We’ve been home a while ago now and most days are quite average now that we’ve settled in. We work, we do our shopping, we play with our cats, we go to the bank. But every once in a while I have a moment – an event or gathering or just a passing sensation – that reminds me how great it is to be home.
I had one of those moments last weekend when we went to Manchester to see Elbow play at the arena. Now, if you don’t know Elbow, the first thing you have to understand is that they are the best band in the world, bar none, no argument tolerated.
If you don’t believe me, put your feet up and watch this for 4 minutes:
See what I mean?
The second thing you have to understand is that they are from Manchester and have worked their way up from bar band to superstars slowly, over many many years and countless disappointments. So playing the big arena there is still a very big deal for them.
The third thing you need to understand is that this blog is named after a line in their song ‘Open Arms’ which is about family and friends welcoming someone home after a long time away.
And the last thing you need to know is that for the last few years, Phil and I have been eaten alive with envy every time our friends headed off to another Elbow concert at some fantastic venue and we could only wait to hear their stories or watch their videos on Youtube.
So given all that, you can imagine how much it meant to me (how much it meant to us both) to be able to drive over to Manchester last Friday night, meet up with friends*, and watch Elbow do their stuff in front of their home crowd.
*Actually this didn’t quite go as planned as we weren’t able to get there in time to meet Dave and Deb and had to resort to texting each other from across the arena, but I know we were together in spirit and we did get to watch the show sitting with one good friend.
The whole concert was wonderful, uplifting, moving, joyous … I don’t have enough positive descriptors to do it justice … but the very best part for me was the last song of the main set. As I mentioned, this blog was named after the line in the song that describes a very English working class family get-together:
With finger rolls and folding chairs
And a volley of streamers
We can be there with tweaks and repairs
Should you come back home.”
Then, about a year ago, our buddy John got lead singer Guy Garvey to actually tell us to come home:
So when they finally kicked into the song, I think I can be forgiven for getting a little teary-eyed.
In the words of Mancunians, it was a top night and one I will never forget.