Brilliant brilliant brilliant, I had an email from Mark Konstantinovic, telling me that we are on the guest list for the secret gig!!!
I can’t wait to see them, it has been ages, well just before Christmas to be precise. We saw the Christmas gig at the Garage in Islington.

This one is at a secret location,….somewhere in London!!! It is a battle between 6 bands to win a place for the final battle next week to go and play at Benicassim festival in Spain which is near Barcelona, in July.
It is a freezing cold night, but we want to be there and support the boys (because they are amazing in every way), so we brave the cold and ice! The main roads aren’t actually too bad, so the drive to Kingsbury station is no problem. We park the car, jump on the tube, get off the train……walk down the road, and there it is!!!

A tiny, cosy little place, packed with people! I can now see why it had to be guest list only. we managed to fight our way in and didn’t even get as far as taking our coats of when Mark appears and say hi to Neil (by name….impressed) and ask how he is! He turns to me gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, it is very much appreciated Mark. His brother Ben follows suit….their parents must be terribly proud of their boys.

We make our way to the bar and the loo, and as I’m coming back up the stairs I bump into Laura and her friend Joanna, it is becoming a bit of a habit bumping into the girls…which is of course a good thing!
Once we have our drinks we try and find a place to stand/sit….. that is a bit of a mission..lol! Mark has got the best place, right by the fireplace, nice! He get’s up and offers me his seat and pulls a chair over for Neil, what a gentleman 🙂
The Suburbians are up second from last, which could be a good thing as the crowed may be a bit warmed up and more willing to join in.
First band up is Astro Physics from Brighton. Not quite my genre, but in a weird sort of way I really like them, I don’t usually take to female voices, but this girl sound amazing. We don’t want to clap and cheer too loudly though, we want The Suburbians to get through. Earlier Mark told us that the judges apparently take note of everything, how the band interacts with people, responses from the fans, not just their musical performance. So we need to keep the screams and loud cheering for later!!
Second band up is Dolls for Idols, I think I heard them say they were from Malta. They obviously have quite a few people here for support, we need to stand up to get a look at them. Hmmm, being a bit of a rock chick I do enjoy these guys, they are doing well, and the sound is superb! You see, it is possible to have a good sound, you just need to know how!!  3 songs later these guys are finished and another quick change over happens.
Third Band is Ruby and the rib cage, (where do they come up with their names?), this is going to be different, a varied amount of instruments, Violin, Double Bass, Banjo….. my guess is that it is going to be into the folk music direction. Yes I was right, they sound lovely and Ruby’s talent is amazing, she actually performs song 2 on her own with no backing music, respect.
Fourth band Plastiq, I will try and be kind, but I have to say I really didn’t like them :-(.   First of all they took ages for the change on the stage, at least another 15 minutes if not more, that of course means everything is delayed and people may not be able to stay till the end due to train and tubes. When they finally were ready to sing I thought my eardrums were going to blow, they had found the volume button and seemed to have turned it right up. What a shame, the sound has been so perfect up until now, now it seemed distorted and far too loud for this small venue. I’m really not enjoying this, the girl singer is screaming rather than singing, maybe that is the effect they want to produce …..?
At last Band five, The Suburbians, yay….the Suburbian possy moves forward to the front!! The boys are ready and waiting to get on stage, but the last band is making a bit of a meal of clearing the stage. Even when Mark ask if he can help, they refuse…..finally the boys are set to start….”breaking away” (dedicated to Neil and I..thank you so much), “six in the morning” and of course “red dress”, there seem to be some technical issues, but they carry on regardless, and as far as I’m concerned they doing brilliantly. the sound issues seemed to be sorted for their final song “red Dress”, and, it leaves me wanting more, much more, I do love their album Follow the Lights!!!! They had deticated songs to fans by name and when they  jumped off the stage, hugged a couple of girls and ask The Suburban possy to join them on stage for a photo….great idea!
Once the instruments are stored away in their tour bus(van) they come back in chatting to us fans and thanking us for our support! All I can say is I’m looking forward when I can say: “Yeah, the Suburbians, I saw them in a tiny venue in Kilburn a few years back, really nice guys!!!” And believe me, that day will come!

Sixth band up is Arp Attack, I do feel sorry for them, quite a few people have already left, and we too have to go shortly. Don’t want to miss the train home and Neil is looking tired, and we are working tomorrow!! I go and say goodbye, more hugs and kisses, what else does a mature (ok: old…) women need? Hugs and kisses from good looking young men, sounds just right to me! Mark promises me to update FB or twitter with the outcome.

I got home at about 1am, and left a message on their face book site asking what happend. Yeah there is a message in the morning, they made it through….wooohooo, finals next week, please let’s us be on the guest list!!!

PS: Had an email meanwhile…we are going to the ball! Part 2 next week!! Cross your fingers. x

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About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

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