Now…where do I start with this one? Getting there? Delays getting into Hull. Points signal failures in Hull meant trains arriving were backing up. It took a good extra hour before I arrived in Brid. I checked into the place I was staying at. I was meant to have a single room, but was given a free upgrade to a double (I was liking Brid already!)….free wifi was available as well as a complimentary vegetarian cooked “full English” breakfast in the morning. All for £25! Bloody hell!
I took a walk down to the seafront. The strangest thing happened. These two young children…a boy and a girl…no older than 10 (I would say they were about 8) asked if I would like to see them play this colourful piano over the way. I said “yeah, okay”, a little dubious, but they seemed genuine…nothing sinister at play. The girl said to me “Oh, that’s really good. You are the first person in AGES that has said yes. Most people we’ve asked have said no. I am careful not to ask men, because, you know, stranger danger and that”…and then proceeds to walk off down the way a bit to ask this very same question just posed of me to a middle aged man. Mercifully he declined. They were such sweet kids, but I worried for them. I tried to implore them to be careful about who they asked and to stay safe. The innocence of children can still be so beautiful. I tried to keep an eye on them…but lost sight of them after a few minutes. You couldn’t help but worry. Where the f*** were their parents, I wondered. Or if they even knew their kids were doing this.
I just meandered about. Did my usual reccie of the venue, but obviously arrived too late for a pre-gig meeting op, as both tour buses were already parked up. Meandered some more. Couldn’t decide what to eat. Didn’t want anything much so settled on a chip buttie. Messily ate my chip buttie while taking in the view.
Time was getting on. We were heading towards 7pm, and I knew with the tightened security, I’d need to give myself time to get into the place. So on I went, back up the seafront to the venue, when who should I see walking in the opposite direction?! Yes, it appeared that Sir was out for a stroll too. He was being very low key…well, trying to be…as much as you can be when…well, when you’re a world famous rock star just leasurely walking along the seafront of a little seaside town.
He waved at me…I’m not quite sure why…just to acknowledge that we’d seen each other? Being friendly? Genuinely just wanting to say hello? Who knows. But I had no intention of going over to him. One…I was again (I could feel it surfacing very quickly), a gibbering idiot, and two, it was his “pre gig” down time. All he wanted was a quiet stroll, and I for one was going to respect that. As we walked by each other, I said as much. I said “I will leave you alone”. To me, it was the respectful thing to do. If I had been fully composed, I’d have done the same thing. The fact I could just about have the steel to utter those words was amazing. I could feel myself going scarlet.
I join the queue to get in to the Spa and hear two women saying “Yeah, we just saw Jim down on the seafront. He posed for selfies with us.” Well, at least I showed respect (or so I thought…but I didn’t blame them for trying). Well, I hope that’s how it came across, I was then thinking. What if he thinks I’m snubbing him?! Who snubs someone like that?! No, surely he’ll see I was being respectful of his quiet time?!
I get in fairly early. Start chatting to a local man called Martin. A retired police officer. He was seated next to me. He was on his tod too, so we sat and chatted while waiting for Catherine. He seemed pleasant enough…but I couldn’t quite work out why he was here at this Minds gig. He didn’t strike me as much of a fan. But hey, people can enjoy gigs just for the experience of live music.
Catherine comes out and the set was sounding really wonderful musically. There was just a different vibe tonight. The music sounded sweeter and more poignant. Catherine’s voice sounded more powerful and emotional than usual. It was sounding SO great.
I had brought a full set of David Bowie postcards with me. I had planned to give them to Jim. I was going to say “I know I keep sending them to you here and there, but here’s a full, unused set”. But as I was listening to Catherine’s set last night, I was thinking “No. I’ve given him enough. These are Catherine’s. I’ll give them to her at the end of her set when she’s at the merch stall.”
And then…and then she prepares to perform Rivers Of Ice and dedicates the song to me!!! I just want to cry! Jim has done some wonderful things for me. Lord knows he has. I still talk of the “Spaceface” moment. Well, maybe it has been trumped by the “Rivers Of Ice” moment.
