Saturday, 21 January 2012
An Evening with Alfie Boe – Me and 2499 other people!
We had waited months for this event to come around and were really excited at the prospect of seeing Alfie live on stage.
He did not disappoint but The Plymouth Pavilions is dire!
Driving into Plymouth we followed the signs to The Pavilions quite easily only to find ourselves right outside with nowhere to park. A small sign advised us to go back to the traffic lights and turn left to find the car park. Why was it not signed before hand to avoid all the congestion out side the venue.
On arriving at the multi story car park ( over Toys R Us) we slowly made our way up the ramp as every car was stopped by the barrier to take a ticket an almost blank ticket ? We left the car only to see a long line of people at the pay station. We joined the queue which moved very slowly as many people were having difficulty in operating the machine. You put your almost blank ticket in the machine and had to choose how much you wanted to pay and it took some little while for the machine to click from £1 to £3 or £4 . Eventually the ticket was spat out – “should it be put on display in the car “ – not sticky so probably not. We asked around and the consensus was – NO!
Whilst waiting at the pay station Mike overheard people saying it was free after 10 p.m so he paid £3 as did many others. Whoops.
Right, which way was the walkway? Follow the crowd seemed sensible as we did not see a sign. Passing through the doors from the car park we found ourselves in a stair well, up or down was the question then. Mike being tall craned his neck and could just see the walkway below us so down we went. From there plain sailing into the Pavilions. Phew! Scruffy looking place and not somewhere you would want relax and enjoy
a drink or a meal before the show.
a The arena appeared to be more or less full – 80% the silver haired brigade and 20% under 50’s. The orchestra took their places on stage – a very large orchestra and then – ON CAME THE MAN.
Every song, every note was superb. He joked with the audience in between songs and appeared very relaxed with his new found fame. A humble man with his feet firmly on the ground.
The interval came all too quickly but it gave everyone a chance to stand up and move about. The seats were beginning to get uncomfortable and the non existent air conditioning meant that we were all melting having arrived in winter clothes. Stupidly!
I enjoyed it all, the orchestra was brilliant and showed a lot of diversity from Classical to Pop to Rock and Jazz. I won’t go into too much detail as there were several surprises – musically.
At one stage everyone took a photo a la Robbie Williams – apparently.
A medley of James Bond tunes showed off Alfie’s voice a treat but the Zed Zeppelin song was just a bit LOUD!
The concert finished with Alfie Singing and playing the drums! WHAT A GUY.
Despite spending ages Googling I have been unable to identify the wonderful orchestra. I might come across it yet………….
So, after a magnificent evening made more interesting by sitting next to a couple who know Alfie and had been to see him backstage, we slowly left the Arena and made our way back to the car.
They told me they were involved with a Charity & by Googling I found them here - http://www.woodenspoon.com/devon
Well worth a mention – where would we be without these selfless people.
We sat in a barely moving queue for about 25 minutes but eventually could see the barrier and the road to freedom. Mike inserted the card – the machine spat it out. He inserted it again and again, the machine spat it out. Off went the engine, I could feel several pairs of eyes boring into the back of my head whilst Mike ( bravely) left the car to seek help. I sat there expecting a shunt or a hammering on the window but no – everyone must have been in a mellow mood. Mike returned having put another £! on the ticket and we were released. No honking of car horns in derision, no one chased us so I guess this probably happens on a regular basis.
It was then just a case of driving home. Easy? No. Mike thought he knew the way but did not know the old route was undergoing road works and we went round in a very large circle, then back on ourselves before we hit the Embankment road. Plus, there is something wrong with our head lights on dip; in the darkness of the motorway it was extremely difficult to see far enough ahead and the heavy drizzle did not improve matters. The car is booked in for a check on Monday.
We arrived home at 11.30 or thereabouts feeling both elated and stressed.
It was worth every second to have seen Alfie live again but we won’t be going back to the Pavilions – there must be better venues.