So much for a months leave; I had an interview last week for a position in London and started yesterday. I’ll have to get used to waking up at a normal time again.
The new acrylic has been received and it looks fantastic! There are a few pieces that can’t go up yet as I’m still waiting on other colours, but the blue ones and restocked yellow should be in the shop by the weekend.
This weekend I was kept busy with two gigs, the NME Awards tour at Brixton Academy on Saturday and Carl Barat at the 100 Club on Sunday.
The NME Awards tour is usually an opportunity for the NME to show off their latest indie favourites, so it was quite a surprise to see Magentic Man and Crystal Castles heading the lineup. Not your usual generic NME fare. I am not a fan at all of the other two bands, The Vaccines and Everything Everything, so I showed up late in the hope of missing them. No such luck with Everything Everything as I had to put up with most of their squawking, vacuous set. I moved forward before Magnetic Man to get a decent spot and instantly found myself surrounded by chav-esque youngsters. This did not bode well. My predictions were correct as Magnetic Man turned out to be an awful dubstep DJ ensemble. I just don’t get everyone’s fascination with dubstep; maybe I’m just getting old. They seemed to be quite well known as they got a massive response from the crowd and then about half the venue buggered off once they had ended. Their loss for missing out on an epic Crystal Castles set.
A roadie came out just before the band hit the stage to let us know that Alice Glass had a broken ankle, and although the doctor told her to cancel the tour, she said fuck that. This was met with a loud cheer as the band followed, their singer limping on with her foot in plaster and a crutch in one hand. It was a frenetic, riotous set that was not in any way hampered by Alice’s injury, as she threw herself around the stage as usual and even clambered into the crowd towards the end. I was worried that Crystal Castle’s sound would seem out of place in the large venue (as had happened when they supported The Cure at the O2 Arena) but the bass was apparently turned up to 11 and each beat vibrated through the crowd as if we were in an intimate club. It was a fun, if fairly short, setlist and they ended the main section on their massive hit ‘Not In Love’, with a two-song encore following to appease the ravenous audience.
Not In Love
The Carl Barat gig was another NME awards show (as seems to be the case with most of my February gigs) and it was originally scheduled to be at the Shepherds Bush Empire. For various reasons the whole of Carl’s UK tour was either cancelled or rescheduled, with this gig being moved to the 100 Club on the same day. Our best guess was that the gig didn’t sell enough tickets, so they moved to a smaller venue, although we were pleased with this turn of events as the 100 Club is a lot more intimate. The support acts were rehashed from the previous tour so we were familiar with quite a few of their songs already. By the time Carl and his band came onstage, the tiny room was packed to the back and we were crushed against the stage barely inches from the famous frontman.
The setlist was pretty much the same as the last time I saw him but it was bolstered by the fact that we were a lot more familiar with his solo album by now. There were Dirty Pretty Things and Libertines tracks scattered throughout, which of course got the biggest reactions, and we also got treated to an impromptu rendition of ‘What A Waster’ as requested by an audience member. As he ended on ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ the room went insane and bounced around so much that even my mum was encouraged to join in.
Je Regrette, Je Regrette
Run With The Boys
The Man Who Would Be King
Carve My Name
So Long, My Lover
What Have I Done
Up The Bracket
Death Fires Burn At Night
What A Waster
Death On The Stairs
Bang Bang You’re Dead
The Ballad Of Grimaldi
Don’t Look Back Into The Sun