A Small World & Say My Name! Gigs Four and Five – London Palladium and Bristol

Palladium:

I thought I was going to be late into London. Was panicking about missing the coach to London and then traffic being chaotic and getting there with very little time to spare. As it was, I got there in plenty of time – with two hours before doors opened.

I was totally dolled up. It was the Palladium after all. I had to make an effort! (You can’t see the full effect of the dress, but there were stars all over it, and my boots were shiny and sparkly.)

sparkles

Those boots had heels…I haven’t worn heels for YEARS. Mercifully it was just a short walk down the road from where the coach dropped me off near Marble Arch down to to the Palladium. Normally a short walk…but it was a Saturday…London was HEAVING…and I was in heels. Lol. It killed time.

I reached the HMV store and thought “Ooh that gold vinyl pressing of Hunky Dory came out yesterday, I wonder if they have any copies?” and got pulled into the store. Lo! There was a whole wall of them. I had £20 on me and so…

bowiegold

Once outside the Palladium, I had a small reccie of the place. Didn’t really plan on doing anything. It’s London…too chaotic…and well, it would have been greedy after Bridlington! I did get my obligatory pic of the venue and my view of the stage.

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palladiumstageview

I didn’t know what to do to kill the time. At one point, I just stood outside over the way. I noticed a man near me with a VIP lanyard and got to chatting with him. His name is Tim, and he’s from Bedford. Small world, as I am just down the road in Luton. He’d seen them on and off through the years. Our chat extended on to a lady next to us. Tim was waiting on a friend and when he arrived, they went off together. It left me chatting with the lady. Her name is Alison, and she was there primarily to see Catherine.

We chatted further once we went inside. Alison had come to know Catherine from being a fan of Paul Draper and Mansun. And of course my way through to Catherine’s music was via SM, so it was a lovely convergence. Two fans united in appreciation of Catherine, discovering her via our differing routes. BUT! In a crazy, small world, as we chatted away further, we discovered that we only live half a mile away from each other!! The utter randomness of us beginning to chat outside, to find we are both Lutonians was just nuts! We have friended each other on Facebook, exchanged details and will meet again soon. So amazing!

Catherine’s set was beautiful, as ever. And she looked resplendent in her gold suit. I found myself sitting almost directly behind her mum, which was a lovely touch.

I met up with Alison again and we waited by the merch stand. Alison had bought Catherine’s album and was hoping to get it signed. I was so wanting to tell Catherine about the crazy serendipity of Alison and I meeting outside and living so close. I had a bronze Sharpie to hand to Catherine as I could see she was using a black one to sign things, and the bronze would be so much nicer on the cover.

Merch signed, selfie taken, a quick loo stop and back in for the main affair.

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Wow! What a gig! The chandelier never looked so perfectly placed and lit up. It was stunning. The crowd were up as soon as Jim hit the stage…well, as soon as Cherisse started banging away, actually.

Not much else I can say about the Palladium other than it was just a BUZZ. It was brilliant! Jim was on fire….as performer, showman, funnyman. He just has it. He really does. He’s just captivating. In a different way to how he used to be. I love how mesmerising he was in the past…the moves, the aloofness (which was no doubt a blend of not being quite so self-assured, even though he talks of not having nerves back then in interviews), the edginess…cool detachment. Of course now he is engaging and comfortable in his own skin…and that pulls one in. He makes you feel like you’re…hanging out with him. Well, that’s how it makes me feel anyway. You feel part of it. Not like he’s performing FOR you…but with you…if that makes sense? Which it doesn’t! Lol. We’re not on the stage, as fans, but there doesn’t feel like there’s a stage. The way the gigs open with NGD? It’s a masterstroke…and what he does is.

I met Alison again after the show. She loved it! A converted SM fan! We were making our separate ways home. The train for Alison. The coach for me. We will meet again soon, for sure!

I had a VERY long walk back to my coach stop in those damn heels! I should have just walked down to Marble Arch…but NO…I walked to Baker Street instead…well, Gloucester Place, actually. My walk was twice as long as it needed to be. I’m a glutton! But worth every single ache and blister 😉

Bristol:

Up half the night and then up early to get a coach back into London and from there, another onto Bristol, and then onwards to the PIC’s place. Arrived at Birdy’s around 5.30pm. Was panicking as I set out that I (as usual) would not get into London in plenty of time. Amazingly, I caught the earlier coach in, and had an hour to wait at Victoria for the Bristol coach. Phew! As it transpired, longer still, as the Bristol coach got delayed by 45 mins.

A very good night was had by myself and Birdy. We saw in the “New Sunrise” and had tender heads after some rest until the late morning.

We arrived in Briz just after 5pm…and had to do the usual reccie of the place. For Birdy, it’s her local venue, so she knows it well. This was my first ever time to Colston Hall (I’d only ever been to one other venue in Bristol, and that was the Hippodrome in 2002 to see a production of Beauty And The Beast – in the midst of my spell of whooping cough! And just prior to a trip back to Oz with said whooping cough! 2002 nearly did me in!), so the reccie was essential.

brizzlereccie

A small bite to eat for us both, then we met Birdy’s friend and got ourselves set for showtime! Wow! I was in the second row, two in from the centre aisle. It really could not have been a better view. I didn’t feel I needed to be in the front row. It was perfect where I was.

