Ray's Gigs

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Monday 12 December 2022.

Sunday 11 December 2022. STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL live at Shepherds Bush Empire. As it will be an older crowd, the stalls will be seated for this show. i was at his show at this venue last year, where Steve was on stage for over two hours. I have seen Steve (now aged 71) on stage around a dozen times with and without Cockney Rebel. The first times with Cockney Rebel were at Hammersmith Odeon back in 1975 and 1976 after his number one success in 1975 of his classic single "Make Me Smile(Come Up and See Me)". The song have been recorded by over 100 other artists,most notably by Duran Duran and Erasure, although Harley has stated his favourite cover version is by The Wedding Present. ------------ Level 3 is closed tonight and Level 2 is half empty so must be only 500 or 600 folks here. A freezing snowy evening outside, and not many bodies inside, so the venue felt very cold. STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL on stage for a nice long 2 hours 15 mins over two sets of 60 mins and 75 mins....Steve is backed by five musicians. Steve walks to the front with help from his crutch , and sits on a bar stool the entire show. His polio condition seems to be getting a bit worse. After the third song , he gets a bit miffed by the phone cameras in the front stalls, even they though they are not use a flash...he rants "please put them away until the encore, as i want to concentrate 100% on my job".....he soon gets back to being a jovial raconteur for the rest of the night. The highlights of the show were obviously his classics from the 1970s. He played a couple of tracks from his 2020 covers album. His "pension song" for the encore got everyone standing up and singing loudly along. Always good to see Steve playing live. Setlist highlights included... Judy Teen Star For A Week Mr Raffles Out Of Time (The Rolling Stones cover) Absolute Beginners (David Bowie cover) Mr Soft Best Years Of Our Lives Sebastian Encore : Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) ------------------------------- ------------------------------- Looks like the woke contingent have got their way... Punk rock duo SLAVES have changed their name after criticism from some fans, saying it "doesn't represent who we are as people or what our music stands for any longer". The duo, who have had three UK top 10 albums and a Mercury Prize nomination, will now be known as SOFT PLAY.