Weeknotes 2022.11: Watch as they pull me down

The band CHVRCHES, with frontwoman Lauren covered in fake blood, performs on a turquoise-lit stage with Robert Smith

It was only a cold I picked up last week, thankfully. I’d forgotten how annoying colds were. I was off sick from work on Monday, felt mostly fine on Wednesday, but by Friday was waking up with a sore throat—although maybe that was me sticking a lateral flow swab down my throat every other day to check I hadn’t picked up COVID. (It’s on the up again, you know.)

Remember that Instagram message from someone pretending to be a friend? Yeah, something similar happened again. This person didn’t get as far as messaging me, only sending me a follow request. They had gone as far as copy-pasting every post that person had made (although them all being only 24 minutes old was a bit of a clue.) I wonder what the scam is.

Not having COVID (and feeling better on Wednesday) meant I could go to a concert I’ve been waiting for since last August, but really for much longer than that: CHVRCHES, my favourite band, played at the Brixton Academy. Their new album was one of the things I enjoyed most of all in 2021. We were towards the back of the balcony and had a great, if surreal time. The sound system being a bit flaky added to the horror atmosphere. Lauren Mayberry’s stage patter was hilarious (if she ever decides to pack in the music she’d make a cracking stand-up comic.) And then, during the encore, with Lauren covered in fake blood, Robert Smith (from the Cure) walked on unannounced to join in on How Not To Drown. I assume he must live in or near London? Maybe he was emailing the band in his signature ALL CAPS asking IF YOULL BE IN THE AREA - WHAT TIME DOES THE ENCORE START... I WILL HOP ON THE BUS WITH MY GUITAR?!!

The crowd erupted. A moody guitar slide scratched through the middle eight. “Watch as they pull me down,” sang half the room (myself included.) Robert hung around, playing Just Like Heaven, then throwing some additional riffs into The Mother We Share and Clearest Blue. Lauren waved goodbye to the crowd holding her thermos of tea aloft. A weird and wonderful evening of violent delights. CHVRCHES are always fantastic, and this was truly one to remember.

A stage with a big screen through a crowd. The screen displays a distorted white noise pattern.