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F*ck me, but the man is pretty!

Even prettier in the flesh than he is on screen, if that's possible. And the haircut: my word! It makes him look years younger.

So, last night, Ghost of the Robot live in Amsterdam -- what can I say? Other than that it was a great night out? We got there reasonably on time, db2305 and me, and found that we were (possibly) the sole representatives of our age group; most of the other members of the audience were at least twenty years our juniors. There were a few grey-haired dads accompanying their barely teenaged offspring, but not too many. Another thing we noticed was that the majority of the unaccompanied teenagers there was German, and there were a few Brits in the audience as well, which probably accounted for the fact that their support act's inbetween songs banter fell totally flat. I doubt many people understood a word they were saying.

By the way, that support act, a (judging by the lead singer's accent, idiom and grammar, Belgian) band with the slightly ludicrous name of Mr. Love & The Stalllions, who played a mix of grungy-indie-electro beat rock, wasn't bad and their ginger violinist/guitarist/keyboardist was actually quite tasty-looking. If only I'd been 25 years younger, I might have put his poster on my wall!

Then it was time for the main attraction: JM, as he was really what most people there had come to see. Yes, me and db2305 as well. Still, there were a few who knew the words to 'David Letterman', which must have been a pleasant surprise for the band as a whole. Charlie DeMars actually enjoyed himself so much that he went crowd-surfing towards the end of the set. Too bad there wasn't that much of a crowd there, so he was back on stage in no time.

Because I don't think the concert was sold out. The venue itself, the Oude Zaal of the Melkweg, is rather small (or if you want to be more charitabe: intimate), with a capacity I would guess of 500 at most. But we were nowhere near that number. I think we got stuck between 300-400 people. Which was good, not much jostling going on, and everyone could have a good view of the stage and the band.

I was in the second row, towards the side of the stage -- a prime spot for taking pictures, which I did a lot of and if they come out right, I will post them here for your delectation as soon as possible, with a very good view of James and smack bang in front of Steven, was it? The only comment I have to make is that James doesn't really work the stage much, just keeps standing at the mic singing his little heart out (bless!) -- which means that I probably took the same photograph 36 times, with just slight variations of hand and facial movements.

The PA system wasn't working to perfection so a lot of what JM said inbetween songs was indistinguishable from the background noise. A lot of what he sang fared the same way, I'm sorry to say. What I did hear him say though, wasn't all that remarkable or interesting other than that it indicated he was having a great time up there on stage himself. The first thing that landed at his feet when the band came on stage was a lollipop, for which he appeared very grateful; after that, it was the usual assorted cuddly toys, T-shirts and -- was that a pair of knickers I saw sailing through the air at one stage?

Anyway, the man looked great, and during one of his very rare forays to the side, for a minute there I got the impression that he was actually looking right at me, before I shrugged it off as an impossibility. OK, he may have been less than a metre away from me at the time, and I could clearly see his eyes (which really are an impossible shade of blue), but I think it's one of the laws of nature that people up on stage can't see 2 feet in front of them because of the lighting. Still, my traitorous heart did give a little lurch and now I think I may be half in love with JM rather than with Spike...but I'm sure I'll get over it when I see him in the States next. The mystery will simply disappear with so much familiarity in such a short space of time! ;-)

As to the music: contrary to what one of the half-naked teenage girls behind me was shouting in response to James' remark that we would have to let them go soon as they were fast running out of material ("Your songs are crap!"), the music didn't, I repeat: did. not. suck. In its genre, it's not half bad, actually. I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised by this, as the last time I downloaded a snippet (about a year ago), I was decidedly unimpressed. But they seem to have grown musically, and now they're quite good. Not good enough to warrant 22 euros for a copy of Mad Brilliant though, I don't think!

Unfortunately, there really wasn't anything among the "band crap" (JM's words, not mine!) that could tempt me to part with my money (just the CD, a few single CDs and a T-shirt were on offer), so I'll have to have a rethink as to what to bring to the signing session in Lake Harmony in a couple of weeks. Just my luck! I'm total crap at this sort of thing. Can't I just get him to sign a paper napkin from the venue or something? And what would I do with his autograph, anyway?

