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!

Tuesday 17 October 2023.

Tuesday 17 October 2023. I went to two events at famous London five star hotels. 6.30pm to 8pm. PRIVATE VIEW - Like Paradise - Claridge's Hotel ArtSpace, Mayfair, London W1. Around 150 guests here , including the fully dressed up DANIEL LISMORE and 6' 6" Blonde in Latex Performance Artist PANDEMONIA. Complimentary Laurent Perrier champers and nibbles for all guests. Claridge’s ArtSpace in Brook’s Mews Mayfair is proud to be opening Like Paradise, a dynamic group exhibition curated by the renowned Ekow Eshun, bringing together artists of colour exploring natural landscapes. Like Paradise focuses on figures of colour within scenes of nature - a bold retort to the clichéd urban environment. Historically, people of colour have been excluded from narratives about the countryside, yet these artists conjure the natural world as a site of hope, renewal, and liberation. A place of freedom. The exhibition includes multidisciplinary work from painting and mixed media to photography, film, and ceramics (with pieces created specifically for this exhibition). It is on until 05 Dec 2023. then 8.15pm to 11pm. HILTON HOTEL PARK LANE - 60th anniversary party - Mayfair, London W1. Around 300 guests here in their very nice ballroom. Including MICHAEL BUERK (British journalist , tv presenter and newsreader) and his wife. We have a good covers band , playing classics from the 1960s and 1970s. The band also organised a dance competition where the winner won an overnight stay at the hotel. We have some lookalikes including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe , Elvis Presley and Austin Powers. There were film clips and photos of celebrities and royalty who have stayed at or visited the hotel. There is an ice sculpture of the hotel at the back. A couple of female acrobats are performing. There was a fun photo booth. Complimentary bar , except champers, so four different cocktails, all spirits including JD n cokes, prosecco, wines, beers. Half a dozen food stations including meats, seafood inc oysters, veggie, desserts and canapes. A great party. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Sunday 15 October 2023. DIANA ROSS live at The Royal Albert Hall. The second of two RAH shows for Diana Ross. Motown legend returns to the UK, even though she said that her 2022 dates over here were her farewell UK tour....very handy for me as I didn't get along to her 02 Arena shows back then. I have seen her a few times on stage before. Expect lots of classics from her time in The Supremes and from her solo career. Also a couple of tracks from the films she has been in. Diana Ross is now aged 79. In the 1980s Diana Ross went out with Gene Simmons from Kiss for a couple of years. Only five shows in Europe this time...and these two RAH shows are the only ones in the UK. -------- The venue is nearly full despite the eye-watering ticket prices, where seats on the floor and the stalls swivel seats were £200 to £300 plus booking fees. Maybe they need that money to pay for the 20 musicians on stage , including a string section, brass section and four backing singers. Diana arrives on stage to a standing ovation , and folks stay standing for most of the show. Diana looks and sounds great , with the big hair, big smile and a few very glamourous sparkly gowns. Diana was on stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 35 mins and 80 mins. The first set was mainly Supremes hits, and the second set was her career after The Supremes We have a big screen showing videos and photos from Diana's career. The camera panning the crowd went down well, as Amy Winehouse dad Mitch was in the second row and Abi Clancy and her female chums were a few rows behind. Good to meet up with punk artist MAL-ONE and his wife Faith in the very nice downstairs bar. Diana said " on my next birthday I will be 80", which got big cheers. A nice video of Diana playing this same venue back in 1973, where Diana brought her young daughter on stage , and tonight the same daughter sings a song with Diana in stage. A top notch excellent show by this music legend. Sadly she did not perform two of my faves 'Chain Reaction' or ' I'm Still Waiting'. Full DIANA ROSS setlist played tonight.. FIRST SET I'm Coming Out More Today Than Yesterday (Spiral Starecase cover) My World Is Empty Without You (The Supremes song) Baby Love (The Supremes song) Stop! In the Name of Love (The Supremes song) Come See About Me (The Supremes song) Reflections (Diana Ross & The Supremes cover) You Can't Hurry Love (The Supremes song) Love Child (Diana Ross & The Supremes cover) SECOND SET The Boss Endless Love (Diana Ross & Lionel Richie cover) If We Hold on Together Upside Down Touch Me in the Morning Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand) Love Hangover / Take Me Higher Ease on Down the Road (Diana Ross and Michael Jackson cover) Fine and Mellow (Billie Holiday cover) Don't Explain (Billie Holiday cover) Home (Stephanie Mills cover) I Still Believe Count on Me (with Rhonda Ross Kendrick) If the World Just Danced (Shortened) Why Do Fools Fall in Love (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers cover) Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell cover) I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor cover) (Stopped and restarted to tell off security) Thank You