Blonde ambition…No, not me. Not again. Been there, many times before!

No, Madonna-who else?

You see when StubHub, the largest online ticket marketplace asked me to review a gig for them,  vivid memories from 1990 flashed before my eyes.

Aged 10 on holiday with my family in Nice in the South of France, we turned a corner and stumbled across billboards advertising Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour and a wade of people desperate to see the Queen of Pop. Excited by all the commotion, Papa G thought taking us might be fun (he had no idea about that bed scene)-but what an education. Sex Ed by Madonna-you can’t get better than that right!

Watching Madge perform live in front of thousands on a hot French evening was utterly hypnotic, she screamed glamour, beauty and power (still does in my opinion) and what a performer.

I sat perched on my Dad’s shoulders, transfixed-Papa G did demand I shut my eyes through a lot of it (I didn’t) and I was floored, utterly floored by it all-after that spectacle I knew I needed to be on stage or behind the scenes at least, making it happen. I needed to taste that energy, that vigour, that world of flashing lights, music and glamour again…and again.

Years later, I became a filmmaker and have had the honour of working with a range of artists from newcomers The Scandal to Macy Gray along the way. I even got to shake my booty to live recordings of Top of the Pops while working at the BBC in my early 20’s (there might have been some flirting with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but a girl won’t reveal all OK).

BBC Proms

Jamie Callum


Argh, it’s been a while since those hedonistic days-the last time I saw artists live was when the BBC kindly invited the husband and I to the Electric Proms a few years back (pictures above) where we were blown away by Adele, Beth Rowley, Jamie Cullum and the genius that is Burt Bacharach.

Looking at those pics today has made me yearn for a night out and soon. Alexander is nearly 5 weeks old so once he’s sleeping through, StubHub, thank you- I’m taking you up on your offer to let my locks right down and maybe Oliver would appreciate some Justin Bieber. Until then, there’s always Madge’s back catalogue and VH1.

When did you last hit a gig?

Photographs ©Peter Broadbent.

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7 Responses

  1. Franglaise Mummy

    I was in the south of France on a family holiday when she was playing in Nice too, I begged my parents to let me go but they were not having any of it. You lucky thing, you!

    My last gig was Kylie at the O2 last year – hubs got us tickets as a surprise xmas present as he knows I’m a huge fan, despite him being all about heavy metal (no comment!). However the surprise was on him as he wasn’t aware of her huge gay following, and we were surrounded by oiled up semi-naked gay men, the look on his face was priceless!

  2. EmmaK

    George Michael in DC three years ago. He looked a bit raddled from drug abuse but my God, he still had it! I thought he’d have to sit down on a stool for a bit as he’s getting on but no he was movin and groovin and wore a tight police uniform for ‘let’s go outside’ He also was very funny and took the piss out of himself the entire time. If he wasn’t gay we would now be married. Nuff said

    • honestmum

      @EmmaK Wow I bet Georgy was awesome live! My Uncle used to teach him maths so could have worked my connections for you-hehe!

  3. Super Amazing Mum

    Oh I remember seeing the same tour but at Wembley – went iwth my cousin and I fainted!!! I think Madonna needs to step back now….what was hot in the 802/90s is just embarrassing now

    • honestmum

      @SuperAmazingMum I think she’s still trying to push boundaries and the media/society doesn’t mind seeing the Rolling Stones doing their thing now but somehow Madonna gets labelled as too old etc. Yes I get that showing your nipples is a step too far and embarrassing but overall I still think she’s as cool as she was.


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