As much as I love living in Edinburgh (mrry passim), in some regards it simply doesn't pass muster. Take live music, for example. For a month and one day, it's the centre of the world. To get your fix at other times of year, you simply need to go to Glasgow. That I will be doing tonight as I return for Franz Ferdinand at the SECC (and thereby hangs a tale, of which more later); that I did on Saturday to see British Sea Power at my old stomping ground, the QM.
It's more than two years since I've been to see BSP: records indicate that I saw them at Tut's in October 2003. That gig, I remember, was marred slightly by a horde of ardent fans who had clearly been following the band all over the UK. They brought their own foliage, and, by the end of the set, I had a few colourful suggestions for what they could do with it.
Just in case you're worried that I'm going to come over all Captain Nippy again, the QM gig was excellent. It was a rare pleasure to go to a gig and not feel old (a privilege that I doubt tonight's concert will extend), also to come home not reeking of projected lager. As BSP came on first to play a B-sides set, the sound was excellent for both them and the support act, Field Music, who (I thought) were so similar to The Futureheads that I was running a sweep on which Kate Bush song they'd cover to end their set. When BSP took the stage for a second time, it was clear that their two albums gave them enough material to be consistently entertaining: even though my two favourite album tracks (Something Wicked and Victorian Ice) were absent, that didn't dampen the evening's enjoyment.
Somewhat stranger was being back in the West End for the first time since I bade farewell to my summer job in September. Ashton Lane is canopied with the same fairy lights that appear annually above Royal Exchange Square (and which an arriviste Edinburgh has recently strung along Multrees Walk). The new Computing Department extension has sprung up dramatically since I left. The drinks on sale in Jim's Bar might have changed, but the person serving them hasn't, and it was good to see Stevie still plying his trade. It was also good to hear how CompSoc is being taken forward by the new committee: from what I gather, the pub quiz was a great success, so congratulations to Haitham and David, and may there be many more events of a similar calibre.