I went to bed after midnight on, what was then, Tuesday morning and needed to be up again some FOUR HOURS later to pack and get myself ready for a 6.50am flight out. I was out the door by 5.10am. Got the airport 10 mins later…had to wait another 10 mins for a shuttle bus to take us from the drop off point to the departure terminal.
It must have been about 5.45am by the time I got into the departures terminal…I get to the security check…I have my liquids ready, boarding pass and passport in hand. I go through the scanner…I’m asked to remove my shoes. I am then searched with a handheld scanner. Around my hips it triggers again. Belt off. It STILL gets triggered. My pockets are empty! It must have been the metal studs on my jeans. WTF?! I am waiting 10 minutes to get my shoes back. I have been separated from my luggage (it went through security checking on the opposite counter)…I’m conscious of the time – AND WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY SHOES! I am so freaking out! Finally, I get my shoes back. I get my luggage. I go as quickly as I can to the boarding gate. I arrived TWO MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING! I have never cut boarding a plane SO finely in all my days! I was in a lather by the time I took my seat. Man, that was close!
First impressions of Dublin? Amazingly friendly, helpful people – traffic and roads a MESS! The laying down of tramlines means half the city’s roads are ripped up and there is work going on EVERYWHERE – day and night.
I meet up with Gertie at the GPO (what a beautiful building – much akin to the Sydney GPO – I am seeing/hearing similarities with Sydney right off…right down to the blind pedestrian sound alerts on the traffic lights – video below).
We have a small wander around and crossed the Liffey using the Ha’penny Bridge and mooched around Temple Bar.
A nice, easy day. Gertie is the ‘hostess with the mostess’ and her and husband Pete made me feel right at home 🙂 Ali is a super boy and was happy to have me around.
A bit more sightseeing the next day…just a quick one, as it was gig day and we didn’t want to be expending too much energy prior to the gig.
The weather had turned a bit for the worse as we were making our way in, but we managed to keep dry. We picked up Gertie’s sister Maggie on the way and then…what should be playing on the radio in the taxi along the way? (Mobile device viewing required)
We met up with some other fans in the Brogan’s Bar next door and I got plied with drinks. I had FOUR gin and tonics before going in to see KT Tunstall’s set. Erm…I was quite merry! Jim was looking particularly fetching as he came on to intro KT (I really do NOT need “beer goggles” to find that man attractive! Lol).
Loved KT’s set. The kazoo playing and the segue into Walk Like An Egyptian. But the song that did it for me was a new one called “It Took Me So Long To Get Here But Here I Am” – me, in Dublin…my life in general, finding purpose through the art. It was a metaphor for so much, and it is such a beautiful song. So upbeat…but of course, with it speaking so much to me, by god it could make me teary. So much significance to it.
She used a few plectrums. After a couple of songs, she’d throw one into the crowd and they’d flutter down to the 3rd or 4th row. On her final throw, it fluttered all the way over to the fifth row and landed just to the left of me. I saw exactly where it landed, so I was able to collect it without hesitation. A lovely souvenir 🙂
Then it was time for the penultimate SM set. And…oh wow! They were ON FIRE! But fuck an absolute fucking duck – PEOPLE WERE SITTING DOWN!!!!! What is wrong with people?!! As soon as Cherisse starts, I want to be up and out of my seat, but felt compelled to stay rooted while everyone else wants to steadfastly remain seated.
They get up when Jim comes out to the crowd, to see where he’s going, but they sit back down again as soon as NGD is finished. This time, he sat on a lady’s lap in the front row. How lucky was she?! I don’t think I’d have been able to help myself had it been me – my hands would have been all over him! (esp. certain places **waggles eyebrows until they drop off my face**) She did seem to “cop a good feel”. Good on her! Lol
The set itself was amazing, as ever. I can’t praise it enough…THEM enough. All of them. The musicianship. They make it look so easy! All in a day’s work.
I was up on my own for Chelsea Girl. It just gets me up and going. I mean…just…how can you stay sitting for Chelsea Girl? Come on!!! I know he was a bit crabby (cancerian!) with me for mentioning what happened at Hackney to him. I think he thought I was being bitchy and having a dig…but I wasn’t. I hope he sees how much I love the song and him, and that I wouldn’t take the piss out of him like that. I love you, Sir. If you were blind to it all before, I’m sure it now must be pretty clear. *blushes*
The new bit of banter…Killiney and Dolly in the newsagents. The talk of the “famous Scottish rock stars from ‘Simply Red'” and the story of Dolly saying fellow Irish resident Chris de Burgh was a “little c***”. Lol. I can’t see it myself…but hey?! I don’t know him like Dolly does. Lol. Anyway, Sir drops a C bomb and I am in stitches and loving him all the more. I’m VERY easily pleased. Lol
He seems to have settled on the singular collective for Toblerone…ignoring me and my belief of it to be plural. Why ask me then, Jim? 😉 Just so you had a ruse to say my name to me?! Oh, you beautiful man! Stop flirting with me! Lol. (DON’T STOP FLIRTING WITH ME – EVER!) I may get stumped and not know how to react, and get completely flummoxed…but….BRING IT ON. I’ll take it again and again!
