On Sunday night, we nipped off to London on a little adventure to see Pete Townshend's classical version of Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall. Now I love Quadrophenia. And I mean, I really love it. For me, there is no finer album and it has been that way since I discovered it aged 13, thanks to a Mod called Warren in the year above me at school. (Yes boys, once your mum was a teensy bit cool...).
And I can't wait for Louis to be old enough to discover it like I did. It's angst and pain and joy and belonging and not belonging and heartache all wrapped up in the most evocative and incredible soundscape. In fact, if I ever had to choose an inheritance track to pass down to my children as the essence of their mother, I'd struggle to pin it down, but it would be a close run thing between the anarchic rebel-rousing 5:15 and the screamingly beautiful Love Reign o'er Me. Yes, this album means A LOT to me.
Fortunately, Spence is an even bigger fan of Pete Townshend and The Who, so having seen them stage Quadrophenia in a massive stadium at the end of 2014, this was one gig we were not going to pass up.
And it was MAGNIFICENT. On paper, it sounded mad. Alfie Boe instead of Roger Daltrey, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra instead of the sheer power and rock of The Who and a full choir in an iconic concert hall venue instead of a vast 10,000 capacity stadium shed. But throw into that mix can't-possibly-work-can-it guest vocals by Billy Idol and Phil Daniels (he of the film Quadrophenia and Blur's Park Life fame) and Pete Townshend's partner Rachel Fuller's re-working of the album as a full orchestral score and it turned into something majestic.
Alfie Boe owned that stage. Billy Idol was reassuringly mental. Pete Townshend played acoustic guitar with not a windmill in sight. I shed a tear. The whole of the Royal Albert Hall rose as one in a ten-minute standing ovation at the end.
There are three more performances in October, two in Germany and one in Austria on Halloween. Needless to say, I am currently googling Air BnBs in Vienna...