Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You don't sweat much for a fat chick.

Whilst still being off from work, normality is an ambition still on the horizon; however thanks to a sweaty Beth Ditto I am encroaching upon outer reaches of my familiar lifestyle.

It was my first social occasion since the op, and was the perfect remedy to my cabin fever. Sweet Johnny only really realised he was going to be in Normandy on a school trip at weekend gone, so had to send his apologies. I took it upon myself to locate a suitable replacement and thankfully my first choice of replacements, Tom, was more than happy to step up to the plate.

It was fairly clear from the get go this was not going to be your standard gig judging from the sight of my fellow audience. It would be fair to say that there was a fair few people there whom are not your ordinary gig goers, or more appropriately, not the usual gig goers that my friends and I see. I likened it to an England International football game i.e. the crowd was not built up of the ‘regular’ attendees of Association Football matches.

We handed in our tickets and entered the venue. Tom told me that someone behind us made some comment along the lines of “Oh I nearly knocked over the cripple” by which of course he meant me. The usually highly dangerous stairs in the venue proved even more troublesome especially knowing that there was a swarm of ‘big boned’ ladies wishing to get past me. I eventually made it to the top and was totally fucked. The non-alcoholic beverages I was drinking at the bequest of my pharmacist served as scant conciliation for the epic trek I had just endured. We found a suitable place for me to stand whereupon I wouldn’t get trampled and waited.

It wasn’t long before the main support act Robots In Disguise arrived on stage.
The band comprised of three girls caked in 1980’s kitsch make up and Chrissie Hyde/Russell Brand haircuts. It came as no suppose to me that despite all the gusto and enthusiasm they possessed, musically they were without any redeeming features whatsoever. The songs themselves were built around drum loops upon which the drummer (who looked like a cross between the Kiss’ Paul Stanley in his full stage make up, and kids’ TV cartoon Gem) mirrored adding little interest to them. Simple bass lines and guitar chords stabbed out in staccato style were played with no imagination or interest either. The vocals, which mostly comprised of the two guitar players moronic shouting really was the cherry on the cake. Of course though, the sell out crowd for the most part, lapped it up.

It was a depressing start to the show and with the increasing audience I was getting bustled about a fair bit and my crutches were knocked on several occasions. It was getting hot in there too.

Whilst waiting, Nik walked directly past us. I tapped him on the shoulder and he decided to stand with us. He was rather excited about the show and looked a little like a child on Christmas morning.

It wasn’t long before they took to the stage. The crowd went wild and the atmosphere generated from their legion of supporters had us all wide eyed and excited.

She looked marvellous wearing a gold jump suit and a sliver glitter wig.
The difference in quality from The Gossip to Robots in Disguise was a vast a gap can be between bands. The understated drums and hooky bass lines left the space fro Ditto to fill it with her impressive voice…and what a fucking voice. Her stage presence is as good, if not better, than anyone I can think of ever seeing. Not only did she do it gusto and passion it was clear to see how connected she was with the music and the audience.

Lisa’s had the album on loop in our flat for the past month, and despite never actually sitting down and listening to it I know most of the songs-though with the notable exception of ‘Standing In the Way Of Control’ I couldn’t tell you any of their names.
Whilst Ditto belting out a number is a sight to behold, the understated playing of the rhythm section can’t go unmentioned. Tom succinctly put it that they were like Nirvana with glitter.

Please check this out:

Between songs Beth addressed the crowd with humility and respect which was reciprocated by the sweaty masses. Not one for being overly impressed all that often, I was in total awe of her stage presence and he voice.

If not ever so slightly predictably, they closed with ‘Standing In The way of Control’ and the place went fucking nuts! And I mean FUCKING NUTS! The floor was shaking, drinks were being tossed aimlessly into the air and the annoyingly too common spectacle of every other person’s mobile phone being thrust in the stage’s direction (which was handy other wise I wouldn’t be able to attach the above YouTube clip. It was awesome. Ditto, now sans wig and drenched in sweat, made her way down to the front of the crowd, connecting with the audience – by which time were foaming at the mouth coupled with the strobe lights, that the engineers had obviously been saving until the end.

After the show it was agreed by one and all that they were fucking amazing. It was a perfect antidote to the past few mind numbingly boring weeks. I also coaxed Tom to come and see The Hold Steady tonight too- so even more reasons to be cheerful!!!

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