gamiila: (Default)
So I'm off tomorrow, to meet up with [ profile] calove, [ profile] bogwitch, and hopefully [ profile] hesadevil again and join them on an outing to James Marsters's Words & Music-show at The Mermaid this Saturday. I don't now what I might expect, but a quick check of his website tells me that "It will be a theatrical performance, and thus we would expect people to behave as they would for any play" -- does that mean I'll sort of have to make an effort to look nice? Because I so do not feel like dressing up at the moment.

I think I'll pack a skirt, just in case.
gamiila: (Default)
I know I said I wouldn't pay to see JM in concert again, but it would seem that I'm going to anyway. I've just been informed we have tickets to James Marsters: Words & Music on the 29th of October, in which "the versatile performer showcases his latest songs and presents an exclusive one-man theatre piece. James is currently selecting and working on material specially for his London theatre appearance." Of course, I'm justifying the expense to myself as a chance to see him as a theatre performer, a side to him I've long been curious about. In addition to which, it's an excuse for another get-together with the usual suspects, [ profile] bogwitch, [ profile] calove, and [ profile] hesadevil. God grant though, that our rendez-vous point does not catch fire this time.

But this is definitely, absolutely, unarguably, not changing my mind on this EVAH again, THE VERY LAST TIME I will listen to James sing.
gamiila: (Default)
Heard & seen: Friday, April 29th
Where: Carling Academy, N1 Centre, Islington (London)
Support band: yes

There is an old adage that says that if you can't say anything nice, it's better to say nothing at all -- and I've thought about keeping schtumm; but then, too many of you knew I was going...

How best to describe the experience that was James Marsters in concert last Friday? I can be brief and capture my review in two words exactly, and those words would be: entirely forgettable. But that would perhaps be too brief and unbalanced.

Technically, I suppose JM is well able to play the guitar and sing a bit (and since I can't do either, I have to give him credit for this at least); but his musical offerings lack the elusive quality that makes me prick up my ears and recognise a true musician. His songs are okay-ish (I'm sure he'd agree he's not the greatest lyricist in the world), but kind of formulaic and none of them sound particularly inspired or engaging or even the slightest bit interesting...'bland and unremarkable' is how I would describe them.

He drew a good crowd, though -- the Carling Academy was filled to capacity with an uncritical audience of mainly squealing fangirls (and their mothers and grandmothers!), who unfortunately kept screaming for him to take his shirt off; a request he declined by joking it was half-off already -- but the fact that it was made, vociferously and repeatedly, shows that whatever they may have let themselves be overheard as saying while queueing to get into the venue, few were actually serious about supporting him in his musical aspirations.

And if I'm totally honest, I'd have to say that neither was I -- having already had a taste of what he was like in Ghost of the Robot last year (twice!), and having heard downloads of his Civilized Man-album prior to going to England, I must admit my expectations weren't high; and I viewed the gig mainly as an opportunity for a night out with [ profile] calove and [ profile] bogwitch -- which ensured that I enjoyed myself nonetheless, although mainly through playing I Spy while waiting for the support band to go on stage. Which they did, eventually. They weren't bad, either -- nothing out of the ordinary, but solid in their genre and endeavour. The singer admitted they had never played to such a large audience before and would we mind if they took a photograph to show to her mum? That ensured her the audience's goodwill and for most of their time on stage, the fangirls behaved, only losing their patience after having had to sit/stand through an interminable song about a man called Frank who refused treatment after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, happy to be reunited with his wife of 52 years who'd died before him (in real life, the singer explained, she was a doctor in a hospital).

JM came on after another long-ish wait, in a shirt open to the navel, and opened with -I think it was- Every Man Thinks That God Is On His Side...although it might have been For What I Need, all his songs sound a bit same-y to me. He talked about breaking the E-string on his guitar earlier and how that's not supposed to happen ever, and said it was good to be in London again, wished someone a happy birthday when they asked for it, and seemed comfortable enough on stage to fluff his way through a song he'd just written without too much embarrassment or apology. I was at the back, propping up the bar, catching glances of his performance in the mirror; but frankly, much more interested in and amused by the antics of the young bartender whose first ever night at the Carling it was, and who needed my help remembering the prices of drinks and where to find the bottle opener.

