First – if you want to see some really great pictures of the London concert by kurthummel, go here You won’t find any better than that. That being out of the way – let’s start!
After we had taken our seats my friend suddenly asked: “Aren’t that John’s Mum and Dad over there?” And right, there they were, right in front of us, and because some other people had spotted them as well, they were doing some pictures with fans.
They could make some money with this, getting quite famous themselves! LOL They had their seats just two rows before us. I hadn’t spoiled myself in any way but I was pretty sure that they would join John on stage for a song later that evening, I really loved their dancing at the DVD from the last concert tour.
It already was a few minutes after seven-thirty, the musicians had gone to their places and tuned their instruments for a last time, and then the show for which he had waited half a year finally started. I lost and won a bet with myself. Ever since first listening to “When I get my name in lights” (this video is from Southend) on the recent album, I wondered how this would be live on stage (and hoped for a “John Barrowman” sign in lights) and so I did a bet with myself whether or not this would be the first song. Well, it was, although not live. In the beginning on the screen there was something like an old TV and they showed some pictures of John and his career from his first steps onto the musical stage till today and throughout it all this song was playing. One of the pictures was of John in the kilt, showing his bare behind to the audience, which of course yelled. It wouldn’t be the last time this evening. Then the band started their instruments and the 4 dancers – Jenny, Kate, James & Jamie, also called The J4, were first, the girls wore blue glittery dresses and the boys shiny suits.
First we only could hear John, but didn’t see him yet. Then he entered the stage in a blue suit with some sparkle and with his first song “Let’s Get The Party Started”.
When there is the word “ass” in the lyrics all five of them turned and wriggled exactly that at us which of course provoked another squee. And John held what he promised with this song – the whole concert was a big party with some emotional songs thrown in for good measure. The next song was "You To Me Are Everything”. The guys had taken off their shiny jackets. And all five of them were swinging their hips very nicely. And yes, I did find a video on youtube from Cardiff, but it is so bad quality that I don’t want to bother you with it. If you want to see John’s swinging hips you’ll find a whole list of videos at the end of the entry.
I’m not exactly sure, but somewhere in between John must have had his welcome speech to us, he wondered: “Where have you all come from!” (and everyone shouted their country at once LOL) and he also said that this concert was a special one for him, with Cardiff now being his home city and all. He really was surprised to see the hall so full, and I just read in his book that last year there were about 2,500 people, so with about 5,000 we doubled it this time. No wonder he was so emotional. He even tried some Welsh words to which the audience responded with wolf whistles. And one of his musicians – Ryan - also comes from Cardiff and his parents were in the audience this evening. John then went to him and said he should open his shirt a bit more, and took matters into his own hands, showing us quite a nice chest underneath. For the rest of the evening Ryan did not dare to button up again ;) Well, we girls didn’t complain.
John also pointed out that between all those male musicians there was one woman with the bass guitar. “She is here to keep the lesbians happy – and the men!” Well, my brother certainly was more than happy.
John then showed some pictures from the set of "Desperate Housewives" where he recently had played the role of Patrick Logan.
And he told us about the house of Bree who is selling potatoes at the moment in an advertisement (which we saw the next evening live in TV) and John also threw back his hair like Eva Longoria who advertises L’oréal. And after watching the video for the umpteenth time I finally realize why I didn’t get the joke in the hall – he is mixing up the names of Eva Longoria and Marcia Cross! The latter is the one selling potatoes and does need to speak to her manager, as John suggests ;)
Anyway, the house of Bree is actually the set’s toilets, “four men’s loos and four women’s loos” and he said we should think whenever we see her house on TV “that everybody dumps in her house”. When John was on set Eva did introduce him and his family to her favourite restaurant in Las Vegas, and John wanted to bring a bit Las Vegas feeling to the show. So he sang the song "Viva Las Vegas" . He got joined by the girls who wore many feathers on their costume – and not much else ;)
I must say I think the music was a tad too loud. Hurting in the ears loud, actually. So I was happy when my ears got a break with the first ballad of the evening. The story John told before it went like this: When he was a young his parents would own this huge music machine where you played records and tapes, and he would go to the record shop, with his coat on, and buy background tapes. Then he went home, hiding them under his coat, sneaking by his mom, bringing the tapes to his room and waiting till nobody was at home. Then he would put the tape in the machine, and sing his heart out. He would do all the emotions, ending up in tears – and one time he turned around and his mother was standing in the door. “She should have known then!” This video is not from Cardiff, but it has John telling the story and I got very emotional listening to it, actually, because I had to think that his dream came true: Story about singing secretly at home from Bournemouth
The song which he was singing at the time was “Don’t Cry Out Loud”. Another ballad followed right away, a very nice song: "Unusual Way" . He sat down on a bar stool for it. What a voice *sigh*
John talked about his childhood heroes – Batman, Superman, and the like. With every name mentioned we squeed. He showed a picture of himself in the Spiderman costume and on the stage he “threw” out some spinning threads. One day after dinner his nieces and nephews asked uncle John – “after uncle John had had two Vodca Tonics” – whether they could play super heroes and John said: “Yes, let me get my costume!” and he eagerly ran off the stage LOL After he came back and the laughter had died down he added: “And later that evening Scott was entangled in Spideys little web…” This isn’t from Cardiff, but if you want to see this story acted out go here: Spiderman-story at Bournemouth
