Ross, Radiohead and Rellies
Wednesday 2 April
With only a gnat’s crotchet between me and the words ‘The End’, life has got in the way again. We are heading south to see Stepson Two’s band, Clocks, supporting Scouting For Girls at Shepherd’s Bush Empire and whilst we’re away we’re doing our usual round of friends and family.
By the time we arrive we have two problems: Tom has man flu and the lead singer of Scouting For Girls has lost his voice so this week’s gigs are cancelled. Doh!
Ah well, the wheel of social engagements is turning so on we go first to meet Rose and her new man who has bravely agreed to meet us – and very charming he is too. Then it’s off to catch up with our dear friends Jill and Martin. We end up at Ma’s where we’ll be staying. What a woman! In four months she has transformed her run-down flat into a boutique hotel so we are taking her back home with us for a well-deserved rest.
Thursday 3 April
To cut a long story short we have been invited by the lovely director, Mick, to be his guests at this week’s ‘Friday Night With Jonathan Ross’. I am in seventh heaven – not because of Nigel Marven, John Hurt or David Tennant and Catherine Tate who are on the show – but because the band I would most like to see in the whole world after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (oh, and Clocks, of course) are appearing. Yes, it’s the fabulous Radiohead! I can’t believe my luck!
Meanwhile there is plenty to entertain me. As guests we have been invited to schmooze in the Green Room and I am intrigued to find that there are several Green Rooms. No sign of Radiohead in ours but we have Mick to look after us and I do spot a couple of actors whose names I can’t remember.
After being plied with wine and nibbles we are ushered to the studio and ‘warmed up’ by a stand up comic. He’s good but not nearly as funny (or rude!) as Jonathan Ross who comes across both as being superb at his job and very nice man too. As you would expect the show is a highly professional operation and there are very few retakes; the whole evening is pure entertainment.
At last the moment I’ve been waiting for! Radiohead are so close it’s almost like having them in my front room! The sound quality, unlike most gigs, is amazing and there’s none of that old moshpit malarkey. They peform ‘Nude’ – not in the nude, that is, but the single – then ‘15 Step’ and then, not quite satisfied with what seems to me an outstanding set – they ask if it’s all right if they do it again! I am a truly happy bunny!
My happiness is only slightly dented when Jonathan Ross announces that the band on the next show will be… Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds! Drat! However, I am so loved-up with Radiohead that when we pile out the studio to find the band coming off stage at the same time I have a terrible urge to touch one! Thom Yorke isn’t there yet but I am pretty close to the big one, Colin, and if I just stretch out… ah, but no, the thought disgracing myself and being escorted from the building makes me decide that discretion is the better part of valour and I keep my hands to myself.
Friday 4 April
Off to meet Stepson One and Girlf for lunch then it’s over to collect Stepson Two who’s been doing a round of interviews at Universal. We take him over to Ma’s who hugs him and tells him how skinny he’s looking. We sit him down and beam at him in his v. skinny jeans and leather jacket and bombard him with our usual onslaught of questions both Clocks related (‘Have you got a date for the album yet?’ A. ‘No.’) and non (‘What are Scouting For Girls Like?’ A. ‘Really nice guys.’). Then it’s out for dinner with Ma, Rose, New Man and my sister and family.
Saturday 5 April
As well as being my best friend from school days, Jill is my optometrist and a jolly good one too, which is lucky for me as I am very short-sighted (minus seven). We boggle at the fact that my new friend Jonathan Ross is a self-confessed minus nine before Jill has a tour of the back of my eyes and pronounces all to be well, phew!
Sunday 6 April
Whilst packing the car, the southeast disappears under a carpet of snow. Intrepid travellers that we are we head back to Wales, stopping briefly for a cup of tea with Lily who is about to start her new job. Ma is staying with me for ten days; she’s proved herself to be quite a handywoman so I’ll see if I can sort out a few odd jobs for her like landscaping the garden. No, only joking. As for me, I’ve got a book to finish… and I’m almost there!
Painting is 'Midnight Garden' by Tom Tomos