I haven't seen J Spaceman/Spiritualized since Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space - they started to get a little overblown for my simple tastes and while I continued to buy the albums (and for the most part enjoy them!) the thought of seeing them play the Albert Hall with orchestras and choirs really wasn't appealing. So when the "Acoustic Mainlines" concerts were announced I jumped at the chance of seeing Jason in a low(er) key concert. Having said that the venue was the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the "band" featured a string quartet and a gospel choir (of three!).
The quality of the venue made for a very rich sound and Jason, despite having been on death's doorstep a year back, sounded as good as he ever has. The set consisted of a mix of new(er) stuff (= things I didn't recognise), older (mid period) Spiritualized stuff, some Spaceman 3 and a couple of Daniel Johnston covers. Jason sat and played acoustic guitar and accompanied by an organ (Fender Rhodes) and the string quartet and choir.
It was astounding (and a little confusing) - there were some spine-tingling moments - notably "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space", "Hey Man/Amen" and "Lord Can You Hear Me". The confusion was all of my making - there has always been an awful lot of "religion" in what Jason has done (from the very beginning) - it always struck me as being his own frustration and despair at religion...
So listen sweet Lord, forgive me my sin
'Cos I can't stand this life without all of these things
Know I done wrong, but I've Heaven on Earth
I'm lost about everything
Lord look what state I'm in
Lord can you hear me, when I call?
But his recent illness seems to change that interpretation (or at least the way I interpreted it) and the great big "Oh Happy Day" finish just had me feeling I was leaving a happy-clappy church rather than a rock concert.
I felt great but I also couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable.