Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Whip, Cage The Elephant, Seeing Scarlet, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - Water Rats

Nine quid on the door, I thought it was seven
- Its seven in advance,
But I'm pretty early, the first person here
- Not early enough

So what horrendous chain of events leads me to being at The Water Rats, London, paying £9 to see a band who'll be playing Glasgow in two days, for maybe £4?

It long and complicated and there's no one answer. It was the first event listed onLast.Fm, in London that looked any good.

I feel like 12 years ago in Manchester, the Boardwalk, too young, miles away from home. The smell of smoke. The same leather jacket.

I couldn't sleep and I needed something to keep my mind occupied.

Frankly I'm impressed and somewhat puzzled, I haven't slept in 37 hours, usually I fall asleep when driving in the day time, but not today, not even drifting off eyes a flickering. I admit I did start off quite drunk, boozing all day with Robbie and Colin, and then the Hermit Crabs.

Sitting here writing, I'm becoming overcome with the inevitable exhaustion. My legs feel like jelly and I'm thinking though treacle.

If only I'd paid my rent and had my passport with me. I'd be in France by now. Somewhere in the back of my mind was a plan to pick up a car charger for my mobile phone. Instead, its switched off, saving batteries for when I really need it.

There was a crash on the M25, six folk in a bus killed. When I left the flat there were just the initial reports of the horror, the horror, The, the police were speaking to the driver of the lorry that everything crashed into. I wonder what the lastest is now.

Crikey I got to this gig early, its not even half seven.

Wonders who the support bands are. There was a girl with hair and make up who looked musicish, and a gentleman in a hat.

Five paying punters now, two girls look nervous, echos of Manchester '95.

Time passes


Actually, I'm not sure if time is passing at all, there's nothing to show for it.

It is '95

I'm all sticky, sweaty and smelly from hours of sunshine and wandering and driving, and the Redex stuff I put in my car with the petrol, it melts my hands.

These cigarette butts smell unfamiliar, whatever happened to sick slut?

So we're in London's famous King's Cross area. I spent the night in a McDonalds just round the corner from here during my last poorly conceived adventure to London. Their slinging out time is 4am, giving you time to wander to Victoria station to kip on the benches when it opens at 5am.

More punters are turning up at The Water Rats, all of them looking as lost as I. It can't be everyone's first time here, can it?

Its getting dark out, my exhaustion is making me cold, and the disco lights keep making me look up, checking if anyone's walked in. London has a population of 300 million, I'm bound to see more than one person I know.

Deprived of my phone I don't know what time it is.

The place is about to reach its seating limit and its getting too dark to write.

The first band have been asked to the stage.

Slow, sad and methodical, Whip from Portland Oregon. Guitars, casios, glokenspiel and banjos. I was already feeling in the mood for Chris Isaac, so they were like that and if Tom Snowball joined Martin Stephenson and the Daintees.

There are seven people watchingthe band, and fifty folk through at the bar in the other room, yaking loudly, missing out on the music. Philistines!!

I have little but contempt for those punters, for I am a bitter man.

Actually on my way out I noticed they have a camera hooke dup tot he stage and a large video screen so those contemptuous punters could watch away. Still a bunch of cunts.

Next, a bunch of hairy lads of various heights.

Oh why do the hair bear bunch spend so much time dicking about before they begin, could they no have come prepared? Damn you Baden-Powell.

Possibly a Kid Rock tribute act. Neat lead guitar from the hairy guitarist.

Hmm, they smashed up the stage a wee bit, makes me wonder if I got the right venue for the SubUrban Kids. Whoever put the bill together clearly had no idea what any of the bands sound like. Maybe that's the London way of doing these things.

Next up, a bunch of accountants, sings like Placebo. We killed Britpop for a reason.

The again, going by the mongs dancing aling in the audience, we might as well not have bothered.

Bonus points for an alien invasion halfway through, but I'm sure The Plimps or The Loves did it first.

Crikey, there's a gentleman here who looks just like Robbie. He kept on glancing at me at the bar and now he's stood nearby.

So the Suburban Kids turn up, on stage, the crowd is replaced by folk who'd been hiding in fear of the other bands all night and they get off to a great start of gentle bopping. The tall chap plays a mean lute.

Alas, an original '50s Fender Stratocaster they had along didn't work when plugged in, and kind of caught them off guard.

Their songs are great, they get rid of the lyrics at the start, then over-power you with the beat and the melody, grinding the hook into your head, like a crampon when rock climbing.

- They guys are fuckin' ace
- Have you seen them before?
A couple of times
- Are you Swedish?
Nope, I'm Glaswegian.

The problem is, is that just about all their songs follow the same formula, and once they get into the melody grinding, they go on for about two minutes too long. And cos of this, they ran out of time.

No Rent a Wreck, their bestest tune in my opinion. I felt cheated. This song has the formula backwards with the melody and hook at the start and the lyrics in the middle.

Luckily, they're playing again, the next night at White Heat, which you can go to. "I have other commitments" says Jonah, "What? Science class?"



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