Archive for the ‘Okkervil River’ Category



Like everyone else, back in the 80s if you didn’t hear bands on the radio you’d form a preference or prejudice based on the the basics – their name, their album titles and the sleeves you’d see when you browsed the racks at the record shop.

My biggest mistakes in my early teens? Deciding that I wouldn’t like Motorhead.

Best success? Falling in Love with Kiss through the cover to Destroyer.

It’s not the kind of mistake that should happen in the days of the internet.

But it happened to me with Okkervil River.

A colleague, knowing my taste made the recommendation in the early 00’s. I just didn’t like their name enough to check them out.

This would have been around the time that Black Sheep Boy came out, so I came to that record late. The one I came to in real time was 2007’s The Stage Names.

It was one of those records of the mid-2000s that I became obsessed with.

Like the Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America.

I played it to everyone.

One of those people was someone I was working closely with that year.

I remember the two of us moving into new office space at the start of 2008.

A lovely big studio of an office where there were just the two of us and the managing director’s PA at a big desk in the back.

She had no problem when we commandeered some speakers from elsewhere in the office and put on Our Life is Not a Movie to mark our first day of moving in and starting a new project together.

So that was the friend I took to see this show.

By the time that job ended a year later, my friend would be starting a descent into mental illness that finally hit bottom a couple of years later.

Me, I descended into a strange and short-lived drink and drug fuelled thing with the 25 year old PA that bottomed-out within two months.

She’d wanted me, she said, from the first day she saw me.

That day when all I wanted to do was to find some speakers and play her my favourite record by a band called Okkervil River.

She’d loved that record too.

High: Our Life Is Not a Movie

Drinking: Double fisted double vodka tonics and Red Stripes in the upstairs bar, before standing on the balcony all gig to be close to re-fills.

Thinking: Or maybe?

Gig on Songkick