There are occasional moments, such as when a sell-out crowd in a far-away city you’ve never played before are singing out all the words to your songs, that you think “wait… is this what it’s like when things go really well? Cos this is frickin awesome”.
These moments arise at oblique angles and it’s rare that everything necessary for them to happen actually happens together. A bit like those Channel 4 idents where for 23 seconds you watch the camera move around a seemingly random set of objects, until for an instant they align to reveal the number 4, and then the moment’s gone and you’re left shouting at the TV like an idiot “Go back foolish cameraman!! It made sense back there for a second and you went straight past it!”.
Of course the cameraman is wise – he knows time marches on whether you like it or not. You can’t stop and hold moments of clarity, preserving them forever. They’re a dream you fight to remember but forget more with every passing second.
I should have guessed it would go well when we turned up to find Elbow propping up the bar attached to the venue. How cool is that?! Even though they spend most of the year in each others pockets writing, rehearsing, on tour, in the studio, promoting records they still call each other up and say “alright mate – fancy a pint down The Castle?” “yeh sound”. That’s the kind of band I wanna be in.
Of course synapses quickly began to fire – I was sitting in a room, maybe it was this room I couldn’t be sure but if it was this room it wasn’t on this day. Guy Garvey was asking me if I wanted to support them on their latest tour. We hugged it out, of course I did…. bam! Wait I’m just daydreaming. Pondering on a scenario. Let’s do a soundcheck first you muppet.
I should point out I’ve loved Elbow since their first record came out in 2001. As an example, if I could choose the manner of my death, it would be many many years in the future, lying alone propped up on a bed in the mid-morning in a room with good natural light, and the last strains of “Scattered Black and Whites” by Elbow still playing on my headphones.
As well as local support Stefan Melbourne, Emily Wood of Emily and The Woods had come up from London to play a set. What a little parcel of English joy she is, full of curiosity and naivety. It’s refreshing to be around someone who’s not had these qualities beaten out of her. She was all kinds of awkward on stage for all kinds of mundane reasons, but no one noticed or cared cos she’s got talent and wonderful songs.
Anyway as should be obvious by now we played extremely well, the crowd were amazing, we massively rocked the house etc etc.
Off-stage highlights included Harry dancing in a Panda Bear outfit
John and Kevin laying down beatbox beats in the street afterwards, until Harry shot them down with the line “This is the whitest thing I’ve ever seen”. owwwwwch. Do you want a cream for that burn?
We laughed, drank and ate. Life is good and all is well…
….until of course I woke up the following morning with a nasty throat bug, but that my dear children is a story for tomorrow…. “Awww but sir…..”
Postcards Sent To: ahggg I’m behind on all of this
Next Postcards To: see above
Free T-Shirt To: Rob Murphy
Thanks to: My mum for coming up from London to see the gig and visit friends Graham & Janet and Peter, Louise, Stefan, Emily, Elbow (shame you didn’t see the gig but maybe still happy to take that support slot), Dave Hunt, Miranda, Rob, George Garbutt and his mates,