On February 24th, 2016 I went to see Harry Manx. The ticket was a birthday gift from m’lady and the gift also included a copy of Manx’s most recent cd. The presents were very apropos; not only was I generally a fan of the way Harry Manx blended Western blues sensibilities with one of my favourite styles of music (classical Indian raga), but I had recently purchased an electric sitar and I was currently enjoying a surge of joy playing the heck out of a buzzy flat nine scale.
We listened to the new cd together and we were both surprised to discover that we were both decidedly underwhelmed. It could be I was just missing his stellar sidemen from previous releases like Kevin Breit or Steve Marriner, who knows, but I don’t think I’ve listened to the cd since. We still had high hopes for the show though, and we were certainly impressed when we walked into the Salle Odyssée. It was a nice, small, new theatre in Gatineau that we had never heard of, much less been to. We took our seats in the fifth row and settled in for what turned out to be an equally underwhelming concert.
Not that it was a bad show or anything. Frankly, Harry Manx is just too good for that. He was great the first time I saw him and he’s only gotten more professional and seasoned in the two decades since, but we both found the concert rather boring (or at the very least overtly laid-back) overall and we were both itching for him to wrap things up sooner than later.
It could be that I’m spoiled from having experienced too many great Harry Manx shows in my past. Would I have loved this show if it had been my first time hearing him? Maybe. Probably? And if so, therein lies an irony in seeing lots and lots of concerts: you sometimes (usually?) enjoy them less than people who don’t see very many concerts.
It seems I’m involved in an inverse hobby.