I had four tickets to the early show at the legendary Roundhouse venue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Roundhouse); so David, Terrie Jean, Lidia and myself loaded into a black cab and headed for Camden from our location in Dulwich!
It wasn't raining, but it was ready to unload and unload it did when we arrived near the Roundhouse. We jump out of the black cab and find our bearings, The Roundhouse is ahead about a block as it starts to rain heavier. This place is way cool and has a ton of history, it was originally used to turn the locomotives around and was the only place The Doors played in London. It is round and very maze like on the outside and on the inner outside halls while the main room is very "thunder dome" like. Some cool iron work and has a very nice flow to it with some killer sight lines; even Lidia could see from the back!! We are inside on the ground floor and I am trying to figure out where the hell the venue is. We do find the bar; it's England and it's a law a bar must be within so many feet of every social event, so we order some beers and cider. I find the stairs and we ascend to the second floor and enter the the space to the beginnings of Calvin Harris with a full band.
Now I discovered Calvin several years ago as he burst onto the UK chart and dance scene with a sledgehammer of singles that are the most infectious and danceable ditties you ever wanted to move to. "Acceptable In The '80's" "Girls" and "Merrymaking At My House" were the three breakout songs for this wee Scottish lad in the UK charts. It was part of my soundtrack for half of 2007 and most of 2008. Just some of the best and most simple dance grooves from this decade! He is a bit nerdy, the lyrics are funny and the music is nothing but aural goodness
He does two types of shows, one a DJ set and the other with a full band and that is what I wanted to see and we did. The band was tight and spot on for each song. Calvin was part DJ, part maestro and part lead singer; all culminating in a very nice front man. This was the early show of two different shows at The Roundhouse this evening and Calvin's show was PACKED! We missed the support act; The Sugarbabes, a all girl act from the UK that has charted quite a bit over the years (more about Lidia's Sugarbabes encounter after the show later on in this story). What we walked into was a full on dance party with Sir Calvin orchestrating the band and crowd into a frenzy. It seemed like hit after hit, just kept drinking and moving to the groove. He has a interesting cross section for an audience; gays, little girls, club kids, the indie crowd and all of us were dancing fools; happy dancing fools. He played all the hits including "Ready For The Weekend" and "You Use To Hold Me" which put a big smile on my face. We walked out to the patio/balcony bar during the encores for a quick drink and some rain.
I was still massively buzzing from Calvin's set and the beers, that is when I had a genius idea! Instead of walking around Camden in the rain, queueing (this is a national pastime in the UK, they love a good line) in the lines outside each club; I am going to buy 4 tickets to the Pendulum and Plan B show in The Roundhouse in ninety minutes. I do like Pendulum and they are doing a 'Live" set tonight and BBC 1 have been all over Plan B, so let's do this! I run down to the box office and am told "Sold Out"; shit! Go outside and look for the touts (ticket scalpers here in the states) and I spot one right away as the rain goes into overdrive. My man has only two tickets and I say I need four and start to leave, "No mon, my partner has more". So I stand there in the rain as I try to suss the situation and eyeball my new acquaintances; these guys are way to small and thin to try any funny business. His guy comes over to us and says he has one ticket; hold on, two tickets emerge from his pocket that look like my homework from the first grade; F*CKEDUP!! I peruse the scraps and determine now they are all legit and I now go into negotiating mode with my two new, tiny London friends. You have to understand that I am one of the tallest people in London when I visit; or so it seems. Everyone is so small and fairly skinny. As I stated before, they are very small, thin and very street. I am predicting in my mind I should be able to close a good deal for the four tickets. Now the two ticket gangsters try their bit on me (their accents are half south London mixed with a Jamaican drawl and half of what they are saying wizzes past me) and say they need one hundred pounds for all four tickets and I let out a big laugh and stand a bit taller over them. "Guys you must be really high, I was thinking fifty and that's generous" is the reply from my dripping head. We settle on sixty five and I leave happy with my four tickets and meet the gang at a lovely kind of do it yourself tapas place across the street from the venue. Nando's I believe is the name and a chain to boot also. We had some lovely small plates and some more lager. When I sat down, I think it was Terrie Jean said one of the Sugarbabes (Amelle Berrabah) was right over there eating with a guy. No entourage and no security, she actually sang on their biggest single which was number 1 for a month. Almost immediately Lidia and I had the same "light bulb" moment; we have to get her a Evil Kitty card and say we would love to send her some designs. But how does Lidia do this without seeming like a stalker or crazy? It took her about twenty minutes to screw up the nerve to approach her and when she finally made her move.....Amele was GONE....ARGHH!!! We blew a opportunity to get Evil Kitty on the paparazzi pages in the UK tabloids. Just as we were sinking back into our seats, she emerges from the loo; brilliant. Lidia makes a beeline to her and she is quite friendly and receptive. She takes her business card and says she will let the other two girls know about it also. Score and nice one Lidia.
The whole time we are watching the line outside The Roundhouse grow to monstrous proportions in the downpour. As I said before, the English LOVE a good queue and this was staring to take on length of three city blocks. Since it seems to rain everyday in London at some point and loving queue's; I guess standing in line in the rain is something that is ingrained into their DNA; just love that stuff and I can not stand waiting, lines or the rain. Bit of a fascist when it comes to those three, but I was soon queueing in the rain and loving it. We went to a pub next door and drank two pints in the rain and I was lectured by the women how I need to get a grip and learn how to wait. OK; Let's go stand in line in the rain, i give....uncle!! It wasn't that bad and it only took us about ten m unites as the idea to get some pints led to the line being drastically reduced. Now all this before has just been the lead up to what I actually want to tell you what I witnessed as the support act started the second show. This is what I want; no, need to tell you. This kicked my ass and blew me away.....Plan B!
To get a small picture of what I saw and heard this night; you need to check out his two most recent singles. "Stay To Long" and the amazing "She Said".