Two weeks ago today, at our very own London o2 arena, I was enlightened. I am about to impart some second-hand news (and this piece will be rife with crude allusions to song titles much like this in an attempt to amuse myself and to educate non-fans, if nothing else) and tell you exactly why…
After listening to ‘Rumours’ on repeat throughout any lengthy car journey as a child, I have been a devoted Fleetwood Mac fan for as long as I can remember. Listening to the obsessive, and somewhat intense love between Stevie and Lyndsey clearly present on the album, it led me though many of my own relationships- far less obsessive I assure you- through sex and break ups and more frequent sessions drinking or eating myself into oblivion (when in Rome, it is an album about excess after all?) Anyway ‘Rumours’ is one of those rare albums where you don’t skip a single song and it is safe to say I have emotionally invested a lot into it.
Running late- genuinely because I couldn’t find my kimono, we arrived at the worst seats ever, £78 for the worst seats ever, just in time. So there I was waiting like a child at Christmas (no bed wetting though) for them to venture out onto the stage. The bearded oracle of all sweet drum beatings and indeed mesmerising, Mick Fleetwood storms onto the stage, at least at six foot four, he’s all I can see from my budget seat. They open with ‘Second hand news’ from the childhood/break up/dance until I dropped album Rumours.
So my mood suddenly lifted and the seats that were right, right, right at the back were fantastic, I was just ecstatic to be there. ‘The chain’s’ bluesy and phenomenally catchy bass line filled the arena in a way that was more than magical and I had a nostalgia trip. Not alone though- every single other person in the arena stood and danced and sang along, like one big hippy family. Born in ’94 I was surrounded by people who could have been my great nan or granddad, and a girl in front of my absolutely hysterical at the sight of Stevie, it isn’t difficult to see that the Mac have had a similar impact on other people too, since the seventies, and until now (miraculously Lyndsey seems to have done it in the same leather jacket).
The opposing style of the Flat capped men on the rhythm section, so soulful and infectious with Stevie’s ‘gypsy’ quirky style and belting voice and Lyndsey’s… all sorts of things worked out to be symphonious, and it was definitely even better hearing it live than listening to my beaten up old albums, at least I thought so as others around me dropped their level of concentration in the show as the band played many ‘popular’ hits early on! Although the tension- sexual or genuine bitter kind of tension between Lyndsey and Stevie (still) was enough to keep everyone occupied, I felt like a fly on the wall of a marriage counselling service (it really was difficult to tell).
The set lasted almost three hours; the old timers (or pioneers of soft rock and blues) could teach new ‘trendy’ bands a thing or two about talent and raw passion- 45 years on. Lyndsey Buckingham has more energy than the whole of Draper’s grinding at Monday’s calling. I don’t know much about music (well the technical stuff) but I do know that the way he plays and what he did in –that- guitar solo was truly unique. The set covered all the classic hits, my favourites, everyone’s favourites and a few new songs, eclectic and one of the best set lists put together.
So it is safe to say by the end of the night I was over the wardrobe catastrophe and the fact that the seats are the other side of Greenwich. After watching one of my all-time favourite bands- I think the night has peaked. No, oh no. Stevie gives me palpitations when she introduces Christine. The Christine McVie who hasn’t played with the band in over 15 years! She graces the stage leather clad (there’s a theme here) and plays ‘Don’t Stop’ with them- truly the cherry on the matured fruit cake.
Now with the rumours (actual ones, not a pun this time) of them playing Glastonbury next year, I was filled with glee when I secured my ticket. Second time around, I will find the kimono.