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Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn & Bic Runga - 'Together in Concert' at Brixton Academy, London on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2002
I’ve just seen the greatest show of the year, and although the year is still young, I feel certain that no one can top it. I have celebrated Waitangi Day with 4,000 Kiwis in the Brixton Academy watching the magnificent Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga.
Normally, I would not dream of attending anything at the Brixton Academy, as it’s a trek back to catch the train and Brixton’s history of riots, armed Yardie gangsters and other violent crack dealers, and its soaring robbery rate, well, just doesn’t appeal to me—call me picky. But the opportunity to hear these three Kiwi treasures and celebrate the evening in a style that topped any Millennium celebration in excitement stakes could not be passed up. And I’m happy to report that the only crack we came across in Brixton was great craic, and the venue wasn’t as bad as its reputation. It even had intriguing décor, with a replica of the façade of a Roman village at eye level with the upper circle, the seating area, compete with fake vines, dim mood lighting and imitation Roman busts. How odd, but in the darkness it almost worked.
The doors opened at 7pm, and thanks to a kind member of our party queuing from 5pm as the seats were not reserved, we had a great view of the stage. After being searched by a myriad massive scary bouncers who confiscated innocent water bottles, we were greeted at 8pm by a Kiwi representing the organiser, who tried to raise the level of enthusiasm from its already steamy heights. He got us all fired up before announcing—---no, not Tim & co but the support act. Normally people would be out at the bar or talking during the support, but in this case, the Kiwi audience plunged into the spirit of the evening and fully supported the London culture group—I think it was the Ngati Ranana Performing Arts Group. About 23 people eventually came on in traditional Maori dress, including one frail woman who must have been at least aged 88 but still kept up well, and treated us to various dances with men waving spears and the women swinging poi, just like in the Six Months in a Leaky Boat video, as well as gorgeous harmonies and the challenging Hakka. The Hakka was all the more intimidating because one of the performers looked like a menacing tattooed-faced Gene Simmons of Kiss and another looked like a Sumo wrestler, although the latter wore the two feathers in his head in such a way that they looked like big floppy bunny rabbit ears. So it was difficult to feel threatened by a giant cuddly mighty Thumper from Bambi.
It was a brilliant way to start the evening; everyone was so psyched and really egged on the performers. After a 20 minute break once they departed, the stage darkened and we became aware that it was full of people we couldn’t quite make out. All of a sudden, we heard Tim’s high and mighty voice belt out, ‘When I was a young boy’ and the spotlight suddenly shot onto him with his acoustic guitar in an Elvis Costello stance with absolutely breathtaking effect. We were all so excited by this amazing entrance, I would have felt at home screaming and bursting into tears like some shameless teeny bopper, and I doubt I was alone. After all, Tim Finn was my David Cassidy, my favourite singer for 22 years so far, someone who got me through my difficult teens as I worshipped everything he did. I have to say that I had expected to be more blasé and mature now that I am at the decrepit age of 35, but I was stunned by how attractive Tim still looks, as he’s one of those men who gets better with age, with short tidy silvery hair, a black loose casual suit and brown brogues. Very smart, and from where I was sitting with a view from above, I could for the first time see a distinct resemblance to brother Neil—the same shaped head. It was all I could do not to scream hysterically like a juvenile Beatles fan.
The light expanded to reveal Dave Dobbyn sitting at the keyboards, stage right, and Bic Runga, sporting a striped boatneck sailor’s top and pencil skirt, looking much slimmer and fragile than I ever expected. Dave is amazing in that he has a voice you want to run off with, he sounds like a knight in shining armour, but looks more like a leprechaun or a tamer Mick Hucknall, still fabulous in every way.
The trio and their band trotted through Six Months In a Leaky Boat—amazing to think it was once banned from playlists here as it was suspected to be a reference to the Falklands War-- with the audience singing every single word with them. We sang along with almost every song performed all night, but as the amplification was strong enough so it did not prevent us from hearing the people who mattered, and allowed us to join in the party atmosphere. This performance at what was really a party sure beat a jukebox or a The Best Party Record Ever CD!
Needless to say, we were already completely wowed by the performance. When it came for Tim to begin the whistling part, the screams from the audience were so wild that he paused for a second to laugh before launching into that. I also have to state for the record that, whilst Tim’s voice certainly sounds huskier on modern recordings, as he doesn’t seem to glide across umpteen octaves without effort as he did so long ago, he still has a remarkable voice live and had absolutely no trouble hitting the high notes in the song. All three were in excellent voice all night; they are tremendous talents.
