A couple of years ago, I was vox-popped by Time Out. Their intrepid reporter asked me what I thought about the London olympic bid. I predicted that London would win, but the budget would mysteriously double overnight, and would rise and rise and rise until the Evening Standard would eventually demand that Sebastian Coe and Tessa Jowell be chained together and dumped in the Thames as recompense. The reporter started backing away from me slowly as I continued ranting about how Joe Public would once again have to pay for the vanity of politicians, blah blah blah.
I expressed similar views in 1999 when the predictable Dome fiasco started to unravel. “It will haemorrhage money,” I said. Yes, I’m a cynical bastard, but it has to be said that I have a knack for anticipating cock-ups.
But I’m not afraid to admit it when I’m wrong. The Dome (ok, the o2) may have spent a few years in the wilderness and cost us all a bunch of cash, but it is one FUCK of a good music venue. It was the perfect atmosphere for the Foo Fighters on Sunday night. I sang along heartily with every song, and nearly squealed with excitement when they de-camped to a a second (round) stage in the middle of the dome to play a 30 minute acoustic set.
There’s a couple of more general things about the Foo Fighters that make me fidget with excitement. Firstly, geeky muso stuff. They play their expensive instruments exceptionally well, through amazing sounding amps into a PA which is supervised by a sound engineer who pwns mixing desks like they’re his bitch. It sounds delicious. When the Foos are rocking out, the wall of noise will give your brain an orgasm.
Secondly, they’ve been around for years and years, and they’ve never been far away from my ears. Whilst I’m generally irritated by people who live in the past, it’s hard not to listen to a band you’ve loved for many years without feeling a few pangs of nostalgia.
‘This is a Call’ transported me back to the long summer of 1995 when I was happily playing in crappy bands and clumsily making out with girls who only liked me because I vaguely resembled Kurt Cobain. ‘The Colour and the Shape’ reminds me of my first serious relationship and the various traumas that surrounded it. ‘Nothin Left to Lose’ rudely reintroduced me to my shithole flat in Kilburn where the Foos would be employed to drown out the sound of crackheads stabbing each other next door. When ‘One by One’ came out in 2002 it gave me a lot of inspiration to keep putting all my energy into playing music full-time. ‘In Your Honor’ was my security blanket through some hard times of transition, no money, insecure living arrangements and general psychological turmoil. And now, in happier times, they continue to light up my mind with ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’. Woo for Foo.