So when I signed up to go and see Garbage I had my reservations. Not as many as I might have expected mid you, but there were still some. A good friend of mine had seen them about 4 months earlier and when given the opportunity jumped at the chance to get tickets to this show as well, so I knew they must have produced the goods last time.
As I expect you are all avid readers of our blog, so you will appreciate that my run of shows of late have all been sell out gigs. So when I say it felt strange when I arrived and a massive artist from the 90’s was due to take the stage in around an hour and it was not a sell out you can understand my surprise.
The whole time the support band were giving there all, I could see Duke Erikson (
the guitarist) standing at the back of the mixing desk watching intently. To me this is always a good sign of how the tour is going - if there is a general interest in how the support band is doing. Also standing back there was none other than Eric Avery, the ex (or current, I guess) bass player for Jane’s Addiction (slight side note but he is now the 3rd member of JA I have seen separate from the actual band- Eric, Dave Navarro playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Perry Farrell in Porno for Pyros).
So not having been aware that Eric would be in the band (this unfortunately shows how much research I had performed pre gig) I was already in music seventh heaven. But even with all these music groupie distractions what was really racking my brain, was the reason that Garbage has disbanded for so long? Was it because Shirley had just had enough, or did she have some sort of mental break down? Or overload for want of a better description? Or did she just have enough? None of which I could remember……. And ultimately did she still have it?
The crowd filled to what I would call acceptable levels, you know it is not too crowded to get to the bar to grab a round of beers but still not 100% easy to get there either. Then the house lights dimed and Shirley and the boys took the stage and they were into it. Firstly I didn’t think that here voice was great but soon enough it warmed up and she was ticking all the boxes that I needed her to.
By the second song they were into Paranoid, and I was in shock and very happy at the same time. If they were into very well know songs this early on, this looked pretty good for the rest of the show there was every chance that guys would give me all the highlights that I wanted to see. And that was exactly what they did. Out of the 21 songs they played on the night 17 of them were old tunes/ hits. I mean who would have thought that these guys had that many great songs in the bank, clearly I should have done better homework…
And even now, when I think back to what I really enjoyed about the show, with out a doubt it was Shirley’s ramblings in between songs. And I don’t mean just a polite, this next songs called “Tommy the Cat” I mean multiple minute ramblings about how emotional she can be, how much someone means to her, how this concert wouldn’t have gone on if it wasn’t for her calming husband etc. And at the end of this I came away thinking yes, she is a fiery Scot, but she is also a super passionate one too. One that I am sure would bring you the most love in the world and really call a spade a spade, and I am not referring just to her man, I mean to EVERY one in her life.
The other highlight was when a punter gave her a miniature little bottle (whisky or Vodka) and she told a story about how her friends use to do the same, but they would have pissed in them first, then she crack the seal and drained it in one gulp. Ok its not a 750ml bottle of vodka, but it was more rock and roll than anything I have seen from the indie shoe gazing set that had graced the stage of the Paradiso in the week previously.
A couple of songs they played that surprised me were both from movie soundtracks, and both I didn’t expect to hear, because some bands like to stick to their studio albums rather then trot out there commercial sell out success.. The first one was from the Romeo and Juliet sound track (#1 Crush) which I used to love and the second was from the James Bond movie, The World is not Enough. This last one featured midway through the encore, and what an encore it was. The crowd hooped and hollered and the band came back and gave them the last 3 songs of the night including TWINE and ending the evening on “I’m only happy when it rains” which was a perfect way to end any show but most of all as Shirley sings it you can nearly believe it.
I got to see some great tracks, from a highly entertaining band, who really have a rock stage presence, with some good mates, in my favorite venue in the world, which was not too busy so the beers could flow freely.
I would have been happy even if it had rained.