And he said he always wanted his two favourite super heroes hooking up but it never was gonna happen – until tonight. So he sang the songs of "Spiderman" and "Wonder Woman" ”with a special JB twist“ and one dancer came in a Spiderman costume and John did copy some of his dancing steps, including one very high jump. Which didn’t look as smooth on John as it did on the dancer, and he pulled a face as if he had strained a muscle, but knowing his “Anything you can do” video I know what an actor he is ;) Then the second dancer in Spiderman costume joined them! So we had two Spidermans on stage! Isn’t that like with the Highlander – there can only be one? On stage the two Spidermans had a little run-in about who is the better one, which was very funny to watch. And then they got joined by the two girls – in Wonder Woman costumes. They soon threw their capes away, though. So the few guys in the audience also had something to look at ;)
In the end the girls won and put a rope around the two Spidermans with John in the middle, who then got punched and fell to the ground, struggling to get out. John complained “Get off me! I said it was a dream, not a phantasy!” LOL He then complimented one Spiderman that he looked mighty fine. After this one had left the stage John turned to the other and asked: „What the hell have you done to your costume?“ The guy replied: „Just trying to do something good for the people of Cardiff.“ – „But be careful walking off, because you’re chewing that costume, and I don’t mean with your mouth either. … I wondered where all our bananas were going.“
John showed a picture of his first musical in high school, “Hello Dolly”, he was about 15 years old. And next came a picture of him in his "...white polyester pants in a hundred and twenty degree heat and let me tell you, don’t ever wear polyester in weather that warm because you sweat in places you never knew you could sweat" and everybody who read his first book “Anything goes” knows which story is coming now – if not, just click on the link above where he tells about it – no, he acts it out in all detail. He ended with “I often wondered till this day if that couple ever read my book” and that the front row was looking very nervous at the moment. “And I had Brussels sprouts for dinner!” I think the prank with the laxative that was played on him back then was a bit too harsh, but he still seems to find the story funny.
He also showed a picture of himself as a matador for the musical of the same name, and he went to Spain to learn some moves of a bull fighter. “And they put me in the ring in that outfit after a bunch training. I was so nervous and they said they’re gonna let the bull come out and I was like …” (John did a very unmanly squeak ;) ) “They opened up the doors and it was a man in a wheel barrel with horns on it” but John still ran away.
Next step in his career was “Sunset Boulevard”. “I was introduced to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, otherwise known as Drew or Andy”. Next came a picture of “Beauty and the Beast” – and John was the Beast. “Those are my own abs”, he said. “Six-pack abs. And I have a comb-over. – Oh what? You lour at a comb-over, but I shit on someone and you laugh?!?“
So, when he did his most recent album, he wanted to put on a song that would reflect his twenty years in the business, and so he chose “Memory” because “I believe when you finish something – a show, it’s not the end, because there’s a new day beginning, a new day will dawn, you know something else will come around the corner!”. All these transcriptions I got from the video above, which is a rather long one. Thank you very much, TheOutaSpaceMushroom!
Now John introduced us to Jodie Prenger, who had won one of the talent shows called “I’d do anything” and has become a friend of John since. She sang two songs, “Cry Me A River” and "Mambo Italiana" but I won’t go too much into that, this report is long enough as it is. She has a very nice voice too, though.
For the second song she got joined by the dancers who wore black pants and black shirts and danced quite some nice mambo. I thought that the pockets of the pants looked weird, though. The pants were very tight and the pockets stood up on a weird angle. I think it would have been better to have pants without pockets at all. Not that they had any usage for them while being on stage. Should they maybe get out a handkerchief when they needed to sneeze? LOL
John came back to the stage now, with a little dog bag. He told us the story how Jodie had make him laugh at her first audition because she said that her shoes were killing her and they had only cost five pounds. In the little dog bag there were said shoes (and no dog, otherwise John wouldn’t have swirled it around that much). He also knelt in front of Jodie while talking. Then he talked about his nieces and nephews again who one day asked whether he could not sing something more – modern? Something more – cool? One of their favourite songs is "Fireflies" , and it has become a favourite of John now, too. All four dancers were on stage with him, wearing white pants and t-shirts. I really like it when John is making some moves which are in synchronisation with his background dancers. He does it so effortlessly, as if he just at this moment decides to join them, but of course every step is rehearsed several times.
I don’t think there was an introduction to the next song, "Don't Rain On My Parade just followed suit. All four dancers joined him, wearing black. The guys in black suits and the girls looked rather fashionable as well. At the end they did one of those rows usually only done by girls – where they stand with linked arms and throw up the legs in synchronisation. No idea what the English word for this is? Girlrow? Anyway, John did make a mistake at one point, lifted the wrong leg and Jenny was laughing at him. You can see it at 2:04 in the video.
Somehow it was clear to me that after this highlight there would be the break, and so it was, John left the stage after a last wave to us, but they showed pictures of him and the family during the interval. I used the break for a quick dash to the toilets – sitting in the stalls really helps, the line quickly became much longer! Then I joined another line for some Hot Dog, but right before it was my turn they sold out. Bummer. I went back to my place and got informed by my friend that Scott (John’s partner) just had been there as well and already had done pictures with fans. Double bummer. That would have been a picture I really would have liked to have.
Since John made a break, I want to give you one too - please come back for the next half, when it's time again for: John Barrowman in concert!
on to Part 2: