The first time I saw Rod Stewart in concert, was a couple of days after the devastating Birmingham Pub bombing on November 21st 1974. The Tavern in the Town, one of the two establishments targeted, was adjacent to the Odeon where Rod performed. I would’ve been 15 years old. I can’t imagine how they managed to continue, but they did. I’d loved his music for a few years then, and had a number of his LPs.
Fast forward 38 years, and Barry and I boogied to a spectacular performance at The Mission Estate in Napier. We were a good distance from the stage at the outdoor concert in a natural amphitheatre, way up on a hill watching. Hurrah for huge screens!
When I heard late last year Rod was planning a concert on his Blood Red Roses tour, at Hove Cricket Ground, on Friday July 12th, I decided it was time to see him again. This time nearer the stage! I wasn’t crazy enough to get seats right at the front (though on the night I wished I had!), but to one side. The three tickets cost me over £400. Rather enough I think. Blood Red Roses is the title of his 30th solo album, which reached number one apparently, released almost 50 years after he signed his first solo deal. Blimey. I was only nine years old …
Why Hove you may ask? Well because I hoped it would coincide with my younger daughter’s holiday from her job; Hove is her ‘home’ when she’s in England. And thankfully, though it took a bit of organising, we met up, spent a few days together, AND sang and danced to Rod.
The support act for Rod’s current tour is Johnny Mac and The Faithful. They reportedly became friends with following a concert in Glasgow in 2017 where they opened for him. Shortly afterwards they jointly wrote the song ‘Julia’ for Rod’s latest album. Rod obviously still enjoys listening to them. Kim captured him watching, mesmerised, just metres from our seat, while Barry and I were at the bar buying drinks! Damn! It’s unlikely I’ll ever get a chance to be that close again …
A great concert, I adored every minute Rod. Worth every penny. Continuing to wear it remarkably well 45 years after our first ‘meeting’.
Brighton to Bugsworth including a spot of Thrilling (really!) Cricket
I also love Brighton. It’s probably the only place in England that reminds me of Gisborne in New Zealand, Barry’s home town. Rod said he used to come and mess about on the beach here as a ‘Beatnik‘ (I had to look that term up!).
The night after Rod’s magnificent show (sadly cut short at 9pm as there’s a noise curfew; he wasn’t impressed neither was the crowd), we walked along the sea front and had a few drinks at one of the beach bars. The moon was almost full – what a stunning sight to see its watery reflection next to the colourful pier.
Spookily the following day, Sunday 14th July, the Black Caps played England in the final of the Cricket World Cup. If anyone’s somehow unaware of the nuances of that match, let’s just say it turned into an unexpectedly exciting nail biter. A draw. ‘Won’ by England due to a rather odd rule. I never thought I’d ever say the words ‘exciting’ and ‘cricket’ in the same sentence! Maybe there’s more to the game than I imagined …
Barry, Kimberley and I watched a few hours in the Sussex Cricketer, before driving to Gatwick to drop Kimberley off and then head back to Areandare. We arrived after midnight, over six hours of driving.
It didn’t matter. It was wonderful to see my daughter – and Rod was priceless. He’s still an outstanding performer, with a strong voice – though maybe not quite as lithe a dancer as he used to be. But goodness he’s 74 years young! What a star.
We’d arranged for Phil and Cal Robinson to bring a picnic lunch the following day, not realising at the time we’d return so late! They’re originally from Derby, emigrated to NZ (Gisborne) 12 years ago, here on holiday, going back to Gisborne in a few weeks – then returning to England to live in December.
They ‘boat sat’ Areandare for a week, two years ago, when we went to Scotland. I’d put in a link for that holiday here – only sadly I never wrote a blog! My only ducking in the canal happened on the first evening of that trip, and I didn’t recover my mojo for quite a while afterwards. Such a shame now not to have posts and photos from that time.
On Tuesday Militza and her catering team (!) treated us to fish and chips again, cooked outside on their incredible camp fires. Delicious. She even cooked strawberry fritters – another first for me!
Tuesday was our friend Sandra’s birthday, as it was two years ago when we were in Scotland along with 17 others celebrating her 50th on a week’s hire boat holiday. This year she chose France for the occasion – though her boat can just about be spotted opposite Areandare! We all raised a glass/bottle to her to wish her ‘Bon anniversaire’.
What an abundance of special experiences. We feel fortunate and grateful in so many ways every day …