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.
It takes an artist not to play every note.
The festival shortlists were out. None came out a clear winner: not the right music, poor headliners, no acts announced yet. None, that was, until we looked in our back garden. We were going back to Pinkpop.
An endearing ode to the physical LP and all that it stands for.
His sand-timer coffee cup looks nearly empty. I watch him tilt his head way back to drink it as he plays notes one-handed, not even looking at the keys. The sound which emanates seems to fill the air, coming not from any particular place but echoing from all around me.
Oliver Cable is a writer, poet and organiser of London-based live music and spoken word nights called Nowhere Nights. Now, he's spilling his thoughts onto the pages of this website in a new creative writing column, "CableWrites."
Writer, poet and live music devotee Oliver Cable lives a life submerged in the sounds of London and its vibrant musical culture. He writes because he can't find a way not to. Now, he's spilling his thoughts onto the pages of this website.