Went to see my favourite band last night at Stirling. Lots of favourites – The Bottomless Hole, The Forgotten Lake, No-one Fell Asleep Alone – performed by Brett and Rennie and two accomplices on drums, violin, lap steel and stratocaster. The usual married bickering between songs and, as always, Brett plays guitar as if the manual were lying around somewhere on the floor, if he could only spot it. Rennie introduced the show saying “It’s very nice to be back here. Last time we were here my husband had a terrible headache. We had to take him to hospital.” Brett: “That’s right I was driving into Wales when I got a headache and it stayed with me till we got here.” Rennie: “It turned out he had a bird’s nest in his skull.” Brett indicates the top of his head. Rennie: “So then it was simple, they just cracked open the nest and all the birds flew up and away. And the headaches were gone.” Pauses, looks at Brett: “I miss those birds.”
I don’t know any lyricist, except maybe Paul Simon at times, who manages to mix surreal humour and pathos so well as Rennie Sparks. Here’s a YouTube performance of The Forgotten Lake.