Venue: The Roadmender
Sunday, Friday 12th, 2002
As a result of the mmmm...severity of our Roadmender engagement
we managed to pick up another date there.
We are opening for Skindred (uh-huh...) on Saturday 12th October.
So I guess we could let folks know about that one.
- Northampton NN1
14Oct2002 10:37 AM
(20 years 357 days ago)
Well, how things change! The first thing we notice on arriving at the Roadmender is that we now have a dressing room, with our name on the door and a crate of beers inside it. When Brian, our social secretary, appears we have all we need in this small and airless HQ of ours. Steve Ward is here to mix us tonight, and that means that we have a fine and easy soundcheck. Wilson in the comfort zone.
Stepping out to the bar I find Simon Mawby (Woodentops guitarist) and June Miles-Kingston (drummer to Fun Boy Three and other gentry). Pleased as I am to see them here, I can't help wondering what the man once known as Cardinal Mawb will make of all this.
I am still in the bar when I hear the sounds of The Streets. Time to head for the dressing room and get ready, then...
We go on at about 8:30. The main hall of the Roadmender is about two thirds full. The vast majority of the audience is staggeringly young. Well, stand by to be screamed at by people the age of your parents, The Kids...
Curtis is in Amsterdam for his brother's stag night, the lucky dog, so it falls to me to do a bit of avant-gardening with my delay pedal. Swooshie-wooshie it goes as Quality People stutters into life. Bang thump crunch goes the group as MC Bot emerges, statuesque, all in red, still clutching that bloody bullhorn thing and looking for a rumble. We go tearing through our first tune as the room fills up. They're hanging over the barriers at the front and the heads are beginning to shake.
Yellow Pages (as we're still calling it) is feeling fully-formed now and with a superb sound onstage and off we are able to deliver it in fine style. Then a fiery Burn Hollywood Burn (well, it would be, wouldn't it?) gets things really going.
Hippy Shit next, with Bot and me working overtime in the vocal department. Russell's solo spot is swamped in white noise, which may have something to do with me. Whatever, the house is rocked. A little chill with Istanbul Connection, then Every Saturday Night, another new song that's found its feet. I find myself wondering what Simon must be thinking. It can't possibly be what he was expecting.
We rip up Play It All Night Long, then throw Critters at them. It's explosive. People are standing on the PA columns. Critters crashes into great wall of controlled feedback before the nagging Dark Agenda riff emerges. Another top version: the end section sees everybody going Edgar Wallace mental, Bot booming out New Order lyrics over the chaos. The punters erupt and I leave the stage to the sound of Bot haranguing them about I know not what. And it's no good asking him what he was on about, coz he can't remember! Truly the best set we have yet delivered: totally convincing sound, furious performance, baying punters. Just what you want.
After a few minutes chilling back in the dressing room we check Skindred. Boy, are they loud! It's the rock/dub thing, as you might expect from a band that was formed from the ashes of Dub War. Rage Against The Machine might be a suitable point of reference. They are a top live band and go down well, teasing the audience before returning for a well-earned encore. Nice geezers too. They're Welsh, you know.
We pack up our kit and have another brief chat with Simon and June before it is time for another Wilson novelty - getting paid! With the paper stuff securely stuffed into our pockets we head for Stevie G's new house for a buffalo vodka knees-up.
Dark Agenda - do you need an explanation?