Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Chrissy jamming in his bedroom. 28th Dec., 2014

It was a Friday night. My testosterone burned through my system relentlessly, to have a conversation was torture. Fortunately, all my friends decided to get stoned, so I was left to my own devices. After desperate attempts to masturbate I stopped myself and did some push-ups instead. Then I took a cold shower, put on my jacket and walked to town.
Along the way I whistled loudly to myself, and then paused at a bus station to do calf stretches. A couple of young men passed and encouraged me. I continued walking down the High Street.
A homeless man sat outside the bank yelling at his dog, and groups of young people dressed to party stood milling about with an air of expectancy, occasionally glancing at him. Two police men appeared and started towards the man, so he stood up and began to walk away, his dog in tow.

There was a man on the High Street, I've seen him twice before. He has thinning dark hair which begins a bit late and runs to the shoulders, exposing slightly more of his gentle sloping forehead lined with thick friendly creases. He plays the violin and is always wearing the same suit with ducktails. Tonight I decided to sit and watch. My mind started to drift and I pictured the violinist of 100 years ago, a crowd of listeners, their accumulated feelings of despair, merriment or content all summed up by one man's noodleing.
A man approached him and requested a tune, however he did not know the name of it, so instead he hummed. The violin immediately picked up the melody and the passerby, so happy at hearing this, closed his eyes, dropped his change into the violin case and began to dance a slow swaying tribute to joy.

I arrived at the bar and ordered a gin and tonic. Soul music was playing, interlaced with some dancehall, so the mood was electric. I befriended an older couple and the woman ordered me a fresh drink. A blonde girl glanced at me whilst another man hit on her, and the bartenders offered brief awkward smiles. After my third drink I walked outside and began smoking and talking with three guys of about the same age. Their names were James, Chrissy and Adam. Adam was a handsome chap with a firm handshake who disappeared home with a woman after 20 minutes. Chrissy was a loud and boisterous Mancunian chef, with a heart as big as his chins. James was the liveliest and youngest of the three, yapping with constant energy and unwavering positivity, and it was because of him that I did not lapse into my usual state of drunken self-pity.
We danced the twist and drank tequila. I approached many women but did not see anything in any of them. Before I could let my head droop James was already pulling me back into the dance floor.

The crowd began to peter out and so we left. We decided to head back to Chrissy's and smoke. A drunken lad vainly tried to stand up to Chrissy after being pushed out of the way for us to get into a taxi. He was being held back half-heartedly by his girlfriend as we all laughed at him through the rear window and drove off. We ended up at Chrissy's by 4am. Chrissy and James began to argue in the endless manner that only close friends do. After a few minutes of it I got up to leave and they apologised and made up. Chris then rolled a joint whilst telling embarrassing childhood stories. I picked up his guitar and plucked something, and then he picked it up and played. He put on a backing track and played along, jamming. I sat upright on a mattress on the floor, with my back to the wall, listening. After a couple of minutes I started to cry. I felt unafraid to show my feeling, just like the man on the street dancing to the violinist, and I could not miss this opportunity to cry to such a beautiful sound. All we're looking for is a release, a release from the horrible routines we have designed for ourselves. I let the tears fall down my face and didn't bother wiping them away. I don't want to try and describe the music he played. It will ruin the memory.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Cro-Mags @ Red7, Austin TX. 12th July 2014

This show determined which way I was to head next. Either East to Houston, or North to Austin. Scrolling through the list of bands playing Austin that weekend, Cro-Mags appeared, and that was that. Goodbye San Antonio.

My friends dropped me off at a gas station somewhere outside the city. I caught a ride pretty quickly from a newly married couple on their way back to Austin. They got me to the venue 6 hours early, so I walked around the block a few times in search of a safe stoop away from prying eyes and gnarly street squirrels. City squirrels out here are no joke, this one bastard came right up to my leg trying to rip my sandwich off me. I managed to get away and started talking to a nice lady walking a 3-legged dog, and soon enough I was up in her apartment doing shots with her and her boyfriend. We then wandered through a couple bars and when I looked at the clock the doors had opened, so she gave me a 20 and told me to go enjoy myself. Unreal.

