Here is a funny tale from my recent trip to the UK.
At 7 pm I am sitting in the lounge of my very comfortable 2-star budget hotel at Paignton,Devon, as the lounge is the only place with decent wi-fi connection. I’m trying to type on my computer whilst being forced to listen to tonight’s entertainment, the 70+ singer, as he warms up. He is from Oop North, as is his boring wife who has been talking about them nonstop since they arrived at 7. But I was told he doesn’t go on till 830pm so why so early?
Now we have a warm up taste of his singing with very loud recorded backing. He is without doubt the worst that I have ever heard, and he thinks he is bloody wonderful! We are told by the PR person (his missus) they are off to Spain soon for first time to sing at a Pommie resort (for the deaf!!) at Benidorm!!! He is SO BAD that I must wait to hear him. He is a regular here apparently, and has a couple of tone deaf local followers.
Sitting just near me is a huge fat guy in a cap, shorts, stripped polo, and ankle socks, and all legs and arms with tattoos – and just revolting way of speaking – must be 50 or so. YUK. I just wish that I could record this.
Oops – two well-dressed people just entered – they look around and gingerly sit down. Singer still has the floor telling the world how he finishes at 11, and doesn’t give a bugger if anyone in the hotel complains about the noise. I wonder where the fuse box is…..
It is now 755pm – 35 mins before the curtain goes up, and our rotund OAP entertainer in all black begins his Tom Jones routine – we now have had a full taste and I need the Rennies. Wish I had someone from home to share this with, but we’d get thrown out for laughing.
Hello, hello – I am getting the serious eye from a very large lady in tight leopard skin top. Help!!! Off to bed. I will lock my door and put chair under handle.
I am considering making an exit now seeing he is starting 30 mins early!! Meanwhile his missus says he needs more “reverb” in his sound backing – she is his sound technician ,plus groupie, PR… What a hoot!!!! I will stay for a while.
No, he’s just still warming up. Ha Ha – He is singing “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman”. Perhaps he’s a drag act like a Danny La Rue!! It’s just like Blackpool. I need a drink. Perhaps not – leopard top still smiling at me.
Now he is rehearsing “Wild Thing” – he is seriously suppressed rocker – with all his grey hair in amazing 50s hairdo… Where’s that drink….
He has now had a clothing change – spotted black shirt now has striped black tie and cream jacket…. Still amazing hair – I’m jealous..
“Love is in the air”….. (Sing along he says) …….”Ooohhhh Love is in the air…… Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh”..(fades to muted applause)….it’s getting better (read worse). Meanwhile the missus sits behind him singing every word, with arms raised like a choir master, and fingers going from side to side with each beat like a metronome. And it goes on for every song.
A half a dozen give muted applause at the end of each number. Please don’t applaud – it only encourages him.
How do I leave without making it obvious – and I am terrified that I could start a stampede. A recent German couple are looking quite bemused and concerned – perhaps they saw Fawlty Towers and think they are there.
Ouch! He just missed another high note. Perhaps if I crawled across the floor he may not see me.
He also has a repertoire of well-worn jokes, which he and his missus think are hilarious, but are generally greeted with silence. He just doesn’t get it.
He just went around the room asking where people were from, and I said Bristol in my best West Country accent and he believed me!! Well he asked no more, as I was head down typing on laptop. Ha ha.
He has been going for 30 mins – must take a break soon so I can leave. Perhaps not – he may go the 2.5 hours nonstop so no one can leave. Just had Roy Orbison, Elvis, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones….Engelburt Humps His Thing must be soon….
At long last about 915pm after another gem, I work up the courage to scuttle out of the room, head down, and make my way to the hotel front veranda to take in the air and view of the sea, Suddenly he launches into “Bring Him Home”, that wonderful song from “ Les Misérables”. That is the final straw – I cannot hear him destroy that song, so off to bed.
I was lucky because my tiny single room was on the 3rd floor (no lift) at the rear of the hotel, and overlooking the railway line which ran right past my window. There was no sound from “music”, and the soft noise of the electric trains lulled me to sleep.
In retrospect, I would have not missed that evening for the world, and my only regret is that I could not record the performance. Tom/Engelbert/Elvis/Roy could have had a whole new career in TV comedy – but not sure how he’d feel about that.
It is a great little budget hotel, clean, comfortable, and for $62 including full breakfast for single room with ensuite I certainly can’t complain. Yes I can – I want a deduction for the entertainment…Ha ha – can’t help myself.
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