Archive for the ‘Kentish Town Forum’ Category



So this was the age of the buzz-band.

Even though they sounded nothing like the Strokes, this was all post-Strokes.

Maps remains an amazing song, but honestly –the rest of this album was all about the art.

When a band seems more known for their singer’s stage-wear and performance than the music then I’m not sure it’s for me.

Is she trying to deep-throat the mic? Do I really care about her costume?

But then, I was seeing this gig at a bit of a remove.

I was sober, and we were sitting on a VIP table at the front of the balcony thanks to the girl I shouldn’t have been involved with but who was in the industry and who could arrange things like this.

It added an appropriate theatrical vibe to a theatrical show, and it felt as if it was important to be there because – well, they were a buzz band and we were cool people.

I was never passionate about this band.

High: Maps

Drinking: No.

Thinking: I’m honestly not quite sure what all the fuss is about.


Bloc Party new


I think this was their high point.

I don’t know if it’s tragic or cool to have been turned onto a band by reading reviews of their singles in NME, but I’d had the singles of Little Thoughts and Helicopter.

And file sharing had given me the other early songs.

And I’d seen them before, but this was their first big headline on their first big tour and it was good to be they guy insisting that we went.

I thought Kele was a proper rock star. He was beautiful.

I remember standing there soaking it in. This was one of those shows when it feels as if a band are ascending.

That the songs that you and the other “fans” know are being taken on by everyone.

That the guys on the stage are all playing for their lives (oh that drumming…..!)

That you can keep drinking – because people keep bringing you drinks – and that it’s white light euphoria and not confusion coming on.

I still have no idea what Helicopter’s all about, but hey – it came on the radio the other day and so much memory came back with it.

High: Helicopter.

Drinking: Oh yes.

Thinking: I am hoping for a miracle right now, Kele. Really I am.

Why: When they first appeared, BRMC were a big deal. They were somehow on that same cool young American guitar band tip as the Strokes but far darker, far louder and had a Jesus & Mary Chain vibe about them. Much as I hated the Forum (then and now) I had to go, and I’d asked along the guitar playing accountant I was occasionally dating at the time.

High: I’d like to say it was Red Eyes & Tears, my favourite from that first album, (the only album that really counted until the acoustic Howl years later), but obviously it was Whatever Happened to my Rock & Roll – screamed out from behind a blaze of dry ice and white light at chest thumping volume.

Drinking: Those were the Stella years for me, but it would have been whatever attempt at premium lager the venue could handle.

Thinking: You’re so cool. I’m so drunk. Please take me home.

Gig on Songkick 

Why? Well, obviously – like the rest of London of my age – I’d been to see the original Brixton reunion shows, but this return via the Forum was unplanned. A friend had guest list tickets, but much to his annoyance couldn’t make the show. At least he had a good excuse – he was getting married the next day.

High? Winterlong. Possibly the best Neil Young cover ever.

Drinking? I wasn’t, well maybe just a couple of pints. I’d quit booze and hard drugs that April and it was semi-successful for a number of months. I was still smoking though, so that’s probably why the memory’s blurry.

Thinking? I really, really need a proper drink. And so it was that after holding down sobriety till 23:00 at my friend’s wedding the next day I laid into spirits for the first time in nearly 5 months. Ugly.

Gig on Songkick

Setlist on