So I better get this out there right now because it’s going to come up with a lot of the bands I saw a decade ago were featured on a popular teen drama known as The O.C.
My GOD was into that show. I tried my best to be Seth Cohen, started skating, dressing like him and named my cat after him. We were all young and impressionable once, I just like to take things to another level.
Now Jem is one of the more poppy artists that were on the show and so this was a fork in the road for me, was I really the kind of guy who goes to pop shows? The answer thankfully was no, the nearest I got in the next 10 years was a misguided segue to a Ting Tings all ages show.
I’d obviously been to an amazing gig a couple of weeks before and was pumped to go to another, this was a much different scene however.
I’d ordered a Tesco delivery for this evening so I was forced to talk to my housemate and get him to receive it for me. I mean, this gig was a while ago I need to really grasp onto any memory I can.
So I was a member of the Jem music forum, one of those old ones that anyone could make. Shoutout to Taf, Gemma and BBOFH whereever you may be!
Those old forums were a weird time. Bizarre.
Anyway, I now knew what a support act was so I could check out what a Mattafix was before the show! Turns out they are a reggae fused indie band who had a song so good that I still listen to it all this time later…
Big City Life
I certainly during that half an hour felt that often a support band might just have one song that people will know and they’ll be waiting for that impatiently before they’re unceremoniously told to bugger off so the main act can come on.
It’s worth mentioning that Mattafix were actually about more than just one good song, they had three. To & Fro and Gangster Blues are also worth a listen. Otherwise don’t get too excited…
My views on support bands changed soon after, very soon after and forever but back to the present… the present being 2005…
Jem released an engrossing debut album in 2004 with original and innovative work that I was interested to see how it would be performed live. Unfortunately it turned out it was via a DJ, something I very rarely saw in the hundreds of ensuing gigs. I met the DJ and band after the show as I still thought that was what you did, it was a sad day once I realised this wasn’t always the case.
I must say that the gig was so close to the record that it confused me as a green-horned gig goer. I mean I’d heard the whole point of live music was experiencing something you couldn’t at home.
The gig was fine but certainly missed the spark of a raucous crowd and the punk ethos of non-mainstream artists but the venue was fascinating, acoustically it was perfect for its intended purpose and it was carpeted which I certainly didn’t see much of as time went by.
Another staple of my gig going life was not bothering to work out what I was doing after the gig so I was stuck wandering around until the first train back to Bournemouth at 6am and let me tell you, Bournemouth is way further away from Portsmouth than you’d think like I literally thought they were walking distance. Haha I had no idea of geography even of England but going to so many cities to see bands changed all that.
I also learned the beauty of hotel rooms, in fact the following year I stayed in a hotel right across the road from the same venue but I had no idea about any of that back then.
She released another album 4 years later which did fine but I’ve never listened to, my taste had changed significantly by that point. Apparently she’s working on a new album right now too, if you’re interested.
Typical setlist from that era: