|Lineup: Dan Treacy (guitar, vocals), Ed Ball (bass, bk vocals), Victoria Yeulet (bk vocals), Mathew Sawyer (drums).|
Plus guest appearance by Dave Musker (keyboard).
The TVPs were fantastic. They had a female singer centre-stage, presumably Dan's girlfriend. Dan was to her right, wearing the same hat he had on at the Bull & Gate Fall tribute night The Container Drivers played at in October and playing a slightly out-of-tune black Fender Telecaster. And (wasn't expecting this) Ed was to her left on bass (which didn't work for most of the first song, so they had to start it again). Must be the first time he's gigged with Dan for a while. There was a mod target painted on his bass. For the first part of the set Ed's mic was quite loud whereas Dan's and the female backing singer's were a bit quiet. There was also a grand piano on the floor in front of the stage, which someone was playing. I'm guessing this was another member of the band, although my bandmates were convinced it was just a fan playing along to the songs! All in all it was a really full sound, very loud and a real mood-lifter after the quiet, perhaps reserved indieness of the other acts. There were a few rows of chairs at the front of the hall, which were all occupied during the other acts. Most people decided to stand during TVPs' set though.
At one point Dan seemed to ask the crowd where he'd left his mobile phone as he wanted to call someone but I didn't catch who. Ed, ever polite, later reminded Dan it was John Somebody's birthday that day and to wish him a happy birthday. "F him" was Dan's response! Also, when the opening bars of 'Dorian Gray' were greeted with cheers and applause (the last song before they went off for the first time) Dan, very entertainingly, told the cheerers to f off. It's refreshing to see someone who's obviously so adored by his fans trying to debunk his own myth. The song also morphed into The Monkees' I'm A Believer. Another high point was 'No More I Hate Yous' which for a while was movingly played out by the two main vocalists without accompaniment. Neither the White Stripes nor the f-ing Strokes were at Salvdor Dali's Garden Party.
After some hypnotic feedback when they left the stage after 'Dorian Gray', they returned for an encore and were told 'one more please' by an official. Dan's reaction to this was to play lots of songs which melted into each other, as if to make it one long song, including Syd Barrett, and My Generation. It was fun watching the other band members try to keep up and Dan seemed very much to be enjoying moving from one song to the next without giving his fellow bandmates a clue as to what was coming next. It was a fine hour and a half.
|* * *|
Well, Franz Ferdinand weren't there, The Strokes weren't there, The White Stripes weren't there. But everybody else was, including the Television Personalities.
The new line-up lined up along the stage of this beautifully ornate west-London former dance and snooker hall as follows: Daniel Treacy was to the left. He wore a black polo-neck and woolly hat with a strange corduroy coat (which it later transpired belonged to Mr Edward Ball). Dan was playing a rather nice black Fender Telecaster with what looked like two Seymour Duncan Humbuckers. It was a nice guitar, but not one that you'd associate with Dan Treacy.
In the centre of the stage was the wonderful Victoria Yeulet. Victoria was wearing a black dress and attending to vocal duties.
On the right hand side was Mr Edward Ball sporting a fantastic attitude and a great pop-art emblazoned bass guitar. Mr Mathew Sawyer was to the rear of the stage playing the drums. To the left of the stage was a grand piano, which was played on the spur of the moment by former TVP and Jasmine Mink, Mr David Musker.
I'm not sure about the order of things, but I think they kicked off with a new song, "My Dark Places". I had been a bit anxious about hearing the new songs but this was fantastic. It was like he'd never been away. There seemed to be moments when Dan forgot the words and the chords but he kept it together and never missed a beat. I think "Three Wishes" came second and then there was another new song that might've been "No More I Hate Yous" or "Sweetest Dreams".
At some point during the first three songs Dan got his phone out and said "I'm just going to call Morrissey", but unfortunately there wasn't going to be a repeat of his Paul Weller routine. It was great to him in that familiar pose, hacking away at the guitar with his eyes down and that determined/disdainful expression on his face. After the first three or four songs he was away.
"My Very First Nervous Breakdown" was actually extended lyrically to be his third or fourth nervous breakdown. At the end of the song he went into "Downtown" by Pet Clark. "Adventure Playground", "All My Dreams Are Dead", "Jackanory Stories", "Silly Girl", "King and Country", "Long Time Gone", all followed together with another new song called "The Smack (Get It Back)".
