Two or three weeks ago lyn fell out of her chair after our PA had gone home. I tried to get her back upright but I couldn’t. Panicking, I pt out a cry for help on facebook, before giving in and pressing the emergency. The alarm women came, and to cut a long, stupid story short, got Lyn up. A short while later, though, we had another knock at the door: my Australian friend James, whom I know from the cricket club, had seen my message on Facebook and had come to see if we needed help. I felt embarrassed, humbled and grateful, so a few days later I invited him over for a beer to say thanks.
When he came round, of course we chatted about this and that, and the conversation eventually moved on to music. James mentioned he was from Melbourne, so I automatically chipped in that my favourite band was from there too, and asked him to guess who they were. James mentioned two or three groups i’d never heard of, before correctly naming the Cat Empire. I yelped with joy, and again after Jame adde that they were one of his favourites too. The cherry on the cake, however, came when James added that they would soon be playing in brixton, and offered to try to get tickets.
That is how, at about five last night, James came to be pushing me through the tube. The only problem was, I was feling tired: the truth is, the night before Lyn and I had gone to see Orb, an electric music group. Vodka got involved, and we had only come home at seven that morning. It had been an incredible night, but on route to the second gig of the weekend, I wasn’t feeling quite myself.
Fortunately, and to my astonishment, a beer and a burger put an end to that. We stopped in a whetherspoons on route to the show in order to wait for James’ girlfriend, and as soon as that beef, cheese, bacon and bun hit my stomach, I suddenly felt much better. And then it hit me: I was going to see the cat empire, the band Charlie introduced me to, the band of my university days, the band of a thousand amazing nights. This was going to fucking rule!
On the was in to the venue, I found myself wishing charlie could be there. Lyn had chosen to stay home – the cat empire not being quite her thing – but I wished both women were there. It felt slightly wrong to be there without C, popping my Cat Empire gig cherry without her, but then, there would be other gigs. There will be a next time, when lyn will be forced to come and Charlotte will be kidnapped from Liverpool, and we’ll all go together.
My melancholia was broken by the music. First there was the warm up act, who were ok but nothing special. Then, after a bit of a wait, the most awesome thing happened. As soon as they started to play, I felt overwhelmed with excitement and joy and emotions I cannot name. There was I, watching my favourite band on earth, with a guy who had taken me there out of pure kindness, who had fed me, pushed me, and paid for the whole lot. I never thought I would find a soul as kind as charlotte jones again, Lyn notwithstanding, but here was one: humanity, for all it’s barbarity, is redeemed.
What else can I say? It was one of the greatest nights of my life: they played some new songs which I didn’t recognise, but they also played their old stuff, the songs I first heard in Charlotte’s room as we got ready for the wednesday night disco. As soon as they started, I was on my feet dancing like a maniac! Highlights included ‘Hello’, ‘How to Explain’, and a version of ‘Sly’ which referenced Paradise city. I was in heaven when I heard that. I got home at about twelve (a relatively sensible time) tired, but thrilled, and feeling lucky to have so many good friends and such a great life. Without a doubt, it had been the greatest weekend ever.