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!

Thursday 06 July 2023.

Thursday 06 July 2023....2pm to 10.45pm... SOHO HOUSE FESTVAL, Gunnersbury Park, London W3. IF ONLY ALL FESTIVALS WERE LIKE THIS ONE. Soho House members club host their annual party. Around 7000 guests (members have paid £275 each to be here and guests of members have paid £325). Around 20 corporate names entertaining guests here including ITV, Sky, Talk Talk,Warner Bros,Youtube etc. Like Glastonbury Festival, it always sells out pronto before the bands have even been confirmed. Ticket includes all your food and drinks throughout the day. Complimentary Thienot champers, five different cocktails, spirits, wines, beers, soft drinks and food trucks including Dirty Burger, Hot Dogs, Pizza , Hog Roast, Lobster Salad, Meat Balls, Oysters, Roast Chicken ,Crosstown Doughnuts ,ice-creams, desserts, churros, coffees etc. We got stuck into the food & drinks for the first three hours. There are plenty of long tables here for guests to sit down in the shade while eating. There is a full funfair here but we don't have time to get on the dodgem cars. There are ten acts over the two stages, so just five mins gap between acts. They have had some big names over the years, but this year is more DJ and dance based. A few well known faces are floating around, some just watching and some introducing the acts. Including Lee Mack, Jo Whiley , Nick Grimshaw, Georgia Toffolo, Laura Whitmore and a few others. We hear all the acts in the background, but only watch three up close. GABRIELS arrive on stage at 5.10pm for their 30 mins set. Singer Jacob Lusk has a stunning voice and recently joined Elton John on stage at Glastonbury. Gospel soul act Gabriels played some good tracks from their debut album. Jacob Lusk’s power as a vocalist, and his larger than life colourful charisma, is immense. THE DARKNESS arrive on stage at 5.50pm for their 45 mins set. Singer Justin Hawkins is soon taking his shirt off. Highlights included 'Growing on Me', 'Friday Night', 'Get Your Hands Off My Woman' and ending with classic hit 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love'. We then went for another wander around the drinks and food outlets for a couple of hours. PETE TONG & ORCHESTRA PERFORM IBIZA CLASSICS arrive on stage at 9.15pm for their 70 mins. They have headlined The 02 Arena before, and are tonight's headline act. The orchestra must have 30 or 40 members, and their are male and female vocalists. Lots of dance classics played including the likes of Faithless 'Insomnia'. He had the advantage of playing in the darkness, so had the full lightshow. A great day out. --------------------------------- --------------------------------- Wednesday 05 July 2023...I went to two events tonight... 6.15pm to 7.45pm FLORIS - The Lily Collection launch party - 89 Jermyn Street, St James's, London SW1. This historic and iconic British fragrance house has been in this building since 1730. Over 100 of their fragrances are on display around the store. It has a lovely small museum room at the rear showcasing their fragrances etc over the years. Some of their past clients who wore Floris fragrances include David Bowie, Florence Nightingale, Eva Peron, Winston Churchill, Alec Guinness, Ian Fleming and many more. The Lily Collection is a balanced floral fragrance, inspired by the Lily of the Valley flower and preserving its natural state. The dewy freshness of the blooms is enhanced with a flourish of Egyptian Jasmine and Bulgarian Rose. The sparkling white tea notes give a clean effect. Around 60 or 70 guests here tonight. Complimentary prosecco, wines, canapes and desserts. All guests got a goodie bag on departure. then --------- KISS live at The 02 Arena. KISS play five UK shows on their farewell European Tour tour in June/July. This will be their last ever London show. Celebrating their 50 years - 1973 to 2023. I have seen KISS around 30 times since their first two London shows at Hammersmith Odeon in May 1976. For the second show i was front row centre. That same month i saw four of the six Rolling Stones shows at Earls Court Arena. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have confirmed they will be joined by special guests, Welsh ragga-metallers SKINDRED at all UK shows. London rockers THE WILD THINGS will open proceedings on the five UK dates on the tour. KISS have sold around 100 records worldwide (albums and singles combined). KISS played two UK shows in June, and return for three more in July. ------- Nice to see several friends here including Rod MacSween and Steve Zapp from KISS booking agents ITB, and Mark Taylor from Record Collector. Legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin was in the pit along with KISS manager Doc McGee. Rock legend JIMMY PAGE was photographed with Paul Stanley tonight but I didn't see Jimmy. Level 4 has black curtains up as only 50% sold up there. We have great views in the Block 112 guest block. Robbing bastards here at the bar are changing £8.50 for a pint of Stella. KISS arrive on stage late at 9.05pm , instead of the planned 8.50pm. This is not good as this venue has an 11pm curfew. This meant a couple of songs were partial and ' I Was Made For Loving You' is moved from the main set to the encore and 'Do You Love Me' was dropped from the setlist. The KISS show is one everyone should see at least once, as it really is a visual treat. The costumes, the make-up, the pyros , lights, lasers, big screens, all the bells and whistles. Paul said "this is the 20th time we have played Hammersmith Odeon". I have seen 18 of them...the two i missed were non-make up shows. It was certainly a bit emotional for me, as probably the last time I will ever see KISS live. For me def one of the best gigs of the year ,alongside Elton John and The Dog Day Afternoon event. A totally excellent show from KISS as usual. Full KISS setlist played tonight... Intro song - Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin song) Detroit Rock City Shout It Out Loud Deuce War Machine Heaven's on Fire I Love It Loud (Gene breathes fire) Say Yeah Cold Gin Guitar Solo (Tommy Thayer with his rocket firing guitar) Lick It Up Makin' Love Calling Dr. Love Psycho Circus (partial) Drum Solo 100,000 Years (partial) Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies) God of Thunder Love Gun (Paul flies to stage B) Black Diamond (Paul flies back to stage A) Encore: Beth (Eric on piano) I Was Made for Lovin' You (100 KISS balloons are dropped from the ceiling) Rock and Roll All Nite Outro song - God Gave Rock and Roll to You (Argent song)