And it is music, rather than politics, history or depression, that I turn to now. I have just returned from a gig in Leam(ington Spa) with three friends which has turned out to be one of the highlights of the year. The reason for the title 'two gigs' is that I was in the same place not a week before, and that too turned out to be a great night. It seems that the Jug and Jester, a pub which I had previously considered a little steep (which is the least of its... foibles), is in fact the venue for some of the best live and local music I have heard, making Wednesday nights a newly significant one where once they had been dominated by slavish all-nighters and people kicked out of Score. Aside from anything else, it has become but one of many incentives for me to be a frequent visitor to Leam in the second year.
The first instance, on the 14th, was prompted by a friend of mine, Gethin Jones - a talented man whom I met through Warwick drama - being on the running order. Having no prior knowledge of his musical abilities, and feeling the natural urge to turn out and support him, I made the journey on the pink bus from the bubble to the Jug. The venue itself is the smallest third of the Jug, away from both the main bars and rather cosy to say the least.
Gethin was on first, and playing a half-hour set of some very heartfelt acoustic folk. He has a soaring voice which conjures up comparisons to Jeff Buckley, laced liberally with spiritually (Gethin, like me, is a Christian) if with greater subtlety. So compelled was I by his talents and honesty - which certainly showed through in both his performance and his 'banter' inbetween numbers - that I bought his album Silence Falls... (2005), on the recommendation of Jack Howson, drama buff, fellow Smiths fan and Gethin's publicist of sorts.
Though we had to depart shortly after, we ended up waiting for the bus home long enough to have made it possible to go back, but sadly we did not. MySpace would have fulfil our Jaffa requirements until the Big Easy on Monday, as would the complimentary EP, Second In Demand (2006). As we headed back to campus, amid the flurry of post-pub bad jokes and stories of hedgehogs selling fridges(?!), we departed safe in the knowledge of a night well spent. It had been Matt's first time in the Jug despite being three years my senior - now, it seems, he will, like me, become a frequent visitor.