Sounds from beyond the Shed 147 – “Trade Descriptions”

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Mrs H and myself went to a gig last week. It was a night out to celebrate her recent achievements and me reaching a certain age. It took place at the Royal Theatre in Northampton, a beautiful venue although legroom remains at the turn of the century (not the last one!) tightness, even at only 5’11” I struggled but hey ho. The gig in question was a band called Hejira and they ‘recreated’ the sound of the Joni Mitchell’s mid-70s pomp. Fronted by an extraordinary vocalist by the name of Hattie Whitehead, who, close your eyes and Joni’s in the room but not in a slavishly mimicked way but a gorgeous, creative and emotional one.

However, the night had surprises in store. After a few numbers Hattie ( Joni) left the stage. Hang on this was supposed to be a celebration of Joni’s music. No Joni, so what happens now? Band leader Pete Oxley, patently an incredible jazz guitarist, explained that ‘in the spirit of Joni’s band of the time’ they were going to treat us to some… ahem… free jazz. The horror on Mrs H’s face. Ten minutes later we were still trying to tear our own ears off. Then Hattie returned to rapturous applause and the band calmed down. After the interval, it seemed that the horror of the first half was a blip until Hattie once again left the stage. This time we were treated to an Oxley composition called ‘Surging Waves’ which featured, I kid you not, a 7-minute drum and tabla duel whilst all the band members watched sagely nodding their heads like Druids at a pagan ceremony. I managed to wrestle the razor blades from Mrs H’s hands and removed the toilet roll from our ears but I wasn’t able to stop my eyes bleeding for at least ten minutes. None of this was mentioned in the ticket price, nor in the publicity. I’m no snowflake but there should have been a trigger warning!

As a balm to the above I have been listening to some calming stuff and some noisy stuff. Amy Rigby is the noisy and Neil Finn for the calm. The radio show features as its classic album ‘The Sea Drift’ by the The Delines and there’s plenty of other stuff to entertain from Eels through to Borrowed Books and even some Rustlanders and James Taylor. As ever take what you want or need.

About Keith Hargreaves 404 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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