Tag Archives: Dillie Keane

Sequins in Salford – Fascinating Aïda, The Cheap Flights Tour

They knew Dogging from just the intro. And then – judging by the sounds of surprised delight – they didn’t know the Tesco song or the Little Chef one or even the German song. What kind of people do we have in Salford? I ask you?

The best kind, obviously, although I’m still somewhat concerned.

It was sold out, the Fascinating Aïda Cheap Flights Tour. So sold out that at the Lowry they did two shows on Tuesday, and as they said, it takes a certain kind of person to go to cabaret in the afternoon. The best kind, I suspect. The kind that doesn’t need to google dogging, and if they did, they would definitely clear their history after. Or ask the bar staff at the Lowry, seeing as they had been primed.

Fascinating Aïda, The Cheap Flights Tour

When I went to pick up my ticket, Fascinating Aïda’s latest recruit Sarah-Louise Young was in front of me in the queue. I’m guessing there was no ticket left for her, which will be why she ended up on the stage instead… Sarah-Louise halved the average age of FA when she joined, and that’s no bad thing, I say.

They have new songs as well as old ones. The new ones are new and some of the old ones have been dusted off and spruced up and given spanking (sorry) new details. So, their Bulgarian folk songs are new, but then they ‘always’ were.

The how to write a bestseller is now on Nordic crime, which to the uninitiated is Raymond Chandler with snow. Sort of an Ikea dunnit. We got songs on how to kill your mother, threesomes, one night stands and something for taxpayers. I wouldn’t know about that. Us foreigners are only good for making coffee. Baristas, is what they call us now.

Flying to Ireland for 50p is hard to do, or so they’ve found. But at least after 28 years they finally have a hit. As Adèle said, the YouTube version of Cheap Flights went fungal. It’ll be all the ‘fecking’ I expect. The first act finished with some ‘young’ dancing of the kind I’m forbidden to engage in at home, but P-Dillie is right in that grey is the new black.

Fascinating Aïda, The Cheap Flights Tour

Adèle and Dillie and Sarah-Louise were beautifully dressed to begin with, but in act two they surpassed themselves and their sequinned dresses almost required sunglasses.

I mentioned Little Chef earlier, and have to say I was most gratified that this beautiful Scottish travelling song has been resurrected. It’s one of the best. They really suffer for their art when out on the road so much of the time. Speaking of art, they don’t like what we have in Salford Quays. (Or was that a joke?) Anyway, it brought on a song about art.

We had the German song, and I could tell Dillie has kept up her practising on the piano stool. (Obviously, had she known 27 years ago that she would need to, she would never have come up with it in the first place.) More Bulgarian songs, a song about being bored, and they generally know how to look sad. But Sarah-Louise is far too young and far too new to be allowed near the piano for a Bulgarian ‘plink.’

Yes, they do have a bleak view of the future. Who doesn’t? I suppose it’s only fair that they should end a performance based on that man who sells flights to Ireland for 50p (except he doesn’t) by mentioning that unlike many, he pays his taxes. I suppose FA know about this?

Fascinating Aïda – the interview

Well, here it is! The long awaited interview with two thirds of Fascinating Aïda.

Dillie Keane and Liza Pulman spill some of the beans that could be spilled, and very nice and friendly they were while they did it, too. However, due to the fact that they only put on their faces something like five minutes before a show, I wasn’t able to have my own photos of them. That’s the only reason I resorted to stealing the ones I used. (And we’ll just have to hunt you ladies down for photos somewhere else, at a later stage.)

Kicked myself afterwards for not asking Dillie’s puppy Piper if she would agree to be photographed. At one point I had to look down on the floor to check it wasn’t my bag she was rummaging in, but this well behaved, adorable little dog knew full well which bag contained her toys. There isn’t a single bark in my recording of our chat, so that is one good Piper.

Neither Liza nor Dillie were barking, either. I didn’t know that being a Gemini makes a person bonkers, but as Liza said, it explains a lot. I got so confused by sitting facing all those mirrors in the dressing room that I inadvertently switched my recording off, and had to restart. But then I don’t have quite the same experience of theatrical mirrors as some.

With the silver jubilee tour ending on Sunday, we will have to begin the countdown to next time. I wonder what Fascinating Aïda can come up with in the way of lyrics about volcanoes?

Fascinating Aïda’s Silver Jubilee, fifteen months on

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.

Dillie Keane

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.

Lara King

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 Anderson

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.

Fascinating Aïda at the Lowry

Still Fascinating after 26 years

Picture if you can, a long time ago when the witch and her Resident IT Consultant didn’t actually own a television set. We listened to the radio in those dark days, and if we hadn’t, then the witch wouldn’t have known to go to see Fascinating Aïda live on stage.  And that would have been a shame.

Fascinating Aida

Friday night at the Lowry was my third time. Fascinating Aïda are the best. Personally I believe it’s because they are girls. They write the most intelligently funny, sometimes rude, songs. They see life for what it is. They are fresh, in more ways than one. Some of the lyrics are so totally up-to-date that they are about things that have just happened. Some, on the other hand, are so fresh that they happened this week, or possibly even more recently.

They would understand the worries I had about my hair all evening. (Have you any idea of how nerve-racking it can be to go to a show with your hairdresser? I can’t begin to tell you, so I won’t.) My companion must be congratulated for her bravery in coming to a show, which she was erroneously led to believe was for geriatrics only. (FA, you need to change how you describe yourselves.)

When Dillie Keane sits at her piano and sings, I always say to myself that I like her best. Then I always think that Adèle Anderson has a very good voice and I like her best. After which I generally come to the conclusion that FA’s third singer, at present the lovely Liza Pulman, really has the most wonderful voice. Hmm. Could be that I love them all. Tonight I also discovered that tour manager Lara sings the best of all, so I really don’t know.

Fascinating Aida

So, not only do Fascinating Aïda cover what’s-her-name’s prize winning awards acceptance tears this week, but they remember the olden days of spam being eaten, not emailed, they can sing like Germans (almost painful, I imagine), they can do their own versions of traditional Bulgarian songs, there’s the song about the much emailed substance which rhymes with Niagara and there is the concern that the Shetland Isles are becoming too hot. But at least we’ll always have Tesco. It’s a Saviour.

Thank Gordon Brown for messing with FA’s pensions, forcing them out of semi-retirement. I for one would return to the Lowry tonight if I could.

Fascinating Aida

After elbowing aside most of the rest of the audience, I was second to the signing table and carried off my signed CD to join its friends adopted earlier by the witch. We then found ourselves in the middle of Fawlty Towers, with Basil speaking very loudly, as he does, firing Manuel as we eased past. The nice boy from Barcelona grabbed the fire extinguisher and sprayed the diners. Honestly. You just can’t get the staff these days.

And I have never before been driven along the M60 by a Pendolino train driver. He dropped me at the railway station.