The Scala gig
If someone told me a year ago i would be going to my third scritti gig by the middle of this year, i would have called him a dreamer. But there i was, looking up at the Scala sign on the building in Camden, just a minute’s walk away from Kings Cross. It was still early in the afternoon, i had already checked into my hotel conveniently 3 streets away, and i decided to check out the Scala. I peeked into the one open door, but all was dark inside, so i decided to take a stroll through the area on this shiny summerday.
Before i talk about the gig, you might wanna take a peek at the couple of clips i made during the evening. I had my goal set on The ‘Sweetest’ Girl, Skank Bloc Bologna and Woodbeez, but was sidetracked by the loveliness of Am I Right In Thinking, so i could only get a minute of Woodbeez. Gotta invest in a bigger card for the camera! The sound is not all that, but you might get a glimps of what is what like.
Later that afternoon i met some fellow scritti aficionados, Mike, Steve and Justin. We had a couple of drinks up the road and short after seven walked up to the Scala. There were already some familiar faces, and in the corner there was a small merchandising stand, where you could buy t-shirts and badges and a flyer for free. I felt a bit like a freeloader when i grabbed four of each, but i gotta fullfill my duty towards the bibbly-o-tek team of course!
The Scala is a rather nice roomy place with lots of stairs, the hall itself surrounded by balconies and some elevations at the back, providing everyone a decent view on the band. When we first got there was already a band playing, and just now i realise i don’t know the name of it! Shame on me. I couldn’t get into it – we went back to the foyer and had some more drinks and talked a bit more. Even when Wet Dog started playing, whom i liked when i saw them in the Luminaire, couldn’t distract me. The hall was now nicely filled. It’s hard to guess how many people there were, the website says the capacity is 1,145, so maybe there were like 700-900 people or so?
By now we were all staring at the small door besides the stage which was slightly open, through which we could see the band starting to get ready to go on stage. When they finally got there, a loud cheer rised up and all was set to go! My first surprise was not that the first song was The Boom Boom Bap, but that it was played not with a tape, but live. This was so much better than the previous gigs! Green in his Vivien Westwood suit looked the part, Alyssa wore a beautiful dress, Rhodri had a snappy blue tie, Ralph looked his usual fierce, switching between a normal drumset and a digital one, Dicky and Dave as always casual.
The setlist was about the same as the ones in Brighton and Oxford, no real surprises there. The band sounds together, the rehearsals have certainly payed of. Next time i go see a gig, i do wanna simply enjoy it, this time i knew i wanted to capture some songs, and that is a bit distracting. Still, i managed to switch between watching the stage and watching the camera – hence the swaying! My favourite songs were The ‘Sweetest’ Girl and Skank Bloc Bologna, but frankly, i just liked it all. I’m trying to remember now if there were two or three encore’s, Woodbeez was one, E11th Nuts was one, was there another one before that?
Then it was over. *sigh* Still, there was an afterparty in the Glass Bar upstairs going on. I didn’t really need the access all areas thing, i was given it much later, but it’s a nice memento. We mingled a bit, and at the end i ended up sitting on the stage watching Andy packing up all the equipment. That was a lot of work! Which reminds me: i promised him to say that both Green and Andy think Brook Guitars in Devon make the best acoustic guitars in the world! This sponsored link is payed for by the generous offering of a Tesco’s Finest chicken and avocado sandwich from the dressing room to a silly me who hadn’t eaten anything since lunch.
Lucky for me the hotel was 3 streets away, when i left around 2.30. Unlucky for me, i had to get up the following morning at 7 to catch the train to Harwich, where i got the boat back to Hook of Holland. Seeing back the clips make me wish i could do it all over again. It just was so beautiful, the people, the music, even the weather was glorious. But there is no going back, there is only a going forward – as Bob Marley once said to a journalist. :)