Blonde Ambition…

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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