On the way through town to Andrews leaving do*, there was a steady procession of ‘grey-tops’ heading to the Arena to see Elbow. I’ve always liked them but didn’t really want to pay stadium prices to see them – so um’d and ah’d about getting a ticket until it was too late and they’d sold out. I then got the new LP ‘The Take Off And Landing Of Everything’ and one track in particular ‘My Sad Captains’ just stuck in my head….a lament for lost days and nights with your mates, getting out of it and watching the sun come up.…..as the song says “What a perfect waste of time”……. “I wish I’d have got a ticket now” I was telling myself when, as if by magic, a teenage tantrum made a ticket available…. Simon announced that he had a spare ticket and asked if I wanted it…………Yeah! So I joined Si, Bel and Emma on what was supposed to be a family night out and turned out to be a great evening.
Support tonight was from Jimi Goodwin – with beards and subdued performances, it was a night of improbable lead singers. I last saw them at a Manchester Vs Cancer gig when Guy Garvey had joined them on a song (if I remember correctly). There were a few Doves tunes thrown into the mix and he went down well.
This was my first time at the arena and those Arup folks know what they’re doing. There was a slight football stadium feel to the 2nd tier but the seats were comfortable and the view fabulous – hard to believe there’s 13,500 people in there until you hear the roar of anticipation as the band walk on stage.
Tonight they had a lovely strings and brass section who majestically swelled the sound – and what a lovely sound it is. Great banter from Guy who seemed perfectly at home wandering up and down the central isle, getting us all to wave our hands and clap along (quite hard to do with some of the more Soporific tunes but we tried). We got to cheer at his sister, Boo at David Cameron and think about the plight of refugees “When you’re forced to leave the country you love for whatever reason and here you’re treated like Pirates, come to rob the treasure….sorry for going a bit ‘Bono’ on you but…..” That’s as U2 as it got…..’special guest’ turned out to be 6Musics Shaun Keavney…..before he was swiftly removed by the security staff……
At one point Guy took a camera phone from someone who was filming/taking photos of the gig and took it on stage getting close ups of all the band whilst singing before getting a selfie with the crowd and handing it back to her – class!
The gig finished with ‘My Sad Captains’…..just wonderful….before the inevitable encore which inevitably closed with ‘One Day Like This’ with Guy’s son joining him at the end. Everyone was up on their feet by this point, singing our hearts out. I didn’t see a single sad face as we left – the sound, the lighting, the music, the sense of being together – it was a Perfect Waste of Time
Bob the Chiropodist
*Andrew – sorry for leaving your leaving do early – will make it up to you next time!