Last night we played a great show with really good sound to an almost empty room which was the complete antithesis to our show on Sunday night where we played a half decent show with terrible sound to a room so packed with people that many couldn't even get in. And so goes the musical paradox of our fair city.
Our gig last night was as support to the excellent Thalia Zedek whose nigh on 30 years in the music underground has saw her graduate from the New York no-wave scene of the early 80's alongside Sonic Youth and Swans with her band 'Uzi' (and later with 'Live Skull') to the heady heights of the 90's indie rock explosion (or Grunge movement if you will) as part of the Sub Pop roster with her band 'Come'. In a nutshell Thalia has been central to some of the very biggest developments in the whole history of indie rock. J Mascis (Dinosaur Junior) is such a big fan that he's personally requested that she opens for Dinosaur Junior on their forthcoming US tour. Despite all these accolades she got to play to a grand total of just 15 people (including 5 members of Fists) last night. I really hope Nottingham's proud of itself. I found myself getting pretty down about this (partly because we'd only played to 15 people as well) and was planning on saying something after the show like "Forget it Thalia. It's Nottingham" (a'la Walsh to Jake Gittes in Chinatown) but quickly learned that I really didn't have to do this at all because she'd really enjoyed it regardless. It dawned on me at this point that this is how artists should be. Art before ego. This was a valuable insight into how this woman had survived and continues to survive the highs and lows of nearly 30 years as an artist in the underground. I went to sleep last night feeling pretty good in the end because despite the poor turnout I'd got to play and learn from someone who has actually lived through a large part of my record collection.