As you’ve probably guessed, I write these entries some time in advance. Last night, I received the tragic news that Gerard Smith, the bass player in TV on the Radio, had died of lung cancer. He was just 34. I thought long and hard about leaving this entry up, especially given the title. In the end, I decided to do so. I hope he would like to know that he and his band make me happy – and it comes with the fondest memories of the funny little guy who would happily play an entire show with his back to the audience.
As with my discovery of ‘Au Fond du Temple Saint’. I came across this band by accident. It happened at the 2006 Reading Festival. Caro and I have been to four of these together, and each time we have planned out fairly carefully the bands that we will see on each of the four stages, trying to pack in as much music from as many different and interesting (at least to us) sources as we can.
Somehow we messed up on this occasion and left a rather large gap in our schedule. I can’t remember what it was that inspired us to go and see this band, other than the unusual name and that one of us had a vague memory of having read something about them once.
From the moment a black man with white dreadlocks and wearing a tartan kilt wandered across the stage, we knew we were in for something special. This song was the highlight of the 40 minutes, a swirling, steepling number which builds to a storming crescendo, with singer Tunde Adimbimpe bouncing across the stage like a toddler on tartrazine. I can’t help but smile.