I cannot begin to think of some of the artists I've had the pleasure (and displeasure in some cases) to see, along with the many antics I got up to revolved around these concert visits.
One of my favourite concerts and best memories was from around the early 1980's when Sister Sledge played the Fairfield Halls in Croydon.
The Sledge sisters from Philadelphia, could certainly go down as one of the original girl groups and they ran up a string of hits around that time including "We are Family", "He's the Greatest Dancer", the appalling "Frankie" (even Blues and Soul magazine refused to make mention of it, claiming it was a sell-out money making attempt at the top 40) and of course my own personal favourite "Lost In Music"
I arrived at the arena along with my friend at the time Baz, ready for what we hoped would be a first class night's entertainment.
|Fairfield Halls Croydon|
Now, before I go any further, I often wonder whatever became of Baz? He was always something of a "dodgy geezer" and the last I heard of him was that he was being prosecuted for theft of money from numerous car park machines.
I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that he ended up doing a stretch in the Scrubs or some other penal institution somewhat nearer his Merseyside origins, but who knows?
Anyway, back to the concert. We arrived ready for a good night, me bedecked in my Blues and Soul T-Shirt which in truth had seen better days. Baz was dressed up to the nines, obviously believing that this was to be his night and that he was going to pull some time during the evening.
We took our seats and soon enough, Kim, Debbie, Joni and Kathy aka the wondrous Sledge sisters, took to the stage.
There were early problems though. Everyone was having a great time dancing in front of their seats, but when anyone tried to move into the aisles or to the front of the arena, the rather large security operatives who suddenly appeared from nowhere, were making a point of roughly pushing everyone back to their own seat row while warning them not to venture out again.
It got to such a state that the girls on stage became somewhat displeased with the way the fans were being treated and soon they became involved in heated exchanges with the security staff, insisting that the audience were allowed to move around the auditorium and enjoy themselves.
Eventually the heavy handed treatment relented and I made my way down to the front of the stage, desperate to get closer to the girls and especially the gorgeous (in my opinion) Joni.
After what seemed like an eternity of holding my hand out, it was taken by one of the band and upon looking up, I could see it was the aforementioned Joni Sledge. I was in heaven, but sadly it ended all too quickly and she let go, moving on to another part of the stage.
The concert came to an end and I was still on Cloud 9, insisting I was never going to wash my hand again.
What a night! We'd seen Sister Sledge, I'd got to hold Joni's hand, albeit for only a few seconds, and Baz was as jealous as hell!