Actually, I would have had it as a download but bucked at the prospect of paying $16.99 for just under thirty minutes of music, which I thought was over the odds.

So I spent $25 for the CD instead.

The visit to the merch booth gave me the first inkling that we were in for an interesting audience as a woman who obviously knew nothing about Randy Newman but was intent on buying something agonised over the choice between 12 Songs and the two volumes of The Randy Newman Songbook.

I politely pointed her towards Songbook, and pressed for a choice between the two suggested Volume 1, but indicated that there wasn't much in it, so the best option was to buy both.

From there we wandered around, moving gradually towards Door 10, spotting Paul Kelly in the bar on the way. The concert was part of the 2011 Queensland Music Festival, so you'd probably guess Festival Director Deborah Conway and a couple of other notable figures were also in the vicinity, but if they were we didn't notice.

Given the demographic we're looking at where long term Newman fans are concerned there was no obvious way to distinguish between those who were there for Randy Newman and those who were there because of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. There were probably a fair sprinkling of people who were only there because they'd scored free tickets, or because they'd been given tickets as a Christmas or birthday present.

Those last two categories covered the couple on my left (freebies) and in front of me (present) who knew each other, so the pre-concert conversation among four people who knew nothing outside Short People meant reactions were going to be interesting once things got underway.

Lack of a program at the merch booth was negated by one on the seat when we arrived, though, significantly, Mr & Mrs Freebie next door didn't seem to have been allocated copies. Either that or they'd quietly pushed them aside, failing to consult them. Interesting.


© Ian Hughes 2012