Sunday, 23 May 2010

'Just remember what your old pal said...'

This week the Why Miss Jones Legends Tour rolled into the Southbank. Into the Southbank? Onto the Southbank? Whatever. Legends are beyond the laws of prepositions.

Out of all the hundreds of people hanging out in the many capillaries of the Festival Hall on a Wednesday night in May – the laptop lizards, heads down, engaged in Very Important Projects; groups of girls meeting up for after-work drinks who don't want to go to a bar because one of them is pregnant and they'd like to maintain the facade that their friendship is about so much more than alcohol; stylish yet vulnerable female bloggers in their mid-30s waiting to see Randy Newman with their mum – it's funny that the person who smells really very strongly of that damp smell when your washing doesn't dry properly, which is also a little bit like wee, that person who is sitting at the adjacent sofa to you in the bar, should then be sitting right in front of you during the concert. Lean forward a bit can't you, DampWhiff? I've got a cold and everything, but it's not that bad.

Randy Newman, if you're asking, was brilliant. I'm a compulsive clock-watcher at events like this. Not as much as at the theatre, where, over the years, I've missed some truly life-affirming dramatic moments because I've been craning to make out the hands of my watch in the dim lights of a nearby exit sign. Even if I'm having a Perfectly Nice Time, I'm still wondering how soon I can get outside and feel slightly less like I'm about to have a claustrophobic episode. Not with Randy. Were it not for the fact that I get really hungry about every two hours, I could have sat and listened to him all night. The last time I felt like that was with Lee Hazlewood a few years ago at the same venue, and he's dead now, so hang in there, Randy, won't you?

*Crunching change of subject alert*

One of my very best friends is 40 today. It seems ludicrous that I now have close friends who are 40. I realise this is galling to anyone over that age, just as I want to punish hard anyone who says, 'Oh my god! I'm 25! That's, like, SO OLD!' Still, the fact remains that most of the time, I can't believe anyone in my peer group is old enough to buy a malibu and Coke in a pub without a push-up bra and lipstick on. So here's Randy, without the satire and without the shadows – unless I'm blanking some very deep subtext – just for her.

I love the way that the best singers aren't always the best singers.

I'm sure the birthday girl couldn't care less about Randy Newman, by the way. I just couldn't find a good clip of Olivia Newton-John doing Xanadu.

No comments: