Monday, 15 July 2019

Out and about. Some thoughts about origins.

Yesterday we travelled back from London with the intention of dumping our belongings, having a quick refreshment and heading out into Manchester to go to a concert by the Canadian singer K D Lang. In the event Phil was feeling decidedly under the weather and came home and went to bed.

So I turned to my fall-back go-to-concerts companion, our eldest granddaughter. On numerous occasions she has accompanied me to musical events which have fallen on an inconvenient evening, which usually means clashing with a chess event. Fortunately she was available, even at very short notice. 

And so we met in Manchester, had a selection of tapas - patatas bravas, croquetas, chorizo and some rather messy gambas al ajillo, which were in fact gambones rather than gambas, huge things complete with heads and tails, something I don’t mind dealing with but not when they are floating an a garlic sauce - and a little glass of something before heading for the concert venue.

The support act was the classical guitarist Leonard Grigoryan, one half of the Grigoryan brothers. His brother Slava, as he told us several times, should have been there, in fact had been around for most of K D’s tour, but had had to go back to Australian to run a guitar festival. Leonard was very good.

My granddaughter must have been by far the youngest in the audience, many of whom were lesbian couples in their mid-thirties and upwards into beyond even my great age! However, Tasmin has had a good musical education and appreciates all kinds of music.

This tour apparently began as the 25th anniversary tour of the album Ingénue but, KD Lang told us, the tour has been going slowly and this is now the 27th anniversary tour.

After a couple of numbers, including the lovely “Miss Chatelaine”, with the inevitable self-parodying dancing around the stage, K D told us she was going to go straight through the album “without banter”, as she put it. This she did, with only a small break to tell a fan on the front row that while she appreciated her singing along, it was a little over-enthusiastic and was putting K D off her stride. One of the fan’s companions told KD it was just because the lady loved her so. But the request/rebuke still stood. Oh, to be gently chastised by your idol!

K D later sang songs from other albums, all good, and finished with some of her own Canadian singer-songwriter favourites. She told us about having sung a Joni Mitchell song FOR Joni Mitchell, an experience she found terrifying. Even idols have idols!And she finished off with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Splendid!

Then I saw my granddaughter into an Uber - this is what today’s working 22-year-olds to at the end of an evening - and went off to catch the tram back to Oldham and then a taxi from Oldham to home. My taxi driver gave me his considered opinion of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson almost all the way home and for a couple of minutes more after I had paid him and was waiting for him to come to a conclusion with the taxi door open. The taxi driver was less than impressed by either of the “gentlemen”.

This morning I read that Donald Trump told four progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”. Three of the congresswomen concerned were born in the USA, so that was an interesting suggestion to make to them. Here’s an article about it.

I like this response, from an article by one Richard Wolffe: “There was a time, before January 2017, when presidents and prime ministers celebrated immigrants and diversity as one of the defining strengths of their countries. Now our leaders pretend their own families have nothing to do with immigrants. Soon we’re going to have to watch a German-American president playing footsie with a British prime minister who was born in New York, with Turkish and Russian roots, who is actually named Boris. With all these immigrants around, it makes you wonder why we can’t find any real white nationalists to play the racism card any more. All these foreigners are taking the jobs away from our pure-bred bigots. They ought to go back to where they came from.”

You couldn’t make it up!

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