Saturday, October 20, 2007

Police Millennium Stadium gig

Last night, The Police played at the Millennium Stadium. Clare and Owain got tickets and sat at the far end from the stage on the top level, where the noise level was bearable with or without ear plugs. I donned my hi-viz Chaplain's jacket and spent the evening on my feet visiting the St John's Ambulance First Aid posts, sampling the atmosphere and the music on every level, and taking lousy pictures when I had a moment to spare.

After half a dozen or so stadium tours of duty, I am now somewhat less disoriented, and can find my way around from level to level and back to the basement without too many enquiries. Each time I do an evening I enjoy it so much that I wish I could do more. A long evening following a long day - Friday is always the busiest in and around St John's - it's pretty taxing, especially as I had the annual Trafalgar Day service for members of the local RNR establishment HMS Cambrian this morning at church.

The concert was impressive, Sting was on great form despite throat problems last week. Straight music, no antics, no gimmicks apart from a light-show, sounding vital and fresh to me, although the songs are from the seventies. It struck me how many people looked happy, were smiling, enjoying themselves, singing along (as they do these days) a bit like a gymanfa ganu for romantics. The very little amount of aggro I saw (one man being ejected) seemed hugely incongruous in that laid back atmosphere. Quite a different crowd atmosphere from that of the Stones or Rod Stewart.

I left before the end, to get home and start preparing a sermon for the morrow, which somehow I'd not got around to doing during a busy day, which had started with a two hour job appraisal with Archdeacon Bill Thomas. I'd had a nice time chatting with the volunteers, ever ready, but enjoying a relaxed and mostly uneventful evening. Some of them were singing along with The Police too, in the corridors, down in the first aid posts. They deserved an easy time of it. Heaven knows what time some of the core team would have got home. Some have to stay until the stage riggers have finished breaking the set in the small hours of the morning.

Clare reported a conversation with fans who came down from Crewe for the concert, but had to leave half an hour before the end because they feared missing their train. On previous occasions they'd come down for concerts and, missing their train, found themselves locked out of Cardiff Central station, with no public waiting room open to them. My guess is that the cost of security has made this an item that public bodies are reluctant to afford. Another price the city pays for not being able to re-habilitate its drug addicts, and the threat of crime that does wherever they go.

It's an ironic play on words that these fans were willing to put themselves out for... The Police.

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