Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Post To End All Posts

It's 11am on Sunday and I've already had the weekend to end all weekends. No exaggeration.

Rewind a few hours to Saturday morning. I set off for Central London to get myself some new stuff for the up coming Heidelberg gig. Whilst on my travels through the hoards of people I found a couple of Weller DVD's in one of the many music shops, both heavily discounted, which I had planned on watching in the evening.

I got home, got comfy, and started to emerse myself in the DVD of Studio 150 (Weller's Covers album). Halfway through the interview I get a call from Woodcutter (remember, no real names policy!). He had managed to get hold of some tickets for a BBC show that Weller was doing and told me that if I could get to the TV studios within about half an hour, then I could get in as well.

Not needing to be told twice, I was calling taxi firms by the dozen whilst getting dressed so that I could get there in time. As with all All Mod Cons' journeys, it's never just plain sailing. Traffic lights insisting on being red, idiot drivers, drunken pedestrians and roadworks all conspired to stop me getting there in time. Thankfully my taxi driver was from a country where other road users are a secondary thought and I made it. Wristband on, I went in to meet the others. Woodcutter was accompanied by Sakura, TopMod, 1967 and a few more (my memory isn't functioning properly to remember everyone's names, sorry!).

We were all hanging around, having a few drinks (cokes in my case) before the show started. It gave me a change to get to know some of the other people a bit better. Stories were being bounded around by everyone, we all had our little anecdotes of Weller experiences to share and I soaked them all up intently.

On the table next to us was a face I recognised. It was non other than Eddie Piller, whom I'd met last year on the way to see Weller in Germany and who had very kindly got my ticket signed by Paul after the Berlin gig. I spoke to him for a little while, duly getting him the beer I owed him for my autograph.

After a few delays we were all let into the studio, the whole thing is due to go out on TV at some point, so all of us piled down to the front. Due to some fuck up with the ticket allocation, there was only about 120 of us instead of the planned 500. Talk about intimate!! Anyone of us could have reached out and grabbed the mic stand, we were that close! To one side of the stage was a Strings section, and to the other was the Brass. A full on musical cacophony!

Weller came out and continued to play a set of about 20 songs, including some of my favorites. Wild Blue Yonder was fantastic (a former Song Of The Week), Wild Wood was utterly amazing (Eliza McCarthy accompanied Paul centre stage with her violin and was magnificent), Peacock Suit, Seaspray, All I Wanna Do and Invisible are all ones that stick in my mind. Graham Coxon (of Blur fame) and Gem Archer (of Oasis fame) also played. Gem played Echos Round The Sun, a track co-written by Noel Gallagher, although I must confess that this isn't one of my favorite songs. Because it was being filmed, we weren't allowed to use any sort of cameras, which I was pretty gutted about. I didn't think I would ever get this close to Weller again to get a decent photo...

I, personally, thought that the whole session was incredible. I'm much more of a fan of intimate gigs than heady stadium shows and last night was just about as good as it gets. Everyone sang to all the songs and much "Weller Lovin'" was had by all. When the set was over I dived the whole 1 foot to the stage and grabbed not 1, but 2 plectrums! Both of them were used by Paul! The evening was getting better and better! But it wasn't over yet...not by a long way...

We slowly edged our way out of the studio, all loitering around and going through the songs that were played. Winding our way through the maze of corridors that make up the BBC I heard Woodcutter mention that there was a bar & get together up on the 4th floor. So off we all went, although I'm not sure if we were meant to be there or not. Sitting outside with Sakura, I met Ed the Manchester lad and City fan, along with his lovely (and slightly mad) other half, Mel. Ed is probably one of the nicest blokes I've ever met, and another avid Weller fan. He had managed to get a small collection of setlists, and he gave Sakura and I one each, "As long as I've got one each for me and my boy" he said. What a legend, and I'm looking forward to meeting them again in Brixton.

