I’m entrusting Lisa with getting me a place at gigs from now on. Due to the misguided belief on my part that I’d actually get some work done yesterday we were late for the Decemberists, which meant that there was no way I’d be standing near the front. Up on the platform with Lisa and Xan however, there was a perfect view across a pretty big crowd and a spot of perfect clarity in the ABC’s sometimes dodgy acoustics. We caught the tail end of Lavender Diamond’s support slot, “You Broke My Heart” sounding much fuller than on the album. Plus, she’s cute as a button. I might have misjudged there.
Still, there was only ever one reason to go out last night. Why didn’t I go to see the Decemberists last time? I remember offering my ticket a guy who worked in Virgin; I hope I had a bloody good excuse. Although I didn’t get to hear at least four songs I was desperate to, the show was easily the best entertainment I’ve had in a long time.
I love live music but sometimes, no matter who the band, when you’ve been standing up for an hour you can’t help but check your watch. Last night’s final track caught me by surprise though, in timing although not in perfection. When I was in New York my dad overheard “Sons and Daughters” and asked me who it was by, but it was three in the morning back home so there was nobody I could squeal at. It’s this gorgeous, soaring moment – particularly when sung reverently by a few hundred Glaswegians under the spinning reflection of the biggest mirrorball in Europe.
The setlist was heavily drawn from my favourite album of last year The Crane Wife, which has supposedly only just been released on these fair shores. Still it worked, and there were a few older favourites as well: “Odalisque” and “Billy Liar” and a pantomime-style sing-off version of “16 Military Wives”. “You’re Man U,” Colin told the far side of the room, “and you’re, er, the Celtics.”
“I want to hire them for a fifth birthday party,” Lal giggled, somewhere in the middle of a mid-set calisthenics routine.
I believe I may have been heard to mutter “Jesse who?” as the houselights went up, but you didn’t hear that from me.
Getting back to work hasn’t been too difficult today, and I’ve gotten through a lot the boring but necessaries; tonight’s plan is (finally) Last King of Scotland at the cinema. I’m really looking forward to the weekend though – I’ve a fair wad of unexpected cash in my wallet due to holiday miscalculations, and on Saturday I’ll be donning a blonde wig, red lipstic and a corset to celebrate Rob’s quarter-century in style at Club Noir. There might be pictures. Then again, I might look like a total mong.