Aberdeen - Scotland - 2/4/97
Claire Thirkell - UK
The day before the concert I mailed a letter to Keith at the venue, praying he would get it and read it before the show. The not knowing and hoping was driving me crazy!
Myself and my Dad arrived at the venue just before 9am. the place was practically deserted, apart from roadies. We didn't see any other concert-goers until 11am. All day we waited and watched for any sign of the guys. In the late afternoon we were thrown outside by the security guards to freeze in the typical Scottish weather! Things heated up, however, when two cars drew up. The first one held Bryan and Keith! A group of us scrambled over the barriers to get closer. Unfortunately I didn't get to them in time. Then we saw Bry's brother Bruce. We yelled at him and he waved to us. It was great to finally see Bruce in person.
We could hear the soundcheck from outside. It sounded perfect to us but there must've been some complication because they checked for about 20 minutes. We were singing along with the soundcheck songs: HEY ELVIS, THE ONLY THING, WE'RE GONNA WIN and I FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE.
Finally at seven the doors were opened! I don't think I've ever run as fast as I did to the front of that stage! I was positioned directly in front of Keith's place - perfect!
8.15 - suddenly there they were! They launched straight into THE ONLY THING...During this there were some female models walking across the stage - I didn't like that, I have to say. All the guys were looking so great! Keith was wearing black jeans, a black shirt and black boots. Bry too was wearing jeans and my fave boots - the ones with the buckle on.
As soon as I saw that Keith was looking in my direction I waved my banner at him, hoping he'd see and recognise it from my brief description in the letter. He saw it and waved, smiled and winked at me - WOW! That alone ensured that this would be the best night of my life!!!
Most of the songs the guys played were from 18 TIL I DIE. It was an amazing set! I was surprised
that I DO IT FOR YOU was so soon in the set! They played HEY ELVIS - that song is great live! For me, TOUCH THE HAND was one of the highlights 'cos Keith get's the chance to go crazy! At the end he was using Bry's microphone stand as a slide - that was so cool! Keith kept looking at me and smiling! Everytime he did I could feel my heart leaping!
It wasn't a big venue, holding only 6,500, but the guys gave it everything and it sounded like there were 60,000 people there! Keith was running and jumping all round the stage as usual - the guy's wild! When he ran along the bridge at the back of the stage, between the fans, I was so jealous of them!!!
They played the beautiful HAVE YOU EVER REALLY LOVED A WOMAN, which Bryan introduced by saying "This song has absolutely nothing to do with Dave...but everything to do with Keith..." Keith is so talented. I bet he could play anything! He switches between rockers and ballads like this one with such ease.
CUTS LIKE A KNIFE was great, with Dave trying to sing the "na na na's" in Bry's mic but everytime he did Bry moved it!! What a laugh!!!
A beautiful version of STAR calmed the mood. Keith sang the first part (Whatcha gonna be...) with Bryan, but I think Bryan should have let Keith sing that bit by himself.
On the B-stage the guys did rockin' covers of 7 NIGHTS TO ROCK, C'MON EVERYBODY, and I FOUGHT THE LAW, as well as YOU'RE UNDERWEAR, SHE'S ONLY HAPPY and part of my fave tune PLEASE FORGIVE ME. The little stage was packed with people dancing. I wished I was there too
Back on the main stage and finally SUMMER OF '69. During their bow at the end I waved as hard as my little arm would allow me. Tommy saw me and waved back and winked!! By 10.30 the guys were gone again - but that wasn't the end. The final song of the evening was I'LL ALWAYS BE RIGHT THERE- just Bry singing and Keith playing. What a special moment! Heading off the stage for the final time that night
Bry said:"I'll never forget you again Aberdeen." (Earlier he had said he'd never played here before but was quickly reminded that he was here in '91).
They were gone! the houselights came up and everyone was leaving but for me, the best was yet to come...
Excited, I fumbled to put on the back-stage "After-Show" sticker that Keith had so kindly asked one of the roadies to give me. Myself, my friend and my Dad made our way back-stage into the cafeteria area where we mingled with other fans and talked to roadies. After half an hour a woman came up to me, asked my name, then led us to...Keith's trailer! WOW! On the way in I said "Hi!" to Bruce Adams - he seems real sweet.
As soon as I laid eyes on Keith I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! He said "Hi,Claire" and my name had never sounded so beautiful. Keith stood up, took my trembling hand in his strong, soft hand and kissed me on the cheek!!! At that moment I melted inside! I couldn't believe how lucky I was! Keith gave me his autograph and a plectrum, which I will treasure for as long as I live. We all talked for so long. Chris Chappel came in and we spoke to him too. Also briefly met their chef. Keith's voice is so soft, his smile so cute, and every time he looked at me...I just can't describe the feeling! He made me feel so special!
After about forty-five minutes Keith was told he had to go. He took my hand once more to say goodbye, even though I was cold I felt so warm inside.
Bry was signing autographs for some people so I went up to him and held onto his arm until he looked at me, took my piece of paper and signed it for me. Briefly our hands touched. WOW! KEITH AND BRYAN - I didn't ever want to wash my hand again!!! Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to talk to Bry 'cos the security guards were throwing everyone out!
I owe the best night of my life to Keith. I can't even begin to thank him enough for taking the time to make one of my dreams come true! I only hope you know, Keith, how much it mean't to me and how much YOU mean to me. I love you. You're so wonderful!
Claire, I know the feeling well. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us all.