Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


'Two Out Of Three'

19 December 2010
'Two Out Of Three'
Perth. Show 2.

In a bid to avoid checked baggage on my flight back to Sydney tomorrow, I came to Perth with just a small carry-on. It'll be a commercial flight, with the usual "security" restrictions, which means no liquids, gels, aerosols, etc. At risk of over-sharing, in the deodorant department I have long been a Gillette Right Guard man, in its familiar bronze coloured (CFC free) aerosol can. This passes for illegal contraband in scheduled flight hand-luggage so I left it in Sydney. Being unable to pick any up here in Perth I've resorted to some roll-on or other and have spent the past 48 hours with the strange low-grade sensation that suddenly I don't smell like myself. It's been quite peculiar - I keep getting odd whiffs of this sweet smell and thinking "Whatever's that? Oh, it's me." Most unsettling.

It's the last day of term, though a less dramatic one than on other occasions as the tour breaks down into bite-sized chunks for the next while. This is largely due to the movement of the steel systems (which travel by sea) and the large distances involved. Logistics freaks might enjoy looking at the tour dates and figuring out how the three steel systems would move. All the same, there was an amount of sorting and packing to do and a round of farewells and Happy Christmases (it's Christmas, apparently).

The sports-minded English crew were less than chipper about the progress of their cricket team, though apparently there's still everything to play for. There was some talk of which players had come to the show last night and which would be coming to night, during which I overheard the name Michael Vaughan. Despite my total dearth of sport knowledge, this is one name that I know and for quite a circuitous reason. He was the captain of the England cricket team until retiring a year or so ago but I also happen to know that he went to the same high school that I did, an unremarkable Comprehensive school in the north of England. Said learning institution has a Wikipedia page extoling its virtues and naming notable alumni, which number precisely three; me, Michael Vaughan and the actor who played the little boy in The Full Monty. Having two out of three in the same building had to be worth a look.

I'd got the word that he'd be on the mix position viewing platform prior to the show so went to find him, having Googled him first so I'd know what he looked like. There he was and I introduced myself as the designer of the show and, er..., and ex-Silverdale pupil. He looked slightly taken aback and then very amused, before introducing me to his wife, Nicola, who also went to Silverdale - hat trick! We had a great chat and it was wonderfully surreal to be standing in the middle of the 360 crowd in Perth, Australia, talking about Mr. Hutchinson the sports teacher. (He died last year, which I was very sad to learn. We weren't close but I did run into him a couple of years back. I recognised him but after 30 years I didn't expect him to have any memory of me at all. Not only did he recognise me, but he remembered my name, which rather blew my doors off. I laughed and told him how genuinely astounded I was. "Ah," he says, "you only remember the ones who were really good and the ones who were..." "Was I really that bad?", I asked. "Er..., yes. Now you come to mention it...")

Rock historians the world over will no doubt be aware that Perth was the debut city for several U2 songs, being the first port of call on the LoveTown tour. These included Desire and All I Want is You (and almost Love Rescue Me), so these got an airing in the set tonight. Funny to think of Desire as having once been a brand new song.

The touring party now disintegrates for a while, as people fly home for Christmas. Being at the other end of the earth, crew flight-times varied enormously some as early as 12.30am, others late into the following day. Europe is under blizzard conditions, so travel chaos reigns for anyone heading in that direction. Much airport-camping and rebooking lies ahead for many and for a lot of people there was little point in going to bed. Never wishing to miss a chance for a social opportunity, a midnight barbecue had been arranged at Cottesloe beach, to help fill the time. There was beer, & wine and a surprisingly good grill up, in a beach pavilion as the waves of the Indian Ocean lapped onto the beach in the darkness. Then it rained... you have to love an Irish barbecue.

Related Topics


03 January, 2011
Happy New Year! Thanks for flying Austra
Love your diaries! I too tried just carry-on luggage between Syd-Perth. I forgot the deodorant in my suitcase, so x-ray guy says `Aerosol in luggage' in a very scary way. Hehe! I was allowed to put the deodorant on a tray to go through the customs x-ray separately. Then I was `randomly' checked for possible explosive residue on my clothes. I suppose it has to be done.
29 December, 2010
Happy New Year Willie
Hoping this finds you at home, & not under a blanket of snow. Keep your diary going, its the 1st thing I check on the site now !
28 December, 2010
Thank You!!!
Willie! How much I enjoy your "oversharing"! It's great to know how smart, funny, and normal you are. Thank you so very much for your much appreciated creative work on the shows we love so well! You are a big part of why we love U2!
Newer comments    1 - 3 of 3    Older comments

Current News

07 May, 2009
The opening night of the tour in Barcelona is only weeks away so no better time for a reminder of life on the road.
20 Dec, 2006
Rocko Reedy on the night his band opened up for U2.
20 Dec, 2006
How Come? Well, Tamara Kendall from the UK won the 'Hunt The Lyric' competition for those return flights and tickets ...
12 Dec, 2006
The one hundred and thirty first Vertigo show and it was one to remember. Report, photos.
11 Dec, 2006
Wonderful closing night with Pearl Jam in Hawaii and lots of surprise touches as Vertigo 05/06 comes to a close ...
06 Dec, 2006
The U2 support act you've never heard of. (Until Hawaii that is.)
05 Dec, 2006
New backstage shots before showtime in Tokyo.

Eric Clapton was at the final Tokyo show on Monday and chatted with Edge ...
04 Dec, 2006
Video of the band playing 'Window in the Skies' for Japanese TV at the weekend.

Current News

02 Mar, 2015
Edge and Bono in Rolling Stone on iTunes and 'Innocence'.
25 Feb, 2015
'Every Breaking Wave', Studio Exclusive From ‘Songs Of Innocence’ Acoustic Sessions.
23 Feb, 2015
Premiere: 'Every Breaking Wave' - the video.
12 Feb, 2015
Introducing Aoife McArdle’s Every Breaking Wave: 'a short film based on the U2 song of the same name'
12 Feb, 2015
Fourth night confirmed for iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE in Barcelona.
04 Feb, 2015
Each member of the band  is celebrating the unique relationship between sons and fathers in a new book.
03 Feb, 2015
A seventh night in New York and a fifth night in Chicago - more iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE dates.
02 Feb, 2015
A fifth show in London and a third in Barcelona have been added to this year's iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE Tour.