Ah, now this is what I need after the week from hell. Entertainment. Pure unadulterated entertainment. Restores a little faith. Especially given that although the album has only had a UK release this week (it's been available on import for a year, probably says quite a lot in itself about the music industry in this country - and of course the punters), the main in hall is at least half full. May not sound that impressive, BUT, that's pretty much on word of mouth and just the following and I guess respect that mainman Ginger commands. There's very few people here in popular t-shirts. More along the lines of me not quite feeling as old a git as normal. Old, but not that old.
But it's an EARLY start, so by the time I get there, The Jellys have been and gorn. And so the lights dim, and an announcement is made "For the first time ever in NottingHAM, Silver ... Ginger ... 5!!!!" and to pyros and lights, the band bounce across the stage. Pretty much literally. The first few songs, including opener Sonic Shakedown, sees the 3 upstanding members of the band pogoing for all their lives worth.
Ginger is swaggering around, to his right is Conny Bloom all dressed up in Leater, and to his left, Random Jon Poole, bassist if I remember correctly, with The Cardiacs, and tonight transformed into a nutter. With a Sarf Landeeen accent. And all three are afflicted by terrible guitar syndrome. Absolutely awful looking guitars. Ginger is playing that one that he's used in the publicity shots. You know, the one that looks like it ought to be a logo for some dodgy Scandinavian death metal outfit. (Um, please, no more e-mails. It's a personal thing, I dislike pretty much most strange shaped guitars, including flying Vs. It's a personal thing you know, scarred from childhood if you want. It's jest. Not to be taken seriously. Messing you around. Please see that it ain't that serious. You got a shaped guitar. Good on ya. You love 'em. Good on ya. You obviously have no taste of course, but you know, it's your choice. And I'm HAVING A LARF!)
Pretty much most of the album is played, Ginger announces Girls Are Better Than Boys by saying that anyone who wants to get naked should feel free to do so. It's all harking back to the non-politcally correct days of fun. Before the angst set in. It'll have many people going "ooh no vicar, he can't say that, that's like, not correct old chap." It's fun. Even if you want to question it all, just enjoy the flow. And the songs. Songs like Anyway But Maybe, and the gorgeous Church of the Broken Hearted. And the burning guitars. And the pyros.
Of course there's a Rock City speech. Ginger genuinely seems to love the place. Everytime he plays here, he makes comment on it being his favourite club in the UK, the women are gorgeous, Andy Copping first let him play there, and it's the best response on the tour so far, explaining that they've had some ups and downs. There some confusion as to whether it's Conny Bloom's first time here, and Ginger has been trying to explain what the place was like. They play one of Bloom's old songs, Groovus Maximus. The guy has a pure rock voice.
Then they throw in some surprises, well, surprises for those of us that haven't been following them around. There's the first of the Singles Club singles, I'm A Lover Not A Fighter, in which we're encouraged to sing the chorus, and make the place sound like a full Wembley Arena, and best of all, Do The Channel Bop. Which is utterly utterly, utterly utterly, pretty good.
Divine Imperfection is introduced by Ginger explaining that they're pretty much itching to do a new record, and he's fed up of playing some songs, including this one and that it may be one of the last time's it's played live. In order to prove this, they then proceed to play some of the demo tracks that are included on the bonus disc of the UK SG5 album, including the heavy sounding Last Bastard In Heaven. Encore time sees the almost traditional crowd chant of "Don't Worry 'Bout Me", Random Jon Poole sings the Pistols cover, and a final set of pyros go off.
And the ceiling starts to burn. Not sure the last part was part of the intended set list. But if people ever say this was an incendiary gig. Well, it was (groan)