Hugely biased gig review

While it would clearly be better for someone else to review the gig, no one seems to be rushing to do so.  I can only ascribe the negligence to some kind of global internet failure and not to apathy.

Where to begin?  I was a little disappointed in the turn-out, having been fairly confident that we would get somewhere around 150.  In the end, it was 120.  Ah, well, it’s a start.  And this gig truly was out start, as I’ve written elsewhere, inasmuch as we were the only band playing and it was not only Ira’s first gig with us, but her first gig ever.  More on that later.

Des (O’Brien’s manager, who was really positive and helpful on the night) was a little but scared when he saw the gear we had brought.  Two 200-watt guitar amps, a 300-watt bass amp and a full P.A. system.  He was under the impression that it might be a bit loud.  I reassured him that it wouldn’t be and was unknowingly lying through my teeth.  It was bloody loud!

Everyone changed into the gig togs, some showing considerably more imagination than others.  Mick wore his patriotic Leeds 6 shirt and his way-over-the-top (in a good way) leopard skin drape, as well as the ubiquitous leather porkpie hat.  Ira went glam-o-rama, in zebra skin pants, high heels and pink halter top (she is a show-off.)  Dave and I were the fashion zeroes, both of us wearing stuff like we wear daily.  Losers.

Started off with a roaring version of “Sonic Reducer.”  I thought it sounded really tight and was feeling pretty good about things.  Maksim the Sound Guy, though, was still working out the levels, meaning that my mike couldn’t be heard.  However, any of you who have ever heard me sing will know that this was no great loss.  Mick remembered all the words and Ira was well into her rock star posing, which later reached the true heights of hair-metal.

“The KKK Took My Baby Away” got a good round of applause when we played it for a sound check, and repeated its success when we played it for real.  It’s a great tune and – let’s face it – it’s hard to fuck up.  And we didn’t.

“White Riot” rocked too.  We only recently added it to the set and I’m glad we did.

“Bodies” was possibly the highlight of the night.  The beginning sounded meaty and I love playing this one.  By this time, Ira’s rather attractive friends were dancing away right in front of us.  Despite this raw display of female Ukrainian pulchritude, Mick and managed to stay “on message” and keep our minds on chords and lyrics, but it wasn’t easy.

I’m far too lazy to describe every song, so here’s a rough round-up:   Teenage Kicks, Human Fly, Blitzkrieg Bop, Brand New Cadillac, Peter Gunn and Rockaway Beach all turned out well (though I think our inclusion of Peter Gunn had a few people scratching their heads.)

I Fought the Law, Pretty Vacant, Mamma Mia and Sound of Silence were slightly ropey, with some muffed lyrics and a couple of other flubs, but nothing disastrous.  Some people I spoke to later really liked the idea of us doing Mamma Mia and Sound of Silence, though, so far from a total debacle.

Despite the fact that I unaccountably blew a riff in Baby Elephant Walk, it went over really well!  It’s such a weird song to play that I love it.  I vote for Eine Kleine Nachtmusik to be added!

Things were put back in complete order with Anarchy in the U.K., God Save the Queen (no protests from any monarchists present) and Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.  By this time, Mick and Ira were in full flow, with Mick having shed both drape and hat and looking imperious in his muscle shirt.  If he could now develop muscles, we’d be away.  Ira, meanwhile, was off on Planet Poison, doing Nigel Tuffnel-esque leanbacks and nearly somersaults in her quest to win the 1st International Rock Posing Competition.  With her high heel up on the monitor, I had a brief mental glimpse of Gene Simmons, but Ira’s a lot nicer to look at.

I was beginning to fear total hearing loss by this time.  It felt as though my head was imploding anytime I got to close to the P.A. columns, which sent me scurrying back to my place, only to realise that my monitor was also blasting at brain damage level.  Such are the dangers of rock ‘n’ roll.

I Wanna Be Your Dog always brings out the best in Mick and this time was no exception.  He nailed it and I could see some serious pogo-ing going on in the audience, despite my averting my eyes from the aforementioned front-row babes.

We ended with a raucous version of Louie Louie.  Is there anyone who doesn’t love that song?  I didn’t think so.

We trooped off very tired, cognizant of mistakes made and in need of improvement, but overall pretty damned happy. 

And, we found out that we’ve been asked to support Asleep in the Park and @Traktor at Bochka on October 5th, which pleases me no end.

See ya.


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