Sunday, 15 May 2011

Through the looking glass

Once upon a time not so long ago I used to go to plenty of gigs...too many in fact I think because in the last year of so, there's been hardly any. The Boy and I had really loved live music, his first gig being Turin Brakes at Somerset House...a memorable start for him. But I'd got into the habit of just going for the sake of it, so there were a few erm, err, not so fun ones. Poor Auntie Gwen was witness to some of the worst..the rump of Deacon Blue was one, the event most memorable for meeting my ex-fiance and her boyfriend who I had surprising met before. Just once. At The Boy's Mother's funeral. Another was Echo and the Bunnymen who sadly were a band best remembered rather than experienced. Many were envious when we got tickets for Kings of Leon last year, but really they shouldn't have been as I think it takes the crown for worst gig ever. So it was a little bit with trepidation that The Cat's Mother and I went off to see Everything Everything in Shepherds Bush on Thursday. It was my choice as they were the one band that seemed to be played incessantly when we went off to Iceland last year. And there's no doubt they played very well indeed...better than the critics had suggested. It's just that we didn't see them....we were crushed at the back surrounded by giants less than half our age. They played a short set befitting anyone who has only released one album, and very good they were too...I just wish we'd actually seen them. Did I say we didn't see them?

Meanwhile on Friday night we were sitting outside having dinner with 254 other people on a pontoon in the lake of someones very fabulous house and I felt something crawling up and around my leg. For a while at least I convinced myself it was just the fabric of my trousers being blown by the wind, but eventually I had to face facts and accept that there was indeed a beast on my calf. I reached down in the hope of somehow knocking it off and felt it was quite a large beast, and rather than brushing it away I started being rather more vigorous. In fact I looked like an idiot as my efforts got more extravagant and at the same time I started giggling hysterically. Eventually the beast fell from the bottom of my trouser was a large moth so wouldn't have harmed me; if only I had known. In the background the proper entertainment was almost as entertaining...on stage three queens, a king, a duchess, one half of a pair of twins, a hatter who was as mad as a March hare and a white rabbit. Not to mention a young girl called fact there were five Alices. We were doing a round trip of 200 miles to Dine with Alice - an event which is hard to describe but did indeed involve dining with Alice whilst surrounded by the characters from Wonderland. Each course was served at a table in the gardens of Elsing Hall. There were 256 tables - we know because for he first course we were taken by turbaned waiters to a table where we ate the first course...Mock Turtle Soup...alone before being taken to a new table for the second course...and so on. Eventually The Cat's Mother and I met up again whilst the characters continued to squabble in glorious tones around us. Over desert, where the moth made its unwelcome appearance we were serenaded by some wonderful Victorian music hall entertainment. My description of it does it no was a magical evening put on by Artichoke...the same folks who did the Sultans Elephant a few years back. if you ever get the chance, grab it with both hands!

It seems extravagant to do a 200 mile round trip to have dinner, but it was a great gig.