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Saturday, May 03, 2008

It's Matchbox Twenty!

Matchbox Twenty at Wembley Arena
Did I mention that Lisa and I were going to London on Thursday night? No? Oh well...

Two quid that cost me.Here's Lisa outside Wembley Arena with the world's biggest ice cream. She's four months pregnant now, and as you can see, she's blooming. Blooming knackered, that is. I had to buy her an ice cream just to persuade her to walk from the tube station to the venue. I was practically dragging her along the ground by her wrists until she saw the Mr Whippy van.

But it was all worth it. Matchbox Twenty were excellent. As were the support band, Headway. I expect. To be honest, we missed them, so I've no idea. As it happens, we were somewhat delayed at Brighton station when the driver of our train suddenly went AWOL at the last moment. According to the tannoy announcement, he'd been forced to return home "due to a domestic emergency". It's an explanation which poses more questions than it answers.

But we made it to London (twenty minutes late), where we discovered that the recent rises in food, energy and petrol prices are nothing. The charge for the toilets at Victoria station has gone up 50% since March. Spending a penny now costs you thirty times that. I've heard of people pissing away their money, but this is ridiculous.

Anyhoo, despite Lisa's dodgy feet, indigestion and womb cramps (I'm not sure if that's a recognised medical term), we made it down Wembley Way at low speed, being overtaken by the elderly and people on crutches, whilst admiring the new stadium, which does look quite impressive close up. Although Lisa didn't actually notice it until I pointed it out.

By the time we'd arrived at Wembley Arena, queued for the toilets and found our seats, we'd somehow missed Headway, which is a bit of a shame. When I saw Matchbox Twenty at Wembley in 2003, the support act were an unknown band called Maroon 5. Six months later they were a worldwide phenomenon. So when Headway are topping the charts and charging fifty quid a ticket, I'm going to want a word with that train driver.

Anyway, Matchbox Twenty really were very good. The opening was particularly effective - they started the gig in almost total darkness, lit by a single light behind the drummer, before exploding into colour with the first chorus. And if you can't picture that, here it is, courtesy of an illegal bootlegger in the crowd...

Obviously it was only me who saw that. Lisa had gone out to get a Coke on the grounds that "they won't start yet, will they".

Anyhoo, look at the first photo above. See the bloke on the far left, playing guitar whilst surrounded by keyboards? He's not an official member of Matchbox Twenty, but they always take an extra guy on tour to play all the twiddly bits. Usually it's Matt Beck, but his wife's having a baby (I know the feeling), so they had to get a new guy in. It wasn't until the encore when they told us who it was. The announcement left 12,000 people shrugging their shoulders, and one person more excited than a child at Christmas. That one person was me.

It turned out that the bloke I'd been watching for ninety minutes was...

Jeff Russo of Tonic. Yes, Jeff Russo of Tonic.

Jeff Russo (of Tonic) is... NINA GORDON'S FIANCÉ!!!!! And the father of her baby. How astounding is that. Not the fact that he's got a woman pregnant, but the fact that just four months after creating the world's leading Nina Gordon shrine, I've unwittingly spent two hours in the same room as her fella. He even co-wrote her song about chapped lips.

As people in Austria often say, it's a small world.


Phil said...

 G Nice Austrian gag *yoink!*  I've been comforted by the fact that it could never happen in this country - no council would ever grant planning permission for a basement extension.....

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 12:17:35

 Phil's Mum 
I hope Jeff Russo (of Tonic) realised what elitist company he was in.Saturday, May 03, 2008, 14:15:12