What a better way to write a review then record it in diary
form, so here goes!
Wednesday 9th March
Arrive at Church ten minutes before the start of the service. Dave looks
relieved. "I thought he wasn't coming<" he says. "And then I would have had to
read." I reply: "Don't worry Dave, there's never any getting rid of me." "Huh!
And don't we know it!" grunts back Bill jokingly.
Walk up to the Kwiks after the service and tea and get some sweets for
I'm back home now and I make sure my camera, tickets and money are all
safely in my bag ready for the off.
Stuffing a pikelet down my throat as I lock the door and hurry down the road to
the Number 12 bus stop.
Get off the bus in Shotton and meet Chris at his house and I have drag him
from his new Gran Turismo 4 game!!!
We're now on the train heading towards Manchester. Chris decided to stick a
two pence piece in the seat number and it gets stuck!
Text from Gemma - they're all at the venue and there's about ten of them -
good stuff! Get a cup of tea from the trolley that passes.
Get off the train at Oxford Road stop and walk the short five minutes to our
accommodation for the night, the IBIS hotel. Book and go up to our room. Chris,
the little git, nicks the double bed leaving me with the small one they put in
Meet up with Chenks in the cafe and we have some chips before we get a taxi
down to the Apollo. Text Gemma to tell her we're there and she phones back to
direct me to where they all are - no surprises - the pub!
Meet Gemma outside the pub at the side of the Apollo. Even though I remember
her well from EIS 04 (and texting) I don't recognise her at first, but when we
get close up I know it's her. There's hardly anyone
there at that time. About thee or four outside and her and Lou in the pub. Kerry
Louise's phone (the same as mine) has an MP3 player full of Erasure songs
and we put them all on and have a little boogie at our table.
Gemma and Louise go to the toilet to have a 'girley moment' (ummm, OK then)
and we try and get everyone outside the window to hide and make them think that
Erasure have arrived! Andy (one of the guys there) says: "We've already done it
on Lou once, she won't fall for it twice!
Gemma spots my bag is full of sweets. "You're my new best friend" she
shrieks as she sifts through all my snacks!!! A big gang of EISers arrive at
this point. See Sue, Aggy, erasureholic and Woofy. "Where's Glynn?" I ask Sue.
"He comes at half six" she replies.
Still no action outside - everyone is outside the window still. Every time a
car drives past Gemma runs out and promptly back in again!
Everyone runs from the window and we all grab out cameras and things to sign
and leg it outside. This time it is no fluke. Andy and Vince have arrived. The
backing singers hurry into the back door whilst Andy and Vince pose for photos
and sign autographs. I hand a photo to Vince with a marker pen. he laughs back:
"We came prepared. Got our own" and he removes a pen from his pocket and signs
it for me and poses for a photo. Shout over to Andy and he signs it too and then
poses for a picture with Gemma. Vince soon mooches off backstage and Andy
remains for a short while longer signing t-shirts, photos and anything and
everything thrown at him.
Back inside the pub now and everyone is on a real high, everyone sending
pictures taken on phones via bluetooth and infrared. "If you don't email me
those pictures you're dead!" jokes Gemma.
People are getting restless now and the barman asks if anyone has an Erasure
CD. I have one to hand - "Live in Munich 1986" and he promptly puts it on. Lou,
Gem and Kerry all belt out the words to Senseless at a really high volume. Speak
with Mooger and Ann who are on the next table and I ask Mooger about his 'meet
It's time to get to the door now (even though they don't open till seven)
and Donna and Andy have reserved a place at the front for us all. Chris then
phones his girlfriend. I open a pack of Fruit Pastilles and offer one to Gem who
nicks the packet off me eating three quarters of them, before handing them back
to me saying, "I can't eat any more." And I only offered one!
A guy starts putting posters advertising Nightbird on all the posts outside
the venue. Gem reckons that they'll be gone quickly. A guy starts wondering
about asking whether anyone has any spare tickets.