5 minutes later I found myself inside the club, nicely drunk, without a penny of my own money spent. I befriended an OG punk named Arms and bought us both a beer. I cant remember what we said but he had a lot of energy and I had a lot of energy and we both just fed off it. We split ways and I tried talking to some other OGs but they were music nerds and all they did was huff and sigh about how much "music sucks these days" and all that shit. Thank fuck the guitars started up. Ran outside to the stage. No openers, must've missed em all. Cro-Mags baby.

Front man was already pacing, mic in hand, giving shoutouts and checking what was up with the audience. I was fuckin racing at this point. Nothing scared me. Nothing.

WORLD PEACE!!! First song, so damn good. The crowd exploded sending bystanders to the furthest corners of the floor. Around 40 of us jammed the frontline reaching out to the Mic yelling IT JUST CAN'T EXIST.

I can only clearly remember 3 songs which were World Peace, We Gotta Know and Hard Times. The rest of the show was a blur of pure ecstasy. Maybe the alcohol had some part in it, but I couldnt take my dumb-ass grin off my face, it felt so fuckin good to be there. A few times I'd run off from the front and deep into the bystanders yelling PUSH ME!! PUSH ME!!!! and end up somewhere on the other side of the floor. Me and Arms re-united and ran around the pit, arm-in-arm, stumbling and tangled like a drunken whirlwind screaming and yelling at the top of our lungs.
People often think of Cro as tough-guy shit but that show was all love. Everyone got picked up off the floor, including me. I kept trying to stage dive but I think I was jumping too far cos every time I hit the floor straight on my back. By the end of the set I felt like a caveman, arms swinging loose by my side all ape-like, then sprinting up to the stage yelling WE GOTTA KNOW and jumping back off again..

They came back on for an encore and ended the night with Hard-mutherfucking-Times.
I lost my shit. We all did. That song is just too much. We were all running in circles, building momentum, until he'd reach up and start hollerin
whatever he'd be sayin and we'd all be up there with him, all of us, our sweat, our voices and our blood like one big nasty chorus... goddamn... what an orgasm.

We gotta know
Hard Times - this is officially the best way to listen to a recording of this song

Thank you Cro Mags.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Backtrack and KingLyChee @ Musician AREA. Feb 9th, 2014.

36 dollars worth of roasted chestnuts really is 36 dollars worth of roasted chestnuts. 

I found this out the hard way, and only 2 out of the 59 people I asked on the way there accepted my offer of a hot roasted one. I stumbled into the band room and semi-offered Backtrack but the potential to wet my pants from intimidation was too high so I couldn't look them directly in the eyes. 

Just so you get an even deeper understanding of what happened to me at this show, I will demonstrate via metaphorical comparison. In a nutshell, going to a hardcore is like eating some muthafuckin chestnuts aigghh?
First you gotta penetrate the outer skin, that tough and smooth surface so weathered and strong after hours of heat and comfortable livin. Once that skin is broken though, all the goodness is there to get MUNCHED. The soft warm insides, so used to a life of sheltered serenity, suddenly get thrust out into the world and thrown into yer goddern mouth, and they either slide down yer gullet smooth and easy and have a good time, or wriggle n writhe and complain until you can't take it and have to spit em out, right to the back of the room. Chestnuts. You feelin me?

We got there super early, KingLyChee weren't meant to start till 8 so we milled around, I made some half-assed attempt to sell off the rest of my nuts but gave up and tossed em down the stairwell. So long ol nuts, hopefully the factory rats enjoyed you.
KLC eventually took the floor and we were all ready for some fuckin noise. Unfortunately I don't know the names of any KLC songs, nor the lyrics, which really sucks on my part cos watching all the kids jumpin around got me real hyped. Riz holds the floor. He's got this stance like he's surfing, realll low with his arms out, swayin from left to right. Then all of a sudden he jumps up and yells at the roof and the kids all scramble up to grab at his microphone. He gets the brim of his hat on real tight, right above his eyes so when he’s looking at you, he’s looking at you. I was getting into it on some numbers, but my heart was truly set on Backtrack. KLC was the thumbnail stabbing the skin, trying to pierce an opening. I felt something dark and unsettling deep inside me that I had to get out, and it definitely wasn't poop cos I'd got that out of the way in the morning. I'd listened to Backtrack on youtube a bunch before the show and from the moment I heard their guitars I knew that it was the exact sound I needed.

