We went yesterday, and it was looking like a rainy Sunday. I’d said jokingly “maybe we should go today too” in a half hearted way. So I looked, there were two seats in the stalls right at the back. I was in two minds about it, but went back to look and see if they were still available. They were, but even better than that, two tickets had suddenly appeared in Row K – ten rows ahead of where we were the previous day.
So I bought two tickets, figuring if they’re still available at this late stage we’re not doing anyone out of a ticket. We rushed and made a bone and a flower, as we’re now experts in all things Wiggles so know what’s going on*. Jumped in the car, and we were off, back to Hammersmith. (added bonus, all the parking on the streets is free on a Sunday)
Wiggles Live at Hammersmith - the second flower and bone
This time knowing the auditorium may not be open, we waited until 30 minutes before stage time – a sensible decision. Even better, we met up Rosie (who takes fabulous photos, please check her site) and her girls, plus Sophie and her kids at the Wetherspoons pub around the corner. Once we got inside the venue I realised Camilla and her family were on the row in front of us – and we had even better seats than the previous day – room for H to dance (she’d had a 30 minute nap in the car and was looking a lot more lively).
We had a 20 minute wait before the lights dimmed, and we had an identical show to the previous day, although by the end I did remember some bits which had been missed (really little things). I also realised the three new Wiggles were in fact on this tour, so we’re already getting used to them.
There was the obligatory give the bone to the dancer, which H did as she was returning back to the stage (it wasn’t as easy as the previous day), before Greg and Murray headed our way again – Murray went straight off to the back/top area so we didn’t see him, whereas Greg was mobbed – we held back, but realised he’d have to move on soon, so H and I crept to the queue, I did the not-quite-pushy-mum thing of telling her where to go while I held back (and took photos so she’ll remember it) – she handed her flower to Greg then turned her back and came back to find me – just as Greg read the back and looked like he was saying “Oh, are you H?” d’oh…
The Wiggles Hammersmith - H handing Greg her flower and Greg reading the back as H walks away...
Anyway, prior to this they’d done ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport’ and H jumped out of her seat to dance (hurrah!), only for her to do a really enthusiastic jump with her top lip landing on my knee. Ouch – cue one screaming toddler, blood and cuddles. Fortunately I had water and wipes and she calmed down quickly – but oh, it was a bump. So for the next twenty minutes she sat doing occasional hand movements to the songs, and my heart sank – had it not been for that incident she’d have been down the front. (probably)
As it was, wounds heal and the power of fun and the Wiggles helps a lot, so much that she was back on her feet by the time ‘Do The Monkey’ came around (although she insisted on being a frog which doesn’t feature in the song). Full of happy I videoed her dancing, knowing things would be absolutely fine.
Her new favourite dance is this one. She does it for everything, ever.
Anyway, by the end we were stood dancing again, she was dancing on her own (usually like the video above), or jumping up and down again (hurrah!), until the show was over. That’s it, the last Wiggles as-we-know-it show in London with the newbies (and Anthony) to take over next year.
You know what? I did almost shed a tear on that last goodbye. I held up H and we both waved to them. They might have seen us, though they saw thousands of others too, but almost every time they made you feel like you were the person they were entertaining, and that’s a damn good gift to have.
As they’d say, “beeeeeautyyyy, mate!”
The Wiggles Hammersmith - Jeff, Greg and Murray's final goodbye
My only question now, what on earth can top this? What can we follow this with?
* this is a lie, obviously.
We arrived at Hammersmith Apollo just after the doors had opened after following the confusing signs to the venue (we ended up over the road on the Fulham side, there didn’t seem to be a subway close to the venue), to find a load of merch sellers outside – possibly touts, although I recognised the helium balloons on offer (£6 for a round one, and £12 for a Dorothy one, ouch). H hadn’t had a nap, and I feared this might mean she’d not be as involved.. (I was right, she was quite withdrawn apart from when Dorothy was involved)
After the obligatory photo of the venue from outside (and hoping The Charlatans hadn’t left a mess from the previous night for those nice Wiggles men) we headed inside to a mass of children, buggies (there was a buggy park for £2), more children, lots of Dorothy the Dinosaurs (I suspect we had the biggest one, I heard a few gasps “look at that HUGE Dorothy – she was so big she stuck out of my backpack), and three merch stands – all surrounded by parents and kids.
