‘its great to be here you’re our most vociferous audience’. that’s not something I would have heard coming from Alex Turner’s curled lips. I mean, he might of said something about it being ‘right mental an that”, but he wouldn’t have stretched into the guardian educational supplement territory of crowd participation in quite the same way as the sweaty stick body of Matt Tong. such was the squall of intellectualism in the air last night as it was sucked into the lungs of 15 year olds with leather handbags and a propensity to text their mates through the second album and mingled with marlboro lights and blown straight back into the vault of the lower claustrophobia room for the rest of us in ingest as we combusted spontaneously with every wave of our arms.
not since the NME tour was there as many first timers squeezed into that space ‘so excited they might just do a little wee’ and as things progressed towards their artsy denouement we were collectively scanning for escape routes as we honestly felt we may not actually survive the next 90 minutes with having our miserable lives crushed out of us and what would mum do she’ll be waiting by the car park. we’d endured something like a support act and we just wanted to get on with it (‘dad, hold my jumper, I’m goon down the front with Mel’) notwithstanding some impressive displays of ‘3 pints in plastic glasses carried above my head through a bunch of students crammed into a sweatbox’ which were hugely entertaining even though I knew they’d be throwing it all over my head in the next 5 minutes as the place erupted into darkness.
and so it was. they said hello. literally just like that. ‘hello’. not ‘hello Norwich!’ or something shouty and incomprehensible, just ‘hello’. they had the temerity to then launch into at least 2 songs from the new album that people pretended to know intimately even though it’s not out yet like those people who do reviews on amazon and say ‘I’ve heard the demo tapes and they were AMAZING’ from their lonely bedroom in Penge and we all stand still for a while waiting for spaces to show up that we can sidle into and take our first breath in about 10 minutes. after that, they do the whole of Silent Alarm backwards and the usual stoners melee to the front trampling young deer in their path who are struggling back to go to the toilet in the corner and we’re all pleasantly entertained by the whole thing. we even clap a bit, which is unheard of around here, and those nice boys on stage tell us what a great crowd we are during the stoney silence between each song, prompting the occasional ear-splitting shrieks for a second or two before we just all stand around in the increasingly large gaps in the floor waiting for them to do that one where they stand next to each other. I mean, it was fine. that album was the best of 2005. but I’m looking at my watch.
they looked like they were enjoying it though. they probably had a a triple word score using Q and J and a nice cup of rooibush after. rock on!