Thursday, 27 May 2010

479 YOU ARE HERE, Steerpike, Stretchmark Vixen, Swindon Victoria, Sunday 31 December 2000

Amazingly this is the first New Year's Eve gig I've ever been to! So I was happy to welcome in the New Millennium (oh yes, its' this year, not last one...) with some live rock for once! Drove up to the George where the usual suspects were gathering for a night on the piss there and at the boring old Savoy. Yawn. Surprisingly, only Rachel fancied the rock instead, so we left and hit the busy Vic at 9, meeting Tim and crew in the back room, Tim particularly impatient for this set to be over so he could get bladdered!

But this being Swindon, we had to endure some sub-standard local stuff before the cream of the crop. This meant a PJ Harvey wannabee, all light and shade but appropriated and fake screeching angst, and also a bewigged Swedish "Doctor Of Love" laying down some misogynist nonsense even Barry White would've been embarrassed to sing. The appropriation of a Bill Hicks line merely showed him up as mutton dressed as Goat Boy. Main support Steerpike, featuring landlord Kev Fitzgerald on mandolin, at least kicked up some style and talent, but the Levellers politico-fraggle gravy train left this particular station some time ago.

So, to 11, and the main dish of the day. You Are Here kicked the place - and the New Year festivities - off to a T with a great set which was looser and more chaotic than the tight-as-a-gnats-chuff dynamics of 10 days ago, but actually benefitted from it. Mark even let go the white knuckle grip of his mikestand once or twice and indulged in some self-conscious but expressive shapes! And as for the rock, well the understated strum was veering more towards mutant howl tonight, but the tunes and the fun still shone through, as a moshpit, including myself and Rach, frugged our way towards 2001. We had "Not A Summer Song" mid-set this time, following my shouts of "rock cliché!" 10 days ago, and it benefitted from its' new placement (but then I would say that, wouldn't I?). As for the encore, this time we were treated to a new number allegedly written, "last Thursday," but which had a huge American Hi-Fi style riff and hook. One for a single, perhaps, when they finish it!

The guys headed to the bar afterwards for powerful amounts of beer, and I danced in 2001 to some vintage punk rock over the PA. And a bizarre end to the evening as well; after an abortive trip to a New Year's Eve party, we ended up helping Tim take his wildly drunk girlfriend home. After the entertainment You Are Here provided tonight, though, it was the least I could do!

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