My ninth reason may sound strange as I don’t actually make any music – and that’s exactly what it is – music.
I am such a lover of music that I’d say it defines me totally. This guy – Richard Hawley is a hidden treasure of such brightness it’s hard to describe. He’s ex-Long-Pigs and plays (? think so – if they’re still together) guitar with Pulp but his own music – well, it’s just about the most exquisite stuff you can imagine.
Sumptuous, rich and velvety. I was asked what his music was like tonight as I stood on the train platform waiting for the train that would take me there and I couldn’t say – I said it was unique. When Colin and I were eating our supper before the show, he said his music shared many commonalities with Edwyn Collins and later, as I watched, I could see what he meant although the thought hadn’t occurred to me before. It’s the deep rich voice that does it.
DM ‘discovered’ Richard Hawley through a very circuitous route – I was given a copy of Q magazine to read on the train home from work – that in itself is rare because I only see maybe one or two editions a year. I browsed it and saw a photo of Richard Hawley sitting on a bed, with his feet closest to the camera and his head, proportionately small at the other end of the bed. I really liked the photo and thought it was very like one I’d taken of David in Paris a few years earlier. I took the magazine home to show him the shot and he (unlike me) read the review of the album. He said ‘I’m going to buy this, it looks really good’. He did and it was.
We saw him play and our feelings were compounded – sheer excellence. We bought more of his stuff. We saw him play again, this time doing a rock and roll set – I know this is starting to sound gushing but again it was superb.
Tonight, I went to see him with Colin because clearly it’s not practical for DM to hop up the motorway midweek for a gig but for me it beats the pants off a hotel room alone!
Madonna played this venue last night, in the loosest of senses – we hear a whole five numbers were what her fans were treated to – how arrogant is that? Tonight there was real music. Music to lift your soul and gladden your heart. Richard Hawley is a treasure. He sparkles and shines with a brilliance it’s hard to describe and he’s so self-deprecating that it’s almost painful because it baffles me why someone so good should have any doubt about that at all. Like one of my other musical heroes, Clive Gregson, Richard tells stories in between his numbers, often about his home town, Sheffield, I’ve only been there a handful of times working but I actually loved the place. Tonight he told a story about writing a song on Porthleven beach in my beloved adopted home – I was beside myself with the thrill of it – he even waved around a holiday brochure with Cornish holidays in it – he’s risen even further up my list of ‘good guys’ now.
Anyway, why do I feel proud of this – well, it’s all about getting off my arse and going and grabbing life. Many of my contemporaries have NEVER been to a gig and many more think the height of cool is sitting at the back of a 10,000 seater venue watching Robbie Williams looking like an ant-sized fool way off in the distance. I’ve always been to gigs throughout my adult life and even though on an odd occasion, I do get caught out feeling old (Take That and Wheatus spring to mind as occasions when that happened), mostly, I feel proud to be there and proud to have ‘discovered’ whoever we’re seeing play. I’ve seen certainly hundred and possibly thousands of gigs over my life and have only ever had bad experiences a small handful of times. Many of the bands I saw went on to be stars – most interestingly I saw U2 supporting the Photos at the Marquee when there were a handful of people in the room and the Photos of course sunk without trace while U2 – well, say no more!!!
I may be forty-odd but when I’m watching a great act play, I can and do still feel 17!!!
My day started thinking music had lost its way completely when I saw the truly dire Liberty X on GMTV, singing a cover of Shalimar’s Night to Remember. I’ve never seen such complete rubbish in all my days. They can barely hold a tune and they seemed much more interested in pouting, holding in their stomachs and whether their make up looked good than trying to inject any modicum of emotion into the classic song. Depressing stuff indeed. Thank goodness later on I had my faith restored by Richard Hawley.
Last year, I was discussing language and the year before, I was celebrating getting joined at the mortgage to my love, DM!