After a fairly epic night out on Friday (why do I drink vodka shots when I don’t really like vodka…?), I was a little fuzzy round the edges on Saturday. I was also completely knackered having spent most of my week facilitating meetings, which is far more tiring than both it sounds and that I expected.
Frankly the thought of driving through to Edinburgh to stand in a crowd for a few hours wouldn’t have been my choice except for one reason. It was to hear Portishead, remember them? Two albums (three if you count the live one) and then.. nothing. Those two albums are part of my staple choice, my backup when I get bored and want something comfortable to listen to, music that I tend to have on in the background when I’m at home.
So when I heard (via a Twitter from Paul) that they were touring again I snapped up a ticket within the hour. The anticipation of seeing Portishead live, hearing THAT voice live started and I remember thinking that I needed not to let myself get too carried away, that it might not live up to the expectation I was setting in my head.
I was wrong. They were amazing.
It was one of those gigs that will forever change the way I listen to their music, it was one of those gigs that had moments when the entire place was silenced and in genuine awe of what they were hearing and watching, it was one of those gigs that you talk about with reverence in years to come.
It’s also one of those gigs that I’m struggling to capture with words. The way it veered from a ferocious assault to a genuinely heartfelt, lump in the throat moment, outlined their ability to deliver something much more than their album tracks. The way the atmosphere shifted through the gig, and how such a slight woman can hold a room of thousands in her hand and she rips emotions from within, delivering them with a snarl or a smile.
I’m wary that every gig is a good one, and that I take few risks when choosing which concerts I go to see, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect last night. I’ve held off writing this post to try and distant myself a little but I think I’ll stand by the Twitter message I frantically typed out, with slightly shaking hands, as I tumbled out of the venue. It may not be eloquent but it encapsulates my emotions at the time, and my feelings about the gig that still linger.
Pretty fuckin awesome.