KLC finished up, my ears were ringing, my nostrils were leakin goop and kids were pulling their dislocated shoulders back into place.
The first thing Backtrack did when they came on stage was to usher the crowd up the front. "Scoot up! Scoot UP!!" He yelled. Very good idea.
Then, no hesitiation, straight into it, BAM. WAll of speed fucking fast running noise. ---  SICK OF FOLLOWIN. THEIR RULES. --- Oh man, I never go to any hardcore gigs knowing the lyrics. That was the only song I knew words to. Throughout the gig I tried to refrain from jumping up to grab the mic cos I never knew what the fuck to say, but sometimes I had to man, grab it and yell YARRARHSHGHAERBGARBLEGARBLE something it felt realllly good. Big pile of clawing climbing bodies gotta get on top of it. In one song I'm pretty sure he says "muth-er-fuck-ing purple shoe" over and over, so I stuck with that and yelled it at the top of my lungs. Fuck, the singer's voice. Its like a switchblade, whip whip sharp and quick. Oh man, His dancing, pounding his feet on the ground the stage bouncing with the force, his raw fuckin energy, too good. Thats how I describe that band, raw energy. Like hurling a bottle against a wall. The guitars punching through straight through. Bass drum bass drum bass drum. Bassist stood solid as a rock the entire set, legs more than shoulder's width apart, never gonna move.
Kids diving off the stage falling straight on the floor gettin back up doin it again. 4 songs in and I was T I R E D. But they were digging, they were reaching inside of me, pulling that inhibition out. I was dancing trying to get into it, I could feel this explosion of pent up feeling boiling and rising inside of me. Then it hit. Totally unexpected, totally unthinking, just FUCKiNG BAM. 2nd to last song, I lost it full force, full power boom boom fuck slamming into people running round and round round the circle, jump back in slam my fist on the stage BOOMM fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. I get tense just thinking about it, oh oh ohhh. And fuck yeah we brought em back on for one more song!! They said they had nothing left so fuck it, play SICK OF FOLLOWIN THEIR RULES, crowd pleaser, gotta love it.

Thanks a lot Backtrack, you made me really happy. And thanks a lot Riz and everyone who made this happen, Hong Kong needs you more than you realise. And more thanks to roasted chestnuts for making me a literary genius.

                  THEIR RULES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1kuESm3M0

Sunday, 9 June 2013

King Khan and BBQ show + Bloodcults @ Hidden Agenda, Hong Kong. 6th June 2013.

The theme of today's blog post is dirt.

Dirt. Dirtiness. Filthy, grimy, slimy, dusty, itchy, flakey, leaky intolerable uncleanliness. A state which surrounds us all, a state which the majority of us avoid, a state filled with negativity, looked down upon, feared and detested. I tend to be one of these people who hate dirt, however, over the past couple of years I have begun to realise how necessary it sometimes is to be dirty and how damn good it can feel.

On the day of the King Khan and BBQ show I woke up at around 10.30 with pink-eye, definitely a result of my friend's couch pillows; unwashed and crusty after a years worth of post-skate sweat, sex-sweat, hurrying-back-from-7/11-with-beer-sweat, pocari sweat and so many other sweats I don’t wanna think about. This experience was a more than fitting way to gear me up for the show, I guess it was just meant to be a dirty day.
I made it to Hidden Agenda after skating all day long so my boxers were nice and sodden, my socks slippery and the stinky spot behind my right ear was in full effect. The first band that played were a trio named Bloodcults. They were pretty fun; a messy, poppy and upbeat sound, a real friendship band. The drummer was a big guy, straddling his snare between his thighs and singing jovially into the mic. I liked his facial expressions, they reminded me of the pantomimes I went to as a kid. Mouth opening in strange directions and eyes combusting spontaneously. He sounded pretty homo-erotic at times which was rad, it went well with their music. For a few songs he was subbed in on vocals by the girl on lead guitar. She was kooky. Definitely kooky. She wore a big blue wig and couldnt stop laughing, I don't even remember if she ever said anything funny. Or coherent for that matter. However she did ask the audience for a semen and/or blood donation. I pictured what would result if I were to whip my dick out and start wanking on stage. Blood orgy? Bloodcults organising a blood orgy. That would be crazy. 
Ideas for signs on the door - “Must be HIV negative to enter.” “Free entrance for sufferers of Haemophilia and/or Stigmata”.

