White Knight

I tend to bang on a bit about how great I think Twitter is, and how people shouldn’t treat it with the contempt so many have of late. It is a fantastic tool for communication, especially adept at making shared experiences even more intimate. You only need to have been in our house during the 2012 Olympics, for instance, to understand how it can make significant events even more vivid and engaging. Yes, it’s full of trolls and wankers and misguided people who think it’s just an exercise in being seen in the right lists by the correct people. What most fail to understand is that there are moments when the utter brilliance of the platform just comes into its own, if you grasp that most people in the world, even the famous ones, are pretty much just like you.

So it was this morning that I saw via Twitter that Mr David Arnold, the man who wrote that amazing piece of music up there at the start of this post, is going to do some concerts in April next year in Liverpool and Manchester. I saw him in July, at the Royal Festival Hall, and my mind was pretty much destroyed at the utter genius of a bloke who, I have to say was likeable, honest and incredibly normal. He has a singing voice that is beyond impressive and his musical CV aligns pretty much in tandom with most of my favourite movies since Stargate. Most importantly, he wrote the scores for four Bond Movies that are my undoubted personal favourites: Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Only Goldfinger and The Living Daylights rank higher or equally, and a great deal of that love is down to soundtracks that are utterly perfect, tip their hat to the classic John Barry scores of the Connery era and act as aural scenery in the best visual moments. I therefore had no qualms in posting the following:

It might read like hyperbole, but I was on a high for a week afterwards. When he started the second half of the concert with ‘White Knight’ (which is the background for the pre-title sequence in Tomorrow Never Dies) I did actually squee out loud and was given that disapproving look by my husband only reserved for the most serious of transgressions. That piece is on my most played iTunes compilation, and gets listened to at least weekly. It’s not a lie, this was the best night I’d had out in 14 years. However, in three days I get to see Kate Bush at the Eventim Apollo, and if I believe half the hype I’ve read, David might have a serious challenger for his title. I mentioned this in a subsequent tweet and went back to my work, with a piece of Arnold playing in the background as accompaniment (Caviar Factory, for what its worth.)

Four minutes later, this happened:

I squealed, alone at the PC, in utter amazement. The fact that he’d GONE AND READ MY FEED and knew I’d mentioned Kate Bush before he came and responded was one thing to begin with, but the fact he’d done that at all just frankly blew my mind. Here’s a guy I know will be up to his arse in alligators with the stage version of Made in Dagenham being prepped for a West End Run. But there he was, talking to a 47 year old mother of two in Essex. I had to try and make a conversation of it, because I’d kick myself if I didn’t, and I was determined not to be all gushy. I know David likes to talk biscuits, it is even in his Twitter bio. This was common ground, however slim. So, I took a deep breath and made my pitch.

Three minutes later, it was over. One of the men I’ve respected for decades because he’s done things to Bond music that utterly captivates me, had taken a moment and changed my entire day, fuck my whole week. He didn’t need to, but he did, and I’m sitting here grinning like a loon even now at the thought I got to realise a dream I never realised I had. I told him how happy he’d made me, and he responded with all the grace and brilliance I was sure he was capable of giving.

The moral of this story? Sometimes, just stop and make the most of the moment, because you never know where that might take you, albeit briefly. David Arnold made my week in three and a bit minutes. Who knows what might happen to you if you stop and take the time.

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