My Christmas present to the rest of the family: Tickets to see Bryan Adams playing live at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
This was 10 days ago. Saturday before last, having driven up to London on the Friday night, we spent the afternoon in Central London.
We stayed at Grandad’s bungalow in Welling, a convenient location for Central London: the 486 bus which passes the end of the road goes through Charlton and then straight in to North Greenwich, terminating just metres from the O2 Arena and the Jubilee line tube station.
A visit to Foyles bookshop (my birthday present for Mum was a Foyles gift card) started the day. I probably spent a little too much, considering it takes me months to read books (not because I read slowly, just because I spend too much time doing radio stuff).
This was followed by lunch at Sofra, a Turkish restaurant in Mayfair. We ordered from the set menus option, and had a 3 course meal each – and it was a very tasty meal.
For starter I had spinach and mixed cheese parcels – very similar to the spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) I sometimes like to eat. Chargrilled chicken breast was the main course, served with rice and veg.
The desserts on offer were all ones I am familiar with: a lot of Greek desserts have come from the East. Names such as Baklava and Kadayif are all ones I have seen variations of in Greece. I went for the Kazandibi – a milk pudding with a caramelized top with cinnamon powder and tahini ice cream – and enjoyed it.
Our visit to C. London means I am no longer the sole holder in this household of an Oyster card, the electronic contactless card used to pay for busses, tubes, trains and the DLR.
We walked off our lunch in Green Park / St. James’ Park surrounding Buckingham Palace, before we headed off to the O2.
I’ve been to the O2 several times by Mum, Dad and Corrie have not. We all enjoyed the gig, and were surprised that we knew so many of Bryan’s songs. It was a very entertaining night, helped by the fact that he didn’t need to say much at all to win over the audience.
‘Summer of ’69’ did make an appearance, as did some slower ballads, providing an opportinity for this…
Photos don’t quite do justice to the atmosphere inside the O2 during moments where everyone is singing along, lighting up their phones and waving them about in the air!
Rick Pearson, writing in the London Evening Standard, summed the night up brilliantly:
Sensing correctly that the 18,000-strong crowd hadn’t ventured to the O2 to hear tracks from his recent record, Get Up, the 56-year-old began with the big hits: the heavy-rockin’ It’s Only Love, country-tinged This Time and record-breaking (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.
The crowd, many of whom were old enough to have experienced their own summer of ’69, doubled as a backing choir throughout.
At the end of the gig Bryan and the band returned for an encore… and what an encore it was. Not one, not two, not three songs…He did a whole half hour! Even after the band had left, Bryan remained on stage with just his guitar as backing.
You certainly don’t get many musicians who can perform in the way he did that night and still have a voice at the end of it.
Here’s a couple of videos I took on the night for you to enjoy.
Any suggestions as to what I should go and see next??