I’ve not long got in from seeing the excellent Mark Chadwick playing in the Rescue Rooms in my beautiful home town of Nottingham.
The evening started with my customary and infuriating habit of arriving at places at least 15 minutes before I need to, so I found myself nursing a coke (I had the car you see), near the door to the live music venue when the man himself walked past me and settled nearby – but looking ‘in the zone’.
I bottled it and didn’t go and talk to him and seek a photo, I was half kicking myself but half thinking I shouldn’t make a nuisance of myself when he’s got a show to do…. and of course I’m a massive coward. People say you should never meet your heroes anyway, right?…
So, the venue opened and I found myself a decent spot and really enjoyed the support act – Dan Donnelly – who played a set on his own where he utilised lots of clever sampling of riffs and cunning percussioning on his guitar to put on an impressive one-man-band style show. Very engaging, and as the venue started to fill up and show its’ appreciation of his efforts – which was good. Below is a video of him covering ‘Plastic Jeezus’ which was suitably entertaining.
He probably played for no more than 35-40 minutes but it was good, it’s made me go and investigate his work. Had I not been at the gig alone I’d have probably gone and bought a CD from the man himself as he manned the merchandise stall, but I didn’t want to lose my vantage point so missed that particular opportunity. I shall retrospectively purchase some of his work though!
On to the Mark Chadwick who didn’t keep us waiting too long – best known of course for his work with The Levellers, I’ve been enjoying his solo album – it’s a bit of a grower. Given the live treatment though it really brings it to life even more, Dan Donnelly returned to the stage to provide backing vocals and fill a variety of instrumental gaps along with a drummer, guitarist (Sean Lakeman) and a bass/double-bass player.
A mixture of mostly tracks from his own album (which is what he’s touring, after all!) but a few Levellers classics thrown in – I say classics, but not too many ‘well known’ songs of theirs (raucous encore of ‘Just the One’ aside). My own personal highlight was ‘Maid of the River’ – a favourite Levs song of mine, an album track from Zeitgeist that I don’t think I’ve ever heard performed live before. I loved it.
As with any phone-based videos the sound quality isn’t particularly representative of actually being there, but I’m glad I have been able to capture it nonetheless! Even though he either deliberately or drunkenly mixed up the words – it seems somehow arrogant to suggest he might be an error when he wrote the song! He had been quaffing a fair amount of red wine though, and it was quite late in the show… you never can tell with these things!
I’ve got a few songs on video but am not going to sit and upload them all tonight… so keep an eye on my YouTube channel if you really want to see them (all two of you who read this 😀 ).
After the show I found a likely spot to finish my drink and reflect and got talking to fellow Levellers fans, Jen, Amanda and Brian. They’d travelled from distance to see the performance, and Jen has been to no less than 179 gigs by the band in the last 8 years – and I thought I was a real fan – clearly not! She didn’t lack the courage I did before the gig so insisted we accost Mark after the show for a photo, which is on her camera so hopefully I’ll be able to retrieve it once she’s safe and home tomorrow.
I might also have bumbled some nonsense at the glassy-eyed singer about how happy I was I’d heard him sing one of my all time favourite songs live.. he was probably thinking “bastard! I did all this solo stuff and you’re still harping on about a Levellers song”… it reminded me of the time a drunken me decided to tell Colin Tarrant how moving I’d found his portrayals of Brian Clough… I guess it must be nice to get positive comments from people no matter how badly phrased!
A top night – I’m really glad I went even though I couldn’t manage to cajole anybody into coming with me… and at least if I’m left in a similar predicament with future Levellers related gigs I might’ve found a new friend or two who will be there! As for meeting your heroes, Mark had clearly had a bit to drink and looked a bit bemused, but was very gracious so I’d say if you get the chance, you should do so!