having spent the previous evening in the company of a few suzi quattroalikes who were ‘a bit disappointed actually’ with the reincarnation of the early 80s that is editors and passed up the chance to get intimate in the arts centre with gemma hayes and about 200 other guardian readers who knew it was happening only the night before that because 3 nights out in a row for me would probably cause an earthquake or something, I took to the megane scenic in the rain and headed out to that lovliest of lovely venues the uea lower common room with a face on like a slapped arse and half a mind to just not bother because the day hadn’t really gone well with kids off sick and a bunch of other conspiratorial coincidences that pretty much just left me wanting to go to bed but hey, I got this ticket months ago and maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and anyway I don’t have to go galavanting about down the front like an old gibbon on acid, I’ll just stand around the edge stroking my chin and tapping my foot like a lecturer who read a review in the independent that said they were the living embodiment of 70s pastiche mangled with a rock-hop sensibility and oozing intelligence and wit or something like that which I just made up
after the usual 2.70 please for the plastic stella I hung around the edge a bit watching half a woman shriek into the microphone while playing a modern bontempi and accompanied by a person I just could not see at all who was presumably banging a drum or something and as I only caught the last two numbers I couldn’t really decide if they were rubbish or not so I kind of just let them off and surveyed the scene as the lights went up to see how we’re doing tonight. ooh. lots of space down there. still, someone will fill it and have nice time, I’m sure. not me though. not tonight. I think I’ve got a headache. mind you, there’s a lot of space down there. it would be churlish of me not to fill it up a bit so that the place doesn’t look quite so empty. nah. I’ll stay here. hmm hm hmm. daa de dum. <tumbleweed> aah, go on then. plop.
no sooner have I drawn an imaginary chalk mark around my feet than another mad collective of people dribble onto the stage and I can tell from the hand-written scrawl on the drum kit that they are in fact the grates and as they launch into the first of a few, we’re struck by the singer who looks like a derenaged liz from blue peter on speed and is bouncing up and down and twirling around like an embarrassing mum after a couple too many guaranga teas at the green party toddler club disco and she is ably supported by something that looks like mo tucker but sounds like john bonham and some other bloke. they do songs I can’t understand and shout a lot but they’re all so bizarre that by the end of it they get the biggest reception that norwich can muster which isn’t a lot but it was more than editors got and so everyone is happy and we all go home. well, not yet. by this time I’ve even taken my trusty replay top off and tied it around my enormous waist in anticipation of some invigorating bouncing around as the whole place is now full and the pit that had breathing space a while ago is now the usual too-close-for-comfort layer of hell that we all know and love except there’s an unheathly number of stoners prowling about tonight so something is bound to kick off.
they never even tuned the lights after the grates, so we’ve been in the dark for a good half hour when mr fatman shines the torch and the place goes mental. it’s only the Go! Team for chissake. don’t you lot go out much? I wasn’t really expecting much but in the end they were a running jumping dancing tripping bundle of bedroom tinkering gone global and all the better for that I say with a suitably cheesy 70s backdrop projection and ninja shaking everyone up in the house the whole thing went off like an entire humungous box of fireworks had gone up by mistake and the sky was filled with swizzle sticks and public information monkeys flying by on magic raleigh choppers during the silver jubilee as a million samplers were blasting out the theme from grandstand mashed up with the flaming lips and salt and peppa and the ghost of chrismas future came down with a brand new super flight deck and a dx50 wrapped up in 3d wallpaper at least that’s how I remember it. they were brilliant. I danced like I’m only allowed out once a month and nobody cared because they were all doing the same and even all the tall people magically disappeared from the crowd so that all the short people could see the stage for once so there was indeed some kind of divine intervention going on and I saw people going back to the car park saying things like ‘aaw, that was amaaaazing’ even though it was pissing down.