5 February 2010

Hoaxwind at the Bridge House II (E16)

The trip to Canning Town to see Hoaxwind play at the Bridge House II in Canning Town was quite an experience which I shall relate in the traditional beauty competition manner, i.e. in reverse order.

The worst part was the journey home. The Jubilee Line was shut for maintenance so the route home was convoluted. Anticipating this we left the venue after just two songs from the headline act, Alan Davey's Gunslinger, and headed to the local DLR station. So far so good and we had a short wait for the train to Lewisham.

Sadly when we got to Lewisham it was shut. The last train anywhere had departed and we were left at the mercies of the late buses. A difficult investigation found that the 185 was the only bus that went anywhere near Central London so we took that.

We had options on where to change and settled on Vauxhall which proved to be the right choice as by the time that we had determined that the N87 would take us all the way to Kingston there was one rolling into the bus station. Another easy change in Kingston to the 65 took me home.

All that sounds very reasonable, and there was very little time hanging around anywhere, but because it was mostly by bus the entire journey took just over 3 hours :-((

The second worst part of the trip was the travel there which, until we went home, seemed like the worst journey imaginable. A couple of just missed trains and a DLR train that changed its mind on where it was going meant that a journey that TFL said would take under 1 1/2 hours actually took over 2 :-(

The venue itself was bit of a mixed blessing. Inside it is plain, but functional. There's a bar, a good size stage and some unexpectedly impressive electronics for such a small place. Outside, well... it's in an industrial estate in Canning Town. The poor location balances the cosy interior and make the quality of the venue neutral overall :-|

With all that Hoaxwind would have to be really hot to make the evening even remotely bearable. Luckily they were :-))

The stage, sound system and lighting really suited Hoaxwind and they delivered the best set I've seen from them yet.

To satisfy my own curiosity as much as anything else, I made a note of the set list this time so I can reliably tell you that they played: Orgone Accumulator, Needle Gun, Assault and Battery, Quark, Death Trap, Shot Down the Night and Hassan I Sahba.

A very select best-of selection dictated by the brutal time restraints but any set-list with Orgone, Assault and Hassan is going to be very good. I was not the only one singing along madly (and badly) to all the songs. I almost started dancing at one point but I left that to those with more skill and/or more alcohol.

The songs were delivered with their usual enthusiasm, charm and technique; they looked and sounded wonderful.

The only minor gripe was that Tony's undressing routine was so slow after the wig had been discarded that we only got the briefest of glimpses of the skeleton suit right at the very end.

Travelling for five and a half hours for a forty minute set seems a little extravagant, and I am not sure that I would want to repeat it, but the forty minutes of musical delight in the middle made the trip worthwhile.

Here's hoping that Hoaxwind play closer to home next time (there are rumours of a major gig in Ramsgate) and that they repeat whatever it was they did that worked so well musically this time.

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