Lisa Stansfield European Tour 2013 – Episode 15: London to Manchester

Saturday morning. The day after the night before and there is much to do before leaving for tonight’s show in Manchester. Namely, drop my youngest son off at cricket, the oldest at football and mow the lawn. It’s a tough life this rock star business ha ha 😉

The band bus was leaving London at 9.30am but luckily for me, Mickey had driven down to the London show and just happened to be passing through Buckinghamshire on his way back up to Manchester.

So he very kindly agreed to stop off at Thirkell Towers and pick me up. He’s not a bad lad really!

So it was an 11.30 leave for us and we arrived at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester by 3.00pm. That gave me enough time for an hour of my favourite pastime – a bath and a book (simultaneously)!

A couple of chapters of Alain de Botton’s stunning book “Religion for Atheists” and I was cleaner, wiser and ready for the soundcheck.

I remember the Lowry Theatre from the last set of dates we did with Lisa in (I think) 2010 or 2011 and it is a lovely, friendly place with happy memories. However, the surrounding area has changed hugely with the building of the enormous BBC Media village and it was hard to recognise the place from only a few years ago.

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Mickey arrives for the sound check

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Mickey demonstrates he’s mastered the art of joined up writing

Soundcheck was fairly standard. Lisa elected not to come – such is her confidence in the sound guys – so we cracked on had it done in about half an hour.

It has to be said, there was a little pre-match tension in the air as this was a home gig and everyone wanted to put on an extra special show, but we all got on with what we needed to do and, despite the little edge, got everything set up for the show.

At show time everyone was a little nervous but, as usual, once we got under way, that all disappeared and we had a great show! Given it was a home show, I think the guest list was pretty healthy and I heard someone in the crowd shouting “Go on Aunty Lisa” as we fired up so we knew it was a friendly crowd.

I must say that Lisa’s fans are certainly up for a good time and the place was rocking from the word go.

Lisa again pulled out all the stops and appeared in another stunning new outfit which was complimented by a very elegant feather fascinator. It didn’t, however, look quite so elegant when I wore it for the first tune of the encore.

It was irritating Lisa and I said, just as a joke, “Well, I’ll wear it then!”

Wrong……

Before I knew it it was on my head and we were heading back on stage. I must say that, after all these years as a musician, it’s great to be breaking new ground and this is definitely the first time I have played a gig wearing a feather headdress. (At least, I think it is?)

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Nice!

After the show there was a party in the theatre bar and it was great to see some old friends and to meet some new ones.

It seems that, incredibly, this blog seems to have caught on and I was congratulated by so many people who said they enjoyed reading it and looked forward to each new episode. Far more than those who said they enjoyed my playing incidentally!!!! 😉

It’s very gratifying to hear because, believe me, when you are knackered and a little hung over, it takes will power to make yourself do it and so, to hear it’s not totally in vain, makes me feel much better.

I did promise mentions for a number of people:

Karen Clark (Lisa’s Sister) whose birthday it is today (Happy 21st Karen 😉 ) See you later!!
Lee Howson – Northern Soul trumpet god
Fiona Howson, who supports Lee by not taking up the cornet again
Bev Nathan – fan extraordinaire and all round good egg
Heike Maas – Liepzig Lisa lover

After the after show party, some of the guys went off to the Band On The Wall in Manchester but I headed back to the Hotel for a relatively early night.

However, it was not meant to be as Robbie Williams’ band were also staying at the Lowry and so a bunch of us sat up talking, laughing and drinking until the early hours.

Big shout to Ben Edwards and Mark Brown (trumpet & sax respectively) for a great night of laughter and tomfoolery and especially Ben, who was far more gracious about my playing than I could possibly deserve.

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l to r: Ben Edwards, Moi, Mark Brown, Mickey

3.30am saw me chuck in the towel and go to bed but, with the leave not scheduled until 11.30 next morning and breakfast served until 11.00, it wasn’t too bad at all.

Tomorrow………… Birmingham and the last UK date.

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Togetherness: Dave, Andrea & Snowboy

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Ian’s guitars

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All ready to go

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Lisa wows them again

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