Anyway. About their set. The crowd could have been better, I think it was mostly friends-of-the-band at that point and it was generally pretty empty so there wasn't much movement. The best part of their set was the last song, not only was it the best song but the girl bit into a blood pack and started singing with it cascading down her shirt, her words sounding lispy, wet and horrible, screaming BLOODCULTS BLOODCULTS over and over. That was cool.

During the break not much happened. Just sat around and talked to some people.
When King Khan and BBQ came on stage they'd somehow managed to hang up a 6-foot tall golden sun. This was the backdrop to their flabby, sweaty sweat sweat party of a show. Building up to the show I had so much energy that I really needed to let out, I just wasn't sure if their music would bring it out of me. But fuck, it did.
They started the set fast loud and straight to the point. Hardly any introductions; a quick hello, a few strums of their guitars, a bass kick and they were gone. Racing, full-on into the night. It was wild. They finished the first song and went straight into the second; "zombies", which was the first song of theirs I’d ever heard a while back. I couldn't contain myself when that happened. I had to jump up to the front and thrust my arms out to them and yell all the words I knew as loud as I could. As much as it sucks to be that guy who only knows the words to one song, fuck it. After that song, the adrenaline was pumping, people were getting jumpier and the dirt was back. These two metal kids at the front row were flamming their heads hard, one dude mashing an imaginary guitar faster than jesus himself. We all coaxed Khan up towards us with our finger tips whilst he strummed faster and faster and faster.
During one of their chattery interludes we got a glimpse of Khan's gooch which he offered to us as a blessing, as if to simply say, "behold, here is my gooch.". I think it was one of the main non-musical events which opened the crowd up. Soon after, even the most reserved of women were tugging at his cape, making it fly as if he were standing atop a skyscraper. Others began doing the twist and lurkers at the back began taking more time with their beers in feeble attempts to stop themselves from dancing.

I can't forget to mention BBQ though. Watching him sing and play was incredible. I never realised he played the drums and guitar at the same time. And sang! Holy shit. That is nuts! His voice has a powerful presence and he can reach some impressive notes, not to mention his insane facial contortions whilst blowing bellowing Oooos and Aaaahahawaaawaaahss. I'm not sure how deeply they ranged throughout their discography but it didn't matter because all the songs they played were good. They kept me alive by giving me quick breaks of slow swaying singles, the kinds of song which would be great at a stereotypical high-school dance under a disco ball. Unfortunately my high school dance was in a night club and all I remember was giving some guy I didn't like the finger, my friend getting knocked out and then later dropping e, so I swayed by myself, closed my eyes and pictured that idyllic feeling of being a teen-movie teenager.

Despite their lack of sleep we managed to yell them back on for a 3-tier encore which ripped all the remaining energy out of my system and spat it on the beer-soaked stage whilst I got dry fucked by a drunk dude in work clothes. The show fucking kicked ass and I want you to go and see them when they come to your town.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Marcel Zanini et al., Le Petit Journal Montparnasse, Paris. 31st August

So this is my first post regarding a jazz show, I've always wanted to describe some of the amazing jazz shows I've been to in the past but I ended up throwing the ideas away simply because it seemed so daunting to try and sum up a jazz performance in words. Most music is pretty tough to describe nonetheless, but jazz is another level of complicated for me.

