The world I’m seeing is all in Mathilda’s eyes

Martin and James – Huxley’s, Berlin; December 16th, 2012

When it became clear that seeing them support Paul Weller would be the last chance for a Martin and James concert this year, I decided to make the track to Berlin. Sure, they were going to play a support gig in Glasgow in late December too, but that was announced so late that the flight cost put an end to that idea.

I had an uneventful trip to Berlin, found my hotel, got ready and set out to meet with K., A., S. and K. We had a lovely dinner at an Asian restaurant across from the venue and passed the time chatting. There were some people waiting already when we arrived. We got in line, talked some more until A. went home and it was time for us to go in. The venue was pretty big and we found ourselves a nice spot in the front row on the right. The people to our left had come from the UK to see Paul Weller, but didn’t know Martin and James yet. K. and I left for a bathroom break. On the way we spotted Martin by the merchandise and went over to say hello. We talked briefly about the Glasgow gig and I handed him his Christmas present before we each went on our way. The time to the concert passed surprisingly quickly thanks to K. who chatted with me about languages. 🙂 She even had to tell me the guys were on stage, because she stood to my right and I was looking towards her at that moment. 😉

Before the concert I’d been tired and wondering if it was really such a good idea to have another too short night and work the next day. Yet the moment I saw them pick up their guitars, I felt a smile spreading on my face. This was why I was there!

They started with ‘Turn it up’ and my smile grew bigger. I sang along and with the lines “Won’t you play something, I’ve been waiting for and won’t you play anything for me?” K. and I looked at each other smiling. That was exactly what I felt like then and there. Next was a surprising ‘Crashing into Love’ – I knew they were going to play it, I just had not expected it that early. We were not the only people in the audience who knew the song, some others cheered too when it was announced. The audience reaction was generally good, if not as strong as for some of their own gigs.

‘Little Bits of Light’ followed. It was noticeable that the applause and cheering grew louder with every song. Slowly but surely Martin and James were taking over the Paul Weller fans. 🙂 They said they were going to try some new songs. This first one was ‘The Rope’ which of course is not new any more to us, but always beautiful. The same goes for ‘Life’s a show’, another song they announced as new. I’m not entirely sure if they said these were going to be on the new album or if they just mentioned they were recording a new one. For ‘Cynical Skin’ they called Dan Telander (from Jim Kroft’s band) on stage to play percussion with them. Fun! He stayed for the rest of their set.

Much to my surprise they did treat us to two songs we hadn’t heard yet in the end. As soon as James asked if anyone in the audience was named “Mathilda” I knew he must have written a song for his daughter and he had. “This is about a little girl back in Scotland” he said at the start of the song. ‘Mathilda’s Eyes’ was really beautiful and got stuck in my head for quite a long time after the concert. The audience did a good job singing along to the chorus too. 🙂 The last song of the evening was ‘You’ll be gone, I’ll be here’. I also liked that one immediately. Thus ended a short but great gig. It was sure worth traveling for.

Paul Weller and band started after a short break. I had checked out a few of his songs on youTube, thought they were all right and was curious to hear what he was like live. The music was really loud though and I didn’t like his singing much. Some of the songs were OK and I liked the drumming, but all in all this was not for me. We left front row after the main set and waited for the end in the back of the room. When it was over, S. said the words of the night “We survived Paul Weller!”

We went over to the merchandise and talked with Martin and James for a bit. They were quite busy selling and signing CDs. Good for them. We chatted about Glasgow again and about going home for Christmas. I gave James his Christmas present, which led to chatting about music for a while. I expressed how much I’d liked the new songs. They told they would release the new CD in April and were planning to tour after that. Soon it was time for us to say goodbye and we left. It was fun evening, see you all next year!

Setlist:

Turn it up
Crashing into Love
Little Bits of Light
The Rope
Life’s a Show
Cynical Skin
Mathilda’s Eyes
You’l be gone, I’ll be here

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