Meilyr Jones. I had heard his name at least 30 times. A good friend of mine recommended him to me, told me to see him at The Great Escape but I ended up not being able to make it. So when he told me I should come along to see him at the Village Underground, I said yes, ready to finally see what this Welsh art-pop wonderboy was all about. And I have to say I was not disappointed.
Tame Impala played the last show of their tour at Alexandra Palace in a very cold and rainy London on Saturday.
Having two completely sold out gigs two nights in a row is an achievement that is impressive, but does not come as a surprise for one of the biggest indie bands in the world. The show did not disappoint, which is mostly due to Kevin Parker’s boundless energy.
Beautifully chosen support band, Sydney-based trio, Jagwar Ma, delivered a show that filled up the main area long before Tame Impala were even mentioned. Barely anyone stood still, the band enrapturing their audience with skill and a capturing stage presence. The Lead singer Gabriel Winterfield’s raspy punk voice and the U2-esque vocal melodies merged into one sonic playground with the dance beat, only supported by the sound engineer’s amazing work, leaving the set only inferior to Tame Impala’s in terms of stage lighting.
Starting off their set with, for them, typical “improvisation” they started off with the first song on their latest album Currents – Let it Happen, immediately and, some might say prematurely, blowing the first load of their multicoloured confetti into the audience.
Before playing their hit Elephant, however, there was a relatively little amount of dancing and beer-throwing, presenting the band with a more solemn crowd than the night before. To my surprise, there were relatively little phones in the air, but that might have been because the 7,000 audience members had already made the internet impossible to access. Or maybe it was because the band was as shrouded in fake fog and fields of colour as they have always been.
Because it was the last show of their tour, there were some warm words for crew and fans and also one particular “no, you’re my hero” from Kevin Parker, in response to a fan.
At some point, I was wondering if Gus Unger-Hamilton, member of alt-J and surprise guest of the night, couldn’t have tapped the sound engineer on the back to tell him that he should just turn the volume down a bit. While immersion and enthusiasm is, in fact, great and desirable, there is no need to make music that doesn’t have to be, so deafening.
My tutor hit the nail right on the head when he said that, in his experience, many music lovers my age come from a pop-punk, Kerrang! type of background. Not only do I know many people who do, I myself am one of them.
So naturally, when my housemate asked me if we should go and see Fall Out Boy, I wholeheartedly agreed.