The Futureheads' favourite "Picture Of Dorian Gray" also got an airing - going into "Daydream Believer" at the end. One of the songs was augmented with a section of "See Me, Feel Me" by The Who. But I can't remember which one. Finally, they launched into "Salvador Dali's Garden Party", where Dan name checked the White Stripes, The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand as *not* being there. Throughout the set Dan was up to his old tricks of leading his band a merry dance, which was quite amusing to watch. The poor drummer, Matt, was having a torrid time of it. But despite all of this the show was riveting to watch.
The new TVPs came back out after a bit of gentle coaxing and started "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives". Somehow this ended up merging into "My Generation" via "Bike". They only finished when the management turned the lights on. The Bush Hall has a strict 11.20pm curfew as it is in a residential area. The TVPs went on at about 10.05pm and so it must've been nearly 90 minutes before the last chord rang out.
It was a great show and it was very reassuring to see Dan looking so well and on the ball, as it were. I was left really looking forward to hearing the new songs in their recorded form. I think we're in for a long-awaited treat.
|* * *|
Now the hangover is clearing a bit I thought I'd just leave a few thoughts about the gig. It was a funny place, not very rock 'n roll, more like a little chamber music recital room, with a gallery bar, about half the audience space filled with red plush chairs with nice gold frames, and sort of Georgian decor on the walls. The sound system was pretty good, at least for a TVPs gig. I think someone was taping it - anyone know? The place was full for the TVPs, not exactly a young, hot-to-trot crowd, more mixed age and abilities (as we say in the educational sector).
I thought the whole band played a blinder - I'd forgotten how good Ed is on the bass, and Dan was on good form. Not much of the stuff that used to go wrong occasionally happened last night; they'd rehearsed, the sound system worked, the guitar was only a little bit out of tune, and the singing was good. It was a lot like the old band, but better. Basically, they've got a really positive attitude, and I think if they get a decent break from the press, it could work out this time.
Nice to see a few old faces and a few new ones. See some of you again next time they do London.
|* * *|
Great gig last night, I'm still recovering from the experience and the hangover! A few thoughts of the night. . .
It was great to see Dan in fine form. The new songs were deep, dark and clearly very personal, can't wait to hear the recorded versions. I could have sworn they played 'Adventure Playground'. For me, the best song of the night was 'King and Country'.
Can't agree with the views of the sound quality as where we were stood, at the front, to the right of the stage, we couldn't hear the vocals too clearly. Because of where we were, I only noticed the piano after a few songs. Playing it was none other than king of the keyboards Dave Musker!
The encore started with 'I know where Syd Barret lives' and included 'Bike' before drifting into 'My Generation' before the bloke running the venue insisted that they finish.
|* * *|
The gig was absolutely smashing... the line up, as to be no more confusion, was:
Dan Treacy: vocals - guitar
Victoria Yeulet: vocals
Edward Ball: bass
Mathew Sawyer: drums
Victoria's not Dan's girlfriend, she's in the band on her own merit, that being her amazing voice! Graeme didn't play at all at this gig... he's in New York actually. New songs, if I can remember correctly:
my dark places
no more I hate you's
the smack (get it back) - (I think)
Can't remember any more, sorry... the thing is that at first they all agreed on a 'track-list' which would later be almost completely forgotten! The gentleman on the piano was our very own Dave Musker, who was absolutely fab on it; he even played in songs he didn't know and did a damn good job! It wasn't arranged for Dave to play the piano; the band came on stage and started playing and at some point Dave just slipped onto the piano seat and started playing on his own accord! Which was another unexpected treat! Sophie, a friend, announced the band in a hollywood Oscar nomination manner. The 'nominations' included the Pastels, the white stripes, the strokes, if I'm correct. At the end she said 'and the winner is...' at which point she opened an envelope and announced triumpically "The Television Personalities".
I saw Filippo [creator of the 'Strangely Beautiful' TVP website] and Angela there, they came all the way from Italy for the gig and I'm quite sure I saw them taking photos. We took some photos ourselves which I'm going to send to Keg to put them on his website as soon as I scan them... I have a very nice photo of the audience as well, you can see everyone smiling... It was bloody amazing!! Bill Wells and Amy Linton (Aislers Set) were standing on the right side of the stage watching and I could see Amy singing along and smiling all through the set. She wasn't the only one, mind... That's all really... I don't know what else to say... my memory's a bit blurry...
