Tuesday, 6 July 2010

452 MIDWAY STILL, Spraydog, London Highbury "Upstairs At The Garage", Friday 21 July 2000

Took the afternoon off work to prepare for this one, after a gruelling first week back. Rachel came over and Tim picked us up at 6, then we waited for Mark to do his hair and join us! Traffic and circumnavigating accidents put us over to the Garage for 8.30, for a drink before the venue opened at 9. Got in early to the strains of Grandaddy - a good omen!

But not for the first band, Spraydog, who were quite the worst band I've seen this year by some distance. It wasn't even that their stuff was bad - mainly standard indie guitar fayre - but that they were just totally... inept! Their female vocalist couldn't sing, play anything or even harmonise, and more laughably couldn't even hit a tambourine in time. The most superfluous woman in rock that I've ever come across; she must either own the van or be offering sexual favours to the whole band. Incredible that they even got the booking...

We were swayed to come along tonight by an e-mail proclaiming that this may be the last of the current run of Midway Still reunion shows. Apparently we weren't the only ones to get that message, as the place was quite crowded for their entrance at 10.30, onto the surprisingly narrow stage. Good thing they're only a 3-piece! From the opening bars of breathless opener "Counting Days", it was clear that The Still meant business tonight. They went for it with a vengeance, as did I, happily joined this time by our travelling crew and an increasing Still massive, particularly a pony-tailed bruiser next to me. The set really took off, however, after "I Won't Try", their baggy concession number, after which the sound went from slightly harsh to pretty much perfect, and the atmosphere from hardcore club to a Still celebration. "Better Than Before", their early 90's grunge/ pop crossover "smash", was magnificent, and the 40 minutes of sweat and fun were topped off perfectly by their rambunctious cover of Rainbow's "Since You've Been Gone". A superb show - again - which led to us screaming "encore" for ages after - even after the band had started to pack up!

We hit the road at 12, bumping into Still vocalist Paul Thompson on the stairs, who totally failed to recognise Tim, his "web-master"! He complimented my "Bollocks To Everything" Still t-shirt (yes, I was breaking one of my gig rules tonight by wearing a t-shirt of the band I'm going to see - bad boy!), and said that thankfully this wasn't the last Still gig - they're having too much fun doing them at the moment. It shows!

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