Countdown To Paris – Gig Day!

Arrived safely in Paris. It’s aeound 6am And Ii’m typing without my glasses on. Had hardly any sleep. Serenaded by the snorer from hell. Thought I packed earplugs but couldn’t find them in my bag. Much to my detriment. Sorry for any typos but….

YAY! GIG DAY IN PARIS!!!

Another Magic Nine?

Since I booked the gigs last night, I had in my head that I had 8 SM gigs booked for next year, convinced I had (without really thinking in those terms to begin with) fallen one short of this magical 9 figure I’d fallen upon these past couple of years.
But…obviously I was neglecting to tally my numbers right…perhaps mislead by the unexpected Bordeaux addition.
A recount and lo! Look where we are…
Copenhagen
Paris
Bordeaux
Leeds
Dublin
Glasgow
Melbourne
Sydney
Bimbadgen
!!!!!
What is it with me and nine SM gigs a year? Lol

Where does this mysterious nine figure come from? How have I arrived at it? Jim’s shoe size? Erm…inches? Lol (I’m selling him too short by all accounts there!) Centimetres of Charlie’s Cuban heels? The number of plectrums Charlie has on stage with him? Number of Toblerones on the rider?

Answers on a postcard, sent on to Glasgow G22 – I’ll collect them in a couple of weeks 👍🏻

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!

A Weekend Double – Gigs 6 and 7 – Brighton and Drury Lane

It was a bit of a dry spell waiting between Bristol and Brighton…but I was riding on such a high from him talking to me on the stage in Bristol (and poking his tongue out at me!) that it saw me through the whole week. 

The weather was lovely for Brighton. Still lovely and sunny, but a bit breezy and milder than it had been. I got in about 1.15pm and met up with Birdy. We were staying at a hotel right near the station. Handy!

I wanted to find the fudge shop I’d been to years ago, so I could get some for Catherine…just a little token of appreciation. Fudge shop located and fudge purchased, we had a little bite to eat and a nice cuppa at a little tea room in The Lanes. I had a Lapsang Souchong and Birdy had an Earl Grey and we both had a slice of a very, very lovely lemon and blueberry cake.


We had a quick reccie of the Dome, and then back to the hotel until just before showtime.



Catherine’s performance was very emotional. I think she had suffered a personal loss and it couldn’t help but come out in her performance. But it just made it more beautiful and more poignant. She is so wonderful.

Afterwards I met her at the merch stand to give her the box of fudge I had bought for her, and to sign a copy of her CD. I said to her “Sign it however you like. I will leave it up to you.” And she said ” Oh, I don’t know what to put.” But then she had a spark, signed it and it was perfect! (If you can’t quite read it, it says “PS: Fuck You! Larelle x”)



On to the SM set and…well, as far as audience participation was concerned…it seemed a little strange. Birdy and I, and just a smattering of people got up out of seats for New Gold Dream…but then…they all sat down, so we did too. Jim even made a little protest about this lack of standing up by sitting down and crossing his arms on the steps they provided for him to get down off the stage. It went over the tops of peoples’ heads. 

People stayed bloody superglued to their seats! It was WEIRD. We were in the STALLS, FFS! It was killing me sitting down! 

FINALLY – once Jim had said “you can stand up for this one” when they started Stand By Love, they were up off their seats, and then it felt like a proper SM gig.

Jim was being a little…withdrawn, on a personal level…to me. I felt. But, hey…maybe after all the attention I had been getting of late, it just felt like that. I wasn’t as close to the front as I was at Bristol, etc. You no doubt read the post on Saturday night…

The gig as far as band performance was concerned was right on the ball, as usual. Just really up and positive and so full of energy.

Birdy and I got back to the hotel, and I get a message from my friend in Australia, Gillian, asking if I am okay, that there’d been another terror attack…in London this time. 

It is just so senseless. All this killing in the name of a god that most likely does not exist. Anyone hiding their actions behind a false god I find utterly deplorable. A coward never truly takes responsiblity for their own actions. To say you are doing such things for the deity of your faith is the most extreme form or cowardice in my eyes. If you want to kill people, YOU alone want to kill people – your deity does not want you to do it in their name. 

We were thankful to be safe but saddened and numbed by such loss of life. 

We travelled on to London the next day a little more concerned and vigilant than we would have been had those events not taken place.

We went to a Hokusai exhibition early in the afternoon. Birdy was travelling with a suitcase. As we got to the British Museum, Birdy was informed by security that she could not take in a suitcase of that size, so we had to ask a hotel around the corner if they would accept minding it while we were inside the museum. They were happy to do it and off in we went.

