Friday, February 18, 2011

brave leaps into the unknown matched with hard persistence: my ben folds experience, vicar street, 18th february

I did something maybe a little silly. A little too much. I pressed into the hands of the bassist of Ben Fold's ensemble an envelope, hastily scribbled:

My name is Sarah. I have written a play based on your song, Narcolepsy. My twitter is Griffski. Thank you for everything. xxx

I told the friendly and understanding guitarist my story after he told me that Ben had just left the building. He told me to keep tweeting at him and that is what I will do. I just want to tell him that I've written this play, I'm writing this film, with my partner Helena, and it's a big story, and we want him to know it. It is called Sleep Skips my Heart and it's on for two nights next week, and I feel like it's wonderful. The screenplay is moving in dribs and drabs but it's moving. Hell if all he does is tweet back and go 'thanks guys', that'd be enough. I'm kind of shaking like a little leaf right now so to all my followers on Twitter, I'm sorry if my posts seem a little weird over the next few days, but I have to get him to notice so he can know this story and that it exists, and has existed for 8 years, because of him.

The gig was terrific. I was a little dwarfed by my lack of knowledge of some of his more recent songs, but as if fate was dipping it's fingers into his setlist, he played my favourite song, 'Zak and Sara', then immediately after played my sister's favourite song, 'Kate'. (Her name is Kate, my name is Sarah...see where I'm going with this?) We had a pure psychic dance  moment, it was lovely. He got Kate Miller-Heidke out to sing Regina Spektor's parts in 'You Don't Know Me' and she was utterly incredible. She opened for him as well, which was terrific, but her contribution to that song in particular was a real woah moment for me. It's one of my on repeat tunes and dragged me out of many a heartbroken afternoon. It was kind of hard to stand there and accept that I was looking at the face of a man who's music kind of defined me for a period of my life, to a certain extent. He was right there, all glasses and soft hair and I was in love with him and sad and grown up all at once. It was a very emotional experience, and I just couldn't get my mind off wanting him to know about the play. I hadn't been to a concert since Electric Picnic and that was mostly me wandering around drunk and joyous with flowers in my hair so it didn't really count as a musical experience.

The band were tight, really close harmonies and man that drummer was amazing and I don't know shit about percussion but I could feel the strength and rhythm emanating from him. Folds finished with 'One Angry Dwaf and 200 Solemn Faces' and the crowd went apeshit. They were an older, more reserved crowd, but since I hadn't been to a gig in a long time I'd forgotten what it was like to have to watch the stage through the magnification of fifty other people's iPhones and cameras.

I returned to the apartment a little while ago, subdued and hopeful as hell.
Keep your fingers crossed for me and Helena and Narcolepsy.

party on
as always


  1. the only thing I did similar to this was shaking the hands of the guitarist and the drummer of God is an Astronaut, the guitarist gave me a pick

    also, when I saw Pearl Jam the guitarist threw a pick directly at me

  2. Never, ever , ever ,ever stop being a fan. Don't grow cynical with time. Don't let them sell you a world wrapped in grey.

    I lost a good cyber/phone friend this week. He was in his 50s but was a fan of music to the end. He never lost that thrill of finding new music, of re-loving old music and he held artists in the esteem they should be held.

    Lovely blog post and sit tight. I'm sure you'll get a reply from Ben If they're on the road who knows when he'll next get online.

  3. Ugh. Wordpress and/or Blogspot have renamed me 'Blog'. Yuk. This is peterfitzpatrick here.