Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Sore Thumbs?

Saturday saw us play a show that turned out to be one of the most surreal and weirdly affecting (and most interesting) we've ever done. When we agreed to play I was under the impression that Holy Trinity was an Arts Council owned, former church with sofa’s, exhibition space and a resource centre that was a bit like the ‘Pitcher & Piano’ in Nottingham but filled with art instead of nearly naked women and dangerous looking men in shiny shoes. With that in mind it was a bit of a surprise to find a fully functioning church complete with Christian’s, pews and a half-drunk homeless man sheltering from the cold when we arrived.

Sharing the bill were Red Trees (delicate folk), The Amber Sleep (rousing experimental indie chamber music with choral singing and a string section) and The Declining Winter (experimental, drum heavy, post rock from Richard Adams of Hood fame) all of whom played musically flawless, meticulously arranged sets that sounded like they were written solely for performance in grand spaces such as a church. Naturally we got a bit worried because we knew that soon it’d be our turn in front of the altar and we wouldn’t be playing mesmeric pastoral folk or sombre, classically tinged chamber pop but 25 minutes of clattering indie rockabilly with two practice amps, a keyboard and a washboard, music that felt painfully at odds with everything else we'd watched from the pews that night.

Despite being out of our comfort zone we got our heads down and made the most of it. At one point Joe got weirdly religious and told the audience that he was “deeply moved to be playing in a church because he’s a Catholic!" He then filled me in on the significance of the holy trinity to most christian faith groups whilst we played the next song (I'd got concerned about it being a non-catholic church). It was a strange moment but more so for Joe I imagine who I suspected was trapped in some kind of catholic guilt reverie triggered by the surroundings. Joe spent his formative years in the catholic education system. Another moment saw the homeless guy burst into life and start shouting about a dead daughter who died of kidney failure. He asked us to dedicate a song to her so we dedicated ‘Skit’ as it was the only one left in the set. Afterward he approached me with tears in his eyes and hugged me and told me he was very grateful. It was a curious moment, standing there in front of an altar, a 60’s b-movie projected on a ceiling high above me, hugging a teary-eyed homeless man whilst trying not to spill beer.


James

1 comment:

Steve said...

"Dangerous looking men in shiny shoes." Must be the title of your next CD. And what a wonderful concept for a music video.

I am the newest, most rabid fan of your blog. Well done.

Steve Mays
Somewhere in America