Friday, July 02, 2004


Stewart persuaded me to accompany him to see Patti Smith supported by Television at the Academy tonight.

Patti Smith I was quite up for – I’m not super familiar with her work (somewhat before my time), but what I know I like and I certainly like people who cite her as a major influence.

Television on the other hand, are a bit of an unknown. I think I’ve got Marquee Moon somewhere, but it’s not hugely my cup of tea.

Well things don’t start well, due to one of those minor life dramas (friend collapsing and ending up in hospital, but discharged a few hours later) I’m running late. This means that Stewart misses the first ten minutes of the Television set (a fact which he very sweetly doesn’t appear to hold against me, though I know from the fact that he’d rung to find out what time they were going on, he really wanted to be there in time to catch the entirety of their set).

It’s clear that on a musicianship level these guys can cut it, but live I want a bit of charisma. Just a very little will do, but no, the only expression that even troubles any of their faces is concentration.

Also given that this is the 21st century, haven’t we got beyond 10 minute guitar led intros? Indeed were they ever justified?

Being left entirely unmoved by Television and fighting the tiredness off with Red Bulls, I fear for the success of this night out.

And then Patti enters…

“ I’m trampin’, trampin’ – try’na make heaven my home…”

From her opening note the audience is transfixed. What a voice, what a presence!

I think I may have found my role model for later years. If I could have even an ounce of her passion at that age I’d be delighted. The woman rocks.

There are few things as engaging for a gig-goer as a performer clearly loving every second of their music and performance. She inhabits every note, every beat and draws the audience in – fabulous!

We can only hope Television were in the wings taking notes.

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