(pics by Ian Watson)
Wow – I had a brilliant time playing at How Does It Feel To Be Loved? in London on Thursday night. And I was honoured to be on the same bill as Honey Pine Dresser, Cavalcade and Arthur & Martha. All fab bands and lovely peeps.
The gig started off a little bit unevenly – I was trying to tune my acoustic guitar with the tuner pedal but the disco was so loud, the tuner was trying to tune that. So, I tuned up, hit an E chord and… chaos! My god! I finally had to get the bewildered DJs to turn the music down completely and then managed to get it right. Tuning up is one of things you take for granted, it’s almost an irrelevancy. Until it fails and then you realise how utterly boned you are.
After that initial hoo-haa, the gig itself went beautifully. The audience was really attentive and, for such a large number of people, really quiet. I’d almost say they were Swedish attentive! 😛
What made me beam was seeing people singing along with songs that weren’t ‘Your Woman.’ There was a lad right at the front and I swear he knew the lyrics to everything from ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ to ‘Death In Kettering.’ That’s basically 19 years’ worth of White Town covered! How flattering is that?
I was also pleased because there were sooo many cute girls within my sight. If I’m singing to women, inevitably, I sing better. It’s basically why I keep doing the rest of what I do, for that brief time when I connect with someone like that, look a total stranger in the eyes and open my heart to her. I guess if I was gay, I’d be singing for the cute boys. 😉
Of course, the biggest response was for ‘Your Woman.’ Everyone was singing and jigging about, it was a bouncy, party vibe. Which is always ironic since it’s such a depressing and horrible song! It’s always rather spooky to hear lyrics you wrote in a tiny spare bedroom being sung back at you en masse! 🙂
And then, to top the day off perfectly, we even managed to track down a proper Full English at the services on the way home. I could feel my arteries blocking as I scoffed it! Yaaay!
Earlier in the night, Ian HDIF was asking me why I’d never played London before. And I told him the truth: I’ve never been asked! Admittedly, I hadn’t got any kind of proper live thing going back in ’97 when ‘Your Woman’ was in the charts but I probably could have knocked out an acoustic set.
But I also reminded him that when I wrote this rant, he was the only person who got in touch with me to ask me to do something in Britain (HDIF DJing back then). It’s all a matter of having people like Ian Watson or Mattias Jansson around: people who put on nights for all the right reasons and who refuse, steadfastly, to make it easier by putting them on for all the wrong reasons. There aren’t many of these gems around, I know my life would be a lot greyer and sadder without their influence. And I suspect yours would be too. I’ll remember playing that gig on Thursday night, the people I met, the fun I had singing for them, for a long, long time.
And if you’re the supercute, manga-eyed girl I was singing the perviest bits of ‘Death In Kettering’ directly at, sorry but I couldn’t help it – you’re gorgeous! 😛