Many R’s fans may have seen ‘The Little Ones’ on Soccer AM the other week when they were presented with a signed QPR shirt by Helen Chamberlain. I wasn’t one of them, I don’t have Sky. If I did, I still wouldn’t have seen it as I can’t stand the programme, but that’s by the by. I wasn’t intending seeing them live either until there was a post on the Indy R’s message board offering some free tickets. I had thought about seeing another band, anyway that’s how I got roped into this gig. So off to Liverpool Street station I traipsed, then a five minute walk passing the Old Spitalfields Market with the rows of empty seats outside the bars. This credit crunch must be hitting hard in the square mile if the champagne bars are empty. I also passed a ‘Jack The Ripper Tour’ outside some old church proving that during a recession people’s thirst for blood is stronger than their thirst for champers obviously. Strange how all the restaurants were doing a roaring trade in Bangla Town though, I wonder if they sell champagne ?
Anyway, tour guide of the East End over, it was inside the club to catch the opening act (Sealife I think ?) who were very impressive with loads of power ballads a la ‘James’ or early ‘Simple Minds’. While ‘The Little Ones’ were getting ready to take the stage, the Manager Simon Bentley, came over for a chat and introduced us to one of the band, Brian Reyes. When we said that we were QPR fans, he was ‘over the moon, Brian’….sorry, couldn’t resist it. I then presented him with two Indy R’s badges and a QPR badge with our 60’s/70’s/80’s crests on it. Brian smiled. Brian smiles a lot. He said the badges were ‘awesome’. Did I mention that the band were American ? Well they are a five-piece from Los Angeles, California. And if there’s something I hate more it’s blokes who are (a) younger than me, (b) better looking than me, (c) slimmer than me and finally, (d) more talented than me. Now that covers nearly every male on the planet I hear you say but I forgive these lads as they support the best football team in the world.
Eventually the band took to the stage to mild applause. They were smiling. The opening number was the title track to their album, ‘Morning Tide’ which they tore into whilst grinning like Cheshire cats. With its many ‘doo doo doo’s and ‘la la la’s’, the song is a throwback to the 60’s, bursting with harmonies like ‘The Beach Boys’ or our own ‘Beatles’ would approve of. It may be autumn out on the streets of East London, but we are 93 feet from the nearest beach in here. Looking at the crowd, it seems the smiling is not confined to the stage area and is very catchy. A bit like the music in fact and by the fifth song my right foot was in serious danger of repetitive strain injury. The band have been compared to ‘The Shins’ but having never heard ‘The Shins’ I’d compare them to ‘The Beach Boys’, ‘Magic Numbers’ or ‘The Thrills’. But it’s not all songs about summer and girls with this lot, they can rock as well. One intro sounded like ‘Hawkwind’ at one pojnt !!! And the band smile…a lot. They even shared an in-joke when singer Ed introduced ‘Rise And Shine’ in a quirky ‘Mr Garrison’ from ‘South Park’ type voice. The band pissed themselves laughing, then smiled.
For the next song Ed asked: “Are there any QPR fans here tonight, some guy gave me a QPR badge earlier, so this song is dedicated to QPR fans everywhere, this is ‘Face The Facts”
A couple of ‘You R’s’ rang around the club. Then after an hour it was all over sadly. Simon came over after then asked me what did I think ? What can I say, you’ve read it all. It was a thoroughly enjoyable night in the company of fellow Rangers fans. I did say I would say ‘hi’ to Simon at the Derby game as he has a season ticket near me but never got round to it. So if you are reading this Simon, thanks for the tickets and keep in touch. Thanks also to Ed, Brian, Lee, Ian and Dave…you managed to put a smile on this middle-aged miserable face ! On the way home on the tube, I read a newspaper article with the headline: ‘Music can aid obesity fight’ where some boffin, Dr Costas Karageorghis of London’s Brunel University, reckons music can help people to lose weight. When I showed it to my wife, she replied: “you must be listening to the wrong music then !” OUCH…….!!!