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Blog: 10 Years - Top Of The Pops

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I was hoping to be able to BUNK OFF EARLY from school last night so I could go and see Keith Top Of The Pops and co at The Scala. However, we ended up having an IN DEPTH discussion about 90's New Zealand soap "Shortland Street". It's not quite what I was expecting from my Postgraduate Education, but it was JOLLY interesting.

I dashed out and LEAPT into a taxi as soon as we'd finished but arrived at The Scala just in time to see people LEAVING the main gig room, just as Keith had finished. It's SUCH a long time since I've managed to see him and his Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band that they've got a whole new (GRATE) album out of songs I've never heard live!

Disappointed I wandered the many areas of The Scala, getting slightly lost as usual, also AGHAST when I bought a can of Red Stripe and got TEN PENCE back in change. Ah! Big venues! I bumped into Mr S Macallister on one side of the room, then spotted Mr S Hewitt on the other. I sent him a text saying "I am on the other side of the room, waving" and WAVED, at the same time as someone to my left did EXACTLY the same thing. Combining one of the oldest and one of the newest forms of communication, all to say "HOLA!"

I hardly ever go to Big Venue Gigs anymore, and was ALARMED by how RAMMED the room was - SOLD OUT, in fact - but CRIKEY if you're going to go to a Big Venue Gig then you might as well see one of The Best Live Acts In The World while you're at it, for LO! that is entirely what the night's headline band ART BRUT totally ARE. Right from the very start of the show it was a BIG SHOW - not in a fake, trying to be clever BACK PROJECTION sort of way, but in an actual ROCK AND ROLL BIG SHOW way, with the whole room LEAPING ABOUT ECSTACIALLY to HUGE TUNES, also REMARKS. I don't think there's anyone else who manage combine being a FANTASTIC ROCK HUGE ROCK BAND who make you feel as if you're in a ginormous amphitheatre with a million other people, with on-stage chat that makes it feel like you're in a tiny club with the rest of the audience in single figures. Obviously people talk about how EXCELLENT Mr E Argos is at The Chat (and by heck there was a lot of it last night), but it's allied to a band of SHEER CLASS, who joyfully go along with everything he does with the audience, and then comes straight in and ROCKS OUT.

It really was very very very good indeed, and GRINS were plastered over the faces of everybody, ESPECIALLY the band themselves. I always think it's a sign of a GOOD BAND when you can see non-singing members mouthing the words, and with Art Brut last night it looked like EVERYONE was BELLOWING ALONG in every song. Other GOOD BITS were in evidence all over, though my favourite was the ENTIRE CROWD singing "10 years - Top Of The Pops" (they've just released a Best Of to celebrate a decade of ROCK) without prompting. ACE.

I think that, for the sake of the future of ROCK, all young bands should be obliged to attend at LEAST one Art Brut gig in order to realise that it is perfectly feasible to mount a perfect rock and roll extravaganza AND maintain a sense of humour which ADDs to the abounding joy. I liked it a lot!

Afterwards me and Steve joined with some of the aforesaid Minor UK Indie Celebrities and toddled down the road for the AFTERSHOW - or, as it is also known "a sneaky late drink". Once again, GLEE was very much in abundance, and it was especially nice to get to hug a couple of - STILL GRINNING - Art Bruts and tell them how AMAZING they had been, for LO! they totally HAD been!

posted 30/5/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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