It's only a couple of months since I last saw Ezio - at The Junction. Him and Booga had a gig without the band in The Bath House in January, but I didn't manage to get tickets before they sold out. Still, when I heard the band were playing the Soul Tree I decided I couldn't miss it even if I would be tired from the journey back from the frozen north. And I was glad ernie was joining me - a bit of me slightly smug that he likes them because I introduced him to them, even if a bit of me sadly remembers how happy we were together back then. Still, it's only a wee bit sad.
Fabulous to see them in such a tiny place anyway - it's amazing the contrast between being at the back of the Junction and being only 8 feet away from the band and on the same level. It meant a great opportunity to see the incredible guitar work up close, and to watch the rest of the band too. As usual they started with a couple of tracks on their own, and did the same again with the encore: it's a formula that works well. It was interesting to see them working almost entirely ad lib too: they really were just deciding what to play next on the fly: which meant drummer Alex had fun trying to get the right drumsticks to join in when Ezio started the first notes on the guitar. Great stuff anyway, and I'm gradually picking up more and more of their songs. As usual Deeper was a highlight: I think that's probably my favourite track. They also played Circus, which is my mum's. The crowd sang along anyway and was having a great time - with the only downside being that there were a fair few people back at the bar talking instead of listening to the music. I'm sure it's always the case but usually the bar isn't so obviously in earshot of the stage. It was interesting to see Ezio deliberately singing some of the songs as quietly as possible, in what seemed like a test of the audience. You could have heard a pin drop at the front.
It was Ezio's birthday, and I asked ernie if I should try get the crowd singing Happy Birthday in the gap before the encore - he shrugged and I didn't quite pluck up the courage - but someone else obviously had the same idea, even if it came across fairly ragged as it spread across the venue. A nice moment. And I was cheeky and gave him a peck on the cheek as I said thanks and happy birthday and goodnight on the way out. Having stopped at the stall to pick up another of their CDs. Eventually I really will have to buy them all. And ernie got himself a copy of the Live in Cambridge CD - will have to show him the DVD at some point too. It was a lot different to the Junction gigs - a slightly odd dynamic - but still a really lovely night out. They're touring, before they hit the studio to finish recording a new album, so if you're elsewhere in the country I do recommend them. It looks like the new material will be good.