What turned out to be the first of 4 gigs in 4 nights started with Rachel and myself making a day of it in London, meeting visiting Boston friends Michael and Mark, then heading over to Camden for beer, pool, record shopping and designer noodles! More beer in the Tottenham on Oxford Street, before heading around the corner to the venue, taking our seats in the stalls, stage left. A good spot! Support Lori Carson, a folky type with long hair and skirts, peddled an innocuous and instantly forgettable set of bland balladry, which the audience mainly talked over!
Had the "3 minute call" just before 9, so re-took our seats for the entrance of Eels, onto a set laid out suspiciously for a show-band, with ball lights and candy striped backdrop. The band first played a medley, with a horn section, featuring someone dressed as Father Christmas (!), and a prominently-featured talented female multi-instrumentalist, who we later discovered was Lisa Germano (why didn't she support?), prior to the entrance of E.
The new Eels album represents an upbeat shift from the harrowing introspection of their previous murder balladry, and the set tonight reflected this. E, denim clad like a mid-West motor mechanic, played the set for irony, and the excellent band backed up his personal, superbly structured mood music perfectly. "My Beloved Monster" was undoubtedly the set highlight, and although the set wallowed in downbeat mood midway through, this was only temporary and didn't stop the hour-long set flying by. Two separate encores (the first featuring another different reading of "Novocaine For The Soul", this time in the style of the moon landing music!) rounded off the set splendidly, before the house lights came up and we all went to leave. Then...
The band re-appeared at this point! With the house lights still on, they played another jolly number to send the few, who had stuck around, home in a positive mood. Like I said, playing it for irony. A fine evening's entertainment!