I was passing Le Petit Journal en-route to home. I tried arriving without any expectations because I know from previous experiences that going to jazz gigs in a place like LPJ can be really expensive. Fortunately I managed to squeeze in for free for the last half of their set, and thank fuck, there's no way I'm paying 25 euros for 2 hours of music. I got myself a glass of wine and sat in the back/middle somewhere, I had to move seats because a middle-aged couple in front of me kept making out and groping each other (which I don't blame them for, hell if I'd been there with a girl I would've been all over her) and it was distracting me from the music. Marcel Zanini himself has such a stand-out image; a short shuffling old man with a big shining bald head and thin grey wisps of hair lining the area above his ears, combined with round-rimmed glasses, a striking thick vein on the right side of his forehead and a really sincere crimpy happy-old-man smile.
The way they all manipulated sound with their instruments was exhilarating, I wished to god all the people sitting in front of me could just throw all their tables in the air and start dancing. I was torturing myself by sitting in that chair the whole time, I really wanted to get up and dance. There was a pretty girl sitting on the side who I tried giving the eye to every now and then but it was futile seeing as she was sitting with her boyfriend, and I'm not much for trying to pry girls from their men anyway. An older couple did get up to dance for a couple of numbers which was heart-warming, and no-one snickered or gave any negative vibes whatsoever, the room was all love the moment the music began. To the right of the stage there was a man with a name on the back of his shirt (presumably his own) who was painting a live portrait of the stage as he saw it, and considering he'd made it during their set, it really blew my mind.

The band set-up included a drum-set, double bass, trombone, piano and Marcel Zanini, who switched from clarinet to saxophone as well as singing. And for a few numbers a middle aged blonde woman came on stage from the crowd to sing and skat a while. She was exceptional, her voice reminded me of a trumpet at times, the way she sang it was as if she was blowing sounds out of her mouth, and when that happened her mouth seemed to be shaped in a very horizontal way, like a sideways O.

The music was so controlling, when they played fast numbers my feet and hands went nuts, slapping and jumping to their own rhythm, I wasn't even aware if they were moving in time, I felt no control over them any more. Even the painter had lost it, I noticed he was beating his brushes against the canvas without a care for what it might have been doing to his painting. I just wished everyone would have started dancing. Movies and books really spoil you on these occasions. It was during these moments, when I wasn't thinking about dancing, that I had the strongest desire to go skating (skateboarding), to slide and pop and revert around completely spontaneously with no direction at all. The great thing about skating, Paris and jazz is that you can go wherever you want with no direction and never stop because the streets are smooth and endless.

The slow songs were just as compelling. I was feeling exhausted from doing things all day so when these songs happened I simply closed my eyes and let the sounds roll in. Zanini's voice is so relaxing, you can feel his old vocal chords straining under the tension but it gives his voice an even better quality, like when you sit in an old piece of furniture and it takes a bit of time for your body to fit in but when you get comfortable no IKEA chair can compare. I was close to tears for one of his songs, simply because of the age in his voice and the purity of his clarinet notes, they swung into my body like waves, knocking my eyelids down and pushing my head back until it reached the backrest of my chair. I had the strongest urge to slow dance with a girl, just to simply move to the rhythm a step at a time. The bassist was on point, I don't remember seeing him look down at his instrument once. The drummer was incredible, during his solos he would keep the hi-hat skimming with his foot while his hands went nuts and the whole time the stage lights shone brilliantly off his bald head. The trombone player was great, its a really crazy instrument when you come to think about it, you really need to know the thing well in order to get that sound JUST right. The way he did it was very smooth and complex, jumping from his to lows without a falter. I didn't pay much attention to the pianist but he did his job well, its just a shame he was sitting far on the right because I couldnt really see him without craning my neck past the love-birds.

I left soon after the set ended, on the way out I shook Zanini's hand and felt very nervous whilst doing so. His hand felt soft and fragile in mine, and he almost seemed a little taken aback when I thanked him. Riding the bike back I could feel the cool night breeze against my face and I couldn't get the song from Ethan Fowler's Visual Sound part out of my head. Oh well, its still a damn good song.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Monmon and Round Window @ Packhorse, 21st April

After finding out about the Monmon show a week ago the amount of time I spent listening to the tracks on their website gradually increased up till the 21st. There was something about the basslines and the lead guitar which played together so compatitively. At first I only listened to the track 'Whale', because it was the first on the list and it sounded damn good. After a couple of days I started giving the other tracks some time and.. dammnnn. I like his voice a lot, kind of raspy but clean at the same time, and the drum beats are simple and steady. A nice range of paces and vibes.

