alright norwich la, I ope lethal bizzle warmed you up good and proper yeah <small woop> we’re from liverpool 1 2 3 4. what? warmed you up? it’s 10 past 8. and anyway, since when should it have been wombats/milburn/holloways/pigeon detectives/other bunch of students on after lethal bizzle? I’m about as interested in the wombats as I was about the mystery jets who opened the NME tour last year who I missed because I was at a parent’s evening or something but lethal bizzle sounded like he might at least be a bit interesting even if he does just kind of shout about running away from the filth after he’s crashed his joyride up that london or wherever it is. but never mind
its not busy in the Lethargic Cramped Ruin like it was last year either, but that’s because there isn’t the same wet pants frenzy around the enemy as there was around arctic monkeys so even though its chocked up with 15 year olds there’s a satisfyingly healthy contingent of stoners and boners who look like they might have a fight later, which, coincidentally, they do. even as the wombats tread pedestrianly through their me too english eccentricities there’s loads of space to wander down to the sticky wooden floor. you’d even say it was a bit empty really. the thing about the NME tours is that they don’t turn up the house lights in between the acts, so you’re never quite sure how many people are in and what their demographic is, but in the main, everybody is short tonight, except for the occasional 6 foot 7 20 year old who’s getting lambasted by small groups of carlsberg exports for just being tall which isn’t funny really but they’ve got that pissed-up local turn of phase that I still think is funny even when they’re lobbing a pint of watery lager at your head.
after the adverts for the NME have scrolled around on the projected backdrop about a million times and we’re all wondering what the shock might be about the new radiohead album the lights that there are go dim and there’s a small ripple of enemy, enemy, enemy, after which more projection, but very loud this time, and that cleverly pitched (old idea, new audience) railway station noticeboard rattle begins as it flips through a number of provincial towns until it finally settles on norwich, which elicits a deafening “norwich, har, look, norwich, thass good hint ut” and then today’s date. it’s cringingly basic, but splendid all the same. and then the jam come on stage and do in the city a few times.
if last year was faux shakespearian ponderings from sheffield and reading, then this year is cmon norwich lets see what you’re made of up for it no f**kin abaht from the heart of the empire, erm, coventry. the enemy are quite angry about stuff, mainly inner city decay and provincial apathy and the loss of identity and the hopelessness of youth and slashed seat affairs and travelling on buses etc., but they are wantonly uplifting and undeniably up for it. I’d tell you more about them, but their web site is currently just a black page with nothing on, which is probably appropriate. I mean, they are the jam reincarnate, but without the red wellerism. not sure what else you would need to know. they shouted most of the album and there were nice fights going on between delirious stoners and petrified students in the circle of death. the sound was terrible and it was all over by about 10:30. I watched a programme about sharks and hitler when I got home.