Have you ever been experienced? Well, she has.
Patti Smith and her band by Pirlouiiiit 17102007
Originally uploaded by pirlouiiiit. (This was taken a couple of gigs before Oxford - visit the set for some amazing photos!)
There are gigs... and there are Gigs. I ventured to the all-new Cardiac for the first time on Monday night to see Patti Smith, wondering if they'd have fucked the venue up, wondering if she'd be any good, wondering if it might all be an expensive and not that rewarding Monday evening (never a great night for going out, face it).
And it was a Gig. She is a force of nature. I was blown away. We got two hours of passion and storm and fury. She screamed at us and it was scary, but then she smiled at us, and it was all ok. She played Are You Experienced on *clarinet*, which was astonishing, she played Because The Night, which made me feel about seventeen years old (only with worse knees), she played a glorious White Rabbit, with an Oxford-themed stream of consciousness intro, and then at the end, just when I'd figured she wouldn't (though I was of course hoping beyond hope that she would), she played Gloria. And it couldn't have been better.
There is not a chance of this happening, but I want to be like Patti Smith when I grow up. She embodies something timeless, ageless, fabulous.
And the Cardiac is ok. I can live with it. The beer is worse (as in, there's only lager and it costs a fortune), but the toilets are better (as in, the doors lock and they have paper). Oxford crowds are always interesting, and this one was no exception. It was full of interesting looking women of all ages, including a surprising number of under-21s. And they were not Brookes-alikes, they were beautiful. Such hair! Such eyebrows!
So in all, I am inspired. Let's hear it for the provincial gig, where you can always get down the front.