Someone told me not so long ago to never underestimate the power of Twitter. At first I really didn't 'click' (forgive the pun) with how it worked let alone the actual point of it. But its true beauty revealed itself to me last Thursday night. Being a fresh 'tweeter' I'm still building a decent list of people to follow, one of which I'll never regret following; '@HughLaurieBlues'. A simple announcement that Hugh was performing in London on short notice blessed me with one of the best and most influential nights of my life. Having just released his debut album 'Let Them Talk', an album of which I'm extremely fond of, I knew that I'd already made my mind up about going.
So there I was at 9.29AM on Friday morning, sat in front of my computer hitting F5 continuously until the words 'Buy Now' graced me with their presence. I was lucky to get two tickets and my friend and I were excited from then on. But of course the real excitement came when I was stood in the queue on Oxford Street surrounded by bustling festive shoppers and christmas lights. I felt privileged, VIP if you like, when I saw the amount of people that were in the queue and almost wanted to question whether we were in the right place. We were.
I would certainly go to The 100 Club again. Underground, dark and gloomy meant atmospheric and certainly characteristic. Hundreds of pictures of famous past performances virtually wallpapered the walls. Mr. Laurie himself commented between songs that it was a true honour to play in such a musically significant place and I can certainly say it was an honour to merely be part of an audience there. He played around 2 hours with his extremely talented band and it was no surprise that the addicted crowd went wild for an encore which was soon to be welcomed with a massive applause when he returned with his band.
I could go on further and explain his set list and so on, but what I feel I should document is not so much the specifics, but the pure feeling of community and friendly atmosphere. There was no pushing and shoving, no impatience at the bar; just being at this place I think was already enough for everyone. There wasn't this attitude that you had to be so close you could feel his breath. A row in front of me sat Rowan Atkinson, but no one pestered him during the show for autographs and hand shakes. It seemed to me that everyone just respected that, collectively, we all wanted to have a good time and appreciated what I think everyone already knew was going to be a memorable evening. Of course, Mr. Laurie's impressive wit and personality made his performance very sociable, joking and chatting with us and his band. A lovely touch also was that, out of his own pocket I must add, he provided everyone with a nip of scotch so all could be involved together in a toast (thanks Hugh). Such a sociable and warming performance I imagine is hard to find these days and there are not many of these opportunites, making my friend and I feel truly privileged.
As I mentioned in my first post, London is an exciting city to me and this puts the icing on the cake. I think subconsciously this is why I even thought about blogging. It's because now I'm in London I feel that I've actually got something decent to write about. A completely distinctive night but hopefully not the last time I'll feel this reflective during the rest of my time in this town. So thanks Hugh; maybe one day I'll return you that drink.