Back home to Gertie’s quite quickly after the gig. Sadly Gertie felt unwell at the end of the gig, so a trip back to her house straight after was required. Safely home, Gertie was feeling better, but I felt bad the final minutes of the gig for her was not such a good experience.
On Thursday morning I said my goodbyes to Gertie. Thank you once again for letting me stay at your house. To you, Pete and Ali, for making me feel so welcome and at home. It meant so much. I’ll never be able to thank you enough! :-))
I met up with Birdy where we were staying at around 1pm. A bit of downtime…a meander around the city again, then off to find a restaurant, as recommended by Gertie, called Cornucopia. A vegetarian restaurant with a good reputation. And how so!!!! Wow! The food was BEYOND delicious! We both had the stew…
Tummies full, we made our way to Dame Street. How apt that the venue should be on Dame Street. The connection to Bowie was not lost (one of his most famous nicknames was that of “The Dame”).
A bit more time wasted at Brogan’s (just one double G&T this time. I didn’t want to get cut!).
KT’s set was once again wonderful. She’s such a livewire. So upbeat and fab. It was great to witness her two sets. Talent beyond measure.
And then…here we were. In exactly the same row as I was the previous night, but three seats over to the left. Still an absolutely fabulous view 🙂 There were two ladies a row in front of me, and just to my left. Both from Scotland, but one now living in Ireland. They came complete with deeley boppers with boxes of Toblerone taped to them. It made quite an impact!
New Gold Dream was again out of the park…but the superglue was in use YET AGAIN! No one really got up. The crowd again only got up when Jim came out to us to mingle. Another lucky lady got some lap time! As soon as NGD was done, bums went back on seats…apart from the Toblertwo to my left.
They started Chelsea Girl, and I was having it! I refused to sit down for Chelsea Girl! I was singing and doing…what I call…dancing. Lol. I have absolutely fallen in love with Chelsea Girl on this tour. I’ve always really liked it…but there has just been something extra special about it on this tour. Perhaps it is Cherisse’s amazing drums on it that has added an extra dimension? The way Jim is singing it? (I loved the way he would slightly alter the line to “ain’t it strange how people always seem to know your pretty, pretty face, but never, never know your name”.
They seemed to be filming on Thursday night, so, it’ll just be me and the Toblertwo standing up for that one (Chelsea Girl). Oops! But I COULD NOT SIT DOWN FOR CHELSEA GIRL!
By Stand By Love, Jim had a word with the crowd. He said “I know there isn’t glue on these seats, so you can get up out of your seats for this one.” Thank you for getting them up, Sir!
The final performance of Andy Warhol was tinged with extra poignancy. He’s been introing Gordy as “that mate you have as a kid that you ask your mum when taking a day trip out if he can come along too”. On Thursday night, having said that, he said, “I miss my mum”. A huge swell of “Aawwww!” went round the auditorium. It was so lovely.
They really did just rip the stage apart. Everyone was performing to the highest of highs. It was the most amazing gig finale.
The one thing that would have made this whole tour complete….for me, on a personal level, would have been to see Jim on the stage in the Hokusai scarf I bought him from the British Museum…but, it was not to be. Maybe one day in future I may see him in it. One never knows ones luck! I just hope he finds it as beautiful as I do. I never even got to see it with my own eyes. There was no display one, just a picture of how it looked…and it looked beautiful. I hope it lives up to the photo.
These two Dublin shows were everything I hoped for. Two of the most amazing gigs. Real, proper finale material.
I have had the most wonderful time, following this most amazing band, and their support acts around, all over these Atlantic isles.
To Catherine, Sophie and Ben for such wonderful sets in the UK. And Catherine…for the selfies, the personal signings…for Rivers Of Ice in Bridlington. Thank you!
To KT for the two amazing sets in Dublin.
To Stephen Pollard for such a fantastic light display. It really set an amazing tone and added such drama and awe to songs like Big Sleep, and just light and joy to songs like Mandela Day. Stellar work!
To Olivier Gerard – the “sound” man! In both its definitions, ie: taking care of the sound we heard as an audience each night and doing an amazing job with it, but also being conscientious and hard working. A “sound man” indeed!
To Elaine Gwyther…for, you know why. A thousand times, thank you!
The hard working road crew. What a job you guys had these past 8 weeks! Wow! Such hard work. Job well done! *gives thumbs up signal*
Lastly: to Cherisse for banging those drums like few can. To Sarah for being pure class and one of the most amazing voices on the planet. To Ged for being the Ace of Bass. To Gordy for the most fab version of Andy Warhol, and for putting up with my endless failed attempt to take a good pic of us together. To Charlie for being the most genteel and lovely of men, and a killer ax man! And…to you, Jim…for, quite literally, making my dreams come true. Just over a year ago, you shared a link to John Grant’s Marz with me. I studied the lyrics, as I do with most songs. The chorus resonated with me. It sounded like a dream to me “and your sweet sixteen is waiting for you after the show” (okay…I’m not 16! But I like to think I don’t look 46, either…I’ll keep dreaming. Lol), “you’ll get your heart’s desire; I will meet you under the lights” – those bright lights of…Bridlington! But…it was very special, and something I will never forget. Thank you ❤️
Until the next tour…
Vive la Simple Minds!