Saturday, June 10, 2006


You know, of course, that the thought of something terrible happening to Robbie Willaims doesn't bring us any pleasure at all, and we're sure all of us would want to send him condolences following the debacle at the end of his Dublin gig.

Robbie wanted to send the fans out of the stadium on a high. Apparently, he didn't think saying "that's all I'm going to sing, you can take your children home now" was good enough, and so had come up with an elaborate stunt based around Let Me Entertain You and a gondola descending from the skies (we know, we know). But it went terribly wrong, as Robbie explained to the concert-goers:

“I can let you into a little secret. When I was up there I was supposed to come down in a gondola and it was going to be entertainment at its highest peak.

“But when the man standing behind you says, ‘It’s fucked’ in front of 70,000 people, you panic. Being in a white tracksuit probably wasn’t the best thing to be in.

“You’ll never know how much panic went through my mind when I was up there. You’ve been much better than me.

“I’ve not been very good tonight so I will come back and do it for free.”

Good God, man, is it not bad enough to make them sit through it once?

Although Robbie admitted he wasn't very good, The Sun isn't going to risk upsetting him by agreeing, so Victoria Newton sounded thrilled by every eyball-rolling moment:

As the Close Encounters movie theme tune played, a countdown flashed on the screen with the warning, “Gentlemen and ladies — this is not a drill.”

Then, to a backdrop of weird ancient Egyptian symbols, the man himself shot up through the base of a podium in the middle of the crowd.

Talking of shooting up through the base of a podium, guess who the surprise guest popping up was?

After the rousing Millennium, Robbie was joined on the stage by a surprise guest, best mate Jonathan Wilkes.

The TV host is travelling with Robbie throughout the tour, and the pair duetted on the classic Me And My Shadow.

We would have loved to have seen the look on Wilkes' face when he was told what the choice of song was going to be.

The Irish Independent reports that while the gondola stunt might have been under-rehearsed, earlier in the day the preparations were going too far:

While most of the Croke Park fans were on their feet for the duration of the concert, earlier in the day some students sitting their Irish Leaving and Junior Cert exams nearby got an earful.

But this time those supervising the pupils at O'Connell's School, North Richmond Street weren't too happy.

The school sits right in the shadow of the stadium and shortly after pens were lifted for the important exams, music filled the rooms.

Supervisor Elissa Reilly said it was "particularly loud".

"At first, I thought it was someone with their stereo playing in a car outside".

But when the music continued, the supervisors feared it could disrupt students' concentration.

The gardai were called and someone from the school went up to Croke Park to let the band know they were interrupting the students.

School administrator Sandra McLeod said Williams's version of some of Frank Sinatra oldies were in full swing when she arrived at the school at 10.30 and the music did not stop until more than an hour later.

"We are right next door . . . all we were short of was having Robbie Williams singing," she said."

Well, at least there was that small mercy, then. Following the police intervention, the band put down their instruments.

We hope that wasn't why they weren't able to check the gondola was working.

Curiously, the Mirror's 3AM Girls report back from the gig but seem confused about when the gondola incident happened:

Even when a stunt to lower him on stage in a gondola failed to work, he thrilled the Crowe Park Stadium crowd by telling them: "I'm coming back and doing another show for free. On my next show the fucking gondola will work!"

But from the moment he came on, it was clear we were in for a special night as he bounded around the stage.

It seemed to catch up with him and at one point as he gasped: "I want to know how Mick Jagger does this stuff. I'm 32 and knackered. He's about 105 and still does it!"

Not that the crowd minded one bit as they helped him belt out classics such Millennium and Let Me Entertain You.

Wouldn't it have been at least worth mentioning that Let Me Entertain You was the song that got the gondola-snarl-up and as such was belted out as he ran onto the stage in a panic with fire shooting all over the place?

On a totally unrelated subject, does anyone remember when Elizabeth Archer was writing for the Borchester Echo and submitted a report on a village show she'd not actually been at, and so her copy failed to mention the exploding marrow?