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Blog: Nation Of Language

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On Thursday night I went to an ACTUAL GIG performed by PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW! I had forgotten such things existed, but was reminded of the fact by Mr M Sutton, who got us the tickets for the gig, and I must say (SPOILERS) I am pleased he did, because it was GRATE.

The gig was by Nation Of Language who I must admit I had never heard of until a couple of months ago when Mark asked if I fancied going. Since then I have done much REVISION of their recent album A Way Forward, which is dead good. It's a bit Pet Shop Boys and a bit Frazier Chorus, to my ears anyway, though other people may have more up to date reference points!

The gig was at Electric Brixton which turned out to be the old Brixton Fridge. I'd never been there before, but was familiar with the TYPE. It reminded me of places like The Scala or the Astoria, with an upstairs bar area that was MUCH less busy than the downstairs ones, and also numerous CORRIDORS and STAIRWAYS that we could use to move between aforesaid bar area and the bit that is QUITE near the front but not TOO near. Such GIG SKILLZ take years to perfect, so it was nice to know they had not deserted us!

Listening to the album I had thought it was going to be a Young Hip Audience of Electro Synth TYPES, but it turned out to be, basically, a 6Music Audience, full of 6MUSIC DADS. 6Music Dads are DELIGHTFUL as they know how it all works, behave responsibly, and generally are not Gig Wankers. For some reason we felt very much at home amongst them!

After the support band had finished (who were WEIRDLY flat, as if they were trying not to be too exciting, apart from the bass player who was clearly Doing Her Best) we were joined by the other half of the audience, reducing the aveerage ago by a couple of decades. The gear was set up, the lights went down, and I remembered just how EXCITING this bit is at Big Gigs. Then the band came on and ... COR! They were DISTINCTLY not how they sounded on record! Where that was calm, mellow and bleeping, this was FLIPPING ROCKING!

The line-up was a singer, a bass player, and a synth wizard, but between them they made a HUGE noise, with everyone ROCKING OUT pretty much throughout, apart from an interval where the bass player got everyone to say happy birthday to his NAN (and if anything is guaranteed to win over 6Music Dads, that is it). The singer was dancing around ALL OVER THE PLACE and the whole show felt ENORMOUS. It was GRATE!

Really my only complaint was that the album had misled me to believe that the actual gig would not be as BANGERTASTIC as it turned out to be. Come on, Producers Of Records, make bands who are exciting LIVE sound similarly exciting on tape! Other than that: COR! I can see now why the much mnetioned 6Music Dads continue to make the effort to go out. Gigs are BRILLIANT!

posted 25/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett

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