The last time I saw Jamie Cullum in concert was October 2006, at The Murat Egyptian Room in Indianapolis. It was mere days before I was to meet Frank, and I was definitely in a bit of a funk. It had not been a kind year, in love terms, and the lead up to the Heartland Film Festival was always stressful. But I was beyond thrilled to be seeing Jamie play, for it was him and the tenuous balance of youthful angst and timeless romance his music evoked that I had come to depend on for salving my bruised heart.
I still remember that night vividly. It was a smallish concert of a couple hundred people at most, and many of whom were not very familiar with the British pop/jazz singer/pianist. I remember elbowing my way to the front of the stage, since it was a standing concert, only to be bullied back a row by big grouchy bald men with telephoto lenses on their expensive cameras. “I’m only 5’1″,” I complained, but they wouldn’t budge.
When Jamie came on, he was sipping a Guinness, energetic, friendly, ready to give us all a show we wouldn’t soon forget. He sang all my favorites, all the melodies and words I knew off by heart, and he threw in surprises and stories and jam sessions besides. He talked about our city, and how we should support great little music shops like LUNA. I was frustrated with much of the drunken audience, though, and blushed, crimson with embarrassment, when someone yelled up at the stage, “Welcome to American, motherf*cker!” Or, perhaps worse still, when the crowd sang along with his tender reminiscent song, “Photograph,” only to change the line “…from her mum” to “…from her MOM!” It was as if the ignorant American twenty somethings needed to loudly correct his pronunciation just to prove an inane point. But never mind. I was not among them. Continue reading