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where have all the good bands gone?

Posted: November 13th, 2002, by Ollie

not a terribly original gripe, i know, but still one i can’t help but ponder after attending yet another turgidly mediocre gig last night. bright eyes to be precise. with them, or rather him, it can be put down to good old fashioned self-indulgence (so no surprises there) but i still can’t help but feel at least a little cheated. they played, apart from maybe two exceptions, all new songs, exerting as little effort as it was possible to without falling over. we stood and waited patiently while they started a song three times, each time ending when conor forgot the words 20 seconds in. we then stood and waited some more while they arsed around, probably deciding if the audience was worthy of hearing some more songs. i don’t want to go on about it too much, but it was just the latest in a series of disappointing gigs which make me question if any of it is really worth it anymore.

went to see fugazi a couple of weeks ago, after waiting to see them for a few years. they played some of my favourite songs, but the general lack of enthusiasm in the air meant it all felt a bit pointless. and pointless is a word that i could attach to almost every band i’ve seen this year. me and kim were talking last night about how you just never see amazing bands anymore. i’m sure it has more to do with me getting older and perhaps more pessimistic, but a few years ago i would go to gigs that would seriously enrich my very being, make me feel genuinely glad to be alive. now i go to gigs, and get conor oberst throwing his mic down in a huff because he’s so misunderstood or something. i know it’s lame to be bitching about this stuff, but it just seems unfair.

the only truly great band i think i’ve seen all year was arab on radar. finally, i get to see a band who plays with that same kind of unashamed wild-eyed fury that made gigs so great a few years ago. and now rather typically, it seems as if they’ve split up. i think i’m going to have to take up a new ‘hobby’. any suggestions?

in other news, when did london get so sketchy? i’ve never felt worried walking around london at night before, but last night we couldn’t walk ten paces without being accosted by some shady character. obviously it’s always been this way, but i guess i’ve always managed to avoid it before. crazy.


Ollie lives in Cambridge and puts on gigs as part of Crushing Death and Grief.


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