Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Symphonica - Gig report London (October 14)

Companies like Seatwave get a bad rap, and part of their reputation is certainly deserved. Billed as a fan-to-fan ticket exchange site, what they actually are is the place where touts come in out of the cold and where some promoters sell a portion of their best seats in their desire to get a piece of the huge secondary ticket market.

But if you look closely there are also quite a few genuine fans with spare tickets to sell. If you can find them you might get yourself a great deal! Because what mostly gets forgotten when people have heated discussions about the secondary market is that it is indeed a market. This means that prices can soar to unbelievable heights if demand is high. Remember those shows Adele did last year at the Royal Albert Hall? Yeah, those tickets went for as high as 5 to 10 times face value.  But if demand is low(er) or the concert date is pretty close prices drop, sometimes way below face value. I got an excellent floor seat,  block A1 row 8 at the middle aisle, for £ 70! Even with the extortionate Seatwave fee that came out to £ 86 which is more than 10 pounds less than if I'd bought it on general sale. On Tuesday I once again turned to Seatwave because I wanted to see the incredibly talented Ed Sheeran on his sold out Hammersmith Apollo run. I got another nice seat for about 5 pounds more than I would have paid if I'd bought from the primary sources.

So my advice is this: use Seatwave and other sites just like it only when the concert date is pretty near, and go for the tickets you have to collect at a Seatwave office - or, in a pinch an e-ticket. That way you will avoid the heartache of people selling tickets they don't actually have (which is the main complaint about Seatwave) and you might get a great deal.

Counting down to the end of Symphonica, only more to go after this one.
One sentence review: Earls Court round 2: double the fun!

Walking into Earls Court it was hard to believe this was almost the last show. It all seems so familiar now, the red curtain shining so beautifully, the buzz of the audience talking excitedly, Bev walking around with that huge camera of hers, that it was hard to imagine this would all be over in a few days. But unbelievable or not the end was near so I was determined to have a good time. I think that went for George as well, as we got a night that was pretty special.

Song Of The Night

My flight to London Gatwick on Saturday morning was rather bumpy and although I know perfectly well that any plane can handle a little turbulence it always scares me to death. Thank heavens my trusted Creative Zen mpr3-player (I'm old school and prefer an actual mp3-player to a phone) was at hand with a playlist for times when I don't feel good. Of course George features heavily on this playlist.

True Faith: just beautiful!
The first song is True Faith and like I'd done so many times before I hid myself in the song and felt a little better as George's voice soothed me. I love this song so much! I'm very grateful that I've heard it live so many times because the voices of Shirley, Lucy, Jay and Lincoln make a near-perfect song completely perfect!

What made me grumble

George may love his London audience, I certainly do not! Just sit down, keep your mouth shut and enjoy the show people and more importantly let the rest of us enjoy the show!

I really don't get why people behave this way. And it's not just at George's shows either. Tuesday night at Ed Sheeran the couple sitting next to me asked me to move out of my seat no less than 5 (!) times over the course of a 2 hour show, just so they could get some more beer and they were talking about nothing much all through the show - simply unbelievable.

What made me giggle

I was looking at the VIP section in front of me and there was one man who obviously was having the time of his life. He could well be the biggest UK George Michael male fan. He was dancing in the aisle, wildly waving his arms about, singing along. He even found a beat to dance to for John And Elvis Are Dead, before he was gently directed to his seat again by a steward! Now that is dedication! His enthusiasm was certainly entertaining - and it brought a smile to my face.

The man in the blue-white shirt might well be George's most enthusiastic male fan in the UK

Praying For Time: according to George officially the arm-waver of the show. Heh, very true. How did we ever do without last year! On Sunday it was even better than the day before, pure magic.

I'm certainly going to miss Medley Time
As always I enjoyed myself immensely with watching mr. Hey have fun behind his piano. He seems like such a nice man, who is genuinely in love with all kinds of music. I always used to think of conductors as rather austere people and I'm glad that he has changed that perception forever. And I still want to know what he and Jay Henry giggle about when the back-up singers get to stand beside him just before the medley. But so far they're not telling, pity!

I saw Phil Palmer singing along loudly to I'm Your Man. Never noticed that before. What fun!

Lately the Lucy-George-Shirley 'sandwich' had been getting a certain 'get a room' vibe. Tonight they toned it down somewhat - but not a lot! George always looks so comfy, settled in snugly between his beautiful back-up vocalists. Nice to see how comfortable they are with each other!

What brought a tear to my eye

Oh dear, I choked up on seeing the yearning look on George's face when he sang that very last "You have been loved". Someone asked on twitter the other night if he was the only one who still cried at You Have Been Loved. No Steve (@stevew778) you're not. It's an unbearably sad song, with George (and David Austin of course) at their heart-tugging best.

While I keep hoping for one more performance of White Light, George's choice for the second encore I Rember You was pretty emotional too. Even the sudden and very unexpected announcements about trains coming over the PA halfway through could do nothing to lessen it's impact. It really is time to say I Remember You to George and to each other.

London George

George always makes me smile or even laugh out loud, he's pretty funny. And he can deliver a joke so well! That exquisite timing he has while singing certainly spills over to other areas of his performance. I love his running gag of teasing the GM-consultant. George after telling us that John And Elvis Are Dead was co-written by David Austin:" He gets a fiver every time I say that". Hee, poor David!

And there it was again: the GM slip-up. He's gone quite a few shows without making any mistakes whatsoever at the introductions of his band and backing vocalists so he was due for one! On Sunday we got two: he got the giggles while introducing his guitarist of nearly 30 years Phil Palmer and then couldn't come up with percussionist Lea Mullen's name. It was great fun and nobody minded. I think most of the fans could do the introductions by heart now anyway!

And finally: apparently George has a boyfriend!

Once again I have to turn to Sam (@sjrsam) because she says it so much better than I ever could: "I bet no one has ever been so happy to have a marriage proposal turned down"! Very, very true! A full day later Kelly was still over the moon and tweeting excitedly about her big moment. And who can blame her? For those who somehow managed to miss all the fun, here's what happened.

It was at the end of the second show in Birmingham I first noticed a woman with a special sign. Now normally I hate all signs, banners, sheets, what have you. They tend to be unruly things that always get in the way and block your view. But this was a sign so cute that you just had to smile, it was obviously created with much love and care and the little lights on the borders were an especially nice touch.

Kelly brings her sign to all the shows that she goes to so we and George have seen it a couple times as it's pretty hard to miss. On Sunday night he was in a very good mood so he took a moment to let her know that sadly a marriage was not on the cards:  "I'm sorry Kelly, I can't marry you, I've got a boyfriend"! Well darn, you learn something new every day! Seriously, it was a very sweet moment, and I loved how George blew her a kiss before he went on with the show.

1 comment:

  1. thank you ada for this video!