I know I know. Cleethorpes? I had to look it up on the map. My mind is boggling anyway. It boggles even more when I arrive. It's kind of a cross between a plush ballroom like in the Shining, and a holiday camp like in Hi De Hi. There's all these chandelers, plush interior, strange.
But more surprising than that, there's a hell of a lot of kids here. Apparently there's over 400 people, which I would say is probably the best attendance of the 4 gigs I've seen on this tour, in what for me was the most unlikely region. And again, most are young young kids. There are people that look like they're about 8. But for the record again, without them, there'd be no-one.
Anyway, by the time I've arrived, Linea have finished. I swear this is not how it was planned, it's just how it's worked out. And soon earthtone9 step on the stage. It's so very open, the sides are not closed off like you normally get at gigs, it's so spacious. There's a reasonable number of people right up front, put it like this, there's more upfront actually getting involved for earthtone9 than there was for the entire gig at Dudley. And they throw themselves into it with the reckless abandon of youth, and of a region that doesn't really get that many gigs. Though to start with they're treated to silence from Karl as the mike isn't working for the first half of Star Damage. That's soon rectified, but the vocals sound a bit dodgy, to the extent maybe it was better it was off. Both Karl and Joe eventually warm to it though, with the twinned vocals on the "ask a question" chorus to p.r.d sounding to me as in synch and tune as they've probably ever been.
"Hello Cleethorpes, COME ON." He had to do it, I was thinking that it just so, sooooooooooooooo needed a hello Cleethorpes all the way in the car. I was hoping for a Dave Lee Rothian like, "you are the rock'n'roll center of the universe", but alas, it's not to be. Withered is shown off as an old song, while Approx Purified is semi-truthfully introduced as a new song. Of course the big double whammy is saved for last, with the pairing of Tat Twam and Binary. It's pretty much the ultimate, "now follow that" that can be laid down.
So it's up to OMS to take up the challenge. Of course they do it in a different fashion, always talking, always whipping up the pit. Not that they need much encouraging, as a constant stream of bodies go over the front. A special word should be given for the security, and it will at the end of this review. The set is pretty much the same, as is the banter. Karl returns once more for Holy Man, and it's the 4ht time out of 4 that the band has the crowd eating out of their hands. There's even some circle pits going on near me without the band prompting, and A-Z Revolution is aired once more as the token new song. Yap makes a promise to return, as this is their first time there, and you can understand why, despite the laughter that enters your mind when thinking of a gig in Cleethorpes, it's actually provided one of the best ones I've seen for a while. Totally bizarre of course, but hey.
And a special word for security. All the way through et9 and OMS they were absolutely superb. I only ever saw Neville, the Astoria security guy once, but this was like that. Encouraging people, telling them to hold people up, pointing, catching just about every person that came over - which is great for the smaller kids, passing out water, nodding their heads to the music and doing the job with a smile on the face. You can't ask for better than that, and on the evidence of what I saw, you won't get many better than they guys that did this.