Ray's Gigs

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Tuesday 18 April 2023.

Tuesday 18 April 2023...4pm to 8.30pm... Today was the opening day for THE LONDON BOOK FAIR at Olympia. The London Book Fair is an annual book-publishing trade fair. It is a “global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels”. From publishers and dealmakers to copyright professionals, commissioners and the global licensors, including those involved in rights negotiation, the event unites the book community for three days of business, networking and learning. Since its launch in 1971, the fair has grown in size and importance. It is considered as second in importance to only the Frankfurt Book Fair as “a mecca for European publishers, booksellers, rights agents, and media trend-spotters”. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Wednesday) is the keynote speaker at this year's London Book Fair, in conversation with Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. Elsewhere at the publishing industry event, which starts today, catch author Kate Mosse in conversation with Louise Minchin(Thursday) , the International Booker Prize shortlist announcement, and panel discussions around ChatGPT, sustainability, TikTok, and more. It is on for three days - 18-20 April. ------- The largest Spring gathering of the international publishing industry assembled at Olympia today, as The London Book Fair kicked off its first day. Thousands of exhibitors and visitors from the UK and around the world gathered to do business, share expertise, network and attend sessions covering topics ranging from Ukraine to sustainability, tips for writers, social media, and augmented reality in education. VIP's here today included Olena Zelenska - First Lady of Ukraine, Pulitzer-Prize winning US novelist Colson Whitehead, and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Judging by the big crowd here, folks are still very interested in buying and writing books. Several of the stands have drinks receptions so we stop off at OXFORD PRESS, THE ITALIAN PAVILLION and ANDREW NUMBERG ASSOCIATES for a mix that included complimentary prosecco, wines, lagers, Guinness, canapes and nibbles. ----------------------------- ----------------------------- Monday 17 April 2023. ELTON JOHN live at The 02 Arena. ELTON JOHN will tour the UK in 2023 as part of his Farewell World Tour. The UK last date of his massive world tour will be headlining The Glastonbury Festival in June. The final show is in Stockholm on 08 July 2023. Elton said he has had enough of the travelling but is open to a two or three week stint at Hammersmith Apollo like Kate Bush did. I have seen Elton John around 40 tines since 1974 , when i saw four of his shows at Hammersmith Odeon. His hit single at the time was 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'. The UK shows include ten in London at The 02 Arena. Elton is one of the worlds best selling recording artists of all time , as he has sold over 300 million records worldwide, which includes singles and albums combined. "Candle in the Wind 1997" or "Goodbye England's Rose" was a new recording of "Candle in the Wind", with new lyrics, written and recorded as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. Released in September 1997, the song peaked at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, becoming John's fourth No. 1 single. It also peaked at No. 1 in several other countries. This version was produced by George Martin. Guinness World Records lists this version as the second-best selling single in the world, with 33 million copies sold and as the highest-selling single since charts began in the 1950s. Even though he has been rightfully honored, awarded and commemorated in just about every way imaginable for a musical entertainer, Elton John is on track to claim yet another triumph as his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour is poised to become the highest-grossing tour of all time. All indications point to the long-running world tour — that began more than four years ago — reaching that milestone in 2023. ---------- This was show number nine of ten sold out shows for Elton at this huge venue. The combination of the success of the 'Rocketman' film and this being promoted as his last tour, has meant he has filled this venue many more times than he would normally do. The venue is totally rammed to see this music legend on his final tour. One of those artists that has been around all my gig-going life. We have a very nice massive screen mixing live footage and pre-recorded images. His great band still include some members that were playing with him in the 1970s. Given this aversion to things done by halves, it figures that John’s band features not one, but three percussionists: white-gloved drummer Nigel Olsson, plus multi-instrumentalists Ray Cooper and John Mahon on everything from maracas to vibraslap. All the rhythm tonight actually makes Elton’s tunes more ear-ringing, and more nuanced. In this long saunter through the hits, one deep cut – Have Mercy on the Criminal – features a lyrical Mahon xylophone part that vies with Davey Johnstone’s searing electric guit Elton of course is a incredible showman, and says all the right things to the crowd. Sooo many classic hits tonight were played, so pretty much a Greatest Hits setlist. During the encore, it certainly got very emotional for everyone. Pardon the pun, but tonight as usual, Elton John was Captain Fantastic...a superb show. Full ELTON JOHN setlist played tonight.... Bennie and the Jets Philadelphia Freedom I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues Border Song (Dedicated to Aretha Franklin) Tiny Dancer Have Mercy on the Criminal Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time) Take Me to the Pilot Someone Saved My Life Tonight Levon Candle in the Wind Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding Burn Down the Mission Sad Songs (Say So Much) Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (Followed by Band Introduction) Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me The Bitch Is Back I'm Still Standing Crocodile Rock Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting Encore: Cold Heart Your Song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road