The National @ Brixton Academy

6 12 2010

Before I start, thanks to Beeskiffle for getting H and I these tickets as an Engagement present.

The Brixton Academy is an awesome venue (save for it being an Academy and them scalping you for your hard earned cash at every opportunity)inside an old theatre, so it has a loveley sloping floor, so even I could see the stage behind the tall people.  The stage looks like a set from Romeo and Juliet, with Italianate style bluidngs built around the wings.  All in all its a pretty epic venue.  Support for the evening came from Phosphorescent who were really good, but to be quite honest I was just a bit excited about what was to come.

I discovered The National late really, only after Boxer had come out and they were playing at an ATP festival.  Anyway, I had fallen in love with Boxer, and Alligator and the new one High Violet, so seeing them again was bound to be good.

Great songs from all albums were playes, with Slow Show and Apartment Story being my highlights, but the “I’m Evil” part of Conversation #16 getting a good sing-a-long.  The highlight however was the encore with a raucous version of Mr November including stage diving followed by the band asking for silence in the venue (which they got) and playing acoustically and singing without microphones.  What happened was the quietest sing-a-long in musical history, an almost lullaby like air, which still gives me goose bumps thinking about it.  Half way through the guy stood behind said to his friend “All gigs should be like this!”  I am inclined to agree.

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The National

9 06 2010

I was going to start this post ages ago, but other things got in the way.  It’s about what an important band The National have become in my life. 

About 2 years ago I hadn’t really heard of the band, but they were playing at the ATP festival that I was going to.  This happened at about the time that my job was going horribly wrong (I had made myself ill, and  quit the day that I got back from ATP) and I ended up watching them pretty much on my own as I’d had an arguement with my friends.  I didn’t realise at that time how much they would affect me.

Buying the albums Boxer and Alligator, I fell in love with some of the songs especially Slow Show and Mistaken for Strangers (from Boxer).  I didn’t really think about them again for probably a year until that I heard High Violet was coming out and started to hear the trickle of new songs.  Blood Buzz Ohio is superb and the album has been on in my car non-stop for about a month now.

Listening through the Albums, Boxer is still my favourite, but all of them are excellent.  They are a band that I would really like to see live again, but as they are only playing 3 UK dates this year, I doubt that it will be anytime soon.  Now I just have to work out a way to shoehorn one of their songs into the wedding.





ATP

21 05 2008

It was the Explosions in the Sky All Tomorrows Parties weekend this weekend, and Myself, May-Z(from now on to be known as May-kwon), Dev (Lethal Nizzle) and KP (KP Diddy) trundeled off to Minehead Butlins for a weekend of music, swimming, beach cricket, emergency Ginsters and Hip Hop Shoulder.  This isn’t just a weekend of music, but is a great laugh.  It also boasts a line up that many other festivals would kill for.  Who else but the lovely and hospitable people of ATP could get defunct bands back together, attract some of the most critically acclaimed artists at the moment and 2 members of the Wu Tang Clan to play at a stage normally reserved for 80s has beens and crap chart acts. 

I am not going to write about everything that happened or even all of the bands that I went to seen, and I will apologise now for saying either superb, or awesome a lot, but these 2 words need to be used for most things that happened.

Now I like the ATP weekend, as the normally chavvy Butlins is taken over by a tattooed and bearded muso crowd.  There was more (Tattoo) ink on show in the swimming pool than in a bookshop. It is great to be wandering down the prom or into the shops and all you can see is people with the green wristbands on.

Anyway, we saw some bands, As this was curated by Explosions in the Sky, I will start with them.  They were slightly dissappointing, and I was really expecting them to be better than they were. 

On the friday we saw:

  • Constantines who kicked off the weekend in excellent style, with the lead singer cutting his own hair while he was singing.
  • Mono, the Japanese orchestral rock legends, who comprehensively out orchestral rocked explosions.  They were also thourghly nice chaps as we were stood next to them when we were watching explosions.  They also loitered around Butlins for the Entire weekend.
  • Dinosaur Jnr.  who I really liked, but Lethal Nizzle (from now on Ehtal Nizzle) fell asleep like an old woman.
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Ola Podrida, again, very good
  • The Octopus Project who we didn’t see very much of because the stage was rammed.
  • The Pale Gallery who were excellent
  • Four Tet, who started off well but seemed to get worse as the gig went on, which may have had something to do with the tiredness and Vodka.  I stayed up late to watch this with Kanye Ware (a friend of mine from the Homebase years).

Saturday started and we had a game of beach cricket and a few chucks of the frisbee before lunch in the Hairy Dog pub, and myself and May-kwon headed off to the old cinema for the FA Cup final.  After sitting in every seat on the balcony we found the best possible viewing platform to watch the mighty Portsmouth beat Cardiff one-nil thanks to a Kanu goal.  (We probably should have lost, but we didn’t so I won’t go into any great depth)

Straight from the FA Cup we went to watch Ghostface Killah (one of the Wu Tang Clan) in the very surreal environment of Butlins 2nd stage.  He was ace and really worked the crowd.  This was swiftly followed by  …And you will know us by the trail of the dead! who blew me away, but nobody else in the group seemed to like.

The next band we saw was The National, who put on one of the shows of the weekend.  They really were great.

We saw a spot of Eluvium and Lazarus, but spent most of the rest of the evening in the Crazy ‘Oss (Waaaah, Waaah), with me and Ethal dancing in the indie disco.  (Ethal dances like he is running, which amused me greatly).

Sunday came and after a brief dip in the pool we had a couple of games of 10 pin bowling, I won the 2nd, and should have won the first if I hadn’t scored 3 off the first 6 balls.  We ate lunch and then went to see Jens Lekman, who I would have seen the whole set, but he played my favourite song 2nd and the weather was so nice, that we all went for a walk around the beach.  We returned for Beach House and lasted 10 minutes before we went to see Polvo (who had reformed for the first time in 10 years to play here).  After a brief constitutional at the chattle we headed over to the main stage to see the Silver Jews (Great), De La Soul (amazing, never seen a band so happy to be on stage) and then back to the centre stage to see Raekwon, the 2nd of the Wu Tang Clan to play the weekend.  He was joined on stage by Ghostface, which was lucky as he kept forgetting his lines.  During both of the Wu sets, 2 things happened.   Firstly they got a guy from the crowd up onto stage to rap, and he turned out to be really good, and secondly they kept saying put your W’s up, which we had no problem with,  it just reminded me of the waca wave, with Ghostface as a ghetto Timmy Mallett.

We saw a few more bands and then left on the Monday for the long drive home.

There are a few inside jokes that I said I would post, and nobody else will get them…

  • The Tumour Auction
  • May-Z getting stimulus from the back
  • Jenga Tournament feat.  Michael J Fox, Muhammed Ali, and Daniel Johnson
  • Ethal Nizzle
  • Ghetto detectives-Bustarac, Wycliffe Jean and Agatha Ludacristie
  • Jepetto Macann and the the Pied Billie Piper of Hamlyn (Why havn’t the police searched there.
  • 6mm alan keys
  • 3 triple salkos, a double bass and a single to new street
  • May-z and hi bedtime picnic baskets

I am sure there are more, but I will have to be reminded.

I have thought of something else that had me absolutely creasing up at the time, It was when De La Souls band were warming up.  They sounded like they were going to do a mariarchi band set, leading to the song title Me, Myself and Aye Carumba, and their collaboration with the Silver Jews, Me, Myself and Oi Vey.

OK, not funny to anyone else, but myself and May-Kwon thought it was good.