Ellis Jarrett – Chelsea Girl

Haven’t watched one of Ellis’s videos for ages. He always just sounds so good to me. Dunno why. He just has a nice voice and can strum along pretty well. Always seems quite effortless. I love the pace of this version and the quirks he brings to it.
No hi hat to endure! 😂😂😂😂😂

Nothing Has Ever Felt So Good…

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As that…”embrace”. I genuinely never wanted it to end! I’m ssooo glad this photo exists because I never wanted this moment to end…and at least with the magic of photography, in a sense that moment WILL last forever. I’ll never forget the feeling of it, ever.

And…it feels like it was a time in which he liked me.

Today, looking back at these photos and memories – seeing a bit of FB Live filming I did from the seafront – I really, REALLY regret letting Jim walk by as he passed me on the promenade. HE BLOODY WAVED AT ME! I’m such a fucking idiot! Lol. I don’t know what he thought afterwards. Lol. Maybe he was walking along thinking “I thought this chick was into me? She cannae be that much.” Lol

Something of the type must have crossed his mind as, later, just a few moments before this photo was taken when Adrian (the photobomber) had asked if he could have a photo with Jim, Jim replied, “Sure. She (looking at me) doesn’t want one.” Sadly I remember my rather pathetic “I do!” reply. Lol. I still wish I had said “And a photo! BOOM BOOM!” I mean, shit, he even set the innuendo up for me and I didn’t even bite! Lol.

Too awestruck. Dumbstruck.
Dumb fuck! Lol

Anyway…Bridlington 2017 will remain forever special.

Halcyon days.

Memorable Tours?

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An interesting post on SMOG from a long-time fan, reminiscing about the Floating World tour of 2002.

It gives a little pang of envy. I know this person has been relatively close to the band in the past. They have stories to tell. Lovely memories. You know…it sounds like more than just “band and fan”. A thing that I had always dreamed of. A thing that I sometimes kidded myself I had, you know. Not overtly so! It’s just that yearning of reciprocation. You love the band, so you hope the band loves you too. “She is your friend, until the bitter end.” But it can only go so far. And I just want more than I can have. It’s that simple. But even that little bit I *did* feel I had is all but gone.

I’ll shut up about it!

Anyway, said fan asked what our favourite tour was. He had talked about this tour like the “gig hop” tours I’ve been on. Following the band around, seeing them all over the place. But again, his experiences were back in “halcyon days”. Soundchecks you didn’t have to pay for to experience. Time just hanging out with the band after shows and stuff. Like, not just a quick signing and a photo op, but a chat at a bar or restaurant. Talk that went into the wee hours. A number of fans have these stories.

Anyway, I think his gigging goes back to 1986? Or maybe ‘89. A long way back anyway. But the Floating World tour was his favourite, he said. Others chimed in with 5×5 Live…just to make me spit even MORE chips!

I gave it a second’s thought. Of my EXTENSIVE range of tours, Big Music (technically one gig, though I saw them twice in 2015, the second was a festival slot, so not strictly a Big Music tour gig, I guess), Acoustic and Walk Between Worlds…I dunno. I have to discount Big Music, it was just two gigs – but that first ever Simple Minds gig at Cambridge will always hold a special place. And of the other two, Acoustic and Walk Between Worlds – both were amazing for differing reasons. But I guess Acoustic just pips it because…just…meeting Jim and hearing him say my name at Bristol and…yeah. All that silly “falling in love” business. Lol. But for WBW there was the album signing, Barras and the meet and greet at Colchester.

But who knows what this year will hold? I am on a MASSIVE 12 show hop-a-long, seeing them in six different countries (seven, if you separate England and Scotland). Let’s see where the wind takes us…

UK Drum Show – September 21st, 2019 – Manchester

It was a bit of a palaver getting in to the venue. People had lined up promptly. I arrived there about 9.25am for the 9.30am start. The queue hardly moved in 30 mins. There was an appearance by Matt Garstka on the main stage due for 10am and many people who had paid to see it were still queued up outside at 9.55am. They were being filtered through by this point but they probably weren’t going to make it in. I hope Matt delayed things so people got in.

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I had booked to have a free drum lesson at the Trinity College booth for 10.15 and I just about made it in there. It was my first experience of an electronic kit. We were on Roland kits (can’t remember the model – lovely kit though) and had just a bit of basic tuition. We played along to Queen’s We Will Rock You and then to James Brown’s Hot Pants before going on to Blur’s Song 2 which did me in. Lol. It seems like it would be really straight forward, Song 2, but heck, there’s a whole lot of patting your head whilst rubbing your tummy stuff going on with that. Lol

I walked about a bit checking things out. Then I saw Emily Dolan-Davies and had a great chat with her and another man whose name I didn’t catch, but he was one of Nathan Shingler’s tutors. We had a good talk and he offered me some great pearls of wisdom in terms of how I get on with my own learning and stuff. I briefly met Nathan’s parents too.

