Friday 10 February 2012

First Dance Friday: Likes U Crazy

I wish I'd kept a record of every gig I've ever been to. I always find myself forgetting which bands I've actually seen live, mis-remembering the venue or who I was there with. I don't think it's old age either, it's just Penny Brain not being able to contain the best part of two decades of incessant band-watching.

Some gigs, however, are truly lodged in my consciousness. Being alone in the crowd for Mogwai at Reading '98, watching Tim Harrington climb the sweaty walls when Les Savy Fav played the Packhorse on a scorching night in 2000, then falling in love with heavy metal whilst working the bar during Slayer's gig at Rock City the very same summer. More recently I've marvelled at the showmanship of Chromeo at the Manchester Academy and bounced around with sheer joy to Phoenix at the Secret Garden Party. Some gigs stay memorable because of the fame the bands go on to achieve, some because I loved the band so much and bellowed out every word of every song, some performances changed the way I thought about music, sometimes the gig was a soundtrack to a significant moment in my life.

Other gigs I remember because I just do.

Tatako rocking out at the Castle Hotel

One of those gigs was Mates Of State, a indie pop husband and wife duo who I saw in the top room of the Cardigan Arms in 2003. The room was packed, and the band got most of us to sit down on the floor so everyone could actually see. It was a real hippy vibe with everyone cross-legged and singing along, the songs were so happy and Kori was pregnant at the time, which seemed to add to the fluffiness of the whole experience. I can honestly say I've never experienced anything like it before or since. Which is a shame, as it was very nice to park my bum and not have to stare at the back of a tall man's head for two hours.

What could be better for a first dance than a song written by a husband and wife? The tone and sentiment of this song is spot on:

However I much prefer this one, from their first album. It might not be first dance material, but it's my favourite. Listen to it, go on, it will make you go silly and happy inside:

Mates Of State are still going strong, and released their seventh studio album "Mountaintops" last year. They've now got two daughters, and Kori writes about her exploits as a rock star mom on her blog "Band On The Diaper Run". Gives me hope that you can have a family and still be in a rocking band. One day, one day.

On that note I must say a big welcome to the first Sausage baby (henceforth known as Chipolatas), Francesca Marie Wolfe, who entered the world on Wednesday afternoon. We could do with a percussionist, so we're hoping she's a fast learner.

What are your most memorable gigs?


  1. I was listening to Mates Of State last night, and reminiscing about the gig I saw. They were supposed to play at the Fenton, but some kind of promoter screw-up meant no gig. Whoever was putting on a local gig at the Packhorse with Perdita Durango heard about this and added them to the top of the bill. MoS got literally 15 minutes at the end of the night, but a very memorable 15 minutes which impressed me enough to buy Our Constant Concern. I still listen to that record often.

  2. Perdita Durango! That name brings back memories. I listened to My First Solo Project until the case fell to bits, but My Constant Concern is still in its cellophane wrap :( I am shit at listening to more than one album by a band, unless it's the Pixies.


  3. We saw Mogwai at Primavera last year and they were H-mazing. But I think I'll never top my rememberance of sneaking in underage to a Tea Party gig when I was 15, spent the whole night in a paroxysm of fear that someone would walk up to me and challenge my age but also feeling like the shiz for getting in. Another husband-wife duo that I like (and was reminded of by thinking about P-vera) are Tennis... they're greche. x

  4. I've never even HEARD of Tea Party. Tennis are that band on the ATP label, non? I think they have a new album coming out soon. I have never listened to them! I will do that today. Ace!