Sunday, May 28, 2006

Blue Nile

My friend, Brian rang me to tell me that he had a spare ticket to see The Blue Nile who were playing at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall and to ask me if I would like to go with him.

You can guess my reply!

We have been fans of the band since our teenage years and spent many nights annoying the hell out of our neighbours when we were flatmates by playing our Blue Nile LP's loudly at all sorts of ungodly times. So to be finally going to see them play live at a gig that had sold out many months ago was a dream come true.

Brian drove up from Sheffield early so that we would have plenty of time to get there. He had been to see them play live at a venue in Liverpool a few days before and said that they had been fantastic.

We set off to the gig with plenty of time to spare and after finding a parking space we made our way to the concert hall. The place was thronged with excited fans, eager to see the band play a gig in their home town.

I must admit to being quite surprised at the mix of people there. I expected that it would most likely be people like us, hurtling towards our forties, but there were a lot of younger people there too. They had obviously just recently discovered the genius of Paul Buchanan.

As we stood at the bar for a drink, I noticed a familiar face sitting near by, our old school friend Ian McClure. We joined him and caught up on old times briefly.

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People started heading into the hall for the start of the show and we said our goodbye's to Ian and joined them.

The band came on stage to a hero's welcome. Just five guys with a whole lot of talent and absolutely no stage show. Simple and effective and it worked well.

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They worked their way through all the classic songs but the hightlight, and crowd favourite was Tinseltown In the Rain. The audience sang their hearts out along with Paul.

The band were in no hurry to finish and the show over-ran but those who left early missed a real treat. For the encore they came back on and sang the Frank Sinatra classic, Strangers In the Night. Fantastic!

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Brian and I headed back to Paisley and chanced our arm to get into the Wee Barrel Pub in an attempt to see another old school friend, Alan McCready who is a regular there.

The pub was closing and our attempts to get in were unsuccesful. When we asked if Alan was inside we were met with a wall of silence and suspicious looks. I think the regulars thought that we were hitmen!

Anyway, eventually Alan and his wife, Margaret emerged and we chatted for half an hour before heading home with The Blue Nile blaring over the car stereo. Just like old times, really!

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