I love New York, probably my favourite city. Lee and I met up there when she was emigrating back to the UK (a couple of months after 9/11) and we went there for an all too brief honeymoon. On a cold May night in Leeds, we celebrated our 3rd Anniversary with New Yorkers at a unique musical event – Jeffrey Lewis and his traveling band, performing at The Hyde Park Picture House. We saw him last year and he really impressed. This was no different, a set full of funny stories, historical education and a horror story accompanied on screen by his own artwork and some rollicking rock ‘n’ roll.
The last time we saw live music at the Hyde Park was when Geoff Smith played a dulcimer accompaniment to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. I quite like to sit back and take it all in but Lee has to stand up and jig about. We were on the back row so that wasnt a problem.
First up was Leeds own Downdime who were excellent. With the low red-light, it felt like being at the Factory in NYC – I said to Lee they should have a 60’s oil projector as a lights show, whilst trying to get a decent shot with my flashless Fujifilm camera.
They showed a few trailers, the best of which were: one for a monks documentary and one for Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! which Jeff came on to “How do you follow that?” well he did! His brother Jacks phone went in between songs “it’s his girlfriend – You go talk to her and Ill do a solo song”. With all the attention on his lyrics, its easy to forget what a great guitarist he is but the solo stuff highlights his wonderful picking.
Utilising the cinema screen, he showed his comic creations for his ‘history of Korea’ and ‘creeping brain’. He usually stands at the front of stage with the comics in hand but this worked really well (the guy has a mac – gotta love him). The mac came in handy as he used the screen saver as an oil lamp alternative “I told you it’d work!”
There was a gig poster going around “We were in Aberdeen last night and drove down today which is a long drive in anybodys book so sorry for not shaving….but it does make me look a little more like the poster” “but they’ve done you a bit fatter than you usually are” quipped brother Jack
We were only able to go thanks to Mark who babysat for us, so I got Jeff to sign a comic for him as a thank you. “Nice shirt” he said of my Marvel Kirby heads T-shirt “Thanks for coming to Leeds again”.
Bob the Chiropodist