I’d decided that as I’m classing the event as H’s first gig, that she needed what any gig goer needs, an official t-shirt (I say this, as my first gig my dad bought a t-shirt and satin scarf from a tout outside the venue which is my lasting memory) and at £15 it was a reasonable enough price (though they came in sizes 0, 2, 4 and so on, so I got a 4 that she can grow into).
Now my biggest gripe – the auditorium wasn’t open – so the main foyer was gradually filling up with loads of toddlers and their parents – to the point it was safer to sit at the top of the stairs – there wasn’t a crush, but I wish there’d been a notice about the delay in opening the doors, as we’d have left a little bit later (we knew it was doors a 3.30 and they were due on stage at 4.30). Anyway, it wasn’t the end of the world – I just wish the venue had put up more information.
Wiggles Live at Hammersmith - Dorothy, flowers and bone
We got seated and realised we actually had really good seats – we were the front row of an aisle, and at the furthest edge – potential Wiggle sightings were likely.. excellent! So once we were settled the toddlers had their snacks, and we waited for the lights to dim… which they did around 4.40.
H had the most excellent of faces as they appeared on stage (Jeff first, then Greg, then Anthony and finally Murray) – her mouth wide open in awe – and while there were a few songs we didn’t know (we’re old school, okay?), they were easy enough to pick up, and more than anything it was fun! Which is what you need. They launched straight into reading out posters and banners, sung a few more songs, Jeff fell asleep a bit (“WAKE UP JEFF!” shouted everyone including the adults in delight), then the Wiggle dancers came into the audience to pick up the bones for Wags – not proper bones, just the bazillion paper ones that the kids had decorated.
Wiggles Live at Hammersmith - Dorothy and the Wiggles
Fortunately we were prepared.
Wiggles Live at Hammersmith - H handing the Wiggle dancer her bone
H handed hers to the Wiggle dancer, and that was it. Phew.
But then! The Wiggles all came into the audience to pick up the flowers for Dorothy – so we got Murray and Greg near us – we had great seats!
Wiggles Live at Hammersmith - Blurry Murray rushing past
Song-wise I don’t remember hearing ‘Wake Up Jeff’ or ‘Play Your Guitar With Murray’, though there was a medley of the classics at the end – and right at the end everyone left the stage bar Murray, Greg and Jeff for a proper goodbye to everyone – which was nice. We’ll see Anthony, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy, Wags and Henry next time (yes, we’ll be back – I can only hope that if they do a new programme we get it over here too, to get to know the new Wiggles). The show was over by 6pm – and we were home just after 7 – now that’s good!
Is it bad I’m considering buying tickets for the 2pm show today? There’s two aisle seats available in the stalls….
I’m going to officially class this as H’s first gig. At the tender age of two and three-quarters she’s going to come to Hammersmith Apollo with a friend and me and friends’ mum, and we’re going to see The Wiggles. (as an aside, mine was in 1983 when I was thirteen and was Duran Duran)
I thought everyone loved The Wiggles… but I’ve been frantically googling for an idea of the songs they’ll perform so H knows them all (yes, yes, cutting it fine) and nobody seems to be reviewing the shows?! Anywhere. Try it – if you put in Wiggles 2012 Tour Reviews and any combination of those words you get more results for Mariah Carey than anyone else. Crazy. Or am I looking at this with my veteran gig-going eyes which would make sure I knew as much as possible about a show before I went?
Kylie the Pink Wiggle with Sam the not Yellow Wiggle any more
I’m hoping it’s also realistic that the only Pink Wiggle Kylie will make an appearance in London. It’s not much to ask, is it? I mean, it could be possible.
Saturday is going to be busy… can’t wait!
The New Wiggles, a bit like The New Seekers for kids. Or Not. But not the ones we're seeing on Saturday.