The gig lasted some 40-45 minutes, after which we wasted no time hanging about: [ profile] bogwitch had to get back to her place and [ profile] calove and I to our respective hotels. It wasn't the worst gig I've ever been, but I've seen and heard enough now to know that I will never ever go to a JM musical extravaganza again. The theatrical thing at Hallow'een, though? Most likely.


Mar. 19th, 2005 05:33 pm
gamiila: (Default)
Thanks to [ profile] hesadevil and [ profile] pokerkitten, I now hold a ticket to JM's Carling Academy concert on April 29th! Which means CoRo had better not decide to play Merthyr Tydfil (nor anywhere else) that night, or I'm going to be all manner of cross.

ETA: New date! New date! CoRo have put up a new date! I'm going to be in Glasgow on the 23rd!
gamiila: (Default)
A passing glance at the calendar on the wall, and I realise I’ve only got 30 more days to go before the start of my holidays! 30 Days to get myself organised…I’ve given up on CoRo putting up any more dates; there’s talk on the forum that ticket sales haven’t been sufficient to justify new bookings, which –if it’s true- is a shame. Still, I’m happy enough they’re taking the time to come over and play for us at all – last year at Moonlight Rising, when Eric told me they’d be touring the UK, as a day-old fan I was so overjoyed that I simply had to hug him silly for it; today, I’m just as thrilled to have the opportunity to be going to 3 more of their gigs. Although I could wish I hadn’t waited so long for more engagements to be announced that I missed out on my chance to accompany my friends to a James Marsters concert a week later. :(

But then, that’s so typical of me: always leaving things till the last minute, or too late. I’m surprised I booked my CoRo and flight tickets so early this time! All I need now, is to find a place to stay close to The Troubadour, one close to The Cavern Club, and book my train tickets to Liverpool…is it Euston one takes a train up there from?

While in London, I think I might try and take in the Caravaggio exhibition in the National Gallery, though I’m not fond of timed-ticket entry. And I’ve been thinking of going up to Liverpool on the Saturday, so that I may have time to do a bit of sight-seeing as well. I’ve never been there before, and apart from the Beatles tourist thing, I don’t really know what the place has to offer, but I think it will be interesting to find out. Maybe I can even take a ferry 'cross the Mersey!
gamiila: (Default)
I'm so glad to see my LJ working again. For the past two days, the database has been accessible to me in read-only mode only, ostensibly because of maintenance being performed on the server. A noble cause, but one that had me wringing my hands, gnashing my teeth and pulling my hair in frustration. Well, it's all in the past now, and hopefully it'll take a while before they'll have to do it again.

I spent a companionable afternoon with [ profile] db2305 in Utrecht yesterday, in which we discussed the current state of our BtVS-fandom, JM's upcoming tour, and the uncluttering of her attic (she's decided on a clearance sale of quite a large number of her paintings, so contact her for details if you're willing to give one or two a good home); and in which we treated ourselves to a viewing of the episode of The Mountain in which JM plays the alcoholic dad who thinks to invest his son's college fund in a hare-brained beer-making scheme. Having been warned beforehand that it was bad, I managed to actually enjoy it in a 'I can't believe how he acts rings around his part and everyone else's'-kind of way. JM's dialogue and tattoos were awful, it's true; but it was lightyears better than Winding Roads and therefore entirely watchable if you fastforwarded to his bits. Plus, there was lots of snow in the bits he wasn't in, which is always good to look at in this time of year.
gamiila: (Default)
But first:


So JM will be singing and talking about his debut album in Coventry's Guildhall on April 25th. I'm sure I'll have better things to do, attend a CoRo show, e.g. -- they're going to be touring the UK from April 21st-May 2nd, I hear.

Anyway, I received a letter from my ADSL-provider, telling me they are unable to provide ADSL to my home. They are very sorry to disappoint me, but all their tests have shown that it can't be done. They can't be specific as to the cause, but they have given me the following to choose from:

* I have already signed up for ADSL with another provider;
* I have a group telephone number (whatever that may be);
* I have an ISDN rather than an analog telephone connection.

