Fleadh, votes, eyes & footie! (2004-06-25 - 3:40 p.m.)
Haven't posted this week yet because it's hard for me to look at a computer screen. That's right, the major news of the week is that my raging eye infection is back in full force and worse than last time. It flared up again sometime Tuesday night, rendering me unable to sleep at all. Very frustrating. I went back to the doctor Wednesday after Heathrow (where I saw off the particpants red-eyed, with tears streaming down my cheeks... very reassuring, I'm sure!) Happily, the doctor didn't charge me this time, as I only wanted a repeat prescription. She was great, actually - gave me some marvellous drops that completely numbed my eye and only charged me £10 for the antibiotics. I really hope this is the end of it, but I guess time will tell. In the meantime I'm far too photosensitve and am spending all my time trying not to rub my eye!
So anyway, back to Sunday and my pre-infection trip to the Fleadh at Finsbury Park. By the way, I've asked and apparently it's pronounced "flawed" - so there you go. Darn Gaelic, I can never get my Anglophone tongue around it! We ended up showing up late, through no fault of mine (slowpoke flatmates, who were only concerned with getting there before Bob Dylan and Counting Crows, plus waiting around for Annoying American Aaron). This meant I missed most of Billy Bragg's set, which was frustrating. Still, saw some new bands (including the Charletans, who were great, and Christy Moore, who isn't a girl but basically the Irish equivalent of Stan Rogers!) Also sat next to some Canadians, purely by chance, one of whom was from Spruce Grove. So that was kind of cool.
The weather was unfortunately pretty crap, but happily I brought my umbrella and full contingent of rain gear. It was alternating between pouring and being actually quite nice and sunny. It poured during the start of the Counting Crows set, which inspired them to launch into their song "Rain King", the chorus of which is:
I belong in the service of the queen
I belong anywhere but in between
She’s been crying, I’ve been thinking
And I am the rain king
So we were all moshing around in the mud to that. Then, just as the song ended, the sun came out. It was absolutely perfect and a great start to an amazing show. The lead singer was really givin'er, and they played all the songs I know the lyrics to (including my favorite Counting Crows song, "Hanginaround", which is very Rocky) and everybody sang along. I've decided I really should listen to the Counting Crows more.
Bob Dylan was pretty good too, although of course it was all his more electric stuff (never my favorite) and his newer stuff (ditto). Must say he sounded pretty good for an old guy though! The best part, the part that made the whole show, was his encore where he sang "Like a Rolling Stone" - with Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones! Crazy, man. Sixties flashback.
So all in all well worth going to, and someone please tell Phil Rowe that I saw Bob Dylan live in London. (Phil's from Rocky Mountain House - I babysat his kids and worked with his wife. He's the biggest Bob Dylan fan in the world and single-handedly got my brother and I hooked by way of mix tapes slipped to us at church. It some convincing to get us to believe ol' Bob was worth listening to despite the raspy voice, but he managed in the end!)
In other news, I have discharged my civic duty and worked out how to vote in the Federal election from here. It involved faxing Ottawa, getting them to send me a ballot, then dropping the filled-in ballot off to the Canadian Embassy in Trafalgar. I could have posted it, but the embassy will send the ballots by "diplomatic bag", which a). is probably faster, and b). is free! So that's done, plus I got my fifteen minutes of free internet and directions to the Maple Leaf Canadian pub.
Which is where I watched the England vs Portugal game yesterday. It was a nailbiter, at least until I got bored because it was going on so long - two 15 minute overtime periods plus a shootout - and went off to talk to Aussie Scott and Rob from Onoway, who was passing through London again on his way home.
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