Ray's Gigs

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Saturday 08 July 2023.

Saturday 08 July 2023. BLUR play the first of two massive shows at Wembley Stadium. The outing will see Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree come together as Blur to perform their iconic and much-loved songs in the band’s first ever Wembley Stadium shows. These Brit-Pop legends will be playing their first tour this summer for several years. I saw both Blur and Oasis live a few times during the heyday of the 1990s Brit-Pop explosion. This was a great Blur gig I attended... Oscars , The Pier , Clacton 17.09.1995 Part of a week long tour of seaside venues by Blur. So hot inside they had to open exit doors behind the stage which meant you could see the ocean while the band were on stage . Blur did a superb 85 mins set in the week that ""Country House"" was no 1 in charts. --------- Tonight's show was an incredible 90,000 sold out show. I saw actor SIMON PEGG here. Pretty amazing how many under 30s are in the crowd. Thankfully the early morning rain stayed away, and not too hot like the scorching previous day. JOCKSTRAP arrived on stage at 5.55pm for their 30 mins set. All the support bands get to use three big screens, and Blur get to use all five big screens. A funny band name for this duo. Georgia on vocals & violin and Taylor on moody electro keyboards for their Art Pop set. A pair djs were playing tunes between all the acts. SLEAFORD MODS arrived on stage at 6.40pm for their 30 mins set. Just the two of them on stage , with their backing tapes. They have released several albums, and the last three on Rough Trade have gone Top 10. Abrasive sweary political anti-pop lyrics are pretty unique to hear and watch. SELF ESTEEM arrived on stage at 7.25pm for their 30 mins set. Their centre screen has in big letters ' DONT FUCK UP THE BLUR GIG' all through their set. Six on stage , all dressed in white, which included three female backing singers/dancers. Self Esteem headlined Hammersmith Apollo earlier this year...a good set. BLUR arrived on stage at 8.35pm and played for 2 hours 5 mins. The huge crowd were now all inside , and they looked pretty amazing. It soon became darker, and the crowd often got their phone's out light up the stadium. Blur have loads of great songs, with great lyrics that the crowd love singing along to. Many songs had the fans dancing and bouncing away. They were joined by Phil Daniels on 'Parklife' and The London Community Gospel Choir on 'Tender'. Damon seemed to be genuinely moved at the reception the crowd gave the band. He wore a replica Fila tracksuit top, similiar to the one he wore in the 1994 video for 'Girls and Boys'. An excellent show. Full BLUR setlist played tonight... St Charles Square There's No Other Way Popscene Tracy Jacks Beetlebum Trimm Trabb Villa Rosie Stereotypes Out of Time Coffee & TV Under the Westway (First time live since 2014) End of a Century (Preceded by applause for Freddie Mercury) Country House Parklife (with Phil Daniels) To the End Oily Water Advert Song 2 (With false start) This Is a Low Encore: Lot 105 (First time live since 1994; with "Wembley" intro and chant throughout) Girls & Boys For Tomorrow Tender (with London Community Gospel Choir) The Narcissist The Universal --------------------------- --------------------------- Friday 07 July 2023. SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE ASBURY JUKES play Shepherds Bush Empire. I saw them once before, which was in 1987 , when they headlined Hammersmith Odeon. Little Steven from Bruce Springsteens band was a co-founder of the band before he joined Bruce. By coincidence or is it planned?...Little Steven is in town for the two Bruce shows, and he has a rest day between those two shows tonight, so could turn up....maybe Bruce too? ------------ A good idea to play between Bruce shows, as the venue billboard outside says tonight is sold out. We have a DJ support rather than a band, who is playing some cool tunes including '96 Tears', 'Green Onions' , 'Roadrunner' and great to hear 'Funky But Chic' by David Johnansen. SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE ASBURY DUKES arrive on stage at 8.30pm and play for 2 hours. Eight musicians on stage including a great three man brass section. The setlist included his own songs and several covers from the likes of his friends Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven...but sadly neither turn up tonight. Southside Johnny asked the crowd "who went to see Bruce last night " and lots of hands went up. Southside Johnny said " well, don't expect me to play for three hours tonight" . At age 74, Johnny's voice isn't what it used to be as reaching the high notes was more difficult. But the vocal grit and often times intensity to the delivery made up for it. No one could say that Southside Johnny lacked passion and a love for the music. The uptempo numbers were the best , when the brass section were at full tilt. A really good good show. Full setlist played tonight.... Better Days Forever (Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul cover) Love on the Wrong Side of Town (Little Steven cover) Pretty Flamingo (Manfred Mann cover) Walk Away Renée (The Left Banke cover) Trapped Again Broke Down Piece of Man (Sam & Dave cover) Got to Be a Better Way Home Talk to Me (Bruce Springsteen cover) Coming Back All the Way Home (Bruce Springsteen cover) This Time Baby's Gone for Good The Fever (Bruce Springsteen cover) I Don't Want to Go Home Encore: Sherry Darling (Bruce Springsteen cover) A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover) Having a Party (Sam Cooke cover)