“Are you sure this ain’t still a Stable?” Milton Keynes
Written by Scully
The first English date of Love’s European Tour was at Milton Keynes, so Mrs P and I decided to make the journey up from London, along with her sister Liz, who had actually lived in Milton Keynes a few years ago (well someone’s got to).
The show was at a venue called The Stables, a small (approx 400) seat theatre owned by Jonny Dankworth and Cleo Laine, those pillars of the cocktail jazz circuit. We scored tickets on the 3rd row, and some friends of ours, who got in early were front row.
We set off in the old mini, which was a bit sick, so decided against the M1 and chose the scenic route up the A5. We had a rest stop in Dunstable, but the whole town looked closed, and we ended up in a Wimpy (I know how to show a girl a good time), with the town’s teenage population staring at us like some scene from Easy Rider. A few miles out of London and 30 years back in time.
The fog then decided to put in an appearance, and we spent the next two hours driving up and down country lanes, hopelessly lost. Finally we found ourselves in the village of Woburn Sands, and a friendly local pointed us in the right direction, up a dirt track.
Well there we were, lots of Love fans milling around, a merchandise stall (I find the Love panties a bit tight to be honest) and our friends, Graham, Rob and Rob’s Uncle Tom, a veteran of the 1992 Love tour. Thankfully the guys also had a bottle of 20-year-old Malt Scotch, which soon had us forgetting the nightmare drive up.
At 9pm we found ours seats and in short order, Love hit the stage. I was a bit worried that the seated venue and the obscure location might have meant a slow crowd but Rusty implored us to stand up right from the start. Arthur got a standing ovation as he came out, but then everyone sat down again. The sound was a bit quiet for the first couple of numbers, but was quickly sorted out, and the audience were very appreciative, if a bit too polite (shades of Stockholm).
The show started with My Little Red Book and on through Orange Skies, Your Mind and We, Alone Again Or, Andmoreagain, Bummer in the Summer, Signed D.C. and Between Clark and Hilldale. Then they played a totally awesome and relentless version of Live and Let Live which brought everyone to their feet, and that’s where they stayed for the rest of the show. I have no idea of the setlist after this point as I was too busy shaking my stuff; suffice to say that the band played everything you could ever want to hear. Highlights for me were My Flash On You, 7 & 7 Is and Singing Cowboy.
At the end of the show I went up to say hello to Mike, as he was packing up. As ever he was really friendly and he introduced me to Ringo the Road Manager. I said hello to Gene (Arthur’s Manager) as well, and thanked him for setting up the tour. Mike told me how great the Scotland dates had been, and that Arthur had spent three hours signing autographs in Glasgow! I said bye to Mike as he was busy packing and went back up to the bar. After a little while Arthur came up to the bar to sign some autographs, but we didn’t want to hassle him as most people there were pushing and shoving and generally being a pain. Then we headed off into the fog, had a coffee back at Graham’s place and then rolled on down the road to London, all of us grinning from ear to ear, looking forward to Brighton tomorrow.