So Thursday was Infadels day, at ULU, and aside from it being a muuuuch bigger venue than last time, and the fact that I had work the next day and wasn't drinking, they were superb again. I had been planning to leave early (they didn't come on til almost 10!) but once they started I had to stay and dance til the end. That "I Like Your Head" song is just so catchy. Acoustic version of "One of These Days" was excellent too. Put the album on my headphones as I ran down Tottenham Court Road to get to the tube station, and stood at Victoria dancing on the platform. Didn't get home til 1 in the morning, but was still dancing in my head!
Saturday night was the night I've been waiting for since I randomly picked up a copy of Deja Entendu in the HMV at Victoria station on my way to uni one day in 2004. I don't really know what to say other than "Wow". I did feel quite old in there, as expected! But the crowd were one of the absolutely best crowds I've seen at a London gig in years, especially in such a large venue (compared to the Damien Rice fiasco a couple of years ago, it was worlds apart). We all sang every single word, hands in the air, lighters (!) up, no pushing, no shoving, very, very little talking between or during songs, friendly and all so up for it. Was suprised that the front of the crowd didn't look that mental, especially during some of the louder bits, but some guys on the tube on the way to Victoria were talking about a circle-pit so there must have been something going on!
Say Anything were a pretty good support but to be honest we turned up late, though the fact a lot of people missed the irony of "Admit It" at the end made me smile a bit. Brand New appeared shortly after 9 and kick started with Tautou followed by Yeah. After that it's a blur, but they played pretty much all of Deja, bar one track. They also threw in the No Seatbelt Song AND Soco Amaretto Lime, which I love! One of the other demos made an appearance, there was a huuuuuge long breakdown in Okay I Believe You where something went on with some guy on stage, and Jesse threw his guitar up in the air and let it drop. The first encore was Take Apart Your Head (apparently the lead single from the new album, and very, very good), Sic Transit (Die young and save yourseeeeelf! Man, that was good!) and SeventyTimesSeven which was enough to send me into palpitations - truly, truly, truly, awesome. After that, the rest of the band left the stage and Jesse played a semi-acoustic Jude Law and Play Crack the Sky. I couldn't have asked for more - other than them coming back to do it all over again
Only 2 little niggles though - 1) Why nothing from the rest of the band? It was like The Jesse Show - he did the final encore and the rest of the band weren't even on stage. None of them said a word throughout (Jesse was quiet too, especially in the first half hour) and they left the stage with barely a see-ya. Kinda weird I thought - the band need to work on their people skills! 2) Sometimes it was incredibly difficult to hear either Jesse's vocals or what he was saying in the few times he did speak to the audience. Not sure if that was cos of where we were standing or a sound issue, but it was a shame. Regardless, those two things are hardly enough to come close to spoiling the night.
And the best news? We got a release date for the album - 70 days and counting til November 21st!
Last but not least, on a bit of a high after the gig, we headed to Brighton for the Freestylers album launch at Audios and danced our arses off til 4am. They were exceptional. I really love that place - compared to some places like the HoneyClub, it's so unpretentious and friendly. Noone tries too hard and everyone smiles at everyone. 'Twas good stuff. Got home at half 5 Sunday morning so was f**ked for work on Monday but My God, this weekend was worth it!