Wednesday, 9 June 2010

463 SEAFOOD, Jebediah, The Somerville Theater, Cambridge, MA USA, Wednesday 18 October 2000

This particular Boston trip is built around catching UK faves Seafood on their first ever US show, in Boston. We also aimed to play "mine host" to da 'Food for awhile in Beantown, but this doesn't happen as they only arrive at 5 pm at a rainy Somerville Theater backstage door. We'd spent the day visiting Q, hanging out with rock'n'roll carpenter (!) Clayton Scoble of Francine, then just waiting for da 'Food in Davis, standing in the rain watching all the other bands on this 6-band showpiece arrive backstage, while they'd apparently spent the day trying to escape from Salem! So we don't get to take them over to Fort Apache as arranged, and Rach and I pop over there briefly ourselves, thanking the Fort's Eric Marcos for his intended but ultimately unnecessary hospitality. Back to rainy Davis for the gig - thankfully Kevin Seafood had put us on the list, which is good as the cover is $12! We hit the front straight away at 6.15, as Seafood are first on. They emerge at a ridiculously early 6.50; none of the Bostonians we'd told about the show had turned up, not surprising given that a) it's early, b) it's in Davis, c) it's a seated gig and d) it's raining!

However, they all miss a treat as Seafood maintain current form with a magnificent set. A self-effacing start with "Led By Bison" - "a slow one to start with, because, well, we can," quoth David - leads into an incendiary "Porchlight", with David exhorting the small but happily larger than expected early doors crowd to sing along (!). Coats are discarded as Rachel and I become a 2 person moshpit despite our colds! Well, the pressure's off, it's their first ever show in both the US and in a seated venue, no one (except Rachel and myself!) is here really to see them, so these facts conspire to allow da 'Food to deliver a relaxed yet typically colourful, jagged and acerbic performance. "Guntrip" and "This Is Not An Exit" - the latter optimistically described by David as, "a top 40 hit back in the UK" - are spiky brattish shards of sonic delight, whilst "Cloaking", a new number dedicated by Kevin to Rach and myself - "because they don't know it" - demonstrates they're not mellowing with age. But the true highlight is the cacophonous "Folk Song Crisis", as Seafood really cut loose with power and ferocious abandon. The awesome climax, with feedback swathing the stunned crowd and David raging endlessly at the dying of the light, is as good as I've ever seen this band, instantly making the 3,500 mile trip to see a band we'd previously seen 30 miles away in Oxford (!) utterly worthwhile.

As we collect our thoughts and brain cells in the foyer afterwards, in search of liquid sustenance, we run into Kevin Camara, whom we'd seen earlier whilst hanging out at Davis waiting for Seafood, and to whom I'd uttered those immortal words, "at least it's not raining", thus precipitating a biblical downpour. All afternoon. Kev takes us to the nearby Somehow Cafe for drinks, and we return to catch some of Antipodeans Jebediah. Dynamic, Offspring-y grunge rock which I would have tapped a toe to, were it not for the brilliance we'd witnessed earlier. Luckily Kevin is well known around these parts, so we head backstage and hang out with da 'Food for awhile. It's fun to see our 2 favourite bassists called Kevin sat together, although I neglect to immortalise the moment with a picture. Forgive me, I'm not well, and I've got other things on my mind, namely getting to gig 2 of the night!

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