Another Bucket List Band ticked off. I’d always loved The Pretenders, so it was great to get the opportunity to see them. Especially so as they rarely play Belfast, 2001 was their last visit according to internet research.
As I walked towards The Limelight, I could see Venue Staff unloading beverages, presumably for the band. All bags from Tesco. Nothing but Tesco Finest for Chrissie Hynde.
This was billed as “Unreleased songs and absolutely no hits whatsoever. Well, maybe a few” on the poster. That is exactly what we got. Even though some of the big hits were missing, there was enough to keep people happy.
The first of those hits caused the crowd to think that Chrissie didn’t know where she was.
As she shouted “It’s great to be here in …………” followed by silence, before people started shouting “BELFAST!!!!!”
Turns out, she was waiting for the drum solo to Message Of Love. It was the Drummer’s fault. It’s always the Drummer’s fault. Oldest rule in rock n roll.
The unreleased songs referred to in the build-up? The Pretenders have a new album coming out in September 2023.
Hynde loved not quite a story, but rants and statements inbetween songs. Known for being a bit of a Sweary Mary, she did not disappoint in that regard.
She had the whole crowd bamboozled as she recalled the places they have visited during their brief Irish tour, naming some place that she wasn’t sure what the correct pronunciation was.
There was an awkward silence as nobody knew where she was referring to. Nobody could even try and guess where she was referring to. To this day, everybody who was still is still confused.
Although, her lack of knowledge of how to pronounce place names might be down to the fact that she declared herself to be the only American with no Irish ancestry whatsover.
A big fan of The Smiths, she recalled conversations with Johnny Marr and wished a Happy Birthday to Morrissey. The Belfast crowd were agreeable to him getting Birthday wishes, although he might not have been in the mood to celebrate following the death of Andy Rourke.
Also on her hit list of rants was to ask why bands prefer to play stadiums instead of venues such as The Limelight.
We even had a quiz, with fans being asked what band’s t-shirt they were wearing. It looked like an easy one, as nearly everybody shouted out Joy Division.
Turns out the answer was Low, she even went to see them in concert in London.
There might not have been a prize for guessing what t-shirt she was wearing or for guessing what place she was talking about. However, there were some people who left the venue feeling like winners.
Chrissie Hynde threw some of her plectrums into the crowd. It was like in The Crystal Maze in that round where people are in a glass box scrambling to get prizes.
And I was one of the lucky ones to get a plectrum.