We see the programmes being put on the stand inside and we stand patiently
awaiting the door to be opened. Gem offers to take my camera and get some decent
photos from the stalls. She says that she has to dash off after and Lou or Kerry
will give it back to me.
"Make sure no-one pushes in front of us" Gem says as the doors are unlocked.
She hands her ticket in and promptly legs it into the stalls within seconds. Me
and Chris go to the merchandise stall and then the toilet.
We find Lou by herself in the lobby. "They've disappeared" she moans,
referring to Gem and Kerry. "Did you see where they went?" I hand her my mobile
and she rings Gemma up. She answers and Lou tries to get through to her
bellowing: "It's not Steve, it's Lou. Where are you all?" Eventually Gemma
manages to let her know they're already in the stalls and she goes off the
stalls. Me and Chris head off upstairs to pre-order the Live CD.
We take our seats and Chris spots right down on the front row of the stalls
the girls and their feather boas. "There they are" he points out and I text
Gemma saying 'Turn around and wave!" She does and we wave back from our lofty
The first support act is on - Piney Gir. She's OK but not excellent.
The second support act come on called Client. They're two girls and the
music is quite good.
After the support acts I head off to the toilet and when I get back the
stage is being cleared of all the support act's gear.
My phone keeps going off as text message after text message arrives from
various people around the Apollo including Clint, Skaro, Sue and Gem all saying:
'Not long now.'
One last text message from an excited Sue just minutes before the start. The
curtain is now shaking.....
Music begins and the lights fade out as everybody cheers. Two pink lights
pentrate the theatre as Andy sings from behind the curtains 'Rock a bye baby'.
The show begins properly as the first notes of No Doubt ring out. Andy Bell
is dressed in a white suit with angel wings and Vince Clarke in a beige suit.
After Hideaway, Brother & Sister, Knocking On Your Door and Circus Andy
makes a few announcements. A boy called Robert is twelve today and the audience
all join with 'Happy birthday' before Andy dedicates the next 'Breathe' to him.
To laugh or not to laugh as Vince's laptop crashes in the first bridge of
'Ship Of Fools' and so we're all treated to an acoustic version.
Drama is the first song where everybody gets on their feet. The feather boas
are shaking like mad downstairs in the stalls as everyone joins in with the
chorus. Next up is 'All This Time'.
Andy makes a small mistake and introduces Rapture instead of Stop but
everyone is up on their feet all doing the 'Stop!' dance - it's incredible. Then
it's Rapture where everyone has a good laugh as Vince Clarke 'raps' in it! Next
up is Ave Maria followed by the disco-pop of Breath Of Life.
Yep - it's THE song now as 'A Little Respect' comes on and the whole Apollo
joins in with the words.
Next up is Andy's favourite from Nightbird, 'I Broke It All In Two'. It
sounds better live than on album.
Whilst filming 'Chains Of Love' on my camera phone it starts vibrating. It's
a text from Gem saying: 'You'll have to copy all these to a CD. I filmed a lot
of it!" Me like it very much! Next up is Chorus and everyone does the actions in
Love To Hate You is next and everyone is still on their feet having a great
time. Next up is Blue Savannah and Andy is down to a pair of blue hotpants.
After Always, Who Needs Love and Oh L'amour, Erasure go off stage. We all
start clapping loudly to ensure the encore.
The encore is I Bet You're Mad at Me and Sometimes. The whole theatre bursts
into applause and there's cheers everywhere. Gem calls me but there's no way I
can hear her. After two minutes she hangs up.
