This one really hurt. I’ve seen Lawrence Arabia a bunch of times, in a variety of contexts/line-ups and I’ll see him again. He’s very good. And consistently good. Always different enough (new songs, different line-up) to want to go, but always solid, with reminders of the things you love (the very best songs always included). And this show was a special one – the launch of a great album; full string section, big venue. But I was double-booked! I watched the opening act, nervously looking at my watch, counting down the minutes…working out just how much of the Sparrow set I might see…but I saw just a handful of songs in the end. It was just starting to get great. I could tell it was a special show.
But I was off to review the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; underwhelming really. How spoilt for choice is that then? I’ve loved the soul-stirring sounds of the Hypnotic crew on record, but live it just seemed like a big, fake, jittery party. With the worst kind of crowd: Horrid White People Thinking They’re Experiencing Something Deep and Wonderful.
It hurts the most because I am one. At least by outside appearances. And it won’t come off. No matter how hard I scrub.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.