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Obviously having better things to do I thought I'd share my thoughts on this gig with whoever's interested in reading


So the last Friday I went to see OKGO at ULU and as this section of the website is a bit bare I thoguht I'd share my thoughts in a kind of review stylee.

While ULU is not the most appealing building in London (it reminds me of my sisters' school in its 1950s functionality) the room was a good size for the gig. However I was shocked at the price of coca-cola at the bar - 1.50! And they didn't have any prices up... grr.... I only had to get it from the bar because the vending machine had some aversion to 20p pieces and also wouldn't return the money I'd already put in.
Without doubt the most amusing bit was a group of kids getting in with a note from their mum to say that they'd bought tickets! Wish I'd thought of that... probably wouldn't work these days though.

So anyway, the gig. There were two support bands; the show opened with a band whos name I forget and then another group called Mew were on.
The first band were the obligitary bunch of indie kids with guitars. Nothing too bad but not overly good either. The drummer was pretty unimaginitive but the lead guitarist was OK when he got going despite looking like he was 17 at the oldest. Spent some time wondering if they'd do what Serafin did last time we saw them - hold up their guitars to the amps to try to get feedback but get the wrong amps. Their set improved towards the last two songs, and I think that they'll get better.

Next on were Mew. I didn't know what to expect beyond the ordinary but I did know that they'd supported OKGO many times before and often would have a larger audience. Older than I expected, their music was more sophisticated and quite meloncholy.
They had a combination of guitars, bass, vocals and keyboard and would switch around as well. The most interesting thing was a projected backdrop of slow, stylised colour explosions and flying kittens and dolls playing the violin. It sounds a little random here but it did go with the music quite well - 'epic' is probably the best way to describe most of their songs. And naturally quite long as well. I wasn't really in the mood for it at the time but they were still pretty good.

By this time they were overrunning (as ever!) so I got quite bored during the break between them and OKGO. This wasn't helped by the stage crew needing to dismantle the projection gauze in addition to the usual re-assembling of stage thinggies.
As predicted, as well, a fair chunk of the crowd left after Mew had finished - looking at them it seemed like most of the older ones. Having only heard a couple of OKGO tracks this seemed to make sense - 'You're So Damn Hot' and 'Get Over It' are quite teen-punk tracks in my view so I was expecting the place to be full of kids. However many people did come back to see them play - not as many as for Mew but still a fair crowd.

Eventually they come on-stage and get going - and I wasn't disappointed. Having only heard a couple of singles I was surprised by the variety of styles - there were quite a few of the punky ones I expected but some slower, more indie tracks as well and an odd, electronicky experimental track which grew on me as they played it. They also did a weird, choreographed robot-like movement thing while performing this.
Then it was back to the more usual pop-rock fare. And it was good. I did think that they looked a bit too old to be performing 'You're So Damn Hot' - my image of them was a few years younger - but the other ones seemed to fit more. The crowd loved 'Get Over It' and it was performed very well.
Everyone knows that I can never remember the names of songs that I haven't heard before performed at gigs so I won't try but the overall impression I got was that they're a good band and I enjoyed it. Worth the money.

And then came the encore. What they did I was not expecting.
Lead Singer: "We've not done this outside America before... and when we did it there we were scarred for life."
So we were wondering what was going on as the four of them formed a square in the middle of the stage, without instruments or anything.
Then the pop track 'Cinnamon Lips' starts and they're dancing like a boy-band - and actually doing it quite well. God knows how much work went into the choreography. And miming along to the (female) vocal. Very funny and it's great to see a band who don't take themselves seriously (for more evidence of this check out their "Ping-Pong Instructional Video" here).
Which was a great ending and what very few people were expecting.

My overall thought - well worth the money and time. Good evening, despite the expensive drinks (I would have hoped for better from a student union).

Then came the weirdest, but most important part of the evening. Judith and some fellow internet people have a thing about milk and spam (she will be able to explain this much better than I could). So one of Judith's American friends, during the American leg of OKGO's tour, had got backstage and taken photos of each of the band members holding a pint of milk to their general confusion.
To compound this confusion Judith was sworn to go to one of their London gigs and show them the photos.
So we hung around outside the gig for a bit and eventually the guitarist (coincidentally also called Andy) showed up and we managed to grab him. He was very surprised to find these pictures suddenly confronting him but fortunately not that scared. Unfortunately security took a dislike to people hanging around and kicked everyone out before other band members appeared so we gave him the photos and had to leave.

So it was a confused band we left behind at ULU - but it was fun.

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