Tag Archives: Duffy

Duffy Concert-Oct 22nd Part 2 2008

I miss most of the opening act Eli “The Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves, in fact by the time I get back to Webster Hall, they are finishing up the last encore. Peppy Rock-N-Roll that reminds me of Animal House, delivered in an energetic over the top style. It’s easy to see that Eli believes in himself and his music, it’s a lesson we all could use. The crews start to dismantle the stage in a flurry of activity for the arrival of Duffy, a Welsh born beauty who delivers a soulful sound that reminds me of my childhood, the early days of listening to the AM/FM clock radio I won for selling tall Xmas candles for my school. I still remember the white on black numbers on the Ferris wheel clock, clicking off the minutes and the now retro look of the white and pale orange housing, I kept it until it stopped working a few years later.

 The lights go down and Duffy’s guitarist comes out alone playing a few bars and then Duffy takes the stage. Duffy is a vision not unlike Marilyn Monroe, a blond bombshell in a red dress that hugs her ample shapely figure, with long blond hair coming down on soft shoulders. She is a vision of a bygone age-when women built like her were worshipped. Now sadly we tell women with her body type who don’t have her charisma, good looks, and talent to lose weight and exercise. Duffy opens with “Rockferry” my personal favorite, it is delivered just as it was on the CD. No studio tricks, just a singer using her God given talent and swaying to the soulful beat of her music. By the second song though; she has a momentary lapse. Maybe she was choked up by the words she was singing, or maybe it was the impact of being here in New York City playing a sold out show-she has to wipe at tears and flubs a word or two as well. I wonder if that will be her trademark, a singer whose emotions boil up to the surface and come out in tears. Will she be the next Johnny Ray? I hope not. In this kill or be killed world there’s no room for a crying singer anymore, it’s been done. However, Duffy quickly recovers and sings her heart out… as she does I scan the crowd.

 The people here are a strange mix and as usual I seem to be in a traffic lane, a point ( for whatever reason) where people seem comfortable to walk by on their way to and fro. Many older people are here to listen to an old style of music that brings thier past alive again. The younger people near me seem to me to be enthralled with her too, a trio of college girls in front of me take turns taking pictures of each other with Duffy in the background, and one young gay couple next to me nervously, self conciously at first, hold each other and sway to the music looking around to see if anyones a threat, concerned about someone making a scene. I also notice a few lesbian couples near me as well, in a gesture of unity one of the older members of a lesbian couple comes over to the gay couple next to me and gives them a big group hug, it is a poingnant moment for me too, another scene for the memory banks of how the Village is a place where all can find acceptance.

 The crowd is really into Duffy’s music and move to the rhythem like one giant being. I mean people scream at the end of every number and when she twirls the mike (while doin a sideways strut looking at the audience) the crowd roars with excitement like a homerun has just been hit! Duffy just captivates us and moves us all in many ways and I feel really lucky to see her like this, in a small place where anywhere you stand-is a good view. She has played two new songs and after the applause brings her out for two more heart stopping encores, she has played her entire CD. Then finally she says goodbye, I’m sure she is as thrilled as the crowd is, and as they file past the T-shirt table behind me where the opening act (hawks his own CD’s like a carnival barker) I watch with interest as the people file out. It’s amazing to watch, already young girls are copying Duffy’s stage moves and I hear a few girls singing snippets of lyrics as we file down slowly to the ground floor and I go below to the coat check and then weave my way back up and out past the people waiting at the stage door, hoping for an autograph and a picture with Duffy. Unfortunately for me I must leave, I’ve got to get some sleep before my alarm gets me up at six to start a new day of work. I walk in the general direction of Penn Station and hail at cabs until I’m picked up all the while wishing I was one of the Villagers and my night was just getting started.

 The happy thought in my mind as I ride the train home is how many older couples were there at Webster Hall, still going to concerts together, still rockin at sixty. Heck still getting lit before the show and after!

  I think that if I am lucky, I will meet one such as myself-as I am now, and she and I will be one of those old couples at a concert, still rockin in the free world, still dreamin, still creating, still lovin. And if I am lucky I will still be as wide eyed as I am now, and if I’m really lucky….I won’t be too far from New York City.

