I'd ummed and aaahed about going to this gig for a while - chiefly because all the tickets sold out and were being hawked on eBay for ridiculous sums. But then! They moved the venue to a larger one, issued more tickets, and finally I got to go and see one of The Albums That Changed My Life being performed in its entirety.
Screamadelica has been reviewed in these pages before, when I wished for a fairy godmother to grant me a trip to see just this show. You know how I feel about it, so I won't be telling you about the songs. What I will tell you is that Bobby Gillespie is still as skinny as a streak of pelican shit, has his own hair and a well-developed dress sense, and the band... the band can play their bloody socks off!
Although it was in a way quite fabulous to see them at Selina's, a venue I used to frequent a lot in my youth - it's just down the road from a few places I've lived in over the years - in many other ways it was awful. There are much better venues in Sydney these days, and just because you can fit more people in to see a band, doesn't mean you should. Also, this was the first time I'd been screened by the Coogee Bay Hotel's new identification system - which scanned my fingerprint! How high-tech and deeply Big-Brotherish.
But although I'd timed my arrival so I'd miss the support act (sorry about that, but going to a band on my own means they get the heave-ho) the distinct lack of bar facilities per head of punter meant I saw the first two songs off the album while waiting in line for a drink. I'd had the foresight to stand in the line closest to the stage, so managed to shake my tailfeather while waiting - that is until some gurning twat proceeded to pant and sweat all over me while - get this - trying to pick me up! Truly, it was hard to resist the temptation to point out I was old enough to be his mother's younger sister (ahem), but I must admit thinking to myself "That Revlon Photo Finishing Powder was well worth the cash" - well, it was either that or his drug-addled eyesight.
After grabbing two vodka-and-somethings I found a place to stand at the side of the stage where there was just barely enough room to breathe. Fortunately Screamadelica has some nice quiet songs in the middle section. Unfortunately the Essex Girl in front of me was using them to discuss something (her truly appalling haircut?) with her boyfriend. In fact, the whole place appeared to be backpacker central, and it reminded me just exactly why I've enjoyed our move one suburb down the coast - less Likely Lads and Lasses throwing up on the footpath every weekend.
After the album was through, the lads came back on stage for a bunch of great songs from other albums - Country Girl, Jailbird, Suicide Bomb and Rocks - after which I quickly ducked outside and into the first cab I could find, before that crowd came boiling out on to the pavement. I wouldn't have missed it for the world, even though I had seen them before ('95 Big Day Out). These guys can play. That gig was stifling hot and they rocked its collective socks off.
Sorry there's no pics - I am truly useless with a camera phone, and most cameras generally.