Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Errol Brown at the Cliff's.

Last night we went to see Errol Brown of Hot Chocoloate at the Cliff’s Pavillion in Southend. Things started off not too great when we headed down to the sea front from Southend Victoria, then intending to turn right heading for Cliff’s Pavillion which sits on the coast at Westcliff – a simple short walk because, as directions obtained from the Internet detailed, it was only a mile. Reaching the sea front we asked someone for direction and he pointed where expected saying, “About three miles.” We had two hours (intending to eat beforehand), so cue the fast walk. Arriving at the Pavillion half an hour later just affirmed our knowledge that some people haven’t got a clue about distances.

Now with time to spare we found a restaurant called Bojangles that produced very acceptable cod and chips, scampi and chips and half litre carafes of white wine, and now, much more relaxed and happy, entered Cliff’s well on time. Surely Errol’s show would be no longer than a couple of hours and we’d have plenty of time to catch the last train home. Our time was limited because that train departed at 10.36 but, since the show started at 7.30, we assumed we’d take it all in. It was not to be.

Before Errol Brown appeared someone called Yolanda Brown took the stage (no relation, and nothing about her when we bought the tickets). We now got a half an hour of the ‘pimp Yolanda Brown show’, half an hour of ear-ringing boring jazz with lots of, “Let’s have a big cheer for Fred Bloggs on piano!” and “Here’s Animal on the drums!” and “Give it up for Osama Bin Laden on the Jew’s harp!” all followed by the usual tiresome and interminable jazz solos. And if, by the end of it, you didn’t know this female saxophonist’s website or know that her albums were on sale in the lobby, you weren’t listening. I was trying not to.

This period of, “We came here to see Errol Brown so why don’t you fuck off?” ate up over a half an hour of our available time. It was then followed by a half hour break during which it seemed most of the audience was intent on dulling the pain in the bar, then finally we got what we came for. Errol Brown was good, though at 61 the tight trousers had been consigned to history and he wasn’t leaping about the stage (but then he never did). It was all somewhat marred by seats designed by some research branch of the Inquisition, and the sheeple standing up when summoned and not having the decency to sit down again. However, even though our view was distant, near the back, I’m glad we weren’t on the first row, since numerous greying and somewhat wrinkled fans thought it might be an idea to line up along the front of the stage and wave their hands in the air.

By 9.50 it was time to head off, and I’m guessing, having heard the Full Monty ‘You Sexy Thing’ the show was nearing its close. Fast walk now back to the rail station, lost again and venturing into the regions of hoodies, vomit and discarded burger boxes. Annoying that we got to the station 20 minutes before the train departed, but to risk missing it and end up stuck in Southend at that time wasn’t an option. All an interesting adventure, but not one I’m anxious to repeat.


vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

you live in hell. isn't it Sir Errol Brown? you sexy thang for god an' empire.


jim said...

Good review, what was that stupid woman on the saxophone there for, completely spoilt the evening, if I wanted to see & hear jazz I will go to Ronnie Scotts.
Errol & the band gave a good performance, he is a cool Grandad,

Thud said...

Was this an exercise in masochism?

Neanderthal said...

Were we at the same concert? I didn't realise that you could have such a narrow view of music and be a true fan of Sir Errol....I enjoyed it all.

But then I didn't have to worry about getting home, even before I arrived at the theatre, so was quite relaxed... I even stayed to the very end of Errol's set.

Post your favourite top 10 Skinner. I wanna be like you...(to quote Jungle Book)and become a music segregation supremists.

daniel said...

meh the cliffs is always like that - leisurely in everything.

shoulda said you were coming to southend - i'd have bought you another beer afterwards... :p

Neal Asher said...

Vaude, possibly it is 'Sir' - a title somewhat degraded by miss-application here.

Jim, glad to hear someone else thought the same. Judging by the reaction around me we weren't alone.

Thud, no, the thing about being married is that you can't do everything you want all the time.

Neanderthal, I'm one of those odd people who comes from the school of get what you pay for and pay for what you get. I know it's not fashionable right now, but give it a few years and it'll be back in, and we can all enjoy watching diversity managers attempting to trade their skills for a bag of turnips.

Daniel, I would have accepted the beer ... and the lift home after we missed the train...