I’ve not been there before and was pleased to discover I could get back to Euston in about eight tube stops. The closest station is Wood Green, where we got a cheeky burger from Flaming Nora’s (which I do recommend) before catching the W3 bus up the hill to Ally Pally.
Wow! It’s quite amazing building, a grand entrance and the roof is so high you I kept thinking I was still outside.
First on was David Dulake from Saaaf End. I’ve never trusted drummers who stand up, and when David broke a stick and missed about three beats reaching for a new one I knew I was not wrong. Dulake’s pub style songs like "You Wanna Come Out With Us" were forgettable but kept me more entertained than the second support act; The Greenhornes, who’s every songs sounded like the first and that wasn’t that great anyway.
The White Stripes walked on at about 9:30 and went straight into Blue Orchid, which I correctly guessed as a first song [yay for me]. Jack White, or rather Three Quid’s really can play the xylophone, and there’s me thinking that is was some synthesiser effect. They played a good collection or tracks and many that I didn’t know (which I guess must be from the first two albums) which is always good to see. Some stuff seemed a little improvised too, with Mr Quid holding Meg’s cymbals instructing her not to play any louder.
Quid moved from mic to mic to organ to guitar with ease, and combined guitar and drums while Meg sang In The Cold Cold Night. However, it seemed to me that his heart wasn’t completely in it this evening. Although his lead on something was truly amazing, I didn’t feel like he was giving it his all, but rather playing the third night in a row of gigs.
James and I decided to make a swift exit by darting out as the last song was starting. It was a cold evening and we wanted to catch the shuttle to kick-start our long return journeys. As we walked out a gathering of Little Red Riding Hoods handed out free CDs which gives exclusive access to download their latest single The Denial Twist recorded at this gig. I haven’t got round to doing this yet, but I’m sure James has – James?
The shuttle bus was a nightmare. We were some of the first people to get to the 20-seater, but somehow stepped on last and were subsequently asked to leave as it couldn’t take standing passengers. A full-size coach arrived, we were close to the front again, but some meathead managed to force everyone back and we didn’t even get on. It was like getting the school bus, we were getting pushed from every angle. A W3 double decker arrived and we conquered some standing room. The heavy load felt rather unsafe as the bus navigated down the hill.
I don’t think I’ll return to Ally Pally for another gig. The venue is too big for rock concerts and the transport is simply insufficient.