Last night's gig was good, you know. Playing their 1988 debut album a few weeks ago, I was reminded why I haven't played it for years - it completely lacks the fire, the spirit and the distortion that The House Of Love brought to the stage at that time.
Once again, those songs - which sounded terrible live in 89 after Bickers left - were reinvigorated, rejuvenated and given new leases of life. But, of course, it wasn't as good as in 1988. Lightning never strikes twice, and while this was an at-times thrilling recreation of the magic they had briefly, before losing it to the usual suspects of quarrelling, ennui and forgetting the fury and fire that originally inspired them, it lacked something.
That something was timing. It was 19 years too late for this gig. It was a fantastic gig 19 years ago, but Christine and Destroy The Heart haven't just been issued with barely a heartbeat between their releases for a stunned public to catch its breath. At its very best, pop music suspends belief, makes things you hadn't thought of seem possible. Last night, the only thing that seemed possible was that they might play another revival gig some time.
Maybe I should've given my ticket to a teenager who hadn't seen them first time around. But, likewise, the gig wouldn't mean much out of context to teenagers. I buy new records and see new bands every week. I would have much rather seen Let's Wrestle, The Poppycocks, Cause Co-Motion!, Hatcham Social or Kid Canaveral, for example, last night, all new bands who have got me excited this year.
There's nothing better than going to a gig and feeling the electricity of the band and the excitement of the audience, sniffing the very anticipation and expectation. That's what it was like in 1988 at The House of Love; last night was a faded facsimile of those things. Yes, it was good, but there are better, shinier, newer things out there.
Whoever booked the support act, Los Albertos (or "Lost Albatross" as the bouncer unwittingly called them) should've been taken outside and beaten unconscious. Presumably on the basis that the HoL audience would now be of an age where they enjoy anodyne yuppie ska, some fucking idiot chose to book a band who think they should bridge the gap between Los Lobos and The Mavericks, when the only thing needed between those two bands is not a bridge but a very large bomb with a very short fuse.