Friday, 27 August 2010
376/ 377 DRUGSTORE, Cartoon, Lazyboy, Reading Alleycat Live and Bristol Fleece, Friday 12/ Thursday 18 June 1998
A double-header from Drugstore, which meant gigs no. 10 and 11 for them overall, therefore equalling my "most seen band" number, which of course they're on course to break at Reading Festival! A real initial attraction for this double-header, though, was the presence of the excellent Glitterbox as support. However we were disappointed to find, as myself, Ady, Clive and Peej arrived at The Alleycat, that the 'Box had pulled out at short notice, and we had to make do instead with Cartoon, a poppy but unspectacular lot. So we repaired to the bar to watch World Cup footy instead! We'd earlier seen Lazyboy, a Swindon trio featuring a couple of ex Skanxters (a ska band my brother drummed with briefly), who were surprisingly good, a harder-edged power trio with a slight r'n'b feel. Certainly worth seeing again!
Anyway, the stars of the show came on at 10, Isobel being carried onstage by a large bouncer thanks to having broken her toe running to answer the telephone; or at least that's what she told us! Despite this, she delivered a totally mesmeric and captivating performance whilst sat on a table! The set-list was deviated from notably, as Isobel led the band through a magical and unique set, which seemed utterly short but lasted about an hour, encores and all. Leaning more on Drugstore's slower, more ballady numbers, but also featuring a new number which had a sexy tango feel, the set was superb, particularly their haunting reading of "Black Star", which was once again chillingly beautiful, pissing all over Radiohead's original.
The record equaller therefore came at Bristol, 6 days later. Clive, Dave, Ady and myself met Fred in the bar next door then we bumped into BT colleague and new friend Rachel in the more-packed-than-Reading Fleece during Cartoon's slightly better set. Ady's theory about Cartoon was that we didn't like them at Reading because they weren't Glitterbox, but for Bristol we were expecting them so were more receptive to their innocuous but pleasant pop. Which is fair enough, I suppose...
Clive and I took good spots stage left at the front, as we had bandaged our right feet in sympathy with Isobel! However, she walked on, booted up and foot-stomping, and delivered a rockier and more energetic set of their sleazy, sexy, haunting yet majestic and expansive mood muse-ic. We rocked out, particularly to the libidinous "Solitary Party Groover" and the enchanting, Lemonheads-"Confetti"-like "Spacegirl". "Black Star" again was a highlight, but a shambolic "Star-Crossed", which they stopped 2/3 through as they'd forgotten it (!) and a gloating "Offside" were also notable. As was Isobel calling Clive and I a, "sad pair!" as we revealed our bandaged feet and hoisted them onstage!
Magical, mysterious, captivating; Drugstore are ace, frankly, and will be worthy "most seen band" record holders!