Wednesday, 10 February 2010

592 CAVE IN, THE DAMN PERSONALS, London University Of London Union, Wednesday 14 May 2003

A promise of a guest-list spot is always good enough reason to justify a midweek trip to London, and thus we tanked it up the M4, avoiding footy play-off traffic near Reading, and amazingly finding a good parking spot in Shepherd's Bush, despite QPR's own play-off game! Tubed it over and hit the venue at 8.15, immediately bumping into Kev and David from Seafood! It subsequently turned out we didn't have a guest-list spot after all, having been "bumped" so Seafood and their +1's could get in free. Bah! Still, we forgave them, being the lovely people we are.

Chatted with da Fooders in the bar, before the opening bars of "Better Living" heralded the entrance of the Damn Personals onstage, so we headed in and down the front. The boys were struggling a little with poor sound set-up in this venue, but their performance was once again incendiary, kinetic and very committed. An early "Fucking In NYC", all jagged and joyful, was probably the set highlight, but this lot share a Boston trademark of being so damn better "live" than on record (and their raw amped-up Stones-ish sound is pretty damn good there too!), and thus are quickly becoming another Beantown favourite!

As before, bassist Jimmy Jax hunted out a set-list for me at the end, and we repaired to the bar with Kev and David before the commencement of Cave In's early-starting set. Took an initial place towards the back of the venue, for their powerful, strident hard-rocking early numbers. The excellent "Anchor", once again featuring the pregnant pause (this time not justified by the vocalist. Good!) was the early highlight, at which point we headed to the back to chill with DP's merch man Jay, during Cave In's more psychedelic interlude. We were joined variously by DP's Ken and Jimmy, and VCR-wielding drummer Mike, who videoed my hernia and stomach scar to show mutual friend EdV back in Boston. That should freak him out... again!

And the band played on! Cave In, still more than adequately audible from our merch stand spot, were laying down another fine, heavy yet restrained melodic rock set with edge, but I was happy to chill with the DPs, comforted by the knowledge that Cave In had just been added to the Reading Festival bill. Bade our farewells shortly after Cave In's set finished, and hammered home to get in for 12.45. God bless The Damn Personals!

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