Happy new year. Hope you had a good Christmas.
A few things quickly struck me about going to see the darts at Alexandra Palace. Firstly, it’s a lot smaller than you’d think. Secondly, and incongruously, the dart board is a lot further away than you’d think. Thankfully, a pair of giant projection screens flank the stage and provide a helpful clue about what on earth’s going on. This is surprisingly useful; the alternative is seeing the back of fine, athletic, players throwing darts at a fuzzy round target.
So, in summary: it’s £30 to watch a the evening’s darts on a big TV. And it didn’t even look to be HD. And there was no commentary from the legendary Sid Waddell. And the beer was £3.40 a pint (but served at the table by enterprising keg-carriers). Freebies included boards to write amusing and/or coded messages on and some amusing Ladbroke’s ear warmers. This was just as well, considering our night at the darts coincided with London’s worst cold snap for at least a year.
But, those major pitfalls aside, the atmosphere is excellent. Excellent and boozy. Even the attending ladies were going in hard with the grain. Luckily for them, relieving themselves didn’t entail a half-mile walk and a long flight of stairs. It did, and my thighs concur with my view here, for us chaps.
In terms of the action, we saw a first round surprise as Co Stompé went out to Peter Wright. The crowd boo’d and jeered when Colin Lloyd (playing Andree Welge) thumped the board, mid-game, in frustration. The noise picked up by the board’s microphones nearly blew the roof off the place; Nick’s top tip is to not be near the PA system next time Jaws steps up to the oche. I could tell you more, but I’d merely be repeating what’s on the PDC Website. Go have a look there if you’re massively bothered. Which I suspect you’re not. So you won’t click that link. Which makes me wonder why I’ve put it in.
Oh, yes, and I managed to get on TV. Sort of.
I aim to do more Things soon. Sorry I’ve been hopeless lately. (Not that you care; you’ve probably already skipped over this post in Google Reader or something. What’s that? Hmm. Oh, OK.)