I like Academy 3. Venues come and go, get spruced up and turned into retro-chic pseudo loft spaces, trade Carling for cappuccino and lose their spit & sawdust charm, but not Academy 3. I remember when it was the Hop & Grape and just missing Whiskeytown. I remember lying on the floor with Jesse Malin, I remember Tommy Stinson (from The Raplacements!) playing to a half empty disinterested room of students and having a real “WTF?!” moment as none of them seemed to know who he was. Basically, there’s a lot of memories buried in the walls of that dirty room. And it’s £1.80 a pint if you’ve got a (now outdated, but they don’t seem to care) student card.
There’s the nostalgia, now to the show at hand. I’ve been an on/off fan of Spoon for a few years, after coming across their Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga album. Their combination of gutsy blues rock, eerie echoed vocals and electronic beats are offset by catchy pop hooks that are just enough to stop it becoming too serious. I’ve never seen them before and went in with no particular expectations. What they played was a solid set of catchy, intriguing rock ‘n roll with a contemporary twist that kept the crowd (a mix of hipsters and old school rockers) entertained throughout the entire set. They’re not pretentious and they’re not trying to be anyone else. Spoon just did their thing, held everyone’s attention and played some solid music. Hard not to like them, really..
Thanks to Chris at LaDigit PR for the tickets.