The Blue Nile – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 14th July 2007

16 07 2007

In spite of internal protest and inner turmoil, I have now been to see two bands from the 80’s this year, and no band from “now”… Both bands have been sublime and both bands were led by Scots.

Brother and I arrived in time for the support act, but the fleshpots of the (any) city centre meant that just before the support act’s third song commenced, we were out of the hall and on our way to a pub/bar. The bar was a slightly refurbished public toilet off Oxford Road – called the temple bar, Great Bridgewater Street. unsurprisingly there was a solid, background aroma of piss that any enclosed windowless space that has been a toilet for many years would have. A couple of bottles of beer later and we were on our way back to the hall (via Macdonalds – brother is a chef and as elder brother, all opportunities for wind up are to be grasped:)) for our date with the blue nile.

the temple bar

the temple bar (Temple picture from Flickr photoman hugovk.)

I have always thought of the blue nile as a studio band, and was not really expecting miracles from this rare venture of the performing members of the band out of Scotland, and in such a formal setting as the bridgewater hall.

The gig was fantastic from the outset, Paul Buchanan’s voice is haunting and more emotive live than any album has managed to capture. Some of the songs that they played were transformed in a concert hall environment. The finale of “tinseltown in the rain” was magical, “do i love you, yes i love you” being sung by an audience that had been lifted upwards by a dreamlike sequence of songs that spanned four albums and three decades. If only I had brought a lighter with me, I would have lit it and waved it embarrassingly above my head in direct contravention of Health and Safety legislation.

The encore though was a bit **** though… The euphoric rush of the last couple of songs, the standing ovation, the expectation – to be followed by unrehearsed songs – Stay – was a disaster – I wish I hadn’t, and wondered about another beer in a refurbished toilet. The final song of the encore, although my brother liked it – i didn’t get it at all, a cover of “Strangers in the night” hmmmmm

It can’t have been that **** , as I am now ruminating over their next concert in Dublin at the end of October. If i do go, I will take a lighter with me this time

And as for the other “Scottish Band/Singer” that I saw this year, they were even better than the blue nile! My god, I am retro… I need to go out and see something new, something that isn’t rehashed, regrouped or generally dormant. Any suggestions?




2 responses

30 04 2008
mr. G

here you got the setlist of that night

19 09 2008

The Blue Nile – loved them from day 1 back in the days, been playing ‘Peace at last’ in the car – you have good taste man, talk talk, yello, sylvian whatever next Boards of Canada?

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