Saturday, 18 June 2011

Late at the Library

I first heard this album in his tiny bedroom in a shared house in Brixton.  The curtains were pale yellow, thin and floaty.  We couldn't sleep, so we stayed up all night kissing and listening to music.

I listened to it in the recording studios in Soho, where he used to work.  The top quality, professional sound system made the bass sound as if it were coming from all the walls around me.
In our first rented house together I played the album while I was studying for my accountancy exams.  I have never studied harder or more conscientiously for anything.  I set up a desk in the spare room, sprinkled lemon and rosemary oils around, and listened to the dreamy, pulsing music while I learnt about coefficients, probability curves, balance sheets and throughput calculations.

The midwife said I might want to have some music I liked for the birth, so G played the album over and over again for me while I was in labour.  Just before C was born the album finished and someone switched on Radio 4 instead, so he was born to the arguments of John Humphrys on the Today programme, but with O the album was still playing as she was born.  I listened, exhausted, to the last few tracks as she was cleaned and weighed and then handed back to me.

And now, nearly fifteen years after I first heard it, I still listen to the album all the time.  When I am sewing, when I am alone, when G and I are reading on the sofa late in the evening, on Sunday afternoons when I am baking bread, in the car, on my iPod on the tube, and when I am writing blog posts.  This album has always been right at the centre of my adult life, and of mine and G's relationship.

We found out a couple of days ago that Global Communications would be playing this album live, for the first time in fifteen years, as part of The British Library's science fiction season, Out of This World.  We went last night, stood right at the front, fizzing with excitement, and danced and danced.  It was magical.

Happy and dancing

With ENORMOUS thanks to Auntie Alison and Uncle Richard who looked after the children for us at very short notice.  Without them, we could not have gone.  There are loads more photos of the night, and some videos of dancing aliens, in my Flickr set here. 

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