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Pavilion Theatre. Bournemouth. 16th Nov. Only You. Only me. A Ha.

November 18, 2017

The morning came and my home faces were gone, and it was back to the road, albeit a day trip, as I have decided after all to head back to Brighton for tomorrow’s day off.

I checked out at midday and Vinny and I drove to Bournemouth.

With no hotel to book into, we arrive soon after half 2, and I sit in my room, on its love worn sofa, finishing my London blog.

This venue has not the state and finery of the Palladium, though while backstage is more cobbled and dated, it has a far warmer atmosphere.
It is well trodden and looks little updated from the days of Carry On Cabaret, but is a warm bosom of a cast space, and immediately I am comforted.
Coming in to town we were gifted another vision of a shimmering sea and I felt the succour of many homes.

Front of house again is plainer, but well considered and handsomely proportioned. It holds a show very well.

Dougie reminds me that we are always kindly received here.

We sound check, and the room plays nicely.

I have dinner, and then make myself as presentable as my carcass allows.
We warm up.

I like that we have been increasing our Beatles repertoire.

It is payoff for the day after day humdrum of repeated scales and pitched yawns.

On stage and the show.

The set unfolds neatly.
I fell over my words a bit, introducing songs.

I seem to have lost confidence again in my articulacy.

I become aware that some people have returned for their second or third shows and I worry they think me contrived.

There are the stories behind the songs I write, and as I tell them truly, they follow only the same trajectory because facts is a straight line.
I develop by repetition, concise ways of relaying them.
There are metaphors that land and I come to trust in them.
Then I despise my own rote speak and feel disingenuous in my feigned spontaneity, so look for a different language,
thereby stepping aside for Stutter Moyet.
A bit like Stagger Lee, only more of a wanker.

I really enjoyed singing tonight.
Again the set streams past me.
A good sign when even I am not bored.

I am so heartened by the reactions the show has been getting.
It makes this life of car and venue and hotel room and filthy burger so utterly rewarding.
I can’t believe my good fortune.

Mute are releasing that new orchestral Only You 2017 recording.
It takes my voice and some of Vince’s original synth work and marries it with an orchestral arrangement.
I actually find it very moving.
There is something about it that squeezes my chest, like a dream of an old room we thought we might never enter again.
Weirdly it takes me into my youth in a way the original doesn’t.
Like finding a photo you don’t remember having taken but where you were wearing a long forgotten favourite jumper.
I like it very much.

I was reading about the reactions to it on some of my social pages and found someone berating me somewhat. Apropos nothing and probably just because they enjoy a scold.
They said I hated my old songs
(I don’t)
That I won’t play them live
(I do, quite a few)
and that I might change my mind when I saw my bank balance rise.

It made me really weary.

Like all my music could possibly be about is money.
Like I never knowingly took a pay cut and an audience cut in order to own myself.
That my history is less precious to me than it is them.
That my continued existence can only have value to the stage if it is to make a casual listener mum-dance for an hour and a half, ever mindful that their 50p 35 years ago owns both me and my freedom of expression.
For perpetuity.

I need remember what put me here?

I do.

Immigration.
My parents’ hard graft.
The NHS
Tax contributions.
Community.
Paternal child care.
The fidelity of those who allow me a voice, and find value in it,
and who have grown with me when I was not just the flavour of the month to be whipped up with every other proponent of the 80’s pop milieu.
A lawyer that did not bill me.
A fan that created an online community for no other reward than communication.
Colleagues that stood by me when they were told I was a spent force. Agents that played the slow game.
We, who recognise age has its value and place and wisdom and beauty.

You are not an arbiter for every taste.
Not all ‘fans’ are made in your image.
That’s a God complex, and If I wasn’t meant to age, why did my tits drop?

Maybe I will play Only You when me bank balance feels the benefit?

Christ sakes.

Find some value in your life.
Your life here and now.
Today.
Older.
It exists.

Old songs that I can connect with, I play.
What I don’t take are requests.
No apologies for that.
None.
You don’t go to see Harry Potter and expect scenes from Lord Of The Rings, at your random request.
Even if both films share an actor.

We rehearse long and apply much thought to develop a show.
I’m not a wedding singer.
I don’t have a single client.
If all you want are hits, stick with the X Factor and I won’t complain about your absence.
Promise.

Rant done.
Plenty more to come if required.
I didn’t shoot my load in the 80’s.
I have reserves.
I am woman.
Singing woman.
Who does other shit too.

I have a gig tonight.
Cardiff.
I will be playing Only You.
Same as I have every show for some many, many years.
All Ears welcome

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