Daily Archives: December 1, 2022

The concerts

I’ve been thinking about what to write about the concerts. First off, yes I am glad I came! Each day and each concert has had its own gifts, but how to write about them in a meaningful way?

Photo by Simon M Trott

The man with the guitar is John Mitchell. The drummer is Craig Blundell. Two more band members (Jem and Nath) aren’t in the frame. John has several projects and through all of them, I hear a thoughtful, reflective man who has a way with his words about human existence.

Jem (Godfrey — keyboards) and John write lyrics that capture the inevitability of death and the journey through life. “Afraid of all that might have happened, and all that never came to be.”

Jem’s hands are a national treasure, if you ask me, and I love how he layers sounds and combines textures. Between his keyboards and vocals and John’s guitar and vocals, and their lyrics, I make myself certain these guys somehow get what it’s like to be me.

Isn’t that what art is? A creative endeavor that touches people in ways that meet them where they are?

Sometimes John’s guitar will enter the song with a solo and I just have to close my eyes and raise my fist into the air in solidarity with the beauty and poignancy. (Example: halfway through Black Light Machine)

I recognize this same longing and fulfillment with John’s other projects, especially Lonely Robot. I appreciate the artistic musical sophistication and richness in the music and lyrics these guys create.

Their opening act on this tour-ette (as Jem calls it) Quantum Pig, are a thoughtful, intelligent duo whose lyrics and themes resonate with me deeply. What are we doing to our home, “Sagan’s dot,” our Mother Earth, in the name of “progress?”

I imagine the music of Frost* is thoughtful, reflective, resonant, angry, true, clever, British, universal, and human. Yeah, I love this band.

British train station

Platform cleaner at Bath train station
Chatty Cath the British Pigeon of the Day
Spires in the fog

Of all the places I was on my trip — airplanes, trains, hotels, concert halls, train stations, shops, walking from place to place, a majority was spent on trains and in train stations.

Besides the concerts each day, considerable time was spent planning the route to the hotel, the route to the venue and back, and later, the route back to the trains

So my days went like this: charge phone as much as possible, plan routes while charging phone, ride train to the right city (charge phone on train) go to concert with a fully charged phone, go to sleep and let the phone charge, sleep as late as possible, wake up and plan transport for today, ride train, etc. Make sure phone is charged.

Route planning got easier as the week went on until the last concert when I had to avail myself of multiple modes of transportation. Each day, I spent some time sitting in the open air stations. The morning I took these photos, the air was crisp with a light layer of fog covering everything as the morning commuters waited for their trains.

The trains are a way of life in England. My experience of the train system was that it is a unifier for the country. Nothing’s perfect, and there are train stoppages and routes that are truncated or cancelled owing to staffing issues, but the staff were always so helpful in guiding passengers to alternate routes to get to their destination.

I found this poem by Brian Bilston (@brian_bilston) on Twitter after I’d already posted this blog but it’s too perfect not to include.

We are a much larger nation with many more people but I wonder what is possible to create that would make transportation more possible for people, especially people who cannot afford the costs of owning and maintaining a car. Seems like a good project for one of our multi-billionaires to tackle! Just imagine!