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 13 June 2023

Tuesday 13 June 2023...I went to two events tonight... 6.15pm to 8.15pm. YUCATAN - showcase - The Mexican Embassy, 8 Halkin Street, Belgravia, London SW1. Yucatán, the Mexican state, is known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and Mayan ruins. Famed Chichén Itzá encompasses a massive pyramid, ball court and stone temples. Other Mayan sites include Ek Balam. There are staff greeting us in National Costume...around 100 guests here. We have a 30 mins presentation from Yucatán tourism, AeroMexico and tonight's chef who is from Yucatán. AeroMexico have daily flights from Heathrow to Mexico City. At 8pm the female ambassador did the business card raffle for the two prizes. Each was three days hotel stay in Yucatán...but flights not included. The complimentary drinks and food is all Mexican themed...wines, beers and several different canapes. then... THE HIVES live at The Garage, Islington, North London. I have seen this great Swedish uptempo garage rock n roll band The Hives several times since 2001. I can always remember when i first saw them bursting out on The Jools Holland tv show back then. They are touring the UK as one of the supports on The Arctic Monkeys UK stadium shows. The Garage is celebrating 30 years this year...1993 to 2023. I used to go here often in the 1990s, and saw Buffalo Tom here in the opening year of 1993. Seen some excellent gigs here including David Johansen supported by Glen Matlock in 2001. I was also at two shows on the same day by Black Crowes in 1997. ------- No surprise that this show sold out pronto, and it is a proper sweat box by the time The Hives come on. THE HIVES arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 65 mins. The band are soon sweating buckets, and the audience are pretty much the same. The band are all dressed in black jackets with white lightning bolts, white shirts and black ties. The Hives still are an explosion of rock n roll energy. Singer Pete still has that very entertaining stage banter between each song. They play a few tracks from their new studio album ' The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons'. Classic oldies 'Main Offender' and 'Hate To Say I Told You So' were top notch as usual. ‘Come On!’ and ‘Tick Tick Boom’ ended a wonderous sweat drenched set with Pete the singer performing from the mixing desk .The magnetic personality of singer Pete Almqvist coupled with their signature blend of garage punk and '60s rock influences ensure The Hives are still as great as ever. Full setlist played by THE HIVES tonight... Bogus Operandi Main Offender Walk Idiot Walk Rigor Mortis Radio Good Samaritan Go Right Ahead Stick Up Hate to Say I Told You So Trapdoor Solution I'm Alive Countdown to Shutdown Encore: Come On! Tick Tick Boom ------------------------------- ------------------------------- Monday 12 June 2023...6.45pm to 10.45pm... NATIONAL RESTAURANT AWARDS 2023 at The Hurlingham Club, Fulham, London SW6. I have been to this awards event several times before, as it is always really good. As before the headline sponsor is ESTRELLA DAMM Spanish lager. The Hurlingham Club is an exclusive private social and athletic club located in the Fulham area of London, England. Founded in 1869, it has a Georgian-style clubhouse set in 42 acres (17 ha) of grounds. The first rules of polo were announced here , way back in 1873. The members of the club are oblivious to the cost of living crisis as they play croquet , tennis and nine hole golf in these impressive surroundings where you could easily think you are in the Sussex countryside. Around 500 guests are here for the restaurant awards. Thankfully the rain showers had stopped as all food and drinks were held in the outdoor space. A jazz trio were playing cover tunes before and after the awards. The awards were inside from 8.15pm to 9.15pm. Lots of complimentary drinks and food throughout the evening. Rathfinny English sparkling wines, Pimms, , different cocktails including espresso martinis and old fashioned. Lots of Estrella Damm on draught. Five food trucks... Lush by Tom Kerridge (Pork Belly Buns, Chili Dogs etc) Crocus Paella Happy Go Souvlaki (Greek) Born and Raised ( Sourdough Pizza) Taco Truck Also gourmet ice-cream rolls made with Baileys etc in front of you. All guests got a goodie bag with a few items inside...an excellent event. Here are the Top 10 restaurants in order... 56 of the Top 100 restaurants are in London. Ynyshir ( Piwys, Wales ) ( they were number one this year and last year) Moor Hall Da Terra (Bethal Green , London ) The Ledbury ( Notting Hill , London) Bouchon Racine ( EC1 , London) Restaurant Pine The Ritz (Mayfair , London) Core by Clare Smyth (Notting Hill, London) Frog by Adam Handling (Covent Garden, London ) KOL (Marylebone, London ) Visit their website here for the full list.... www.nationalrestaurantawards.co.uk