I am one of life's fans. I get stupidly over excited about things I like, and when I heard the grunge thrash of Skinny Girl Diet on the Marc Riley show back in November I sat up and took notice. Pretty much the first thing I do when find a new band - after checking their music out - is to see if they're playing anywhere near. SGD were a female three piece from London. They gig regularly, must mostly around London. I was so excited by the band that I thought 'Bugger it, I'll see if I can book them to play Cardiff.'. I was in touch with their booking agent and started talking to some promoter friends of mine when they announced a Bristol date. Buying tickets seemed the infinitely simpler and cheaper way to go about seeing them.
The gig was last Saturday, so it not being a school night and with a drag act on the bill I persuaded Sian to come with me and we decided to indulge ourselves by booking a hotel and stay over. The gig was at the Exchange which is a tiny, proper scuzzy venue. The night was a LGBT event with a Trans stand up comedian and performance artist. We got there in time to see the first support act who were a pleasant enough shoe-gazey type band, we enjoyed two of their tracks and went to drink Proceccoo in the bar and to buy some merch. I really wanted the SGD album 'Heavy Flow' on vinyl, and the t-shirts and a demonic cat sketched on them, so it was one for both of us.
It was a very eclectic crowd (no big Jeff) and the organisers had really succeeded in making it a safe place. It's what I absolutely love about going to a gig, is seeing all types of people hanging about and getting along. The Trans stand up was pretty good, but obviously in a lot of pain. The performance artists was joyfully pretentious but a bit ranty. I had thought that maybe it had been a bit indulgent booking a hotel, but SGD weren't on till 11, so we'd have never seen them otherwise. It was nice being able to relax and not worry about dashing off, and there was such a great energetic energy in the venue I didn't feel tired.
I was surprised when SGD came on as they'd shrunk to a duo of lead singer/guitarist and drummer. They did mention at some point that this was there first gig as a duo. They made enough noise though and attacked there album. They've definately heard a Bikini Kill and Hole album or two, which is no bad thing. Sian and I found ourselves down at the front of the stage and we bopped along enthusiastically. What was great to see was that it was such a mixed crowd. I'm just used to being amongst loads of balding forty somethings, which to be fair is my peer group. One of the set highlights was 'Yeti' which alongside being a brilliant song is also the name of our cat. So win/win. They were just high octane fucking brilliance. The set was over in about 40 minutes and they came back on for what seemed like a genuine encore as they said that they didn't have any more songs to play. Someone called out for the entire set again, the drummer looked knackered. Then Sian and I called out for 'Yeti', yes that's us in the video, we're so proud. They obliged and that was it.
What a brilliant bloody gig! It wasn't just the band, it was the venue, the inclusive crowd and going to a gig with Sian. We enjoyed it so much that I'm going back to my original plan and trying to book them for Cardiff, so keep your legs crossed.