Thursday 26th April 2012
MATT lives in a wooden hut. If you’ve not met before, ask him about moths: each of the little creatures is an art gallery.
Warm weather allowed us to play Still Kicking outside, on his porch, with the audience seated as close as close, on his sofa, and in the garden beyond. Some evenings seem to last forever.
Six shows into the tour, I was no longer prone to the apprehension that had surrounded the initial gigs: Sir John crunched down the shed-side path with jaunty confidence; Marcus belted out his lines with gusto; Dame Josephine trod the boards with sublime grace, while Jo romped and stomped with the gaiety of a performer in her prime.
A friend, Pete, wrote the music for our three songs. This is from the waltz:
MARCUS I will concede that your mastectomy
Was maybe tougher than my vasectomy
But I have had to suffer losing teeth
Not to mention spending half an hour alone with Edward Heath
JO Ah, but you’ve not taken drugs in order to lessen
A year and a half of terrible depression
And though they’re now gone, the memory remains
Of approximately 508 bouts of wracking period pains
CHORUS No it’s no fun
We’re telling you
And oh so glum
What we’ve been through
We count the cost
Of hardships past
Of what’s been lost
Or fading fast
MARCUS Her lymphodoeama
JO His sinusitis
BOTH Will yet more ailments come up and bite us
MARCUS She’s no slip of a girl
JO And he no spring chicken
BOTH But we’ll go on, and on and on, because we’re still … difficult
Most of the audience – many of them friends – stayed for the post-show discussion, over a glass of wine, with the stage-right sunlight starting a slow fade to black-out. We answered questions about writing together; talked more about Jo’s cancer and my bereavement; read a couple of poems from the slim volume published to accompany the tour.
Putting your life on the line wasn’t as tough as I’d thought it would be: there is much to be said for sharing sorrows.
And Matt’s hugs are as snugly huge as his heart.