dEUS - Little Arithmetics - QMU, Glasgow, 05.11.2005
The fun about writing this, and the whole point behind the idea of starting it, actually, is when I get to write stuff that’s related to the whole experience of going through this «following the band around» thing. Driving, flying, taking trains, jumping in and out of taxis, meeting people, discovering new places and venues, partying, and all the glitches that make travelling an exhilarating activity. I don’t know, and never will, how it is to be touring with a band. But this thing is fun. It breaks (and disrupts, my colleagues could argue) the daily working routine.
Enough rambling eh. Glasgow. Home of one of my all-time favourite bands Mogwai, and of the (to me) legendary Chemikal Underground label, who can boast Aereogramme, The (now defunct) Delgados, Magoo and Arab Strap among others. I’d heard it was an ugly town, but having grown up close to a very pretty, but otherwise totally boring town, I couldn’t care less. And truth be told, I found Glasgow’s architectural mix of industrial buildings and ocre Victorian houses absolutely compelling. And that town is really bustling with shops, the streets were so crowded it took me ages to walk from the bus station to Clyde Street, where the hostel we stayed at was located. There I was met by Fred from the forum, his little brother Martin and his friend Neil, all fresh from the 3-hour-delayed Newcastle train. We unpacked in our room, and headed for, well, the closest Burger King. Sorry guys, I’m a junk food lover. Then onto a pub. Guinness. Two pints. Then another one, called Fat Boab’s. I loved that name. Guinness. Erh…. one or two pints. We grabbed a cab and were dropped right in front of the QMU, which is actually called Qudos and is a venue run by the QMU, the students union of Glasgow University.
It has to be said that the QMU is a really great venue. It’s small, I’d say about 250 people were in there, has a really nice bar with seats and a big curved, metal grille that runs along it behind the seats, so that the bar is somewhat separated from the concert room, but you can see between the bars of the grille, so it’s not really separated. Erh, I’m not good at describing that sort of stuff. Anyway, intimate venue, with a great atmosphere and a good sound, much better than the Ambassador on the day before. The Newcastle boys and I stood in the middle, but still close to the bar, and for the rest of the night, Martin would regularly keep us hydrated with Guinness. So that was my first drunk dEUS gig. So, there’s a problem: how do you review a gig that you had so much fun with, while knowing that it would have been a totally different experience had you been sober? Ah, you don’t. You just admit to Glaswegian visitors that yes, the 3 annoyingly noisy Brits + 1 guy with a French accent at the back of the venue were, indeed, you, yes, you committed the Sin that is talking, singing, dancing awkwardly, laughing loud and telling jokes during a concert by your very idols, and you even go as far as saying that it was a superb experience. Tell you what, I even found Red Organ Serpent Sound to be wildly entertaining (but not half as entertaining as later that night - read on).
One thing I can say about the gig, though: I was damn glad they skipped Magdalena, as I’m a notorious hater of that song, and the setlist worked a hundred times better with more rock right from the start (if I ever share my bootleg, which is very, very unlikely, you’ll hear my live comments about that). And I found it a bit of a pity that they dropped Assault on Magnus from the main set, because, yeah, it’s a Magnus song, so the audience don’t know it, but it’s such a killer song that it’s a shame they don’t get to hear that. The London ICA crowd were served with it, and they loved it. As for the rest, they played very, very well, the audience was nice -a bit quieter than the Dublin one though- I loved it when they started requesting Little Arithmetics during the encore break, and LA did indeed came (okay, that’s what the setlist had planned anyway, but still).
