Mad Scientess Jane Expat
The bloke and I have been to two shows in the past two weeks. The first was a big-venue show - LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip - at the Coronet Theatre on the labyrinthine Elephant & Castle roundabout. Being jaded, aging concertgoers, we met up with his brother in Leicester Square for sushi and a couple of pints beforehand. We picked Leicester Square at random, which was unfortunate because it happened to be the night of the Harry Potter premiere and was therefore packed with squealing teenagers. Fortunately, they weren't in the pubs. Once we gauged the time to be suitably late for the opening bands to have left the stage, we hopped on the Northern Line.
The venue was equipped with an impressive array of useless metal detectors letting out a continuous string of beeps and some unnecessarily beefy security guards. The latter quickly worked out that their presences at this sort of show were superfluous and melted away into the shadows well before the last act. The former, sadly, were incapable and merrily beeped all night. We entered to discover that the headliners (LCD) were performing already. We were not pleased, since two-thirds of us preferred them to Hot Chip. Nevertheless, we thought it prudent to acquire beer before forging through the hipsters.
Now here is something I do not understand. Why, for the love of Pete, do these large, well-attended venues never employ sufficient bar staff? They could be making money hand over fist with four or five efficient people chucking alcohol at the concertgoers. Instead, they rely on the services of two stoned monkeys moving with the speed of molasses who can't remember your order or give the correct change. Why piss off your clientele - and more importantly to you, deny yourself the profit margin - by making them miss a quarter of a set just to get a drink? WHY?!
Ahem. What we managed to see of groovy, sardonic LCD was most enjoyable, and since we were late, finished much too soon. We used the interim between them and Hot Chip to stock up on beer. Hot Chip rocked up in their pyjamas and proceeded to bop around in a pleasingly geeky manner. The only disappointment was that no one got zapped with laser vision during "I Feel Better". (I append the video below. You must watch it. Floating Head of Southern Baptist Preacher >> Cancer Jesus >> Boy Band. Hilarious.)
Our second show last week couldn't have been more different. It was in Cambridge at the Haymakers pub: a small, dim, sticky venue half-full of indie kids and aging rockers. Perfect for a punk band like Titus Andronicus. There were perhaps 60 of us happily rocking out to the sounds of the kids from New Jersey as they blended their own stuff with riffs from their heroes (e.g. The Clash, AC/DC, The Pogues). The best heckle of the night ran as follows.
Lead singer, who could have done a very fine Movember if he didn't always look like that: "I wanna dedicate this song to Chris, our UK tour manager, who's probably done more for Titus Andronicus than any other British person..."
Member of audience: "What about Shakespeare?"