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, so I can put together a list of exactly when and where I went to their gigs; this gives me great pleasure šŸ™‚ Except, as I dig, I know I saw them at other places and times … So, without further ado:

My first BN gig wasĀ Cambridge Corn Exchange, 10 Oct 1990.Ā I was living in Norfolk at the time, andĀ went to this with Jon Honeyball and Tony Sawford. Jon and another friend, Simon Pride,Ā 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 IĀ 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.Ā IĀ thinkĀ 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 singingĀ 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 ofĀ Hats and see what you missed.



off to Scotland

this morning we cracked – or, more accurately, perlmonger did. So we have booked tickets to see Paul Buchanan again, this time in Edinburgh on 25th November. I haven’t been in the Usher Hall in *years*. I haven’t been in Edinburgh since 1986, come to that, despite having lived there for several years, up until the age of 21.

the place had some very bad memories for me from that last trip, but ding, dong, the witch is dead, and I think I can face it now. And it’s a fabulous city.

we plan to have a Grand Expedition, and go on the train – although I can’t even book it for another couple o of weeks because you can’t book further ahead than three months. We shall rent a car for a day, and go visit some of my old haunts in Perth (I lived there too as a child, and went to school in Perthshire for 11 years). I’m really, really looking forward to it all.

in other news, as Merula have done something horrible to my web servers, I’m dickering about, and have accidentally ordered [cough] some stuff from Amazon. It’s a fair cop; society’s to blame.

this year's anniversary weekend is sorted

we got married on 29 May 1999, and we always have a long weekend away around then to celebrate.

Paul Buchanan, one of the members of the incomparable Blue Nile, is playing solo in Glasgow on 26/27/28 May. Flights from Bristol to Glasgow that weekend will cost about a hundred quid.

tickets go on sale on Friday. Guess who’s buying a brace?


[edited to change our wedding date to the right one – thanks, timill]