So, after the show in Newcastle I had stuff to do back in London on the day off so I stayed with my sister and caught an early train back. Everyone else stayed in the Malmaison in Newcastle and hit the road next morning.
I definitely lucked out because it apparently took them 9 and a half hours to get back. Pretty much their whole day off was spent sitting in the bus, in traffic, in a bad mood.
I, on the other hand arrived in London at 10.35am, did all my stuff and went home to spend the evening with the family.
So, Friday brought the day we had all been looking forward to. If, like me, you have even the remotest sense of history, you too would have been salivating at the prospect of playing in the courtyard of Hampton Court Palace. Literally treading in the footsteps of Henry VIII.
It’s particularly apposite for me as I have recently finished reading the two Hilary Mantel books – “Wolf Hall” & “Bring Up The Bodies” – two of the most beautifully written books it has been my pleasure to enjoy. There’s a very good reason why they both won the Booker prize!
These two books chart the progress of Henry’s cessation from the Catholic Church in order to divorce Katherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn, and his subsequent chopping off of Anne’s head to get off with Jane Seymour.
Sounds a bit dry the way I tell it, but Hilary Mantel is an infinitely better writer than I and I heartily recommend these books to you.
Anyway, on to the subject in hand. Lisa Stansfield live at Hampton Court Palace.
A truly amazing setting for a show but one which, for me did not get off to a particularly auspicious start. I’m afraid I got stuck in traffic and missed the sound check altogether. It seems, however, they managed just fine without me because it was barely mentioned. I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or upset!!
Luckily, as I have said on many occasions, Meado is a genius and my monitors were just fine for the show. He is, of course ably assisted by the amazing monitor desk which was provided for us by the lovely chaps at Allen & Heath. And it goes without saying that Walter worked his usual magic out front and between the two of them they could make a donkey sound good (I’m not saying a word Mick 😉
It was also a special night for me as my wife and two of my (four) kids were coming to see us. My two sons, at 15 and 13, have never ever seen me play as I pretty much retired from playing 15 years ago, so it was a big thing for me.
I wouldn’t say I was nervous about it. More curious to see how they would react. They are more used to seeing me shouting from the side of a rugby pitch than mincing around on stage.
I will never forget some years ago, my eldest daughter saying to me “If you ever tell any of my friends you are in Jamiroquai, I will never speak to you again!” so you can never really tell how they will feel about having a dad who isn’t normal (thank you…….)
Anyway, in the event the boys really enjoyed it and my wife said that they were very proud of of their old dad. Awwwwww……..
The show was an unforgettable experience in such an awesome setting and once again the crowd had come to party!!
All except one woman who accosted Mickey in his hotel after the show to complain that everyone had stood up to dance and she couldn’t see anything. When Mick suggested that perhaps the solution would have been to also stand up, she reminded him that she hadn’t paid to stand up.
Just shows you, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t please everyone.
Lisa looked absolutely stunning in a new frock, especially for the occasion and my wife was VERY much taken by it.
As well as looking amazing, she also sounded amazing and the whole experience was one for the memory banks.
It was a little tricky for Mickey & I as, being an outdoor gig, it was quite cold and every time we picked up our instruments they were freezing cold – which causes them to go flat (in pitch). However, we weren’t going to let that spoil the occasion so we just blew a bit harder and danced a bit faster 😉 You lucky people!!
I had to do the show without a drink as I was driving home afterwards but, in actual fact, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment or my energy levels one bit.
After the show we were all buzzing and, had we not all been driving home, it would have been a great after show party!!
Still, it’s Manchester tomorrow. A home gig for Lisa & Ian and there are sure to be a host of colourful characters from Rochdale there to set the party mood.
I’d better get an early night………..