2005's last gig was payback for my dragging Rachel along to see Stiff Little Fingers and Love - a Ned's Atomic Dustbin gig which I'd actually persuaded her to go for, so she could revisit one of her first musical loves. Still, we had a day shopping in Camden and a Wagamama's in Islington beforehand, so not a total loss from my viewpoint!
Hit the deserted venue at 7.30, and chilled before the supports. My Pet Junkie featured a totally virtuoso drummer, a little bloke who made his drumming look like a sped-up film! The other 2 band members were utterly superfluous - all eyes were on the drummer! So much so, that at the end of the creepy but over-elaborate set, he (just he) got a standing ovation! Weird! Better than Mika Bomb though, who were a gang of Japanese punk girlies who played it hard and fast but mostly tuneless, like a very poor man's Shonen Knife.
The place was fuller by now, with half the crowd stuck in aspic since Phoenix 1994, seemingly. Neds came on to the "Wonder Woman" theme, mainly shorn of the long hair and dreads, and hamming it up like fantasy band camp. I'd not really enjoyed them first time around, and this was no different. For me, an unremarkable set of sub-Wonderstuff fraggly rock, better the older the songs were (viz the very good "Grey Cells Green" and an early "Until You Find Out"), but still passing me by. Rach enjoyed it though, happy that it wasn't as messy as she'd feared.
"I dunno about you lot, but I'm knackered," said the energetic vocalist Jonn, as they hit the final set number "Throwing Things". A good, frantic "Kill Your Television" was the inevitable encore, capping a crowdpleasing set. Not for me, though!