Alexis Taylor and Green Gartside – Esquires, Bedford – Dec 10th, 2017

It snowed ALL morning along the East Midlands and into East Anglia today (Dec 10th). Luton copped several inches of snow, as did Bedford, the location of this year’s final and quite unexpected gig. That of Alexis Taylor and Green Gartside.

The weather did its best to deter us going…but no…my partner had waited over 30 years to see Green live (she’s a big Scritti Politti fan), so I was determined to make her go (the weather not being the only stumbling block under current circumstances).

We were not disappointed.

We just made it to see most of the set from support act Matthew Falloon (I missed his surname…I’ve asked the Scritti account on Twitter, hopefully they’ll tell me – they replied to my tweet – thank you!). He had a lovely sound. A wonderful guitarist, playing acoustic. I really liked his final song (I know that sounds bad…but genuinely…I enjoyed his set, but his final song was great) called White Ribbon, Black Dove.

Then on to Alexis and Green (with Rhodri Marsden there to help out too). As I say, it’s the OH who’s the big Scritti fan, so I’m not so “au fait” with the Scritti catalogue, but I recognised the first song, The Sweetest Girl. I also recognised Oh Patti (Don’t Feel Sorry For Loverboy), as well as (of course) Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin).

Green Gartside’s voice is as immaculate as it ever was. I was genuinely floored by how amazing he still sounds. He and Alexis have great harmonies. Alexis performed some of his own compositions, as well as he and Green performing some co-written pieces.

Other songs I enjoyed were Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Hot Squash and the most beautiful rendition of At Last I Am Free. That was the highlight of the night, for me. The harmonies between Alexis and Green on that were beautiful. I think Robert Wyatt himself would have loved it.

I really wanted to film it…but the crowd were being wonderfully respectful and didn’t have their phones out…so I was not going to whip mine out. I would have loved to have captured it though.

I recorded one song they performed during the encore. See below.

Both myself and the OH agreed it was worth grappling with the snowy conditions to get to the gig. It was lovely. We enjoyed every moment.

And so, seeing as I couldn’t get their beautiful rendition of At Last I Am Free, I shall leave you with the amazing and angelic voiced Robert Wyatt…

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