Friday, 7 May 2010

500 Slap, YOU ARE HERE, London Islington "Red Eye", Thursday 19 April 2001

Another big gig landmark reached - I'm halfway to the thousand now! However, I didn't have too much time to contemplate this landmark, as I was too busy manhandling a hired 12 seater Transit van (which I'd offered to do as a favour for the You Are Here boys) with dodgy locks, a crappy gearbox and a soft brake pedal. D'oh! Still, after anticipating a long journey down, and subsequently meeting everyone at the Footplate for a 4.45 departure, we had a really good traffic-free run to Islington, parking outside the venue at 1/4 to 7! Met the YAH boys as they finished soundchecking, and decamped to the splendidly named "Lark In The Park"!

Rachel joined us after her meeting in Ipswich, and we heard that YAH had got bumped down the bill, so left the pub at 8.30 for their 8.45 start. After eventually getting Mark to take the stage at this scuzzy little venue (the essence of rock'n'roll!), You Are Here got started with upbeat opener "Happy". And from the opening bars, and their general relaxed demeanour, it was evident they'd addressed the nervousness that dogged their recent Kentish Town gig. The old confidence and togetherness was back, and they pretty much nailed the first 3 numbers perfectly, sounding more guitarry, upfront and dynamically rocking than in recent shows. "Not A Summer Song", was however a bit disjointed, but its general bounciness won over, and didn't affect the momentum. "Confidence In Me", now reworked as a Midway Still-esque high adrenaline punkish romp, was much more like it, and "Hard To Stop" sounded hard edged and dynamic. The jewel in the crown, as ever, was closer "Trying To Write", the insistent beat the backdrop for some happy "yeah yeah" yelps delivered by Mark, shorn of his mike-stand comforter, as it had broken a couple of numbers previously!

All in all, a fine, in your face, harder edged set from a band learning from experience and putting it into practice pretty quickly. And well worth the accolade of my 500th gig!

Next band on, Slap, featured a statuesque blonde punkette as vocalist, but peddled a weak jazz/ ska melange. By then, however, I was planning the route home. And we hit the road at 10.30, joined by Rach and vocalist Mark, plus a big amp! I finally hit the hay at 2.30 am, after roadworks in London, toilet stops, dropping my passengers off at their homes, then realising the van's back door wouldn't lock so dragging Tim out of bed at 2 am to come pick his amp up! An eventful - but enjoyable overall - gig 500!

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