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 14 September 2023.

Thursday 14 September 2023....I went to two events tonight... 6pm to 8.15pm INCA - showcase - 8/9 Argyll Street, London W1. This basement venue next to The Palladium has had many different names over the years. These days it is mainly used Wednesday to Sunday for Latin American inspired cabaret. As you dine and drink there are dancers in full Latin American carnival wear on the centre stage. It can also be used as a 250 all standing event, and it feels that many are here tonight. Luckily we know to get there early to get our table for four. Guests here included PHILIP SALLON and ANNE PIGALLE. We have four floor shows of five mins each , with singers, dancers and fire. Complimentary drinks and food included two different cocktails, wines, beers , bowl food and canapes. then STRAY live at The 100 Club. I have seen Stray several times before , including four times during their 1970s heyday. KISS Stray Hammersmith Odeon, London 15.05.1976 Debut UK tour by KISS KISS,Stray Hammersmith Odeon, London 16.05.1976 tonight I had front row centre seats Heavy Metal Kids,Stray,Dirty Tricks Roundhouse, London 11.07.1976 Rush,Stray Hammersmith Odeon, London 04.06.1977 Rush debut UK tour. The members of Stray went to my secondary school Christopher Wren in White City , Shepherds Bush as did Steve Jones and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols STRAY arrived on stage at around 9.10pm and played for around 90 mins. Del Bromham is still fronting the band. The setlist mixed older classics with tracks from the new album ' About Time'. Highlights included '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue' , 'Black Sun' , 'Jericho' and 'Suicide'. The main set ended with a stunning version of 'All In Your Mind' which was the opening track from their debut album that was released way back in 1970. A nifty encore of 'One Night in Texas' finished off a really good show. Soon after the show finished , the band came out to the merch stand to chat etc to the fans. ------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------- Wednesday 13 September 2023...I went to two events today.... 2.30pm to 6.45pm THE BIG CHRISTMAS PRESS SHOW at The Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1. Around 50 brands are showcasing their products to journalists and influencers for Christmas gifting. It is pretty much 90% females here, so handy to be with a couple of female friends for this event. Well known celebrity hairdresser NICKY CLARKE is here promoting his AirStyle Pro hair dryer & styler. Well known tv presenter RUTH LANGSFORD is promoting her products that she promotes uvia QTV. RED LETTER DAYS/BUYAGIFT are showcasing their 4500 experiences via their gift card. DISNEY LORCANA are showcasing their new collectable card game. POKEMON are showcasing their new trading cards. GEL BLASTER are here showcasing their outdoor fun shooter for teenagers. RAVENSBURGER are showcasing their family puzzles & board games. Many of the stands are giving out products to try, so we end up with a couple of bags of swag. Catering company BERRY & BRIE are handing out their complimentary food boxes all day long. Check out their website www.berryandbrie.com The KOCKTAIL company have a bar with complimentary cocktails. The EMISSARY bar is serving complimentary prosecco. Also mulled wine and coffees with mince pies at another stand. Lots of seating inside the main space and around the edges. then 7.30pm to 11.30pm FAZENDA - launch party - 100 Bishopsgate Tower, near Liverpool Street, London EC2. We went to a preview dinner here a month ago ,( where we had the full Rodizio of 12 different meats ), but tonight it is a full launch party in this huge 170 cover venue. The ground floor is the main bar, and the upstairs is the main eating area. Fazenda are popular up North in Liverpool and Birmingham, and this is their sixth UK restaurant. Over 150 folks here and it is totally buzzing. We had a nice chat with the Scottish couple whose farm produces the wagyu beef for here. We chatted to a couple of female staff who were down from Liverpool, so had to mention i was going to see Echo & The Bunnymen at The Royal AlbertvHall this coming Monday. A full complimentary bar including Veuve Clicquot champers, 11 eleven different cocktails and more. The reception was full of yummy canapes including caviar on churros and oysters. In fact by the time we went upstairs for the dinner after 9pm , we were too full up the full Rodizio of 12 different meats, so this time we had the Fresh-water Scottish trout with sides. Desserts were a plate of Brazilian Chocolate truffles. Needless to say we had a great time here, and it be very popular with the city workers nearby. We left just after 11.30pm and the party was still lively. All guests got a steal plate cooking board on departure. What they say about FAZENDA... Set to continue the groups theme of “exuding century-old gaúcho traditions”, Fazenda serves a meat-forward rodizio menu: a classic Brazilian method of hanging meats by large skewers, which move through the dining room and are carved tableside, allowing diners to sample multiple meaty options. Naturally, the meats will be abundant, but expanding on the rodizio menu in London, and inspired by trips to Brazil and Argentina, chef Francisco Martinez has developed a range of other dishes. These include gamba patagonica (a large king prawn with spicy chimichurri), caviar e churros (Cornish Baeri caviar with churros), and moqueca de mar, a classic Brazilian stew of cod, carabinero prawns, mussels, tomato and coconut. Alongside the south-American food offering, guests can expect a multitude of Chilean, Argentinean wines, as well as lesser known Brazilian and Uruguayan bottles. On the same day as the launch party The Standard paper gave the restaurant a big full page review. The review was a tame 3/5 and said " it is like a Harvester and Gaucho had a baby"....which the reviewer didn't care for them calling the sides buffet table "a market table".