On Thursday evening, Warren Road in Whitton looked much the same as any other street in the UK. Terraced houses, a few cars and a small green gave no hint whatsoever that just 24 hours later, a BRIT award winner would be knocking on Lorraine Sands' front door, poised to play a personal live gig just feet away from her in her living room.Read the rest HERE, then click on the link to view the short video of the concert, too.
So it probably came as quite a shock when, at 8am the next morning, a large crew and several lorries casually arrived to transform Lorraine's house from a cosy home in London to the equivalent of the O2. Looking excited but slightly nervous, she gracefully left the production team to their own devices whilst they removed ALL of the furniture from her living room and carried it out through the back door.
Two hours later, the downstairs had been stripped and the floorplans laid out. Case after case of music equipment lined the pavement, with amps, cables and huge mixing desks all stacked up next to each other, waiting to be installed. Rigging and tents appeared at an alarming rate, and the road quickly went from looking like an average London street to a veritable crime scene. Members of the production team glanced at each other nervously, all wondering the same thing - how could an artist who had last played to 16,000 people at the O2 possibly fit all of their tour set into this modestly sized living room in suburban London?
Meanwhile, whilst cars periodically slowed down to see what all the fuss was about, Lorraine and her three friends were safely installed in a room at the Marriott hotel just minutes away from the set. On visiting the winners in their room, we were instantly hit by a blast of hairspray and perfume as the four excited ladies raced round doing their makeup and straightening their hair. Weeks of speculation about who the artist would be had finally boiled down to this one single afternoon.
But at last, after eight hours of solid preparation, it was time for the big moment. Squashed into the living room next door, we all crowded round the monitors to watch our BRIT-winning act casually approach Lorraine's front door and tap the knocker three times. A few seconds passed. We held our breath, watching Lorraine's face as she opened the door and took in the scene before her. For standing on her doorstep, side by side and framed by cameras and soundmen, were none other than The Pet Shop Boys!
'MR TENNANT AND MR LOWE!!!' she shrieked, looking from one to the other in utter amazement and punching the air. 'OH MY GODDDDDDDD!'
Next door, we all smiled with relief and high-fived each other.
With the initial excitement over, Lorraine and her friends settled themselves on the sofa, staring wide-eyed around the room. Fluorescent lighting had been installed from the ceiling and Chris' huge keyboard was wedged into the corner. Just feet away, The Pet Shop Boys came 'on stage' followed by four sleek dancers sporting coloured tracksuits, blonde punk haircuts and neon makeup.