Bush Hall has been a good source of good shows this year. 3/4 of the shows I’ve seen there since January have all been in my top 15. That’s pretty good. I’ve been an Au Revoir Simone fan for ages and ages. I briefly caught them in 2006 supporting Mates of State (why won’t they come back here!?!?) and We Are Scientists. That was back in the day. We got my friend’s dad to drive us all the way to Brixton. I loved them ever since.
So you can imagine 3 years of really wanting to see a band, culminating in one set, 3 years later. I had lots of hopes but they didn’t disappoint.
I’ll start at the beginning though, first. Cortney Tidwell started after much waiting around. I’ve seen her before. Her last song was the most awesome. Support acts opening for my favourite bands have tougher jobs because I tend to want it to end as quickly as possible so I can just get straight to the stuff I want.
Cortney finished her set and there was an epically long wait. I was getting seriously bored. Doors at 7.30, 1 support, and then the headliners on at 10 is just a bit ridiculous. So finally, Heather made an appearance. She came and tapped her drum machine to some cheers from the crowd, then she apologetically went away again, which prompted a few boos. After a minute or less the whole band came out again and opened with All Or Nothing from their new LP Still Night, Still Light. That’s another thing, I love Au Revoir Simone’s album titles. Next the band did Sad Song from The Bird of Music. I was kind of hoping for lots of Bird of Music songs because as much as I love Verses, Bird of Music is the one I fell in love with as soon as it came out. Sad Song was a set highlight for me, fun to sing and dance around too. Heather had a cymbal to hit and some hearts drawn all around the front of her Korg. The whole band were very smiley and Annie was rocking out at her keyboard.
After Sad Song I was overcome with how awesome the band are. Before the show Bobbles asked me what he should take videos of. I said A Violent Yet Flammable World, if they play it, OR, if they don’t play it, my heart breaking into a thousand pieces. Mmm melodrama. I was so hoping for that song, and they didn’t play it. I don’t think it was unreasonable or anything, they’ve got a new album so they were obviously going to play new songs, but still… when I eventually hear them do that song it will be amazing for me.
They did a run of new songs and then Stay Golden from Verses Of Comfort. Their voices all sounded brilliant. Annie jokingly explained she has a Swedish accent because she was in Sweden yesterday. They mentioned how happy they were to be playing in an English speaking country (yay for England!). Annie introduced Take Me As I Am and said the guy at their label thinks it’s the best song they’ve ever done, and that Erika wrote it. I’m always curious as to who writes what. The song was also an ‘audience participation’ song, so we got to clap along and I was having SO MUCH FUN. I love that song alot.
They did Lark from The Bird (hehe) and ended with Knight of Wands. You know it’s a good show when, despite thirst, hunger and tiredness, you don’t want it to end. They went away and came back for an encore. I don’t know if they intended an encore because it was approaching curfew and they had no other songs written on their setlist. But they did come back, which made me happy. I kind of knew they weren’t going to do A Violent Yet Flammable World, and that they’d obviously do The Lucky One. I love The Lucky One and the sing along at the end. Annie kept looking over and smiling at us singing and dancing. I get the impression that all three of them are super lovely people. They closed with Dark Halls.
After the set I wanted to speak to one of them to find out when they’d next be back. Erika and Heather came out and graciously took pictures with eager fans. I got a quick moment to speak to Erika and gave her the double thumbs up (I need to stop doing that, who over the age of 10 does that??) and told her I thought they were awesome. She said thanks and that she was glad we were down the front (they seem to appreciate the singing and dancing along). I asked when they’d be back, she said in the summer for festivals. I asked if End of the Road would be one. She said no. BOOOOOOOO. Festivals are too expensive to go to more than one (unless you are Adam ‘Coachella, ATP Fans, ATP Breeders, Pitchfork, End of the Road’ Elmahdi). Fans kept coming over and getting them to pose for pictures, it would have been nice to chat but we were too lazy to wait. On the way out Annie was happily chatting to fans at the merch stall. Brilliant band and show. Definately top 15, possibly top 10, could have been top 5 if they did A Violent Yet Flammable World. Considering my high expectations they didn’t disappoint and I would definately recommend seeing them. And if you haven’t heard it yet, listen to The Bird of Music (!!!!), I love that record hugely.
Wow, long review.