I realise the O2 has been beautifully reviewed and photographed, but I can’t write this without mentioning the O2 first. Maggie and me have had an amazing two days and have come out the other side aching from dancing and laughing, hoarse from singing and talking, chatting with new found friends.
Firstly we must thank Jeff for the amazing opportunity of getting us both into the front few rows – we were happy where we started off, but ecstatic to be where we ended up. We loved meeting up with everyone before and after the show and it never fails to amaze me how quickly everyone gels together and the good times begin. Thank you for that everybody. The fact I got a ball (despite trying for decades) was the icing on the cake – I caught Rod’s eye, beckoned to him, and he threw it!!!!!!! I still cannot believe it – so happy. I must thank Maz for giving me one of her balls a year or so back, it was really kind of her and shows her generous nature and the true spirit of being a Rod fan – thanks Maz. Jeff and his daughter nearly got one too, but an athletic soul with long arms beat them to it. A happy night. We thought Rod’s voice was strong and powerful and that it was a brilliant show.
Home on the train, sorted the animals, a few hours’ sleep, then back on the train to City airport to catch our plane to Glasgow. We tend to panic a bit, me and Maggie, ‘have we got our tickets?’ , ‘What if the plane’s delayed?’ ‘What if Rod cancels?’ etc. As people filtered into the departure lounge we thought we saw someone we recognised, then another…then they smiled…..it was the band and singers! We tried to remain cool, calm, collected – not something we do easily. Then Emerson, Jimmy and his wife sat opposite us and we started chatting, got a sneaky photo taken by a women who was clearly bewildered as to who these people were, and told them we had enjoyed the show at the O2. They chatted easily with us and Emerson mentioned he had met Mike Walton and his wife Carole at an earlier show, they asked our names and couldn’t have been friendlier. The girls all smiled, waved and commented on the plane and we had a chat with Ruby’s band member in Sisterhood Alyssa Bonagura who looked every inch the rock star in her long coat and dark glasses, I imagine Ruby travelled with Rod! The stewardess, herself a Rod fan, even gave us a couple of freebies. We all walked off the plane together – it was fantastic. We felt so lucky and even bought a scratch card, sure that luck would continue – oh well, maybe another time.
I can’t stress enough how friendly everyone, without exception, was, in Glasgow. The helpful taxi drivers, staff at the Premier Inn, security at the concert and everyone we chatted to.
The party atmosphere of the O2 was missing before the show, but we didn’t have everyone there to party with anyway and only saw a few faces we recognised. Once in the SSE though we soon made friends and chatted to people around us. Glasgow is so obviously proud of it’s venue.
The Sisterhood were good – told us we were ‘amazing’ as soon as they came out?? Not sure what we had all done to warrant that. I like them, think they do a few good tunes, but didn’t really like their rendition of ‘Dock of the Bay’ – some things should be left alone in my opinion. Ruby didn’t appear to be able to whistle so someone in the audience helped out on that bit – very well, in fact. The sound certainly carries in the venue.
The front rows were up and dancing even before the curtain went up and the whole evening was loud, very loud, the crowd were the most engaged I have ever witnessed on such a large scale. We were on the floor at the side but crept forward as the night went on with other ‘die hards’ – security were strict, but not over bearing.
Rod was obviously excited and on top form, thrilled to be there in what he called his ‘spiritual home’
What he did next deflated Maggie and me and, if we could have got to him then, he would certainly have got a piece of our minds …two women scorned!! Not to be messed with. Rod said he had played London, ‘ the place of my birth ‘ the previous evening and called it ‘…boring London’ and ‘…dull London.’ He said he looked at the sides in Glasgow and everyone was up and dancing, in London they were all ‘…sitting on their hands…’ Is he aware of security and the restrictions? It appeared to us he was very fickle and we felt sad and hurt and took it personally that we had travelled all that way to hear him say that about his, and our home town. We had just been telling the people around us how good it had been in London, one woman told us not to worry ‘it is just show business.’ It took us a song or two to get back into it after that, but we soon put it behind us and loved the rest of the show. He included Every Beat of my Heart in the set list and the roar when he sang You’re in my Heart ‘…Celtic, united, but baby...’ was something I have never heard as a West Ham fan. We felt Rod’s voice was a little weaker than in London, but of course, he had had two shows in 24 hours – ours were definitely showing signs of wear!
The band and singers were, as usual, great – I absolutely adore listening to Jimmy on the sax and the strings were phenomenal with a real celtic flair. We were treated to a tap dance and there was a real party atmosphere. It was time for the footballs. Having got one the night before I said to Maggie that it was her turn tonight, she had to get one. We went to the front and Rod threw one to her. She caught it and was so thrilled, neither of us could believe our luck – 2 balls in two concerts! We had a laugh at the airport the next morning when we were told the coveted ball would need deflating a little in case it popped on the plane. The poor man in departures was almost threatened with death if he did not bring the ball back. We joined the queue to board with the man at the desk gently pressing the ball under his arm to expel some air, like a little round bagpipe. It was returned to Maggie with a hair clip in the valve and it arrived home, like us, unscathed.
At the airport we read two reviews in the free papers around. The Sun titled their piece ‘Rocker Rod’s on form as his Ruby Sparkles’ but mentioned about ‘…beats boring London.’ The Mail had quite a positive review on the front page too. It had been a dream to see Rod in Glasgow and the experience was great, the show amazing, we had a fantastic time but, sorry Rod, there was nothing wrong with London – your comments hurt two of your most loyal fans.
Review By Sharon Brown
Photos By Sharon Brown
Montage By Tommy Kevitt