Three days after releasing their most conventional sounding CD yet in "Sumday", Grandaddy hit the road. And despite competition from the England game on TV, we were there! Pretty deserted when we got there, though, after the usual parking-mare at this horribly positioned venue, so we thought the footy had won! Got a drink and popped in for support Easimart. Obviously Grandaddy buddies, they were quite schizophrenic, with short, half-finished punky numbers interspersed with more contemplative, introverted driftwood. A spiky cover of Wire's "Strange" was however the highlight of a forgettable set.
Grandaddy were due on at 9 so we got more drinks and took up an uncrowded position stage left, for their fashionably late entrance at 9.10. Easing into their set with "For The Dishwasher" and a very well-received "Hewlett's Daughter", they were immediately in good form and proceeded to play a superb set, culled variously from their wide canon of work. Grandaddy's music is very warm and human; soft psychedelic organ-led interludes merge with more hard-rocking material, but it's all optimistic and upbeat. The pregnant pause of "AM180", which the moshpit wrongly anticipated, brought a smile, as did Jason Lytle's self-effacing attitude and claims that we, the audience, were "Awesome". "The Group That Couldn't Say", my favourite from their new CD, was an early highlight, with its' gentle pastoral narrative, but a powerful rendition of new single "Now It's On" was definitely the highlight of this delightful set.
Conventional and less experimental their new CD may be, but "live" it was superb, and installed Grandaddy as a pre-Reading Festival tip for top band. Great stuff, and home for 10 past 11 as well!