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Marstersclass Weekend 2009

Union Chapel concert - 1st May

Marstersclass, Drill Hall - 2nd May

100 Club concert - 3rd May

Friday, 1st May – Normally would have taken the 12.15pm train for a London concert, but took the 10.50am down as Jean was coming in at an horrendous 7.00am and would be in town several hours before me.  Good job it is an accommodating station!

Good journey but still a hike from the incoming platforms to Euston Road – Kings Cross has changed so much over the past couple of years and still on-going, you never know what is going to be different next… But wish there was a better link to the Tube and undercover.

Didn’t have any trouble finding the Belgrove Hotel, as the street is directly across the road from Kings Cross/Pancras Underground Station, much closer than it looks on the map.  Checked in and paid – receptionist on the ball and gave us a twin, thank you – but even though the room hadn’t been serviced yet, they let me leave my bag there.  Appreciated that – the staff were all good, helpful & friendly.  I gave them an hour to get the room ready and went and had a bite to eat at the McDonalds just round the corner [love their milkshakes!] 

It’s always fascinating to people watch…  By the time I got back, Jean had arrived and was freshening up in our pocket-handkerchief sized shower.  After bellowing greetings through the door, I sorted my gear out for the concert and got myself ready.  We had plenty of time to have chat before heading out to Highbury & Islington – plenty of travelling time, it’s a painless one-stop from KC; luckily no trouble that night as the Tube was due some disarray that weekend.  We knew it would be worse the following day, but not just how bad.  We had a good trip up, inspite of quite a walk and a load of steps up to street level. 

It always amuses me how you can see the Union Chapel queue is going, when you get outside as you can see easily across the road.  This time, our third visit to the UC, I was surprised how few were waiting, about 3.30pm.  But it actually swelled out by a good 2/3rd more by the time the initial queue was allowed to move up the side of the building, and we had a pretty damn good-sized audience, when you consider it is a £20 [plus booking fee] ticket.   *Wonder how much the support acts get of that?*

I did my usual slow trawl down the queue to greet old friends & usual suspects and smile at new ones…I went and ‘checked-in’ with JMLive and find what time they wanted us, about 6.45pm, before retiring to Starbucks [refurb finished] to wait and have coffee & a tiny bite of cheesecake.  We got to chat with everyone who came to get refreshments and go to the loo, over the next two hours, which was also nice.  Rosie told us James had arrived, carrying his guitar case & pack – via the tube!  We were at the back of the café and didn’t see them.  Apparently they went home the same way.  Musta got sick of the rush-hour traffic in London ☺

Come the time, we got inside to find Union Chapel had moved the goalposts yet again and were now insisting that the disabled sat one on the aisle-ends of each row, with the carer on the opposite side!!  I simply fail to see the sense in that, quite ridiculous.  It would mean that if there was a panic and a stampede for the door, these people would be doubly at risk from the people trying to shove past them.  I had the feeling last time, JMLive were trying to please everyone and made half of the middle rows only available to disabled to allow those who had queued from early times a crack at the front rows.  Which was fine and none of us had any problem with that and it worked well.. 

This latest wrinkle smacks of discrimination…disguised as a ‘Health & Safety’ issue.  And no, I don’t agree with it, nor do I believe we were at risk, needing a new ‘solution’ this time.  Why not just give us the first two rows on the right hand side section??  That would keep us all together and nobody would have been panicking past us and the whole of the middle and left section would be available to the long-time queue members…  C’mon, guys, think it through!  I wound up about six rows back and would have been heaps closer if I had queued!!

I left my bag to mark my seat and went to have a quick look at the SciFi Collector ‘Capt John Hart’ figure that was on special numbered edition of a 1000 release with ‘Ianto’ for this tour, £14.99 each, before the throng got in.  I got #988.  I know some were held in reserve for online & home ordering from SciFi Collector.  All the Wave 1 figures were on sale at the Drill Hall the next day too.  Wave 2 will be on general sale for £9.99, at the end of June??

JMLive were offering a dog-tag with pic of James on one side and letters ‘James Marsters 2009’ on the reverse, a set of four sweet tiny little badges [‘I ♥ James’, a smiley James’ face, ‘James Marsters.. Nice’ and a cheeky-face pic of James], a dog-tag with James picture on one side and ‘James Marsters 2009’ on the other and a little round mirror with a pic of James on the back – all for £10.  Didn’t want the mirror and I was allowed to have two lots of badges instead [gave one to Jean], thank you.  I wound up with a mirror later as I was given one!  Damned if I can remember who gave it me though, Lise?

Spike pictures available – still!  Must have a load of old stock to get rid of??  But there was the new James one from Elf Fair, in a black coat [ ‘he’s wearing a Coat!’ ] and made Himber swear blind and promise he had enough for Marstersclass and wouldn’t sell out, as I didn’t have anywhere to put it safely.  I got caught out before with photos &  badges and never forgot it…

 *The next day, I saw a pile of the photos on the table in front of him and as he saw me, he started to do the ‘no, all sold out!’ thing, cheeky!  Tell you what though, it was only £5 and didn’t break the bank.*

The Smoke Fairies had brought some 2-song CDs to sell and I actually got the last one!  They teamed it with a RECORD, a real 45!  No use to me of course but it did have the words to the songs on the back.  I was glad of that as I couldn’t hear all of them.

