Thursday, 29 May 2008

That Voice. That Guitar.

Sunday 18 May. The Edinburgh Playhouse. Seats so high up the steep tiers that binoculars were necessary to see the finger-work on the guitar. Whose finger-work? Mark Knopfler’s finger-work!

That voice. That guitar. Those songs.

Lessons learned:
  1. Buy tickets early. This involves “being in the know” regarding when tickets go on sale and having fingers poised over the keyboard for the second that sales open. Said lesson has just been successfully put into practice to buy Tom Waits tickets.
  2. When people from Newcastle fail to observe Lesson 1, they have to travel to Edinburgh to see Mark Knopfler.
  3. When people from Edinburgh fail to observe Lesson 1 and all the tickets have been sold to Geordies, they have to travel to Ireland.
  4. When people from Ireland fail to observe Lesson 1 and all the tickets have been sold to Edinbuggers…. Well, it’s a vicious circle, people. Learn Lesson 1, is all we’re saying.
  5. Don’t park in the parking garage right next to the Playhouse. The queue to pay at the ticket machines after the concert was longer than the queue at any point to get into the concert.
  6. The Playhouse bars decant beer into plastic cups. Because Mark Knopfler fans are so rowdy. Bloody rock ‘n roll hooligans. Got to keep them under control.
  7. Beer in plastic cups makes Alien Wally gloomy.
  8. Alien Wally moaning about beer in plastic cups makes Mags gloomy.
  9. The use of the words “Edinbuggers” and “bloody” is going to get this post blocked by Mags’ Mommy’s company’s spam filter again for “violating the use policy on profanity”. Mags should know better than to use rude words. Sorry Mommy.
  10. Although Alien Wally and Mags took along their binoculars, if you don’t own a pair of binoculars or you forget yours, the seats right at the top of the top tier have binoculars attached to them, which you can rent for 50p.
  11. Going to a Mark Knopfler concert, with an average audience age of 50, can make you feel young precisely when you need it (looming 32nd birthdays, anyone?).
  12. Mark Knopfler’s bald patch doesn’t shine as brightly in the stage lights as Mags thought it would, given that she and Alien Wally were looking straight down onto it from their elevated seating positions.
  13. Mark Knopfler is a musical genius. We are so not worthy.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

When Alien Wally and Mags were first informed that their flat had been broken into, prior to knowing what, if anything, had been stolen, one of their first thoughts was “Please don’t let the wee buggers have stolen the Nick Cave tickets”. Thankfully, the tickets remained safe, and Alien Wally and Mags were able to see Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds in concert on Sunday night. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Nick Cave rocks.

Some observations, completely unrelated to the music, but which Mags can’t help making (she does this – don’t ask why, she just does):

* Nick Cave is tall. During the pre-show crew-milling-about-the-stage-looking-busy phase, various technicians checked the lead microphone. None of them could reach it without standing on tippy-toes. None of them looked particularly small. Yet none of them adjusted the mic downwards. Mags was wondering how Nick Cave was going to cope. Until he came out onto stage, that is, and the mic proved to be at the perfect height. Nick Cave really does stand head and shoulders above others.

* Nick Cave is allowed to point at the audience. Nick Cave can get away with it. Because he’s Nick Cave, that’s why. Audience members, however, should refrain from pointing at the stage in time to the music. Ordinary concert-goers just can’t get away with it. Because it looks silly, that’s why.

* Warren Ellis, also commonly known in the Wally household as The Mad Fiddler, shall henceforth be referred to as The Prophet. Give him a robe, stick a sign in his hand saying “Repent all ye sinners – the end is nigh!” and he wouldn’t be out of place evangelizing on a street corner. See, Warren Ellis now has A Beard. What Warren Ellis also has, is a corner of the stage all to himself where he can do his own thing in his own unique way. Warren Ellis is cool.

* Suits should always be worn in the way the Bad Seeds wear them. Nary a pink shirt in sight. Mags doesn’t like pink shirts. Or pink ties. Or ties in general actually. Blech. (An aside: Want to know the deciding factor in Mags’ choice of high schools back when she was making such decisions? Out of the three she was considering, she finally went to the one that didn’t require her to wear a tie. Plus the uniform was blue. Blue is good, people. Let this be a lesson to you on how to make important life decisions.)