This is the series where I remember my recently passed best friend Llŷr by posting songs which remind me of him.
Today’s song reminds me of Llŷr for two reasons.
Firstly, because, knowing that I liked it but would probably never get round to actually buying it for myself, he bought me the CD single of it for Christmas one year.
And secondly, because of Glastonbury.
The last time I went to Glastonbury was in 2015, and on the Friday, having caught The Charlatans and The Cribs on The Other Stage, Llŷr and I headed over to the Pyramid Stage, lugging our foldaway camping chairs and all the booze we could muster with us.
Having stopped en route to buy a couple of pints each, and knowing we’d be here for a few hours, we positioned ourselves towards the back of the field: chairs out, pints supped, box of red wine ready to go, suncream applied.
Of course the latter proved to be pointless, as the heavens soon opened. But, seasoned Glastonbury pros that we were, we were ready for this, waterproof clothing whipped from rucksacks and quickly donned.
We sat in the pouring rain watching Alabama Shakes come on stage, be brilliant, and leave. This was a rare occurance: they were a band who I knew and liked but who Llŷr was unfamiliar with. It’s not often I get to say that. He really enjoyed them, thanked me for persuading him to come and see them; we’d finished the gin and tonics I’d prepared in advance by now, all of the pints we’d manage to carry between us were done, so the assault began on the box of wine I’d brought. We clinked plastic glasses of wine, toasting our friendship and our resilience against the elements.
Between acts, we sat in the rain, drinking, surveying the scene before us.
“I’m having a lovely time,” said Llŷr, without even the slightest hint of sarcasm.
And then there was Mary J Blige. She too railed against the rain, putting in a truly show-stopping performance, culminating in No More Drama. And then she was gone, or so it seemed. Because of the tight schedule and turn-around between acts, they don’t usually come back on for an encore, and at this point I was disappointed as she’d not performed today’s tune. Moreover, my slack bladder could be ignored no longer, and so, grumbling to Llŷr about her failure to do my favourite song, I set off to the Gents.
And of course, no sooner had I got there and begun to do what needed to be done, than I heard her come back on stage and strike into this:
When I got back to him, I found Llŷr up on his feet, dancing and whooping along to the closing few bars. As he saw me trudging back into view, ruefully shaking my head, he raised his wine glass up in my direction, chuckled at my obvious dismay, gave a little ironic cheer, and greeted my return with the immortal, often-uttered words: “Oh Jez, you twat.”
Llŷr’s younger sister Sian is running the London Marathonthis year, raising money for the Brain Tumour Charity. I don’t think Sian will mind me saying that she is not normally the running type, so for her to do this deserves a massive amount of respect and, if you feel so inclined, some money. Thanks once again to all of you who have been generous enough to sponsor her so far – I know who (most of you) are and it is massively appreciated; if anyone else would like to help, you can do so here: