Monday, 26 February 2007


See what I did there? Very clever...

So, anyway, if you haven't all been bored to death by me saying this yet, I had one of the best weekends ever. The reason was very simple. 2 amazing gigs in 2 days. I've bored most of you already with all this, so feel free not to read on as I go into detail about just how good everyone was.

Saturday was The Walk Off at the Zodiac. I got there quite early coz I wanted to see Baby Gravy, and got in about half a minute before they started. What I saw was a bunch of kids on stage, who seem at times to not really be able to play their instruments very well, and keep going out of time with each other, probably due some kind of attention defecit disorder which seems to be causing them to try and play several different styles of music at once, all topped off by a lead singer who comes across like a recently post-pubecent Karen O who's just discovered that she has like, this totally hot body, that I can like, SO use to my advantage, all struts and hip sways like her libido is literally about to burst thru her skin and engulf the audience. Thing is, they've got so much enthusiasm. You would feel sorry for them if it weren't for the fact that sound they make is totally fucking awesome and makes you wish you were that age so that you hadn't quit that band you were in at school when being in a band was more about sketching band logos in yer schoolbooks than actually getting together and being a band. Baby Gravy come across as the misfits school band that actually bothered to do something about it, and are going to make us all insanely jealous that we never did, because while we all cling on to a dream that someday we may actually make a proper go of it, Baby Gravy had that vision all along, and are far better for it, making any efforts we could come up with seem pretty tame by comparison. Baby Gravy sound awesome. You can pick it apart all you want, at the end of the day tho, that's all that matters.
Then a dj was playing some awesome Hardcore and Drum n Bass tunes that I didn't recognise but want to own every one. And there's a dancing hot dog in the corner. What's going on over there?
Second up, Mephisto Grande. 2 guys who used to be in Suitable Case For Treatment - who for some reason, I never saw. These guys have a lot of talent. This doesn't make them good tho. What makes them good is their Tom Waits meets Reverend Horton Heat fighting a tramp sound. It's not like anything I've heard an Oxford band do before, and they do it superbly. And they both play accordion at one point. Which is cool. Although I don't seem to be able to write as much about them, I think I liked them even more than Baby Gravy.
As I went to get a drink during their set, I saw that in fact it wasn't a dj earlier, but where the hot dog had been dancing was a laptop next to a bunch of electronic childrens toys hooked up to a mixer. After MG's set, they played again, and it was fucking awesome. It said they were called Party-Shank on the gig schedule, but they're actually called Party Sausage & I Will Shank You For A Penny.
My chum Alice beckoned me to the front for The Walk Off. The Walk Off were quite probably the best band I've ever seen in my life. A live Hardcore/Techno/Drum n Bass band with a guitarist and a guy doing shouty incomprehensible vocals. I danced. A lot. It's the first time I've been in a mosh/dance pit down the front I've been in at a gig since I saw Marilyn Manson at Brixton in 1997. And the hardest I've danced since I first saw 2 Many Dj's at Homelands. But most importantly, It was good. It was really really fucking good. I said this to Alice and Alice told them (she knows then, y'see?). And then got real jealous coz they gave me an inflatable robot.

Sunday was Foals at the Zodiac. And again I wanted to check out the support band, The Rock Of Travolta. I first saw The Rock... over 6 years ago supporting ...Trail Of Dead, and I totally fell in love with them. Then they played exactly the same set for a year, but were still real good. Then they did Uluru which was rubbish and the last time I saw them they were awful. That was about 4 years ago. There've been line up changes and stuff. I was very intrigued to see what they are like now. I was very pleased to find that they're really good again! And loud! Louder than I remember them being before. They still pose too. I still like their poses.
I was a little worried about seeing Foals after the utter glory of saturday, that I may not like them as much for some reason. I don't know what I was worrying about. I don't really know how, but Foals have managed to get even better than they were before! They've rewritten bits and written new stuff and have managed to improve something that was already awesome into something amazing. They really are already on another level, I can't wait to see what happens from here. And I danced at the front in the dance/mosh pit, again!

The weekend made me feel like a kid again. All excited and shit. Yes definitely one of the best weekends ever. The fact it almost all came from local bands (Party-Shank being the exception) is a real testament to just how good and varied the Oxford scene is at the moment.
Only problem is that now it's monday and I'm in pain and I can't sleep. My neck hurts, my arm hurts, my ribs hurt and my legs are knackered. Still an old man after all then. Good job really. If were 10 years younger, I would be agonising over who I prefer out of Foals and The Walk Off. In my aged maturity I can just look at them both and say that they are both up there with the best bands in the country at the moment. My new favourite bands.

Right fuck off, I've had enough now.

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