As Fascinating Aïda finish their show with a song* about Salford it’s – well – fascinating to think that a few hours earlier this song didn’t exist. Writing to order is a thing they do well, and coming up with a new local variation for each show, preferably at the last minute, is an activity they find stimulating.
They look so glamorous on stage that it can be hard to imagine what they’ve spent the previous couple of hours doing. Other than writing the day’s local flavour song, they need to adapt their chat to take in recent news, and maybe a few lines from those news for their ‘Bulgarian’ song cycle. There are letters to deal with. Takeaway meals to be eaten in as civilised a way as possible. And before putting on their faces and those gorgeous frocks, there is now a most adorable puppy to walk. (Yes Dillie, that was my gaze you could feel while you and puppy were out on your walk along Salford Quays. She did both a number two and a number one by the looks of it. Good puppy!)
Our British celebs are the same as the American ones, except uglier and more stupid. Someone has to be brave enough to point this pertinent fact out, so thank goodness for the sharp wit of Fascinating Aïda. And it has to be said that this obviously does not apply to FA themselves.
The first half of their show in a packed Quays Theatre covered most of the essential topics an audience need, such as the financial situation (thank you ladies; now we get it), Michael Jackson and Susan Boyle, a plea to our parents not to spend our inheritance, risk assessments and the price of petrol per gallon in 1983. And, please, what is a gallon?
I wouldn’t sit in the front row if you paid me. Just consider what happened to poor Hilary, being told off for her handbag straps. A real hazard. And by now I’ve forgotten how Terence came into it, but he figured regularly in their chat throughout the second part of the evening. And what is this fascination with courgettes and gherkins? And truncheons.
It’s pleasing to find an audience where some people have not heard the songs before, so are coming to them fresh. I was lucky enough to sit in front of a couple who enjoyed every amusing line of every song. The one about the Pope, for instance. And Dillie very sensibly does what I would do, leaning on the piano while talking. She’s into gardening in ‘her old age’. Happens to us all, I suppose. Very grateful for the warning about the laptop repair man for people who have googled certain words.
Having their tour manager Lara stand in for them after the interval, singing a song of her own while Adèle supposedly went across to the pub to drag Liza and Dillie out of there, is a great idea. Drink a little longer, ladies, and we’ll just have a Lara show instead. She’s wonderful!
Alcohol taken off her, Dillie was forced to drink something else. Asking what it was, and being told it was water, she understood why she didn’t recognise the flavour. As Dillie said, it’s ‘quite refreshing, in an unpleasant sort of way’. It is that, Dillie.
A globally warmed Shetland, calypso style, with a Hawaiian shirted Lara on guitar was just great. You’ll have to pay that girl more, you know.
It’s amazing how well the sad and thoughtful song ‘I watched two people’ sung by Liza fits in with all the rude and funny lyrics of the main menu. They do go through their sopranos at a worrying pace, so maybe that’s why. Liza wore two stunning dresses. Not at the same time, you understand. One of them is being coveted on Facebook, and that’s easy to sympathise with. Maybe with Liza still in it?
Adèle’s dress in the second half was much more flattering than the one she wore last year (sorry!), and Dillie sensibly wore trousers for her piano gymnastics while playing the German song. Though I’m grateful to know that they shop with Primark in order to support the Mancunian sweatshop workers. ‘Tesco saves’ showed that our favourite ladies also know where to shop for food, as well as just about everything else in life. It’s a blessing, really.
And then there was the Salford song to finish. Polite offering, and enjoyable. But some of us live in Stockport, you know. As the gentleman on my train recently pointed out; someone has to. Consider it done.
* And what’s really, really annoying, girls, is that when that DVD (to be recorded in Windsor on Sunday) hits the shops, the Salford song will no doubt have been turned into a Windsor song. I’m sorry, but that’s just not right. It just isn’t.