The Lantern Theatre is a little gem in the suburbs of Sheffield. Mini-rows of red velveteen seats perch expectantly facing the stage, and all the features you associate with big theatres: wings, flies, the brick back wall, are all here in pint-sized portions.
I couldn't escape the writing tasks in hand but I read on the train and scribbled notes in pencil on my ration of one sheet of A4 as I travelled somewhat stressfully with other passengers from our cancelled train, changing at Doncaster for another train that was late because of points failure at Meadowhall, or 'Meadowhell' as the conductor called it.
Strangely, I got there at exactly the time I was supposed to; that's just one of those things you can't figure out.
Jim Hornsby was accompanying Martin on guitar, he of the steely Eastwood-like glare and the heart of gold. The sound was great; they have an excellent sound engineer at The Lantern and I think he recorded the gig. I pulled out some old songs- Summer Days, for instance, which I thought would echo the Indian Summer temperatures outside. They weren't there: it was cool and misty and I kind of yearned for a jumper. But it was nice to play again. I've had a bit of a break after losing McMum. It was nice to smile and feel happy.
That all increased when Martin and Jim played, too. Martin also played some songs that rarely get an airing- Nairn Beach, Synergy (two of my favourites) and a song called Daffodils that he played after describing Anth's idea of throwing Morrissey's daffs into the Regent's Canal when they were sharing a dressing room with The Smiths at Dingwalls in the 1980s. They had stopped at a golf course on the long way down from Newcastle to pick magic mushrooms, and after eating them, floating the flowers in the canal seemed like a good idea at the time.
Apparently Morrissey had to make do with tulips that night.