Now I don't mind a bit of a shambles. If a band is too polished then you might as well stay home and listen to the record, but the Connan Mockasin gig at the Bristol Fleece on Monday night, well…
I was disappointed when I walked in and there wasn't a Merchandise table. A trestle table was set up in the usual place on the left hand side, but there was nothing there. I was disappointed as I was hoping to pick up some music from the support band Teleman, but hey ho I thought, saves me a bit of cash. Teleman as support sold me on the gig, I was a fan of Pete and the Pirates, the band they rose from. Teleman were okay but they were hobbled by sound problems and they seemed a little pissed off, saying that they'd thought that they were on at 9 not 8:30, I thought the set only really began to take off in the later half, still the songs 'Cristina ' and 'Steam Train Girl' were great, and as always Big Jeff was having an euphoric time down the front.
I can imagine that Connan Mockasin wouldn't be to everyone's taste, his music is other worldly jazz psyche no! Wait! Come back! When he took the stage he apologised for having a croaky voice and asked the crowd to help to help, which they did with great aplomb. Ah yes the crowd. I have ranted before about talking at gigs but the crowd Monday night took it to new heights. Not to put too fine a point on it there was a big crowd of coked up Hipsters. There was a girl right down the front who – when the music got louder – began to shout so her friend could hear her. Yeah cause that's why I go to see gigs, to hear about attention seeking scenesters yap about a road trip they might or might not go on. If the crowd were like this at every gig I'd stop going, and I don't say that lightly. Three songs into the set an ill-tempered Beardo shushed people off the trestle table, added a second trestle table, put two CDs on the table and scowled at people, which as a marketing strategy is a bit left field.
Mockasin himself was pretty good and 'Forever Dolphin Love' was my highlight of the set. Blimey there were a lot of well refreshed people in the crowd for a Monday night, including one girl who kept getting on stage to mooch around with Mockasin which he didn't seem to mind too much. At one point he walked into the crowd and got the immediate crowd to sit down around him, people were reaching out and touching his hair which I found a little creepy.
After a while I managed to ignore the self-obsessed wittering of the crowd to enjoy the music on its own terms. A frustrating gig, topped off with the turnoff to the Severn Bridge being closed off meaning a 40 minute diversion through Filton, it's become the Highway Agencies' 'Freebird'.