Having discovered Explosions In The Sky last year thanks to the wonders of the University network, they have been growing on me ever since (not in a fungal way though). Over the last month or so however, their rise in my affections has been little short of meteoric. I think I can safely say that they are now my favourite band, and their last album, ‘The Earth Is Not A Cold, Dead Place’ is probably my favourite album. So, when Dave suggested that we go and see them on tour this year, my immediate answer was yes (even though this was several months ago, and EITS were still rising in my estimation).
I bought my ticket with a month or so to spare. Emma and I were going, and we would meet Dave there. That was the plan anyway. As it turned out, it wasn’t feasible for Dave to go, so in the end, just Emma and I went.
We got a train from Colchester to Liverpool Street, and then got the Underground to Hammersmith. As it turned out, Hammersmith Palais was probably the easiest place to find; turn left, and walk fifty yards up the road and we were there.
Emma was mildly annoyed but the attitude of the people on the door as they searched her bag and confiscated her food on the basis that they "sell food inside". Apparently this justifies effectively stealing food from anyone who wishes to enter the premises*.
Anyway, once inside, we were rather impressed by the Palais. It had the look of a very large bar rather than a concert venue. I think it was once a dancehall, which could explain a lot of it. After raiding the merchandise stall for the obligatory t-shirt and rare E.P., we found a place to sit, and lurked there for a little while. When the first band, Faust, came on, we wandered to somewhere nearer the middle of the floor, and started to watch. We soon regretted this, as Faust were the weirdest band I have ever seen or heard. Not only that, but they were (as far as I’m concerned) the crappest band I have seen or heard. Their first song started off with a good three or four minutes of them chanting "Mummy is blue and Daddy is blue and Mummy is blue…." and so on. The song turned out OK, and the next one was a better. The point at which I realised they were the most pretentious pile of shite I had ever had the misfortune to endure was the fourth song, which basically consisted of the ‘singer’ declaring "This is not music, no, this is not sensible" and things along a similar theme, while the band were as discordant as they knew how. One bloke’s role was to wander around the stage hitting a metal drainpipe with a metal drumstick. He then proceeded to throw three or four of these drainpipes onto the floor several times, before starting to cut them in half, showering two of their guitarists with sparks. So we sat back down and ignored them for the rest of their 50 minute long set.
The next act, a Canadian DJ-type-person going by the name of Kid Koala, was brilliant by comparison. He was cheerful, amusing, and fun. He was basically doing live remixes of some random songs. His set wasn’t what he had planned to do, mostly due to the fact that Air Canada had managed to lose an entire case of his records. He told us he had spent the day running round HMV and Selectadisc and other record stores attempting to replace the missing records. I enjoyed it, though Emma wasn’t a fan. I’m not sure it would transfer well to record though.
And so, later than we had anticipated, the moment arrived. Explosions In The Sky would soon take the stage. And so they did – they were putting together their own equipment. No roadies needed!
When they did actually play, they were everything I had hoped for and more. My vocabulary does not contain words adequate for describing how good they were. So I won’t try. I will just say that I enjoyed it very, very much.
At this point, we made good our escape, as it was nearly 11pm and Fourtet were yet to play. We decided that we should leave now, lest the evening be sullied by us not enjoying the final act.
The journey home went smoothly, with no long delays, and virtually no waiting, and we finally made it back to chilly Greenstead just after 1am.
* Having spoken to my legal consultant (Dave), apparently they have every right to do this. Bastards.