Monday, September 17, 2007

Something For Kate - The Forum

Squashed in like sardines at The Corner earlier in the year, Paul announced that the band was taking a break, stressing that they weren't breaking up and Dempsey was to begin work on a solo album. A few months later, a retrospective album has been released -The Murmur Years- and another round of shows. I'm happy they played at the The Forum, as there tends to be more room to move, the atmosphere's electric and you'll usually have the ability to avoid staring at the back of someone's noggin'.

Not having done Brain Training like they advertise on tv, I can't remember all the songs from the set, although pushing 2 hours, even the sharpest mind would have trouble memorizing them all. I've seen SFK 4 times so far, plus a JB instore, and must admit have enjoyed each show thoroughly. With such a large back catalog to choose from, no shows are the same, and I've noticed a couple of covers are usually thrown in.

There were a few songs I couldn't recoginse, however, it appeared I was in the minority as many of the devoted fans in the vicinity happily squealed in delight as the first few chords were played. From their latest studio album, personal favourites "Oh Kamikaze" and "California" got a run, while there did seem to be a larger selection from earlier work including "The Astronaut", "Jerry Stand Up" and "Three Dimensions" (I think!).

My favourite live song which never fails to invoke tingles down the spine is "Deja Vu", enhanced immensely with violin. Hearing a live version sans violin on a bonus disc from "Desert Lights", it's amazing just how much it adds as opposed to just guitars. One of the new songs from the retrospective: "The Futurist", hasn't grabbed me as yet, but I've found with their albums it's taken a number of listens to really get a feel for it.

The 2 covers from the night were "When the War is Over" by Cold Chisel and "Waltz #2 (XO)" from Elliott Smith. The Chisel cover was well done, and on the night, I just couldn't place the original artist which I put to that fact that"Mossy" and "Barnsey" weren't screaming the lyrics... With my poor music knowledge, I hadn't heard "Waltz #2" until that night, and it was enthusiastically appreciated by the audience. Having since purchased XO, it was an excellent version by Paul and Pip with just a guitar and violin. (There's that instrument again...)

In a pleasant surprise, they actually recorded the show, so I look forward to this impending release. I particularly wish to hear "Waltz # 2" again now that I'm more familiar with the original work. Unfortunately it looks like a longer break is on the cards and it will be interesting to see what Paul creates as a solo artist.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sometimes People Are Just Too Nice

If you're wondering where all the Simpsons pictures are coming from, there's a site which Serenity Later found to convert a photo into an equivalent Simpsons character. Yes I'll be on some FBI security database now, but it's highly addictive. I love the "barrel with straps" outfit.

A funny story happened a few weeks back and I've finally developed some guts to share it. It's quite rare that visitors come through our office, so if someone does, most people in the area will take notice. On this day, one of the most reserved, quietest ladies in the team had a female visitor going through some project work. Later on I casually asked my co-worker who the visitor was, to which she eagerly asked if I was interested. I was quite emphatic that my query was more out of being curious rather than interested and am certain that's how I left things.

A few hours later, my colleague came by asking if I was free. Thinking this was work related I obviously obliged, however when I got to her desk, I realised she had the visitor from earlier in the day. From there she introduced me to her, and promptly mentioned that she had her lunch already, but this new person needed food and to be shown the bistro downstairs. Ooookay...that took me by surprise, but being a standup gentleman, I took her down to the cafe and made small talk along the way down and back again. The eating area is a pretty sterile environment, with middle aged, gossiping groups, happily scoffing down artery attack meals each lunchtime.

I came back to my desk to some smiling colleagues eager to find out what happened. The bland story of going downstairs, making small talk and coming back up didn't really excite their day. Later, the afternoon coffee group went off and there seemed to be an unusual amount of chatter which I didn't really take much notice of. A few minutes later, I received a phone call from one of the guys asking me to elaborate on what happened earlier. Apparently people had been talking about the meeting, and it turned out that the visitor was asked/told:
1) Was she single?
2) Was she interested in meeting someone?
3) That there was someone who wanted to meet her

Typically I'd like to plan ahead for these sort of things. Not in the invading England to conquer London sort of planning, but at least 1 or 2 minutes to prep. Also it made quite a difference afterwards knowing that I was supposedly a horny, superficial male out to try and pick up anything that moved. I spent the rest of the day thinking about what I said and should've done... None the less, it made for an interesting afternoon, certainly more entertaining than doing any actual work...And no I haven't pursued it further. I don't think I can keep a straight face if I were ever to talk to the woman again... I'm manfully hiding under the desk when she comes by now...

In other uninteresting news, 2 gigs have gone by with Brooke Fraser at the Athenaeum -one of the most beautiful venues I've been to- and Something For Kate at the Forum. The former was a very talkative artist with some really nice songs and enthusiastic crowd, while SFK performed brilliantly, showcasing a wide variety of songs including an Elliott Smith cover. (The violin just adds that little bit extra...)