The Tycho Brahe – April 18, 2009

It’s quarter past 2 in the morning.  I’m sitting in a McDonalds having dinner.  I can’t even believe that lunch was almost 12 hours ago, I haven’t been hungry.  I guess I had too many cookies this afternoon.  The train station is closed – wold you believe it?  I thought they would still let us in for the few hours the trains don’t run, there’s no bathrooms out here.  Maybe I should see if the timetable thing on my phone can tell me when the trains start again – they’ve even turned the screens off.  Maybe I should get a cab, after all, the longer I sit here, the closer I get to crashing and I have somewhere to be in another 12 house from now and I’m not 100% sure where I’ll be fitting sleep in if the trains don’t start up again till around 4… half an hour on the train… up to an hour walking home…

So, why am I sitting in an all-night McDonalds in the small hours of the morning, being harassed by drunken strangers, and composing a blog post in a cheap notebook I bought before the newsagency closed last night?  I imagine the title of this post should have given that away.  That’s right, I dragged my internet-surfing, mario-kart-playing, mouse-hygeine-neglecting, ever-expanding ass out to see a band.  And I’m hella glad I did.

When I got up this morning (i.e. Saturday morning, not “this” morning, as this morning is now) I was feeling low.  Not a surprise, I’ve been feeling perpetually low since I went off the anit-depressants again.  Really, I wish I had someone who actually cared enough to get up me about finding a new therapist – I need it – but I digress.

I was seriously considering just not bothering with tonight (I mean last night), but eventually I decided if I don’t do this, then what the hell else am I doing with my life? So, I sucked it up, got out my going-to-see-a-band handbag, and caught the train to the city.

So as to not interfere with the dinner plans at home (I’m back with my parents “temporarily” *shudder*), I left a little early.  Doors opened at 8, and I got to the city around 7, so I went to the Pig and Whistle and had a beer.  So far, so good.  Boring, but bearable.  I’d had a stupid brainwave on the train, so I’d bought a notepad and pen leaving the station, I took a few minutes to scribble my ideas down.  I probably looked like a bit of an idiot, having a beer, scribbling in a notebook.  I know, I know, I’m sad.  And not in the I-haven’t-been-taking-my-medication kind of way.

After that,  mosied up Queen street.  I couldn’t remember the name of the venue, or the address – only Tank-something at three hundred-something Queen street.  Luckily, I found it without any problems.  Though there remains the unresolved issue of the huge doll-thing parked on Queen st that seemed to be there for no purpose, complete with guard.

Actually, there was one problem.  I found the place all right… at 10 to 8.  Now, I should know better, but in the gig world, “doors open at 8” means 8:20, “band at 10” means 10:30, and “the Tychos playing at 11:15” means midnight; but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

So, there I was, like a complete idiot in my Tycho band shirt, waiting for the doors to open… alone.  At least if you have a friend to drag along to these things, you don’t have to stand around twiddling your thumbs like a total moron.

And speaking of total morons… I’d shown up at “8” (I’m always early), because I wanted to see if the opening band was any good – you know, expanding my musical horizons and all that good stuff.  I already knew the Tycho’s weren’t going to be on till around 11, but foolish me didn’t know what time to expect the other band, so I got there when doors opened.

At one point, Ken and Stephen walked by.  Ken spotted my band shirt and commented “I know that band!”.  Now, in my infinitely witty self, it was about 2 hours before I thought of a reply.  But I really should have said “really?  I heard they sucked” ;)

So, the doors finally opened, and I was the first one in.  Yes, I <3 the Tycho Brahe so much that I still wanted to be the first person through the door – in my band shirt – some 3 hours before they were even due onstage. *has an obsessive groupie-fan-grrl moment*

I managed to nurse a beer for over an hour.  I was impressed.  I have the patience of a newt on speed, so finding out it was gone half-nine when I finally drained the glass and popped off to the ladies.  Maybe I was fooled by the fact that I hate less-than-cold beer, and my glass stayed nice and chilled for the whole time.

Finally!  It was time for Leaders of Men.  Now, I don’t want to be harsh, but I can’t say that I was particularly drawn.  But! in the interests of being fair, I want to hear some of their recorded stuff.  The lead singer confessed being quite drunk by the time the set started, and maybe in the studio, he’s not so prone to the muffled almost-swallowing-the-microphone singing style.

That, and everything was just too loud!  Perhaps the equipment, or the small space just couldn’t handle the sound, but was that guitar screaming, or was it the equipment squealing under the strain??  And I would have loved to hear some of Tristan’s (I remember his name, it’s the same as my mouse) fancier guitar work.  They sounded awesome during the sound check (one advantage to waiting outside the venue before doors open), so the jury is still out for them.

I do have one message for the Leaders of Men.  And I really wish that the gig had been crowded enough to get away with saying this… Moar Cowbell.

But, finally, it was time for the Tycho’s and they rocked.  Now, I really feel that there aren’t any superlatives that quite fit.  I could drawl on about how “awesome” or “incredible” or “1000 times better than Leaders of Men” they were (sorry guys, subjectivity and all), but it all seems horribly inadequate in the face of how disappointed Ken seemed to feel afterwards.

