Last time I told you there wasn’t an introduction to “Don’t Rain on my Parade” – turned out, there was. In fact, there were some nice stories which I don’t want to keep from you.
An old Indian man said something to John on his travel through the US for "Children In Need" : “A life without risk is a life not lived”. And John thought about which risks he is taking. He showed a picture of himself scuba diving. “Me and Nemo!” and he mimed how he had brought Scott under water to make the picture. Too funny. Then he showed a picture of the two of them in skiing clothes and told a funny story about the first time they were in Whistler (Vancouver!) and came up the hill with the lift and Scott told John how to act once the lift reached its peak. He should go off on one – two – three and… And John said: “Please, I’m a dancer!” and rolled his eyes. So, the top of the hill came, Scott smoothly took off after one – two – three, but John somehow ended up at the wrong side of the hill, but was not able to get back up. He acted out the whole story on stage, skiing with one foot in the air and we had laughing fits. Finally he saw no other way than going down the hill on this side. While he was at it his mobile rang and it was Scott, texting: “Hope you have fun – we are sitting here, drinking gluh wine (hey, German word!) and watching some asshole coming down the shear side of the mountain.”
picture of John reading Scott's text:
The next picture John showed was from “Fifth Gear” where he was allowed to drive a racing car. And managed to crash it, it tumbled over three times. You can see it at 6 minutes 38 secundes in the video. The picture showed him sitting there after the crash while some medic removed some glass from his eye. Oh boy. John said that at the first two rounds everything went smoothly, so he was allowed the third round at his own speed. And “suddenly there was a curve that hadn’t been there before” LOL And of course, John being John, accelerated. So, they took a tumble, and the camera inside the car shows his face going “Aaaaarrrrgggghhh!” And his manager Gavin said to the first two rounds: “That looks good, yes” and to the crash: “Oh my God, John!” and ran towards him. And the next time he went home his mother just shook her head and tsked on him. All this did John act out for us. I haven't found a video from Cardiff yet, but somebody in Bournemouth did film all these stories, if you want to see John tell them in person. Here is the scuba diving one and here skiing and “Fifth Gear” and broken ankle
“And then one day you just take a step down from the deck of your pool and break your leg” and the picture showed John laying on a sofa with his left leg in a cast. And he told us “I was in pain! I was writhing on the floor! I was in agony! Tears streaming down my face!” and to each word the audience made a sympathetic “Awwwww!” But his mother thought he did only fool around and told him to get up. Only, he couldn’t. So, the point of all these stories, that you should live your life to the fullest, live every day, do some crazy stuff, but be careful.
And don’t let anybody rain on your parade. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” followed suit. And after hearing all these stories, the lyrics made sense in a completely new way. I had loved this song before, but only now the meaning really hit me. Sometimes you have such revelations. For example “…don't tell me not to fly, I've simply got to. If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you …” or “…I gotta fly once, I gotta try once, only can die once, right sir?” and I love especially the “Hey, everybody, here I am!”
But now on with the concert after the interval, where I had left off last time.
So I kept my eyes open for Scott (John’s partner) to return and when he finally arrived, he just tipped up his seat from behind and then stepped over it with his long legs, instead of making the other people in his row going up. There was a bigger gap between his and our row, for people to be able to walk through.
picture by Tannim
A short while into the concert John mentioned that Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper from “Torchwood”) also was here this evening and only after he pointed it out I realized that the woman with whom Scott was chatting all the time was Eve. So far I only had seen the back of her head, but right at this moment she turned her face to me. She and the woman next to her had a marvellous time, they were swaying to the music and sometimes jumping up and dancing. I shamefully admit that sometimes my eyes were drawn from John on the stage to this corner, because watching their reactions was so funny. This is the view I had, there is Scott in the black t-shirt (third from the left), then Eve’s husband in white and next to him Eve.
John had used the break to put on a red suit and started with a medley:“Rhythm Of The Beat / Turn The Beat Around” .
