100 Days Project

Lu: 100 Big Days (and Nights) Out

I realised I have kept a heap of tickets to mainly music gigs & festivals over the years, as well as a lot of sports fixtures, from both here, UK and Europe. So each day there will be a photo of a ticket accompanied by a hazy memory from that gig… and a musical tip to go with it.

As I go, a playlist on Spotify called ‘100 Big Days Out’ will be built up of the tracks I single out from those gigs/artists/events. Check it out http://open.spotify.com/user/1230930937/playlist/68S65odxiGB6v7hz4exHTL

Day 20:

England v New Zealand, Lords, London, July 1999

History & honour. Tradition & pride. Beer & chips. It’s not all rock & roll, you know. Sometimes you have branch out to the finer things in life, and during a balmy summer in London nothing relaxes more than a day out at Lords Cricket Ground watching our Colonial plodders take the willow to England’s finest. This was desperate stuff - England had recovered well in their second innings to beat us by 7 wickets at Edgbaston 2-3 weeks earlier, NZ were coming to The Home of Cricket staring down a barrel greased with poor batting form. However, the Kiwis would regroup and at Lords and stun England with bat and ball. Catching up after our Glasto trip, Si and I traipsed along to St Johns Wood without tickets, but easily scalped a couple off a geezer outside. Sorted. Enter another world. Lords is special: the old buildings, the old members in their blazers, the beautiful area surrounding the main ground, the legendary slope across the surface which is incredibly obvious when you are there in person. More than that, it was the formal way of doing things at Lords that was new to a fan more used to the Basin Reserve’s embankment. Polite applause, no banners, and having to wait for the completion of an over before you left or returned to your seat. “Here, here!”. Our bowling attack of Chris Cairns, Geoff Allott and Dion Nash was on fire on day one - Cairns took took 6 wickets for 77 runs. It was all set up for us to watch Day 2 as we batted, and in the end we saw Matt Horne get a ton at Lords, and Roger Twose got a 50. The match’s full scorecard is here. It was great to see a Kiwi’s name light up the scoreboard for a century at that esteemed ground. After a glorious day for me that had my English chum Si muttering, we retired to nearby pub Crocker’s Folly, which was a huge, truly magnificent establishment… now unfortunately gone. I think as we left there some of teh older members were still turning up from the ground, such is the slow pace some of these old chaps move - no wonder they like five day cricket. Awesome day at Lords - it was so relaxing, supping beers in the sun there. A lot more mellow than our Basin Reserve or Day 5 at the Oval, where 3 weeks later New Zealand won the final Test by 83 runs to get a historic series win in England. I was living in Camberwell Green at the time, and could not get to that match, but to this day I swear I could hear screaming Kiwis from The Oval a mile away. A soundtrack to this day of cricket? Here’s an ambient soundtrack for your day’s Test Match Special, Fortran 5’s ‘Heavy Cloud Building’