I got into record buying in a big way from then on. It’s fair to say I moved from record buying to record collecting in the space of a few years. I loved the thrill of the hunt; winkling out golden oldies and rare vinyl; visiting musty record fairs and even mustier basement shops. Before long I had accrued original copies of Wow, Babooshka and practically everything else that Kate Bush had ever composed. In fact, bar a couple of very rare 7” singles I have practically everything. A 99% complete collection.
Including, of course, a video of her much celebrated “tour” at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979. Her one and only live music tour. In my heart of hearts I’d kind of accepted that, bar a miracle, I would never get to see her live. The possibility of her ever performing more live dates was slim at best and a fool’s dream at worst. It’s just the way it was. Like most of her fans I was just grateful she was still producing music that was as ground breaking and thought provoking as it ever was.
I would never get to see her live. And I accepted it.
News of her suddenly announced concerts for later this year flooded the news pages last week. I had an email announcing the dates from KateBush.com last week and had to read it three times before it sank in. Kate was actually going to perform a string of live dates. Finally. A miracle. It was fairly obvious this was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t see her announcing more dates in the years to come. It was now or never. I had an early access code from the site which meant I could try for tickets on Wednesday before they officially went under general release today. It seemed a gift horse.
Gallingly, technology let me down. I came within a cat’s whisker of getting decent seats before a PC failure ruined my chances. And that was it. My best chance gone. The advance tickets had all sold out within 30 minutes.
I haven’t felt so crushed since I was a spotty teenager. Which is probably rather apt.
My only chance now was a forlorn hope. Trying today, in competition with the whole world, when the general tickets went on general release at 9.30. It was going to be one hell of a mountain to climb, with thousands of others doing their best to knock me and everyone else off the north face. The wife and I went for a 2 pronged separate attack. Telephone and PC, using every technological trick at our disposal. We knew of other friends who were seriously going to have 4 PCs on the go at once with several tabs opened on each. Desperation of the highest order.
Chances of success were minute. And this was confirmed almost immediately by the phone line effectively redirecting us to the web site as the operators couldn’t cope with the amount of traffic and the web site hanging and hanging and hanging, pushing us into a virtual waiting room where we seemed to be repeatedly forgotten about and ignored. Ten minutes in tickets were already being flagged up as “unavailable”.
In a last ditch attempt I went for anything – absolutely anything, the last option that was available in fact – and ended up plumping for a high end “hospitality” package; a luxury pre-concert party-come-meet-and-greet at St Pauls Neo Gothic Church opposite the venue with a sumptuous hamper and brochure thrown in before being escorted to the venue and our seats. No doubt the price had dissuaded many and I had little hope we’d get a bite at this particular cherry anyway. Competition for tickets was evidently insane.
Ordinarily the massive price would have dissuaded me too but, you know what? It’s not often Karen and I award ourselves a big treat. I don’t think we’ve ever really done it, in fact.
So we thought sod it.
I clicked “buy” and fully expected the site to hang and then throw me out onto the street with apologies.
It gave me an in.
And a countdown. My tickets would be reserved for 7 minutes while I filled in various online forms to set up an account with the venue and then go through the payment process. My typing was suddenly appalling but I did it.
2 tickets for Saturday September 27th. Booked. Confirmed. Finally, Kate and me in the same room together. Albeit a very big room with thousands of other people in it too. 2 tickets that are mine.
It’s going to take months to pay off the credit card bill. But what the hell. For me this is an event that I thought would never happen. As sad it sounds I would have been truly gutted if I had been unable to get tickets and the whole thing went ahead without me. Not that I’m an essential component, you understand.
Right now the wife and I are shaking, wondering what the hell we have done. We’ve spent the price of a small holiday on 2 concert tickets.
But it’s Kate Bush.
Kate Bush is playing live and we’re going to be there.
Wow. Wow. Wow.