…so I better suck it up like a tough guy would. [contains strong language]
Wild Beasts did not write this song about having arthritis, but sometimes the cap fits. I went to see them again at the Roundhouse last night, and although I would never usually see the same band twice in such a short span of time, they are one of my favourites, so when I heard they were touring after releasing Boy King I bought some tickets despite knowing I would see them at the Green Man festival, as they’re a good thing I can’t have too much of.
Importantly, I wanted to talk about sitting down at a music gig, and whether that was a fair way to see live music if the thought of standing in a crowd was too much. And I could only really compare the two if I had done both for the same band (though, admittedly, seeing a band headline a festival, a massive weekend-long music party, is not the same as heading down to the Roundhouse after a long, frustrating day of circular arguments with work’s under-funded and under-trained IT department).
I’m not the only one who wants to sit down for live music, on the night I also saw a chap on crutches and another wearing an aircast boot. And it was actually a really great way to see the band without the faff of having to check my work tote into the cloakroom and worry about my shoes getting wrecked — I wore my glittery Golden Goose high tops and felt I was finally wearing footwear that was worthy of seeing my favourite bands.
If I’m honest, sitting down at the back was nowhere near as involving as being on the front row at a festival. You do feel a little out of the party, but I think the Roundhouse is not the best venue for it because of the pillars that are between you and the stage. I was seated for Cage the Elephant at the Kentish Town O2 forum and felt much more involved; however, that might also be due to Cage the Elephant’s crowd surfing/diving/climbing/involving antics.
It is, however, a good way to people-watch (Wild Beast fans love a Breton top it seems), and as I work late and need to eat at regular intervals, or I start getting grumpy and unreasonable, it’s not as though I would ever get to a gig after work in enough time to make it to the front anyway. The sound and lights were really good from higher up too. Some songs on the new album are really bassy, and the sound guys totally nailed it: the line between interfering with your heartbeat and making your head explode is biologically delicate and requires skill.
So in summary, of course, I would much rather be at the front, where I can take this sort of picture:
But actually, I think most of the time, if I’m sore, then sitting down is much more enjoyable than having to fight the arthritis all night, especially if I have to work the next day. And of course, I really enjoyed the gig, they’re a great band (from the north of the UK like myself, so there is a high level of respect from me anyway) and they’re talented and interesting musicians — Tom Fleming’s voice alone is wonderful. So I’m going to close to a link to my favourite song, as they did last night: All the King’s Men.