Last night, I went to see Beck play at the Brixton Academy.
I had bought my ticket on a whim, on the day that Prince died, when I decided I needed cheering up. Last night’s gig was, therefore, perfectly timed.
Beck had played Glastonbury over the weekend, and I had vowed not watch his set, because whilst I knew he was renowned for rarely playing two sets the same, I wanted to ensure I experienced the real thrill you get at a gig of not knowing what will be next, rather than the expectancy of waiting for that one special song you love and know has been played live recently. Although with Beck there is no one special song, there’s a whole raft of them.
I had a checklist- not an actual, physical list, you understand, that would be way to nerdy even for me (it was more of a cerebral I-Spy book) – of songs I hoped he’d play, and while there was also an awful lot that was unfamiliar to me (as I sat on the Vicky Line tube home I found myself vowing to revisit each of his albums, cursing myself for not having done so more fervently before the gig), I managed to check pretty much all of them off.
Chief among them was today’s song, delivered three songs in, the song that started it for me and I suspect for many others, and one that I once included on a mix-tape I had compiled for a couple of friends of mine, Daints and Louise, as a thank you for being kind enough to allow me to sofa-surf at their flat when I first moved back to Cardiff, circa 1993.
I stayed there for a couple of weeks (I think, maybe more, maybe less), and those were two really fun weeks that I didn’t want to end, evenings spent alternating between going to the pub, sitting up playing Smiths records and eating Stilton cheese, or on Friday night going to the indie disco at GWs, where we would get drunk and I would do my very poor Morrissey impression.
This song cropped up, if memory serves, as side one track one of the mix-tape which I’d entitled “Getting Crazy with the Cheese-Whizz!”, and last night, when I returned home and wrote my latest/last EU/Football rant, the words sprung to mind again, as I realised how many times I seem to have backed the wrong horse recently:
P.S. In case I’ve not made it clear, Beck was fricking awesome.