Sunday, 19 July 2009
come in, come out of the rain
twenty years ago i went to my first ever simple minds gig with some mates, including now long time friend jonny macc, at roundhay park. for the 55000 fans there, jim kerr and the guys 'gave it laldee' and belted out an unforgettable show. since that day they have become my favourite band whom i've seen live many many times.
twenty years on, the prospect of seeing them at the truly monumental edinburgh castle was something i just couldn't pass by. and so it was, this saturday myself and jonny stole ourselves north of the border, on richard branson'e 21st century equivalent of the flying scotsman, for what was to be an awesome and electrifying, if not also a tad wet, night to the anthemic tunes of the minds.
but before all that malarkey was to take place, a little run was in order...well, you shouldn't visit places without your running shoes should you! and you get to see the sights quicker than riding an open top bus too!
so, as soon as we arrived in the beautiful city we were off out for a trot. expecting a city run i had come armed only with my road shoes. but a mention of a place called arthur's seat soon changed what lay ahead. i didn't really know what to expect but i certainly wasn't expecting such a huge hill so early into the run and so close to the city centre. the off road climb was without doubt lung busting but the views over the city and out to the firth of firth were breathtaking and made the ascent more than worth it.
we even ended up doing a little scrambling and some off piste due to my poor pathfinding. only once did a come a cropper with the poor grip of my road shoes, but fortunately was able to steady myself before i went totally head over heels. it was a great way to start our brief stay and needless to say it set us up nicely for some late afternoon visits to a number of really cool bars to quench our resultant thirsts.
at the last of these bars, orloroso, we were sat taking in the panoramic views on the roof terrace with jonny pointing out the huge blanket of black clouds rolling menacingly over the firth of forth towards the city.
with total conviction i said it was brightening up and in fact the clouds were heading away from the city. i was soon to eat my words.
a little later we arrived at the castle in good time before the minds were due on and it was at that point with the aforementioned black clouds now firmly over us that the heavens opened. the torrential downpour was relentless with every drop landing and bouncing back up with such force. some people elected to take what cover they could but for the rest of us a soaking, of a magnitude fitting only of such a grand occasion, was the order of the evening. it was brilliant and just like being a kid all over again.
8.45pm arrived and on came the guys we'd all travelled from far and wide to see. the wait was worth it. the soaking was worth it. and with complete irony, 'waterfront' was the first number they belted out. it was a gig to behold, where spirits rose with each and every tune, especially two all time favourites of mine..'big sleep' and 'someone somewhere in summertime'...so moving and evocative.
for two hours i didn't stop clapping, jumping, dancing or singing along.
this was a gig that for me was up there with the best i've ever had the fortune to be part of. an honour to be so close to the talent of jim and the band. and yes jim we were doing ok!
next morning we had an hour or two to take in the sights. one sight i wasnt expecting was that of hundreds of people on mountain bikes taking part in the edinburgh rat race. i'm not sure what any of the japanese tourists made of such british, or should i say, scottish eccentricity. but for me it was a fitting sight with which to leave such a great city.
inspired by the melodies of the minds and the rat race we got talking about future running challenges.
it had all been great food for the soul.