Maybe it was the turnout?  Maybe it was the apparent stuff ups that happened during some of the songs.  S’ok guys!  Most of us really don’t have that expert’s ear to be able to tell.  They played some old stuff: Armistice was a challenge, one of the few Tycho songs I don’t know every single word too! And Sentence sounds as good live as I’d dreamed.  There was even new stuff: 1985, the words I remember from when I listened to it a few dozen times when it was posted to MySpace last year.  And they played Delos, which I always really enjoy.  It always looks like everyone is having so much fun playing that song, you can’t help but share the energy.

Sometimes, life throws you a curve ball.  Sometimes, it kicks you in the stomach, and when you’re groaning on the floor, it says naaaaw, I was just kidding, here you go… and offers you a hand up.  I’d been feeling a little sore for being stupid enough to come alone.  Moreso that I didn’t actually know anyone that I could have dragged along with me, grudgingly or no.  Then there’d been the guy in the bar that looked sooooo much like a past friend of mine, to the point that I was completely paranoid that they’d left the venue so they didn’t have to pretend they didn’t recognise me.  I mean really, who pays a $12 cover to have one drink?

Then, during the Tycho gig, I though that Ken had looked at me a few times – I was singing along happily, and dancing in my seat.  Turns out he was just looking at the big screen behind my head.  And there was the girl near me that he pointed out, and said “I know you from MySpace!”  Well, you used to know me from MySpace too!  Maybe I should get a funny hat – her hat was cute, but I totally could not pull that off – I was feeling completely invisible.

But the gig was too awesome to feel too bad.  I hadn’t heard the Tycho’s live since the ill-fated Covenant gig, and we all know how that ended.  So, after the gig, with absolutely nothing better to do than hope that I might win a free CD, I watched the Tycho’s pack up.  Besides, how much harm could a little silent hero-worship/fan-adoration really do?

Unexpectedly, Andy came right over and introduced himself.  I probably came off as a half-brain dead, half-deaf slack-jawed idiot fan grrl.  Sorry.  More like mostly-deaf and entirely surprised!

So it turns out dear reader (hey, let me have my fantasy and pretend that you exist), that Andy used to read this blog.  Huh?  No… wait… HUH?  I’m sure this started with the VNV Nation gig, when I wrote my first Tycho-blog-post, but these people are totally famous-by-association.  (You know Human League?  They had that song Don’t You Want Me.  Well, the Tycho’s opened for them earlier this year.)  So, how is it that Andy… who’s totally never seen me before, knows about my mice?!  Wow.  Awesome.

See, at the start of the gig, I’d already been plotting the reinstatement of (at the very least) my Music and Gigs posts, and adding one about tonight (is this a post?  I think it’s a dissertation, it’s getting a bit long, and there’s no photos yet), but that really sealed the deal.  So what if my readership can’t be found with an electron microscope?  Half the reason for the Music and Gigs posts were to promote the Tychos (for serious, go buy an album.  Now!), and promote I shall!

So, Andy excused himself, and internally, I was grinning from ear to ear, I was the cat who got the cream (or the mouse in my case… did you know mice like cream?).  I stayed wjere I was seated, just enjoying the music and not feeling anywhere near so despondent anymore, when Ken comes up and shakes my hand!  Blessed be that he didn’t really have time to stop, because I was completely speechless. Yes, my infinitely witty self had utterly abandoned me again.  I had no idea what I would say to Ken.  Probably something incredibly stupid.

Now.  I have every Tycho album.  I have the unofficial never-released Tainted Love mix.  I have the band shirt.  I’ve been to all their Brisbane gigs since I discovered them.  What more can I do to thank the Tycho’s for their awesome music??  I’m stumped.

To cap the night off after all that, I was watching some people dance with envious eyes when a guy came up and “invited” me to dance.  Not like that, but in a way he was trying to make it totally okay if I wanted to dance even though I was there alone.  So I danced.  The night was finished off with a lot of my favourite 80’s songs, from Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, to Men at Work’s Safety Dance.  Someone ever requested the Nutbush by Tina Turner, and I danced that all the way through.  I even got a high-five from the requester for being the only other person who made it to the end of the song.

And at the end of the night, I won a copy of Depeche Mode’s Sounds of the Universe after all.  Sweet.

So here I am.  Exhausted, needing to pee in the middle of the night in a maccas trying to get as much of this down as possible before I forget more than I already have – like which Cure video clip Ken said was his favourite.

*  *  *  *  *

It’s now Monday evening and I’m finally typing this up.  I got a message on MySpace from Ken, saying thanks again for coming to the gig.  My pleasure.  Always.

I was scrolling back through the messages though, and I found something interesting.  There was someone with a handi-cam, filming the Leaders of Men, and I was watching the Tycho’s thinking that I would totally buy a video camera if I hadn’t just spent all that money on a fancy-pants dSLR camera (and they already have an official photographer, who’s about a gazillion times better than me, I promise).  In one of the earlier messages, Ken wrote to me that he’d love to film a gig.  Maybe I should splash out on that video cam after all……

* * * * *

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~ by ghostwolfe on April 20, 2009.

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