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St James Concert, 28th October, 2005

Okay, babies...!! **James Bits in red as usual**

My holiday actually started on the 24th October, 2005, when Char flew in from the States. We had worked out all the details from arriving at Heathrow, taxi to Kings Cross for the train and arranging for me to meet her in York and bring her back here.

So many phonecalls later, i was as ready as i could be... even a couple of backup calls to check. It all rolled on wheels till she got to Kings Cross and the fuckwit who was in charge of passenger help, insisted first, she wasn't on the list [until the taxi driver grabbed the list and pointed out her surname was not Charlotte!!] and second, he was meeting her at 10.30AM - half an hour after her train had gone... this was one of the places i called TWICE to make sure they had the day and times down correctly.... Yeah, right....

Took three of us to find her bags on the train when she arrived but the Service lady in York was brilliant and we got them. She also made sure we were safely on the local train to Harrogate.   It had been chucking it down raining when i set out but had stopped by the time we got back - and the local stationmaster decided to shift his butt [with some prodding from our ticketlady on the train] and meet us off the train!!

The rest of the week passed without a hitch and we managed some good food, a trip to the shops for some Lush and general shopping - we even managed to get her tattooed with the Sisterhood tattoo


Char with tattoo

We went out to dinner at one of my favourite local Thai restaurants, the Orchid, and she loved it... and the next night, introduced her to a mild Indian curry... which she also loved. AND it stopped raining everytime we went outside, with the exception of Friday morning!

Friday 28th October

We caught the 0728AM train direct to Kings Cross and it was fine - we had lots of room and Char was able to sit in the wheelchair all the way down. The guys on the train looked after us very well and even the twit at Kings Cross managed to put us in a taxi without too much trouble!!

We checked into the Mad Hatter Hotel, Blackfriars and right from the word 'Go', the staff were totally brilliant....

Lynnie had left word with Reception that if our rooms weren't ready, Char could go lie down in their room - which was handy as we had to wait for an hour until they were.  i had no problem with that as we had arrived at about 11.00AM anyway.

As luck would have it, Pattie was standing in Reception when we arrived and after a noisy greeting! we went upstairs and got Char horizontal pronto - we relaxed and had a picnic lunch, until our rooms were done.  Then Char and Pattie went and settled into their room, while i went and had a shower in my & Susie's room. i rang Susie when our room was ready and she & Lynnie arrived back in the early afternoon to change out of some rather damp clothes...

She, Lynnie & Lene having got pretty wet, queuing in the very early AM - would be believe, 02.45 AM!!!! Thank heavens for the virtual queuing system, allowing breaks for comfort and cuppas, and if you have the bent, some serious shopping.

i always forget something and to my horror, more than one this time - so busy getting Char sorted, forgot about me! left my Lovejames badges and my TATTOOS! **Screech of upset** Not Lovejames till i get me tatts on! So i set too with some liquid eyeliner and drew a couple of bastardised Chinese characters; did the trick and Berry, Ulla and Shivers found me...

Susie, Lynnie and i then went off to St James, they telling me all about their queuing efforts the night before and that morning.   I had a walk down the queue when we arrived, greeting people i knew and then went and sat in the Cafe Nero forecourt for a while. Lovely to see Lucia, the Angelas, FrenchDaria, Thia and so many others, forgive me if i don't list you all!! i would be here half the night! But super to see you all... looking happy and eager to see James...

i was a little overdressed for daywear in a very sparkly loose-shirt, over a little black lacy-necked top and black pants but it mattered less and less as the day wore on.

The JMLive crew went down the lines and gave out the remaining tickets for the Mermaid that they had collected for people and were well received - well done, them!

