All Fall Down – Sridhar/Thayil, 13/4/12

I was struck down by a fever the evening Suman Sridhar and Jeet Thayil were bringing their travelling electric soul show to town. Not one of your wussy bouts of the ‘flu, this one: here was a bone-crushing, mouth-fouling attack of misery which came upon me quite suddenly and then simply refused to leave. Fevers are spiteful acts of god which suck the joy out of everything; and yet this pair had been on my wishlist for some time: could I go or couldn’t I? So I reached for the fires & emergencies handbook – ever a man’s friend in need – flipped it open, and jabbed at it with a questioning finger. “Do not take shelter in the toilets.” Fair enough, I suppose: a little obscure, tho’. Flip again, jab again. “Crawl if needed.” Right, that’s pretty unequivocal. So, the next thing I know, I’ve brushed my teeth and faced the worst of the rush hour, and I’m propped up against a pillar, shaky but eager to watch a group who’ve raised hell, done centrespreads and been axed on grounds of edginess; who now have their first record out and are taking it around the cities, hoping for things to click.

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