The Get Up Kids
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After a spate of dodgy reunions over the last few years, news that The Get Up Kids were back together was not met with a raised eyebrow but a rush of joy and a relief that perhaps the world wasn’t so bad after all.
The Electric Ballroom was home to the fourth night of the UK leg of their reunion tour to support the tenth anniversary re-release of the beloved album Something to Write Home About.
The crowd for this show was one lacking in unnecessary posturing and the trend for being publicly excited being deeply passé was replaced by unbridled giddiness for a band every person in that venue had been dying to get a chance to see, or see again, for years.
As every new song began its opening chords you were reminded of the quality of their large back catalogue and on numerous occasions before they opened their mouths to sing the audience sang for them, a perfect reflection on what this gig meant to people.
This is the earlier stripy geeky polo shirts side to emo before it adopted eye-liner and fringes and is one of which every kid in the room knew every lyric, yet if you were to ask many of them then names of the people in the band they’d struggle to guess. The Get Up Kids pre-date the celebrity-laden whizz-bang Hollywood land that is modern day emo. They are pre-the theatrics of their modern successors and always gave the sense that they could’ve been your brother’s band.
A short interlude was arranged so that drummer Ryan Pope could nip out for a fag and which provided James Dewees an opportunity to belt out an Elton John song on the keyboard with glee. He took his time but luckily as 'Campfire Kansas' was next up it was timed to perfection so that Ryan could hop back behind his kit just in time for song’s late drumbeat.
Unsurprisingly this was a reunion gig for the fans themselves and there were at least twenty people I knew there. I honestly can’t remember the last gig I went to where that could’ve been the case, ranging from people I went to school with to those I knew on the dance floors of the various sweat-pits of my younger days.
For a room of 600 people it felt noticeably intimate. At the beginning to every song you felt the urge within the crowd that the next song would be that particular ‘favourite song’ and despite this there wasn’t that annoying berk at the bank belting out -"PLAY XXXX"_.
On a Wire is often seen as their bastard child album but it has to be said that live the (ish) title track 'Walking On A Wire' is just beautiful and is testament to showing that even when they strayed away from their roots they can’t help but create songs of a high calibre. This song particularly shamed me into realising that a lot of newer bands I hold in really high regard have been obviously influenced by this album and don’t come close to what The Get Up Kids were giving a whirl 7 years ago.
Standouts were 'Holy Roman', 'Don’t Hate Me', 'Ten Minutes' and the cover of Cure’s 'Close To Me' of which the last three were part of their jubilant encore for their already contented audience.
There was, however, one singular negative to this gig and this was the shocking and unnecessary confiscation of my friend’s Chewits on the way into the venue. Since when were Chewits contraband?
- Coming Clean
- Action & Action
- The One You Want
- Close to Home
- New Song
- Red Letter Day
- Mass Pike
- Campfire Kansas
- Holy Roman
- I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel
- Walking On A Wire
- Out of Reach
- Close To Me
- Beer For Breakfast
- Don't Hate Me
- I'll Catch You
- Ten Minutes
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- The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About (Tenth Anniversary Edition)
- The Get Up Kids at Camden Electric Ballroom, Camden, Wed 19 Aug
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