• Jan. 15th, 2013 at 11:08 PM
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
Despite the weather and the fact that I've never been to Salford in my life, Jason and I got to the venue in one piece! We set off at about four o'clock since Jason's aunt had heard that trains into Salford would be a bit funny today, and then when we arrived at Manchester Oxford Road we were told that no trains went from that station anyway; the best way to Salford Quays was via a tram from St Peter's Square. Thankfully this was easy enough to find; simply leave the station, turn left and keep walking until you see the tram tracks.

Not long after we found the tram station and figured out which trams went to Salford Quays (MediaCityUK and Eccles), one arrived and we hopped on. It was about fifteen minutes before we got there, and when we did we had loads of time to kill and three places in which to murder said time - Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito (a Mexican place) or a pub, which turned out to be a Hungry Horse venue.

Once Jason realised it was a Hungry Horse place it was decided and I had no say in that decision. He used to go to one when he was down in Exeter and the college would give all students a fiver towards a meal on a Thursday, and the prices are brilliant; much better than Wetherspoon's. I had tomato and basil soup for a starter and a cajun chicken burger for a main and it was AMAZING. Jason had chicken wings and then steak and chips, and even after waiting for our food and then eating it, we still had about an hour to kill.

At half six we headed off to find the Lowry, which was actually very easy to find. The pub we ate at was just across from the Salford Quays tram stop; from there, you just turned left and carried on along the quay, past a Beefeater Grill and the Lowry Outlet Mall, until you reach a funky bridge that gradually changes colours. To the right of this, the big, shiny, multi-coloured building is the Lowry. It's all orange and purple and amazing! So we went in, got directions to where Caravan would be playing... and still had time to kill so we got ourselves a cup of tea. There was a Lowry employee in the bar area where we were waiting who was selling Caravan t-shirts and they had one medium left so I snapped it up. You have no idea how chuffed I am to finally be the proud owner of a Caravan t-shirt!

7.30 came and the doors were open. Jason and I were the first two into the theatre and wow! What a view we had! Our seats, Tier 2, Row A, 38 and 39, were right in the middle of the top tier with a cracking, uninterrupted view of the stage. In the meantime they were playing Frank Zappa, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart over the PA to keep us amused. Time ticked on, I tried and mostly failed to get my camera to take decent photos, people slowly began to fill the seats. Instruments were already out on stage; Geoffrey Richardson's violin, guitar and flute. Mark Walker's drums, emblazoned with a Caravan logo. Jan Schelhaas's ensemble of keyboards... and an acoustic guitar. I wondered if we would be treated to an acoustic number tonight. I certainly couldn't see Pye Hasting's trademark red Fender on the stage anywhere, unless he would be carrying it on with him.

Then, at 8 o;clock, when the theatre was about 2/3rds full, the lights dimmed and a silent apprehension fell amongst those gathered. Two young chaps walked onto the stage - Garron Frith, the support act, and Cliff Woodworth, who would be accompanying him on Richardson's violin...

In Which Kelza Screams About Caravan... )


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