Yay, Rod Stewart in a tiny venue, not being able to secure tickets for the O2 arena in London, I just had to win tickets for this. After entering, I also got some of my friends to apply; one of us just had to win!
Sadly we all got emails saying “We’re sorry to let you know that on this occasion you have been unsuccessful”, never mind, better luck next time. 😦
Still, we got our hands on some winning tickets 🙂 mind you, I seem to be stumbling from one dilemma to another: Martina is over from Switzerland for a few days, and she would so love to see Rod, having MS makes it uncertain how long she will be able to attend gigs. But then there is my friend David, a die hard Rod fan, who only asked days earlier if I happened to have won any tickets and at that point I didn’t know that I would have some. I could of course send Martina and David…..but I really want to go too. So, time to be selfish, Martina and I will go, sorry David, but you did manage to get a ticket for the June tour.
We arrived at a good time at the BBC Center just off Oxford Circus, expecting a long old queue….but as we got nearer there was no queue. Wondering if we are at the right place or if it had been cancelled, we came nearer the entrance, a few people hanging around and we got told that we could go in now. Great, our belongings got scanned and in we go, find a seat, grab a coffee, it is all very civilised! Nevertheless, I’m a bit worried about Martina standing with no support all through the gig, when I was here for Madness it was all seated but apparently it is standing only today. I went off to find a BBC person just to check if there are any provisions for disabled people. I have to say, they are all really lovely people, The young lady I first spoke to told me to find the ‘purple lady’, I did, and yes, she is lovely too. She tells me that there isn’t much to lean on or against, but she will get us through with the first batch of people to enable us to find a spot where Martina can have some support.
We get chatting to the people sharing our table, a guy from Enfield, who like myself has found the love of live music again, attends a lot of gigs and like me, prefers the smaller venues. Looking around, this gig is definitely for the more mature rockers, love it! The couple opposite have come down from Liverpool and are making a little city break out of it. Steve has seen Rod a few times, they are both really looking forward to seeing him at such an intimate show.
It’s time, so we make our way to the entrance, and make sure the ‘purple lady’ knows where we are. She sends a young man over who tells us he will take us in a few minutes before the others. True to his word, he comes and asks us to follow him, through the doors, there was a chair for Martina to sit down and wait while he went off to get another person. We then get led into the theatre, a few more minutes wait and we are told to go and pick a good place. 100% to the BBC staff here, every single person is lovely, accommodating and helpful…brilliant! We choose a space on stage left, a barrier is erected around the camera man which is perfect for Martina to lean on.
People are piling in behind us, and soon there is movement on the stage. I think the man who appears is called Michael, the same guy who asked us to be interviewed when we came to see Madness. He talks us through the process of the show, making sure we know when to scream loudly……as if we need to be told…lol! We are also being asked not to take any photographs but to just enjoy the show, so all the photos on here are screenshots from the recording, I do hope that’s ok BBC 2.
Finally Jo Wiley appears to announce the one and only Rod Stewart, the crowd goes berserk, the shouting, screaming and clapping is deafening. The lights go low and Rod bounces on stage as if the years have had no impact on him, something is obviously keeping him very young 😉
His very first words as he arrives on stage are: “Alright?” He thanks the crowd for coming out in the rain and tells us that there were 80,000 requests for tickets. Suddenly reality dawns on me how very lucky Martina and I have been getting our hands on a pair.
Rod’s first song is a tribute to his Dad and getting into the show business ‘Can’t Stop Me Now’ from the new album. The energy is amazing right from the start. The three backing singers are lovely young girls, each one with an amazing voice and a great big smile on their faces all the way through the gig. Considering I wasn’t too bothered seeing Rod live when the tour was announced I’m well and truly enjoying this gig, may have something to do with the tiny venue size, I so dislike huge arenas.
Rod announces that he will be playing a mix of new and old songs, yes, we were hoping he would. :-).
The second track is: ‘You Wear It Well’, and apparently this one get’s mentioned every time there is something written in the paper about him.
Again, amazing energy, amazing sound and the young lady accompanying him on the violin is brilliant. It’s the big smiles on everyone’s face that helps make my night, such a feel good vibe! Glancing at Martina I can see she is feeling it too.
The song ‘It’s Over’ is quite literally choking me up, it’s a written about getting divorced and what happens to the children, lyrics like: “…♫♪♪…I don’t want our kids to suffer, Can we talk to one another,You were once my light, my lover…..♫♫…” will be ringing home to everyone who had to go through a divorce, never mind how messy.
Cheering us up straight afterwards with ‘Rhythm Of My Heart’, where all 3 of the girls take a turn in doing a little solo! “Some Guys Have All The Luck’ and ‘Have I Told You Lately’ bring yet again a lump to my throat, I guess the flashbacks to the past are to blame, let’s face it, fan or not fan, you couldn’t help hearing Rod Stewart songs all through the years. I could never decide if I liked his or Van Morrison’s version best….right now it’s Rod’s…lol!! At some point Rod disappears off the stage, arriving back having changed his shirt. I guess he likes spots…lol, first shirt was white with black spots and this one is black with white ones.
‘Brighton Beach’ where his daughter Sarah was conceived, right under the burnt down pier he explains, proudly; he also tells us that they have found a way to each other again and are in touch all the time and are good mates now.
‘She Makes Me Happy’, a declaration of the love he has for his wife Penny Lancaster , beautiful, she is also in the audience, sitting upstairs giving a wave 🙂
‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ wanting us to sing with gusto, if Gusto happens to be next to you, Rod you are funny, love it! And yes, the crowd certainly joined in!! The Saxophonist, and the Harpist by the way are awesome too, I say it again, the sound is fantastic! ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’.…..love love love it!! Amazing how Martina and I still know all the words…hehehehe, we must be secret Rod fans!!!
A new song ‘Sexual Religion’ is a very catchy tune, with lyrics like: “..♪♫♫…tell me how do you do that thing that you do to me…over and over again…♫♪…” are easily picked up, everybody is already singing along to it.
Somebody throws’s a football t-shirt onto the stage, Rod drapes it around his shoulders while singing ‘Maggie May‘ which started it all. He invites the young lady onto the stage (lucky lucky girl) and they sing together, bless her, she joins in even though as Rod says “its not quite her key”….:-). Right towards the end of the song he surprises us as he is jumping off the stage to come and give a couple of people a hug and shake hands, Martina just misses out on the hug though.
A simple “Good night guys” at the end of the song and Rod walks off the stage. Martina and I both manage to get hold of a set list …….Wow, what an evening…..Rod Stewart you were amazing, the only song missing for me was ‘Baby Jane’, obviously it was written for my baby Jane!!