Gotye tonight, I know I say this every time, but I have been looking forward to this gig.
It was kind of weird when I bought his Album ‘Making Mirrors’, when I first listened to it I really didn’t get into it, I loved his famous song “Somebody That I Used To know” but struggled to get into the album. I didn’t quite understand why and listened to it again, and again…….and it is obviously a grower because suddenly it got me, and I love the album!
I had bought 2 standing tickets originally, and because Martina is over from Switzerland I tried to purchase a third ticket, and Seatwave came shinning through! It was very last minute but we managed to get a seated ticket for her right at the centre front and it cost no more than ours did weeks ago. Martina went into London earlier as she needed to get to Moorgate to get her ticket, once it was in her hand she started queuing at the Apollo, good girl!
David and I managed to get to Hammersmith about 6ish, there was quite a queue already and I don’t think people were terribly impressed with us joining Martina right at the front! We only had 4 people in front of us, brilliant, but poor Martina looked frozen. She pointed at a bloke beside her for me to look at him….omg…he could have been my father, same height looks and possibly age (actually I think this guy was about 10 years younger, my Dad is 85)…..good for him, I hope I still go to gigs when I’m that age. It wasn’t long until we were let inside, Martina climbed upstairs and David and I raced to the barrier!! YES, centre front space, sweet!
And there is Martina, same space as us just higher up…hehehhe, a quick wave to her, look around at our front row buddies, and we’re set, let’s the fun begin!
There are two support acts tonight, I’m not familiar with either of them. First one up is Jonti, a one man band with a lot of instruments around him, some of them look decidedly home made. He comes across as a shy and unassuming guy, producing weird and wonderful sounds. I wasn’t sure if I liked his music, but the energy and passion he displayed on stage kind of takes you over, you can’t help but be carried away with it. Jonti alternates between instruments made from a lunch box to an amplifier (?), he really is quite different. I’m not sure I will be his number one fan, but it certainly was entertaining and if he comes around again I will go and see him.
The Chap was on next, appearing on stage you could tell it was going to be different! The lead singer dressed smartly in a suit, the drummer sporting a wild beard looking as though he’d escaped from the Hammer Fest, the girl just stepped out of a Mary Quant shop window and then there was the PE teacher. Actually they could all be teachers…hehehe, Math, English, PE and RE….you guess which could be which.
Well, the audience was pretty much split, some people really got into their style of dance music, including me, others really hated them. I found them brilliant,the energy being thrown into the room really worked for me, they basically looked like they were having the time of their lives. Alternating instruments, playing to each other rather than just to the audience, not sure what the fluffy bit on the end of the bows were, but they got used on the strings of the fiddle and contrabass alike. If you get a chance check them out! I know Martina up on the seats couldn’t get into either of these bands, maybe you had to be at the front row to feel the energy.
At last, it’s time for Gotye! Again, this artist gets mixed reactions from friends of mine, some love him, others hate him, there doesn’t seem to be a middle way. Well, I think he is amazing and I can’t wait for him to appear on stage. The lights are dimmed, screaming and clapping fills the room, there he is, right at the back of the stage with the spotlight on him, his first song “Making Mirrors” from the same named album…..awesome, I’m hooked immediately! Not only do we get treated with perfect sound quality and performances but there is also a huge screen at the back of the stage playing animation to each song. All senses get stimulated and it is hard at times to know what to concentrate on, basically you have to give up your logical mind and let everything soak into your subconscious, don’t think, just feel! I don’t know what is going on behind me I’m just so mesmerised by this performance, it does help knowing the album and being able to sing along even if it’s just in my head! Gotye or Wally (yes, that’s apparently his name) moves around a lot, he comes to the front, goes back to his starting point, goes and plays a second set of drums, for “Smoke And Mirrors” for instance, lets his band members take the lead, he is just like a kid who doesn’t know where to go first. At some point all 5 band members lined up near the front of the stage to play “Thanks For Your Time” together, ok, so it looked like a computer lesson, but hey this is what this band is all about and it looks like a lot of fun from where I’m standing, I loved all the percussions and xylophones. Mind you, Gotye does like drumming, anything it seems ;-), but he is also brilliant on keys and electronic effects, all this while his vocals are in perfect harmony. For a couple of slower numbers he asked the crowd to simmer down and listen and it pleased me when he complained a little afterwards as not all people obliged, why are these people here if they don’t want to listen to the music? I will never understand that! Gotye played a great mix of tracks from his second album ‘Like Drawing Blood’, “Dig Your Own Hole” the B-side of Making Mirrors I believe, ” What Do You Want” from his first album ‘Broadface’ and most of ‘Making Mirrors’ of course, 16 songs all together plus 3 for the encore. Gotye shouldn’t just be famous for his chart topping hit “Somebody That I used To Know”, there is so much more to him, and just before playing “the” song he asked the audience: “So, do you want to hear that one song you’ve all come to hear?” as if he was testing the crowds reaction, which was a bit subdued until the first few notes were played and then all hell seems to break lose. The crowd joined in singing or was it shouting, especially the young girl next to me who knew every word and wasn’t shy letting it out. What struck me as mind blowing was when Kimbra’s part was due and Gotye sang nothing, the audience started singing her part quietly at first, realising that is what Gotye wanted them to do the voices got louder and louder. Even though this is an overplayed song that moment I found really moving, how clever to making us part of his show not just the adoring crowd, brilliant! He was also using the tiniest cymbals I have ever seen….to get that certain “ding”!
Finishing with the soulful “Hearts A Mess” , they say thank you and goodbye, big smiles as the band leaves the stage, big noise from the room as we are sad it’s all over already. But of course there is an encore!!
When the band arrives back on stage they seem to be huddling in front of the drums for a group hug, when in fact the drummer took a photo with the audience behind. We get treated to “Seven Hours With A Backseat Driver” and another of favourites “I Feel Better” before finishing with “Learnalilgivinanlovin”…………..I don’t want this to finish, I loved this blissfulness!
You know Gotye may not be cool, and yes, it is electro-pop, but who cares if he can make you feel that good? Of course I speak for myself, I know that David walked away from the gig not feeling it at all! Luckily Martina did, she loved him too, maybe it’s a girl thing? Whatever it was, I can’t wait for Gotye to come round again!
I did try for the set list, no luck, oh well, you can’t win them all!