I was able to check in early at my hotel, which gave me the chance to shower, change and count my blessings, then it was off to the Royal Festival Hall for the first show, which was a matinee and billed as a family show.
I remember coming to the Festival Hall regularly when I was a child, for the Robert Mayer Children's Concerts (short concerts designed to introduce children to classical music) - I belive that you were not allowed to attend unless you were accompanied by a child, and as this was in the late 70's when Red Ken was running the GLC they were probably heavily subsidised, too.
The Hall hasn't changed much and it felt strange not to be going to "our" seats up in the balcony, but as my seat for this show was in the second row of the stalls, I had no regrets!
The show is part of, or at least timed to coincide with, The Royal Society's Summer Festival of Science" and there were life-sized Pterasaurs outside, and all kind of experimenty stuff inside, the absolutely best of which was Festo's amazing Air Penguins one of which was flying in the foyer bafore the show, and one in the auditorium before and during the show!
There were lots of kids, some very young, and this was great as they were really enthusistic about the show.
Most of the set was songs from the 'Here Comes Science' album, although there were others. I particulalrly enjoyed hearing 'Why Does The Sun Shine' sung in Pirate-Speak. (Who knew the Plank, Eye Patches, and Hook-for-a-hand were such important parts of the Sun's make up?
I had a fantastic time!
At the end of the show, not only did the amazing Air Penguin return, but so did its friend, the AirJelly.
The show ended at around 3.30, and I was then faced with the decision as to what to do fort he 4 1/2 hours until the evening gig (listed as a 'Rock Show', rather than a Family one) was due to start.
Originally I had planned to take in a museum or gallery but as I was still feeling rather battered I didn't feel up to a lot of walking around, so instead I spent a little time outside, admiring the Pterasaurs and the giant purple cow, and some more time inside, admiring the Science stuff. There was a fun microscope-y thing which you could put under your tongue, and see the little blood cells charging along your veins (Not mine personally - I decided it wouldn't be appropriate to push little kids out of the way to have a go), and a vacuum cleaner that could climb walls, and all manner of other things.
I also found time to eat, drink, and read. After all, one must the priorities right, mustn't one
Then at 8 I was back in the Hall - having paused only for a champagne cocktail on the terrace overlooking the Thames - this time, my seat was in the front row of the rear stalls - so about half-way up the auditorium but with a good view. Only slightly marred by the group of about 5 people sitting in the row behind who talked loudly throughout the support act's set. Very rude!
Again, the hall was almost completely full and the show was great - opening act was a guy named Mike Doughty (on Twitter as @MikeDoughtyYeah) - I hadn't heard of him before, but enjoyed his set.)
Then TMBG again. Cue more chat (this time with added swearyness)
I was further back this time, so didn't get as many pics, but Phil Jupitus was near the front and took this video of 'Why Does the Sun Shine' - this time with added James Mason...
It didn't take long before the audience were out of their seats, and dancing. I wasn't dancing, on account of my legs having stiffend up, but I did attempt to at least limp rhythmically on the spot!
Despite 2 encores, the gig was over all to soon.
I just hope that TMBG come back to the UK soon - I'd love to see them again.