On Monday I went to see Jeff Lewis. It’s been a year since I last saw him play, and he was amazing last time, so I was really excited.
I had a nice, effortless day at uni and then got the tube to Brixton. The tube was delayed and the woman next to me was seriously frustrated, she was growling and throwing her head back… she needed to chill. Then I walked to the venue (which took longer than the advertised 7 minutes) and then it started to rain bullets of ice (ok, it was just cold water, but it felt like ice).
Once inside I met up with Crazy Bobbles and we sat by the stage. Jeffrey came over and started doing some stuff with his gear and I seized the opportunity to talk to him. To cut a long story short, I do drawings largely inspired by Jeff’s comics. I sent him one of my comics in the mail recently and he emailed me saying thanks and he thought they were great. So I introduced myself to Jeff as the person who sent him the comics, he asked me about what size I did them and if I do any others, and we talked a bit about other comics and he recommended Snakepit (which looks good and I will probably buy soon). I asked him to draw me a picture, he drew a picture of him recieving my comics in the mail! It’s awesome. I will scan it in sometime.
I let Jeff get on with his stuff and went and sat with Bob and we talked about music and camera smuggling and stuff like that. Then I saw Rhiannon who I’ve met at a few shows before, she said it was her twelfth time seeing Jeffrey play!
The first act was Superman Revenge Squad, which was just one guy singing funny, sarcastic songs.
A short change over then it was Extradition Order. Jeffrey came and stood at the front next to us to watch them play. The singer/guitarist had a guitar that looked like it was home-made out of a tin can. I was going to ask him if he made it himself but I forgot.
Then there was a gap while we waited for Jeffrey and guitarist Stanley Brinks to take to the stage. I had never been to the Brixton Windmill before, but I think it’s quite a good venue (apart from the fact it’s not in walking distance from my halls). The door guy was friendly, the atmosphere was cosy, the lighting wasn’t too dark, cheap tickets. The only complaint was it was so stuffy, but that’s not really their fault.
So anyway, Jeffrey soon took to the stage. He said he would try to play a different set from the early show. He played a few new songs, including one which he said he had only played once before- it was set to that song that goes ‘I love rock and roll’ except Jeff changed the lyrics and it went “I love Anti-Folk!” It was so brilliant. I think I smiled for the whole duration of that song. Jeffrey said he wrote it when the guy from the open mic place where he started playing was retiring, or something. He also played ’Don’t Let the Record Label Take You Out to Lunch’ which was awesome. He discussed the letter G for a while. He decided he doesn’t like the letter G because it’s Gross and disGusting. Everyone started listing words that begin with G, Stanley Brinks said ‘Geoffrey’. and Jeff replied it was lucky that he spells it with a J and that he “dodged that bullet”. I love the in-between song banter at Jeff’s shows. He also joked about the Rough Trade show he’s playing at Shepherd’s Bush, saying they probably tried Adam Green and the Fiery Furnaces fist but he was probably the one that would do it for the cheapest. I don’t have a watch, but I think he played for about an hour and a quarter. He ended on Sal’s Pizza before an encore of some ‘documentaries’. He did a few documentaries in the evening, including: The Complete History Of Communism Part 5 (Korea), the history of Rough Trade, K records, and Barack Obama. The atmosphere was great, you could tell that the audience adores Jeff and everyone came away happy.
Overall, a fantastic show and well worth the tiny ticket price. I can’t wait until the next time I get to see him play.