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I went out for a bite to eat and then met up with fellow Minds fan Dave Kelly. We had a good chinwag and then went in to see Cherisse’s masterclass.

A fab masterclass it was too. We learned about Cherisse’s career. How she started out, who she’s drummed for professionally, as well as her performing demonstration medleys showcasing music from the acts she’s worked with.

Below are some vid from the masterclass of her talking about working with Mika and then talking about her time with Bryan Ferry and Paloma Faith and now her time with SM and showcasing a medley of Minds stuff (the observant amongst you will hear a little bit more of LITCoA ahead of its October 4th release).

She put on a great show and a really strong showcase of her immense talent. Jim’s tag of referring to her as “a little dynamo” is WHOLLY justified. For someone so petite, she has such power behind her! But also the subtlety when required.

 

She was doing a signing after the masterclass and I queued up just to say hi and to badger her for more lessons. Lol. Hopefully I’ll get to have a few in the weeks ahead.

As for kit that took my eye? Well, it needs to be about the sound and feel, but I was far too scared to test anything out. I have no real knowledge of what I want or need and a show like this isn’t really much of a buying experience for a complete beginner. Well, I don’t think anyway. So I was just looking at the aesthetics if kits. There was a beautiful looking Natal kit. The bass drums on the Natal’s are HUGE! I love the look of Rusty drums and there was a beautiful bass skin on display on their stall.

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But for looks and affordability, there was a lovely looking Gretsch there for £625. I know Dave Ruffy of Ruts DC plays on Gretsch kits and he always sounds awesome.

But Cherisse’s Tama kit looks and sounds amazing too. And I have been having most of my lessons on Pearl kits, so…how will I ever make my mind up?! Lol

After the brief chat with Cherisse and goodbyes with Dave, there was just time enough for another scoot about and a coffee over the road at the Costa before getting the coach back to London and onwards to home.

All in all, a fab day. I’d do it again.

The Wee Oui Acoustic Gig

Just over a year since the last Acoustic gig, tonight in Paris, Simple Minds Ltd Ed (ie: Jim, Charlie, Cherisse and Sarah) played an acoustic set at a secret location (La Reservoir) to a select group of fans. Lucky people they were!

The gig was aired live on French radio station Oui FM. The set lasted just on an hour and it was fabulous. From great versions of dancier and more rocking tracks like Summer, Waterfont and The American, to more ephemeral and tender pieces like Sense Of Discovery, Glittering Prize and Long Black Train…it was a little like taking a time warp back a year to those amazing acoustic shows.

There was meant to be a Q and A on Facebook after, and there was a link to Oui FM’s TV channel online…but nothing worked or was viewable. A shame…after such a great gig, I aticipated seeing some Jim and Charlie banter. Never mind. You can’t win them all.

You lucky Parisians…you experienced something very special tonight.

Listen to the full gig below.
Thank you to Ricardo Benavente Martin for providing me with the audio. It is much appreciated ❤️

 

Dublin Double Finale – Gigs 8 and 9

I went to bed after midnight on, what was then, Tuesday morning and needed to be up again some FOUR HOURS later to pack and get myself ready for a 6.50am flight out. I was out the door by 5.10am. Got the airport 10 mins later…had to wait another 10 mins for a shuttle bus to take us from the drop off point to the departure terminal.

It must have been about 5.45am by the time I got into the departures terminal…I get to the security check…I have my liquids ready, boarding pass and passport in hand. I go through the scanner…I’m asked to remove my shoes. I am then searched with a handheld scanner. Around my hips it triggers again. Belt off. It STILL gets triggered. My pockets are empty! It must have been the metal studs on my jeans. WTF?! I am waiting 10 minutes to get my shoes back. I have been separated from my luggage (it went through security checking on the opposite counter)…I’m conscious of the time – AND WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY SHOES! I am so freaking out! Finally, I get my shoes back. I get my luggage. I go as quickly as I can to the boarding gate. I arrived TWO MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING! I have never cut boarding a plane SO finely in all my days! I was in a lather by the time I took my seat. Man, that was close!



First impressions of Dublin? Amazingly friendly, helpful people – traffic and roads a MESS! The laying down of tramlines means half the city’s roads are ripped up and there is work going on EVERYWHERE – day and night.

