Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sparky Malarkey at Nada Surf!

Imbued with far more coffee than is probably recommended for typical human beings, the Sparky Malarkey crew (Mutya, B*stad, and Simon, who was quickly rechristened ‘Jamal’ for reasons that will never become clear) descended on the Shepherds Bush Empire for an evening with Nada Surf. Would it be ‘Surf’s up’ or ‘Nada good way to spend an evening?’

Now, Mutya and I have a bit of a tradition when it comes to passing the time before a gig starts; we look for celebrity looky-likeys in the audience. And by gum, the Empire was full of em’! Among the looky-likeys we saw were:

• Phil Collins
• Boris Johnson/Biff from the Back to the Future trilogy
• Sean Connery
• David Baddiel
• Helena Bonham Carter/Pete Doherty

Our fun was brought to an abrupt end by the first support act, a silky-voiced songstress named Inara George, from ‘Kal-ee-for-nigh-aay.” Mutya and Jamal weren’t fans, but I reckon in the context of a chilled out summer’s evening, rather than a rock gig in late March, she could be pretty cool. Her website has some funky balloon thing going on, so it’s probably worth checking out.

Next up was The Feeling - a band who are themselves replete with looky-likeys! Captain Mal Reynolds from Serenity sings, with Dec from Ant and Dec on bass, and the guy who played Jon in the Garfield movie on drums. Now, I saw The Feeling a couple of weeks back at the 100 Club, so I knew they were good. Mutya was quickly won over by their jaunty rock-pop, while Jamal took a little longer. He reckons they went “a little bit Crosby, Stills and Nash” at one point, which I think is intended as a complement. By the end he said they made him feel a little bit warm. A warm feeling, then.

(Mutya and I subsequently left Jamal to think a bit more about The Feeling while we retired to the bar, where Mutya pondered whether to give up smoking over a cigarette.)

Anyway, Nada Surf themselves – to quote someone I overheard at a Supergrass gig a few years back: they ripped the roof off (dudes).

They must’ve played, like, 300+ songs (including one about a kitten that was too small for its mittens and had a chorus that went something like… “meow, meow” … um, oh yeah, “meow!”). Incredible concert, and a freakin’ bargain too. How is this band not MASSIVE?! Not that I’m complaining – I’d much rather see them at Shepherds Bush than somewhere like Wembley Stadium (although the way building work on that is progressing it would be pretty unlikely they’d be able to play there anytime before space year 2146).

So, overall, a damn fine evening. Although it was slightly soured on the way back to the car when, while relating a story to Jamal and Mutya it appeared as if I called some random, well-dressed woman on the Goldhawk Road a “pikey.”

That was not my intention at all. Apologies to you, random well-dressed woman.

Must go buy more Nada Surf albums.

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