Saturday, 21 July 2012

Boy, do I like adventure!

If I was to have a magical mystery kind of dream, then it would be the subject of my following passages of writing that I am about to share with you, featuring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros playing at Manchester Cathedral.

Manchester Cathedral
 I know that we all have of our own stories of how we found Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.  Me? Well, I first heard of them whilst cleaning my London flat.  My boyfriend was playing DJ and on they came.  Before I knew it, my feather duster was being used as a microphone and my flat had more sparkle than a Palace!  I needed to know more.  Pretty soon, I was compelled to share the gift of music that I had been given to friends, family and tweeters, and boy, it carries on!

I booked my tickets at their sell out, one night only gig.  They have just completed a festival tour around the UK and I thought that would be the perfect place to see them, but a cathedral?  for me it has to excel all.  With the Cathedral Nave making room for 1, 103 people it was an intimate, rare opportunity to hear music in a medieval, gothic venue that is even talked about in the doomsday book.    That has to beat being in a field wearing wellies, in this not so great British summer, surely!

It was the perfect host for the Messianic figure of Edward shape and it seemed only right to me that this is where I would first meet ( yes meet!) them.  Well, if Jesus couldn't be there in person, Edward Sharpe has to be the best big thing!  Now that's a controversial statement right there!
Rocco Deluca warmed up the apostles with a great set and then at around 9pm the zeros strolled on to the stage opening with "Carries on".  I was standing to the left of the stage where the band came on and I had a kiss on the hand by Jade Castrinos, who looked radiant!

I'm not sure that there was a solid set list before the gig.  It seemed that the band just played what felt right in the moment, with songs from albums "Up from below", "Here" and "Alexander" oh and a musical rendition of happy birthday that came with a cake to Orpheo!  What a way to spend a birthday.

There's no song like "Home"
 About half way through the set, I had to pay a trip to the ladies room.  Not the best timing in the world as when the Edward Sharpe crew are telling you, that they want the whole damn world to come dance with them, being on the toilet is not really the ideal place to be sitting!  Forget the man on fire, it was as if I was on fire, the way I ran off the toilet and back to the performance.

"Dear Believer" was perfectly sung with the lyrics "I say reaching for heaven, its what I'm on earth to do" being particularly poignant and moving in such a place at this.  Just as "Up from below" album ends, so did the gig with a heart felt, beautiful version of "Om Nashi Me".  But, this was just the beginning for me in many ways.  My inner 5 year old self believed that I could meet the band and that's just what happened next.

Alexander after the show meeting fans
 The Zeros are known for doing gigs after gigs and so the back of the cathedral, after the show was a place that I thought, warranted a visit.  Outside their tour bus the band came and whilst there was no more music, what followed was very special. 

When you meet the people in life that you have admiration for, it really becomes an overwhelming task to cram in all you dream of saying, if that moment ever happens.  It really is a fine line to not come across as a mad person who is a little star stuck.  You see , the definition of :

starstruck [ˈstɑːstrʌk]
completely overawed by someone's celebrity status
really does go against the grain of how I felt when I met Orpheo, Christian and Alexander.
Alexander Ebert has such a calming presence and was gentle, humble and happy to talk with me.  I was aware that his time was precious and so I didn't want to keep him from resting and chilling with his other band members.  However, before I knew it, I was telling him about my Jenni's Journeys and asking him if I could have a 2 min interview with him.  So we sat on the cathedral wall (as our height difference wouldn't have worked too well on camera and that's one head that you don't want to chop off) and talked.

If I had asked Alex all I had dreamt of asking him, then it would have taken longer than the Big Easy Express train took to tour America and in all truth, I was just grateful for our impromptu time spent in each others company.  So, on reflection what I would have, could have, should have said, will just have to be remembered for the next time that the magnetic universe draws us together.

This was one dream that I was more than happy to be woken from.  This is one dream that I will remember not just for 40 days, but the rest of my life.
Darren, Alexander Ebert and Jenni

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