The Race (For Life) Is The (Glittering) Prize

It was such a great day today. The weather conditions were perfect. Temps in the high teens, cloudy with a light breeze. Unlike last year when I was a disorganised idiot and turned up 5 minutes before race time, I got there in plenty of time this time.

There didn’t seem to be as many people taking part this year as last year but hopefully we raised just as much. Hopefully more! I certainly raised far more this year. Current total is at £282 (the Just Giving page can take donations until July 20th!), which is beyond my £250 target, and over FOUR TIMES as much as my tally for last year (a meagre £68!).

I did my 10km in 1 hour 39 mins – not exactly Steph Twell (10km in 31 min 8 sec!!! FUCK OFF PT1!) or Eilish McColgan (10km in 31 mins 16 sec! FUCK OFF PT2!) but I at least did the course! And did the full 10km, and not just piked out at 5km.

I had my usual Simple Minds mix on Spotify as my race companion. The mix started with Oh Jungleland – which was kinda a little bit…Grrrr! Seeing as I had initially signed up doing this year’s Race For Life in Glasgow but by April I knew that wasn’t going to be and gave Race For Life a call to see if I could switch it to Luton. Fingers crossed next year’s can happen in Glasgow.

At about the 2.5km point Lostboy’s The Wait Pt1 and 2 played and I really picked up the pace (the course narrows and is a bit of a bottleneck between the 1km-3km mark, and it makes it difficult to pass people and get a pace on – esp. as we all set off and there are so many more 5km participants at the start) and started to pass quite a few people.

A couple of versions of Four Letter Word (the Planet Funk track that came out earlier in the year – Jim on vocals) played, live versions of She’s A River and Don’t You, Promised You A Miracle, the acoustic version of New Gold Dream and then THIS…I LOOOOOOVE this live version of Glittering Prize. I think it might be my favourite live version. I just find it the most uplifting, most positive…life-affirming version. It’s just glorious. And you can just hear how completely “in it” Jim is that night.

So after it played once, I hit the rewind button so it played again. And when it was done, I played it AGAIN…and then AGAIN. Four times over. It took me from the 6km mark to the 9km mark.

So, we’re all done for another year. And I am happy with my effort and absolutely OVER THE MOON with all you guys for helping me raise such a fab amount of money. THANK YOU! You guys rock!

Stay tuned because, honestly, a promise is a promise and I have NO INTENTION on reneging on that promise. On Tuesday, all you £10+ donors are having your names put into a draw for the Somebody Up There Likes You print. The winner will be drawn on FB Live and announced over my social media.

Once again, thank you all for the donations. Let’s do it again (hopefully in Glasgow!) next year 😘😘😘😘

A Tune With Alice

The stories Alice has of his drinking days. How he ever survived, I don’t know. The man must have had (still has, though he obviously stopped drinking LONG ago) a cast iron liver.

I’ve got to say, I am looking forward to October and the gig at the O2 in London.

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Ruts DC – Pelton Arms, Greenwich – June 28th, 2019

Jumped on the tickets when it was first announced. At £10 a throw, they were not to be sneezed at.

I thought Greenwich might be a bit of a pain to get to…but hey, the gig would be great so we’d cross that bridge on the day. Well, as it happened, we could get a train direct to Greenwich from Luton. I had NO IDEA this was even possible. That made logistics nice and easy.

 

We got the train to the stop after Greenwich, Maze Hill, so we could our bearings to the pub. It wasn’t far from Maze Hill station. After we cased the joint, we took a meander along the Thames and headed back towards Greenwich. There was a bit of time to kill to peruse and look about. We ended up at the Royal Observatory. ****PUN ALERT**** I had a “mean time” straddling the meridian. I was getting myself quite muddled about this the other day when I was there…being quite a thicky. Lol! I can be the biggest dumbass sometimes. I’d never been to Greenwich before and didn’t realise just quite what a viewpoint of the rest of London you have from the observatory.

