When the break-up was announced, I was adamant I was going to see them in Brisbane, and I'm glad I made the whirlwind flight back for that one final night at The Zoo, where I'd seen them play countless times before. Part homecoming, part nostalgia trip, but mostly closure, I felt memories flood back of seeing them as an 18 year old in that very room, wearing Belle & Sebastian t-shirts, tartan skirts and knee socks, dancing to a band who helped me discover what it meant to be a pop fan. Years might have passed, but that same joy and sense of discovery still prevailed, as lyrics to songs I've not listened to for years were automatically recalled.
My tapping toes never missed a beat, despite shoes that kept slipping off my dancing feet - one final dance to "Untidy Towns", "Smokers In Love", "T-Shirt Weather", "Under The Rotunda", et al. and the smile couldn't be wiped from my face. Hearing "Frisbee" played live for the first and last time was such a highlight, as were the closing numbers - "The Year of Driving Languorously" for the main set, and "The Music From Next Door" on the encore. They might not have played my favourite song, "The Golden Age of Aviation", but I didn't mind at all - after two hours of The Lucksmiths and every other golden melody they've crafted, and I felt well satisfied. Pop fans around the world will miss their charm, wit and personality, and I feel incredibly lucky to have seen them play so often over the last eight years.
I didn't take any photographs, unfortunately, because I was much too busy dancing and cherishing the moment. A picture can't recreate the feeling of listening to their songs and reflecting back on all those shows.
I have the opportunity attend one of their final shows in Melbourne this weekend, but I am entirely torn by this. On the one hand, I'd love to hear their songs emanating live one final time, but my memory of the Brisbane show is just so complete that I am satisfied if I don't get to see them again. I don't want to spoil those thoughts by attending a show with an unfamiliar crowd, without that warmth that came from seeing them with those I know.
Goodbye Lucksmiths - you've shown me such a great time, and your memories and songs will continue to burn strong!