19 December 2010

Simply farewell..................

Saturday 18th December, 2010 was the last time we were to see Simply Red in concert, their farewell tour was winding to an end.  So imagine our horror when getting up yesterday we find that inches+ of snow had been dumped on the London area, with it continuing all through the morning, we had nothing more than a light dusting.

We had Radio London playing and listened to each of the 15 minute updates, we watched live feed from the M11 motorway cameras, we had lunch - not the meal we had planned in Green Lanes!!  We listened, we watched, we called the O2, show still going ahead dispite the weather.  What to do, we looked at Peter, it had to be his decision, he would be driving and being responsible for our welfare.  Beck had already backed out a few weeks back (sensible girl) so we were taking Rachel's friend Claire with us.  By 3:15 the cameras at the lower end of the M11 showed traffic moving well and the roads looking not to bad so we decided GO. 

15 miles from home we met the snow coming up the M11, queue neck tension....  we continued on, roads were constantly being salted and ploughed so whilst slow it wasn't too bad.  A close encounter with the side of a truck, wheel studs are quite large close up!!  Some idiot driving fast in the outside lane showered us with slush which left us visionless for a few moments, but once we hit the bottom end of the M11 the roads in and around London were amazingly quiet and clear, in fact we did the stretch to and through the Blackwall Tunnel in 10 minutes rather than the usual 50+.  To say we all sighed with relief on reaching the O2 car park would be an understatement.

The girls treated us to dinner at TGI Fridays which was good, though it was obvious from having been to the O2 on numerous occasions that the numbers were down, only a 25 minute wait for a table.  Once inside the arena, the atmosphere was very subdued, huge gaps in the seating told a story and by the time Macy Gray (support) came on it was under half full. By 8:45 when she went off it had filled up a bit, but I would say by the time Simply Red finally came on it was maybe 2/3rd full, the O2 sits 23,000 and this show was sold out. As I said the atmosphere was very subdued, I expect like me most people were worrying about their journey home, especially as we had had 2 text messages to say that it was still snowing in lower Cambridgeshire at 8pm.  After the 3rd song Mick finally thanked us all for turning out and made some comment about people complaining on the internet that he should have cancelled the show, but he said what would we all have done, well Mick stayed at home, in this day and age its possible to cancel an event and people get to know about it long before they turn out!   It wasn't until over half way through that the usual buzz finally kicked in and people started to relax.  They took far too long to come back on stage for the final encore. On reflection, not the best Simply Red concert I've ever been too, the band seemed tired and looked like they were just going through the motions, but made up for it by ending the show with Holding Back the Years, a few tears were shed.....

And now for the drive home..... again in and around the London area was clear, but once we hit the M11 the fun started. From Harlow up the motorway had only one lane that was passable, so it was a slow and scary ride.  We watched the temperature drop to -12.5C, the likes I've never seen, the water in the window washers froze. We finally arrived home at 1:15am to just the same dusting of snow.

So Mick, do you know who the real star of the evening was? My wonderful husband Peter, who got us safely too and from the concert so that we (me in particular) wouldn't be disappointed. Thank you, I love you xxxx...

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