Archive for the ‘2005’ Category

Bloc Party


That ticket says Comp for “Complimentary.”

This was a private show for a London radio station.

I knew some people who worked there, so I got a free ticket.

It feels like there was a lot of this at the time. I was on guest lists and it just became an accepted thing.

And there was free booze. (That ticket says Jamesons. For Whiskey).

I know it would have been magnificent, but this free party at this venue starts to blend into all the others.

At one of them I was introduced to a girl I tried to have a thing with for a while.

Someone was trying to match-make.

She’s still a friend. The night we met, she poured a drink over my head.

If that was this night it would probably have been welcome. That summer of 2005 was a strange time in London

The whole 7/7 bombings thing was bad for those of us who still commuted up to King’s Cross, and even if you started taking a train into Euston and walking up to avoid the tube you still saw the posters for the missing; for months afterwards.

It wasn’t a good time for any of us. So yeah, light relief, a band I loved, and drinking like the end of the world.

High: very

Drinking: for free

Thinking: I’m on the scene, but I’m getting jittery.


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.

New Ps


The first New Pornographers record means the world to me.

This was the first chance I’d had to see them live, and I jumped on it with the friend who used to play guitar with me.

I have no idea why they chose this venue.

The sound system at 93 Feet East was all about dance music and it just didn’t work properly for this kind of power pop.

I remember getting really angry about this.

That and the fact that it wasn’t Neko Case singing.

Really angry.

They were touring Twin Cinema, but obviously we were all about Mass Romantic, so we stuck it out to the end to hear Letter from an Occupant and My Slow Descent into Alcoholism.

But even they couldn’t hit the spot.

High: the anticipation.

Drinking: yeah, really heavily. My slow descent went something like this.

Thinking: I can’t believe that something so good on record sounds so bad live.


The Tears were Brett and Bernard from Suede, reunited for what turned out to be just the one album, but quite a bit of touring.

You’d get the impression now that they’d only done it for the money, but we didn’t think that then.

Someone I knew played with them, and we thought it was finally going to be his really big break so we went along to cheer for most of the London dates.

But this isn’t one of the ones I remember.

I remember being introduced to Bernard in the Hop Poles in Hammersmith before they played the Palais later that year.

I remember he turned away and didn’t say a word.

I remember an amazing Apollo 13 from that same show.

I remember an after party that may have been when they played at Heaven to start their tour.

But I don’t remember this at all.

I was drinking heavily again by 2005, and I wasn’t really very with it.

High: I presume so.

Drinking: very much so

Thinking: everything seems to be coming to some kind of a point and I’m not sure I like it.

Setlist on



These were amazing years to be into music. Particularly if you still thought of yourself as young.

Editors are still around.

A friend made a video for them not so long ago, but their new song sounded like a pastiche of the old ones.

But back then it felt like they meant it.

They played urgently. As if everything was terribly important and that all of it was suddenly at stake.

If fortune favours the brave
I am as awful as they come
I got a million things to say

Lights. Bullets. All Sparks. Fingers in the Factories.


Above all, it sounded important.

I remember it in flashes of light on a crowded floor with one of my oldest friends beside me. A grin on his face and his arm around my shoulder.

Even better, the opening band was We Are Scientists.

Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt. THE GREAT ESCAPE.

We Are Scientists had videos on MTV2 that I watched in my bedroom when I got up in the mornings.

Smoke what’s left in the ash-tray, watch rock videos. Feel like you’re young, then go to the office stoned.

This night felt like that thing that was supposed to happen in the 60s and 70s and that you’d only get to hear about years later.

Two great young brilliant first-album bands on the same bill together. They’re both supposed to take it all the way and you’re supposed to say, “yeah, I was there.”

I still wear an “I Are Scientists” t-shirt I bought that year.

It was originally in a colour described as ‘cat’s nose’ pink. Now it just seems a little dirty.

High: Scientists doing Great Escape. Editors doing Blood. The lights.

Drinking: Surprisingly little, or I really wouldn’t remember it this well.

Thinking: Blood runs in our veins.

Shockingly no set list on Here’s how Editors set looked that tour though.

Foo fighters


Foo Fighters? In 2000? On a Saturday night a week before Christmas? What’s not to like?

But I’m drawing a blank.

I don’t think I actually went to this show.

I want to write a note to the people I would have arranged to go with and ask what happened, but I worry about what I might hear back from them.

I can see that they were awful seats, so maybe something better came along.

But I can’t remember a thing about this show.

I’ll tell you what I can remember from December 2005.

I remember finally leaving a job I’d worked for six years. A job I’d once loved, but which for countless reasons I couldn’t love anymore.

I’d convinced myself that I was useless. That I didn’t have any skills that could get me any work anywhere else, so I felt I had to prove myself wrong.

Prove that I wasn’t as broken as I felt I was.

The whole job-seeking process was, frankly, a nightmare.

I don’t interview well, and wasn’t in any state to sell myself.

And when I finally met someone who could look past that, it took me three months of repeat interviews to convince them that I was ‘a good fit.’

Apparently you don’t say “I don’t suffer fools” when asked about your weaknesses.

Apparently you don’t suggest that one of the reasons you’re leaving the current job is the culture of booze and substance abuse you’ve fallen into with some of your management.

So I don’t remember the Foo Fighters at Earl’s Court in December 2005. But I do remember having a bit of a breakdown over the few months before it.

Writing this now, at 44, and diagnosed as autistic just last year (a shock, if not a surprise), I look back on this period and it seems a little more understandable. It makes sense that it didn’t make any sense to me.

Turns out I wasn’t a good fit for that new job either.

I resigned just over a year later.

High: Maybe I did have something better to do on the Saturday before Christmas.

Drinking: To excess.

Thinking: I honestly think I’m losing my mind.

Setlist on

Why: When I was in my final year at junior school, Duran Duran were the band you had to know the specical dance moves for (‘the Reflex’) at the discos that started to replace classmates’ birthday parties. Not that I ever went, but that’s what I was told by Mark who thought he was cooler than us.

Within a year, at grammar school, ‘Durannie’ was an insult.

Fast forward all the way to the proper reunion tour (at a proper reunion shed of a venue) and Duran were cool again – or so I told everyone.

It was good to have something to celebrate, and I’m pleased I still remember this show so clearly.

High: Wild Boys! Wild Boys!

Drinking: Someone fetched a new pint everytime an unfamiliar intro marking a song from the new album started up…

There was some mild embarrassment. My younger sister turned out to be standing just in front of us and she may have seen me fall over once or twice.

Thinking: Please play the Chauffeur, Last Chance on the Stairway or New Religion. Oh, and you guys really aren’t in the best shape are you? (Simon excepted, obviously….)

Gig on Songkick