Made my way up from Hertfordshire for the Leeds gig. Brought my 22 yr old daughter with me for her first (and hopefully not last) taste of Jojo. Arriving a bit early we stood outside whilst my daughter texted her friends (it takes a while). Whilst we were stood outside Jonathan came out with the show organiser who walked Jonathan up the car park to the main road giving him directions up the road past the (several) kebab and taxi shops, taking in the local attractions as you do!
I got the distinct impression, assisted by an overheard remark, that the guy (I suspect a committee member ), was particularly made up at having Jonathan “at his place”.
I had brought with me my Jonathan Songbook (highly recommended - only £9.85 from UK Amazon), with the intention of asking the great man to autograph it, but didn’t have the bottle, it didn’t seem seemly to chase him up the car park!
Sign inside the door gave details of doors open and on stage times for Jonathan, and a bit of a cryptic request for punters to remain quiet during the performance (!)
About 40 mins before performance time I espied Jojo walking across the club floor, past the stage and through the stage door, followed 5 mins later by Tommy holding a food carton (the sort which normally would contain a kebab or burger), sampling no doubt the local cuisine! They seemed to make it across the floor largely unnoticed!
When Jojo came on and had done 4 or 5 songs or so it became apparent that many had took the sign completely seriously and although the crowd (sold out) applauded greatly at the end of each song they were noticeably restrained during the performances, so much so that Jonathan saw fit to mention how quiet they were,(with good natured humour of course). Some chap in the audience called out about the sign and its request , which drew confused looks from Jonathan, and him saying words to effect that he “didn’t like the idea of that much”, which resulted in much laughter. After that there was no problem with audience participation!!!
I was particularly struck by the size of Tommy’s drum kit. Normally when i’ve seen him before he has had a smaller “jazz” type kit, but this seemed much bigger with larger crash and ride cymbals too. This was reflected by the sound, which seemed larger and “rockier” than at other times.
The litmus test was my daughter, brought up on Busted, McFly and now a devoted follower of unsigned indie bands and emo bands like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy. How would she find Jonathan? Would she be bored, or find Jonathan ridiculous, or his songs silly? Result? A thumbs up ! She enjoyed the songs, thought his dancing spot on, and generally enjoyed the whole thing clapping along and joining in with the “I was dancing in the Lesbian Bar” choruses. Although Jonathan wouldn’t necessarily be going to the top of her “must see list”, she wouldn’t rule out seeing him again!
Don’t ask me about setlists – I can never remember these things, but it very much the same as the Glasgow gig. Particularly enjoyed “Keith Richards”, which if I recall had a tiny lyrical snippet of “Roadrunner” in it. Plus we got “Vermeer” at the end in the encore, which is my favourite at the moment.
Anyway, it all finished all too early,and we both went off to the Kebab shop up the road, and back off to our hotel.
Caught the train back down towards Kings Cross the following morning, fully aware that Tommy and Jonathan would probably be heading down to St Pancras for the Eurostar to Paris. Alas no Jonathan spotted on the train - so my songbook remains unsigned!