love of The Blue Nile

Blue Nile in Edinburgh

In The Blue Nile’s Facebook group (it’s closed, but they’ll let you in), we’re discussing when we saw Paul Buchanan and co play live. They were hardly the most prolific of bands – four albums in about twenty years, and very few tours. But I loved them so, and trundled about all over the place to see them.

I’ve just discovered www.setlist.fm, so I can put together a list of exactly when and where I went to their gigs; this gives me great pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚ Except, as I dig, I know I saw them at other places and times … So, without further ado:

My first BN gig wasย Cambridge Corn Exchange, 10 Oct 1990.ย I was living in Norfolk at the time, andย went to this with Jon Honeyball and Tony Sawford. Jon and another friend, Simon Pride,ย had both insisted I bought a copy of Hats earlier that year. I did, and fell in love with it instantly. I bought a sweatshirt at the gig, with “The Blue Nile” embroidered on the sleeve; I wonder where it went …

Next up was Colston Hall in Bristol on 19 Sept 1996 (I told you they didn’t tour often). I think I went to this with Jerry Jones who, although not a huge fan himself, was kind enough to accompany me.

Some time between then and 2006, I’m positive I saw them once again at Colston Hall, and also at University of Warwick Arts Centre. For the latter gig, Dave drove me up there in his Impreza, remarking en route that “he could have added me to the insurance if he’d only have thought of it earlier”. Gee, thanks Dave. But I can find no record of these gigs online, and Iย know I’m not imagining it.

After a slight gap (!), the band arrived once more at Colston Hall (or Colsonall, as Bristolians call it) on 23 May 2006.ย Iย thinkย this was the opening gig of the tour, and the Macbook was playing up something chronic and in the end, they cut the performance short. We encountered our friends Pat’n’Dave in the audience, and we weren’t too downhearted because …

Next up was The Barbican, on 2 June 2006. I’d picked up a pair of front row tickets on eBay (looking back with hindsight, that was a damn silly thing to do). I can’t remember what I paid for them, but the gig was sold out through normal channels. So we trundled from Bristol to London, to find that they were … FAKES. I literally wept, and bless the staff, they squeezed us in. I did get to have a chat with Mr Buchanan himself in the foyer, where he was hanging about drinking a mug of tea (rock and roll, eh?).

We went to Edinburgh for a gig at The Usher Hall, on 25 November 2006 (see photo at top of post). This doesn’t seem to be on Setlist.FM, but we were there, honestly – I have a set of Flickr photos to prove it. We spent (I think) five days in Edinburgh, a city I love (I lived there when I was young, a long long time ago). To hear a bunch of happy Scotsmen singingย Tinseltown was a great experience – and we joined in. Obviously.

The finally final gig – they never played together again [sob] – was at The Radisson Hotel in Galway, on 15 July 2008. A strange venue, you might think, and indeed it was. Like most of their gigs, it was full of utterly devoted fans, who rarely got a change to see their idols play. Pete and I spent a week in Ireland, starting off in Donegal, then coming down to Galway for a couple of days, just so I could go to the gig.

So there we are. I’d tell you to keep an eye out for any upcoming gigs, but there won’t be any. So you’re too late. Get a copy ofย Hats and see what you missed.

 

 

a trip to Sheffield

We took ourselves off to Sheffield for the first weekend in March; we had tickets to see the splendid Richard Thompson, so I booked a hotel room. Sadly, I booked the hotel room (non-refundable, non-cancellable) while I was recovering from flu, and booked it for the wrong bloody night; Friday instead of Saturday. So we said “soddit”, and booked Saturday as well, meaning we could have a wander around Sheffield.

Serendipitously, there was a stack of Morris dancing going on during Saturday, so we wandered around watching that, pausing only for me to have my iPhone nicked in a cafe bar at lunchtime. I’m alwaysย so careful with it, but it was on the table, someone came over with a stack of leaflets, trying to sell me something, and he nabbed the phone under cover of the literature. I was displeased, and had to spend the afternoon talking to Sheffield plod and changing passwords (thankfully I actually had my iPad with me, which I usually don’t).

Anyhoo, Richard was wonderful, we had supper first with Tim and Ali Biller (not seen Tim for about 11 years, we think, and had never met Ali), and on Sunday we went to meet KITTINS! at Fran’s, and also ate far too much brunch there, and had a lovely time with Doug, Julia, Jim and Carrie.

While on giggage, we also went to see Martin Simpson this week at our local folk bar. I have no idea how I’ve never encountered him before, but he was absolutely splendid.

Incidentally, I’d never had flu before, and it it’s all the same to you, I don’t want it again, thanks. Pete had it too, and was about two days behind me, so we had a week off work, then a second week at half strength, as it took some getting over. And this damn snow can sod off too.