Well, what a weekend that was. We all got back into Pocklington early Sunday evening and it's taken me until about now to actually catch up with myself. Busy.
Friday night was a trip into Birmingham to see another one of my fave bands. The summer was all about seeing That Petrol Emotion in London, but this was time for Carter USM in Birmingham. They've always been a favourite, ever since catching Sheriff Fatman one night on Radio 1. Since then I've followed them on the up and I've followed them when they lost their fans and changed their style and I've followed them as they went solo. And over the years I've seen them many, many times. In fact, thinking back over the years of my youth, I've probably seen them more than any other band (with the possible exception of the Cure).
After a few years of solo work, they've come to the same conclusion as a lot of other bands; that if the fans are still there and if the band still get on why not do a few gigs here and there. Which led me to the Birmingham Academy for the first time this year. Still shit. Still hot, sweaty and sticky. But this time it was packed with lots of us middle aged people.
First up Vile Evils, featuring 2 band members from Pop Will Eat Itself. Now I liked Pop Will Eat Itself (I was from Dudley, liking PWEI, Neds Atomic Dustbin and The Wonder Stuff was almost a genetic thing) but to hear the same thing, presented by a new band, all these years later just seems redundant. But redundant at high volume and horrible distortion. I always forget just how crap the sound at the Academy can be. Shouting through mud.
EMF were no better. I was really up for seeing this reformed EMF, but the idea of seeing them was an awful lot better than the reality of seeing them and the novelty wore off after the first couple of songs. But thank god that mood didn't continue with Carter. A great, great show. The pair of them may be older but they still barrelled through the songs at pace, just Jim Bob, Fruitbat and the drum machine on the stage. It was a blinding show in both senses of the word, with more strobing than I've ever seen at a show before. I imagine that a few people there last night discovered that they did, after all, have epilepsy.
Two middle aged blokes on stage with a drum machine and backing tracks may not be everyone's thing but the Academy was packed to the roof, which was dripping with the heat. The only bad thing about it? They really stuck to the early stuff but what they played was absolutely wonderful. The biggest cheer of the night came when Jim Bob mentioned that they might make this a semi-regular thing. More Carter USM wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Maybe every couple of years gents?
Saturday was a nothing day. A carefully planned nothing day and a really great relaxing day. My problem is a failure to relax, an inability to stop myself doing things and just sit down to either read, write or just do nothing.
But Saturday had two things to be done. Go to Nostalgia & Comics and pick up comics and go out with friends in the evening. Between the two was a big gap of nothingness. This nothingness was spent sitting in a coffee bar, reading comics and writing reviews. Blissfully relaxing and the reviews just flowed like silk. I really have to teach myself to do this more often.
Then Sunday to pick up Molly and Louise who'd braved the Arctic conditions of York railway station on Saturday morning to journey down to Nottingham to see friends.
All in all a very good, but rather expensive weekend. One bonus about the sound at the Academy not being great was that it hasn't seemed to have made the Tinitus any worse; something I still think happened after the ear mashing volume of That Petrol Emotion.