Oh, my God. Oh. My. God. Oh, my actual God. I saw Hugh Laurie and the Copperbottom Band perform last night at the Sage in Gateshead and it was AMAZEBALLS. I mean, in the sense of the giantest hugest immensest most wonderfully dangly amazing pair of soft gorgeous attractive warm amazeballs I've ever seen. I'm serious - I felt like I was twelve again and at Flamingo Land, I enjoyed it so much.*
I may have booked my tickets back in March on pre-sale, so we (me and my Mum, Dad and brother, whom I'd taken along to educate in The Wonder of Hugh) were in the second row in the very centre - like ten feet from the stage. Best seats I've had at any concert ever.
I'd deliberately refrained from reading any reviews or accounts of previous shows so that I could be surprised by the running order, and the minute he started singing 'Iko, Iko,' I just had a spasm of some sort of ecstasy. He's just a consummate musician and singer and a perfect, vivacious, warm entertainer. The whole band was fabulous. His trombonist blew me away (not literally, but nearly), and Gaby Moreno was such a beautiful singer and gorgeous in every way.
It was such a special occasion I wore my Dr. John hat (it's only a blue flat cap but it's exactly the same as the one Dr. John wore when I saw him perform at the same venue last year) and my Muddy Waters t-shirt that says 'I SPELL M-A-N, MANNISH BOY,' which had the happy side-effect of letting the bartender know that I was male in the interval. And AND and we ran into my Mum's friend, who it turns out is also a Hugh Laurie fan, and my Mum introduced me as 'her son' for the first time. Best night ever in the history of nights.
I also have a confession - I may want to run away with Sister Jean McClain to a small attic flat in New Orleans and have no furniture just make a nest of blankets in the middle of the floor and leave the window wide open so we can hear the street music from outside and just be there with her naked in the nest of blankets living off Bourbon and marshmallow fluff and slipping into and out of alternately gentle and torrid lovemaking.
Did I just write that out loud?
But yes, she was amazing. Such a voice and awesome stage presence. So funny, too.
I've never been round to a stage door after any concert, either, but I actually tentatively had a go at waiting to see if I could get his autograph, though chickened out after half an hour and went home - there were about twenty other people there and they actually had real things to sign and I just had this pathetic little flowery notebook of my Mum's and I thought he would think, 'Well, you've clearly not made the effort here. Look - on this page it says "get eggs and Low-Fat Baby Bells."'.
I don't know what happened, but halfway through the concert I was just overcome by this massive sense of gratitude to Hugh Laurie for introducing me to Blues music. Maybe it's a side-effect of the Testosterone therapy I've just started - overwhelming gratitude. But I just thought, if I hadn't bought his first album out of mild curiosity, I wouldn't have discovered this whole world of music that has, without being too dramatic, enriched my life a thousand fold. I mean, every day now, I listen to a Dr. John or a Sonny Boy Williamson song, or watch a video of Professor Longhair on YouTube - I bore my family with anecdotes about James Booker and my iPod is full of more Blues albums than I can count. It's become my main source of pleasure. Of course, I couldn't say this to him at the stage door for numerous reasons, so I thought I'd say it to you all on here.
You know it occurs to me that I keep posting on here and I'm just rambling and rambling and rambling like a nutcase - I used to do this on the Captain Janeway/Seven of Nine board but then I had a strange sort of Internet romance with one of the ladies who ran it and it ended with her ex-girlfriend threatening to tie me to some rail road tracks, so I can't really go back on there, now. We did meet in real life, this woman and I, and had a reasonably satisfying sexual relationship, but she tried to introduce clotted cream into the bedroom one night as a treat for my birthday and I'm lactose intolerant so it all went horribly wrong. Then the whole thing happened where I got on the wrong side of her ex-girlfriend and....
Incidentally, there's been a development in that situation at the bingo with the woman who keeps calling me 'She.' It turns out that she might not be transphobic after all. She may just be extremely confused. The other day she apparently asked if I was the father of another bingo caller's baby. So whatever she thinks I am, she seems to believe I have a functioning penis.
*Flamingo Land is a theme park in North Yorkshire that has rides and one of those dark thrilling rooms where you can watch creepy animatronic bears play instruments and actual flamingos and we once got a caravan there for a week - oh, it was lovely
'Vote for E.L. Wisty, or invisible nudists will come along and smash you round the face.'