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The Delgados

Posted: February 5th, 2003, by Chris H

Just been to see the Delgados and I realised halfway through their set that, in a sneaky quiet way, they’ve become my favourite band ever. From jangly indie pop when i was a teenager with energy and enthusiasm to their more mature epic stuff they do now, I can’t imagine me in the last [let’s not count] years without having heard their songs.

And yet it’s not like other bands, where I’ve heard a song, been grabbed by it and played through all their albums in the month after. Since Peloton, the albums (even the singles) haven’t had immediate physical/ emotional appeal to me; they get played once then left aside for weeks at first. I’m still fuzzy on the titles of the songs. But the occasional play of each was enough to put little hooks into my head and make it imperceptibly essential, part of the repertoire of noises that my mind sings to itself when there’s not anything else on. Then I realise how good the lyrics are. No flashy wordplay but so many resonant phrases that I can’t shake off. “No-one can depress me more than I can,” “for the eyes to see through all that I do,” “there is no dignity in losing a friend.” etc. A lot of it maybe is the context I first heard the songs in but there has to be power in the songs to make them still carry the emotional weight / force that memory alone doesn’t.

What I’m trying to pay tribute to is the way that the Delgados have written albums full of songs that haven’t just stuck with me, they’ve got better as the years have passed. Looking at the whole of my record collection, they are the one band I’m confident that I’ll still be listening to (with a nostalgic tear in my eye) when I’m 70. There’s lots of things I could live without: the delgados are not one of them. They are very special to me and the gig tonight was special too.

And I promise I will go out and get Hate at the weekend.

Chris H

Chris was hit by a brick as a child and lost the popular culture part of his brain. This affliction means he is only able to listen to obscure japanese noise bands and watch films with overtly complex storylines. His other interests include skulking, editing documents, taunting policemen and entering undecipherable handwriting contests. He lives in an enormous underground laboratory where he spends many hours trying to un-invent television.

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