Saturday, 17 July 2010

"I didn't know Mexicans were brown.."

This is a very delayed blog about the night I went to see Ska band [Spunge]

I had bought my brother the tickets for his 20th birthday, he had asked me to go with him, partly because we're cool like that, also because it would cross off a few things from Nathan's Play List.

The gig was at the O2 in Birmingham, somewhere I had never been before. It was held in the upstairs room which was probably the size of half a football field.

As with all gigs there were some warm up bands. The first were called The Rimes and from their performance I'm guessing they haven't been doing it very long. Watching them was a bit of a disappointment from a performative point of view as they did nothing. The lead singer really got into the music but just looked like a bit of a tard as the other guitarists were stiff as boards and the drummer you couldn't really see.

From a music point of view they played really well and the lead guitarist had a few solos which were shocking to see come from the fingers of such a bored looking boy - who btw, wore such tight jeans i was trying to figure out where his You-Know went as i could not see any room for such a genital! Maybe that's why he looked so stiff - no pun intended - he just simply couldn't move due to his ridiculously tight jeans!

The second band were far better.. Their set up took a while, and I found watching the lead singer trying to hang fairy lights around his mic stand rather amusing, yet a pretty touch. This band were from California - I think - and were called ORANGE.

Instantly they were better than The Rimes.. They were have FUN! And you could see it, and it made you have fun too. At times the music drown out the words and you only caught little bits, but the fact they carried on and engaged with the audience really made it make up for that.

During their first song the lead singer, Joe Dexter, pushed lead guitarist, Alex Gomez's, mic stand off the stage, which started the banter which flowed from then on through their set. For two songs, guitarist Perry Ladish, took control of the mic bringing a completely different sound to that of the previous of their set. They did a Beatles cover, after which Perry said, "Did you like that one? I wrote it last night."

Unlike the first band, ORANGE spoke to each other and to their audience, and it was quite amusing hearing Americans trying to say 'Birmingham'. The banter between them contined with Zak and Joe both trying to speak at the same time, which eventually led to Zak saying, 'That's what happens when you invited Mexicans in to play. We take over. Fucking brown people!" They were so light hearted about everything.

After finishing their set [Spunge] were welcomed to the stage. After watching ORANGE who were a bit heavier than what I had expected I didn't really know what to expect next - I had only ever heard about four [Spunge] songs.

My brother and I had managed to get right to the front of the barrier and were as close as humanly possible. The band walked on to stage and wow did the room alight even more than they already were. You could feel the total atmosphere change and become even more alive. It was amazing before it had even begun.

After their first song, lead singer said, "Thank you. You are by far the best audience we have had so far. We're now half way through our tour!" Everyone, naturally cheered and he continued with, "This is the second night of our tour."

Even though I did not know many of their songs, if any at all, I still had a brilliant time and found my self singing along to the chorus's. A few times I phoned my friend Tom who had been unable to come to see them to give him a taste of what he was missing, and I got a bit camera happy and took quite a few pictures - with the all banned flash on! (I shall add pictures to this blog soon!)

When it came to their last song, Kicking Pigeons, the room went crazy, and it continued even after they left the stage. The lights came up slightly and the room erupted with "We want more! We want more!" It got to the point where you really couldn't imagine them coming back on stage, and just as you thought people might give up the drummer walked back on stage.

"We never do encores."

Their return was just as amazing as the first time they walked on stage and once again people didn't want it to end. It was truly incredible. For the final time the guitarist jumped onto the speaker right above mine and Nathans heads and pulled faces while playing at us. It was like our very own show!

When they left the stage for the final time the room cleared quickly, I however decided to stay and see if anyone came out of the front to mingle. After all they had been asking all show where the best place was to go and drink afterwards, to which people shouted "here!"

My insistence paid off and although I didn't get to meet any of [Spunge] I did get to have a very lengthy conversation with Joe Dexter. Me and him are real tight now and are friends on Facebook. Booyar!

Eventually we were asked to leave the room while they got it ready for the evening event Propaganda, which was a bit of a ball ache as the lead singer of [Spunge] had just walked past us. But heyho, never mind.

All in all the evening was amazing.. It was really nice to go to a proper 'gig' apposed to the huge concert events I am used to. Knowing that the people on stage can actually see you is a real boost and makes the experience all that bit better and more exciting - which i suppose sucked a bit for the first band as they would have been able to see how bored everyone looked, but then so did they so never mind.

On our way out me and Nay grabbed some freebies from the ORANGE merch table, the one I was most excited about was the 'Free Shit' sign with an arrow, and on our way out of the room we met their drummer Zac Glosserman who sold Nay a CD for petrol money and we had a picture with him too.

[Spunge] is certainly a band I will listen to again and makes me want to listen to more of Nathan's Play List as it seems my brothers music isn't all that bad! ORANGE were a pleasure to watch and really woke up the crowd ready for [Spunge]. They were a breath of fresh air after being bored to tears by the seemingly just as bored first band The Rimes, who gave a perfect example of a band in their 'garage phase'. It's just a shame they didn't stay there!

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