A festive celebration from the Dandy Warhols – and my sixth time seeing them in the space of a fortnight.
It’s safe to say the 2003 ended with a bang in terms of my gigging life. Here at the beginning of December, I’d just spent two weeks chasing David Bowie round the country, seeing five nights on his A Reality tour. You’d think that I might have wanted to rest a bit after such a busy time, but no! I immediately followed that tour with another week stuffed with three gigs, and in a strange coincidence, all three turned out to be my last from each respective artist – at least, for now.
And the first of these three was this excellent night from the Dandy Warhols, who just happened to have been the support band on said Bowie tour. So, seeing as this was my sixth Dandys gig for the fortnight – and my seventh for the year, as I’d seen them in May at the Brixton Academy as well – surely I would be brimming with insights on the nuances and idiosyncrasies of the Dandys live experience? Well, sort of. From my diary:
‘Bloody hell, aren’t Dandys fans tall!’
The truth is, I was incredibly knackered after my Bowie tour, both emotionally and physically, and now finding myself within yet another multi-gig week, I didn’t have it in me to write a huge amount in my diary about these final gigs of 2003. After noting that it was the first time I’d been to the Forum since Kula Shaker in ’99, I recounted how I’d had to make a quick sprint from the Ladies as I heard the Dandys strike up their set while I was washing my hands.
‘Shit! thought I as I dashed out and weaved my way thru the throng to the opening throes of “Junkie”, which was kinda cool really. Got to about 4-5 rows back on the right and finally had my chance to dance!‘
I’d bemoaned my lack of ability to dance to the Dandys support sets during the Bowie tour, as stewards were regularly prowling the arenas getting people back into their seats, so it was fantastic to finally be able to get a groove on to these fabulous tunes.
‘They did the exact same set as for the Bowie gigs first. Really, it felt like a part of my Bowie spree, the closing party. Then they did all their other tunes! Apart from “Gett Off”. Lots of long spacey druggy freak-out drone’n’harmony excursions going on for half an hour or so. Which were actually quite good. And ace stuff like “Good Morning” and “Horse Pills”, and mad flashing white lights, and Courtney playing the drums in that very sexy way of his.’
We were even treated to a little festive number to mark the start of the Christmas season.
‘Highlight: their mad version of “Little Drummer Boy” with red’n’green lights blazing. Yeah, Christmas time has begun for me now. Let the lunacy continue!’
And the lunacy did indeed continue, but not, alas, in the shape of Dandy Warhols gigs, for me at least. I was on the threshold of my 30s and my enthusiasm for racing out to the nearest gig was about to wane, and I’m ashamed to say that I went on to almost completely ignore the band for the best part of the next two decades.
However, the story does not end here! I’ve just bought myself a ticket to see the Dandys at the Roundhouse next March, and so, pandemic permitting, my journey into Planet Dandy will continue with my eighth gig from them in eight months’ time. And I really can’t wait for that.