A late trip down, a pea-soup fog and a motor with a dodgy alternator does not make for a confidence-filling journey, but Ady and I still made it to this gig! Arrived at 8.45, in time to completely miss support Puppy Love Bomb (d'oh!), and to just get a pint in and wander into the full and expectant hall before Sugar's ETA.
Sure enough, at the appointed hour of 9 pm, the lights went out and Bob Mould and the boys sauntered onto the stage, looking for all the world like a gang of storemen delivering a sofa, casually plugged in, then ripped venomously into "The Gift". I plunged into the increasing melee for 3rd number in, the strident chiming growl of "Changes", and gave it loads in the frantic moshpit, as Bob and the boys kicked up an awesome primal rock noise onstage. Sweat drenched, Bob (now chunked up, looking more like the legendary towering monolith of the Husker Du days) passionately exploded through this set, which was mainly drawn from the (say it quietly) slightly disappointing new LP, "File Under Easy Listening", and a clutch of growling newies. As ever, they made best sense when experienced with the hordes of frenzied dancers in the moshpit, so I'm glad I was one of them!
After almost 1 1/2 hours of loud, dynamic rock, I was drenched and my ears were buzzing, but I totally enjoyed tonight's set. A little leaden in parts (especially the first encore dirge), but I'll forgive him that, as the pure popcore rush of the likes of "Gee Angel" (easily "FUEL"s best track) and "If I Can't Change Your Mind" more than made up for that.
Oh yeh, and the drive home - again through pea-soup fog - was a lot quicker, at 1 1/4 hours!