Well, no gig would be complete without some kind of travel drama. Yesterday it was the APPALLING service given by Thameslink due to their absolute shambolic implementation of their new timetable. We waited an hour for a train to London! We arrived at Luton station at around 2.41pm. The next train due was at 3.28pm. Some 20 minutes into the wait, there’s an announcement of a bus replacement service to St Albans…but the way it was worded sounded as if we needed to get on the bus to St Albans to continue the journey to London. Not so…but it took some faffing about…leaving the station for said bus, only to find no bus outside, etc, for this to become clear. So, we go back in the station. Wait on the platform for the train, only to hear (AS THE TRAIN ARRIVES ON THE PLATFORM) that the train is leaving from a different platform. No chance of us legging it over to the other platform on time, so we wait yet another 20 mins for the next train.
As we’re waiting for the next train to arrive, a member of staff walks past us and he says “are you ladies watching the trains?” SERIOUSLY?! I could have kicked his arse! “No, but it feels like we are!” was me reply to him. But internally my dialogue continued “Yep, we’re a right pair of trainspotters, us! A regular Renton and Spud.” Lol. Fuck me! The cheek! Anyway, finally by 3.49pm we were on a train to Blackfriars. Phew!
Catherine arrived on stage promptly at 7.30pm and launched straight into a fabulous rendition of Long Year.
“No latecomers!” was the wording on the Festival Hall information regarding “doors open” and set times. I was sat right by the stairway leading down to the lower stall seats on the right side of the auditorium. Thought I had the best seat in the house, until Catherine’s set began, and stream upon stream of latecomers were indeed being allowed in! For the first few minutes I could understand that…but it just kept happening right through her set. So, thank you usher staff at the Festival Hall for ruining an otherwise amazing performance!
From Long Year onto One For Sorrow, a rocking version at that! Wow, loved it. Only the second time I’ve got to experience hearing One For Sorrow live and it didn’t disappoint.
What Goes Around, and again, rocking…full of energy, passion…vitriol, as a song like that should be!
Some video of new song Show Your Face, as well as some of You And Only You. Both cracking! (You’ll see from the footage just what a bugbear that seat right by the stairway became.)
Catherine’s set finished with Confessions Of A Romance Novelist. And as promptly as she arrived, she said goodnight. It was a very short set. She was gone too soon! I wanted more! And I missed her performing Bury Me. But I could see from the rest of the set list and how the performance went that maybe she felt that Bury Me wouldn’t be in keeping with how she wanted the set to be. The set was tight, blended well…Show Your Face slotted in really nicely…cannot wait to hear the new album! It’s gonna be just as fab as “Confessions” if the new song is anything to go by.
Really hoping it isn’t too long before we see more Anchoress gigs. But she’s a busy lady for pretty much the rest of the year with her work with Simple Minds, so we shall see!
As we waited for the Manics set to begin, there was music being played over the sound system…I hear the opening chords to Two To Four Degrees by Warm Digits and I am in raptures! The boys getting a nod! I hope everyone had their phones out Shazamming WTF was being played when they heard it. Love my boys! 🙂
Oh, what can I say about the Manics? I mean, geez, they just nail the whole live thing. Born to do it! Nicky was back on the stage, having very recently lost his mother. It was wonderful to see him back.
The set started with International Blue from new album Resistance Is Futile – I’m starting to believe that to be a quite aptly named album!
They just rocked the place, really. Next up was Motorcycle Emptiness and…the crowd erupts. The inevitable sing-a-long ensues and for one who is not a hard and fast fan (but by no means a person who doesn’t like the band! I have delved into the Manics on and off over the years), you just get swept up in the passion and love of it all. The band love the fans, and the fans certainly love the band! “You Love Us” is not a song of bravado, but pure fact!
At this point I’ve got to mention the mix of the sound. The vocals for both The Anchoress set and for the Manics were not mixed well. It’s why I missed what the new song Catherine performed was called, and I was missing most of the lyrics too. JDB was just as lost in the mix most of the night as well. The mix was actually quite distorted for both sets…but it detracts none from either of their respective performances.
Highlights of the Manics set for me? You Stole The Sun From My Heart (it has long been a fave track of theirs), their cracking cover of The Cure’s In Between Days, Catherine’s appearance for Little Baby Nothing and Dylan And Caitlyn, If You Tolerate This, Faster, Hold Me Like A Heaven, Tsunami, People Give In and ending with arguably the BEST crowd sing-along anthem that exists, Design For Life. Wow! What a set!
Trust me, people…resistance really IS futile!
Next up on the Prip world tour is a trip to Edinburgh and Newcastle for the Rip It Up exhibition, a talk from Bruce Findlay and Ian Rankin, followed by ANOTHER gig with those Warm Digits boys again…this time on home turf! (Well, for one half of them anyways…Mr Steve Jefferis.)