Review: Okkervil River @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Yesterday I went to see Okkervil River play at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. At first I was dubious about getting a ticket, I don’t know the band’s material that well, and it’s in Shepherd’s Bush- which requires me to get the tube (I usually walk everywhere).

I left halls at half five and walked down to St Paul’s. I had to top up my Oyster card, as usual there was a big queue. Once on the tube, I found my face compressed against a business man’s back. I had nothing to hold on to, so I just tensed up my legs and tried to balance. After 2 or 3 stops I was able to move into the carriage, and after a few more stops I got a seat. It only took about 20 minutes to get there. When I did arrive, I was disoriented. I’ve been to Shepherd’s Bush Empire before, but not by tube. I didn’t know which direction was which, but I eventually found the green and cut across it to Shepherds’s Bush. By the time I picked up my ticket from the Box Office it was 25 to 7. Nobody was queueing, which I found suprising. I think I am just one of those uncool people who commits the faux pas of getting to shows early, when it’s customary to arrive ‘fashionably’ late. I found myself at the front of the queue, I was soon joined by a few others. It wasn’t long before I bumped into CrazyBobbles again, he was ready to ‘ninja’ his SLR into the show. He’s braver than me, I think I must act suspicious when it’s time for bag check, they always have a good rummage.

Once safely inside the venue I got a spot in the front and centre, a little bit to the left of the mic. I started talking to a fellow music fan who I had seen at a few shows before. He seemed to have almost identical music taste to me. He had attended alot of shows I would of liked to, including the sold out Fleet Foxes show the day before.

The first band on were called Stars and Sons, hailing from lovely Brighton. They were an enjoyable band that did a good job of opening the show.

A quick change over and it was time for California’s The Dodos. I had heard a few songs before, and also listened to their album Visiter once all the way through. I was really, really impressed by their performance. The singer had a great voice and was fun to watch switching between the two microphones. He was rocking on his chair quite alot, I thought he should perhaps invest in a guitar strap and stand up. The drums were great too, they really gave the songs a strong impact. I liked that the drummer had his tambourine duct taped to his foot. There was also a nice big glockenspiel and rubbish can, which was hit quite hard. I was wondering if it hurts your hand hitting it so hard with a drum stick. Because I’ve only listened to their album once before, I wasn’t really sure of the song names. Listening to their album now, I’m sure they played Walking, Red and Purple, Fools, Jodi, and Joe’s Waltz. They played for about half an hour, so they played a few more, but I can’t remember what. Either way, they were very good and I need to listen to them more.

It soon came time for headliners Okkervil River. I am so glad I went to this show. They were really very good. Will has a magnetic stage presence. The whole band were clearly enjoying themselves alot. Will obviously has a great relationship with all the band members, often running over to them and playing by them, and towards the end of the set even hugging and kissing them. He’s also a fan of hand claps, getting everyone to clap along. The band played Black, which is the song that first got me into Okkervil River, so that was fun. Will repeatedly thanked the audience for coming. The setlist can be seen here along with more of Bob’s photos from the night. They played quite a long set, they broke the 11pm curfew and played a bit longer. It was worth it.

I got the tube back and did a weird jog/skip back to halls (it was freezing! and nobody was around, so nobody saw) and then I slept.

Now it’s Wednesday, my day off. I have a ton of work to do, will it get done? Who knows. I think I might walk to the National Gallery later and watch their free music performance at 6. Thing is, I always get tempted to buy some food when I’m over that part of London. I’m so hungry (all the time!).

Here’s a video of Lost Costlines CrazyBobbles filmed.

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2 Responses to Review: Okkervil River @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

  1. Crazybobbles November 14, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    Nice entry about that day :) glad you used the correct term of “ninja”‘ing a camera into the venue haha. Was nice seeing you again!

  2. anikainlondon November 14, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    Thanks :) Haha yeah, you’re very good at ninja-ing your camera into shows!

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