After all the festivalling this summer, I'd almost forgotten what a gig feels like without sunglasses, shorts and visor, without grass underfoot and blue sky overhead, without warm paper cup of lager in hand and without lanyard around neck. A real, dark, inside gig at a converted theatre where the (real and not canvas) walls are painted matt black and the cries echo around wood-panelling and gilt lightshades. So I was exceptionally pleased last weekend when I met some friends with a spare ticket for The Cribs at Kentish Town Forum. One of my favourite bands, Wakefield's dis-establishment Strokes have enough energy to power your home until fossil fuels expire. The excitment of pre-gig pints, discussing the merits of one album over another, queueing to get in, bag checks and dimmed lights until the vapid NME-muzak cedes to the unmistakable statement; "We're the Cribs from Wakefield" with that elongated northern aaaaaa. And then bouncing, clapping, shouting lyrics, craning of heads to get a better view and taking blurry photos during your favourite songs, as if taking a photo can capture not just the image, but the music and the atmosphere as well. The crescendo of fulfilment that rushes through your body, filling it to the brim; the grins on yours and other people's faces; crowd-surfers throwing themselves into the mêlée of sweating adolscents. I used to do that. The final song, the cheers, shouts and undying applause until the roadies appear and remove the strewn guitars. The cool air outside and the streams of people to the tube. Fabulous. And it's LCD Soundsystem tomorrow. Just that thought is almost enough. Almost. And so to the rest of this week's Staples, which are all along a theme of sensory pleasure:
Having a gig lined up for next week
Wandering aimlessly around the V&A museum in South Ken
Avoiding the rugby with your best mates at The Cock on Gt. Portland St.
Picking up a newly-reheeled pair of shoes from the cobbler
Giving a guided tour of a department store
Breakfasting decadently at the weekend
Crisp evenings by the Thames