Some of us went to see John Grant last night.
Have I mentioned John Grant before? He used to be in a band called The Czars. They released three or four albums of bruised brilliant music before splitting up amidst the usual recriminations. Three years ago he re-surfaced with the help of Midlake and produced the album of 2010 in The Queen of Denmark. It was more bruised music overlaid with lush 1970’s soft rock.
I saw him play at the Latitude Festival that year. It was early/mid-Saturday afternoon and I was relaxed with my beer. He was on the big stage with a small band in front of a vast empty field. Later that summer he played in a small club in Liverpool and we missed it because we were in Ireland. But Kevin went and he still has on his phone a short video of John Grant singing Chicken Bones with the audience helping out with the words.
September 2011 we say him play in Halifax Minster. There was good beer again. He played a few new songs that evening and notwithstanding all the swearing the music suited the vaulted ceiling of the Minster.
So we saw him last playing in Liverpool at The East Village Arts Club. The last time I had been inside the building it was called The Masque and we were there to see Ella Guru. There were probably only a hundred people there.
It was a lot busier last night. The place had been given a paint job. It must be an old theatre with steep tiers for standing rising up from the stage. There were about three or four hundred people there and with the heat the walls were perspiring.
Given the somewhat conflicted nature of some his music the audience was made up of all sorts although there was a preponderance of the usual men of a certain age with beards.
I had read that some of the more out there electronic music was putting people off but that didn’t happen last night and when the big beats kicked in and the lasers the place started to get the feeling of a large club.
There were a number of highlights including all the different people singing along to the chorus of GMF. But for the swearing you could imagine the song taking on a life like Everyone Hurts and being played at funerals. Maybe it does anyway. I hope so.
Lunch today was pitta stuffed with lamb, cucumber, green chilli, tomatoes and yogurt listening to more John Grant the kids singing along.