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Catherine was just wonderful again. Beautiful in her shimmering playsuit and the highest of heels (which she removes for keyboard playing). As you’ll see from yesterday’s postings, I was able to take some photos and record P.S. Fuck You.

This time I decided to buy a 7″ copy of Popular and as I was waiting in the queue, I was thinking “I’ll get her to sign it ‘you’re a bastard’, that’ll be so cool!”. Well, you know…I am one. A double one, in fact. The result of two estranged marriages so I am a ‘double bastard’, not that we talk much in those terms these days. Catherine was obliging, which was fab of her. She must have thought it a rather strange request, but I love it! Thank you, Catherine 🙂

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And here we were. On to the show I probably had anticipated the most due to my positioning. Well, both anticipated and dreaded in equal measure, at times. During the lead up to the gigs, and all that “I’ve put my foot in it. I’ve pissed him off. He doesn’t like me any more.” saga that was obviously going on in my own head…because, as the gigs have gone on…it has all been washed away. Any of those feelings that I had of him being pissed off with me, etc…all long gone. Do you shake hands with someone you’re pissed off with? Do you hug someone when posing for a photo with them if you’re pissed off with them? No…I shouldn’t think so. Do you offer them a gem of double entendre they do NOTHING with? Lol. No!!

I Facebook Live recorded NGD. I was ready this time. I felt I needed to oblige to the venue request of “no filming” at Liverpool…but I heard no such thing at Bristol, so I needed to do it. They had placed steps right by us for Jim to get down, so it was ON!

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If you follow me on Facebook, then you’ve seen the vid…if not, here’s a link…

He didn’t wander off very far this time. Expected to lose sight of him completely, as what happened at the Palladium. He disappeared completely on Saturday night. Lol. Maybe he was worried he’d get lost again?

He was on absolute top form from the get go. New bits of banter I had not heard had me in hysterics. Him talking of his and Charlie’s escapades being in Bristol and escaping the Monmouth countryside during early SM recordings. Seeing acts at Colston Hall. Elvis Costello, Van Morrison (“he was grumpy” he says. Myself and someone else in the crowd replied “Hmmm, no change there, then”! Lol), XTC – which got a great round of applause (kinda local boys, as they hail from just up the road in Swindon)…and Gary Numan. He says “After the gig, Charlie says ‘So, what’d you think?’. I said ‘I think he’s going bald'”. The crowd cracks up…me in particular. He then says “Look who’s laughing now. He has more hair than me now!” I wanted to shout out “If you can call it ‘hair'”! – Gary’s ‘weave’, I mean. It’s a bit akin to astroturf, as opposed to grass…but it works for him. Bless him!

We have eye contact at times. And I am not shying away this time. I am in raptures. Loving my spot, loving the set. At one point he pokes his tongue out at me…and I really don’t know what to do with that! I feel myself going scarlet again. If I was the brazen type, maybe I’d have poked mine out back to him…perhaps I was thinking “did you just do that TO ME? Was there someone behind me?” I didn’t look behind me to see. But…he seemed to be looking straight at me. Of course…it floored me and I turned to mush.

I made this gif of Paul Keating from when he was in parliament back in the day…this is exactly what I feel like EVERY SINGLE TIME there is an interaction between us…

keatinggibberish

And then…

He talks about how the whole acoustic project came to be…relays the story of the money and the Swiss chocolate…except, the past few times he has been pondering whether the correct term for more than one Toblerone should be kept as as the singular collective or whether it should be pluralised (ie: Toblerones). On Monday night he mentions this again, then turns around and says, “Larelle will know.” (In a nano second, my head is saying, internal monologue style “Eh? Did he just…? How the fuck do I know?”) In the meantime he’s saying…looking at me “Is it Toblerone or Toblerones?” I SOMEHOW…and I still am not sure HOW, gain the resolve and fortitude to answer, “It’s plural. It’s plural”, complete with authoritative nod. I haven’t got a fucking Scooby! Lol. But it matters little…HE SAID MY NAME! I say it matters little…but I wish I’d been ready…because I am losing the sound of it, because I was so ill prepared for it. I want to hear it over and over! I’ll be on an eternal search to find if someone filmed it now, to hear it again. I love you, Jim….but goddamn you for saying it when I wasn’t ready!!! Arrrrg!!! Lol

And, well… you can imagine how the rest of the gig went. Wonderfully. In a haze. Over too soon…

It was beyond all of my expectations. How we keep managing to trump the previous gig is just nucking futs!! (Deliberate Spoonerism)

Where the hell can the next one go?

I don’t want my bubble to burst. I don’t want it to end…

I don’t think I’ve had a bank holiday weekend like it…and doubt I ever will again.

There’s a few days now until back to back gigs in Brighton and Drury Lane…but yes…

“She’s a spaceface floating ’round / she’s never coming down” – these words were never truer.

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