Friday 27 October 2023

Many inflatable unicorns

A twin-porpoise trip to Shrewsbury, both fulfilled.

Firstly, a trip to the world's first iron-framed building, and a trip up its smashing tower. Some pictures exist elsewhere.

Second, to attend the entertainment of Mr and Mrs Willcox (née Fripp) who are touring their Sunday lunch. One wasn't quite sure what to expect: queueing for a beer on arrival I texted the Frau "The regulation KC audience has brought its wife" - Mr Willcox will be surprised to see an audience that is 50% female. She was quick to point out that actually the regulation Toyah audience had brought its husband. The stage was scattered with inflatable unicorns, instead of the 3 massive drumkits KC fans might expect.

Fashionably punctual the band appeared. Mr Willcox in his customary funereal garb, and Mrs Willcox in an outfit that would have been awkward to wear on a bus. She provided lively banter throughout, reminding us early on that he is 77 and she 65. There were a few occasions where we got a monosyllabic comment from him, rather more than I have heard him say since I saw him in York in 1974. There was a solitary drummer who, despite coming from Leeds, did not fill the space that three do, two keyboard artistes (one accompanied by her teenage daughter), a bassist, two guitarists, and Mr Willcox. He sat still througout, as one might expect, although was downstage, which I had not see before, and was unaccompanied by the massive cabinet of electronics that is his customary security blanket.

The set list was straight from the Sunday Lunch, and Toyah was very happy for us to sing along with her, which I think we all did rather well. Interestingly, the guitarists were of such quality that Robert could be seen just strumming rhythm from time to time. But he also set himself free on a few occasions, notably playing a version of "Enter Sandman" that we certainly hadn't heard before. My neighbour enquired whether I expected them to perform any KC pieces - I thought not. I was correct, although they did do two Bowie pieces on which he has been an original musician (Fashion and, of course, Heroes).

The English Music Hall is alive and well, and of great quality.

And I found this - isn't it lovely?