Bone-drenching rain fell relentlessly, but nothing was going to damp our spirits. The crew at The City Hall treated us just like any other superstars (The Osmonds are playing there this week) and we had plenty of chocolates in our dressing room thanks to Mike and June.
El Cid played a nifty set; they are fabulous song writers and have grown ever more confident as performers. They brought a welcome West Coast Californian warmth to dreary central Newcastle yesterday evening, as they have developed their garage band palette to a much more mature and mellow vocal-harmony-rich sound. They also look like a proper pop group, and they didn't look too scared to be on a very big stage, which bodes very well for the future. They are such great songsmiths and have such a good sound; they are my favourite band by far that Martin has produced. (and it was really sweet that their mums and dads were in the audience).
I wore my best shirt for the occasion, and ignoring my shredded fingernail (thanks, E, Coli, for leaving me with health issues months afterwards) I had a great time. It was really exciting to stand on that stage where I'd been to see so many bands when I was a teenager; I never in a million years dreamed that I would find myself there one day and it was an extraordinary privilege to be invited on to the bill. The sound man was excellent and afterwards the only thing I could think was 'My fingernail can fall off now!'. I wonder if Rihanna ever thinks things like that?
Naturally, The Daintees were warm-hearted, musical and hilarious all in one package. Previous to this year, these Christmas gigs have been at the Cluny and the audience has gradually (or not so gradually) got progressively more and more pissed so by the time the set drew to a close, nobody was listening any more. I used to feel sorry for the band to have to play their last gig of the year to an audience who had stopped listening. At the City Hall, you couldn't take the drinks into the auditorium and it was a proper gig with people listening all the way through. I loved that, and so indeed did the audience. Some got up and danced at the back, others heckled song titles, and Jamie was invited on stage to play guitar and he did a great Bruce Foxton leap. So did Martin, but Chris has a bad knee and only managed to lift one leg off the ground. All the band were in top musical form and great spirits.
Boo to the local mag The Crack, who frantically tweeted the gig that was being played at The Cluny and not this one, in spite of an ad being taken out and paid for. Bad business and misplaced loyalty, guys.
This was a fabulous gig with a much-deserved encore and CDs flying off the stall at the front of the City Hall. Well done to The Daintees themselves, Andrew their promoter, Mike, June and Laura on the merch stall, El Cid and chiefly, the audience, for making this a night to remember!
What am I doing tonight? Trying to catch up on three months writing. I've been at it for four hours now and the computer's just about to run out of battery and power down.
Hip hip hooray! That's as good a reason as any to out the TV on and take a break.