Next Dave, also in a dark, more casual jacket and trousers, moved centre stage, now with a guitar, and had simply plucked out a few notes when the crowd went mad again, recognising the introduction to the brilliant classic Whaling, and again joined in throughout the song. So far, the Magic Three were following the order of the live album they’d released, which was fine. Although there had been some rumours that Bic, at least, might perform some material from her forthcoming album this night, it ended up being more of a greatest hits concert, which went down well and was perfect for this type of event. It was not an intimate venue with a quiet crowd that would concentrate patiently on new material.
During his guitar solo, Dave called out ‘Welcome Home!’ to the mainly Kiwi crowd, which really summarised what the evening seemed to be all about. As Tim accompanied him on acoustic guitar whilst seated on a bench at one of the keyboards, Dave progressed to the note he holds out for seemingly at least 10 minutes and had many of us feeling weak-kneed. The man must have three lungs.
Whilst Dave certainly managed to impress the crowd all night with his livelier songs and beloved classics, it almost seemed to be more Tim’s show in that he was acting as Master of Ceremonies. The other two barely spoke, although after Whaling, Dave introduced ‘Dr Finn in the house’, who in turn introduced the next song he was going to play, from the Dizrhythmia album. Dave sat at his spot to the left of the stage, in front of the keyboards but playing an accordion I think, and, surprisingly, Bic sang the first verse of the classic My Mistake. I couldn’t believe that everyone in the hall seemed to remember every word of the song from over 20 years ago, as did I. It was fabulous, and Tim sang the second verse, then Dave took the last. Dave, of course, had provided the lead vocals for this song at the 1996 EnzSo event, a sort of orchestral tribute to the greatness of Finn's former band, Split Enz.
Then returning to the play order of the Together in Concert CD that was recorded during this tour in New Zealand [see Recommended Albums--Oldish], Bic donned an electric guitar and sang her soft hit Drive, while Tim sat by the grand piano having a well-earned breather, Dave sat at the keyboards—apparently playing an acoustic guitar whilst it lay flat on his lap--and the drummer stood up and photographed the audience. I should mention the other musicians: an enormously talented guitarist, who I believe was Andrew Thorne, and assuming the bassist and drummer were the same as on the album, they would have been Mark Hughes and Wayne Bell, respectively.
Along with the six musicians, the stage was surprisingly busy, with people constantly milling about. To the left was an interesting addition of two comfy armchairs on stage with a table and lamp between them. Throughout the show, the crew brought in various fans to sit there for a few minutes each, before replacing them with others. To the right, by the grand and upright pianos, tall stools had been placed on a large carpet, and loads of people stood behind that area to watch the show. Sometimes all this activity was distracting, particularly when the ‘audience on stage’ began waving their arms over their heads at us. But it was a sweet idea. Tim later explained that the big crowd over his shoulder were the crew, all flown over from New Zealand, and he said they chose not to hide their crew members but to show them off. What a fantastic attitude; he should train Van Morrison in this forward-thinking approach.
Next, another surprise from the Split Enz playlist: the wonderful Dirty Creature. Tim played this alone with his acoustic guitar, and it was a marvellous performance, such fun! Again, he hit every high note and sounded fabulous. I thought the song would sound quite dated as it was almost a novelty at the time it was released, but it was much more powerful than I had remembered. He then introduced the next song as being appropriate for someone who thought he was close to someone else, that this would help take someone that much further (I perhaps need to draw a map to understand that fully), and he dedicated it to some fans in the audience by name. The song was the delightful love song Good Together, with Tim and Dave on acoustic guitars and providing vocals. Bic sat at a second drum set that was set up in front of the main drummer's one, level with the other performers.
Afterwards, Tim ventured into the Split Enz back catalogue once again (hurrah!) and came up with True Colours’ lovely Poor Boy, which is another song Dave had performed for EnzSo. I was heading for heaven and, again, the audience sang along with the chorus. Bic remained busy on drums, and a strong light show started circling the individuals with light swirls, occasionally littering them with geometric shapes of light.
After that, Dave lit up the place with his Slice of Heaven, which not only had everyone singing, it had so many people jumping up and down even in their seats that I wished I had a motion sickness tablet. Dave was on electric guitar, Bic on acoustic guitar and Tim providing backing vocals, and calling the roadie over from the neighbouring crowd from time to time to give instructions. As he ended the robust number, Dave imitated us fans by reaching into his pocket and holding a lit lighter up above his head. How nice of him to join in, although this whole audience-mirrored-on-stage element was almost confusingly surreal.