I meet up with Gertie at the GPO (what a beautiful building – much akin to the Sydney GPO – I am seeing/hearing similarities with Sydney right off…right down to the blind pedestrian sound alerts on the traffic lights – video below).

 


We have a small wander around and crossed the Liffey using the Ha’penny Bridge and mooched around Temple Bar.


A nice, easy day. Gertie is the ‘hostess with the mostess’ and her and husband Pete made me feel right at home 🙂 Ali is a super boy and was happy to have me around.

A bit more sightseeing the next day…just a quick one, as it was gig day and we didn’t want to be expending too much energy prior to the gig.

The weather had turned a bit for the worse as we were making our way in, but we managed to keep dry. We picked up Gertie’s sister Maggie on the way and then…what should be playing on the radio in the taxi along the way? (Mobile device viewing required)

We met up with some other fans in the Brogan’s Bar next door and I got plied with drinks. I had FOUR gin and tonics before going in to see KT Tunstall’s set. Erm…I was quite merry! Jim was looking particularly fetching as he came on to intro KT (I really do NOT need “beer goggles” to find that man attractive! Lol).

Loved KT’s set. The kazoo playing and the segue into Walk Like An Egyptian. But the song that did it for me was a new one called “It Took Me So Long To Get Here But Here I Am” – me, in Dublin…my life in general, finding purpose through the art. It was a metaphor for so much, and it is such a beautiful song. So upbeat…but of course, with it speaking so much to me, by god it could make me teary. So much significance to it.

She used a few plectrums. After a couple of songs, she’d throw one into the crowd and they’d flutter down to the 3rd or 4th row. On her final throw, it fluttered all the way over to the fifth row and landed just to the left of me. I saw exactly where it landed, so I was able to collect it without hesitation. A lovely souvenir 🙂


Then it was time for the penultimate SM set. And…oh wow! They were ON FIRE! But fuck an absolute fucking duck – PEOPLE WERE SITTING DOWN!!!!! What is wrong with people?!! As soon as Cherisse starts, I want to be up and out of my seat, but felt compelled to stay rooted while everyone else wants to steadfastly remain seated.

They get up when Jim comes out to the crowd, to see where he’s going, but they sit back down again as soon as NGD is finished. This time, he sat on a lady’s lap in the front row. How lucky was she?! I don’t think I’d have been able to help myself had it been me – my hands would have been all over him! (esp. certain places **waggles eyebrows until they drop off my face**) She did seem to “cop a good feel”. Good on her! Lol

The set itself was amazing, as ever. I can’t praise it enough…THEM enough. All of them. The musicianship. They make it look so easy! All in a day’s work.

I was up on my own for Chelsea Girl. It just gets me up and going. I mean…just…how can you stay sitting for Chelsea Girl? Come on!!! I know he was a bit crabby (cancerian!) with me for mentioning what happened at Hackney to him. I think he thought I was being bitchy and having a dig…but I wasn’t. I hope he sees how much I love the song and him, and that I wouldn’t take the piss out of him like that. I love you, Sir. If you were blind to it all before, I’m sure it now must be pretty clear. *blushes*

The new bit of banter…Killiney and Dolly in the newsagents. The talk of the “famous Scottish rock stars from ‘Simply Red'” and the story of Dolly saying fellow Irish resident Chris de Burgh was a “little c***”. Lol. I can’t see it myself…but hey?! I don’t know him like Dolly does. Lol. Anyway, Sir drops a C bomb and I am in stitches and loving him all the more. I’m VERY easily pleased. Lol

He seems to have settled on the singular collective for Toblerone…ignoring me and my belief of it to be plural. Why ask me then, Jim? 😉 Just so you had a ruse to say my name to me?! Oh, you beautiful man! Stop flirting with me! Lol. (DON’T STOP FLIRTING WITH ME – EVER!) I may get stumped and not know how to react, and get completely flummoxed…but….BRING IT ON. I’ll take it again and again!


Back home to Gertie’s quite quickly after the gig. Sadly Gertie felt unwell at the end of the gig, so a trip back to her house straight after was required. Safely home, Gertie was feeling better, but I felt bad the final minutes of the gig for her was not such a good experience.

On Thursday morning I said my goodbyes to Gertie. Thank you once again for letting me stay at your house. To you, Pete and Ali, for making me feel so welcome and at home. It meant so much. I’ll never be able to thank you enough! :-))

I met up with Birdy where we were staying at around 1pm. A bit of downtime…a meander around the city again, then off to find a restaurant, as recommended by Gertie, called Cornucopia. A vegetarian restaurant with a good reputation. And how so!!!! Wow! The food was BEYOND delicious! We both had the stew…




Tummies full, we made our way to Dame Street. How apt that the venue should be on Dame Street. The connection to Bowie was not lost (one of his most famous nicknames was that of “The Dame”).

