Last year, well before Christmas I spotted a concert announcement, T-N-A-T-F are playing in February 2017 At The Forum in London! My
mind was flooded with flashbacks to Oxegen Festival in Dublin 2011, where I saw these guys for the very first time.
And again soon after at , November 2011, I’m pretty sure that was the point when I committed to my love affair with T-N-A-T-F!
I remember vividly making notes of bands I didn’t know but seemed worth checking out at Oxegen! My friends didn’t want to join me in the tent housing the smaller stage, no matter, I went along by myself. The place was full of smoke and it was quite difficult to make anything out, but the sound was amazing, kind of electronic rock music, it kind of took you by surprise. So, when T-N-A-T-F followed up later in the year at my favourite venue The Roundhouse in Camden I knew I had to re-visit. My friend Emma was curious too, so the two of us went along, needless to say we both loved them, and have ever since!
No surprise I texted Emma straight away when I saw the 2017 gig announced to check if she would join me again – YES – I didn’t really expect anything else.
Somehow the significance of the date passed us by, February the 14th – Valentines Day – hmmmmmm, luckily we both have other halfs who don’t kick up a fuss when confronted with a different agenda than expected ( I think secretly they were glad, surely dinner out with champagne would be much more expensive) 🙂
So, there I was, at the Forum standing in the queue early making sure we secure a space in the front row. 8 people in front, so in with a good chance!!! I hadn’t realised the the Forum belongs to o2 now and has a priority queue, question was, will they let in the priority queue first or let both queues in at the same time? I know from experience that Brixton Academy will let the priority people in first, Shepherds Bush Empire open simultaneously, and the o2 Academy Islington is hit and miss. What to do? I don’t want to run the risk of not getting to the front (mental note – get an o2 sim)! Emma was on her way, she would be coming straight from work – think, think – just then I overheard a couple of girls saying:”oh, there is a priority queue, lets go there, I’m on o2″, and off they went. A little while later I went for a wander, making sure I can retake my spot with the girl behind me, and saw the two girls were more or less first in line. I went up to them and simply asked if they were willing to take Emma and me in with them, as an o2 holder can take up to 3 people along. First they looked a bit puzzled but agreed, which was amazing, as we basically had the pick of the barrier when we were finally let in. Beth and her friend stood slightly off centre at Thom’s side, Emma and I in front of Alisa, yes, let the fun begin!
As I glanced back over the still empty floor space a familiar face was walking towards me, the grin on John’s (Skippy’s) face said it all: You just can’t stay away!!! A hug, a quick catch-up and back to work he goes, John is one of the security guards in the pit in front of the stage, that’s how we got to know each other.
Emma and I hadn’t seen each other for a little while, so the usual wait for something to happen flew by, as we had a lot of catching up to do. Before we knew it the stage was prepared for Shell, consisting of a boy and a girl, to
be honest, I didn’t expect too much, am I bad?
When the young lady sang her first song I was pleasantly surprised, she had a strong voice, the kind of voice I would attach to singers from years gone by, like Vera Lyn. I can’t really explain it very well, but I enjoyed it, and that is a big compliment, as I often struggle with female voices.
While setting the stage a photographer came past , holding out a sign and taking pictures of the people on
the barrier,of course Emma and I had one taken too :-), thank you Nici Eberl for letting me use it.
The stage began to be engulfed in smoke, the lights went down, it was time! Anticipation rippled through the now full venue, bursting into loud screams and clapping when the first band member appeared, by the time Thom and Alisa came on stage the noise was reaching quite some decibels.
Starting the gig with “Water Beneath You“, the second track on their album ‘Simple Form’ was all it needed for the crowed to pay 100% attention and to sing along, there was no need to warm up the crowd at all. Not being that familiar with the new album I quietly hoped they would also play one or two songs from ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’, which we both knew very well. They did not disappoint, the third song, my absolute favourite “All Of This” sealed the night for me! I loved the way they fused together all three albums, this kept you interested at all time, singing along to the favourites, being in awe of new to me tracks, loving the new ones like “Higher“. The crowd was unstoppable, not rowdy or wild just enjoying the music, dancing and singing, screaming and clapping. The lighting was dramatic, the stage dimly lit most of the time, light flashing to the rhythms of their songs. Mind you that sort of light wasn’t so good to take a photo or two, so the German word ‘Schattenspiele’ springs to mind. At one point both Thom and Alisa told us what an amazing crowd we were, and for the first time it sounded sincere coming from the band. So many times lead singers shout out “you are the best audience ever”, and everybody knows this is being said on every gig of the tour. But the way Alisa said she was speechless, trying to secretly wipe away a tiny tear from her eye made it so very real for me. All too soon it was the end, and yes they disappeared just to come right back out asking what we want, something romantic and acoustic or something to dance to? DANCE of course, everybody was wild for more!
A couple of tracks, and it was all over, 90 minutes gone with the blink of an eye, a few waves, a couple of drumsticks thrown out and the magic was over! Wow, what a night, and before you ask, this love affair is alive and kicking.
Now the scramble for the setlist starts, John came over and asked if I prefer to have one from the stage, as he had one in his back pocket. We agreed I’d try and get one from the stage, should I fail the backup would do nicely. No need for back-up, a lovely Techie tore off Alisa’s list and handed it to me – happy girl-!
Guys please don’t make us wait too
long until next time, thank you for the music.