Archive for the ‘2007’ Category

Young Knives


Because they were a great band, and the kids in this job loved them as much as I did, so we all went together.

It was a great boozy night out, crowded round a standing table near the back by the bar for what was supposed to be some kind of a fan ‘thank you’ show.

They were about to bring out their second album, which didn’t make nearly as much as an impression on me as the first.

Though Terra Firma is a banging tune.

Unusually, the support band make a big impression.

They’re called Pete and the Pirates.

They play a great set.

They go on, years later, to become Teleman who I see for the first time at the End of the Road festival in 2016.

They’re even better.

High: The House of Lords delivering the “I am the Prince of Wales…” riff from The Decision as the crowd screams it back at him

Drinking: socially… just socially…..

Thinking: Stupid name, Pete.




The Swedish girl who worked with us got into Robyn.

I loved this album.

Not my usual kind of thing at all. But the production, the writing, the attitude, the voice.

It was great on headphones.

And it helped that I really wanted to like it.

The show was amazing. She’s a serious star.

And like most serious stars, shorter than you’d think.

This is what it was like. Only it was better.

High: it was honestly, (honestly), thronged with Scandinavian girls.

Drinking: enough for euphoria

Thinking: you’re a star.

snow patrol


I wasn’t there to see Snow Patrol.

I was there to see a Scandinavian garage band called the Disciplines who were playing support.

They were led by Ken from the Posies who I knew a little.

Me and the friend who’d introduced me to Ken went on what were basically free tickets.

It was good to see Ken as a front man, but I can’t remember a single song that the Disciplines played.

I can remember Snow Patrol though.

It was fashionable then (and probably still is) to look down on Snow Patrol.

They were kind of ubiquitous on middle of the road radio. They were supposed to be boring.

But they wrote amazing songs.

Then they arranged them really well, and they played them really well.

Run was a song that I’d play in my spare room on guitars with a friend who knew Gary Snow Patrol from their university days.

We’d also do Coldplay numbers.

Again, no shame for the good songs.

High? Run.

Drinking? Over priced arena lager.

Thinking? For what’s basically a free ticket, this is amazing.

Oh Laura


I was in Hoxton just last night, with my wife to see Craig Finn of the Hold Steady.

Great show, but could have done with his usual band;  random venue but it really could have done with air conditioning.

We left early.

Walking to dinner beforehand I’d flashed back to this night in the same part of town ten years earlier.

Oh Laura were a Swedish indie act.

I say Indie, but the single Release Me wasn’t really my kind of indie at all.

Less spiky guitar, skinny white boy indie; more sensitive acoustic, brushed drums indie.

So why get the tickets?

There was a Swedish girl I worked with who loved the single.

And I’d convinced myself that she was into me, meaning that I was into her.

In retrospect, I was unbelievably lonely and doing this kind of desperate crushing on different people quite regularly.

Like all the others, she was lovely.

Still is, according to Facebook. With a lovely husband, son and dog.

We’d been out together with work friends before, and four weeks later there’d be a strange and awkward New Year’s Eve with the same group of people.

Anyway, she’d mentioned the show and we’d both bought tickets.

I said I’d see her there. She said she’d probably be meeting some other Swedish friends and we could all watch the show together.

I turned up to the venue early. I always showed up early in those days, it was a big thing for me.

The bar and restaurant there are separate from the room that the music’s in, so I waited at what I thought was a visible table.

When she walked in with two girlfriends and a guy, she clearly didn’t see me sitting there.

And overcome with awkwardness (like a character in an acoustic, brushed drum indie tune) I just couldn’t bring myself to go over to her.

I didn’t want to embarrass her. Everything I could think of to say sounded false.

It was easier to get another drink and wait.

I even walked out and back in again past the window they were sitting.

I hoped she’d just see me, make some introductions and fold me into the group.

But she didn’t.

At work the next day I told her that some friends had called me. That there’d been a change of plans at the last minute.

High: That first half hour early, with my drink. Sometimes the waiting is the easiest part.

Drinking:  I seem to remember the venue was ahead of the curve for its choice of beers in London. I seem to remember Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam.

Thinking: I should have grown out of this by now.

Why: I loved this band when their first stuff came out. Really loved them. Tulips was my favourite, and I thought they were about the most exciting guitar band in London.

But that was 2004-2005, this was 2007. I’d liked the Weekend in the City album, but it was no Silent Alarm. Didn’t stop me going though, and the job I was working at the time was full of younger kids who liked trendy rock music. What wasn’t to like?

High: None, it seems. Just did a search on my Gmail to check my memory on who exactly I went with, and I turned up a one line GChat to a girl I’d met through friends years before who something might once have properly developed with. (It didn’t, but she’s still a friend).

“Just back from Bloc Party at Brixton,” it reads, “Strangely disappointing.”

Drinking: A Friday night, so all about the Brixton lager with the kids from work.

Thinking: What’s with the ‘more mature, less spiky’ sound guys? This isn’t going to end well.

Gig on Songkick

Setlist on Setlist.FM

Why: Very possibly my favourite band of the last 10 years. I’d seen them on them on the Alligator tour and the chance to see them play Boxer at a relatively small venue was unmissable.

High: Fake Empire a strong contender, but Mr. November live is an experience that’s almost impossible to beat. This was also the show that introduced me to the fantastic St. Vincent (supporting). I rarely do a support band if I don’t know who they are, but when I really want a good place in a standing venue I get there early. Glad I did this time.

Drinking: All the wine.

Thinking: I want you to get the recognition you deserve, but please stay small/cult enough so I can continue to think of you as mine, and continue to make people happy by introducing you to them…

Gig on Songkick

Setlist on

Why: So I just had to go through my old emails to see why I went to this show – I’d seen them in 2003 and they just didn’t do it for me. Seems I was offered a cheap ticket to this one by my stoner rock mate Nick and decided to go on the grounds that maybe the reason I didn’t enjoy them the last time round had been all the blow I’d taken.

High: None. Much as I appreciate them, I just don’t like them live that much.

Drinking: At the bar for the final half of the show.

Thinking: OK, it wasn’t just the drugs….

Gig on Songkick

Setlist on