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Friday 14 June 2019

Living Next Door To Elton

Last weekend my old friend Mister F and I went up to Watford to see Chris Norman, formerly of Smokie. It was a bit of a trek, and the return journey was a nightmare - cancelled trains, closed tube lines and rerouted night buses - but Chris doesn't play in the UK very often and this was the closest he's come to London in years and years.

He is used to playing to much larger crowds on the Continent, and in much grander venues - it is fair to say that the Watford Colosseum was probably not the model for the one in Rome. But what the audience lacked in numbers it made up for in enthusiasm.

If you drew a Venn diagram where the two circles were "Women of a Certain Age" and "East Europeans" that would capture about 90% of the audience. There was a fair degree of overlap between the categories as well, including both of the stalkers.

Anyway, it was well worth the effort. Chris still sounds good, it was good to hear the old hits again, and the newer material was better than is often the case at these sort of gigs. If he comes back, you should go - just maybe not if it is in Watford.

"Don't Play Your Rock 'n Roll To Me" - Smokie

"Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone" - Smokie


  1. That Venn diagram also needs a small circle for Aussie record producers.

    I see you've wisely drawn a discrete veil over the shenanigans of the support act.

    1. For anyone wondering what these cryptic comments mean:Mike Chapman of Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Blondie and of course Smokie fame was at the gig. And after the show the lead singer of the support band burst into the gents with his camera and encouraged us all to shout out the name of his band while pissing. I am not prepared to give them the oxygen of publicity by naming them here.