OK – well he really didn’t want to be there. Originally I had bought two tickets for this gig for me to take my daughter and we should have gone in March. However, Lady G then rearranged some tour dates including ours, and the new date clashed with a 16th birthday party for one of my daughter’s very best friends. Agonising was agonised over, and she eventually came down on the side of the party. I call in the First Reserve, one Reidksi, very occasional blogger of London Town. He wasn’t wildly keen but after I promised him various sexual favours (and when that failed offered alcohol) he agreed to make the trip to Sheffield last Friday to see the pop phenomenon known variously as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, or Lady GaGa for commercial purposes.
The crowd was somewhat mixed. Most importantly for me, I wasn’t the oldest there, and most importantly for him, he wasn’t the only straight man. There was a range of GaGa style alikes from the “Wow! She/he looks amazing!” – to the “OHMYGOODGOD – WHAT DOES SHE* THINK SHE LOOKS LIKE!!!!” kind of range.
(*Unfortunately when men do GaGa they seemed to get away with it, whilst the female of the species sometimes falls somewhat short.)
There were also quite a few kids looking no older than 10 who were along with their parents. Know I DO know what some of those parents had to say after the support band had been and (thankfully) gone because I was in the toilet queue later with some of them but exactly how I am going to relate the performance that was Semi Precious Weapons I’m really not too sure.
“ Semi Precious Weapons? Are they a boy band?” asked Reidski. I had no idea but it transpired that A Boy Band They Are Not.
“Is that Lady GaGa?” was Reidksi’s next question when the band appeared to the sound of booming base and the sight of a guitarist performing backward summersaults on the stage plus a six foot something blonde in massively high heels and a dress that scarcely covered her arse. No. On closer inspection the six foot something blonde in massively high heels and a dress that scarcely covered her arse turned out to be a he, not a she. And that would have been fine, had he demonstrated just a modicum of talent. Instead he chose to demonstrate that he wasn’t wearing anything under his dress...and the sight thus revealed did not demonstrate much talent I can tell you. He also chose to address us incessantly as a bunch of mother fuckers, although to be fair I think he was using the term in its loving and caring sense. (?) And he also learnt that the only way he was ever going to get a cheer that evening (being as how the band were so utterly and quite jaw droppingly shite) was to keep yelling out how we would soon be seeing “LAID - EEE - FUCK – KING – GA – GA!!!!” Guaranteed a cheer every time (even after the 150th yelling of “LAID - EEE - FUCK – KING – GA – GA!!!!”)
I can’t even start to describe just how bad Semi Precious Weapons actually were, but they describe themselves thus: “ We play our own "Filthy Glamour" brand of rock music and espouse a "Dirty Showbiz" philosophy.”
That apparently includes stripping stark bollock naked on stage.
As I mentioned before I do know what the parents of some of the younger children thought of this particular band and let’s just say the answer is along the lines of ‘Not Much.’
And so I turn in relief to the main event.
When I first started to become aware of Lady Gaga (through the tabloids, not through her music) I was quite sure that she was of no more interest than Kerry Katona. This view prevailed until I caught her performance at Glastonbury where she came on stage at 6.30 and produced what this article described as the best Glastonbury performance of a decade. I was sold.
So its probably true to say that I was expecting more from the evening than Reidksi was, but I still wasn’t expecting what we got which was over two hours of spectacular, ludicrous, fabulous, camp, burlesque, art house pop at its best performed by a young woman of only 24 with quite incredible charisma. Someone else described the set as a cross between The Wanderers and The Wizard of Oz and that is as good a description as you might get of something that encompassed a piano on fire, harps, a subway train and a smashed up Rolls Royce, fountains of blood, green vomit and a giant (fame) monster. As for her costumes....
The other thing is that there was no lip synching, her voice is amazing and when you learn afterwards that she has been playing the piano since she was 4 then that explains how bloody good she is at that too. She talks a lot too, and if it had gone on much longer I would have come away truly believing she loved me as much as she kept telling me she did.
And what of Reidski? Did he remain coolly aloof from all this nonsense? Not at all. He loved it too. And to her rather plaintive question to the audience as to whether or not we thought she was sexy his answer was an unequivocal ‘Yes’.
That was when we fell out ;-)
Good quality footage of 'Bad Romance' here....
Blinded - *The Blind Girl in Hiroshima* (1963) Photograph by *Christer Strömholm*
2 hours ago