Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Clientele @ Islington Assembly Hall (23/10/2015)

(Walking down Essex Road, London towards Islington Assembly Hall to see The Clientele a few weeks ago)

J: Do you think you'll cry?
Me : Nah.  I'm too much of a hard man for that!

I could tell J didn't believe me.  She was right not to.  About halfway through, the group was joined by their string arranger, Louis Phillippe, who read Alasdair MacLean's wonderfully evocative short story, 'Losing Haringey'; a song which has never failed to make me shiver since the first time I played 'Strange Geometry'.  Philippe then took his place at the grand piano and from the moment Alasdair sang "Goodnight my angel of the dark" the shivers gave way to tears.  I just hadn't steeled myself for  'Dreams of Leaving':

After that they went straight into 'Summer Trail' from their fabulous Hangover Lounge split with Birdie.  It was majestic but didn't aid in my vain attempts to regain some sort of composure.  In retrospect, it's just as well they didn't then play '6 a.m. Morningside' or 'Never Anyone But You' .  I have too much history layered on top of those songs to be just a casual listener.  Even the guy to my right who picked his nose (and ate his pickings) for the first 20 minutes or the irritating couple (what kind of selfish dud wears a massive hat with a 4 inch brim on the back of their head at a concert?) who snogged and shouted for songs but didn't applaud the group once and who stood in front of me the very second the group took to the stage couldn't take the shine off a beautiful evening.  Any show that ends with the purchase of a new mug is one to savour, for sure.

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