Here’s the second part of my report, trying to capture some memories of that impossibly wonderful tour. Part One was posted yesterday.
“Just to annoy you”
At each concert Shirley announced that she’d be singing “…some old ones which I know you love. And some new songs which I know you don’t. And I don’t like then either because I’ve got to rehearse them. And I hate rehearsing. I’m doing them to annoy you.”
Well I don’t know where she got that idea from – we love the new songs.
The Living Tree, Music, I’m Still Here, Moonraker, Here’s to Life, You Needed Me – are all well chosen additions to her repertoire.
Please see the blog dated 4th June for information on the play list.
I am what I am and that’s all what I am
Someone shouted out a song request “I am what I am!”
Shirley replied “No! I am what I am!” which made everyone laugh.
She even made herself giggle with that quick and charmingly arrogant reply, and slapped her own hand saying “Cheeky!”
No DSB concert would be complete without the gay anthem, and it was let out of its closet in the final medley.
At Wembley someone shouted a request from the audience “La Passione!” referring to that fantastic CD title song, recorded in 1996 with Chris Rea.
Shirley smiled and replied “Oh, the passion went a long time ago!”
“Stay! Stay! Stay!”
As some of the audience at Wembley started moving towards the stage for the closing numbers, the security guards kept pushing them back to their seats. Shirley noticed this and encouraged everyone to “Stay! Stay! Stay!”.
We were over the moon when she said “Excuse me, Security. It’s MY SHOW!”
The guards obeyed, and delighted fans gently surged forwards in adoration. The scene was just amazing. Some fans wept tears of joy to be so close.
It’s a tradition for fans to bombard Shirley with flowers and gifts taken up to the stage between the songs.
There was champagne by the magnum, flowers by the cart load, chocolates, wine, and a home-baked cake from a gentleman I call Cakeman. He’s always given her a beautiful cake, every tour.
In Manchester she was given a diamond necklace by a handsome fan. She was impressed by the bling, and held it up in its open display case for all to see. The diamonds looked real to me.
A fan presented her with a bag of jelly babies. Which Shirley likes. They joked that the sweets were Jelly Shirleys.
I’m going to post a separate blog with photos about this hysterical moment. Shirley was laughing so much she couldn’t start the next song.
Watch out for the story of cheeky Blondie, the babe from Birmingham.
In Manchester, my friend Marilyn (the ultimate uberfan) and I gave her two big CHANEL shopping bags full of genuine Chanel perfumes. One for her, and one for her Personal Assistant, Victoria.
A jester in the audience shouted “Two for the price of one!”
Before we went to give them, a stroppy security guard tried to confiscate them. We stood our ground. I said “We’ve paid for the gifts and we’ve paid for our tickets”. They backed off.
Shirley explained to the audience that she had to give one Chanel goodies bag to Victoria, but she joked “I won’t! You’ve given it to the wrong person!”
But she will. She raised the bag to sniff the heady contents. Chanel No 5 is my favourite. They have just launched a new perfume called Allure. She thanked us for “Two Chanel and the beautiful roses” and stopped to applaud us. Someone in the audience shouted “You’re worth it!” We agree.
At Wembley I gave her a big bouquet of roses cut fresh from my garden earlier that evening. Giant ‘Peace’ roses, in pink with a cream centre. With the thorns cut off. Wrapped in gold paper and ribbons, complimented with long blue flowers. I hope they made a change from bought roses.
Marilyn gave her a Paco Rabanne pink silk scarf, in a Paco Rabanne shopping bag, and a card. (We love our posh designer labels. Very Shirley). Mike Dixon was delighted to receive a bottle of champagne. He doesn’t get much, you see.
Marilyn caught one of the red roses chucked at the audience at the end of Hey Jude. It’s wilted, but here’s a photo:
Apart from DSB of course the winner has to be Mike Dixon. For his unfailing musicality, faultless orchestra and just for being a really nice guy.
To HM Customs for their “Red Diesel Raid” in the Glasgow car park. Delaying thousands of ticket-holders putting the concert start at risk.
A professional assessment of a typical DSB audience demography would surely show their decision to be rather ill judged. We are lovely people, not petty criminals who stick agricultural diesel in our luxury limos. The knock nicked a total of one villain. Probably a light fine if convicted. How much did their raid cost?
We all respect HM Customs and the fraud detection responsibility they have, but was this worthwhile?
Secondly, to Cardiff’s security for confiscating expensive bunches of flowers from people in the audience because “Shirley specifically told us that she doesn’t want flowers”. Liars.
They chucked the flowers onto some PA equipment. They were then inconsistent by allowing a magnum of champagne and other gifts to be given at the stage. What was all that about? Shirley would be livid if she knew.
We all support Security and the protection responsibility they have, but did they really want to be seen as amateurs?
DSB fans gotta fight too for your right to take flowers and to go down the front! It’s a 50 years tradition, it’s YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY!
Against the monumentally glorious euphoria of this tour, those were the only downers.
Exhausted after a whistle-stop tour of venues, we now look ahead to Monte Carlo on 11th August and North Wales on 27th August. If you don’t know about these, then you just ain’t bloggin’ with Peggy!
Monte Carlo will be pure class. I love the place. Shirley’s concert will be one of a series of pop shows during the Sporting Club’s Summer Festival. The festival runs from 30th June to 27th August when Tom Jones does the final gig.
The Faenol Festival, also known as the Brynfest, is going to be spectacular in two ways. Firstly, the concert will be another DSB triumph. Secondly, it’s an outdoors event in the panoramic foothills of Snowdonia.
Many thanks to all my friends old and new, for the flattering encouragement on my efforts, to everyone involved in the tour, and to all the audiences for being such great fun.
Please keep sending in your photos