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24/06/11 @ 08:14:45 pm, Categories: General, 762 words   English (UK)

After the RAH concerts we had to get Julia’s mum back to Heathrow and then headed on to Plymouth for the (sadly) last leg of the tour. Can 2,5 weeks really almost be over?

We arrived quite late as we lost some time having a look at Windsor and Eton on the way. A detour that was well worth it. Once we got to the hotel we saw that there was a small cinema just across the street and we thought we might just pop in and watch “Green Lantern". Little did we know, that in this case you really should judge a book by its cover. We cannot give any names, but we swear we ended up in the shabbiest cinema of the Western Hemisphere. It was smelly, it was derelict, the 3D glasses only almost worked (making it 2.5 D we guess) and we did not dare take off the jackets or place our bags on the floor as everything was a bit sticky. This overshadowed the movie somewhat, but we survived. And let’s not even get started with our hotel room….

But anyways, after some frantic online weather forecast checks we bought a second umbrella and made our way to the stage door. We already had a small crowd and this kept growing and growing. The final headcount brought us to a little over 50.

Just when a light rain had set in we could see Mr. Ball walking (!) towards the venue. Last tour Plymouth was a drive-in and come to the barrier affair. So this was a nice surprise and credit where credit is due. He really worked his way through the entire crowd very patiently, even when the rain intensified. So many thanks for that!

We then had a table booked in the restaurant in town, that’s why we could not get back to you sooner, sorry. For the show we had seats at the very end of the third row, which means practically at the side of the stage and underneath all the speakers, but there were no seats in front of us, which we knew would mean a speedy exit to the stage.

During the opening number you can always tell who did the presale and who did not. That is why we always have a look around. It was quite patchy, fans gathered here and there and we feared this would put a daper on the atmosphere, but no, after a “slow-ish” start Plymouth really got going. The one thing that did surprise us though was the zero-reaction to his statement that he went to school in Plymouth, just down the road. Usually you’d expect cheers, but none came.

Michael had tweeted before the concert that he was “in a frisky mood". And so he was. Bouncy Ball is what we thought, ots of jumping up and down, always in motion. He was on a high from the opening notes. It was quite a joy to watch.

When we had the group flash, he had a little rant over mobile phones and flash photography. We would like to add singing along to songs Michael is singing to that list! At the Albert Hall someone behind us sang the entire Les Mis section with him, and badly! But you really don’t want to argue during “Empty Chairs".

When he talked about Neil Diamond and how Michael became really interested in music in the 70s he said that all this happened in Plymouth as he grew up there. Another Plymouth memory was going to the pub around the corner from the venue with Stephen Sondheim when they did Passion there. You could really tell that he felt a strong connection to the place.

Party time was a riot with almost everyone on their feet and lots and lots of cheering. It is great that he takes out one of his ear monitors before “Can’t help falling in love", which means that he can hear all the buzz from the crowd.

Afterwards he even came down to the fans and signed some more and took photos, when he could just as well have jumped into the bus and waved at us all. Oh and they did leave all in one bus (Michael and his singers). It seems that we have lost his bus and driver. We will keep you posted on this.

So ten down and two to go. Tomorrow morning we will be off to Bournmouth. It will be great to see the BIC again after our little venue tour. And we might even get some sunshine…. at last.


On the road with Michael Ball.
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