I kind of involuntarily call out. Just so she knows I heard…”OH MY GOD, Catherine! I love you.” At least I think I say I love you…maybe “thank you”. I am just floored. And I am shaking, and on the verge of tears. What can you say to something like that? I’ve never…just. What a beautiful thing to do!!!
I go to the merch stall because I need to thank her for such a beautiful gesture, and to give her the Bowie postcards. We embrace and I hand her the Bowie postcards. Honest to a fault, I tell her I had planned to give them to Jim…but now I fear it’ll seem my decision was altered due to the Rivers Of Ice dedication…but it wasn’t. It was down to the extra poignancy, beauty and emotion that was coming from her performance last night.
The main show felt a little…restrained. Not the band. They were awesome! Jim was ON from the get go. I could understand why I felt rooted to my seat in Glasgow. I was front row in the balcony…unless others get up, I feel far too self-conscious to be the first. But at Bridlington…I dunno. I was right on the end of the row, right on the edge. It shouldn’t have mattered…and after a while I didn’t care…and I stood up for a lot of the gig…but there was this weird sitting-not sitting thing going on all night. It was a strange crowd. It felt it to me anyway. And my mate…he seemed quite mocking most of the time. Hand clapping out of time. Steadfastly staying in his seat until literally EVERYONE ELSE got up. He was kind of putting me off being next to me, to be honest.
As with so far on this tour, my utter faves were Chelsea Girl and The American. Honestly, considering how indifferent I was to how it sounded on the album, to love The American so much during this tour feels odd…but it’s just so great.
Them doing Andy Warhol divides opinion between fans…but I bloody love it. Gordy’s voice is really suited to it.
And so, onto “but that’s not all” part two. Earlier in the day I met Adrian and his partner Michelle. I have gotten to know them through fellow SM fan and friend, Gillian. We had a bit of chat…a bit more at the merch stall. And we got to talking again post-gig waiting at the stage door. I left the auditorium as they were still taking their final bow on the stage. I knew it would be some hike to that stage door, given its location. I wanted to get their early in case they fled early. As it was, they had a bit of a,post-gig come down inside the Spa. We waited about 30-40 mins before they started to emerge. Not all were in the mood. Ged, Sarah and Cherisse headed straight for the coach. Then Charlie appeared. I held back and let others (including Adrian) go to him first. He’s a sweet man and was happy to pose for a photo with me.
I then helped out this poor nervous wreck of a fan. I thought I could be nervous…but this guy held off. Both Adrian and Michelle and then myself were imploring this man to just…bite the bullet and ask. I feared he’d miss out being too nervous to put himself forward. Charlie at this point was talking to a couple of PCSO’s (Police Community Support Officers)…as he was about to head for the coach, I tapped him on the shoulder and said “Charlie, please. He is far too nervous” (pointing to the man), “can you please sign this for him?” (he had an Acoustic tour program ready to be signed). Charlie, the sweet man he is said “Sure. No problem.”
The man thanked both myself and Adrian (he’d borrowed Adrian’s Sharpie marker) and was still a ball of nerves but so, so happy!
And then Jim appears. Adrian approaches him saying “Hi, Jim. I’ve come all the way from Oz. Can I get a photo with you?” He says “sure”, looks at me and says “she doesn’t want one”. I found enough voice to say, “Oh, I do! Please?” But with the beauty of hindsight I could hear myself saying stuff like “but we better take a photo first”. Lol. Or “Oh, but I do! And a photo! Boom boom!” and waggle my eyebrows for good measure…but I would NEVER be able to say ANYTHING like that to his face. I think my head would explode from embarrassment! Lol. It was ripe for a good old ‘double entendre’ though…goddamnit! Lol.
Adrian poses for snaps, gets some stuff signed and then Michelle says “pose with Jim, I’ll take some snaps”…and well…here is a sequence of photos.
How can we possibly top Bridlington? I just…I can’t even conjure up anything that could top it. Well…there *is*’still the challenge of him saying my name left to conquer. I’ve been referred to as “you” and “she” so far…like you don’t know my name, Jim! If it was something…ordinary…but, in all honesty, how many Larelle’s do you know?! Come on!!! You are ssooo playing with me! I *will* win. I’ll at least not give up without a good fight, anyway!
Thank you for the happy snaps, Sir ❤️