Saturday, 28 March 2015

So you want to be entertained?

This week I went to see Sleater-Kinney, twice and had the best time ever!

Last time I saw Sleater-Kinney was the second May Bank Holiday weekend in 2006. I had gone down to see them in Brighton and my friend Nick and I decided straight after the gig that we should hop on a coach and go and see them in Bristol the next day.
Little did I know then that it would be another 9 years since I travelled on a coach again, and 9 years til I saw Sleater-Kinney.

The few days leading up to the first gig I felt awful, like complete shit. I felt anxious, sick, lost my appetite and had a dodgy stomach. I last felt like this when I went to Morrisoncon in las vegas, I was hoping it was just the anxious excitement I always used to get before a gig I couldn't wait to attend and that if I still felt like this by Thursday I might have to go see someone.
It was just my body not handling what was about to come!

I first saw Sleater-Kinney in July 2000, with my penpal turned gig pal Holly. I was 16, she was 15. This was my third ever gig.
The gig was at Manchester's Roadhouse (where my previous two gigs had been in as many months). They were supported by Mary Timony and Valerie (a Manchester band that featured my soon to be bff Nick).
It was the sweatiest, gig I have ever been too. We were squashed at the front, falling over the monitors on to the stage as everyone sweated on each other, danced, sang and had the best time. We bounced around with our youthful energy (that always got us noticed by bands back then!) and Holly had her live saved by Janet Weiss when she handed her a bottle of water (Holly later kept that empty bottle for years, best thing ever).

Fifteen years on from the first time I saw them, here I was again with Holly and a rad bunch of others getting full on Kinney excitement.
Photo taken by the actual Police!

I managed to eat some pizza and cocktails and we headed to what I kept telling everyone was Manchester's most haunted building (it was on most haunted and my mum went unofficial drunk ghost hunting one time when she was at a club) Albert Hall.

We got there and I was surprised to see lot's of faces I didn't know. I realised I am no longer the youngest person at a Sleater-Kinney gig, I felt old!
We entered the huge chapel turned venue and I thought I have never seen Sleater-Kinney in a venue this big, only they could fuck off for almost a decade and come back bigger than ever.

They had lights, they had a fancy backdrop, they had a barrier, the ceiling was so high up and that wasn't Janet Weiss handing out water to dehydrated fans but some guy in a polo shirt and ear plugs.
Thing's were very different, but ultimately the same.

I spent the gig dancing and being happy that a load of my bests were round me but mostly overwhelmed that they were back on stage.
I learnt that 30 year old me can enjoy songs from The Woods much more than 20 year old me did. I learnt that this band are still as important than ever. I also learnt that there isn't really any need for any other bands to exist when there is Sleater-Kinney.

Photo taken by Em.

After the gig all the people dispersed and it was then that I pretty much saw everyone I ever knew, 9 years felt like 9 days. It WAS a reunion.

When the dates were announced I only got tickets for Manchester, thinking that would be enough, who was I trying to kid, with very little persuasion from Nick I bought a ticket for Glasgow. I was so glad as I was over the initial shock that they were on stage and the fact that each gig on the No Cities To Love tour so far has had slightly different setlists.

Holly, Nick Zak and I got on a coach to Glasgow. As the sun shone we kept forgetting and remembering why we were headed to Glasgow!

I was a bit blurgh about having to get the coach, I like riding trains, but it was such a great journey and we stopped at the best service station ever. Great views great food, it was like the world's fanciest shop with the best prices! Fancy pop, fancy cheese, fancy cakes, fancy bakery. I got a giant meringue, it was sooo good!

We arrived and checked ourselves into Euro Hostel (nostalgia overload as this is where Holly and I and everyone ever stayed when we came to Ladyfest Glasgow in 2001) went to an all you can eat Chinese Buffet and headed to the venue.

This gig was different, it was in a non fancy venue which I was kinda glad about and the only people (aside from my friends) that I knew didn't know me, ie they were 'celebrities' (Manda and Steven from Bis, members of Dananananakroyd, Jamie McKelvie and Taylor Schilling).
Everyone seemed super friendly though, I was offered some whisky after being there for like 5 minutes, oh Glasgow I love you. 

We got closer to the front than the previous night and on Corin's side (Carrie's side in Manchester), don't worry both night's had obstructed views of Janet.

They blew me away again, before they cam on I was tired and achy and Holly said she might move over to the side to take it easy, but once they hit the stage we didn't stop. So much so that I was convinced Corin looked at us a few times and smiled at our 'youthful' energy. After the gig Nick said he saw this without us even mentioning it, she probably thought we were 15 year olds with wacky coloured hair and having our lives changed by seeing SK for the first time. It certainly felt like that!

Glasgow was a total love fest, so much so that they played (for the first time on this tour they said) Yr No rock ,n, Roll fun and everyone went wild, full on party, including me and I didn't even think I was bothered by that song!

They dedicated Little Babies to Zayn from 1D, Corin did a Scottish accent that wasn't that bad, they looked like they were having such fun and that fun was infectious.

I am now sad that I am not seeing Sleater-Kinney every night, but happy that they will most likely be back and I can't wait!

As a side note, my friend Nick who has seen Sleater-Kinney a million times mentioned a zine about his SK adventures, it better happen it will be the best thing ever!

Here are the set lists for anyone that cares to know.
Price Tag
Fangless Oh!
Get Up
Surface Envy  Ironclad  What's Mine Is Yours A New Wave One Beat  No Cities to Love  Start Together  Light Rail Coyote No Anthems Words and Guitar  Bury Our Friends One More Hour Entertain Jumpers
Gimme Love
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone  Let's Call It Love Modern Girl Dig Me Out

Price Tag
Fangless Oh!
Get Up
Start TogetherI Wanna Be Your Joey RamoneSurface Envy
No Anthems
What's Mine Is Yours
A New Wave

No Cities To Love
You're No Rock 'N' Roll Fun
Turn It On
One Beat
Bury Our Friends

Little BabiesEntertain Jumpers
Gimme Love
Words And Guitar
One More Hour
Modern Girl
Dig Me Out

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