I started the night working on the ideal door for watching the show. Right next to the stage, I'd collect tickets until the show started, then give the few people who wanted a breath of fresh air while the band was playing passouts while the show went on. It's a great job to be in, and I was lucky enough to have it for James Blunt. I had one of the most thorough security guards ever, a big guy named Dileep, who went to the almost unheard of length of patting guys down. In a big plus for me, it meant that the crowd trickled through at a comfortable pace. And the crowd was a little varied, though I'll bet there were a lot of actual cloaks in the cloakroom, from the look of things. At one point, I noticed an undeniably attractive girl standing around in the unlisenced area nearby, where an amazingly excited Desi, my brother's friend, was getting pumped for the show. Dressed in a Dark Angelesque ensemble of tight, black pants, stilletto heels and black bikini top, she looked like an angel Charlie would have rejected on the grounds that she was actually an evil, deadly assassin. (The patron, not Desi, that is.) I wondered why she was talking to staff, and, after Travis, the area's supervisor, opened the gate between the seated and GA areas and guided the girl through, he rushed up the stairs, a huge, excited grin on his face.
"Did you see that girl just now?" he leered.
"Hot, leggy chick?" I asked. He went on to ask me how old I thought she would. My opinion was 19, but, based on his apparent excitement, suspected it may have been much younger. But I was quite wrong - according to the ID she'd presented, which apparently looked legitimate, she was 43 years old. He used the accronym 'MILF' a number of times before I concluded my polite laughter and returned to the door. Travis would return in yet another fit of hysterics moments later, after I heard an announcement through the radio that the band had requested the doors closest to stage be closed, as the cold air was making their guitar strings go out of tune. I was surprised they hadn't heard about the same incident at James Blunt, but, after I was satisfied most of the patrons had arrived, I closed Door 4, leaving Dileep in the cold to knock if some last minute spectator rushed in. The next encounter with Travis would be one I wasn't so inclined to sit through. He told me that people from my door would be directed to the next since things had quietened down. To his credit, he asked if I wanted to see the band, but I obviously wasn't enthusiastic enough, and he shifted me to the high profile, but generally dreaded job, of working 'The Gate.'
The Gate is a barrier which stops the audience from the unlicensed, seated area from going into the General Admission and bar areas. Having only superficial locks, which don't actually work, The Gate must be manned constantly to be opened for staff and St John Ambulance officers, but closed to those who didn't realise they couldn't get a beer in their seats. Earlier in the night, a group of meek looking emoKids had tried to scale the fence to get from this area into general admission. I heard about it from that friend of Subby's Nathanial, Matt, though I don't know whether he stopped them or simply raised the alarm. Based on this, I expected to see either these guys, or the likeminded, at The Gate before long. It is also a job notorious for making it's employee miss seeing the show. I, however, found this to be a falacy, for, although I didn't have the best view of the stage, I was able to get a clear, if distant view of the band and Brian Molko while he ponced around the stage for almost the entirety of the show. And the position was more action packed than any other I've worked. I got to disappoint people with my firm stance, and even got a punch in the stomach by a fan who didn't accept my reasons why he couldn't go to a section not included on his ticket!
The show itself was pretty good. I'd head that they were going to do two encores, although I don't consider the first a true encore, since, whilst the band did leave the stage, a DJ remained, playing an exciting industrial Drum and Bass rhythm, building to a climax in matching the excitement of the audience as the band reEmerged, and crafted the heavy beatz into an impressive take on Because I Want You. The second encore was a little more enjoyable, but ended suddenly, the house lights coming up almost before the band had left the stage, and, more noticably, before the band played my second favourite, and their most successful song Pure Morning. Second, that is, to Special K, which I bopped and sang along to from my cushy job. Thankfully, I got out of the place quickly, and, on the train home, began to feel the effects of that punch. I was really short of breath, and I think I'm still feeling it. Of course, that could just be malnourishment speaking...