I note that on the X&Y tour, there were three "Big London Shows" at Earls Court on the 14th, 15th and 16th of December. Three years, an album and an EP later, here we are with three "Big London Shows" on exactly the same dates. Hometown shows around Christmas make perfect sense really. If it’s supposed to be a time for getting together with family and friends and celebrating, then what better way could there be?
This feel spreads further than the simple fact that much of the touring party is based here in London. The show itself has a family vibe through and through. The opening acts on all three nights have deep friendships and history with the band stretching way back. Having friends and family about them even extends to a guest appearance from Mr Simon Pegg. The man is obviously a star in his own right, but when you see the band beaming from ear to ear and cracking up as he adds harmonica to the C-Stage, you can see that he’s here primarily because he’s their mate.
His contribution on night one is solid, although it’s clear the fact that he’s standing in the spotlight in front of 18,000 people hasn’t escaped his notice. The second night, he’s positively on fire and appears to be loving every minute of it. By the third night he pretty much owns the place. Top fella.
With hometown shows of course, comes complete and utter guest list meltdown. I am reliably informed that by the time the box office closed, the guest list had exeeded twelve hundred people over the three shows. That’s enough folks to fill a decent sized theatre show. If you count on the fact that at least a quarter of those will have undoubtedly had phone numbers for either Vicki and EJ, the band’s PAs or Marguerite in production, you can pretty much imagine how many phone calls have been fielded beginning with "I just wanted to check…".
You can bet that their phones will be well and truly off for the days off before Belfast! (that’s if they haven’t melted first). The guest list ranges through from old schoolfriends to A-list celebs to Mr Paul McGuinness (also known as "U2’s Manager") to my Mum and Dad. I’m pretty sure that Ma and Pa #42 enjoyed it and I may finally have convinced them that I do have a proper job….
Obviously, the final piece of the puzzle in all of this is the crowd. I can say without hesitation that if you were there you can be justifiably proud of yourselves. London can be a tough place to play for any band, but it’s been a real celebration and that’s one hundred percent down to the energy that gets fed onto the stage when 18,000 people go berserk. Nice one folks!