I arrived in Liverpool at 3.20pm. I felt I didn’t have too much time on my hands to explore, so took a slow meander to reccie the venue. I did it at Glasgow too. I just like to walk around the whole outer of a venue and…well, find where the stage door is.
I did that yesterday…more on that later.
A meet up of fans in a nearby pub was organised for 6pm…I was chilling having a chai latte in the Costa Coffee across the way when I looked and saw the time had slipped by me and it was 6.30pm! Yikes!
I went over and I could see John and Julie Fagan (possibly the two most famous SM fans in the world!) waiting outside, greeting everyone that was coming to the pub. Such lovely people. When they both went to the gig in Nantes, they got new additions to add to their chandelier hats – violins. (The actual SM Acoustic chandelier is adorned with violins within its centre.) I had cheekly asked Julie if I could have one – assuming they were just cardboard cutouts…but no…they are actually proper tiny little violins, in their own case, with a little bow. I literally just one hour ago unwrapped it to see it is a proper little wooden toy violin. I can’t thank you enough, Julie, for such a lovely little memento of my time in Liverpool. It’s taken pride of place on our little “memory shelf”.
Also at the pub were David Fagan and his family. What a night his son Joseph had! Wow! I met Michelle Taylor and her cousin, Sally. Also met Jan Norris. Top notch ladies! Saw Andrew Chadwick and Steve Ashton. Met Neil Brown and Paul Verallo for the first time as well. Lovely guys. Also met up with Graham MacPherson. Lovely man.
Last but by no means least, Birdy and her friend were there :-)) We had some time for chat, pick up our VIP merch, get a drink in, and then it was showtime.
I got seated with just a few minutes to spare before Catherine came on stage for her set. She looked resplendent in a beautiful black and gold sparkly playsuit. Another wonderful set, ending with her version of Rivers Of Ice, which is beautiful. I was unable to film a song last night as filming was not allowed. (Yes, I later got to film Andy Warhol…but when I tried to film a song of Catherine’s, a member of staff asked me not to, so I dutifully put the camera away until later.)
A successful purchase of merchandise meant I could get a copy of Catherine’s CD signed for my friend in Australia, Gillian. Time for a retake of selfies, with Catherine taking control this time. She is my selfie mentor! 🙂 Thank you!
The Minds come on promptly at 9pm. Cherisse, as ever, plays a STONKING drum intro to New Gold Dream. As discussed in an earlier post, I am in Row D, seat 21…an aisle seat on the left side of the middle aisle. As Jim leaves the stage to do his “walkabout”, he takes the steps down on the far left of the stage. I assumed he would naturally then just take a walk down the left aisle…but no…he walks along the front of the seats and comes down to the middle aisle, and walks straight past me. Having been told off by staff when having my camera out for Catherine, I did not DARE have my camera out for the start of the Minds set, so alas, I have no footage of Jim walking past me…and COMING BACK DOWN the aisle again (maybe he was giving me time to get my camera ready?). I couldn’t step out…I couldn’t reach out to him as he walked past me. I remained rooted to the spot.
OMG…he and Sarah sssooo flirt it up during NGD! As a genuine critique, his vocal seemed lost in the mix when the set started, but it was soon sorted out, as I don’t remember noticing not hearing him so well after that.
Lots of banter from him. Lots of giggles. These gigs feel part Simple Minds acoustic gig, part Jim Kerr stand-up routine. Lol
My view was amazing! Just so amazing. Thank you eternally to my beautiful friend Steve Heighway for the VIP ticket. You are an absolute legend in so many ways, and I am honoured to call you my friend ❤️
Highlights for me? Andy Warhol (so glad I filmed it!), Stand By Love (it just gets the crowd going so much, it’s so joyous and upbeat – and Charlie’s playing is KILLER on this!), Waterfront, See The Lights, The American and Chelsea Girl. Cherisse’s playing on Chelsea Girl is out of this world! She’s f***ing awesome!
And, of course NGD was a standout tonight, because that beautiful man walked past me.
During the encore, Jim says “we don’t want to go home”. Buoyed by such a joyous, fabulous night, I shout out the retort of “Doddy lock-in!” He looks down at me and smiles, partly as if to say “In your dreams, girlie!” Of course it was wishful thinking. But, hey…dreams exist on the off chance they’ll be fulfilled.
