Peggy’s report and photos 2


PART TWO

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.

Passion!
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.

Gifts galore
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.

Jelly Shirleys?
A fan presented her with a bag of jelly babies. Which Shirley likes. They joked that the sweets were Jelly Shirleys.

Blondie’s tattoo
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.

Peggy’s gifts
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.

Visit: http://www.chanel.co.uk

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:

Tour Oscar
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.

Tour Raspberry
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?

# You gotta fight (boom boom) for your right (boom boom) to party! #
(The Beastie Boys)

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.

http://www.sportingmontecarlo.com/en/

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.

http://www.brynfest.com/index-noflash.htm

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

Peggy’s report and photos

THE DAME IS BACK Tour June 2006

PART ONE with some of my snaps from Wembley (Part Two will be posted tomorrow)

From the moment the tour was announced in December 2005 every fan had been anticipating the week with increasing excitement. Her last public performance had been at the Llangollen Eistedfodd on a hot day in summer 2003.

Retire? Moi?

There were even rumours going around that Shirley might have retired. She’s worked hard for five decades at the top of Show Business. Years that have at times been tough.

Most fans wouldn’t begrudge her retirement as she approaches her 70th birthday next January. There’s a huge back-catalogue of recordings. But we would be desolated at the prospect of never again getting that unique ‘high’ from her stunning live performances.

We needn’t have worried. It was just a sabbatical. This tour has proven that the Diamond Dame is forever flawless.

The voice is as powerful as ever. She’s as beautiful as ever. The gowns are as glamorous as ever. Thanks to almost daily gym workouts, and drinking more Perrier water than Laurent-Perrier pink champagne, Shirley looks great.

More flirtatious, feminine and playful than ever, Shirley was having fun on stage. Switching on the strong emotions of those high octane songs to startling effect.

She has previously joked about her decision, at age 29 years, not to get any older. From her appearance and energy on this tour you’d be forgiven if you thought she was, well, if not 29 then certainly much younger than 69.

Like Shirley, I’m a groovy granny, and young at heart. And let’s face it, nobody’s getting any younger!

Yellow gown

“I feel like a bloody canary!” Shirley shouted at Manchester. Julian McDonald’s brilliant new gown looked beautiful.

Intensely haute couture, this was Shirley as eye-candy. Like the yellow sun, she radiated joy. On most women it may have looked a trifle vulgar. With a lot of banana in the trifle. On Shirley it looked gorgeous.

She commented how the tight fitting gown flattered her, joking that she’s wearing Julian’s slim figure, not her own.

The light chiffon feathered cape was backlit during the intro to Light My Fire. Shirley used it to good effect, flinging it around like flowing wings.

The cape was dropped at the third song, Shirley hinting “Let’s get rid of that!” to cheers from the audience. A roadie sneaked on to collect it from the floor, trying to be invisible. At one concert a certain Diva was standing on it. He crept off and tried later.

As the concerts progressed, more and more of the feathers fell off. Shirley reckoned that by the end of the tour she’d be singing naked. Detached feathers were blown to the audience.

Red gown

Shirley launched into “Music” – the song she first did at the Royal Variety Performance. Half way through she leaves the orchestra, who continue to play a storming sequence of crescendos and hand-clapping breaks. Reminding me of the orchestration in “MacArthur’s Park”.

To tumultuous applause, Shirley reappeared centre-stage in a red gown to complete the dramatic song.

That was just another “Wow!” in a concert full of “wow factors“.

For gown nerds like me, that was the same red creation as worn at the Royal Variety Performance. Spangled with an infinite number of crystals.

The finale cape was silver with an explosion of white plumage. Fabulous.

More tomorrow in Part Two… Have a nice weekend

Shirley attends the Queen’s birthday events

Dame Shirley Bassey attended the Queen’s 80th birthday service today at St Paul’s Cathedral along with 2,300 guests.

She later joined 500 of the great and the good for lunch at the Mansion House.

Shirley arrived late, and went in after the dignitaries. She should have already been seated inside, well before they entered.

But nobody minded. After all, our much loved Dame is a Diva. She was simply making her entrance again with her usual flair.

On Saturday – her official birthday – the Queen will attend the Trooping the Colour birthday parade.

Her real birthday was April 21st. The royal tradition of two birthdays dates back to the time when, if monarchs were born in winter, the weather was deemed unsuitable for outdoor events.

The cathedral, looking like new after its recent refurb, was filled with distinguished politicians, dignitaries and aristocrats. Other show biz celebrities included Dame Vera Lynn, Sir Cliff Richard and Eric Clapton.

At 80 years of age, the Queen credited US comic Groucho Marx in her speech saying: “Anyone can get old; all you have to do is to live long enough”.

See also blog dated 21 April.

STOP PRESS If you’ve scrolled down this far you deserve to know about the concert in Monte Carlo on 11th August. For information go to the official DSB site and click on Live/TV or visit http://www.sportingmontecarlo.com/en/

9,204 hits yesterday – another new record – thank you! # Isn’t it rich? #

More Tour Photos – Wembley











Thanks to Ivan for providing the photos displayed above.

%d bloggers like this: