Ray's Gigs

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Monday 06 February 2023.

Monday 06 February 2023. The amazing rise and rise of HARRY STYLES who started life in a manufactured boy band by Simon Cowell and has just won the main Grammy Award in Los Angeles for Album of The Year for his third solo album 'Harry's House'. His musical career began in 2010 as a solo contestant on the British music competition series The X Factor. Following his elimination, he was brought back to join the boy band One Direction, which went on to become one of the best-selling boy groups of all time before going on an indefinite hiatus in 2016. As a solo artist he now plays arenas and stadiums all around the world. His singles and albums have sold multi-millions, and the awards are rolling in. Not forgetting how he is also one top fashionistas worldwide too. ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Sunday 05 February 2023. Even the most loyal of fans can end up saying "enough is enough". A leading BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN fanzine has announced that it will close after 43 years, citing among other reasons unchecked ticket price hikes the editors say many fans can no longer afford. Springsteen tickets are going for big bucks – what else are we paying dynamic prices for? In a letter to readers, Christopher Phillips, publisher and editor-in-chief of Backstreets magazine, said staff had been “dispirited, downhearted, and, yes, disillusioned” since tickets for 2023 shows by Springsteen, a singer known for his loyalty to his blue collar roots in New Jersey, went on sale last summer. “It’s not a feeling we’re at all accustomed to while anticipating a new Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour,” Phillips wrote. He went on to say that readers and fans felt equally let down as ticket prices went super high owing to “dynamic pricing”, a Ticketmaster policy that allows prices to change in response to demand. Last July, Backstreets said in an editorial fans had been “thrown to the wolves, pushed aside in a way that seems as unfathomable as it was avoidable”. It added: “This so-called premium, algorithm-driven model violates an implicit contract between Bruce Springsteen and his fans, one in which the audience side of the equation appeared to truly matter – and in fact was crucial.” Since then, the disappointment has only increased. “These are concerts that we can hardly afford; that many of our readers cannot afford; and that a good portion of our readership has lost interest in as a result,” Phillips wrote in his editorial announcing the Backstreets closure. ------------------------------------ ------------------------------------ Saturday 04 February 2023. APOCALYPTICA live at The Roundhouse. APOCALYPTICA are a Finnish symphonic metal band. They have released nine studio albums. Their debut album was an full album of Metallica cover versions. Looks like they still play a couple of Metallica covers in the set. I have seen them a few times before , with the first time in 2005 when they supported Rammstein at Brixton Academy. Support comes from... EPICA - Dutch symphonic metal band (female singer). They have released eight studio albums, with the most recent titled 'Omega'. Both bands are touring Europe together. ------------------ This show was a 3000 sold out in advance capacity crowd. It is actually a co-headline show as both bands play sets of 80 mins. EPICA arrived on stage at 7.50pm. The band have a big screen with great digital images, and the keyboards and drums are on a huge raised platform, where the digital screens are used on the front of it. Singer Simone Simons stunning soprano voice really suits their style of symphonic rock. The keyboard player is a bit of a comedy jester , as he leaves the raised to platform to play a curved keyboard that is hanging around his neck, at the front of stage. They have neat looking arc-shaped lit-up microphone stands all across the front of the stage. It’s 'Beyond The Matrix' that really gets the crowd bouncing, with an extended and heavy workout showing that Epica live can really flex their Metal muscles. They finish with 'Consign To Oblivion' before taking an inordinate amount of time to depart, their backing music and a huge ‘thank you!’ on the main screen complementing the broad smiles of both band and audience. It’s a job well done. There were more Epica t-shirts worn by the audience, than Apocalyptica ones. Maybe that would explain why my security chums said over 100 folks left the venue straight after their set, and over 100 folks left the venue after watching the first 15 mins of Apocalyptica. They are both symphonic rock, but still different, and i thought Epica were better than Apocalyptica. APOCALYPTICA arrived on stage at 9.40pm. The big screen was used again, and had some very nice digital images. The huge raised platform that Epica which had used has surprisingly gone, and it is basic at the rear. Apocalyptica have an unusual set-up of three lively electric cello players , along with a drummer. Some songs had vocals so a vocalist joined them and some songs were instrumentals. Epica singer Simone Simons joined them to sing 'Rise Again'. Lots of strobe lighting used during their set. A couple of Metallica covers near the end of the set , 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'Seek and Destroy'. A good set , but i preferred Epica tonight.