The end of July for me and for millions of other Wet Wet Wet fans was an exciting time for us. It was a few weeks ago now, how did that happen? But as I’ve mentioned in previous posts I don’t always keep on top of my blogging. Earlier on this year the band had gone on their amazing The Big Picture Tour but we have been well and truly spoilt with extra live shows recently. The Wets added four extra dates to their Summer 2016 schedule. We were lucky enough to go to their show in London at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea back in June. Then the guys flew over to The Netherlands to play at Night At The Park in The Hague.
Finally back in May, they announced they were going to be playing at Tatton Park in Cheshire, followed by Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre at the end of July.
I was so excited to hear about the Wets coming to Scarborough. Scarborough, for me is quite a special place. I’ve been going there since I was a baby. Starting with my great grandparents, then my grandparents and then onto my Dad, we had a holiday flat on the South Cliff. Many happy memories of childhood holidays have been spent in Scarborough. Until going abroad and better weather was the attraction. I’ve always loved the North Bay end of Scarborough and although lots of changes have happened such as losing the outdoor pool and all the new development where the Corner Cafe used to be, it is great to see that some childhood favourites have stayed the same. Peasholm Park is just as I remember it and generations of my family have loved going on the miniature railway, on the pedal boats and watching the Naval Warfare battles with remote control boats (do they still have that on?) Northstead Manor Park has been improved and renovated a lot. I hope they do reopen the cable car in the future though!
I’ve always wanted them to come to Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT) as it is such a great venue. I’d not been to a show there but my Mum and Dad remember the original theatre with stone steps to sit on and the stage across a lake with a building which reminded them of a castle. I’m sure there is a photo somewhere of my Mum aged about 20 sat on the steps when she and my Dad were going out. Or maybe it was a photo of my Nana when she was the same age. I don’t remember any shows at the original theatre but I remember it being overgrown and wishing it could be opened up again. My Grandad once told me, “I dare you to go over there and stand in the tower and let down your hair like Rapunzel!” Now forgive me if I’m wrong but there was a great big lake in the way and I nearly fell in it once after my little brother capsized the pedal boat we were in at the time! It was fantastic news to hear the OAT was being renovated and reopened with new, plastic seating. One thing I was happy to realise is that the venue organisers put decking down over the lake when concerts are on so that you aren’t far away from the stage. Lots of famous acts have played there, including Elton John.
Saturday 30th July was thankfully a gorgeous and sunny day. So it would be Sunny Scarborough after all! Though being cold and wet wouldn’t have bothered us or put us off. But in Wet Wet Wet’s nearly 30 year history, the rain always stays away! I was looking forward not only to seeing the band, but to also catch up with my lovely group of friends affectionately known as my Wettie mates. Sadly though we would be without one of our gang, the lovely Julie who was on holiday. I was on driving duty and my car gets nicknamed the WetsWagon. It’s definitely put a few miles on the clock this year but I only live about 50 miles away from Scarborough, this was a local gig to me! First I was off to pick up my friend Dot, then over to pick up my other friend Michelle who both live in York. Dot had told me the day before about avoiding the A64, it’s a right pain especially around York and where it isn’t dual carriageway. From past experiences I’ve always been stuck behind an old fart, dozens of caravans or just everyone heading to the coast on a glorious summer Saturday. We drove cross country to Helmsley and over the North Yorkshire Moors via Pickering, which was much quicker. In perfect time to find a picnic spot and to meet up with all our Wettie friends. We had a fantastic time catching up with everyone who had travelled far and wide.We didn’t stop laughing all afternoon.
Finally, it was time to get into the park and to find our seats. We weren’t as close to the stage as we had been before, but we still got an amazing view. I was over the moon that Ben Montague was back to support the Wets and he also had supported them at Tatton Park the night before. We had seen him play last year when the Wets played at Koko, in London for a one off concert in aid of the Nordoff Robbins Charity. He was fab and got the crowd dancing and singing along. The same happened tonight at Scarborough. After his set we went down to see if we could buy a copy of Ben’s CD and he also very kindly let us have selfies with him.
Then, after a short while what we were waiting for happened! Out came the Wets to lots of screaming and applause. They opened with their East Of The River, one of their popular tracks from their first album Popped In Souled Out. Then onto Wishing I Was Lucky, their first single. As I listened to the music and watched the guys performing I thought there are going to be loads of Scarborough residents not at the gig wishing they were there right at this very moment. I was stood up and dancing, along with most of us around us. The guy sat behind me wasn’t too happy though, well I’m sorry I go to a gig to dance along to the music. If you don’t like me standing up, get a seat right at the back or don’t come!
Then the guys slowed the tempo down with their 1989 hit Sweet Surrender. This is the song I have as my ring tone for Mr SmartCookieSam (“One look, was all it took!, hahahaha!) Unfortunately Mr SmartCookieSam doesn’t share my love of the Wets.
The guys played a few favourites from their multi million selling album, the fabulous “Picture This” from 1995, including Julia Says, Morning, She’s All On My Mind and Don’t Want To Forgive Me Now. All classics which everyone never tires of hearing. But for me, my all time favourite which they played for me at my leaving assembly from my last job, the beautiful Somewhere Somehow. We were also treated to a little bit of The Commodores’ Brick House, a song I love. I hope the guys play this again at a gig as it sounded brilliant!
Last year the Wets got to record some new material in the South of France. Hopefully we’ll get to hear some more of this new stuff in the future but they played their new and fantastic Love Worz which went down very well with the audience.
No Wets gig is the same without their classics Angeleyes and Sweet Little Mystery. Even though we have known these songs for nearly 30 years,they still remain as fresh today as the day I first listened to them aged 15!
We were also treated to the full version of Temptation, which no Wets gig would be the same without.
Then to I Can Give You Everything, another favourite and popular track from the band’s early days.
There was a variation on the set that the guys played at Chelsea. I’m pretty sure they didn’t play All I Want, which is usually one that does come up regularly at their shows and also they didn’t play an acoustic set this time. I don’t know how they decide which songs to include or to leave out of the set when they have so many great songs to choose from.
All too soon it was time for the show to end. The encore was Lip Service though it was funny to hear Marti Pellow singing “the roof is on fire,” when there wasn’t one! Such an amazing, feel good song which never fails to get you up and dancing. Finally to the ending “Love Is All Around” which was a perfect end to a perfect night. As I stood there singing with my arms round my two friends Dot and Cindy and swaying in time to the music, it clearly showed that indeed Love Is All Around.
It went so quickly and yet the show lasted nearly two hours. They say time flies when you’re having fun which is what you always get at a Wet Wet Wet concert. But, as we left the show and drove home we all said to one another how lucky we were. I’ve met some lovely friends who I would never have known if it wasn’t for Wet Wet Wet. Not only have they made our lives special with their music but our lives have been enriched by meeting wonderful people.
Love Sam xx