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Monday, May 30, 2005

For those concerned about Timmy's feet...

Timmy lives!

As if I'd chop his paws off. Although I am rather pleased with my new belt, and I'm sure Lorraine's always wanted a Manx cat.

Anyhoo, Saturday was officially day two of mine and Lisa's neverending one year anniversary celebration extravaganza excursion events, so having spent six hours in the car on Friday, we headed off the next day to Birmingham for an evening of quality music. Which also featured Duran Duran. I'd prepared for the occasion by not bothering to check what time it started, while Lisa had prepared for it by leaving her boots in Brighton and only returning to Shotley Gate with her wedding shoes. So naturally we were pleased to find out at lunchtime on Saturday that the concert started two hours earlier than we thought, and Lisa would have to stand for five hours in uncomfortable heels.

But we set off anyway. The 165 miles to Brum was covered in no time at all (well, two and a quarter hours), and I had in my hand the piece of paper from Ticketmaster which clearly stated "Take junction 6 off the M6 and follow the signs to Birmingham City football stadium". What could be simpler?

Well, quantum physics actually. An hour after leaving the M6 we still hadn't spotted a single sign, and I was beginning to get dizzy from driving around the Birmingham ring road. But on the plus side there were plenty of signs to 'The Custard Factory' and 'Cadbury World', so we knew we wouldn't go hungry.

A lot of aimless driving later, I decided to take the plunge and head for the city centre, got stuck in a major Saturday afternoon traffic jam, headed back out again, spotted a sign to the football stadium (hallelujah), followed it, and promptly got stuck in a major Duran Duran related traffic jam. Cue major u-turn, a quick drive back to the city centre, more traffic jams, parking, Burger King eating, and a 25 minute walk to the stadium. In wedding heels. (Lisa, not me).

We arrived at 6:13pm, two minutes before show time. Which just goes to show we're never late for anything.

Being a world reknowned supergroup (as opposed to a bunch of 80s has-beens), Duran Duran had two (count them) support acts. First up was The Bravery, an American band whose music I seemed strangely familiar with. They must be on an advert. Or possibly Channel 4 are using them on the horse racing. The Bravery warmed us up for (fanfare please) Daniel Bedingfield, a man so hated by Lisa that she would've walked out. If it didn't hurt so much to walk.

Quite how a man so full of himself as the Bedingfield had agreed to be a support act for Duran Duran, I've no idea. We eventually decided they must have told him he was the headline act and The Bravery were his support. He seemed to be under the illusion that we'd all be able to sing along to his songs anyway (and I didn't like to disappoint him). I actually warmed to Danny boy. I thought he looked quite fat, but he could clearly sing. Not that Lisa agrees with me on that one. She described his voice as 'whiny'.

A quick scrum for the toilets later, and Duran Duran took to the stage. I thought Bedingfield's ego was huge, but he clearly had nothing on Simon Le Bon, who strutted around the stage claiming sole responsibility for ending the war in Iraq (seriously), and announcing that this was the first big outdoor concert of the summer. He obviously hadn't been in Ipswich on Thursday night.

But all in all they were very good. Although not quite good enough for me to feel it was worth paying TWENTY TWO QUID for a programme. I settled for a two quid ice cream with no flake instead.