This morning I woke up on an appreciation run, I flicked open onto Facebook on my phone, scrolled down and was halted by the addition of a Slaves/DZ Deathrays event at the ever faithful Boileroom in April, Ace, I thought, I saw Slaves back there supporting Drenge late last year and since then they’ve stormed it, and I’ve been into DZ a good few years but they only ever seemed to tour the country with Blood Red Shoes, the nearest being Brighton and I wasn’t willing to pay £25 for an amazing support with an alright headliner who I could never really get into and face the impossibility of getting home so I held off, needless to say I’ve waited for this moment for sometime and vowed to nab a ticket when money’s on my side, at £6, it always is though.
After that I returned to my facebook scrolling, and after switching through various event additions at the same place littering my news feed, though probably a good few ace bands I’m yet to hear of that I’ll no doubt hate myself for missing in a couple of months, I was once again cut short by yet another Boileroom event on my news feed under the name of “SELLING FAST Ben Watt/Bernard Butler (Suede)”.
As anyone who knows me knows, the word Suede is enough to conjure excitement into every fibre of my being and waking up to an email in my inbox stating I couldn’t go to the Trans gig in Bristol (along with those in Brighton & London) because I was a whole 2 months off 18 & a bit soul crushed, this seemed like a sort of semi make up gig for that. I immediately searched it up and vowed to go, for clarification at this point I feel it’s worth noting that as much as I’d pay £15 to see Butler play anything on guitar easily, Ben Watt’s music is ace and I’d happily pay the same to see him alone, so this has worked out quite ultimately well what with them both being virtually on my doorstep.
On further inspection, I found that both these gigs were the night after each after, DZ 21st April, Watt 22nd, for a Monday and Tuesday in Guildford that was more than impressive and my appreciation for this had to be shown, it naturally got me thinking, where else in the world is it possible for me to see one of my favourite Aussie thrash-pop duo (cheers Wikipedia) with another killer guitary punk duo one night and funnily enough, an intensely brilliant folk jazz rock guitar duo, both of whom I highly rate as producers and one being the without a doubt best guitarist of the past 25 years, the next?
Naturally the answer was nowhere, there’s virtually nowhere else you can even see music of the same calibre live in the entire stretch between London & Brighton, and as I was thinking about this, the dawning it was Independent Venue Week last week struck and it hit me that I write so many blogs on here in appreciation of the top live bands when they play there, and I’m an increasingly massive fan of the local music that’s appearing out of the woodwork, so why can’t I write one about how ace the venue itself is? and why haven’t I before? So as vaguely sappy as it is, this is it, because without The Boileroom, as far as live music goes as an integral part of my life, I wouldn’t be half as far as I am now (272 bands in 2 1/2 years, ahem). Appreciative ramble impending….
To put it succintly, since the day after my 15th birthday, I’ve been on constant 6.15 trains Guildford bound and grabbing some of the best live shows with open arms in the place, and catching some of the best broken/breaking/why haven’t they broken yet bands around, and that makes it a very important place to be.
A prime example of the importance of all this is evident when I note the fact the first time ever I went to the place was to see Spector, but as much as I liked them I wasn’t really all there for Spector, I was there for a man called Gabriel Bruce in support, I’d discovered him a few months prior in an English lesson and was absolutely dying to see him live ever since, I eagerly got a ticket and roped a cousin into coming down too. If you know anything about me or this blog you will ultimately know Gabriel Bruce is a big deal for me, and had I not seen him that night he probably wouldn’t be quite so much, but nonetheless he certainly is now, and walking in to see him casually stood at the bar with a few others milling around, I was pretty sure it was a cool place. Naturally, as the first act I ever saw there bar a passable act that I’ve heard nothing of since, he completely stole the show, the old review’s here and pretty much evidently, if a little harsh on Spector in retrospect, it was a great night and was always going to be a memorable one purely for this fact.
