Today is a very exciting day! I get to hear the long mystical Glasgow Apollo gig that SM did in September of 1981. I am really looking forward to this one. I have already heard just a little bit of it (In Trance As Mission and some of Changeling) and I plan to devour the rest shortly, even if only as a brief taster.
I’m sure someone will end up putting it up on YouTube and when they do, I’ll share it here.
Until then…I’m off for a listen and a TARDIS trip! Jim…in them boots! Sweet baby Jesus and the orphans! 💕💕💕
UPDATE: OMG – ‘Seeing Out The Angel’ and ‘Sons and Fascination’ are both WONDERFUL at this gig! So…I am going to post one song here.
I hadn’t been in the city since coming home from England after the Blenheim gig. And prior to that? For some time to hang out in there? Dunno when the last time was… the end of May, probably. My afternoon out with Michelle for her birthday.
Promised myself a day in there all week while the house was Birdyless. It didn’t happen until yesterday, the day of her return. Demotivation has taken quite the stranglehold of late. I guess having had Covid has not helped the situation at all.
It’s horrible to know what you need to do to get better but…you just feel so…unable to enact the change! That’s what true depression does. Nothing in life incentivises, no matter how much you are wanting it to.
The study definitely has its negative sides, as it allows me to be physically lazy and have the excuse of not getting out “because I’m studying”. Except, right now I’m not even doing that, either. Still not got back to it after completing my assignment. And I have yet another to submit in 10 days time. Another one I am not looking forward to doing.
Yesterday was lovely. We (myself and the OH) saw a film called Brian and Charles at Glasgow Film Theatre. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching, yet ultimately uplifting film it was. I think you need to be a real empathetic soul to appreciate the quirks of it. I loved it. It’s just beautiful.
Afterwards was a quick wander around Locavore in Garnethill, enjoying a coffee “al fresco”. As we made our way over, I noticed a sign for St Aloysius Church just up around the corner back on Rose Street. The banner read “open every day”. I thought, well if it is, let’s go and have a wee keek.
Well…I was bowled over. Those Catholics…they sure know how to decorate a church! I can only assume from what was inside it all dated post-reformation? I do love the iconography. Many saints acknowledged, from St Ninian, to St Columba, St Margaret, to St Mungo – with small statues of St Theresa and St Anthony. I couldn’t help but think of Alex Harvey with the “please do not touch me – St Anthony” wording underneath the statue (although I think Alex would lose the ‘not’ in the wording. Lol).
It was a lovely afternoon. Various photos following. Click on smaller images for better views…
So much to tell, so little time. Back safe and sound in Glasgow but now assignment number four looms large. I have a week to get to grips with Plato, Socrates, Laches and Nicias – but just for tonight, I’ll think about “ArKERRmedes” and baths and being dripping wet.
I’ll try and make time for a review of the gig tomorrow but I have much study to do. No promises. Until then….a tantalising glimpse of the latest Mojo magazine. EUREKA!
I am starting to warm to the Hydro as a concert venue. The only fly in the ointment left for it is its location. It’s not in the most convenient of locales. It’s beautifully positioned as far as aesthetics go. Sharing its space near the Armadillo, Finnieston crane and with Pacific Quay and the Science Centre on the opposite side of the Clyde, and with the Squinty bridge in view – the aesthetic really does work.
I’d like to say that it’s the public transport letting it down, but…it just isn’t that well catered for with public transport links anyway. There is a train station nearby – Exhibition station, but that’s only really serviceable from/via Central station, so us in the north of the city who have Queen Street as our train arrival point into the city can’t really make use of that. The only other option would be to take the subway and get off at either Kelvinhall or Cessnock. Of the two it’s actually easier to get out at Cessnock and cross the Clyde by the footbridge at Pacific Quay than it is to navigate your way down from Kelvinhall.
Weather is also an issue – ALWAYS an issue in Glasgow! Lol.
The choice for us yesterday was to take a taxi there. I pre-booked one to come and collect us at 5.45pm. Doors opened to the Hydro at 6.30pm. I tried booking the taxi for 6pm but all the drivers were booked for then so tried 5.45pm instead and was able to book. I also pre-booked a taxi to come and collect us after the show at 11pm.
We arrived in plenty of time. It had only just passed 6pm. People were already queuing to go in, which I found rather surprising as there was no general admission standing space in front of the stage as there was with the Simple Minds gig. For Crowded House it was a fully seated affair. This is only my third concert experience in the Hydro and the first I had experienced as a fully seated arena. It seemed a bit daft to me – but I guess there being seats splayed out on the floor like that meant a premium ticket price could be charged as opposed to a general admission charge.
