Chapter 13

You are gently ushered down the side wall of the packed venue and manage to pop yourself into a sweet spot right at the front. The air is scorching hot. You are close enough to see the sweat dripping down every band members face. Somehow singer Elizabeth manages to pull it off and still look fantastic.

As per all their previous appearances at The Hop, or anywhere else, it’s a flawless show, an education in cracking, infectious songwriting lapped up by a diehard audience.

The show is drawing to a close and the band have stripped themselves back to just ukulele and vocals for a moving and unforgettable conclusion. It’s magical; this is what live music is all about, you think to yourself. These special moments where you exist outside yourself. You forget where you are, how you feel – in fact, you feel nothing – you are just inside the sound and second.

With her final strum of the ukulele, the crowd gives a final, deafening roar of approval. Being so close to the front you notice that, in fact, Elizabeth broke two strings during that final chord; incredibly odd since it wasn’t exactly a moment of rock n roll excess. She sees you notice and shrugs.

Here, you have it. I need to get a new one anyway.

And with that, she hands it over and turns to pack away here gear.


You, like everyone else in the room is desperate for air.