Before I moved to London my route to work involved an hour on a too hot/too cold train. For the most part it was a massive pain in the arse. Early mornings spent avoiding the gaze of people on the platform you knew, but certainly didn’t have an hours worth of conversation for.
They’d see you. You’d see them. Neither of you wanted to talk to each other, but what do you do? Just once I would’ve loved to have said: “look, I tried to avoid your gaze, I could see you were trying to avoid mine, unfortunately we both looked up at the same time and caught each others eye. To be honest, it’s early, and I really can’t be bothered to make the effort to talk to you. Nothing against you, I think you’re alright when we’re in a group of people, but to be frank, a one on one is just going to be a bit awkward. I’d rather just sit, read my book and listen to some tunes. Either we sit together and have a comfortable silence or, and this is my preference, I can walk up the other end of the platform and we can just pretend we didn’t see each other?
Monday and Tuesday you can discuss the weekend just gone. Thursday and Friday you can discuss the approaching weekend. Catch them on a Wednesday and you’re really fucked. It’s an hour of hairdresser conversations about weather and holidays.
This was back in my pre-Ipod days, so I used to grab a few CD’s for the old discman on my way out the door in the morning. Settle in next to the window and listen to an album in it’s entirety. Imagine that! A whole album!
Very occasionally you’d have a day when your mood would be 100% in tune with what CD you had grabbed. And rather than your journey be a chore, it was actually rather enjoyable. One such day that sticks in my mind is the day I first listened to Richard Hawley.
We went to see him on Saturday. My first time at The Royal Festival Hall. The place is truly amazing. No more perfect setting for someone such as Hawley.
I’m tempted to wax lyrical. About his voice, about his amazing band, about his lyrics, and about how on a clear bright cold winters morning on a train from Essex, and again on Saturday, the fucker almost made me (a double hard bastard) ball my eyes out about a dozen times.
Please listen to this tune. Please check him out if you don’t know him. I promise you it’ll be worth it.