shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

The cool thing about tribute bands is that they're the ultimate crowd-pleaser. 2.5 hours of Smiths greatest hits! As Brent says, if the *real* Smiths reformed there'd be no way they'd pander so much to all of us. Last night was a combination of extreme hilarity and, dare I say it, rockingness! The Salford Lads Club are a really good, tight band! 'Johnny Marr' looked a little too much like an Inspiral Carpet, and 'Morrissey' had a big shiny bald patch, but they made up for their costuming issues by copping as many mannerisms as possible. There were only a few songs which didn't quite hit the mark - 'How Soon Is Now?' was a bit lacking in the 'searing guitar riff' department - but most of them were near-perfect copies, particularly the fast-moving jangly ones. Nick kept urging Rach and I to yell out 'we love you, Tribute Morrissey!' as he threw mums into the crowd, but Lawrence was the true inspiration, staging the first of many amusing crowd stage invasions to hug TM. We arrived very stoned and got soberer, while Rach arrived very sober and got drunker, which made for some interesting developments as the night continued. I, for example, was not expecting to hear every word of 'Still Ill' sung with such weepy passion in my ear. ;) Then again, I wasn't expecting such a warm fuzzy crowd, either - on songs like 'Panic', 'Ask', or 'There is a Light That Never Goes Out' TM was practically drowned out by the voices of the cheerfully bopping folk down below, many of whom were clearly British expats. I saw a few old acquaintances and workmates, too. From, like, 1996. (God, I feel old.) If it's not love, then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb that will bring us together...

Two things added entertainment value: we were standing behind this weird boxy wotsit, presumably a minimalist seating/drink-holding combination, about thigh-height and quite wide, which gave the impression that there was a big open space in front of us. I can't count how many times someone coming from the bar tried to edge past us only to bang painfully into it. Yeah, we're just leaving this enormous space in front of us especially for *you*, my friend! I am cruel. But it was funny. The second thing is a story Lawrence told about a show he saw at the same venue, a double bill of (his friends) the Tokey Tones and the Brunettes. It was a Back to the Future-themed night, and a Brunettes band member pretended to cut his hand, while Lawrence got up on stage and asked if anyone could play guitar. Liam Finn came out of the crowd for the obligatory 'Johnny B. Goode', with full knee-sliding solo frenzy. Lawrence said the bizarre thing was that only about 12 people in the audience got the joke. To me, that's almost funnier than if it had gone over hugely. Love it!


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