As I have reached a point in my life where I have neither need nor space for more material possessions, especially not in the run-up to Christmas both Mike and my parents decided that an "experience" would be a better gift for my birthday.
Mike had already taken me to Bletchley Park on my birthday for an excellent day out but still saw fit to spoil me again a week later on Tuesday December 11th.
After checking in to the rather nice Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow he bought me dinner at Yen before we strolled through the icy night to the S.E.C.C. for the rather cumbersomely-titled "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds - The New Generation...Alive on Stage", for which my parents has provided the tickets.
The show was fantastic. Anyone who is aware of Wayne's album will know that the music is stunning. The 100 ft. projection screen was used both to show pre-recorded film footage and to show closeups of the actors on stage which made it easy for even myopic me to see everything from the back of the cavernous Hall 4.
The actual performers were excellent with both the "orchestra" section and "rock band" playing perfectly and recreating the dramatic piece to great dramatic effect. In fact, the only performer I could find any fault with was Marti Pellow who seemed slightly off-tune throughout his performance as the "Sung Thoughts of the Journalist".
Special mention must be made of Ricky Wilson as the Artilleryman who not only sang his parts beautifully and with real emotion but who seemed very at-home on the stage.
The special effects were also noteworthy, with a huge Martian tripod dominating the stage and periodically sending out jets of pyrotechnics which coincided with fires bursting forth on stage. At several points I felt certain that Wayne would be hit by the tripod's "heat ray" from his conductors' position.
The show was of the perfect length: neither rushed nor outstaying its welcome.
While the tickets were very expensive (our seats were £70 each) I felt it was an excellent show and worth every penny.