by Steve Down
I’d seen this opera singer called Lesley Garrett in her own shows on TV then a few years later, in 2004, I noticed that she was appearing at Derby. So, I persuaded Lynne that we should go to see her in person, neither of us knowing what to expect. The concert began with Lesley singing off-stage, holding one long clear note, then she appeared in one of her typical long glamorous frocks and I actually said out loud “Wow!” And that was it. I was hooked.
The next year she came to Nottingham and the following year to Leicester, so we went to both. It was after the Leicester concert, in 2006 that I joined the fan club and found out that people waited at the stage door to meet Lesley. So, I made the radical suggestion to Lynne that we could go to a second concert that year then meet Lesley afterwards. So, we booked for Kings Lynn and stayed over a couple of days.
After that concert, on a very warm summer evening, we waited at the stage door with about 30 other people and that is where we met Rob and Alan, who were both kind enough to come up and talk to us. We were glad that they did, because we had a long wait that evening, about 90 minutes, as Lesley was at a reception with the Lord Mayor.
When she came out and saw us all, she said she was surprised that we had all waited so long to see her. Then she talked to us all for about 5 minutes before signing programmes and posing for photos. Then it was my turn. Lynne was a little shy so agreed to take my photo with Lesley and just as were posing together this voice cried from the background “No kissing. No kissing.” That was our introduction to Lesley’s personal assistant Ania. Not that I was thinking of kissing Lesley anyway. Honest.
While Lesley was signing my programme she asked me if that was a little Welsh twang in my voice. So I had to put her right! I’m a proud Geordie but have to accept that some people mix up the two accents. I won’t hold it against her. But is was a great end to a superb evening and made me realise just how much time and care Lesley likes to take with her fans.
After that, we started going to more and more concerts and offered to take over the fan club administration when it went quiet. Can you believe that was in November 2008!!! Since then we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Lesley many times after concerts, as well as a few times for fan club business. And we also enjoy the new friendships that we’ve made by meeting you all at concerts around the country.
26th January 2013