Looking ahead I think this train journey will cut out a lot of faffing getting to the Alice Cooper gig at the O2 in October.

But let’s get back to the gig and Ruts DC.

While we were at the observatory having a mooch about, the boys were back at the Pelton Arms going through soundcheck. From the little clip I saw on Facebook, it was sounding fantastic. I didn’t have much doubt of it.

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A quick pitstop back in the main bit of town for a bite to eat then back to the pub in time for the gig.

Leigh was about in the pub. I ended up seated next to him. I had taken along my copy of the South Of Babylon photobook with Virginia’s photos in. I asked Leigh if he’d sign it for me. “I’m not in it though”, he says to me. “I know, but you’re part of the band now and I’d like you to sign it.” He seemed to think the other guys would be a bit funny about it. He said “If you ask Segs and he says it’s okay, then maybe I will.”

After a short while, my ears tune in to a song playing over the sound system. I think I am hearing the opening strains to something VERY familiar…and then I hear the unmistakable drum and bass combo of McGee and Forbes and YES! Theme For Great Cities was playing in the pub. This pub was now officially the coolest pub in London!

About 10 mins before showtime, Segs and Ruffy arrive at the pub. I take my chance while Segs hasn’t been flanked on both sides by peeps. I sidle up to him, book in one hand, Sharpie in the other. “Hi Segs, could I please have you sign this for me?” “Is this the book? I haven’t seen it yet”, and he has a flick through it. “This is brilliant.” Of course he signs it but then keeps hold of it and carries it around showing peeps. He showed the guy manning their merch stall and then the promotor (I’m assuming?) of the gig. He then goes over to Leigh and shows him. “Hey, have a look at this. Isn’t it fab?” It’s my cue to say “I asked Leigh if he’d sign it earlier on but he said I to ask your permission first. So, will you give him permission to sign it?” “Leigh! You can sign it. I’ll get Dave to sign it for you and all.” Ruffy had gone to a back room to get into his gig clothes. So when he comes out, Segs is on the case. He’s still carrying the book around. He’s got it open on a page of close up portraits of the guys so he can show Ruffy his portrait. “Look at this – it’s that book”, he says to him, putting the book on the table. “Will you sign this for this lady?” With the book all signed, I left them to get themselves ready for the stage.

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The stage was right in the corner of the pub. Acoustic levels were great. Clear views were awkward, esp. if you’re on the shorter side of height, obv. Not much space for dancing…but the couple of ladies in front of us were determined. From my place in the crowd, I could see Leigh but not much of Ruffy and Segs only from time to time.

The crowd kept jostling and moving about. People continuously moving, making their way back to the bar and the back again to try and get back to their spot. About halfway through the set, things were getting a bit steamy. I was getting ready to alert the OH about maybe getting out of the crowd and sitting back down when she says to me “I need to get out of here and sit down. I don’t feel so good.” We’re as bad as each other. Lol. She has Meniere’s so standing venues are not great for her anyway.

Sat back down, we were both okay. Obviously couldn’t see a thing but could still hear things great. Couldn’t fault them for sound levels. They were spot on.

It was a fairly short set. They played for just over an hour. Babylon’s Burning being the close of the set, with a single song encore. Others in the set included Music Must Destroy, In A Rut, Staring At The Rude Boys, Love In Vain, West One, Kill The Pain and Psychic Attack.

Enjoyed the set. Crowd was good. Nothing kicked off. Everyone pretty respectful and stuff. Pub was great. Acoustics inside were great. I do actually prefer acoustic sets. As much as I love the full rock experience, you tend to get a better clarity at the acoustic gigs. There’s no distortion of sound. You can actually HEAR things, you know? The venue location was good too. Easy to get to. All good.

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I went and thanked Segs for a fab set, asked for a snap together and we were off back home.

Not sure when my next opportunity to see them will be. I would LOOOOVE it to be Hamburg in December (where they are supporting The Stranglers)…but things are a bit too up-in-the-air for that to be a definite at the moment. Only time will tell.