Wednesday, 9 June 2010

458 KENT, London Scala, Monday 25 September 2000

Bit of a nightmare journey to this one; picked up Rachel and her colleague James, then drove through the driving rain to drop him off in Reading. Then we got lost in Reading's terrible contraflows and heavy traffic, eventually getting back onto the M4 45 minutes later! So, following a fuel stop, we eventually parked up in Kings Cross at 8.30 - a full 3 1/2 hours after we'd set off. D'oh!

So we got into the relatively newly opened Scala, an upstairs version of the LA2, with lots of balconies and steps, well in time to miss support Rico, but thankfully in enough time to join the surprisingly large crowd stage right for Kent's arrival just after 9.

In comparison with their note-perfect Reading Festival set, Kent's performance tonight was, I'm glad to report, considerably more rock'n'roll. Admittedly I had my head in the speakers again, but the sound was glaring to start with before it eventually settled down. Kent, however, rocked! Their set, drawn heavily from atmospheric new album "Hagnesta Hill", was portrayed with considerably more power and oomph, and their brooding majestic ballads really took flight. "Revolt III" had power and pace and was an early highlight, "Quiet Heart" touching and intimate, and set closer "If You Were Here" strident and anthemic. Vocalist Joakim Berg put on a really energetic show and was the focal point throughout.

And then, waiting for the encore, we discovered why the place was so full - it was full of Kent's fellow Swedes! No roly-bags in evidence, but it appeared half the audience were Swedish or Scandinavian of some sort. However, encores "Music Non-Stop" and the imperious "747" topped a great show from a band who are coming close to eclipsing even The Wannadies as Top Swedish band, amazingly. And, thanks to a prompt 10.20 finish, the journey home took less than half the time of the journey up!

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