Posts Tagged ‘Paul Weller’

Middlesbrough v Huddersfield Town, Monday 18th April 2022, 12.30pm

May 3, 2022

I’d got back home from Bournemouth after midnight on the Friday night and with plans to take in a non-league game on the Saturday. The fixture I’d selected at Murton didn’t take place for some reason though and I had to head back down the A19. The rest of that day was filled with Stockton Calling, a music festival spread over eleven venues and with eight bands. I saw thirteen of the bands in eight different locations. All of them were good, although with some of them I only caught three or four songs as I nipped in somewhere midway through a set.

Most bands played for thirty minutes which is pretty much perfect for a festival and despite it not selling out for the first time in ages, there was a great atmosphere from people glad to be out and about again seeing gigs.

Sunday was a music day too as I headed up to see Paul Weller at Newcastle City Hall.  Whilst I’ve seen him many times over the years my mind went back to being at the same venue for a Jam gig forty years ago to the month. On that occasion I’d watched the Boro win at Roker Park in the afternoon and then took a train into Newcastle to round off one of the best days that I’d ever had at that time.

Forty years on from 1982, Weller still put on an excellent show. I think that Fat Pop is his best album for years and, as with the bands the previous day, he really seemed to be enjoying himself too. I doubt I’ll be seeing him forty years from now but hopefully there will be further opportunities. It’s certainly much more likely that I’ll see him than the Boro playing Sunderland.

Back to the Huddersfield game. Harry and I cut it fine again as I hadn’t realised that I’d have to pay to park on a Bank Holiday. The machines don’t take money any more and so I had to download an App and pay remotely. Pain in the arse, but we arrived as the teams were lining up.

It was another poor performance to follow on from the home defeats to Fulham and Hull. A late McGree effort that hit the bar was as close as we came to scoring. The optimism from earlier in the season has just about evaporated and it’s difficult to see where the next win will come from, never mind the four from four that will likely be needed for a play-off spot.

MCC v Wales, Thursday 14th April 2022, 10.30am

April 28, 2022

I was down in London for a Sea Power gig at the Roundhouse in Camden and with the day free, I checked to see if there was any County Championship cricket going on at Lords. There wasn’t, but there was a one-dayer between the MCC and Wales. It was only a fiver to get in, so I booked myself a ticket online.

It’s not far from Camden to Lords and my initial plan was to walk along the canal. I noticed that there were some boats going between Camden Lock and Little Venice and so I travelled on one of those instead. It was a pleasant journey with an informative commentary. I learned that Paul Weller has a house alongside the canal and has been seen feeding the ducks. The route skirted along the back of London Zoo and I spotted an African Wild Dog walking along in its enclosure.

Little Venice is actually a bit too far along the canal, so I had to retrace my journey to reach the Grace Gates. I got there at about 12.30, which was two hours after the scheduled start. That’s not really a problem when play is likely to go on until six or so, unless a team gets skittled in the opening hour.

I needn’t have worried as MCC were just past the mid-way point of their innings and had scored 126 for 6.

There weren’t many people in the stands, maybe two hundred in total. Perfect. I’m generally happy to trade ‘atmosphere’ for having fewer people around me.

I took a seat in the Grand Stand, with the pavilion to my right. These were the only two areas open and as I wasn’t with a member or wearing a jacket and tie, my choice was limited to where I was.

The standard didn’t look that high, but maybe it was deceptive. Wales had an incredibly slow bowler who was sending them down at a pace that you might do if indulging a small child. It worked though and he was able to keep the runs down to around three an over. It’s as well that nobody was able to tonk him, as the boundary on my side was incredibly close. There was barely a gap between the rope and the discs denoting the fielding restriction circle.

MCC managed to eke their innings out until the fiftieth and final over, scoring 226 all out. That was my cue to head for the Lords Tavern for a burger and a couple of pints. I doubt I’d have got near the place during a Test match.

Wales struggled to match the MMC score and were all out with a few overs remaining and around eighty runs short. I’m pleased that they all got to bat so that they could enjoy the full Lords experience of walking through the Long Room and down the pavilion steps.

I headed back to Camden along the canal keeping an eye out for African Wild Dogs and the Modfather feeding the ducks.