But enough about him, let's talk about Martin Newnham. I must admit, when it comes to seeing support acts, Lisa and I don't have a great track record. By the time we've said miaow to Amelie, instructed the babysitter on how to use the remote control, and waited twenty minutes for a bus, we tend to arrive just in time to hear the words 'Thank you and goodnight'. But fortunately yesterday's gig was at Concorde 2, which is only about 300 metres away as the seagull flies. Although when Lisa saw the rain, she still asked if we could get a bus.
But with Amelie doing her animal impressions out of earshot in St Leonards, we took off early, made it to Concorde 2 in supersonic time, and checked-in at the perfect moment: just too late to get a seat, but so early that we had to stand around in an empty room for forty-five minutes before anything happened.
It was worth waiting for though. Mr Newnham turned out to be a worthy support act for the mulleted midget. You'd expect someone called Martin to do house music, but he actually performed some passionate folk on the acoustic guitar and harmonica. I thought he was very good, particularly the songs 'Whispers' and 'Bring You Sunshine' (which I expect was a tribute to the short fat hairy legs of Nik Kershaw), so as someone who's prepared to put his money where his mouth is, I got my wallet out from between my clenched teeth and paid eight quid for his album 'City Folk'.
It was Martin Newnham himself who served me on the merchandise stand during the interval, but tragically I didn't get his autograph or insist on posing for a cheesy photo, because Lisa somehow managed to convince me that it wasn't him. Despite repeatedly telling her that the chap selling CDs was the man we'd watched on stage half an hour earlier, she kept insisting that "he wasn't that ginger". Unfortunately for both me and him, he was. But I didn't discover that until I'd treated him like a simple shopkeeper, walked away, and looked at his picture on the CD cover. That'll teach him to be so unassuming.
As for the main event, here's Nik Kershaw performing his 1985 hit, 'Don Quixote'...
I bought that on 7" single when I was eleven. We've both lost a lot of hair since then.
But fortunately Nik hasn't lost his talent. You need to have a certain amount of ability to perform synth-pop hits from the 1980s on an acoustic guitar. I'd like to see Rick Astley try that. Compare and contrast that version of Don Quixote with the one Nik Kershaw performed in front of a worldwide audience of 400 million at Live Aid...
Personally I prefer the one I filmed.
Anyhoo, last night's audience was approximately 81,900 smaller than the one at Wembley Stadium in 1985, but it was no less appreciative. Nik played most of his 80s hits, plus a lot of his 90s misses, and they were all equally good. 'Billy' from his 1999 album '15 Minutes' (a reference to the time it would take to count how many copies it sold) was particularly good. And I greatly enjoyed Nik's sing-along version of the Chesney Hawkes classic, The One and Only. But here's another song that got me through my eleven-plus...
If you prefer it with big hair, the Live Aid version is here.
When I was bopping along to those songs in a Basildon bedroom in 1985, I had no idea that a quarter of a century later, I'd be using them to wish my fiancée a Happy Valentine's Day, whilst texting my Mum to ask how our daughter is. Unfortunately we're twenty-five years older now, and less able to stand for three hours without getting a bad back and sore feet, so instead of hanging around for an autograph, we staggered straight home for a nice cup of cocoa and a lie down. I think we've both aged more than the music.