Ray's Gigs

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Saturday 26 February 2022.

Saturday 26 February 2022. THE LIBERTINES live at The Forum. This is the second of their two sold out shows at this venue. NOVA VELLA arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their decent 30 mins set HAK BAKER arrived on stage at 8.15pm for their 35 mins set. Black with dreads singer-singwriter did a great set with his backing band, that included some nice trumpet. His infectious and enthusiastic cockney banter and lyrics went down a treat East London’s Hak Baker is the artist redefining what it means to be a folk singer in the capital. His sound, which he calls “G-Folk”, is a blend of grime and folk featuring gritty lyrics. It’s a combination inspired by his past grime career and emotional outtake on life. in "Conundrum" he sings about growing up in East London where it was “forty pence for a bus/ Still the lads jump in the back with no fuss.” It’s these tales about the minutiae of London life that mean listeners find it easy to connect with Hak. THE LIBERTINES arrived on stage at 9.15pm for their 90 mins set. I think it was exactly the same setlist as yesterday, and the same four song encore. Always great to see Peter Doherty and Carl Barat sharing vocals. Drummer Gary Powell soon becomes shirtless as he sweats buckets, and we even get a drum solo. Peter Doherty teases the crowd with chants of "QPR, QPR, QPR". Lots of front stalls dancing , and throwing pints of beer in the air. At the end of the show , Peter takes his shirt off to reveal a beer belly and some braces. Another great show. ------------------------------------------ Friday 25 February 2022. THE LIBERTINES live at The Forum. This was the first of the two sold out London shows that were postponed from Dec 2021. I saw two of their of their three great shows at this venue before Christmas. I miss both the 30 mins sets by the unknown to me support acts...Vona Vella and Dead Freights. Another show in London, with over 100 on the guest list. We should be thankful the gig is happening , as the night before THE LIBERTINES pulled out of a show in Bristol at 8pm , despite most of the crowd being inside from 7pm waiting for them. Some sort of "Peter Doherty illness" , which could mean anything. The Libertines /Peter Doherty must be the worst band band /artist for cancelling shows at the last minute. It is Friday night so even more drinking than usual by the fans, as beer is tossed in the air. THE LIBERTINES are on stage from 9.15pm and play for 90 mins. The front stalls standing is a heaving mess of dancing bodies. There is always a great rock n roll atmosphere at gigs by The Libertines. The set was 10 mins shorter than the shows before Christmas. This was mainly due to them not playing The Pogues Christmas cover song. As usual, they always give out the ramshackle vibe they are not fully rehearsed as they start off songs. They have quite a rock n roll backstory, the drugs, the fights, the fallouts etc. They are more of a greatest hits nostalgia band these days, as no new material is played. However, they have got loads of great tracks with great lyrics that the fans sing loudly along to. A great show. Full setlist played by THE LIBERTINES tonight... What a Waster The Ha Ha Wall Up the Bracket Gunga Din The Saga What Katie Did You're My Waterloo Boys in the Band Can't Stand Me Now The Boy Looked at Johnny Begging Music When the Lights Go Out Horrorshow Heart of the Matter What Became of the Likely Lads The Good Old Days Encore: The Delaney Death on the Stairs Don't Look Back Into The Sun Time for Heroes ------------------------------------------ Thursday 24 February 2022. SAMM HENSHAW live at Shepherds Bush Empire. 27 year old singer-songwriter released his debut album "Untidy Soul" recently. After releasing the singles Still Broke (featuring Keyon Harrold), Grow, and Chicken Wings, Henshaw released his debut album Untidy Soul. Critics said that the album has its basis in "rootsy, old-school soul, 90s hip-hop, bluesy jazz and gospel," with Henshaw himself calling it "a reflection of his own 'scatterbrain,'" each song telling a different story. NME gave the album a very nice four star review. ---------------- Level 3 is closed tonight as unsold but the other three levels are rammed tonight. Another one of those shows with over 100 folks on the guest list. Support KWAKU ASANTE arrived on stage at 8.05pm for his 30 mins set. He is backed by a solo guitarist to help him out. Hailing from North-West London, neo-soul/R&B singer-songwriter Kwaku Asante has been doing his thing since his debut single was released in 2018. SAMM HENSHAW arrived on stage at 9pm for the his 1 hour 40 mins set. A long set considering he only has the one album out. A very cool and trendy crowd here tonight. There are a few cameras filming the show from different areas of the venue. He is backed by a very slick four piece band , who were on a raised lit platform, and sounded great. A warm soul vibe , with a lively soundscape of roomy jazz instrumentation and playful beats. Henshaw invokes the likes of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Etta James, infusing the tracklist with gospel-soul, his church-choir background bringing heart to the live show. A stunning version of "Church" near the end of the set had everyone in Level 1 and 2 on their feet. The crowd loved this very enjoyable show.