The man at the bus stop in Da Lat asked us if we lived in Ho Chi Minh City. It seemed strange to imagine the possibility. The following evening in the taxi on the way to the gig, we admired the city. Tall skinny blocks of matching buildings, square blocks of flats with outlines almost drawn around them in white light, a collection of buildings lit in various neon lights, and best of all Building 81, the second tallest in South East Asia (the tallest is in Malaysia apparently.)
We had seen it coming in on the coach, like a child’s building block tower, the stacks narrower and narrower until a thin point. Interesting in the day, and spectacular at night, lit up like a computer motherboard, and in front of it chunky blocks of flats looming black out of the darkness, lit in patches, like something out of The Matrix or Bladerunner.
I’m disappointed that I can’t find the clip of this; I thought YouTube had everything. I’ll describe it as accurately as I can from memory. In Billions, Taylor begins a romance with Oscar. Taylor and Oscar go back to Oscar’s after their first proper date. He has a classy apartment and a great sound system. He presses a button or whatever and on comes The Killing Moon, by Echo and the Bunnymen.
‘Is this okay?’ Oscar asks. ‘It’s what I would have hoped for, had I thought about it.’ Taylor answers.
Much is written about how as people get older they stop listening to new music. It’s hard for anything new to compete with things that are so loved. Or for things not to remind you of something you already know, and prefer. And sometimes it’s about wanting to lean on someone older, even though they were young when they made it. And having seen so much music, been to so many gigs, it’s easier to get picky and hard to impress.
What would we have wanted that night, had we thought of it? Turns out it was Geography Of The Moon.
Timing: The day before I’d read Des’s post about going to a very special show in Seattle. Before the first song was finished… play for me my Lord a song that I can sing… I realised I was going to do a post about going to a gig too. Psychedelic enough for my husband. Mournful enough for me, with the kinds of lines I like such as, the taste of a thousand dirty mouths.
Timing, again: a song that could have been written just for us at that time: wanderlust… the future is unknown… the universe will provide… remember you will die make this an interesting ride…
We’d been in a temporary slump, experiencing a lack of confidence, and then we meet these two. They had lived on a boat in London, and were now on the road touring Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, just the two of them.
It was good for me and my husband to have a night out. We were out until 2am and up much later, the noisiest ones in the hostel (except for the staff downstairs who were smoking marijuana, listening to loud music and hugging inflatable balls…)
Thank you very much for reading