Bic then performed one of my favourite songs from her album, Bursting Through. A lovely, gentle and soft song, it seemed to throw the audience a bit, who proceeded to talk incessantly and create a sizeable din over which Bic had to sing. I felt a bit sympathetic for her all night. I think that she is truly loved, and no one could be less than impressed by her stunning voice, but because the songs were quieter, people tended to talk over them, usually saying how great the concert was, I’m sure.
Tim had left the stage during Bic’s song and he then returned to introduce the next song, with the acoustic guitar by his side, by saying that his favourite song was the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset. Rather than covering that, he began to sing one of his more recent numbers, the catchy Death of a Popular Song, while Dave joined him on guitar and Bic played the bongos. During the bridge in the middle with heavy guitars, the light show changed so that rapid strobe lights burst into a frenzy around Tim and Dave, both of whom jumped up and danced wildly about until the strobe lights suddenly stopped and the tempo changed. Then they instantly returned to normal as though we had dreamt that they had moved at all. They were clearly having as much fun as we were, if that's possible.
Before the song tapered out, Tim merged it into a quiet and delightful rendition of Waterloo Sunset after all, which was enormously appealing. Dave accompanied him with some fancy Spanish style strumming on his acoustic guitar. As they played, Tim called out to see if anyone was from his hometown of Te Awamutu, and when the crowd roared, he smiled and kindly called them liars. Then they asked if anyone was from Dave’s hometown, which I could barely make out to be Auckland, . It was difficult all night to make out any of their conversation; thank goodness the acoustics were fine for the songs, at least. They then briefly discussed the favourite towns they had played on the New Zealand tour, whilst still playing the Waterloo Sunset tune, before masterfully blending the music back into Death of a Popular Song, which they then drew to a close.
Next, a few bars from a grinding electric guitar alerted the crowd to the forthcoming treat of Bic’s eminently catchy newer song Good Morning Baby, which she performed marvellously whilst playing acoustic guitar beside Tim, who was also on guitar and singing in top form. Dave had switched to electric guitar and provided some backing vocals. The crowd remained fairly hyper and appreciative. About nine members of the crew were now dancing behind them in their spot by the pianos, a sweet idea, although a couple of them seemed to be trying to get a Mexican wave going and the distraction was often irksome. But, hey, they were having fun and enjoying the party like the rest of us, just with better seats.
The banter before the next number was a bit anti-British, but I suppose in a huge venue full of happy Kiwis who have to suffer the ways of British culture every day, it’s a safe bet to speak in those terms. After Dave commented that ‘you gotta get down and surf’, Tim pointed out that they had all been swimming just a few days ago before they came here, and the audience moaned with envy, fondly remembering the sunshine down under. So Tim said, ‘What the hell are you all doing here??!’ Dave started getting carried away by discussing ‘the Olde country’ where they would ‘show those British bastards what they did….’ He struck me as a bit of a liberal rebel throughout the night, but all of these comments were said in good fun, rather than inciting a riot—or perhaps that’s a sore reference when discussing Dave (Dave was charged with inciting a riot after using an apparently unfortunate choice of words when speaking to the rowdy crowd at a free open-air Auckland concert by his band D D Smash in 1984 that ended in riot, complete with smashed shops and buildings, injured people, and many arrests, but he was acquitted.).
Eventually the three Kiwis returned to the music, with Dave at the electric piano, Bic standing with an egg shaker and providing backing vocals with her heavenly sweet voice, and Tim on acoustic guitar. Dave launched into the enormously catchy Just Add Water, which apparently refers to his newfound faith but is written so beautifully and poetically that it gives no hint of being particularly religious. We all enthusiastically added the 'dissolves' when required. Dave, clearly a master of everything, turned out to be an incredible jazzy maestro on the piano and livened things up a lot. Tim, who was seated at the other keyboards with his guitar, began picking out a few keys to add to the composition, when a roadie came over and brought him what looked like a ukulele, and, as though he was a toddler just handed a new toy, he busied himself with that for a while. Dave’s piano talents were another revelation which, combined with his brilliant songs and astonishing voice that melts those who get too near, just left me baffled as to why he wasn’t an international superstar. New Zealand has so many safely kept secrets; Kiwis are lucky to be exposed to such jewels as these three so early and so frequently.
