31
Mar 01

From our Sugababes Correspondent

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From our Sugababes Correspondent aka Mr Dan Rhodes, who would like it made clear (in response to my begging to reprint it) that this is “drunken evangelising”. Not something we’re unfamiliar with ourselves.

Sometimes The Sun Shines On 10-20% Overweight People

“People like me.

This afternoon at 5.30 I had a call from the good people at the William Morris Agency to tell me that they had managed to get hold of a ticket for an invites-only Sugababes concert at the Notre Dame Hall. I had been trying to get a ticket for ten days, and had given up hope. They were, as the Evening Standard would say, Hot. At which point the Evening Standard would go on to say that London Underground workers should suffer in silence – after all their lives are only slightly at risk every time they clock on. The chances of dying as a direct result of writing a piece for the Evening Standard are, heartbreakingly, negligible. Together we can change this.

Because I live not in London but in the heart of the commuter belt (Tunbridge Wells – London’s Long Island) I had to leave the house at 5.35. I had been virtually naked when the phone rang (I write for a living so rarely feel the need to wear anything apart from a pair of boxers and a Dry Blackthorn T-shirt) and had to get dressed literally faster than the speed of light and run to the railway station. Not a pretty sight. I made the train by the skin of my teeth.

Fortunately (Glory Be to Connex – I won’t hear a word said against them) the train arrived at Charing Cross at 7.05 – 25 minutes from curtain up. I ran to the William Morris office in Soho, then ran to the venue with seconds to spare. I am 10-20% overweight, so I was very out of breath by this point.

I had kept this evening free, just in case a last minute ticket came up, which it did. I had read in Time Out that Howe Gelb out of Giant Sand was playing at Dingwalls that same night, but still I kept the evening free. It was as if Schubert and Chopin had been clashing. I chose Schubert because Chopin is playing at Spitz on Sunday and I already had a ticket, and anyway Chopin plays quite a lot, whereas Schubert is coming up for his GCSEs and has to stay in and do homework so he hardly ever does concerts.

They were magnificent.

One Touch is one of my favourite ever records. So in my subjective reality (I apologise for the use of the phrase subjective reality) seeing the Sugababes at Notre Dame Hall was the same as seeing The Beatles at The Cavern would have been for lots of people. As I left the building I felt sorry for those around me for not having been there. It wasn’t a sense of self-satisfaction – it was genuine pity. I have only felt this rarely – after leaving concerts by The Smiths, Neil Young and Arthur Lee. The people minding their own business as they walked through the West End might as well have been from Mozambique – clinging to planks, their homes washed away by floods, or people from the earthquake-ridden regions of India, or British farmers losing businesses that have been built up over generations, knowing in their bones that the compensation they will receive will be late, inadequate and given grudgingly, that the government would rather carry on spending money on nuclear weapons and occasionally illegally bombing innocent people out of their homes on behalf of the Americans in the pathetic belief that we are a militarily significant nation rather than just than a lame-arsed, backwards bunch of clowns – the least civilised country in the EU by kilometres – where the pubs shut, embarrassingly, at eleven.

Such is the power of The Sugababes.

The moral: Ignore their rubbish name. Buy their album. Wait until they’ve done their GCSEs and go to see them in concert.

Glory be to Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan. Saviours of pop.

I hope you are well.

– Dan Rhodes”

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