THE BLACK AND RED MINSTREL SHOW: the girls' eye view
The following is in no way intended to preempt the imminent report of TZC, who will have a different perspective on events, not least because he attended the sound check.
Saturday was uncharacteristically sunny for Stockholm lately, and following a spot of perfume sniffing in the city's finest emporia and a bracing walk around one of the many islands in the archipelago, I hooked up with a posse of Mrs P's friends at a trendy pub near the venue for early doors drinks. (Mrs P herself being busy discharging her promoterly responsibilities.)
From the pub we went on to a cosy Italian restaurant, which had Prosecco on special offer (by Swedish standards, that is - we are not talking cheap as such! ;) ) and an assortment of pasta and pizza options. Three of us opted for black pasta with prawns, and though the pasta was bottle green at best, we were in too merry a mood to talk pantones with the management.
At 9pm - not exactly fashionably late, but we wanted to secure a good vantage point - we arrived at the venue, where Legspinner had already been playing the decks since 8pm. We all grabbed another glass of fizz (not on special offer - or perhaps it was as well!) and congregated at a large table to the side. Most of the tiered floor area was taken up with small round tables, topped with candles. I spotted TZC at the back, distinctively attired in his flat cap.
The support band, Blind Terry, were probably the most enjoyable first act I have ever listened to with the exception of Monsieur Mo Rio, and like the latter, I would buy their album, except they don't appear to have one yet. They were not so much blind as incredibly numerous... The roll call starts with the curtain haired lead singer, pretty in a petrol blue velvet frock with black kummerbund. Then I counted a trumpet and a sax player, a guitarist with Ultravox hair, a bassist (Fender Precision, I think), drummer, and two girls doing BVs (both startlingly dressed down as though they were about to pick up a paint roller). The music was very much in that wistful, quirky, Prefab Sprout vein, and they were well received by the 70?-strong audience.
Scarlet's Well came on about 11pm, and every member was wearing either red or black or both. Never before in the history of the band have their stage outfits been so tightly coordinated. They played two new tracks, one about vampires on their day off and one about someone wanting to get married to a girl their parents disapproved of - I am sure I heard the line: "Mother says 'no'". Which makes a change from "computer"...
I can't recall the set list properly - TZC may have been paying more attention - but November Nights was played as a special request from Mrs P, a fitting tribute to her Herculean efforts in making the gig happen - on a November night, indeed! I was happy because My Little Doll and I Am a Canvas were in there, and there were a couple of encores, during which - on strict orders from Sea Urchin - I may have had a little bop on the spot.
After the gig, we carried on drinking at our big table, chatting sporadically to band members, and generally winding down from a great night!
Well done Mrs P! We all had a blast - and here's to the next time....