To allow us to catch our breath a bit and attempt to restore our now hoarse voices—never mind the voices of Tim, Bic and Dave, though they never faltered—there was a 20 minute break, during which we could buy specially printed T-shirts for the event or the live album, which was useful as it’s not available here and I have friends I want to enlighten. People also—don’t be shocked—bought the odd bit of alcohol, but one thing that amazed me is that this massive, tanked up and excited crowd never ever misbehaved (or rioted even). Everyone remained happy and friendly.
Part Two of the concert began with Bic’s supremely catchy hit Sway, with which she had some success on MTV some years ago. Whilst Tim was wearing the same or a similar outfit as before, Bic and Dave had changed. She was kitted out in jeans with high turn-ups, a white shirt with a red necktie and a dark jacket. Dave was wearing a particularly scary shirt that looked like a busy homage to Hawaiian tourists donned by someone who had been severely attacked in a game of orange paintball, but it worked somehow. Tim played the grand piano while Dave and Bic plodded away (or plotted, I should say, given their mastery) on acoustic guitars. Here, Bic got a break in that not only was the audience totally captivated by one of her numbers and not rudely speaking during it, but they enthusiastically sang along with every syllable she uttered. Meanwhile, the group of fans who had been seated in that living room on stage for this song were then quickly ushered off once one of them began videotaping the show. I can’t blame him for being tempted, seated so close to three NZ legends. I would watch the event a trillion times over, given the chance, and my seats were appalling compared to his.
Dave was up next, and he dedicated the song to Sir Peter Blake, the New Zealand yachting legend who was sadly killed by pirates in the Amazon in December. Dave added some words of wisdom, saying ‘Plant forgiveness in your heart and you’ll get over it. A terrible thing to say but it’s true.’ He then said that the next song was for ‘anyone who bothers to stick around,’ which certainly included the crowd, who stayed put whilst whirling in a frenzy and applauding ferociously as they recognised the opening notes of the utterly sublime Loyal, surely one of the greatest, warmest (non-Finn) songs of all time.
When the crowd finally calmed after going mad with appreciation when Loyal finished, the performers played musical chairs again, all leaving the acoustic guitar. Dave moved to the grand piano, Bic to the electric guitar, and Tim to the second drum set. Bic began singing the soothing, jazzy Precious Things, which seemed to be a surprise to the sound mixer who took a few seconds before turning up her mike so we could hear, which then led to feedback a few times during the song. Again, although Bic was clearly adored, people in the crowd seemed to take the opportunity when Bic sang quieter songs to try to shake off their frenzied lather and chat to their neighbours about how much they were loving the show. Perhaps it was because she hasn’t been wowing crowds for decades like her fellow performers, though I suspect it was simply that it was the first time audience members could hear themselves speak, but I really felt for her, as people were not as focused on her as she deserved. Still, she admirably did not seem to react to the minor drop in attention.
Which was just as well, as she followed that song with another of her own: a particularly catchy and lovely Suddenly Strange, which she largely performed on her own whilst playing the keyboard, with Dave in the darkness of the shadows subtly adding beautiful electric piano in the background. Our Tim was eventually revealed, literally in a purple haze thanks to the lighting, to be seated at the drums. It’s lucky I so love their music or these multi-talents and faultless performances would make me sick with envy! The rendition of this song was gorgeous, and the audience was more captivated than during some of Bic’s other songs; I think the din of chatting was more to do with their being unable to cope with quiet and slow songs after so much adrenaline whipping through their systems for so long during the rest of the concert. They clearly all loved Bic but, like energetic toddlers, couldn’t cope well with standing still and behaving quietly for long.
Tim then moved up front with his acoustic guitar and started to be kinder to London, describing it as a fairly romantic city really, and commented that it was ‘the people you’re with—that’s what counts.’ Dave, the Lord of Love Songs, joined him on acoustic guitar as Tim launched into the magnificent Persuasion, the greatest ever transformation of another man’s instrumental, which even original composer Richard Thompson himself values. The crowd joined in, passionately singing every word and clapping to add a beat of their own creation. When Tim finished, he let a few smiles slip at the raucous reaction of the loving crowd.
He then moved over to the grand piano, mumbling an almost indecipherable introduction to Bic’s next tune as she and Dave switched to electric guitar, and she began effortlessly singing the light and likeable Something Good--not the Herman's Hermits classic, you understand. She really was so thin it looked painful—not emaciated in an ill looking way like that Ally McBeal girl, but still enviably slim. I found it so hard to get over how small and fragile she looked, as she always struck me as looking tough on her album covers, but perhaps that was just because she was beside two bold and powerful presences in her fellow performers. Guitarist Andrew Thorne (I think), who reminded me of Anthony Edwards of ER fame, really strutted his talents during this number whilst serenely tucked behind the others. Meanwhile, the current set of fans seated in the armchairs on stage made themselves the focus of attention by waving their arms madly about throughout the song, which was a bit irritating, but I’m sure they were excited, so it was difficult to blame them.
