Tomorrow, in less than 24 hours time, Heather Findlay will be on stage with Mostly Autumn at Leamington Spa for one last farewell performance, as she prepares to embark upon a solo career. Two days after that at the Robin 2 in Bilston, Olivia Sparnenn will be on stage with Breathing Space for the very last time, before she leaves to take over from Heather in Mostly Autumn.
I don’t think the reality has really sunk in yet.
I’ve seen Mostly Autumn something like 40 times now, and Breathing Space something like 20. These two bands have been a major part of my life for the past few years – I’ve based holidays around the legs of tours, stayed in dodgy B&Bs to watch Breathing Space play before 50-odd people in working men’s clubs in the east midlands, and stood in the rain watching Mostly Autumn support Bryan Adams at Murrayfield Stadium. I’ve been to so many gigs in York that the city has stated to feel like a second home. And I’ve become personal friends with one or two band members.
I expect Friday in particular is going to be a very emotional night. There are plenty of songs in the Mostly Autumn songbook that bring a lump to the throat at any time – “Carpe Diem” and “Half the Mountain” will be particularly poignant.
It may be the closing of a chapter, but it’s certainly not the end of the story. On the following weekend Livvy will be performing her first gig with Mostly Autumn at Gloucester Guildhall. Heather hasn’t announced any tour dates as yet, but I hope to be at her first one, wherever and whenever it may be. I’m sure there is plenty of good times and great music still to come over the coming months and years.
And Mostly Autumn’s next album Go Well-Diamond Heart, which will of course feature Livvy Sparnenn on lead vocals, is now available for pre-order. It’s going to be recorded over the coming months, with pre-ordered to be shipped around July. I’ve ordered mine already.