Ray's Gigs

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Monday 03 October 2022.

Sunday 02 October 2022. LUCKY DAYE live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Lucky Daye is a 37 year old R & B singer-songwriter for America, who is touring the UK & Europe. His second album," Candydrip " was released on RCA March 2022, and made no 69 in the American charts. He cites his influences as Prince, Rick James and Stevie Wonder. ------------------- The venue is totally rammed sold out tonight. It is a 75 % females crowd under the age of 30, with most of them black. A couple of weeks ago i had never heard of Lucky Daye but I am always intrigued by acts who can sell out 2000 capacity venues like this one, with only their own fans knowing who they are. DEBBIE arrived on stage at 7.30pm for her 20 mins set...nice vocals with a great backing band. TAY IWAR arrived on stage at 8.05pm for his 30 mins set. He performed to backing tapes, so for me not as good as the previous act. A DJ over the pa played some perfect tunes to hype the crowd up before Lucky Daye appears. LUCKY DAYE arrived on stage at 9.15pm and performed for 75 mins. Tonight is a classic example of why I stick to Level 1 seats here as the downstairs is sooo rammed. Word of advice for general admission/ stalls standing only for sold out shows here - go to the bathroom as soon as you get in the venue or sometime before the headliner comes on cause you’re not getting your spot back in the crowd. Speaking of crowd, it was very crowded. It looked very claustrophobic as all were piled up against each other, it was very much too close for comfort, from my view upstairs. If you thought you were going to have space to dance around at that venue, think again! However, that did create a great atmosphere. It is very much smooth r & b soul , as the females scream at the intro to each song. He certainly knows how to work the crowd, and the females know all the words to each track. He got a couple of girls on stage to sing to, and took his shirt off after an hour, to massive screams. The two girls front row centre stage stalls each got a signed vinyl copy of his album at the end. An enjoyable show. ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- Saturday 01 October 2022. HARD-FI live at The Forum. indie-rockers play a special re-union show with all four original members. Just three gigs on this run --- Milton Keynes, Manchester and London. They released three studio albums. Stars of CCTV (2005) (went to number one in the UK) Once Upon a Time in the West (2007) (went to number one in the UK) Killer Sounds (2011) They have had 7 X Top 40 hit singles in the UK, including 2 X Top 10s. I have seen them live three times, including headlining Wembley Arena in Dec 2007. ----------- Another gig with over 100 on the guest list. A great sold out buzzy atmosphere tonight as DJ WRONGTOM plays some cool tunes. It is a drinking crowd so a good time for the venue to showcase their new lounge bar upstairs, opposite the circle bar, in the space that was previously used as the merch stand. HARD-FI arrived on stage at 9pm and they played for 95 mins. The stage had 24 spotlights at head height around the stage, and plenty of strobe lighting. They sound great and the singer Richard Archer has a cool working class from Staines swagger. A neat cover of The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" went down well. Lots of great oldies played including "Cash Machine", "Hard to Beat" and the crowd singing loudly for encores of "Stars of CCTV" and "Living for The Weekend". A really good show. Full HARD-FI setlist played tonight.... Middle Eastern Holiday Gotta Reason Can't Get Along (Without You) Happy (Live debut) You and Me Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes cover) Tied Up Too Tight Better Do Better Good for Nothing I Shall Overcome Fire in the House Cash Machine Looking For Fun (New song) Suburban Knights Hard to Beat Encore: Move on Now Stars of CCTV Living For The Weekend ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- Friday 30 September 2022. THE CORONAS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. The Coronas are an Irish rock band that originated in Dublin. They release their music by their own independent record label, 3ú Records, and are based between Dublin and London. They have released six studio albums, Heroes or Ghosts (2007), Tony Was an Ex-Con (2009), Closer to You (2011) The Long Way (2014), Trust The Wire (2017) & True Love Waits (2020). They are massive selling recording and live act back home in Ireland. This show was originally booked in for May 2020, just after the first coronavirus lockdown started. ------------------- Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight , but the stalls floor and Level 1 looked very full. SEBASTIAN SCHUB arrived on stage at 7.20pm for his 30 mins set. Just him and his guitar, along with some good songs. He is very pleased to be playing here, as he said he lives just 2 mins walk away from the venue. ROISIN O arrived on stage at 8pm for her 35 mins set. Lots of Irish folks in the crowd tonight, to support the two main acts. Róisín O is the daughter of Irish singer Mary Black,and the sister of Danny O'Reilly of The Coronas. Her recently released second album got to number 3 in Ireland. Roisin O sung and played guitar, and a chap plays the keyboard. Some good songs that the crowd sang along to. THE CORONAS arrived on stage at 9.05pm for their 1 hour 40 mins set. Danny the singer asks "So how have the last two years been for you?" "We are so unbelievably proud to be play this venue ," said Danny, his vocal arguably better live than in studio, visibly moved by the warmth of the reception. "We want to thank you so much for hanging onto your tickets for over two years". The band were joined by trumpet, sax and Roisin O throughout the show. Oddly the guitarist is wearing a "tea cosy" on his head , just like fellow Irish guitarist The Edge. Judging by the crowds big reaction, the band played all their most well known catchy pop rock songs. They played a few new tracks from their new album out next week, on 07 Oct 2022. A notable moment in the set was during ‘L.A at night’ when Danny took a stroll into the crowd in the stalls going right to the sound desk at the back and then up to the Level 1 seats...the crowd went wild. When breaking into ‘ What a Love’ Danny asked the crowd to turn to the people they came with to the concert and give them a hug. Another lovely moment which showed the power of live music. Danny also discussed the struggles we all had during the pandemic before jokingly saying "you thought you had it bad? Imagine being in a band named after the virus causing the pandemic" a funny moment for all. The rest of the set included other great Coronas songs including ‘How This Goes’, ‘Mark My Words’ and ‘We Write Our Own Soundtrack ‘. Lots of chants of "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole...Ole"....during their evening. A very enjoyable show.