Then, after the gig, I took a picture of the setlist, commented on the songs they dropped, then a short, dark-haired girl asked if I’d seen them before, and then she asked my name, I told her, to which she said she was Erin and I hadn’t even bothered answering her e-mails. Ahem. Such delicious moments. I was very happy to meet her, though, because she’s a very cool girl. So the five of us headed to the after party, which was at the bar on the first floor, normally you needed a pass, but I didn’t see anyone checking and we all got in. There we got more drunk, Erin as well, she desperately wanted to talk to Tom, as she’d seen him in Vancouver last year for the AWTWB premiere at the film festival there (she’s Canadian and studying in Great Britain), I talked to people, I think I might have been a bit unsensitive with Alan, I got Mauro to get me a whisky and coke because he’d spilled beer into my walled at the last AB afterparty, I annoyed Klaas for a while, we also had fun with Rory, the singer from Red Organ Serpent Sound (ROSS for short), who was pretty wasted himself, and looked quite gay to me (and to Fred and Jenna as well), but apparently wanted to keep up appearances and snogged a local groupie, I got said groupie to take a group photo (see below), she first accidentally attempted to take a picture of herself, then nearly dropped my cam into her glass, Erin was invited to sit at Tom’s big, very social table (it’s always a funny sight to see Tom on a chair, his arms and legs are everywhere all the time), at some point Stéphane fetched Mauro cause they were moving on to another party, we followed suit and left as well. Tom, Steph & Mauro jumped into a cab with Erin, Tom told us they were going to Riverside Club and he’d ordered two more cabs, and indeed the Newcastle gang and I got into another one, I spotted Rory and his ROSS groupie making out against the dEUS tour coach, so I grabbed them and told them to tag along, the journey back to the centre of Glasgow seemed to take aaages.
We finally got there, incredibly enough the place was 50m from our hostel. The guys at the club’s entrance wouldn’t let Rory & his girl in, as they were far too drunk (Rory’d fallen flat on his knees on getting out of the taxi), so the boys and I walked in, then bumped onto a guy at the top of the stairs who just said “TEN QUIDS”, I paid reluctantly, then we got into that erh… not very good club, just one big room, hardly lit with a blueish tint, with bare walls and a big Riverside Club sign, indie charts music, I asked Tom if he could get Rory in, as I felt very bad about taking the guy away from his bandmates and quite a long way from the QMU, to which Tom got (understandably) a bit pissed at me, then things got a bit out of hand for me:
Some dude: «…………» (something which I didn’t get, because of the accent I’m not used to)
Me: «Excuse me, I’m a French speaker, I didn’t get that, can you speak a bit slower please?»
Dude: «Fuck off ya cunt!!!»
Me: «That’s rude, I’m trying to speak your language, I’m making an effort, really that’s no way to talk to me just because I’m not a native - *makes gulping sound*»
Dude (holding me very tightly by the throat and looking demented): «I’m gonna fookin’ kill you, you cunt, I swear I’m gonna kill you!»
First time anyone ever assaulted me. Neil grabbed me away and tried to get me a drink but I was too shocked, then I cooled down a bit and, drunk as I was, went back to the thug and asked if we could talk without him going for my throat, to which he said again that he’d kill me, went to see another thuggish-looking guy and talked to him while pointing at me, at which point the intelligent being in me woke up and took me outside, where I complained about it to the guy at the entrance, who said he’d just throw those guys away. That’s when I found out that my «new friend» was actually part of the club staff as well, so this was starting to stink a bit. Mauro came and was very soothing about it, then Stéphane told me I’d best leave it there and just go, Tom came out as well and grinned while telling me not to get into trouble, I dunno if they saw the guy attack me, or if my English mates went and told them, but I felt veeeery bad about them being involved with my little problem. Anyway, we all left, I thought about asking my ten pounds back but fortunately knew better, the band left to another party with Erin in tow, and Newcastle and I went back to the hostel, where, thanks to all the alcohol, I had absolutely no problem falling asleep. Let me recommend Eurohostel Glasgow, by the way. It’s cheap, super conveniently located, comfortable, way better than the shabby, overpriced hostel I’d stayed at in Dublin (Kinlay House - best avoided).
What an adventure.
01 Pocket Revolution
02 Cold Sun Of Circumstance
03 Instant Street
04 Fell Off The Floor, Man
05 Stop-Start Nature
06 The Real Sugar
08 If You Don’t Get What You Want
09 Theme From Turnpike
10 Sun Ra
11 Nothing Really Ends
14 Bad Timing
15 Little Arithmetics (mp3)
16 What We Talk About (When We Talk About Love)
17 Suds & Soda