First gig of 2004, and it's revisiting a promising young band we sadly had to cut short at last year's Reading Festival as they clashed with Hot Hot Heat. Good to have another chance!
We got in just before 8, and found the Keys already on. A schizophrenic bunch who really didn't know which style of music to play. Country, Thrills-like West Coast pop, moody melancholia; jacks of all but masters of none. So we stayed in the bar! Ventured into the hall - Rachel with her new Gordonjack shoes which gave her an extra height boost and more confidence at gigs! - for Thirteen Senses. They were a much better prospect, a young band playing a keyboard-driven set of introspective, early Smiths-like, gloomy bedsit anthems. A little samey but showing promise, and entirely at home supporting the similarly veined Longview!
Talking of the headliners; they kept us waiting 45 minutes after the end of Thirteen Senses' set - so much for this being an early gig! They sloped on at 10 to the accompaniment of a drum and feedback cacophony, and into a hooky, rocking libidinous opener kicking things off well, but somewhat at odds with the rest of the set. Longview plough a moody, melancholic furrow, with the slow-burning guitars dovetailing well with the vocalists' low, elegiac tones. An early "Can't Explain", with bass problems forcing the band to get the crowd singing to maintain momentum, was a highlight of a set sprinkled with morose yet strangely uplifting music, and a lot of verbiage from the surprisingly gregarious vocalist, including, oddly, an anti-Swindon reference. Best number "Further" was the final encore and ended the evening strongly; overall a solid, impressive opening gig of 2004!