Anyway, I got to the Packhorse towards the end of Round window's set. I felt a little out of place because the majority of the crowd seemed in their 30s (don't get offended if I'm wrong, I'm not good at judging ages). After awkwardly dipping myself in and out of the crowd I managed to find a cave at the back and posted up. At first I thought 'uh-oh, Dad rock' - a judgement purely based on appearance rather than musical prowess. However into their second last song I realised these guys weren't playing covers of the Rolling Stones or Prince (thank fuck) but were playing some pretty decent originals. Their sound was somewhere in the indie/alt rock realm of things, simple yet effective riffs with a 90s-esque, feel-good kind of vibe. Sucks I only made it for the last 3 songs though, they seemed to be having a really good time.

Round window.. a view from the back. Nice hat

I went outside to rest my feet, I thought it would be safe enough to sit on the ledge opposite the pub as Otley-runners would be drawn towards either the bright glowing lights of Mahmoods or the comforting drunken yelling emanating from the Packhorse. I was so comfortable that I decided to lie down. Big mistake, I forgot how much drunk girls like to sit on my face. I suddenly heard some familiar student drawls of "oh ho, he looks fooked", and "why is he lieing down??". Then I hear "Lets sit on his face!", and suddenly some random girl has her panties hovering an inch from my nose. I didn't know whether to lift my tongue or yell. Can't a man lie on the street without having to think about sex for just 5 minutes? I was doing so well too..

Anyway, Monmon came on when I got back, the crowd wasn't too thick, probably around 30 people or so meaning I was more or less free to do what I wanted up at the front. Their first song wasn't that great to be honest, the lyrics were a bit cheesy, I'm not sure what it was called but it sounded kind of different to the songs I'd heard on their website. After that hump however they started playing some really awesome songs, both off and on the website. As a band they are really talented, extremely well co-ordinated and the guitar and bass work together to make great harmonies. One song I really like is "Roofie", the intro starts out heavy and grungey, the chorus lifts it up into the light temporarily and then the verse throws it back in the dirt. There was one slight dissappointment, the drummer didn't bother doing the catchy half-beat skippy thing at various points in the song but oh well, his call I guess. The bass lines were one thing that struck me, really solid and quite dark, at points complex but really easy to follow at the same time. Monkeyfist and Leeds Brig are good examples of this. I can't remember what song they thought they were ending on but we managed to yell them the fuck back on for another one, and thank god, they played Whale. I couldnt help but laugh to myself, it was the most perfect way for them to end it. I really suggest listening to that song on their site, the intro is so sick - the eerie wailing guitar which fades into rising and falling bassline, counterbalanced by a slow simple drum beat. The lyrics too… its good for swaying. All in all they are a sick band, 3 instruments is all they need to get their point across and I like that. Nothing too fancy, just straight up good music.

Listen to:
Round Window

A sliver of silver...

Monday, 5 December 2011

PINBACK @ Brudenell, 30th November 2011

I don't know why I've procrastinated on this one. Well, it wasn't really my fault, I've been trying to write a report due in on the 4th and keep getting distracted by things I do/don't really care too much about. Yep.. the typical student "I'm a procrastinator look at me" bullshit. Anyway, I want to tell you about the Pinback gig. I actually really do want to tell you because I can honestly say it was the best show I have ever been too. Now, taking into account that pinback has been one of my favourite bands since i was about 15 or something, you might say that this is one biased-as-fuck review. And in response to that I say YES!! IT IS BIASED AS FUCKKK!! And rightly so, I reckon pinback is totally worthy of a bit of bias because they fucking destroyed the brudenell on the 30th, and if you ask anyone in the audience (besides the guy who complained to me about my dancing) they would most definitely agree with me.

JP inc giving the news report
First off, I got there a little late because Sainsbury's sucks at providing accessible money, so I skip in halfway through "JP incorporated”.. ahahahahhahaahha... it was hilarious, partly due to me having just arrived, and partly due to never seeing anything like it before. Picture this; a guy on stage with a fake grey beard doing jerky robot dance moves to cheesy keyboard rock singing TV jingles about such topics as strangers having the best candy, THE INTERNET, the usefulness of Steves and one of my favourites, bowl noodle hot japanese instant noodles. It was like watching a youtube video in real life. Check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIaRb3OJWjU&feature=related, its definitely funnier to see it in person though because you don't know what the fuck is going on, and neither does anybody else.

