How NOT to write about music – 125: The Raincoats

Raincoats nails

This post has little or nothing to do with The Raincoats or their music. If you are looking for a report of a recent show Rock Gods The Raincoats played to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, you could do far worse than read this Vice article. (I wrote it.) If you are wanting to hear their first album again – or for the first time (lucky you!) – then you can hear it here. If you are thinking of purchasing their first album again – or for the first time (lucky you!) – perhaps to replace the one you bought on cassette tape four decades ago, then you can find signed copies here.

As I say, this post has little or nothing to do with The Raincoats and their glorious inspirational life-defining not-so (but oh-so) music.

Instead, this post is a list of acknowledgments. The previous week, I had failed to see Tropical Fuck Storm play in Brighton. This hurt me grievously. I determined that I needed to address the circumstance under which I could hurt myself in such fashion. I needed to go to a gig again. The comments I made here on the occasion of my last outing (in June!) apply, always.

I miss my community. I have never really known what my community is, am aware that it is continually shifting, but I miss it still. I cannot live up to expectations. When I posted on Facebook last night how I was shocked to find myself in Brixton against the odds, I was surprised at how many friends took it for granted I would be there. Well, duh – right? No duh. I try to never take anything for granted. I did not know I would be in Brixton last night (nerves, isolation, loneliness). At midday, I did not know that a few hours later I would be dancing next to Jon Slade in the aisles at the Brixton fucking Academy to the sight of Tobi Vail bopping at the mic. More than my community, I miss my friends. I have never known who my friends are, just that they continually shift and disappear. When one of Jon’s super-cool friends remarked last night how I would be enjoying myself later, I retorted that I was already enjoying myself. It was true. The stuff people take most for granted – being able to converse, laugh, relax – that’s the stuff I view as most special right now.

Scrolling through my social media feeds, I noticed Kristin Hersh and The Raincoats were both playing in the next seven days, the latter in Brighton. No excuses, surely? So I  began to set up a series of obstacles so I could excuse my lack of engagement when it inevitably happened.

  • Contact the band. They won’t contact me back. So I won’t go.
  • Find someone to go with. (I cannot go by myself.) I won’t find someone. So I won’t go.
  • Ask if I can review the show for someone. No one will be interested. So I won’t go. (I need to feel like I am contributing when I attend shows.)

All the above fell into place; indeed they fell into place so neatly that when I found myself sat upstairs at Brighton’s Komedia halfway through the show, 10 minutes before The Raincoats were due on stage, I did not leave as I would otherwise have done (don’t ask me to explain why, it is a gut feeling) but stayed – and had a wonderful time – because I was reviewing the show for Vice.

So, this is the acknowledgments section.

Thank you to the following:

  • Gina Birch
  • Ana da Silva
  • Karlyn King
  • Emma Garland
  • Hattie Cooke
  • Magazine Brighton
  • Heidi Berry
  • The lady from Hastings who said she thought I must be a music journalist because I was “so enthusiastic”
  • Simon Rivers
  • Nadia Buyse
  • Jon Slade
  • Lucy Cage
  • The Raincoats
  • Everyone who danced

Nails courtesy of Nadia Buyse

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