Wednesday, 13 October 2010

333 TRACY BONHAM, London Borderline, Wednesday 28 August 1996

I totally failed to bump into my old Gigolo Aunts friend and current Bonham gun-for-hire Phil Hurley later on at Reading Festival on Sunday (3 days ago now!), so I couldn't ask about getting on the guest list for this one. So I sorted out a ticket instead, and parked up in Shepherd's Bush after the normal London beat route! Bumped into Tracy as soon as I'd got into the venue, and she fetched Phil from backstage for a good old pre-set chinwag about music, American rock, American rock bands and, erm, music!

Tracy took the stage at 8.45 - an early, unsupported set due to the Borderline's "Midweeker" club night after 11 - and, alone to start with, kicked off into the now all-too-familiar violin doodling and haunting opener "Brain Crack". Joined by the boys onstage, thereafter followed an ear-skeweringly loud hours worth of solid, top drawer angsty US alt rock. The thrilling "Navy Bean", the moody, Nirvana-esque "Sharks", the big happy-go-lucky pop of "The One", all so familiar now, but still thundering with freshness, power and energy. The highlight was a manic, breathless encore of "I'm Not A Waif", with Phil, Tracy and the rock solid rhythm base of Drew and Shayne on top form. This band are destined to take over the planet, very soon!

As good an experience was to follow, as I got to hang backstage with the stars of the show for an hour or so. Tracy, hiding backstage from British adulation, was nevertheless very friendly, and amazed by my recent letter to her ("I'm not worthy!" etc.). Drew said that Tracy's album ("The Burdens Of Being Upright", my favourite album of 1996) had already gone gold in the US, so congratulations were exchanged, along with suggestions as to where they could hang their gold discs! I finally left at 20 past 11 and got home at 1/4 to 2; a late one in midweek, but 'twas worth it to catch up with Phil Hurley, a true friend, and the rest of Tracy's band, including Tracy herself, a true star!

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