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 16 July 2023.

Sunday 16 July 2023. Very sad news that French singer & actress JANE BIRKIN has died aged 76. A photo of me with her taken in Chelsea in 2019 is on my Facebook page. ----------------------------- ----------------------------- Saturday 15 July 2023. TIM VINE + JOHN ARCHER live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Comedian Tim Vine, who is the king of the one-liner jokes, plays London on his UK tour.p It is stalls seated tonight, but totally sold out. In the VIP Level 1 seats are Tim's brother JEREMY VINE (tv and radio presenter) and HARRY HILL. JOHN ARCHER arrived on stage at 7.35pm for his 30 mins set. John Archer is a comedy magician. He did an enjoyable set , and got a male punter on stage to help with a magic trick. TIM VINE (now aged 56 ) arrived on stage at 8.25pm for his 75 mins set. Tim arrived on stage in a very colourful golfing outfit. The one-liner jokes soon arrive very quickly, one after the other. A little bit of musical comedy too. There is no bad language and no politics related jokes mentioned. A very clever use on words , that made all the show very entertaining, and full of laughter. --------------------------- --------------------------- Friday 14 July 2023. THE WHITE BUFFALO + L.A. EDWARDS live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight so must just short of 1000 folks here. L.A.EDWARDS arrived on stage at 8pm and played for 45 mins. Nice to see the drum kit front of stage in the corner. ‘Out of the Heart of Darkness’ is the third album by California’s L.A. Edwards – main songwriter/ frontman, Luke Andrew Edwards, and his brothers. Lots of good country blues /Americana songs that ticked along nicely. THE WHITE BUFFALO arrived on stage at 9.15pm and played for 95 mins. They are using the same drum kit and keyboard as the support band. The three of them spread across front of stage. The White Buffalo himself, energetic bass and keys from Christopher Hoffee (who is in his element), and the “machine” that is cowboy hat wearing Matt Lynott on drums who is certainly one of those entertaining drummers in the Clem Burke/Tommy Lee/ Slim Jim Phantom mould.The drummer has my attention for much of the evening as he is absolutely mesmerising and with him upfront on the stage it’s a treat to get such a clear view, when as we all know drummers are often hidden at the back. They sing a couple of their songs which have been used in the tv show 'Sons of Anarchy'. Some good songs played , and an enjoyable show. ------------------------------- ------------------------------- Thursday 13 July 2023....7pm to 10pm... LANGHAM HOTEL - summer party - Portland Place, London W1. Always nice to be at this luxury five star hotel directly opposite the BBC HQ. Langham Hotel claims a history that dates back to 1865, when The Langham hotel in London opened as the then-largest building in London and Europe's first 'Grand Hotel'. Ten stories and 156 feet high, The Langham featured 15,000 yards of Persian tapestry, hot and cold running water in every guestroom, the world's first hydraulic lifts, known as 'rising rooms', and even an early form of air-conditioning. Upon opening The Langham, the then Prince of Wales hailed the hotel as having "everything a man, woman or child could desire under one roof". The Langham has since hosted royal, political and cultural dignitaries and celebrities, including French emperor Napoleon III. Around 300 guests here in the ballroom. A trio of female strings were performing some cover versions before a couple of speeches. At 8pm after the speeches, they opened up their nice garden area. Complimentary prosecco, wines, beers, bowl food, canapes, desserts and a pic n mix cart. --------------------------------- --------------------------------- Wednesday 12 July 2023...I went to two events tonight... 5.30pm to 7.30pm. SOCIAL4M - The Ashes Uncovered - at Coutts, 440 Strand, London WC2. Social4M is not just a community; it is a hub of creativity, innovation, and leadership. The mission is to cultivate meaningful connections that drive culture, collaboration, and groundbreaking ideas committed to fostering a diverse and vibrant network where individuals can thrive, learn, and contribute to the ever-evolving landscape across all industries, across London, Los Angeles and New York. Around 100 guests here in the upstairs function room of this famous private banking house, next to their huge herb garden , that goes all around the top floor and roof space. Complimentary wines,beers and a dozen different canapes that all featured herbs from their own herb garden, which was a nice touch. From 6.45pm for 30 mins, we had the great discussion on the future of cricket in the UK & overseas. The Ashes Uncovered: Exploring the Path to Cricket's Bright Future. Three well-known cricketers shared their insights into the sport and the industry: Chris Jordan: England National Cricketer, 2022 T20 World Cup Winner Luke Wright: Ex-Cricketer & Current England Squad Selector, 2010 ICC World T20 Winner Rory Hamilton-Brown: Ex-Cricketer, Former Captain of Surrey Cricket Team James Burridge: moderator, BBC Sports & News Presenter and Commentator then THE WHO with orchestra live at The 02 Arena. THE WHO with orchestra are playing indoor and outdoor UK shows in July. Elton John may have announced his retirement but the two original members of The Who are still rockin' as Roger Daltrey will be aged 79 when this tour happens, and Pete Townshend will be 78. I have seen The Who around 30 times, which includes three times with Keith Moon. Twice at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 and the once at Charlton F.C. in 1976. Also many of their Teenage Cancer Trust shows at The Royal Albert Hall, and most recently a 30 mins set in Dec 2022 at The Royal Festival Hall for Sir Peter Blakes 90th birthday event. Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and band will be performing music from throughout the band’s nearly 60-year career, including sections devoted to classic albums Tommy & Quadrophenia as well as other beloved Who tracks and songs from their 2019 WHO album, their first studio release in 13 years. The 2023 UK tour will feature The Who’s full live band comprised of guitarist/backup singer Simon Townshend, keyboardist Loren Gold, second keyboardist Emily Marshall, bassist Jon Button, drummer Zak Starkey and backing vocals by Billy Nicholls, along with orchestra conductor Keith Levenson, lead violinist Katie Jacoby and lead cellist Audrey Snyder. ------ As soon as i get to the venue i see DYLAN JONES (Ex GQ mag, now The Evening Standard), STEVE DIGGLE (The Buzzcocks) and legendary music biz folks ROD MACSWEEN (ITB) and ALAN EDWARDS (Outside pr). Nice to see the all the venue very full, for yet another legendary band playing London Town this summer. The Standard paper reported that a million people went to 22 gigs in London the past week. THE WHO arrive on stage at 8.15pm and play for 2 hours 15 mins. The set is split into three sections...with orchestra, just the band, with the orchestra. Roger and Pete are on top form tonight, as so many of their classic tracks are played. Looks like we got a couple of extra tracks played compared to other shows on the tour. An excellent show. Full setlist played by THE WHO tonight... WITH ORCHESTRA SECTION Overture 1921 Amazing Journey Sparks The Acid Queen Pinball Wizard We're Not Gonna Take It Who Are You Eminence Front BAND ONLY SECTION The Kids Are Alright You Better You Bet Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (Tour debut; first time since 2014) Substitute I Can't Explain (Tour debut; first time since 2017) My Generation Cry If You Want Won't Get Fooled Again Behind Blue Eyes (with strings, restarted as Roger was having ear monitor issues) WITH ORCHESTRA SECTION The Real Me I'm One 5:15 The Rock Love, Reign O'er Me (extended piano intro) Baba O'Riley Encore: Tea & Theatre (Acoustic, Roger & Pete only)