Place and Date – LG Arena, Birmingham, 2 September 2011
Who Else – me + S + K
Category – Culture
(Um, yes, this post is about 2 years late. Has been in draft all that time, and was busy doing the rest of the list. And turning 40. There’s a lot of grey hairs to keep count of you know. But thought I really ought to try and complete. Don’t want the first task on a 50 in 50 list to be finish writing up the sodding 40 in 40 list!)
Dolly!! A woman recognised just by her forename alone, high empress of country music, kitsch and camp and cool at the same time. And some belting songs. So when the chance came up to see this icon in concert, how could I turn it down?
My sister S is a particularly big fan, and so I have to thank her for being an enabler. Because without that prompt, I would never have been able to wail along to 9 to 5 or Jolene along with 15,000 other fans. Most of whom were wearing pink Stetsons. I had no idea such a thing existed before that night, and have never seen them since. Presumably the world supply of pink Stetsons just follows dolly on tour.
And she was glorious. An extraordinary performer – with sass and energy that belied her 65 years. Honestly, if I can shake my backside and strut my stuff like that at retirement age, there will have been significant advances in medical science because I don’t think my body is capable of that now!
And that voice – powerful, sweet and true and full of storytelling. And the humour (fabulously self deprecating) and crowd control and engagement. I guess you don’t stay at the top of your game for 50 years without being bloody good at what you do … But even so, I was bowled over by how terrific she was. So much so that even though I went out of curiousity and in the spirit of 40 in 40, I think I might even try and see her again. Top night out.