It had been a long time since I went to a proper gig. You know the type – you have to fight to get to the front, people spill beer all over you, you find yourself stood next to the dodgy massive amp, and the (lockless/seatless) toilets smell of asparagus wee.
I think that I had thought that I had outgrown them. Who wants to stand in a crowd of sweaty teenagers listening to a band whose album came out earlier this year and whose chances of releasing a second are dim? Not me, I thought.
Well, I was wrong.
Last night I headed on up to the HMV Forum to sample some offerings from the LA outfit Local Natives, who incidentally have gone native, claiming that they spend almost as much time here in London (by which I interpreted Camden) as they do in the City of Angels. Truth be told, I have been to Hollywood and it is not all it is cracked up to be (very smoggy – in case you wondered), so no doubt they will be considering relocating to our postcode permanently.
So, this was to be their last gig on what has been a year long tour. They described this fact as “bitter sweet”, seeming positively emotion-laden as they threw out not just their drumsticks, but their cymbals too, at the close of their highly charged set.
Opening the night they poured their souls into a rendition of Camera Talking, overcoming by the last verse some pretty dodgy sound. Moving on the sound picked up and relief swept over the crowd as they cracked out World News.
As the gig went on the atmosphere grew, with the crowd immersing itself in the words and sounds of each song, the lyrics ripping through the melodies, piercing both ears and hearts. The plain words of Airplanes chorus caught the teenage crowd off guard and all sang along “I call / I want you back” as if screaming for a lost love, poignant given it was in fact written for a lost mother.
I think this was one of the best gigs I have ever had the pleasure of attending. And, to be fair to the HMV Forum, the toilets don’t smell of wee (any flavour) and the sound quality, first song aside, was pretty immense.
The Camden Store Team X
Words: Pip Latimer
Tags: Local Natives