I seldom give artists a bad review; I try to pick out the positives even in the most dreariest of performances. But I’m sorry Graham, you just didn’t put the effort in on this gig. I’ve included the comments from Coxon’s fans that were written as a riposte on This is Nottingham.
Date: May 17, 2009
Venue: Rescue Rooms
This gig was a deliberate vehicle used to road-test Coxon’s new record – The Spinning Top, which is played in its entirety tonight. But for those who have been raised on Coxon’s previous two fun-packed dirty punk-pop records there’s little to satisfy them. And those awaiting that one special Blur song… forget it, he’s not playing ball.
For the most part Coxon perches himself on a stool, dressed in a maroon velvet jacket, looking like a bored Dudley Moore while his band gently drum and switch between cello, bass guitar and organ, forcing out introspective, toned-down dusty folk songs.
But quite frankly, although the record is a mild and enjoyable listen on CD format, it struggles to translate to the live arena. Only when the surging, lunging riff crunches of Dead Bees descend (a distant relative to Blur’s Beetlebum) and Caspian Sea transforms from a dreary acoustic song into an undignified maelstrom of brutal noise do the despondency levels in the crowd lift.
The sad fact is that if it had been anyone other than ‘Graham Coxon from Blur’ playing his cheerless, chin-scratching folk songs the crowd’s tolerance levels would have been severely lower. Had this have been a random folky with no Britpop heritage many would’ve headed for the pop quiz in the bar next door a lot earlier.
After an hour-and-fifteen minutes there’s hope that the encore will offer a respite. Freakin’ Out would be nice. Coffee and TV would be ace. But no, we get the simply awful listlessness of November and then a cover of a track which no one is familiar with.
It’s hard to criticise such a prolific indie hero but at times that pop quiz was becoming increasingly tempting. In truth it was all a bit of a blur. Just not the Blur we’d have liked.
From Sean, Chorlton, Manchester
“Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. My ‘oh dears’ are for this review, not the show. The show was fantastic – a swinging, grooving and at times downright rocking display of versatile brilliance. Did you really think he’d play some Blur stuff? Do you know ANYTHING about the man you went to see? (Er yes, thanks – Ed)
The fact that you think he’s released only two records prior to his latest album suggests not. (Don’t recall saying that, Sean. I mentioned his last two as they were perkier affairs. I’m well aware of his back catelogue thanks mate – Ed) I think you’re exactly the sort of person Graham doesn’t want to buy his records. Or go to his shows. Open your mind man. Open your ears. This was great music played brilliantly, marred only very slightly by some absolute morons in the crowd.”
From Laura, The Park
“Damn right Sean, the reviewer obviously doesn’t know his stuff (No you’re right, that’s why I write about music and you, well, don’t, luv – Ed). As if Coxon would ever play a Blur song at the end! I enjoyed the gig, it is a shame the encore didn’t contain a more familiar song but it’s always a delight to watch Coxon. Agree it’s a shame about some members of the crowd heckling (There was a reason they were heckling – Ed).”
From Christina, Sherwood
“Too right Sean, i went and thought it was great. Never once was i expecting a Blur song, as it was a Graham Coxon gig i went to! Can somebody who knows about music review a gig next time please! (Cheeky cow – Ed)”
From Gerry, Carlton
“Sorry guys but I almost have to agree with the reviewer here. Fair enough, none of us went to Rescue Rooms last night to hear Blur but we did go to hear some new Graham Coxon with some of his earlier stuff interspersed. All we heard was the new stuff; stuff we hadn’t heard when we bought our tickets for the gig over a month ago.
I felt a little let down by the way Graham sat low down for most of the gig, us 6′ fans could at least see the top of his head, my other half didn’t stand a chance at 5″ 6′; why couldn’t he have sat on a higher stool?
Elements of the crowd were downright rude, we had a drunken youngster slightly in front of us who completely spoiled the support act (Pete and his Pirates (sic)) by talking loudly throughout it and then continued to annoy, grope, slather over and insult fans during the main gig. He wasn’t the only person in the gig who should have considered other people. There were groups of people talking loudly throughout the gig. Come on guys, show some respect for other people eh?
Am I getting too old for gigs when I find these people and their lack of respect for artists and fans alike so annoying???”