You may remember I said I was really disappointed that I didn’t manage to get a ticket for Eric Bogle’s last ever (supposedly) concert in his last ever overseas tour. They sold out way back in February such is his popularity in his hometown. I’d been pestering Kenny, the concert organiser and friend, for ages – Just ONE ticket? I’d beg!!! Well, he could have sold tickets twice over, he told me. I had the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hell of getting a ticket!
Yesterday I got a phone call… Hello, Kenny here. What are you doing Friday night? ……… me: Er, am I going to a concert? …….. K: Yep! I have one ticket that’s been returned. Do you want it?……. me: Do I? You bet I do!!….. So, Cinders, you shall go to the ball! Am I lucky, or what? Because it was just one ticket, and because I had supported Eric’s previous concerts, Kenny decided I should have it! If it had been two or three ticketsI wanted, I still wouldn’t have been going, so, my thanks to the lady who is celebrating her aunt’s hundredth birthday party in Bristol. I’m going to see Eric Bogle tonight instead!
LATER ON THE SAME NIGHT:
Well! If I thought I was a fan of Eric’s, you want to hear these two stories!!!! Sitting in the front row – I was in the row behind them – were these three young lads who had come all the way from Cambridge today by taxi to see Eric – and the taxi driver was sitting outside in his taxi waiting to convey them straight back to Cambridge after the concert! Only one of the group had ever seen Eric before, and was a big fan, but his two mates who came with him had no idea who they were coming to see. However they really enjoyed the concert too, and thought the £600 taxi fare and the journey was well worthwhile! Just as well, I reckon!
Then, next to me were Candice and David who had travelled up from London just for the concert. At least they are staying overnight, but have to return home tomorrow for a friend’s fiftieth birthday celebration. I hope you both enjoy the rest of your short visit to Peebles, guys, and will maybe come back sometime for a longer visit. They have been fans of Eric’s since they lived in Australia for a time – Eric has lived in Australia now for about 40 years - and have been to some of his concerts any time he has been touring here. Because this was to be his last tour in the UK they thought it would be great to see him in his old home territory, and in his old school too!
And Eric of course didn’t let us down! Looking thinner, I think, and older, both he and John entertained us with old and newer songs, including some about Eric’s Peebles memories, which of course have more relevance in his old hometown.
John Munro who accompanies Eric and sings along with him too, also got the chance to sing one of his own songs which I have to say struck quite a chord, excuse the pun, as it was all about being 60 and the amount of freedoms that that brings with it! ‘S true!
There were songs about Eric’s parents, and his grandmother Bogle who had been a bit of a stunner in her early years, and songs for white haired Auntie Ivy who had a seat in the front row. There were songs about causes and events that have touched Eric, in a big way, including his two best known anti-war songs – No man’s land/The Green Fields of France, whichever title you know the song by, as you may recognise the song about Willie McBride a soldier who died in WW1 at the age of 19, and was buried in France in a military cemetery, and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, about a young man sent off to fight for his country in Gallipoli. The emotion in that song was clear to see in the expressions on Eric’s face as he sang. It was very moving, as it has been every time he has sung it in previous concerts.
We were treated to two hour-long sessions that included as much fun and laughter as serious emotion, and brought the audience to their feet as the last song ended. I think the emotion Eric felt at it being the last time he would appear in concert in Peebles was fairly obvious, and he thanked everyone for supporting him by being there on this and previous occasions.
Honestly, nor can I! Complete madness – and how do students have that much money?
This is Michelle,another fan, whose dad was at school with Eric. When the photo doesn’t turn out so well, it’s interesting to try out a filter or two to improve it! It will look better if you click the photo to enlarge it!
And this is Michelle’s dad, on the right, talking to Eric. There must have been a good number of their old school pals there tonight.
And so ended a great night. I understand this is only the last night of his UK tour, one that has taken him from the northern islands to the south coast, and that before Eric and John head home to Australia, they do a 12-night tour in Canada. Well, for senior citizens they are doing well. I wouldn’t like to be living out of a suitcase for almost four months, travelling to a new venue nearly every day, but trust me, Eric, your fans all over the country will have appreciated it and enjoyed your many gigs
– and of course, that includes me!
Talk again soon.