But I like…
Eels! Not the fish. But the band. I've only seen them in rock formation, one of which times they were rubbish as the lead singer (the only permanent member) E was on a low (this was Lowlands 2001 or 2 for anyone who might remember). Always been jealous of my friend who managed to catch a more intimate performance with string orchestra and what not - but tonight I was lucky [and so were the other zillions of people in Butterworth Hall].
10 Years ago I thought I'd heard the best songs ever. The Eels were then in a classic formation with guitarist whose name I forgot and drummer Butch (who was still in the band for lovely and funn Daisies of the Galaxy). But then guitarist guy left, E's family fell apart (not through human nature but through nature nature) and there was enough tragedy to produce the magnificent Electro-shock blues.
I thought I didn't care about the rest. Got Daisies... which is funny and lovely and actually got my pop-minded friend more excited about Eels, but it lacks the genius dry pop rock sound of Beautiful Freak and the blues of the second album. I bought Souljacker but was so appalled by the lack of enthusiasm that at the moment it's somewhere in Eindhoven in a dusty cupboard (as my mom stopped cleaning my room – rightly so).
First, the OC (of all media) brought back some faith. Love of the loveless just stole the spotlight of the show and caused me to
download I mean copy I mean acquire Shootenanny, and a man who seemed to have been drained from all his lyrical talent got it all back!
Then tonight [note actual topic of this entry]. Started off not so good – half an hour wait turned into stop watching time it gets boring late [though a free trip to the Mead Gallery helped me understand the Coriolis effect better – more on that later] and when we finally got in we ended up with the only seats with blocked view. You know in Butterworth Hall where the balcony has a barrier? Yeah? I was right behind it. Yuck. Note to self: never get tickets online from the Arts Centre.
Show started. Support Act? Big white screen with Russian Wallace and Gromit. Wonderful idea – would sober up the early drinkers and get people in the right mood for a gentle and intimate set (which was bound to happen in a seated concert). We were building... and we were building... and then we built it! Hurrah! Sorry. Should have been there. Another support act? No – just an odd view on Eels propaganda… Rock hard times… Coming soon. Yeah – I didn't get it either, but it was the only time we would hear rock songs.
The actual concert. No idea what to say about it. It was amazing. It only involved 1 rock song (though some original rock songs had been converted into nice melodies with E's voice on top). It was sparked by the presence of the most talented people in the universe – a man who ended up playing an improvised drumkit, a howling guitar, a piano, an actual guitar, some blowing piano type thing, a saw, and probably many more. Oh and he could sing as well! Amazing string quartet [though there was a guy playing the contra bass (is that what you call it?) so I guess it was a quintet] who knew exactly when to stop and start playing. Oh and they could play the tamborine and shaky egg too! Ooh and scream!
Glad to have friends who are friends with stewards. After 2 encores, the lights came up and it was time to leave. Hah! Not for those in the know who sheepishly approached the doors but slowly turned around hoping for (knowing there was going to be) more. Only one song. But surely it was the best song! OK not really… This was the best song. The best song. Ever. Goodnight!