Tag Archives: kazoo

Hope and Social Gig/Smartie Overdose

So I went to somewhere near Leeds to see a band who I may have mentioned before called Hope and Social. I went to see them a) because they were one of the (if not THE) best bands I saw at Glastonbury this year and b) because it was my birthday and I wanted to do something a bit different. I left at 12.45 and drove for, ahem, a while to get there. It was an amazing place to see a gig. The Crypt (a real one) is absolutely beautiful, holds a real couple of corpses in it and was tonight decorated with fairy lights, hand prints, and statues of cows which I still don’t quite understand! 🙂

The gig was…out of this world! The album, Architect Of This Church is great, but there’s something about them live. I wondered when I arrived just what the hell I was doing driving so far in one day but when they started playing (and when they got to a powerful, extended Sunlight Hold Me) I realised. They all have a great rapport on stage, Simon is a charismatic front man with a great and generous sense of humour and they sound incredible as do the brass section. I got to do a little bit of a kazoo solo (not as good as Simon’s nephew though) which was nice.

My favourite part of the evening was Looking For Answers. It’s one of my favourite songs of all time and I could possibly admit that I went just to hear that. The rest of the album sounded marvellous tonight but that song….

Rich and Simon stood on the speakers away from the mics and just sang and we did the choir bit and it was f***ing magic. I could feel the air tingling! Wish I could have heard it twice – once to sing along and once to listen to everyone else.

Then had a quick chat with a fellow kazoo soloist and with Simon and drove 250 miles home (ouch!) Strange journey back – cranes in shadow, a Duel moment with a blinged lorry, Subterraneans by Bowie whilst driving past Kidlington (everyone should try it once) – and the sound of Hope and Social, Four Day Hombre, A-Ha, Kraftwerk, Gemma Hayes and more!

So what have we learnt?

Well, more than one Hope and Social fan (other than me) likes Threadless T-shirts (and they were both rather attractive); Leeds is a long way away from where I live (though not in the grand scheme of the universe); never eat a Southern Fried Chicken sandwich straight after a giant bag of Smarties at 2am; if you drive for 5 hours through the night, your consciousness will feel the way a smudged HB pencil scribble looks on a page; Simon H&S is one of the loveliest people I’ve met in a long time; Hope and Social HAVE to be seen live!


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I’ve got hope because music is a language, and a fairly universal one too. And the more you speak it, it seems, the more people speak it back. I’ve got hope because, contrary to some lyrics I wrote recently, I believe I am not quite morally wasted… yet. I also know there’s people out there who care about me, something to not underestimate – not everyone has that. And creativity is rife, blossoming, all around, lovely.

So debts and IT disasters and no Glasto for 11 months is easy to get over.

On a less optimistic note, I washed my Glastonbury jeans with the kazoo I got from the Hope and Social gig still inside a pocket and it melted!

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