November began with a day trip to Dublin. Naturally, while I was there, I took the opportunity to check out Street Art. Might as well, seeing as it was my first time there in two years.
Later that week, I did something else I hadn’t done for a long time. Not as long, just over eighteen months. I am of course referring to going to a concert, in this case, Lightning Seeds at The Limelight.
That was then followed by two road trips for Linfield away games, to Portadown and Crusaders.
Sandwiched inbetween that was another road trip, this time to Ards to get some Street Art photos, with a recent event having taken place.
It was a month of doing things I hadn’t done for a while. This time, going on a flight.
The destination was Gatwick, but not to go to London, but Brighton instead.
So many photo adventures, where to start?
Street Art in Brighton, of course. Also, a walk along Beachy Head, OMD in concert, and some sunsets while I was in Brighton.
Back home, a return to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Cliftonville.
Two days later, I headed to The Limelight to see The Charlatans in concert.
The month ended with Linfield matches against Glenavon and Carrick Rangers.
So, it’s Tuesday night in Brighton, i’m at a loose end. What luck that one of my favourite bands are doing a concert at a venue a five minute walk from my hotel. What luck I tell thee.
The trip wasn’t specifically to see OMD, I didn’t get a ticket until one hour before they went on stage for crying out loud.
Of course, as detailed in previous blog posts, I should have been going to London for five days in July (Beck and Duran Duran were scheduled to perform there that weekend) but I changed it to three days in Brighton.
I must admit, I did have a cheeky look out for concert listings, but I did expect this one to bite the dust and be moved to another date, so I held off buying a ticket.
It was a nice option to have for my Tuesday night, it would have been rude not to take it up, especially as this tour doesn’t have a Belfast date.
I arrived at the Ticket Office and purchased an actual ticket. A ticket, in my hand. I didn’t have to download a PDF to my phone.
It did make me feel sad knowing that this could be one of the last paper tickets for a concert I have.
As I entered the venue, I was asked for proof of vaccination status. I know, I was shocked to see a venue actually giving a shit and making an effort.
I showed the card with my vaccination details on it, which was accepted without question, meaning I didn’t have to channel Ian Paisley and start screaming “HOW DARE YOU!!! HOW DARE YOU NOT ACCEPT MY ULSTER BRITISH COVID VACCINATION!!!! CAN I SPEAK TO THE MANAGER??”
Brighton Centre is a curious set-up. For a start, if you have a Standing Ticket, which mine was, you have to exchange it for a wristband to get into the Standing Area.
Naturally, I forgot to get my ticket stub back as I left at the end of the concert. Thankfully, I called in the following morning and they still had some lying about so I was able to get a souvenir, no pun intended,
At every music venue I have been to, the Performance Area has always been on the Ground Floor. Not here. I had to go upstage to where they were performing.
Even stranger, every music venue i’ve been to, when you walk through the doors, you are facing the stage. No here, the doors were at the side of the stage.
The floor wasn’t that large and there was nothing to separate Standing Area and Sitting Area. Theoretically, you could buy a seated ticket and juts walk into the Standing Area.
Thankfully, the venue wasn’t sold out, meaning that the Standing Area wasn’t crammed.
Support for this gig came from Scritti Politti, with me arriving halfway through their set. Thankfully, I didn’t miss the two songs of their I know (and love).
Yes, you’ve probably guessed which ones – Absolute and Wood Beez.
This tour, called Architecture and Morality, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the album of the same name, that anniversary happening the week before this concert.
The band appeared on stage, all atmospheric and ambient, Andy McCluskey limbering like an Athlete getting ready before bursting into song and dance.
Dancing very badly, as per usual, I should say. He even acknowledged that he was glad that his son wasn’t on this tour to laugh at his dancing.
Architecture and Morality was performed in full, when completed, McCluskey remarked “You can all go home now”, because that’s what we were all here for.
Of course, we were here for hits, of which we got plenty starting with Messages.
As McCluskey screamed “Yes Yes Yes”, somebody missed their cue to the female “No No No” to indicate the start of Tesla Girls, although McCluskey was too busy dancing, he forgot to sing the opening verse to one song. McCluskey even announced before one song that the rest of the band have bets on how many bum notes he will play during each concert.
I thought that bra throwing was a Belfast thing, but it seems to be an OMD thing. This was my third OMD concert, and the third time that a member of the band has been hit by a bra.
This time it was Andy McCluskey rather than Paul Humphreys on the receiving end, with McCluskey telling off the drummer for wearing the aforemention bra on his head before performing Enola Gay. It’s a very serious song.
Other hits included Forever Live And Die, So In Love, Locomotion, Pandora’s Box and Sailing On The Seven Seas.
McCluskey then gave a shout out to “The Bexhill Crowd”, a group of fans who had made the trip to Brighton from nearby Bexhill, with OMD not playing De La Warr Pavillion in the town, a performance venue that has The Charlatans, Echo and the Bunnymen, Feeder, Ed Byrne and Sophie Ellis-Bextor on their listings for the next twelve months. Covid permitting, of course.
Talking of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, she should have been in Belfast while I was in Brighton, supporting Steps at The Odyssey, but she pulled a skive to do a Danceathon for Children In Need.
Belfast is so shit, people will do anything to get out of going there.
I was hoping that she would have her own Belfast show embargoed until the scheduled Steps appearance, but as yet, nothing has been announced.
Back to OMD, and McCluskey was giving more shout-outs, dedicating “If You Leave” from Pretty In Pink to all the girls who wanted to be Molly Ringwold and all the boys who wanted to be Duckie, before the band signed off with Electricity.