This is one of those unplanned gigs. At some point I must have entered a competition at AAAmusic, and I won. Trouble is when you get the email saying you have won, it doesn’t really tell you much and you have to backtrack to find out when and where to go. Also, there is no way of saying thank you, which I like to do……so here it is AAAmusic, Thank You.
I ask Neil if he wants to go, and yes, he does :-), I also discover that Tina is going to be there, I met her about a year and a bit ago at my first Von Hertzen Brother gig at the Jazz Cafe, so it will be good to say hello. She told me via face book that she is doing a few UK gigs and German gigs too.

We get to Islington just before 7pm, just in time for the doors to open. As we emerge from the underground station we can see a long queue across the road. Oh, they must be more popular here that we thought. We go to the end of the queue and wait…oh if only I could have 10p for every minute I spend waiting, I’ll be a rich woman. There seems to be some commotion going on, we can’t quite make out what is going on. Two guys behind us ask if we queuing for Pain of Salvation, we say yes, at that point another young man says that he thinks that we may be in the wrong queue. Just than you friendly local buy and sell ticket guy comes past, he tells us that the queue we in it for Upstairs at the Garage, the other one is further down. So we move to find the queue moving fast and much shorter. What is that all about Garage? Why can’t you make it a bit clearer which is which? Never mind, we are there now, I get my bag checked and wait at the box office, because we are on the guest list. I should have known, nothing seems straight forward tonight. There is a girl in front of us, seemingly she pre-ordered her ticket, but is she ready with her print out and credit card? No, that would be far too easy! she rummages around in her bag, yay, she found it….but now the girl in the window can’t find her on the list….she makes a phone call….checks everything again….at last, it is sorted and it’s our turn….which I like to say is straight forward! I have my email in my hand; she checks my name and crosses us off the list! We get our hand stamped and go inside…..it is already quite busy, no more spaces at the barrier so i have to make do with the second row, that is becoming a bit of a habit..lol.
I see Tina, I go and say hello, but she is busy talking to some other people…I will catch up with her later!
I look around to check out the cliental, many are in our age group, others are very young, and one or two are making a statement, like the young man next to us, wearing black eyeliner and has his iPod on drumming along to it. Feels a little bit like a silent disco……but hey, he is enjoying himself.
Time has arrived for the support band; they are called Cryptex, not too sure what to think of them! 3 guys, a guitarist, the lead singer on the piano and drummer are squeezed onto the tiny stage. I have to say, lead singer Simon is quite a showman, he is very lively and looks like he his really enjoying what he is doing. And that rubs off; I’m actually quite getting into it. A few songs along the drummer appears from his hiding place behind the drums in the corner, I thought that was nice, drummers never are in the spot light. He sits on what looks like a speaker…..oh, he is using it as a drum with his hands, I have not seen that before, I like it. Simon uses all sorts of instruments, and near the end he smashes his tambourine on the ground and it falls to bits, he gets another one and passes it to someone in the crowd. This is a great support act; they obviously are good musicians and very entertaining.
The stage gets cleared and made ready to Pain of Salvation, it has become quite crowded now, and people are starting to push forward. As we look around, a familiar face nods at us, it is a young Irish man we met at the Van Hertzen gig at the Borderline last year, mind you he did have to remind me…it is nice actually to bump into familiar faces at gigs, it just get tricky to remember sometimes where and when we met.
PoS are now ready and on stage, I do need to use the earplugs, it is quite loud, I guess standing near the speaker doesn’t help.
This is a Swedish band and I again I’m not very familiar with them, the Lead singer and guitarist seem to be dominating the stage from the word go, both, actually all the musician are performing brilliantly, there interaction with each other is also very good.  Shame I didn’t take more time to listen to them beforehand. Halfway through the guitarist swaps over with a young man called Luke, I’m not sure why or what the story is, but I’m sure there is a reason. While he is taking the stage the other guitarist appears behind us and is watching it from the audience, I was too slow to catch a photo…..only got the back of his head as he disappears again. All too soon it is all over, and yet again, no luck with the set list, am I losing my touch?
We make our way home, feeling good, not the most amazing gig but enjoyable! The only thing is: Garage, sort your queuing system out please! 🙂

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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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