The weekend of Tim Minchin shows that I blogged about the other day was the middle weekend of my two week induction placement in school – the very first school experience of my teacher training course. Going away for the whole weekend probably wasn’t the best idea but it was worth it. I was only observing classes in school, although I did do a little bit of teaching. And so far so good; I’m still pretty sure I’ve made the right decision to do this. I’m about to start a six week placement, back at the same school, and this time I’ll actually be planning and teaching lessons so I hope I survive!
Anyway, after the Minchin shows in High Wycombe and Birmingham I didn’t have too long to wait before I got to see the show again. Two weeks later on 8th October Tim played the first of his Scottish dates in Perth at the recently built Concert Hall. From what Tim has said these new venues, although great for the audience and very impressive to look at, are quite difficult to play as all the audience noise and applause is sucked away and doesn’t make it to the stage. The show in Perth was brilliant, despite an audience who did seem a little slow on the uptake at times. I had another front row seat which is great, apart from getting completely spotlit during If I Didn’t Have You and Storm when Tim is lit from behind. I think my favourite part of this show was the encore – there were lots of shouts from the audience for some old favourites and Tim treated to quite a few intros before settling on White Wine in the Sun. My shout for You Grew On Me went ignored, although when I complained that ‘it’s only just October’ I earned myself the finger from Tim and the assertion that it was OK to play a song about Christmas because ‘there are big socks in the shops’! I also met another couple of Angry(Feet) twitterers at the Perth gig – Helen (@glamlovinkitty) and Adam (@sturmwulfe) – which is always nice. I got a chance to have a quick word with Tim after the show too, where I gave him a birthday card which I had seen and couldn’t resist because of the quote on the front – ‘My opinions may change the older I get, but not the fact that I am right’. Pretty spot on I thought! We also had a bit of a discussion about whether or not Horton actually did hear a Who – provoked by my t-shirt, one of several I own with Minchin quotes on them.
The day after the Perth show came the show I had most been looking forward to in the whole tour. Tim was coming to The Alhambra in Dunfermline – not only my home town but the theatre where I volunteer as a steward – which meant I managed to get access to the theatre all day. Until the theatre manager decided I wasn’t allowed due to Health and Safety issues, I helped unload all the lights and set from the truck and get everything set up on the stage. It was all very cool, and Tim’s crew were all lovely. It must be a bit of a nightmare for them turning up at a different venue every day, never quite sure if everything they need will be there or not. Tim showed up with John, his tour manager, late afternoon and I was very excited to be able to witness some sound checking and warming up. I think the most surreal part of the day for me had to be actually scrubbing the ground at Tim’s feet!! There had been a show called ‘Vampire’s Rock’ in the theatre a few days before and there was still some fake blood on the stage which wouldn’t come off with mopping so while Tim stood at the mic singing a little bit of If I Didn’t Have You, I cleaned up the fake blood – surely not an experience that every Tim Minchin fan gets to have?!
The show itself was awesome as ever, apart from a ridiculous number of people with conveniently weak bladders getting up and down throughout the show (Tim had stopped and waited for a boy who got up and walked right across the front of the audience causing much hilarity, but unfortunately encouraging a lot of copy-cat wee-ers). Shell had come up for the show (and the Edinburgh and Glasgow shows which followed) so we went out for a drink afterwards as we weren’t sure whether Tim would come out or not (due to the presence of the legendary Karen Coren) and the fact that it was pissing with rain. The whole day was certainly a brilliant experience and one I felt lucky to have.
The third, and last, of the Scottish dates that was going to was in Edinburgh the following day. And it brought another visitor – Kate (@kateweb) came up on the train and after meeting her at the station we headed to a pub next to the very impressive Usher Hall. Before the gig we met up with Shell again, and also Helen and Adam who were back for a second dose of Tim. The venue was particularly impressive in Edinburgh – a big, round, concert hall which has recently been refurbished. Again it was great from an audience perspective (Kate and I had front row seats again) but from what Tim said after it was another venue where he felt a bit detached from the audience reaction. We hung around after the show and got a chance to have a chat with Tim again which was pretty cool – I do wonder if he ever gets fed up of us waiting after shows and wishes we would just leave him alone. If he does then he certainly hides it very well, for which I am grateful!
When tickets for the Scottish shows went on sale I convinced myself that three shows in a row was plenty and didn’t get a ticket for the Glasgow show. After the Edinburgh show though, and knowing that the others were all going to the Glasgow show I changed my mind! Unfortunately for me the show was sold out and despite my best efforts I couldn’t get my hands on a ticket. Still, I only had a three week wait before seeing the show again. On the 23rd and 24th October I went to two out the three sold out shows at the Hammersmith Apollo – the second of which was being recorded for a DVD. But before that I had plenty of other excitement planned – and that deserves a post of its own so for now I’ll leave this here.