Julie, Stoke On Trent..........
Well, I've had my BK fix for the moment. Found the Robin 2 remarkably easily - ready for that, arrived a tad earlier than I expected. Sat in the car listening to "Live in Belfast" to get in the mood. Doors opened just after 7.30pm and support on at 8.30pm, but time passed reasonably quick as I found two other long-distance fans - Gaye & Irene from Liverpool - hi there again and thanks for taking the photo for me
Support was a local singer/songwriter (I think) - Eddy Morton - and he was well received, before BK and Calum took to the stage. I'm hopeless with the set listing so I've set the songs I remembered out below by album order, but you knew it was going to be a good night when two or three songs in, Brian said that they hadn't got a set list - they would just sing songs in the order and mood they felt was right and to shout out if there was any particular song that you wanted sung - of course then your (or at least my) mind goes blank and you can't think of anything. I would have loved to hear him sing "The First Time Ever I saw your face" as his version either gives chills down my spine or brings me to tears (of joy) depending on what mood I'm in - I did blurt it out when he asked for songs but it didn't get heard and then I thought better off it, it being written by Calum's dad - not knowing how the request would be received.
Anyway, I am pleased to announce that Brian was in fine musical and jigging form. There was much shaking of that lovely bum (nay shall I say ass) and hip movement that I might have to go lay down again at the thought and memory of it. He is a tease, but such a nice one with it. I'm of the "dance as though no one is watching, love as though you've never been hurt, sing as though no one can hear you and live as though heaven's on earth" attitude and part of me just wanted to dance, but it was a seated affair and some gave looks when I was singing (quietly) along, except when singing was encouraged for 'Curragh of Kildare' and 'Crazy Love', so I thought I'll keep it to wild applause and subtle foot jigging.
The venue was intimate similar in feel to a gig I saw him at, at Birmingham's Carling Academy (or some variation of that theme of a name). There was a bar to one side with a smallish stage, although the stage at the Robin 2 was higher than the step-up stage that was at the Academy that night. Bilston was much easier to Brian to say - Birmingham being one that often trips up people - it's the "ing" and the "ham" that they sound out which makes it so funny to hear. Anyway all too soon it was time of the encore and for Brian and Calum "to hide behind the bit of stage" until appearing again seconds later.
The encore was "Every Song is a Cry for Love" and then Brian was left on stage to sing "You raise me up" unaccompanied - as Gaye said his is definately the better one of how ever many hundred versions there are. Once again pitch perfect and the only sound around the room you could hear for "You raise me up" were the hairs bristling on necks and the shivers down the spine. And then it was fan meet and greet time. And of course I was so nervous I forgot all I was going to say - like "Happy Birthday for next month", "I would have loved to hear "The First Time ..."", "the haircut's growing on me - is it a change or a new man?", "are you happy? as Now that I know... suggested you were and then 'Ballad of Killadoe' suggests it's all dashed, New York and Christopher St suggest you've moving on but the songs on Homebird suggest it's all in the air again" and other things that still are out of my brain even now. I did manage to give him my name for my autograph, put my arm round him (for the photograph of course) and splutter out that it was me that had asked for "A case of you" which alas he couldn't play he said as he had left his bouzouki at home and if he started on a Joni Mitchell vibe he could play for hours (oh yes please), but before I could even get up from knealing down for my photo the next people were thrusting their book or whatever for signing and my moment was gone.
So it was a brilliant night and love the smaller venues as Brian always responds to that intimacy, although he has that ability to sing to you as if you were the only person there and it is all for you, be it a big stadium or otherwise. But then of course it is only me that he's singing to
I took some photos but they're a bit dark. But thanks to Gaye and Irene I now have one of me with Brian, although I could have not been holding my cd case in my hand (note to self for next time)
Oh well must go - I've an exam in a month's time and revision is going very slowly.
Love and best wishes.
Songs sang (as best remembered, but not in any particular order)
New songs: Gaye, Gallileo
New arrangements of old favourites: Crazy Love blended with Tupelo Honey and Have I told you lately ... ("for all the lovers out here" - which got a bit funny response as most people were on "ladies nights out", having left their menfolk at home)
From Homebird: What You Wish For (first song of the set), Every Song is a Cry for Love (as encore), Homebird, Silver Hearts on chains, You Raise Me Up (unaccompanied, as encore)
From Get On With Your Short Life: Get on..., Christopher Street, The Reason We are Here (last song before encore), The Ballad of Killaloe ("for all the losers in love" ), So What If it Rains (requested - one of my favourites) and a smidge of Here I am as Brian couldn't remember how it went!
From On Song: Margaret Barry Broke my Heart and Curragh of Kildare
From Now That I Know...: Mother in Me
And finally, from A Better Man: A Better Man
All mistakes and omissions are mine. I blame poor memory and being bedazzled by Brian. Love Jxx