Last night was special; in fact the whole of yesterday was special. I got to spend some quality time with James: we revelled in each other's company in Manchester visiting several choice hostelries in what has, for the last 10 years, been James' adopted home city. Our Big Boys Beano culminated not in the Bamboo Club (if you know, you know) but at the Castlefield Bowl, a quirky outdoor pavilion venue situated in the heart of M3, where it played host to the last night of Crowded House's 2022 UK tour.
James originally bought these tickets in 2019 but Covid meant that the gig - and its original rearranged date - was pulled. So last night, in more ways than one, was a case of unfinished business; nether of us had seen the band live before1 but we both have Woodface living in our heads2 24/7. I mentioned a couple of months ago that the majority of gigs I've been to this year have been very intimate shows - shows in small venues where inevitably I've been on the front row; so seeing a 'stadium band' in an amphitheater really did mean stepping out of my comfort zone. However, I needn't have worried. The sound was brilliant, our view was perfect and crowd were amazing (even waiving at the trains on the overhead viaduct as they trundled in and out of Oxford Road station). And the band didn't disappoint. I was putty in their hands from the opening bars of set opener Distant Sun to the final coda of Chocolate Cake and everything in between3. Who wouldn't be? So, outdoor gigs - I'm not saying it's the way forward - who knows where that might lead - but as an occasional antidote fto the confines of sweaty rock clubs and upstairs rooms in pubs it was certainly a breath of fresh air. Literally. Let's do it again soon, James!
1 Tho' I did see Neil Finn play a live set on a boat on the Thames in 2011
2 Where it flat shares with the entire Beatles back catalogue
3 James had to prop me up emotionally when they played Four Seasons in one Day (I could write 500 words alone on how that song affected me last night)
As PSs go this is a zinger: did I mention that Johnny Marr4 joined them on stage for Weather With You?
4 Manchester rock and roll royalty
Sounds like it was a day to remember John. And Marr guesting on Weather With You? Icing on the cake.
'Twas indeed the icing on the chocolate cake, TS. The lad can certainly play, I'll give him that.Delete
How funny - we've just watched, for the first ever time, episodes 1 and 2 of 'Early Doors'.... So, yes, now I know!ReplyDelete
- Sounds and looks like a great day. I like an outdoor gig too, there's something about having that backdrop of open sky.
Ah, Early Doors; probably the best telly comedy in the last 20 years - by a country mile.Delete
Yes, it was a great gig. I told James it's gone straight into my Top 10 Gigs of All Time. Not much more to add really.
Sounds as if it was a special day with Medd Jr.ReplyDelete
Post pandemic I think our senses are heightened to everything we experience out there in the big wide world. Sounds as if you had an emotional night. Good emotional.
Yes, it was very emotional. These heightened states are becoming more frequent at gigs; god knows what people must think. Luckily James just put his arm round me and sang the chorus as if he was in the band.Delete
Great post, John, and what a great day (& night) it was. We originally had tickets to see Crowded House in 2020 too, then 2021...then had to sell the tickets on as the 2022 rescheduled date in Cardiff was the same weekend as Madness (also rescheduled) in Gloucestershire and we couldn't do both. We have seen Crowded House before though and sounds like they were even better this time, especially with Johnny Marr joining them. Fantastic!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Khayem. It was, indeed, fantastic.Delete