing covers 'My Girl' and 'Sweet Caroline' . TEDDY SWIMS on stage at 9pm for his 95 mins set. His has a five piece band backing him with three of them on platforms behind him A massive light show and stage production that was more suited to Hammersmith Apollo or Brixton Academy ( no doubt he will be playing one of these venues on his next UK tour). Teddy has a lovely white boy soulful voice , and a stage presence that goes down well with the crowd. He played some good tracks from his album and s Shania Twain classic cover 'You're Still The One'. As the concert came to a close, Teddy left the stage to thunderous applause.Chanting his name, they demanded an encore, and Teddy happily obliged, returning for three songs and the two final songs were his mega hit singles ' Lose Control' and ' The Door' . It was a very good show, and he will certainly be playing bigger venues on his next UK visit. --------------------------------- --------------------------------- Sunday 12 May 2024. Thank You For The Music - The Ultimate Tribute To ABBA at The Theatre Royal, Windsor. This international smash-hit tribute show brings all ABBA’s number one hits to the stage in a production like no other. The hugely popular show, now in its 21st year, with a brand-new show for 2024, combines the unmistakable harmonies, colourful costumes, and dazzling performances by our all-star cast. Celebrating 50 years since Abba won Eurovision. Not many can say they saw the real ABBA , but I saw them at The Royal Albert Hall in Feb 1977. I have seen ABBA tribute Bjorn Again a few times. Hard to believe Abba split up over 40 years ago, as they are still very popular, and there are two stage shows to Abba running in London now. -------------------- A glorious sunny day so spent the afternoon and evening in Windsor, walking over the bridge to wander around Eton and a few drinks down by the river. This cosy all seated venue holds 633, and the venue is pretty much two thirds full. I have seen several shows here before including Chas n Dave, Bucks Fizz, The Manfreds and others. The show was on for 1 hour 55 mins, over two sets of 55 mins and 60 mins. A nice stage production with lots of lights and a digital screen showing pre-recorded images. They have a drummer , but the bass is all on tape. You get what it says on the tin, and as tributes go this is a persuasive one. Steve Nelson (also musical director) switches between piano plonking, keyboard guitar, accordion, and flinging his platform boot across the stage, almost braining poor Frida. He drives the comedy and has clearly studied Benny’s stage presence. Kellie Vallance is our dark-haired beauty, Frida. She’s by far the strongest vocalist, belting, twirling, and flirting/bickering with her ex-husband Benny. Emma Parker is the blonde powerhouse, Agnetha. She astounds in her solos such as ‘Thank You for the Music’ and ‘The Winner Takes It All’, nailing the range and mannerisms of the star. The closest to her character, this makes up for some slight hesitance with the demanding choreography. Dave Miles is Bjorn, a gifted guitar player bumbling along with the classic dad jokes and improvisation that all the cast fling themselves into. Are they the best Swedish accents? No, but they are certainly not the worst. The girls had four costume changes Over 20 perfect pop classics played – ‘Honey Honey’, ‘I Do I Do’, ‘Chiquitita’, ‘Super Trouper’, and finally (and jubilantly) the encores of 'Waterloo' and ‘Dancing Queen’. Torches are lit up on phones for ‘Fernando’, and tears are shed by pensioners. Many almost pop their hip out in a rather ill-advised line dancing lesson, and we bellow ourselves hoarse on the ‘ahas’ of ‘Voulez-Vous’. It’s good old-fashioned fun. Just a tribute show, but it was great.