Ray's Gigs

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Thursday 30 November 2023.

Thursday 30 November 2023....I went to two events today.. 1pm to 4.30pm. 35th WILLIAM HILL Sports Book of The Year, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly , London W1. Maybe 100 guests max at this afternoon event. At 1.30pm we go into the seated theatre for the presentation. Retired US distance runner’s autobiography Good for a Girl wins the main prize LAUREN FLESHMAN'S book Good for a Girl: My Life Running in a Man’s World has earned great reviews this year and it was named William Hill sports book of the year. The prestigious award comes with a £30,000 prize and it is the first book about women in sport, authored by a woman, to win in the 35-year history of the award. It is also the first outright book about athletics or running to win the accolade. In 2002 the prize went to In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens whereas in 2020 the winner was The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Russia’s Secret Doping Empire, but Fleshman’s book is the first book that is 100% about the No.1 Olympic sport to take the prize. Fleshman, 42, finished seventh in the 2011 world 5000m final, won two national titles at 5000m and has a best of 14:58.58. The book is part memoir, part manifesto and is reviewed among a selection of other books in the December issue of AW magazine, which is out next week. The judges for the William Hill award praised Good for a Girl for its “heartfelt narrative” and “compelling writing”, as well as its crucial advocacy for reform in sports for young women. Lauren Fleshman (Getty) Fleshman said: “Having a woman being elevated for telling her own story is rare, and we need a lot more of that. That’s why awards like this are so important. I came here optimistic, but then convinced myself I had no chance when I looked at the shortlist. “I am delighted to be the winner of this prestigious award. I hope it makes sport better for the future of women and girls.” “Good for a Girl is not only a must-read book on the challenges that women face in sport but a moving and informative memoir that will grip those who are not athletics fans. Lauren Fleshman exposes and shatters myths with disarming honesty and exceptional writing – it is a wonderful read and thoroughly deserving of the title William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2023.” Fleshman’s rivals in the contest included books on tennis, snooker and rugby. The five authors on the shortlist, alongside Lauren Fleshman, receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book. They are: Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson by Sally H. Jacobs Concussed: Sport’s Uncomfortable Truth by Sam Peters Kick The Latch by Kathryn Scanlan Unbreakable by Ronnie O’Sullivan Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport by Sharron Davies with Craig Lord Complimentary prosecco , wines , beers, canapes and mini-doughnuts for all the guests. then.. MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP live at Shepherds Bush Empire. 68 year old German guitar legend is celebrating his 50th anniversary in music. Expect several classic rock UFO tracks from when he was in the band in the 1970s in the setlist. I have seen him on stage around a dozen times over the years. Needless to say , I was really looking forward to this show. --------- Level 3 is closed tonight , but other the levels look full. Glam rock legend DON POWELL from Slade is here. NIGHT DEMON arrived on stage at 7.30pm for their 45 mins set. The Californian power metal trio played some decent tracks from their albums. MSG arrived on stage at 8.50pm and played 1 hour 40 mins. Michael Schenker is still playing some nifty guitar with his trademark Flying V guitars. Several UFO classics got the crowd singing loudly along. A great show. Full MSG setlist played tonight.... Into the Arena Cry for the Nations Doctor Doctor (UFO cover) Looking for Love Lights Out ( UFO cover) Red Sky Shoot Shoot ( UFO cover) Emergency On and On Let It Roll ( UFO cover) Attack of the Mad Axeman Natural Thing (UFO cover) Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Armed and Ready Desert Song Rock Bottom ( UFO cover) ( including MS extended guitar solo) Too Hot to Handle ( UFO cover) Only You Can Rock Me ( UFO cover) After the show a few of us went to next door to The Dorsett Hotel for a chat with DON POWELL. ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ Wednesday 29 November 2023. SAM TOMPKINS live at Hammersmith Apollo. Fast rising British singer- songwriter , who has had a Top 10 EP. So far 2023 has seen Sam Tompkins release the first two singles from his upcoming album ‘Lose It All’ and recent release ‘See Me’, with both releases receiving an outpouring of support from fans, accumulating over 20M views, and growing his social following to surpass 2M. From busking in Brighton, to be spotted by Justin Bieber on the internet , and Justin covering one of his songs , which has helped Sam get some success in North America. This European Tour starts tonight after five shows by Sam in North America. Sam sold out The Forum Kentish Town on his last UK tour. ----------- It is stalls standing tonight, and an impressive 3500 tickets sold out of the 5000 capacity sold. There is over 100 on the guest list , and Sam must be a big Arsenal footie fan as the tour laminate pass has the Arsenal logo on the back of it. ARTHUR HILL arrived on stage at 8pm for his 30 mins set. He was backed by two musicians , for some decent songs but a cover of 'Jolene' seemed an odd choice. SAM TOMPKINS arrived on stage at 9.05pm for his 65 mins set. Sam is backed by three musicians behind him on a platform. He has a nice voice , and a couple of tracks were uptempo but most were gentle mellow easy going, a bit like Ed Sheeran. Sam got very emotional about his dad who took his own life just a fortnight ago. He said "To my lovely dad. i am so sorry i couldn’t have been your friend growing up. i’m sorry we couldn’t go for a walk or a pint and i couldn’t turn to you and really ask you if everything is okay. let you know it’s alright to chat to me. Tell you all the brilliant things that you are and will become. and just how much you meant to the people who knew you". The final track of the night was his big hit ' Lose It All' with all the crowd standing up and singing loudly along. Overall the show ticked along nicely.