Ray's Gigs

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Tuesday 28 November 2023.

See my Facebook page for some old photos Four of me in Oct 1977 age 18 in my Sex Pistols punk attire. Three photos i took at a special gig at The Electric Ballroom where Sid Vicious and Glen Matlock played together. ------ Tuesday 28 November 2023. VAN MORRISON live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Van plays the second of two shows at this venue. Again not sold out , as there is space in the stalls and level 3 . RUSTY EGAN was here tonight. Again VAN and band arrived on stage at 7.55pm for 95 mins. The show and setlist was pretty much the same , although track order was changed a bit and I think ' Blueberry Hill' was replaced by another track on the second night. Again all the band members sounded fantastic. Every now and then Van would wave his hand to speed up or slow down the band. The outro song was good again for the encore as each member played a solo....Van left the stage after the vocals halfway through and no doubt was out of the venue and halfway home. Again no solo hits but it was still a great show. ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ Monday 27 November 2023. VAN MORRISON live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Sir Van has announced two exclusive album launch shows in London. The Northern Irish blues legend will celebrate his 45th studio album, 'Accentuate The Positive', which was released 03 Nov 2023....which is a covers album. This is his second album release this year. Van is still rockin' at the age of 78, and after 60 years of singing with that amazing voice. I have seen Van over 15 times since 1979 when he headlined Hammersmith Odeon. ------------ Surprisingly tonight is not sold out although it looks pretty full. A mainly older crowd here as expected. The merch stand is selling Van signed vinyl albums for £40 , along with special t-shirts with the two London dates on them. Van is down for his usual early start early finish , with no support band. He was down for 8pm and 90 mins but actually came on a bit early at 7.55pm and played for 95 mins. Van comes on wearing his Fedora hat and sunglasses. Van plays some sax , harmonica and acoustic guitar during the show...and the roadie gives him lyric sheets for each song. Van did say in advance that these shows would focus on his recent covers album if tracks he used to sing in Belfast bars in the 1960s , and that's pretty much how it was. We had loads of covers songs from the last album and a few from his album of skiffle covers that was the one before. Sadly he did not sing any of his classic hits tonight. Interaction with the audience was lacking and wouldnít everyone have loved to hear 'Brown Eyed Girl' or similar but it was 100% Van the Man and I canít complain at that. The work ethic was fantastic, Vans voice was great and his versions of the covers were great , not a pause and a band second to none including a fantastic backing singer (Elle) made it a great night out. Full VAN MORRISON setlist played tonight... Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (Johnny Mercer cover) I Want a Roof Over My Head (Steve Gibson & The Red Caps cover) Problems (The Everly Brothers cover) You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis cover) I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams cover) When Will I Be Loved (The Everly Brothers cover) Red Sails in the Sunset (Jimmy Kennedy cover) A Shot of Rhythm and Blues (Arthur Alexander cover) Bonaparte's Retreat ([traditional] cover) Sea of Heartbreak (Don Gibson cover) Shakin' All Over ( Johnny Kidd and the Pirates cover) Lonesome Train (On a Lonesome Track) (Johnny Burnette & The Rock íní Roll Trio cover) Two Hound Dogs (Bill Haley and His Comets cover) Lucille ( Little Richard cover) Bye Bye Johnny (Chuck Berry cover) Blueberry Hill (Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra cover) The Shape I'm In (Kenny Lee Martin cover) Shake, Rattle and Roll ( Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings cover) Cold, Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover) Green Rocky Road ([traditional] cover) (plus excerpt from Northern Muse (Solid Ground)) Encore: Flip Flop and Fly (Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings cover) (extended outro with band instrumentals on their own )