My youngest brother came in to the living room on Wednesday evening. To be honest, it’s not very often he leaves his bedroom. Being eighteen years old, he rarely gets up before mid-afternoon, preferring to stay upstairs and play new fangled computer games. Youngsters today.
“Are you going to see Eddie Izzard on Friday?” he asked me.
I am a massive fan of Eddie Izzard, and have been for well over 15 years. I went to see him Live in both 1999 and 2009, and, as his new tour, Force Majeure, headed into Sheffield, of course I would love to go and see him again, only the £35 per ticket price tag/lack of money thing putting me off.
Eddie Izzard and myself, backstage at the Sheffield City Hall, November 1999.
“No,” I replied to my brother (remember him?). “Why, are you?” I said this more than a little sarcastically, fully expecting the answer ‘yes’. He and his girlfriend have a tendancy to go to a lot of gigs (usually in Sheffield, occasionally Manchester or the like), and I am a little jealous, as he has a Hell of a lot more freedom than I had at his age (he also has a girlfriend and a social life, which I’ve also rarely had, if ever. A bit jealous of that, too.).
“My friend can get us some tickets, says they’re only £1. Do you want to go?” As far as stupid questions asked, this was right up there.
“If they’re only a pound, then yes please, of course I do!” My sister and other brother also answered in the affirmative, and the first – as far as I’m aware – and very probably only Bromley Siblings outing was tentatively organised.
None of us were expecting the tickets to appear, at least not for only £1.00. We were expecting some misunderstanding in communication between my brother and his mate, and were certainly not allowing ourselves to get too excited. But no, he came home on Thursday (after venturing out to the cinema to see Star Trek Into Darkness – very good, by all accounts) with an envelope containing five tickets for Eddie’s Friday night gig at the Sheffield Arena. They weren’t dodgy, knocked off, fake, fallen off the back of a truck or anything. It merely turned out that this friend of my brother has a cousin who works at the Arena who’s entitled to a few free tickets (yes, ‘free’ – we actually paid more than they were worth!), and we were the lucky souls who’d grabbed them. Now we could start getting excited.
Two of the seats were on the Arena floor, in Block A – my brother and his girlfriend had those – and the other three were about halfway back, up on the second tier, so my other brother, my sister and I had those.
We did arrive a bit earlier than we expected. We figured there’d be a bit of trouble with traffic, and we’d have to wait for the tram, then it’d take a while to get into the Arena and find our seats…We actually arrived at the venue some ten minutes before doors opened, and, after buying a programme (£10 – I didn’t really want to buy any merch, as I’m rather skint, but I couldn’t not buy a programme, could I? It’s a very good quality item, it has to be said – particularly well-bound), we were sat in our seats for 85 minutes before the show began just after 8pm. Ah well, c’est la vie (Ooh, that’s French. Do you think anyone noticed? No, never mind.).
The show was fantastic, possibly the best of the three I’ve seen Live in person (though Glorious remains my favourite show of Eddie’s – I was listening to the audio tape of that show on Friday afternoon as I got ready; I can pretty much recite it, I’ve listened to it so often over the years), and while I wouldn’t want to spoil the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet – it’s out on DVD in November, people – I will just say that his routine in this show about Dressage is one of the funniest things I have seen in a long, long time.
The show ended around 10.20pm, and after joining the queue just to get to the tramstop (there really were quite a lot of people), we managed to (literally) squeeze onto a tram, transfer in town onto a bus, and were home just over an hour later, a much shorter time than we envisaged.
All in all, a rather bloody good night out.
Eddie Izzard, centre stage at the start of the second half.
Deary me. Me, out on two rather excellent social occasions, with different people, within the space of a single week? (I did wear the same ‘going out’ clothes, I must admit, on both occasions, the only alteration on Friday night being the addition of the Eddie Izzard: Stripped t-shirt I bought at the last tour.) What is my life coming to?
I have remained in Eddie Izzard fanboy mode since. I watched Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story on Saturday (for, shockingly, the first time – I thought I’d seen it, but borrowed the DVD off my sister, and realised that I’d seen nothing more than the trailer, shown on the Stripped tour), so I enjoyed that. Then today I’ve been watching the Live at the Ambassadors video from TWENTY years ago. I imagine I’ll probably spend the week going through all the shows in order. I’m like that.
Eddie Izzard. Magnifuckingique.