It seems very timely to dig this out, given that I’ve just seen Elizabeth Fraser perform live for the first time in nearly two decades. More than two decades ago I saw her for the first time and bought this.
The gig was at Bristol Studio. It was October 1990 and this was the Heaven or Las Vegas tour. They’d been absent for a while but had returned with an album which seemed to bring together all their amazing elements with something which would make mainstream sense. It didn’t, of course, but it remains a gloriously happy album to listen to.
I was working in a warehouse in Bristol after university and was trying to save money for travelling. But this was too good an opportunity and I bought tickets for this gig and one at the Town and Country club in London. I seem to remember buying extra tickets for people who then didn’t go, failing to sell them and having to use one of those I’d failed to sell to get back into the venue.
It was of course astonishing. I’d never witnessed anything like Elizabeth Fraser’s intensity: she only ever said ‘thank you’ after each song, rocked back and forth into the mic and beat her chest whilst singing. And I’d never heard anything like the music which poured out of Robin Guthrie’s guitar and Simon Raymonde’s bass.
The poster adorned my wall for a year or two and then I rolled it up to move back home. It never made it to any wall again. Every now and then I plan to have it mounted and framed, but really it’s far too big. It now lives in a cardboard tube next to my speakers.