Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Who - Royal Albert Hall - Saturday 31st March

Early evening start for a trip back to the RAH for the Who. Got to Victoria Station and were greeted by several hundred riot police with baying Alsatians. Why? Well, apparently Sheffield Wednesday fans (happy from their with at Palace) were arriving to pass through to the tube. As to the level of threat they offered we were unable to tell.

Anyway, attempts to find any pub showing the second half of Watford v Chelsea on PremPlus proved fruitless. Finally managed to find one south of Sloane Square with Sky Sports News to find that Chelsea sneaked a lucky 92nd minute winner - arghh!

After a swift one in the Gloucester Arms, we met Mick in the Queen's Arms for a coupld of decent beers (Staropramen, Kirin and Kuppers Kolsh) and then off to the hall. As normal, we were able to stroll in with little security checks and it was only when we realised we had gone the wrong way (towards the dressing rooms) that we encountered some guards who directed us down more stairs to get to the floor. We were given a plain white wristband and found our seats in the back row of the arena. Still, not too bad, the floor is pretty small compared to most venues.

As expected, the Who were excellent (when are they not?). Daltrey's voice was strong and good, despite recent illness and Townshend's playing spot on, coupled with the normal rambling/ranting between songs. Didn't hear a "get on with it" from Gary, but I'm sure it was there!

Only disapointment was no "Substitute" or "Kids Are Alright" but this was more than made up for by a storming "My Generation", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and an excellent "You Better, You Bet". In fact, the only duff track in my view, was "Emience Front" - I've never liked that!

For the encore we wandered down to the front and enjoyed the Tommy encore from near the stage (taking extra care not to impede the paying customers at the front!). Richard managed to snag a setlist and we decamped happy to the "Prince of Wales" off Kensington High Street for a nightcap. Un-remarkable pub, but stunningly attractive barmaid! Slow jouney home, livened up by a petite girl throwing a non-paying rider off the bus when he'd refused to leave. Cue round of applause from other passengers!

Last chance to see the Who for a while - I'm refusing to pay the 70 odd quid for the summer Wembley shows... ditto the £150 + fees for the Rolling Stones!!!

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