So I went to a gig last night. I’ve documented how rare that is on here before. Supermoons happen more often, to be honest. But it was Passenger and I am OB-sessed with him. He’s a 32-year-old folksy, beardy dude from Brighton who looks like a lost Mumford brother. Lumberjack shirt vibe. He’s the one who got famous for Let Her Go. You know the one. ‘Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low’ etc etc.
Anyway, the gig was in Kingston which is vaguely the right side of London for me. More specifically, it was in the Kingston Hippodrome, a venue that reeks of Red Bull and has a sticky, swirly, kaleidoscope carpet that makes you feel a bit sick if you look at it for too long. I was depressed to learn, earlier in the day, that he was only coming on stage at 10.15pm because that is very late for me on a weeknight. And I was driving so I couldn’t even take any drugs to make me stay up late like young people who go to gigs normally do.
No matter. It got to 10.15pm and on came Passenger – real name Michael – in a denim shirt as opposed to a lumberjack one, and drinking from a china cup. ‘It’s a cup of tea, honest,’ he said. ‘A strong, cold cup of tea.’ V hipster, that.
He was obviously brilliant. A mixture of old stuff and new from his latest album, Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea which I like although it didn’t get great reviews from the critics. But what do they know. We’re all sick of experts, right? ‘I’ve only got one famous song anyway,’ Passenger said last night, joking about Let Her Go.’You wouldn’t believe how many people get it confused with Let It Go, I think it’s because I look a lot like a Disney princess.’
He chats a lot in his gigs, which he says tends to surprise people. And he’s funny. ‘Hello darkness my old friend,’ he sang, half way through the gig, before adding ‘this is a brand new song.’
Also, the hand dryers in the loos kept going off, and, as the venue was relatively small, he could hear it from the stage. ‘You know you’ve made it when someone’s doing the hoovering in your gig,’ he joked. The ‘hoovering’ continued as people went to the loo, poor old Passenger shaking his head on stage. ‘I’m a hoover fugitive, a hoover-tive,’ he said near the end. ‘I think that’s the worst joke I’ve ever made.’
I, naturally, screamed with laughter because I am some sort of tragic fan-girl. Not only a man who can sing like that but a man who makes word jokes. *string of those emojis which have hearts for eyes*
I walked into work this morning listening to him on Spotify. If you’re as tragic as me, it’s worth listening to Passenger’s own playlists on there. One of them currently has a mixture of greats on it – Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Iron & Wine AND even Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes. Some absolute classics, as Rhys Ifans says in Notting Hill.
A side note. My walk into work takes me up Holland Park from Shepherd’s Bush roundabout to Notting Hill. This morning, just as I started walking up that slope, I fell into step with a man beside me who was walking at EXACTLY the same pace. There were about three feet between us. But up we went, side by side, each one refusing to slow down, competitively marching faster and faster. It became so awkward that I considered crossing the road or stopping to get a coffee from Starbucks. But the competitive part of me refused. So we walked the entire way up the hill like that, furiously trying to outpace one another, and yet unable to. Until he peeled off down a side street just before Notting Hill Gate. Which meant I won, I decided. I was quite hot and sweaty by that point.
My question is, does this ever happen to anyone else? Or is it just the sort of pathetically competitive thing that I get myself embroiled in?