So...I'd managed to see Weller up close, I'd got 2 of his plectrums, and now a setlist. Doesn't get any better right? Bollocks it doesn't! After half an hour of mingling, the band turned up! Including Weller himself. I was standing a few feet from the man and Sakura looks at me and says "Get your camera ready, we'll get you a photo". She's known Paul for a fair while, and went to talk to him. I followed like a nervous child. After talking to him for a while she says to him "This is All Mod Cons, can he get a photo with you?". And this is where it get a little surreal for me. He looks straight at me and says "Hi, how you doing. I've seen you at a few gigs". If there wasn't so much noise going on, he would've heard me let out a little schoolgirl squeal. "Yeah, I'm good thanks, would you mind if I got a photo?", "Yeah, no problem". In my book, that constitutes a conversation. I was utterly over the moon. I stood next to Weller, his security guy took the photo, I shook his hand and said thanks. I've not been able to stop smiling, I even fell asleep with a grin on my face. I've made phone calls to pretty much everyone I know, sent copies of the photo to anyone I know that has a mobile phone.

I got 4 hours sleep last night, and I feel as fresh as a daisy. There was nothing bad about last night. At all. Everyone I met; Topmod, 1967, Ed, and the others, thank you for helping make it an amazing night. But especially to Woodcutter for getting me in and making that call to me. And to Sakura, without you introducing me to Paul I wouldn't have had the guts to speak to him myself. I don't actually know how I can thank you. For once words actually escape me.

This was the most perfect evening, ever.

Here's a few photos!


The Stage! (Before filming started)


My setlist (courtesy of Ed) and my 2 plectrums.


And the BEST ever. Paul Weller and All Mod Cons. Fucking Perfect.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dreams do come true.
(Keep smiling.)

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

Here´s a big fat North American ¨AWESOME¨ for ya! I love those kind of nights when all is just perfect. Short of sitting down and having dinner with the man, it sounds like you had the ultimate Weller experience. Good stuff! And to think he remembered your face!

arbyn said...

AHHHHHHHHHH!

Princess of the Universe said...

That's amazing that he recognized you!
I am so happy for you honey! :)
xo

Princess Pointful said...

Eek! He actually recognized you! That is so wonderful!

SMARTBuddy said...

What a night!! And you got the photo to keep forever. Nice to hear matey!

HeavySoulBrutha DaveB. said...

Excellent review!! Sounds like a fab evening indeed. I posted a link to your review over at Paul Weller News.

Peace and SOUL,
Dave...

www.paulwellernews.blogspot.com

idoodleido said...

Oh my good god in heaven... you're picture with Weller is something special.
I can hear your heart pounding from here. So chuffed for you lovely.
I like the way you kept the 'cool look' for the photo, I bet you were beaming inside!
It really doesn't get any better than that xx

idoodleido said...

Reagrding the above...
I meant 'your' not 'you're'... just wanted to clear that up. I'm not thick, I'm just stressed and originally blonde. :-)

scotty94 said...

Great write up to what appears to be a memory that'll live and live and live. Top stuff Bud, glad you made the show, pity it was such a f##k up for us out of townies eh?

Anonymous said...

I guess that means that the haircut is staying forever then???

Ted.

Anonymous said...

p.s.

I haven't really noticed it till now, but he kind of looks like he could be an uncle or something.

All Mod Cons said...

Anon - Cheers...make sure you do too!

Reeny - Ta! Not sure I'd want to sit down and have dinner with him. That would mean extensive conversation, which would inevitably result in me making a tit of myself. At least I left with my dignity intact!

Robyn - Indeed!

Universal & Pointful - Thanks girls. Yeah, blown away that he recognised me, added just that something extra to it all!

Smartbuddy - I'm not even going to let on how many copies I've got out there just in case I accidentally delete one...shameful!

Dave B - Thanks mate, for the compliment and the link. Appreciated. Hits went up to 330 yesterday!! Blimey!

Idoodleido - I can't even express what my insides were doing. Just as well really! (Your error cracked me up!!)

Scotty - Yeah, I agree. Would've been great had the rest of you managed to get there. That'll learn ya for living out of town!

Ted - Yes, the barnet is staying. Without doubt. An uncle?? Hmmm...

megan said...

What a thrill for you! I'm smiling on your behalf all the way across the pond.

David said...

Congratulations!

Next thing you know, you'll be hanging out at the pub together.

Crashdummie said...

Sounds like a friggin amazing night!
But how come Paul Weller is the one leaning towards you and you are the one acting all high & mighty?

Btw, seems like the guy behind u is trying to be in the pic too... must be hard being such a celebrity huh?

Viking said...

Nice scarf

All Mod Cons said...

Megan - Thanks! Glad to see you're still dropping by too.

David - That could well happen this weekend believe it or not!

Crash - It was! And he's leaning in because I'm brilliant. Obviously!

Viking - Hmm...thanks. Piss taker.