Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Got to get in to get out

When I started this blog I decided not to just talk about the weight-loss attempt. After all, it would be a pretty dull affair for you, dear reader, if that was all it covered. And to be honest, I'd find it a bit of a bore too, from a writing perspective. So I will from time to time talk about other things of note here.

There will be some rules, though. I won't blog for the sake of it, so no posts about 'amusing things my cat did today'. And there are some subjects I'll avoid, like direct references to my work. Not because I'm ashamed of it; quite the contrary, but I'm damned if I'm going to spend my leisure time thinking about it.

So, this weekend Katie and I went to London with some friends to see Genesis playing at Twickenham on Sunday. We had a very pleasant time, and I tried my best to be sensible about what I ate. Can't say the same about the drinking, but there you go.

I'll not make any apologies about my taste in music here. It's said that the music you started listening to at key times in your life - typically 16 to 20 - often stays with you afterwards. I actually like a lot of more 'modern' stuff, but Genesis still occupy an important place in my record collection. And despite the years (I first saw them 20 years ago, and they were thought to be in the autumn of their careers then) they can still deliver live.

What do you mean, "dinosaurs playing irrelevant music". Yes, and your point was what, exactly?

It was a perfect night - there was light rainfall early during the show but it didn't detract from the atmosphere. Without a new album to promote they played a varied setlist that went down with the pop fans and prog-heads alike (like me). There was emotion, there was bombast. It was wilfully unfashionable. I loved every second and sang along like a thing possessed. They did play Ripples, which was wonderful, but I managed to keep myself sensible, you'll be pleased to know.

I didn't take any pictures, so I am indebted to several other concert-goers for the following examples. They don't really do it justice, but might give you some idea:

During their final encore ('Carpet Crawlers', another song of almost hypnotic beauty), it occurred to me that this might be the last time I would see them live. After all, it has to be said they're not getting any younger, and unfortunately the UK and its music press don't really support aging progressive rock bands. It was a bittersweet moment for me as I've followed them for most of my adult life. This might be the end.

Katie quietly remarked that perhaps the rain had returned, as there appeared to be a dampness around my eyes at that point. She can be very perceptive.

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