Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Getting intimate with Nada Surf on a Tuesday lunchtime

Right, so today officially goes down as the most awesome day of 2008 so far. Admittedly we're not too far into it, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be hard to beat regardless.

And it all started on Sunday evening…

I basically spent all of Sunday on my computer - writing, would you believe. But by around nine o'clock I was pretty much done for the day, and was just about to shut it all down when I thought I'd have a quick catch-up with some of my favourite bands on Myspace. And there, on Nada Surf's page, was the following message:

acoustic afternoon London show

Nada Surf will be playing a small intimate midday (1pm) show in London on tuesday the 22nd of jan. YES! Thats next tuesday! The show is invite only and we have some guestlist places for you.. just mail the following address (…) by Monday Jan 21, and we will confirm the lucky winners by email with details of times, venue etc

Ooo… I thought. Then I figured I'd never get tickets, then I figured "what the hell," and I fired off an email.

And on Monday afternoon I got an email back saying:

You are on the list with a +1.
Details below:

kick off 1pm.
its on denmark street

And at that point I pretty much wet my pants.

A few hurried emails and texts later and I had gig-pal Yaz on-side as my plus-one; my bro would've *loved* to have come, but he works waaaaaaaaay out of London, and couldn't get the time off work. Sucks to be him today, let me tell you.

Anyway, I got into work super early this morning (just after seven!) so I could take a half day, scurrying out of the office at around 11:45. As you might expect, I was pretty giddy with excitement. I actually got up town about 40 minutes before the gig was due to start, so I scoped out the location of the venue, then hung out in Borders and Foyles on the Charing Cross Road because I like hanging out in bookshops.

Yaz, of course, was later than she planned to be because she always is. Actually, truth be told it was because the tube was busier than she expected it to be, but we still made it to the venue a smidgeon before one. The gig was being held at the 12 Bar Club, which is so small you could literally not notice it as you walk past; it's tiny tiny, with a little cafe at the front, then a little bar, then a tiny back room that looks like it's been transplanted forward in time from the 1840s or something. Seriously, there's this low beam that runs parallel to the stage that you have to duck under to get onto the stage; it's padded so as not to violate all manner of health and safety regulations.

(If you look to the right of the pic, just outside the door and behind some woman, you can kinda see the lead singer of Nada Surf)

There was also a room with a pool table, and I half expected Yaz to suggest we rack up, but the sight of the three guys from Nada Surf mingling by the bar meant that we decided to, um, hang around the bar with the band like we were too cool for school. Oh, and the drinks were free too, which I think means I can legitimately say that Nada Surf bought me a coke. Hurrah!

Anyway, after lurking for about 10 minutes the band moved into the back room, and like the sheep we are we totally followed them. One of the guys was hanging out a back door smoking and Yaz kept saying things like "I'm gonna go spark up with him," but just as she worked up the guts they all clambered up onto the stage (avoiding the beam), and settled down. And it was a pretty tiny stage; Matthew, the singer was on the far side, with Ira the drummer wedged between him and Daniel on bass. Ira obviously didn't have room for a full drum kit, but managed to use what looked like an upended crate-slash-stool as a viable alternative.

And, of course, I totally pulled out my phone to record a good-times video clip.

To be honest, I kinda felt a bit self-conscious taking videos, because the band were literally about two metres away from me, and wondered if I was being a bit rude. But lots of people were doing it, and I literally couldn't believe I was seeing one of my favourite bands in such a small venue so I thought it best that I had something to remind me of it.

They played some songs off their last album (The Weight is a Gift, the CD that made me the fan that I am), and some stuff off their new album, which I'm pleased to say sounded every bit as good as their older tracks. They also played one of my very favourite songs EVAH - Blizzard of '77:

God, I love that song so much.

In fact, I love a lot of their songs so much. Here's another one (Always Love):

Towards the end of the gig things started to descend into hilarity; there was some discussion about how long they should keep playing, because apparently some people had to get back to work (heh, not me - play on chaps!), then Daniel, the bass player, jumped off-stage to go get a pint, and Matthew, started asking us what song we'd like to hear. We were asked to choose between Blankest Year, which has a chorus that includes the line "oh, f**k it, I'm going to have a party," which is awesome, or the "stupidity" of The Meow Meow Song which … well, listen for yourselves:

I remember them playing this when I saw them at the Shepherds Bush Empire a few years back, but I'd forgotten how hilarious it was. They kind of lost it towards the end, which just made it even funnier. I should actually apologise for the wobbly camera in this clip - I was laughing too much and couldn't help it.

Anyway, they also played Blankest Year, and insisted that we joined in on the chorus.

And then the gig was over - and Yaz and I headed out the doors into the alley behind the club where the band actually ended up hanging out. I even got to shake hands with Matthew, and mumbled something incoherent like "that was brilliant!" Yaz, slightly more chilled than me, said that we'd see them again at the Scala next month, and then I added "I hope you play The Meow Meow Song again there!" Matthew looked at me, probably wondering if I was a bit special, and replied "hmmm… I don't know about that."

I'm totally gonna heckle for it.

All in all, then, an *awesome* afternoon - and on the tube home I totally set my iPod to only play Nada Surf tracks. Good times!


T-Bird said...

Ooooohhhh. That is why GB is so cool. I've never done anything like that, and now I am all sad cause I can't afford any gigs... boo hoo!

That was awesome! Thanks for sharing! Oh, and


Tim said...

I was totally surprised I got tickets. And I didn't need to prostitute myself to get them!

This time…

Tara said...

That is totally cool. It was all meant to be and that's so exciting you got to meet the band!

Dinah said...

That is so cool! Yay! I'm so excited for you.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Wow! The things one can do of a lunchtime.

I'm sitting at my desk eating a tuna sandwich and catching up with some blogging.

I think you got the best deal.

Tim said...

Tara - I think you're right; I think it was meant to be - someone was smiling on me!

Dinah - It was totally cool. I had such an awesome time!

Inexplicable Device - Wow, your lunchtime was super-crap compared to mine. You should get out more!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Not if it's to see crazy haired loons!

Tim said...


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Well, *I* wasn't the one who said the F word at T-Bird's...

Tim said...

*I* didn't. I used asterisks.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Details... Details...

Tim said...

Like, whatever…

T-Bird said...

Boys, boys. Be lovers, not fighters! Don't bicker, it makes the doves cry.

Oh, and tee hee! You said Shepherd's Bush. Along with Cockfosters, this cements to me that your Britlanders officially sanction smut.

Tim said...

Indeed we do! I live near Staines!

missy&chrissy said...

what an awesome way to spend lunchtime!

T-Bird said...



I am so excited that you live near Ali G! Are you part of the East Side or the West Side massive?

Tim said...

Missy&Chrissy - It so was! I might demand a Tuesday lunchtime gig every week!

T-Bird - Yep, I totally live near Staines - it's about five miles away, and it's a complete shithole!

Given the choice, I'd be Westside, because WEST. IS. BEST.

T-Bird said...

West siiiiiiyeeeeed! Mate, that is the coolest thing EVAH!

Tim said...

T-Bird - You've, um, never been to Staines, have you?