Never mind the food. That’s right, you heard me. Well, never mind the food for now, anyway… all photos by Tim.
Above: We were THIS close to La Rufus. It was almost unbearably wonderful.
You may have noticed I’ve been a little thin on the ground lately (one of the few times I could use the word thin to describe myself) – or you may not have, judging by the fact that my mother is the only person who has commented on my last post! Well, either way, Tim and I took a mini-break up to Auckland to see the fabulous Rufus Wainwright in concert. We paid the whistlingest of whistle-stop visits to Mum and Dad, before getting on a bus to the Big Smoke. I realise this may sound funny coming from someone based in the city themselves, the capital no less, but Auckland is a lot bigger that Wellington, and, unfortunately, it is where a lot more stuff happens.
If that wasn’t enough – guess who we met (read: forced ourselves sweatily upon) at the gig…
Above: Pascal and Loretta from Outrageous Fortune! Now, you know we feel about this show. I must have plugged it, oh, a squillion times on this very blog. Our entire flat went into a decline when Series 3 ended. Tim and I bought the first two seasons on DVD when we really couldn’t afford it, and then went on to watch the whole lot in one weekend, even though we really should have been doing other things. We even went and logged in to all those online NZ magazine polls so that Robyn Malcolm would have a better chance of winning. That’s right, we are boffins, and so to those of you who haven’t heard of Outrageous Fortune, this was kinda a Big Deal.
We were all, “Should we? Shouldn’t we?” Until we settled on the fact that we’d never be cool anyway, so there was no need to be like all the other people milling round with their shields of ennui. So we went up to them, and said hi, and that we were enormous fans of the show and we were sorry to bother them but would they have a photo with us? Now, the above picture is admittedly pretty awful: Photographer Tim’s face is chopped off, I really hope I don’t look like that in real life, even Siobhan something-or-other and Antonia Prebble (they have names!) look kinda shiny, and on the whole the photo is haplessly bungled. But still: SQUEEEE!!!
I know I tend to gush over things, “exaggerate,” some might say, (although I’m really not exaggerating! I just like a lot of stuff!) and I do use the word ‘ridiculous’ a lot… But Rufus was just bafflingly excellent, ridiculously talented, and completely charming. His voice is staggeringly beautiful. It soars. The concert felt really special, it was just him, a pianny and a guitar. Nothing else. He talked to us between songs in a surprisingly nasal Canadian accent – about how he always loved Kiri Te Kanawa…”but I hear she’s a bitch! We grew up with her music…I loved to think of her practicing Strauss…on the beach…” and performed a haunting song from Brokeback Mountain, hinting at the added significance of this song but breaking the tension afterwards by saying “it was, of course, filmed in New Zealand…just kidding, ha!” And then he put on his guitar with a red-sequinned strap and said he was going to sing a song about America…not the one from the new album that everyone is expecting – “but it’s still negative anyway, so don’t worry! Here we go-” and launched into California, one of my favourite songs of his. One of my favourite songs of anyone, really.
He was supported by – speaking of Outrageous Fortune- Madeleine Sami and her two sisters, who are seriously lucky: as well as being completely gorgeous, having wonderful voices and a knack for writing kicky but bittersweet songs, they got to open for Rufus. Some people… but really, they were great, they didn’t give themselves a name but they were light years better than most of the crap on the radio these days.
Above: This was the view out the window of our room…with a view…Did you know that K Road is seriously noisy? Distractingly so; Tim and I got to our hostel on Sunday afternoon – a Sunday – and at 12.30am there were still voices, cars, music, sirens…it kept us awake and made me realise how serene our little neck of the woods in Wellington is! But still it was kind of exciting, in a Spongebob Squarepants kind of way, to a country gal like me – I’m being kept awake by sirens and yelling…in Auckland…
I’ll write about what else we got up to and what we ate tomorrow, I just couldn’t hold all this in but I didn’t want to subject you to the whole darn thing in one enormous post. As a parting shot though, here is a video that Tim took from last night. Don’t, don’t for goodness’ sake judge Rufus’ voice on the really pretty awful sound-recording capabilites of Tim’s aging camera, he sounded clearer than the clearest bell could ever hope to sound. But isn’t he good on the piano?
PS: I also found the Rent OBC soundtrack at Real Groovy on Queen Street…Result!!