This has been a very good week for shows! First, I saw This Town Needs Guns at Firebug, which is probably the nicest and coolest bar in Leicester. It was great, they played a lot of stuff from their upcoming album which should be out in January or February. Something to look forward to!
And of course, something that had had me counting down the days for the past 6 months or so: Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I'd seen them just over a year ago, and honestly had not thought they'd be coming back to the UK so soon.
I met up with a couple of friends in London. As we were walking to HMV Forum from the Tube station, one of them said, 'Haha, it's Efrim [Menuck],' in reference to a hairy man walking past us. Then I looked up, and it actually was him, and some other people from the band! Needless to say, we were gutted.
We got right to the front - I'd been at the front before too, on stage right, but this time we were on stage left, so I got a close-up of some more interesting equipment - including an iPod for playing samples.
None of us were particularly fazed by the support, Dead Rat Orchestra. We were just too excited for Godspeed. At about 9pm, a loud drone started permeating the room, and the band members came on one by one. The drone, with instruments being folded in gradually, led into 'Mladic'. The rest of the show was some older stuff, apart from 'Behemoth', a new, 40-minute... behemoth.
One thing that is remarkable about Godspeed's live shows is the projections that constantly unfurl behind the band, overseen by Karl Lemieux, a prominent figure in Montreal's independent film scene. And it's not one of those overhead projectors you get in classrooms, either - it's proper 16mm film, so no flashes of the Start menu or an arrow cursor because you accidentally leant on a button. My particular favourite images were close-ups of blood bubbling up, eerie travelling shots of the Quebec countryside showing isolated houses and churches, and finally, protests for peace.
All in all, a very foreboding, sombre performance, as you would expect. And inspiring to some degree.
One more thing: HMV Forum, coldest venue ever or what? I actually wished I hadn't left my coat in the cloakroom. What is up with that?