Leaving Chris to pick the live CDs, I hurry down the stairs to meet Lou and
Kerry to get my camera back (Gem has already left in her brothers car) and my
phone rings again. It's Gem again and she tells me that she dropped her folder
out of her bag with all her autographed pics by the barrier!!!! I look towards
the stalls entrance and it's chock-a-block coming out and I say there's no way I
can get through it all. But I say that Lou or Kerry will probably have spotted
Find Lou and Kerry and get my camera and even better, they've got Gem's
folder so I ring her back and she's rather relieved. Chris comes down the stairs
with the live CDs. The queue to get the
Say goodbye to Mooger and Ann and get a taxi back to the hotel with Chris
Text from Skaro asking if I'm coming out drinking. Unfortunately as we're
back at the hotel we don't really want to get any more taxis and stuff so I
Chris decides to ring Shazza B and sticks the phone on loud speaker. Shazza
reckons there'll be a convention next year with 'it being Erasure's 21st
birthday and all that' and asks Chris whether he will be going. "If he behaves
himself" I shout! They talk for a while and at the end Shazza shouts "Don't post
this on the forum you little s**tbag!!!" (She WAS joking by the way).
Time for bed. Goodnight!
Thursday 10th March
I wake up. Chris is dead to the world. The light streams in through the
window. Get that first 'it's all over' feeling and then I stick the live CD in
and play it from start to finish.
As Sometimes ends my alarm goes off and I wake up Chris. I ask him whether
he wants any breakfast. He's like a zombie at this hour in the morning so I head
off by myself.
Have a lovely leisurely breakfast of cereal, baguette, juice and croissants.
Phone Dave at the church jumble and ask him whether the video recorder has been
put safe. He tells me it has and he adds that the jumble isn't till next week!!!
Chris and I pack our bags and I ensure that my autographed photo and my
camera are SAFELY in my bag zipped up.
We book out of the hotel and head off up to the train station.
Get the train back to Chester. We'll need to change there to get to Shotton.
On the platform I bump into my university tutor, Dr Bill. He asks whether I
had a good time and I reply in the affirmative. He jokes he wants to see a full
journalistic review about it as he gave me the time off. As we spoke I should
have been in Simon's lecture!!!
Get on the train back to Shotton and we arrive five minutes later.
After popping to Chris's so he can pick up his Gran Turismo 4 game we head
off to mine on the number 10 bus.
Leaving Chris on the PS2 I go on the internet and post some of my pics from
last night (well the live ones were Gems) and read the reviews. I look at the
other photos and some really good ones were taken from the circle so I guess
with my digital zoom I could have taken some better ones but there we go. The
one's Gem got were awesome anyway. There's no way I could have taken 90 pictures
and 3 videos. I email Gem the best of the bunch.
Chris goes home and I try and catch a couple of hours sleep. Text Gem before
I do so saying that I've emailed her the pics. So I guess I'm not dead after
Text from Denise asking whether I'm home from the concert. She made me pay
for the coach for the theatre tonight last week.
Watch last nights Simpsons before having some chicken and mushroom pie for
Gem texts me and she's bored as hell in work and she's the only one left so
we have text conversation.
Have to leave now for the King and I so I leave my phone on the dressing
The musical is a bit boring really as it's really dragging on. Half of it's
really enjoyable though. Look at my watch and realise that the Sheffield gig
will be starting now so I hope everyone there is having just as good time as I
Last entry now so I'll sign off saying that last night was amazing and made
even more so by the fans I was with so special shout outs to:
And that pain in the butt, Chris!!
Last night's setlist was as follows:
Intro (Rock a bye baby)
No Doubt (Guitar)
Brother & Sister (Keyboard)
Knocking On Your Door (Keyboard)
The Circus (Keyboard)
Ship Of Fools (Guitar)
All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love (Keyboard)
Ave Maria (no Vince, all pre-programmed)
Breath Of Life (Keyboard)
A Little Respect (Guitar)
I Broke It All In Two (Guitar)
Chains Of Love (Keyboard)
Love To Hate You (Keyboard)
Blue Savannah (Keyboard)
Who Needs Love [Like That] (Keyboard)
Oh L'amour (Keyboard)
I Bet You're Mad At Me (Guitar)