Friday, October 24, 2008

Gilbert who?

I am just home from a Gilbert O'Sullivan concert. It was a slightly disconcerting experience, as I actually thought I was going to see Gilbert & Sullivan, which, granted, might only have been marginally better, but whose music I am probably relatively infinitely more familiar with.

Mr O'Sullivan was appearing as part of the Belfast Festival at Queens, and as an old (old, old) boy of the University, my other half received an alumni email this week offering him free tickets to the show. Big, big warning sign there folks. Free tickets; not a competition to win tickets, or a draw for tickets, but free tickets - as many as he wanted!

We had to collect our free tickets at the door, so I joined the queue of other people collecting their free tickets and very quickly established that everybody at the concert seemed to be there on the free ticket scheme, with no one actually arriving at the venue with a £25 ticket and walking straight into the main hall.

Once I got the tickets, I noticed with absolute horror that we had seats in row A. However, the nice lady on the door told us we could sit anywhere we wanted, so we chose the back row. Or at least the back row that was in use, which was actually the sixth row!

I didn't recognise one song the whole way through the first hour, and at the end of the hour, when O'Sullivan took his bow, I got up to leave. Unfortunately, this was only the interval, and although they locked the doors so that no one could vacate the building, I do think old Gilbert took opportunity to write a few more songs during the tea break, as the second half of the concert was slightly longer.

I should say that most of the audience looked like they were on a day pass to be there, (my own companion fell asleep during song three) and can anyone tell me why the ones with the weakest bladders always sit in the front row?

Finally, two songs before the end, I was raised from my stupor by the familiar sound of this little ditty I remembered from many moons ago. I got momentarily so excited I nearly had to make a dash for the toilets myself. And then it was over.

To be fair, Mr O'Sullivan gave a good concert. And he was delighted with the crowd because, when he last performed in Belfast, it appears that there were only about 10 people turned up!

Obviously nobody told him Queens had emailed everyone who had ever attended, worked at or even walked past the University in the past 25 years and offered them free tickets to be there and still could only fill a third of the venue. But hey, who am I ...????


Cosmo said...

You had me laughing all the way through this post! Poor guy. I think his popularity problems probably started when he was named Gilbert.

I have a vague recollection of seeing a G O'S record amongst the LPs of my childhood - my goodness, I'm glad I only recall seeing it and not hearing it!

judysteapot said...

oh my the poor man - I can remember watching & listening to him on Top of the Pops - can't say that I was ever a huge fan of his but would have gone and listened to him again too if a free ticket was offered!! lol - take care, Judyx

Ali said...

Cosmo, I have got to tell you that it appears Mr O'Sullivan's real name is Roy (he alluded to that twice during the 'gig')

Begs the question then ... if your name is Roy, why in the heck do you go change it to something as daft as Gilbert???

Judy, next time I'll get my hubby to take you ;-)