So to the Southbank again last night.
First up, Clinic - the carrot with which I'd lured the OH there. Clinic are the sort of band that you either like or you don't - they have a very distinctive sound so if you like one song, you'll like them all, but the reverse is also true. The OH maintains that they are a quintessential pop band there are four of them, they dress the same, their songs last less than 3 minutes. I'm less convinced by this argument - they might dress the same but their outfits are surgery masks and the quicker songs were described by the OH as 'death stomps' so I don't think they'll be gracing the Top 10 anytime soon. Despite this, I do actually like them and enjoyed their set last night.
I was rather apprehensive about the main act though - I really wasn't sure what to expect and it had been my choice - ordinarily the OH takes care of music and sport and I do films, theatre and art, so the pressure was on!
The crowd was pretty similar to the film screening, but more of them. The Psychedelic Couple were there again and were seated directly in my sight line from my side aisle seat throughout the show. Jarvis Cocker came on to introduce Roky Erickson and the Explosives, giving a little speech about how the word legend is overused etc. The crowd cheered. Roky came onto the stage, looking smaller than in the documentary but healthier.
So what was it like? I'll admit I made a fundamental error in that whilst I love the 13th Floor Elevators, I knew nothing of his other work, except what I saw in the film the previous evening and that wasn't really my sort of thing - a bit heavier, reminding me a bit of Hawkwind. And now he's in a new band, so obviously it was stupid of me to expect end-to-end Elevators songs - like going to see Sting and expecting him just to do Police songs or something. Also the Elevators distinctive sound (mainly from the electric jug) wasn't really re-createable with just guitars and drums. So he played mainly songs from post-Elevators - I didn't mind 'Starry Eyes' but was less keen on most of the others - not that there was anything wrong with them (his voice and guitar playing were, thankfully, still excellent despite his wilderness years), they just weren't my thing - a bit to middle of road rock (I was more interested in the psychedelic side of the psychedelic rock).
But he did play two Elevators songs - Splash and then 'You're Gonna Miss Me' at which point the crowd went wild (well as wild as a crowd of middle-aged people at the Royal Festival Hall can). Psychedelic Man was first out of his seat and down the front (we remained in our seats as we were on side balcony, not that I'm sure I'd have mobbed the stage anyway) and soon many others followed. The song still sounded great (I could feel tears starting to form - I seem to get weepy at concerts far too easily) and I was very pleased that for him that he was able to enjoy this evening of success and appreciation.
Anyway, here (if it works) is a bit of in their prime 13th Floor Elevators.