Thanks to the advent of Zoom pub quizzes, I hear most of my music nowadays in ten-second snippets, tiny baited hooks for the fish who work in my brain’s sound archives.
On Thursday 12th March, Cat Empire played at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was to be my last gig before live events were dropped from social calendars en masse. There’s nothing quite like the sound of an excited crowd, and waiting for the show to start, certain words and phrases rose to the surface like driftwood at the foot of a waterfall.
“An ice-cream wept on the steps of the church.”
Head hunched over desk, hand cramping, my pen decides where it’ll go next. I start writing with no direction and build a map as I go. I’ll know when I’ve got to where I need to be, if I’m lucky, but not how I’ve got there.
There’s nothing to see, just like there wasn’t really much to see when the band were playing, or when the poet was performing. But there is something. Perhaps if we had other senses we wouldn’t dismiss all that is unquantifiable.