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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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Carousel: The songs of Jacques Brel
On Thursday we were at the Barbican to witness six very different singers perform their interpretation of songs by Jacques Brel. It was a pretty impressive event. Each of the singers performed 3 Brel songs. A quite impressive ‘orchestra’ had been assembled, who backed most of the performers. Diamanda Galas performed solo, playing the piano throughout her set. It was absolutely wonderful to see her again. She gave us the darkest and most electric interpretation of “The Port of Amsterdam”.

I had not head Camille O’Sullivan before, but she was massively impressive. She sang the first song ‘a capella’, which can be somewhat embarrassing, but not on this occasion. She finished with a dramatic rendition of “Next”, which is one of my favourites, and which I remember being performed by the Sensation Alex Harvey Band.

Marc Almond came on last. I am happy to report that he is still a star performer, and I would guess that he was the one that most people had gone there to see. He finished with a rousing version of “Carousel”.

There were 3 other singers (Momus, Arthur H & Arno), all of whom I thought were pretty impressive (though I think Momus was somewhat nervous at first). There was 1 encore, with Camille and Momus joining Marc onstage for “Jackie”, which was a hit many years ago for Scott Walker. After that all of the performers cam back on stage for 1 final curtain call.

The vast majority of the audience enjoyed the whole event, though of course most people (myself included) would have had their favourites. It is sad, and to put it mildly irritating, that there was some booing, though fortunately the idiotic hecklers were very much in the minority. The booing occurred during the performances by Diamanda Galas and Arno. It is disconcerting that this happened at the Barbican, which normally has a very appreciate audience, with a friendly atmosphere. Still that did not detract from the success of the event. Most people there I am sure would have been very happy to stay for more Brel songs.

Afterwards we went to RSJ for dinner. Of course the food was wonderful. As usual there was a sprinkling of luvvies / luvvy lovers desperately wanting our attention. That’s entertaining in its own way, and helped to provide an atmosphere on a quiet, weekday evening. There were a couple of incidents later, which were annoying at the time, but didn’t spoil the evening.

As I was getting back into the car I banged my face on the upper edge of the car door. It hurt like hell for a few moments, and my upper lip was bleeding. However I managed to mop up and stem the flow of blood with a few tissues. So it was mainly my pride that was hurt. Not a mistake I will be repeating in a hurry.

Once I’d sorted myself out we set off for home, and Christie stopped off to get some petrol. There was nothing untoward, until Christie got back in the car. At the out when same time a bloke (who had been lurking in between our car and the taxi also getting fuel) got in and sat in the back of our car! He didn’t say anything or try to do anything, just sat there – though he jumped straight he was shouted at. So we both got out and had a go at him. It was quite clear by then that he was very keen to avoid any confrontation. It’s beyond me as to what he was trying to do, although he was pretty ‘out of it’. It’s possible that he’d been thrown out of the taxi, and got into our car thinking it was another taxi. Who knows?

It’s incidents like these which, although unconnected, provide a reminder (should I ever need reminding) of the effect upon my life of becoming disabled. Accidents are bound to happen occasionally, but I am normally cautious enough to avoid bumping into things. However (and this may come as a surprise) I am not perfect. Insofar as the incident with the unwanted guest is concerned – Christie did not need any help in sorting him out, though I at least try to help out with moral support where I can. It does make me wonder how I would cope when we had a confrontation where shouting loudly is not enough. I hope I will be able to rise to the challenge.

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Marc Almond...WOW! Booing....Urgh! Taxi guy...OMG!

What an eventful night you had.

Please can I ask about your becoming disabled???....I have been out of the loop for so long & now am concerned.

Hi Eddie

To cut a long story short, I was diagnosed with RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) back in 1993, after I had been experiencing problems with my night vision, and a deterioration in my peripheral vision. For the first few years my eyesight remained stable, deteriorating but slowly. However it got dramatically worse in 200 / 2001, and has continued to deteriorate (albeit more slowly) since then. I have actually been registered blind for several years.

I have some central vision, though it’s not that good, and can still work, although my mobility is reduced. But with Christie’s love and support I get through.


That is good that you have a loving partner to support you. Like my father who has macular degeneration, I hope the decline slows down for you.


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