Saturday 10th September 2005
The Sugar Club

stars sugar club

Stars play the Sugar Club? How confusing.

“Set Yourself on Fire” was an album Fee brought back from Canada ages (a random independent find in a store). She liked the record, I liked the record. Some other people heard it and they liked it too. Not available in shops till a bit before the gig, I internet bought my copy of the album from Canada before the new cover was stuck on.

The gig was announced in July. I mailed MCD to see if it was really the same band. The likelihood of these guys showing up for a gig in the Sugar Club was that low.

Bought two tickets. Nic ended up taking my spare.
Six other work-related people were also to attend, but we lost four to beer and emigration related events.

I went along to the Sugar Club later than normal. Nic was delayed and I had her ticket. She arrived literally five minutes before the band went on. I met Cat and Liz in the meantime. The band arrived at the venue entrance and walked in like everyone else (“hi, we're stars*”).

By this time I was edgy. I’d waited nearly two months for the gig and I was almost the last person in. ‘Last person in’ generally conflicts with ‘get down the front’. I got Nic and Darren to stroll across the (empty) gap at the front of the stage and take a standing position with a pretty good view. Could have done slightly better, but it was the politest audience in the world and I didn’t want to push luck.

They came on immediately. They might have even been making their way on as we were walking across the front. I have a vague recollection of saying, “let’s go, there’s the band” before we made the last little move.

The Sugar Club, incidentally, is an old private cinema-room in the basement of a 1970s or 1980s office block. The main area consists of curved ‘semi-booths’ facing the screen/stage. The walls are lined with dark strips of curved wood. It’s a nice retro space.

The venue was crammed – people standing down the steps on both sides, sitting on the ground at the front, standing at the back, squeezed in the spaces on both sides of the stage. The only empty area was the bit directly in front of the band. We were all too polite to sit there.

Well, the gig was great. Sound was a little rough to start with, but steadily improved through the night. We were very, very close. It was a great gig. Boy singer seemed extremely enthusiastic, girl singer was brilliantly demure. They played good and hard, sometimes fighting the struggling PA, almost losing the vocals on “Ageless Beauty” (I think?), but singing and working ‘til it all clicked back in. They were very happy to be playing Dublin, we were very happy to have them play. There were some very insightful explanations before some of the songs. The trumpet sounded fantastic.

We got an encore, though the crowd was almost too polite to make the required amount of noise.
After the gig the band came on and removed their gear**.
They might be a regular band that casually made a great album when they least expected it.

Hung around for a little, then went home.
Going to New York in a few hours (Sunday 11th now).
Regina Spektor on Thursday  - Irving Plaza NY***.

** not before I got a setlist
***I didn't go - sold my ticket, wandered around the city for hours.

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