At the end of the gig, I got to shake Cherisse’s hand and tell her how amazing and awesome she is 🙂
But! This is not where it ends…
Earlier, before the gig…prior to the pub meet-up. Once I had done the “reccie” of the venue, I got to chatting to a couple of fans outside the stage door. These two blokes had already been there waiting about 3 or 4 hours. I was enjoying chatting to them, so just decided to hang about a bit. A lady came along then, asking the three of us had we seen or met anyone yet. She was an absolute nervous wreck! All she wanted was to meet Jim. She’s been a Minds fan for 30 years and this was her FIRST GIG! She’s utterly smitten with Jim (I thought I was bad!), and she was needing the loo and wanted to finish changing into her outfit for the night, but didn’t want to leave the line. She took her chance after a while. I thought about going with her (I needed the loo too…I spent ALL of yesterday endlessly feeling like I needed the loo. Lol) but I didn’t want to leave either. All this talk of meeting him, not wanting to meet him. Could I do it? I dunno! This time I just wanted to…”wait and see”.
Some time passes…it’s getting quite late (about 5.30pm)…and then the tour bus pulls up right in front of us. First off is Gordy Goudie, followed by Elaine Gwyther (the band’s assistant manager). I approach her and thank her for everything she has done for me…re: passing on all my silly crap to Sir. She asked me who I was, I said “Larelle”, I think her face betrayed her as she went internally “Oh, yes. You’re the f***ing fruit loop” and then I felt silly for making myself known like that. But I wanted to thank her all the same, even if I did get the impression she wanted to give me a very wide berth from thereon in.
Gordy didn’t go straight into the venue (think he was taking a moment to have a ciggie), so after my word with Elaine, I asked him if I could have a selfie with him. Crap selfie-taker as I am, he says to me “have you not got one of them sticks?” “No”, I say to him. Well, as it is, I DO have a selfie stick…but I never carry it with me. Anyway…here’s the pic…doesn’t help when the sun’s in your eyes. Thank you, Gordy. You’re a true laid-back cool dude. It was fab to finally meet you.
Catherine and Sarah alight the bus but made a straight beeline for the stage door (Catherine meets and greets after her set each night). And then…HE appears…and the small crowd of maybe 10 people BALLOONS to about 50! The lady I was chatting to, prior to the bus pulling up kept saying “I’m gonna be sick”. I think she was doing a great job at deflecting my own nerves.
I was bizarrely calm as he came into view. Some nerves, of course, but I wasn’t as tangled up in knots as I expected. That very quickly changes when he spots me and says “Hello. You’re you.”, he then puts his hand out for me to shake…and the rest is pretty much a blur. I think as he shook my hand he might have said “nice to meet you”, but I could be wrong as my brain was in complete meltdown. Lol. I did not expect him to greet me….I DID NOT! I really was there merely as an observer. I didn’t push myself forward. At least I didn’t feel I did. I was being very much the “wallflower”, standing back. My nervous mate was in front of me. She then asks me to take a pic of her and him with her phone. She hands it to me, I accidentally press a button on the side, the screen goes black….I want the ground to swallow me up. I say “oops, sorry” hand the phone back to her, as she’s trying to sort it out, he gets impatient and says “are you gonna take this photo or what?” Lol…not in a rude way, just in a “come on, ladies, I ain’t got all day”. At last the phone is sorted, and I take some bloody fab shots…of HER AND HIM! Lol. She was over the moon. As was I, frankly. As I say…I never expected him to greet me. In all honesty, I was expecting him to completely snub me…and the crazy thing is, I would have been fine with that, and not had expected anything else. He genuinely floored me by greeting me. And as I always assumed I would be, I was ga ga…in a stupor. I don’t know how I remained composed enough to take that ladie’s photo with him…well, I did make her screen go blank on first attempt…my hands were shaking!
I don’t think I said a word to him. I could just about muster the words “there you go” to the lady as I handed her phone back, after the successful snaps. I was hoping for my turn then, but he moved swiftly on. Collectively, we had taken up enough of his time.
I don’t remember thanking him or anything. I don’t remember saying a single word to him. I feel both ecstatic for having met him yet mortified I could not talk to him, or say SOMETHING! Even just, “thank you”! Or retorted and said “You’re you? (Lol) Say my name, at least! It’s Larelle.” But no, that would have taken thought…intelligence…calm…everthing that absolutely washed away from me when he spoke to me.
Here are the only two photos of him I took on my own phone. Just before he clocked me and said hello…
Of course, when you have someone like that shake your hand, you say “I’m never washing my hand again!” Lol. Of course, the cold hard reality is is that I had been busting for the loo for at least an hour, so the first thing I needed to do was use a loo and wash my hands! Sod’s law! Lol
Still, the feeling of his hand shaking mine will remain.
Thank you, Sir. Jim. A million times. I stayed relatively composed yesterday, and was just happy and grinning. But now I feel truly humbled and can feel tears. Particularly after what happened in Manchester. So many beautiful young lives lost. Life is for making memories. You made a beautiful memory for me yesterday, Jim.
This is for all those young, beautiful lives lost…their only “crime” being wanting to make happy memories for themselves.