So hey! I'm starting to get post-concert(s) depression, so I thought I'd do a rundown of the Kingston gig on the 1st March.
I had been to the show in Birmingham a few days prior and seen their polished set and loved every second, but this was the show I was most excited for. I grabbed a ticket as soon as I saw they were on sale in October, and they were super cheap. I'm not sure how they pulled it off but a record store in the town managed to persuade the band to play on their day off at a tiny venue called the Hippodrome. I didn't really want to get my hopes up but phoning the venue the day before and being told they were expecting an hour set made me think they were gonna do something different.
At 7:30ish I got in, past the makeshift security and got a coke for £1.20. I mean this was groundbreaking. Unlike the larger shows, I didn't have to pay more than my travel costs for a few soft drinks. I settled down and sat on the sound desk towards the middle of the venue. If you get a chance, take a look at some pictures of the venue. It's an odd place for a gig, with nightclub balconies and a small amount of tiered standing at the sides. A really tight pop-punk band called Trash Boat opened, and were pretty impressive. I think they were amazed at the band they were opening for, and mentioned it several times during their short set. The singer was note perfect, and I'll probably look out for them in the future.
The normal opening song sequence was played over the speakers, making me think that maybe they were going to stick to the usual and play a normal set. Nope. Before anyone even knew they had arrived, out came The Hell Song and this was different. I abandoned my post at the sound desk after a minute as it became a bit painful being pushed back onto it, so I ran into the pit and stayed there. It was all a pit really, the 300ish on the dance floor were amazingly energetic, and it was my first experience of what maybe Gilman would have been like, or as Deryck put it, what "the 90s shows were like".
A couple of 13V songs were played, and then My Direction, which I have a real soft spot for. Every single person was shouting every word. Then Walking Disaster without the phone lights, and a sweaty exhausting pit. It was essentially Sum 41 unplugged, in the sense that Deryck dropped the showman part of him and embraced the punk. No long pauses in the middle of songs, just music. I love the showmanship in the big venues, but it would have been lost here.
Then What I Believe. Wow. I'll leave a link to some of what I filmed of that, but I actually dropped my phone and had to stamp on it to keep it as my property. And yes, the venue was that bass-y, it isn't just my phone! After a brief pause to make sure everyone knew and hated the 45th President, Deryck dedicated Sick of Everyone to Donald Trump. That was interesting because I guess it's the first time with Dave. I wonder if they practice SBM songs very often with him, after all I remember him saying he loved the album.
Then a jumpy Fat Lip which I assumed was the end, but straight into Motivation and then In Too Deep. I needed that encore break, those three in a row is enough to kill a man. Out they came again and the encore was started off with Pieces, and I believe it had no piano/keyboard at all. I couldn't see Tom all night, but I didn't hear any keyboard. Then 88, which I never thought I'd hear live in full. The Go Chuck Yourself version is one of the most streamed songs on my phone, and it was awesome to hear. The setlist written by the band ended there, but Deryck wanted one more and ended with Over My Head. A frantic 45-minute 13-song set that didn't disappoint. I think we all got more than our money's worth, and everyone drenched in sweat staggered out into the cold embrace of the London night.
I actually wasn't allowed on the last train home because some jobsworth said I had the wrong ticket, so left me to get a random train as close to home as possible and sleep in a station in the midlands the night before Brixton. Thanks for that, guy.
What I Believe (End)
Fat Lip (End)
What I Believe full, I drop my phone though... (unlisted)