Tuesday, 3 August 2010
388 BUFFALO TOM, Superstar, London Astoria, Tuesday 27 October 1998
Gig of 1998, without a bloody doubt!!! I surprisingly never leapt at this one straight away, but it took just a little persuasion from Rachel, plus an "Only UK Show" caveat on an NME classified ad, to swing me! So, we four (Clive, Tim, Rachel and myself) did the usual Shepherd's Bush parking thang, and tubed it into central London for 8.15, just arriving too late for first band on, Whistler (Clive played their single on the way up, which wasn't much cop, so no great loss). Had a wander around the venue and found a balcony vantage point from which to see Superstar, who started with their best song "EverydayIfallapart", a deliciously harmonic groove in latterday Teenage Fanclub vein, but then slightly degenerated into a reasonable but ordinary lumpy pop rock stodge. Disappointing really.
As was the turnout... admittedly, this was a rainy Tuesday, but it's the Tom's only UK show and they couldn't fill the Astoria? What is wrong with you people??? Anyway, the Tom diehards (Clive, Tim and myself), and Tom virgins (Rachel) were primed and ready for the boys at 9.30, as they came onstage to little fanfare. However, they roared directly into the slashing guitar intro to "Velvet Roof", and I immediately piled into the mosh, already safe in the knowledge that it was going to be one of those very special nights.
The hits rolled on, as old favourites blended in perfectly with the slower, more crafted and considered numbers from the brilliant and no-less intense new LP "Smitten". Tom vocalist Bill Janovitz delivered a bleeding-raw performance of drama and passion, ably backed up by Chris and Tom (drummer Tom using the same DW kit owned by my brother!). Every one a winner, every one jaw-droppingly awesome, top-drawer, gut-wrenching rock, every one a highlight, but encore "Sunflower Suit" is a particular memory I'll keep with me. The 1 1/2 hours flew by, and I emerged dishevelled, soaked, breathless, a little battered but awestruck by a brilliant performance from a band who seem only to get better and better with the passing years. As I said at the opening; Gig of 1998, without a bloody doubt!