Friday, 8 May 2009

Sleep with me

Not quite the first, but one of the earliest gigs I went to was Billy Bragg, back in 1990. It was quite a night, and remains in my mental "top five greatest gigs" list to this day. Uncle Bill was mesmerising, just him and his guitar and a barrel full of amazing songs.

Support came, according to the gig poster which I still have, from The Cole Porters. Not credited on the poster though was the support act I want to mention here, one Caroline Trettine. She went on first, just her and her acoustic guitar, and sang with beauty beyond words. I maybe fell in love, a little, for the spellbinding 20 minutes or so that she was onstage. I certainly bought her debut album, the sublime Be A Devil, on CD from the merchandise stall straight after her set, no small commitment given that this was back in the day of student poverty and means-tested grants (no loans back then). I still have the CD, of course, and it is still a favourite.

So why am I writing about this? No, not to herald a post in which I finally count down that oft-mentioned "top five greatest gigs" list, no (though I will do that someday). Just that this morning, quite by chance, I happened upon Caroline's MySpace. And on her profile, the first song that displays in the list of playable tracks is the highpoint of that debut album, the haunting, passionate ballad that is Sleep With Me. Go on over there and have a listen, right now. You'll be glad you did. See if you maybe fall in love, a little, too...