Monday, March 30, 2009

Modest Mouse at Royal Albert Hall - 23 May 2007

The Egodeity had assumed he had mirrored this from his site at the time, but it appears not, so here is a belated review of a Modest Mouse gig from the Albert Hall in 2007. (original post and comments here). All incidents with italicised square brackets are comments added in this post, with the full benefit of sober hindsight.

I didn't turn up to the venue until 20:30, so I missed the support act, who I had kind of wanted to see because I was trying to figure out why his name was so vaguely familiar. (I have subsequently discovered it was probably because he was the most notable figure in Tracey Emin's tent).

Any way, it did mean I was free to worm my way into a decent spot on the floor - right in front of Johnny Marr, as it turned out. And the band fashionably kept the crowd waiting for about fifteen minutes before storming with Paper Thin Walls as the opener.

A lot has been made of the sound quality -or lack thereof for a rock band to be playing in the RAH. I assumed the vocals were inaudible to me because of the fact I was right underneath Johnny Marr's speakers [monitors], but even when Isaac spoke between songs I could barely make out a word he said. Again, I assumed that's because he was too close to the mic, but surely someone of his experience doesn't make a schoolboy like that. The few things I did hear was him asking the guys at the top at the back (where, incidentally, a couple of my friends were sitting) if they could see/hear (?), and a rebuttal of the thought of playing Freebird (I take it that's becoming a running gag now). The crowd around me were shouting to have the vocals turned up, and they would have been within earshot of the band, and I think they did try to address it onstage, but there's only a limit with what you can do with amp levels.

The venue itself was pretty grandiose, but even as we were walking from the Tube station, we were thinking that alternative bands wouldn't exactly be queuing for a spot at that venue. There were posters for Simply Red's comeback. The sandwich bar had been converted into a criminally overpriced bar - £2.90 for a 285ml bottle of Carling, which was the cheapest drink by a long way. Then you weren't allowed to take them into any of the seating areas.

The first thing that struck me when I got to the floor was the fact that the security was barley visible (I actually didn't even know there was any until near the end). The crowd were really well-behaved as far as crowds go, with only one major incident during the encore. I couldn't see what happened, but Isaac stepped in [to confront the security], and he was still visibly angry when he was leaving the stage [slash being ushered backstage by the rest of the band]. My friends from the back said they thought he was trying to help a fan who was being manhandled by security.

Most of the set list was made up of We Were Dead..., and Good News... songs, but they did hold up the earlier stuff as well (just happened that it wasn't the songs I was hoping for, but they aren't my trained monkeys, so I'll live).

The band were so tight, especially the two drummers. At some points they were even sharing the same drumkit.
Johnny was made the star of the show by the photogs in front of the barrier. For about ten minutes at the start there was about five fixed solely on him, and none even on Isaac. Isaac went crazy during Doin the Cockroach, and started screaming into his guitar's pickup - which must have worked because I could hear him almost as well as with his mic [I subsequently learned that it was Tiny Cities Made of Ashes that inspired him to scream into his pickup].

The floor beneath me was trembling under the weight of synchronised jumping during Float On, and the crowd was in good spirits throughout. Before the band came on, the seated crowd managed to get a Mexican Wave going.

The band played a good hour and a half set, and you could see they up for the event, but the sound quality did ruin it for a lot of people (some even left early, according to their reviews. For me, it was the first time I had seen the Mouse, and was prejudiced to enjoy it no matter what and that served me well. Good Show.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse giving shit right back to a wanker in the crowd

The Egodeity's favourite band is Modest Mouse (if one considers his page, which is probably a decent indicator). He has been frotihng at the bit at the thought of new material, and signed up to follow their photographer, Pat Graham, on his blog (RSS link) and twitter, and he diligently pointed out this delightful video of Isaac Brock, the lead singer, chastising one of those loudmouth cunts who go to a concert expecting it to not fulfil their snobby standards (in fact, probably on some level, conscious or otherwise, willing it not to meet those standards) and feel the need to share their displeasure with everyone, including the band.

Brock completely ripped him shreds, pointing out that the song they had played before was "old stuff", and speculated that the song he played was older than the heckling spore. Great Stuff. New material is promised later this year, so one waits.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Grauniad's 1000 songs You must Hear

Every so often the Graun runs a week long list of 100 such and such things you must read/hear/choke on, with a conscience absence of the "before you die" suffix, presumably to absolve themselves from liability for condemning some poor hure to purgatory for not getting around to getting round to buying that obscure Icelandic band's fourth album that only came out on vinyl.

Anyhoo, last week, they did songs, and the accompanying website had a nifty Javascript thing that allowed you record your progress, so in a characteristic swathe of self-aggrandeur, the Egodeity presents the tracks he has heard, thus far:

1000 songs everyone must hear

Love: part one of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 55 from the list of 139

1000 songs everyone must hear

Heartbreak: part two of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 46 from the list of 145

1000 songs everyone must hear

People and places: part three of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 33 from the list of 145

1000 songs everyone must hear

Sex: part four of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 43 from the list of 131

1000 songs everyone must hear

Politics and protest: part five of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 50 from the list of 141

1000 songs everyone must hear

Life and death: 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 35 from the list of 131

1000 songs everyone must hear

Party songs: part seven of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 58 from the list of 162