Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Ned’s again, at the Concorde 2 in Brighton. They were supported by Collapsed Lung, who had a minor hit with Eat My Goal in 1996 and again in ’98, but it was used in a number of programmes and adverts, and so I was looking forward to seeing them too.
Doors opened at 6pm, which was early, but I expect that there was a club night or something on after Ned’s – they were due to be wrapped up by 10. I caught the train at 5:08, to be precise, from West Worthing, expecting to be in Brighton by 5:30. Unfortunately the train ran slow and I didn’t get my connection at Hove, and so didn’t get into Brighton until gone 6pm. I headed straight for Sawadee, a Thai restaurant we used to frequent from time to time when we lived there. I had fishcakes to start, a perennial favourite, and then a Massaman curry, which is flavoured with peanuts – if you like Thai but haven’t tried a Massaman, I’d recommend it.
Anyway, I headed from there to the Bristol Arms for a restorative orange juice (no really), and then wandered down to the Concorde. Collapsed Lung had already started by the time I got there, so I went straight through to the main room and listened to their stuff. I was really impressed, they had a good vibe going and although there weren’t many people there watching, I think those that were there enjoyed it. The tracks had a vibrancy, one of the main guys (Jim Burke) was quite striking in that he was wearing a moustache, glasses and a baseball cap. And certainly the group seemed to be enjoying themselves, which is always infectious. They played a few new songs, I think, including one called “New Song Old Band” which is going to be a single in November apparently – I enjoyed that. And of course they played “Eat My Goal”, which went down a treat with its call and response chorus. And then they were gone. I would certainly go and see them again, given the chance, and who knows when that might be?
I had seen on Twitter that Ned’s were due on at 8:40, so I wasn’t really in a rush to get the venue. I did wonder why they opened the doors so early? I normally like to get there as early as possible, but to be in the venue from 6pm and the main band weren’t playing for two and a half hours? That just seems a little bonkers. Still I was caught out like that when I went to see Cud at The Garage a couple of years ago…
Anyway, the tunes which the DJ played after Collapsed Lung left the stage took me right back to the early 90s… Carter USM, The Weddoes, Jesus Jones, the Stuffies, EMF even, Mega City 4, Senseless Things, Prodigy… Excellent stuff. And then the song announcing the band was an old crackly version of “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside”, and Ned’s ambled on to the stage.
They started with a couple of songs I didn’t recognise, I thought the first was probably a b-side from something off of BrainBloodVolume, and someone has already put up the set listing here. All the songs were recognisably Ned’s tunes, but I didn’t recognise them all. I thought that at points the gig was a little dark, as in brooding, but maybe that was due to me being a little jaded – I had been out at a friend’s birthday party the night before, and I was a little off-kilter still. The crowd loved it all though, there was a vibrant moshpit at the front, and a couple of crowdsurfers too. Jonn, the lead singer, certainly enjoys throwing himself around the stage while the bassist guys are sawing away at their instruments, and I think that encourages the moshing. As the night went on, and more familiar songs were played, that moshpit extended out further and further, and the dancing was infectious. The band certainly seemed to enjoy it, and almost seemed surprised that so many people recognised their songs. They even threw in a new one, called “Self Defence” by the sound of it, and it fitted in perfectly with the set.
All in all, it was a good night, and it was worth going. I was intending to meet up with an old friend who I’ve known since I was 17, but unfortunately she couldn’t make it due to family commitments. I was looking forward to seeing her after such a long time; maybe I can find another gig to tempt her down to the South Coast at some point in the future…? Anyway, having seen Pixies at the start of July, and with the Wedding Present in August, Ride in September and JimBob in December, it’s shaping up to be a good musical year.

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