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!

Tuesday 21 February 2023.

Tuesday 21 February 2023. DYLAN live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Female singer Dylan is playing the second sold out night at this London venue, on her UK tour. Dylan real name is Natasha Woods....took off via TikTok. DYLAN (now aged 23) is a hotly tipped for big things English musician, singer and songwriter. She released her debut mixtape "The Greatest Thing I’ll Never Learn" on Island Records in October 2022, which peaked at No. 19 on the UK album charts. These are the last two shows on her UK tour, before Dylan plays a few shows in mainland Europe. ------------ I was talking to my security chums at this venue, and amazingly they told me that both nights a few people (plonkers) had turned up expecting to see BOB DYLAN. As if the real Bob Dylan would be selling tickets for only £20...DOH! The crowd is pretty much 75% females under the age of 30. For some good reason all the tracks played over the pa during the intervals is 80s American rock. HUMBLE THE GREAT arrived on stage at 7.20pm for their 30 mins set. A duo with male singer and a pretty nifty guitarist, for some decent songs. NIEVE ELLA arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their 30 mins set. Female fronted four piece played a decent set. DYLAN arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 60 mins. Lots of lights at the back of the stage , including a giant heart-shaped installation. Dylan looks a proper rock chick , with her long hair, short skirt and boots. The females here are excitingly singing along loudly to every song. Some good songs performed including 'Home Is Where The Heart Is', 'You're Not Harry Styles', 'Nothing Lasts Forever' and a cheeky cover version of Bob Dylan's 'Knockin' On Heavens Door' A really good show, and she will certainly play bigger venues next time. ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Monday 20 February 2023...MONCLER : THE ART OF GENIUS. Fri 17 Feb to Tues 21 Feb - LONDON FASHION WEEK. Lots of fashion shows during the days at different venues, and drinks events in the evenings. Mon 20 Feb - I will be attending the biggest event of London Fashion Week....fashion & music. ---------- This massive event at Olympia really was a lavish budget no object affair. The event was 8pm to 1am , and we were there 8.30pm to 12pm. Around 10,000 folks have got free tickets via the MONCLER website. They are a massive Italian fashion name, who have put on big events in Milan Fashion Week. They are most well known for their very expensive puffa jackets. These 10,000 all get a full free bar (except champers)...yes all 10,000 get free drinks. Some just preferred to queue for the several fashion installations in the one big room , as Alicia Keys played in the other big room. Lots of photographers and film crews at the entrance and all around the venue. Also drones flying around the venue at one point. Another 1000 guests in the VIP and VVIP areas upstairs get champers and various bowl food as well. Hundreds of security and catering and others working here. The cost of the event certainly was a few million quid. I didn't see them as the crowd was so big and busy, but there were several celebs here , as the photos came out including PHARREL WILLIAMS, JUSTIN BEIBER, SERENA WILLIAMS , CHARLIE XCX, FKA TWIGS and no doubt a few others. Having taken to the runway for London Fashion Week, the French label previewed a slew of partnerships with global brands and personalities, while also pushing the boundaries of a combination of art, design, entertainment, music, sport, and culture. Taking place at London’s Olympia venue, the event welcomed an extensive line-up that featured the likes of Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Mercedes-Benz, Palm Angels, FRGMT, adidas Originals, Salehe Bembury, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and Rick Owens, who presented an independent collaboration with Moncler. Musically, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Alicia Keys, performed a set of her most famous anthems, while also choosing to share the stage with BRIT Award and Mercury Prize-winning musicians Little Simz and Cleo Sol. The performance was called “The Art of Dreaming” and was a projection of intimacy and strength, as Keys was joined by a crew of choreographed dancers — all of which were spotted wearing designs from the upcoming Moncler x Alicia Keys collection. Additionally, Pharrell Williams’ “The Art of Terrain” show saw Louis Vuittons’ new Men’s Creative Director take his vision to the surreal outdoors. Revolving around the idea of camping — or “glamping” — his