Wednesday, 23 December 2009

670 THE POSIES, Petra Jean Philipson, London Islington Academy, Saturday 30 July 2005

A mad one this, alright! It started in Wagamamas...

Rachel had just got paid, and fancied a meal in the splendid Wagamamas noodle bar in the Islington N1 Centre, the location of this venue, so we headed off at 4, ahead of Tim and his crew, and hit the restaurant at 6.30 to find The Posies dining there as well! Gloating texts to Tim ensued, after which I interrupted the Posies meal to ask them if they intended to play "I May Hate You Sometimes", the Posies number which Tim's band You Are Here cover! I explained to songwriter and Posies singer Ken Stringfellow that YAH claim it's theirs now, to which he replied, "well maybe they should play it!" So I said to him that he should call them up!

More texts followed, winding Tim and YAH vocalist Mark up that Ken was mad with them! Then Rach and I finished our meal and shopped awhile, buying "24" Top Trumps in Borders! How cool is that! Got into the brand new top floor venue at about 1/4 to 8, unfortunately in time to endure folksy dirge support Petra Jean Philipson, of which the less said the better.

The Posies were due on at 8.30 by which time Tim and co had yet to arrive as I went for a quick pre-gig squirt. However the band came on just as I entered the lobby, spotting Tim and co lurking by the merch stand, so I abandoned that idea, grabbed the gang and went back to our stage-right vantage point near the front. Good thing too, as the Posies chimed straight into "Dream All Day", and a most robust version of this splendidly harmonic post-grunge classic powerpop moment from 1993 it was too!

This set the tone for the early part of the set; tougher than expected, "Please Return It" was venomous and acerbic, the single from my favourite Posies album "Amazing Disgrace" (the point at which, for me, The Posies injected mood and emotion into their previous undeniably melodic and harmonic but occasionally anodyne work), sounding pissed-off and strident. Then things started getting mad...

With Jon Auer a monolithic counterpoint, the other main Posie Ken Stringfellow embarked on some obviously alcohol-fuelled anti-Bush ranting, which added another dimension entirely to an increasingly chaotic set. A thrashy "Ontario" and almost hardcore "Grant Hart" preceded a mauling of "Flavor Of The Month", Ken throwing shapes and spitting profusely around the stage. A cacophonous set-closer completely redefined the word "shambolic", after which Ken re-emerged, stripped to his grey underpants, for some equally loose encores, a surprisingly tight "Solar Sister" (featuring a wonderfully spot-on middle 8 riff from Jon Auer) notwithstanding. The encore culminated in a lengthy number, climaxing in a bout of instrument trashing, and a drunken Ken slurring, "to anyone I've offended tonight - tough, I spoke my mind!" Good grief!

Grabbed the list, and later got a merch stand bound, more circumspect (and thankfully fully clothed!) Jon Auer to sign it. Back home at 1 after a lengthy stop with the gang at Heston, after a mad mad evening!

1 comment:

  1. I was at this show, it was fantastic. I was wearing a Rush t-shirt at the front, Darius starting playing the YYZ intro on the drums, and then in the encore Matt said "this dude at the front is wearing a Rush shirt, that's his (pointing to Darius) favourite band... and mine!", at the end of the show Darius came down and gave me a hi-five haha.