Running when you're hung over is not the optimum state of being. My fault, and I managed to grind through the 9 miles on Sunday. The carrot dangling in front of my head was seeing Sharon Van Etten. In line with the two other occasions I've seen her this year I was Billy NoMates though I was lucky enough to bump into Jon Rostrum and have a yap.
Originally the show was due to be on when I was in Chicago, I missed a lot of great gig because of my trip to the States (John Cale, The Jim Jones Revue, Shonen Knife…) so I was delighted when it got rescheduled. My heart did sink when I got to the Glee when I saw that two support bands were on and any thoughts of early doors evaporated. The first support - a Harpist can't remember here name – was pleasant enough. The second – This is Kit – I thought were brilliant, sort of British Americana and I will buy some of their stuff.
Sharon Van Etten had a few sound problems which were swiftly solved and then she soared. She admitted that she'd only had an hour's sleep with this being her last European date. She did seem a bit wired and yappy but I found that charming and it didn't get in the way of the music. The band did an amazing version of 'Do It' using voice loops to build up a whirl of sound. I'm a bit of a fan of this having seen a few bands do it. Sharon and the band now have an easy relaxed chemistry which wasn't there when I saw them at the Rough Trade In-store which is a perfect foil for the intensity of the songs. She played everything I wanted her to play (except Snooker Loopy, one day…) so I was a happy camper.
After I got to meet her and being the eternal fan I asked her to sign my album.
Don't say anything twaty, I told myself."Who should I sign it to.""Darren.""Our names rhyme!""My sister's name is Karen.""Wow! Where is she!"
We should all hook up, I nearly said but stopped myself on the grounds of it sounding weird. I thanked her and got out of the eye line of a sweaty middle aged man to cycle into a freezing Cardiff night. That might well have been my final gig of 2012 and if so, that's just fine.