Since that night, Boileroom gigs for anyone and everyone have been a must and I could easily detail how great every single one I’ve been to was and to this day, I weekly trawl their site for bands and listings, purely because every one is unfeasibly cheap and brilliant, not to mention any excuse for noodles.
Later that year, I caught Wolf Gang and Last Dinosaurs play there, two absolutely spellbinding bands both live and on the record, it was a sunday night and around 6 people, including me and 2 cousins turned up, they both played an absolutely storming show and I’ve never forgiven the entirety of the town for missing out on that one, a month or so later Last Dinosaurs released their album and everyone I knew was into them, naturally bragging rights were at an all time high.
A few weeks later I got an email mentioning a band called Films Of Colour were playing there, Tony Viscounti had spoken ace of them and I immediately checked them out, within 4 days convincing a group of swiftly assembled gigging pals to pay their £5 with the promise of “it will be really cool honest”, we were the youngest people in the room and saw 4 incredible bands play that night for virtually a quid each, including The Planes, who I originally thought were that of Placebo‘s Steve Forrest, but I’ve seen them there multiple times since and will happily talk greatness of for a long while – one of the aforementioned friends still has my copy of the EP they gave me that night, it’s been nearly 2 years now. I caught Futures there at somepoint before the split too, with another two ace local bands in support who I still think are completley ace, it’s an endless place of discovery.
After managing to miss a multitide of ace gigs there through college and that alike, including Howling Bells, Funeral Suits, Sharks, Pure Love, & more recently Pete Doherty, I quickly sharpened up again and caught Tribes for the last time before their split there, having never seen the place so packed in my entire life and being physically lying against the door at the back of the room, it was hands down a very very good gig, and an ace way to see ’em out, swiftly followed by blagging my way into an 18+ friend’s gig there, with The Planes making a return, and setting a pattern of nice pleading emails to curb my way round all their age limits ever since, naturally one of the things I appreciate the most about the place, because I’m still not 18 til May, and having tried the same tactic with every other gig venue who effortlessly switch their age limits from 14 to 18 each night, my slight cheek hasn’t paid off and I;ve missed some good ones (see this morning’s Trans shebackle)- here’s to hoping I actually get into that Watt gig with my ’17 years & 50 weeks, honest’ after this.
Since then I’ve caught a ton of local friends ACM bands eg. the top Red Kites, Don The Cardigan, Dance A La Plage, MassMatiks, Nuvae & co., multiple times, mixed in with the new giants of Spector, Temples (easily another of the best gigs I’ve ever been to in my life) and Drenge, (the latter three I all went to on my own and didn’t get any stares for once, and that’s always reassuring) and the transitions between the two types have been effortless, any place that gets the top bands playing on the same stage as people I know that too make incredible music yet waiting to get to the same level has my vote entirely, the ACM nights are some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen live and have brought to attention some of the greatest bands about, the new music/ace music correlation is like no other place I know of.
(ta to whoever filmed that)
On which note it’s worth pointing out that whilst plotting to see Watt, DZ & Wolf Alice there in the coming months, this Sunday the ever brilliant Easy On The Amoeba have finally cracked their way up from the endless ace Community Centre gigs – if a bit fear for your life kinda venue- and have nabbed themselves a spot on the bill supporting As It Is, I have a spare ticket if you are intrigued from my endless appreciation and fancy accompanying me – needless to say the “we played the same stage as Bernard Butler daisy” claims are inevitable from all the above known bands and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit jealous, but that seems to be the kind of place The Boileroom is and when most usually sat surrounded by cousins and uncles watching music giants or college mates bring the roof down on the little place, it’s a rare thing and one that definitely needed this megablog to appreciate it.
Apologies for the long ramble, but I’m yet to witness a venue that are quite as great in terms of gigs and generally being an ace place to be and there’s not much more you could ask for in the practically last surviving decent music venue for quite some distance, all this supporting indie venues stuff is something very much to take note of, and the noodles, they’re the best in the world.
Watch out 2015 Guildford, Avocado are coming.