Monday, 26 September 2011

The Others: Live @ The Lexington

It had been something like seven years since I had first seen The Others.

It has been six years since the release of their eponymous debut album in January 2005, five years since their second, and last album to date, followed just 18 months later and it has been four years since I last saw them live at Camden's Proud Galleries, whilst a little known Liverpudlian band called The Wombats were supporting.

The Others crashed onto a music scene in an age still basking in the reflected glow of The Libertines swiftly peaking upwards trajectory.

When Alan McGee would have swooped on any band that had ever had the fortune to share a pint with Pete Doherty, when 7" singles enjoyed a renaissance, and if the vinyl didn't appeal, then you could still pick it up on CD from your local HMV.
It was during these glory years that I spent my 21st birthday in Hyde Park with my friends, vodka, The Others and a bunch of assorted fans, groupies and hangers-on.

They had just played one of their much celebrated 'guerilla gigs', ramshackle affairs planned and spread via online forums, in the foyer of a BBC radio station in Great Portland Street, before decamping to the central London park for a second ad-hoc performance that saw the bassist playing whilst up a tree.

In a few short years I developed a taste for dodgy east-end venues, crowd surfing and stage diving, and gig-going was an at least weekly occurrence.

My, how times change.

Now, aged 28 my disposable income has been greatly reduced by household bills and a mortgage, my ears are damaged by tinnitus and the gigs attended are a lot more selective.

But I just couldn't resist The Other's recent live return.

Taking to the stage at The Lexington in Islington with a wealth of old favourites that soon saw me in thick of things, moshing with the best of them, alongside fans pogo-ing to songs that still bring back memories and still manage to unite people, despite all the years that have passed and the band's own falling out of favour with a fickle music press.

New tracks that the reunited band have been working on slotted right alongside the old standards, reminding us that they have away with a chorus that is distinctly recognisable as their own.

And even after all this time, I still couldn't resist the traditional stage invasion that accompanies the last song of the set, when the band become lost onstage amongst revellers and soon enough the drum-kit is fighting for space, and it felt like just like the old days again as The Others brought proceedings to a chaotically-joyfull, sweat-drenched close.

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