Friday, 24 January 2014

25/2/2006 Towers Of London @ Koko

SubjectTowers Of London @ Koko
PostedDate2/25/2006 6:20:00 AM

I went to see Towers Of London at Koko (formerly Camden Palace) last night/this morning. I have to to say that this isn't one of my favourite venues - in fact I think it's one of the worst places to see a band in London.  As a club venue I can see why the kids like it, but from a rock fans point of view it's overcrowded - whatever part of the place you are trying to get to there always seem to be hundreds of people in your way, going the other way, standing blocking the stairs, wandering aimlessly into your path, ect.  It's all I could do not to scream "Get out of my fucking way!" at everyone when I needed to get to the bar or to the front as the band were due onstage at any moment.  Just trying to get a drink becomes a major exercise - very time consuming and expensive. Then of course, with the band being due on stage at 1.30 in the morning there are transport issues getting home too.

Although I'd been in the venue about 40 minutes before the band took to the stage, after looking round to find people I know and eventually spotting them several floors below me at the front by the stage barrier - I only had time to get one drink in before Towers started. I was well pissed off by then and wondering if it was all worth it just to see a 30 or 40 minute set in a shitty venue then spend an hour or so getting home standing at freezing bus stops in the middle of winter.  However, when the band hit the stage it suddenly all became worthwhile - it's worth going though a lot of shit to see a good rock show - and that's what Towers Of London provide.  At around 40 minutes it was longer than the boys often get to play, and there was a good mixture of old favourites like the singles, less well known songs like 'Pop Scene' and some more varied songs from the forthcoming album. Donny the singer's mic stand hit the deck at the begining of the first song, water and beer was thown back and forth between band and crowd, as were insults and the usual banter. Donny told the crowd off for not dancing properly and said they should have been pogoing instead of pushing - "Pushing is boring." Microphones were twirled on their leads in a reckless manner, shapes were thrown, punches were thrown too when someone in the crowd taunted band members and lead guitarist the Rev hurled himself across the barrier to retaliate - still wearing his guitar! All in all it was the usual action packed Towers show. In spite of my earlier reservations about the gig, the band made it all worthwhile in the end. 

Then of course, there is the old problem of getting home from Camden at 2.30 in the morning.  I very nearly drove to the gig as it would have been quicker at around midnight and I could probably have parked close to the venue at that time of night, but I wasn't keen on the idea of being at a crowded rock show and not being able to have a good few drinks. That was rather ironic, as in the end I only managed to get one drink all night - so I might as well have saved myself the hassle and driven to the gig anyway. An hour to get to a gig on the tube, followed by possibly a couple of hours (maybe more) walking, waiting in the freezing cold, and eventually getting home on the night bus - all just to see a 45 minute (at most) set - it doesn't make much sense does it? But I went anyway - even though I could have driven there in about 30 minutes each way. As it happens, I got lucky with the night bus - a short walk to Euston and 12 minutes after leaving the venue I was sitting on the bus listening to Towers on my MP3 player. Result!  I was home in just over an hour - if only it was always as easy getting home after a late night in town...

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