Wow! What a wonderful exhibition! There was so much of his work to see, and I kept seeing Simple Minds references (I would have loved to have taken some photos of the wording on the walls about Hokusai). They kept referring to him being in the “floating world” art school, and there was a reference to one of his works incorporating the North star, “the only star visible at night” – and it was like the line from Hunter And The Hunted “when only one star’s waiting up on all of us”.



I bought this absolutely stunning book as a souvenir…and I bought some things for Jim as well. I shouldn’t have, really. I’m as skint as f*** but…there were just such beautiful things there, and well…a girl can’t help it.

We had a bite to eat, then went back to the hotel to see if they were okay with our bags staying there (I left a heavier bag I was carrying there with Birdy’s case) until after the gig. No problem, so on we went. The usual short reccie done.



Of course the theatre entrance was located on Catherine Street…what a lovely touch that was!



This was my view watching Catherine. I sat in my designated seat, though I could have stayed with Birdy! I was in row YY – third row from the end of the stalls. Birdy was in row L and over on the right side of the seats, as opposed to my left side. 

Catherine’s final performance for the tour was beautiful! I recorded Bury Me…but there are people taking their seats, and other insensitive, rude fuckers talking over her performing, and it can be heard on what I recorded so I haven’t uploaded it 🙁

I went out to the merch stand one final time to thank her and tell her how much I loved all the performances I saw. We hugged and she thanked me again for the fudge, and it was just really wonderful. 

When I went back into the auditorium, I sat with Birdy to chat until someone came in to claim their seat. They didn’t. The seat remained empty, so I stayed there with Birdy.

The final gig on the UK mainland and – WOW! What a finale! From the get go, people were up out of their seats and it was just such a fantastic atmosphere. Due reverence was given before we got underway, of course. A minute’s silence for those we lost during the attack in London. But then, tears and sadness was left behind and only joy remained. Beautiful music, wonderful people. Love and light.

We had two encores, like we seemed to have had the past few gigs I’ve got to, KT Tunstall coming on to do Promised You A Miracle and For What It’s Worth at this final mainland gig was unexpected but wow! 

The band were just really on fire! The most amazing gig! Peter Walsh, producer of New Gold Dream was in the audience, just along the row from us. I went over, shook his hand and thanked him for New Gold Dream. 

I met some fans I have gotten to know through Facebook. I met Greg Lane and Paola Marocco. Friends of Yvonne’s too.

I dragged Birdy (unwillingly!) to the stage door. The things I had bought Jim at the British Museum gift shop, I wanted to try and give to him. I could have maybe taken them over to Dublin (not particularly practical) or sent them on to management to give to him but I wanted to hand them to him.

We waited over an hour. I felt awful for making Birdy wait. I did suggest we go a couple of times…but it would have been sod’s law had we walked off and minutes later he’d have appeared (not that we’d have known).

When he did finally appear, he was holding his hands up saying “I’ve got to go.” 

I did something I felt really, really awful for doing just minutes later. And never something I would ever dream of doing. The antithesis to how I was on the seafront at Bridlington…but I so wanted him to have the gifts. 

I chased him. I tugged on his jacket sleeve. I was imploring him to stop! (The guilt I feel…honestly!)

He finally stopped and I said “I have something for you that I want to to give to you”. After some unexpected reticence (I am so sorry, Jim!), his curiosty kicked in and he asked what it was. I didn’t want to spoil it completely (I hadn’t even wrapped them or anything…pricetags were still visible and all) so I said “Gifts. They’re gifts.” “You are very kind”, he said.  He noticed the British Museum logo on the bag and said “Now, this I like to see.” And by way of explanation and a hint of what was inside, I said “I went to a Hokusai exhibition today.” “How was it?”, he says. “Wonderful”, I reply, “it was wonderful.” “Thank you. You are too kind”, he says again, and with that, he was gone.

Unknown to me, Birdy was snapping away as it was all playing out. I’m not sure if I should share all the photos (or any, even). It feels a little…private, even though it is happening in a public place. He was snapped unawares. I will show just the one photo…of him accepting the bag from me.

A million thank yous, Jim. And I am sorry if I unnerved you. That was the least of my intentions. 

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.

palladiumouter2

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.

chandelierpal1

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.

brizzlestageview

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 🙂

bastardanchoress.jpg

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!

stairwaytoheavenbriz.jpg

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.