Martin Minshall

Then I Went Walking In The Rain

Sun 13th Jul 2014
Then I Went Walking In The Rain | Martin Minshall

Last night it rained. A lot.

Friends of mine, The Madding Crowd, were playing at Dry Live in Manchester and, having not seen them perform in months, I was eager to go.

As I headed out of the house to catch the train into Manchester I checked the weather forecast on my phone. Light rain. I could handle a bit of rain walking to and from the train station. It's only a short walk so no need to take my umbrella.

As I got to the venue the gig was already underway and the venue filling up. The Madding Crowd were second-to-last on the bill and would be on shortly.

I've seen the band perform a handful of times since I first met them, but last night was different.

Their performance was captivating right from the start, as the band bounced through a perfectly chosen mix of live mainstays and tracks taken from their latest EP, 'A Stitch in Time'. From the gloriously catchy 'When I Go Walking in the Rain' to the beautifully tender 'I Want to be a Butterfly', the band took their audience on a guided tour of their back catalogue, and were unrelenting in making sure that everyone in attendance was having a good time.

As I looked around the venue I could see the success of their performance before me, as a room full of eyes were gripped on the band; eyes that weren't all there specifically to see them. A well deserved rarity in the unsigned music scene.

It's understandable from their performance. Frontman, Ben, has an onstage charisma that is uniquely powerful, and every member of the band share a very evident passion for what they do. As I looked at each member as they played I could see in all of them what this performance meant. It's something that they love to do. It's something that they have to do.

Thirty minutes in, the band finished with 'A Glorious Comedy', an anthem that really defines the band; powerful, poetic and passionate. As I left the venue with their EP in hand I was hit by an instant reminder of their triumphant set and an earlier arrogance that had come back to bite me!

I could spare five minutes until I had to head to the train station, hoping that the rain would stop (or at least calm down a little). However, it did not.

Heading to the train station I couldn't help but sing '...Walking in the Rain' back to myself. I was, and I didn't mind! I'd had a great night, and I wasn't getting too wet. I'd dried off by the time I'd got on the train, but all of that was about to change...

As the train pulled up to my stop the rain got heavier, and as the doors swung open it's ferocity showed. There was an actual gasp from a woman behind me. I was hesitent to even step out. It was throwing it down, and when I say throwing I mean absolutely belting it down, with as much passion as the band I'd just seen perform.

My run from the train lasted less than a minute, but that was enough to soak me to the core. It didn't matter, though. The rain that came down heavier than I've ever known felt like a celebration of the evening that The Madding Crowd came into their own.

To discover The Madding Crowd for yourself visit their Facebook page here.