Sunday, November 4, 2012

The week that was #30

This is actually from a while back, but I've been so sodding busy that I haven't actually had time to finish it until now. It was a pretty interesting few days, though, so I didn't want to to let it go undocumented.

Mumford & Sons

Monday night was the Mumford & Sons gig at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre theatre – the smaller hall that's part of the AEC complex; I've seen a few gigs there in the past few years: Massive Attack, Ben Folds and Regina Spektor, to be specific. It's a good venue, and I've liked all the shows I've seen there, with Regina Spektor being a standout for excellent sound quality.

I'd seen the folky foursome at Thebarton back in July 20101, and was blown away by how awesome they were live – which is saying something, because I've seen a lot of bands over the years and the bar's been set pretty high. What also stood out was the audience reaction; I was not prepared for the crowd to go as nuts as they did, which I think is what spurred them to such great heights2. I thought they seemed tired when they first started, but the enthusiasm from (I think) full house gave them a serious boost.

Their 2nd album, Babel, came out a few weeks ago and I got it a few days before the gig in order to have a good listen. It's much along the same lines as their debut Sigh No More – emotionally charged, energetic folk/pop/rock – and I like that album a lot, so I was expecting the live versions to be equally impressive.

We – regular gig/theatre/film-going buddy Miriam and I – got there fairly early, and caught some of the two support acts, Willy Mason3 and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros; the latter is an wacky 11-piece outfit that I can't even begin to classify into a musical genre, but who were fun and very energetic.

After getting all their stuff off-stage – I reckon there were more roadies involved than for any other gig I've attended – Mumford & Sons came on.

We were not disappointed. I was expecting a good show, and we got it; they rocked out for nearly two hours, playing almost all the songs from both Sigh No More and Babel – including the cover of Simon & Garfunkel's The Boxer that's on the deluxe edition of the latter, and which hearing for the first time shocked me almost into speechlessness, since it's my favourite S&G song, and not one I expected to hear covered.

All in all, a great night – and a reinforcement of my choice to put them on my 'must-see' list of bands.

Here's them playing The Boxer and Awake My Soul with dobro legend Jerry Douglas.

1Yet I don't appear to have written about it. Odd.
2Sadly, they didn't play Such Great Heights, or any other The Postal Service covers for that matter.
3Not the rugby league footballer doing his side project, but an actual folk musician.


Two nights later I once again headed off to Hindmarsh to see an English band – but this time the venue was the Governor Hindmarsh, and the group in question those five lads from Southport, Gomez. It's been a few years since I've seen these guys; I missed their last tour4 so I was looking forward to seeing them live again.

The first time I saw them was an unusual experience. My friends and I decided that we would enhance our concert-going experience by getting stoned beforehand – unfortunately, it wasn't something I'd done for a while, and my tolerance was very low; as a result, I was very out of it when we got to Thebarton Theatre, and only started to regain consciousness (so to speak) as the support act (Alex Lloyd) reached the end of his set.

Back in drug-free 2012, the band were back in Adelaide and celebrating 15 years together (hence the name of the tour, (the QuinceƱeara5 tour); they took the odd step of asking people in each city to vote for their favourite songs, from which they'd pick the top ten to play that night (amongst others, of course). I had heard this, but completely forgot to pick mine before the gig.

Apparently, the songs that did get voted for varied quite a bit from place to place; I now wish I'd paid a bit more attention to what they'd said were the specific Adelaide choices. But they played a good range of songs from their six albums, including many of my favourites of theirs: Get Myself Arrested, Rhythm & Blues Alibi, How We Operate, Airstream Driver, Notice, Whippin' Piccadilly and Get Miles.

So, even though I was pretty tired after another late night so close behind the Mumford & Sons gig, it was a great night.

Here's the video for How We Operate.

4Almost certainly because it clashed with a theatre production; thanks to my involvement in My Romantic History in November I'm missing Cake, Ben Folds Five, Sigur Ros and The Black Keys.
5Spanish for fifteen, apparently.

The Siege

No, not a film review; an actual event. At work the other week we were happily going about our gasly6 business when one of my co-workers was looking out the window of my section of the office and said (something like) 'why's there's a guy in a bullet-proof vest sneaking towards the house on the corner'.

Even on the most exciting day in the office – the gas industry, surprisingly enough, not being exactly the most adrenalin-fueled rollercoaster ride – this would have distracted us from what we were doing, so we all took the opportunity to peer out between the blinds to see what was going on, and when we did we found that there was, in fact, a guy in a bullet-proof vest sneaking towards the house on the corner.

It's probably important to note that 'the house on the corner' is, at least according to the reliable sources7, a brothel and drug den. So, it wasn't as big a surprise for us as you might think.

Anyway, not a great deal seemed to be happening at this point, so we went back to work. However, the next time someone glanced out the window, the resulting comment was “Okay, now there are guys with guns and body armour sneaking towards the place.”

There was no going back to our work after that.

After the tactical squad – the guys with the guns – showed up, they blocked off the street to traffic; it took some time for us to realise that this was actually going to cause us problems, and I remarked that we were probably in a bad place to be should an actual firefight break out, i.e. pretty much directly across the road.

I would say that that's almost certainly because they had no reason to believe there would actually be armed people inside, though the cynic in me would say that they either forgot or couldn't be bothered.

What they did do, though – eventually – is block off the gate to our car park, meaning that we couldn't actually leave. This was a bit of a concern, especially for me 'cause I had a production meeting for My Romantic History at 6; as a result, I had to call the director and give him what I'm sure is the best excuse anyone's ever given for not making it to a production meeting.

Fortunately, there is a gate that leads from our car park around the back of the collection of huge sheds that are the actual depot part of the complex8; it's usually locked, but they unlocked it so we could get out that way, which I did as soon as word came through that we had the option. I drove out past the crowds of people – and news crews – gathered further down the street and headed home.

Apparently – people from work were posting on Facebook – it ended about an hour or so after I left; they found the people they were looking for. Thanks to the combination of the event's relative insignificance on the internet and my sketchy memory, I'm not 100% sure exactly why they were looking for them, though I believe it's something to do with parole violation. Why they felt a tactical response was called wasn't made clear.

Certainly made for an interesting afternoon though.

6That's a joke, not a typo.
7By which I of course mean the gossipy people at my work.
8The admin building – in which I reside – is at the western end.

1 comment:

  1. You should have made that production meeting. Don't you keep a bullet-proof vest and automatic weapon at your place of employment for just such an occasion? I know I do!!