Himber did an announcement from the back of the Chapel, about the proceedings and eventually two girls wandered out on stage and picked up guitars – no announcement for them!

The girls introduced themselves 'We're the Smoke Fairies' and sang prettily and both played guitar very well;  I enjoyed their performance very much but if I can make one comment, they need to break it up a bit as it could almost have been one sad song.  I did think that they were a nice compliment to James, not in opposition, like most of the boys with guitars who have opened for him before.  I do like Al Britten though… *must get his new CD; looks like he is still up in Coventry..*  It will be interesting to see where the girls go from here.

Can’t say the same for Gareth and Blue Gillespie… ‘Acoustic’ my arse!  He still roared mightily into the microphone at the slightest provocation…ugh.  Mercifully, he wasn’t on long – pity as the two guitarists are really quite good.

Another short break, ‘bout ten minutes and finally time for James.  He bounced onto the stage, dressed in a black singlet/tank top, grey trousers and the new grey sneakers – and damn, he looked GOOD!!  Healthy, lightly tanned and hair in good shape, not over-dyed for some part, y'know?  He got a great reception and was very well received by all of us and some very enthusiastic newbies!

His voice was clear & strong and was bang on-key.   He mainly just sang, not a lot of chat inbetween and sometimes started playing again, before the applause had died down.  What’s the rush, baby?  So you sing a couple less, talk to us a little – we love it…

You’ll all have seen the set list by now, so just to say good mix of old and newer songs – needs to get some of them down on CD, before he starts changing the arrangements…  He sang some of my favourites, ‘Truth is’, ‘Look at me’, ‘White Hot Girls’, ‘Don’t worry, son’ and ‘For what I need’.  He did his encores after we yelled ourselves slightly hoarse and drummed out feet on the wooden floor.  All over far too quickly… I wanted to say ‘don’t go – sing them all again’!  But there was James, hand on his heart, saying thank you, he needed the love and that he loved us.  And was gone.

I enjoyed it all immensely and sang all the choruses back to him, as did many of us, and I know he likes the interaction, the feedback that makes him feel we are all there together, in the actor’s golden ‘moment’.

I had a moment of my own, not quite so pleasurable, when he sang ‘London City’ and then ‘Finer than Gold’ – he was projecting again.  I thought he’d stopped doing that – how do I explain?  When he ‘feels’ it and it makes him sad, I can hear it and I can feel it.  I haven’t felt anything for a long time, apart from enjoying the songs, but this weekend, he felt it.  Unless James was flexing his acting talents, ‘Finer than Gold’ got to him again – and brought tears to my eyes, to my surprise.  Then there was the ‘I needed the love’ bit’ - I had to wonder what had upset or made him sad, if something had; given the songs, I thought if he had – problems? that they could be romantic ones.  Maybe Missy hadn’t come to UK and he was simply missing her…  I hope it was just that.  I want my James happy, loving living and radiating good humour, then I’m happy too.

We had been talking online about going for a drink somewhere, possibly a bite if it wasn’t too late.  The majority seemed to want to go just for a drink, so we settled on the White Swan [a Wetherspoons], which would cover both but unfortunately they stop serving at 10pm, so we made do with crisps & nuts.  Won’t hurt us for one night…  Nicky introduced me to some nice but rather odd pink Swedish cider and we all laughed a lot when Jean started amusing herself with her little Piccolo.  Ulla got out her impressive camera to record the frivolities… :D

We had to keep an eye on the time for the Tube and went our separate ways at midnight.  Ulla came with us as far as Kings Cross and had her own adventure trying to get bus back to her hotel, telling us next day that it took her until 2am to get there!

Jean & I talked over the day as we got ready for bed and after her long day, she fell asleep when her head hit the pillow!  I took a little longer, mulling over the concert and thinking of the following day, with pleasurable anticipation.  And no, my dear, you don’t snore at all!





( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thank You, Jill Much appreciated! I´ve been kind of waiting for this. And the other ones that will follow soon ;O)

He gets all tear-eyed when he sings Finer Than Gold. I know, I have the photographic proof...

It´s kind of fun to read the set list and try to figure out what he is singing in each photo.

I have to start editing the fashion show pics from Wednesday, they´re a bit impatient, e-amiling and stuff. Getting what they pay for, OH, they haven´t paid anything. Yet... There are good stuff on the cards, my workmates were drooling when they saw the bikini model... He, he!!
May. 11th, 2009 09:15 am (UTC)
Nice report babe! Mind if I pass it on through my news feed?
May. 11th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)
Nope, go right ahead. *smooches*
(Deleted comment)
May. 12th, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
Doesn't it though? i always wish i could rewind the weekend and start again...
May. 11th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
My what good recall you have - it all seems like a distant blur to me now. Love reading your account though. Missed the Piccolo fun to catch my trains and bus. James, Gareth and co went home on the tube to Warren street - How do I know? Lou and Liz shared their carriage....and James opened the conversation with a Spikesque "ello luv"
May. 12th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, whoever you are...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )