A nice leisurely drive this time around, since I knew where I was going! (I think Cardiff and Newport have felt like second homes this summer :) I knew this area of Newport in particular because it’s where I parked the last time I was there, and I’d already had texts from gwene and flameofaphoenix to say they were on their way. Me and gwene had got a room booked *literally* around the corner, so there was drinking that could be done, and we thought that even we could manage to stumble home the distance! Then we all met up in the Walkabout bar (underneath out hotel) and strolled along at a leisurely 8.00ish.
Le Pub is a small venue, but a hell of a lot nicer than TJs – the Ladies loos have both doors and seats, for example :) OTOH there was no air conditioning at all and it turned into a sauna in very short order. There were a lot of new people in as well, some were new fangirls who I hadn’t seen before, but the others – including, gasp, some men! – might have been Le Pub regulars, but let’s hope BG is breaking out a little instead, shall we? :)
It’s been a month or two since their last gig and I would say the lads have been practising, they seemed really polished, even with the new material – and there was new material! Yay! – even if Gareth’s crib sheets did get blown or knocked all over the stage, at least twice. Gareth also reckoned he’d fucked up the first new track, although I couldn’t tell. Hell, could anyone, since it was new?! :)
Actually, it was really lovely having new tracks, although it did feel weird, because us old hands *polishes shiny ‘Been to Every Gig’ badge – ahem, sorry* got quite thrown because the order of play was different, and for the first time Bam Bam wasn’t the final performance of the night.
Possibly the most amusing thing though was Gareth being handed a pair of pink lacy knickers by the blond lass next to me (although I’m rubbish and can’t remember your name, hon!) and then putting them on (incorrectly, which probably added to the amusement) and wearing them for the rest of the night. I have pictures which I will try and load later tonight, if I can.
Before BG began, me and gwene were chatting to loads of people, and also saying hi to Lisa, Gareth’s manager, and Gemma, Gareth's girlfriend, who didn't look so worried about all of Gareth's fangirls this time round, which was lovely. She was saying that they'd had four days holiday looking round Toronto and Niagra Falls over the summer, and really enjoyed it (presumably around the time of Polaris, although I didn't ask). After the event, when we managed to have a chat with Rhys (bass), he reckoned the next gig was going to be the 27th December – so lateish Christmas present then! :) Rhys also apologised for his drunk mates, who fell on me and a couple of the other girls, nearly pushing us onto the stage – apparently it was the mate’s birthday, and he was out on the lash. Which frankly explained everything.
There was probably more, but suffice it to say there was beer drunk, and we made it back, in time to get up and go to Tredegar House, the next day.
There’s been lots of reports about Tredegar House, so I’ll be brief. It’s a stunning building, partly medieval, but mostly seventeenth century, and has been the location shoot for a number of Doctor Who episodes, including Tooth and Claw, the Unicorn and the Wasp, and the Kylie Minogue Christmas Special. Apparently they’d only lately finished the shoot for the coming Christmas special too, and there was still fake snow on some of the window sills. From the Torchwood point of view Cyberwoman’s basement is Tredegar House’s basement, but the tour doesn’t take you there, and also the stable yard has been used, we were assured, although I can’t figure out in what episode.
The only slight pain in the arse is that they won’t let you take photos of the interiors any more, after a Doctor Who fan took some earlier in the year, swore he wouldn’t post them, and then plastered them all over the internet. But it was a small flaw, really, and I bought the guidebook instead. It was a fantastic sunny day, the grounds and house were beautiful, and it really rounded off a perfect weekend.