Wednesday, June 09, 2004

don't give up

Blogging by email via an old pda until my machine returns from the doctors! I'll attempt a more considered review of the Peter Gabriel show soon... but first a little tale about what happened on the way.

A colleague and I (he also attending the gig) had spent the day working in central London. Running late, we had to get to Wembley, check into our hotel, eat and then get across to the arena. We planned to get off the Tube at Wembley Central and grab a cab to take us the last mile to the hotel. When we got to Wembley though, not a cab in sight. We didn't fancy the walk on the hottest day of the year so decided to find somewhere on the High Street to eat and then ask the restaurant to call a cab. So we found a pizza joint and pretty soon we were enjoying beers'n'bruschetta. The guy at the table next to us had almost finished his meal when I noticed our waiter plus two others suddenly go outside and start handing out flyers. I also clocked our waiter hand something else to a guy walking by on the phone. My colleague and I then twigged that it was the credit card of the guy at the table next to us who'd given it to the waiter in order to settle his bill and clearly we were watching a card cloning racket in operation. I said that somehow that card will reappear once it's been skimmed. Next thing a car pulls up and a guy leans out to 'collect a flyer' and slips the card back to the waiter. He re-enters. As do the others, suddenly losing all interest in flyers. The card is given back to the customer and he's none the wiser.

Now here's the thing. They've noticed us watching their every move and now there getting v nervous and clearly talking about us. What's more, we're still all suited up so they think we're CID!!! We decide to pay by card knowing there's no way they'll chance skimming it. In the meantime the waiter brings this huge black guy over and tells us he's our cabbie. Nervously, we envision ourselves finishing off the evening wearing concrete overcoats. Anyhow, we paid and left and the cab-ride was uneventful. It was only later we realised that what should have cost us about £50 only cost £25. In other words, we'd been given a mega 'police' discount for turning a blind eye to the cloning scam.

So, two things learned:
1. There's a card cloning scam on Wembley High Street.
2. Those involved are happy to bribe who they think are the police.

Onto the show. Gabriel was excellent as was the show itself, conducted in the round. Lots of daft spacey props. It resembled what someone in the 1970s might imagine a gig in 2004 to look like. Little chubby PG was pretty energetic and in fine voice. He was, however, guilty of some Comedy Dad dancing on occasion. Most of the hits were in there plus some newer stuff. No Genesis. It was pretty tight, as it should have been for the last night of a two year tour.

The PG Crew were mostly staying in our hotel and the one next-door and they were definitely in party mode including a guy from the support who entertained his bandmates and the rest of the bar with some acrobatic groupie sex in his overlooking open-curtained hotel room. Classy.