Air, 26th June 2024

Towards the back-end of last week, I was somewhat sideswiped by Woody's death on Thursday so I figured I'd wait a full week to put together the following post.

The night before Woody passed, we ("we" being myself, Lu, my brother, Jamie, and friend, Kraig) descended to The Piece Hall in Halifax to see Air play live.

We got the tickets as soon as they went on sale earlier this year so we'd been waiting for what felt like ages.

Air are a band I've obviously been familiar with for many, many years but I wouldn't describe myself as a superfan or anything. That being said, I know when a gig will be a special event so I wasn't going to miss this.

About The Piece Hall...

Before I get to the photos I just wanted to set the scene. It's an 18th-century cloth market, a building which surrounds a large courtyard. I've been coming here regularly since I was a kid. The building houses units which used to be used to sell pieces of cloth at the height of the textile boom during the Industrial Revolution (hence the name). These units have been turned into all manner of shops over the years and after re-opening in 2017 after a multi-year renovation project, bars and restaurants too.

The Piece Hall, the day of the re-opening on 1st August 2017 (aka Yorkshire Day)

Since the re-opening, they've also been developing it over the last few years as gig venue over the Summer. Towards the end of Spring, they construct a large stage in the bottom corner and basically run many shows a week throughout Summer, pulling some pretty well-known names for a new and fairly unusual venue, names like Tom Jones, Nile Rogers, Blondie and of course, Air.

From the photo above, you can probably imagine why I figured it'd be a special gig. It's not often you'll see a band like Air play a place like this and it was well worth it.

The gig

The gig started with Air's drummer coming on stage and began playing a familiar beat. After a few bars, he was joined by Nicolas and Jean-BenoƮt leading us straight into La femme d'argent marking the beginning of what would be the live performance of Moon Safari in its entirety. The second half and encore was then made up of a number of tracks from across their career. Some, I'll admit, I wasn't too familiar with, some I very much was (Alone in Kyoto, for example) but we enjoyed every minute of it.

While I did take some photos and video, I tried to not spend the whole gig doing so, especially given how close we were to the front. I can't help being taller than people, but I'm certainly conscious of people behind me seeing nothing by my phone so I tend to keep it to a minimum. A quick snap and then my phone goes down.

It's also the kind of gig where you can enter an almost meditative state and I definitely felt the pull of simply being present and in the moment, enjoying what was unfolding and understanding that it's a good thing this would be a rare experience.

The Piece Hall certainly delivers as a special venue and I feel lucky that it's practically on my doorstep. We're now looking forward to August Bank Holiday weekend where we'll be returning (with our eldest son) to see Jungle.