Monday, June 13, 2005

Sunday Afternoon State of Mind

Sunday Afternoon State of Mind

Yesterday afternoon I went to see Riccardi play at the Marylebone Festival. Think Glastonbury without the mud. And the crowds. And the smelly toilets. Ok, so it was nothing like Glastonbury but I sat on the grass and had to use a chemical toilet at one point so we're heading in that direction.

Given that I left my house at 10:30am in order to meet Katherine and Sam (former stanners) prior to catching the Oxford Tube I made a slight mistake in the clothing department. Mainly due to the fact that it was reasonably warm in Oxford and hence I wore a skirt that doesn't cover my knees and didn't take a coat. When I arrived at Marble Arch at 3:30pm it turned out that a coat would have been beneficial. When I had to sit on the grass it turned out that a skirt where it was possible to sit down without people on stage seeing my knickers might have been a good thing. So I ended up becoming slightly cold and sitting in such a position that I twice got dead leg, just so that I wasn't flashing my knickers. Let's face it, I'd die at Glastonbury.

But, if I've discovered anything over the last 18 months or so, it's that I love listening to live music. And because Tony, of The Bedford fame, had organised the musical lineup there were a number of acts that I knew. The more I hear of Posh Young Farmer Boy (who, sadly, is looking much less like a posh young farmer boy than he did this time last year when I coined the name) the more I like him. And, God, he feels what he's singing. And taps his feet in a rather sweet manner. He's performing at Glastonbury proper, too. If he gets properly famous - and of everyone I've seen over the past year he's the one I think might do it - I'll be able to be incredibly smug as Nik and I had what I suspect to be one of the first - if not the first - 'fan' photo taken with him. See how good our radars are?

Riccardi were as fab as ever and I realised just how much I love 'Friday State of Mind'. I'm still mildly scared by some of the faces that Billy Bass pulls during it (not helped by the fact that his mic was a lot louder than it should have been) but I've been able to move beyond that. Afterwards, as we continued to listen to the acts, Simon Guitar came over to sit with Nik and I, demonstrating both his rather dodgy footwear (I love flip flops, and a nice pair on a man can really work, but five pound bargain bin ones are not the way forward) and his capacity for whooping ("I always whoop. Even when I'm on my own"). Both he and Billy Bass got extra bonus points for remembering about my finals and pulling the required faces when I informed them how they'd gone. It was Billy Bass who triumphed, though, when he sat down and split his cookie into three so that Nik and I could share it with him. After the jaffa cake incident, I'm starting to think that conversations with Billy have an odd theme.

By 7:00pm I was back on the Oxford Tube, hiding the remnants of my McDonalds as you're not allowed to take hot food onboard, and realising that this may be the final ever time I take the Oxford Tube journey which, for something that has become a regular occurence seems odd. For me the Oxford Tube will always mean Riccardi gigs. I've used it for other things, shopping, museums, theatre, even a Fox gig, but it's wound up in my head with the boys. When I see it on the road in central Oxford it immediately fills me with that pre-gig excitement. It's maybe become a little bit of a symbol. I suspect that from this point in, as I move back to Leeds and out of reach of the ever friendly five pound return ticket, I'll see much less of Riccardi than I have over the past six months. I'll miss them. I think I may even miss the Oxford Tube.

NB: The Festival, Marylebone rather than Glastonbury, was raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and I can't overstate how vital I think what they do is. They're raising money to build units for teenage cancer sufferers so that at a point in their life which is pretty horrendous anyway they don't find themselves on a ward with either babies or pensioners. Six teenagers a day will be told that they have cancer and yet there isn't the provision as it stands to deal with their needs (which are undeniably distinct from young children or adults). Aged 20, as I waited for that make or break lymphnode biopsy, I was on a ward where I was the youngest by a clear four decades. I'm not sure how I'd have coped had the situation been prolonged.

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