Derby heralds.. a NEW SETLIST!
Unusual gig in Derby tonight, as I popped to see a friend embarking on a leaving do before heading on to the gig and feeling a bit lazy and sore of back I made a conscious decision to spend the gig out of the mosh pit. And whilst of course the lure is always there, I’m glad I did – it’s literally been years since I stood back and just watched the performance – it was a rewarding experience!
Parked up near The Venue, it wasn’t long before folk started landing – we wandered to The Flowerpot for a quick drink, with Ella and Simon arriving at the car park not long after it was a short wander back, just in time for the doors opening. The Venue is a nice place, you enter into the bar area, up a couple of steps into an expansive flat performance area with a relatively small stage. The only quibble are the pillars which normally I wouldn’t notice but for my withdrawn position for a change.
The support act, Seas of Mirth, entered the stage – all nine of them (it took a while for me to confirm this, and confusingly their Twitter bio reckons there’s eight of ’em!) – coming on with Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven is a Place on Earth playing – with ‘place on Earth’ replaced with ‘Seas of Mirth’ – an interesting start! I know that Seas of Mirth played at Deerstock last year, whilst we were either tucking into – or sleeping off – a massive roast dinner from Nana’s Kitchen, but folk were raving about them so it was exciting to get the chance to see them for the first time.
They started up with an energetic romp through four or five songs before talking to the crowd – difficult to describe, with a cello, bouzouki (or similar!), bass guitar, mandolin, a singer with a bongo type drum, a regular drummer, a guitar, accordian and keyboard it was certainly a fulsome sound. The note I made at the time just said ‘very high energy turbo shanty sound’ – possibly facilitated by their pirate-like attire, with hints of gypsy folk and changing rhythms and vocal layering.
Really really engaging – I could imagine them being misclassified as novelty but that would belie the musicianship and timing. They also looked like they were having great fun up there, smiling, laughing and dancing together in routines impressive on such a tight stage (it would take a bloody big stage to comfortably accomodate nine energetic musicians!). The second song from the end was prefaced by handing a big rope out into the crowd for a tug of war (port versus starboard). Thoroughly enjoyable set – I’ve picked up an album so I’m looking forward to get to know them better!
Then on to the main event – a healthy crowd cheered Ferocious Dog to the stage as the intro music boomed out, only for them to kick straight into Living on Thin Air (“The little tinkers!” said Michael to me as we both looked at each other shocked at a new set list for the first time in ages!). Of course they have a few subtle variations in set list – but not starting with Gallows Justice is a first for a while – Stamford is the last time I can remember that happening!
I must admit when the next song struck up I was particularly excited. I Stand is my favourite track on From Without, “It’s I Stand!” I excitedly shouted at anyone within earshot…. “AND ELLIS HAS GOT AN ELECTRIC GUITAR!!!” – it was great to hear it live, although Ellis could’ve done with being turned up a bit – he also apparently snapped a string which couldn’t have helped, but it was still amazing to hear live – I hope that it becomes a regular set list feature.
The pace was slowed with A Verse for Lee before kicking off again with The Glass and Lee’s Tune. Since Ellis didn’t put down his banjo (this is the advantage of standing back and watching!) it was predictable that Crime and Punishment would be up next for a spot of line dancing. This was followed up by Unconditional straight into Too Late, with Nicki hoisted beneath Paul and Dean for a three-person tower. I thought ‘Ooh, Too Late, I’ll get in a good spot to get a surfing picture since I never normally can’…
…and was foiled – Ruby Bridges was up next, and then it was Freeborn John – with Dean in his usual position as surfer, I couldn’t catch who was the board but I imagine it was Paul. Moments later a second board was up and Dan was surfing too (having already been up on shoulders during Too Late) – impressive stuff, he did a good job! We had the bonus of the Bru-C rap section too – which I hadn’t anticpated despite chatting with him before the gig. D’oh!
Lyla was next with an interesting initial intro that was reminiscent of the opening music to Crocodile Dundee before kicking in as normal. The mosh was then well and truly back on for Marikana Massacre and then the ‘old skool’ trio of On The Rocks, Quiet Paddy and Criminal Justice. Michael turned to me at this point and said “It’s funny isn’t it? When you’re not in the mosh pit it’s only then you realise that most people are just stood about like us!” – he’s right, although folk were at the very least tapping their feet! Slow Motion Suicide finished up the main set – as mesmerising as ever, watching the passion on Mick’s face singing along was actually pretty moving.
Dan has also added a new flourish to the end of his already epic violin solo – it’s already a beautiful piece of music, the addition sounded even better. The band left the stage to cries for more – eventually they returned to blast is with Hell Hounds, Freethinker (Becky, who had been stood with us rushed to the mosh pit for a dance – it’s great to have seen her back out enjoying herself!) and then Mairi’s Wedding Part II to finally finish up.
After it was finished up and I’d been interrogated numerous times for my absence it in the mosh pit there was time for chat and for Ella to help Leanne on the busy merch stall. Dean was developing a rather impressive black eye – the mosh pit had been tough apparently (although he did say he enjoyed it!) – the detective skills of Tracy pointed at Dave as the culprit, so there was even time for a bit of a re-enactment before heading out for some chips before driving home.
A cracking evening I was glad to have spent viewing from a different angle, even if I did miss having a bit of a mosh! Onward to Burton for The Leylines tomorrow! Still tickets available on the door if you fancy an impromptu trip.