Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Architecture In Helsinki - Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen

It was a hell of a walk to Hoxton Square from Euston, if the scale on the map was an order of magnitude smaller I might have made it to Richard Hawley's gig at the Rough Trade Supermarket, trying to make amends for being thrown off the Richard Hawley messageboard a year ago.

I'm in an expansive kebab house, Shish, round the corner from the venue, some kind of show jazz piped in, my little toe feels like its going to fall off. The waitress is helpful and friendly, putting up with my inability to speak coherently and my poor manners.

Round Hoxton Square hipsters lounged in the sun. From the outside the venue, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen looked more like an eatery than a twee music venue.

I wish I were in touch with people of the internet who I got to gigs with, rather than just awkwardly/unexpectedly seeing them there. I wonder what Paul's up to.

I've got it, egg shakers filled with match heads. Just leave them lying round before a gig, indiepop kids pick them up, band plays set and leaves the stage, crowd holler for an encore, indiekids shake their egg shakers ecstatically, match heads blow up – indiepop genocide.

Reassured by the lost looking hipsters wandering toward the venue, and strangely surprised by musos walking the other way. Four guitars and a drum kit I counted.

You know when you're paying the bill for your rather nice lamb kebab and couscous and you pull your credit card out a little too forcefully, hitting yourself in the face and having a nosebleed, in a crowded restaurant, but luckily you're wearing a red t-shirt.

Oh dear god, there's a queue, out the door and at least 2/3 down the block. Is this the right gig? I'm sure there were only a few score when Architecture In Helsinki played Mono how long ago.

Ah, large Finnish community here in London.

Hmm, that bird who stood six foot away from me during The Orchids is here, well it looks like her. I tried to find her on FaceBook, but to no avail.

Been queuing for about two hours now. If I made a point about how badly organised it is, would they change anything? The free newspapers said it opened at 19:30, but it was 21:00 when the queue started moving. Capacity is 150, about three times that turned up. I count 60 guestlist folk who push to the front of the queue, still the same stream as paying punters and the gate is only one person wide, so we have to queue for longer.

I hope the band are worth this hell, ooh, free badge.

Cunts with handbags the size of my dad's old camping rucksack, “'scuse me dear”.

Hundred and fifty of us sweat for another 20 minutes whilst being threatened by what I can only assume is Kevin's choice of music and then the band take to the stage. Sounds like they've mated with Chromeo and Bis, the girls sings like a mid-80's Madonna sample. During the second or third song some girl called Debbie manages to lurch onto the stage and look awkward for a few minutes, ill advised fan or secret seventh band member, gereroff any way.
To bring it down halfway through they did a rather neat cover of 1987's Mental As Anything hit Live It Up. I preferred Northern Uproar's. Ashton Kutcher on vocals has a nice voice at times.

There's still a certain majesty to them, but instead of the sweet and maybe nervous twee, its more the hyper, sweaty party fun of The Go Team, will it alienate more old fans than win over new ones?

I didn't mind that there was only one band when the advert promised two, what put a downer on the night was the queuing for hours and the music barely made up for it.


here (with video that you can't listen to)

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