It was a simple enough day out: a train ride, a short stroll, a picnic, and a lunchtime Daylight Music gig at The Union Chapel, in Islington.
The timetable was set in my daughter’s head; she knew what was happening and when it was happening - vital for a peaceful trip with a Prader-Willi teenager.
And I was proud of her. She coped with unexpectedly busy trains around Finsbury Park (OK, my 'meticulous’ planning somehow missed the fact that thousands of exuberant teenagers would be amassing for the Wireless Festival). She remembered to clutch her straw cowboy hat firmly to her head whenever trains whooshed past. She only piped up a couple of times with an anxious: “It’s not too loud, is it?” during the gig. And she didn’t feel the need to stick her earplugs in, which as musical criticism goes, is high praise indeed.
We bumped into a music buddy of mine, Mike, who sat next to us as we watched an exceptionally talented (and, I couldn't help noticing, rather buff) man from Amarillo called Rodney Branigan sing whilst playing a guitar and a mandolin at the same time. My girl confided in Mike that she and Mummy thought he was handsome. “Do you think he’s good-looking?” she asked; Mike had to agree.
And then we saw Piney Gir, a Kansas-born, adopted Londoner who comes a close run second to Taylor Swift in my daughter’s Best Pop Stars list. Piney could have been upset at not being her Number One, but I think she managed to shake it off. Her bright, melodic brand of vivacious indie pop was perfect on a day when the sun streamed through the windows of the church, kids danced in front of the pews, and my girl concentrated fiercely on her songsheet as the audience joined Piney and her band in a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land.
“I like the Gold song best,” my daughter informed her heroine shyly, as we said hello after the gig. We took a smiley picture. It’ll be going up on my daughter's photo wall of fame, in exalted company next to Cesc Fabregas. I thanked Piney for sending us an advance signed copy of her new album in time for my daughter to get to know the songs before the show. She patiently signed a tote bag my girl had chosen as a momento from the merch stall. Noticing people buying copies of the new CD, mR. hYDE'S wILD rIDE, my daughter looked slightly disappointed: “Is it out now? Can ANYONE just buy it?”
She went to bed at quarter to seven. Kernickity knackered, but happy.
When the sun came shining, and I was strolling, The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, A voice was chanting, and the fog was lifting, This land was made for you and me.
Songs are: (above) Piney Gir - Gold Rules (*'the Gold song') (below) Piney Gir - This Land Is Your Land