Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Majestic Crosby & Nash

There is something frankly absurd about Crosby & Nash. As I watched them last night in their first live British television appearance in dear knows how long, they sat perched on two stools and sang two songs that I had no desire to ever hear again. Why would these two choose to sing two songs from way back in their catalogue, when they had a more recent double album that bristled with great songs. They also looked really old! Crosby looked far older than his years and Nash looked a bit ridiculous as he threw shapes designed to impart how heavy and important this music was. My mind wandered back to their first British Television appearance when they sang songs that were new and in the moment. Crosby looked like a king in his buckskin shirt and Nash threw shapes designed to impart how heavy and important this music was. I’m pretty sure they sang these two songs at that time as well.
But then something happened as I watched them. It was the music. It was majestic. Guinevere soared and fell, with Nash’s pinpoint harmonies never missing their mark. Crosby’s singing and guitar playing were never short of mesmerising. I was back in Mark Pepper’s house when he and I first heard CSN. All the years peeled away and all of a sudden I was connecting with music like I hadn’t done in years. I fought to find fault with what I was hearing, but I couldn’t! It was, well majestic! No other word will do!
Immigration Man has never been one of my favourite songs. I’ve always found it a bit twee, but as Nash introduced it as a song for these times, it took on a new resonance. Nash’s song written about a spat on the Canadian border became a song about the human struggle to find a better life. I thought about the Western fear stoked by governments aided and abetted by the tabloid media against immigration. I started to see frightened people trying to get past border controls.
I realised that while these two were old and they looked out of place, they were also a vital voice singing out about real issues and showed how silly and irrelevant to-days plastic pop stars really are.

Guys it was a pleasure! Please come back soon and make this grumpy old man smile one more time.