I Saw Hugh!!!

Friday, May 6th, 2011 11:09 pm
tourmaline: (hugh laurie)
[personal profile] tourmaline
I saw Hugh Laurie live tonight!!!!!!!!!!

He was playing at Warwick Arts Centre, and I went with A, my friend from work who is also a House & Hugh fan. I called for her, and her husband told me how they've been watching lots of Jeeves & Wooster on DVD recently. She lives not far from the Arts Centre, so we were in and settled in our seats in good time.

Firstly the band came out and starting playing an instrumental, and then Hugh came on stage and of course the audience, including me, went wild, everyone clapping and cheering and squealing. He was wearing a black suit with a dark red shirt and black tie, and what looked like the usual dark brown boots :) He played a few songs at the piano with the band, then moved front & centre for "You Don't Know My Mind" where he plays the guitar - and for which he got the words wrong :D Before he picked up the guitar, he took his jacket off, and someone down the front yelled out "and the rest" and he laughed and said "you wouldn't want to see any more", but he was looking so good, it struck me how thin he looked - not super-thin but unusually trim for a man his age, and I could see his dimples from half-way back in the audience.

There was a moment a few songs in when Hugh asked if there could be more light - "I'll pay" - meaning a bit more light onstage, and for a brief moment the house lights came up and everyone in the audience waved at him, but then they went down and he got his increased lighting onstage. It was at this point I thought of [profile] shutterbug_12 and her stagelighting skills, and wondering who and where the Arts Centre equivalents were.

Now I must say, the band were absolutely amazing. It's been a while since I saw live music so I was really blown away by the myraid of sounds each could produce from the several instruments they had. But overall I could do little more than watch Hugh constantly, after all I've waited for tonight since I was fourteen, I was saying to myself over and over again, that's my Hugh Laurie, that's the man I've adored all these years, my Hugh Laurie.

For me, the stand-out song was "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho" which Hugh sings but doesn't play any instruments on. It stood in my mind from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival set, and tonight showed how powerful his voice can be. Seeing him sing, centre-stage, so into the music, I wanted to scream and cry and everything at once, if anyone ever casts any doubt whether Hugh is a "real" musician then the proof is there in that song, music is woven deep into his soul.

Of course the whole evening went so quickly, so much of my rememberings are in a mix of OMGHugh and awesome music. There was one song where the other musicians, except for the horn player, left the stage, and it was just Hugh and the other guy on clarinet, and they were wonderful. When they were all onstage the tour manager (I think), the "guy on trays" as Hugh described him, brought them small glasses of scotch, the bassist put his on the piano and tried to swap his almost-drained glass with Hugh's half-full glass without Hugh noticing. Hugh forgot his words in a later song, he blamed the guitarist - "you were looking at me" so when they got going again the guitarist had one hand shielding the side of his face so he couldn't look at Hugh.

All too soon, they finished, and we were applauding forever, and they came back for an encore. At the end, we all applauded and cheered and gave a standing ovation, Hugh toasted us with the last of his Scotch, he looked happy and relieved it had been a good show. (And when he walked offstage we got a good chance to appreciate his divine arse.) After many of his songs Hugh did his usual mini-bow, like in the House ep "Broken" after he plunges his face into the cake, but at the end it struck me how he always accepts applause graciously, he doesn't try to cut an audience's applause off or jokily dismiss it or look like he's enduring it with gritted teeth - he accepts an audience's sincerity in their applause.

I'd heard from Twitter friends who had been at the London and Germany concerts about Hugh meeting fans at the stage door. The Arts Centre doesn't have a Stage Door as such, having as it does a theatre, a hall (the usual location for music gigs), a cinema, an art gallery, a studio theatre/performing space, and the usual bookshops, giftshops, bars, coffeeshops, eatieries and rehearsal rooms - only the Barbican in central London is a bigger and more complex affair. My friend said that what sometimes happens is that the performers are brought down to the upstairs bar, so we hung around there for a while after just in case, but sadly no Hugh encounters were to be had, so we left not long after 10pm, just in time to be home to see Hugh's appearance on The Graham Norton Show.

So it was a wonderful evening which I'll never forget, one I will keep telling myself "Yes, you were really there, you really did see Hugh Laurie live".