Ray's Gigs

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Friday 23 December 2022.

Thursday 22 December 2022. All shows at Brixton Academy from now to 16 Jan 2023 (at least) have been postponed or cancelled. BRIXTON ACADEMY has had its licence suspended after two people died (including a venue security guy) in a crush and others were injured last Thursday at the south London venue. Fans attending a gig by the Afrobeats singer ASAKE were trapped in a crowd surge outside last Thursday night when a large number of people tried to enter the venue, leading to two deaths. A third person is still in a critical condition and eight others needed hospital care. The venue is closed, and Lambeth councillors suspended its licence until 16 January, when a full hearing will take place. Five shows will be cancelled as a result. Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth’s cabinet member for safer communities, said: “A tragic incident has happened in our borough and we are dealing with its devastating impact on our communities. Our thoughts are with those who have suffered, especially the families and friends of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson, who have tragically lost their lives.” The Metropolitan police asked the council on Tuesday to undertake a fast-track summary review of the O2 Academy Brixton, indicating that the force considered the venue to be “associated with serious crime or serious disorder”. During the council’s licensing committee meeting, the Met said there had been a similar crush during a concert by Naira Marley, another Afrobeats singer, in 2020 when concerns were raised about the strength of the front doors. Stephen Walsh KC, representing the Academy Music Group, said the O2 Academy was “a responsible and experienced operator who works in close co-operation with the authorities” and that since the venue had voluntarily closed a temporary suspension was unnecessary. It is understood he said it was “far too early” to point the finger of blame, but that the venue recognised “the gravity of the events” and was conducting an internal investigation. Councillors determined that since the voluntary closure was not enforceable by law, and that although the facts of what happened on the night were not yet clear, there remained risks to public safety “as a consequence of, in particular, serious disorder arising from a lack of crowd control at the front doors” if the venue opened without new crowd control procedures in place. In the application for the summary review, the Met said its officers had found that security staff had “completely lost control of the situation” when they arrived at the venue. Police have reported that a staggering 3000 people turned up without tickets on the night. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Thursday 22 December 2022. Hard to believe that punk rock legend JOE STRUMMER died 20 years ago today. Lucky to have seen The Clash 20 times and Joe & The Mescaleros 10 times including The 100 Club. These were his last two London shows...both benefit shows, but very different venues, but both still superb. 10 Nov 2002. Bryan Adams with Brian May + Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros Royal Opera House , Covent Garden , London benefit concert for Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund .This was the first ever proper rock concert at the amazing venue .There were a few famous actors who made speeches between the acts . The first set included 3 songs by the lovely looking and sounding Opera Babes then Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros did a great 5 song set which were 3 Mescaleros tunes + Rudie Dont Fail and a stunning White Riot . To see and hear it in this venue was unreal .Afterwards i said to Joe " a nice surprise to hear White Riot" in this venue..Joe Strummer replied to me "Well it had to be done " In the second half of the show Bryan Adams did a 10 song 45 mins set and was joined by Brian May for the last 5 tunes with a mega finale of Queens Crazy Little Thing Called Love.the sound for the whole event was just crystal clear and the aftershow in The Vilar Flora Hall was very 5 star with free champagne and drinks for 500 guests for a couple of hours .Superb. 15 Nov 2002. Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros Acton Town Hall , London .This was a low key benefit show for the striking fireman in a venue that has not been used for rock shows for years .Fantastic atmosphere as a fair amount of the 600 here were firemen and the rest were hardcore Strummer fans .Andy Gilchrist the firemens union leader made a rousing speech .Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros did a really great 75 mins set but the 3 song encore was unreal as Mick Jones came on stage to play with Joe on stage for the first time in over 15 years for Clash anthems Bankrobber +White Riot + Londons Burning an amazing night but sadly less than 6 weeks later Joe Strummer died of a heart attack aged only 50 .