My daughter just went out of the house for lunch……it’s nearly 4 o’clock. Kids huh.
On her way out I was trying to contain my excitement about the news she’d just shared. ‘Oh Dad, remember that band I told you about?’ (No….but I say …’Yes, sure.’ ‘I’m going to see them at King Tuts. I bought a ticket, it was only £9.’
You could have heard my heart beating faster a block away. Paying to go to see a new band….my children? What next, buying albums? Steady.
It’s a funny thing encouraging rock activities for your offspring. I find myself uttering absurd sentences like ‘ Why don’t you hook up your ipod to the stereo so it can play louder?’ Or ‘Melt that ride cymbal a bit more so it comes through.’ Or even… ‘ Check The Strokes, they do it best.’ I don’t think they’ll remember it that way. The youngest was recently heard shouting at an older sibbling, ‘Ha ha – you’re going in dad’s car. You’ll have to listen to country music for two hours.’ True – but nevertheless hurtful.
I say all this because a few months ago I was lucky enough to feel young again myself; I’d been in London for the day, done some work and was heading up to Camden Town to see My Morning Jacket play at the Roundhouse. It was all so perfect…I missed the openers but managed to stash all my bags in the cloakroom, got myself a drink and stood in a fine spot on the floor ready to catch the band. I quite like going on my own occasionally too. There’s never that problem of looking round at your wife/pal/relative hoping they aren’t glazing over. Tonight this was particularly relevant. When the lead singer/guitarist performs a lengthy solo with a towel over his head you know it’s going to stretch the patience of all but the committed fans or those who have come to rock. It’s a while since I’ve enjoyed rock indulgence so much, but I was loving it. It was loud but equally blissful and until the unexpected drum solo it seemed as if time had flown. Drum solo? No, it wasn’t meant to be; it was the PA cutting out. This happens….I’ve been onstage when it’s happened and it’s odd but usually requires a quick re set and you’re off again. However this was a fire alarm. We were on the street for the best part of an hour and by the time the gig licked off again I really had to leave and catch my night train back home. Standing in the rain in Camden I did wish someone had said, ‘Take a warm coat and an umbrella with you, you never know.’
On Friday we’ll hear what happened earlier in the day when I met up with Jim James, head honcho, be-towelled guitarist and long haired and bearded commander in chief of My Morning Jacket. We’ll hear why he’s Jim James and sometimes Yim Yames and, if you’ve not yet discovered why babbling old fogies like me were breathlessly facebooking, ‘Are My Morning Jacket the best band in the world right now?’ Honestly, you’re going to love it all.
We’ll hear some new music from these guys….
They are called Howler, and frankly I think they are great. If you loved Avi Buffalo a couple of years ago your heart will explode for Howler. We have new things from the equally fine First Aid Kit, the great Tom Russell (who comes in to see us next week) and we will continue to remind you of the great legacy of songs beqeathed to us by the late Woody Guthrie. As I’m sure you know by now, there will be so much more too. All from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland this Friday evening.