Dear Pink Floyd fans: Sure, the concert being cancelled was a bit of a letdown, but never mind. Are you going back to Earls Court for the replay on Monday? I know I'll be there . . . and pigs might fly

BAD LUCK, chaps. I was there, too. I was at Earls Court on Wednesday to review the first night of your favourites' fortnight-long stay at the arena. Cliff Richard is the only other one who could pack them in for that many nights.

Like you, I bought myself a salt-beef-sandwich-and-lager combination (pounds 6), a glossy programme (pounds 8) and had a look at the VW Golf Cabriolet stationed in the foyer by the band's sponsors (pounds 16,500). Like you, as I took my seat, I was astonished by the banks of computers down on the auditorium floor. Like you, when I looked at the stage I tried to spot a musical instrument among the industrial components installed up there. And I marvelled at the way the way the performers had been marginalised by technology.

When the auditorium lights went down, and a white disc 40ft across emerged from the bottom of the stage, and the lasers cut through the cumuli of dry ice, the disembodied 'bloop' and 'blump' noises - sort of like listening to paint dry - threatened my eardrums. Then it all stopped and the auditorium lights came up. Like you, I thought a computer had blown a gasket.

Then I saw lots of people pointing and standing up and shouting. And in the middle of them you could see the twisted rows of seats where the stand had collapsed.

I ran round the back to see what was happening. No one seemed to know. St John Ambulance crews with sticking plaster in their shoulder-bags picked their way through the wreckage; men with walkie-talkies yelled a lot; the bouncers did their bit to help by pushing people out of the way.

Two tearful girls from New Zealand told me that the whole stand had started to shake when the house lights went down and they thought it was part of the special effects. Another man said he was amazed that no one had panicked. A couple of ageing rockers tried to attack the man from Sky TV who stuck his microphone in their girlfriends' faces.

Gradually, as the dust settled, it became clear no one was badly hurt. In among the emergency service personnel doing their efficient bit there was the engaging sight of rock critics trying to act like news reporters ('er, like, has anyone seen the press officer?'). Then you all started to think about the cancellation, and whether you'd get your money back. At the box office a woman yelled that she had come from Germany for the night: who would pay her fare when the show went on again? Poor thing.

You were all disappointed and showed it. You knew it wasn't simply a matter of turning up on Monday night instead. There were arrangements to be made, baby-sitters to be booked. You might have a dinner party.

Me, though, I have a dirty, guilty secret. I went home to the football on the telly, relieved. Two hours of Floyd, as I had discovered last time they were here, is a hazard of the critic's job. And I'd drawn the short straw in the office sweep. But the best news of all is: on Monday I'm washing my hair.

Jim White

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
Life and Style
life + style
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

    £40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor