I thought that the party on Wednesday night was impressive. Having Mark Webber race the BMW-Williams Formula 1 car around the building was amazing to say the least. Then there was the Queen and the Duke, music, entertainers, loads of food and plenty drink, it was a spectacular night. Just all over too quickly.
Well it wasn’t the only opening night, there was another on the Friday, to which a selected number of employees from around the world were invited. Luckily my girlfriend was one, and her invite allowed a partner. Wednesday’s night was a mere starter…
The second night was huge, I mean massive. It had a bit more of a formal feel to it, and all down the main street were little stalls for food and drink. At the far end of the street was a huge stage, and in the restaurant at the other end was another, smaller, stage. I have to be honest and say that I never made it through to the restaurant stage, which is a huge shame because three of my favourite performers were on stage, but I couldn’t miss the main acts.
Go West, ABC and Tony Hadley. They lept on stage to a rendition of Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love, and you knew this was set to be one hell of an eighties set. Later they dropped in Simply Irresistible, another of my favourite Palmer tracks, but the highlight had to be Go West.
Go West were on fire, or rather I should say Peter Cox was. He was absolutely stunning. His voice was strong throughout and you were straight back to those days of “We close our eyes”, “Call me”, “Don’t look down” and the one for the ladies, “The King of Wishful Thinking”. They totally stole the show. I had known that they were going to be playing for a few days, but since it was gossip I wasn’t totally sure. I was excited for most of the week though since I have Go West on my iPod.
In second place came ABC, “The Look of Love” and “Poison Arrow” were other memory bringers. Then Tony Hadley came on and gave us some Spandau Ballet songs.
There was a hell of a lot of singing by us, and I woke up the following morning with a very sore throat. All this was topped off by Jools Holland arriving on stage and performing a good few songs. I’ve seen him twice before so it wasn’t such a big deal for me, but just before he was due people were racing to the front of the stage.
We hung around that area for the Prosecco, the music, and some friends we made on that evening. Well I did really, my partner was off talking to everyone she knew, which apparently was half the building! Anyway, we missed The Rat Pack on stage. I’ve seen them once before and I was totally blown away, being a fan of Dean Martin anyway I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw them, and I was amazed when I did.
The look, act, and sound just like the real thing. It took a while for Dean Martin to warm up, and Sammy Davis Jr. wasn’t spot on, but it was totally amazing. I just can’t believe we missed them…that’s what happens when you’re having fun and getting drunk with friends.
What topped off the evening for us was the big fireworks display with live piping. I don’t mind saying it was an emotional moment as the fireworks exploded above the glass roof in time to the music, it was a rousing moment and one that made me proud to be where I am. If the big boss is reading this, please don’t sack me for writing about work, and more importantly, thanks for two amazing opening nights.