Downfall of the night: NOT ENOUGH BOOZE backstage! take care the lot of you... make sure you keep an eye for the gig photos on [this] website!
|* * *|
My unreliable account from last night was that it was a surreal (and moving experience) although probably a tad too self-indulgent to take a second date on (sorry Piccia & thanks for the lovely meal!!).
Bush House is a rather splendid grand Georgian House on the Uxbridge Road, sandwiched between grotty takeaways on a fairly busy dirty street, with a mosque, QPR football ground and row upon row of shops and eateries that you'd probably not want to use unless desperate all nearby.
When I say that Bush House is splendid it's not an overstatement the main auditorium has a 4m high ceiling, with glass chandeliers hanging from it and it's carpeted throughout in thick red shagpile.
The only support act I saw were the Pippas - who were fairly unremarkable (although cute in a kooky way) they suffered from microphones set too low - either that or the PA is just crap as this problem also afflicted the TVPs throughout their set.
At about 10pm a woman in a black ballgown appeared on the low stage to announce the results of the best new band competition. The nominees were "The Strokes", (someone I've forgotten), and "The TVPs". She went on the announce "and the winners are the TVPs, but I'm afraid that they can't be here tonight to collect the award so in their place here are the surviving members of Queen". At which point the band climbed onstage led by the female vocalist mentioned in the earlier account, after a bit of fumbling (mostly due to Ed complaining that he had no bass - only for it to be discovered that he hadn't actually plugged it into the amp!!) they went into 'Rock n Roll' by the Velvet Underground.
For me they TVPs could have got away with anything it was so good just to see and hear them after such a long time. The sound wasn't great, Dan and the band understandably looked tense at times and tight they weren't. I'm not sure who the drummer was but both Dan and Ed had to count him in and out of most numbers.
The guy on the grand piano to the front of the stage on the left definitely wasn't part of the band just a young merry p-head - taking advantage of the occasion.
Fairly early on Dan got on his mobile and pretended to call Morrissey (a la Paul Weller) but he didn't persist with this stunt for more than about 10 secs (when he thought about continuing it later on he'd forgotten where he'd put his mobile (which incidentally was in Ed's jacket on the bass amp).
They gave up on at least a couple of songs. On the first occasion Dan said "you know the one that sounds like the Beach Boys" the others didn't and so they gave up on it. A second time Dan and Ed had a conversation about the timing of a particular song to which Ed said "No I don't know it like that" played his bass and then said "but I know it like this".
On at least two occasions Dan threw his set list/lyric sheet into the crowd - which on both times a tall slender young bloke of about 16 or 17 (who really went for it in a big way all night) retrieved and passed back to him. The same young bloke also retrieved Dan's plectrum twice and managed on one memorable occasion to signal to Dan that he was playing with his lead out (for about 15 seconds).
During "I know where Syd Barrett Lives" Dan annoyed by the audience's tuneless "arghing" or was he just playing around? insisted "but I'm not telling you!"
During "My First Nervous Breakdown" Dan poignantly added off mic "or is it my third?"
The 'last song' encore lasted 25 minutes at which point all the lights were turned on and a rather attractive buxom lady with black hair (new Manager?) who was being hassled by Bush House staff beckoned all the other band members off stage mid 'My Generation' to leave Dan breaking into 'See me, Hear me, Feel me' on his own.
After the TVPs eventually finished at about 11:40pm I managed to swipe Ed's set list (and no it won't be on eBay soon). For those interested this is what Dan had written (capitals are Dan's):-
1. SPECIAL CHAIR
2. ROCK N ROLL
Not numbered - MY DARK PLACES
3. Hope Your (sic) HAPPY NOW
4. Any Love is Good Love
5. Sweetest Dreams
6. Stop Smell the Roses
7. Long Time Gone
8. NICE DAY
10. BIG BOY
12. King & Country
13. Adventure Playground
Now they certainly didn't play all of the tracks listed - I was disappointed that "Stop and Smell the Roses" didn't feature.
But a great experience all the same.