Off to the left of the Meredith Amphitheatre is a spot where hundreds of revellers go to watch the sunset. It’s an open expanse, popular for its sweeping views: a deep, undulating Valley, wind turbines, shrubs and hope.
We sat on camping chairs and let the turbines’ wings hypnotise us. As the sun grew tepid, the wind caught the warmth rising from humanity and carried it across the valley, leaving in its wake a sea of shiny faces and the watery light cast by the full moon.
A few feet below us, a group of 10 had commandeered a fallen log. They stood on it like intrepid explorers. The ringleader would beckon each passerby and graciously ask them to take a picture. Once they’d done so, the group would then demand they too “Get on the log!”.
Soon after, the log had doubled in numbers – people were crouched in front of it, others precariously mounted themselves to the back edge. Then it tripled. Then quadrupled. And every so often a loud chorus would erupt…”Get on the log!”…followed by an eruption of cheers when the person succumbed to the order.
Off in the distance, the blissful, lo-fi melodies of Teenage Fanclub could be heard and I went to investigate, my Faustian instincts ready and primed, as though I were seeking the answer to Nietzsche’s question: “How can those who live in the light of day possibly comprehend the depths of night?”
After this, time slowed down and sped up in strange Heisenberg-level uncertainties. The only aid I have in piecing together the night are snippets of songs: the magical sing-along to Neil Finn’s Fall at Your Feet and the energy of The Specials’ A Message to You Rudy for example.
In fact, looking back, all I know with certainty is that I’m ready to do it all again. Sometime in the years to come, I will get on that bloody log. I will watch the sunset and feel the warmth of humanity crossing the valley once more. But in the meantime I’ll settle for reminiscing over the songs I enjoyed most…
Teenage Fanclub – I’m In Love
Neil Finn (Crowded House) – Better Be Home Soon
Olympia – Smoke Signals
The Specials – A Message to You Rudy
Margaret Glaspy – You & I
And here are a couple of bonus tracks I’ve been enjoying lately:
Grandaddy – Way We Won’t
Traumprinz – 2 Bad (Metatron’s What If Madness Is Our Only Relief Mix)
And, as always, here’s the Spotify playlist with all the songs featured…