And because I've been moaning about this for the last few weeks, it seems, here are the sartorial details of the evening:

JM: Docs! He wore Docs -- and appeared to be tripping over his laces a couple of times. Other than that: the ubiquitous blue jeans, black leather belt, and a khaki sleeveless T-shirt, nicotine patch prominently displayed on right biceps (I thought he gave up smoking a while ago? Still seems to be having a craving for it, though). Silver necklace, bracelet and several rings completed his outfit -- shades of S6's Magpie!Spike ;-)

db2305: hip-hugging, flared blue jeans, black ponyhair flats, lilac see-through top, light brown suede jacket and orange scarf. Hair done up in a ponytail and makeup done to perfection.

Me: my beautiful, sporty yellow and green lace up boots! Black opaque tights, black asymmetric retro punk skirt, sheer lemon yellow jumper with huge rolldown collar, thin black jumper over which said collar could spill and with the yellow sleeves peeping out from under its sleeves, long black woollen cardigan covering the lot...and no, I did not look like an enormous wasp! Frumpy, maybe, in comparison to my oh so stylish friend, but it was the best I could do at short notice, and it was entirely practical. All those layers, they could, and did, come off -- well, all except for the last one, of course.

Comments

( 38 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
bogwitch
May. 12th, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)
Good to hear you enjoyed it and they weren't too bad. I still don't think I really want to undergo the experience myself though. Certainly not with the BF in tow, that's for sure. ;)

Looking forward to the photos.
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 12:37 am (UTC)
They said that with luck, I could pick the CD up this Saturday...otherwise we'll have to wait till Tuesday. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will actually be able to see anything...it was dark, after all (and even if I was only a few paces distance from JM, my camera is of the simple 35mm kind with no zoom function, so he could appear to be miles away)...
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julchek
May. 12th, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)
Well, G, glad to hear that the music didn't suck. SO when we see them at MR, it should actually be pretty decent? That's good.

OK, he may have been less than a metre away from me at the time, and I could clearly see his eyes (which really are an impossible shade of blue), but I think it's one of the laws of nature that people up on stage can't see 2 feet in front of them because of the lighting. Still, my traitorous heart did give a little lurch and now I think I may be half in love with JM rather than with Spike...but I'm sure I'll get over it when I see him in the States next.

His eyes are absolutely a wonderful color, up close and in person. Just wait till you get to shake hands with him and get that picture taken. I certainly have it for JM and not just Spike, especially after meeting him last year at MR. Which, by the way, is only 32 DAYS AWAY!! Squee! I can't wait to see you!!
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 12:42 am (UTC)
Can't wait to see you too -- but I'm still having to sort out some accommodation for NYC. Which by my reckoning is 22 days away, so I'd better get cracking!

As to the picture: I want an arm. I claim an arm. In fact, bagsie everything. Just so as you know...;-)

db2305
May. 12th, 2004 06:19 am (UTC)
Aaargh! I've never felt so middle aged in my life! I'm too old to stand for four hours straight, and even with the ear plugs....But it was fun.
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 01:26 am (UTC)
But it was fun

I'm sure you know, there is such a thing as damning with faint praise -- but I just know you didn't mean it to come out that way! ;-)

Glad you liked your early b'day present. Did you get home OK?
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tiashome
May. 12th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC)
Ooh, sounds like you had fun! Thanks for posting this and I can't wait to see your pics ;-)

one of the half-naked teenage girls behind me was shouting in response to James' remark that we would have to let them go soon as they were fast running out of material ("Your songs are crap!")::mind boggles:: They shouted that to the band? That's just rude.

Btw, has JM's hair grown out much, or is he still keeping it close-cropped?
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 12:51 am (UTC)
Either his hair doesn't grow all that quickly, or he's keeping the scissors handy: it was still close-cropped. He's got a beautifully shaped skull ::sigh::

As to the half-naked teenage girl behind me shouting that to the band/JM, I doubt they/he heard. Luckily, there was quite a din going on at the time. But apart from that, I agree: very bad form. Regardless of what one may think of their music, they do know how to play their instruments, they gel, JM's on key throughout, and they bring a refreshing enthusiasm to their performance so all in all, I don't think it's fair to dismiss them like that.
I don't know their songs well enough to have an opinion on their lyrical content -- as far as I could tell, they were about love mostly. What's wrong with that?
fenchurche
May. 12th, 2004 08:15 am (UTC)
I've always considered GOTR to be a bit of a guilty pleasure... I know they're not fantastic, but I enjoy them anyway (same could be said for JM when he was performing solo -- I flew down to Santa Monica to see him perform at 14 Below, once upon a time). But I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly good they sounded in their appearance on the Sharon Osbourne Show. James sounded great, his voice steady and very well suited to the song they performed (and I can't wait until it's available on a CD).

