Sunday, 25 October 2009

Dame Shirley Bassey at The Roundhouse, London

Some of that moody and atmospheric lighting I was on about

Richard Hawley

The view I had (being too short)

Dame Shirley B doing her thing

Mark and I went to see Shirley Bassey at The Roundhouse on Friday night, as part of the BBC Electric Proms Season and her only live show this year - and Shirley was Sensational - she rocked!

Arrived just after 6pm to find quite a long queue to get in, but it didn't take to long to get through the doors, where we ditched our coats and then headed straight to the bar for drinks before standing in the centre of the building to await the support act Richard Hawley, who arrived on stage around 7pm sporting a moody quiff, amidst wafting stage smoke and lots of atmospheric lighting.  I have to confess that I had not heard of him before, but apparently he was in Britpop band Longpigs in the 90s, and as a friend of Jarvis Cocker has also played with Pulp.  He had a great voice, I liked him, one song in particular but now cannot remember what it was called.  

A short way into Richard's set, Mark leaned over and whispered in my ear that Jarvis Cocker himself was standing right behind me, so close that I could have reached back and touched him.  JC was in full Scruff Mode, with several days' worth of beard growth and wild hair (rock star's prerogative I guess), gangling tallishly and getting a far better view than I was, being only a small person (or 5'4", technically the 'average' height for a woman - whatEVER, I'd still far sooner be 5'11").  As we were standing in the middle, I had managed to manoeuvre myself into position behind a relatively short man, a spot I guarded jealously against all comers who tried to muscle in - wasn't paying attention for a moment and suddenly found a  bloke who was at least three inches taller than me had snuck in, but he fortunately he didn't stay for too long, otherwise I might have been obliged to accidentally on purpose spill red wine all down his back.

Shirley came on at 8pm, in a spangled sequinned full length dress, which had a slit right up to her thigh, (but I didn't see that until I watched it on TV after, being too bloody short and only getting a view of her top half over the sea of heads) and launched into 'Diamonds are Forever' followed by 'I'm Still Here'.  She was incredible, as one would expect, but somehow she was even better than I had anticipated, and I was mesmersied for the entire show.  Got a bit emotional when she sang 'Almost There' accompanied by Tom Baxter who wrote the song, but noticed after that the man standing right next to me was crying too, so not alone!  I also particularly liked 'The Girl From Tiger Bay', written by James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers who also accompanied on guitar (see video), but the whole event was fabulous and the atmosphere was very good throughout.  She ended with 'Goldfinger', during which vast quantities of gold tickertape was released from above, a real crowd pleaser, which had everyone in uproar at the end of the song, clapping and stamping for a final encore, but Dame S had obviously had enough by this point and didn't come out again.  Still, a great night, and I was very glad to be there and be a part of it - thanks again to Mark for getting the tickets and for taking me :)

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