Wednesday, 29 September 2010

339 DRUGSTORE, Elevate, Gus, Bristol Fleece, Tuesday 5 November 1996

Got there early after I'd driven Ady and Fred down, so hit the bar next door for pool. My intention was originally to get Beef to drive, but I thought he finished work too late; of course he still got here before the venue opened. D'oh!

Into the venue for 9, halfway through solo American Gus' noisy 12-string feedback tomfoolery and floppy fringed angst. I quite enjoyed his stripped-back rawness, despite the jarring feedback. T'was certainly better than Elevate who were a clumsy pastiche of late-period Fall, Nick Cave's darkness and a steamroller with a puncture. Crap!

I took centre stage for Drugstore's triumphant entrance at 10.30 (late one now at the Fleece!), with Isabel playing a solo "Adventures Of Isabel" (a weird bear/ witch eating song!), before being joined by the expanded band for an infectious "Say Hello". An hour's worth of spellbinding, bewitching and enthralling muse-ic followed, with spooky oldies being interspersed with more dynamic, punchier new stuff. Highlights for me were a heart-stopping rendition of Radiohead's "Black Star", which got me in a right old state, and the spinning fairground madness of "The Funeral", the adrenaline and red wine-fuelled Isabel giving a captivating performance of both. Encoring with a touching "Super Glider" and their angular, oblique reading of the classic "Teenage Kicks" (which I disliked first time I heard it, but hey, I can be wrong!), Drugstore tonight were majestic, shimmering and overall as good as I've ever seen them!

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