Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Friday it was time to get all unnecessary at the thought of seeing Alphabeat live, this time at the Islington Garage.Their first album was such a lifesaver in the dark days of Borehamwood that they really can do no wrong in my eyes - but the idea of seeing them live always fills me with an odd fear. Maybe I am waiting for the time when I don't 'get' it anymore?

The gig was free entry - thanks to pre-ordering the album through HMV, winning competitions etc. We were told that guaranteed entry was up until 8pm so I made sure we were there nice and early.Actually it was my first visit to The Garage and, despite the lighting turned down to full-on MURK it seemed ok. We stood towards the back by the bar and waited for the doors to be taken off the hinges at 8pm with the crush of first-come, first served entrants. And we waited...

By the time the 'beaters came bouncing on the stage, we had moved down towards the stage and the floor was just over three-quarters full. At least it gave me room to dance but it was a bit depressing that they could not pull a bigger crowd. I concur with what D.A. Harvey had to say later that people are wary of free entry gigs - one always assumes that they will be mobbed so it's easier to stay away.

It wasn't long before I was in my own little Alphabeat world - the new songs sounded so much better live than on the over-tweaked album and I was singing, clapping and dancing along as they cantered through ALWAYS UP WITH YOU, THE BEAT IS..., THE SPELL, D.J. (my favorite track off the new album after THE SPELL), HOLE IN MY HEART, CHESS, WHAT IS HAPPENING and 10,000 NIGHTS. Something however didn't seem to be firing with Anders SG and Stine, a reticence, a feeling of peddling. It was then that Anders announced that they were sorry but they would be curtailing the show as Stine was feeling poorly - NOOOOO!

They did come back after a lengthy chant of AL-PHA-BEAT! and launched into the fabulous, long-intro'd live version of the glorious FASCINATION which had us all singing and riding the Alphabeat love wave. Then it was over... a group bow, waves and leaving the stage with Stine coughing and holding her chest.

It was disappointing but I was so happy to have spent time in their pop heaven. Soon come the Koko gig....

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