Thursday 23 February 2023
… well it is my Birthday!
Yes, February is quite a month!
After Small boy’s party and a family flit to the North East for my eldest’s 21st , it is time for my birthday celebrations. My friend and I notice that Suzanne Vega is playing in town. We both had the album. We both know all the words. We both decide to go!
So what if it’s a work day! I leap into my car after work, pelt down the motorway to a handy tram stop and am in the city centre collecting the tickets by 6:30 pm. My friend treats me to pre-concert pizza … and calamari… and fries… and beer. It’s a little bit hasty, in fact we do have to run through the street, clutching a carboard tray, still dipping our hot crispy fries into mayonnaise. But we do make it on time!
The tickets; gosh they are far back and so, “shhh don’t tell but” after a (rather underwhelming) support art, we grab an interval drink and then sneak forward about 10 rows into a better pair of spare seats and wait …for Suzanne.
Oh, my word, she is amazing. Vega, a tiny slim figure, with her acoustic guitar is joined on stage by David Bowie’s guitarist Gerry Leonard, for a nostalgic trip through four decades of music. The sound, the music and the voice are just incredible. Its is like listening to the CD or vinyl again but with an extra richness and depth, that maybe 30 years of experience brings. She tells the audience the story behind some of the songs and then adds in the emotion as she performs them. And she is super cool. One hour in and and lean across to my companion to say,
“I’d like to be Suzanne…”
My friend, who has know me since I was 17, smiles kindly and pats my arm sympathetically before he whispers back.
“Look, she is from New York…I think they are just born sassy there…”
Ha ha ha! So, I guess I’m never going to be Suzanne Vega but I can,and do, sing the tunes all the way home, whereupon I treat myself to an overlarge whisky before collapsing into bed.
Next morning, I awake very gruff and throaty. I think it is going to be a long, long day … but absolutely worth it …
“And I finish up my coffee
And it’s time to catch the train…“