Hot Chip - 'One Life Stand' (2010)
I was really looking forward to my favourite Geek dance group as the support act for the great LCD Soundsystem's last performance. If someone said to me "You'll look back at this evening and laugh" at the time it was happening, I know I'd return it with a face of thunder and probably a jab to their kidney.
This is the epic tale of the journey of the century and the biggest disappointment ever! The meticulous plan was for Flycasual and I to get to London, tube it to Finchley Station, walk the 15 minutes to check in at the Holiday Inn Express in Golders Green to dump our stuff, then make our way to meet London Scouser at Wood Green Tube Station. None of us had been to Alexandra Palace before and nothing prepared us for what was to come. Having completed what we thought was "the hard part" of the journey, we treated ourselves to a can each when we got to the hotel as we'd already been on the road for 2 hours. We thought we'd get the reception to order a taxi as we were running a bit late and according to google map it was a 7 minute cab ride as the crow flies. I should have known we were doomed when the cab rolled up and it was a Mercedes. Too late to opt out we got in and asked how much....£19?! We didn't have enough so called London Scouser to meet us with cash at Wood Green. The journey ended up taking the best part of 35 minutes because of severe roadworks and it was rush hour. London Scouser was a shivering angry mess when we arrived as it was a freezing November evening. He could have been waiting in a nice warm pub for us which was taunting him from across the road. While the three of us argued about whose fault it was, I thought, we're nearly there now, lets' just check out where to go on google map. I found the Alexandra Palace and we followed the little dot for about 20 minutes. It really didn't look right when we made another turning into what looked like a housing estate. I double checked the map with the postcode this time and it turned out Alexandra Palace was also the name of a council estate not far from the actual venue! Feeling rather foolish, we did a 180 and followed the steep incline towards the Ally-Pally.
|Dressed appropriately for an evening of queuing|
Finally the huge imposing building was in sight, so we joined the queue and took in the fantastic view of London at night from the top of the hill. The queue didn't seem to be moving much and we discovered it wrapped around the building on 3 sides! We were getting very close to the end of our tether and this was not helping. We should've been on our 3rd drink by now! Three quarters of an hour later and we still couldn't see the doors to the venue. Then I heard it, from the other side of the building's thick brick walls, One Life Stand, my favourite song from their new album was playing. Hot Chip had already began and I was nowhere near to getting in, cold, angry and sober! We had already discussed the possibility of blowing the gig off but the guilt of coming that far and not seeing it through was tough. Once in, we noticed there were enormous queues to get to the bar. The bar only accepted tokens which were only available to buy from another area and there were massive queues for them too! Absolutely mortified, there was no way we were going to enjoy the evening in the dark mood we were all in so we left. Couldn't even use the toilets on the way out as they were at the end of an extremely long queue!
Outside, we noticed there were several double decker buses which had been provided by the organisers to ferry people to and from the station. Why had we not been told! We gave our tickets to a couple of fans who thought they could buy tickets on the door so at least we made some body's night! We stomped into the first pub we saw and began to drown our sorrows. It was already 9 o'clock and we hadn't eaten so went to order a burger each. "Sorry we stop doing food at 9" replied bar staff and that was the catalyst to get absolutely blotto! We made our way back to the hotel and found a dingy little pub that decided to have a lock in! Every cloud and all that!
|Geek or Chic?|
I read an average review of the concert to see what I'd missed but it was the reader's responses which had me hopping up and down in laughter! I couldn't have put it better myself! Check them out here.
SATURDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX! - Hot Chip - 'One Life Stand'
4/ 5Oleh Shell Hunter