The Beautiful South at the Fillmore
Never has there been more apt a post title on this space. I was in a positively terrible mood on Friday night. Call it hormones because nothing significantly bad happened to me, but I fell into such a downward spiral that I was literally in tears by 9 p.m. when I met Ann Marie at her apartment. I would have stayed home and wallowed, but I'd waited for more than six years for the Beautiful South to come back to San Francisco, and there was no way I was going to miss them.
Now, to Ann Marie's credit, her wit, charm and all around fabulousness began the process of pulling me out of my funk. She had me laughing within 20 seconds of seeing her. I don't mean to brag, but my friends are the most wonderful people in the world.
The Beautiful South then took Ann Marie's lead and handily finished the job. Just as it happened six years ago, we met once again under the chandeliers of the Fillmore, and they serenaded me from misery into bliss. In the 17 years they've been together, the Beautiful South have produced about 600 albums, seven of which I own. But I am really most familiar with the their first three records, so I figured I'd be a little lost in the midst of their prodigious repertoire.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Perhaps most of their fans are more familiar with their earlier tunes, because they played virtually all of my favorite songs. From the dry sarcasm of "Song For Whoever" to the irreverence of "A Little Time" to the dark humor of "Woman in the Wall," there was plenty to sing along with. Vocalist Paul Heaton chatted with the audience, consulted a notebook on a music stand for help with the lyrics and danced with a cheerful abandon that made me yearn just a bit for the Housemartins. (I never got a chance to see them live.) Also, because San Francisco is the world's tiniest town, Ann Marie and I ran into my friends Tracy and John. Tracy is seven months pregnant, but that didn't keep her away from the show. Talk about a rock star.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening, and when they played "You Keep It All In," I felt like I was in heaven. Thank you, Beautiful South, your music really does make me happy.
By and large, my good mood has stayed intact... well, sort of, anyway. But I'm happy today, and I figure some lyrics from the Beautiful South ditty "Don't Marry Her" to be a little bit appropriate: And the Sunday sun shines down on San Francisco Bay....
P.S. A complete and total aside, do you know what's really, really fun? Scarfing down hot pizza slices with Helen at Favorite Bar at 11:30 on a Saturday night with no regard for the amateur weekend mating crowd who are looking each other up and down all around you. Giggling to the 4th grade humor of the phrase "the itchy eye" with Liz and Doug after the pizza is gone is a pretty good time, too.