My Christmas present from Dan was tickets to see these guys play live in Birmingham this month.
As the weeks passed, my first job as a doula loomed, and my mother-to-be was resolutely carrying these twins to full-term. Her expected due date was the fourteenth of March. Understandably, Dan began to worry that her labour would clash with our date out to see The Civil Wars play at the HMV Institute in Birmingham.
The evening in question arrived and no twins appeared to be on the way, so we left our kids with their brave babysitter and headed for the city to enjoy some live music.
This was the opening night of The Civil Wars' first-ever headlining tour of Europe. The crowd was eager and excited, and we were standing behind the loudest hecklers I've ever heard. Enthusiastic Guy, right in front of me, couldn't stop drawing attention to himself. He shouted, he wolf-whistled, he addressed the performers by name, and occasionally turned around to me to apologise: "I'm so excited I'm going to scratch the skin right off my face!!!!"
Okay. Fortunately, he calmed down after John Paul [of the performing duo] said rather pointedly, "I think that's enough now, dude."
To be honest, they were brilliant playing live... I can almost sympathise with Enthusiastic Guy. Check out these harmonies:
And, the energetic title track of their album:
After the gig, suitably contented after such a great show, we walked through the chill late evening to the multi-storey car park where Roosevelt waited patiently. Less than two minutes into our walk, Dan wondered aloud if I'd heard from Emma, my mother-to-be.
I opened my mouth and at that moment, from my coat pocket, my phone rang. We continued walking as I pulled it out and heard Emma's voice on the other end telling me her waters had just broken.
Timing. Sometimes it really is just everything. Thanks, babies, for letting me have my Christmas present!