Fourplay came on (bringing with them 2 violas, one violin and a cello) and started the evening with their version of the Doctor Who theme, (which, frankly, I think the BBC should pick up on and use for the new season)
And then they introduced Neil,who was wearing a beautiful deep red waistcoat as well as his usual black. Very fetching!
He read us 'The Day Saucers Came' and a story called 'Adventures', and also sang 'I Google You' (with additional lines about Vine!)
During the interval, was able to buy a copy of 'The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains' , signed by both Neil and Eddie, and met another friend, Maggie.
In the second half of the evening, Neil read 'The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains' while Eddie Campbell's illustrations were projected behind him, and Fourplay provided musical accompaniment. Of course, this is not the first time that I have had the luck of seeing Neil read with music and other participation (that honour goes to the Fortunately, the Milk event, last October.) This was very different, except that both show how much fun having Neil read to you can be, and how much other artists and performers can add to the experience!
The story originally appeared in the anthology Stories, by the way (if you don't have a copy, go get one. Lots of great stories by lots of different writers. And get a copy of the new, illustrated version of the story, too ).
|Hayley and Eddie Campbell|
And it is tragic and chilling and oh so very, very good. Particularly with Art, and a String Quartet.
Once the story was over, both Hayley and Eddie Campbell joined Neil on stage, and threatened strange and terrible revenge for the killing of a number of Campbell's in the story. (I do hope Neil makes it through the Scottish performance. I find it a little ominous that it's billed as the very last. . . . .)
And then, as he was concerned that the tale might have left us a little down, and that it was a little lacking in feelings of warm fuzziness, hugs and bunnies, he decided to sing us a cheering and uplifting song, so that we could all leave light-heartedly.
It is possible that they may be better songs to achieve this aim, than Psycho. (which, I have to say, is scarier when sung with the backing of a string quartet, than with a ukulele. Or it is if you are in the front row)
It's just as well that my walk back to the hotel was only a few minutes long. And well lit.
(there are a few more pictures on Flickr )