set was complemented by glowing green grass and it strived to inspire the world to take in the great outdoors while allowing it to inspire and create beauty. A stand-out moment from the show came in the form of Mercedes Benz’s “The Art of Imagination.” It welcomed dancers to the stage who performed in a low-gravity chamber whilst frozen visuals flowed across transparent LED screens. Eventually, an artistic interpretation of its new “ultimate discovery machine” was unveiled — this was a new Mercedes art piece titled “PROJECT MONDO G” — and it was the classic Mercedes-Benz off-roader G-Class, covered in a Moncler puffer jacket. Alicia Keys came on stage just after 10pm for her 45 mins set. She had the full band,with a big screen and lasers and dancers for some songs. A really good set, and djs played before and after her set....tonight was quite a mad event. Full ALICIA KEYS setlist played tonight... Girl on Fire No One You Don't Know My Name Woman (Little Simz cover) A Woman's Worth (with Cleo Sol) When I'm in Your Arms (Cleo Sol cover) (with Cleo Sol) Stay Fallin' Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Sunday 19 February 2023. ANDREW BIRD live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Andrew Bird (aged 49) is an American indie rock multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. Since 1996, he has released 16 studio albums, as well as several live albums and EPs, spanning various genres including swing music, indie rock, and folk music. He is primarily known for his unique style of violin playing, accompanied by loop and effect pedals, whistling, and voice. In the 1990s, he sang and played violin in several jazz ensembles, including Squirrel Nut Zippers and Kevin O'Donnell's Quality Six. He went on to start his own swing ensemble, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, which released three albums between 1998 and 2001. Weather Systems (2003) was his first solo album after Bowl of Fire disbandment, and it marked a departure from jazz music into indie music. Bird's 2019 album My Finest Work Yet was nominated for "Best Folk Album" at the 2020 Grammy Awards. ----------- A few unsold seats up in Level 3, but otherwise it is pretty full tonight. Lots of foreign accents here tonight, and a very polite crowd. Support CHARLES WATSON from SLOW CLUB performs a 30 mins set from 8pm. Charles is joined by another guy on acoustic guitar & steel guitar for some laid back songs. ANDREW BIRD is on stage from 9pm and plays for 1 hour 40 mins. Andrew is on violin & guitar, and is joined by a bass player and drummer. A pretty basic stage production with all the equipment in the front half of the stage. Andrew is a top musician as he mixes playing and plucking his violin , and many songs include his whistling. The songs had a nice laid back Americana feel to them. He uses floor pedal looping like Ed Sheeran does, on some tracks. The crowd loved it , and Andrew got a full standing ovation at the end , from all the levels here. A decent show. ------------------------------------ ------------------------------------ Saturday 18 February 2023....6.30pm to 9.30pm....restaurant & bar press preview... CAVO - 4th Floor, The Now Building @ Outernet, Denmark Street, London WC2H 0LA. The Denmark Street area was looking a bit shabby , but The Outernet building complex is now here. As you exit Tottenham Court Road there are the huge digital screens , that the tourists love. The 2000 capacity venue, that replaces The Astoria which was across the road, is now open. The 250 capacity smaller venue The Lower Third that replaces The 12 Bar Club, is now open. I went to see GLEN MATLOCK BAND play the opening launch party. Now the restaurants are one by one one, finally opening. CAVO has some nice views from the 4th Floor, of the bustling area below. The restaurant itself is huge as it is over 10,000 square foot with room for 240 diners (about the same size as Quaglinos) and that's before you take their massive rooftop gardens into account. There'll also be a private dining room with room for 25 guests. Open all day from brunch through to dinner, Cavo will serve up Mediterranean dishes, have a raw fish and carpaccio bar and a wine list that "spans the Mediterranean old and the new – the traditional wine regions of Italy, France and Spain with delicious new wines from the Middle East and Israel". A lovely cool ambience up here, and all the staff are fussing over us and the other diners. We had several dishes to share , which included the two mains. Our mains were Rib-Eye steak (£48) and Black Cod (£28). Washed down by a couple of glasses each of Louis Roederer champers. A very nice evening.