Bic Runga Part 2


Last night Bristol had the pleasure of Bic Runga’s company once again. A demand for tickets led to the gig being moved from the Louisiana to the Academy 2. This was the top bar of the Academy which holds about 200 people.

With it being the first “official” gig at this new venue, and Bic’s last night of her British tour (apart from a couple of dates supporting James Blunt and the odd festival!), the feeling was intimate and friendly.

I was disappointed not to have Anika Moa opening as she had at the previous Bristol gig, but the evening was kicked off by Astrid Williamson, who originally hails form the Shetland Isles and has recently toured with Darren Hayes, (former frontman of Savage Garden).

Astrid is now on her third critically acclaimed album, “Day of the Lone Wolf, and was a superb opener for the night’s entertainment.

Echoing Bic’s skills in guitar and piano playing, and with a distinctive voice reminiscent at times of Tori Amos, Sinead O’Connor and Carole King, Astrid wowed the crowd not just with her simple, poetic songs but with her sense of humour.

Anyone who enjoys Bic’s music should really take a listen to some of Astrid’s music (www.astridwilliamson.net) and tracks played on the night worthy of further examination are “True Romance”, “Reach” and “Superman 2”. I had the pleasure of chatting with Astrid after the show and found her charming. If you have the opportunity to see her live, do take it as you won’t be disappointed.

As I waited in my prime position in the front row, I could see Bic’s set list for the night, and I knew we would be in for a memorable time.

And so at last we came to Bic! Resplendent in a shimmering black dress, and ably backed by some of the Devastations, Bic at her piano opened the evening with “Precious Things”.

Next up and, apparently rarely played on this tour, was “Gravity”. This is my favourite song, and as I was about 5 ft from Bic as she played it, I could gone home happy there and then.

After “Gravity”, Bic took us through an upbeat rendition of “Blue Blue Heart” before being joined on stage by Anika Moa and Anna Coddington for “Captured”, “If I Had You” and “Ne Me Quitte Pas”, the latter sung with great intensity by Bic.

Bic then had the stage all to herself for the next 3 songs as she played “Something Good”, (a last minute addition) “Bursting Through”, and “Drive”. “Bursting Through” held us spellbound and I think was the high point for most of us there.

The band joined Bic on “Be All and End All”, “Say After Me” (which was definitely edgier than when played at the Louisiana gig), and “Its Over”, the latter being the song that showed Bic at her moody and atmospheric best.

Bic brought the show to a close by performing the perennial crowd pleasers of “Get Some Sleep” and “Sway”, both of which had everyone singing along.

As an encore, Bic and the band left us with a stirring rendition of “Winning Arrow”, before Bic played the last song of the evening, alone on the stage with her guitar, where often she seems most happy; just her and us.

We were expecting “No Crying No More”, but Bic gave us “When I See You Smile”.

It seemed a fitting end to the night and her tour, and as she exited with a shy grin and a wave, she would have seen us all smiling, as once again, we had been in the company of such a wonderfully gifted musician.

Wonderful wedding in Wales

Ahh you just can’t beat a good wedding…

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of going over to the lovely Gower Peninsula in Wales for the wedding of Toby and Louise.

Not only did we have fabulous weather and scenery, but it was one of those weddings where you know loads of people and it makes for a great party!!

The day had stunning sunshine and blue sky and loads of us crammed into the village hall in lovely little Reynoldston.

The service was wonderful, in fact one of the best I have been to and made for a great start to the day. For those of us not going to the afternoon reception, we had the delights of a good pub lunch in the sunshine at the King Arthur, before we all headed off to nearby Rhossili and Llangennith beaches for some swimming and sun time. I am still amazed at how warm the sea was!!

A great deal of people turned up for the evening reception held at St Madoc camp overlooking the beaches and as a large number of us were staying over, we partied long into the night….naturally I set the dance floor alight….!!

There were also some sights to be seen at the wedding, one being Ben, Ben and Colse wearing kilts despite none of them being Scottish (really long story) and Dan dressed like this…and I have no idea why.

But that’s what weddings are for surely? Fun, friendship, food and festivities. A community coming together to bless its own.

A chance to show the world just how good God’s gift of marriage is.

The good and the bad

Yesterday was one of those days. Not just because it was my birthday but also because I managed to have one of these on my way to work.

Some thoughtful middle aged lady pulled out in front of me at the top of Park Street without looking or signaling and I went sideways and then to the floor. Thankfully I didn’t have any injuries but that’s because I am so practiced in crashing!

I did ask her why she had done this and all I got was a middle finger and a truckload of profanity….

In addition, when I got home I noticed that I had managed to lose my mobile phone while cycling home from work. Great. Just what I wanted.

I am not really that bothered about losing a phone, just the fact that it has so many numbers in it I don’t have elsewhere.
I should be getting one in the next few days so until then I will be ninja like in my secrecy!

But you also have to look at the good things in life too and yesterday I bought my flight to on holiday for 3 weeks to the delightful land of Aoteoroa.

Some snowboarding on Ruapehu, some mountain biking, maybe some surfing and of course…Matt and Anna’s wedding!!

32

So its official then..I’ve reached the grand old age of 32. I imagine this means I will be getting a pipe and slippers given to me.

In addition to my birthday, there are many other famous events that have happened on this date:

1495 1st record of Scottish whiskey recorded in the Exchequer Rolls
1533 Anne Boleyn crowned Queen of England
1794 The English fleet under Lord Howe defeat the French
1936 The maiden voyage of the liner Queen Mary to New York
1938 Superman first appears in the DC Comics Action Series
1970 Launch of Soyuz 9 into the longest ever Earth orbit (18 days)

Also I share my birthday with Morgan Freeman, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Monkhouse…. make of this what you will!

Today as I am at work, I am listening to “Shift”, an old song from one of my favourite Kiwi bands Eight (although I have only just come across the song).

You can listen to the song if you want…but I really happen to like the lyrics too. When its a birthday, you take some time to reflect on where you have been and where you are. Today, I think this is how I feel:

We’re starting again
Like the first time
Each line here
A shift in my thinking
To find out that
You’re the reason

I’m moving in Your direction

I keep on moving
You bring me back
Falling forwards
We’re right on track
Even if I change my mind
In a little while
We realign and get back up again

This static while communicating
Through thoughtfields
That are constantly changing
To find out that
You’re the reason

I’m moving in Your direction

Starting again like the first time
Constantly changing
You come along
While You can

You alone
You alone again