"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Krappa

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Gig: The Sonics + Wire @ Royal Festival Hall, Southbank 18/6/11

(This is over a week late, but no one reads this so it doesn't matter)

I was incredibly excited about seeing two legendary almost-punk bands in one night, proto-punks The Sonics and post-punks Wire, the only catch being it would be a seated gig. Despite that mislocation, I can now tick both bands off my mental "things to see before I die list", which is probably the most important thing.

Anyway, Wire were really awesome. I'm not such a fan of their newest album (it reminds me of U2 for some reason), but live they really delivered. With the help of a long haired guitarist who appeared to be half the age of the rest of the band, they played a mixture of new material (which was actually really ace live) and old classics and ended with a long noisy electronic sound jam. The noise combined with the lights was completely dazzling throughout, and I was actually pretty glad to be sitting down so I could just absorb what was happening without fear of collapsing with awe.

After a break Ray Davies came on to introduce The Sonics, describing how scary they were to the young and relatively innocent Kinks. The Sonics' set constantly veered between being the rock and roll experience of a life time and making you wonder if they should all go home, get a cup of tea and some rest before they break a hip. They played lots of their old awesome classics, but also some of their new songs (mostly with the new bassist singing) that sounded kinda like AC/DC or Deep Purple. The new songs weren't bad, but no one wanted to hear them, highlighting the fact that these old men were on stage to try to replicate what they had done over 40 years ago - an impossible task.  However, about halfway through people started standing up and going to the front and dancing. Sadly by the time I got there security were blocking access, but the band responded brilliantly and the atmosphere really picked up.

Obviously, I had a great time. Sadly, the fantasies I had of these bands' sets time warping me into 1979 and 1964 respectively were unrealistic.

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