A bit more time wasted at Brogan’s (just one double G&T this time. I didn’t want to get cut!).

KT’s set was once again wonderful. She’s such a livewire. So upbeat and fab. It was great to witness her two sets. Talent beyond measure.

And then…here we were. In exactly the same row as I was the previous night, but three seats over to the left. Still an absolutely fabulous view 🙂 There were two ladies a row in front of me, and just to my left. Both from Scotland, but one now living in Ireland. They came complete with deeley boppers with boxes of Toblerone taped to them. It made quite an impact!


New Gold Dream was again out of the park…but the superglue was in use YET AGAIN! No one really got up. The crowd again only got up when Jim came out to us to mingle. Another lucky lady got some lap time! As soon as NGD was done, bums went back on seats…apart from the Toblertwo to my left.

They started Chelsea Girl, and I was having it! I refused to sit down for Chelsea Girl! I was singing and doing…what I call…dancing. Lol. I have absolutely fallen in love with Chelsea Girl on this tour. I’ve always really liked it…but there has just been something extra special about it on this tour. Perhaps it is Cherisse’s amazing drums on it that has added an extra dimension? The way Jim is singing it? (I loved the way he would slightly alter the line to “ain’t it strange how people always seem to know your pretty, pretty face, but never, never know your name”.

They seemed to be filming on Thursday night, so, it’ll just be me and the Toblertwo standing up for that one (Chelsea Girl). Oops! But I COULD NOT SIT DOWN FOR CHELSEA GIRL!

By Stand By Love, Jim had a word with the crowd. He said “I know there isn’t glue on these seats, so  you can get up out of your seats for this one.” Thank you for getting them up, Sir!

The final performance of Andy Warhol was tinged with extra poignancy. He’s been introing Gordy as “that mate you have as a kid that you ask your mum when taking a day trip out if he can come along too”. On Thursday night, having said that, he said, “I miss my mum”. A huge swell of “Aawwww!” went round the auditorium. It was so lovely.

They really did just rip the stage apart. Everyone was performing to the highest of highs. It was the most amazing gig finale.

The one thing that would have made this whole tour complete….for me, on a personal level, would have been to see Jim on the stage in the Hokusai scarf I bought him from the British Museum…but, it was not to be. Maybe one day in future I may see him in it. One never knows ones luck! I just hope he finds it as beautiful as I do. I never even got to see it with my own eyes. There was no display one, just a picture of how it looked…and it looked beautiful. I hope it lives up to the photo.

These two Dublin shows were everything I hoped for. Two of the most amazing gigs. Real, proper finale material.

I have had the most wonderful time, following this most amazing band, and their support acts around, all over these Atlantic isles.

To Catherine, Sophie and Ben for such wonderful sets in the UK. And Catherine…for the selfies, the personal signings…for Rivers Of Ice in Bridlington. Thank you!

To KT for the two amazing sets in Dublin.


To Stephen Pollard for such a fantastic light display. It really set an amazing tone and added such drama and awe to songs like Big Sleep, and just light and joy to songs like Mandela Day. Stellar work!

To Olivier Gerard – the “sound” man! In both its definitions, ie: taking care of the sound we heard as an audience each night and doing an amazing job with it, but also being conscientious and hard working. A “sound man” indeed!

To Elaine Gwyther…for, you know why. A thousand times, thank you!

The hard working road crew. What a job you guys had these past 8 weeks! Wow! Such hard work. Job well done! *gives thumbs up signal*

Lastly: to Cherisse for banging those drums like few can. To Sarah for being pure class and one of the most amazing voices on the planet. To Ged for being the Ace of Bass. To Gordy for the most fab version of Andy Warhol, and for putting up with my endless failed attempt to take a good pic of us together. To Charlie for being the most genteel and lovely of men, and a killer ax man! And…to you, Jim…for, quite literally, making my dreams come true. Just over a year ago, you shared a link to John Grant’s Marz with me. I studied the lyrics, as I do with most songs. The chorus resonated with me. It sounded like a dream to me “and your sweet sixteen is waiting for you after the show” (okay…I’m not 16! But I like to think I don’t look 46, either…I’ll keep dreaming. Lol), “you’ll get your heart’s desire; I will meet you under the lights” – those bright lights of…Bridlington! But…it was very special, and something I will never forget. Thank you ❤️

Until the next tour…

Vive la Simple Minds!