Back at home after our travels to London, Leeds and Dublin to see the Indoor Garden Party shows in those cities. We managed to do a bit of sight-seeing as well. I brought home an unwanted souvenir – broke a finger. Hopped wrong on the hop-on-hop-off bus in Dublin. Cheers to the lovely people on the bus, the EMTs and the staff at St. James hospital who took great care, gave me laughing gas and a cuppa, how can you beat that?
The shows were fantastic! As a fan of Russell’s music and an attendant at many of his shows since Austin 2000, I enjoyed this group of performers – and these wonderful songs! – so much that it almost kept me from nostalgia. That’s a difficult thing when “Weather with You” by Crowded House begins to play just prior to the start of the show. Sense memories of beach balls under a sweltering Austin sky, and of standing shoulder to shoulder, trying to “hold the line” in some crowded club, always rush back in. It was lovely to meet fans new to me although I did not get to say much more than hello. All the familiar faces make me happy, in part because your presence validates my insanity and confirms we’ve all been touched by something wonderful that makes us want to come back.
Samantha Barks sings some of my favorite numbers off the Musical so it was disappointing when she had to drop out of the shows, although being cast in Pretty Woman is a great reason. Lorraine O’Reilly did much more than fill in, she owned “One Small Stone” with a soaring voice to match Sam’s and an added edge of a Grace Slick rocker. Lorraine met Russell via Ronan McManus, brother of Elvis Costello.
Excerpt below of interview with Lorraine, video links and photos at IndependentIE
“We thought we were going to a room to meet him and a couple of other people but there were twenty people in the room, people like Tom Jones, Ronan Keating, Ed Sheeran, David Beckham, Brooklyn Beckham,” she says.
“To say I felt out of my depth is an understatement! It was surreal. It is one of those memories I’ll never forget. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.”
She continues, “Russell had his guitar with him, obviously expecting a sing song. He’s really good fun, like the Irish to be fair. He likes a drink, likes to have a bit of craic, and loves listening to music and singing songs. So he shouted across at me, ‘Lorraine!’ – at this point we had spoken about five words to each other – ‘Lorraine, pick up the guitar and sing a song for Tom.’
“That was a moment of, ‘Oh my God if ever there’s a moment I need to shine or hold it together this is it’ so I got up and sang for the room and it was unbelievable. It was just one of those times where the experience of being a performer and keeping your cool had to kick in. Words couldn’t really describe how I felt inside.”
Lorraine expected that to be the end of her relationship with Crowe and the band, but in July he contacted her and asked if she would replace Samantha Barks on the three-date tour of the UK and Ireland.
“He loves music and he really wants to be doing it as much as he can but movies are the priority and after the show he leaves to go and film Boy Erased so he has a massive schedule and its al about working around it,” she says.
“We’ve talked about working together more and he’s been very complimentary to me through the process so I’m hoping to work with him again. Watch this space!”
Russell was in fine voice for the London show at Union Chapel, which allowed him to handle more vocal duties. He acknowledged vocal difficulties at Leeds Varieties and Dublin’s Olympia theater, where Alan had the thankless task of performing “Lover’s Hands” following Russell’s ribald story of its origin. I’m sure Russell would have preferred to sing more, but he does tell a great story, doesn’t he? Poor Alan. That was hilarious.
All three venues were beautiful with wonderful sound. I did the VIP ticket in London because I wanted a good seat, but it looked hard to have a bad seat at any of the venues. I enjoyed chatting with comic and actress Caroline Rhea, who I would not have bothered but she initially mistook me for someone she knew. She’s lovely. I agreed with her assessment of Russell as “he’s just a big squishie, isn’t he?” Sing with me sisters, “and another one’s gone, another one bites the dust!”
Prior to Union Chapel we were treated to a surprise appearance of Indoor Garden Party performing “Out of Range” on the absolutely bonkers One Show.
Is this song great or what? I loved Scottie’s voice before but he’s simply amazing on IGP. At the meet and greet I couldn’t wait to congratulate and thank him. As Russell thrilled to telling us on twitter and before each show, this t.v. spot and all the radio interviews Russell did helped propel “Out of Range” to number one on the UK iTunes chart.
The IGPs included Russell, Carl Falk, who appeared to be playing both lead and bass guitar in one!, Scott Grimes, Alan Doyle, Lorraine O’Reilly, Dave Kelly, Kevin Durand, Roberta Duchak, Stewart Kirwan, and Owen Ó Súilleabháin and Moley Ó Súilleabháin with their mother Nóirín Ní Riain who sings like an angel. (edited for correct spelling)
Russell signing autographs for fans outside the BBC in London.
Lynda has many terrific videos of the performances at her Between the Rock youtube channel.
“Fields of Athenry” in London
Moving on to Leeds, Russell and company paid a visit, as you do, to Yorkshire Tea, whose banners festooned the Leeds Varieties stage. All attendees of that night’s show received complimentary boxes of Crowe’s Tea.
Source: Yorkshire Evening Post
It is one of Leeds’ most historic venues which has hosted audiences for more than 150 years. But the City Varieties music hall welcomed a new visitor through its doors, as New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe visited the city centre venue. A pronounced Leeds United supporter, the movie star, who has appeared on-screen alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood. He has now joined a limited list of celebrities who have donated money in exchange for a seat named in their honour. Speaking about the venue, Crowe said: “I love the City Varieties. It’s fantastic. When I saw the pictures of this online I thought it’s such a beautiful venue – it’s a gem.” The venue’s Name a Seat scheme launched in 2009, and Crowe’s seat plaque now reads: ‘Breathe in more than you breathe out’. The Gladiator star visited the music hall last Friday, and theatre bosses said they were “humbled” to welcome him to the venue. Ian Sime, City Varieties general manager, said: “Given the incredible talent that has graced the City Varieties Music Hall stage over the years, it is very rare that we gift a seat to an individual but we wanted to mark this historic occasion. We recognise the stature of the Oscar-winning actor and that he could have chosen to play at any number of venues in the UK. “We feel genuinely humbled and privileged to have hosted the Gladiator star and the very talented musicians and performers that make up Indoor Garden Party. The evening was a huge success.” Other celebrities who have a seat named in their, or their family’s, honour, include comedian John Bishop and TV stars Barbara Windsor and Sir Ian McKellen. Kay Mellor and Dame Judi Dench also have seats dedicated to them.
Mark Feehily joined the group to perform “Love was My Alibi” in Dublin.
Tom Fletcher gave us his take on “Weight of a Man” in both London and Dublin.
IGP performed on the Late, Late show ahead of the gigs:
Dublin was our favorite show, we agreed. Most vocal, most fun crowd by far, and with two encores. Don’t wait so long for the next one guys? And please keep writing together, great stuff, makes my commute so much better. Below are my photos – just an iPhone camera, with a few tourist pics.