Sunday, 19 February 2012
Several years ago I went to see Bonnie 'Prince' Billy play at The Bridgewater Hall. I went because the original ticket holders were ill. I don't remember what happened to the other ticket but there was no-one sitting next to me on my right. I was aware of Will Oldham's work but didn't own any so had few expectations of the gig. The audience were the most polite and respectful I've ever seen, though the formal setting of the home of the Halle probably contributed. In the foyer beforehand various bearded hipsters shuffled around the bar and merchandise stand. I was skint, I think I had a tenner, of which some went on tram fare. I bought a pint and tried to work out how to optimise my funds; two more pints or a tour only 7" single with free print? Scratching around my pockets I cobbled together enough for another pint and the single. When I saw my friend who'd given me the ticket I ended up giving him the single as thanks for the ticket. Wish I'd kept the single to be honest. It was of this song- John The Baptist- and was superb in the show, Bonnie Billy clicking his heels, dancing a jig, and whooping through the chorus. It's a cover version of a song by E.C. Ball. This version I found on the internet, from a tribute lp. It isn't as good as when he did it live but I kind of love it anyway.
John The Baptist