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!

Sunday 02 July 2023.

Sunday 02 July 2023. BILLY F. GIBBONS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Billy is the 73 year old rock legend who is the guitarist and singer in ZZ Top. Billy is playing a full UK & European Tour. Billy’s band is John Douglas, touring drummer for Aerosmith on drums/percussion and Austin Hanks on guitar. Drummer Matt Sorum makes temporary leave attending to important family matters at home. I have seen ZZ Top several times since 1980. Expect a setlist mixing solo material, ZZ Top classics and a couple of cover versions. ------- Not sold out as Level 3 is pretty empty tonight, so there is maybe 1500 folks here. TOBY LEE and his two musicians arrived on stage at 8pm for their 30 mins. Toby Lee (now aged 18 ) is an English guitarist from Oxfordshire, England. Lee appeared on the television shows Little Big Shots and Ellen Show, and he starred in the musical School of Rock. At eight years old he taught himself how to play.He became a global sensation after playing guitar at B.B. King's Blues Club in 2015, when he was ten years old....Toby played some nifty guitar solos, in his blues tinged set. BILLY J GIBBONS arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 85 mins. Legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin has the photo pit all to himself , as it looks like he has got Billy's pr to put all the other photographers in the corner of Level 1. Like when he is with ZZ Top , Billy does not ever seem to play for over 90 mins. Billy has a big screen, but it's pretty basic , just a couple of his images and some sparkly images. Three members on stage , and the front two are dressed identical, including cowboy hats. They both have sparkly guitar straps and wrist bracelets that glitter when the lights are shon on them. Billy gets a really lovely distorted sound out of his guitar, and he keeps the same guitar all night, never tuning it and he has no foot effects pedals...pretty amazing. He plays a cover of 'Foxy Lady' and says how in his pre-ZZ Top band he supported Jimi Hendrix. Plenty of ZZ Top classics to keep the crowd happy. The crowd were a bit annoyed when the house lights went up , and there was no encore, but that's how Billy rolls...a great show. Full BILLY F GIBBONS setlist played tonight... Got Me Under Pressure (ZZ Top cover) More‐More‐More (Billy Gibbons song) Rollin' and Tumblin' (Hambone Willie Newbern cover) Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers (ZZ Top cover) The Devil Is Red Gimme All Your Lovin' (ZZ Top cover) Treat Her Right (Roy Head cover) I Got Love If You Want It (Slim Harpo cover) Blue Jean Blues ( ZZ Top cover) Missin' Yo' Kissin' (Billy Gibbons song) Foxy Lady (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover) West Coast Junkie (Billy Gibbons song) Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top cover) Thunderbird (ZZ Top cover) Brown Sugar (ZZ Top cover) Tube Snake Boogie (ZZ Top cover) La Grange (ZZ Top cover) ------------------------------ ------------------------------ Saturday 01 July 2023. What a mega line-up for this special one-off show at Crystal Palace Park. DOG DAY AFTERNOON featuring IGGY POP + BLONDIE + GENERATION SEX + STIFF LITTLE FINGERS + BUZZCOCKS + THE LAMBRINI GIRLS. Debbie Harry says: “Blondie and Iggy Pop… We are excited to reunite with our friend, the one and only Prince of Punk, Iggy, for this special show in Crystal Palace Park next summer. Once more, with feeling!” Generation Sex featuring Billy Idol and Tony James of Generation X and Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols will make their first ever UK appearance (actually their second as they play Glastonbury Festival a few days before this gig) at Crystal Palace Park playing a set of punk classics from both bands’ extensive catalogues. IGGY POP will be 76 when this show happens. This is the first Iggy Pop London show since that incredible Royal Albert Hall show i saw in 2016. On this exact day , DEBBIE HARRY celebrates her 78th birthday. On this exact day , SEX PISTOLS ' Pretty Vacant ' was released 46 years ago on 01 July 1977. BLONDIE will include Glen Matlock, so three Sex Pistols members are playing on today's bill. Another annoying big clash, as same day is DEF LEPPARD and MOTLEY CRUE at Wembley Stadium. Also on the same day, PULP + WET LEG play Finsbury Park....but will be Iggy Pop and co for me. I have been to a few gigs in this area over the years... 1976 - Eric Clapton - Crystal Palace Bowl 1981 - Ultravox + Madness + Ten Pole Tudor - Crystal Palace Bowl 2002 - Sex Pistols + Libertines + others - Crystal Palace Sports Arena 2003 - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Crystal Palace Sports Arena ------- A bit of a trek to get here, but well worth it of course. Our guest wristbands are valid for the VIP Nation area where tickets are £110 each. Must be over 1000 folks here, and you cannot see the stage from here. I would be surprised if any of the main three headline artists would leave the artist area to come in here. I think the capacity for this venue is 30,000 , and the venue ends up looking very full. Thankfully the weather was decent enough, and great to see so many folks that i know. We end up seeing all six bands on the bill. All six bands had use of the big screens showing live footage. RUSTY EGAN was playing the classic punk tunes over the pa and introducing the bands. LAMBRINI GIRLS