As i was sitting at Cafe Nero, a young man and his girlfriend walked through and i thought, 'hang on, slightly longer hair and scruffy beardy bits... that's Alan Brittain' - and it was... They sat inside and coffee and i passed them later, pausing to smile at Al and say - "It is Alan, isn't it?" and as he nodded, i said "you won't remember me but" - and he promptly said, "Bristol." i laughed and said to his g/f "yeah, that mad woman from Bristol" and we all laughed. i said it was lovely to see him and good luck for tonight - he grinned and thanked me.

i was joined for a while by Lene and then Joanne, who wore one those great 'Bad' t-shirts and whose group stood up and showed them to James in the church, to his obvious delight, when he sang the song that night.  Susie popped through and i had another walk down the line as Char had brought over some stuff for CarolM, from Spicy in Chicago....   Char hadn't a hope in hell of spotting her as she is legally blind until she gets some glasses, hopefully in November - so guess who got to try and find the twit...  i couldn't see her anywhere and i then found out she was STILL in the pub, trying to solicit signatures on a birthday card...  i tried to get JMlive to take the stuff as she is a MTS member but they were less than willing so i hung on to it for a while longer.

i went eventually and sat on one of the wooden benches near the Church entrance and Char & Pattie arrived, along with Chrisuk, Medusa, Duster, Lil Bit, Silver Jamie and Inky Jane. Duster was still nursing a slowly healing incision and came in with us. Jamie took the stuff for CarolM in a plastic bag and i lost her in the shuffle when we went in... i checked with her later and the darling had found the elusive twit and given her the bag.  CarolM actually stood next to us during the interval and i told her she was standing next to Char and NOT ONE WORD OF THANKS escaped her wrinkled lips.... so fuck her....

i could hear the sound checks going on in the Church, first Al and then James... and we all smiled at each other...

Lisa/JMLive had arranged times for us to go in and assured us Char would get a decent seat this time and that all the disabled would be catered for properly - and give them their due, they came through for us - Char, me and Pattie were in the second pew, right on the aisle. Susie had brought some little binoculars for Char and she actually managed to see James this time, halleluyah!

Lynnie, Susie & Lene got their first pew aisle seats on the left, as was their due for being the first in the queue. The front right pew was filled with working stewards and some of the disabled [Duster etc] but there were a lot of 'old' stewards in the second row [who were not working there, nor did they work during the performances at the Mermaid either, which was pointed out to me - and they certainly didn't have virtual tickets but stood in the church courtyard with the disabled, the MTS buddy system is still alive and well].

Ostile 17 was doing her interpreter duties to the Italian mother/daughter duo just behind me and doing a good job too... Still smelling deliciously of Blackberry & Musk, amica bella?  Lovely to catch up with many familiar faces and managed to have a few words with lots of people and a real delight that was... New ones also a true pleasure, Ulla, Berry & Ben [who was so sweet and took lots of pictures, i am dying to see] - Ingrid, who i hadn't seen for ages but who wasn't very well.

We started a little late but out came Al Britten and promptly charmed the pants off everyone. He sang some of the songs off his live CD and some news ones - hope he gets a new album out soon. His live CD sold well in the interval and he signed them too, what a sweetie! He sounded a little hoarse to me but settled in and the crowd gave him a very good reception.

  from right, Char, me, Pattie and behind her, Bookie

We had a quick break and i dashed out and got Al's CD for Char and Pattie and we settled down for the main event.  Lisa came over with a very pretty, dark haired sweetie and she sat down at the end of the first pew, right infront of me. i can now confirm this is the lass i saw at Collectormania and i can quite see how James is crazy about her... she has a very sweet smile and beautiful glossy hair [i actually had a brief word with her the next day]. Impossible not to notice her, due to where she was sitting and impossible for James to miss seeing us, behind her! She relaxed and got into the music and did a couple of little whoops [not a problem as the Trio behind her were whooping like Indians!! well, me, at least!] and we all enjoyed ourselves.

James came on to thunderous applause and whistles - he looked wonderful and totally edible. His hair was so much longer, it was trying to escape the gel, looked bloody marvellous - and much lighter in colour than the Smallville dye job, maybe just the growing out process - but some of the pics from the Carling especially make him look almost blonde again, in the lights. Usual plain black t-shirt, blue jeans with torn knees and those sneakers...? i have a feeling they were black [Doc Martins]?

Lynnie got some serious eye contact when he sang 'Bad' - probably remembering Toronto!! Most of the front pews got some attention - i got a couple of lovely smiles, i think, during and at the end of 'Smile' - he was being good and although he did look at Patricia during some of the songs, the majority of his attention was on the crowd and he sang beautifully and strongly. His guitar has improved a LOT and i know, everyone told me the performance at the Carling the night before was THE concert of the tour, but this was good too.

