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!

Friday 02 December 2022.

Thursday 01 December 2022...I went to two events today... 1pm to 4pm. 34th WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD at BAFTA , 195 Piccadilly, London W1. Around 100 guests here for this prestigious sports book award. All the five judges are here, including sports presenter John Inverdale. 158 books put forward, and five got shortlisted. Any one of the five would be an ideal Christmas present. All five shortlisted authors are here to talk about their books for a few minutes each. Be Good, Love Brian - Growing Up With Brian Clough (football) God Is Dead : The Rise and Fall of Frank Vandenbroucke (cycling) My Hidden Race - Anyika Onuora (sprint athlete) Expected Goals - The Story of How Data Conquered Football (football) Beryl : In Search Of Britain's Greatest Athlete (cycling) - this book won the £30,000 first prize. The four runners-up got £3,000 each. Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers, canapes, desserts. All guests got a goodie bag with one of the books inside...I got Beryl... then... KOKOROKO live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Kokoroko is a London-based musical group led by Sheila Maurice-Grey, playing a fusion of jazz and Afrobeat. In February 2019 they were named "ones to watch" by the Guardian, after their track "Abusey Junction" garnered 23 million views on YouTube.In February 2020 they won Best Group at the Urban Music Awards.In September 2020 they played BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2022 they released their debut album, which made number 30 in the UK albums chart. --------- Another gig that had over 100 on the guest list. Level 3 is half empty , but otherwise the venue is very full. A cool looking jazz/soul crowd have turned up to support them. Support act DEMAE arrived on stage at 8.05pm for her smooth set of tunes for 25 mins. After a late punters walk up , Kokoroko arrived on stage at 9.25pm for their 95 mins set. Kokoroko headlined the Roundhouse a couple of years ago, even before their debut album came out. Led by trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey,who doubles as the vocalist who guides the audience through the music with a gentle sway of the hips. The songs are mainly jazzy instrumental based. The set is beautifully balanced, flowing from crashing crescendoes to moments that drip intimacy, showcasing the outfit’s versatility in pace. Each bandmember takes a turn at solos. The best part of the set comes midway through, when Maurice-Grey signals for the audience upstairs to "get up and dance!" as the trombone, trumpet, keyboards, percussion, guitar, bass,drums all kicked in. Even the way the band members are arranged onstage lends to the idea that they’re collaborators; musicians in their own right; more ensemble than band. A couple of trumpet and bass solos beat about the bush rather than getting to the point, but for every moment that doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot, there is another that feels orgasmic. By far, the best points appear when Kinoshi leads the band into a cascading frenzy of sound, trapping that transcendent tier that jazz is always searching for. She soars into a tall, hot crescendo, then soft as a dove flies right back down to the quiet. A good show.