Glad to hear you had a great time! Now I really wish I was able to go to MR.
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 01:29 am (UTC)
Now I really wish I was able to go to MR

Stop! You'll make me start to wish it, too -- it would have been great to see you there. But alas...you can't always get what you want, can you?
calove
May. 12th, 2004 11:00 am (UTC)
Oh, dear! Now I'm all nervous about Saturday... I was so calm and "hey, he's just this guy..." and look what he did to you. Oh, dear.

Well, very glad to hear the music didn't suck and that you made that all important first eye contact with himself. This means that:

1. The concert is something to look forward to rather than shudder at the thought of
2. He's seen you - my fantasy may yet come true...

Look forward to the pics.

You: black and yellow what exactly?
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 01:38 am (UTC)
You: black and yellow what exactly?

See the amended paragraph above.

The concert is something to look forward to rather than shudder at the thought of

Yes, defintely. Have you thought about what you'll be wearing yet? Don't worry about it too much -- it'll be dark. But do take care to get there a little early, or you may not be able to snag a good spot to be in.

Now I'm all nervous about Saturday... I was so calm and "hey, he's just this guy..." and look what he did to you. Oh, dear

Look what he did to me, indeed. I was having terrible trouble getting to sleep last night. I'd close my eyes, and there he'd be, smiling that to die for smile of his -- and I'd be wide awake again with palpitations and flutterings galore! ;-)

Go! Enjoy yourself! I'm only sorry I can't be there to experience it with you this weekend -- but I will in 3 weeks from now!
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meko00
May. 12th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC)
Hi. I went LJ hopping again. I hope I'm not stalking too much. :-)

Sounds like you had fun. If the band came around these parts I might even go to a gig, even though it's not really my type of music. But I was pleasantly surprised by the appearance on Sharon Osbourne, too.
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 01:06 am (UTC)
Hi. I went LJ hopping again. I hope I'm not stalking too much. :-)

The more, the merrier, I always say -- so stalk away!

And if the band ever do decide to hit the more northernly latitudes, you really must make the effort to see them. You'll kick yourself if you don't!
vegmb
May. 12th, 2004 02:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear the concert was better than anticipated. Since I am living vicariously through you for this, it has enriched my experience as well. LOL And what self-control you have with that man only about a meter away. I don't know that I could have stood it.
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 01:18 am (UTC)
And what self-control you have with that man only about a meter away. I don't know that I could have stood it

To be honest, I don't know how I stood it myself! Because not only did I feel that there was eye contact there for a few seconds, but he also smiled...which prompted me to smile in return and mentally prepare myself to take a flying leap -- it was then that I remembered something about spotlights keeping people up on stage from seeing very far into the crowd below, and I felt fortified enough by that sobering thought to simply bring my camera up and snap a picture instead. I do so hope it'll come out right...
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darling_effect
May. 12th, 2004 02:53 pm (UTC)
aw, sounds like fun. I don't know if I could deal with seeing them though. I remember walking by the club when they were playing last time they were in town, and there was a horde of Manic Panic'd, Hot Topic'd Goth Lite teens out there waiting anxiously for entrance to the show. I felt very, very old.
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 01:12 am (UTC)
aw, sounds like fun

It was, very much so. I'm glad I went, even if I did feel a bit out of place surrounded by all that eager young flesh. Then I remembered that JM and I are almost the exact same age, and if he doesn't mind...
desdemonaspace
May. 13th, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)
Thank you for all the yummy description. JM sounds absolutely scrumptious. (I was hoping you would say what you were wearing as well, and you did, right down to your boots!) The only thing missing is how he smelled. :: sigh ::
gamiila
May. 13th, 2004 02:47 am (UTC)
The only thing missing is how he smelled

That's not the only thing: I can't tell you what he felt like, either! :-) But soon, hopefully!
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( 38 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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