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!

Thursday 24 November 2022.

Thursday 24 November 2022...6.15pm to 10pm... Showcase - BISHOP'S PALACE, Hatfield House, Herts. Closer than you would think ,as only 30 mins from Kings Cross train station. It started off with a great 15 mins talk by their guide Eric on the incredible history of the venue. Hatfield House was completed in 1611. It was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Elizabeth I. The deer park surrounding the house and the older building of the Old Palace had been owned by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, who had used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary. It was while she was living in the Old Palace, in 1558, that Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne. There are are 120 guests here, 12 tables of 10 , with 75% females. We had a very nice three course meal... Starters - various canapes Mains - slow cooked beef sirloin, with potatos and veg Dessert - chocolate & pistachio tart We had a guy on acoustic guitar play covers for two sets of 15 mins and 30 mins. Also a female stilt-walker with huge butterfly wings, full of light bulbs. Four different cocktails throughout the evening, along with wines and tea/coffee. A great evening, and well worth the trek out of London. ----------------------------------- ----------------------------------- Very sad news that guitar legend WILKO JOHNSON has died aged 75. I was lucky to have seen him with Dr Feelgood in the 1970s, and more than a dozen times after. Amazingly i was at his Shepherds Bush Empire show just five weeks ago on 18 Oct 2022, which has ended up being his last show ever. ----------------------------------- ----------------------------------- Wednesday 23 November 2022....I went to three events today... 1pm to 3pm TURTLE BAY - press preview - 7a The Brewery ,Romford, Essex. This restaurant & bar is just 3 mins from Romford Station, which is on the Elizabeth line. Turtle Bay has grown to over 40 restaurants nationwide , making it the UKs leading Caribbean restaurant chain. Turtle Bay’s success is based on providing a uniquely Caribbean experience, with a centralised island bar serving rum-based cocktails both day and night, a menu that combines Caribbean spices with fragrant marinades, hot sauces, cooling chutneys and fresh fruit, with its signature jerk chicken grill at the heart of the restaurant. All to the gentle beat of a reggae soundtrack. Special opening offers... Any two courses £19 or any three courses £24...2-4-1 cocktails happy hour daily. I had a very tasty three course lunch... Starters - Jerk Pit Ribs with mango BBQ sauce. Mains - Fish Fry Platter (crispy salmon, coconut fried squid , colslaw and spiced fries. Desserts - Banana Toffee Cheesecake. We had a couple of cocktails each. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Afterwards we had a stroll and coffee in Romford Market and came across a fantastic Italian Vintage Style shop selling loads of cool vinyl , clothing items , memorabilia , record players, cameras, cassette players etc...a must for any Elvis fans. then 6pm to 7pm UNIT GALLERY - private view - 3 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1. Private view ‪for the opening of solo exhibitions by Stacey Gillian Abe and Stephen Wong. Choice of three complimentary cocktails and beers for the 200 odd guests. Fashionista PHILIP SALLON was here in full military attire. then 7.05pm to 9.30pm. CLARIDGES - Christmas Tree Unveiling Party - Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1. Around 200 glammed up guests at this famous five star luxury hotel. SANDRA CHOI designed the Christmas Tree in the hotel foyer. She is the creative director of J. Choo Limited. She is the niece of Jimmy Choo's wife, Rebecca. Sandra is here...with her personal bodyguard close by throughout....not really needed here I thought. I got a nice photo with ERIN O'CONOR which will be on my Facebook page at lunchtime. Erin O'Connor is an English fashion model, who was also the muse of Haute Couture designer Alexander McQueen due to her height and androgynous look. Also here were AMBER LE BON and tv presenter RICHARD ARNOLD. We had a small choir sing a couple and a female singer sang a couple of tracks. Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers, vodka martini cocktails, beers, canapes, desserts. A very nice event. -------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- Tuesday 22 November 2022. CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS present Redcar live at The Royal Festival. Just two live shows in Paris, France and this one in the UK, to promote the Redcar album project release. He (recently came out as Trans) plays a sold out 2600 capacity show. The artist was again on the Later with Jools Holland tv show recently. Christine and the Queens has always made music about trying to embrace an awkward sense of belonging, and trying to appreciate your own unique self; this appears to be the ultimate idea of Redcar as both the project and the person. The two are and always will be entwined. And at the end of the day, there’s no denying that anything thevartist creates will be nothing short of incredible and fantastical; be it as Christine and the Queens, as Chris, as Redcar, or as whomever they become next. Christine & The Queens recent single titled 'Je te vois enfin' was alongside a suave and sophisticated persona he/she calls Redcar. Christine/Chris has been confirmed as curator for The RFHall Meltdown Festival here in June 2023. ----------- A very cool looking arty crowd here tonight. No support act tonight. As expected the 75 mins show (8.35pm to 9.50pm) is very theatrical. The artist is sauve, and certainly pushes the boundaries of both theatre and musical performance. A bit bonkers at times, but very interesting, as we watch the surreal world of Redcar. Christine/Chris sings to a backing tape , as there is no band or dancers. A stunning stage production which had around 100 objects around the stage, including religious statues. Also around 200 light bulbs dotted around the stage. A moon from which Redcar swings on, and robot-controlled camera that looms over and around the artist. There are four stage hands to help move the objects around for each song. No merch, and no photos or videos to be taken during the show, which the crowd duly respected. Most tracks are in French, but most of the monologue is in English. The new album lyrics focus on love and poetry , along to the synth-pop backing. For a few songs, the artist is topless, and has black tape over the nipples. The artist also wore angel wings for one track. Near the end, the artist walks around the stalls seats, and even flirts with the venue security. Also for the final track , the artist wore an angel-winged strap-on red dildo. An enjoyable show, and a pretty unique event. Full setlist played tonight.... Ma bien aimée bye bye Tu sais ce qu'il me faut La chanson du chevalier Rien dire La clairefontaine Les étoiles Mémoire des ailes Looking for Love My Birdman Combien de temps Je te vois enfin Angelus Les âmes amantes