All four dancers joined him on stage as well. They really earned their money on this evening. At the line “Turn it upside down” the girls got turned upside down indeed. I thought that was funny. As for John, it is incredible how much he is whirling around and still able to sing. He really loves being on stage. He also went from one side of the stage to the other, to greet the fans sitting left and right. Also when standing in the middle of the stage, he often looked left and right. Sometimes I wished he would look a bit more to the centre, into my direction ;)
He said that this was a little medley from his recent show “Tonight’s the Night”, where he helps people fulfil their dreams and perform on stage for one evening, because he is living his dream and just wants to give something back. He showed a picture of him with Gavin Barker, saying that a lot of people wonder when they actually do their business meetings – since John always is so busy and travelling around. Well, here is the secret – they do it on the way. And one day they decided to create their own production company – Barrowman Barker, to have a bit more control over things when working for the BBC. The company logo is a very funny one – a man with a barrow (barrowman) and in said barrow is sitting a dog which stands for the barking. I think it is a very old fashioned logo, like those old Hollywood movie companies, just like John Barrowman is an old fashioned entertainer himself.
John then showed a picture of Scott “doing what he does best – reading a book”. And John pointed out that in the background of the picture of Scott lying on the beach was a man bending down and you could see his behind. If only the people knew the pictures you take sometimes. Then he said, that often people think Scott must be the luckiest man ever, living with John, “…but Scott knows I’m a handful – not like THAT!” because some people were giggling again. Anyway, here came John’s declaration of love (which I had heard before but it is always nice to hear it again). While John himself is the sailboat, sailing into all directions, Scott is his keel and keeps him on track. If you want to see the Barrowman-Barker story and some nice pictures of Scott on the beach in Antigua, then I have a link from Oxford for you.
So, the next song was dedicated to Scott and to love in general, and we should sing along if we wanted to. They even lightened up the hall so that John could see us all – “You look very good, with all the sparkle!” (in his Twitter account, he had told somebody to wear something with sparkle, and so a lot of us did – myself included – anything to make him happy LOL) He also told us we should hug the person next to us. Thus a big group hug came up.
So, the song we were singing together was “Let Your Love Flow”. Unfortunately I only know the German lyrics to that song which is about a guy and a girl in the cornfield ;) Wish I had been to the JB concert two years ago, I know the lyrics to “The Way To Amarillo” which he was singing with the audience back then by heart. But I am always too late with everything. John also held his microphone to some of his musicians who sang along – but, as John announced, “Thank God they play the instruments.”
Two of the dresses he wore as “Zaza” in the musical “La Cage Aux Folles” were suddenly standing on stage – the red one and the white one, and John talked and showed pictures of himself wearing them. Even as a woman he looks fantastically, there really isn’t anything he cannot wear. And he has great legs!
A guy was getting the dummies off stage, and John held him back, introduced him to us (sorry, forgot his name) and told us he could do a fine rap – no, of course he could do the Irish folk dance (or was it Welsh in the end?).
And so he showed a bit of his skills before he was allowed off stage. I found a video from Bournemouth where he also did that. John attempted to help him carrying the figures away, but somehow ended up with only the top half of the puppet. So, John being John, he then grabbed the remaining legs – well, between the legs LOL And no, that was no accident at all – he did it at every concert. I know my John ;)
picture by Tannim
“This song is dedicated…” – and John made a noise I cannot describe – “…to everything drag.” He had to laugh a few times while singing “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” and we squeed so loud when the two male dancers showed up on stage, wearing pink dresses. Since they didn’t wear any make-up and were kinda muscular and didn’t even try for female smooth moves they looked really funny. Also when they had to correct the fitting of their boobs all the time ;) John of course did use the opportunity for some slaps on their backsides. Who wouldn’t in his place. One of the guys later on even tried a split. The whole sight was absolutely hilarious and we screamed throughout and John was grinning like madly and I am very happy that I resisted reading any reports beforehand so this was a real surprise for me.
