All the gigs of my life

All the gigs of my life: Gig 119 – Alison Moyet, Tuesday, October 15, 2013, Royal Festival Hall

The wonderful tale of Alison Moyet and the Resurrection of my Love For Music.

2013. Another year navigating the trials and traumas of being a PhD student. Another year mostly obsessed with Doctor Who, and racing to Time Lord themed conventions and Proms as much as possible. But something was changing. I had started to pull the reverse switch on my slow slide away from music obsession. And the catalyst for this was watching the Graham Norton Show one night in the spring, and being utterly stunned by seeing Alison Moyet perform her incredible new single “When I Was Your Girl”.

I will admit to not having a huge knowledge of Alison’s oeuvre prior to this point, besides the euphoric “Love Resurrection” that I remembered dancing to with my mum as a kid in the early 80s. But I very quickly became a new fan. On the 7th of May, I wrote in my diary:

‘Maybe I’ll go to see Alison Moyet later this year. Whose new single is AMAZING. I am going to start buying CDs again and it’s all because of her.’

I did indeed start buying CDs again that year, and the first I bought was Alison’s majestic new album “The Minutes”. Perhaps it was the fact that I had not long turned 38 and was edging towards my midlife crisis that made me start to want to behave like I was in my 20s again, buying CDs and getting excited about gigs. But maybe what was even more inspiring was the sight a woman navigating those perplexing middle aged years – the years that I was on the very precipice of – and being so damn incredible, singing such uniquely tuneful, darkly powerful songs, suffused with the sense of resignation mixed with fierce hope that age can bring. I was never going to be tempted back into the world of music obsession by some gang of skinny nineteen year old reprobates with guitars, but Alison was just the inspiration that I needed.

As it turned out, however, I was not quite pulled out of my musical apathy enough to get a ticket for this gig myself, but luckily, my friend Michael appeared with a spare ticket a week before this gig, and I leapt at the chance to go. Alas, I was also not quite yet out of my phase of writing incredibly brief reports of gigs in my diary, and this is all I wrote:

To the Royal Festival Hall for utterly brill Alison Moyet! She did “Love Resurrection”! and also POGELS-worthy “Changeling”! Home and collapsed sometime after eleven.

(POGELS, if you’re wondering, stands for Pantheon Of Greatest Ever Live Songs.)

I may not yet have made it fully back to being the frothing music obsessive I would regenerate into a few years later and who writes this to you now. I actually went through another phase of ‘nah, I’m not bothered about music again after all’ before I hit 40, and sold all the new CDs I’d started rebuilding my collection with, including Alison’s. (Delightful reader, a word of advice: Never, ever sell your music collection. You will live to regret it severely.)

But none of that matters. What matters is that I did, through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, eventually stagger my way back to my all-consuming, life-defining love for music. And the spark that lit the fuse was that incredible performance of “When I Was Your Girl” on Graham Norton early in 2013. So to Alison I say, thank you so much for this most precious gift. I can’t wait to see you live again, and I promise than when I do, I will write a much more detailed report than I did in 2013.

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