As mentioned about a week back, my first show booked for this year's Edinburgh Fringe was to see Nick Harper. It's been a long time since I've seen him; far too long. As best as I can tell the last gig I made it to was in 2009.
Fourteen years. Shit's changed in that time, for me, for the world. O_o
On first getting into town it was warm and crowded, with that fun "town is doing festival shit" vibe that I like, so I went and grabbed an ice cream to kill some time until the venue opened. I knew I was in the right spot when, as I stood on Chambers Street, enjoying the cooldown, the man himself dashed passed, guitar case in hand!
When I got into the venue I grabbed a drink and tried to find a seat; most were taken; except for one right at the front and off to the side. So I grabbed it. Moments later Nick himself came over to say hello to the folk sat in this spot. We had a wee chat about how long it was since I'd last seen him, nattered about general stuff, and he said very nice things about my hat.
The gig itself was fantastic. While I love his recorded work anyway, Nick's always been one of those artists who I enjoy most live. He's got this way of singing and playing guitar that fills whatever time he's got to play; never once have I ever found myself looking at my watch, wondering if it's near the end; or if I have it's because I'm worried it'll be over soon.
A good number of the tracks he played I didn't recognise; at least two of them I know are from a new album that's coming, and I have to admit that when I do listen to his stuff it's the earlier works that tend to go into heavy rotation (I think the last album of his I bought was The Last Guitar). But I loved everything I got to hear. I'll be diving back into his catalogue and also keeping an eye out for the new release.
While there was only an hour for his slot, he did manage to get a couple of old favourites of mine in; I was delighted when he launched into By My Rocket Comes Fire, did a wonderful She Rules My World, and even squeezed in a quick Galaxy Song.
All too quickly though, the hour was up. It was kind of fitting that many of the songs he did have on the set list were all about time (on purpose, I'm sure). I'm happy to say I got to say a quick thank you and goodbye and then it was time for me to head out of town again.
Seeing Nick brought back a lot of good memories, and reminded me that I need to catch up on his more recent works. While most of his stuff doesn't seem to be on Apple Music (what can I say, I'm very online these days when it comes to music), I'm glad to see he's got a full Bandcamp, so I'll be paying that a visit!
I hope he swings back this way some time soon, not during the Fringe, and with a proper long set. It's been too long since I got to enjoy him really going for it and having a ton of fun.