06 August 1997
Oslo show - Lemon alert.
Oslo show - Lemon alert. The lemon goes pear shaped, but invention and cool heads win the day.
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, for your rock and roll pleasure, may we present, live at Vallehovin Stadium, Oslo... Spinal Tap... Tonight it finally happened. The lurking spectre which has been somewhere at the back of everyone's mind came about. There we were, having yet another fabulous Scandinavian show (almost entirely performed in broad daylight, due to our proximity to the North Pole) when it comes time for the Lemon moment.
It had, at last, got dark, so the journey of the Mighty Lemon into the crowd was every bit as spectacular as usual. The Lemon travels out into the audience, spinning and sparkling away. It comes to a halt, as planned. It opens about 18 inches. It stops. Four sets of Pop stars' feet are visible, tapping anxiously within the mighty fruit. Nothing. Silence reigns. Say it ain't so - its not going to open. Over the show intercom however, it was far from silent. Panic cries and howls of disbelief go off all over the place, and finally comes the voice of doom, "there's nothing we can do, it really won't open... abandon ship". Everyone goes into impromptu abort mode. Video director Monica Caston runs the Leigh Bowery dancing video on the screen all over again, Des Broadbery pumps up the audio volume with any sound effects and 'Lemon' samples he can lay his hands on, lighting guys Bruce Ramus and Tom Thompson dive into an improvised light show so absurdly over the top that Van Halen would have been proud of it.
The Lemon made its rather enigmatic retreat, then cool as you like, the band reappear, stroll to the b-stage and just carry on, launching into Discotheque and letting the music do the talking. Crisis? What crisis?