a-ha in Cape Town – some thoughts

Last night was really very special. Right up there with the Bergen concert.

A balmy evening, a really well-organised experience, some decent support acts, an appreciative crowd, and – of course – Morten, Magne and Pål doing their stuff up on stage. Really fantastic.

As a celebration of the 35th (weep!) anniversary of their first album, they played all ten tracks in full and in order before moving on to some of their more well-known songs. As a fan and a purist, this was so perfect: the opportunity to hear them play some stuff which I hadn’t heard live since (literally) 1986. Just a remarkable experience.

The Blue Sky was gorgeous, the demo version of I Dream Myself Alive was unique and such a rush for the true fans. Here I Stand And Face The Rain  was powerful, energetic and evocative.

And then done with the old stuff, and straight into the bassy, rocky Sycamore Leaves. Wow.

Shall we play something you all know, now?

asked Magne, and the crowd roared as they launched into I’ve Been Losing You. But I just wanted them to keep playing – whatever.

Foot Of The Mountain, Analogue and The Swing Of Things sounded better than I have ever heard them, Stay On These Roads was beautiful and so well-received and respected, and although we didn’t get Crying In The Rain or the new Digital River, that was just fine. It was almost as if they had tailor-made the setlist for me.

Thanks, boys.

The short, but sweet encore of Scoundrel Days (a personal favourite) with a scary echoey reverb, and a rousing The Living Daylights rounded the evening off perfectly.

Not that I couldn’t have done with another hour and a half.  A really wonderful experience, and one I was so chuffed to have shared with the kids.

Was this my last a-ha concert? Who knows? (After all, I have been to my last a-ha concert several times already…!) I hope not, obviously, because I just love their music and hearing it live is so special for me.

But… but, if it was, then this was a fitting send off. What a truly exceptional evening.

 

All my photos from the concert (15)

Concert Friday

a-ha* in Cape Town. When you say it, it sounds pretty amazing. Maybe the music isn’t for you (because ok, each to their own), but then there’s the destination. Maybe the destination isn’t for you (weirdo), but it’s always pretty cool to go a concert, right?

If someone had offered me a ticket to a concert in Cape Town before I lived in Cape Town, I’d be pretty wowed. Now it’s just a concert up the road.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not really looking forward to it.

And I’m looking forward to taking the kids along as well. The boy, with his shared middle name, and the girl, who knows all the words to all the songs. (And my long-suffering wife, of course, who tolerates and even supports my fandom.)

This will be my boy’s first “proper” concert. And that seems fitting, since a-ha was my first ever proper concert way back in the mid-80s. Something of a rite of passage then. This will be the seventh time I’ve seen them – living right down here in the bottom corner of Africa really limits your options as far as regularly attending gigs goes.

And in a weird twist, with Mrs 6000 away and no football on (I now, right?) after picking up the kids from Scouts, I ended up watching anything on the TV last night. The film I saw the end of even had an a-ha song in it just before the protagonist was ripped back through time to live another day.
Do you know? Can you guess?

Look out on IG and twitter for concert updates (links in sidebar), but please understand that I’m there for the experience, not to point and shoot.

 

* got to write it right. 

Big fall

A great weekend with friends in Agulhas. Braais, games, laughs, drinks, beaches, walks… all of the good stuff. The only thing that marred it slightly was me taking a heavy tumble on Struisbaai beach during a last-batsman rush to save the game of beach cricket.

You wouldn’t think that sand could be so hard.

I now have a large knee, a bruised shin and my dysesthesia is back with a vengeance. Walking is fine, running is a non-starter and I’m feeling rather foolish and more than a bit pissed off about the whole thing. And so we concentrate on the positives, which are plentiful and include:

1. The fact that I made the run, before retiring hurt and successfully avoiding vomiting in the Indian Ocean. Much like the contents of my stomach, I was not out.
2. The fact that otherwise, the weekend was a proper jol, and
3. The fact that we got back to Cape Town just in time to see this guy…

… brilliantly slot home the winner against Bournemouth.

I’ve always been a fan of his.

The Blades up to fifth, looking properly good, and the press now talking of Champions League footy at Bramall Lane next season. And for once, they don’t mean just on the big TV sets in the Blades’ Social Club.

I’m hoping that we’ve just about done enough to avoid relegation at this point and while the actual Premier League title seems just out of reach, I’d be very happy with any finish in the top half of the table. I’m not sure we have the depth of squad to take on the rest of Europe right now.

Still, that league position is fantastic (and actually, totally justified) and the attention is flattering (and actually, totally justified).

Secure and shipshape

My thanks must once again go out to The Guru for his selfless work on the backend of 6000 miles…. this last week or so.
There was an upcoming issue with the plugin which makes the blog look nice on mobile devices (support was going to be withdrawn next month), and thus he sorted the mobile problem before it even materialised and then embarked upon a full redesign for the front, tidied out the metaphorical wardrobes in the spare bedroom and made the whole site secure by… well… if I knew what he did, I’d share, but you should now see a little padlock next to the url at the top of your screen.

You are safe here.

The battle continues…

The battle between the allied forces of my diet and my exercise, and my love of beer continues to rage on around my midriff. On the plus side, I’ve been exercising pretty regularly: just about every day to some degree.
Sadly, the high temperatures and my lack of will power has led to some erosion of the benefits of that exercise, in that I have enjoyed some (or more) beers next to the pool, with dinner or – in one particular case – next to the pool with dinner over the last week or so.

It could be worse. I could be drinking and not exercising. Or, if you choose to look at it another way, exercising and not drinking. And so while I’m not necessarily getting all that I could be from my runs or gym visits, I’m happy enough. Everything in moderation. Including, it would seem, progress on my fitness.

But there is progress. A few centimetres here, a couple of kilos there. I’m getting there (slowly). And the great news is that the bits that were the most hurty before Christmas are not the bits that are (temporarily) hurting after my exertions.

This morning’s 5km was my fastest of the year: indeed, looking back, (surprisingly) my fastest since 1st September last year. Evidently, things are on the mend.

Even if I won’t be able to stand up once I finish writing this post.

Ja. I’m a bit stuck. Could someone get me a beer, please?

Hello? Anyone?