MC Tim’s introduction to the next song was brief and instructive. ‘Language, Dave,’ he said bluntly, and Dave said ‘thank you, Tim,’ and began performing to the racing pace of the wonderfully tuneful Language, as instructed, while Tim played the bongos and Bic banged the tambourine. The interesting variety of light sequences available was kept incredibly busy during this number, with shapes of stars circling the stage and shards of light spitting down behind the performers. The crowd went so wild that I was almost shaken from my seat, which was a bit alarming as I was near the edge of the balcony, but then those New Zealanders are into these adrenalin-rush, death-defying sports, aren't they? (Still, I didn't even have a safety bungee rope....). It was all terribly exciting, and Dave wound up the song by holding out more notes for an absolute age—high ones, too. And to think that some people pay (a lot) for Mariah Carey, when the clear talents of the universe were here with us in Brixton instead. Tim seemed so thrilled with the performance that he gave Dave a little half-hug as he passed him on his way to the drums for the next number.
Said next number was another of Dave’s treasures, but for the life of me, I can’t identify it. No doubt it was a hit in NZ, and I thought it might be called My Kinda People [it was]. Displaying more amazing talent on his electric guitar, Dave led everyone through one of the most rocking songs of the evening, after shouting ‘HAH!’ and jokily criticising a certain culture with piercing lyrics: 'Welcome to the mall where redundancy sucks and consumers are gospel, architectural hell from the city to the ghettos of the entertained'. His lead guitar sounded vaguely like Just Add Water at one point, and he used the high squeaky Joe Pasquale-on-helium type of voice that he used in the early 90s, which is a puzzle as he has such a stunning, deep voice ordinarily that could easily make whole nations faint from its beauty. The song, which had a vague country tint to it, was a bold, busy and highly charged number that kept the audience transfixed on their feet as the music and lights banged away ferociously. Dave finished it with a major grinding guitar solo performed at the very edge of the stage near the audience, which wowed everyone.
Without pausing for even a second for any of us to recover, Tim launched straight into the amazing I See Red. Just like his old Split Enz days, as though he weren’t two decades older (hard to believe!), he ran about the stage jerking his body in all sorts of odd contortions in a frenzy, his eyes mad as though he were possessed. The odd thing was that they didn’t have radio mikes, so as Tim travelled all around every bit of the stage, leaping onto anything he came across and jumping down again, a roadie had to run behind him, trying desperately to steer the lead to the mike away from anything it might catch (such as Dave or Bic) and ensure that Tim wasn’t going to trip on it. While we were all busy singing along in a fervour, Tim got so caught up in his mad dash that he turned into the Who and pushed over three separate mike stands, one at a time, which caused the following roadie to react by visibly lip synching ‘Oh nooooo!!!’ each time, throwing his hands to his head, before rushing to each electric casualty and quickly trying to sort it out. As he fixed one, Tim upset another. As soon as Tim finished his mad whirling dervish dance, with all of us encouraging him to carry on (had he incited a riot?), he stormed off the stage, full of energy, and the others finished off the song and followed. It was two hours after they started, 10.50pm.
Normally, I’d be leaving now no matter what to ensure that I got my last train on time, but there was just no way I could leave this concert, and park benches (not in Brixton though, no offence meant to Brixtonites) were starting to seem like appealing beds. Fortunately, these amazing performers didn’t keep us waiting long before returning for an encore, after the crowd chanted in rhythm and coaxed them back. Dave and Bic returned first, and Dave thanked the band and crew, reiterating that they had all been brought over from New Zealand (how expensive and what an organisational nightmare! But all the more special on this special day for Kiwis). He then launched into the absolutely breathtaking tribute of Beside You. With just Bic and Dave playing the song on acoustic guitar, the song was more stunning than ever in this raw, heartfelt form, and the crowd again couldn’t help but join in, singing and clapping all along. Tim had not appeared and was probably either being sedated or sending someone out for some Ben Gay, but I think it was undoubtedly worth whatever he had to suffer for his art.
