Sunday, August 12, 2007
We Are Going To Be Friends
I love those little moments of personal connection. When you're talking to someone and all of sudden there's a moment of shared intimacy. A mutual recognition. That second you realise that this isn't just going to be another conversation, but the start of something more: a beautiful friendship, a great working partnership, or a passionate love affair. On Thursday I had one of these very moments, but it wasn't a conversation as such. It was a performer on stage who just happened to play the right song at the right moment and put a massive grin on my face: Charlotte Hatherley (or Charlotte from Ash for the uninitiated) played a live acoustic cover of Wire's 'Outdoor Miner'.
Now, I have had a crush on our Charlotte ever since she appeared in the video to Ash's 'A Life Less Ordinary'. That was in 1997. In the time since, I've had a Melody Maker poster of her on my wall at University, I've seen her play with Ash live several times, and bought and loved both her solo albums. It's delightfully ironic that my crush has endured longer than all my actual relationships put together. So seeing her live, solo, in the tiny Bar Academy in Islington was always going to be an emotional experience. Stood next to her at the bar before the gig, I decided it was unwise to fall to my knees and profess my undying love (last thing I heard she was dating Edgar Wright*, successful director of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Last time I checked, I have yet to successfully direct traffic). Then she goes onstage, and plays acoustic versions of select cuts of her new LP quite wonderfully. And then she goes and does 'Outdoor Miner'.
Now, I have adored Wire's 'Outdoor Miner' ever since I bought it on junkie-tastic white vinyl at a record fair at Nottingham University in 1998. It was the subject of my very first blog post ever and one of my desert island discs. I love the song. It's wonderful. Perfect pop. I've played it in a couple of my DJ sets when I thought I could get away with it, and included it on compilation tapes where I thought it would be appreciated. But I'm more than happy for it to be a track that is relatively unknown, and all the more personal to me because of it.
And so back to the gig. Charlotte's intro to the song is almost drowned out by the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. And that's the moment! My mate looks at me perplexed. I quickly explain that this is, like, my favourite song ever and he declares that "It's meant to be!" I can't stop smiling for the rest of the gig, which she finishes in style with another cover, Kim Wilde's 'Kids In America' (a reference to her debut single called, funnily enough, 'Kim Wilde'). Then I float home.
*Whilst checking my facts for this very post, I discovered on Wikipedia that Charlotte and Edgar are now ex's. Which is obviously a great shame for them. But it means I could so have totally chatted her up at the bar! Damn it!
Hmmm... She's playing in London again in October...
So... anyone fancy coming along?
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