Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Losing my Madonna virginity

Marc Almond at Summer Rites, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

August seven years ago, in 1999 was also very cloudy and wet. Fred and I went on a camping holiday to Cornwall, where we just managed to get some decent weather while the rest of Europe was suffering from flooding and so on. We timed our visit for the solar eclipse, which was going to be at its maximum in Cornwall.

However, on the way there, we drove through incessant rain, down to Calais and then up to South London for Summer Rites in Broxton Park. Marc Almond was due to perform and we were due to meet up with a bunch of Marc fans.

Fortunately, by the time the afternoon arrived, it started to clear up and we had a nice time wandering around, seeing friends, having adrink or two before Marc was due on stage. He had just a year before strated on his slow smokey sounding Open All Night album, giving six concerts in a row in the Almeida theatre, of which I attended about five, including one with my nephew Thomas who was not yet three at the time!

Anyway, for festivals, Marc had an up-tempo set, these days usually culminating in a bouncy version of his 1989 hit Tears Run Rings (the angels sigh, the little girls cry, tears run rings around my eye), complete with as many sexy Latin dancers as he could get his hands on, followed by a teary sing-along Say Hello, Wave Goodbye.

These days, I would be right up at the front jumping up and down, ecstatic to see my great hero, now with a camera to sneak a phot every now and then.

Last night I gate crashed someone else's party... namely the second Madonna concert in Amsterdam Arena. I had planned only to go to take some photos of the fans and the Christian protesters, but I noticed a lot of worried people waving around the tickets which they were trying desperately to sell. I did nto have so much money apart from the scrunched up 50 euro note I had been carrying around me for the past few days. Eventually a cross-eyed Czech girl with pretty red hair and pigtails agreed to part with her 90 euro ticket for what I could find in my trouser pockets and I was off to see Madonna!

Losing my Madonna virginity, I was treated to an entertaining show, with very loud and excellent music, great lighting, imaginative videos, sexy Latin dancers (reminding me so much of that day back in 1999) and of course, Madonna herself.

She's a bit older than she used to be and she has never had the best of voices, but she still did very well. Goodness knows what she has done to her body, because she used to be quite rounded and now looks to have lost half the flesh around her hips. She lets the dancers do most of the dancing for her and when she takes a break she puts on a multi-media spectacular video/music/dance show.

My only gripe is that during Like A Virgin, one of the few old hits which she performed, she showed a very nasty video of horses falling in cross country and steeplechase events, even going so far to repeat, fast forward and fast reverse what were really not very nice scenes. I really didn't see the point at all, especially as during the first song she showed us a video of very very beautiful horses and had two big pink horses as her logo for the concert. Oh well, maybe she was trying to make a statement, not her first of the evening (we even had "We want peace", "we don't want war" and other such banal comments). Better to stick to what you are good at lady.....



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

You make amazing pictures, I like them very much!
May I ask what kind of camera you use?

06 September, 2006 12:27  
Blogger Charles Roffey and Fred O said...

Hello Said, Thanks for appreciating the photos. The camera I am using at the moment is a Sony DSC-R1, which came on the markt about a year ago. Before, I was using the predecessor, the Sony DSC-F828.

This photo was actually taken with a Minolta 515, using Fuji film. I have scanned it to get a digital version.

Cheers, Charles

06 September, 2006 18:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're welcome!

Very impressive! Obviously you're a pro. I'm a beginner in photography and I want to buy a decent advanced digital camera. Any suggestions?
Really impressed with your Flickr site as well. The pictures are very inspiring.
Keep the excellent pic's and the posts coming.


06 September, 2006 22:19  
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