Some months ago I was doing some research on upcoming gigs for the year 2019. So far my calendar has been marked for a number of dates that are unmissable – John Grant, Villagers, Sophie Ellis Bextor. Other acts were mentally noted with a promise to reconsider closer to the event when a clearer inventory of availability and money could be taken.
One such concert was for Swedish singer Neneh Cherry, who had scored some classic hits during my sheltered youth. I wanted to see the show. But not with a burning intensity. I wasn’t sure I could justify the ticket price of 45euro – the ticket says 39euro but Ticketmaster steals another 6 as a ‘booking fee’.
Yesterday I passed the Academy (concert venue on Abbey Street) and noticed her name on the marquis for her performance today. When I got home I started playing some Cherry videos (mainly Neneh, but a few of her brother Eagle-Eye as well). They were magnificent songs.
Without thinking I grabbed my jacket. The show probably sold out but there might be a a chance that it was not, and a few spares would be floating about the box office. If so then I’d also be spared the ransom money charged by Ticketmaster and only have to pay face value. Going to the concert alone was no issue – I have long conquered any fears of solo travel.
I walked the fifteen minute journey, turned left into the venue. I asked the woman behind the counter for a ticket. She looked at me and pointed at a man standing by the opposite wall.
‘He’s got a spare that he can’t use’.
I asked him and he nodded. He was about fifty I guess (the audience was of quite a seasoned vintage). He has brought his sixteen year old son to the show. Said son was denied admittance being underage at an event where alcohol was on sale. He was trying to offload the ticket. He offered it to me for twenty quid. My heart gave a little leap of joy. This was quite a discount.
Into the concert I went. I had missed the support act sadly, due to my late departure from home. I purchased a beverage and was looking around for a good vantage point, when from the corner of my eye I noticed a friend, I hadn’t seen in a few months. Even better. This was turning into a splendid evening
When Cherry came on stage with her band the audience erupted. There was a lot of middle aged love in that room. She mainly played tunes from her two most recent albums (last year’s ‘Broken Politics’ and 2014’s ‘Blank Project’.) Her voice was rich and soulful and maybe it was good lighting or good genes but she looked the same as she did thirty years ago.
The hits ‘Manchild’ and ‘Seven Seconds’ were of course played. As was the legendary ‘Buffalo Stance’ which was a fitting finale – the audience roaring the lyrics in unison with the wonderful Neneh Cherry. I’ll be back if she comes back.