Leaving the countryside and heading north up the M62 motorway to Leeds. It wasn’t so long ago that it was stopped, stuck, stationery with snow. As we drove north, traffic driving south was stopped for miles because there had been a crash but we saw the crash and it didn’t look so serious that it could cause such a tailback, but it seems it doesn’t take much. I was reflecting on just how much traffic there was, a Thursday afternoon, the motorway was packed with every shape and size and colour of vehicle you could imagine. It doesn’t seem that the world can do anything to stop itself from suffocating the planet.
We drove past signs for Halifax and Huddersfield as we rose up onto Saddleworth Moor, the site of the grisly moor murder burials, five children, the victims of serial killers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady in the sixties, a chilling reminder of the capacity that humans have to execute grotesque crimes. The beauty of the surroundings shattered by its history.
I hadn’t been to play in Leeds for a long time, I imagine it must have been with AAE. I don’t really remember what it’s like here, a major city nestling in the northwest between industry and miles of uninhabited land. We passed one of those famous houses that sit in between two sides of the motorway, refusing to sell up when the roads were being built. This stark beauty, the atmosphere of emptiness leaves a taste of mystery, timeless, eternal, simultaneously evoking the past and the future, all that has happened and how it will endure long after the humans have gone.
Driving into Leeds we went past the famous football stadium of Leeds United (Elland Road), we could see the Jackie Charlton stand from the slip road. Will they manage to stay up this year? We drove through the city to the student area of Hyde Park where the venue was. It was a really kool and alternative venue where upstairs the young people listened to hip hop in the background, talked, played chess, and enjoyed an environment to be with friends and discuss their now and their futures, whereas downstairs the older people (mostly) quietly watched the show with their memories and with no crossover between age groups.
Another good gig, Jo from Bulgaria did a great job of the sound and the audience members ravished the merch, leaving only Nightjar on vinyl and MOAT on CD. The last Noctorum – The Afterlife, and the last MOAT debut are sold out of their pressings and I can’t see a repress on the horizon for either of them. I’m afraid Liverpool and Scotland will not have the music choices that those in the south had. We still have plenty of the new T-shirt but I’m hoping that Nightjar will be an attractive vinyl purchase for the remaining dates.