Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rock on

david essexIt’s been quite a while since I’ve been to a gig so I jumped at the chance of a free ticket to see David Essex with Mike who was reviewing the concert for the local paper. I’ve never been particularly great with the names of musicians, let alone the names and lyrics of their songs but David Essex was a name I remembered well from growing up in the seventies. I rather scorned mere pop music at the time and my musical tastes veered towards the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and The Doors but I remembered liking him a lot. He seemed to have something a bit more gritty about him than the rest of the stuff that you’d hear on Springbok Radio and LM Radio. I may not have remembered what he looked like but I remembered Lamplight, even some of its lyrics.

Rather than take in the supporting performance, a band Mike had never heard of before (and he knows every band going!), we had a drink in the pub across the road from the Royal Concert Hall. So, by the time we took our seats as interval was coming to an end, the place was already full. The place was packed with ‘women of a certain age’. Um, that would be women of my age and a bit older. I remarked to Mike that I wasn’t sure if such a large conglomeration of middle-aged spread and sensible hair dos was reassuringly suburban or scarily so. Suburban they may have been, middle-aged they definitely were, but those women sure knew how to greet an idol.

En masse they rose, screaming and cheering, as David Essex tottered, I mean, strutted on to the stage.

Overlooking the shoulders of someone in front of me, I had a look at the concert’s large, glossy programme and immediately remembered what he looked like. How could I forget? I may not have fancied him at the time, but he’d had a memorable look, a glam-rocker sultriness that could be rather sexy at times.

Although I was completely unfamiliar with his more recent stuff, I remembered all his big hits as he belted them out to an adoring audience. We were too far away for me to see what his face looked like. Had we been closer I may have recognised the man on stage. All I could see was a slim man with white hair, dressed in a stylish black suit and holding a microphone while very loud David Essex music filled the auditorium. He didn’t move much but he’d occasionally lift a leg and then seem to totter backwards. He dragged the microphone stand across the stage much like a limp accoutrement rather than with the assured, sexually aggressive stance of a rock star.

Was that really David Essex on stage?

Well, he may not have the youthful presence of old but the voice is as strong as ever. It was good to hear the old songs again. The newer stuff was anodyne, middle-of-the-road and instantly forgettable but his fans lapped it up. It’s good to know that pop idols don’t have to die young to carry on rocking.

After the concert, just outside the hall, we saw a rather large pool of blood, obviously very fresh, on the pavement. Evidence of Nottingham’s notorious crime rate? Or the aftermath of a tussle between middle-aged women for a signed concert programme?


Blogger Pam said...

Maybe it's the remains of the virgin that David Essex demands be sacrificed before every gig. He may look like the nice guy you take home to mother but he's really a hardcore Satanist.

1:01 am  
Blogger DougZAR said...

I can admit it now, too: I was a teenage David Essex fan. I even watched 'Silver Dream Racer' numerous times, but that was largely because of the motorcycle racing. And he once sat near me at a Juluka concert in the Good Hope Centre.

7:26 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Pam : Are you being serious?

DougZAR: Did your heart flutter when you sat near you? :-)

2:18 pm  
Blogger Dawn said...

I was always a fan of his. I enjoyed his music and I have always thought that my late brother looked like him, as they both aged. The blood thing is a bit freaky though, huh?

4:18 am  
Blogger Paul said...

My sister will go mad! She adores him and has done since has been since around '75. Her bedroom was covered in posters of him, each of which she kissed every night religiously!
Oh... and I once sang at a karaoke in Chessington and he was in the audience! As we were leaving he said "Nicely sung!" to me as I passed his table. Top bloke!

Glad you enjoyed the show!!

3:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me this..

12:48 pm  

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