I was luckily enough to be invited to the Nightwatch Playback gathering by DGM. I didn’t know what to expect because I had never been invited to anything like this before.
The night before the gathering, I remember going out with work colleagues and getting rather drunk (moi? I know it sounds unlikely) and staggering back. But we were going to get there nice and early to get good seats. Alarm clocks were set, routes were planned. We were ready.

Then Saturday morning came and a glance at the travel news on the TV teletext revealed that the Central Line (the line which served my immediate area and which we lived just 3 minutes walk away from the station) was down. Kaput. Not running.

OK – change of plan. We’ll get the bus to the next nearest tube station. Half an hour of weaving on the bus to Walthamstow Central revealed that we were way behind schedule. Further delays blighted us on the Victoria Line. Grumbles, curses, expletives.

Much huffing and puffing and padding of feet delivered us to the Hotel Interconintental (which from memory is near Hyde Park). Of course, by the time we we got there all the best seats were gone. The gathering was well underway and we hurrumphed there late and embarrassed.

It was all happening. Robert Fripp was acting as MC for the event and Tony Geballe was already finishing his set when we composed ourselves. Tony Levin played his upright bass and there were some tunes from “Caves of the Iron Mountain”. Bill Bruford was up next who was very humourous and made me laugh a lot. They played some tunes from “If Summer Had Its Ghosts”. John Wetton was up and he brought his acoustic guitar with him and he held us spellbound with “Book of Saturday”. After this all of the band were gathered, Bruford, Wetton, David Cross, Richard Palmer-James and RF took the stage to a round of applause.

Then there was time for the purchasing of merchandise and then much autograph signing. Well, I bought my T-shirt and my Nightwatch CD and skidaddled out of there, watching old men openly weeping and shaking with excitement was too much for this young man and we made our escape.

We sat in the park for a while and it was a lovely September afternoon. We talked about the event for ages and how I had spotted Michael Giles and some other KC people (or who I thought were KC people). The missus couldn’t believe it that I didn’t want to get the CD signed or shake some hands.

“You should never meet your heroes,” I replied, “You are only going to get disappointed.”