Finally, Tim emerged and Dave pointed out that we were being treated to the work of a three-piece band now, as the only music was provided by those three: Dave on electric guitar, Bic seated whilst playing bass guitar, and Tim covering the drums. They plucked out a few notes that reminded me of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold—because that’s what it transpired to be. How amazing it was, with Bic on vocals for the first verse, Tim taking the second verse and Dave following up with the last verse, then wowing us with some fancy fretwork during a stunning guitar solo near the end. I so wish that I had a recording of this performance; it was marvellous and an enormous and pleasant surprise.
Tim introduced the next song by confirming that Dave was a master talent, as if we hadn't noticed. Tim said that as soon as he first heard Dave perform, he knew Dave was a force to be reckoned with. Tim began banging on the bongos, Bic stood nearby and Dave ventured into the next song with his electric guitar in such a way that made the crowd simply foam at the mouth. I felt like I was on a carousel again rather than a seat bolted onto the floor, the way it was shaking and bouncing around from the surrounding excitement. For the first time, I could barely hear Dave over the audience, who were almost screaming along to the 1979 hit of Dave’s band Th’Dudes, Be Mine Tonight. Such a fabulous, fun and upbeat song just left me thinking little more than, ‘WOW!" Dave’s voice was finally starting to sound like that of a man who had been belting out magic all night and would pay for it in the morning, but it was still incredible and smooth.
During another magic electric guitar solo by Dave up front, Tim couldn’t contain his energy and went walkabouts all around the stage, jumping up on the raised platform at the back and then crashing down (almost on the drum set), pogo-ing all about (I imagine there was a terribly nervous roadie watching carefully from backstage--or the onstage bar area). Bic sat calmly at the electric piano whilst the light show oddly kept having five bright lights display the Olympic rings on the ceiling, but it was all great fun. At the end, Tim grabbed a blue towel from near the pianos and swung it out into the thrilled audience (I mean the towel, of course; even in his extremely energetic state, he did not throw pianos as us, I assure you).
As Tim stood in place, a roadie slipped up behind him and effortlessly placed the strap of an acoustic guitar strap over his head. Dave joined Tim on acoustic guitar whilst sitting on the keyboard bench, and Bic stood at a now repaired mike to offer vocals. As they played quietly, Tim chatted to the audience, saying he’d had a special connection with us that night, and thanked us very much, which met with mad cheers from the loving audience. Dave mentioned that it was Bob Marley’s birthday and they carried on with a bit of banter, with Dave leaning over the top of his guitar to pick out some notes on the keyboard in front of him. Amongst the other celebrity birthdays they mentioned, Tim came up with the late legendary Ethel Merman and did a remarkable and hilarious impression of her singing boldly, ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business,’ then reminded us again about Bob Marley and added a brief reggae beat to the music they were providing as a casual lead in to the next number. Then the opening so-familiar guitar riff to Weather With You crept onto the scene, the crowd just went ballistic. The mood was indescribable and even those sitting in the very back row up in the gods were on their feet dancing and singing at the top of their voices. The performance of the song was dynamic, and the only horror was when it ended, we knew the night was over.
I go to concerts all the time and have seen many greats, but this is the first time I felt excited beforehand and wasn’t even remotely disappointed despite the big build-up in my mind. It was a party, a celebration, and both those on stage and those in the audience seemed to be thrilled and happy and feeding each other with that excited energy. I don’t think it was the sort of event where someone introducing their latest material would have gone down so well; it was a greatest hits concert to remind the mostly Kiwi audience, thanks to the event hardly being publicised other than in Antipodean ex-pat magazines such as TNT, of their wonderful homeland. As an ex-pat myself, I’ve always been fascinated by New Zealand (primarily attributable to my Finn fascination from a young age, I believe) and I was with a Kiwi friend, so I didn’t feel like an intruder. Everyone seemed to feel welcome, everyone was friendly and happy, and everyone left the venue positively gurgling with bright enthusiasm. I know it sounds disgustingly gushy, but I really feel privileged to have been able to see this concert of the Three Thrillers in person, after hearing and reading about it taking place so far across the globe, and longingly listening regularly to the album. I’m so grateful that the brilliant performers and their crew bothered to make the journey over here to the gusty wet winter of London for this amazing one-off show. Ever since that night, I have been incessantly humming the songs played there, and no one can get me down as my positive mood is unshakeable. This concert was the best therapy I’ll ever have. Shame they can’t help me out every week! I went away a happy bunny, just like that Maori warrior sumo wrestler…..…
And to think there are people are out there buying millions more records by a child called Britney. The world really is out of kilter.
Copyright © 2002 by TC. All rights reserved.
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