Thursday, January 23, 1997


Pavement at the London Astoria
Brats Show

Top tips.  When you go to the Astoria watch out for the staff because they employ arseholes.  Also if you have contact lens syndrome, the Astoria toilets are not the best place to put them back in.  Finally if you’re going to see Pavement don’t get in the queue with the heavy metallers, it might be the wrong one.

The first band tonight is Mogwai.  But Mogwai aren’t just any band.  Tonight was the first time I’d seen them and they gave me goosebumps.  I had incredibly high expectations but they couldn’t even match the performance we got.  Live you seem to be able to understand them better than on vinyl.  Live everything they do makes sense.  You actually feel the music.  This is the sound I would expect from an oncoming act of nature such as an earthquake or tornado.  Unfortunately the set only lasted 25 minutes and five songs including the emotive Summer.  At the end I was speechless.  Stunned I questioned “were they really that good?” and my friend said “yes”.

Broadcast sadly came next.  They started with Accidentals which I love and is easy one of my songs of the year, so far.  Live it sounded equally grand as on record.  Its perfect use of samples and vocal delivery were over too soon because it was all downhill from there.  As the tedious set wore on Broadcast revealed themselves just to be the ugly sister of the Cardigans who likes Portishead.  I fully welcomed the very average Book Lovers as the toilet dragged on.

Fully relieved to still be alive I noticed the next band appeared to have my old school friend Peter Rogers on guitar.  I used to pick on him I’m ashamed to say.  His band, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci were incredibly different.  They seemed equal parts wacky and equal parts wanky.  Tonight Miss Trudy was awesome as was The Game Of Eyes and even Patio Song.  However in the end the dim wank won and spoiled it by making me impatient, waiting for highlights to review.  And it left me with very mixed feelings about our Welsh compadres.

And finally the almighty non heavy metal Pavement.  Malkmus looked great as did the twisted visual perversity of drummers Westie and Bob bigname.  They started with two from Wowee Zowee to warm us and then proceeded to give us five consecutive newies, including the bonza Stereo.  I shouldn’t say this but I didn’t think the new stuff is as good as the old stuff.  Unsurprisingly, probably, tonights best stuff was from Crooked Rain (x 2) and Slanted And Enchanted.  Also the majority of what was played from Wowee Zowee sounded great so when Steve kept announcing “heres a new one” I think I must have been pouting.

Fight This Generation gave me spasms of joy whereas Father To A Sister Of Thought sounded poor.  And Gold Soundz was met with the same reception as Lassie gets upon return home, as was Grave Architecture (well with me at least).  But in the end it was fucking Pavement so it was always going to be good.  What other band has not only one but two dirty old men on drums (well not at the same time of course).  Tonight I was watching a band at the height of its popularity playing to its crowd.  Next time I see them I fear the prospect of being surrounded by Blur mods which will be a fucking shame.  I also still think they’re evil for not playing Cut Your Hair, a bit naughty for not doing Range Life and their set is definitely marred by the absence of Plant Man.  Where on earth is Gary Young when Luton Town need him most.


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