28 January 2009: God Is an Astronaut + i concur – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London, England, UK

It was on a typical Wednesday evening in the big smoke of London town. The usual cold, wet and miserable weather playing havoc with ones hair and make-up. Something was certainly in the air. A mixture of happy excitement and tension. Tension due to finding myself running late to a venue 5 minutes walk from my gaff. Excitement because I was about to go see God is an Astronaut.

After the said 5 minutes walk, wearing some killer boots which I shall incinerate later, I got to the venue:Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. The usual bouncer at the door recognized me at once and we exchanged pleasantries before going into this good old trusted venue which hasn’t changed much since it opened and with all due respect it needs some updating and better lighting. It is after all used by the “happening” crowd who wants to be seen and not hidden in the shadows.

I was faced with an enormous queue to enter the main gig area where the support band was already playing. I duly bypassed the queue, hell I was on the guest list after all, but was informed I had to wait in line for my turn along with the minions. That didn’t go down too well with me as you can imagine. Fine, queued, got in. Damn! Forgotten to take my access all areas press card so I knew there was no way I would get backstage and demolish the bands complimentary booze. I duly went to the bar, looked cute next to some bloke and he let me get served before him.

Pint in hand, sweating like one would expect to sweat in the tropics, I proceeded to the side of the stage and parked myself strategically right next to the biggest speaker possible and right under the air-con system. Now we get to where I want to have a good old rant. Wtf is wrong with the powers that be who decided to keep the air-con switched off until the last 2 songs before the band left the stage? Man it was hot! Uncomfortably hot. It could have spoiled my night….well it did spoil my perfect hair and make-up. Big BOOO then to the dimwit who was in charge of that. Moving on…

The support act (i concur) was very good, shame on me for only getting to see the last 2 songs before they left the stage. And I didn’t even catch their name. Shame on me indeed!

After a short intermission God is an Astronaut got to the stage. Torsten Kinsella, lead guitar/keys/vox in his gentle giant way looked “in the zone”. Niels, bass, looked hyped up and excited like a lil puppy about to get a treat. Lloyd drummer, who is older than the Kinsella brothers, looked Mr. confidence himself and passed on a distinct air of compos mentis as he sat behind his huge drum kit and started to fiddle with this and that.

Then the first chord was struck and the name of the band appeared on the huge screen behind. That was the beginning. This is where and when it all started. From this point on I knew there was no going back….I mean, out of that hell hot pitch dark venue. But I am glad.

God is an Astronaut is simply great. I got way more than I expected from their hour long set. It could have been two hours and I would still want more. They were tight, very well rehearsed but not clinically so. Their post-rock genre music is at times experimental but didn’t fail to keep me interested. Their music is well composed. You can tell a lot of thought had gone into each carefully and perfectly played note. As the genre dictates, it was loud. Very loud. Ear drum busting loud. I could feel every beat of every note. My body felt the music as much as I heard it. And I loved it. The crowd loved it. Hell! I actually saw people dancing which is pretty unheard of for a British audience. I danced, head banged, screamed and poured sweat from every pore but it all added to what turned out to be a very good experience. So, all in all it was one hell of a good gig. Do not miss this band next time they come to play near you or you will regret it. I most certainly will follow them from now on…..if nothing else Torsten owes me an after gig drink.

© ASG @AndreaUrbanFox