On Saturday, me and The Man traipsed off to the Roundhouse to see the Chemical Brothers. It was the 4th time I’ve seen them, although it’s been three years since I last saw them at the free gig they did in Trafalgar Square.
I love the Chemical Brothers – and even though they’re not ‘showmen’ (as they just sit behind loads of techy equipment) oh my GOD do they put on a show! And the Roundhouse is probably the best place I’ve ever seen them (twice now) as the curvature of the space allows them to have a curved screen, which really immerses you in their fantastic visuals.
The were showcasing their new album which comes out soon, and having already fallen in love with Swoon, the first single, I had high hopes. And I was not disappointed. it really was a show of two halves – the first was all their new album, which was amazing – a far more defined feel to it, I think – it all sat together really well and had a bit more ‘maturity’ to it. The raw energy of some of their earlier stuff has been replaced with something more finished, deeper, more layered.
And oh, how I danced. I danced and danced and danced. It was a fantastic feeling, and one I haven’t had for a while. I wish I had another gig coming up soon. Would’ve liked to have seen Faithless, but they were on same time as The Chems.
I bought The Man tickets to see The Damned next month, but it’s really not my thing, so he’s going with my mad mate 🙂 Surely that can’t be my last gig until Lovebox in mid-July!
Finally – the last part of the first half, where they finished playing the new album. I’m afraid it’s someone else’s video as I was too busy dancing!!
Groove Armada are my absolute favouritest band, and have been for many many years. I love the way that all of their records sound so different. I love the way that they have so many different ‘guest artists’ to sing on their tracks, which gives them such a different feel. I love MC MAD who sings Superstylin’ (and also my favourite EVER GA track Madder, which is never ever played – apart from almost every week in my flat!). I love the way they just seem to keep getting stronger and stronger. And most of all, I love the way that their live shows are absolutely amazing. They have presence that you wouldn’t expect from a dance/techno duo. The light shows are fantastic, and they PLAY instruments (not twiddle knobs) – and OMG do they know how to play their crowd!
So – even though I saw them at the Coronet back in October introducing some of the stuff from their new album Black Light, I of course HAD to go and see them at The Forum on Wednesday for the album launch. And it was brilliant. From the intro medley and SaintSaviour’s brilliant vocals and entrancing movements on Look Me In The Eye Sister to the triple-climaxing of Superstylin’ that NEVER fails to get everyone jumping.
And yes, I jumped, I bopped, I swayed. I could barely walk home afterwards and thought I’d given my leg a setback I wouldn’t recover from. But in the morning it was fine. Phew! I’ve even chucked away my stick (well, metaphorically – it’s actually on the floor next to my desk!).
So, a fantastic gig, a fantastic night (preceded by a brilliant Ethiopian meal with my mate), and the gig has received rave reviews. This will be the first year GA aren’t playing Lovebox, which depressed me when I found out before they headlined last year, but I’ve already managed to see them twice since then – so all is good.
If you love dance music, make sure you get to see Groove Armada! Black Light is fantastic!
So, I’m on to part two of my long rambling review of last Thursday’s gig at The Roundhouse. Part one is here obviously!
So, after Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly I was feeling pretty happy (although that could be the bevvies that Mr C&C was buying me too!).
Next up was Mr Hudson, who I had seen at Lovebox, and had been really impressed by. His set was very energetic, a lot more rich sounding than some of the previous acts, although the female backing-singer had a fantastic voice, but was playing a steel drum, which was rather strange. Supernova was brilliant once again (although slightly steel-drum odd) and way better than the version with bloody Kanye West ruining it!
The next act was John McClure of Reverand & The Makers. the tallest man in rock as they dubbed him – and he IS quite formidable. It was just him and his guitar, doing what he’s always done best really – busking. He was pretty amusing with it though, he said “They asked me if I’d like to play tonight and I said sure, but then I couldn’t get a band together. they then told me thta I was going to be on straight before Paul Weller, so no pressure there then! But there’s worse things in life than being the Modfather’s fluffer, so I’m dead happy to give it a go!”
He was really good, especially as they were obviously starting to set up the equipment for Weller and his band all around him.
