Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Night In With The Boys

Well, after a bit of a late, drunken night out last night for Rob’s farewell, I was in extra early this morning to oversee an upgrade to our firewall. Fortunately all went smoothly and what drama there was was over by 8:15. The rest of the morning was productive; steaming ahead with fleshing-out the masterplan for data storage in our company for the next few years (essentially it boils down to: dump oodles of terabytes at a few strategic locations and replicate everything everywhere, but as ever the devil is in the detail…!)

After lunch though, possibly because of the very early start, I completely ran out of steam and the afternoon dragged interminably. I got very little of use done but eventually occupied myself in doing some necessary advance planning for a weekend of work we need to schedule in the next month or so.

When five o’clock finally came around, I happily packed my bag and wandered off to meet up with John Mc who was coming with us to watch the Small Group show at the Theatre Museum. We headed up towards Covent Garden and into the Porterhouse for dinner and a couple of beers; they do both fine burgers and fine ale and, never having been there before, I determined to remember it for the future. It is a bit of a rabbit-warren though and I managed to get lost on my way back from the bar one time…

While we were enjoying our Sam Adams, I got a text message from Mark C; a chap I was at university with many years ago who now works for Sky TV in London. (Despite the proximity, we only seem to manage to get together for lunch about once every couple of years…) It was one of those viral messages which I normally just delete, but this one caught my fancy and I both replied and forwarded it on to a number of my friends. The concept was simple; reply to the sender, with one word which describes them and then forward the message on to eight of your own friends to find out what they think of you. I chose ‘ethereal’ to describe Mark for reasons which are too lengthy to get into right now. I’ve only had replies from about half of my contacts so far, so I’ll wait until more get back to me before publishing the list of words they offered. Already they range from the stolid to the outrageous, so I’m looking forward to seeing the remainder.

The Small Group show was just as enjoyable as the last time. They had made a few changes both to personnel and to the running order since June. The lovely Raman seems to have taken on an administrative role which means he isn’t singing anymore - a loss to the Chorus, I feel. The choreography was rather patchy throughout, which was a shame as, when it’s tight, it can really sell a performance. Even so, vocally they kept the side up; a better blend and only the occasional lyric slip. Brett, who has sharper ears than me reckons the tuning was off in a couple of places during the show too but I didn’t hear any seriously bum notes.

In improving the blend of the sound, the peculiar bass line I’d heard in Somewhere last time around wasn’t nearly so obtrusive, so the song carried me away again. Following it with Back In Business from Dick Tracey wouldn’t have been my choice – but then I don’t particularly like the song in the first place. Such is life.

Nic B’s powerful Where I Want To Be from the last show was replaced with a spellbinding Somewhere Over The Rainbow – or at least it would have been spellbinding if it hadn’t been periodically interrupted by giggles and chuckles from a group towards the back and a long and loudly whispered aside from our perhaps-a-little-too-inebriated chairman. At least both offenders had the decency to give him rousing applause at the end of the piece.

Ron D was the quintessential Bobby in Company, with both the correct accent and the perfect cadence – whereas the ensemble sounded slightly stilted (but then I know from experience it’s bloody difficult to get all those words out both clearly and in time.)

They finished off with A New World again, which is something I’ve grown to really like over the course of the season; something about the sound of it is quite spine-tinglingly ‘good’ and uplifting.

We didn’t hang around long after the show as none of us felt like drinking any more than we already had, so after a few hellos to the performers, we headed out into the night and I got to do one of my favourite things in Central London; cross the river on a clear night and enjoy the illuminated cityscape.

John Mc seemed to have enjoyed himself too so, on the whole, it was a lovely way to start the weekend.

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