And now for something slightly different.

12 10 2007
This entry will be a break from the norm, a journey into uncharted territory. If there are any readers of this blog it may well seem that the Llandudno Jet Set has no interest in the more cultural arts. This is not true, a man cannot live by football alone after all. To show more of these well rounded characteristics here is some music related reportage.

King Monkey was coming to town. The lead singer from the Stone Roses, Ian Brown, the Funky Monkey was playing Llandudno!!! Being a fan of that very group, but missing out on them the first time around, I take every opportunity to see him.

The main reason I failed to see the Roses was a lack of any real interest in Music until I was 16. During my impressionable teenage years I wasn’t really friends with the “cool” people in school. My friends and I were just football fans then. You had to be cool to like music, you had to be cool to go to places like Liverpool and Manchester, the hip and sparkling areas of the country. To me those areas were separated by an unbridgeable chasm. We could make a family visit once a year or go to a football match on a coach but at all other times the problems of logistics were insurmountable; usually a lack of cash and independence. Quite simply I wasn’t bothered about music because I wasn’t cool enough. Thankfully I made it through this awkwardness; I managed to buy albums, singles and even go to “gigs”. Tonight I was off to see a living legend

It wasn’t raining but the night was damp. It was also close thanks to the slightly raised temperature. The queue was fairly long but it moved quickly. I met Joel and Scott near the mixing desk. After about half an hour Robbie Maddix, the support act, put in an appearance. Robbie was in the Stone Roses before the final implosion. His dreads were shorter then. His output was reggae tinged folk, or “Ghetto Folk” as he termed it. It was a very pleasant 30 minutes rounded off by a Bob Marley cover. He thanked us, which was nice.

About 30 minutes later the main attraction came shuffling out. He started off with a beauty, “I Wanna be Adored”. The wish was granted, adoration was his. I knew he’d started to play Roses’ songs but I didn’t expect that he’d do it so early. What a start, everything was perfect. Browny started the second song then he stopped, the crowd booed, Browny told us to Fuck Off and showed us the door.

It took a couple of songs to regain a joie de vivre. As more songs were played the Funky Monkey repeated the “chh chh” sound he made all of those years ago and I drifted back to the salad days of my Undergraduate studies. I was back to those the warm Saturday nights in the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. The Super Furry Animals, Stones Roses and Primal Scream was our soundtrack, dancing was our language, cheap alcohol was our fuel. My journey was halted by the new songs.

They were good, I need to get the new album! Halfway through the new songs he asked us to move a little bit, as is his wont. Well it is a bit pointless to pay all that money and pretend you are at the proms. Some more songs were heard and then came the religious moment. Ian played something I’d never thought I’d hear.

The first few bars were unmistakable, the bass pounded and the drums joined in, “dum dum dum drr dum drr dum” By the time the guitars kicked in the crowd was undulating rhythmically, hands were raised. King Monkey was in residence. I Am The Resurrection filled the arena, the next 5 minutes were the most euphoric I’d ever experienced at a musical event. My feelings seemed to be typical; heads bobbed, feet left the floor, strangers embraced, fists were pumped, outstretched arms held towards the sky, the smile was universal, Joel gave me a kiss.

After this the only way was down but it was all relative. The songs might not touch the heights of the roses but they were very pleasant. By the time Ian said his good byes most people were still smiling. One disappointment was Ian deciding not to do an encore. All in all a very good gig.




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