Neal and I went into London tonight to listen to a Canadian folk music group, appropriately called “Eh?!” Two fiddlers and a bass violinist. All brilliant performers. Their concert was held at The Cuckoo’s Nest, an intimate club that takes over Chaucer’s Pub on some Sunday evenings. Chaucer’s seats about 50, and features a huge stone fireplace, dark wood, and beer steins on a high shelf.
We sat immediately to the right of the band, in the second row. I was about eight feet from James fiddler’s right arm. Joe bass violin was on the other side of James, and farther along was Anne fiddler.
Sitting right in front of me was a man of about my age with a very large head. He kept that head extremely still throughout the concert. There was no hint of grooving to the fiddle tunes. I felt sadness and dryness coming off him, even a depression. And so I felt sad. I decided to simply be with him. No beaming of positive energy his way. Just let him be as he was, with my company. But sometimes he would lean way to the left or right, trying to see beyond James. The first couple of times, I was irritated, and then I let that go. Actually, when he leaned right, I could see Joe playing haunting melodies on the bass, rather than just the top of his head. So my neighbour was helping me out.
At the break between sets, I decided to talk to the gentleman, to see if I could make a contribution. “Hard to see past the first fiddler from our angle, eh?” Big smile in return. I was happy.
The tops of Joe’s and Anne’s heads were just fine for me because I got to see three musical heads feeling the melody and making the harmony, swaying to the peaceful tunes and jerking wildly during the raucous ones. Very cool. Oh, and I also got to see Anne’s left hand on the neck of her fiddle, her fingers alternately caressing and smashing down on the strings. Cool again.
During the love songs, Joe played his bass like a violin, moving his fingers way down the fretboard to draw out ethereal melodies, with his head bowed as in a trance. Gone I was in those moments. Tears came to my eyes as the distinct sound of incredibly high bass notes worked its way into my soul. Jody came flooding into me. She was happy I had brought her to the concert. Always with me, my dear.
It was a lovely evening. Virtuoso musicians. Tunes that led me away. And a bigheaded man who knows how to smile.