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Posts Tagged ‘Kim Wilde’

Ronan Keating visits the rock

April 26, 2010 2 comments

Ronan Keating made his first ever trip to Malta (or so he said) on the last leg of his 2010 tour, taking the National Stadium near Mdina by storm. Not having made plans for Saturday, April 3, I decided to pick up a few tickets the Tuesday before the concert.

Bruce Springsteen wash-out in Stockholm
My last concert experience was in Stockholm in May 2009 when Bruce Springsteen played in the stadium and, to be perfectly honest, it was one of my worst concert experiences ever. It started with trying to get in …queuing for an hour in the pouring rain to squeeze through one of the two entrances past the stressed-out doormen who were obviously not used to crowds. It rained non-stop for the two hours he was on stage. (Note to self: no more outdoor concerts in Sweden in May!) 

Instead of getting the crowd in a good mood and making them forget about the crappy weather, Bruce decided to play all his new stuff first and only in the last 15 minutes did he finally get around to his really great hits like “Dancing in the Dark” by which time I was so cold, wet and bored that it was time to go home. For a EUR 60 standing ticket, you expect a bit more…at least a bit of atmosphere.

Before Bruce’s concert I had been to see Kim Wilde play on the Cinderella cruise ship which sails between Stockholm, Sweden, and the Åland Islands which belong to Finland. People had been so drunk during her performance that poor Kim had to stop halfway through most her songs to ask people to stop climbing on the stage!)

Ronan Keating wows the audience
I’m not a huge Ronan Keating fan but I do really like some of his stuff and after this concert, I like him even more. On stage, he comes across as such a positive, energetic person with a passion for people and his music. On this tour he was promoting “Songs for my Mother”, the album linked to the anniversary of his mother’s death, and he also dedicated one song to Stephen Gately, his former Boyzone band member and friend who sadly passed away recently.

Yes, he’s famous, yes, he’s rich …but Ronan comes across as someone who has kept his feet firmly on the ground with strongly embedded values and is just a “decent” person. And the positive energy from the crowd, and vibrant atmosphere just made the whole concert even better. Nobody pushed, it was not a hassle to get served at the bar, and the thousands of concert-goers managed easily to get in and out of the venue easily without the need to form a stiff non-moving queue.

And Ronan himself …well he said he was looking forward to getting hammered that night and seeing what Malta’s nightlife had to offer, after a gruelling solo tour. I heard a rumor through a friend of a friend that he called the hotel reception at 3 a.m. looking for a masseuse … 🙂

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A “Wilde” experience

viking-cinderella-10

On Thursday I boarded one of Sweden’s most notorious “Booze cruise” ships – the Cinderella from Viking Line – bound for Mariehamn in the Åland Islands. Even though it was mid-week, hundreds of passengers lined up for boarding dragging empty suitcases behind them. The reason for their (and my) trip? Apart from the obvious answer – to stock up on a few months supply of cheap alcohol and cigarettes at tax-free prices and to party – to listen to Eighties singing sensation Kim Wilde who was playing that night on board. How on earth she ended up on a Viking Line cruise in the Baltic Sea is a mystery to me!

48-year-old Kim came on stage at 23.00 by which time the audience were pretty intoxicated and clambering over the thin barrier before being dragged away by Cinderella cruise staff/bouncers. The first few songs were mediocre and ones I never heard before. During every song she stopped mid-sentence to say “Please keep back. I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt. Please take care of each other and stay back,” before having to restart, or in some cases not restart at all, her songs.

Halfway through she started to play her real hits and the concert really started despite some starts and restarts as the drunken Nordic audience continued to attempt to drunkily clamber over the thin railing and get closer to the “Kids in America” star. By 24.00 she finished on a high with “Kids in America” and despite my disillusionment with the first half of the concert and her performance, I think she gave a fair performance, certainly I can’t complain about value-for-money – the cruise including cabin, breakfast and concert cost just SEK 735 for two people.

I’ve been on hundreds of these cruise ships which plough through the Baltic waters every day but every time the level of drunkedness on board astounds me. As an Irish girl whose country-folk can really drink, it always astonishes me how the locals in this part of the world can be completely transformed from shy, non-eye-contact makers to super-extroverted, super uncoordinated, roaring drunks. My last experiences before disembarking the ship – a 40-something-year-old man fumbling around half-drunk (at 3.00 in the afternoon) for his cans of beer (the box had split) and what looked like a harmless little old lady in her Seventies, who grabbed me by the arm and tried to pull me along with her before almost crashing to the ground. Luckily her equally drunken companion managed to catch her before she hit the ground.

Baltic cruises – they’re an experience for sure and even though every time I swear I’ve never seen such drunken people and that I won’t go on another one for a while, somehow, I just can never resist them! And with Cinderella giving out free cruise vouchers for every SEK 500 of purchases on board, I’ve clocked up 6 free cruises now so I’ll be back on board soon … no doubt dumbfounded once again by my drunken fellow passengers!!

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