Sunday, 14 June 2009

War of the Worlds and a Tees river cruise

Well, what a weekend! We went to Newcastle on Friday evening with Jeremy Gartland of Superquiz fame, his wife, mother and mothers partner. I can honestly say it was the best gig I can ever remember going to. I've always been a fan of Jeff Wayne, and bought the original album on vinyl, then on tape, then CD, and at last I've seen the live show. Justin Hayward was superb - I had serious misgivings as to whether he'd still be able to carry it off 30 years on, but I needn't have worried. We had front row seats at the Metro Radio Arena, and consequently had a close-up view of some of the Gods of Rock - Chris Spedding on lead guitar, Chris Thompson (ex-Manfred Mann's Earth Band) as the Voice of Humanity, Herbie Flowers on Bass and of course Justin Hayward and Jeff Wayne. Alexis James absolutely knocked spots off David Essex as the artillery man, while Jennifer Ellison took on Julie Covington's Beth extremely well. The effects were magnificent, the sound made Sheffield Arena sound as though you'd been listening on a crystal set, and the atmosphere was simply incredible. If you get the chance to see this show, snap it up whatever the cost!
Then - Saturday afternoon we went for a 14 mile cruise on the river Tees, from Stockton upstream to Yarm and back. Now I don't know what your thoughts are concerning Teesside, but I was filled with misconceptions about a stark industrial landscape, which couldn't have been further from the truth! Cost of the cruise was £7 (June 2009) which for three and a half hours was pretty amazing! A lot's been done to the Tees to clean it up, and the Tees barrage at Stockton means there's a controlled, constant level, making our cruise possible all year round. We picked the best time though; we saw wildfowl on and in the water, what has the makings of a quite beautiful wildlife area on the river bank upstream from Stockton, and even saw a deer running through the grassland. The crew on board were marvellous too - friendly, efficient and very helpful. And what about this for value for money - I ordered scampi and chips plus a ham sandwich and it came to only £6 - AND it was delicious! Again, if you get the chance, do it!
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1 comment:

  1. You should get a job as a journalist!