After THAT journey to Manchester on Saturday
it was a doddle just to drive the 20 miles to Leicester
on Monday. As I had worked in the city for 5 years,
and been to the De Montfort Hall before, finding it
was not a problem either. After meeting Jackie and Sharon
at Fosse Park - we only had to go round one roundabout
twice - but then even people who live in Leicester say
it is a 'nightmare'- we arrived relatively unscathed.
evening was beautiful and I had forgotten what a lovely
setting the Hall is in - just on the edge of Victoria
Park - you would have to remind yourself you were only
a couple of minutes walk away from one of the very busy
main roads. People were outside enjoying a drink in
the sunshine. We met Julie Lawrence who welcomed us
to her home city.
Don Mescall was even better than Saturday -
and judging by the queue for his CDs at the interval
plenty of people liked him and his music. He mentioned
the fact that Ronan Keating's new single with Kate Rusby
had been penned by him and when we spoke to him after
the concert was delighted to have been told by someone
he was mentioned as the composer during Ronan's interview
on The Album Show on Radio 2 the night before.
The stage is quite high in the Hall
and thanks must go to the lady in the box office who
advised seats on the first row of the tiered section.
Regular attenders are obviously aware of this 'trick'
as rows A to F were sparsely filled, which must have
been a little strange for Don and Brian as usually most
people want to sit as near to the front as possible
- instead of which they would have viewed a lot of empty
seats then a solid mass of audience as the place was
full for as far back as I could see.
No white bread and potatoes were spoken of
this time but mention was made of the early stages of
pregnancy with Fergal Flynn part 3, so to speak.
This received a positive response from the audience,
who were a good crowd - some remembering Brian's previous
appearance there with Clannad some years ago.
All too soon we were listening to You Raise
Me Up and I then took the opportunity of asking my friend
Janice (who was attending her first concert, having
heard Brian's music and seen him sing at George Best's
funeral) if she had enjoyed herself, as I had noticed
her laughing, smiling, singing along and clapping during
the evening. A very definite 'Yes' was the reply
and this was even more so when we explained about the
signing queue and the opportunity for a word with Brian.
Janice joined in and had her poster signed (kindly supplied
by Julie). Maybe next time we will be able to
persuade her to have her photo taken too - one thing
at a time. We sat on the stairs afterwards whilst Jackie
was busy with her camera and Janice commented that she
had never seen anyone greet so many people after a concert,
and in the way Brian did. Time for everyone.
It was still warm when we finally came out
and it was only midnight when I put the key in the door
- quite early after last Saturday in Manchester.
Brian (and Don and the band) thank you for two wonderful
concerts. It has been heart warming to see
you filling larger venues but I know I am not the only
one who hopes this is not the end of ever playing the
smaller, more cosy places again, many peoples' favourite
being The Stables. It's back to the packing boxes
now ready for a house move very shortly. The two
evenings have been a welcome change to looking
at packed boxes or items waiting to be packed.
I feel I can continue with the task with renewed enthusiasm
(!),though how long that will last - who knows?
Pete Scotney, Derby........
Well there were rumours abound today that the World
was going to end 06-06-06.....
Thank goodness it did not as I would have
missed my Meeting with Brian Kennedy! Arriving early
I thought Brian would have being doing a 'sound check'
but his Manager informed me he had yet to arrive. As
it was a beautiful Summer's evening I waited by the
Stage Door Entrance. Brian suddenly appeared walking
up the drive...with two of his band members. I introduced
myself and we shook hands. Told Brian I would be
on the 2nd Row....little did I realise that I would
be the only one on that Row when Don Mescall opened
it was not a packed De Montfort Hall.....the Leicester
audience gave Brian a very warm Welcome...He began with
songs from his new CD Album 'Homebird'....although
at one point he stated there was 'no-set-list' this
evening....new songs included Go With My Heart, Homebird,
What You Wish For, Silver Hearts On Chains, If
You Don't Believe In Me...which he said would be the
NEW Single coming out in July...a song co-written with
Ronan Keating. Brian encouraged the Audience to
sing along and bantered that these 'new songs' hopefully
would become the 'old songs' in time.
He did a Medley of Crazy Love/Tupelo Honey/Have
I told You Lately....not being too familiar with earlier
material he sang Christopher Street, A Better Man, Captured....The
Ballad Of KIllaloe was ad-libbed to which the Audience
fell about laughing....not many artists have a sense
of humour about a song of unrequited love...He
gave a lovely solo performance of Carrickfergus and
sang his Eurovision entry Every Song Is A Cry For Love
(douze points Brian), along with Margaret Barry and
the rousing Curragh of Kildare.....He jokingly told
the Leicester crowd that he loved to sing the 'sad songs'
as they made him happy....but changing tempo he gave
them Get On With Your Short Life segued into Put The
Message In A Box....everyone I think had tingling
hands from all the clapping....Brian removed his black
jacket as the show was getting hotter on this balmy
evening...revealing a pink shirt.....receiving wolf
whistles from many of the ladies.. especially a
crowd on Row 4....you know who you are!!....Brian serenaded
Dirty Old Town at one point near the end.....
goodnight twice he finally returned thanking the Leicester
Audience and that he would be CD signing after the Show
in the foyer... He started to sing You Raise Me
Up......accapella....to a rapturous applause!!!!......Bravo
mins soon flew by and 10.00pm was here....out in the
foyer the line for autographs got longer and longer.
I reached Brian at 10:20pm for quick autographs and
photos...maybe longer next time eh Brian.....?? Finally
outta the door at 10:30pm racing for the last Derby
train home...phew!!....the fastest 9mins I have ever
anyone know what that Intro was before Brian came on
stage.....A Man Called Brian????