Thursday, May 06, 2010

Maybe Every Other Day

Well, isn't this all going perfectly to plan? "Every day!" I yodelled, gleefully. Completely aware, of course, that it would not happen. It was the blogging equivalent of a breezy "I'll call you!" on the way out of the door.

Yesterday I worked in the café, avoiding making lattes. The highlight was the new boy telling us that he and his girlfriend have just set up a band, with him on the ukulele and her singing Disney songs. We then all sung some Disney songs for a bit until we couldn't remember any more, then we stopped. Well, they stopped. I have been singing (and acting out) Part of Their World ever since. I enjoy pretending to float around the kitchen I can find picking up random objects, singing "you want thingamibobs? I got twennie!" to the cat. He looks at me with a look that seems to say that he has quite enough thingamibobs today, and will I stop being weird just for a bit? Unfortunately he knows the answer to that one.

Last night Ben and I went to the Bridgewater Hall to see Rokia Traoré, supported by Sweet Billy Pilgrim.

Sweet Billy Pilgrim are a four piece folk rock band, and they were great. For the first half of the first song I was uncertain, not quite sure where they were going to go. As they went on, though, they built up an incredible sound, swapping instruments unpretentiously and filling the hall with harmonies. It was the sort of sound that means that you don't have to listen too closely to the lyrics, but when I did they were beautiful as well. Also the keyboard player had a very impressive beard.

Rokia Traoré, though. Wow. She's this tiny, muscular person, kind of frail and strong at the same time. She and the band walked on to applause, which faded as she stood in front of the microphone. The lights were down, and she just said an accented "thank you", then began to sing. Her voice was weird and mesmerizing, kind of fluttering and breathy. She sang in French, and when the band took over during the first song she jerked up her chin in time to their rhythm, a bit like a really musical rooster. I was captivated.

The rest of the show just kept hitting new heights. She wheeled around the stage, dancing and grinning, speaking very earnestly about Africa, paying tribute to South African singer Miriam Makeba. In her band was electric guitar, electric bass, drums, backing vocals and a guy on a wooden, stringed guitar-like instrument, which made for an interesting blend of sound. Her voice got bigger and more exciting, I completely loved it.

By the end of the gig, about half of the audience were out of their seats and dancing. The other half were sitting tensely wondering when it was going to be over so they could go and watch the rest of A Touch of Frost over a cup of chamomile tea. This, of course, is grossly unfair, although I am feeling mean about it due to the woman next to me who, from her seated position, sneered at my dancing for about ten minutes. It was disconcerting. I'm glad we danced, though, because really it wasn't the sort of music to sit sedately to. (A few years ago we went to see The Buena Vista Social Club there [um, OMG] and a similar tentative dancing thing happened at the end. There are some gigs that just should be danced at.)

I enjoyed the enthusiastic couple at the front, though, who I bet have a flyer taped to their fridge that says "Spice Things Up With Salsa Lessons!".

Rokia and her backing vocalist danced at the end of the gig, and they were incredible. The energy filled the hall, which is impressive, as it's bloody massive.

Right, enough. I have to go and VOTE! and then get on a train to Leeds to lead a choir rehearsal, then come back for a rift cuts writers meeting/workshop.

VOTE! first, though. I have to cast my vote into the winds of it's all the same and cycle off knowing that by tomorrow we'll all probably be made to feel bit blue.


Anonymous Rage Against the Dying of the Light said...

Delighted to see the blog back up and running!

12:10 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

Thank you! x

10:21 am

Blogger Ellie said...

Every other day is almost just like every day!

2:55 pm

Anonymous dave said...

Checking in after months of not reading you - glad to see you are still blogging and singing! :O)

10:04 am

Blogger Léonie said...

Ellie - And every four days is a bit like every other day!

Dave - Thanks!

11:41 am

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

So I hear the voting didn't help. It's quite the news that of course was drowned out by something else they thought more important shortly thereafter.. but I thought of you and glad you were doing your civic duty!

Part of your world indeed.. that one always comes up when the musical theater geeks younger than me think of musicals and Disney. I'm old so my fave is The Jungle Book, Bear Necessities.. love love love it. xo

9:02 am


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