AND ALSO THE TREES, March 2nd 2023, Café Berlín, Madrid

As I’ve said quite a few times in quite a few occasions, organizing a concert is really hard. Sometimes, with certain groups, it’s more than impossible. Apart from the difficulties of organizing an event, which are par for the course, matching schedules, the variety of logistics, rooms, equipment, trips, hotels, cache that’s acceptable or not depending on the interest the group arouses, etc., make it sometimes just not possible to arrange or sometimes the risk is unacceptable. With this and with all, more than 40 years had to pass by for the British And Also The Trees to be able to play in Spain. Indypendientes, once again gets the blame of it. Even though, I know there’s been other promoters who have tried a few times and have even had it all almost arranged a few times whatsoever. But in the end, it couldn’t happen. Until march 2023. FINALLY.


The chosen place for this occasion is the Berlin Café. Good sound guaranteed beforehand. A room also known due to its location, even if the spaces “forces” you to watch a concert sitting down, which is something I’m personally not fully convinced of. Anyways, that’s beside the point. Much more important was what was gonna happen, no matter the particular circumstances.

The doors opened at seven thirty, which for a concert in Madrid was quite early and didn’t really help to avoid the long queue formed a while before. I guess that wanting to get a good view is caused by the sitting thing. No one wanting to miss a great event too. With British punctuality, the first chords of the night were from the magnific In a Bed in Yugoslavia (which opens up their recent album The Bone Carver) confirming that the night of the 2nd of March will be remembered. Even if the sound is a little “tangled”, especially the voice. Simon’s throat usually fades into the instrumentals and in this first songs (In a Bed in Yugoslavia was followed by Beyond Action and Reaction, Your Guess, Maps in Her Wrists and Arms) it’s a little hard to really hear it. Even more in Shantell.

Actually, I was just trying to find an objection. The way the band plays (they’re probably the best musicians I’ve seen live, and I’ve seen a few) is more than enough to make it up for that tonal “mess”. Even more in Shantell. Which is, for me, the first decisive point of the night as its one of my forever favorites. When The Book Burners begins, the stage has become that foggy and melancholic wasteland that the “Alonso brothers” are so good at recreating. That almost demonic, romantic and dark environment. That beauty. That… absolute excellence. Brother Fear, and definitely Virus Meadow, Bridges and, the second climax: the essential Dialogue. Not that the previous ones don’t sound great or are worse, not at all. Any chosen track list, 15 albums are a lot and they are all tremendously good, would have been the right track list. It’s very hard to choose between such a collection of songs, but each has its tiny heart.

Whisky Bride, The Seven Skies, Missing or Rive Droite maintain the beat perfectly. It’s been a while since the voice issue has been “solved”. So long that I feel like maybe it didn’t even happen. I am beaten and overcome by the two tremendous guitars of Justin Jones, and the profusion of effects and reverberations. Then there’s Gordon Grant with his imponent and suppressed bass and Paul Hill’s vital and devoted drumsticks, all accompanied by the guitar, keys or the variety of clarinets Colin Ozanne plays. I feel overwhelmed by Simon Jones’ throat, defeated by the total of it all, conquered by the certainty of the whole, in this case, much bigger than the ensemble of the parts.

Luckily, there’s still the encore, there’s still some time to enjoy, of pure delight. Provided by Prince Rupert, The Bone Carver, The Suffering on the Stream and, mostly, of course, by A Room Lives in Lucy. A brief moment, as any duration that the concert could have had would have been too short. Time flies by when the grade of joy is as much. This way, an hour and a half pass by and you wish had been three hours. Or four. Or never-ending. Let’s hope they don’t take another 40 years to come back. I doubt that we’d be able (and I’m speaking for everyone that was present on that magnific evening) to handle it.

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