Since I knew I hadn't been in touch with any other provider, I contacted my telephone company and had them check into the last two possibilities. And they came back and told me what I already suspected: I have neither the one nor the other.

Meanwhile, I've been surfing the web to my heart's content. And now I'm in a quandary: should I let sleeping dogs lie, and continue to surf without being asked to pay a penny; or tell them that as far as I can see, my Internet connection's working fine, and run the risk of them going "oh, but it shouldn't be!", flip a switch and cut me off from the rest of the world?
I think I'll sleep on that decision for a while...

And thank the Lord! -- today I found out that I finally fit into last year's jeans again!
gamiila: (Default)
After all the careful planning and colour-coordinating that went into the preparation, in our picture with JM it clearly shows that my trousers are too f*cking big for me!

I just can't stop laughing...I would show you but I can't, not yet. No, really...

oh! go on, then... )
gamiila: (Default)
Common Rotation proved a difficult act to follow for JM and his Ghost of the Robot, although you wouldn't have known it from the obvious adulation they received from the screeching teenage girls and their equally vociferous mums surging towards the stage as soon as they came on. And what an entrance they made! JM was jumping around like a dervish on crack, knocking over the microphone stand and planting a kiss on an unsuspecting woman in the audience, whipping the girls up front into an envious frenzy with his tartish behaviour. It soon became apparent that he was quite inebriated, having consumed gallons of Red Bull and the best part of a bottle of JD prior to the show. It didn't bother me, but I found out the next day that a lot of people felt quite let down by it: after all, he has gone on record often enough as saying he doesn't drink.

Musically though, I remained unimpressed, and amused my friends by nodding off in the middle of the concert. In my defense, I had gone with very little sleep in the previous 72 hours, and there was no way those decibels on their own could have kept me awake!
Still, I was hugely entertained by what I did see of JM's antics, though the next day in the autograph session, I couldn't stop myself from saying to him that I thought they'd played a better gig in Amsterdam -- a judgment he fully agreed with. By then, he seemed pretty embarrassed about the whole thing, and I later learned he had gotten a bollocking over it from various people in his entourage, poor thing.
Not that the obvious embarrassment had made him any more inclined to engage his brain before speaking, and he ended up alienating more of his fans during his Q&A, by his comment on what he'd like to do to George W. Bush over the Iraq situation (chop off his hands and drop him in the desert somewhere, far from help and succour) -- a terribly unkind and not at all clever thing to say.
There were a few more politically motivated speeches that day, e.g. in the Trio's Q&A, where Danny Strong told us of the work he would soon be doing (or had already been doing) for the Kerry campaign.

A recurring topic on all the Q&A-s was the impact of reality TV on the careers of our esteemed actors, and it all sounded quite worrying. Hopefully, people will tire of the phenomenon soon enough, but even if they do, there's no guarantees the networks will go back to funding quality drama, and most of the actors are already branching out into other fields of creativity, as with Danny Strong, who has gotten into writing.

For once, Cass and I managed to entice Jules away from her gruelling volunteer's schedule and take her for a relaxing round of midget golf with us. Ah! the liberating powers of the giggles! Then she had to go to the volunteer party and Cass and I watched Chance (Jules had auctioned off her copy of Winding Roads, which means some other poor mug is lumbered with it now) before we all met up again to go to the VIP Dance.
En route, we stopped in at the karaoke party, which was a sad affair consisting of a glaringly bright hall, about 800 chairs and an attendance rate of about 5. I'd never done karaoke in my life, but with Jules and a girl introducing herself as 'Demongrrrl' who, for some strange no-reason, kept addressing me in German, launched into a spirited rendition of Don McLean's classic 'American Pie'. (Earlier, in the comfort of our suite, Cass and I had treated Jules to 'The Lumberjack Song', so neither of them allowed me to bow out of this one on the grounds that I can't sing for toffee. I apologise wholeheartedly to those 3 or 4 people in the audience who stuck it out all the way through).
The VIP Dance started off equally dismal with most of the attendees hanging around waiting for something to happen or a celeb to walk in, but the Lushette's bar was still open and Fearless Leader Lush and I went back and forth between the two plying the members and James C. Leary with cocktails and Coronas. After a while, the DJs started playing that 80-s music we all love, and in the end a good time was had by all -- all who remained, that is.
Robots Kevin and Charlie did an impromptu breakdance session, which I took as my cue for calling it a night and going up to watch the last two Angel-episodes with Cass and Jules in our suite.

