Concert Reviews: The Stables 2008
KajaGooGoo @ The Stables 2008
Even though this concert was over two years ago, I still remember it extremely clearly and could review it as easily today as I could the day after. This story tells of the lead up to the concert and the show itself. I hope it serves as a nice reminder to anyone who was there and also, as a useful story to anyone who wasn’t.
I’d not been a fan of the band for too long when this show was announced. I only knew the main tracks they’d done and so I was really very spoiled to get a live show this soon into my Goo ‘career’.
The official forums were a hive of activity at that point and there was a real buzz about this show, it had been a long time coming and I felt really excited that I was going to be there, this wasn’t the sort of gig I wanted to read about down the line.
I was never a seasoned concert go-er, I’d only ever been to a small handful of concerts before and they’d be mainly quite large shows like Guns ‘N’ Roses, Simple Minds and UB40. The more I was learning about the band, the more I was anticipating being at the gig and I’d spoken to my friend ‘Dave’, (who has so far been with me to all of the Goo gigs I’ve been to) to see if he was up for it. Thankfully he was and with our tickets bought and in hand, we waited for the date to come round.
We booked a hotel nearby to stay at and headed over nice and early to the venue to get something to eat beforehand. Now, the thing with me and events is that you’d think I was the one performing, I get quite nervous. Remember here that this was my first concert for a while and I hadn’t been to many before. It is very rare that I see anyone famous so I find it quite strange to see famous people stood right in front of me, I get really quite starstruck. So unfortunately, I didn’t eat so much at all!
Another fact that I learned afterwards was that a very nice young lady by the name of ‘J’nae’ had been sitting in the same room as us right before the show. I’ve met the acquaintance of some fantastic people during my following the band and J’nae is definately one of those people. She’d actually travelled all the way from the USA just to be at this show, that’s how much this gig meant to the fans. It’s one of only three let downs from this show was to know later that I’d been in the same room as J’nae and not known, I’d have loved to met her, opportunities for that won’t come often!
So by this point, the foyer is bustling and we’re being ushered into the venue to our seats. As we approached our row, two people had to stand up for us to let us through to our seats. Now I mentioned just earlier three let downs and this is the second. I later found out from the photographs that the person who had stood up to let me through was the one and only Nik Kershaw. I just didn’t recognise him at all and I wish I had of so I could have slipped in a casual, ‘Hey thanks Nik’!
The venue soon fills up and the anticipation is building rapidly. I was nervous earlier but nothing like now, I literally felt quite sick and event felt a small urge to want to leave the room but thankfully, that passed!
As I said earlier, seeing famous people is really quite surreal to me and when Paul Gambaccini came onto the stage to announce the show, that really was quite weird. It’s like wow, it’s actually him and he’s speaking with that famous voice of his! I think they made a great move by having Paul along to introduce, it just added something and it certainly added to the anticipation.
Limahl and his swing band were first up and I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this part of the show. I think anyone that thought this was a bit of filler before the band would have been pleasantly surprised. When he came onto the stage, that was very surreal also. It’s a strange feeling of seeing someone famous right there in front of you, it really is. He was looking very striking that night, very swish indeed and he sounded superb. The band and he had obviously put a lot of hard work into that show and it worked beautifully. It went down very well and the whole thing was so tight and together. The band looked like they were really enjoying the show themselves and this just came across in the way they played. Limahl was the perfect showman and had the crowd following his every word. Even singing tracks like ‘Spiderman’ it just worked. It was fun and it was a shame when it had to end.
This led to the interval and Dave and I actually said that if that was the end right there and there was no second half, you’d still go home happy because that really was a fantastic show. Short break later and we’re back in for KajaGooGoo…..
Back in our seats and that feeling of anticipation floods back over you because you know that any second, something is going to happen and this is the band you’ve been waiting to see. The intro music started to play out and search lights were flashing over the crowd, this played on and had that amazing effect of having everyone thinking any second now, they’re going to come busting onto the stage!
And then there they were, the guys come running onto the stage and the crowd absolutely erupted as they immediately kicked into KajaGooGoo. It was just amazing to see Nick start to play out that bass intro from the track, like it’s really him and he’s really playing it right now! It was just really cool to sit and listen to track after track of the band playing live and just on absolute top form. They looked at home and they looked like they were having a great time. Nick and Limahl shared lyrics, they even shared the lyrics on Neverending Story.
Thankfully, some people did start to stand up and wander right to the front to dance. I can only but imagine that for a band playing such energetic music, it must be quite strange to see a load of people just sat there. It’s not exactly proving the feedback that inspires a band to shift things up a gear. We joined them along with a bunch of others and there we were right at the front dancing and singing along to KajaGooGoo and having the best time.
I was guilty back then of something that is a funny subject for me now, the depths of that are another story though. In short, this was that I was mostly eagerly awaiting ‘Too Shy’ and really enjoyed it when they played it, dancing and singing away like crazy! It’s a fantastic track, nothing will ever change that and to be in front of the band as they play it is really brilliant.
These days, if the band offered that they’d play ten festivals or one private performance at the Stables, I’d choose the Stables without a second’s thought. Now if they also said they’d do one show with 10 huge tracks like ‘Too Shy’, ‘Ooh to be Ah’ or they’d play 5 tracks such as Frayo, I’d take the 5 absolutely!
Now, back to the fact that earlier I said there were three let downs for me and we’ve looked at two. The third one is that the final track of the night was Monochromatic. How can this possibly be a let down you say? Well, it wasn’t in itself, it was absolutely incredible. The let down for me was that so early in my Goo ‘career’, I did not appreciate this song as I hadn’t really heard it so much. If that was now, I’d be beyond stoked if the band played Monochromatic!! I just wish I could have truly enjoyed it to the maximum possible because it is a magnificent track!
Thus the show ended and we made our way out of the venue. I was utterly captivated by what I had seen and that cemented to me the fact I’d just seen a group of musicians doing what they do best and well, here I still am!
The Stables is a wonderful music venue. Not too small, not too big, exactly the right size. I would love to see the band play there every year, even if they did no other live shows. It’s just special and it holds fantastic memories now too.