I met a girl at the front who ended up becoming my pinback buddy for the evening which was rad, I've never been able to closely share a band like pinback with anyone besides my brother, so to meet a normal functioning human being who knew the words to the songs I did was quite exceptional. Too bad she doesn't like stalkers. The first song they played was Tres.. and it was all go from there. The moment those soft undulating piano keys fell on my head my mouth dropped. The emotion I felt from seeing/hearing them in the flesh was overwhelming, my hands cupped over my mouth like a preteen girl getting wet over the Jonas Brothers, my mouth gaping wide in uncontrollable glee. If only Pinback shot their hot white foam over our faces....
"its all right now.. come closer.. talk to me"... those words emanating inside me as the song ends and they continue on into a beautifully organised array of tracks encompassing all eras of their music, from the newest "Autumn of Seraphs" to the oldest "Pinback CD", played in a sporadic order so none of us could guess what to expect next.

The girl I was with wanted to hear ‘Penelope’, and Penelope she got. By fuck she got it good. The drumming was a lot more intense, forcing me to dance even harder than I had anticipated, much to the dismay of one guy behind me who explained that my head rocking almost knocked his glasses off twice. Part of me felt bad, but part of me simply wanted to tell him to chill the fuck out. For one thing I was standing jammed at the front, if I had walked a couple of steps forward I would’ve been dry fucking the stage. And secondly, I have wanted to see this band for so long that I honestly didn't want to control myself. I used to look scornfully at those in the audience who seem to be going 'overboard' at shows, but in those moments I was too selfish to realise how music can affect people in ways which don't have explanations or justifications besides the fact that music is a powerful powerful thing. I think it was during one of their newer songs, maybe 'Devil you Know', when I my hair was fluffed angrily by the unhappy musicgoer. So what the fuck was I supposed to do about it? Suppress my feelings of overwhelming joy? Fuck that.

Zack... duh
I have also come to realise how talented Zack, the bassist, really is. Not only does he play extremely tech riffs, off-beat and confusing and fuck, but he manages to sing perfectly in time and pitch as well. Halfway through a song one of his bass strings broke, which I later stuffed in my back pocket. Thanks Zack, my super wall looks alternative now

aww yeeah

It was around two-thirds through the set that I really stopped caring about the people around me and their non-existent judgements, and during the best song of the night: Prog. This was my first Pinback song ever, from one of my favourite skate videos of all time; Transworld's 'In Bloom', which my brother showed me in 2003 or something. Obviously this song held a lot of meaning for me so it made sense to go fucking nuts. From afar the verse and chorus seem so different, but when you put them together in complete song they become so beautifully complementary. The verses acting as one big suspense builder, then the first chorus just a light drop of sugar on the tongue to keep you wanting more before skipping back to the verse. And then, the ultimate chorus of all time. The guitar riff, setting the most positive, uplifting vibe as lead singer Rob's awesomely held notes carry my vocal chords up and up whilst the drums continue getting louder and louder. The state of euphoria was unbelievable, I was on the verge of tears but I just kept jumping up and down, up and down. All the while screaming "keep that loveee, rightt theeeeerrreeeeee".. fucking awesomeeeee! I now know my lyrics are wrong but they sound right when you’re yelling.

Other highlights included Fortress, where Rob simply dropped the guitar, picked up the mic and MC’d whilst Zack started busting out some discoey keyboard rhythms. The few times I glanced around the crowd I got some really happy vibes, everyone was bopping and I felt like they had a real appreciation for the music. Rob fell into the crowd and had a little wonder around to check it out too.

The crowd during Fortress
They ended on a killer encore which included around 3 songs, in particular AFK, one of their more aggressive songs which sent electric jolts down my spine and another hot filthy wave of sweat out of my glands. Considering how long they have been playing for, and all the potential dangers time can have on your vocal chords/enthusiasm, every song sounded as good, if not better than on their studio albums.

I realise this is a really long piece but whatever... I'm just happy to be sharing it. If you go see a band you love in future just go wild and fuck what anyone else thinks, the band could die tomorrow in a horrible bus crash or sink on their ferry to Ireland so you might as well enjoy them to the full while you still can.

Zack me and Rob.. stokeddd!

Listen to some pinback:
Concrete Seconds
Good to Sea