The legend…

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich… I mentioned them earlier, and now their song about Xanadu has become an earworm, replacing Olivia Newton-John and ELO…

Their number, the Legend of Xanadu, sold over a million singles… incredible! Their other hits included  Hideaway, Hold Tight!, Bend It!, Save Me!, Touch Me  Touch Me, Zabadak! and Last Night in Soho.

Dave Dee  Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich

Where Alph the sacred river ran…

For some reason I have an earworm… a mixture of Xandu as featured in Coleridge’s unfinished poem Kubla Khan, and a song by… by ELO and Olivia Newton-John! Well, I had forgotten that she sang it, forgotten that she collaborated with ELO… I think I was confusing that song with another ‘The legend of Xandu’ by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.

Xanadu, an actual place associated with Kublai Khan, is where the town of Shangdu is now in Mongolia. It seems as if most of its remains have been plundered for more modern buildings and little remains. Xanadu – where Kublai Khan ‘stately pleasure-dome decree‘…

So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round; 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. 
Orson Welles was taken with this idea and name Charles Foster Kane’s large estate Xanadu in his 1941 film. In reality various luxury places have been given this name, and also a mysterious bright, shining spot on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.
There was a musical film with the name – a film which was a box-office failure, although the soundtrack was a hit!! It became a musical on Broadway where it achieved greater success. There have been songs, games, comical characters, all with the name or associated with Xanadu.
What put it in my head I have no idea, but here is Olivia, and some very dodgy costumes!

I have no pictures of pleasure-domes, so I have used Brighton Pavilion for my featured image.

Were you jiving at the Mavericks’ Manchester gig?

I was so lucky to be able to go to not one, not two, but three Mavericks gigs… and the final one was the last of the UK part of their tour, yesterday night in Manchester. It was at the Apollo, a very famous venue but which I had never been to, despite living in the city for years and years and years!

Obviously the Mavs were absolutely fabulous, fantastic, and amazing (but more of them in another post) but here I would like to say ‘wow, you are great dancers!’ to an anonymous couple who were jiving in front of me.

Within a couple of numbers, half the audience were on their feet – however, on my side of the auditorium there had not been a very positives reception to the few who had stood up – words were exchanged… now in a way I can understand that you might feel miffed if someone stands up in front of you and starts dancing – but come on! it’s what you do at a Mavericks performance!! The solution to the difficulty is to stand up and join in! Of course if someone isn’t very nifty on their pins, then standing up and leaping about might not be an option, and I guess the fans in front would respect that and sit down…

There are aisles at the side, and sometimes up the middle, and there is a space at the front – perfect for dancing and not making it difficult for anyone else. I know that the band really like their audience to join in, and in fact, in the past, when security has been heavy-handed, they have threatened to stop playing until fans can really ‘enjoy’ themselves!! While I was waiting for the gig to start I noticed a lot of security up and down the side aisles and I just hoped there wouldn’t be a problem…

… and there wasn’t! So the people sitting next to me, and me, leapt up and went to the side and danced the night away big time… and then the jiving couple appeared. I think they had been at the front, with others standing by the stage and I think they were asked to move to the side, which they did and arrived in front of me.

It was difficult to gauge their ages, maybe in their forties, maybe a little older. The lady was wearing a fabulous sleeveless dress with blue and green patterns on it (it was dark!) the chap was just dressed normally in shirt and jeans… but wow could they dance!! In a restricted space they moved gracefully, but considerately of those around them – the only trouble for me was they were so watchable they were a little distracting – I think I managed to keep one eye on them and one of the Mavs when they were actually dancing as opposed to swaying in time to the music.

It must be wonderful to be able to dance so well, to be so in tune with your partner, that even with your eyes shut you know where their hand is going to be so you can take it, you know which way to turn, which way to lean, when to move forwards, when to move back… they were perfectly in time with each other – pretty much like the band!

Towards the end when literally everyone was on their feet (an old lady in her wheelchair had elevated it so she could see over people’s heads) the jiving couple moved back to the front where there was now more room and they could dance a little more freely.

If by some chance you are the jiving couple, thank you! You were fabulous, you really added to the enjoyment of the evening, and I am so envious of your skill!

PS the featured image has nothing to do with jiving, or the mavericks, it is just jolly and happy, like the gig yesterday evening!

Glasgow 2018