Saturday, February 18, 2006

Last Night

I saw The Strokes. At the Apollo, Hammersmith. The tickets were a present from my wife. The Strokes, unfortunately, are one of those curious bands who prove to be less exciting live than they are on record. Their studied "we're too cool for you" pose is a little insulting, face to face, when you've paid £80.00. Musically the band are tight, if not dynamic, but perhaps the problem is that at a concert, specifically a rock concert, you want to wail along with the vocalist, and you can only really mumble along with Julian Casablancas. The specific difficulties of the venue, which is neither intimate nor JesusChristLookHowManyPeopleCameToSeeTheseGuys-grandiose and which is seated throughout, added to the sense of disconnection between the audience and the group. When Julian mumbled

" feelings are more important than yours"

I didn't feel as though I was in on the joke.

So we didn't see the end of the set. The bit where they played all the crowd-pleasers and Nikolai did a little stand-up routine. We left early, the wife and I. She pointed out, as we made our way back to The Glasshouse Stores for the rubber match of our one-day bar billiards tournament in which she ultimately proved victorious, that she had never seen the bars of a venue so busy while the headline act were on stage. Which was reassuring, in a way. Wisdom of crowds, and so forth. Of course she wasn't prostrate adjacent to the Strongbow concession at the Fleadh in '95 when Bob Dylan was halfway through "Hey, Mr Tambourine Man".

On reflection it's possible that they're right. The Strokes are too cool for me.

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