With sunny skies and time to kill we (we being myself and my usual gig buddy, Birdy) decided to take a stroll over the Clyde and grab a coffee at one of the coffee houses near Pacific Quay. The Costa at the building opposite BBC Scotland HQ was closed, but the Starbucks on the other side of the road was still open. Coffee, tea and various foodstuffs were devoured. Just as we were finishing up our food and drink, the skies blackened and we decided to nip back over to the Hydro before the heavens opened. We only just made it before getting a thorough soaking. Knowing that we would soon be hearing the likes of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’ seemed incredibly appropriate. Those Finn compositions were absolutely made for Glasgow.
We milled about for a bit. Went upstairs, took in the view of the Clyde from the standing bar area (see pic) and then went and got seated. I had a seat next to a husband and wife and got chatting to them. Birdy and I had bought our tickets to the gig at separate times so we weren’t seated together but, as it turned out, the seats to my right stayed vacant so we were able to sit together anyway.
The gig had been scheduled to start at 8.30pm and was listed as ‘No support’, so it was surprising to find Liam Finn coming out to the stage just after 8pm to perform a small set. He sounds so much like his dad in singing style. A pretty good guitarist too. He only performed a quick set of around 20-25 minutes. With him finishing at around 8.25pm it seemed unlikely Crowded House would be appearing five minutes later. They arrived on the stage at 8.45pm to a very warm round of applause. They started the show with a fantastic rendition of Distant Sun. There were some newer songs in amongst the set that I am only vaguely familiar with. I’ve only played their most recent album release a couple of times but the songs are already becoming familiar to me.
Both Neil and Nick were up for the craic and had some great patter with the crowd. Neil even started a completely off-the-cuff made on the fly composition that he called ‘Hi-Viz Jacket’ and was getting the crowd to sing along to.
I recorded Fall At Your Feet – but I should have kept recording instead of ending it where I did as Neil got the crowd into yet another sing along and it was just beautiful. Really magical.
Along the way Neil was listening to the crowd call outs, trying to hear what people were saying and actually legitimately interested in hearing any requests that came his way. After they performed ‘Black And White Boy’ someone called out “LESTER!” Not familiar with the entire Crowded House back catalogue, they were requesting a song. Neil obliged and they performed it impromptu. At the end of the song, Neil explained that he obliged the request as it linked to the previous song – both of them being about family dogs.
For me this is when the show really started to go up a gear. They performed ‘Something So Strong’ and then the song I was really hoping they’d play and performed ‘When You Come’, which was just gorgeous!
Then a big block of hits… ‘Four Seasons In One Day, ‘Weather With You’, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and ‘It’s Only Natural’ all followed in quick succession. They hadn’t taken a break all night until this point for a brief break before a wonderful encore which included another fabulous sing along on ‘World Where You Live’ and the surprise of the night, an awesome rendition of ‘I Got You’. Finally, the show ended with the appropriate and sublime ‘Better Be Home Soon’.
What a gig! They were utterly fantastic. The vocal harmonies between Neil and Liam are splendid. And their guitar playing is wonderfully complementary to one another. Elroy, Neil’s other son, is great on drums. Nick Seymour is a stalwart as Crowded House’s bassman. Mitchell Froom is fabulous on keys. And they have a great guy on percussion as well.
I don’t know if when we went through the pandemic and the Hydro was being used as the NHS Louisa Jordan Covid-19 vaccine centre that allowed them to sort out the acoustics of the place when it went back to being a concert venue or what – but these two most recent gigs I’ve experienced there, Simple Minds and now Crowded House – the acoustics were great both times. Flawless for Simple Minds. And the only minor cripe I had about last night was initially I felt Neil’s voice was a little hard to pick up at times but it eventually got sorted. To be honest, it only really seemed to be an issue with songs I wasn’t so familiar with and I was trying to listen to the lyrics.
I haven’t been to a lot of gigs this year so far. The vast majority of them being Simple Minds – quelle surprise – but I have to say that Crowded House last night are really in pole position with the Minds for gig of the year for 2022! Two Hydro gigs going neck and neck for the title! Who’d have thunk it?!
Crowded House are still touring the UK right now. They’re in Scarborough tonight and have gigs in Cardiff, Birmingham, Hampton Court Palace in London, and Manchester still to come. I’d recommend you catch them if you can.
End note – the taxi ride home was timed to perfection. I started to worry I had booked the taxi too early but I needn’t have worried. The band wrapped up the gig around 10.45pm which gave us enough time to scoot across the road to the Campanile Hotel and be collected from the car park. We were back in the door home around 11.15pm. It was a great night.
I am ssooo looking forward to Friday. After having experienced a concert by one of the most talented songwriters in the world last week, this Friday means another night spent in the presence of one of the world’s best songwriters yet again! How spoiled am I?
Neil Finn – in my opinion – does not get anywhere NEAR the recognition he deserves for his songwriting. He’s fucking AMAZING! And he sounds exactly the same as he did 30 years ago.
