Brixton, horse tranquilisers & swallow dives

The manager of the Brixton Academy, 15 years standing, said this was the best that he had seen us play and other kind words that would make a nun blush. All Larry’s previous days pain management efforts have come to nought. As he desperately climbs the food chain of tranquilisers from small child dose to horse and now we are in search of elephant stunguns… looking for relief from the fire that won’t go out.

Vip soundcheck: As a band we insisted upon these vip soundchecks because they were so successful in America. We enjoy the intimacy, humour and it focuses us. Best of all it relaxes us for the gig to come because we’ve already played a mini gig to some faces we will see again later. I’ll admit the initial idea was presented as a way to tour America without losing money this time, but its turned into something that we enjoy; and so far everyone who has been to one seems to think its wonderful too. So to ye naysayers check it out before you slag it off. In these high tech days where people no longer buy music, bands have to find more creative ways to survive. We will choose the ones that mix creativity with pleasure.

Once again we chose an insanely suicidal set list. This recent development was inspired by the American tour where we alternated 54 songs in increasingly bizarre orders and found much to our surprise that the audience loved it and we received the best reviews we have probably ever had. At the Hammersmith gig I thought we had lost the audience three quarters of the way through, only to realise it was part of my paranoid delusion. In Brixton Saul turned to me and said, “I don’t think we should play Don’t Wait That Long we’re losing them. ” Luckily James don’t have an efficient communication system worthy of its name and the set continued and was, dare I say it, fantastic. But this gives you an indication of how nervous we are playing to a British audience who we know many of whom have come to see the wham-bam-thankyou-mam Burger King James greatest hits and then get confronted with a 15 course meal at the Fat Duck (some hits of course included.)

By the way, in answer to the review suggesting we should rest Out To Get You, we’ve tried. But it’s still so alive as a song, and Saul’s solos are still so fresh and unexpected, that it’s impossible to do so.

I loved the gig so much that when I was standing on the crash barrier I allowed myself to swallow dive into the mosh. The last time I did that was in ’95 in the same venue. Thirty people went down under the crush. I realised that if someone had got injured, I would have felt responsible, so I haven’t done it since. I think our audiences are a little more conscious now. If you see me heading your way be gentle with me I bruise easily. I’ve always loved that image of Iggy Pop standing up walking out into the audience raised on peoples hands; well a boy can dream.

19 Comments to Brixton, horse tranquilisers & swallow dives

  1. Marc's Gravatar Marc
    Dec 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I had an amazing time on Friday, there was such an immense atmosphere. I am so glad you played a lot of new stuff because playing new material proves you are still relevant to today and it’s not just about reminiscing old times, not to mention they’re exceptionally good songs that deserve to be played live (I have been listening to the last two albums non-stop).

    A night I will never forget… thanks.

  2. Susana's Gravatar Susana
    Dec 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Hellho. I hope all the concerts are as fantastic as those of Portugal. Contunue always so genuine.


  3. Chloe's Gravatar Chloe
    Dec 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    It was nothing short of incredible. One of the best gigs ever. It was a shame that the ‘Burger King’ section of the audience wouldn’t stop bloody talking during the earlier, mellow songs (which were stunning). The transition from Sit Down to Ring the Bells was a moment of pure, heart-exploding joy that brought tears to my eyes. Other highlights were Stutter, which seems to get better every time, and Saul’s solo at the end of Out of Get You. I never wanted it to end, it was magical. Please don’t take that away, ever.

    And yeah, the soundcheck is a fabulous idea. I loved it. Thank you.

  4. Eugénie's Gravatar Eugénie
    Dec 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    We were 16 to leave France to join London on Friday. 16 friends who waited for one thing; share a concert of James, together! It’s difficult to find the words to describe what we lived this night… But a thing is sure, we never forget this gig! Tim, thank you for your energy, thank you for your glance, thank you for your nearness… It was incredible!
    And thank you James to have written Sit down, because this song contains much memories and all the love which I carry to my friends.
    Sorry for my english wich is, doubtless, incorrect…

  5. Dec 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful gig. Being 18 and only gig going for 4 years it was the second time I’ve seen James and having been born and raised on them it truly was wonderful. When Don’t wait too long was played I was on the verge of crying a large amount of happy tears, one of my all time favourites and it has to be said after reading this blog I’m so glad Sauls comment was overlooked and it was played. Definitely an all time high light to remember forever.

    The variety of the set list is loved by many, you can just tell the obvious crowd pleasers but I loved being part of the subtle wave of excitement when more obscure songs were played and yelling the lyrics along proudly.

