The last two weeks have been fairly busy and in between travelling away on long weekends, I’ve managed to get to a few concerts around townw. Last Monday (December 1, 2008), I caught The Kooks at one of my favourite venues, The Roundhouse. Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that their music is indie pop, but regardless of genre, their high energy songs and enthusiasm mean that they just put on an amazing set. They played a mixture of their first and second albums with a couple of new songs thrown in just for the mix. Of course, the only downer at the end of the evening was trying to escape The Roundhouse with their main staircase the only way to exit. I can’t imagine what it would be like there if they ever had a fire (although fortunately they also have the lovely outdoor terrace to escape to I guess).
The Wednesday after (December 3, 2008), I saw Coheed and Cambria’s Neverender Tour at The Astoria. This was my first, and sadly, probably my last time to go to see a gig in one of the more relatively intimate venues in London (since it will be demolished to make way for the crossrail). It’s a great sized venue with the standing area being slightly wider than it is deep meaning that pretty much every gets a great view of the stage. Anyway, back to CoCa… I was surprised to first read about CoCa’s Neverender Tour, a series of gigs, one night after another where they would play one of their albums each night, with a bonus acoustic set for those fans that went every single night. Although I like them, four nights in a row was a bit excessive (and impossible since I was leaving the country for a long weekend) yet it still seemed to sell out. Gerrod and his mate Al, were one of the many that went every night.
As far as the evening went, their progressive rock went down a treat with the audience with a lot of people in the audience singing along to many of their songs. Funnily enough, their lyrics are quite different from your typical band, instead reflecting the storyline and tales of the fictional universe from The Armory Wars comics, written by one of the band members.
Finally, on Tuesday this week (December 9, 2008), I saw Californian born and Texan raised musician, Ben Kweller at the Union Chapel. Firstly, the venue is simply amazing with fantastic acoustics and an extremely intimate feel. Unfortunately I found the pews to be quite uncomfortable by the end of the evening. Extremely talkative and obviously very friendly, Ben Kweller struck me as an American version of Ben Lee. Kweller seemed to have some story to tell about a lot of his songs and talked casually to the audience. Also, considering it was just him and his buddy, Kitt Kitterman, I liked the way that he still seemed to be energised, and unphased by anything, such as when a guitar string broke for their “specially tuned” encore song and he simply shrugged it off and changed songs until Kitt mended his guitar.