14 December 2010

secondSight warm up on a cold night

This was bit of a strange gig but there's nothing wrong with that.

The venue was The Old Explorer just off Oxford Circus, and just a reasonable walk away from where I work in Victoria. First impressions are that this is a chain pub in the Wetherspoons mould with thick carpets, an assortment of tables and chairs and a bland corporate menu of meals prepared elsewhere. My choice, the Red Leicester and Spinach Burger, revealed this to be a Greene King pub.

The band were setting up downstairs when I arrived. This is an extension of the ground floor (same d├ęcor another bar) but was roped off a "private party".

The area assigned to, or claimed by, the band was generously wide which gave a lot of space for Chris Baboon to wave his tambourine in (he does that a lot) and for Nick Loebner to swap between his impressive collection of guitars.

The room being devoid of regular customers, I was able to grab a table in the centre of the room (somewhere to rest the occasional glass of Royal London) with the band just a metre or so away. It was just like having the band in your own front room.

The front room illusion started to fade a little as the secondSight groupies started to fill the room but the lack of privacy was offset by having other prog rock nuts to speak to about, er, prog rock.

But soon it was time for the talking to stop and the music to start.

I had seen secondSight a couple of times before so was expecting a selection of prog classics with a heavy slug of Genesis and that is what we got, starting with The Knife.

The important thing about secondSight is that they are tied to one band's catalogue so there sets contain more variety and more surprises than some.

This was evident early on when The Knife was followed by Aqualung then Epitaph; possibly my favourite two songs of the set.

Along the way we got some Yes (Siberian Khatru), Pink Floyd (Money, Dogs and Comfortably Numb) and loads more Genesis (Musical Box, Afterglow and Supper's Ready). There was some Cardiacs too but I'm not familiar with their stuff.

Some of these songs were clearly new and we were seeing them mid-rehearsal ahead of their big gig in Croydon so it was no surprise that there were a few fluffs (who was meant to say "A flower"?!) but, as previously, I was impressed by their musicianship (if not with Nick's Michael Jackson jacket!).

Another fine evening with fine music, fine playing, fine beer, fine company and a passable burger. Must do it again sometime.

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