Ray's Gigs

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Saturday 11 March 2023.

Saturday 11 March 2023 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE live at The Roundhouse. Welsh heavy metal band are tonight playing the final show of their massive six week UK & European Tour to promote their self-titled seventh studio album. The band have sold over 3 million albums worldwide. Formed in 1998, Bullet for My Valentine won Kerrang!‘s ‘Best British Band’ three times consecutively in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The band has stated that their music is influenced by classic metal acts such as Metallica, Iron Maiden and Slayer. They blend “muscular riffs and emo harmonies” and also “take cues from ’80s metal bands and punk-infused metal to make melodic, metallic, dark rock songs.” The band released a deluxe version of their current, self-titled album on July 8th 2022 via Spinefarm/ Search and Destroy. This extended release features 4 brand new tracks, plus “Stitches”, a song previously only available as a Japanese exclusive. Following the CD & digital releases, a vinyl pressing will launch on November 11th 2022. Bullet For My Valentine’s seventh studio record sees the band at their heaviest and most visceral, and these additional tracks are no different. ------- It was sold out tonight , with lots of folks in black clothing , but i miss the first band. Second band JINJER (from Ukraine) arrived on stage at 8.10pm for their 45 mins set. Never heard of them before tonight , but they had many fans wearing their t-shirts in the crowd. They start in a slow, atmospheric way but it’s not long until things are brutal and in-yer-face. Singer Tatiana growls (in a very manly way) during several songs. The music is hard and fast and performed with note-perfect precision. Tatiana can sing clean as well as yell, and she has good stage presence too. A good set, but the growling spoilt it a bit for me. BULLIT FOR MY VALENTINE arrived on stage at 9.25pm for their 90 mins set. BFMV come on stage to a huge production of lights including strobes that dazzle throughout. They certainly know what to play and say , as their loyal fans mosh and crowd-surf away. Make no mistake this is slick, its polished, and its expertly planned, paced and done. There’s nothing off the cuff here, Bullet For My Valentine are as well oiled a machine as any out there. For much of the last decade, they’ve flitted between arena tours and these sold out theatre shows. What is clear, however, is that wherever they play, the ambitions are always the same, this is a band who’s never been shy of sounding huge. Consequently, this is an arena rock show, it just wasn’t played in one. It will be again. A really good show. ----------------------------- ----------------------------- Friday 10 March 2023. REX ORANGE COUNTY live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Alexander James O'Connor is his real name. Male performer now aged 24, known professionally as Rex Orange County, is an English singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. To celebrate one year since Rex Orange County released his Number 1-selling, fourth album Who Cares?, he will play this one-off show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The record includes stand-out songs such as “Amazing,” “The Shade,” “Keep It Up,” and “Open A Window” featuring Tyler, The Creator. Tickets for this show only went on sale a week before the show, and sold out pronto. No surprise really, as on a previous tour he sold out three nights at Brixton Academy, and last summer he headlined to 20,000 at Gunnersbury Park, West London. ----- Most of the crowd appear to be under the age 30, and 75% are excitable females. REX ORANGE COUNTY arrived on stage at 8.30pm for his 80 mins set. His band included a two man brass section. The stage production included four disco mirror balls. He bounds on stage wearing a pink and white hoodie , and from the start the females are screaming and singing along loudly to every song. In the middle he slows it down, on his own with a keyboard or guitar. There seemed to be too many lyrics about relationships and girly lovey stuff for my liking. A highlight of the evening , was the final track of the night , 'Best Friend' where he got everyone to crouch down, then bounce up and burst into dancing as the track was built up higher and higher and higher, until the confetti cannons exploded over the entire venue. Another show that was filmed by a few hand held film cameras. A decent show, and the females here loved it.