Ian Hunter is getting on, so any show could be his last, really. With that in mind, we did something that seemed a bit more in keeping with being a Belieber or Directioner (yes, I can thank my teaching career for knowing those terms, and who they are referring to)– we went to back-to-back Ian Hunter shows, despite them being in two totally different places.
He was getting ready for the Isle of Wight Festival, which may have a more inspired name, but I can’t be bothered to Google it. I can tell you that you have to take a ferry to get there, and sometimes the weather is terrible, even by English standards. I wasn’t too interested in that, but a couple of days in scenic towns seemed alright, so off we went.
First stop: Holmfirth, best known as the setting of Last of the Summer Wine, which Craig assures me was good in the early years. I’ll take his word for it, as it really hasn’t stood the test of time. We stayed at a little pub on the side of a stream, which despite being as least as picturesque as that sounds, we managed to not take any photos.
As we walked to the town center for the show, we took about fifty photos of the landscape and the horses which seemed to be the pet of choice in the area. That, or the farmers had tiny farms with one horse each.
We arrived early enough to claim center balcony seats with no one in front of us. Billy Bragg likes to joke that no one goes to hear him sing. Ian Hunter could give him a run for his money in that regard, but it was a good show. He played all his hits (or at least all the songs that I knew) and no crap. Morrissey, are you listening?
The next morning, we were actually in pretty good condition, and decided to hike from Magdale to Deer Hill Reservoir. In our usual way, we started off by walking two miles in the wrong direction. Sorted out by the magical iPhone blue dot, we managed to walk three miles in the correct direction before it started raining. Plan B: have a snack in Sid’s Cafe and catch a bus back to our car.
Plan B successfully accomplished, we hit the road for Leamington Spa and Ian Hunter. We got to the show early, but not early enough to grab one of the few tables, but we managed to sit in the VIP section. Eventually, everyone who didn’t have a pass got kicked out except for us. There were only a handful of “VIPs”, and we were off to the side, and they left us alone. I guess Craig looks like he could be a VIP…
The show was good, but since it was for all intents and purposes a rehearsal, it was largely the same as the previous night’s setlist. Fortunately, it was a good setlist. As seems to be par for the course, he didn’t include the song I wanted to hear. Once again, he singed off with All the Young Dudes and Goodnight, Irene and we were off to bed with an early start for Sheffield (City on the Move!) planned.