Woo, the Subway gig was a huge success. I want to write about it, but I don’t really know where to start. When I go and see a band, “the gig” consists of the fourty or so minutes during which the band are playing. But when you’re playing the gig, it really lasts for weeks – from the moment you book it until the moment you walk off stage. I love the whole thing from start to finish. I love the nervous energy you get during the weeks beforehand from knowing you’ve committed yourself to doing the gig. I love the process of figuring out what you’re going to play, arranging and rehearsing it until you could play it in your sleep (and, in fact, you sometimes end up playing it in your sleep). I love the tech side of things – setting up all the gear, soundchecking, nervously checking and rechecking stuff, applying duct tape to everything in sight. And I love when you’re actually up there playing, when the music is flowing out.
Without getting too waffly, I think “performance” as an abstract thing is a magical thing. It’s something which is very real. It is here and now, transitory. It connects you into a tradition which goes back throughout history. Standing up on front of your peers and putting your whole energy and soul into what you are doing is just an amazing thing. This is why I love going to see small bands live. There’s an energy, a danger to it all which you don’t get from slick big bands or TV shows.
Back to the night itself, Tiny Monkey played a great set. Maybe I’m biased because I play bass too, but I think Keith’s confident bass playing really drives some of their songs, locking in with Doug’s ferocious pounding of the drums. They were a lot more relaxed than their previous Outhouse gig. Plus, I enjoyed messing around post-soundcheck playing drums while some of Tiny Monkey did guitars.
And then it was our turn. We set off with Slasherflick, a high-paced opener that lets us get warmed up, settled down and locked together. Later in the set, our “love song”, Only Wrote, came out really well. Our newest song, Days Like These, got its first public airing and I have to say, it’s a lot of fun to play live. The Rock Show got the Pie treatment (fell in love with the girl from the pie shop, she said “hey, do you want your pie heated up”). We finished on a specially extended anthemic Tigershaped, after which I was ready to collapse, but still got Foxy Muffin Man as an encore. I could’ve done with an IV drip after we came off stage, but instead made do with cider+black (classy, huh?) from Opium afterwards.
On stage, you’re kinda in a bubble. You can’t really see out to the crowd, because the stage lights are shining in your eyes. A lot of your attention goes towards listening to your bandmates, staying tight with them. And for me, I’m playing bass without being able to look down at the frets, singing and trying to remember all the words in time. So my brain kinda splits into multiple bits and a lot of it happens on autopilot, and it all flies past too quickly. But it’s great to peer out into the crowd to see friendly faces and people bouncing around. Thanks to everyone for coming along!
So, our plans for the near future. Iain is doing his finals (he had an exam the day after the gig, crazy man that he is), and then I think we’ll have a stint of producing some new material before hooking up with some other bands and doing some more gigs around Edinburgh/Glasgow area. We’re going to put the whole of the Tigershaped EP up on the web too.
One last thing: I didn’t have a camera, so if anyone has photos from the gig, I’d be really grateful if you can send me them. Michelle’s photos are great.
2 replies on “Subway [done]”
Wow – thanks, man! I’m glowing with pride here.
I was suitably impressed with your own bass playing – I’m still at the staring-at-the-neck stage…the idea of being able to sing at the same time is incredibly daunting. Although to be fair that’s mostly because I can’t sing.
Andy, to follow on from your professed love of watching performance: at the gig it seemed that you enjoyed the activity even more when you were the performer! Joy and enthusiasm abounded. Also you have a talent for it – laudable frontmanship and hair-lashing. The band is very tight, too.
Opinion from the a small sample around where I was standing is that the original material rocks, and that perhaps your choice of covers was the weakest aspect of the set, with the very huge exception of Cars, which works great.