14 July 2008

Viva musica

This last two weeks, there has been a series of concerts - Live @ Westerpark, on the edge of Amsterdam.

On Tuesday, I went to see this year's silly Euro-pop sensations Mika (inside the fence) and then on Saturday, sat outside with a bunch of freeloaders to listen to and watch Leonard Cohen on the big screens which you could see over the fence in you stood in just the right place. I didn't know that Leonard hasn't toured for 15 years. It felt very special to hear "Everybody knows, Marianne, First we take Manhattan, and Hallelujah" sung by their composer who has passed the 70-year mark, still sounding gravelly and grave and warm as ever. And with our picnic on the concrete, including red wine and marvellous Euro-snacks it was a fine social occasion too.

I liked that the Mika gig was set up to make full use of that very big stage, even if it was totally cheeze-a-rama with circus performers, a clown on a harness flying around, a shadow-play with big furry animal costumes, etc. He has a divine voice, floppy brown hair, speaks a handful of languages, and I'd happily carry his love-child. (Mika, in case you're reading). There's a photo of the artist on stage with a giant blow-up "big girl" here. (c/o Erik Luyten - I hope that's within the terms, Erik!).

Both times the it had drizzled rain on and off all day (just like the whole week....) but while clouds hovered ominously over the park, the drops held off for the duration of the music. Sadly I missed an outdoor Radiohead concert while away on holiday, but that sold out back in March I think.

Bizarro is in darkest Africa this week, and I'm looking for more/ new work suitable for the summer months. The days are long at the moment, and the nights are mild. My apartment seems to hold the heat of the narrow cobble streets.

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