This is mainman Jeff Tweedie of Wilco holding his wee birthday cake on stage at the Troxy in East London last night, surrounded by a shower of spangles, accepting the warm love and best wishes of the crowd.
It was a standout performance for band that quietly and steadily have become one of the great bands in America of today. To describe their music, they have their roots and feet in Americana, their heads in experimentalism, on a par with Radiohead.
With their three-guitar line-up, backed by keyboards, bass and drums, they create sonic symphonies, great swelling rousing swirls of beaty noise. Next they break it down to sweet and affecting highly crafted songs of the prairies, for those nights when the wind is howling outside your log cabin. The band as a unit are tight, drilled and honed by long roadwork, expertly skilled and adept at negotiating the slides , breaks and seques a Wilco song requires, like experienced white-water rafters caught in a tricky current. They do this with a lot of heart and humour. They seem open, relaxed and were obviously enjoying themselves.
Unable to take an SLR camera into the place, I was working with my small Sony digi, which I hadn't used for almost a year, and just experimenting with settings at random. I like the results. They seem to capture the moods and colours and energy of the music.