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From ‘The Telegraph’ newspaper

R.I.P Amy. It’s particularly sad when someone dies before their time. Especially when they had so much potential, and especially when life got too unbearable and loved ones couldn’t seem to help.

We were all anticipating the 3rd album. For that spark on stage again.

Clearing out my bug-ridden PC, I think that’s why I had recently forgot I was lucky to see Amy. A personal appearance at The Astoria on 14 Apr 2007, at G.A.Y. no less! The photos and videos I took reminded me that I hadn’t completely forgotten, but for many reasons for me that was practically another lifetime ago.

Amy Winehouse – Astoria – 14/APR/2007

I almost never went. Some friends were not available, others couldn’t be bothered! At the eleventh hour I thought, “Screw it, I’ll go on my todd”.

I’m so glad I did. I met a guy and a girl also going (not seen them since) and we had a blast on the balcony!

I have no detailed photos or sharp clips though. They are only about a minute each in length, only a taster. It was a far cry from my usual trigger-happy, ready-to-record collection of gigs now. Coupled with the fact that my battery had run out of juice.

So you may be disappointed if you expect even average quality.

Amy Winehouse – Astoria – 14/APR/2007

But the graininess instills a rawness to it that makes it seem more real. And that her voice and character still come through is a testament to her prowess. Her voice still so strong and so arresting.

Watching the clips last week felt very eery, I guess you’ll feel the same. The lady singing before us had sadly passed away suddenly at 27 (or unfortunately perhaps not so suddenly if you think about it). In a venue that is now no more after being demolished for the Crossrail project.

Knowing I was also 27 (meaning she was 23…!) while looking through my camera lens at her was alarming. But mostly, 2007 was the last year my Mum was alive; any event whether banal or stupendous in 2007 I can’t help hold as painfully sacred. Events like perhaps going home and telling my Mum about the concert, listening to her reaction, and then tucking our conversation away in some corner of my memory, maybe as nothing particularly special, completely ignorant that in months to come the change in my landscape would be nothing short of alien.

Amy Winehouse – Astoria – 14/APR/2007

I hadn’t seen these clips since 2007. But apart from feeling sad, there was a bittersweetness. And seeing Amy reminded me how much she entertained everyone that night. The room was filled with happiness at her kookiness and her power. She was such a laugh, joking with the crowd. And I hope you get that from watching them too, which is why I wanted to share these clips for anyone who loved her, as short as they are. Hopefully a warm fuzzy feeling of how great she was!

Amy Winehouse – Astoria – 14/APR/2007

I also wanted to promote MIND, the mental health charity. It’s an umbrella organisation to deal not only with addiction, but all mental health issues, depression, anxiety, minor to major, the lot. There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to it. Sometimes it goes unnoticed compared to other tangible physical diseases. But it’s devestating when someone feels isolated, having seen loved ones suffer and also been affected.

Sometimes all it takes is to share one’s worries with a loved one, to feel on top of the world again. But for many people, this simple act of opening up, which most people engage in, seems to not be an option. And that’s when small problems can spiral out of control, and often they need not. And it’s not just drug addiction, other reasons for feeling low, which is normal for all of us at some time or another and usually we pull through it, can be left unchecked until, in some cases, it’s too late.

Click here to be taken to the MIND Charity.

Right now, someone else who isn’t famous is going through this. Maybe your neighbour you pass by every day. Your work colleague. Family member. Trying to put a brave face on it. Maybe you?

Depression isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being strong for too long.

So, whether you liked the clips or thought they were crap! ( :-/ ) …have a look at MIND and donate if you like. Or maybe someone needs your support. Or maybe you do, but are too scared to ask for help. We all need help sometimes.

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