The next day, we set out on the road to Connecticut, playing our Common Rotation-CDs all the way.

gamiila: (Default)
With apologies for the delay, here are the pictures I took at last week Tuesday's gig in De Melkweg in Amsterdam:

(The cute violinist with the support act)

James Marsters and GotR, May 11th, 2004 )

I sincerely hope that this time you can all see it - but if not, I'll try and put it right again on Friday.
gamiila: (Default)
Even prettier in the flesh than he is on screen, if that's possible. And the haircut: my word! It makes him look years younger.

So, last night, Ghost of the Robot live in Amsterdam -- what can I say? Other than that it was a great night out? We got there reasonably on time, [ profile] db2305 and me, and found that we were (possibly) the sole representatives of our age group; most of the other members of the audience were at least twenty years our juniors. There were a few grey-haired dads accompanying their barely teenaged offspring, but not too many. Another thing we noticed was that the majority of the unaccompanied teenagers there was German, and there were a few Brits in the audience as well, which probably accounted for the fact that their support act's inbetween songs banter fell totally flat. I doubt many people understood a word they were saying.

By the way, that support act, a (judging by the lead singer's accent, idiom and grammar, Belgian) band with the slightly ludicrous name of Mr. Love & The Stalllions, who played a mix of grungy-indie-electro beat rock, wasn't bad and their ginger violinist/guitarist/keyboardist was actually quite tasty-looking. If only I'd been 25 years younger, I might have put his poster on my wall!

Then it was time for the main attraction: JM, as he was really what most people there had come to see. Yes, me and [ profile] db2305 as well. Still, there were a few who knew the words to 'David Letterman', which must have been a pleasant surprise for the band as a whole. Charlie DeMars actually enjoyed himself so much that he went crowd-surfing towards the end of the set. Too bad there wasn't that much of a crowd there, so he was back on stage in no time.

Because I don't think the concert was sold out. The venue itself, the Oude Zaal of the Melkweg, is rather small (or if you want to be more charitabe: intimate), with a capacity I would guess of 500 at most. But we were nowhere near that number. I think we got stuck between 300-400 people. Which was good, not much jostling going on, and everyone could have a good view of the stage and the band.

I was in the second row, towards the side of the stage -- a prime spot for taking pictures, which I did a lot of and if they come out right, I will post them here for your delectation as soon as possible, with a very good view of James and smack bang in front of Steven, was it? The only comment I have to make is that James doesn't really work the stage much, just keeps standing at the mic singing his little heart out (bless!) -- which means that I probably took the same photograph 36 times, with just slight variations of hand and facial movements.

The PA system wasn't working to perfection so a lot of what JM said inbetween songs was indistinguishable from the background noise. A lot of what he sang fared the same way, I'm sorry to say. What I did hear him say though, wasn't all that remarkable or interesting other than that it indicated he was having a great time up there on stage himself. The first thing that landed at his feet when the band came on stage was a lollipop, for which he appeared very grateful; after that, it was the usual assorted cuddly toys, T-shirts and -- was that a pair of knickers I saw sailing through the air at one stage?

Anyway, the man looked great, and during one of his very rare forays to the side, for a minute there I got the impression that he was actually looking right at me, before I shrugged it off as an impossibility. OK, he may have been less than a metre away from me at the time, and I could clearly see his eyes (which really are an impossible shade of blue), but I think it's one of the laws of nature that people up on stage can't see 2 feet in front of them because of the lighting. Still, my traitorous heart did give a little lurch and now I think I may be half in love with JM rather than with Spike...but I'm sure I'll get over it when I see him in the States next. The mystery will simply disappear with so much familiarity in such a short space of time! ;-)

As to the music: contrary to what one of the half-naked teenage girls behind me was shouting in response to James' remark that we would have to let them go soon as they were fast running out of material ("Your songs are crap!"), the music didn't, I repeat: did. not. suck. In its genre, it's not half bad, actually. I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised by this, as the last time I downloaded a snippet (about a year ago), I was decidedly unimpressed. But they seem to have grown musically, and now they're quite good. Not good enough to warrant 22 euros for a copy of Mad Brilliant though, I don't think!

