Tuesday, 25 May 2010

485 KRISTEN HERSH, London Camden Underworld, Thursday 8 February 2001

Fourth gig of 4 in 7 days, and the pace finally told. Picked up an emotionally wrought Rachel after work; she'd been unwell during the morning but had shaken it off, seemingly by taking her motorbike proficiency test! I on the other hand had been shivering and chucking paracetemol down my neck all day. So, in these weakened states we ventured on, hitting Camden at 8 and parking up. By this time, however, Rach had taken a turn for the worse and I wasn't feeling too pukka myself. Got into the run-down underground Underworld and got a drink in, noting a cockroach crawling along the bar ("a paying customer," said the flippant barmaid) and sat down in the corridor, after noting that all available floor space and viewing space around the stairs and mixing desk in this very strangely shaped and poor sight-lined venue had already been taken.

Kristen came on at 9; she apologised for being, "in 1,000 comas," due to flu, heavy cold, jet lag and so on, and mentioned that she was struggling to, "do the chair thing," i.e. even sit down properly! We couldn't see squat, and, fading fast, retreated to our bench in the corridor, where Kristen's acoustic little beasts of songs, dark, shredding and mysterious, were sadly drowned out by people talking! Bah! What do you people come to gigs for, f'rchrissakes?

Made one last attempt to gain a vantage point, finding the steps to the floor barred by a bouncer, then took brief pix on the stairs whilst being jostled and elbowed. Kristen was playing a fine rendition of the Throwing Muses classic "Rabbits Dying", but neither Rach nor I were in the mood, health or vantage point to enjoy any more. So at 9.45, we left and went home. Sorry Kristen. Next time?

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