Photo Link: <Boston photos>
I'm finally getting around to doing some more blog updates. Not that I'm too busy or anything, you just have to find the time to sit at the laptop and get it done. The first update is from Clare's trip to Boston in March...
Clare says... I took a work trip to Boston (for the SEAFOOD SHOW) and I saw the Pogues. Best corporate function I have been to. Yeah, and some drinking sessions with Newfies till the wee hours. God they can drink those Newfies (Newfoundlanders). I need to get ready to do it all again at Brussels (Seafood show). Flew to Boston on Virgin Atlantic. The river, sea, lakes, etc. were frozen in Boston at the start of the week but mostly thawed by the time we left. I took the pics whilst on the trolley tour on the last afternoon. Still the whole place is rather bleak as there is absolutely no green anywhere at all - all dead under the ice and snow piles. We (Peter, my boss and I) went to a drinks party (for Bantry Bay Mussels) in South Boston (Irish town) and it was like Belfast - full of IRA murals on the walls. Nothing like it in Australia.
The Pogues concert was the third in a row for Boston which was then being followed by New York for St Patricks night. We got tickets for the 10th row from the front at the Orpheum Theater a couple of hours before the start. We then popped off to the California Pizza Kitchen. For those people who went to my parties at Auchenflower in the 1990’s with the infamous pizzas - a lot of the recipes came from this establishment. The Pogues, for those that haven’t seen them, are an Irish punk band formed in London in the mid 1980’s when Ireland was a very different place from now. They play traditional Irish songs with a punk beat and sing their own songs as well. Some of their own songs are absolute classics for the Irish especially those who came of age in the 1980's and had to move overseas for jobs ie. London & New York, even when they didn’t want to leave. There is one in particular called “New York Fairy Tale’ which I'd never heard in Australia and they didn’t play in Boston, as they needed a female singer. But it's probably the only song of theirs they didn’t play, as they came back for 3 encores. The band consisted of Shane McGowan, the infamous lead singer, 1 drummer who also sang a solo, 2 guitarists, one who also sang a solo, 1 tin whistleplayer who also played a lot of other bits and pieces including a biscuit tray at the end, 1 banjo player and a sax player. They played all the songs I know from the CD "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash" with the exception of "And the band played Waltzing Matilida", wrong target audience for that one. They played "Dirty Old Town" and "Irish Rover".
And yes, for those that are familar with Shane McGowan (he played the Byron Bay Blues Fest a few years ago), he did stand up for the whole show and no, did not appear to be drunk/stoned throughout the concert. But he was drinking something that looked a lot like whiskey straight all night, but could have been ginger ale (Shane has been trying to dry out for years). But he did smoke non stop all night despite all the signs saying it was a smoke free building. By the encore Shane couldn’t walk or stand up by himself. He needed a roadie to basically walk him to the stool they had put out for him and hand him a smoke and drink. Maybe it wasn’t ginger ale after all. And they had a Mary statue up on the sound equipment. Okay they are Irish but the last song on the CD "Thirteen Thongs" by the Lonesome Cow Girls did come to mind. Those of you who went to Woodford in 2005/6 would have heard this song and know what the Mary statue probably contained.
We couldn’t get a taxi back to the hotel so walked quite a way past the still frozen Boston common and were meant to meet up with the Newfies again for another get-together but these sessions tended to finish at 4am, so I piked and went to bed. The next night we had dinner at a place called Cotton Wood - well worth it for the cocktails alone, but the steak was wonderful. Ran into some of our Irish clients there as well. Very small world. I expect to meet up with a lot more familar (Aussie) faces at the Brussels seafood show in April. (The Boston photos are linked right here).