    I’m so grateful to have seen you once more and I hope I get the pleasure again for years to come but for now I can anticipate Tims new album and solo tour next year, will be seeing you then!

  6. Meg's Gravatar Meg
    Dec 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Out To Get You will never be old for us long time fans! I was so happy to hear James’ old and new material when I saw you back in October in the US. And you walked around in the crowd and we were all just so thrilled at the whole thing. There were a lot of people, but it felt so intimate. It was an amazing experience (20 years in the making for me!) and if you’re ever in my neck of the woods again, I’ll be there! Happy Holidays!

  7. skyblu's Gravatar skyblu
    Dec 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Another vote here for ‘keep Out to Get You in the setlist’ – it is just as stunning now as ever. Hammersmith and Brixton were both utterly fabulous – I’m still barely able to speak from singing along, cheering, shouting and then singing along some more!

    p.s being posted to Kenya next year….fancy touring Africa? please? free safari? really pleading please? Anyway, Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011 to you

  8. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    Dec 13, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Sauls Violin playing at Hammersmith was superb the Gig in General was brilliant. It was good to meet you again if very briefly.
    Good Luck with the Solo Album.

  9. Gusta's Gravatar Gusta
    Dec 14, 2010 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Sounds like you & the lads really struck a chord…………well done. Music has seen me through the bad times and of course the good. Never under estimate the power of a really well written song of which James has several.

  10. jules's Gravatar jules
    Dec 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    out to get you never disappoints and dont wait that long was fantastic. i always hold out to hear what for again that would be sooo good, if you are ever going to do it please do at brixton as i will always be there!! the variety of friday night was wonderful and i think you’d struggle to ever lose your audience. we like the variety and although the hits are great, and they really truely are great, half the fun is wondering what you will get when you turn up. every gig is so different from the last and will be different from the next. we absolutely never leave disappointed. thank you so much for so many fantastic nights. come back to brixton soon please.

  11. bryony's Gravatar bryony
    Dec 14, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Wow, what an amazing night. I’ve been a huge fan for about 20 years now and seen james play many times, but friday was definitely the best! Really good to hear the really old songs again but also the brilliant new tracks, james just seem to get better and better. And thank you tim for holding my hand- a moment I will never forget. Please keep touring and I will be a fan for the nest 20 years- I promise!

  12. Yaniv's Gravatar Yaniv
    Dec 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tim,

    I`ve seen your fab 7 on San Francisco some two years ago and on this magical, creepy brixton gig. it`s a pleasure watching the chemistry between you guys

    It was well worth the flight from Israel, but since i`m all out of money thanks to you guys, next time you must show up in Tel Aviv:)

    gl good man

  13. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    Dec 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    We’ve been James fans from the very beginning, and are really depressed about missing the Brixton gig due to ill health!

    I have watched a lot of footage from the Hammersmith gig on you tube!

    I really love the latest CD, so many tracks with meaningful lyrics… I cry every time I listen to it.

    Looking forward to the April tour and new album, love the track I’ve heard.

  14. Steve Lawton's Gravatar Steve Lawton
    Dec 19, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    morning after the night before………….not the drink,but Tim and the lads in there backyard at the men arena,yet again you took us all to a new dimension with your excellent song set,and new tracks too keep up the good work,ps the rendition of Sit down was awesome.god bless and speedy recovery from the dreaded lurgie

  15. Lynn Davidson's Gravatar Lynn Davidson
    Dec 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Glasgow gig – Dec 17th. Fantastic night, hypnotised as always by the genius that is James. Brilliant mix of old and new songs….lovely to hear Fred Astaire again – a truly gorgeous love song. Can’t wait to see you all again, thanks again for another great night xx

  16. rocker's Gravatar rocker
    Dec 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    fantastic time in manchester , how you can turn a big venue like that into something special only james knows , oxford was my highlight , so much energy , see you soon on your tour looking forward , good luck with the album .

  17. Tom Anderton's Gravatar Tom Anderton
    Dec 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Due to illness I missed the Leeds gig, had tickets for gig and soundcheck but succombed to the flu. After years of wanting to meet the band, I missed my chance – maybe next time?

  18. Dec 24, 2010 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Greatings, De dуnde eres? їEs un secreto? :)


  19. stephen stafford's Gravatar stephen stafford
    Dec 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    what a night at secc in glasgow, band as usual were awsome. wether it was the old standards or the excellant new material it was as awsome as ever and once again band gave me and the thousands there a magical night to remember, thanks Tim and the guys for making my birthday celebrations even more special, yours forever in music Stevie.

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