Posted 20 hours ago

The Gritterman

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The Gritterman was initially conceived, explains Weeks, as a “self-contained project, I wasn’t looking too far ahead. The story of The Gritterman centres around the overlooked ‘seasonal hero’ working in a dying profession. This tale emphasises the importance of kindness and compassion, manifested through ghosts of the past, present, and future that haunt a bitter Scrooge until, on Christmas, he finally decides to change his old ways.

A tale narrated by the gritterman, an elderly gent who works as an ice cream man in the summer before battling the ice in the winter. The artful tones and nuances of A Quickening won’t appease those who marked Weeks down as a graduate of the school of modern rock privilege.But I was the first person to do it, on an engine he had been restoring for longer than I’d been alive. It doesn’t seem heroic in the way that a doctor working all hours and saving lives is, or paramedics or firefighters. It’s a much happier place for me, because you feel that the whole day is the investment, and not just the hour-and-a-half on stage.

At a packed-out Union Chapel in Islington, the book and its accompanying soundtrack of original piano music and songs were last night brought to life, with comedian Paul Whitehouse providing laconic narration and Weeks’s plaintive tones backed by a full band and choir.Although unaware of the resemblance until that very moment, suddenly, Weeks – who has spent the last 14 years as the frontman of indie rock band the Maccabees – could see it too. As he prepares for his final day of gritting icy roads he knows that his familiar routine is set to change.

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