10.10.09

Johnny Foreigner / Tellison / Japanese Voyeurs

What? I can do gig reviews. Leave me alone.

I walked in just as Japanese Voyeurs started tearing up the poo. They delivered punk/metal/hardcore-type goodness, which set the tone of the evening very nicely. Lead singer looked a little dejected, however. Hope she's OK...

A little wait. Sipped Guinness. Spotted members of JoFo wandering up to the bar and back. No drinks backstage? Wanted to wish them luck, but had zero nerve. Waited some more. Sipped Guinness.

Tellison got going. Sound, surprisingly enough, a bit like Johnny Foreigner. The guy on the far left plays keys, sax and guitar, though not at the same time. I'm in love with the lead guitar guy next to him. Frontman says 'awesome' a lot, but I forgive him, because he's awesome. Might have to go looking for Tellison songs on the internet tomorrow.

The girl one from JoFo stands 3 meters away from me during the set. I realize that last sentence makes me sound like a stalker. I totally didn't smell her hair or anything...

Another wait. Finish Guinness. Trip to bathroom. Maneuver closer to the stage, despite knowing I'll be pushed back by mini-moshers as soon as the headliners get going. Old habits and all that. Like the bands before them, JoFo do their own prep. Much too down-to-earth for a rock and roll band, surely? Alex's haircut looks even more ridiculous in real life. I mention this only because I'm insanely jealous of Alex's haircut.

'Hot girls know the words to our songs' and we're off. Summer single 'Feels Like Summer' (clue in the title har har) follows up, then 'Eyes Wide Terrified', although memory could be playing tricks on me. 'Your life is a song' comes out of every throat in the room. The girl one screams, everything explodes, and I go mental. Lovely.

Apparently, 'Sometimes In The Bullring' is an old favourite that doesn't get played much anymore. They play it. I do embarrassing 'Worrd' sign and headbang politely. Would have preferred 'Yes! You Talk Too Fast', but everyone's a DJ...

'Salt, Pepper and Spindarella' remains Johnny Foreigner's finest song. Live, it sounds incredible. The night's best moment.

New songs are difficult to judge properly. What makes the band special is that they do pop, but the pop they do skuzzy and frantic and packed full of stuff. It's overwhelming and disorientating at first listen. You need to spend time with the songs, learn the way they work, and then you can go batshit crazy when they come on. If this sounds like a raw deal, know that Johnny Foreigner make this journey worth it.

A little disappointed that personal favorites 'Lea Room', 'Cranes' and 'The End And Everything After' didn't get an airing. The first half of Waited Up Til It Was Light is amazing. Definitely needed more of that this evening.

Final song, they do the play-every-instrument-you-can-find thing. I could be snarky about that, except that it sounded fucking awesome.

You can't help feeling a little let down at how short the set was. The lack of encore elicited some booing. But after seconds of ruminating, I have deemed this unfair. Few bands play with the energy that JoFo bring to the stage. I'm impressed they lasted as long as they did.

Catch the bus. Mutter JoFo songs under my breath. Come home and write this. Good night.

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