Then Marcus Birgstocke came back on to fill in the time, and decided to have a beatbox competition with a random audience member, with quite surprising but amusing results!
Then it was Paul Weller. I’ve never really been much of a Weller fan, or the Style Council…although I never minded The Jam and have a Greatest Hits album somewhere. My faves of his have always been Eton Rifles and Start, so how happy was I that his set included both AND A Town Called Malice – which totally rocked the joint!
I had been aware of a really cute little woman grinning at me from the other side of the rather ‘dude/cool’ looking guy sitting next to me, and then the two of them convinced me to throw caution to the wind, forget about my walking stick and dance along to Start and Malice. She then came and chatted to me once Paul weller was off “Hi, what’s your name…I’m Gail” and me thinking “Yes. Yes you are. You’re Gail Porter. You’ve had your picture projected onto the Houses of Parliament. You had your nipples airbrushed out!” and of course, all I could think of were her nipples after that – I had a craving to check them out. *sigh*
She gave me her wine, she hugged me, held my hand, kissed me, snogged me a little bit, introduced me to her boyfriend and his band, chatted a bit more and gave me her email address and a CD of her boyfriend’s band. It was all rather surreal.
So, anyway, after Paul Weller was KT Tunstall, who was really good – and I was rather enthralled by her drummers – there were two of them on one set of drums and a kettle drum, and one of them was a really unlikely-looking ‘rock star’ with big curly hair, beard and a Pringle jumper…but he was so exuberant and drumming so hard (and well!) that his not unconsiderable boobage was fairly dancing!
Next up were I Should Coco, which consisted of a guy and a girl, the girl being Coco Sumner, Sting’s daughter – and to be honest, they were quite good, but only did one song, and she sounded exactly like a female version of Sting, which was a bit strange but in a good way!
Then it was The Magic Numbers, who were really good, but by that time, my leg had started really giving me gip from the dancing and all I could think about was the fact that I needed to get home, and the realisation that if I left, I was going to miss Seasick Steve 😦 But I’d had a fantastic night, and it was more than I’d been thinking I was going to manage, so I told C I was going to have to leave, and he came with me (which was really sweet, cos he could’ve watched me hobble off and stay til the end!)
I know I haven’t mentioned Harry Shearer presenting, and doing Mr Burns or how pissed Shappi Khorsandi was, which disappointed me as I’ve always found her really funny, but she was like a drunk embarrassing auntie, saying how her boyfriend is a musician and calling iPhone’s whores! And Peter Serafinowicz doing loads of impressions like De Niro and Sly Stallone! But I’d be here forever…
Since doing my leg in, I’d been thinking that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the event, but after contacting the organisers on Twitter, they arranged for me to exchange my standing tickets for seated ones in the balcony (which were twice as expensive!) – it was a very good move, and we had a pretty decent view!
As it’s only down the road from work, I got there first, and was loitering around the entrance, trying to work out who the people were that were being papped…I later found out that they were mainly various radio presenters, so didn’t feel too bad about not recognising them.
Then Neil Morrisey came and asked me a question (very trivial) but I felt slightly starstruck – and he really played to the crowd when he was presenting a little later, spoke a few words about the disaster and how we should all be doing whatever we can to help the people of Haiti and actually shouted out “Can we fix it?”…corny, but it was appreciated 🙂
So, Marcus Brigstocke was the main presenter, and I know I like him anyway, but he was better than I thought he’d be – a bit more near the mark than he usually is on TV and radio – I guess being live you can get away with more!
So – first act was Nate James. i’d heard his name before but that’s it. The start to the gig was bad. His voice was really good and soully, and I was impressed with it, the only thing wrong was that his first choice was a cover of ‘What’s Going On’ but with lyrics about Haiti. Ugh!!! WHY???
Next up was a band called The Humans, and I turned to C and said “Is that Toyah?” and yes, indeed it was the woman but it’s a mystery why the hell she was there (see what I did there?) – she was mental as she ever was, but in a really bizarre oh my god what the hell is this racket kind of way! She looked good, and I loved the dress, but no. Never ever accost my ears with that noise again. Please God!
