Perhaps these photos are backwards…. Top, we have Wolf Alice, who were at The Forum tonight, Bottom we have Norman Watt-Roy and Friends, including Wilko Johnson, who were there last night. I don’t have my own photo of Keane, who played on Friday, as I didn’t go. But what an incredible variety of music over three days at the venue that still proudly displays it’s NME banner.
We are currently at the start of Storm ‘St Jude’ but the build up has been days of slight wind and heavy rain, which has lead to a great dedication to Going Out. On Friday we quickly stopped by The Cross Keys pub, and enjoyed some of jump and jive band Flagstaff – a change from the regular ‘Blues and Groove’ night. Saturday morning I went to Breakfast at Trinitys, and enjoyed humorous poet Malcolm Head (best enjoyed with humorous friends). Then two evenings at the Forum, when we half missed two good support acts each evening, and thoroughly enjoyed the headliners, but for different reasons.
I’m thinking the moral is, like this impending storm, you don’t know what to expect until you see it…. The poetry was belly achingly funny on a gloomy morning, and both Ben Jones and Dead Ceremony were support acts that you’d remember and make an effort to see again, while kicking yourself for fiddling about at home and not getting out for ‘Doors Open at….’
Meanwhile, Wolf Alice are at the beginning (hopefully) of their musical journey – formed in 2010, recorded a couple of singles, received airplay on Radio One, and last week part of the front cover of NME about up and coming artists. Norman Watt-Roy on the other hand, released his first single in 1967, while in a band with his brother, Garth. Playing in several bands and touring Europe, by 1979 Norman was bassist in Ian Dury and the Blockheads for their number one single “Hit me with your rhythm stick”. He also worked through the 70s and 80s as a session musician, and last night said “45 years touring, and I’m not going anywhere”, at the age of 62 is still making records, and still touring. It has been well documented that Wilko Johnson stated in early 2013 that he had terminal cancer, and since July this year he has been appearing alongside his former band mate Norman, playing a couple of songs in the set. Taking each gig as it comes, it was only revealed a week ago that he would be playing at The Forum one.
For everyone, no-one knows what will happen next, you don’t know what to expect – Wolf Alice hope to be famous, Norman Watt-Roy hopes to tour forever, Wilko is living with a “nine or ten months to live” that is now on it’s ninth month since announcing. The storm is advancing, trees may fall, roads may flood, but no-one knows what to expect.
Get out there, get on with it, make the most of it.