Yes, it was good to meet you too John. However, on a small technicality ...
John Etherington wrote:the wonderful Webbs did a somersault during one number
The girls did synchonised cartwheels
. To ask them to do somersaults (defined as having no feet or hands on the ground) would be asking a little too much of even them!
The Troubadour was a great success, if a little cramped. In the eyes of the staff, I seem to have raised the tone of our little party by ordering Eggs Benedict ... they started referring to me as 'the gentleman'!
What made the RAH for me the third-most memorable of his concerts was the excellent company and outstanding seats. Good to see you again, Rob (who met me quite by chance in a pub in Bournemouth just before the 11 November show). Thank you Ken for the gifts. Thank you Dave for the bear-hug that took this staid Englishman by surprise (but was most welcome). Thank you Paula and sister for entertaining conversation. Thank you Shaunagh, even though you disappeared almost immediately: I would have liked to have got to know you better. Thank you Judy and Catherine for trusting me to navigate you successfully to Janet's Bar. Thank you Mickey_one for offering glimpses into your professional life (the prize for the most colourful character of the night has to go to Mickey_one's guest, who, as the concert progressed, seemed to transfer to a different planet, even sitting on a high balcony rail to be photographed with the band in the background in the middle of a number
There were no great surprises in the set-list or the words, though I did notice a change to the first refrain of Chelse hotel #2: "You just threw it all to the ground". And right at the end, he softened the rather harsh conclusion by singing "That's all, my little darling, I don't think of you that often."
I was a little concerned at Leonard's voice in Who By Fire but, as on other occasions, he seemed to become energised by the warmth surrounding him, so much so that the whole show seemed to grow and grow, until it reached its climax with the roar of approval from the audience at the first singing of the words "Democracy is coming to the USA".
Our seats were outstanding. I was in the front row of Block O, right up against the stage, and at the same level as it. In fact there was a pathway onto the stage at the end of my row, just eight seats away (and guarded by a perfectly human bouncer). Large numbers of roses had been purloined from the Troubadour's table settings, and assorted ladies assembled at this strategic point (stage left) ready to throw them at an appropriate moment. Unfortunately, Leonard always exits stage right, so the first to throw (Mickey-one's friend) failed to attract his attention.
However, two small young women, who I do not know, had a huge bouquet to offer him (neither little nor wild, but hey ... call it poetic license), and by holding it up and waving it whenever he looked their way, they managed to attract Leonard's attention. In spite of the fact that he always exits stage right, with the extraordinary graciousness for which Leonard is justly famous, at the end of I'm Your Man, while the singers and band played on, Leonard stepped over to the entrance stage left, accepted the bouquet and even had a few words with the ladies there.