ULU, London

April Fools' Day and the biggest joke on me was trying to pass myself off as cool at a Bis gig. It was a long fucking day but still a nice fucking day with weather to die for (or in or whatever rocks your cock).

And this was no normal Bis gig alone as before seeing them 4 real we got to see them do a midday instore at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus. For the occasion, Tower Records had moved their war video section to accommodate Bis. When they finally came onstage (an adjusted cash counter) they popped out four songs including the first two singles from Social Dancing and my favourite track from the album, I'm A Slut. It was pretty well attended which was surprising. The sound was pretty low and it honestly seemed to me at times that they were miming. It all looked right and wrong. It seems Bis-99 is not as Bis before. Regardless there remains some sort of bond between them and their audience. They do now skim the borders of cheese more than ever and funnily no longer look like their audience (and/or vice versa). It was kind of surreal to see a fanzine band doing something like this.

Afterwards we stuck around and watched the crowd hurdled around like sheep by Tower employees for a signing session. We just watched though and no Tower employees fucked with us, we were like the Teen-c Trenchcoat Mafia. Then we went and looked at the sex videos.

Overexcited by all that we mellowed out in Trafalgar Square, avoiding those bastard pigeons (one shat on Steve) and watching for fit tourists. Of yeah, and we hurled abuse and some posers on rollerskates who were obvious Starlight Express wannabes and rejects.

Then we remembered we had a proper gig to attend so we ambled over to the ULU, spotting Steve Lamacq (from Colchester!) and Everett True disguising himself as Alexei Sayle.

Inside the first band on were Mika Bomb. Who the fuck were they? They were just some little Teen-c, boredom punk outfit. Their set seemed only to barely make twenty minutes and anyone could do what they did I guess. And probably better as it was kind of bland and inoffensive, which was in itself offensive. Maybe I'm wrong.

Next on stage came Lamacq wearing one of those Ten Benson-McDonalds reject caps. Yes he looked sad. Ten Benson were cool fun once more. It was an even more calmer set from them than I had seen previously but still funny as hell. Evil Heat and Rock Cottage were the highlights. My enjoyment was lessened by the antics of the fucking Status Quo fan/John McCrirrick lookalike fan in front of me rocking out, jumping on my boots and basically dancing with his girlfriend. They were treading on my toes and I just wanted to kick. Still, fuck 'em as Ten Benson furrowed on with their antics. The radio relations really suggest I shouldn't be enjoying this band but really they are entertaining and good at what they do.

Bis ended up being pretty fun too, leaning heavily on new material and getting the best of all reactions for it. It was amusing to see so many go apeshit and painful to feel the crush from so many clots. Unlike the instore, the volume was up and correct. It was fully weird and sweaty. I was crushed against a person of an unidentifiable sex with blonde dreadlocks wearing a human sheep coat. Bis made me bop, made me sweat. The old shit such as School Disco was sadly in short supply which made things more stunted than they needed to be. At one point an inflatable alien seemed to be attacking Manda Rin's keyboard, buggering her off. Again Bis reflected the crowd's energy and each fed off eachother. Their set was over very soon and very early (to accommodate Radio One scheduling) and with no suggestion or promise of an encore. The lights came up and the Teen-c remnants looked battered once more.

We tried to leave but couldn't find an exit. And then we did, passing Romo Simon Price on my left and Tijinder Cornershop on my right. We got the train home and made a fucking mess and eventually I got home in time to see Vids. Which was nice.


[taken from No Pictures 10]