Posh seats and a boring gig.
Spent a brilliant couple of days in old London town this last week. Ostensibly to catch up with friends, have a few drinks, meet up with an ex-pupil for a lovely lunch and a late addition – attend a gig at the London Palladium. It was 26 degrees as we sat outside the pub waiting for the queue to die down as security seemed to be taking forever. Twenty-six degrees on October 7th FFS! It was lovely and the beer certainly flowed but in the back of your mind you’re thinking ‘this is a bit weird, not sure I like it’ – still the beer makes me worry less (a guide for life that).
After joining the back of the queue we soon found ourselves being frisked and having our phones placed in a padded pouch before being returned to us. This is what was taking the time! Took my very comfy seat and waited for the show to begin. And there he was – Roger Waters – poster boy of a million 70s bedrooms and latterly a more divisive figure as his pro-Palestine politics are twisted into something else in the mainstream. I make no judgements without clear evidence but what I do know is that Waters has always been anti-war of any sort (except perhaps in the courts against previous bandmates…).
To the gig. A packed house was treated to Roger in a pink jacket stalking the stage as an MC at a cabaret. He thanked Andrew Lloyd Webber for not bowing to requests to stop the gig (Lloyd Webber owns the Palladium). Before the band took the stage he sat at a table and read extracts from a laptop. They were at best dull personal anecdotes, at worst very boring stories of little interest. The House shuffled its feet, coughed and there was the occasional “Get on with it”. The band arrived and played two songs, quietly and efficiently. Then, the interval. Then, a film of Roge telling us why he had rerecorded ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. Then finally we heard the piece. A radical reworking that was delivered in a downbeat way with some great musicians (including Jonathan Wilson) being seemingly very underused. And then it was over. All a bit underwhelming and for the price probably worth some kind of refund but… the one takeaway I really loved was that this was the first gig in years that no one had their phones out, they couldn’t, they were securely sealed in their pouches until we exited the building. It was brilliant and so refreshing. Whether this was for the audience’s overall experience or to prevent Roge from seeing footage of this show and realising quite how poor it was in some parts we’ll never know.
Been listening to some lovely stuff this week: Phil Cook (alumni of Hiss Golden Messenger ) with a beautiful meditation tinged with gospel and folk. And then some William the Conqueror who I will be seeing this weekend, bet there’s loads of phones being held up! Finally the latest radio show is up and features all sorts of nonsense as well as Wilco, Simone Felice, Blake Mills, Small Town Jones, Spencer Cullum and many more. The photo is an old one taken in Kobe in 2003. Ahh youth where have you gone? As ever take what you want or need.