arrived on stage at 1.30pm for their 30 mins set. Punk rockin females played a good set , with a healthy lively in yer face attitude. The mouthy singer performed in her black knickers and bra. BUZZCOCKS arrived on stage at 2.25pm for their really good 45 mins set. Pete Shelley sadly died a few years ago, but Steve Diggle does a good job on vocals as 75% of the set is classic oldies including 'What Do I Get?', 'Fast Cars', ' Promises' , 'I Don't Mind', 'Orgasm Addict' , 'Ever Fallen Love' and 'Harmony in My Head'. STIFF LITTLE FINGERS arrived on stage at 3.45pm for their really good 45 mins set. Like The Buzzcocks, SLF play a great 75% classic oldies set including , 'Tin Soldiers', 'Nobody's Hero', 'Barbed Wire Love', 'Gotta Getaway' and lethal versions of 'Suspect Device' and 'Alternative Ulster' GENERATION SEX arrived on stage at 5pm for their excellent 55 mins set. I have seen four of the five main bands many times before , so really looking forward to seeing Generation Sex for the first time, as they feature four original punk legends. Their backdrop screen showed classic images of the band members from the 1970s punk heyday. It was an excellent show , with classic after classic played. Sooo good to see Steve Jones and Paul Cook on stage together again. Full setlist played... Pretty Vacant (Sex Pistols cover) Ready Steady Go (Generation X cover) Wild Youth (Generation X cover) Bodies (Sex Pistols cover) Black Leather (Sex Pistols cover) (included a Steve Jones guitar solo) Kiss Me Deadly (Generation X cover) Dancing With Myself (Gen X cover) Silly Thing (Sex Pistols cover) King Rocker (Generation X cover) God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols cover) Your Generation (Generation X cover) My Way (Claude François cover) (Sid Vicious version) BLONDIE arrived on stage at 6.25pm and played for 75 mins. Debbie Harry still has plenty of New York attitude, and recieved birthday wishes. Great again, to see Sex Pistol GLEN MATLOCK on bass duties. Drummer CLEM BURKE is always great to watch, Sooo many great classic hit songs in their excellent set. Full BLONDIE setlist played tonight... One Way or Another Hanging on the Telephone (The Nerves cover) Sunday Girl Call Me Will Anything Happen? Atomic Rapture The Tide Is High (The Paragons cover) Long Time Detroit 442 Maria Heart of Glass ( with Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen riffing outro) X Offender Dreaming IGGY POP arrived on stage at 8.25pm for his 90 mins set. Punk rocks original real wild child arrives on stage to big cheers, and you cannot take his eyes off him. During the first song he becomes bare-chested and the big screens show up his scarred and weather beaten wrinkly tanned body. Iggy remains lithe and spry and he hop, skips and jumps around the stage throughout the show. Solo classics are mixed in with Stooges classics and a couple of tracks from his recent album. His band are shit-hot , and include a pair of top notch sax and trombone players. An excellent show by Iggy. Full IGGY POP setlist played tonight... Rune (Noveller cover) Five Foot One T.V. Eye (The Stooges song) Modern Day Rip Off Raw Power (Iggy and The Stooges song) Gimme Danger (Iggy and The Stooges song) The Passenger Lust for Life The Endless Sea Death Trip (Iggy and The Stooges song) I'm Sick of You (Iggy and The Stooges song) I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges song) Search and Destroy (Iggy and The Stooges song) Encore: Mass Production Nightclubbing Down on the Street (The Stooges song) Loose (The Stooges song) Frenzy I was kind of glad for the 10pm curfew here...as i was totally whacked. Gave everyone a bit of extra time to get back home ok. A totally excellent day...and bound to be my number one gig seen by me in 2023. --------------------------- --------------------------- Friday 30 June 2023, UK FOO FIGHTERS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Support comes from ROYAL MONSTER ( Royal Blood tribute ). This gig clashed with other bands/gigs tonight who I had all seen many times before... Guns N Roses, Pretenders and Darkness at Hyde Park. Motley Crue at The Underworld ( a not so secret gig) Buzzcocks live at The 100 Club. --------- Love them or hate them, i really like a good tribute band. Level 3 is closed tonight, and Level 2 is half empty , so maybe a decent 800/900 here tonight. No real surprise as the real Foo Fighters play stadiums in the UK. ROYAL MONSTER arrived on stage at 7pm for their 45 mins set. The real Royal Blood are more popular than you think, as all their three albums have made number one. A duo playing a nice racket that rocked along nicely....featuring scuzzy bass and drums. A couple of songs were familiar and overall a really good set. Nice interval of classic rock tunes over the pa inc 'Detroit Rock City' and 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love'. UK FOO FIGHTERS arrived on stage at 8.15pm and played for 2 hours 30 mins. Just like the real Foos they are playing a nice long show. Like the real Foos, they have six members who all look and have the stage mannerisms of the real Foos. The Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins guys are top notch. Lots of Foos anthems for the fans to jump around to in this great set including.... The Pretender Breakout My Hero These Days Under Pressure (Queen cover ) ( Taylor on vocals and Dave on drums) Monkey Wrench Times Like These All My life Best of You Encore : Everlong