I can’t believe it has taken me THIS LONG to go and see Crowded House. Rescheduled, and rescheduled again thanks to old ‘Rona – the day is almost upon us.
I hope – in the strictest of acoustic terms – they sound as good as SM sounded at the Hydro back in early April. I’m hoping the Hydro doesn’t let me down with this one…or CH’s sound engineer for that matter.
And I REALLY hope they play this on Friday night. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
It’s been my earworm on and off for the past two weeks.
I think I’m going to need to take a few tissues with me on Friday.
I tried to shield the blog from it as much as possible, although it didn’t escape unscathed as my mood last weekend was probably at the worst it had been all year – culminating in a complete anxiety attack and me considering chucking in the whole uni thing.
A combination of things, really. My appalling low self-opinion of myself, and my capabilities and the massive comedown from Paris… just all the things I do to myself combined with the PGD (Post Gig Depression). Just how ‘anti’ ME I am. If there happens to be any haters out there visiting this blog right now and are reading these words – TRUST ME – you could not hate me any more than I hate myself. Rest assured!
But this time I battled through it. Sunday and Monday were the worst days. Sunday I was feeling the worst anxiety I have had when approaching an assignment. I looked over the two options I felt I had for my assignment – The Blues or Writing Stories (ie: Creative Writing). I kept dismissing the writing stories topic because I am petrified of it. It was a hard week of study and only towards the end of it did I begin to enjoy it. I really enjoyed the blues week so it had always been the much stronger contender.
Anyway, I can’t go into too much more detail about it but suffice it to say that I was wracked with indecision and felt frozen with anxiety to even begin the assignment.
Things didn’t improve on Monday. I emailed my tutor in a cry for help. I explained all that was going on. A prompt reply with reassurance was the first step. A phone call followed the next day. That helped further.
I made a start on Tuesday. It all still felt so overwhelming but I was tackling it head on. Trying to look at it positively. Reassured by words from good friends. A good day of progress on Wednesday. A tutor session on Wednesday evening. More headway on Thursday. Inspiration from Graeme Thomson at the Mitchell Library on Thursday night. A lot more headway on Friday – all of this, slowly but surely lifted the weight and the clouds to now where I can clearly see and breathe, more relaxed yet still focused. Still apprehensive about the assignment – but at a point where if I really DO get a crap mark from it, it wasn’t through lack of trying!
ANYWAY! Short story is, as the week has progressed well and my mood has lifted day by day. We are halfway through the course, so I guess that was the time to have that massive ‘crisis of (no) confidence’ point nearly every student goes through.
I was smart enough to cry for help. To contact my tutor, instead of just trying to be this person who lets the blackness, anxiety and pressure overwhelm them.
Last night I had some fun. I won TWO Scrabble games – one pretty resoundingly – and just allowed myself to properly relax for the first time in … more than two weeks.
Frank Gallagher posted this photo of Jim with the words “Sent ma pal some swag. He seems to be enjoying it.” It’s a nice pic. In an exercise in fun and frivolity and letting my hair down, I left a comment…
“Hey, your pal is hot – can I have his number?” with a couple of cheeky grinning winking emojis. Ah, why not? It’s not as if I am confessing anything new that NOBODY knows! Lol. I’m sure even that hermit guy they made that film about knows that I am a bit ‘gone’ on His Kerrness.
Frank is always up for a fun response anyway…and he didn’t disappoint… “Aye. How much you got $$$$”
Serious note…don’t I wish I could actually TALK to this man for longer than a constrained two minute window in the middle of a meet and greet? I guess I can just keep on wishing with that one…oh, well.
And…that smile! I wish that was for me too. I’ll pretend it is. “Good job on getting that assignment done, Larrrrrelllllle – you can do anything you put your mind to. Nae danger. Dinnae fash yersel!”
A quick reminder, esp. to those living locally…this will be taking place at the Mitchell Library tonight at 8pm. Looking forward to the talk and meeting up with Graeme in person and having my copy of the book signed. ❤️😊
Perhaps I’ll see you there? Tickets are still available as far as I know…(image is clickable – taking you to ticket info page)
Some new prints from Virginia arrived today (Middle and right – silver framed. There’s one other not pictured – it’s in landscape ratio and so in the frames on the other side of the room).
I’d be happy to gaze upon his beautiful smiling face for eternity. Past or present. Twenty-three or sixty-three.
That colour one of him looking to camera was one of the first photos I got from Virginia when I could only get a few tiny 6×4 inch photos. It was coming up to Glasgow with me with the rest of the small array of 6×4 photos I had. They were taken when the van was broken into on the move up here some two and a half years ago.
Replaced at last.
The one next to it (Arthur’s Seat/Edinburgh 1981) was another I had in 6×4 also, I think.
Anyway… on with study and trying to complete another assignment…