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!

Saturday 09 September 2023.

Saturday 09 September 2023. PAUL TAYLOR live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Paul Taylor (aged 38 ) is a British-Irish comedian.He moved to Paris in 2009 and started doing stand-up in 2013. Paul Taylor is known in France for his TV series on Canal+, What the Fuck France, What's Up France? and Stereotrip, but he got his onstage debut with his show #Franglais (2016-2019). Paul Taylor played his second show, So British (ou presque), from 2019 to June 2022. His third show, Bisoubye x, is scheduled for January 2023. His videos are very popular on YouTube. He has already played Shepherds Bush Empire in 2022. --------- It is stalls seated , and Level 3 is half empty so maybe 800 folks here. PAUL TAYLOR arrived on stage at 7.40pm and performed for 95 mins. He asked the crowd where they were from...it looked like 75% French born folks and 25% English folks who could understand French. The stage is sparse, with a few lights, a stool and a microphone. His set is fast paced, and is fully bi-lingual, as he fluently mixes French and English throughout the show without coming up for air, which was very impressive. He joked about English folks and their ways, and the same with the French. At the end of the show he reminded folks to get their friends back in Paris to buy tickets for his biggest ever show in Jan 2024, at the 5000 capacity Le Zenith, Paris, as he joked he has so far sold only 500 tickets. I saw The Sex Pistols at that venue in 1996. An enjoyable comedy show. ----------------------------------- ----------------------------------- Friday 08 September 2023. CHARLEY CROCKETT live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Charley Crockett (aged 39) is an American blues, country, and Americana singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Charley's tour will cover the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe with 16 dates in total as Charley promotes his his 11th studio album ‘The Man From Waco’ , that was released in 2022. -------- Level 3 is closed and Level 2 is half empty so maybe 1200 folks here tonight. Many are in cowboy/cowgirl attire , including cowboy hats. Support was singer-songwriter from Oxfordshire AGS CONNOLLY who arrived on stage at 8pm for 30 mins. He is wearing a cowboy hat. He had a very American country vocal sound that the audience really liked. He is promoting his fourth studio album. CHARLEY CROCKETT arrived on stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour 40 mins. Charley is tall and slim, with bright white American teeth , and he is wearing a white cowboy hat. His five piece backing band The Blue Drifters wear matching black & white shirts and are top notch. A piano/keyboard player who also did some trumpet and accordion playing. The bassist swopped between a double bass and a normal bass. The bearded guy on pedal steel guitar was fantastic throughout the show. Charley's boyhood hero was American singer-songwriter JAMES HAND. When James Hand died in 2020, Charley brought out a tribute album of his songs, and played three of those tracks today. A nice country set with a hint of blues & honky tonk that got the crowd dancing and swaying. An enjoyable show. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Thursday 07 September 2023. August is over , and September is when many venues hold showcase events. Today we went to three events, spread out over a long day. Noon to 4pm. DE VERE GRAND CONNAUGHT ROOMS - showcase - 61/65 Great Queen Street, London WC2. Standing on Great Queen Street, that connects Covent Garden with Holborn in the West End of London, is the Grade II* listed De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms. With a history dating back to 1775, the building has long been an important event venue, and was once home to the original Freemasons’ Tavern before becoming a hotel in 1909. Since then, the venue has hosted some of the world‘s leading politicians, royalty and celebrities with its grand Georgian architecture and art-deco interiors offering 37 exceptional spaces for a wide range of conferences, exhibitions, meetings, training and weddings. Archted ornate ceilings, beautiful wood-panelling and dramatic chandeliers, the Grand Hall creates an impressive event space for up to 750 guests theatre style and 1,500 guests for a drinks reception. For smaller events, there are a number of executive rooms, often with original features and oak-panelling, whilst a suite of modern training rooms is also available. Outside, on the 5th floor, an exclusive roof terrace, with views of the city, is available for summer parties and receptions. We signed in ,got a goodie bag , then had a tour of several of their events spaces. That was followed by a complimentary sit down lunch of different bowl foods and different desserts, along with prosecco and wines....a really good magician entertained us at out table. then 4.30pm to 7.30pm. HAWK FURNITURE - showcase - 21/22 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1. Yorkshire based furniture company are showcasing in their new London showroom. Made to order within 2-3 weeks from their manufacturing plant in the heart of East Yorkshire. They are powered by solar and all waste board heats the factory so you can be confident you are buying some of the most environmentally-friendly office furniture in the UK (they source 99% of raw materials from within the UK, too). They take the hassle out of buying office furniture so you can rest easy - you're in good hands. They have installed a bar with barman , and a pizza van is outside in the street. Complimentary drinks and food included three different cocktails, wines and a full size pizza. then 8pm to 10.30pm. GAUCHO BROADGATE - showcase - 5 Finsbury Avenue, near Liverpool Street, London EC2. This popular meat based restaurant & bar sits between two of London's most dynamic neighbourhoods, the financial hub of the Square Mile and the trendsetting East End. The entire area is buzzing with city folks out drinking and eating at the many venues in the area. This branch of Gaucho has a massive space downstairs, and indoor and outdoor seating outside upstairs. We are at a table in one of the two nice outside areas, away from the paying customers. Complimentary gin cocktails, prosecco, wines and steak chunks. ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Wednesday 06 April 2023. ANDRES CEPEDA live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Now aged 50 - one of Colombias biggest singer-songwriters plays a London show. He was the singer of Latin rock-pop group Poligamia for five years.....before he went solo in 1999. ----------- Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, and it is stalls seated so maybe just 600 tickets sold. Maybe the £50 price tickets has put off some of Colombians that live in London. The crowd is pretty much 75% female, who love getting their mobile phones out for photos. ANDRES CEPEDA and his band arrived on stage at 8.20pm for a long 2 hours 20 mins set. Everyone is dressed in black trousers and black shirt. There is piano, double bass, electric guitar, sax, trumpet but no drummer. All the lyrics are Spanish , and all the stage banter is Spanish for this mainly Colombian crowd. The music is pretty laid back, and many are piano only ballads. After 75 mins the sax player pooped up to Level 1 for a nice sax solo. Andres himself went into the stalls seating for a wander that the crowd loved. The crowd sung loudly along to his most well known songs, and the encores got everyone up and the crowd rushed to the front as they were much more uptempo compared to the main set. The show ticked along ok.