Well, well, well!
Brighton was in rapt anticipation of the impending visit from Mr. Stewart – far more than circa 1963 when the beach, rather than the Amex Community Stadium, was his stage. They didn’t listen to him then but they certainly do now! Time moves on and so do we….or do we? We still love all the old classics and he didn’t let us down, he sang some, let us sing others.
My lovely husband Keith drove Maggie and me down to Brighton, scarves out the window, music on. Over the day we met up with all the familiar faces, plus some new ones. Part of the whole concert experience for me is this part – meeting like-minded friends, new and old and sharing our common bond, maybe this is even the best part. A couple of pubs, some lunch, then a short walk to the stadium – it stayed dry.
Standing at the barrier we wondered how tight security would be, the Dixie Mix (hope that’s right) seemed as pleased as we were to be there – they got everyone singing along, then came some pyrotechnics, tighter security sending us back to our seats and we were off.
Infatuation opened the show, Rod in his blue jacket (soon discarded in the heat), white shirt and black trousers. This Old Heart of Mine, Tonight’s The Night and Can’t Stop Me Now followed – the crowd were keen and lively and Rod asked if we’d all been drinking – he seemed relaxed, happy and pleased to be in Brighton. He recognised it had taken most people a long while to get to Brighton and told us it had taken him 3 hours – just glad he made it! You Wear it Well was followed by Rod bringing out the microphone stand he’d used with the Faces and it was swung about in true tradition to Stay With Me ‘So Far it’s Wonderful’, declared Rod, we couldn’t agree more. He called us ‘Old Timers’ and said we should pace ourselves- bloody cheek! The girls looked lovely, as always in their blue dresses.
Recognising D-Day and saying we wouldn’t be where we were today without that Rod dedicated Rhythm of My Heart to war veterans with gratitude. Elmore James – Shake Your Money Maker was one of the highlights of the show for me and then he did Forever Young. Rod left for a costume change and the girls did amazing things with the drums and percussion, again looking wonderful in their leopard print dresses.
Returning in a gold suit Rod spoke about his time on Brighton Beach and how, then, he didn’t know he’d be back over 50 years later singing in front of 20,000 plus people and how proud he was of that. He said how he and his mates had hung about Rodean school for girls who weren't in the least bit interested in scruffs like them. He introduced Julia Thornton his harpist and got going again with First Cut is the Deepest, I don’t Wanna Talk About It and Have I told you Lately. By now security who had linked arms in front of us holding everyone back, were singing along and swaying a bit. Dedicating Brighton Beach to his eldest daughter Sarah was another highlight for me – I love that song and we’d had a revision session in the car of the words on the journey down.
She Makes Me Happy was followed by Sweet Little Rock and Roller when, as we’ve come to expect now, Alasdair and Aiden stole the show with Alasdair dancing and Aiden attempting to sing a word or two. There was a bit of soul time, the girls now in red dresses, I have to say how brilliant the musicians are and my particular favourite, Jimmy Roberts, never fails to raise the hairs on the back of my neck – he is a genius.
Rod came out again in some kind of floral shirt and red trousers – not his best choice but we were off again with You’re in my Heart, some of the humorous videos he likes to show and Hot Legs was accompanied by the football bonanza. I said I was getting a ball this time, I was sure I would, knew it would come right at me, but no – the next chance is to win one in the SMILER competition (not a Celtic one thank you). Maggie May (security knew this one well) and Baby Jane closed the show and then the encore of Sailing and Sexy sent us all home slowly (murderous traffic and detours) but very happy. I hope you all enjoy the forthcoming shows and meet ups – Rod fans are the best!
Review By Sharon Brown
Pictures By Sharon Brown