At the last tone John ripped off the dresses so the guys only stood there in their black underpants. With the right guy John had to rip a bit harder, as at first the dress refused to let go. And the left guy put his fingertips onto his nipples to hide them LOL We got quite a nice long look onto nice male bodies, and John added with a twinkle in his eye while whirling the dresses around: “That’s especially for you, ladies!” – well, but I saw him doing a side glance or two, too ;) Isn’t that nice when you have the same interests as your star? LOL
He then said “Boys, turn around” and when they didn’t immediately comply he pressed “Turn around – turn around!” and his voice went up a notch, like talking to a puppy and sounded exactly like when he tells poor Scott to come to the stage or do other embarrassing things like interviews. It’s totally cute though and who could really resist a voice like that? Finally the dancers gave in and presented their backsides to us as well. John wanted them to do a bow but all we got were shy curtseys which somehow were even funnier. And John said: “Give it up for James and Jamie otherwise known as Jeanette and Julie!"
After they had left the stage John giggled like a girl and added in a low voice like telling a secret: “They pretend to not like it but they run quite well in those heels, don't they?"
“I'm the reason the way I am because of two people – my Mom and Dad.” (yes, I don’t think this is grammatically correct, but even Mr. Perfect is allowed to make mistakes) John showed a picture of his parents on their first date – his Dad being 18 and his Mother 16, and their wedding picture. The whole hall went “Aaaaawwww!” And they are married for 55 years now. The song that followed was "Remember when" . I must admit I never heard it before but I loved it. John stood to the side, and at the other side we got a nice dancing pair with petticoat and ponytail just like in the Sixties, dreamily dancing to the music. Beautiful.
In the intersection where there is only music, no lyrics, John turned his back and watched together with us the pictures on the screen – family pictures of John and Marion Barrowman, together with their three children. Just click on the video of the song above – and look, there is wee John!
Then the other dancing pair came to the stage and then the crowd applauded when finally John’s Mum and Dad appeared, wearing a nice dress and suit, and started to dance. It was such an emotional moment.
They are such a nice pair, having grown old together. And they are very supportive of John – there is a story in his first book about his parents walking out of some friend’s house in the middle of the night because they had spoken ill about gay people. If only all kids in the world got that support from their parents.
At the end of the song Marion did a little turn and there also was a little kiss. So cute, and John looked so proud, he was beaming. I also had a big, big smile on my face and right now watching the video I again can’t help smiling. I adore the whole Barrowman family. I really would like to be a mouse in the house at one of their Christmas gatherings with playing games and dressing up and performing. My own family is a bit like that, our gatherings also are legendary (minus the dressing up ;) ), and I need not to wonder where I got it all from. Neither does John.
picture by Tannim
John announced: “Ladies and Gentlemen – my Mom and Dad!” and the applause got louder, if that is even possible. His dad snatched the mike from him and announced that he was wearing his James Bond suit. “The name is Bond, James Bond!” Then his wife took the micro and added: “And I am Pussy Galore!” and we all had a laughing fit, John also was doubling over even though he must hear this every evening. But they are just too funny. And seriously, which other star is taking his parents onto tour with him? So sweet ;)
I’m not sure if I should spell out the following conversation or just let you watch the video above to find out for yourself – but well, if the Barrowmans can do it on stage, so can I in my report!
So, still laughing John replied to the Pussy Galore thing “I’m so not going there!” but his father got the last word in with “It’s a long while since I’ve been there, too!” No, John needs not to wonder where he got it from ;) Before there could be any other revelations, he closed it with: “Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for my Mom and Dad!” and so we did.
The three of them left the stage to the right, and from the left Jodie Prenger entered again, gifting us with "Proud Mary" and “Nobody Does It Better”. A little while later, a guy with a flashlight/torch showed John’s parents the way back to their seats – they walked by right in front of us, their seats were in front of Scott. They had changed back into the clothes we had seen them wearing earlier this evening.
Since there was so much happening in the second half of the concert, I am stopping here and give you the third and last part next week. Don't miss out when it is "John Barrowman in concert" day again!
on to Part 3: