A Boy in the Bush
While the rest of London was going 'football crazy football mad' on Friday evening I made the long and unpleasantly humid trip across London on quite possibly the hottest day of the year so far to the little known Bush Hall over in Shepherds Bush (about 10 mins walk west of the Empire). I was there to rendezvous avec her Royal Haughtiness the Right Nasty Dawnella for Boy George's first solo gig in ooooh aeons.
Unforch DRN's transport from Crystal Palace was cancelled and finding myself with about an hour and 20mins to spare (in so NOT my stomping ground being naturally gravitated to the East of things) decided to explore Shep Bush. I had a quick look around the market and the shopping centre which isn't very exciting but I managed to kill 20 mins in Books Etc and purchased Crazy G's 'Idler' and a book about the Assassins (medieval Islamic sect of murderous young boys based in a paradise called Alamut and controlled by the 'Old Man of the Mountain', yes I know it's hardly what one could call 'light') and had a couple of very pleasant cold lagers and a burger in the window of Vasbar, opposite O'Neills by the Empire, reading said purchases and nattering with the waitresses feeling a bit like Billy No Mates but thankfully D arrived eventually.
I loved Bush Hall, and was surprised by how beautiful the room is, like a traditional concert room. It's smaller than the Wigmore Hall and more beautiful. Lots of decorative plaster lit from below and crystal chandeliers and only about two-thirds full, if that, although the gig was 'sold out' (probably just a low capacity venue). The bar was nice, lots of familiar faces from Duckie and Le Bar du Retro, had a few nice chats and lots of hello!s, 'oooh isn't this nice!' and 'where the f*ck are we dear took me ages!' kinda thing. Good to be somewhere where you could actually move about freely and get to the bar and the loo's without having a panic attack or getting hopelessly lost and requiring a search party due to having no sense of direction (oh that'll just be me then).
We missed the 'first turn'. Second on was Amanda Ghost, co-author of that James Blunt song, and a long standing mate of Mr O'Dowd's. Ms Ghost is undoubtedly a talented songwriter but it was a bit middling for me although I wasn't spitting venom like DRN who was clearly diametrically opposed. Must admit her American / cheesey audience interaction was more than a tad wearing.
Time then for more cold beers (bar was air con'ed, concert room most definitely not!) and George took to the tiny stage in a blast of reggae beats, eighties style club-posturing and hand movements. All big hat and big black suit with diamante CND symbols. Such a cool man, and I'm always struck by how large he is (the first time I ever set eyes on him 'in the flesh' was when our eyes met in boots at Piccadilly Circus many years ago but that's another story). I can't quite remember most of the setlist, probably mainly because I'm not the biggest fan, but I enjoyed almost all of it and even some of the newer songs which some reviews I've read slagged off mercilessly. I also enjoyed his throaty interjections and bitchy asides.
Of course there were some Culture Club numbers, and why not. 'Do you Really Want to Hurt Me' was deeply moving and I felt tingles up my spine when he sang the slow beginning (God, they were such a great pop band). 'Everything I Own' was lovely too... and reminded me of all the heroin headlines, or rather the aftermath. I'd never seen him live before, he has such a lovely soulful voice.
Karma Chameleon on the other hand, was his last tune of the encore and that turned into an 80's sing-a-long; not my thing but perhaps George needed to give the (oddly square) crowd what it wanted. I would have preferred The Crying Game followed by something by The Twin (which probably wouldn't have got 'em hollering) or Jesus Loves You (which probably would). Or Funtime!
I bought some fantastic B-Rude badges in the bar which I shall be wearing with pride. Boy George I adore you.
I didn't accompany Dawn to Yo! Suzi afterwards as I was gearing up for two solid days of finishing off new work (and would be showing you the results on here now had my camera not decided to give up on me this morning!)... I had a very productive weekend while Crazy G was transplanted to the sofa in 'the football room'. Even the cat (who hates me) came to join me once or twice such was G's overriding involvement. I guess I better get used to it for the next few weeks!