Whilst the world's music media was focused on the O2 Dome in Greenwich as Led Zeppelin reformed (sort of) on 9th December 2007 I was over at the 2nd of two Acoustic Mainlines shows by Spiritualized at Islington's Union Chapel.
I had seen this setup earlier in the year down in Brighton and its was a bit of dispiriting affair. Nothing to do with the band or their performance but the behaviour of the audience. As this was not the usual Spiritualzed sturm und drang attack the band requested via signage that the audience respect their "no talking" request during the show.
Sadly, this did not occur and the show was disjointed by periods of waiting for people to get the message and stop their yakkin'. Jason Pierce, would just sit there and wait until people were quiet. The backing singers and string section often had to motion to people as they knew that he would wait all night if necessary. The annoyance of the silent majority towards the babbling minority soured the whole gig. The tempest that raged outside the gig on the drive there and back only added to the misery.
In the beautiful surroundings of the Union Chapel, however, you could have heard a feather hit the floor. The two shows I saw are amongst my favourite I have witnessed and one section in particular was spellbinding and moving both nights.
But it was the 'Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space' coda to the song that made my hairs stand on end. Both the backing singers and Pierce sing a variation of the song's lyrics alongside Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling In Love' echoing the version released then withdrawn from the original 1997 LP.
It was just a wondrous mix of sounds, the soaring strings, the quiet reassurance of the female vocals against pained yearning of Pierces' desperate romantic lovestruck figure. The climax when they sweetly croon "Wise men say, only fools rush in...." just lifted my heart and made me weep. I've just listened to it again and it has this extraordinary effect on me
When I am finally called by the Great Architect \ Flying Spaghetti Monster I would like a recording of this song at this gig to be playing at my funeral. If this were the last music I were ever to hear - I could die happy.
Yes, it means that much.
Below is s recording from that show which I hope will convey a little of what I mean.