Graham’s living room
My first experience of a “living room” gig, fortunately one of my favourite front men, on his own, with a great new album to plug, only about ¾ of a mile down the road, near where we used to live. Enough to call a halt this week on my usual Thursday evening “world to rights” session with Smudger of this parish.
Craig was tuning up when I arrived, but the natives appeared friendly so I repaired onto the back yard/lawn, where a succession of very friendly, interesting and likeable people (from reasonably far and wide (and West Bridgford)) came, mingled and went.
Showtime, and everyone siphoned in through the French doors, to exhortations to “come closer”, so, cushion in hand, I did. Immediate stage left, leaning on (while sat down) some kind of flight case, a sofa and a CD rack. I got comfy about 3 songs in…
Craig called us to order and began a guitar only (as he was all night) “God In Chicago”, during which you could’ve heard mice farting next door. Wonderful in all respects. Preludes, Jester and June, Tangletown and Be Honest followed from the new album, with Dennis and Billy (another song about a pair of people and their travails) representing the Newmyer’s Roof EP, along with a couple of tracks from the 2015 album “Faith in the Future”. Sadly nothing off Clear Heart Blue Eyes (well, that I recognised anyway).
The between song chat and banter was also a delight, Craig an affable and genial host, stories about gang cars, nicknames, (the footballer Fitz Hall who rejoiced in the nickname “One Size” was proffered by a switched-on audience member) the Twin Towers, the death of his mother, a memorable but baffling encounter with a Limp Bizkit-style band in the late 90s, why he loves touring and the songwriting process (and why he’d also love to write a novel) standing out.
The audience were in the palm of his hand the entire time, how nice to be at a gig where you don’t have to listen over clearly disinterested people at the back making idle (but overly loud) chatter…
All too soon, it was over, with the Hold Steady’s “Certain Songs” playing us out.
Post show, Craig signed posters, vinly and sundry stuff and posed for a variety of photos, and I daresay the party went on as host Graham tried to get everyone out without upsetting the neighbours too much.
Mostly 30+ people, a good mix. Everyone I met and talked to was very lovely indeed.
It made me think..
What a splendid, intimate way to listen to music. Thanks to Graham for, as Craig said “committing a revolutionary act and inviting strangers into his home to listen to live music”