Ray's Gigs

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Friday 07 April 2023.

Thursday 06 April 2023...7pm to 11pm.... VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Compere is Beki Bondage. Featuring a special one-off LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH with ex Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe stepping into the shoes of the much-missed Stiv Bators, joined by original members The Damned's Brian James, Sham 69's Dave Treganna, with former Clash drummer Terry Chimes. Also THE COCKNEY REJECTS. Also NEVILLE STAPLE BAND - so expect a few classics by The Specials. Also Kim and Jackie from Girlschool playing tribute to Motorhead. Also The Vive Le Rock Allstars playing tribute to fallen musical heroes. Vive Le Rock is the world's only Rock N' Roll, Punk and New Wave magazine. It is an independent music magazine published in the United Kingdom which covers punk, new wave, glam, and garage through to mod and primal rock 'n' roll. Eugene Butcher, the Editor from Vive Le Rock has said this will sadly be theIr last awards show. I have seen all the bands before including Lords of The New Church with Stiv Bators back in 1982. I also saw Stiv fronting his band The Dead Boys twice in 1977, when they supported The Damned. ------- Great to see so many punk rock friends of mine at this eagerly awaited event. Some faces here who did not appear on stage included Gaye Advert , Spizz Energi, James Stevenson, Del and Mannie from The Satellites, Jen from The Priscillas and Alan Hauser ( from Jungle Records who have put out Johnny Thunders albums and many others over the past 40 years). From 7pm to 9pm we had The Vive Le Rock Allstars play two 30 sets with guest vocalists, and the awards itself was also in two sections of 30 mins each. First up on stage is Vive Le Rock Editor Eugene Butcher who thanks the crowd for coming. The Vive Le Rock Allstars play a couple of tunes then are joined by Kim and Jackie from Girlschool. They perform 'Bomber' and 'Please Don't Touch' as a tribute to Motorhead. The band also performed a great version of 'God Save The Queen' in tribute to Nora...R.I.P. Those presenting or receiving awards included Charlie Harper (UK Subs got Best Re-Issue Award) Lee Thompson, Neville Staple, Stuart Pearce, Brix Smith, Jim Jones , Rhoda Dakar and Record Mirror punk journo Barry Cain. Vive Le Rock Allstars came back on and Jenny Bellestar sung a couple of tracks with them. Beki Bondage performed 'Lucille' with the band , and Norman Watt-Roy took over bass duties as they played 'Roxette' in tribute to Wilko Johnson...R.I.P. The Awards part 2 started with Album Of The Year which went to The Interrupters. Bob Vylan collected Best New Blood. Richard England (Cadiz Music) presented The Cockney Rejects with The Lifetime Achievement. Youth from Killing Joke presented Norman Watt-Roy with The Services To Music Award. Rat Scabies presented Brian James with The Pioneer Award. Terry Hall R.I.P. recieved The Icon Award. From 9pm to 11pm we had the three main bands of the evening. 9pm THE COCKNEY REJECTS play just three of their best tracks. 'Paper Tiger ', 'Unforgiven' and 'Bad Man'. 9.30pm THE NEVILLE STAPLE BAND played an excellent 30 mins set of gems that The Specials played , which got everyone dancing....they were certainly the tightest band playing tonight. Do The Dog (Rufus Thomas cover) Nite Klub (The Specials song) Monkey Man (Toots & The Maytals cover) A Message to You, Rudy (Dandy Livingstone cover) Gangsters (The Specials song) Concrete Jungle (The Specials song) Ghost Town (The Specials song) Longshot Kick De Bucket (The Pioneers cover) 1025pm THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH feat MICHAEL MONROE on vocals. Michael Monroe is now a youthful looking 60 year old, and still with long blonde hair. A seven song 35 mins set that was really good, and Rat Scabies joined them for a Damned classic. New Church Livin' on Livin' Dance With Me Russian Roulette Method to My Madness New Rose (The Damned cover) (with Rat Scabies) Encore: Pills (Bo Diddley cover) Needless to say , it was a totally excellent evening. -------------- -------------- Thursday 06 April - Very sad news that JOHN LYDONS wife NORA has passed away. Nora, the wife of singer John Lydon, has died five years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The former Sex Pistols frontman was married to the German publishing heiress for 44 years. She was 80. See my Facebook page for photos I took of her at BMI Awards and NME Awards.