Sunday, 5 July 2009

Ballboy - Roxy Bar and Screen

Bit of a nightmare getting to the venue today, one day the London underground will be running okay, at some point in the mythical future, not today though.

Luckily cos of the Wimbledon final everything's running late.

Tonight there's a screening of a Ballboy documentary / gig footage, “Trying Not To F**k It Up”. I was trying to figure out if I was with my attractive young ladyfriend at the time. A quick snatch at Songkick shows that the gig was a few months before I met her, alas.

I've seen Ballboy quite a few times, Songkick reckons four times, but I swear there was a show at The Arches in Glasgow, well, it was his laptop-based spin-off project Money Can't Buy Music. I'm disappointed that the internet has no record of that show. I always figured that in the mythical future, everything in living memory would be recorded somewhere, somehow. Every gig somewhere out there on a list, in a database. But no, its exactly the same as if the show didn't happen and I'd just imagined it.

There used to be this club night at The Arches, The Funk Room. Flatmate Alan used to take me along to see acts like The Soul Destroyers and The Dap Kings, but again, those shows are lost in the mists of time, no record of them accessible via google. Almost like it never happened.

So, aye, this film of a gig tonight, I was there then.

Its my first time at the Roxy Bar and Screen, the front half of the place is like any other bar in the world, but there behind curtains at the back is a dark and wide seating area with a big screen on the far wall and people from London's Indiepop gigs sat round the fringes.

There's a bit of a self-referential vibe going on, about half the audience here tonight, were at the show last year. There's Andy, there's Ian, there's Crystalball, and crikey, there's me. Result! Was there then!

Hmm, the sounds good on the recording, I thought it was a bit bass heavy at the start, but further in it sounds okay. Lots of lingering shots of the band, a couple of slightly shakey shots from the stage.

I think when I'm marauding round Indietracks later this month with my camera this year I'm going to try and get more portraits of folk in the crowd. From a 'was there then' perspective that's really important.

Actually, I don't think that is me in the crowd, whoever it is is in almost every shot of the stage, its quite unnerving, he keeps looking down. He's got my hair, but the nose looks different. I could have sworn I was stood at the back and to the side.

The film's a bit long. Feels longer than the show was, there are at least twelve songs there and I'm sure a couple missing that were played live that night, there was that one about Godzilla and the one about dumper truck racing, I think it was called Dumper Truck Racing. But it accurately mapped the gig, only missing out on how blisteringly warm it was that night last summer.

The lights come back on, Gordon takes to the stage, on a small chair set up next to a lamp stand, with acoustic guitar.

The vocals are a bit woolly in real life compared to the film, maybe its cos this place isn't set up so well as a music venue. Gentler than the film too, as is the nature of stripped down acoustic guitar numbers.

His hangover song has something of the Tom Snowball about it, here listen to this and tell me what you think, I wonder if they've ever heard each.

Ooh, someone videoed bits of the evening, via StringBeanJen:-

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