Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Soupy, soupy twist

So like I went to see Hugh Laurie play the blues with his Copper Bottom Band last week.  As is characteristic, while I had it on my diary for about 2 months, I bought the show ticket the day before the event on StubHub and therefore had to pay an ungodly amount.  I was sucker enough to pay 3x the face value and someone out there was clever enough to capitalize on it.  People should do studies on latifs like me to determine my willingness to pay for non-committance.  Oh wait, they already do.

So off I go to the quirky Wilbur to sit on table B, seat 4.  Pleased I am to see that it is 10 feet from the piano (see picutre for proof).  We all know our man plays the piano.  Excitement levels increase at the thought of being so close to celebrity crush while he croons.  Don't even mind sharing table with nice woman and husband and son.

Told Nice Woman that she could be Peter O'Toole's sister while making small talk before show begins (as you do).  Turns out that NW is Hugh Laurie's sister.  Both have faces like horses so should have known.  NW only found out that little brother was playing in Boston the day before so they high-tailed it from Pittsburgh or some such to buy scalped tickets (also for exorbitant price) to see him in action.  Mewonders if there is no love lost there.  Still, she was all very excited to be there and that was nice to see.

The crowd was very mixed.  Young ones and old ones, pressed ones and hippie ones, black ones and white ones.  I tried not to get too annoyed with them (especially the young ones) for encroaching on what should obviously be a private moment between me and Hugh, viz him singing to me, but it was difficult.  Even now, when I think of the phenomenal success the man has become, I feel jealous, almost as if his talent is supposed to be reserved for the enjoyment of those who grew up on P.G. Wodehouse and watched him bring it to life and gleefully stalked him and Fry on the internet and reserved the watching of every single House episode as a secret treat meant only for those deserving after a long week/day/hour of backbreaking consulting work.  Still.  Must share I suppose. 

The show was spectacular.  Vincent Henry played two saxophones at the same time.  Laurie brought on whiskey in little shot glasses to refresh the band.  Sister Jean McClain is now my new favourite person (she sang backup for Tina Turner, you remember).  You should hear her sing.  Kevin Breit did unspeakable things with the guitar (to remind of Peter Tickell and his electric violin at Sting's Back to Bass concert). All throughout the show, Hugh had his eyes either tightly shut concentrating on letting his right foot stomp accentuate the music or gaping at his band members, clearly their biggest fan.  It is so much fun to go to concerts where the folks playing the music are having so much fun.  And the music was lovely too.  All rhythmy and new orleansy and old country and swanee river.  Lovely. 

NW asked how I enjoyed the show after it was all done and dusted.  I told her I was speechless because he was so tremendous.  She seemed pleased to hear that.  I did try and hang about in the hopes that he'd come out to see her and I'd get to talk to him but after a little while of pretending to check my phone and waiting for the crowd to dissipate, it got a little creepy.  Maybe if you were here, we'd have gone together and we'd linger back talking to each other and that would be less groupie.  So basically I'm saying it's your fault I didn't get to meet Hugh Laurie.

Buy the album if you haven't already.  I know you don't like the blues, but buy it anyway.  It has wonderful elements of rhythm and new orleans and old country.  It may even have Swanee River on it.  You can think fondly of me when you hear Buddy Bolden Blues or After You're Gone.  Or even better, Let Them Talk!

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