Category Archives: Live music

Who Are You?

Before we get going, I’d like to make an observation. Have you ever noticed that just about the only acceptable way to approach a complete stranger on the street is to compliment them on their tee shirt? It’s true. I’ve done it several times and always received a positive response, be it the guy behind me at the ferry terminal in a shirt that read “In dog beers, I’ve only had one” or the chap in the coffee shop wearing a  shirt from the Medicine Department of Miskatonic University or the guy in a different coffee shop in the Liverpool F.C.replica shirt with the number 10 and the name Coutinho on the back. On each occasion I’ve said “Great shirt, mate”, and received a smile and thanks in return. Actually, I had a really enjoyable, if short conversation with the Miskatonic “alum”, made even better by his response to my telling him I sport one from the Literature Department.

Of course, you can only get away with such comments to other guys. If the  woman ahead of you in the coffee line is impressively shod  and you say “Cute boots” to her, the next thing you experience will be lying on the gurney while  the nurse rinses the mace out of your eyes and the E.R. physician prepares to remove one of the aforementioned items of footwear from the place where you used to have functioning genitalia.

You cannot believe how much empirical research went into the above statement, you really can’t.

This leads me to my story. A few weeks ago my sweetie and I went to see Wussy at the Funhouse. It’s a dump, a real scuzzy pit, to tell the truth, but the chance to see Wussy was too good to pass up. We skipped the first two openers, but  had the misfortune to hear the third, and not even an unbelievably good margarita could kill the pain of having to hear them. Anyhoo, on our way from the door to the bar I saw a rather scruffy looking guy sitting next to the merch table wearing what I took to be a Joy Division “Unknown Pleasures” long sleeved tee. On my way back, drinks in hand I said ” Love the shirt, man” to which I received the response “Thanks, you have to go to Cleveland to get one”. It was then that I realised that the back bore the name of a Cleveland record store and the front was the “Unknown Pleasures” cover art trimmed into the shape of the great, I mean the state of Ohio.

I thought no more of it until my sweetie pointed out that the guy looked like, and it was here that I misheard her, because the guy looked nothing at all like the former Joy Division and New Order bassist, until the penny dropped and I realised she’d said “Buck”.  “Nah, it can’t be” was my natural reply.  She produced her phone and pulled up some pictures. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!!!!!!!!! “You’ve just freaked me out” was all I could manage to say. Of course, it WAS the former R.E.M. guitarist and I’d just not recognised him.   Those of you who know me know that I love R.E.M., but never had the chance to see them live, don’t bother with music videos and don’t even touch”Rolling Stone” on the basis that I can actually afford real toilet paper.  I was truly bummed not to have recognised him, but now couldn’t do anything about it. He sat with the headliners who were staffing their own merch table and during the show ambled around, having a good time. This town doesn’t really appreciate overt  fanboy behaviour, so I just let it go and made sure not to stare, unlike the loser who made a point of introducing himself and shaking Buck’s hand. Wanker.

I bet he told all his friends, and anyone else who would listen about it until he was blue in the face and they were bored to tears. Don’t you just hate people like that?































Leave a comment

Filed under Live music

That’s Entertainment.

First, an apology. I had intended to post long ago, but the fact that I’m rarely home, and when I am I’m doing other things  (O.K. “Call Of Duty”- See “Tin Soldier” coming eventually) means I’m now well behind schedule. Anyhoo….. As regular readers  know  I have made a number of shocking revelations in this blog over the years, and I’m about to add another: I’m not much of a fan of musical theatre. Are  you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.  Some months ago my sweetie informed me of the schedule at the theatre where she works. One show on the list was the Broadway production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s  “Cinderella”. Not my kind of thing by any metric, but as the father of a nine year old daughter, I know on which side my bread is buttered. It was a pretty easy decision as there was no danger of not being able to follow the plot and my daughter  has a penchant for the performing arts. Of course, it did cross my mind that a day out of this nature would win me plenty of credit at the bank of daughterly good will.

We took the boat across in plenty of time and picked up my sweetie who dropped us off before taking my son to the computer museum, so they both got some one on one time that day. I  had some idea of what to expect, but even so I was somewhat taken aback by the gender imbalance of the audience  as there appeared to be a total of about two dozen guys in the 3,000 strong audience, and most of them were grandfathers. Making a quick trip to the bathroom I had my choice of stalls, but across the hall the line for the Ladies seemed to stretch around the block.  This was 1 March, and I’m pretty sure there are still some moms waiting in line. I guess this is what it must have been like when The Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan show, only with higher pitched voices – the audience, I mean, not the performers. I suspect the average age was about twelve, taking into account all the mothers, of course. Tiaras and smart dresses abounded and more than a few of the younger element came in full Cinderella costume. I wonder if there is a theatre equivalent of football’s “Full kit wanker” ie, the guy who turns up to a football (soccer) match wearing not only a replica shirt but also shorts and socks as if somehow expecting to be called onto the pitch in an emergency.  If the leading lady and her understudy had been struck down unexpectedly  there would have been enough six to eight year olds in the audience for a full scale audition without the need for the costume department to worry.

Thankfully this didn’t occur, and the show opened on time. I have to state for those of you who haven’t seen this production that like almost all musical theatre, especially that of the classic R&H era, the show is fluff all the way down. Extremely well produced and engaging fluff, but fluff nonetheless. None of the songs are strong enough to survive outside the show but the production values, costumes and cast were of the highest quality,and for the best part of three hours everyone in the auditorium was lost in the story.   I will admit that I enjoyed myself as it was a very impressive production and Cinderella’s on stage costume changes were stunning in the extreme.  Of course, my daughter was riveted by the show and afterwards remarked that it didn’t seem like an almost three hour performance. It was very enjoyable and even though it is really not my thing at all, it was great to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the willing suspension of disbelief required for a show like this. I’m not so sure I’d have been as keen to see “South Pacific” or “The Music Man”, but what the heck, who could refuse to take his nine year old daughter to see “Cinderella”?

So there  you have it. I have been to as many musicals as  my daughter who is less than 1/5 my age. I enjoyed the experience immensely and got to see the look of joy my daughter wore for the whole performance. It won’t become a regular experience on my part, but at least I have been spared the horrors inflicted on my sweetie, who as part of her job had to sit through not only “Dirty Dancing” but also “Mama Mia”. Thank Goodness my daughter has never heard of ABBA, although if the music of One Direction is turned into a musical ala Green Day I may be forced to reconsider living within a thousand miles of a stage.


Leave a comment

Filed under Live music