Unfortunately, there really wasn't anything among the "band crap" (JM's words, not mine!) that could tempt me to part with my money (just the CD, a few single CDs and a T-shirt were on offer), so I'll have to have a rethink as to what to bring to the signing session in Lake Harmony in a couple of weeks. Just my luck! I'm total crap at this sort of thing. Can't I just get him to sign a paper napkin from the venue or something? And what would I do with his autograph, anyway?

And because I've been moaning about this for the last few weeks, it seems, here are the sartorial details of the evening:

JM: Docs! He wore Docs -- and appeared to be tripping over his laces a couple of times. Other than that: the ubiquitous blue jeans, black leather belt, and a khaki sleeveless T-shirt, nicotine patch prominently displayed on right biceps (I thought he gave up smoking a while ago? Still seems to be having a craving for it, though). Silver necklace, bracelet and several rings completed his outfit -- shades of S6's Magpie!Spike ;-)

[ profile] db2305: hip-hugging, flared blue jeans, black ponyhair flats, lilac see-through top, light brown suede jacket and orange scarf. Hair done up in a ponytail and makeup done to perfection.

Me: my beautiful, sporty yellow and green lace up boots! Black opaque tights, black asymmetric retro punk skirt, sheer lemon yellow jumper with huge rolldown collar, thin black jumper over which said collar could spill and with the yellow sleeves peeping out from under its sleeves, long black woollen cardigan covering the lot...and no, I did not look like an enormous wasp! Frumpy, maybe, in comparison to my oh so stylish friend, but it was the best I could do at short notice, and it was entirely practical. All those layers, they could, and did, come off -- well, all except for the last one, of course.

Nagging JM

Mar. 10th, 2004 02:44 pm
gamiila: (Default)
I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt I was JM's personal assistant, and apparently my job consisted of me advising him what to wear. We had the following altercation:

GAMIILA: "What you're going to wear? You woke me up to ask me that? Wear what you bloody well please!"

(JM mutters something unintelligible, goes away and comes back a minute later in his ubiquitous T-shirt, jeans and trainers)

GAMIILA: "That's what you've chosen to wear? Please tell me you brought the kilt! And wear some Docs with it this time!"

(JM changes into the kilt, and promptly falls down the stairs).
gamiila: (Default)
I hear the funding for Venetian Heat fell through, and now we won't see James in what would undoubtedly have been a very interesting project.

don't read if you want to remain unspoiled, even if there are no real spoilers here )

Finally got around to reading [ profile] lordshiva's Nicolette Says Jump last night, which made me laugh out loud in parts, and chuckle in all the rest. God, some people are so talented!
gamiila: (Default)
I shouldn't admit to it really, but this is the sort of joke I can't resist (brought to you courtesy of my friend Sky):

An old farmer went to town to see a movie. The ticket agent asked, "Sir, what's that on your shoulder?" The old farmer said, "That's my pet rooster Chucky. Wherever I go, Chucky goes."

"I'm sorry, sir," said the ticket agent. "We can't allow animals in the theater." The old farmer went around the corner and stuffed the bird down his pants. He returned to the booth, bought a ticket and entered the theater. He sat down next to two old widows named Mildred and Marge. The movie started and the rooster began to squirm. The old farmer unzipped his pants so Chucky could stick his head out and watch the movie.

"Marge," whispered Mildred.

"What?" said Marge.

"I think the guy next to me is a pervert."

"What makes you think so?" asked Marge.

"He unzipped his pants and he has his thing out," whispered Mildred.

"Well, don't worry about it", said Marge. "At our age we've seen 'em all."

"I thought so too," said Mildred, "but this one's eating my popcorn."

It's been kind of a weird morning. It started off with a discussion as to the ease and benefits, or whys and wherefores of plastic surgery (i.e. tummy tucks) as opposed to the less obtrusive option of a strict regime of diet and exercise - and that led me to wondering if there is such a thing as an arm-lift?

