Mr Hudson and Miss Anderson

So the story of how Mr H and Miss A began when I watched/repeat watched ‘Later with Jools’ with Mr Hudson and the Library in 2006.

I loved them from the off. Dunno why. The lyrics? The swagger? The tie and jeans combo? I said to Beth ‘watch this, whatcha think?’ I thought about, but declined his ‘Library’ tour.  A regret, but there it is. Life, living, has its regrets.

Then Beth started to like Mr H as well. Lyrical stuff, I suspect it was (I’ll never know for sure). Maybe a shared bromance? Whatever it was, we connected over Mr H. Perhaps it was simply me, Father, desperately seeking a connection with teenage Daughter?

So a night in Leeds arches, 2007. Reserved, muted moments, but connected, special moments, minutes, a handful of hours of togetherness. Me longing, deep inside, for more, time, but the ticking clock, the parental responsibilities, the familial restrained conventions stopping me from me from truly, deeply being myself and saying ‘fuck it, lets stay…’ for the crowd invited after party.

But still, I relished that evening, Before, and now, After.

That few moments of connectedness. We stood on a wooden platform above the intimate, early career crowd, and we sang and mimed the lyrics to each other. The touch of her arm, looking into her etyes. Being there,  thinking ‘This is it. This is now’. Trying to force back the thoughts about the car trip home and the sensible next day parental conventions. Trying so hard to live in the moment. (Like she tortured me with years later, with her reading and her understanding and her knowing – god, she spotted a few things, didn’t she?)

And then later (2009),  a very, very drunken night in Sheffield Plug and later in Bungalow and Bears at the crowd invited after party, with a single photo to prove it, with her friend Emma H. (I feel like I know Emma H now, After.)


More gigs followed. Manchester, London. Then the 100 Club in London, 2014, the last.

We talked and shared as we waited for the gig to start. (The contents of which are not for public consumption). Now, looking back, that evening was one of my special, special times with my adult Bethy.

We sang and mimed the words again, and I posted an Insta video that Mr H, unknowingly of the ‘After’ significance, of course, liked. Maybe it wasn’t as important to her as it was, is, to me. I’ll never know. I’ll never know.

So then to Bethy’s and Izzy’s funeral, and our first choice – ‘Forever Young’.

Forever 24. Forever 19.

And now, today, in May 2017, how many hours and days and weeks and months after I lost them, and from when life began to be measured by After, I listen to Mr H in the car, in the humdrum Sheffield traffic and suddenly, with the smack of a crashing wave ‘Learning to Live’ takes on a deep resonance that the song and the lyrics never had before.

I’m learning to live without your love
Each day by day, each day by day
I’m learning to live without your love
Each day by day, each day by day.

Where in the world will I go, I don’t know
Anywhere but here
Where in the world will I go, I don’t know
Anywhere but here.


Me and Bethy, Mr H gig, 2009.

And so this is why I still cry to Mr Hudson.



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