Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ruby Red - Marc Almond

Here are some of the songs which Marc sang last night:

Stardom Road
I Have Lived
These My Dreams Are Yours
Tears Run Rings
Brilliant Creatures
Your Aura
Torment
Mr Sad
The Idol
Dream Lover
Child Star
Jackie
What Makes A Man A Man?
Caroline Says
Tragedy
2 Russian songs
Redeem Me
The Boy Who Came Back
Ruby Red
My Hand Over My Heart
The Days Of Pearly Spencer
Somethings Gotten Hold Of My Heart
Backstage (I'm Lonely)
I Close My Eyes (and count to ten...)
Tainted Love
What!
Say Hallo Wave Goodbye
The Final Curtain

It was his 50th birthday and he chose to spend it with his (adoring) fans at the Shepherds Bush Empire, performing a wide selection of songs with his 'band', guitarist Neal X and pianist Martin Watkins, plus a drummer and a bass player. Adding the strings were Annie Stephenson and Gini Ball who have been with him since the Marc and the Mamba days of 1982/3.

I made it off the train from Paris to Shepherds Bush in less than half an hour with the underground, in good time to get into the concert hall and find my friends Ange and Steve and Dino and Paul, before Marc got going with the low key Stardom Road. I had been wanting an up-tempo concert and that is what Marc gave us... immmediately launching into These My Dreams Are Yours and Tears Run Rings from the Stars We Are album of 1988.

He looked great, all dressed in black, the problem being we were standing a bit towards the back, with all the tall people in the concert hall standing in fornt of us. I knew I wanted to make it to the front, it was just a question of how and when... better to leave it a while when others start tiring and sure enough.... I waited until the slow bit in the middle was over with before I made my move, pretending to look for someone in the crowd and then finding a place in fornt of a very big man who did not mind me too much standing in front of him. And there I was.... right near the front, standing behind three rows of swaying lesbians... while Marc sang away.... no alternative but to sort of swing along with them... until we got to bounce. I always like bouncing at concerts.

Well... on and on he went, giving us the fabulous ' The Boy Who Came Back' from the ' Vermine in Ermin' album, one of our favourites amongst others, eventually two extended encores, during which he broke down with emotion when we all sang Happy Birthday to him. A very touching moment.

After the concert ended, we all waited around the stage door, meeting other Marc fans from concerts of old... Julia and the Brighton gang, Paul from North London, Adrian from Birmingham and Densie and Tracey from Liverpool, no Dave, though... and also finally meeting Yvonne from near Aberdeen with whom I have been chatting on the internet the last few months. All very sociable and it was very late when Marc finally came out, giving me a handshake and Dino a kiss. What a nice man, that Marc Almond.

We ended up having a late beer and an even later sandwich with Dino, Paul and Yvonne before winding up the evening and embarking on a long journey back to my hotel near Tower Bridge, which, with two night buses and a taxi took me over an hour and a half! Having woken up early to go to Paris earlier in the day, it had been a very long day and I was shattterd.

Tomorrow... Madrid!

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