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Blog: Like Tourists Do

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Ooh, we had a right proper LONDON Night Out last night, drinks, a meal and a show - DELIGHTFUL!

I went to meet The Date On My Ticket from work at St James's Park (POSH) and then we went for a STROLL - on the way we passed a street full of Gentlemen's Clubs, one of which had massive FLAMING TORCHES outside. It looked like the HELLFIRE CLUB or something, with the effect being slightly spoilt by the dribble of Top Man Suited mildly embarrassed looking middle-aged chaps who were shuffling in. I mean, they COULD have been our Lizard Overlords heading for a secret Illuminati meeting for all I know, but they didn't look it.

Anyway, we STROLLED across St James's Park which was LOVELY. It's very odd to be in the centre of London and be in almost total darkness, but that's how it was as there were no street lamps, and that meant that everything around the edge of the park showed up in glorious technicolour. It was like being in a dormant snow globe of LONDON, as all around us we could see THE SIGHTS - Buckingham Palace, The Houses Of Parliament, and hanging over the stream with a blue reflection, The London Eye. It was BRILLIANT.

We went and had our TEA then headed yet further NORTH to the 229 club, rather handily spotting Messrs Walsh and Dhanendran in The Albany on the way. This is the pub where they put on their London Loves nights, so I was just about to say "We were just talking about you!" as we put our heads round the door when James said "We were just talking about you!" KRAZY TIMES!

Once inside the venue (which is a bit like a student halls function room, and indeed MAY BE SO) we said a quick hello to a passing Chris T-T then bumped into Mr J Kell and DAN, so sat down for a chat with them. It's lovely going to gigs where you meet people you know, it is one of my FAVOURITE THINGS.

Soon Mr C T-T was on, and he was, as ever, GRATE. He played "Seven Hearts", which is my BEST ONE and I was so moved I shed a MANLY TEAR. It's a brilliant song that, and indeed the whole set made you feel like a Better Person just for listening to it, although I must admit afterwards I thought "I must try harder!" SUCH is the Improving/Invigorating nature of his gigs. ALSO there were a couple of new songs, which sound ACE. He was starting one about a discussion at a graveside (i don't know the name) and John turned round and said "Now, this is a good one." He was CORRECT. I was fully expecting "Preaching To The Converted" at the end, as "Giraffes" had been near the start, but instead got "When The Huntsman Comes a-Marchin'". There was a LOT of shouting along.

After Chris it was Misty's Big Adventure, who i will tell anyone who asks (and many who don't) that i saw at one of their first ever gigs. In fact, I think I supported them - it was at The Jug Of Ale in Birmingham, and all I can really remember about it is that me and my brother stood transfixed at the site of ladies playing Brass Instruments while wearing flourescent green brassiers. It's the sort of thing that sticks in the mind. This WASN'T the case this time, instead they had a blue-faced man with a suit covered in hands, which is the sort of thing i am officially Not Sure About. I know some bands like to Make It More Of An Experience Than Just A Gig, but I always find DANCERS (also "lightshows") a bit distracting.

Mind you, Hand-Suit Man had COMPETITION from a BIG FAN in the audience - it was really sweet, he kept turning round to other members of the crowd and THROWING SHAPES, exhorting them to join in, and singing ALL the words. People around him were at first ALARMED then AMUSED by the whole thing, as is CORRECT.

Finally it was The Black Arts, a supergroup comprising members of Black Box Recorder and Art Brut. They've got a Christmas Single out, so that's what they were there to do and, to be honest, although it reminded me why i like Art Brut, it also rather reminded me why i DON'T like Black Box Recorder. The Black Box Recorder guys sat in the centre of the stage and looked rather pleased with themselves, singing a pretty tuneless song about how this was going to be Christmas Number One. It was all a bit smug, I have to say, and not helped by the fact a large part of the lyric was saying that they're going to have to bring back Top Of The Pops for Christmas, to cater for this song.

Er... don't they already do that, every year? You'd think that if you were going to make a big deal out of namechecking an ICON OF POPULAR CULTURE then it might be an idea to have actually WATCHED it recently. I didn't like it, but it made the other half of the group even more loveable, as Mr Argos stood to the side shouting "Top Of The Pops!" like he meant it (which, I feel, he does) and when he sang HIS bits about Aunts and Uncles and stuff it actually felt VERY CHRISTMASSY INDEED. It were lovely.

ALSO there was someone else playing UKELELE on the other side of the stage. "That looks like the bloke from David Devant" i thought... and LO! it WAS! Eddy Argo was dressed up in an Elvis Jumpsuit, which one suspects he'd done especially for the occasion, but The Vessel was fully made up with hair done in a SPARKLY CATSUIT and I rather think that's how he'd have turned up anyway. I never actually saw David Devant And His Spirit Wife at the time, tho i know people who saw them REALLY A LOT, and now I wish I had.

So all in all it was a rather GROOVY night out, and we stumbled out into the cold and crisp and even evening full of festive spirit, also BEER.

posted 12/12/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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Once inside the venue (which is a bit like a student halls function room, and indeed MAY BE SO)

i can cofirm that it is a student halls function room, yes. did you not see the big sign saying "International Student House" or the gaggle of foreign students having a fag out the front? :) i went to see DUDLEY CORP and PINBACK there the other week, rly nice venue innit?
posted 12/12/2007 by CarsmileSteve

Well spotted Watson - the gigantic sign was my first clue!
posted 12/12/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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