Gold Coast

We sat on the hill overlooking the stage, near the mixing desk. Intermittent lightning of a storm to the south flashed on the horizon, highlighting the scattered clouds above us. People around us talked about whether it would rain, and what songs they hoped to hear, and in tones of mild dawning horror, how many under-aged kids there were sitting around them.

When Hozier started playing we all stood. The hippy chick next to us started dancing and singing ecstatically in a vague circle around her partner. He was Viking-like with long blonde hair and a beard, and stood stock-still while his partner danced, the immobile rock around which she orbited. Slightly in front of them stood a couple who spent most of the concert rhythmically stroking each other’s arses. “They’re engaged,” said my companion in a tone of mild disdain. “Who the hell is that into each other once they’re engaged.”

Hozier was an excellent live performer supported by a great band; many of his songs are recorded with beautiful background harmonies, and they were reproduced so well in concert. The rain held off while we sang and clapped and then streamed out, walking back into the city. It began to fall as I drove home on the highway, the big spattering drops and the rhythm of the wipers punctuating the memories of music playing around in my head.

24 December – Star of Wonder

Some say a star will rise again
In the hearts of humankind
Some say we have been in exile
What we need is solar fire

Tori Amos sung this version of We Three Kings on her Christmas album, Midwinter Graces. It’s a little Tori-ish, and heavy handed with the production, and I like it.

20 December – Winter Wonderland

Gone away, is the bluebird
Here to stay, is a new bird
He sings a love song,
While we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland

I haven’t actually included Emilie-Claire Barlow’s version of Winter Wonderland on a Christmas mix, but the Christmas songs of hers I have included don’t have YouTube videos. Barlow has a stunning voice, and her version of Winter Wonderland (a 1934 Christmas pop standard) is lovely.