There were a couple of presents thrown down to him from the balcony and one large plush mouse? [i thought it was a rabbit] decended with a flourish, onto the stage - "Suicide!" cried James, making us all laugh.. The Spike & Angel dolls were also put up on the rail on the balconey above us and James saw and smiled - there were some enthusiastic fans up there and he waved and blew them kisses before he left the stage. 

He hardly talked to the audience at all - Himber's doing? he is always telling James to 'go on, shut up and just sing!' so James has told us a few times now. So maybe he was listening this time - personally i miss those personal touches, we treasure them - even if Himber doesn't!! James has put up the set lists for the concerts [the little darling!!] - now all we need are the WORDS for the new songs... although some have taken a good stab at it already... The three new ones are very good - 'Up On Me' and 'All That She Wanted' are sad but lovely with sweet melodies. 'Button Down Vandals' [writen when he was 21] is a much more upbeat tune and very accomplished for one so young. And yes, 'Finer than Gold' still makes me cry but not as early! i think the song is becoming less painful to James and it is only half of the penultimate and last verse that get to me now. We will arrive at the time when he can sing it, without getting choked up and so will i...

Well, it was all over far too quickly and we stood up and whooped, banging on the pews, till he returned and sang two encores... 'Louise' is now a firm favourite and i noticed when he went out at the end, she was there and they went out arms around each other, which did my heart good. 

We gathered outside the church to go to dinner at the Al Duca, Duke of York Street, just round the corner and we picked up a few more who wanted to come!  i told them we had booked and also that we were a good half hour early, so not sure if all would be able to join us.

My mean little heart laughed when i saw a whole bunch of the 'Stewards' coming away as we arrived - they had obviously heard about our dinner from somebody - not me - but had not managed to get in, this was not like Halloween and they had not booked.   Our booking, however, was firm & fine and we sat outside, having a drink and chatting, until the current occupants of the tables had departed. They did manage to fit us all in, luckily for our additions... and we set too and had a lovely dinner...

Thank you, Susie - You are still owed money for drinks and wine, [inside and outside] i think... And the 12.5% service charge of - wait for it - £90.00!! Hopefully, Table Two will get the message and send some to her. Three Tequilla Sunrises cost £22.00 and glasses of wine £5.50? god only know what the spirits cost...

Berry's Ben took pictures of the tables too and i have great hopes of those too.  i did take some there myself and have put some of them below...   Ginger and Ingrid joined us and KatieMarie arrived a little late, having got lost!

i did send my ravioli back as it wasn't cooked enough - al dente is one thing, uncooked is something else but they were obliging...

Ginger, Ulla & Berry 

Berry & Ben

Inky Jane, Silver Jamie, Chrisuk - Angela on right

Mrs Tigger!!

Lynnie & KatieMarie

Char wanted to leave, as she was pretty tired by then and Pattie kindly took her back to the Hotel, while we finished our drinks, coffees or desserts...   It had started to rain but the Al Duca were not about to call taxis for us and frankly as soon as we had paid, could not wait to get rid of us...

We walked back to Piccadilly Road and got wet, trying to flag a taxi down.. This we managed when Katie nabbed one, dropping punters to a club. Apparently Char & Pattie had to wait for theirs and it was only Duster who managed to get them sorted. If they had waited 15 minutes more, we could have all gone home together and they would not have arrived back AFTER us!

We knocked on their door when we got back but getting no reply, didn't make lots of noise, thinking they had retired and gone to bed.  We went back to our room, dried off and opened some wine. We sat and had a good ol' natter and lots of laughs until late - Katie needed a taxi home and Susie walked her downstairs.  The Night Porter called one, keeping them inside until it arrived and checked it out before opening the door for them - a real gentleman.

We got ourselves sorted and i have to admit, i love this time together with my favourite roomie!! we natter and talk over the evening, catch up and like that! Dearest Susie, you will always be my number one choice...    more later...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
Nice report! and nice to see you again. St James is a very special venue and I think it's my favourite place to see James play ( shame you missed The Carling though )

Looking forward to your Words and Music report , I had to miss that one and I'm living it vicariously through other people's reports :)
Nov. 6th, 2005 10:29 am (UTC)
Thanks, babe, nice to see you too!
as you can propably see, the rest of the report is up now..

take care,
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 7th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
You had indeed been up for hours - but if i could look as good, i would not be worrying!! i have the best times when you are there, darling!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )