This is my report, although I think that there's no way that I'm going to be able to do the gig justice!
My daughter (Alice) and I arrived at about 4pm, having had the easiest drive ever from Looe in Cornwall. We set off at 3pm and found that there were almost no cars on any of the roads. It appears that a lot more people in England were following the football than here in Wales!
We were directed to the furthest car park from the venue, which I thought was a bit mean of Eden, saving all the closest spaces for the people who arrived later. It was a nice walk down the hill when we arrived, but an absolute killer at the end, when we had to climb back up at midnight.
I met Kath almost as soon as we had got inside, who explained the weird queuing “system” to me. It looked pretty unpredictable so we went for a walk around Eden and took in the sights for an hour or so. After watching the sound check (an unusual treat), we joined one of the two queues in the hope that we might get to the front. We probably would have managed it if it hadn't been for the people who turned up just before the gates were opened and pushed in. I didn't see a single MFC member do this, which in a way makes it even more annoying, because the pusher-ins don't even care enough to join us!
We ran full speed to the front and got 2nd/3rd row behind Vicky and Rose, which is my ideal spot, I was next to Silver and we shared a great view of Diana Vicker's cleavage. It wasn't really my type of music and I didn't expect to like her, but she was ok and she came across well in the way that she handled the button disaster.
It seemed like a very long wait until Mika finally came (maybe it was just the heat and all the waiting that stretched the time), but when he started it was the usual thing of completely forgetting how tired/hot/hungry/thirsty etc you are.
For me, this gig was outstanding in lots of ways, but mainly the setting. Eden is really gorgeous and being a deep valley, there were great views of it from the stage area, which is near the bottom of the valley. To be outside on a warm summer's evening and watching Mika is pure heaven. I loved the way that he played up to the theme of Eden by decorating the stage so extravagantly with hundreds of flowers (mainly sunflowers) and the floral backdrop was stunningly beautiful. His coat and hat with flowers on were both great and as for Imma's dress......well I'm sure sure that we all want to be Imma anyway, but she really did look magical in that dress.
Now I'm at the part where I'm supposed to write what I thought of his performance and comment on the individual songs, but I can never really do this. I must apologise for spending most of the gig in a dream-like state and can't recall individual aspects of it. All I can say, is that Mika was as addictive as ever, his singing beautiful and totally captivating, his every expression totally absorbing. I can't take my eyes off him when he's on stage and wouldn't notice if the sky caved in on me!
…........back down to earth for the practical stuff:
There wasn't much pushing or shoving in the crowd, but there was a steady nudging effect that resulting in us all being shunted sideways and poor Silver ended up losing much of her good view.
I was hoping that Alice might get lifted over the barrier like she did in Bristol, but the nice security bloke explained that it was against the rules when Vicky asked him. All the staff there, especially the security blokes seemed very friendly and helpful. I really don't think that they knew what to make of Mika fans, they'd obviously never come across a crowd quite like us before.
At the end we couldn't decide whether to wait around to try and see Mika or not, but Alice more or less begged me to let her stay. That made the decision a lot easier because I didn't have to feel guilty about keeping her up so late. There was a huge crowd of people waiting and I really didn't think that he'd do any signings. When he came out, he was so sweet and lovely and signed for dozens of people, which took him ages. The security guys had made a point of going round asking everyone not to take flash photos in Mika's face and yet some stupid, ignorant, inconsiderate morons insisted on dazzling him with their flashes. I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd just left at that stage, he must have been tempted! Being the lovely person that he is, he carried on working along the barrier and he even signed Alice's giant sunflower and my freak T-shirt, which was the icing on the cake of what was already an amazing evening.
It was great to meet all the MfCers again, it's a big part of what makes it so special. Big thanks to Jazzy for the T-shirt and Silver for the brilliant (literally!) wristbands. I had offered a lift to Allegra, Vicky and Silver, but a bus to St Austell turned up at exactly the right moment and I was going in the opposite direction, so they hopped on it and we set off home. The drive back was lovely. I normally hate driving in the dark, but it was a moonlit night, the roads were empty and we were on a Mika high. We got home at about 1pm, but I bet that we were asleep before a lot of the others!
What a gig...........loved every bit of it!