Guy Garvey of Elbow caught me by surprise today. No, he didn't call by or email. Rather he was on my Ipod. It was a chance meeting. I was out running and set to "Shuffle Songs".
On he came. Then, something in the way he was singing kicked in and I was suddenly, not knowing why, losing composure and feeling emotion run into my face and strange tears clouding my vision as I scooted across the ploughed field. It passed in moments. I don't `lose it' on any level very often and, even before the song had finished, my brain got to work on why this man's voice and words had reached into me the way they did.
And I think it is two things. One is the artist. I think Guy Garvey puts everything into what he does. He is authentic and, somehow, quite inspiring. An artist who has always been true to himself.
The other, I think, is to do with me. Garvey reminds me, physically and in manner of my younger brother, with whom I have a loving but slightly awkward, occasionally brittle, sort-of unfulfilled relationship.
On top of this, I am thinking a lot at the moment of an old friend of mine back home in the North-West who is nursing his mother in the last weeks of cancer. While this isn't front-of-mind stuff for me at all, today, listening to Garvey, who is from my home-town, brought this sorry, sad picture into sharp relief.
Then, as quickly as it had come over me, it all subsided as I was Shuffled to another track.