Next were Bombay Bicycle Club, fresh from winning Best New Band at the NME awards the previous night. I saw them at Lovebox last year – in fact had specifically got there on time to see them as they’d played early. They were pretty good, but it was still early, the place wasn’t very full and I don’t think their usual energy was there. They were far better at Lovebox.
So, it wasn’t looking THAT great so far. But next up were Futureheads who did an acoustic set – just the three of them on guitars. they did three tracks, one that I didn’t know, but The Beginning of the Twist and Hounds of Love were brilliant – and way better than I was expecting from them.
Interspersing the acts, while all the techies were sorting the stage and equipment out were various comedians, etc keeping the audience upbeat. At some stage, two very very nervous young lads came out and didn’t do great, but I swore blind that I recognised to them, and turned to C and said “They were in Misfits! He could turn back time, and he could make himself invisible!” it meant nothing to C but I was pretty sure that was them. In the middle of their stumbling banter, one of them said “I’m not quite sure what we should do now!” and someone from the crowd shouted “Use your super powers!!!” and they laughed and said they couldn’t use them in public, so I felt glad that I’d recognised them! It was a surprisingly entertaining series – I wasn’t expecting it to be much cop, but ended up watching every episode!
So, the next act for me were the really pleasant surprise. The little hidden gem support that I would never purposely have listened to, but now definitely will! They were the Lovely Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. I can’t explain what got me about them, apart from the lead singer (and brilliant classic guitarist) seemed to have so much passion and energy. i loved his voice, and he really seemed to inject so much into the music. Their stuff is a lot less dancey etc than i would normally be attracted to – a hell of a lot lighter, but it was really enjoyable, and they were really entertaining – and they had brass instruments too, which I love.
I am blabbing on longer than I thought I would, so I’m going to stop here, and come back to the rest of my rather lengthy review, but I had a quick look on YouTube for Cape, and there doesn’t seem to be THAT much of their stuff about, and I think they’r ebetter performers than shows on their vids, but I actually like this, because I think the video is really clever 🙂
Well, apparently Ellie Goulding is top of the BBC Sound of 2010 list which means she’s destined for big things this year!
This news has given me a new excuse to procrastinate today while I’m working from home.
I don’t know whether it’s just me, but when I’m working from home, I tend to get a lot more done, but feel a lot more guilty when I’m not actually doing any work. In the office, me and my boss laugh and joke and show each other stuff on the internet – I’m quite happy to have Facebook open permanently (I CAN multi-task). I also have a work Twitter account, which also throws up some interesting stuff. Then I get phone calls and have meetings and there’s so many distractions. Plus I have to travel there and back.
When I’m working from home, I tend to start looking at emails and stuff at about 8am and end up doing far more actual work, and yet when I’m not working, I keep feeling like I’m going to get found out! I wonder why that is.
Anyway, Ellie Goulding – as of today she’s suddenly got her name all over the news and the internet, and so I spent the last 10 or 15 minutes looking through YouTube videos of her at the Union Chapel gig in November. Mainly to see if I can see myself. Ahem.
I wonder how many other people do that. When they’ve been somewhere that they know has been recorded, they go and look at countless videos just to see if they can spot themselves a nd if they do, then moan OH MY GOD – do I look like THAT?!!? Was I dancing like THAT?? I look SOOOOOOOOooooooooooo pissed/stoned/fat/slutty/mental/like my mum*!!”
*delete as applicable
I’m sure that’s not just me.
Anyway – it was a brilliant gig, but Ellie was WAY down my list of favourite acts that night. Obviously I went for Florence & The Machine mainly (3rd time I saw her last year) who is perfect far the fantastic acoustics of Union Chapel (which is the most amazing venue), but close on her heels were the amazing Rodrigo y Gabriela – who I had never heard of at the time. they just completely fired the crowd up – and again, they were perfect for the venue.
Ellie had a good voice, but it was nowhere near as powerful or controlled as Florence, and I think Under The Sheets especially sounds far better once it has been produced etc, as I quite like the single, but live it was definitely lacking something. All of the Union Chapel gigs were acoustic and I don’t think that was really her strength.