I almost wasn't here either, but forced myself into it at the last minute, and I'm glad I did on the whole. The Saturday was better than the Sunday. I got there just as they were setting up the stage. The stage was that big, Terry Wogan later commented, not because of the Proms, or even the King, but because the Pope was rolling into town later in the week. There's something appropriate about that, because Elvis is the king of kitsch popular culture, and the Catholic Church is the king of kitsch popular religions. There was a great atmosphere at the Prom, lots of people, mostly nice. Towards the end of the evening, a guy ordered a pint of beer for himself, and a vodka and orange for his wife. I started adding the orange, and said 'say when'. He said 'when' almost immediately. 'Not much orange in that', I said. 'Tell you what, stick another vodka in that', he said. I did that. 'Tell you what, stick another double in there,' he said. His wife was looking really horrified, 'What are you doing?' I added a double vodka. 'There's really quite a lot of vodka in there, right now,' I said. 'I know!' said the man, 'High five!' - and he high fived me, and went down the bar, high fiving the bartenders. Odd chap.
The bars were managed, or more accurately, mismanaged, by a totally superfluous team of, well, managers. What we needed, as barpeople, were skivvies, to get stuff for us and replenish stock. What we got was a group of people who looked like they got their management training from a socialist propaganda video. They stood at the back in cliques, smoking, drinking coffee, doing almost anything but managing. 'No,' I wanted to say, 'that's how managers act according to Communists, not in real life!'
Elvis day was a different crowd. More aggressive, less well off... Tom Jones was the big star of the night, and the fireworks at the end were okay. It was mostly just naff covers of Elvis hits, though, and, ugh, symphonic versions of the same...
Still, overall, fun experience. Would absolutely do it again. What I really need to do is get on that management team.