Ray's Gigs

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Monday 23 January 2023.

Monday 23 January 2023....6.15pm to 8.45pm... Burns Week celebration & venue showcase. THE CALEDONIAN CLUB, 9 Halkin Street, Belgravia, London SW1. The last time I was at this venue for an event was June 2017. A great location , as it is only a short walk to Buckingham Palace, Knightsbridge and Mayfair. This historic members club was founded back in 1891. A little piece of Scotland in the Heart of London for Scotsman living in London was its original purpose. The building is one of those magnificent Grade II listed buildings in this Embassy heavy area. Many old boys from Scotland are working here. It is freezing outside, but we have a lovely open fire here , to give a nice cosy feel. We get a quick show round of the several different spaces, which included the outdoor garden terrace , the ballroom, one of the 39 bedrooms, and the bar that stocks over 200 different whiskeys. It is a popular venue to hold a wedding. Throughout the evening there is complimentary wines and three different whiskies...no mixers allowed. A bagpiper is playing as the haggis is brought into the room, and the Burns poem "To a haggis" is recited, and the haggis is cut open. We had a traditional Burns Night Supper, haggis, neeps and tatties (haggis, mashed turnips and mashed potatoes ) are served as the main course. Followed by the Burns Night dessert - Cranachan is a very traditional Scottish dessert. It's made with oatmeal, raspberries, whisky, honey and cream. A very enjoyable evening. All guests got a goodie bag on departure. www.caledonianclub.com - Visit their website here. --------------------------------- --------------------------------- Sunday 22 January 2023. SLEEP TOKEN live at Hammersmith Apollo. This is another show that has been moved over from Brixton Academy. I saw Sleep Token play a really good show at Shepherds Bush Empire in Nov 2021. The members of Sleep Token are a masked, anonymous collective of musicians said to be united in their worship of an ancient deity identified by them as "Sleep", who appeared to the band's lead singer, "Vessel", in a dream. Sleep Token's style has been described as alternative, post-metal, ambient, progressive metal and electronic. ------------------ In my Shepherds Bush Empire review i mentioned that Sleep Token are well on the way to playing arenas in the UK, and that is ringing true as tonight's show is 5000 capacity sold out, so next time could easily be Ally Pally or Wembley Arena for them. Support band NORTHLANE arrived on stage at 8pm tor their 45 mins set. Northlane are an Australian heavy metal band from Sydney, formed in 2009. Northlane have released six studio albums. They are massive back in Australia, where Sleep Token actually supported them in 2022. A very lively set for a support band ,with lots of moshing and crowd-surfing. Their singer was a bundle of energy , as the strobe lights were used often. They rolled out more and more of the recent album tracks from 'Obsidian' that mixes crunching rock tunes with some EDM beats ....the crowd loved them. They could easily be headlining Shepherds Bush Empire on their next visit to the UK. SLEEP TOKEN arrived on stage at 9.15pm for their 80 mins set. From their arrival on stage, all wearing masks and hooded robes, you know this will be interesting. Like a dark messiah, Vessel – the band’s masked singer – floated onto stage with hands aloft to the sound of his followers screaming his name. He was joined by a trio of black-robed choir singers, stoic and immovable throughout the entire performance. Heavy power guitar riffs are the order of the day, which results in massive headbanging and moshing, and some 100 plus bodies crowd-surfed over the stalls standing heads into the stage pit. The lightshow is all behind them, and never on the faces. The setlist included a couple of tracks from their upcoming third album on Spinefarm Records. Head of Spinefarm Records - Dante Bonutto - was sitting near me in the front circle seating. Sleep Token proved they have the musicianship, skill and presence to be a top level metal/prog band . A really good show. Full SLEEP TOKEN setlist played tonight.... Chokehold The Summoning Hypnosis Mine Dark Signs Nazareth Like That Aqua Regia Atlantic Alkaline Granite Higher The Love You Want Encore: The Night Does Not Belong to God The Offering Outro music - Avril 14th (Aphex Twin) ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Saturday 21 January 2023. THE DELGADOS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Scottish indie-rock band released five studio albums, in the late 1990s/early 2000s. The Delgados first single "Monica Webster"/"Brand New Car" was released in 1995.The single caught the attention of BBC Radio 1 disc jockey (DJ) John Peel,and the band quickly became one of his favourites, going on to record several sessions for him, but they never had any full mainstream success. Many think that The Delgados are one of Scottish music’s most important bands. Not only did they release five albums of timeless guitar pop that ranged from lo-fi to orchestral, but they were also the brains behind Chemikal Underground Records – the iconic label that introduced the world to Mogwai, Arab Strap, Bis, Aereogramme and many more. Djs including Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley also championed the band. In June 2022, the band announced that they had reformed and would play together for the first time in 17 years. A UK tour of five gigs, ending in their home city of Glasgow, is scheduled for January 2023. -------- Level 3 is closed tonight, and Level 2 is only half sold. Support act ANDREW WASYLYK & band arrived on stage at 7.45pm and played for 40 mins. Andrew Wasylyk is the alias of Scottish writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Andrew Mitchell. Six musicians on stage including trumpet and electric flute. All instrumentals, that felt like soundtracks to a film etc. THE DELGADOS arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour 50 mins. All the middle-aged indie folks are out in force tonight. For many songs , the band are joined by a four member mini-orchestra , who sounded great. Male and female are sharing the vocals. The tracks nearer the end got the biggest applause , a good show. Full setlist played by THE DELGADOS tonight.... Everything Goes Around the Water Accused of Stealing The Arcane Model The Actress I Fought the Angels Aye Today Child Killers Pull the Wires From the Wall Come Undone Under Canvas Under Wraps American Trilogy Make Your Move The Light Before We Land The Past That Suits You Best Everybody Come Down The Drowning Years All You Need Is Hate If This Is a Plan Encore: Monica Webster Coming in From the Cold No Danger Thirteen Gliding Principles