Monthly Archives: July 2019

Review. KD Lang Ingenue Redux tour, July 2019. Birmingham Symphony Hall.

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I have always adored KD Lang and I have seen her twice before in the UK. The first time was many years ago at Nottingham`s Royal Theatre where I met up with my sister Sue and we had a wonderful night. Ingenue, possibly KD`s best known album, had been released just a couple of years before this. The second time was within Birmingham`s NIA complex in the small theatre there. It only seats around 200 people so it was a very intimate experience.

Last night it was at Symphony Hall in Birmingham where the acoustics are so good, it is always a pleasure to visit.

We were offered a splendid supporting act in the shape of the Grigoryan Brothers, Australian musicians who play beautiful classical guitar. Their final piece Jango, by Brazilian composer Elias Álvares Lobo was truly stunning, KD announced at the end of the show that the brothers have just won Best Independent Classical Album at this year’s AIR Awards in Australia.

When the curtains opened after the interval and KD was up on stage, there was a rapturous and noisy welcome for her even before she began. I teared up because my sister passed away in 2007 and she would have loved to have been there with me, hey ho.

KD, shoeless, dressed in her signature grey suit and white shirt kicked off with “Save me,” it was fantastic. Her voice is as pure and as powerful as it was 25 years ago. She sang the entire Ingenue album, my favourite song by far is “Wash Me Clean,” such a haunting melody I get lost in that song. “Miss Chatelaine” was of course hugely welcomed, lots of people up and clapping by now, adoring women clustered around the front of the stage. KD floating around and posing and laughing at herself. She has such a good connection with her audience and makes everyone feel special.

KD has recently returned to live in her native homeland of Canada having left LA. She made it clear she is not a Trump admirer and cracked a joke about the UK now being not far behind America, politically speaking. She cracked lots of jokes, she was great. She introduced her band members and each one took centre stage for a glorious moment, playing on their own, she has been making music with one of them, her bass player for thirty years.

For her finale, KD chose three songs by some of her favourite composers. The first she introduced as a song written by “a scary woman because she is a genius, whose name is tattooed onto my soul,” and then sang Joni Mitchell`s “Help Me,” which was lovely especially as Joni Mitchell`s name is tattooed onto my soul also. She then sang Crosby Stills Nash and Young, “Helpless,” also beautiful and putting entirely her own stamp onto it. She finished with Leonard Cohen`s “Hallelujah”. Not a massive favourite of mine but she sang it perfectly and so movingly.

KD also gave a shout out to Bittersweet Catering who are a Birmingham based team of caterers and she said their food was outstanding and urged us all to use them for any catering requirements and I thought that was also really nice of her.

All this for £45. The best forty-five quid`s worth I have enjoyed in many a long time.

I can`t smile without you.

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An old friend of my family passed away just over two years ago. Ours was not a close relationship however, I was very sorry to witness her demise as she became terribly frail with dementia.

It had been problematic for her family to organise the scattering of her ashes since her grandchildren wanted to be there as did her great grandchildren and all of them are scattered to the four winds, pardon the pun. As a result, the ashes were safely kept, until everyone could attend. Actually, I`m not sure where they were kept, I just Googled it and Google says at the Cricket Museum at Lords so that wasn`t terribly helpful. Anyway, with the patient and thoughtful arrangements of a member of her family, a date was finally arranged. I kept out of the proceedings.

There was some discord around the final date of the scattering as it fell on a school day meaning great grandchildren could not come along to say goodbye. No matter, the morning arrived and as it happened owing to unexpected circumstances, it had to be cancelled.

Another week went by and finally with everyone in agreement, a new date was arranged. The difficulties around school days remained the same, so a separate, small urn of ashes had been prepared for them so that the great grandchildren could celebrate their great grandma`s life and say their goodbyes in their own time.

I only came to understand these proceedings as I am friends with the deceased person`s son. I asked him one day recently if he would kindly take me to our local tip with some garden rubbish which was duly bagged and good to go in the back of his van. As I got ready to get into the vehicle he said, “Oh, don`t sit on that Sainsburys shopping bag,” (which was on the passenger seat,) “my mother`s inside it, can`t have you sitting on mother,” and that is how the story has unfolded to me.

Now I am a rather irreverent person and I found this quite an amusing tale but not as amusing as when he went on further to say, “yes, I have her false teeth somewhere in the back of this van, I really must clear it out.”  (I knew his van had become a holding place for all manner of items as he was somewhat of a hoarder but this revelation surprised even me.)

I said, “You have your mother`s false teeth in the back of the van. Why? Why do you have your mother`s false teeth in the back of your van?”

He replied, “Oh, I suppose it`s from when we cleared out her house and they were just in a pot amongst all her possessions.”

I said, “Most people would have thrown them away,” and off we drove to the tip.

He`s had his mum`s false teeth in the back of his van, for two years. You couldn`t really make it up could you……………