Spiritualized at the Royal Festival Hall, 13th October
Blogging’s a strange old chestnut. If you write about personal stuff, you seem like a crazy person – all those hopes, fears and desires. Human emotions are so untidy.
But if you decide you don’t want to reveal too much of yourself on the internet, and instead concentrate on all the GRATE things you’ve been doing, then your blog turns into a glossy magazine stuffed with updates of happy exploits, time spent with aspirational-looking friends straight out of a Doritos advert, and nice meals at ethnic restaurants. In short, your blog becomes your own personal Triumph Of The Will, except with fewer nazis and more pictures of your new kitchenware taken on your iphone. You might be DYING INSIDE and SECRETLY NEVER WANT TO WATCH ANOTHER SCRUBS EPISODE AGAIN, but your online face to the world speaks only of a shiny forever-present of achievement, aspiration and strength through purchases.
With that disclaimer out of the way: I went to see Spiritualized last night at the Royal Festival Hall and they were FLIPPIN’ BRILLIANT and I had a GRATE TIME and MY LIFE IS AWESOME. The guy at the ticket desk got momentarily confused and thought he was working for an airline, and so gave up UPGRADES from right-at-the-back-of-the-top-balcony to front of the stalls. The view was heaven, and the gig was extraordinary – full orchestra, gospel choir, and J Spaceman, sat to the front and right as always, with sunglasses on to protect himself from the mad strobe lights. All that was missing was a spacesuit.
The audience was full of people who looked a bit like me, dragging their girlfriends along to enjoy the lovely, soothing songs off Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, which Mr J Spaceman was performing in full, first track to last, with no break or let-up.
Unfortunately most of them seemed to have forgotten that while LAGWAFIS is stuffed with lovely, dreamlike songs about, you know, love and heroin and stuff, there is also rather a lot of PSYCHOTIC JAZZ SCREETCHING. From my vantage point, I could see a great number of unamused ladyfriends.
Some of the blokes’ reactions were interesting too. Have phones and the internet now reduced us to a point that it’s impossible to concentrate on something for 70 minutes? The guy next to me went from gazing adoringly at the stage, his lovelorn heart hanging on every word, with his hands clasped to his chest in a kind of rapture, to checking his emails on his phone within about twenty minutes. No God, Only Religion, and emails telling you someone has written something on your wall on facebook.
Personal highlights? Think I’m In Love was perfect. Cop Shoot Cop was a Dr John away from being perfect. The fairy lights were perfect. The Royal Festival Hall, as always, was perfect.
And the view from Waterloo Bridge while waiting for the bus home? One of the best in London.