A while back I wrote about seeing The The back on tour, and last night was their first warm-up concert in at least sixteen years. As well as having a ticket for the first ‘official’ concert in a couple of weeks time, I managed to get a ticket for the Nottingham one as well. Because, well, why not?
Of course, what I hadn’t really thought about was that it was a Friday evening – and even worse, the Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend. Nottingham is generally a pretty easy drive for me – satnav says two hours, but on quietish roads I know I can do it in 90 minutes. Friday afternoon, to get there in time? Four hours. Yep, four. Fuck sake. Usually I can get to Newcastle in that time, let alone bloody Nottingham.
Anyway, fortunately I had the time and had planned it out a bit, but still, it made for a longer drive than expected.
The venue was fine for this sort of thing. Rescue Rooms is a small venue – about 450 people – but I actually really liked it. More importantly, it meant that the majority of the audience were there because they were fans of the band (something that seems to be less and less the case with a lot of gigs) so there was a lot less of the usual stuff, people chatting away in spite of the band, or just keeping on journeying to and from the bar.
And the gig itself? It was great. Because it was a ‘getting ready to tour’ gig, there were no warm-up acts, so it was just the band doing their thing. The band were also experimenting with in-ear monitors rather than the older wedge-speaker set-up (in-ears are a new development since last time they toured) although tonight’s second one will use the wedges, so they can compare results. All told, it made for an earlier finish, with a curfew of 10pm. But they came on at 7:45, so it’s not like anyone was short-changed.
The The played a whole range of things from their albums, some less-known than others, but pretty much all the favourites and crowd-pleasers. To me there’s still nothing like a whole audience singing along to a well-known track – and that must be hugely multiplied when on stage.
The entire thing was great, and I’m looking forward even more to the big concert in a couple of weeks.
Oh, and the drive home? 90 minutes, door-to-door.