Tuesday, 11 May 2010

'I have confidence that spring will come again...'

This weekend I embarked on the Miss Jones Legends Tour Summer 10. Stay your eager credit cards, though. This does not involve me renting the London Palladium and performing the highlights from my 36-year career of singing along to the stereo equipment of the time. [Set list: The Kids From Fame songbook, pre-1983 Disney favourites, Abba's The Name Of The Game, encoring with I've Never Been To Me; merchandise: tapestry kit where you can sew my face in wool, bracelet featuring the legend WWMJD? (What Would Miss Jones Do? Answer: nothing for as long as possible, then something will probably happen anyway to bring about a resolution.)]

No, I am in the audience, saluting various of my heroes, clapping vehemently, wiping away mascara-streaked tears of music-prompted emotion and thinking uncharitable thoughts about whoever is sitting next me when that person is not a close friend/family member.

So, Saturday:

Julie Andrews.

More specifically:

An Evening With Julie Andrews.

As you may know if you have read any papers over the last couple of days, this differentiation is kind of a big deal to some people.

My concert companion Ms H and I are big fans of L'Andrews. We have done the Sound Of Music tour in Salzburg. You haven't truly breached the barriers of global understanding until you have spent two hours singing along to The Lonely Goatherd with a multi-national group of strangers in a minibus. Look, here is Ms H recreating the classic Doh-Re-Mi sequence on the ACTUAL REAL STEPS. (You may, at this point, notice that I have learned some Photoshop skills other than 'Crop' and 'Save As'.)

So we were sufficiently au fait with the Julie Andrews back story to know that she would not be swooping up and down the octaves like a swallow with the head of Mariah Carey. Or the head of Julie Andrews in 1965. Also, Dame Julie is 74. Her voice was broken some time ago and, as a result of this, reportedly, so was her heart. Just as well she would be performing this rare UK concert in an intimate, atmospheric place, with the support of a small and friendly crowd:

Oh shit.

You would think that if you cared enough about Julie Andrews to stump up the ludicrous ticket price, you would know that a three-hour feat of vocal endurance and regular towelling-downs was not on the cards. And even given that, it seems that some people find it hard to be as tirelessly compassionate as me and Ms H. The likes of Angelina Jolie and Eddie Izzard are often bothering us with phone calls and emails asking how it is we can give, give and then give a little bit more. Emotionally, of course. Not financially. We've spent all our money on Julie Andrews tickets.

So we were full of love and care for the Julie Andrews Experience (they totally should have called it that), however compromised. I'm a sap at the best of times, which is why I spent two hours on Sunday afternoon watching A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray.

It was a strange evening, obviously. Unlikely song choices, bizarre vanity-project-meets-school-assembly storytelling. But also JA sitting on a stool, in shadow, listening to other people on her stage, singing her songs, because she can't, breaking your heart so it almost matched hers. And occasionally venturing a whole song for herself, slaying you with her sincerity and soul on My Funny Valentine.

So why did Dame Julie rent the O2 arena and make an attempt at late-onset career suicide? I don't know. I don't know everything, although this news may rock some of you to your very foundations. If you believe some of the FURIOUS and DISAPPOINTED and ROBBED concert-goers, it was to rake in great big treasure chests of lovely golden cash for her retirement fund. If you believe me (let's remember: a sap), she's trying to grab a little bit back of what was taken away from her, in the only way she can. That way is a little eccentric, yes, but most 74-year-olds are a little eccentric, and spending an evening with many of them would probably entail listening to them read out sections of The Daily Mail. Of course, some of the FURIOUS and DISAPPOINTED and ROBBED concert-goers would probably think that was kind of a good time.


Anonymous said...


Also, on the post below, I love the way the pretentious chinaware kind of goes with the notice on several levels – both on the 'We're a bit crazy and Mad-hatters tea party here' level and in the we're so style- over-function we can't actually get the notice the right way up. Genius. Is it somewhere local to us?

Ms Rose

Simon said...

I am unnerved by Mis H's salute!

Miss Jones said...

Ms Rose, yes, it is the very chi-chi tea salon on Lordship Lane x

Anonymous said...

Thought it might be.

Ms Rose