Because it looks like my prayers have not been answered and the dreaded flabby upper arm syndrome has taken tentative hold on me. OK, I'm 41 -if I say this to myself enough times, it may eventually sink in- and things may not be as high, as firm as they were 20 years ago, but I can live with that. Well, sort of. I have a healthy respect for pain and am, generally speaking, all for avoiding surgery when there's no clear medical indication and a reasonable alternative treatment that's readily available. Having said that, all the diets in the world aren't going to give me a supermodel's bod ever. Plus, I find them impossible to adhere to.

But I hate to see the flesh on the underside of my upper arms start to wobble when I make certain movements, like waving. It's not a pronounced wobble yet, and it's gone as soon as I stretch my arms completely, but if I allow this trend to go unchecked, I'll have upper arms like jello by the time I'm 10 years older. Will dumbels help? Aaargh - what am I saying? I know I'll never be able to stick to a training regime. I know because I've tried it a few times, but I just get bored so easily. There's nothing in a gym to hold my interest for very long, and I always feel like a right wally pressing weights and pretend to be running on machines. Also, I can't stand the smell of the locker room...

Then, seguing from a fairly innocent discussion of JM's sartorial defects, certain rumours that have been making the rounds on Internet about his supposed personal tastes became the next topic under scrutiny. I've read some pretty vitriolic posts on the subject and it's one of the reasons I now avoid certain bulletin boards and areas of fandom like the plague. Firstly, because I don't hold with flaming and character assassination; secondly, because I feel that it's none of my business what he does in his personal life; and thirdly, because however much I try to forget what little I've read, it still tends to rear its ugly head at times and marrs my enjoyment of the man and his art -- briefly and only to a very limited extent, but still...I don't believe he's a saint and I wouldn't want him to be, but I do want to believe with all my heart that he's basically a good and worthwhile human being.
Another, fourth, reason is that it makes me despair of my fellow 'fans' and want to distance myself from it as much as possible. I have no doubt that a lot of it is the green-eyed monster talking (and no, this is not a dig at SMG/Buffy!).

And I've finally been able to make an appointment with a social worker to have my Dad assessed for having him taken into a home, rather than having him continue to live in sheltered accommodation as he has been doing for the past three years. When we filed the application last May, Dad was in full, albeit grudging, agreement -- but now he's no longer convinced of the necessity of round-the-clock care and I 'm worried he'll hate me for continuing on this path.

And oooh - cool new lay-out! Takes a bit of getting used to, though.
gamiila: (Default)
I'm slightly calmer now, but still annoyed. My e-mail's still not working; i.e., I can receive, but I can't send, which is a bloody nuisance; my minions are being contrary and difficult; I'll be stuck in meetings for the next 3 hours (oh joy); lunch consisted of a biccie and a cup of cold coffee; and to top it all off, I hear JM's come out with this favourite line of his again at DragonCon:

"To the ladies: If a guy is mean to the world, he will be mean to you."

Apart from the fact that this observation is so blatantly obvious there's no need for making it that I can see, I'd like to know: just when was Spike ever mean to the world? He's frigging helped save it a half dozen times!
gamiila: (Default)
One of my American Buffy friends has just e-mailed that she's going to be at the Moonlight Rising convention in June, and is now waiting with bated breath for her badge number to come through, so she "can order my photo shoot ticket for James!!" I am not jealous at all. Why should I be?

Honestly, I am happy for think that in a few weeks time, she will be in the same room with James Marsters!!!!
(I am not jealous)

To think that in less than 2 months' time, she will have tangible proof of having been in the same room as James Marsters!!!!
(I am NOT jealous, I tell you!)

To think that she will have proof of having been close enough to touch James Marsters!!!!
(I'm still not jealous, not at all)

That she will have had a conversation with James Marsters!!!
(after all, what's there to be jealous of?)

That he will have thrown his arm around her...
(OK, maybe that...)

That he will have spoken to her in that voice, using his real life accent...
(and that...)

That if she plays her cards right, he might start a torrid love affair with her, and...

OK, that does it! I am so so jealous! No, I mean REALLY! She's the luckiest girl alive.

I grit my teeth and smile, and mentally make a note of the fact that if he lets her down in any way, I'll kill him.


gamiila: (Default)

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