Well, the Andy White show I posted about last Sunday was lovely. It was a shockingly intimate setting, a cozy and beautifully decorated back room at the Celtic Knot where Andy played for a group of about 20 of us, and he was just as charming and entertaining as any Andy fan would expect.
He did a gorgeous atmospheric version of “Looking for James Joyce’s Grave” (his current guitar sound has just a shimmer of Daniel Lanois about it), and “Italian Girls on Mopeds” from his previous album, and a number of songs from his new album Garage Band (including “Samuel Beckett,” which is also about Oscar Wilde and Seamus Heaney), among other highlights.
Andy is originally from Belfast, and before he did his song “Religious Persuasion,” he said:
“The first time someone asked me if I were Catholic or Protestant I knew it was very important that I give the right answer. [Pause.] So I ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction.”
He had a little purple guitar he calls “Aubergine.” He allowed that us Yanks could call it “Eggplant” if we wanted to, but he prefers “Aubergine,” and I think I do, too.
He didn’t do “Punks Outside the Secret Police,” but you can’t have everything.
Between the sets and after the show we all got to chat with him. Andy signed CDs and I even got a photo with him. Bad mobile phone photo, but still. I gave Andy a copy of What the Sea Means, because I’m a dork like that, and Andy insisted I sign it for him, because he’s gracious like that. (He also said that last time he played Chicago two or three other people had given him books of poetry, and I said yeah, that sounds like the Chicago I live in.) And we talked a little about the Waterboys, and what a nice guy Mike Scott is and how good he is at the MySpace thing.
Also, I have to give major props to the Celtic Knot for being the only place I know of in the Chicago area that actually has Branston Pickle on the menu, so if you fancy a Ploughman â€” and you all know I do, sometimes â€” the Celtic Knot is the place to go. They do an amazing appetizer thing with mushrooms, too. And the staff are very nice and helpful.
Previously on Ocelopotamus: