Southampton Guildhall - April 6th, 2000
Sent in by Anselm, who was actually there, and has a very interesting story to tell:
"I dragged my other half along to that show – she’s not a PS fan at all, but went along to keep me company. Keep me quiet, more like! Anyway, we got the train from our home in Portsmouth and arrived there late…….around 8.10pm, as we had spent ages walking round Southampton town centre, trying to find the bloody Guildhall. When we finally turned up, I remember the horror of walking up the steps of the venue and hearing extremely loud music booming out. Oh no - I could hear ‘Bonny’ being played, and realised that the band were already on stage. They’d appeared at 8pm, exactly as advertised on the tickets! I couldn’t believe it, as bands never show up on time for gigs! I was so gutted to miss the beginning.
We found our seats, and when my other half looked up, she refused to believe that the big bearded singer in the full-length leather jacket was Paddy McAloon. I think every other picture or video of him that she had ever seen previously was of the old, skinny Paddy from the 80s. It was really odd seeing how different he looked. I’d seen him with beards before but never the full -on ‘Brian Wilson’. So she took some convincing that it was actually him.
We sat about 10 rows back and to the left. However, it became obvious pretty soon after arriving that there was a rather “enthusiastic” Scottish gentleman sitting in the front few rows. The audience was pretty quiet and reserved, yet this chap yelled out between every song, even during the quiet bits. He clapped his hands extremely loudly, and practically screamed as soon as he heard the intro to each song. At first Paddy didn’t seem to mind (or notice), but he certainly made a few references to him as the gig went on.
Stewart, who was sitting in the front row, was recording this show on his MiniDisc. Unfortunately for him, during the second part of the set, this Scottish chap (Alan?) ended up moving seats and plonked himself down in the seat next to him. Thus ruining the rest of his recording. If you listen hard to the whole show (especially on headphones) at various points you can hear him yelling “Yo!” and “Yee-haw!” and “What A Boy!”, singing loudly when no-one else was, and clapping loudly at inappropriate times like during the ‘Swans’ intro. And also trying to chat to poor old Stewart who was trying to record the show with as little background noise as possible. You can hear him on ‘Cars And Girls’ asking Stewart his name, and suggesting that the two of them get up and start dancing, in the hope that the rest of the front row would join them! If you listen to the end of Hey Manhattan, when Paddy announces the next song as Lions In My Own Garden, our friendly heckler does his usual yell, and Paddy points at him and responds with “Just for YOU sir, as you are an enthusiast!”. Have a listen to Paddy’s chat at the end of ‘Cowboy Dreams’ when a fan asks him about “the albums you’ve got hidden in the archives”. Paddy answers with “We’re not inactive you know. We do have new songs but we thought we couldn’t come out, you know, and give you…”. The Scottish chap says “You can, you know”, which makes Paddy giggle and come back immediately with “You sir, are an exception!”
If you were there too, please send in your thoughts and I'll print them here.