Yours truly

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Duffy Concert-Oct 22nd 2008

A cold night for travel but it’s my last concert of the 2008 and as I board my train I think how much I miss the warm weather of this most glorious summer. A quiet ride tonight with commuters, some reading books or newspapers, a few seats away an old black man reads a small bible. For the last two days at work we’ve been under siege and I need a night out badly, so I call Webster Hall to find out when Duffy is going on-9:15 good. That will give me time to get there and have some supper, once again I flew home and showered, changed and ran out the door. I can’t decide whether or not to eat in Penn Station or just get to my destination and eat there.

  What a contrast to the warm weather last week when I went to the Mercury Lounge and was uncomfortable in my denim jacket, tonight I’m cold in my three quarter length winter coat complete with my black beanie cap with it’s silver dragon on it, this my brother calls my Tom Warrior (of Celtic Frost fame) look, especially since he was teaching me some CF chords on guitar a few nights ago. I will be sick as a dog by the time I get home from work on Friday but right now I feel good and munch some fund raising chocolate that I bought from a kid in Hicksville Station with a coffee to warm me up. I wait to change trains at Jamaica Station to make a little more time, the platform is full of anxious people waiting to get to where their going and the train is a little late. Some pace back and forth, a girl flirts with her boyfriend (they need to get a room…fast), while others complain on cell phones to somebody who probably wishes they hadn’t answered and are figuring out an exit strategy, yet others just read the paper and wait-the veterans take it all in stride. The train arrives and whisks us off to Penn Station rapidly building up speed till we arrive-I’ve got two hours before the show.

 When I come up the stairs I immediately go up the Eighth Ave escalator and as I ride up I feel the air grow colder and I shiver as I walk out into the plaza, as usual the sights and sounds of the city rush at you like a freight train going by at full throttle, the cool breeze growing stronger as I walk to the taxi stand. The smell of exhaust is replaced by the vendor selling Gyro’s, Shish-Ka-Bob, and all manner of cooked meats and veg to go on Pita bread or hero, but I decide to eat in the Village instead, no Al-Fresco for me tonight.

 A short,quick taxi ride drops me off at Webster Hall, I haven’t been here in years so I head for the nearest main street where the glow of lights and neon promises a good but cheap meal is on the way. Here in this Asian part of the city you can find some upscale Sushi or Chinese food, and if you have the money you can enjoy what I’m sure is some of the finest dinning experiences money can buy (although I’m sure Anthony Bourdain could top these places) they look pretty good to me from afar-I’m not dressed for this and cheap sit down is what my tiredly cold body wants right now. I see across the street is a place called “Saint Alps Tearoom” and after looking at the window menu… I go in. The place is small and simple yet somehow elegant in a downscale college student sort of way, the tables are dark red laquered wood with small round stools to match, not made for large backsides I’m thinking as I’m directed to a corner table with my back to the wall and as I peruse the menu I scan the room. The place is packed and from my vantage point I can see that except for two Freshman girls-everyone here is Asian, a good sign. The menu is quite extensive for a fast food joint, they offer all sorts of deep fried goodness, Yakitori, noodle bowls, rice bowls and all sorts of tea to wash it down, hot tea, milk tea, bubble tea, a fascinating array of teas. I sit and watch with interest as college students hunch over flatscreens, and young couples cuddle or playfully tease each other and laugh their fingers intertwined like wrestlers-the playful power struggle that is love-testing each others waters, hoping for the calm seas of bliss but learning to weather the storms of each others personalities, I’ve been there before-I’m jealous but at the same time happy to be free of the struggle. Such is the duality of my nature.

 My food arrives and I’m impressed by the speed and the presentation, the Deep Fried Cuttlefish Balls are arranged on a piece of parchment with a little slivered cabbage as a garnish in the irregular Bakelite dish where one small square compartment at the end holds some fine ground salt-it is crispy and the sweet white fish is meaty and good, no sauce is present- it doesn’t need any. The Spicy Pork Rice bowl is another revelation, an Asian meat ragu spooned over sticky rice garnished with a half of a tea egg, a small steamed hand of Bok-Choy cut in half, a few slices of a bright yellow radish and some slivers of hot red pepper-all artfully arranged. The smoky slightly sweet spicy pork is a savory contrast to the mild sticky rice and the ginger mike tea is a very strong spicy opposite to the sweet fish and rice. It’s good and cheap and I’m really really glad I didn’t eat in Penn Station. I pay the check and for now it’s cash only so I have to hit a cash machine… I may want a drink later. The wind kicks up and I close my coat and walk back to Webster Hall warmed from my meal and pass by the upscale place I passed before and glance at the people paying twenty five bucks for a few pieces of Sushi and shake my head-you don’t know what your missing.
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