Although Shirley was to appear in the open air at Cardiff Arms Park with The World Choir just a month earlier it was announced she would make her very first open air full concert in the UK in June 1993. It would be presented by Bristol City Council and would be held at Canons Marsh Amphitheatre, Bristol City Docks. I and three friends decided to go on the second evening as she was to play two nights there.
The month earlier I and a friend had gone to see her perform with the World Choir in Cardiff. Anyone who went there will know that it rained, and it rained and it rained!! Sitting on a rugby pitch in the pouring rain can be pretty miserable but the organisers had supplied us with plastic raincoats and we’d also taken large black plastic bin liners which were very adaptable and so we kept totally dry. It was also a great occasion.
The drive to Bristol was good and the sun was shinning all the way. I only started to panic when we hit Bristol as I had no idea which way to go and cars seemed to be coming from all directions. I still have no idea how I managed to get us to the venue without getting totally lost! I had gone well prepared for the weather too – I’d put several packs of large bin liners in the car!!
It was a dry summer’s evening although slightly chilly and we had really great seats on the second row. The view was great and being outside seemed to add to the atmosphere. To be perfectly truthful I have no idea who the support act was! That is terrible for me to admit but I honestly don’t. I only remember Shirley coming on stage to a rousing reception and giving a marvellous concert. She looked terrific in the black tassel gown. One of the highlights for me was when she sang ‘Without You’ and also ‘I Want To Know What Love is’.
As always her concerts end far too soon and we are left screaming for more. I’m sure if she was to sing all night long we would still not be satisfied. She left us with ‘I Am What I Am’ and got a great standing ovation. It was a fabulous night.
And it didn’t rain!
A special thank you to M for the photo. x