The Lemonheads

I know, I know I’ve not been blogging. I apologise. There’s been vomit, sleep deprivation, book selling and some going out but none of that is an excuse. I’d best catch up, which could take a while as I still have entries I want to do from some weeks ago. I’ll start at the most recent and work backwards but my memory is a bit fuzzy. Just warning you that anything related to an event from a week ago is likely to be sketchy. But last night I can remember.

Paul and I went to see the Lemonheads. That was after we had the obligatory argument that we always have before trying to leave the house simultaneously without children. We both left in the same taxi so it must have got sorted.

I loved the Lemonheads twenty years ago. I know it’s a cliche but when did that happen? As we were driving there we talked about which songs we’d love them to play (although we thought it unlikely as they were there to do the whole of ‘Shame about Ray’). Paul wanted ‘Being Around’ and for me it had to be ‘Outdoor Type’ which has been one of my favourite songs for a very long time.

Evan Dando came out and sang those songs straight away in that order. He was brilliant. His voice was just the same as ever and I was happy. I looked at him and thought what a beautiful man he was. Apart from the fact that he was wearing a fleece.

A woman behind me threw a drink over my shoulder. She was very apologetic. It wasn’t like that twenty years ago. Something to do with the middle aged nature of the audience, many of whom were wearing V-necked sweaters.

About three songs in he started to look haggard. His eyes spent most of the rest of the gig looking at the ceiling, probably while he was trying to stop them rolling back in his head. He said very little which always irritates me and by the end of the album he was noticeably struggling. After that he whizzed off stage at some speed, then returned very quickly seemingly having perked up a bit. Hmm. And he still didn’t take his fleece off.

They sounded the same. We sang and danced along. And I, in my now motherly way, worried about him. His songs, especially the lyrics, are clever, witty and classic. He can sing beautifully (well mostly) and played as well as ever. Which frankly was a bit of a miracle in the circumstances. I’ll never understand how musicians can do that. It was an experience I wouldn’t have missed but that made me sad. Because I naively want everyone to be lovely and well. And well, I would say, he is not.

Paul recently went to see Smashing Pumpkins, a band he has always loved but never seen. Billy Corgan said nothing throughout his gig either and despite playing fantastically it really wasn’t worth the staggeringly high cost of the ticket. As a consequence we’ve decided to give live musical reminiscence a miss for a while. It’s too disappointing. Apart from Billy Bragg that is, but that’s another blog entry altogether…

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