Who would have thought us “Hayers” would have been quite such a responsive crowd to Texas? I think it surprised Sharlene Spiteri more than anyone that a crowd who were there to read books were all up on their feet dancing and singing with gay abandon.
It was brilliant to see the band looking so good together, Sharlene looks great and hasn’t aged at all and her voice sounds better than ever. The only sign that they are getting on a bit were the teenagers in the front row that were clearly offspring of the band members dancing in the aisles. She did quite a lot of talking and she proved to be very funny and engaging. Kicking off the songs with “I Don’t Want A Lover” proved to be just the right song to get us all in the mood. With the release of “White On Blonde” back in 1997 the Glasgow band became major stars and I knew all the songs. Between them they’ve been through the mill over the last few years what with illness and divorce, but they are most certainly back. She explained that for their 25th anniversary tour they decided to choose alternative venues – The Hay Festival being one of them. I wonder whether her Welsh chef lover had anything to do with the decision…
“Have you ever had music here?” she jokes whilst trying to encourage us all to clap along “you know what to do”…It’s easy to take the piss out of a crowd of ageing, bespectacled readers, but she was very kind to us all. She told a very funny story about Jane Birkin sticking her tongue down her throat on stage during a guitar solo, which wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences given that she’d just smoked 20 fags, “but it’s not every day you get a good snog on stage” she said. She got the crowd going with even a few “Yee-haw’s” being heard from the crowd “I love a good yee haw” she said, “we’re not called Texas for nothing”. They treated us to all the old favourites “Say What You Want” and “Black Eyed Boy”. They did several encores “one more song and we’ll let you all go back to your houses to read your books” she said…and then came back with “Suspicious Minds”.
We loved every minute of it. Just great and once again, thanks to my press pass we were right up in the mosh pit…well, it would have been the mosh pit if it hadn’t been for the fact that we were dancing with librarians.