London, England 26-27 May 2013
Sunday the 26th was a well earned day off and another picture perfect day in London. My son who lives here dropped in and we took to the street, lunch in a cool little Mediterranean deli, some shopping and coffee in the warm sunshine. I met my friend Kim Richey who's just completed a string of dates in the U.K., for dinner this evening. I produced Kim's very first album on Mercury back in 1995 and have remained a friend and fan. We had a fantastic dinner just off Kensington High Street at a great restaurant named Maggie Jones's. I cannot say enough good things about the place and you can check it out for yourself here: http://www.maggie-jones.co.uk/menu.htm The best way to describe it is funky-elegant country cuisine and decor. I couldn't resist one of tonight's specials; lamb pie. Beautifully stewed chunks of lamb, gravy and vegetables covered with home-made pastry and baked in a terrine. A side of fresh steamed spinach and a bottle of Malbec coupled with Kim's good cheer and company made for a perfect dinner. I walked her to the tube station, made my way back to the hotel and pulled the curtains on a good day off.
Monday the 27th, opening night of a six day run in Royal Albert Hall. Named in honour of Queen Victoria's late husband, the corner stone was laid in 1867 and the Queen opened the RAH in 1871. It hosts 350 shows a year from rock concerts, charity shows, opera, ballet, classical, awards ceremonies and more. As I recall the first time I played RAH was in 1976 with Neil Diamond and it's been my great pleasure to return every few years, now with MK. It is always a special night when walking onto that stage, one is always aware of where you are playing. Monday night was no exception and though we've played it so many times before, there was a nice sense of excitement at sound check and in the dressing room. Ruth Moody and her great band will be opening all week and last night's audience loved them. Our show went down a storm as well and I can't recall an RAH audience, usually a little restrained, so enthusiastic before. The place went up after every song and especially at the end of the night.
A quick drink in the dressing room after the show then downstairs to see a few friends who'd come for tonight's show.
We're all looking forward to the next five nights of shows at this wonderful and grand building, the Royal Albert.