I've been racking up a few gigs just lately; after a dearth of live music for nigh on two years I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to be back out there in the pubs, clubs, theatres and concert halls lending support to as many bands bands and artists as I can - musicians who all had the rug pulled from under them so unceremoniously back in March 2020.
And since getting my gig legs again I've found that a lot of the shows I've been to have almost bordered on a spiritual experience; not least when Ian Prowse came back for an encore and sang Does This Train Stop on Merseyside at The Adelphi in Hull a few weeks ago; just the sound of the opening chords was enough to tip me over the edge; I absolutely lost it. By the end I was an emotional wreck. Rachel Unthank was the same at Nottingham's Albert Hall last month when the 800+ audience began to sing the chorus of their brand new song - Sorrows Away - back to her and the band; she was sobbing uncontrollably. I knew exactly how she felt.
Whether or not I'll fall apart when I catch the Hanging Stars later in the year is anyone's guess. I literally only discovered them a handful of days ago yet can't stop playing them. Their latest album Hollow Heart is sumptuous. I think it could be the most perfect collection of songs I've heard since Revolver. Yes, it really is that good.
The Hanging Stars - Heavy Blue (2021)