Wherever You Are
Just like Heaven
All I Can’t Say Is Everything
Somebody To Love
So there I am, in one of the cubicles, eating a Penguin and a ham and cucumber (and salad cream) sandwich which SIL kindly made for me. Maybe I’m the intriguing one, just for a moment, in my head. But I’m slowly getting the meaning.
Blonde wigs and sustaining guitar does indeed intrigue me. The word intriguer intrigues me, I can’t get my head around the spelling. I wonder if Neil likes that fact. I’d guess he spends time pondering the relevance of words.
I’m in the mood for music on this night (10th June, a Thursday) despite exhaustion, a brain that won’t shut up, hunger. I buy a programme (as is my tradition with the important gigs) and wait for intrigue…
The stage is decorated. Teddies, geese, mushroom…Bambi. The name of the band is spelt out – an arty, messy, beautiful take on ELVIS’ Vegas lettering, perhaps.
And then the band are there. Smart. Ready. Powerful. Bespoke. With us on their side. The first two songs are juggernauts of sound rolling around the room with precision and intensity. I don’t remember a crowd so immediate or so hysterical after the first song of a gig. I don’t remember enjoying those songs so much. The cheer after Everything Is Good For You is deafening and deservedly so. We are ravenous for the music throughout.
They do favourites. They do new songs. They do obscure songs. They batter our eardrums. They play like demons. They make us laugh and when Neil gets the crowd(ies) to sing Fall At Your Feet I let the tears go, in the middle of too joyous a moment to fight it. Neil makes me literally gasp when he starts to play Lester (one of my very favourites).
Matt is a powerhouse, a bright shining star of a drummer and the band are closer, tighter than I’ve ever heard them. Mark is still like a shadow, still ageless, adding the magic that you wonder if you deserve wrapped around the greatest of songwriter’s songs. Nick is the jester and the bass player that most closely reminds me of my own (we’re in very very good company and I’m very very lucky).
And Neil? Neil is simply the greatest living songwriter. He is The Intriguer. Crowded House are the best live band I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be in the same room with. And Thursday 10th June 2010 is religious. It is the best gig I’ve seen them perform. And I’ve seen them do a few…
They seem full of joy and ready for anything. They seem to play forever and be gone in an instant.
The game is still on….