Captain Misery's Miserable Mishaps

It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

>The Lightning Seeds

>Ok so I will start this blog thing off on a positive note, which seems like the decent thing to do.

It’s been a good couple of years really if you are a fan of the Lightning Seeds, and I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge fan. No, i’m not that big. What I mean is I like Ian Broudie’s music a lot. Probably more than anyone elses. But I’ve been accused of being a bit of a nerd, which is correct I suppose. I do run a website and I do have a large amount of cDs, vinyl and tapes I’ve collected over the last 15 years. I’ve been a fan now since the release of Jollification back in 1994. Jollification is pretty much my favourite album of all time and a landmark album for me as it’s what really got me into music in a big way. It also got me through some personal problems in the 1990s and early 2000’s as the album, despite some of its lyrical content which isn’t jolly when you listen to it, always picked me up and made me feel better afterwards. It’s also the album that I play if I’m stuck for deciding what to play. Which means it’s the most played LP I own. I then started buying the back catalogue and realised I’d heard The Life of Riley before without knowing who it was. I remember seeing the Sense video as a new release on the Saturday morning programme The Chart Show, again not knowing who it was. Same with Pure.

In their heyday they were pretty successful, thanks in no small part to Three Lions. But they were no where near as commercially successful as they should have been or could have been. And although Three Lions is great and one of only two bearable footie tunes (the other being New Order’s World In Motion – big New Order fan too, but this is worth it for John Barnes’ rap!), they’re remembered for Three Lions and not much else. Yet everyone knows a Lightning Seeds song if listened to. They’ve released some of what I personally think are the best singles in the last couple of decades – Pure, All I Want, The Life of Riley, Lucky You, Change, Ready Or Not, Sugar Coated Iceberg, Life’s Too Short. I’d never got to seem them live during this period.

Anyway I digress from the original sentence of it’s been a couple of good years for Lightning Seeds fans. After the LP Tilt from 1999, the Lightning Seeds had been on indefinite hiatus since June 2000. We were presented with a brilliant solo LP “Tales Told” back in 2004 and a handful of gigs in 2006 under the Seeds banner, but nothing concrete as to what would happen next. Last year, a new album was announced and a tour announced. The album, Four Winds, is Broudie in reflective mood but unmistakeably Lightning Seedsy, and the tour went down a storm. Apparently. Because yet again there were obstacles in the way where I couldn’t see them live AGAIN! Balls (or words to that effect) i thought. Then a solo acoustic tour before the end of the year, which, ha ha, I missed! Drat, drat and treble drat. Watching Youtube videos of what you’ve missed is certainly no concellation prize, so after watching two videos I gave up. There was also going to be no word of when there would be another tour, whether it was Ian solo or Lightning Seeds.

So after a cracking Christmas with family staying and spending time with great friends, I had news of a Lightning Seeds tour coming up after Easter. This time, determination came in to play, and my attitude was anything that would get in the way of seeing them at a gig could get fucked. I’d waited 15 bloody years. So I made a phone call to the venue (St. George’s in Bristol) and booked three tickets. Me, the wife and hopefully one of the aforementioned good friends if he could make it. Which he could which was great.

Tickets arrived, ace, brilliant, especially as it was second row and as we found out an excellent view of everyone on stage. So, there we are, good news over Christmas about a tour, and really it was a pretty fucking awesome birthday present from Her Indoors as the gig was only four days after my birthday.

So a fault free trip to Bristol in a Fiat Stilo (don’t act surprised!) which took less than three hours. Found the car park no problem at all but got lost somewhere in Bristol and it took us 3 years to find the venue as we’d taken a wrong turn. Turns out we were pretty much next to it in the first place when we started out! So after finding the venue and memorising it, a trip to Nandos for some much needed food was in order. Which was nice. (To be read in the style of the Fast Show character).

The venue itself was a really intimate affair like a converted church with lots of religiony-type bits everywhere, but looked boss, la. Support act were great, fantastic seeing a double bass in use – used to play one of these (badly) at school. Played for about 30 minutes, then after a short while on came Ian with his son Riley and did a fantastic acoustic rendition of Pure. After a couple of songs, the full band came in and went straight into a blinding version of the Life of Riley.

Other notable things to ramble on about was the nice addition of a string quartet which really added to songs such as Waiting For Today To Happen and Perfect. A couple of songs from solo effort Tales Told – Song For No One and Smoke Rings – made a very welcome appearance, the latter with a groovy banjo-come-electric guitar. A fine mix of hit singles such as Change, Marvellous, Lucky You and Sense, coupled to an encore which saw a cover version of the Ronnettes classic Be My Baby, a full electric version of Pure and a singalong to Three Lions made for a great evening.

The only downside to the evening was on the way out of the venue. Really, parking your car in Bristol is like taking life in your own hands. When I remembered where the car was, or should I say when Jayne and Alec remembered where the car was, we then had to battle through what can only described as sixty eight million Emo brats. And here is where the whole story falls apart really, into a rant. I mean, where the fuck do they learn to speak for Christ sake? I heard some of them, and whatever they were speaking it sure as hell wasn’t English. Or at least the some kind of broken English I learnt all those years ago. And since when did the blokes, well I kind of assume they were blokes, wear Jeggings? I also didn’t realise that the latest fashion was to put compact discs in your ear lobes. Then of course, after wading through that ensemble of Emo kids, arriving to the car was another matter. I thought I’d found myself in Turin. The Symphony For Car Horns in B Major was quite uplifting…and bloody annoying. A couple of minutes maybe, but half a fucking hour? That’s beyond the call of duty. As is revving the knackers out of a Peugeot 106 with a small engine. Please, children, sod off home to beds please. Then again I suppose we were all young and dumb once. It just seems that long ago for me, even if it isnt!

Anyhoo, I’ve rambled slightly off topic again, so back on track. With a tour supporting Squeeze this christmas I may well get to see the Lightning Seeds again, especially as there is a date at Plymouth, which is pretty close to home all things considered. It’d be rude and silly not to. It’d also be nice to meet Ian Broudie, even (as corny as it sounds) to thank him for the soundtrack to my growing up. Well, I suppose the jury is still out as to whether I’ve grown up or not. But in short, the concert on the 27th April – those 15 years waiting was certainly worth it.

Until we meet again and the case is sol-ved.


May 2, 2010 - Posted by | Music

1 Comment »

  1. >And a damned fine concert it was too. It's a shame that the crowd were so subdued, but I guess that is the downside of such an intimate venue. Absolutely boss concert 😉

    Comment by Vampiric Chicken | May 2, 2010 | Reply

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