So, Saturday then. If you’ve been a regular visitor you’ll probably have seen my note: “sex pistols, trail of dead, sun @ crystal palace. excellent”. Wapblogger is a curiously cool thing, my companion didn’t seem over impressed by it though. I explained it twice in coming up to excruciating detail, didn’t seem to make much impression. In fact he started to look at me oddly after that. But back to first principles.
A Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks back. A message on the telephone. Did I want to go and see the Sex Pistols play Crystal Palace? Free ticket on offer. Swiftly rearranging my diary like the interconnected mobile office pro that I am (OK, I made one phone call) I replied with a quick: “yeah, sounds cool, who’s playing support?” them - “flibatygibbit, wotsisname, and you will know us by the trail of dead, the other one…” me- “trail of dead?” t- “yeah” m- “I am totally there” [sincere apologies for how tacky this sounds/makes me sound] “what time will i see you?” t- “oh, about 10ish” m- “cool”
Flash forwards to 9am Saturday. There I am, in bed with the alarm in my mobile going off. Wake, pick up phone from bedside, turn alarm off, lie back down, fall asleep. An hour later I get a quick knock on my door. They’re here. A couple of knocks later I actually wake up. Three minutes later I’m downstairs attempting to seem human and subtly moving off for a cup of tea. A big French sized cup of tea. A massive cup, all caffeine, tannin and milk. Like drinking a brick.
In the car on the way round the motorway I tried not to fall asleep obviously. I succeeded by not falling asleep, a cunning plan. Then whum bash, there we were there was where we had to be at the end and here was where we are. Being clever people wanting to get maximum value we show up at 2.15pm, quarter of an hour after the doors opened. There were about five people there. At 3:45 the first band started playing, until then we sat on the plastic sheeting covering the athletics field and track and made witty conversation about how much we disliked Travis’ music.
The first ‘act’ can only be described as ‘The terrible rap crew’. They were really terrible. Continued attempts to play Dance/hip-hop/rap music at a Punk gig, clever. Couple that with inance MC twitterings about ‘vibes’ how they were ‘only warming up’ and repeating their name once every three minutes, I can’t exactly remember it though. It’s these sort of people that give whole genre’s of music a bad name. The crowd were disgruntled.
Thankfully the comparative sanity of The Rapture intervened. They’re from New York and have progressive haircuts yet they don’t sound exactly like The Strokes! No indeed because they have one exceedingly manic bloke who plays the saxophone and (endearingly) cow bells. All in all they were pretty rockin’. I’ll have to get my NYC spies to send me some more info on them.
After them more guitar band mayhem with The Libertines. From London this time but with equally progressive haircuts they were decent but not as edgy or well, just plain good as the rapture. I’d certainly go and see them again though. Chief characteristic two of the guitarists came on wearing turn of the 19th century British redcoats and giving 120% bouncing around the stage and bantering quite nicely with the crowd, tearing off their coats half way through and throwing them in to much excitement. The bassist wore an old grey t-shirt, what looked like pyjama bottoms and didn’t seem to move for the entire set. Stunning contrast.
The Dropkick Murphys: bagpipes, incomprehensible lyrics, three singers, two guitars, punk posing.
Next up, …and you will know us by the Trail Of Dead. Best performance of the afternoon with a wonderfully explosive live show. Ranting, spitting mutual throwing things between mosh based crowd and singer brilliant guitar playing. Manic energy one clearly stoned member who lent on his amp and twiddled away to great effect. Swapping lead singer and drummer after every other song. Very punky, very brilliant. These guys have the talent and the attitude. I’ve been loving their album for ages but haven’t seen them live before. It adds. Oh, and humorous fight with security guards at the end who attempted to stop them destroying their equipment/beating each other up. They mostly failed.
Final act of what by that point was a very long day were the Sex Pistols. In a mostly familiar lineup with mostly decentish playing and not too many words forgotten the crowd adored them. There were too many people there who were 17 all over again for me to be entirely comfortable.