Sunday, 18 December 2016

André Rieu in Leeds, 2016

On Friday we set off over the M62 to Leeds to see the famous violinist from Maastricht, André Rieu perform with his orchestra, The Johann Strauss Orchestra.

We arrived half an hour before the show started and found our seats way up in the gods. A couple were sitting in the seats next to ours and he turned to me with a grin saying "We thought you weren't coming!"
"Yes," I said "we were worried we might miss you!" Hooray! I thought, someone with a sense of humour.

But then his wife, who was sitting next to me said, "Are you big fans of André Rieu?" She looked a bit surprised when we said yes and said "Oh... I'm not so keen myself - he wanted to come..." She sighed and added "I hope it's not all Oom-Pah music, I don't like Oom-Pah music. If it's all Oom-Pah music I'll probably fall asleep."
"I think you'll be alright," I ventured, "it's fairly infectious..."
"Have you been before?" she asked after a pause. "Oh yes!" we replied and her face took on a shocked expression.
"Oh, really? Well..." she said leaving a lingering impression she thought we must be somehow mentally deficient. I exchanged a sympathetic smile with her husband and proceeded to ignore her. He was already there before me...

You could guess it couldn't you? She sang along to every tune whether vocal or not with a frail, grinding, very high pitched "aaaahh" warble... "Are they always the same guest artists?" she asked as the first soloist left the stage (Frederic Jennignes playing the zither for Tales of Vienna Woods followed by the theme from The Third Man).
"No, we've seen the St Petersburg Trio and The Berlin Comedic Harmonists at different shows..."
"Germans???" Her lips pursed in surprise.
"Yes," I said, "Their finale was to machine gun the back circle..."

We were well away from the snow machine as it dropped a generous amount on the audience below. It's funnier that way...

Another wonderful night with a few surprises and the usual elongated ending, long after André has announced things are coming to an end. This is always a cue for the first punters to stand and shuffle along the rows to get out first to the car park. They miss a good half hour - probably the best half hour of the night... Godzilla was staying put though... "Ahhh, aaaaahhh aah, ahh a-aaaahhhh!"

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