Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden
huskyteer

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Where My Music's Playing

The night before the concert, I dreamed that I bought a copy of One-Trick Pony on cassette. Despite looking identical to the one I already possess, it turned out to be a rare 'alternate album' with entirely different songs on. Sadly I can't remember how any of them went.

I found my way to Wembley easily (yes, it's signposted from as far back as Paddington, but that's still an achievement for me), parked the Vespa and had a swift half with a friend and her boyfriend before we separated to find our seats. There was a young woman in the foyer wearing a white T-shirt on which she had written 'I LOVE YOU PAUL I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES', which I thought was a bit much, even though the sentiment is mine also; he's married! It wouldn't be right!

He's so tiny! and I'm not just saying that because I was way up in the gallery seating (with a security guard sticking his head round the corner every few minutes to make sure we weren't stamping our feet or dancing or anything else fun). But very bouncy, and so very pleased to see us. He still seems amazed to be faced with so many fans, even though fame has been a part of his life for four decades.

There were lots of songs from Graceland, brought out twenty years ago this year. Every solo album was represented except Songs from the Capeman. I think I was happiest to hear 'Loves Me Like A Rock' , 'Duncan' and 'Gumboots'; you always get a few more obscure numbers from Paul, rather than a slavish rundown of greatest hits. I have a soft spot for 'Slip Slidin' Away', which charted in the year I was born. 'Graceland' made me cry unexpectedly. The Australian in the row in front turned round and beamed at me after 'Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard', having named Paul SImon as his favourite album before the performance.

Performing live, Paul often seems to swallow his words and get swamped by the backing band, and I think "Oh dear, he's losing it a bit". For the first encore, though, he came out and did 'Wartime Prayers' - just him and his acoustic guitar - and it was amazing. At heart he's still a folksy singer-songwriter with a lovely voice and talented fingers.

The band crept back on stage for 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. The hum of thousands of people joining in 'I will lay me down' was like being in church.

He closed with 'Homeward Bound', just Paul and guitar again. And now, suddenly, we weren't in Wembley Arena with thousands of fans filling the seats, but in some smoky upstairs room in a 1960s London pub, with Garfunkel waiting back in America and 'The Sound of Silence' about to burst onto the charts.

I've had some lines from the latest album in my head all week. Paul didn't do that song on the night, but when I got home and took a proper look at my tour T-shirt, those very words were printed on the front:
I figure once upon a time I was an ocean
But now I'm a mountain range
Something unstoppable set into motion
Nothing is different but everything has changed.
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